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Morning market movers: 8 stocks to watch

The last trading day of the month is looking like it will end on a whimper as our market is expected to open flat on mixed offshore leads and the lack of any big corporate news.

The futures market is pricing in a 0.1% rise in the S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) but that’s a positive outcome given that Wall Street dipped in the red and iron ore snapped its five-session winning streak.

The Metal Bulletin reported a 1.2% fall in the iron ore price to $US62.33 a tonne although gold managed to inch up 0.2% to $US1,189 an ounce in spite of the stronger US dollar.

That’s welcomed news for gold miners Newcrest Mining Limited (ASX: NCM) and Northern Star Resources Ltd (ASX: NST) as both stocks are trading at the top of their 52-week trading band.

Base metal miner Independence Group NL (ASX: IGO) could also get a small reprieve after US broker BMO Capital Markets said it was more confident about its bullish outlook for nickel.

Shares in Independence Group tanked 12% this week after it made a takeover for nickel miner Sirius Resources N.L. (ASX: SIR).

Elsewhere, investors will be mulling news that embattled department store Myer Holdings Ltd (ASX: MYR) is cutting 80 head office jobs.

Cost cuts are normally a positive for share prices but given there is still no light at the end of the tunnel to reverse Myer’s poor performance, it remains to be seen what the market will make of the news.

Origin Energy Ltd (ASX: ORG) is likely to face downward pressure after credit rating agency Fitch downgraded its outlook to “negative” because of the low oil price, while pokies machine company Aristocrat Leisure Limited (ASX: ALL) will also drag on the market as it trades without its dividend entitlement.

This will be an opportunity for shareholders to sell Aristocrat after collecting the dividend (and franking credit if they qualify) to buy fellow gaming systems company eBet Limited (ASX: EBT). You can read why here.

Footwear retailer RCG Corporation Limited (ASX: RCG) will also be in the limelight as it launches its share purchase plan (SPP) that comes on the back of an acquisition it made in March. The SPP will likely be oversubscribed given that the stock last traded at $1.23 a share when the offer price is 70 cents a new share.

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Motley Fool contributor Brendon Lau owns shares of eBet Limited and Independence Group NL. 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.