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The Fokker Chronicles



World Markets:
Europe was trading higher thus far today with both the DAX and CAC40 trading up over 1%. The Japanese Nikkei posted a much stronger day finishing up 1.80% on its session while the Hang Seng lost 0.62%. The US dollar added to its early gains this morning following benign business inventory data released earlier. Treasury futures were higher early in the session but off its best levels of the day.

Early closing for the bond market today as we head into a three day weekend. The cash market will close at 2pmEDT while treasury futures will finish at 1pmEDT. Equities will keep a full day today but get the Monday off for the Martin Luther King holiday. At 9:15amEDT, the government will release its data on December Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization. At 9:50amEDT, lookout for the Univeristy of Michigan confidence number. Expectations are for 94.0. Next week the earnings parade gets busier as heavy weights 3M(MMM:NYSE), Bank One(ONE:NYSE), Citigroup(C:NYSE), Johnson and Johnson(JNJ:NYSE), United Tech(UTX:NYSE), Wells Fargo(WFC:NYSE), Advanced Micro(AMD:NYSE), Centex(CTX:NYSE), and Motorola(MOT:NYSE) all kick off our first day back from the holiday.

Brokerage Chatter:

JP Morgan upgraded both Polo Ralph Lauren(RL:NYSE) and MGM Mirage(MGG:NYSE) to overweight from underweight and added both names to its Focus List. Piper Jaffray raised Fairchild Semi(FCS:NYSE) price target to $30 from $25. Wachovia upgraded Hughes Electronics(HS:NYSE) to outperform from market perform. Goldman Sachs upgraded AT&T Wireless(AWE:NYSE), Sprint PCS(PCS:NYSE), and Sprint(FON:NYSE) to in-line from underperform. Deutsche Bank downgraded Allstate(ALL:NYSE) to hold from buy. Wells Fargo reiterated its buy rating and raised its 12-month price target on Alliance Gaming(AGI:NYSE) to $45 from $34.

UBS downgraded Altria(MO:NYSE) to reduce from neutral based on valuation, but raised its target to $49 from $42.50. Morgan Stanley downgraded Johnson & Johnson(JNJ:NYSE) to underweight from equal-weight. Morgan also downgraded Qualcomm(QCOM:NASD) to equal-weight from overweight however, raised its target to $70 from $60. Smith Barney downgraded Veritas Software(VRTS:NASD) and Quest Software(QSFT:NASD) to hold from buy. Smith Barney upped Intl Bus. Mach.(IBM:NYSE) to hold from sell. UBS raised its price target on Cisco Systems(CSCO:NASD) to $33 from $28. WR Hambrecht upped Juniper Networks(JNPR:NASD) to buy from hold with a $40 price target.

Financial Headlines:
Stories :
AMG data said equity funds reported net cash inflows totaling $5.7 billion in the week ended January 14, the largest inflow since last April, with 67% going to Domestic funds.

Texas Instruments(TXN:NYSE) named its new CEO Rich Templeton to become effective May 1st.

General Electric(GE:NYSE) reported EPS of $0.45 on revenues of $37 billion versus first call of $0.45 and $36.26 billion.
Juniper Networks(JNPR:NASD) reported EPS of $0.07 on revenues of $207 million, better than street consensus of $0.05 on $181.77 million revenues.
SunMicro(SUNW:NASD) reported EPS and revenues of a loss of $0.03 on $2.888 billion versus the street estimates of $0.05 on $2.714 billion.
Home Depot(HD:NYSE) boosted its EPS growth guidance to 17-19% from 15-17%.
Abbott Labs(ABT:NYSE) reported in line EPS but guided its 1st quarter below consensus estimates.

Around the world in 80 ticks:
AP news reports that the artic cold temps are expected to continue for the Northeast, including wind chills that could breeze in at 40 below zero that forced many school closings and travel disruptions.

AP news reports that Israel is currently considering a name change for its massive fence that would separate them from the West Bank and other Palestinian areas from a "security fence" to the "Terror Prevention Fence" in an attempt to improve its international image. In related news, Israel has planned on resuming its targeted killings of top Hamas militants and issued a blunt warning to the group's elderly spiritual leader. The Deputy Defense Minister of Israel said today, "He is marked for death and he had better dig deep underground, where he won't be able to tell the difference between day and night."

AP news reported that a Jamaican man residing in Pennsylvania was sentenced to 10 years in prison and could face deportation for using a Caribbean restaurant as his base to sell over a ton a marijuana, sometimes using takeout containers.

According to AP news, a US Airways Express flight from Pittsburgh to State College accidentally landed at the wrong airport. The flight, landed at an airport just 20 miles away from its scheduled arrival port. No word if the airline compensated the eight passengers for the cab fare to get to their correct destinations.

Have a warm weekend.


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