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What to watch on the ASX on Wednesday

On Tuesday the S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) gave back its early gains and finished the day mostly flat at 5,841.5 points.

Will things be better on Wednesday? Here are five things that could shape the trading day.

ASX futures point to a strong start.

According to the latest SPI Futures, the local market is expected open the day 24 points or 0.4% higher. Investors appear bullish on the day ahead after strong gains were made in U.S. markets following a better than expected Netflix quarterly result. At the time of writing the Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 0.9%, the S&P 500 has pushed 1.1% higher, and the NASDAQ has stormed 1.7% higher.

Rio Tinto will release its quarterly update.

Mining giant Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) is scheduled to update the market on its first quarter production. Expectations are high for the miner after strengthening demand for the key commodities it produces. Investors may also be looking for the company to provide a bit of colour on its plans for the funds raised from its exit from the coal industry.

Blue Sky could come under more pressure.

The Blue Sky Alternative Investments Ltd (ASX: BLA) share price could continue its slide on Wednesday after the embattled investment company was downgraded by Morgans. According to the AFR, the broker has slashed the price target on Blue Sky’s shares from $14.85 to $5.55. It made the move after warning that it could take time for the dust to settle on Glaucus’ allegations. Last month Morgans co-led a $100 million placement of new Blue Sky shares at $11.50 apiece.

Australian tech shares could be set for a good day.

Australian tech shares such as Appen Ltd (ASX: APX), Altium Limited (ASX: ALU) and Xero Limited (ASX: XRO) could be set to have a solid day of trade after the U.S. tech sector rose strongly overnight. While Netflix and Twitter were the highlights with their respective 9% and 11% gains, there were strong gains being made by all FANG stocks.

Shares going ex-dividend and paying out to shareholders.

Popular dividend share Washington H. Soul Pattinson and Co. Ltd (ASX: SOL) is set to go ex-dividend this morning for its fully franked 23 cents per share interim dividend. Elsewhere, eligible shareholders of AP Eagers Ltd (ASX: APE), NEWS Corp (ASX: NWS), and Webjet Limited (ASX: WEB) will receive their respective interim dividends in their nominated accounts this morning.

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James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns shares of and recommends Netflix and Twitter. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended Washington H. Soul Pattinson and Company Limited. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of Altium, Appen Ltd, and Xero. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Netflix and Webjet Ltd. 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 Scott Phillips.

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