LAST week’s poor results from GSK have put pharmaceuticals firmly back in the minds of investors. Early in the year Smith & Nephew was the focus of some strongly denied, but fierce M&A rumours, which saw the share price spike through the key 700p mark to a high of 739p. The 700p mark looks set to remain as the key sticking point for traders despite the recent moves higher. The uncertainty surrounding the sector of late will bring Thursday’s final results firmly into the picture. They could be the catalyst traders are looking for in order for the share price to finally break away from the 700p level. Alpari is offering a spread of 705.5p–706.5p.

Mining stocks are in focus this week too. Randgold Resources impressed the market yesterday helping drive the company's share price back above the £50.00 level. With Xstrata's results out this morning and Rio Tinto due on Thursday, the sector could well be in for further volatility. But so long as the global economy continues to improve then miners should remain in favour. IG Markets quotes a price for the sector of 27,765-27,817.

Engineering and project management firm Amec has been on a long lasting trend upwards since late August, from 848p to 1,224p currently. Its shareholder return (capital gains plus dividends) for 2010 was 48 per cent and JPMorgan has made it their top pick in its sector for 2011. Given recent acquistions and contract wins, there could well be more upside to be had. Capital CFDs quotes 1,224.3p–1,226.7p.