Numis Securities reiterates its “sell” rating on Hays citing another set of earnings downgrades post its half year results. Following a tough period of trading, the business faces additional UK public sector pressures which could lead it to lag a wider staffing recovery. While the dividend yield remains attractive it prefers Hays’ rivals.

Goldman Sachs reiterates its “buy” rating on HSBC saying the complexity of the headline results meant core operational improvements were overshadowed. It concedes headline results fell short of expectations, but says the improved funding position and increase in fees should support future results.

Barclays Capital advises “underweighting” Pearson, saying its better than expected results are already priced into the shares. Notes forecasts for 2010 were raised eight per cent to 70.5p, and likes the solid momentum, but remains sceptical about the long-term implications from print migration in school and at Penguin.

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