Richard Hunter

Diary of a private investor during a week of carnage for global markets

Over the weekend of 7/8 March, talks broke down between OPEC, Saudi Arabia and Russia signalling the start of a potential price war. By early Monday morning, the oil price was down 25% and for the markets, which had already been teetering given the potential economic impact of the coronavirus, it was a step too far. Investors rushed for the hills.

Three stocks to watch as housebuilders strengthen foundations

This piece was written before the coronavirus severely impacted markets.

The housebuilders have at different times found themselves on a sticky wicket this century, but as a rule, they have weathered the storm.

As defined by the London Stock Exchange (we are limiting the scope of this article to the FTSE 100), the Household Goods and Home Construction sector is comprised as follows:

Three tech-savvy firms to watch

Occasionally stocks are not necessarily where you might expect to find them, and the software and computer services sector is one such example, comprising just four stocks.

Aveva (not to be confused with insurance company Aviva, which is not only also in the FTSE 100 but next on the alphabetical list) and Sage Group can be loosely grouped together.

Equally, the other two shares have similarities – listing platforms Rightmove and Auto Trader are the websites, indeed, marketplaces, of choice in their respective fields.

Is Tesco in your shares shopping basket?

The awkwardly titled personal care, drug and grocery stores sector is where the supermarkets live, as well as some of the famous products on sale within them.

As defined by the London Stock Exchange (we are limiting the scope of this article to the FTSE 100), the sector comprises the following companies: William Morrison Supermarkets operates a supermarket chain under the Morrisons brand. The company operates around 500 total stores, from over 10 manufacturing sites across Britain.

A vision for 2020: shares, politics and the economy

This time last year we asked if 2019 would take the BISCUIT, given the effects of Brexit, Interest rates, Sterling, China, the US, Inflation and Trump.

And, to a large extent, it has. 

Despite those concerns, even the embattled FTSE 100 has posted an 11% gain in the year to date, with the “Boris bounce” providing a late turbocharge.

Meanwhile, the US economy has been on a tear and the main indices have responded accordingly. At the time of writing, the Dow Jones is up 21% in the year to date, the S&P500 26% and the technology-laden Nasdaq index 32%.

Are these travel stocks a passport to riches?

Travel and leisure is an intriguing sector at the moment. On the one hand it has obvious attractions (we tend to go on holiday whatever the economic weather), yet it’s one that’s being buffeted by global economic concerns.

As defined by the London Stock Exchange (we are limiting the scope of this article to the FTSE 100 index), the sector comprises six firms, the details of which are highlighted below and in the Tape table.

On the hunt for quality insurance shares

Insurance may not be a topic to set the pulse racing, but it is nonetheless a vital part of any economy. Behind the US, China and Japan, the UK insurance market is the fourth largest in the world – and the largest in Europe – with an estimated total premium volume of just under $220 billion (£178 billion) in 2017, according to the Association of British Insurers.

As defined by the London Stock Exchange (we are limiting the scope of this article to the FTSE 100 companies), insurance is split into two sub-sectors, life insurance and non-life insurance.