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LONDON -- European were initially buoyed at the open by potentially positive news from China, but they soon turned around before the U.S. open to sink well into negative territory. The drop came as U.S. futures declined following some disappointing earnings results, while the telecommunications sectors in Europe saw sharp selling pressure due to mildly negative news from some large names. 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 a fraction lower.
Still, the S&P could easily beat a number of individual names. Here are three American depositary receipts that are set to underperform today.
France Telecom (NYSE: FTE )
The French phone operator is down almost 2% in Paris amid news that its debt rating may be lowered by Moody's, which downgraded its outlook on FTE's current "A3" rating from stable to negative. The agency said this was due mainly to concerns that competition with discount operator Iliad will make it tougher to reduce operating expenses.
BBVA (NYSE: BBVA )
The Spanish bank is seeing another day of losses Thursday, down 1.3% as it feels ongoing pressure from last week's announcement that profit fell 58% in the quarter. BBVA noted at the time that these losses were due to compliance with the Spanish government's requirement to book real-estate losses, noting that it has now placed 1.43 billion euros of the 4.6 billion euro provisions ordered by the government to purge the real-estate loans.
Telefonica (NYSE: TEF )
The Spanish phone company is down more than 1% today despite a report saying the company won a 448 million euro contract to provide broadband connections and fixed-line phone calls to the Catalan regional government for the next 10 years. The report in El Economista also reported that Vodafone Group (NYSE: VOD ) won the contract to provide the regional government's 23,000 mobile phone lines. Vodafone has been trading almost 1% lower in London.
As usual, this morning's European trading saw some stocks lose ground -- and perhaps provide some European buying opportunities. Indeed, legendary investor Warren Buffett has recently spent more than $1 billion buying a European large-cap stock that's currently trading well below its 2012 high. If you want to know what Buffett has bought within 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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