LONDON -- The FTSE 100
But even if the Footsie is up a bit today, there are individual members of the various indexes that are not so lucky. Here are three whose shares the FTSE should beat today.
Online entertainment and gaming operator bwin.party digital slipped 4.2% to 95 pence on the morning of its latest half-year report. Overall revenue is slightly up at 410 million euros (from 398 million euros at the same stage last year), but poker revenue is falling -- down from 105 million euros to 96.4 million euros. The firm's interim pre-tax loss was cut from 35.7 million euros to 15.3 million euros.
Joint chief executives Jim Ryan and Norbert Teufelberger said in today's statement: "Poker is a key area of focus and we are determined to return it to growth." Shares in bwin.party are now down 45% from their February peak of 177 pence.
Torotrak fell 4.4% to 36.3 pence on the news that chief executive Dick Elsy is stepping down and will leave the board. Elsy, who has been at the helm of the transmission systems developer for 10 years, will take up a government post as head of the new "High Value Manufacturing Catapult." We wish him well.
Torotrak shares have now fallen back from a 2011 peak of 62 pence for a near 40% loss, but they're well up on 2009's low of 11 pence -- although the ride has been a bumpy one.
Recruitment specialist Robert Walters fell 3.4% to 185 pence the day after fellow recruiter Hays reported tough business conditions. Though Robert Walters is not due to issue a third-quarter interim update until October, current forecasts suggest a near-50% fall in earnings per share for the full year, and there will surely be fears now that even this could come under pressure. The shares are down 30% since their recent peak of 265 pence in April.
If you want to avoid unwelcome shocks, investing in safe dividend-paying shares the Neil Woodford way is a good way to go. The free Motley Fool report "8 Shares Held By Britain's Super Investor" takes a look at some of his major holdings. Click here to get your free copy, while it's still available.
Investing is by no means easy in today's uncertain economy. That's why we've published " Top Sectors for 2012 " -- our guide to three favorable industries. This free report will be dispatched immediately to your inbox.
Further Motley Fool investment opportunities: