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Wall Street in half-hearted rally

Results from Oracle last night disappointed

After suffering is biggest one-day decline since November 2011 yesterday, Wall Street’s sharks are back in the market paying lower prices for the shares they dumped.

Remarks from Fed chairman Ben Bernanke about a possible tapering of the US bond buying programme sent global markets into a tailspin.

“Bad indigestion of the Fed update worsened to pretty much a choking as Bernanke’s life-after-QE3 buffet went down the wrong way, in almost all assets, almost everywhere,” said Mike van Dulken, head of research at Accendo Markets, fresh from completing his reading of the Bumper Manual of Strained Metaphors.

“As expected, the suggestion of stimulus withdrawal ‘if the macro data warranted’ saw a return of the ‘good data is bad, bad data is good’ relationship after better US data,” the CFD trading firm’s mouthpiece said.

Adding extra spice to today’s proceedings is that today is “quadruple witching” hour when numerous derivatives contracts expire.

The Dow Jones is up 65 at 14,824 while the broader-based S&P 500 is up 9 at 1,597. The tech-heavy NASDAQ Composite is 3 to the good at 3,367.

It is not quite a clean sweep for the bulls, however, with business software firm Oracle taking a shellacking after results released last night disappointed the market.

Social networking company Facebook has been “liked” by UBS, which has upgraded the stock to ‘buy’.

In the UK, around two-thirds of the top share index’s constituents are enjoying a spell in the sun, with Bunzl (LON:BNZL), BT (LON:BT.A) and CRH (LON:CRH) leading the charge.

Silver miner Fresnillo (LON:FRES) remains under intense pressure, adding another 46.5p to yesterday’s heavy losses, at 914p.

After yesterday’s plummet, the Footsie is not exactly soaring, with a 16 point rise at 6,175. It is faring better, however, than the FTSE 250; the mid-cap index is down 14 at 13,54.

On the mid cap index, the smallest of Britain’s ‘big four’ telecoms TalkTalk (LON:TALK) dialled 7% lower as Citi suggested BT’s (LON:BT.A) new free Premier League offering could tempt its broadband customers away.

Citi believes selling TalkTalk shares and buying BT is the way forward for investors. BT shares dialled up 2.2% on the write-up.

Afren (LON:AFR) lost 2% as it downgraded in Jefferies’ comprehensive round-up of oil E&P investment opportunities.

Ascent Resources (LON:AST) climbed to the summit of AIM, up 24%, with strong volumes of the stock being traded.

Amur Minerals (LON:AMC) shares rose on Friday as its Kun Manie nickel deposit in Russia grabbed the attention of the investor world. SP Angel’s John Meyer picked up on the 4% share price rise and put it down to “new trade and expectations for a positive field season”.

The gold price regained a few cents of yesterday’s losses, meaning some respite for Goldstone Resources (LON:GRL), up 5.6%, Vatukoula Gold Mines (LON:VGM), up 5% as it completed a £4.5mln share subscription, and Orogen Gold (LON:ORE), which lifted 5.5%.

Shanta Gold (LON:SHG) is also on the up, rising 1.1% after it protected future revenues from a volatile gold price with more forward sales of gold from its New Luika mine in Tanzania.

Medusa Mining (LON:MML, ASX:MML) lost 3% as some light was shed on its recent share price fall. The company revealed that the company in charge of upgrading the mill at its Co-O gold mine in the Philippines has gone into administration.

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