S&P/ASX 200 set to open higher: 5 shares to watch

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

Here’s a recap:

  • Dow Jones (USA): up 0.24%
  • NASDAQ (USA): up 0.16%
  • FTSE 100 (UK): up 0.08%
  • DAX (Germany): up 0.69%
  • CAC 40 (France): up 0.56%

In London, the blue-chip index regained ground after an early fall with oil producers and miners leading the way. FTSE-listed shares of Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) and BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP) finished 3.9% and 3.4% higher, respectively.

US markets also ended modestly higher led by shares in the financials, materials and energy sectors. The utilities sector ended 1.9% lower.

Closer to home, the Sydney Futures Exchange is tipping a 0.6% rise in the S&P/ASX 200.

Shares in focus will include Air New Zealand or AIR N.Z. FPO NZ (ASX: AIZ). This morning, Air New Zealand reported its monthly statistics for March revealing a 1.8% increase in passengers carried and 7.8% rise in revenue passenger kilometres.

Wesfarmers Ltd (ASX: WES) released its third quarter retail sales results. Versus the same period last year, total sales from Coles supermarkets rose 3.2%, home improvement (Bunnings Warehouse) sales rose 11%, Officeworks reported 5.6% growth and Kmart and Target (combined) reported sales growth of 11.4%.

Aurizon Holdings Ltd (ASX: AZJ) reported flat coal volumes and a 3% fall in iron ore volumes for its most recent quarter.

Finally, in broker news, analysts at Deutsche Bank cut their Computershare Limited (ASX: CPU) price target 4.6% to $11.50, while Morgan Stanley analysts upped their BlueScope Steel Limited (ASX: BSL) price target 20% to $7.46, according to Dow Jones Newswires.

I can't believe this

The Motley Fool's expert analysts recently hand-picked their top technology stock idea for 2016. And it's easy to see why: It has a big dividend yield, is growing rapidly and has heaps of cash on its balance sheet. Best of all: their top stock pick of 2016 is yours free! Just click here, enter your email address, and we'll send you their research report. No credit card details or payment required.

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 owns shares of Computershare. 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.

Two New Stock Picks Every Month!

Not to alarm you, but you’re about to miss a very important event! Chief Investment Advisor Scott Phillips and his team at Motley Fool Share Advisor are about to reveal their latest official stock recommendation. The premium “buy alert” will be unveiled to members and you can be among the first to act on the tip.

Don’t let this opportunity pass you by – this is your chance to get in early!

Simply enter your email now to find out how you can get instant access.

By clicking this button, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. We will use your email address only to keep you informed about updates to our website and about other products and services we think might interest you. You can unsubscribe from Take Stock at anytime. Please refer to our Financial Services Guide (FSG) for more information.