The Dow Jones lost almost 21 points, ending the day at 15,618.
We start with an interim from York-based house builder Persimmon. Persimmon claims it's fully sold up for the year and has £650 million forward sales reserved beyond 2013, a +41% increase on the comparable prior year position (2012: £462 million).
The introduction of the Government sponsored Help to Buy equity loan scheme in April 2013 - only available to buyers of newly built homes - proved "particularly attractive" says the house builder. Persimmon has sold more than 3,000 homes under this scheme to date.
However Persimmon warns on affordability of the scheme as it expands: "With only a limited number of lenders involved in this second phase so far the impact to date has been muted due to the higher level of interest rates being charged."
Wetherspoon opened eight new pubs in the quarter and has 12 more under development. It anticipates opening 40 to 50 pubs in total this year, slightly more than previously anticipated it said in a statement.
"In spite of the continued pressure from costs and taxes," [the company particularly emphasised the VAT disparity between supermarkets and pubs] "the company remains confident of a reasonable outcome for the current financial year."
Lastly, a half-year update from FirstGroup. Trading remains in line with management's expectations, despite continued headwinds in some markets says the company with revenues climbing +1.6% to £3,300.7m. Operating profit climbs +10.1% to £109.9m.
In terms of Rail, revenue growth is described as "solid". For First Transit there's continued growth in renewals and new business, particularly in shuttle and paratransit, with margin performance maintained claims FirstGroup.
"Although it is early days in our multi-year plan to improve our returns," says chief exec Tim O'Toole, "resilience and growth prospects, we are seeing clear indications that we are making progress."