*** Woolies stymied by Hit?

*** Jessops slumps on profit-warning

*** More FD-bashing at Morrisons...surging Admiral profits...Greenspan's next rate move...and mor ------------------- - Bob the Builder's parent Hit Entertainment saw its shares continue to surge, climbing a further 4% on Monday. Hit had rocketed 17% before the weekend, on rumours it had received a takeover offer. Now private equity group Apax Partners has admitted to offering 300p per share for the group - a price agreed to by Hit.

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- So how did Thomas the Tank Engine owner become a takeover target in the first place? Hit, whose share price traded above 520p mid-2000, has been knocked by poor demand for kiddie characters and a weakening dollar - problems not looking likely to be solved soon. No wonder Hit's directors are endorsing the Apax-offer. Hit closed at 305p yesterday.

- Good news for Hit...but bad news for Woolworths. Woolies has also received a takeover bid from Apax for 58.2p per share - but shareholders now fear that their bid opportunity may suffer the same fate as that of Floors 2 Go.

- The Aim-listed flooring retailer fell 12% yesterday as it admitted that takeover talks with Apax had ceased. Woolies shareholders must also fear that with Hit in the bag, Apax may lose interest in the variety-store. Woolies share price fell 2% to close at 54p.

- The FTSE100 traded 10 points up to close at 4,933. And the FTSE250 also gained 0.1% to trade at 7,228 on Monday. The All Share index closed at 2,480 - a 0.2% rise for the day.

- In fact, of all the FTSE indices, only the FTSE Small Cap index fell yesterday, shedding 0.2%. Largely thanks to high street camera shop Jessops, which shed 34% on Monday after issuing a profit warning.

- According to Jessops, its results are looking likely to be 'significantly below its previous expectations and below last year', after poor digital camera sales. As it is, the group -which floated in October last year - had to cut its IPO price from as much as 220p to 155p. It closed at 104p yesterday.

- Back in the blue chip index, and BSkyB closed as a top FTSE gainer, up 2.5%, as broker CSFB reckoned the group could rake in 80,000 net subscribers for the third quarter. This is nearly 20,000 more than analyst expectations. The group, run by Rupert Murdoch Jnr, James, saw its share price close at 577p ------------------ - Retailer Morrison has joined the growing list of FD-bashers. With Marks & Spencer, Sainsbury, WH Smith, Boots and Woolworths recently either swapping...or dumping...their finance directors, Morrison will decide today what to do with FD Martin Ackroyd.

- Ackroyd is being blamed for a series of profit warnings by Morrison, including the latest £40m fall in annual profits. Morrison's shares shed 1%, to close at 200p.

- The world's largest plumbing equipment supplier, Wolseley, reported a pre-tax profit hike of 25.5% to £310m. According to the group, it will hike its dividend by nearly 13%, to 8.80p.

- 'There is likely to be a lower rate of growth in the second half of 2005 due to stronger comparatives and the likely absence of further significant commodity price inflation,' the group said yesterday. Its shares closed 0.5% up at £11.

- And motor insurer Admiral Group posted a 30% rise in annual profits - while also announcing a special dividend. According to Admiral, its core profit was £100m last year. It added that it would distribute around 45% of its profits, a 'generous' offer, according to chief executive Henry Engelhardt. Admiral traded 1% up yesterday

- Meantime, the US dollar strengthened by more than 1% versus sterling yesterday, to trade at $1.895 by London's close. The Yankee currency also traded at $1.315, up 1.1% against the euro. Why the greenback strength?

- Well, Alan Greenspan's Federal Reserve is looking more likely to dump its 'measured' approach to American interest rates. So while most analysts reckon that US rates will rise 25 basis points today to 2.75% - the seventh hike in the current cycle - Greenspan is expected to tackle rates with more vigour in the future. The signs the Fed chairman will be looking out for?

- Firstly, yields on 10-year Treasury bonds triggered eight-month highs last week. Then there's the record-breaking price of crude oil. Yesterday Dated Brent traded near its all-time highs, at $55.48 per barrel by London's home-bell. And most analysts reckon the inflation rate for March could rise...all which suggests that US rates will have to rise more aggressively to curb the inflation dangers.

- The result? Quite simply, a stifling of global economic growth...which will weigh heavily on stock markets world-wide. Until tomorrow, Heather D'AltonMoney Morning