Investors, as a collective whole, are known for having notoriously short attention spans. No sooner have they found one issue on which to pontificate, they're already onto the next. Take, for example, the sudden shift in focus from the Fed's stimulus package to Europe's economic uncertainty.

According to Quincy Crosby, a strategist with Prudential Financial, it owes to investor ennui: "Quite frankly, people have gotten bored hearing about QE2. They've gotten bored with the Fed pushing QE2, they've gotten bored with the criticism."

Last week's G20 summit of world leaders was a powerful reminder of the unsolved European debt crisis, raising fear that Europe's woes could have a global reach.

Add to that the expectation of tightening measures to curb powerhouse China's runaway growth, and suddenly, QE2 is yesterday's news. And the positive impact it was supposed to have is failing to materialize.

In a nutshell, "QE2 was supposed to send the dollar down. Instead, it's going up. Interest rates were supposed to go down. Instead, they've gone up," as Brian Gendreau, chief market strategist at Financial Network sums it up.

It's easy to get distracted and discouraged by short-term fluctuations in the market. Which is why it's often more productive to extend your timeline. In the short term, concerns over currency and debt remain at the forefront of everyone's mind. But Gary Flam, portfolio manager at Bel Air Investment Advisory reassures that, "this is just the ebb and flow of a sideways market." And Michelle Gibley, senior market strategist at Charles Schwab says that in the long-run, her firm is bullish.

Institutional investors often favor a long-term perspective, so we wondered, how do they view the current trouble in Europe -- which European stocks are being snapped up by the smart money?

Big money managers, who have to do their homework, seem to believe that short-term concerns present an opportunity in some of these European companies. What do you think? (Click here to access free interactive tools to analyze these ideas.)

Institutional data sourced from Reuters. The list has been sorted by change in institutional ownership over the past three months.

Company

Industry

Shares Held by Inst. Investors Today

Shares Held by Inst. Investors 3 Months Ago

% Change in Inst. Ownership

Aviva (NYSE: AV)

Life Insurance (United Kingdom)

2,716,895

1,415,950

91.88%

The Governor and Company of The Bank of Ireland (NYSE: IRE)

Banking (Ireland)

7,994,272

4,227,243

89.11%

FLY Leasing Limited (NYSE: FLY)

Rental & Leasing Services (Ireland)

8,902,571

5,643,218

57.76%

National Grid (NYSE: NGG)

Gas Utilities (United Kingdom)

14,601,183

9,398,776

55.35%

Amarin Corporation (Nasdaq: AMRN)

Drug Manufacturers-Other (Ireland)

47,667,378

32,616,772

46.14%

Intercontinental Hotels Group (NYSE: IHG)

Lodging (United Kingdom)

10,986,346

7,524,913

46.00%

Interactive Chart: Press Play to compare annual returns of all the stocks mentioned above.


Kapitall's Eben Esterhuizen and Alicia Sellitti do not own shares of any companies mentioned.

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