Updates from Tate & Lyle and Carpetright

A small lift for the FTSE 100, up 11 points yesterday at 6,449. Unilever was the biggest climber, up +2.07% to 2367p with Tesco also up, rising +1.96% to 365p.

Increasing anxiety about the US debt predicament - President Obama cancelled a trip to Asia on the back of the Government shutdown - saw the Dow Jones sink 136 points to 14,996.
We commence with news that social media player Twitter could raise up to $1bn in a stock market initial public offering. Filings yesterday to US regulators reveal more of Twitter's intentions, including financial numbers not, till now, widely publicised.

The company remains loss-making - losses reached $69m in the first half of 2013 despite revenues of more than $250m. Ad sales take around 85% of its main revenue stream stream (the company has been taking care to ramp up advertising products).

It's not known whether Twitter will trade on the New York Stock Exchange or NASDAQ though given the abundance of tech names on the NASDAQ, the latter looks favourite. Twitter hopes to use the ticker name 'TWTR'.

Next, a profits warning from UK retail bellwether Carpetright. A softer UK market and on-going disappointing sales in the Netherlands means the Group's full year profit will likely be "significantly below" previous expectations. Boss Darren Shapland has quit.

Volatile trading in the UK saw recent like-for-like sales down -2.5% with total sales plunging -4.1%. But it was worse in Europe: in local currency terms, like-for-like sales in the Rest of Europe - Netherlands, Belgium and the Republic of Ireland - sank -7.6%.

"Whilst we have improved," said exec chairman Lord Harris, "the margin and maintained a tight control on costs, the shortfall in sales in this trading period is lowering our previous expectations."

Finally, a trading statement from Tate & Lyle for the six months to 30 September. Adjusted operating profit for the Group for the first half is expected to be slightly lower than last year, largely driven by softness in the US beverage sector as a result of the cold spring says the company.

A slow start to the summer which affected sweetener volumes in both divisions also hasn't helped. In Speciality Food Ingredients, says Tate & Lyle, volume growth is expected to be in line with the wider speciality food ingredients market with strong volume growth in emerging markets and Europe.

"Our profits," says Tate & Lyle, "remain sensitive to fluctuations in foreign currency particularly the US dollar to sterling exchange rate." However the company expects another year of profitable growth.