Morning market movers: 7 shares to watch

The local S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AJXO) (ASX: XJO) is expected to open sharply higher following positive leads from foreign markets overnight.

Here’s a recap:

  • Dow Jones (USA) – up 1.1%
  • NASDAQ (USA): up 1.33%
  • FTSE 100 (UK): up 0.96%
  • DAX (Germany) – up 1.94%
  • EURO STOXX 50 (Europe) – up 1.77%

In the US, shares rallied higher to push the S&P 500 into positive territory for the 2015 calendar year. In Europe, shares shrugged off a bleak outlook for many key commodities to rise firmly despite modest volumes. FTSE-listed shares of BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP) and Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) closed 0.5% and 1.5% lower, respectively.

Closer to home, the Sydney Futures Exchange is tipping a 25-point or 0.5% rise in the S&P/ASX 200 this morning.

With relatively little news flow during the Christmas-New Year period, shares in focus today will include health foods and wellness product producers such as A2 MILK FPO NZ (ASX: A2M), Bellamy’s Australia Ltd (ASX: BAL), Bega Cheese Ltd (ASX: BGA), Blackmores Limited (ASX: BKL) and Freedom Foods Group Ltd (ASX: FNP). All five companies’ share prices are up anywhere between 17.5% and 103% in the past month as hoards of investors sought to lock in exposure to companies with leverage to Chinese demand for Australian foodstuffs.

In broker news, Deutsche Bank has a price target of $9.15 on shares of Graincorp Ltd (ASX: GNC) and a ‘buy’ rating; meanwhile, Macquarie slapped an ‘outperform’ rating on shares of Incitec Pivot Ltd (ASX: IPL), according to the Fairfax Press.

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Motley Fool writer/analyst Owen Raszkiewicz has a financial interest in Bellamy's Australia.

Owen welcomes your feedback on Google plus (see below), LinkedIn or you can follow him on Twitter @ASXinvest.

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 owns shares of Bellamy's Australia. 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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