THIS week sees a fourth quarter trading update from Marks & Spencer. The impact of the VAT hike, rising commodity prices and careful consumers will make for interesting reading. With so many others on the high street struggling, there is no real hope of a good performance from M&S. Overseas ambitions may well help in the longer term, but are unlikely to be enough to compensate for a drop in traditional, store-based demand from this retail mainstay. Current IG Index price is 335.96p-336.84p

BP had been on a downtrend since the beginning of the week, falling around 30p, but on Friday it received a boost from JPMorgan, who issued a bullish note. This weekend’s good news on exploring in the Gulf of Mexico will also help, despite Russian uncertainties. The recent strength in oil prices also underpins the share price. Capital Spreads quotes 463.6p-464.2p for BP’s shares.

ARM Holdings has so far offered the best performance of the FTSE 100 from the beginning of year to date and has just broken above its 50-day moving average while still some 70 off its high for the year. This is still some way off the top end of the range on the Relative Strength Index. WorldSpreads offers a 578.4p-580.6p spread.

J Sainsbury shares have fallen some 15 per cent from their early January highs as sales growth slowed and lower disposable income has affected sales. The slide has paused on a long term support line going back to mid 2008, but with this line now very vulnerable, and food commodities soaring yesterday on the back of US crop reports, Sainsbury’s could well test 317/307p before we see a recovery. Spread Co quotes 333.2p-334p on J Sainsbury.

The slew of poor updates from retailers has pushed Kesa Electricals to the edge of a precipice, which may see its shares fall a further 10-15 per cent. The 10 per cent fall last week from 131p to under 118p pushed it below an important support trend line at 120p that goes back to 2008. Past price history may suggest it could hit 110p or even 100p soon. Spread Co offers a spread on Kesa Electricals of 117.6p-117.9p