With red numbers across the board for the European benchmarks this morning, it looks like we may have trodden a few steps too far yesterday given the potential stumbling blocks that lie ahead in the next couple of days. A strong ZEW figure from Germany was only enough for a very modest jump, with all eyes and ears now fixated on the other side of the pond. With the jobs market and retail figures giving the right signals for a FED taper, one piece of the puzzle still under scrutiny is inflation, so this afternoon’s CPI report will draw even more attention than usual given its role in the all-important update tomorrow. Regardless of direction, you would expect the markets to be pretty choppy from here on in, with a taper still the outside bet and surely likely to produce some fireworks across Decembers low volume equity markets. Dixons shares slid back despite reporting a return to H1 profit for the first time in 6 years. Having benefited from the struggles of fellow electronics retailers early in the year, the firm confirmed a strong first half but erred on the side of caution for the remainder of the year despite a surge in tablet sales on the run in to Christmas. The tentative outlook saw the stock edge back from annual highs after a stellar recovery for 2013 so far. WPP have announced the purchase of a 30% stake in strategic consultant Richard Attias & Associates. The target has organised a number of high profile events like the Clinton Global initiative and the launch of the Euro in 2000. WPP believe the partnership paves the way for the complete offering in global conferencing and strategic comms space. There was nothing ground breaking from National express overnight, remaining in line with forecasts from its Q3 interim statement, while Perform Group continued a long road to recovery, clawing back up to 6% after the stock was hammered last week. The horror run since mid-November saw the stock give back 65% of its value, wiping out 2 years of gains after issuing a profit warning and cutting its 2014 outlook. Talvivaara is another stock reclaiming 2013 losses in recent weeks, and was up a whopping 40% today after getting the go ahead to proceed with a key restructuring plan having gained the required support from creditors. The firm was also able to successfully restart its metals production last week after a 1 month embargo pending a string of decisions on its future. 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.