With no immediate reason for stocks to make fresh all-time highs, it seems traders are happy enough to take a bit of cash off the table heading into the weekly close with the FOMC scheduled to meet next week and decide on the timescale for their tapering plans. The last time I was this bored of a topic it was the Fiscal Cliff negotiations – at this point any news would be welcome on our desk… A relatively quiet corporate calendar sees a couple of midcap names in focus this morning. JD Wetherspoon are offered lower despite reporting record profits and plans to open pubs in the Republic of Ireland. With the stock up almost 40% YTD it’s fair to say good news was priced in. I received an analyst note on the subject this morning that I quite enjoyed; “JD Wetherspoon – the ubiquitous purveyors of low quality plastic pub food and depressingly homogenised venues that represent a steady decline in society similar to the last days of the roman empire, have posted a 6.3 % rise in profits.” Elsewhere, Imagination Technologies have leapt to double digit gains after announcing an expansion of their partnership with MediaTek that will see IMG give them access to PowerVR Series 6 technology. I didn’t receive any humorous comments on that one… Retail Sales at 13:30 and Michigan Consumer Sentiment at 14:55 mark the highlights of the afternoon schedule, though are unlikely in themselves to spark significant directional change for stocks with much wider macro issues in focus next week.