LONDON -- European stocks have started the week in a mixed but somewhat negative session today, seeing little benefit from last week’s central bank interest rate cuts. The situation in the eurozone is looking slightly more upbeat after JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon said the region is moving toward solving its financial crisis, although German Chancellor Angela Merkel also said yesterday that she hasn’t weakened her stance on the need for an oversight body if there is a new EU banking union in place. Early premarket trade has U.S. markets taking on a more negative tone, with the S&P 500 (INDEX: ^GSPC ) set to open 0.3% lower.
Even in this mixed session, however, there are some individual names that are outperforming. Here are three American depositary receipts that are set to beat the S&P today.
ING Groep (NYSE: ING )
The Dutch financial is climbing almost 1.5% today following news that Korea Life Insurance and Manulife Financial were among second-round bidders for ING’s Asian insurance business, showing that demand for the unit is still strong.
ING may now be able to scrap some of its longer-dated interest rate hedges -- securities bought to minimize risk associated with long-term interest rate fluctuations after Dutch regulators said they will be allowing insurers to use more "generous" fixed interest rates to calculate liabilities in the long term and so reduce the need for hedges against that risk.
Vodafone Group (NYSE: VOD )
Vodafone has been trading more than 1.2% higher in London today after weekend news suggested that the company may receive a $4.5 billion dividend from its U.S. venture with Verizon Communications' Verizon Wireless, which in turn Vodafone is likely to pass on to shareholders.
In addition, Vodafone agreed to share its wireless infrastructure in Ireland with Hutchison Whampoa, combining their networks in 2,000 locations and helping to reduce costs for both companies.
Veolia Environnement (NYSE: VE )
Veolia has been seeing some steady gains in Paris today on news that it is now in the advanced stages of selling its U.S. waste management unit, with Highstar Capital, Madison Dearborn Partners, and Estre Ambiental the three remaining bidders in the final round. The deal is expected to be worth $1.5 billion to $2 billion and should be announced within the next two weeks. Veolia shares are trading around 0.7% higher.
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. If you want to know why Mr. Buffett has bought into Europe, this special Motley Fool report -- "The One European Share Warren Buffett Loves" -- reveals everything, including the price he paid. You can download the report today for free. But hurry -- the report is available for a limited time only.
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