3 Stocks Set to Beat the S&P Today

LONDON -- European equity markets have been managing to squeeze out some cautious gains this morning, helped by suggestions that China may be expanding its domestic economic stimulus, although a reluctance to commit to strong buying before the EU summit this week suggests these gains may not transfer to the U.S. markets at the open. Early premarket trade suggests the S&P 500 (INDEX: ^GSPC) will open near flat on the day.

Despite this, however, a few key stocks have been outperforming in European trade. Here are three ADRs that may beat the S&P 500 today.

Alcatel-Lucent (NYS: ALU)
may very well see strong gains today, having climbed 3.6% in Paris after a series of positive news releases this week. The company announced yesterday that it will supply the network equipment for a massive expansion of super-fast broadband access in South Africa planned by the country's largest integrated communications company, Telekom SA.

This came on the back of news earlier in the week that Alcatel-Lucent will be increasing its support for the Chinese government's planned expansion of broadband networks to now include their high-capacity internet protocol technology, allowing services such as video on demand and video chat.

Lloyds Banking Group (NYS: LYG) The U.K. bank could see some decent gains in U.S. trade today after news it is closer to striking a deal to sell 630 branches to the Co-operative Group. Lloyds Banking has been the biggest gainer on the FTSE 100 in London this morning, climbing around 2.8% as news reports suggest the broad terms of the deal could be announced as early as today.

The Co-operative has been Lloyd's "preferred bidder" for the branches, but a deal has been looking less likely over the past few weeks, with many expecting the bank would have to float the business under a ruling by the EU that it must divest by next year, as the taxpayer-backed loans were deemed state aid.

ASML Holding (NAS: ASML)
ASML Holding looks set for some positive trading today, climbing around 2% in Europe amid fairly high volumes. This comes after Bernstein began coverage of the stock last week, rating it as "outperform," while other analysts have also been promoting the value of the company this month, including those at Nomura, who rate the stock a "buy."

The company announced better-than-expected earnings in April this year and has been trading near its year-to-date high on the Nasdaq, holding above $48.

Despite the ongoing eurozone troubles, this morning's European trading did provide some winners -- and perhaps some European buying opportunities. Indeed, legendary investor Warren Buffett has recently spent more than $1 billion buying the stock of a prominent European large cap. If you want to know why Mr. Buffett has bought into Europe, this special Motley Fool report -- "The One UK Share That Warren Buffett Loves" -- reveals everything, including the price Mr. Buffett paid. You can download the report today for free. But hurry -- the report is available for a limited time only.

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