3 Stocks Set to Beat the S&P Today

LONDON -- European equity markets are seeing a positive session Thursday, boosted after data overnight showed Chinese inflation had slowed for a fourth consecutive month, promoting hopes that the Asian giant will begin to do more to stimulate its economy. This came as Chinese data also showed factory output slowing in the month, seemingly proving the need to increase growth efforts. U.S. indexes are set to follow their European counterparts today, although the moves may be somewhat more muted, with premarket trade showing the S&P 500 (INDEX: ^GSPC  ) set to open 0.2% higher.

Within today's positive session, there are, as always, some individual names outperforming. Here are three American depositary receipts that are set to beat the S&P today.

Nokia (NYSE: NOK  )
The Finnish phone maker is seeing one of the best performances on the continent Thursday, up 7.3% after it announced it will sell its Qt app-tools unit to Digia, moving away from its own software creation efforts and becoming more reliant on products from Microsoft (NYSE: MSFT  ) . The unit was originally bought in 2008 to develop applications for Symbian and MeeGo operating systems on Nokia phones, but the company has long since stopped using this software in favor of Microsoft Windows Phone.

Aegon (NYSE: AEG  )
The Dutch insurer is up 5.1% today after reporting stronger-than-expected earnings results. The company said second-quarter net income climbed to 254 million euros thanks to a 27% jump in sales, far outstripping analyst estimates of around 88 million euros. The report showed that underlying pretax profit in the Americas unit accounted for more than 75% of total earnings, itself growing 8% to 339 million euros.

The company said it has been able to counter low interest rates and European uncertainty by moving to products that are less exposed to volatility and adjusting prices -- moves which Aegon believes should allow it to post an annual 7% to 10% growth rate in pretax profit until 2015.

Randgold Resources (NYSE: GOLD  )
Randgold is seeing another day of gains Thursday, up 2.7% in London after it reported first-half profits rocketing 41% year on year, thanks to a record performance at its flagship Loulo-Gounkoto mine. The company said production increased by 27% in the quarter, resulting in a 36% increase in profit to $141.9 million.

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 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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Karl Loomes does not own any share mentioned in this article. The Motley Fool owns shares of Microsoft. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Microsoft. Motley Fool newsletter services formerly recommended Microsoft. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended creating a bull call spread position in Microsoft. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.


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