The S&P Should Beat These Stocks Today


LONDON -- Stocks are trading lower again in Europe Wednesday, with attention turning to the annual meeting of central bankers at Jackson Hole, Wyo. The notable absence of the European Central Bank's Mario Draghi, officially due to a "heavy workload," has many hoping the ECB will announce strong action to address the European debt crisis at its own meeting next week.

The fears surrounding the EU debt problem continue today, however, after the Spanish region of Catalonia said it will ask the national government for a 5 billion euro emergency credit line as it struggles to refinance its debts. So far, early premarket trade is offering little insight into U.S. stocks, with the S&P 500 (INDEX: ^GSPC) set to open flat.

Even amid this lackluster performance, there are some individual names doing far worse. Here are three American depositary receipts the S&P should beat today.

Nokia (NYS: NOK)
The phone maker is once again seeing some of the largest moves in the market, this time down 6.1% after the recent rally offered investors an opportunity to lock in profit in the face of an uncertain future. Nokia's stock has climbed more than 25% in August, not including today's slide, thanks to a series of upbeat news regarding the release of its latest smartphone early next month -- ahead of the new iPhone release by Apple -- and, more recently, the U.S. District Court ruling that rival firm Samsung breached patents and may have to recall phones on sale.

Rio Tinto (NYS: RIO)
The mining major is down more than 2.6% Wednesday as broader weakness in metals prices and a risk-off attitude among miners weakens the sector as a whole. The company felt additional pressure when its credit default swaps -- effectively a measure of risk that the company will default on its bonds -- surged to a two-month high today as fears of weakening global demand and economic growth squeeze Rio Tinto's profits.

France Telecom (NYS: FTE)
France's national phone company is also down 2.6% today, hit as another French mobile-phone operator, Bouygues Telecom, reported very disappointing earnings, casting doubt over the broader profitability of other firms such as France Telecom. Bouygues had to cut its outlook for 2012, as it was forced to cut prices and lost customers to new entrants into the market -- a situation that France Telecom has also been facing.

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 -- the report is 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 Apple and France Telecom. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Apple and France Telecom. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended creating a bull call spread position in Apple. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

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