3 Stocks Set to Beat the S&P Today

LONDON -- European stocks markets are trading flat to lower Tuesday, taking a breath after suffering the largest two-day drop in eight months. Attention is still focused on the EU after ratings agency Moody's lowered its outlook for Germany, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg, suggesting increased chances that Greece will pull out of the eurozone and the need to offer financial support for at-risk peripheral countries. Early premarket trade indicates that U.S. markets are also set to open flat to negative, with the S&P 500 (INDEX: ^GSPC) expected to start the day 0.2% lower.

Despite this lack of direction, there are, as always, a number of individual firms managing to make headway. Here are three American depositary receipts that are set to beat the S&P today.

Grifols (NAS: GRFS)
The Spanish manufacturer of medical materials is up almost 4% today, helped predominantly after analysts at BNP Paribas upgraded their price target on the stock to 29 euros. This comes after Moody's upgraded the company's corporate rating earlier this month from "B1" to "Ba3," and after the company announced its plan to initiate a safety study for its cystic fibrosis medication -- an inhaled formulation of alpha1-proteinase inhibitor -- having received FDA approval to do so.

Nokia (NYS: NOK)
The Finnish handset maker is squeezing out gains Tuesday, up almost 3% on news that the company may implement a new marketing strategy when it unveils its Windows 8 smartphone this autumn, hoping for a more exclusive type of launch in line with those Apple conducts for new iPhones.

Yesterday Nokia's debt rating, having already been at "junk" level in all three major ratings agencies, was downgraded another two notches from "Ba1" to "Ba3" by Moody's, which cited Nokia's increasing losses.

The German software company is up 1.6% in Frankfurt after reporting strong earnings results today. The company said it is maintaining its full-year earnings outlook and expects 2012 operating profit to rise to between 5.05 billion euros and 5.25 billion euros. The company said this was in large part thanks to the success of its cloud-based services. Earlier this year it bought cloud-computing firm SuccessFactors, which it now sees contributing a 10% to 12% increase in revenue from software-related services.

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 European Share Warren Buffett Loves" -- reveals everything, including the price he paid. You can download the report today for free, but hurry -- the report is available for a limited time only.

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