• The FTSE 100 was one of the worst-performing major indexes in Europe in September. However, UK investment bank, Barclays, in a research note, said stocks in the UK region were cheap and under owned. 
  • The UK market is “foreign exchange sensitive” and with the GBP likely to be choppier due to Brexit uncertainty, Barclays predicts the FTSE 100 will improve, which could create opportunities for investors.
  • Barclays outlines seven UK stock picks with catalysts in the fourth quarter and two stocks to sell.
  • “Our seven OW-rated stocks have an average upside to our PT of 26%; whilst our two UW-rated stocks have an average downside to our PT of -27%,” said Barclays’ equity analyst, Richard Taylor, in the note.
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The FTSE 100, the UK stock index that tracks the biggest 100 companies on the London Stock Exchange, was one of the worst-performing major indexes in Europe in September.

UK assets were hit hard due to a surge in COVID-19 cases in Britain, along with tighter restrictions on movement and renewed concerns over Brexit. 

FTSE 100 index on October 9

FTSE 100 index on October 9

Business Insider Markets


However Barclays, the British investment bank, still sees opportunities within the UK.

Until last month, the bank had an underweight rating on the UK but this has now switched to medium-weight.

In an October 8 research note, the bank acknowledged that the uncertainty of Brexit combined with “waning” fiscal support could leave the UK with slower recovery. However, with the UK being a foreign exchange sensitive market, the pound is likely to be choppier due to uncertainty around Brexit, which could help with the FTSE 100’s poor performance and create opportunities for investors.

“The [UK] region is under owned, cheap



a man wearing a suit and tie: Ed Bastian


© Getty Images
Ed Bastian

The airline hasn’t had the massive layoffs of the other major airlines in part because it gave employees a choice.

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It’s a rough time to be an airline.

Look no further than the decisions by United and American to impose massive layoffs and furloughs that began on October 1. That was the date airlines had agreed to when they received assistance from the U.S. government. Between them, those two companies say as many as 35,000 employees may lose their jobs, at least in the short term.

While the airline industry has pushed for a second round of aid to preserve jobs through next March, it’s unclear whether that will happen. The President tweeted that he believes Congress should provide $25 billion for airlines despite previously indicating that there would be no further pandemic-related assistance package until after the election.

Of all the businesses affected by the pandemic, I think it’s fair to say that airlines have faced some of the greatest challenges. Not only are people simply not traveling as much (or at all), but when they do, airlines face the enormous responsibility of keeping them safe.

That combination of decreased demand and increased safety expenses makes it very hard for airlines to make money. As the entire industry has canceled flights and reduced overall capacity, it may seem logical that the quickest way to reduce expenses is to furlough employees.

Delta, however, is taking a different approach. It said in September that it will avoid furloughing flight attendants, and has delayed any pilot reductions until at least November 1. That is largely the result of the company’s

In a video to employees Monday, Southwest CEO Gary Kelly announced that the airline will need to “sacrifice more” by undergoing pay cuts in an effort to avoid layoffs and furloughs through 2021 amid the coronavirus pandemic’s ongoing impact on travel demand.

The announcement comes as the airline industry has been pleading for an extension of the payroll support program allotted under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act which Congress passed in March following the expiration of the $25 billion bailout on Oct.1.

Kelly noted that since the act’s  Payroll Support Program (PSP) has expired, that Southwest “simply cannot afford to continue with the conditions required to maintain full pay and employment,” Kelly said.

Applauding his employees, stating they “all have performed magnificently” and called them “our heroes” but the CEO of 12 years said, “now its time for us to do what must be done to save Southwest Airlines.”

CORONAVIRUS INFECTIONS, TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS MAKING AVIATION OUTLOOK WORSE THAN EXPECTED: AIRBUS EXECUTIVE

While Kelly said he remains grateful for the six months of previous payroll support, he argued that it “just didn’t go far enough or long enough,” with domestic air travel dropping to “1970s levels” during the pandemic, down 70% from a year ago.

“Cost and spending have been cut dramatically at Southwest, but not nearly enough to offset a 70% revenue loss,” Kelly noted. “Salaries, wages and benefits are far and away our largest cost item, and we would have to wipe out a large swath of salaries, wages and benefits to match the low traffic levels to have any hope of just breaking even.”

He also warned that the airline’s quarterly losses could

The announcement comes as tens of thousands of airline employees face the possibility of furloughs if Congress is unable to reach a deal to extend a separate grant program that gave airlines billions of dollars if they agreed to keep workers on the job through the end of September. While negotiations continue, a deal must be reached before midnight Wednesday.

“The payroll support and loan programs created by the CARES Act have saved a large number of aviation industry jobs, and kept workers employed and connected to their health care, during an unprecedented time,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement. “We are pleased to conclude loans that will support this critical industry while ensuring appropriate taxpayer compensation.”

Mnuchin also said Congress must extend the payroll support program, “so we can continue to support aviation industry workers as our economy reopens and we continue on the path to recovery.”

At least three other carriers, Delta Air Lines, Southwest Airlines and Spirit Airlines, which signed letters of intent to accept the loans in July, said they will no longer participate in the loan program. Their decision frees additional money for other carriers. Treasury officials said airlines would be eligible for up to $7.5 billion, or 30 percent of the $25 billion available under the program.

“Our national leaders did a tremendous job developing innovative and effective programs to support the aviation industry, which is critical to the U.S. economy,” Spirit Airlines chief executive Ted Christie said in a statement announcing the decision earlier this month. “Ultimately, as a responsible company, we’re all about self-help and we decided it was our duty to avoid burdening the U.S. taxpayer if we had access to viable alternatives in the private market.”

Not all the loan amounts were made public. Treasury officials said that


If you’re looking for a self-improvement task in this pandemic era, try teaching yourself to use contactless payments with your phone or “tap-to-pay” credit and debit cards.

Any germaphobe will tell you that the surfaces of bills and coins have always been gross. And handing your credit card to a cashier who has the sniffles and a hacking cough? Even in pre-pandemic times, also gross.


Now, COVID-19 has prompted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to advise using touchless payments whenever possible in the brick-and-mortar world.

Americans have been relatively slow to adopt touch-free