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John Phelps's portfolio

Glasgow's Weir eased into pole position last week when our share tips emerged from their recent rough patch to record some useful gains.

The engineering giant saw its share price soar more than 100p as chief executive Keith Cochrane surprised pessimists with news of a solid order book and a good dividend increase to accompany its latest trading results.

The price rise was boosted by speculators who had sold shares they did not own in anticipation of poor news and were forced to cover their positions with fresh purchases.

Followers predict further buying from these operators in the coming weeks unless there is marked deterioration in global stock markets.

The Weir performance helped fellow energy services group, Petrofac, to stage a strong recovery from recent lows and some other laggards such as Marks & Spencer, FirstGroup and Aberdeen Asset Management managed to move into profit after previous losses. Others, including our star performer Carr's Milling Industries and drinks giant Diageo, moved towards new peaks and we have raised our stop/loss levels on a number of shares to ensure we can lock in the bulk of profits on any relapse.

The overall performance meant that the total value of our four portfolios showed an increase of some £600 (2.5%) when we conducted our weekly review of progress on Wednesday morning.

There were some disappointments, however, and we were surprised with a sharp setback in the price of Moodiesburn sausage skin manufacturer, Devro after its solid set of interim trading results, together with a further fall in the price of healthcare and industrial seals group Diploma when directors advised brokers to rein back expectations.

We continue to believe both shares offer good medium-term prospects but will not hesitate to sell our own notional holdings if they should fall further to their published stop/loss levels.

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