Perry Gourley: Market keeps hold on its modest gains

Picture: PA

Picture: PA

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Argos owner Home Retail Group saw its shares slump by nearly a fifth after it warned over profits amid concerns over Black Friday trading in the run-up to Christmas and the costs of a new same-day delivery service.

The FTSE 250 firm flagged up concerns over “uncertain trading” ahead of the sales surge expected on the so-called Black Friday discount shopping day on 27 November. But the top tier clawed back from early losses thanks to well-received updates from the likes of pay TV giant Sky and chip maker ARM Holdings, with the FTSE 100 Index edging 3.29 points higher to 6,348.4.

Tony Cross, market analyst at Trustnet Direct, said: “It’s been another generally uneventful day as the FTSE-100 showed hardly any movement at all, although this belies some of the detail.”

That detail included Home Retail’s profit alert which saw its shares dive by 18 per cent at one stage, and they closed down 23.7p to 126p.

But pay TV giant Sky was more than 2 per cent, or 27p, higher at 1,096p after posting a better-than-expected 10 per cent leap in overall group earnings to £375 million.Apple chip maker ARM was the biggest FTSE 100 riser after reporting a 30 per cent increase in third quarter underlying pre-tax profits to £102.9 million. Shares lifted 63p to 1,026p.

NEW YORK: US stocks drifted slightly lower in late trading last night, giving up modest gains made earlier in the day.

The Dow Jones industrial average slipped 48.50 points, or 0.28 per cent to end on 7,168.61 while the Standard & Poor’s 500 index finished down 11.83 points, or 0.58 per cent, at 2,018.94. The Nasdaq composite fell 40.85 points, or 0.58 per cent, to close on 4,840.12.

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