Share prices are like the Olympics, aren’t they, dear reader? Now bear with me on this one … It’s because both are full of highs and lows.

For example, one would expect contractor Mowlem to take a step towards the winners’ podium with the confirmation that it had been named preferred bidder with US joint-venture partner Kellogg Brown & Root on a £5bn army contract at Aldershot and Salisbury Plain. Yet it ended up limping along à la Paula Radcliffe, down 4.7% to 168.75p by close of play Friday. I hope chief executive John Gains did not end up shedding Radcliffe-esque tears …

The Dean Macey of the sector is Jarvis. Once a real medal contender, it has suffered a series of devastating blows, weakening its once-powerful aura. At the time of writing, it’s been a little while since Jarvis’ last confession to the market – you have to go all the way back to 13 August for that, when it acknowledged that it was no longer preferred bidder on a schools project in Fife. But whereas Macey made a stirring, if ultimately fruitless comeback in this year’s decathlon, Jarvis continues to fall. Last week it closed at 37.25p, down 1.3% over the course of the week.

I must admit to a wee dram of Bowmore 40-year-old single malt (check the price of that baby on the internet and you’ll see why it was just a “wee dram”) after watching the delightful 800 m race in which Kelly Holmes finally won herself an Olympic gold. I’m sure that executives at Amec were feeling like celebrating in much the same way last week when the firm’s share price rose 15.3% to 306.25p.

Amec has had its knockers among the chaps and chapettes in the City. And it has had some difficult times, what with its delayed contracts in Iraq, but it has finally surged through in Holmes-like fashion. Perhaps this has something to do with the previous week’s acquisition of French regional services company Generale Maintenance Services, which has strengthened its European operations.

White Young Green - surely there's another buy in the offing for this acquisitive consultant

Hunch of the week

But the real Matthew Pinsent of the past year must be megaconsultant Atkins. Please forgive the rather weak comparison, but Mrs Broker has forced me to mention the rowing beefcake as she has taken rather a shine to Pinsent and his over-muscled colleagues. Well done, though: Atkins rose 4.8% to 635p.

Right, I’m off now to drag the missus away from the telly before she sees someone else she fancies …