Updates from Thorntons, Boeing and Capita

Bittersweet news from Thorntons as chocolatier issues a profits warning. Meanwhile oil stocks take another dive

Updated: 
savings, tax, stockmarket, pensions, cash, investment FTSE 100, Thorntons, Boeing, CapitaNo evidence of a 'Santa Rally' yet. The FTSE 100 crept 31 points higher on Monday, finishing at 6,576.7. Admiral Group and Compass Group put in strong runs, up 2.3% and 1.9% respectively (to 1339p and 1107p). However miners and oil operators were down again: RandgoldResources plummeted 6.3% and Tullow Oil reversed 4%, giving away recent gains.

Stateside, things were rather cheerier with tech stocks helping the Dow surge 154 points to 17,959.4, up 0.87%. For the year, the Dow Jones is 8.3% up in total.

Unsurprisingly a quiet day on the news front. Christmas trading isn't looking so sweet for Thorntons. The high street chocolatier has released a profits warning following problems with its UK commercial channel.

"The Board now anticipates a decline in sales in the UK Commercial channel for the second quarter of the current financial year," it says. "The Board...expects earnings for the full year to be below those achieved for the last financial year."

Thorntons says it remains confident in its strategy - it's attempting to shift to a fast-moving consumer goods operation. A further trading update will be issued on 19 January.

Boeing is to sell 60 737 aircraft to Air China, a deal worth $6bn. Much of the deal includes Boeing's new fuel-efficient 737 MAX plans. A boost for Boeing given that US defence sales have been under pressure.

"Our long-standing and productive partnership with Air China dates back to the airline's beginning and we are proud the 737 has been part of their success," said Ihssane Mounir, vice president of Sales and Marketing, Northeast Asia, Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

He adds: "We are excited to see that the 737 family will play a significant role in Air China's continued success."

Finally, Capita says Andrew Williams has been appointed as an independent non-exec director and will be appointed to Capita's Nomination, Remuneration and Audit and Risk Committees.

Williams is chief executive of Halma plc, a FTSE 250 safety, health and environmental technologies operation. He was appointed Chief Executive in February 2005. Williams started his career at Halma in 1994.

"His skills and experience will add further depth and strength to the Capita Board," says chief exec Andy Parker. "We welcome Andrew and look forward to his contribution to the team."

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