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5 things to watch on the ASX on Monday

On Friday the S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) finished the day with a strong 0.7% gain to 5,953.6 points.

Will the benchmark index be able to build on this and close in on 6,000 points today? Here are five things that could shape today’s trade:

ASX futures are flat.

According to the latest SPI futures, the Australian share market is expected to open the day flat after a soft end to the week on U.S. markets on Friday night. The Dow Jones finished with a small decline, the S&P 500 was up 0.1%, and the NASDAQ was up slightly.

AMP exits are expected.

AMP Limited (ASX: AMP) shares will be on watch on Monday with the embattled financial services company widely expected to announce the exit of more board members. Chairwoman Catherine Brenner has been tipped to follow the lead of former chief executive Craig Meller and hand in her resignation this morning.

Peak season for profit warnings is upon us.

According to a note out of Goldman Sachs this morning, the month of May is peak season for profit warnings as companies have greater clarity around trading conditions into the year-end. It has picked out Costa Group Holdings Ltd (ASX: CGC), Domino’s Pizza Enterprises Ltd. (ASX: DMP), and Spark New Zealand Ltd (ASX: SPK) as the ones likeliest to disappoint.

Shares going ex-dividend.

This morning the shares of retail conglomerate Premier Investments Limited (ASX: PMV) will go ex-dividend for its fully franked interim 29 cents per share dividend. This will then be paid to eligible shareholders on May 15. Elsewhere, eligible shareholders of Japara Healthcare Ltd (ASX: JHC), Melbourne IT Limited (ASX: MLB), and Rural Funds Group (ASX: RFF) are due to receive their latest dividends today.

Gold miners could move higher.

Gold miners including Newcrest Mining Limited (ASX: NCM), Northern Star Resources Ltd (ASX: NST), and St Barbara Ltd (ASX: SBM) could be poised to have a solid day of trade after the spot gold price pushed higher on Friday. It closed the week with a 0.6% gain to US$1,324 an ounce.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended COSTA GRP FPO, Premier Investments Limited, and RURALFUNDS STAPLED. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Domino's Pizza Enterprises Limited and Melbourne IT 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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