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3 Shares the FTSE Should Beat Today

LONDON -- The FTSE 100 (INDEX: ^FTSE  ) has flattened off a bit today, falling nine points to 5,901 at the time of writing after a strong run briefly took the index beyond 5,925 earlier in the week. Is this a pause for breath before the FTSE heads on up to challenge its year-high of 5,989? We'll have to wait and see.

But even if the FTSE is going strong, some of its constituent companies aren't. Here are three that are falling back a little and look set to lag the index today.

Man Group (LSE: EMG.L  )
Investment manager Man Group fell 9% today to 84 pence on the release of an interim management statement that told of a net withdrawal of funds for the fifth quarter in a row. Following the continuing lackluster performance of its main fund, clients withdrew $2.2 billion of their money in the three months to the end of September -- after a $1.4 billion net outflow the previous quarter.

The share price had been recovering since July, so the lack of any real sign of improvement is really not what the market wanted to hear.

Low & Bonar (LSE: LWB.L  )
Performance materials specialist Low & Bonar dropped 5% to 54 pence on the news that weakness in Europe will lead full-year performance to come in below current expectations -- though still ahead of last year. Sales of the firm's yarns, used for things such as artificial sports surfaces, are significantly lower than last year.

Despite a strong rise earlier this year, the shares have been volatile, but with a forecast dividend of more than 4% plus a forward P/E of nine, the price could still be cheap -- even if those forecasts do need to be slightly amended now.

Losses from sectors hit by the financial squeeze can hurt your portfolio, and it can be well worth watching the experts who find solid and dependable shares time after time. Neil Woodford is one such expert, and the free Motley Fool report "8 Shares Held By Britain's Super Investor" explains his investing logic. Click here to get your copy.

UBM saw an abrupt reversal of its recent gains today, falling 5% after announcing the acquisition of a 70% stake in EFEM, the organizer of Turkey's biggest baby-products trade show.

The midcap also provided an interim update telling us of a 5% rise in underlying revenue for the nine months to Sept. 30 and a 19% rise in adjusted operating profits. That looks pretty good, so why the price fall? It's hard to tell, but after a 50% rise this year, maybe a bit of profit-taking contributed.

If you want to look for sectors that should end the year well, "The Market's Top Sectors," the Motley Fool guide to three favorable industries, should help. The free report will be dispatched immediately to your inbox.

Further Motley Fool investment opportunities:

Alan Oscroft does not own any shares mentioned in this article. 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.

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