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Why Vodafone Group plc, ARM Holdings plc and Barclays PLC Should Beat The FTSE 100 Today

The FTSE 100 (FTSEINDICES: ^FTSE) is currently up 9 points to 6,822 and it looks as if the index is being pulled towards an all time high. The last time this happened, mind, poor Chinese manufacturing data and a plunge in the value of Argentina’s peso resulted in a frenzied emerging-markets sell-off and the index plummeted nearly 300 points.

Blue-chip companies have charged into emerging-markets in recent years, searching for new growth opportunities. Giants like Diageo and Unilever were hit by slowing demand and weak currencies in countries like Brazil, Russia and Indonesia.

As it is, investors are in a bright mood today, despite some uneasy economic data this week. Whether this is irrational or not remains to be seen, but you never know — maybe the market will revisit its recent highs sooner than expected.

We could be on track for the FTSE 7,000 this year after all. 

Vodafone

vodafoneEarlier this week shareholders in Vodafone (LSE: VOD) found out the details of the £50bn cash and shares return from the Verizon Wireless sale. Vodafone’s share price has increased by 2% to 234p so far today, making it the top riser among the blue-chips, after UBS issued a buy note and raised its target price for the company.

The windfall that shareholders will receive should give the market a nice boost, as the proceeds are reinvested in other FTSE 100 companies. But don’t expect that to happen straight away, as the largest return is being distributed to institutional investors, who will wait for the optimum time to reinvest their money.

ARM

Google Glass

ARM (LSE: ARM) is in the top 3 risers today, adding 16p to 963p. The chip maker posted a 19% profit increase earlier in February, at £95.5m, which was broadly in line with expectations. ARM’s customers include the likes of Apple and Samsung, who both endured disappointing sales of their flagship mobile devices over the recent holiday season.

With the market for high-end smartphones saturated, the big technology companies are looking towards wearable tech, which should soon become mainstream. ARM is the market leader when it comes to producing the kind of slimline microprocessors these devices will use, so the company’s shares could yet rise higher. 

Barclays

barclaysTo round out our look at some of the shares beating the market today, we’ll now check in with Barclays  (LSE: BARC) (NYSE: BCS.US), which was among the top 10 movers, adding 3p to 258p. But the share price of the bank still has some way to go before it recovers fully from the announcement that 2013 profits were down 33%.

The share price is down 20p since those figures were made public. That said, Barclays is still a global banking giant and, on a P/E of 8, it looks pretty cheap right now. 

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> Mark does not own shares in any company mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares in Unilever.