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LONDON -- The FTSE 100 (INDEX: ^FTSE ) fell back a bit this morning and is currently down 22.5 points on 5,600. But that comes after two strong days that have pushed the index of elite shares up quite nicely for the week so far.
It all seems due to a few sparks of optimism finally coming from the eurozone, coupled with some positive results from our high streets and from other sectors, with some firms -- like Home Retail -- looking like they might have passed the bottom.
And it's pretty much the same across the main indexes of Europe, which are a tad down today but up nicely on the week.
Shares in Invensys dropped 16% in morning trading, down 42 pence to 215 pence, after spiking 32% in last-minute trading yesterday. The reason? Bid speculation. The firm made a statement early this morning that it was aware of yesterday's leap, and that it had indeed been engaged in takeover talks, but that those talks have been canned.
AIM-listed Noventa saw its shares plummet by 24% to 3.1 pence this morning, valuing the company at just 5 million pounds, after it announced that its latest refinancing plans are in tatters. The troubled tantalum miner has until July 31 to find replacement funding for its expiring loan facility.
Less dramatic fallers included Go-Ahead Group (LSE: GOG.L ) , down 2% to 1,196 pence after the travel operator released a preclose update that actually looked reasonable. Dixons Retail (LSE: DXNS.L ) also lost a bit of ground, falling 1% to 15.9 pence on the day of its annual results release. But that's after a strong anticipatory rise, which sees the shares up nicely on the week.
Some impressive results
Software house Micro Focus (LSE: MCRO.L ) had a good morning, with its shares rising 4.8% to 474 pence on annual results day. The good news added to a fine year for the firm, which has seen an overall 30% growth in the share price.
Good annual results also boosted Ashtead Group (LSE: AHT.L ) , which put on 5.4% to reach 264 pence after showing solid profit growth.
Mixed resources action
Sirius Petroleum gained 7% to 3.4 pence on a development update, and Shanta Gold is up 8% to 21.8 pence after a new plant was successfully commissioned.
But New World Oil & Gas dropped 6% to 11 pence, despite an update on its Blue Creek Project, which it described as positive. Aquarius Platinum fell 9% to 54 pence after announcing the mothballing of its Everest mine.
As always, this morning's news saw some winners and losers -- and perhaps some buying opportunities. For more share ideas, the Motley Fool's "Top Sectors for 2012" report outlines some attractive companies within three favorable industries. The report is free to all private investors -- and you can download your copy now.
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