13 stocks to move the market this morning

Westpac Banking Corp’s (ASX:WBC) weaker-than-expected result isn’t expected to pull the market into the red, as miners Rio Tinto Limited (ASX:RIO) and BHP Billiton Limited (ASX:BHP) should deliver decent gains.

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Our market is poised to start the week on a positive note thanks to positive offshore leads but the support is unlikely to come from the banking sector or from gold stocks.

The futures market is pricing in a 0.65% gain for the S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) this morning after US and European equities advanced on Friday.

However, a weaker than forecast result from Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC) is likely to sour the mood as it posted a first half cash profit of $3.78 billion, which was around 2% below consensus expectations.

The bank’s net interest margin also dipped to 2.06% from 2.09% and its interim dividend of 93 cents a share was 1 cent shy of what the market was expecting, according to Bloomberg data.

The result will put the spotlight on the other big banks with Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ASX: ANZ) and National Australia Bank Ltd. (ASX: NAB) set to hand in their earnings report card this week. You can read what to look out for here.

Gold miners like Newcrest Mining Limited (ASX: NCM) and Northern Star Resources Ltd (ASX: NST) aren’t likely to find favour with investors either after the gold price slumped to a six-week low. The precious metal was 0.7% weaker at $US1,175 an ounce.

The telecommunications sector will also continue to hold the market’s attention. TPG Telecom Ltd (ASX: TPM) has until tomorrow to lodge a counterbid for iiNet Limited (ASX: IIN), while Amcom Telecommunications Limited (ASX: AMM) and Vocus Communications Limited (ASX: VOC) decided on Friday to postpone a vote on their merger after TPG Telecom upped its stake in Amcom and threated to block the deal.

In other earnings news, accommodation company Mantra Group Ltd (ASX: MTR) released guidance on Friday and is forecasting full year net profit of between $35 million to $36.5 million and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of $71 million to $73 million.

This compares with consensus estimates from Bloomberg of $36.2 million for net profit, and $71.7 million for EBITDA. The stock hit a record high of $3.68 on Friday.

Property company Stockland Corporation Ltd (ASX: SGP) is also expected to post a third quarter update and it will be interesting to see how its comments on the residential market will contrast with those from the banks.

Investors can expect the big miners Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) and BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP) to keep outperforming the wider market. Their US-listed shares rallied 2.4% and 1.2% on Friday, respectively, and Rio Tinto is reported to be ready to get back into the merger and acquisition game as it believes the sector is nearing the bottom of the cycle.

While it won’t move benchmark stock indices, investors will also be closely watching the debut of accounting software company MYOB Group Ltd (ASX: MYO) at noon today. MYOB is yet to be included into a stock index and is the largest float this year.

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Motley Fool contributor Brendon Lau owns shares of BHP Billiton Limited, iiNet Ltd., National Australia Bank Limited, and Rio Tinto Ltd.. Follow me on Twitter - https://twitter.com/brenlau 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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