The FTSE 100 (FTSEINDICES: ^FTSE) extended its rally briefly into the beginning of this week before stuttering today as the index fell 0.2%. to 6746 points. The biggest faller among leading shares was Centrica (LSE: CNA.L – news) , which fell 2.5% amid ongoing government scrutiny over energy prices. Among the biggest risers was BHP Billiton (NYSE: BBL – news) , which reported upbeat results today, buoyed by a steep increase in half-year profits.

The near term outlook for the FTSE is broadly positive as investors hope the market will rise slowly assisted by the economic recovery.

Here are some shares that are hitting new highs today:

Hammerson (Other OTC: HMSNF – news)

Hammerson’s (LSE: HMSO) shares rose 2p to 533p today to reach a new 52 week high. The commercial property company yesterday posted a profit increase of more than double to £341m. The group, which owns the Bullring and Brent Cross shopping centres, benefited from improving demand from retailers as consumer spending is set to hit its highest growth rate in a decade.

The firm has its sights on a number of major development projects, with the highlight a new shopping mall in Marseilles, Les Terrases du Port. The mall is set to open in May and should be the largest retail development in France in 2014.

Land Securities (LSE: LAND.L – news)

The share price of Land Securities Group (LSE: LAND), the UK’s largest commercial property firm, added 7p to 1071p today following a 2% rise yesterday. Property is a good barometer for investor confidence and the rise puts it among the top 10 performers in the FTSE 100 this week.

Over the last three years the stock has risen 50% versus 19% for the index. Occupier demand has steadily increased leading to near full occupancy across its portfolio.

IG Group

Shares in IG Group (LSE: IGG (HKSE: 8002-OL.HK – news) ) added 11p to 647p today, which is up 33% on this time last year, and ahead of the 10% gain recorded by the FTSE 100 over same period.

The group, which has a market cap of £2.2bn, also comfortably beat the index over five years, with IG (LSE: IGG.L – news) ‘s share gaining 161% versus 73% for the FTSE.

While short-term gains can play their part in helping you become wealthy, at the core of every portfolio should be companies that have healthy balance sheets, dominant market positions and reliable cash flows.

Five companies that fit the bill are identified in this Motley Fool special report. 

Click here to find out these ‘must own’ stocks for 2014 and beyond.

> Mark does not own shares in any company mentioned.