EQUITIES are coming under pressure. The threat of a collapse in gold prices is worrying the mining sector while the slew of fourth quarter losses by US banks is also sure to weigh on general sentiment towards equities. Some are suggesting that a correction is overdue and a sell-off could well be imminent. Current IG Index price on the Dow Jones index is 10,670-10,674

The FTSE 100 is still struggling to get beyond 5,600 after weak earnings results dampened enthusiasm for the economic recovery. The longer we remain below that level, the more likely a correction to the downside becomes. Capital Spreads quotes 5,487-5,488 for the FTSE 100 index.

McDonald’s shares have been in demand this week, thanks largely to an upgrade and a positive note from Credit Suisse, which said that the outlook for the business is good and the chain's international business will continue to drive growth throughout 2010. Credit Suisse is predicting another strong set of earnings figures from McDonald’s when it announces its fourth quarter earnings on Friday. City Index were offering a spread of $63.45-$63.53.

Kathleen Brooks