Quiet trading edges FTSE lower

Quiet trading precedes a four-day weekend for London traders, and the FTSE has edged lower by ten points to 6573.

There are no Easter egg fun and games for Tesco, as it continues its post-earnings slide, offloading another 2.5% in shareholder value this morning. Meanwhile, chief executive officer Philip Clarke continues to read about the battle he faces in the morning’s papers. Unexpected weakness in Asian markets has knocked today's big-name earnings reporter, drinks aficionado Diageo (-3.7%). Finishing off with some good news, watch out for further rebounds in some of the recent profit-taking-related laggards, with ITV (+2.7%) standing out here as it leads the market today. RSA (+2.6%) is also higher, closing the gap its share price opened since its late-March rights issue. Not without its health warnings, trading this stock has certainly been popular recently. 

US markets had another strong day yesterday, with gains of 1% for the Dow Jones and S&P 500, and a touch better for the NASDAQ. Today’s early talking point will be what happened post these gains being banked, as Google's after-hours earnings release disappointed. The first release after its stock split, the numbers came in short on both the top and bottom lines. The C shares traded down as much 5% before recovering slightly to make the post-market close around 3% lower. This miss overshadowed the in-line EPS number for IBM and a slight beat for AMEX. Earnings season has not decided on its true course yet, and while the markets get pushed around by other macro factors, traders will find it easy to switch off their screens early and go reaching for the chocolate.

Currently, US markets are looking likely to give away some of yesterday’s recovery as the futures digest the lacklustre earnings. The Dow is called to open down 65 points at 16,360.

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