There is plenty else happening for investors to take into account. The Federal Open Markets Committee – the body that sets interest rate levels in the US – has held its regular monthly meeting. All eyes were on any changes to the policy on the tapering of monetary easing. With the Americans cutting back on its bond buying programme, any acceleration of this process would deliver a mixed message - a strengthening economy, but less cash around.
And a stronger economy is what Britain’s bosses are expecting. The Confederation of British Industry announced the results of its monthly survey which suggested a particularly favourable outlook for the quarter ahead – optimism subsequently confirmed with a 0.8% increase in first quarter GDP. Put together with the mega bid that the Pfizer announcement could presage, and investors have felt able to shrug aside geo-political unc ertainty and mixed profit messages.
So, with a rush of companies declaring results in the weeks ahead, and a number of economic indicators also likely to affect sentiment, investors could be forgiven for taking advantage of a better tone for shares to bank a few profits. After all, May is just around the corner and for some that old adage – Sell in May and go away – still has a resonance. If only investment were that simple. We still have some way to go before markets look over valued.
Brian Tora, who is a respected writer and broadcaster on investment issues, is a consultant to JM Finn & Co. Brian has enjoyed a long and distinguished career in the City. Any opinions expressed are his own and should not be construed as advice from JM Finn & Co. A version of this article may appear elsewhere in the press