Good morning. Stocks on Wall Street pushed higher yesterday after President Trump signed a Phase One trade deal with China.
The Dow Jones and S&P 500 edged to record with shares in utilities, healthcare and materials leading the rally. It ended the day narrowly up after spending much of the day flat.
5 things to start your day
1)Flybe rescue prompts storm of criticism as Tories accused of betraying Thatcherism: Prime Minister Boris Johnson is coming under mounting pressure to explain the rescue after he was bombarded by attacks from across the political spectrum.
2) The City watchdogfirst uncovered problems with fund supervisors seven years beforethey were blamed for failing to prevent the collapse of the Woodford Equity Income fund. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) twice wrote to the supervisors tasked with making fund managers follow the rules in 2019 and 2014, highlighting concerns with some of their work.
3)Four charts that show why Iran’s economic woes could make Tehran buckle: The White House is turning up the heat on Iran’s economy, announcing more sanctions that allies in Europe could follow.
4)Survival battles, break-ups and mega deals: a hectic year ahead for the big outsourcers: Burned by loss-making contracts, heavy debt piles and political turmoil, troubled giants in the services sector sought to scale back operations and rethink the fundamentals.
5) Greggs sausage rolls
are to be delivered to homes across Britainafter the bakery chain struck a deal with takeaway company JustEat. The delivery service is launching in Birmingham and Bristol this week, before expanding to Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield and Nottingham during the spring.
Coming up today
The run of post-holidays trading results will pick up properly today, with updates and results from Primark owner Associated British Foods and a slew of other firms. ABF – something of an oddball company, given it produces sugar, tea and fast fashion – has so far bucked broad downward trends on the high streets. Primark’s performance is crucial for the company.
Hargreaves Lansdown analyst Nicholas Hyett said: “It’s vital the discount clothing retailer has performed this Christmas – especially as the group’s valuation is above most of its high street peers.” But against a backdrop of lower footfall, will it have been able to hold up?
Interim results:The Works
Trading statement:4imprint, Associated British Foods, Dechra Pharma, Funding Circle, Halfords, Hays, Ibstock, John Wood Group, Lamprell, Marshalls, N Brown, Pearson , Whitbread
Economics:RICS House prices (UK), car registrations (EU), retail sales, jobless claims (US)