THE management statement from Punch Taverns later today should allow investors to decide whether the glass is really half full or half empty for the pub chain. Last year saw a de-merger and a run of poor results, and the share price in the first quarter of 2012 hasn’t seen much movement at all – so will drinks be on the house tomorrow when it brings the report to the market? Capital Spreads quotes a price of 10.4p-10.9 for Punch Taverns.

It almost seems as if nothing can stop Next. The retailer’s share price has risen inexorably since 2009, and has shaken off the drop seen at the beginning of 2012 when it confessed to a difficult Christmas. The company remains a mean, cash-generating machine, and still seems to have the apparel market fairly well sewn up. A reasonable start to 2012 will suggest that the shares remain de rigeur for a play on improving UK consumer spending. IG Index’s price on Next is 2,919p-2,926p.

General Mills reports its latest set of earnings tomorrow and it is expected to show earnings of 56c a share on revenues of $4.08bn. Its shares have just broken out of a two-month downtrend and may be due for a return above $40, as long as it can break above the resistance between $39.20-$39.50. Spread Co quotes a spread on General Mills of $38.80-$38.87.

Major supermarket Sainsbury gives a trading update on Wednesday and investors will be hoping that the results will allow the stock to finally break through resistance around 310p. It has a fighting chance now that it is back above its 200-day moving average, which could signal the beginning of a new uptrend. Capital Spreads quotes a price of 303.8p-304.4p.