3 Shares the FTSE 100 Should Beat Today

LONDON -- The FTSE 100 (FTSEINDICES: ^FTSE  ) had a dramatic day yesterday, soaring past the 6,000 level for a 130-point gain. And today, perhaps unsurprisingly, it's a good bit more settled, standing six points up at 6,033 at the time of writing.

But even if the FTSE is rising, there are always individual constituents of the various indexes that are falling. Here are three that are dropping today:

Bellzone (LSE: BZM  )
Bellzone Mining has had a poor 12 months, with its share price having slid since early last year, and today brought more disappointment. Although the company announced its first iron-ore shipment from its Forecariah joint venture in the Republic of Guinea -- the first iron ore exported from the country since 1966 -- the share price fell 9.7% to 14.7 pence.

The poor response may have been due to chief executive Glenn Baldwin's statement that "we have been informed that the transhipping system did not perform as expected."

Nighthawk (LSE: HAWK  )
A production and drilling update from Nighthawk Energy led the price to fall 8.8% to 5 pence. Although the second half went well and led to record production figures, the shut-in of two wells due to bad weather took the shine off things and was probably behind the price fall.

But overall, Nighthawk's shares have been doing pretty well and are up about 75% over the past 12 months.

John Menzies (LSE: MNZS  )
John Menzies shares slipped back a little today, dropping 0.8% to 628 pence after the firm released a pre-close update ahead of full-year results due in March. Things have continued pretty much as outlined in the company's interim management statement in November, and today we got confirmation that full-year results should be in line with current expectations.

Current forecasts suggest fairly flat earnings this year, but with the expected dividend yield at 4% and the shares on a price-to-earnings ratio of less than nine, they could well be worth a second look.

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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