LONDON -- This morning belonged to the banks -- at least, those in various forms of trouble. An assortment of bad news over the weekend, coupled to tanking markets, brought bottom-fishers out in force.
Barclays (LSE: BARC.L ) , for instance, was the single most popular purchase by stockbroker TD Direct Investing's individual clients between the market's opening and 12 noon.
The reason? The usual eurozone worries helped, of course. But investors can see an opportunity to buy in cheaply, as front-runner Sir Michael Rake apparently ruled himself out of the chairmanship, with other reports citing a matching reluctance by Rich Ricci, head of Barclays' investment bank, to take up the similarly vacant chief executive's role.
Nothing quite so obvious seems to have prompted investors' interest in Royal Bank of Scotland (LSE: RBS.L ) this morning, which was the fourth-most popular purchase with TD Direct Investing's individual clients. But trading at 195 pence -- 19.5 pence in old money -- RBS has rarely been cheaper. Time to load up, it seems.
Finally, Lloyds Banking (LSE: LLOY.L ) was in demand, being the seventh-most popular purchase by TD Direct Investing's individual clients between the market's opening and 12 noon.
Again, the share is at bargain levels -- although it was cheaper last autumn. But the Project Verde stitch-up, while giving investors a kick in the teeth, has at least drawn a line under that particular headache, and Lloyds management can now get on with running a bank, and not carving up a business. For some investors, the change of agenda has clearly proved to be a buying signal.
Will they be disappointed? Time will tell.
Finally, what are super-investors Neil Woodford and Warren Buffett buying today? We can't tell you that, but we can tell you the names of the shares that they've been buying in the recent past -- and why they've been buying them.
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Disclaimer: The TD Direct Investing (www.tddirectinvesting.co.uk) list of Top Ten Buys should not be taken as a recommendation to buy or sell any particular bond or stock, and is not intended as any form of advice. Instead, it is simply an indication of the general buying trends amongst TD Direct Investing customers during the period stated.