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

The S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO)(ASX: XJO) is expected to open flat on Wednesday, with shares of Fairfax Media Limited (ASX: FXJ) and Downer EDI Limited (ASX: DOW) in focus.

Here’s a quick recap of global markets:

  • FTSE 100 (UK): up 0.6%
  • DAX (Germany): up 0.6%
  • CAC 40 (France): up 0.7%
  • Dow Jones (USA): up 0.2%
  • NASDAQ (USA): up 0.1%

In London, shares ended higher ahead of this weekend’s French elections. FTSE-listed shares of BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP) and Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) ended 0.7% and 0.6% lower, respectively.

Across the pond, US markets ended higher with the healthcare and telco sector pushing higher. Apple Inc shares are expected to fall 2% when trading resumes following a worse than expected drop in quarterly iPhone sales.

Closer to home, the ASX 200 is expected to open mostly flat.

Shares in focus will include QBE Insurance Group Ltd (ASX: QBE), with the insurer’s annual general meeting (AGM) being held today.

The Fairfax Media share price may also come under pressure today following a decision by the New Zealand Commerce Commission to decline to authorise the merger of Fairfax New Zealand and NZME LTD FPO NZX (ASX: NZM), a Kiwi media business, citing competition concerns.

The owner of Dodo and other telecommunications brands, Vocus Group Ltd (ASX: VOC) shares will likely be sold down today after the company released a downgraded profit guidance after the market closed yesterday.

Amcor Limited (ASX: AMC) announced an acquisition in Colombia, expanding its presence and offering in the Latin American market.

Genworth Mortgage Insurance Australia (ASX: GMA) reported its first quarter profit showing a 22% fall in net profit.

Meanwhile, the takeover offer from Downer EDI has been rejected by the board of Spotless Holdings Ltd (ASX: SPO) with the company calling it, “opportunistic and timed to take advantage of a historical Spotless share price low”.

Finally, analysts at Shaw & Partners raised their Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ASX: ANZ) price target 11% to $32.60, according to Dow Jones Newswires.  

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Motley Fool Contributor Owen Raszkiewicz owns shares of Apple Inc. Owen welcomes and encourages your feedback. You can follow him on Twitter @OwenRask.

The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns shares of Apple. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of Vocus Communications Limited. 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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