S&P/ASX 200 to open flat: 9 shares to watch

The S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) is expected to trade flat today following negative leads from international markets overnight.

Here’s a recap:

  • Dow Jones (USA): flat
  • NASDAQ (USA): down 0.26%
  • FTSE 100 (UK): down 1.78%
  • DAX (Germany): down 2.31%
  • CAC 40 (France): down 1.7%

In Europe, shares ended lower after the European Central Bank announced additional stimulus for the euro zone and commodity shares weighed on markets. The ECB cut interest rates and upped its monthly asset purchases to 80 billion euros a month from 20 billion euros. FTSE-listed shares of BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP) and Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) ended 1.6% and 2.1% lower, respectively.

In the United States, euro zone stimulus wasn’t enough to bolster markets, which ended mostly flat. Shares of Twitter Inc slumped 5.9%, but the energy sector was the biggest laggard.

Closer to home, the Sydney Futures Exchange is tipping a 6-point fall in the S&P/ASX 200.

Shares in focus will include growing technology business, Surfstitch Group Ltd (ASX: SRF). Yesterday, shares in the company ended 11% higher despite the resignation of its CEO by email. Rumours are swirling that (former) CEO, Justin Cameron, and a private equity partner are vying to take over the growth business.

The independent board committee of Onthehouse Holdings Ltd (ASX: OTH) has decided to allow a consortium led by directors and a subsidiary of Macquarie Group Ltd (ASX: MQG) to conduct due diligence on the company over four weeks, following the receipt of their revised takeover proposal.

Meanwhile, Myer Holdings Ltd (ASX: MYR) announced it will exit its store in Brookside, Queensland, at the end of January 2017 as the company focuses on its “New Myer” strategy.

Cimic Group Ltd (ASX: CIM) (formally Leighton Holdings) will acquire all shares in Sedgman Limited (ASX: SDM). Cimic “is exercising its right under section 661A(1) of the Corporations Act to compulsorily acquire the remaining shares in Sedgman,” the company said today.

Finally, the S&P Dow Jones Indices quarterly rebalance is out and Transurban Group (ASX: TCL) has been added to the ASX’s top 100 list, while shares of Crown Resorts Ltd (ASX: CWN) have dropped out of the S&P/ASX 200 in place of Qantas Airways Limited (ASX: QAN).

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Motley Fool Contributor Owen Raszkiewicz does not have a financial interest in any company mentioned. Owen welcomes -- and encourages -- your feedback on Google+, LinkedIn or you can follow him on Twitter @ASXinvest.

The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns shares of Twitter. 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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