LONDON -- The FTSE 100
Yet individual companies in the FTSE indexes continue to hit new heights every day. Here are three shares that have reached fresh peaks of late.
High street suffering? You wouldn't think so if you took a look at Next, the fashion maestro whose shares are pushing a 52-week high. The price actually reached 3,644 pence at the start of September before falling back a bit, but it has returned above the 36 pound mark again, at 3,608 pence as of 11:30 a.m. EST.
That's a 420% increase from a low of 858 pence in late 2009. The lesson? Sector sentiment is just short-term noise, but concentrating on quality companies is what gets you the big money.
Broadcaster ITV is having a great time, too, having spiked up today to a new 52-week high of 96.3 pence, taking the shares up 45% over the past 12 months. ITV has had a couple of erratic years, with fears about the long-term reliability of advertising revenues causing angst, but this share has still provided investors with a five-bagger since early 2009.
And the shares still don't look too expensive, with forecasts suggesting a price to earnings ratio of around 11 for this year and next. A dividend yield of 3% or so is in the cards.
Intertek provides testing and safety services to a wide range of businesses worldwide. Does that sound like a good business? It clearly looks that way, as the Intertek share price has soared more than fourfold since late 2009 to 2,857 pence today. It's also close to its 52-week high of 2,936 pence. Considering the group's earnings, Intertek is clearly priced as a growth stock.
Investigating companies like these really reinforces the idea that the time to buy shares is when everyone else is scared and selling -- the 2008 and 2009 bottom was a dream come true for those seeking their first million from the stock market.
And the compounding effect of long-term returns can make becoming rich happen sooner than you might think. The Motley Fool report "10 Steps To Making A Million In The Market" takes a realistic look at how to earn large sums. Click here to get your free copy.
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. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.