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

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UK Corporate Announcements

Kingfisher details H1 sales of £5.48bn, down 3% in line with the estimates, with an adjusted pre-tax profit down 15.5% to £371m, just under the forecasts of around £398m seen, and states that it has taken action to clear excess seasonal stocks

Barratt Developments announces a full year net profit of £64.7m from the loss of £13.8m on full year revenues of £2.3bn and states that it will not pay a full year dividend

Alliance Pharma announces H1 sales of £22m and a basic EPS of 1.8p

Laura Ashley details H1 sales gained 7.5% to £145m and an adjusted pre-tax profit of £8.3m

Thorntons reports a full year pre-tax profit of £0.9m on revenues of £217m and waives its final dividend

UK Market News

Vodafone and others in the sector are in focus after the Apple iPhone launch today, with some suggesting the demand may cause UK mobile phone sellers to return to subsidising smart phone purchases

The Times suggests that the UK army is already planning to be used as ‘strikebreakers’ if the unions manage to organise a further round of austerity measure walkouts

The Bank of England’s Miles states that the banking system across much of the western world remains damaged and that he believes the expansionary moves made by central banks were correct, and indicated that yet more may need to be done

While Chancellor Osborne details that candidates have until October 8th to inform him they are interested in replacing Mervyn King when he retires in June next year

In the UK press Clegg stays in the news after he called those against gay marriage as bigot’s in the first draft of a speech, which appears to have caused some controversy, although the definition of bigot is ‘one who is obstinately devoted to his own opinions and prejudices, and one who regards the members of another group with hatred or intolerance’

The UK sells £1.25bn of bonds at 09:30

FTSE 100 Ex dividends (net): Admiral Group PLC, ADM, (21.30),  Admiral Group PLC, ADM, (23.80),  Antofagasta PLC, ANTO, ($.085),  Capita PLC, CPI, (7.90),  Hargreaves Lansdown PLC, HL/, (10.65),  Hargreaves Lansdown PLC, HL/, (6.84),  Land Securities Group PLC, LAND, (7.40)

Estimated FTSE 100 Dividend Impact: 1 point

FTSE 250 Ex dividends (net): Berendsen PLC, BRSN, (8),  Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment PLC, BPTY, (1.72),  Cookson Group PLC, CKSN, (7.50),  F&C Commercial Property Trust Ltd, FCPT, (.50),  International Public Partnerships Ltd, INPP, (3),  Ladbrokes PLC, LAD, (4.30),  Rathbone Brothers PLC, RAT, (17),  Rentokil Initial PLC, RTO, (.67),  Restaurant Group PLC, RTN, (4.50),  Savills PLC, SVS, (3.30),  Temple Bar Investment Trust PLC, TMPL, (14.65)

FTSE Small Share Ex dividends (net): 888 Holdings PLC, 888, ($.025),  Carr’s Milling Industries PLC, CRM, (7.25),  Chesnara PLC, CSN, (6.10),  Clarkson PLC, CKN, (18),  CPP Group PLC, CPP, (GBp),  Darty Plc, DRTY, (.0125),  Goldenport Holdings Inc, GPRT, (GBp),  Goodwin PLC, GDWN, (32.082),  Henderson Global Trust PLC, HGL, (2.50),  Lavendon Group PLC, LVD, (.75),  UTV Media PLC, UTV, (1.75)

UK Analyst Upgrades

Bt Pt Raised To 300P Vs 250P At Credit Suisse

Reckitt Benckiser Rated New Hold At Berenberg; Pt Gbp 4,000

UK Analyst Cuts

Mecom Cut To Neutral From Overweight At Jpmorgan

Informa Cut To Neutral From Overweight At Jpmorgan

Tullett Prebon Cut From Overweight At Morgan Stanley

Icap Cut To Underweight Vs Equalweight At Morgan Stanley

Wolseley Cut To Neutral Vs Buy At Ubs

UK Insider Buying

Segro Plc, (SGRO), 1 insider(s) bought 4311 shares, £2.3

Barclays Plc, (BARC), 1 insider(s) bought 2000 shares, £2.06

UK Insider Selling

Jupiter Fund Manageme, (JUP), 1 insider(s) sold 200000 shares, £2.47

Kcom Group Plc, (KCOM), 2 insider(s) sold 1755876 shares, £0.81

Old Mutual Plc, (OML),  insider(s) sold 788744 shares, £1.73

Premier Oil Plc, (PMO), 1 insider(s) sold 20029 shares, £3.83

Royal Bank Of Scotland, (RBS),  insider(s) sold 233407 shares, £2.47

Travis Perkins Plc, (TPK), 1 insider(s) sold 11000 shares, £10.97

Major European Companies Reporting

Barratt Developments PLC, R, 0.083, Kingfisher PLC, S1, 0.119

European Market Summary

The Irish Times suggests that the State faces a €324bn shortfall over pensions

EU President Barroso is expected to use his State of the Union address to unveil proposals for banking unions, while a constitutional court in Germany today rules on whether the country can participate in the ESM rescue fund

S&P 500 Companies Reporting

Pall Corp, Q4, 0.771

S&P 500 Ex Dividends (gross):-  Airgas Inc, ARG, (.40),  Altria Group Inc, MO, (.44),  Automatic Data Processing Inc, ADP, (.395),  Coca-Cola Co/The, KO, (.255),  Comerica Inc, CMA, (.15),  Devon Energy Corp, DVN, (.20),  Eastman Chemical Co, EMN, (.26),  Family Dollar Stores Inc, FDO, (.21),  Fidelity National Information Services Inc, FIS, (.20),  First Horizon National Corp, FHN, (.01),  H&R Block Inc, HRB, (.20),  Leggett & Platt Inc, LEG, (.29),  Macy’s Inc, M, (.20),  Motorola Solutions Inc, MSI, (.26),  NASDAQ OMX Group Inc/The, NDAQ, (.13),  National Oilwell Varco Inc, NOV, (.12),  NYSE Euronext, NYX, (.30),  Prologis Inc, PLD, (.28),  Regions Financial Corp, RF, (.01),  Textron Inc, TXT, (.02),  UnitedHealth Group Inc, UNH, (.2125),  Viacom Inc, VIA, (.275),  Viacom Inc, VIAB, (.275),  XL Group PLC, XL, (.11)

Major US Stock Movers After Hours

Facebook gained around 3% after hours as Mark Zuckerberg stated that he is addressing the missteps made in Mobile and the general fall in morale since the IPO

MGIC Investment fell 14% as the mortgage insurer announces it is to defer an interest payment on $389m of 9% debt until 2022

Red Lion Hotels fell 6% as it details it was suspending its formal strategic alternatives process after receiving no offers

Globecom fell over 20% as it cites the uncertainty of the US governments’ budget environment and sees 2013 as a challenge

US Market News

The White House has detailed the unusual step that President Obama will not visit Israel’s Netanyahu when he visits the US later this month, as tensions with its ‘close ally’ remain on how to manage Iran’s nuclear ambitions

Peregrine Financial’s CEO has agreed to plead guilty to fraud and embezzling customer funds
Knight Capital employs IBM to look at its product development process and creates a new chief risk officer role, as it looks to stop repeats of the $440m loss that nearly broke the market maker

The launch of Apple’s iPhone could be so significant it could boost US GDP by 0.25-0.5% according to a note put out by JP Morgan

The US IRS detailed how it has paid out over $100m to Bradley Birkenfeld, who acted as whistleblower to the US authorities over US overseas tax cheats at UBS, the largest ever payout by the US, as it increases tax revenues by turning poachers into gamekeepers, and states that US tax cheats ‘need to turn themselves in, before their banker does’

Overnight Market News

Wen Jiabao has signalled that China can do more to support the economy buoying local markets which gained for the fourth consecutive day

Hong Kong shop rents have remained the world’s highest according to a new survey, at an average of $927/sq ft

FX Summary

South Korea is expected to cuts its key interest rate tomorrow to 2.75% from 3%

The pound has moved up towards a fourth month high ahead of unemployment data due today, as hopes remain that the economy is continuing to recover from the recession

Commodity Summary

Gold continues its strength after its recent technical break higher, ahead of the Fed rate announcement tomorrow

Economic Data Due

09:30 UK July ILO Unemployment Rate, 8.0% exp. 8.0% previous

15:00 US July Wholesale Inventories, 0.3% exp. -0.2% previous

Economic Events

Barroso State of Union Address

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