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LONDON -- European stocks have started the week in the red Monday, seeing a fourth consecutive day of losses and taking direction from the Asian markets after Japan posted disappointing machinery orders numbers overnight. This comes as concerns about economic growth continue to linger following the slightly weaker-than-expected nonfarm payroll numbers Friday, with early premarket trade showing the S&P 500 (INDEX: ^GSPC ) set to open 0.5% lower.
Despite this weakness, however, there are still a number of companies managing to perform well. Here are three American depository receipts set to beat the S&P today.
Telecom Italia (NYSE: TI )
The Italian telecoms major has been climbing more than 3% in Europe this morning after it announced a tender offer to buy back up to 500 million euros' worth of bonds Friday as part of an effort to proactively manage the company's forthcoming debt obligations.
This news follows concerns that many European companies may face funding problems after the eurozone credit crisis pushed sovereign and corporate bond yields higher, particularly in the peripheral countries. Telecom Italia last issued 1.5 billion euros in three-year and six-year paper in June, for which it said it received a good order book, with the total issue having an average yield of 5.462% -- below expectations at the time.
National Bank of Greece (NYSE: NBG )
The Greek bank is making good headway in Europe this morning, trading around 2.9% higher after Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras won a vote of confidence in his government today. This high-beta stock has seen its future strongly tied with the broader prospects for Greece during the recent turmoil, and today's move secures its outlook a bit more.
Samaras' vote of confidence provides the political support he needs to confront the EU in an effort to ease the terms of the country's bailout after it won the vote 171-121 through the backing of a number of left-wing parties.
Royal Bank of Scotland (NYSE: RBS )
This taxpayer-backed bank is trading around 1.2% higher in London today despite ongoing banking-sector weakness resulting from the LIBOR-fixing scandal and investigations taking place in the U.S. and the U.K. which encompass RBS.
The strength comes after the company suggested it is making efforts to recover more than 140 million pounds through the sale of 15 high-value residencies in Grosvenor Crescent, three years after seizing the properties from an insolvent developer. The bank suffered 30 billion pounds' worth of defaulted commercial-property loans as the financial crisis hit Britain.
Despite the ongoing eurozone troubles, this morning's European trading did provide some winners -- and perhaps some European buying opportunities. Indeed, legendary investor Warren Buffett has recently spent more than $1 billion buying the stock of a prominent European large cap.
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