Philip Salter
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PLAYING ball on Tuesday will be Goals Soccer Centre – letting their fans have a peek at their post close trading update for the year. After seeing a sharp decline when the outdoor football centre reported a softer than expected trading period last time, can they move up the league with a better than expected update this time and get the pessimistic brokers back onside? Capital Spreads quotes a price of 91.8p-96.2p.

We are seeing a surge in gold on the back of mounting tension in Iran, which is threatening to blockade a major oil checkpoint. The yellow metal is trading inside a bullish channel – which is its longest winning stretch since October. The Iranian situation along with the European debt risk should support the further potential upside to gold. Capital Spreads quotes the yellow metal at $1,621.5-$1,621.9.

Kesa Electricals, parent company of Comet, saw its shares fall faster than Santa down a chimney last year, losing some 60 per cent to hit the lows of 2008 around 60p. The shares dashed, danced, pranced but ultimately were blitzed, with more red on the charts than Rudolph’s nose. It will take more than cupid to find love for this stock this year, as a recovery is going to be a real challenge. Spread Co offers a spread on Kesa of 66.32p-66.67p.

The unofficial start of fourth quarter earnings is kicked off by Alcoa in the US today. With basic materials generally a primary indicator of the state of the global economy, the world’s leading producer of primary aluminium could well set the tone for the first quarter of 2012. The effects of slowing economic growth and increasing concern over the EU debt woes and the resulting market uncertainty has driven lower results in 2011. While revenues are expected to show an increase on a like-for-like basis from the same quarter last year, it’s likely that the slide in aluminium prices may impact the profitability of the company. CMC Markets quotes Alcoa at $9.351-$9.372.

The retail sector in the UK will also be in focus as several retail outlets give trading updates on the Christmas period. Sainsbury’s is the first to report today, with Marks & Spencer, Debenhams and Tesco later in the week. The prognosis for the retail sector is fairly down-beat, particularly if the disappointing results from Next last week are anything to go by. CMC offers a spread on Sainsbury’s of 298.3p-299.11p, on Marks & Spencer of 311.32p-311.89p, on Debenhams of 58.62p-58.921p and Tesco of 390.58p-390.99p.