SHARES in cruise operator Carnival are up by over 14 per cent over the last year. Its earnings conference call on Thursday will confirm that bookings have held up well. The company has also commissioned new ships, adding to its burgeoning fleet. It may not be entirely plain sailing going forward but, for now, the course seems to be steady as she goes. IG quotes a price of 2,454p-2,460p for Carnival.

The long-running Sportingbet takeover saga could be concluded today, ahead of its annual general meeting tomorrow. William Hill has lowered its offer price, following last month’s poor trading update. Sportingbet’s share price has also come under pressure after rival Betfair withdrew from some European countries, highlighting the difficult trading conditions that lie ahead for online betting companies. Spreadex quotes a price of 48.32p-49.18p for Sportingbet.

Shares in London Stock Exchange may be dragged lower. After a strong first quarter, traders expect the stock exchange to report lower trading volumes. However, there will also be focus on its acquisition of LCH.Clearnet, and traders will look to the management to gauge how quickly a deal can be completed. ETX Capital quotes a price of 1059.62p-1064.38p for London Stock Exchange.

Dixons Retail has positioned itself for a white Christmas, and traders are expecting sales to snowball over the holiday season. The demise of competitor Comet has amplified footfall in its stores, and the retailer is one of the top risers of the year, with shares up by almost 180 per cent over the last 12 months. Spread Co quotes a price of 27.84p-27.89p for Dixons Retail.