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Morning Market Movers: 6 stocks to watch

Following soft leads from US and European markets on Friday, the local sharemarket is expected to open marginally lower.

The USA’s Dow Jones closed slightly lower after its short Friday session ahead of the Thanksgiving weekend. London-listed shares of BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP) and Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) closed sharply lower, down 3.7% and 3.1%, respectively, as base metal prices slumped.

Iron ore currently sits below $US44 per tonne, down from over $US185 per tonne during 2012.

Closer to home, the S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) is expected to decline just one point, to 5,206 points at the open.

BHP Billiton’s share price will be in particular focus after the Brazilian government announced it’d seek $7 billion in damages from the mining giant, and its partner Vale, following the recent tragic dam wall slide at its Samarco iron ore operations in Brazil.

Embattled grocery business, Metcash Limited (ASX: MTS), announced its 2016 half-year results this morning. The owner of Foodworks, Mitre10, IGA and more, reported revenue growth of 1.4% during the period to 31 October 2015, and a profit after tax of $122 million, up 22%.

After plunging some 74% last week, Slater & Gordon Limited (ASX: SGH) CEO Andrew Grech, moved to reassure the market by saying it remains in compliance with its obligations to financiers. He also said the proposed changes by the UK government are difficult to assess but, “These proposals will not have any impact on the Slater and Gordon Lawyers (“SGL”) business in Australia.”

In broker news, according to the Fairfax press UBS raised its ‘buy’ price on shares of Select Harvests Limited (ASX: SHV), while JB Hi-Fi Limited (ASX: JBH) remains the “preferred” discretionary retailer by analysts at Macquarie.

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Motley Fool contributor Owen Raskiewicz owns shares of Slater & Gordon Limited. Unless otherwise noted, the author does not have a position in any stocks mentioned by the author in the comments below. 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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