LONDON -- The FTSE 100 (FTSEINDICES: ^FTSE ) ended yesterday at 6,406 points, which was its first close above the 6,400 level in eight days. But yesterday's partly renewed optimism doesn't appear to have carried over very well to today: The U.K.'s top index is up just 0.19% to 6,419 as of 8:05 a.m. EDT. Still, positive company earnings did help to hold off any further falls, and expectations of further economic stimulus from central banks are still providing bullish sentiment.
Some of those company earnings figures gave new boosts to individual shares. Here are three benefiting from news today.
"Strong sales and record group assets under administration" in Standard Life's first quarter have sent the insurer's shares up 8.2% to 381.5 pence. For the first three months of the year, group assets under management rose by 7% to 233 billion pounds due to a combination of record inflows and asset value appreciation.
Chief executive David Nish said: "Our U.K. business had a good start to the year, and while the industry continues to see disruption as a result of the introduction of RDR, we have made a smooth transition to operating under the new regulatory environment with encouraging early indicators from both our corporate and retail customers and their advisors."
Blinkx (LSE: BLNX )
Shares in Fool Beginners' Portfolio constituent Blinkx have climbed 11.6% to 86.5 pence after the video technologist lifted its full-year revenue guidance to approximately $196 million, ahead of previous expectations of $180 million to 185 million. That's 71% higher than last year.
Pre-tax profit is expected to come in at about $15 million, which is some way up from last year's $1.9 million, as the firm starts to bring in serious profits. There's also a fourfold rise in basic earnings per share to $0.04 predicted, and Blinkx expects to end the year with net cash of $55 million -- an increase of $38.4 million.
Finally, if you're looking for investments that should take you all the way to a comfortable retirement, I recommend the Fool's special new report detailing five blue-chip shares. They'll be familiar names to many, and they've already provided investors with decades of profits. But the report will only be available for a limited period, so click here to get your hands on these great ideas -- they could set you on the road to long-term riches.