WATER utility Severn Trent hit two-year highs of £14.04p yesterday before falling back to the £13.90 level. But many investors believe further rises could still be possible – the utilities sector is helped by factors such as inflation-linked pricing. ShortsandLongs.com has a rolling spread of 1,386.60p - 1,390.40p.

Clothing retailer Next is set to report interims later this week. The company has recovered well from the 2008 lows but recent broker upgrades suggest there could still be more to be found on the upside. So long as the outlook remains relatively upbeat and competitive threats are kept in check, then investor interest may be sustained. The current IG Markets price is £20.57-£20.59

Kesa Electricals has a management statement out on Thursday and the outlook for discretionary consumer spending seems to be improving. But with a depressed share price and a looming VAT hike, it’s arguably going to take a bullish statement if any support is to be forthcoming. IG Markets quotes 134.9p-135.1p.

It has taken almost four months, but the FTSE 100 has finally broken above the 5,400 level. The continuation of economic growth in China and other Asian economies is expected to spur on the blue-chip index towards the next area of serious resistance at 5,800. WorldSpreads offers a one point spread on the FTSE future for ordinary accounts and a zero spread for Platinum accounts.

But while the FTSE has broken out of its trading range, other indices are lagging behind and could catch up in the coming days. The S&P 500 is still below its July highs of around 1,130 and could make an attempt at breaching them. Capital CFDs quotes a price of 1,120.7-1,121.1 for the S&P 500.

WTI crude oil has advanced nearly $6 since the start of September to hit a new one-month high of $77.46 yesterday. Crude has broken through its 50- and 100-day simple moving averages around $76.50, but further gains were being capped yesterday by the 200-day simple moving average at around $77.20. The outlook is mixed and a short trade between $77 and $78 is recommended for this week. Spread Co offers a spread on its October 2010 US crude of $77.14-$77.20.