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Morning market movers: 11 stocks to watch

Our market is facing a weak start to the week but that’s still not a bad outcome given the big falls in US and European equities along with a slide in commodity prices on Friday night.

The futures market is pointing to a 0.3% dip in the S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) this morning compared with around 1% falls in major markets in the northern hemisphere.

Oil also took a beating as the West Texas Intermediate (WTI) shed 1.3% to $US59.96 a barrel while iron ore fell 0.7% to $US65.13 a tonne and gold slipped 0.1% to$US1,179 an ounce.

But Atlas Iron Limited (ASX: AGO) will be glad to see the steel making commodity stay well above $US60 a tonne as the iron ore miner prepares to relist after raising $180 million in much needed fresh capital, according to The West Australian.

The stock went into a trading halt in April as the crash in the commodity price forced it to restructure its operations. Its new cash cost is estimated at around $US50 a tonne.

There’s plenty of other corporate action for investors to chew on today. US investment firm Bernstein suggested that BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP) and Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) would make ideal acquirers of Canadian miner First Quantum Minerals, while The Australian Financial Review reports that free to air television broadcaster Ten Network Holdings Limited (ASX: TEN) is close to selling a 14.9% holding in the company to cable TV operator Foxtel.

Foxtel will pay 18 cents a share for the stake and Ten Network is planning a $75 million rights issue to existing shareholders. Ten Network last traded at a seven-month high of 26.5 cents.

Agribusiness Webster Limited (ASX: WBA) has successfully acquired Tandou Limited (ASX: TAN) as it now controls 96.23% of Tandou.

Shipbuilder Austal Limited (ASX: ASB) is keen to buy government-owned ASC, integrated energy company Origin Energy Ltd (ASX: ORG is mulling the sale of its $1.9 billion majority stake in New Zealand utility Contact Energy, and gas utility DUET Group (ASX: DUE) is believed to have made an offer to buy Vector gas transmission operations, according to the AFR.

Elsewhere, investment company Challenger Ltd (ASX: CGF) is holding its investor day while Metcash Limited (ASX: MTS) will also be in focus as the embattled grocery and auto parts distributor hands in its full year earnings result. You can read more about the challenges it faces here.

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Motley Fool contributor Brendon Lau owns shares of BHP Billiton 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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