Stocks flatlined in the US with the Dow down five points to 17,745; P&G shares however sank more than 4% to $77.4 as latest earnings struggled against the high dollar and worries about corporate turnaround progress.
We commence with a 38% rise in pre-tax profits for Lloyds to £1.19bn for the six months to June. In contrast, profits this time a year ago stood at £863m. However Lloyds is putting aside an extra £1.4bn for PPI payouts.
The PPI payouts continue to dog Lloyds; in total Lloyds has had to put aside close to £14bn. However Lloyds says it is anticipating an interim dividend of 0.75p per share (taxpayers still own an £11.5bn holding in the bank).
"Today's results," say boss Antonio Horta-Osorio, "demonstrate the strong progress we have made in the first half of the year. We remain focused on our aim to become the best bank for customers and shareholders."
At current fuel prices and exchange rates the outlook remains unchanged. IAG expects to generate an operating profit of €2.2bn plus it says. Passenger unit revenue for the quarter was up 5% and down 6.6% at constant currency.
Meanwhile Ryanair says it may not accept a bid formally for its 30% Aer Lingus stake until later this month when the current IAG-BA offer expires.
Finally, JD Sports Fashion. For the first half of the year the retailer claims performance has continued to be strong with like-for-like sales remaining in excess of management forecasts.
Subject to continuing positive performance, "we now anticipate that the headline profit before tax for the current year will be approximately 10% ahead of the current consensus market expectations of around £110m."
But it's a mixed bag as JD has suffered some loss of margin from the weakness in the Euro. JD Sports has plans to open in Amsterdam and Cologne in October.
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