The S&P Should Beat These Stocks Today


LONDON -- European equities 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 at-risk peripheral countries will need financial support. 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.

Amid this lackluster performance, a number of individual names are seeing especially dire losses today. Here are three American depositary receipts that the S&P should beat this session.

Banco Santander (NYS: SAN)
The Spanish major is down 2.6% today, having had its U.K. arm tied up in a probe with six other banks, including the Bank of Ireland, looking into the possibility that they breached regulations when selling interest rate swaps to small businesses. This comes as part of an effort by the U.K.'s Financial Service Authority to compensate those customers affected by the breaches. The Bank of Ireland has been trading around 1.1% lower.

Telefonica (NYS: TEF)
Telefonica is down almost 2% in Spain today. The company's corporate bonds are being hit by worry over the broader economic outlook of the country and the addition of several regional governments set to tap Spain's 100 billion euro bailout fund after yields on Spanish sovereign debt spiked to euro-era highs yesterday.

Meanwhile, the company is said to be near closing the sale of its Atento call center division to Bain Capital Partners for a price now suggested to be around 700 million euros. The deal is part of the company's efforts to divest assets in order to reduce its 57 billion euro net debt.

Aviva (NYS: AV)
The U.K.-based insurer and asset manager is seeing a second day of losses Tuesday, down 2% after it announced the closure of its currency desk due to a lack of appetite for the asset class in the current economic environment. This comes as Aviva exits 16 divisions, including U.K.-built annuities and its South Korean unit, aiming to bolster its capital reserves as the sovereign-debt crisis worsens.

As usual, this morning's European trading saw some stocks lose ground -- and perhaps provide some European buying opportunities. Indeed, legendary investor Warren Buffett has recently spent more than $1 billion buying a European large-cap stock that's currently trading well below its 2012 high. If you want to know what Mr. Buffett has bought within 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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