Finally, Green flips BHS pension decision

Tuesday, 28 February: Yesterday the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed marginally up by 0.08%. Although a small increase it signified the longest winning streak for the index in 30 years, closing at an all time record high for the 12th consecutive time. Yesterday the S&P 500 also closed at a record high, as US bourses will now look at Trump for guidance ahead of his budgetary speech. The president has so far been generous with ambitious but ambiguous plans and investors will hope for more specifics in relation to tax cuts and invigorated spend for various sectors including infrastructure and defence. As we leave the US for the day they sit just below flat.

Go-Ahead shares today took a turn for the worse, closing down 13.79%. The transport group announced a profit warning as a result of the strike at Southern Rail. Go-Ahead hold a 65% stake in Southern’s operator GTR and expect second half profits in their rail business to drop by 35%.

Moneysupermarket shares have also been hit today after warning this year’s revenues were behind those of last year. This is a result of fewer customers switching between savings and current accounts due to the low interest rate environment. Although they’ve reported a 16% rise in annual profits this news was overlooked. Shares ended the day 6.07% lower.

Greggs have reported a rise in both sales and profits but have warned of the increasing risks from inflationary pressures and economic uncertainty. As Greggs continues it shift away from the traditional bakery, entering the final year of their 5 year transformation plan they now face unique consumer challenges. Nevertheless it is clear their healthier options and other changes such as store refits are paying dividends and achieving solid results against a difficult backdrop. Shares finished the day 3.26% lower.

At the close the FTSE 100 managed to close the day 0.14% higher at 7,263.44, lagging the 250’s gains of 0.53%. During the afternoon news broke that Sir Phillip Green has agreed a £363m cash settlement with the Pensions Regulator in order to settle the gap in the BHS pension scheme.

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