European benchmarks have edged higher again this morning as they continue to track a US market on a belligerent pursuit of fresh highs. U.S futures are again in positive mood, with an Iranian nuclear deal providing the fuel to keep the rally on track. Many bears will feel that the last few weeks should have been more than enough to at least see the markets shed a bit of excess weight before a good old bit of Christmas cheer. Yet if you take France, in an EU block suffering near record levels of unemployment, with a GDP contraction and horrific PMI numbers last week seeming to condemn them back to recession as well as overall concerns of a US taper....... the CAC has remained flat. This just seems to highlight the playing field at the moment, and fighting the market while it's in this mood is not good for your health. In the UK, Engineering services group Babcock has confirmed that it is in talks with Avincis with a view to a possible joint venture. Reports suggest an original outlay for a 50% interest in Avincis might be followed by a full takeover down the road, with prices ranging from £400m for 50% to a £1.5bln bid to buy outright. Pork product specialist Cranswick saw a 15% bump in total sales to £484m, 15% higher YoY. The firm attributes the strong numbers to the continued rise in popularity of Pork as a substitute for more expensive protein sources, as well as significant investment in commissioning a new pastry facility. The board expects full year performance to be in-line with expectations. Defence supplier Chemring group will sell a number of identified units in a bid to aid its financial position and restructure the business as sales continue to struggle. Poor numbers and forecast cuts have seen the stock shed over 40% from mid-September prior to today’s move. The move has got the nod from analysts at Investec, who have raised the stock from hold to buy. Essar energy have reported a 7% drop in H1 earnings on a weaker rupee, taking a hit of around $483m, the majority of which is as yet unrealised. The stock fell over 3.5% on the release. CMC Markets is an execution only service provider. The material (whether or not it states any opinions) is for general information purposes only, and does not take into account your personal circumstances or objectives. Nothing in this material is (or should be considered to be) financial, investment or other advice on which reliance should be placed. No opinion given in the material constitutes a recommendation by CMC Markets or the author that any particular investment, security, transaction or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person.