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LONDON -- European equity markets have started the week on the back foot today as the optimism and subsequent rally following the U.S. Fed's announcement of QE3 loses impetus. This was directed from the outset by weak overnight trading in China, where concerns surrounding slowing growth and poor corporate results pressured shares. Meanwhile, in the West, the prospect of pumping yet more money into the economy has raised the very real concern that inflationary pressure may sneak up on us while we are focusing on growth. U.S. futures have Wall Street set to follow the European markets today, with the S&P 500 (INDEX: ^GSPC ) down 0.2%.
With this, there are a number of companies in Europe that are seeing especially dire performance. Here are three American depositary receipts the S&P should beat today.
ArcelorMittal (NYSE: MT )
The steelmaker is down more than 2% today after analysts at UBS downgraded rival firm ThyssenKrupp (NASDAQOTH: TYEKY.PK) on fears that overcapacity will hurt the industry in Europe. This sparked concern that Arcelor will be subject to the same pressures. Notably, the note from UBS said the market got "overexcited" by a potential Steel America disposal, therefore many steelmaking majors could be overpriced.
France Telecom (NYSE: FTE )
The French telecom national is down almost 2% in Paris today after Morgan Stanley downgraded its stock outlook from "equal weight" to "underweight," suggesting that a significant mobile-phone earnings decline is yet to come. The company today announced that its Jordan Telecommunications unit has appointed Jean-Francois Thomas as its new CEO, replacing Nayla Khawam, who will now move to Paris and be in charge of developing new business streams.
Vodafone (Nasdaq: VOD )
The mobile-phone operator is down 1% in London today after its CEO said it may be making a provision on its books to cover a potential tax bill in India of up to $2.2 billion. An amendment to the country's tax law made Vodafone potentially liable for the bill, but so far the company had resisted setting aside the funds to pay it. This now makes the likelihood that Vodafone will have to pay some, if not all of the bill, more likely.
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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