The FTSE-100 held steady today, taking a pause for breath after yesterday's surge through the 6000 mark.
The UK's premier index closed up 3.15 points at 6036 on a listless session despite some big individual moves from blue chip shares.
BP's dividend cut at 7am had been widely expected and was met with a 7% rise in the share price as investors applauded the decisive action and strategic update from new chief executive Bernard Looney. Disappointment at earnings from another FTSE-100 heavyweight, Diageo, saw it fall 5% by the close of play.
Melrose leaped 9% after reporting a refinancing that will keep the wolf from its door during the covid economic gloom, while EasyJet shares gained 9% after reporting summer bookings were better than expected. British Airways owner IAG surged 7%, enjoying the halo effect.
BT rallied from its doldrums somewhat with an 8% leap after analysts at Berenberg gave them the thumbs up. Looking at the impact of covid on its home engineering business and BT Sport, it said "the pain is significant, but somewhat temporary."
Confirmation of reports of takeover approaches by private equity firms for the AA saw its shares leap 18%, although they are still around half what they were a year ago. The AA said it was also weighing up a potential share issue. It has £2.7 billion debt as a legacy of its previous ownership by private equity companies with a £913 million repayment in the next two years.
Asian markets enjoyed some follow through from yesterday's strong performances in western markets which saw key indices in the UK, France, Germany and Italy all surge between 1.5% and 2.75%.
Those gains came amid hopes for a $1 trillion stimulus package in the US. CMC Markets' David Madden said the gains came despite no positive sounds coming from Washington where Republicans and Democrats are still fighting over the details. "Traders feel that some sort of compromise will be worked out in the end," said Madden.
The general positive mood should be helped by last night's U-turn from Donald Trump on his opposition to Microsoft's takeover of the super-popular TikTok app in the US.
The President has opposed its takeover of the China-owned video-sharing business but put out an apparent olive branch saying the deal could be acceptable if the US Treasury gets part of the deal. Quite what he meant by that was baffling to Wall Street dealmakers but it suggests a transaction might be possible.
Trump is expected to clamp down on an array of software companies allegedly controlled by the Chinese government amid concerns over the amounts of data Beijing could be gathering on US consumers.
China has been relatively calm in its response to his rhetoric and actions so far, perhaps suspecting it will die down after the elections in November.
Economics-wise, the news has been improving, which could fuel more share price enthusiasm in the coming days. Yesterday saw strong manufacturing data in the UK, China, Spain, Italy, France, Germany and the US, albeit from low bases. As ever, the future shape of the recovery will depend on the health situation.