Good morning, it's Jack here with today's SCVR.

It’s a strange time right now, isn’t it? We’re unfreezing parts of the economy but progress depends upon the data we get back concerning new COVID cases, R rates and the rest.

I don’t know about you but I’m happy to see businesses reopening, as much for peoples’ psychological wellbeing as for stimulating the economy. But it’s a calculated risk.

I’ve visited a couple of restaurants and bars, giving my custom, tipping, and talking to the site owners and managers where I can. It has clearly been a tremendously stressful period for thousands of small business owners.

That said, It’s not over yet. All around the world the pandemic rages on - with places as varied as Australia, Brazil, and America all continuing to grapple with rising cases. I’ve taken three taxi rides recently, always with a mask. In two of them the driver wasn’t wearing one. At the hairdressers, the barber told me I didn’t need to wear one for the haircut.

Each of these interactions is a small risk. Multiply them nationwide then we surely have to expect a degree of increasing cases as we slowly reopen.

With things so finely balanced I’m curious to know if others out there have started returning to bars, restaurants, etc. or if you think it’s still too risky. Everybody has their own take on how to play it right now.

One thing a restaurant owner did tell me over the weekend is that the Eat Out To Help Out scheme has had a noticeable impact - so the government at least is genuinely trying to get people out and about again.

Anyway, RNSs are beginning to come out so let’s see if there are any interesting announcements.

Firstgroup (LON:FGP)

Share price: 38.8p (before market opens)

No. shares: 1,220m

Market cap: £473.53m

Understandably, investors continue to be wary of transport groups. Firstgroup (LON:FGP) and peers have seen no recovery in share price since March. While First is marked as a Value Trap, Go Ahead Group is awarded Contrarian status.

So is there a contrarian opportunity with these stocks or are the risks just too high?


Today Firstgroup updates the market with this Statement re further government funding for bus industry, so let’s…

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