LONDON -- Equity markets are trading slightly higher in Europe for the most part Thursday, helped after minutes from the latest Federal Open Market Committee meeting suggested the central bank will begin new stimulus measures soon if the economic picture does not begin to improve. Gains have been somewhat curtailed, however, with concerns that any new quantitative easing may have only mild success in stimulating the immediate economy. Early pre-market trade has U.S. stocks seeing gains similar to those in Europe, with the S&P 500 (INDEX: ^GSPC ) set to open 0.3% higher.
With this performance, there are a number of individual names coming up far short. Here are three ADRs the S&P should beat today.
Fresenius Medical Care (NYSE: FMS )
The global health care company is down almost 3% in Frankfurt amid speculation that its supervisory board is considering a takeover offer for the hospital operator Rhoen-Klinikum. Fresenius' previous 3.1 billion euro bid failed to gain investor support after another hospital company, Asklepios Kliniken, bought a 5% share in Rhoen on the last day of the offer. Earlier this month, a spokesman for Fresenius, Matthias Link, said the company was still assessing its options regarding the bid.
BBVA (NYSE: BBVA )
Despite the broader return of optimism, BBVA is down 1.3% today. The company's shares continue to be pressured by profit-taking and consolidation of positions after a week of solid gains after Fitch ratings agency removed much of its debt from negative outlook, while at the same time ratings agency Standard and Poor's reduced its rating on the company's "Consumo 3's class A" notes and maintained the rating on the class B paper.
Telefonica (NYSE: TEF )
The Spanish phone company, which operates under the name O2 in the U.K., is down a further 1% today after news this week that the Everything Everywhere joint venture between rival firms Deutsche Telekom and France Telecom (NYSE: FTE ) , who operate under the Orange and T-Mobile brands in the U.K., have gained permission to be the first to operate 4G networks in the U.K. This is expected to give Everything Everywhere a distinct advantage over competitors, who are not expected to be operating this fourth-generation technology until sometime next year.
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.
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