Morning market movers: 10 stocks to watch

The local share market is expected to open firmly higher following meaningful gains in overseas markets on Friday.

Snapping back from a heavy loss on Thursday, US shares closed 2% higher on Friday. The strong rebound in the Dow Jones and S&P 500 came as a result of better-than-expected jobs data, which revived optimism for the economy in the face of interest rate rises.

Oil prices slumped 1.5% on the jobs news, while gold prices rose 2.4%, according to Fairfax media. Iron ore prices fell below $US40 per tonne, according to The Metal Bulletin.

FTSE-listed shares of BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP) and Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) closed 0.4% higher and 1.5% lower, respectively.

Closer to home, the Sydney Futures Exchange is pointing to 0.6% jump in the S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO).

Oil and gas producers Woodside Petroleum Limited (ASX: WPL) and Oil Search Limited (ASX: OSH) will be in focus following the fall in commodities overnight. The share prices of Rio Tinto, BHP and Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX: FMG) may also come under pressure, thanks to the ongoing slide in market prices for iron ore.

Shares of Dick Smith Holdings Ltd (ASX: DSH), Spotless Group Holdings Ltd (ASX: SPO) and Slater & Gordon Limited (ASX: SGH) encountered significant share price volatility last week.

In an announcement to the ASX this morning, Spark New Zealand Ltd (ASX: SPK) announced the acquisition of IT infrastructure and professional services company, Computer Concepts Limited for $50 million.

In broker news from Friday, Credit Suisse rates Oil Search as ‘neutral’, while Deutsche Bank analysts downgraded shares of Mantra Group Limited (ASX: MTR) to a ‘hold’, according to FN Arena.

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Motley Fool writer/analyst Owen Raszkiewicz owns shares of Slater & Gordon.

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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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