Both financial stocks stood out with big gains over the week on a surge of investment support, with SL drawing strength from its recent trading update and AAM responding to talk of big dividend increases.
Other tips to hit new 2012 highs since being added to our portfolios included Diageo, cash-and-carry specialist Booker, and M&S. We have lifted our stop/loss level in each case and will sell our notional shareholdings if the price dips 10% to ensure we can hold onto the bulk of profits on any significant relapse.
Three of our four portfolios recorded useful gains over the week – the one exception being the 2010 list, where the AAM gain was counter-balanced by falls in Carr's Milling Industries ahead of a trading statement tomorrow, and in AG Barr as investors await further news on its proposed Britvic merger.
The longstanding 2009 portfolio retained hopes that it can double its initial £6000 notional investments by the year end by adding a further 1.5% to its profits with all five of its selections making some progress. It needs to record average gains of around 1% each week to achieve the 100% appreciation figure.
The 2011 selections scored a 1.4% rise – they would have done better but for a further fall in the price of water company, United Utilities, on fears the Government is planning tough new regulation for the industry.
The latest setback has brought the shares to within a whisker of triggering a sell signal, although we have hopes for an early bounce on a possible revival of takeover gossip at present levels.
The 2012 portfolio added just short of 1%, held back by a further slippage in construction group, Kier.