Lunch time movers and shakers: 9 stocks you need to watch

Big rises in iron ore miners like Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX: FMG) have allowed our market to claw back most of the early losses but those aren't the only stocks powering ahead.

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The market is crawling back from morning losses as the iron ore miners power ahead despite the fall in the commodity's price.

Comments from global mining giant Vale that it is considering cutting back production in the face of an iron ore glut are offsetting the overnight 1.7% fall in the steel-making ingredient to $US56.18 a tonne.

BHP Billiton Limited's (ASX: BHP) decision to postpone its Port Hedland expansion project triggered a sharp bounce in the commodity price even though the amount of iron ore that's removed from the market is a drop in the ocean.

However, as I pointed out then, BHP's move is significant because it could prompt other global producers to take a softer stand on protecting their market share.

Shares in BHP and rival Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) are up 1.5% to $32.46 and 2% to $58.29, respectively.

The real standout though is Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX: FMG). The stock is the best performer on the S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO), with the stock surging 6% to $2.30 in late morning trade.

No doubt the Australian competition watchdog's decision not to pursue its chairman for anti-competitive behaviour is also lending some support.

The improved sentiment towards the sector is also giving listed mining contractors a much needed boost today.

Bradken Limited (ASX: BKN) is up 3.9% to $2.38 while Downer EDI Limited (ASX: DOW) advances 2.3% to $4.53.

Macmahon Holdings Limited (ASX: MAH) gave investors something else to cheer about. Management said this morning that it will receive $19 million to settle a dispute over a contract termination with Cobar Management.

Macmahon will book a $16 million profit from the settlement and its shares surged 16.3% to 5 cents.

The second-best performer on the top 200 stock benchmark is Liquefied Natural Gas Ltd (ASX: LNG) after the energy development company said it has been granted a US patent for its OSMR technology and announced it had moved closer to receiving final environmental approval with US regulators.

The stock gained 5% to $4.79.

Laboratory testing company ALS Ltd (ASX: ALQ) also finds itself among the top five ASX 200 performers this morning with a 4.9% jump to $5.53 following yesterday's 1.8% increase on the back of a pleasing profit update.

The company said it expected to report a $135 million net profit for the year to end March 2015 and that prompted at least two brokers to upgrade their recommendation on the stock to a "hold" equivalent from a sell.

On the flipside, TPG Telecom Ltd (ASX: TPM) is among the biggest laggards of the ASX 200 as the market believes M2 Group Ltd (ASX: MTU) will win the bidding war for iiNet Limited (ASX: IIN).

TPG shares shed 2% to $8.76.

Motley Fool contributor Brendon Lau owns shares of BHP Billiton Limited, Bradken Limited, Downer EDI Limited, and Rio Tinto Ltd.. Follow me on Twitter - The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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