So we have a rally today to end another tricky week on a slightly more positive note, hopefully, if this mornings rally can be maintained, but I'm not sure we are out of the woods just yet, even though FTSE seems to have failed to decisively break its August intra day low for now.
Don't take my word for it though as just when you thought it might be safe to go back in George Soros pops up again, talking his own book on Bloomberg by talking up a hard landing in China and saying it will deepen the rout in stocks. Meanwhile on the technical front, an analyst who I had a lot of time for when I worked in the city, was interviewed here and there is a podcast too, if that is of any interest to you, but in summary he is saying that he believes the globe is slipping into a collective bear market, and advises taking risk off the table, having warned last year that stocks were peaking and to prepare for a bear market.
This all seems to tie in with the Monthly timing indicators that I follow for the UK market which have been indicating a bearish trend for the main indices like FTSE 100 , FTSE 350 and FTSE All Share since August, although up until now the mid and smaller cap. indices had just managed to cling onto a bullish trends. So with this months likely declines, barring a v shaped recovery next week, it seems likely we'll get a full house of bearish signals on all the indices when they are updated at the end of next week. While I note in the US that smaller indices have already been in a bear trend for a while and the S&P500 had lacked breadth as it had been driven mostly by the top 5 or 6 tech giants such as Apple and Amazon. Any way that's enough bearish market talk for today what have we had on the company front today?
Character Group (CCT) another holding in the CIS Portfolio has released a trading update. Turnover is said to be up by 6% so far this year although this looks about 4% light of current forecasts, but they do say that they are confident of meeting full year market expectations which are for flat earnings.
They have also announced a number of management changes including the Chairman becoming non executive having been an executive previously. Otherwise the statement sounded fairly confident about the outlook and the prospects for their new products this year. So looks like steady as she goes for now with this one and it will remain in the CIS portfolio as it continues to score well with a CIS of 99 and looks good value on around 10x with a 2.5% yield.
Otherwise another stock Compuacenter (CCC), which has come close to making it into the CIS portfolio has also announced a trading update today. This was for their full year to 31st December 2015 and they said that these are anticipated to be in line with the Board's expectations for 2015, as upgraded at the time of the 2015 Interim Results.
The main features were significant headwinds from the weakness in the € versus the £ and a good recovery in Germany while France remains on a improving track. The UK was also strong and they also generated £44m of cash which took their net funds up to £120m at the year end.
On the outlook they remained bullish on the prospects for Germany and a continued turnaround in France, but they did suggest the UK may be slower. Despite this though they were still confident that the benefit of their portfolio of countries should enable them to show another year of progress in 2016. This seems to be reflected in mid single digit growth forecasts for the current year which leaves it looking fairly valued on around 16 to 15x with a 2.5 to 2.7% yield for the current year and 2016 respectively. It continues to score well with a CIS of 89 but looks like a solid hold here rather than a buy I would say. if it should however continue to drift off then it might be worth another l0ok around say 780p where the highs from last years trading range and a rising 220 day moving average might offer some technical support.