Optimism hits the high street as Home Retail (LSE: HOME) and Dixons (LSE: DXNS) rise strongly.
Yesterday's early optimism over the results of the Greek election quickly faded, as the realisation that nothing has really changed dawned upon the markets. Spain, Italy, the whole eurozone, it's all still in a mess.
After ending yesterday down overall, despite the early morning rise, the German DAX and French CAC 40 are both effectively flat this morning, on 6,275 and 3,064 points respectively.
But the FTSE 100 (UKX) has opening relatively positively today. After jumping early yesterday, then falling back to end the day largely unchanged on 5,488, it is currently up 48 points, or nearly 1%, to 5,540.
News that the sales fall at Argos has slowed gave Home Retail (LSE: HOME) a morning boost, as the firm released its full-year results. Sales falling slower than previously isn't exactly glowing news, but evidence of a bottoming-out was enough to send the shares up a stunning 19.5p, or 26%, to 94p.
High-street neighbour Dixons Retail (LSE: DXNS) gained 5% ahead of its results on Thursday, to 14.2p, presumably in the expectation that it will see a similar improvement in shopping trends to Home Retail.
A first-quarter update from hotel and restaurant group Whitbread (LSE: WTB) looked strong, with like-for-like sales up 4.3%. And that resulted in an 8% share price rise, up 141p to 1,990p.
Engineering and construction firm Kentz (LSE: KENZ) released a pre-close trading update, telling us that its order book is strong, and that was enough to send the shares up nearly 7% to 347p.
Other big risers including Helphire Group (LSE: HHR), with a 12% gain. But that is only to 1.1p for a share with a 10% spread, and the price is still down over 70% on the year. Weir Group (LSE: WEIR) also gained, up 5% to 1,506p, and Skyepharma (LSE: SKP) put on 3% to 69p.
And today's fallers
Military engineer Chemring Group (LSE: CHG) fell further after its interim figures showed falling underlying earnings per share. The price is down 26p, or 8%, to 298p at the time of writing.
Mobile media expert Imagination Technologies Group (LSE: IMG) saw its share price punished, despite releasing an upbeat sounding set of results. Even though sales and profits were up healthily, the price fell 40p for an 8% fall to 446p. But that's what happens when a highly valued growth company doesn't outperform as much as the market would like.
Other fallers included Phytopharm (LSE: PYM), down 5.3% to 5.8p, and struggling music retailer HMV Group (LSE: HMV), down 4% to 3.4p.
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> Alan Oscroft does not own any share mentioned in this article. The Motley Fool owns shares in Imagination Technologies Group.