Share indices in the week to 6 December 2002
Oh, how the Mitie has fallen. Last week, before its interim results were out, the firm's share price slipped 6.3% to 89.5p. Its year-high is 164.5p.

Although the support services group faced a knock back, it soon showed signs of recovery. A strong pre-tax profit showing in interims led to a slight rally on Monday when it closed at 91p. It revealed a pre-tax profit of £15.38m for the six months to 30 September, up from £14.07m for the same period last year.

WSP, a fellow support services group, had a tougher time. It fell 22.8% to 47.5p. WSP has a year-high of 347.5p and hovered around 120p three months ago.

Support services groups have not fared well this year and WSP's position is unlikely to be greatly improved by a trading statement this week that spoke of "a continuing softening of the market".

Carillion also suffered last week, with a 10.6% fall to 109.5p. Chief executive John McDonaugh clearly felt enough was enough and bought 110,000 shares on Monday at 110p a pop to demonstrate his opinion that the firm was undervalued. Similarly, non-executive director Andrew Parrish also increased his holding. The move did not seem to help on Tuesday when Carillion finished the day at a year-low of 108.5p.