The one major data point we have yet to see from the retail sector is M&S.

It's surprising that the private-equity funds seem to think there's upside. It seems quite a full price to pay.

The area which interests us is the sector that was hit the hardest in 2005, namely the big-ticket household goods retailers. All three have begun to recover and develop promising chart patterns.

Persuading George Davies to stay is quite a coup for Stuart Rose.

This amounts to a profit warning ... and it's hard to avoid connecting (Alan Giles' departure) with the profit warning. My reaction would be to cut 20 million pounds off my (pre-tax) profit forecast to 90 million pounds.

The deal would create an extremely powerful group with both mega-store and warehouse formats that should be the envy of the world.

This would be earnings enhancing from the start.