TODAY’S FAYRE – Wednesday, 27th July 2016
“It happened to Lord Lundy then,
As happens to so many men:
Towards the age of twenty-six,
They shoved him into politics;
In which profession he commanded
The income that his rank demanded
In turn as Secretary for
India, the Colonies, and War.
But very soon his friends began
To doubt if he were quite the man:
Thus, if a member rose to say
(As members do from day to day),
“Arising out of that reply……!”
Lord Lundy would begin to cry.
A Hint at harmless little jobs
Would shake him with convulsive sobs.
While as for Revelations, these
Would simply bring him to his knees,
And leave him whimpering like a child.
It drove his colleagues raving wild!
They let him sink from Post to Post,
From fifteen hundred at the most
To eight, and barely six – and then
To be Curator of Big Ben!…
And finally there came a Threat
To oust him from the Cabinet!
The Duke – his aged grand-sire – bore
The shame till he could bear no more.
He rallied his declining powers,
Summoned the youth to Brackley Towers
And bitterly addressed him thus-
“ Sir! You have disappointed us!
We had intended you to be
The next Prime Minister but three:
The stocks were sold; the Press was squared;
The Middle Class was quite prepared.
But as it is!….. my language fails!
Go out and govern New South Wales!”
The Aged Patriot groaned and died:
And gracious! How Lord Lundy cried!”
Hilaire Belloc – poet & author – 1870-1953
This morning the back pages are littered with the smiling photos of ‘Big Sam!’ It must be Christmas Day for him! What a lovely bloke! However has the FA settled for mediocrity? Mr Allardyce has brought off great ‘Houdini acts’ in having moderate teams promoted or keeping even more moderate teams from relegation. Is this the CV we are looking to for England’s national side to compete at the very highest level since 1966?
On a really cheery note well done England! They humbled Pakistan in the most clinical manner possible at Old Trafford. Joe Root, in my humble opinion, is now one of the all-time great English batsmen – Hutton, May, Cowdrey, Hammond, Hobbs, Sutcliffe and Cook!
This whole Green/BHS Saga does not look as if it is going to end well. It is not helpful seeing Sir Philip partying in the South of France with the pension issues far from settled. I know tax issues only permits Sir Philip to spend 90 days in the UK. However his whole reputation is depended on a decent outcome – so Sir Philip, you should be burning the midnight oil. And if the Pension people are on holiday, come back – NOW! A stand-off at this juncture, with litigation being threatened again, this rhetoric is deeply unhelpful, unless of course, Sir Philip cares not a jot about his knighthood and his business reputation. That of course is another matter. I doubt Frank Field will either back down or resign as chairman of the Pensions Committee. I fear this spat is going to drag on through the summer months, resulting in an unhappy outcome. The bear fact remains that Sir Philip has done NOTHING illegal and is entitled to sail off in to the sunset with his coffers bulging with loot! And apart from the Knighthood, there may be little the authorities can do about it, despite the threatening official rhetoric! Also the BHS pension trustees? Where were they?
It has been an interesting morning with the FTSE 100 adding 10 points at 6720. Initially it rallied 29 points with BT adding 2.75% thanks to Openreach receiving greater attention in terms of independent scrutiny. AB InBev also ‘upped’ the ante by £1 per share for SAB Miller to £45 valuing the company at £79 million due to currency vagaries – up 1% and Ladbrokes were 1% better on news that only 300 shops would have to be dispensed with after the acquisition of Coral rather than 400 shops. Of those companies that reported BP posted a quarterly profit of $720m when estimates suggested $779 million. The dividend was 10 cents which suggests dividends will be maintained in the foreseeable future. The cash flow has improved, but the market was disappointed with the bottom line – down 1.52%. Virgin Money ran off with the yellow jersey adding 6.4% after great numbers and it was heartening to see GKN adding 2.6% in value with improved profits without attaching much importance to the benefit of BREXIT, the falling pound and its value to exports. Jardine Lloyd Thompson, Provident Financial posted satisfactory results, with Man Group (-1.5%) slightly disappointing. PZ Cussons was 2% better with its cheerful set of numbers.
Yesterday the Street of Dreams had little news to get its teeth in to and falling energy and commodity prices took the 3 main indices lower, despite Verizon paying $5 billion for Yahoo! The DOW closed 0.42% lower dragging the S&P 500 down by 0.30%, leaving the NASDAQ flat at -0.05%. Today all eyes will be on Apple’s results after the bell as well as Twitter. Asian markets closed mixed. The ASX was near enough flat – -0.07%. The Shanghai Composite rallied to the cause adding 1.14% with the Hang Seng closing 0.5% to the good. The disappointing Japanese stimulus package valued at Y6 trillion, resulted in the Yen firming, whilst taking the gild of the Nikkei’s gingerbread – down 1.43%.
UK companies posting results this week – Tuesday – BP, Man Group, Sage Group, Jardine Lloyd Thompson, Unite, P Z Cussons, Virgin Money, Provident Financial, GKN, Wednesday – ARM Holdings, Tullow, Glaxo Smithkline, Brewin Dolphin, M&B, Marston’s, Shawbrook, Capita, Rightmove, ITV, Antofagasta, Thursday – Diageo, BATS, BAE Systems, Centrica, Sky, Thos Cook, BT Group, Smith & Nephew, Henderson, Astra Zeneca, Rentokil Initial, Just Eat, PayPoint, Genel, Domino Pizza, Lloyds Banking Group, Royal Dutch Shell, Rolls Royce, National Express, Friday – Barclays, Vesuvius, Reckitt Benckiser, Pearson, Foxton’s, Paragon
US companies posting interim results this week – Tuesday – Starwood a Hotels, Twitter, 3Ms, KKR, Valero, BJ Restaurants, Apple, Match, Wednesday – Boeing, Mondelez, Nasdaq, Corning, Coca-Cola, Altria, General Dynamics, Goodyear, Comcast, Facebook, Xilinx, Whole Foods, Amgen, Dolby Systems, Thursday – Alphabet (Google), Baker Hughes, Ford Motor, Zimmer, Boston Scientific, Lear, Hershey, Raytheon, CME, Bristol Myers Squibb, ConocoPhillips, Colgate Palmolive, Harley Davidson, Amazon, Pixelworks, Friday – Xerox, Exxon Mobil, Chevron, Cigna
Market Commentator – Panmure Gordon & Co
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