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Friday Email: 16 May 2014

Every Friday morning our lead analyst Mark Riding sends out his weekly run-down and upcoming events in the investor calendar, like this one:

The FTSE 100 was having a good week until yesterday we found out that US industrial production fell and it gave back almost 70 points in a couple of hours. Earlier in the day, the FTSE 100 had hit a 14 year high at 6890, but now we find ourselves once again at the 6850 resistance level that has proved so difficult to breach over the past 12 months. There were plenty of dividend increases this week, none of which were spectacular, but the picture has been one of steady growth. Compass announced a special dividend of 56p per share and a share consolidation. Details to follow: 'The special dividend will be paid on 29 July 2014 to shareholders on the register on 7 July 2014. Details of the share consolidation will be set out in a separate circular to shareholders' 3i Group also announced a special dividend.

ICAP maintained its dividend but is still operating in a very tough environment and remains on the watchlist. Easyjet delivered an improved first half performance but the shares were hit quite hard. It was noticable that net cash at the half year stage was still above this time last year in spite of the big dividend increase and the special dividend. A further big dividend increase or another special looks on the cards for this year.

The week ahead is very very busy with plenty of dividend declarations and some heavyweights reporting including Vodafone, Marks & Spencer, Babcock, Burberry, SSE, SABMiller, United Utilities and Royal Mail should produce its first dividend since flotation.

This email was originally sent on Friday 16 May 2014

The Friday email is delivered to over 20,000 subscriber’s every week, and remains a widely read run-down of recent events and what investors can expect in the week ahead written by our chief analyst Mark Riding.

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