Do you remember that wonderful film – “In the Heat of the Night” – with Rod Steiger as Chief Gillespie and Sidney Poitier as Virgil Tibbs? Do you recall Steiger came out with that classic one-liner when picking up the phone and talking purposely shouting down the mouth piece in a pronounced southern drawl – “Yeah talk to me!” Well that’s how I feel about this market today – “Talk to me!” – There’s nothing happening – no companies of great repute reporting – just James Halstead – up 2%. London’s leading index is up a parsimonious 16 points at 7343 at 2.15pm.
After yesterday’s closing of the DOW at record levels above 24k – up 22.8% so far this year – it has rallied by more than the entire value of the DOW in 1995 and it is 47% higher than in 2007, maybe our expectations for London was always going to be a false dawn. London’s senior index is only 2.6% on the year. The performance of the Pound has been the dominant factor after the stellar performance last year – up 16%. Cable is up from $1.22 to $1.3522 – hence the erosion of Dollar based earning stocks.
Banks were weak today after a reasonable run on the rails in recent sessions. Miners were unchanged. Oil was marginally better – BP +1% and Shell +0.5%. Having taken a bit of tap yesterday on downbeat consumer confidence Tesco rallied by 1%. However Morrison was down 0.6% having lost their court case on data protection. M&S was also down 0.6% and Next was 0.5% easier. Imperial Brands has been very disappointing this year and this tobacco titan lost another 0.5%, whereas BATS were 1% to the good. I wish I could raise my game and drive some enthusiasm in to the market, but it is just not there. It’s all about the EU/UK negotiations, Trump and North Korea. Even decent Markit PMI manufacturing data – the best for 4 years failed to stir the market out of its slumber! The DOW, as I scribe, is down 20 points.