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The Fokker Chronicles

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World Markets:
Europe was modestly stronger today with the US markets back in action this morning. In Asia, the Japanese Nikkei gained 0.60% while the Hang Seng posted a strong performance adding nearly 2.5% on its session. The US dollar trended lower this morning however US equities were in counter trend mode and were poised for a higher start to trading today.

Heads-up:
Nothing to note on the economic front but earnings reports continue strong after the bell today. Advance Micro Devices(AMD:NYSE), Centex(CTX:NYSE), Motorola(MOT:NYSE), and PMC Sierra(PMCS:NASD) all report this afternoon. Lookout tomorrow for earnings from Fannie Mae(FNM:NYSE), JP Morgan(JPM:NYSE), Lucent Tech(LU:NYSE), Merrill Lynch(MER:NYSE), Computer Associates(CA:NYSE), eBay(EBAY:NASD), Qualcomm(QCOM:NASD), Siebel Systems(SEBL:NASD), Starbucks(SBUX:NASD), and Xilinx(XLNX:NASD).

President Bush's State of the Union address tonight before a nationally televised audience is scheduled for 9 p.m.EST. The RBC capital markets banking and insurance conference also kicks off today.

Brokerage Chatter:
Schwab Soundview upgraded Celestica(CLS:NYSE) and Solectron(SLR:NYSE) to outperform from neutral and raised its price targets to $25 from $14 and to $10 from $7, respectively. Soundview upped Advanced Micro Devices(AMD:NYSE) to outperform from neutral and raised its price target to $23 from $16 CIBC upgraded Check Point Software(CHKP:NASD) to outperform from sector perform and raised its target to $27 from $20. WR Hambrecht upgraded Atmel(ATML:NASD) to buy from hold and raised its 2004 estimates above consensus raising its price target as well to $10.50 from $5.50. Goldman Sachs made Mercury Interactive(MERQ:NASD) as a top idea for 2004.

Wachovia upgraded Lucent Tech(LU:NYSE) and Nortel(NT:NYSE) to outperform from underperform. Smith Barney upgraded Adobe(ADBE:NASD) to hold from sell. Barron's over the weekend highlighted concerns over lofty valuations for the mining stocks and claimed its cyclical behavior suggests investors need to be more nimble to play them. Barron's also gave some positive mention to Pepsico(PEP:NYSE).

Financial Headlines:
Stories :
Bank of Canada lowered its key interest rates this morning by a ¼ of a point.

According to UK paper The Times, Jacques Delors, former President of the European Commission added to fuel to the Euro controversy yesterday by saying the launch of the Euro was flawed and added that Britain was justified to not join the single currency.

Over the weekend, Bloomberg newswires reported that McDonald's(MCD:NYSE) has officially cut its ties with Kobe Bryant by not renewing his endorsement deal.

According to the New York Times, Bank ONE(ONE:NYSE)/JP Morgan(JPM:NYSE) and James Dimon could possibly be considering additional acquisitions once the latest merger has been fully integrated. Speculators say a retail brokerage outfit could be in view for the bank which many feel is missing from the combined company. One name that has been tossed around suggests that among other brokers, Lehman Brothers(LEH:NYSE) could be a potential target.

CBS Marketwatch reported that yesterday, both TD Waterhouse, a unit of Toronoto Dominion(TD:NYSE), and eTrade(ET:NYSE) have ended merger talks as a result of an inability to agree upon terms of a deal.

The New York Times reports that while China's economy looks to be as invincible as the Japanese, Southeast Asian and American economies appeared to look in years past, the recent excesses resulting from a fury of factory construction, speculative cash inflows, and soaring growth in bank loans suggests the economy and more specifically the investment side of the country is in a bubble.

According to CBS Marketwatch, Circuit City (CC:NYSE) will sell its private-label credit card operations to Bank One (ONE:NYSE). The deal is valued at par value of its receivables. Bank One will offer the private-label and co-branded credit cards to both new and existing Circuit City customers. CC expects to record an after-tax loss of about $10 million, or 5 cents per share from the deal.

USA today reports that Cingular Wireless has made a formal offer to buy AT&T Wireless (AWE:NYSE) over the weekend in an all-cash deal creating the nation's largest cell phone carrier.

According to Digitimes, Intel(INTC:NASD) plans to cut its P4 price ahead of schedule.

Earnings:
Citigroup(C:NYSE) beat by $0.01 on revenues of $20.15 billion versus the $19.92 billion consensus.
Johnson & Johnson(JNJ:NYSE) beat by a penny.
US Bancorp(USB:NYSE) reported lighter revenues of $3.11 billion versus the $3.31 billion consensus.
Bank One(ONE:NYSE) beat by $0.02 but reported lighter than expected reveneues.
General Motors(GM:NYSE) beats by 26 cents and guided its 1st quarter above consensus estimates.
Ameritrade(AMTD:NASD) beat by a penny and raised its 2004 guidance above forecasts.
United Tech(UTX:NYSE) beat by $0.03.
Providian(PVN:NYSE) beat by $0.06.
3M Company(MMM:NYSE) beat by a penny and guided its forecast in line for its 1st quarter and 2004.
Unisys(IS:NYSE) beat by a penny.
Continental Air(CAL:NYSE) beat by 26 cents.


Around the world in 80 ticks:
Speaking to a joint session of Congress and to millions watching on television tonight, according to Reuters President Bush will stress his commitment to America's security and economic prosperity despite the continuing threats from Al Qaeda and the persistence of a seemingly jobless recovery.

According to Bloomberg, citing a report by Western secret services, a German newspaper said that Germany faces an ``immediate threat'' of terrorist attacks.

MSNBC reports a stunning victory in Iowa for Senator Kerry following a dismal performance in the weeks leading up to the caucuses. Kerry even topped Howard Dean by a better than three to one margin. North Carolina Senator John Edwards claimed the number two spot in Iowa while third-place finisher Dean will now face a must-win situation when the Democrat hopefuls square off again in New Hampshire next week.

Have a profitable day.

Fokker


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