London cheer as merger of Deutsche Börse and NYSE is blocked

London breathed a sigh of relief yesterday as the European Commission confirmed the view of EU regulators that the controversial merger of Deutsche Börse and NYSE Euronext, the owner of the New York Stock Exchange, should be blocked.

The Market Report: Bloody nose for shortsellers as Ocado rockets

The short-sellers won't be happy, but there is no stopping Ocado at the moment. One of the most divisive stocks in the Square Mile, the online grocer continued its fantastic start to the year yesterday as yet more short covering helped it up to its highest share price for four months.

Ocado plumbs the depths after alert

Ocado's shares sank to an all-time low after the online grocer issued a profits warning yesterday, as it continues to struggle with "capacity constraints" at its warehouse in Hertfordshire.

Market Report: Ashtead benefits from $2bn merger of US rivals

Instead of being scared off by its rivals across the Atlantic ganging up, a multibillion-dollar merger between two of its peers gave Ashtead a boost yesterday. The equipment hire firm climbed 10.2p to 209.6p on the mid-tier index after United Rentals agreed to pay $2bn for RSC Holdings, sparking hopes it could become a takeover target itself.

The Week Ahead: Carpetright's suffering is likely to continue in 2012

It is fair to say that 2011 has been a year to forget for Carpetright. One of the retailers worst hit by the pressures on the high street, a string of profits warnings has seen the share price of Britain's biggest floor coverings retailer almost halve since January. Judging by comments in the City, it doesn't exactly look as if things are going to get much better when Carpetright announces its interim results tomorrow. Analysts at Singer Capital Markets expect it to "report its worst first-half figures as a listed company", forecasting a pre-tax profit for the period of £1.2m – almost a tenth of what it managed the previous year. The UK will be the culprit, they say, with a 3 per cent drop in like-for-like sales alongside a steep fall in margins after efforts to revive the business.

Mulberry bags boom in profits

Luxury handbag maker Mulberry shrugged off the economic gloom today as it trebled its half-year profits on the back of strong sales at home and abroad.

The Week Ahead: TUI Travel cannot escape the turbulence altogether

While Thomas Cook has been engaged in a struggle for its future, fellow operator TUI Travel has been faring rather better. Its bitter rival may have lost roughly 60 per cent of its share price sinceadmitting last month it needed more cash to survive, but over the same period TUI has managed to advance 10 per cent.

Windows at the White House are examined yesterday

Secret Service stumped by shooting at White House

Hours after revealing that they had found two bullets in the grounds of the White House, law enforcement agents in Washington last said that a man whom they believe may have fired them during an incident close to the mansion on Friday had been taken into custody in a small town in western Pennsylvania.

David Prosser: Derivatives timebomb is still ticking

Outlook Three years after the collapse of Lehman Brothers and AIG, regulators still have not found a way to keep track of the opaque derivatives market that paralysed the world's financial system in the wake of those corporate disasters.

Leading article: When markets scent blood

After several days of market volatility and fevered speculation about the health of Europe's banks, the need to be seen to be doing something clearly became too urgent to ignore for those governments which have banned the short selling of financial stocks.

Ceres Power boss quits suddenly

Ceres Power was plunged into further uncertainty just weeks after its shares dropped to all-time lows, as its chief executive quit without warning.

Mulberry's profit forecast up 16%

The luxury group Mulberry has raised profit forecasts for the third time in four months as the well heeled, both in the UK and overseas, snapped up its leather goods.

LME chief pleads for right to carry on shorting

The drive for regulation could be motivated by political concerns and risks ignoring the underlying factors that drive commodity prices, according to the chief executive of the London Metal Exchange.

FSA charges five in Blue Index case

Five people, including two former directors and one former trader at the derivatives brokerage Blue Index, have been charged with insider dealing by the Financial Services Authority, the market watchdog.

James Moore: A worthy attempt by the FSA to lead the way on banking reform

Outlook The more we learn about the banking crisis, the more crazy what was going on in the months leading up to it appears to be. Take credit derivatives, those weird and wonderful devices that, when linked to subprime mortgages, very effectively spread a worldwide financial 'flu.

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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

What is the appeal of Twitch?

Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

How bosses are making us work harder

As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff
Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records

Hard pressed: Resurgence in vinyl records

As the resurgence in vinyl records continues, manufacturers and their outdated machinery are struggling to keep up with the demand
Tony Jordan: 'I turned down the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series nine times ... then I found a kindred spirit'

A tale of two writers

Offered the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series, Tony Jordan turned it down. Nine times. The man behind EastEnders and Life on Mars didn’t feel right for the job. Finally, he gave in - and found an unexpected kindred spirit
Could a later start to the school day be the most useful educational reform of all?

Should pupils get a lie in?

Doctors want a later start to the school day so that pupils can sleep later. Not because teenagers are lazy, explains Simon Usborne - it's all down to their circadian rhythms
Prepare for Jewish jokes – as Jewish comedians get their own festival

Prepare for Jewish jokes...

... as Jewish comedians get their own festival
SJ Watson: 'I still can't quite believe that Before I Go to Sleep started in my head'

A dream come true for SJ Watson

Watson was working part time in the NHS when his debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, became a bestseller. Now it's a Hollywood movie, too. Here he recalls the whirlwind journey from children’s ward to A-list film set
10 best cycling bags for commuters

10 best cycling bags for commuters

Gear up for next week’s National Cycle to Work day with one of these practical backpacks and messenger bags
Paul Scholes: Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United

Paul Scholes column

Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?