We evicted home furnishing giant Dunelm from our 2014 investment portfolio last week as its share price slipped back to our published stop loss target.

We originally recommended the company in January as an obvious beneficiary of a stronger housing market and an improving economy but the shares have suffered from concerns over cut-price competition throughout the retail industry.

Longer-term prospects are attractive - Barclays says the shares are worth 20% above current levels - but we believe there are more attractive investments elsewhere.

Loading article content

Merchant bank Close Brothers also triggered a sell signal under the stop/loss system last week but we are convinced the stock market has it wrong and have decided to give the shares a little more time.

We are comforted by predictions of "strong" yearly results from chairman Strone Macpherson, an old boy of Fettes College, and note that Standard Life has been mopping up shares at current prices.

Canaccord Genuity advises clients to follow the example and believe the price could surge by as much as 500p over the medium term.

The majority of our tips were marked down in soggy stock-market conditions last week with three of our four portfolios recording losses of around 1% when we carried out our review on Wednesday morning.

Only the 2012 list bucked the general trend with a fractional rise, due to a good performance by safety equipment specialist Halma ahead of its yearly figures due on Thursday. Other strong performers included drinks group Fuller Smith & Turner and fuels-to-pharmaceuticals distributor DCC, while engineering group IMI gained on gossip of a potential tie-up with Scottish pumps manufacturer Weir.

In contrast, B&Q retailer Kingfisher took a sharp knock after releasing lacklustre trading figures and Glasgow-based Smart Metering Systems ran into heavy profit taking after its recent good run.