3 Shares That Should Beat The FTSE 100 Today: Barclays PLC, Persimmon plc & Reckitt Benckiser Group Plc

The FTSE 100 (FTSEINDICES: ^FTSE) edged marginally lower this morning, by 6p to 6,560p, or 0.1%. The index was led down by the technology company Smiths Group, which was the biggest faller on poor financial results.

Today is Budget day. A year ago the UK was on the brink of another recession. At the start of 2014 the UK economy is in a more buoyant position, with falling inflation and projected growth that should outstrip the economies of many Western nations.Three Penny

As a result, there probably won’t be much movement in the market until later today after the Budget speech.

In other economic news, there will be a new pound coin in 2017, based on the old threepenny bit (pictured right). Which is most exciting! — although that depends on how low your threshold for joy is.

Here are some shares that should beat the market today:


barclaysThe top blue-chip riser this morning is Barclays  (LSE: BARC) (NYSE: BCS.US), which us up 7p to 243p, or 3%. Barclays yesterday announced that share awards worth £32m to be paid to twelve executives.

Proof, if ever it was needed, that investor sentiment doesn’t necessarily correlate with wider public feeling.

Much scorn was directed Barclays after it announced its bonus pool increased 10%, despite performance slumping in 2013, with profits down by almost a third. Antony Jenkins, the chief executive, would argue he’s paying the going market rate to hold on to his best employees.


PersimmonShares in Persimmon (LSE: PSN) increased nearly 2% making it another top riser this morning. The housebuilder’s  shares have been bolstered after the government decided to extend its controversial Help To Buy scheme.

This scheme has benefitted all the housebuilding companies, with Barratt Developments being promoted to the FTSE 100 in the latest reshuffle, while Taylor Wimpey narrowly missed out.

The sustainability of the boom in the housing market was called into question by the shadow chancellor, Ed Balls, this weekend. He commented to the BBC: “If you boost demand with Help to Buy and don’t do enough on supply, the price goes up, it’s harder to get into the housing market, the economy becomes more unbalanced and the cost of living crisis gets deeper”

Reckitt Benckiser

reckitt.benckiserReckitt Benckiser (LSE: RB) is a company that has had some short term fizz recently, and this morning the share price is up 81p to 4,894p, making it the third placed blue-chip riser. The consumer goods business, which owns brands such as Nurofen, Vanish and Clearasil, reportedly has up to £12bn to spend on new assets.

The investment bank Merrill Lynch recently retained its ‘buy’ position on the stock, noting that potential acquisition targets could fit into Reckitt’s health portfolio, such as the painkillers Advil and Panadol.

How to beat the market

Of course, if you invest like we here at the Motley Fool encourage, then it's often best to ignore the day to day machinations of the market. Rather, the long-term picture is what's important.

Investing in solid companies that pay solid dividends is one way you can try to beat the market. If you'd like to know five of our 'must own' stocks for 2014 and beyond simply click here to receive your copy of "The Fools Five Shares To Retire On".

This report is completely free, and comes with no obligation.

Mark does not own shares in any company mentioned.