Another day, another test of the 6600

After a mildly positive close to the US markets yesterday, Europe has tentatively opened up.

Although today will see another raft of US corporate news-flow, European traders will be likely to hesitate ahead of Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke’s second day of testimony to the US senate, which will take place this afternoon (London time).

Particular attention, however, should be paid to this afternoon’s figures from Verizon Wireless, the US telecommunications firm that Vodafone has a large stake in, as it is their dividend that has helped to prop up Vodafone’s annual returns.

With Kate and Williams’s imminent arrival gaining a fair slice of the column inches in the UK press at the moment, it is arguably perfect timing for Mothercare to report figures; what a pity they are so poor, with UK sales falling by 7.9% during a baby boom. One of the consequences of major downturns in the economy is an increase in the birth rate as people are more inclined to stay at home.

There are plus points to today’s figures, however; there has been an increase in online sales from the overseas divisions, which are up 14.6% over the year. Having these behind poor UK sales figures has seen a combined improvement of 11.3% in sales.

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