TODAY’S FAYRE – Wednesday, 14th January 2015
“The glory of the beauty of the morning, –
The cuckoo crying over the untouched dew;
The blackbird that has found it, and the dove
That tempts me on to something sweeter than love;
White clouds ranged even and fair as new-mown hay;
The heat, the stir, the sublime vacancy
Of sky and meadow and forest and my own heart: –
The glory invites me, yet it leaves me scorning
All I can ever do, all I can be,
Beside the lovely of motion, shape, and hue,
The happiness I fancy fit to dwell In beauty’s presence.
Shall I now this day Begin to seek as far as heaven, as hell,
Wisdom or strength to match this beauty, start
And tread the pale dust pitted with small dark drops,
In hope to find whatever it is I seek,
Hearkening to short-lived happy-seeming things
That we know naught of, in the hazel copse?
Or must I be content with discontent
As larks and swallows are perhaps with wings?
And shall I ask at the day’s end once more
What beauty is, and what I can have meant
By happiness? And shall I let all go,
Glad, weary, or both?
Or shall I perhaps know
That I was happy oft and oft before,
Awhile forgetting how I am fast pent,
How dreary-swift, with naught to travel to,
Is Time? I cannot bite the day to the core.”
Edward Thomas – poet & soldier – 1878-1917
Though I am personally elated that Fulham beat Wolves in an enthralling encounter at Molyneux on penalties in extra time, it was especially sad for Wolves fans and the family of Sir Jack Hayward, the property and philanthropist, who for years kept Wolves afloat, that he should die yesterday at the age of 91.
You could travel far and wide to find a greater supporter of capitalism than me. However I find the whole Davos World Business Forum, or whatever it is called, utterly distasteful, a total indulgence and a complete waste of time. It also costs shareholders and tax payers a huge and unnecessarily large amount of money in what are very trying economic times. I suppose I should accept it is enjoyable coiffing jugs of Cristal and DP without seeing any movement of the ‘Adam’s apple’, whilst rubbing shoulders with the good and the great! So next week professionally from 21st to 26th January will be self-indulgence and pontification personified! Ughh!
Yesterday’s activity in London seemed to have quite a satisfactory air about it with inflation more benign than expected. 0.5% was the lowest level of inflation for 15 years, thanks to insane supermarket price warfare and falling oil prices. In February some believe that inflation could fall to 0.2%. Deflation? – Possibly, but unlikely provided evidence of wage inflation really does manifest itself before too long. Anyway, George Osborne preened himself like a peacock and the market was happy to buy the good news. The FTSE added 40 points with media stocks, Centrica, and Admiral leading the charge in the wake of measurable rallies for Morrison, having hosed its CEO – +5% dragging Tesco and Sainsbury up with them +4%.
As we headed for home or the local hostelry, the machinations that ensued on the Street of Dreams beggared belief! At one point the DOW was up 280 points, then on news of fall in commodity prices, particularly copper, which fell 5.7%, Wall Street turned tail. Within a short period of time the DOW was down 143 and closed down just 27 points. What promised to be a decent session turned into rubble or a shambles at best! The S&P closed down 0.26% and the NASDAQ by just 0.07%. Asia did not quite know what to make of it. At the close the ASX was easier by 1%, with the Hang Seng easier by 0.61% and the Nikkei looking to close 1.71%.
The bookmakers will be ducking and diving as they price up the candidates to replace Dalton Philips as CEO of Morrison. The front runners would appear to be David Potts (ex Tesco), Ian McLeod from ASDA or John Dixon, the food king at M&S. RBS has been granted a waiver by the FED from onerous new rules to those banks that have $50 billion+ assets in the US. RBS has been pairing down its balance sheet. It has cut the size down from £2.4 trillion at its zenith to £1.2 billion – work in progress.
Burberry posted good trading numbers with growth beating 8% expectation, coming in at 15%. Ocado was acceptable and Barratt good, but investors may be in no mood to mark any up in a measurable manner.
Amongst companies posting results and trading statements later this week include –Thursday – MOTHERCARE, AB FOODS, TULLOW & BOVIS.
US companies include – Tuesday – KB HOMES CSX GROUP, Wednesday – WELLS FARGO, HB FULLER, Thursday – BOA, JP MORGAN CHASE, BEST BUY, CITIBANK, BLACKROCK
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