LONDON -- After finishing above the 6,600 level for 14 days in a row, the FTSE 100 (FTSEINDICES: ^FTSE ) finally fell below it today, dropping 59 points, or 0.89%, to 6,597 by mid-morning. But even if it should close today at that level, it would still end the month 165 points up on its April 30 close to complete 12 consecutive monthly gains.
But which companies are holding back the FTSE 100 today? We look at three that are slipping.
Shares in Lloyds Banking Group have slipped 0.2% to 62 pence this morning after the bank announced the sale of a portfolio of U.S. residential mortgage-backed securities for £3.3 billion. The sale, to a number of institutions, will bring Lloyds a pre-tax gain of £540 million, with the assets having had a book value of £2.7 billion.
The sale will boost the bank's common-equity tier 1 capital ratio by 47 basis points to a £1.4 billion capital equivalent, and it will also lift its core tier 1 ratio by 33 points to a £950 million equivalent. But even after today's small fall, the Lloyds share price is still up about 140% over the past 12 months.
TUI Travel shares have dropped 1% to 359 pence on the announcement of a proposed purchase of new aircraft. Subject to shareholder approval, the firm has committed to buying 60 new Boeing 737 MAX planes, with options on a further 90. The price tag for the committed 60 planes comes to £4 billion, with delivery scheduled for January 2018 until March 2023.
TUI owns and operates six European airlines with a total of 141 aircraft, and its existing narrow-bodied planes will need to be replaced over the next decade. The new fleet will be significantly more fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly.
Smiths Group (LSE: SMIN )
The Smiths Group share price has had a good year, gaining about 35% over the past 12 months, but it took a 1% dip today after the engineering group responded to press speculation concerning Smiths Medical.
The firm confirmed that it has received a preliminary approach for the division, but at this early stage there is nothing more to add; the approach "may or may not lead to a transaction." The Medical division accounts for nearly 30% of Smiths' turnover, so it would be a significant deal.
Finally, reliable dividends can more than compensate for the day-to-day ups and downs of share prices. So how about a company that's offering a 5% yield and could be set for some nice share-price appreciation, too? It's the subject of our brand-new report "The Motley Fool's Top Income Share For 2013," which you can get completely free of charge -- but it will only be available for a limited period, so click here to get your copy today.