Market Report: Taking Stock

Keep an eye on insurance software group Sherwood International, up 35p to 812.5p. The group has already landed Deloitte & Touche as a US partner and is believed to be close to signing up another distributor. Stockbroker Granville Davies forecasts 30 per cent profit growth this year and 25 per cent in 1999 and the shares, which have trebled in value since last autumn, are worth pounds 10.

Property Partnerships, developing commercial property and hotels, leapt 35p to 305p after announcing it was preliminary bid talks. Last week, the company appointed consultants to attract interest in its property portfolio.

Computer firm Acorn added 9.5p to 184.5p. It has a 38 per cent stake in ARM Holdings, a chip manufacturer whose proposed US listing is attracting attention. Analysts reckon ARM is worth at least 80p per Acorn share, and possibly a lot more. The shares were 129.5p a month ago.