The S&P Should Beat These Stocks Today


LONDON -- Equity markets are set to end the week on a positive note Friday, buoyed by upbeat retail sales and building-permits numbers from the U.S. yesterday. In addition, some confidence has returned to European peripheral countries, with Spanish 10-year yield falling to the lowest point in six weeks. This owes largely to comments by German Chancellor Angela Merkel supporting the ECB's insistence on conditionality in return for its assistance in reducing sovereign borrowing costs. Futures trading has U.S. stocks looking set to open on a more uncertain note, with the S&P 500 (INDEX: ^GSPC) seen near flat in premarket trade.

Amid this lackluster performance for U.S. futures, European trade shows there are a number of stocks seeing even more dire performances. Here are three American depositary receipts the S&P should outperform today.

Smith & Nephew (ISE: SN.L) (NYS: SNN)
The maker of medical technology is down almost 2% in London after the U.K. health regulator said it is awaiting more information about the company's Exogen bone-healing device before it recommends its use by the National Health Service. The device treats bone fractures by emitting ultrasound waves, a technology that has had its validity questioned after evidence that it could repair unhealed, short-term breaks proved inconclusive.

Sanofi (NYS: SNY)
The pharmaceutical major is down 1.5% in Paris, pressured by profit-taking after a relatively strong stock performance this week. The company has been making steady gains since announcing earlier this month that it won U.S. clearance for its drug Zaltrap, which treats patients with advanced colorectal cancer. The FDA approved its use in combination with chemotherapy as a second-line treatment for patients whose cancer has spread to other parts of their bodies.

France Telecom (NYS: FTE)
The French national phone provider is down 1% Friday as news emerged that it has submitted a bid for mobile-phone licenses in Romania, along with Hellenic Telecommunications, Vodafone Group, and two Romanian companies. The country aims to raise about 700 million euros in revenue from extending mobile-phone licenses through 2029, with the auction itself expected to take place next month.

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 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 -- it's available for a limited time only.

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Karl Loomes does not own any share mentioned in this article. The Motley Fool owns shares of Smith & Nephew and France Telecom.Motley Fool newsletter serviceshave recommended buying shares of France Telecom and Vodafone Group. The Motley Fool has adisclosure policy. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe thatconsidering a diverse range of insightsmakes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter servicesfree for 30 days.

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