3 Shares the FTSE 100 Should Beat Today

LONDON -- The FTSE 100 (FTSEINDICES: ^FTSE  ) perked up again this morning, breaking back above the 6,300 level in early trading. As of 8 a.m. EST, it has fallen back a little to 6,306 points, but that is still 29 points up on the day. Will general economic optimism take the index to one last new high for the week? Well, there's half a day left, and that can be a long time in the markets sometimes.

Meanwhile, not everyone is prospering every day, and there are always some shares in a funk. Here are three constituents of the various FTSE indexes on the way down today.

Tate & Lyle (LSE: TATE  )
Shares in Tate & Lyle took a tumble, dropping 2.3% to 794 pence in response to the firm's latest interim update. Over the three months to Dec. 31, adjusted pre-tax profit was lower than in the same period last year due to changes in fixed costs -- but that was already expected. However, we also heard that a fungus infection has damaged some of the company's crops and will knock 7 million pounds off the bottom line.

But the full year still sounds like it's going according to plan, with the company telling us, "Despite facing a number of headwinds and before the impact of exchange rate movements, we expect to make modest progress this financial year."

Sterling Energy (LSE: SEY  )
Sterling Energy shares have slipped 3.3% to 37 pence after the oil and gas explorer released bad news on its Sangaw North production-sharing contract in Kurdistan. After examining 2D seismic data acquired during drilling in 2012, the company has decided that there is insufficient potential to justify further exploration and will withdraw from the contract.

Although Sterling shares rose by around 30% in the early part of 2012, those gains have been given up, and the price is now flat over the past 12 months.

Nautilus (LSE: NUS  )
If shareholders in Sterling Energy haven't had a great time this year, those who own Nautilus Minerals are far worse off, with the share price having plummeted by more than 80% over the past year. And the latest blow is news that Nautilus's AIM listing is to be canceled and the firm will maintain only a listing in Toronto.

The company says its poor liquidity does not justify the maintenance of an AIM listing, which is one of the risks of investing in the poorer-liquidity reaches of the less-regulated Alternative Investment Market. The result is a 25.7% fall in the price to 22.3 pence.

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