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Volatile trading sees return of the day trader; Money - STOCK MARKET: Bargain hunters attracted by prospect of $200bn air contract.

Byline: TIM JENKINS

THIS really is a funny old time. The market is betwixt what my granny would call "feast and famine". Market goes up. Market comes down. But movements like these are as good as a gilt-edged invitation to come out to play to that once endangered species, "the day trader".

Remember the day trader? Perhaps you were one? Without wishing to sound like an anthropologist, the day trader was a familiar sight in pubs, offices and anywhere when three or more gathered to celebrate the word, and the word was shares.

Ah, I look forward again to being plied with drinks in bars while listening to investors produce natty little graphs proving their superiority over "professional" fund managers. Welcome back!

This week gave day traders and the more conservative investors plenty of opportunities to buy and offload. Our dealing screens were awash with blue, red, blue, red and after Thursday's dumping off, on Friday, you guessed it, blue.

Yesterday's early gains came on the back of Wall Street's late performance on Thursday when bargain hunters came out in their droves due to anticipation of a $200bn air contract for the new Joint Strike Fighter. While the two combatants for this contract are Yanks, there will be plenty of spin-off profit for the UK market. Early trading yesterday saw Rolls Royce shares up 5p at 152p and BAE Systems up 6p at 336p.

Arm Holdings proved to be a day-trader darling this week and also gave a boost to I D Date, which saw its share price jump up 5.5p to 27.5p. Looking at the US air contract and in a smaller way the correlation between Arm and I D Data, it reminds me that behind every major news item there will be winners and losers.

Major defence contract awarded in the States; UK defence companies in the supply chain will benefit; Arm strides forth, suppliers will go forth.

Of course the opposite can apply and we need only look at TBI. Even before the September 11 terror attacks the company was facing problems.

British Midlands' announcement to pull out of flights to Belfast

International prompted a profits warning from the company and the beginning of the share slide.

This led to the approach by Vinci at what was, at the time, a hefty premium at 90p, only to be initially rebuffed by TBI and later recommended. TBI is now languishing around the 50p mark.
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Oct 27, 2001
Words:408
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