iven the returns from buying into weakness over the last 12 months, it’s no surprise that we would see a bounce on a European open at some stage, and a positive U.S close coupled with some good earnings in Japan overnight has been enough for buyers to brave it and step in, with the FTSE
particularly quick of the mark on the opening bell.
The rally in the UK was broad, leaving no sector behind as investors look to try and force the benchmark out of a move lower that was starting to look dangerously close to a break of the upward trend.
Yet again PMI data showed no real continuity, with Italy and France contracting but beating forecasts, while the UK and Germany expanded but missed estimates, so we shrug and move on.
Hargreaves Lansdown stock tumbled on the bell despite what was on the surface an impressive set of results this morning. Revenues and profits were both up by more than double digits, and the second half of 2013 saw a big jump in client numbers, all prompting an interim dividend hike to 7p as well. However on the flip side of the coin, the numbers fell short of some of the more bullish expectations and were severely skewed by the frenzy surrounding the Royal Mail float. Furthermore, Hargreaves has come under increased scrutiny for its pricing structure since announcing drastic changes this year, which will potentially hit the fund incomes of small investors the hardest. Of course there is also the logic that the stock has doubled in the last year and the numbers provide an obvious timing to take some juicy profits.
Wolfson Micro is the latest chipmaker to come under pressure, nosediving 10% as it swung to a Q4 loss having underestimated the speed of the switch to 4G tech in the smartphone world. ARM holdings suffered a similar fate yesterday, but the stock has managed to grab back a good chunk of those losses today, rallying over 3%.
It’s been a tough deal being a Blinkx shareholder so far this year, and today’s 5% drop throws more salt on a very raw wound, despite a lack of fresh news and a Reiterated buy rating from Numis securities. The stock has been chopped in half since the turn of the year, with the sharpest drop last week attributed to a damning blog from a Harvard professor.
You certainly can’t accuse Stephen Hester of backing out of a challenge. Having taken on arguably one of the hardest exec jobs in the country to try and rebuild RBS, it seems the constant vilification and public scrutiny he had to face hasn’t wet his appetite, now taking on troubled insurance firm RSA with immediate effect. It seems despite his perception in some of the more careless news columns dedicated to him the market still has faith, with RSA stock up 5.5% on the news.
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