LONDON -- Yesterday's early optimism over the results of the Greek election quickly faded as the realization that nothing has really changed dawned upon the markets. Spain, Italy, the whole eurozone -- it's all still in a mess.
After ending yesterday down overall, despite the early morning rise, the German DAX and French CAC 40 are both effectively flat this morning at 6,275 points and 3,064 points, respectively.
But the FTSE 100 (INDEX: ^FTSE ) has opened relatively positively today. After jumping early yesterday and then falling to end the day largely unchanged at 5,488, it is currently up 48 points, or nearly 1%, to 5,540.
News that the sales drop at Argos has slowed gave Home Retail a morning boost as the firm released its full-year results. That sales are falling slower than previously isn't exactly glowing news, but evidence of a bottoming-out was enough to send the shares up a stunning 19.5 pence, or 26%, to 94 pence.
High-street neighbor Dixons Retail (LSE: DXNS.L ) gained 5% ahead of its results to be released Thursday. Presumably, traders expect that it will see a similar improvement in shopping trends to Home Retail.
A first-quarter update from hotel and restaurant group Whitbread (LSE: WTB.L ) looked strong, with like-for-like sales up 4.3%. And that resulted in an 8% share price rise, up 141 pence to 1,990 pence.
Engineering and construction firm Kentz released a trading update telling us that its order book is strong, and that was enough to send the shares up nearly 7% to 347 pence.
Other big risers include Helphire Group, with a 12% gain. But that is only to 1.1 pence for a share with a 10% spread, and the price is still down more than 70% on the year. Weir Group also gained, up 5% to 1,506 pence, while Skyepharma put on 3% to 69 pence.
And today's fallers
Military engineer Chemring Group (LSE: CHG.L ) fell further after its interim figures showed falling underlying earnings per share. The price is down 26 pence, or 8%, to 298 pence at the time of writing.
Mobile media expert Imagination Technologies Group (LSE: IMG.L ) saw its share price punished, despite releasing an upbeat-sounding set of results. Even though sales and profits were up, the price fell 8% to 446 pence. But that's what happens when a highly valued growth company doesn't outperform as much as the market would like.
Other fallers included Phytopharm, down 5.3% to 5.8 pence, and struggling music retailer HMV Group, down 4% to 3.4 pence.
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