LONDON -- Yesterday, prompted by eurozone worries, the FTSE 100 fell more than 2% -- with those shares deemed heavily exposed to the euro's travails falling faster and further. This morning, as they reviewed the carnage, investors sensed bargains.
At the top of the list: Aviva (LSE: AV.L ) , which was the third-most-popular purchase by stockbroker TD Direct Investing's individual clients from the market's opening until noon.
And it's not difficult to see the attraction: At today's price, Aviva is on a forecast P/E of just five and offers a mouthwatering forecast yield of 9.2%. That said, the incoming chairman has expressed only the "hope" that the dividend can be maintained -- and, as I mentioned earlier this month, both a statistical test and the company's dividend cover give cause for concern that the dividend will indeed survive unscathed.
Man Group (LSE: EMG.L ) was also in demand, being the fifth-most-popular purchase by TD Direct Investing's individual clients between open and noon.
In dividend and yield terms, the story is similar. Announcing cost-cutting measures, Man said it would hold its interim dividend, with the estimated full‑year dividend of 14.2 pence putting the company on a remarkable forecast yield of 18.7%.
Finally, nothing quite so obvious seems to have prompted investors' interest in Premier Foods (LSE: PFD.L ) , which was the seventh-most-popular purchase with TD Direct Investing's individual clients this morning.
Again, the share might be at bargain levels, having fallen by 20% in little more than two weeks on no real adverse news at all. That said, Premier's ability to surprise on the downside is well-honed -- it's down 99% since the onset of the credit crunch in 2007 -- and a forecast P/E of 2.1 and lack of dividend surely make it one for the brave.
Will today's Premier punters be disappointed? Time will tell.
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Investing ideas from Malcolm Wheatley: