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Morning market movers: 10 stocks to watch

Our market is expected to build on yesterday’s gains this morning on the back of gains in US and European shares and firmer commodity prices.

The futures market is pointing to a 0.27% advance for the S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) and resources stocks are likely to lead the market higher.

But that may not include Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX: FMG) as the federal government has backed away from the idea of holding a parliamentary inquiry that could force low cost producers BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP) and Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) to curb production.

While iron ore has broken its seven-session losing streak with a 1.4% gain to $US57.91 a tonne, analysts are convinced that the commodity is heading lower, which would threaten the profitability of Fortescue Metals.

Oil & gas stocks like Santos Ltd (ASX: STO) and Woodside Petroleum Limited (ASX: WPL) will be in favour as the West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude price jumped nearly 3% to $US60.72 a barrel.

But it is engineering contractor Cardno Limited (ASX: CDD) that is likely to capture the imagination of the market today on media reports that a private equity firm has bought 16 million shares, which is nearly 10% of the company, at a 10.2% premium to its last closing price.

BHP Billiton’s spin-off, South32 Ltd (ASX: S32), will also be in the spotlight on news that fund manager Perpetual Limited (ASX: PPT) is looking to sell the stock, while Goldman Sachs has put it on its “conviction buy” list.

There are also a number of companies holding their annual general meeting today. Copper producer PanAust Limited (ASX: PNA) is one and this will probably be its last as its Chinese bidder has effective control of the company.

Funeral service group InvoCare Limited (ASX: IVC) and electricity utility Spark Infrastructure Group (ASX: SKI) will also be fronting shareholders today, while mineral sands miner Iluka Resources Limited (ASX: ILU) will be hosting analysts for a briefing.

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Motley Fool contributor Brendon Lau owns shares of BHP Billiton Limited, PanAust Limited, Rio Tinto Ltd., and Woodside Petroleum Ltd., South32. 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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