3 Shares the FTSE Should Beat Today

LONDON -- The upbeat week for the FTSE 100 (FTSEINDICES: ^FTSE  ) has come to an end today, as the U.S. fiscal crisis appears to be back on after Republicans have dropped their tax reform proposal. The index of top U.K. stocks is down 0.76% to 5,913 points as of 9 a.m. EST, and now it does not look like it will break its 52-week high of 5,989 before Christmas.

Some constituents of the various FTSE indexes have fallen even further today. Here are three that are dropping.

BAE Systems (LSE: BA  )
You would think that the awarding of a new 2.5 billion pound contract might cause a company's shares to rise, would you not? Well, that's not what happened to BAE Systems, whose shares have dropped 2% to 341 pence after the aerospace and defense engineer announced a new contract with the government of Oman. BAE is to supply the Oman Royal Air Force with 12 Typhoon and eight Hawk trainer aircraft, with deliveries due to commence in 2017.

BP (LSE: BP  ) (NYSE: BP  )
Shares in BP dropped 0.8% after the oil giant announced a new share issue for investors wanting to take their shares as SCRIP -- that is, new shares instead of cash. BP's third-quarter dividend payment is due today, and the firm has issued nearly 73 million new shares to cover it. That might sound a lot, but BP already has about 20 billion shares in issue.

Speaking of dividends, with BP's share price still depressed, current forecasts suggest there will be a total dividend yield of 5% for the year to Dec. 31, rising to 5.3% next year.

Quindell (LSE: QPP  )
Quindell Portfolio, the provider of software and services to the insurance and telecommunications sectors, has seen its shares bouncing up and down of late. Earlier this week the price picked up following a positive trading update, but today it's down 4.3% to 15.7 pence after the firm announced the acquisition of Silverbeck Rymer Solicitors.

The deal was by way of 97 million new Quindell shares plus 12 million pounds in cash.

Finally, how does Britain's ace investor Neil Woodford avoid share price falls? He goes for a strategy of buying solid blue-chip shares paying dependable long-term dividends. And in doing so, he has built a record of beating the FTSE for nine straight years. If you want to see how Woodford manages to beat the market, the free Motley Fool report "8 Shares Held By Britain's Super Investor" takes a look at some of his key holdings. To get your copy, click here while it's still available.


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