LONDON (ShareCast) - 1445: The Chicago NAPM's regional manufacturing index for the month of November (Xetra: A0Z24E - news) has come in at 50.4, just below the 50.5 expected but above the 49.9 registered last month. The new orders sub-index dropped to 45.3 from 50.6 (probably impacted by Sandy), while the prices paid gauge shot higher, to 70.1 from 59.3.
1330: US personal income was flat month-on-month in October (Consensus: 0.2%) whereas spending fell by 0.2% month-on-month (Consensus: 0.0%). FTSE 100 (FTSE Index: EO100.FGI - news) up 14 to 5,884.
1307: The FTSE 100 is trading 11 points higher at 5,881, though gains are only modest before the opening bell in New York (Frankfurt: A0DKRK - news) with just 26 points separating the Footsie (FTSE: ^FTSE - news) 's intraday high and low. US stock futures are pointing to positive start ahead of consumer-spending figures and the Chicago PMI. The latter is expected to show an improvement to 50.5 in November from 49.9 in October.
1149: The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has been investigating the way prices are displayed, advertised and promoted in stores. It raised concerns about prices being artificially inflated to make later discounts look more attractive. The major UK supermarkets have now agreed to adopt a set of principles drawn up by the OFT. They are Tesco (Xetra: 852647 - news) , Sainsbury (LSE: SBRY.L - news) 's, Morrisons, Waitrose, Marks and Spencer (LSE: MKS.L - news) , Aldi, the Co-op and Lidl, the BBC reports.
1129: Shares of electronics retailer Dixons have hit a new 52 week high, rising by 6 per cent to lead gains on the FTSE 350 after widely-followed Panmure Gordon analyst Philip Dorgan raised his price target on the company to 32p from 38p previously. In his own words: "interim results were slightly ahead of expectations and there are clear signs of potential value creation in its loss-making businesses. The demise of Comet and the continuing margin improvement in the UK adds clarity to the domestic profit opportunity, so we are increasing our sum of the parts valuation. We are maintaining our Buy recommendation." FTSE 100 up 10 to 5,881.
1042: German parliament approves Greek bill.
1000: The Eurozone's unemployment rate rose by a tenth of a percentage point to 11.7 per cent in October, as inflation - as measured by consumer prices - dropped to 2.2 per cent, after a reading of 2.2 per cent in the previous month (Consensus: 2.4 per cent). FTSE 100 up 6 to 5,876.
0955: Supermarket operators Whitbread (Berlin: WHF4.BE - news) and Morrison are now climbing up the leader board. Sales at John Lewis department stores rose by 11.0 per cent in the week to the past November 24th, which is impressive, write analysts at Seymour Pierce this morning, but were helped as in previous weeks in November by very strong sales of electricals and easy comparatives. At Waitrose, sales rose by 6.7%. Nevertheless, the same broker is also telling clients this morning that: "we see much more interesting investment opportunities elsewhere in the non-food sector [in reference to Tesco] as we expect an equally competitive 2013 for the UK food retail sub-sector with inflation coming back into the system and no let up in the pressure on consumer spending. As an aside, they reiterate their reduce recommendation on Tesco. FTSE 100 up 2 to 5,872.
0908: RBS (LSE: RBS.L - news) has failed in its attempts to sell its Indian unit, Bloomberg is reporting.
0844: Kingfisher (Dusseldorf: KFI1.DU - news) has drifted to the bottom of the Footsie on follow through selling from yesterday. As well, analysts at UBS (NYSEArca: DJCI - news) have today downgraded shares of the DIY group to neutral from buy. RBS, however, is not far behind, with some commentary pointing a finger at reports in today's papers to the effect that the state-owned bank could be forced to explore the sale of businesses considered "core" to its operations following's criticism yesterday by Sir Mervyn King of lenders' capital positions. FTSE 100 up 3 to 5,873.
0815: Miners are again in the lead this morning, although it is shares of Intertek that are at the top of the leader board following the decision by analysts at Berenberg to raise their price target to 3,340 from 2,710 previously. The company's shares have also been raised to buy from neutral, as might have been expected. Johnson Matthey (EUREX: JMAF.EX - news) and Croda are moving higher on the back of upgrades out from Credit Suisse (NYSEArca: CSMA - news) . Consultancy GfK's UK consumer sentiment gauge recovered strongly in November, rising to -22 from -30 in October (Consensus: -30). Of interest as a backdrop, on this the last day of the month, the latest data showing flows returning to equities (and coming out of bonds) seems to be raising some eyebrows in the City. FTSE 100 down 3 to 5,867.