Market news round up, upgrades & downgrades courtesy of Cantor Index

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UK Corporate Announcements

Go Ahead Group states that trading has been in line with management forecasts

WM Morrison states that the challenging conditions remained, and details H1 revenues of £8.9bn and a pre-tax profit of £440m and expects the tough conditions to continue

EasyJet announces 12 month passengers of 58.1m from 54.1m and a load factor of 91.7% from 92.2% and states that following tests it will rollout allocated seating from November

Whitbread states that its growth program remains on track, and that the Olympics provided a modest boost, and its brands outperformed the tough climate

Dixons Retail stays cautious on the outlook and that August was quieter in some retail markets but was well placed for the Back-to-School period

May Gurney announces that it will significantly under-perform expectations for the full year and announces the resignations of its CEO

Carclo states that trading has been in line with the expectations

UK Market News

The Bank of England is due to announces its interest rate decision at 12:00 today, although the major global focus will be on the European announcement at 12:45 and following press conference

David Cameron is expected to announce a relaxation of residential house extension rules, in an effort to stimulate the building sector, where home owners will be able to build 8m extensions into their own gardens

Spirent Comms announces it has signed a pact to buy Metrico Wireless for $52m

As reported in the FT suggests that United Drug confirms that it is to move its main listing to the LSE, and is seeking inclusion in the UK FTSE Index series and expects to be included after December 21

UK Analyst Upgrades

Ashtead Group Pt Raised By 24% To 352P At Barclays

Britvic Removed From UBS’s Least Preferred List

Dairy Crest Raised To Neutral From Underperform: Credit Suisse

Hargreaves Lansdown Pt Raised 14% To 715P At Barclays

Ig Raised To Buy Vs Neutral At Citi

Kingspan Rated New Neutral At Citi, Pt Eu8.1

UK Analyst Cuts

Barclays Cut To Neutral From Outperform At Credit Suisse

Howden Cut To Neutral Vs Buy At Citi

Johnson Matthey Cut To Neutral From Overweight At Jpmorgan

UK Insider Buying

Admiral Group Plc, (ADM), 1 insider(s) bought 144,348 shares, £11.07

Innovation Group Plc, (TIG), 1 insider(s) bought 250,000 shares, £0.2

Compass Group Plc, (CPG), 1 insider(s) bought 3,000 shares, £7.01

UK Insider Selling

Az Electronic Materials, (AZEM),  insider(s) sold 29,393 shares, £3.12

Euromoney Instl Investo, (ERM), 1 insider(s) sold 25,000 shares, £7.52

Lloyds Banking Group P, (LLOY), 1 insider(s) sold 166,429 shares, £0.33

Meggitt Plc, (MGGT),  insider(s) sold 32,588 shares, £3.96

Major European Companies Reporting

WM Morrison Supermarkets PLC, S1, 0.125

European Market Summary

Draghi’s press conference will dominate the focus for today and is likely to set the tone for the next few days at least

Also today the Riksbank is due to announce its interest rate decision

Spain and France are due to sell bonds this morning

Nokia’s phone launch yesterday failed to excite the market and its share price continued the recent falls

S&P 500 Companies Reporting

S&P 500 Ex Dividends (gross):-  WellPoint Inc, WLP, (.2875),  News Corp, NZCPF, (.085),  News Corp, NZCFF, (.085),  Occidental Petroleum Corp, OXY, (.54),  PPL Corp, PPL, (.36),  SCANA Corp, SCG, (.495),  Travelers Cos Inc/The, TRV, (.46),  CBS Corp, CBS, (.12),  CBS Corp, CBS/A, (.12),  Coach Inc, COH, (.30),  FedEx Corp, FDX, (.14),  VF Corp, VFC, (.72),  Ensco PLC, ESV, (.375),  Pepco Holdings Inc, POM, (.27),  Titanium Metals Corp, TIE, (.075),  CME Group Inc, CME, (.45),  Reynolds American Inc, RAI, (.59)

Major US Stock Movers After Hours

Digital Domain gained around 7% after hours, as it announced in the trading session that it was evaluating its alternatives and it had suspended trading of its shares, after hours its senior lenders agreed to limited forbearance

Men’s Wearhouse gained 6% in late trading as it detailed Q2 numbers ahead of the forecasts and lifts its full year outlook

Ocz Technology was the major mover down over 21% as it announces Q2 revenues well under the expectations, citing flash NAND shortages

VeriFone came off 12% as it also details lower revenues, citing weakness in Europe

US Market News

UPS states that it now does not see its deal with TNT closing until 2013 due to an extension to the EU probe

Fitch has maintained Canada’s rating as AAA and keeps its outlook as stable as the Bank of Canada maintains its interest rate

Bill Clinton gave a speech supporting Barrack Obama yesterday and stated that he deserved to be re-elected and reduced the upcoming election to a choice between ‘shared opportunities, shared responsibility’ or ‘winner take all, you’re on your own society’

Ben & Jerry’s Homemade the unit of Unilever has sued porn makers Caballero Video for trademark infringement as it copies its ice cream packaging and layouts on the cover of its “Ben & Cherry’s” DVD’s

News Corp’s Rupert Murdoch is back in the papers himself as his $30m pay package is highlighted

In US sporting news Andy Roddick has now retired from professional tennis as he lost to Del Petro in the US Open yesterday, he detailed before the start of the tournament that this would be his last, Djokovic and Murray have progressed to the semifinals, but Federer lost to Berdych in the quarter finals yesterday evening

Overnight Market News

Nomura stays in focus as reports continue on its planned $1bn cost cutting, with around half of the costs seen coming from its European operations
Qantas announces a 10 year pricing scheduling deal with Emirates where Dubai will be replaced as its stop over point, rather than Singapore,  and that is business agreement with British Airways ends next March

Billabong announces it has received an offer of A$1.45/share from another interested party, not TPG, previously reports had suggested interest from Bain

In the latest talks China and the USA have failed to agree on how to end the conflict in Syria and also on how to diffuse the situation in the South China Sea, but maintained their commitment to strong ties

FX Summary

The euro has moved towards 2 month highs ahead of the announcement this afternoon as ECB bond buying hopes continue

The latest poll has 85% seeing Spain asking for an official bailout within 12 months, but that Italy may be able to avoid the fate, and 47% expect it to default on its debt

Commodity Summary

Gold remains the dominant story with buying strong ahead of the expected ECB bond buying announcement

Economic Data Due

10:00 Eurozone GDP Q2, 0.2% exp. -0.2% previous

12:00 UK MPC Rate Announcemenrt 0.5% exp. 0.5% previous

12:45 ECB Rate Announcement 0.5% exp. 0.75% previous

13:30 Weekly Jobless Claims, 370k exp. 374k previous

15:00 US August Non Manufacturing 52.5 exp. 52.6 previous

Economic Events

EU’s Barnier speaks in Brussels

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