DISCOUNT pub group JD Wetherspoon has a trading update due out on Wednesday that should offer some insight as to the impact bad weather had on sales in the pre-Christmas period. A degree of this has presumably been priced in already although broker sentiment does seem to be building against the stock. IG Index is offering a price on JD Wetherspoon of 435.6p-439p.

888 holdings burst out from a six month slumber around 45p in mid December on the news that Ladbrokes was interested in bidding for the gaming operator. Ladbrokes indicated they are willing to pay 70p a share, valuing the company at nearly £250m.

From the technical point of view, it performed a ‘golden cross’ last week, where the 50 day exponential moving average (EMA) crossed the 200 day EMA, which is a very bullish sign. Shares hit a near eight month high of 65p on Wednesday following the ‘golden cross’ before easing back towards 56p at the end of the week. With other suitors in the wings, the bidding war could well hot up, meaning 888 would do well in the coming months. Spread Co offers a spread on 888 Holdings of 55.4p–56p.

The poor weather conditions at the beginning of December prompted several of the big names in the retail sector to publish profit warnings. The pre-Christmas shopping spree never really happened due to the snow, but several of the online retailers saw a boost. On Wednesday, online fashion retailer ASOS will be publishing its trading update and may be worth watching.

Cantor Index offers a spread of 1,603.7–1,610.3p.