3 Stocks Set to Beat the S&P Today

LONDON -- European equity markets are trading lower again Wednesday, with all eyes turning to the annual meeting of central bankers at Jackson Hole, Wyo. The notable absence of the European Central Bank's Mario Draghi due to a "heavy workload" has many hoping the ECB will announce strong action to address the European debt crisis at its own meeting next week.

The fears surrounding the EU debt problem continue today, however, after the Spanish region of Catalonia said it will ask the national government for a 5 billion euro emergency credit line as it struggles to refinance its debts. So far, early premarket trade is offering little insight into U.S. stocks, with the S&P 500 (INDEX: ^GSPC  ) set to open flat.

Despite this weakness, there are still a number of companies outperforming. Here are three American depositary receipts that are set to beat the S&P today.

ASML Holding (Nasdaq: ASML  )
Following some selling pressure yesterday, ASML has bounced back today and is up more than 1% after Samsung Electronics said it would buy a 3% stake in the company for 503 million euros and invest a further 276 million euros in its research and development department. Samsung now joins a list of investors in ASML that includes Intel and TSMC, which, combined with Samsung, now hold 23% of the company after it announced a co-investment program in July with which it seeks to accelerate product development.

Reed Elsevier (NYSE: RUK  )
Reed is also up more than 1% today after Israeli translation and dictionary software company Babylon, of which Reed is the largest shareholder, rocketed 14% in Tel Aviv amid speculation the company would list its share in the U.S., raising the valuation of the company. This came as Reed and Noam Lanir canceled an agreement regarding the appointment of directors at the company, opening the way for them to have a dual listing.

Total (NYSE: TOT  )
The French oil and energy major is up 0.8% today after Bulgaria signed a five-year contract with the company, allowing it to explore for natural gas in the deep waters off the Bulgarian coastline of the Black Sea. Meanwhile, domestically the company took a mild hit after the French government said it will not tap shale energy resources until clean technologies are invented to replace the current hydraulic fracturing techniques.

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 Intel. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of TOTAL and Intel. 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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