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The Fokker Chronicles



World Markets:
European markets were firmer today until the weaker US GDP numbers were released earlier. The Spanish IBEX is the laggard in that region losing over 1% so far today. The Japanese Nikkei was able to eek out a gain but the Hang Seng lost 0.33% on its session. Check out Brian Reynolds for more commentary on the economic figures released earlier.

University of Michigan releases its confidence report at 9:50amEDT. Chicago Purchasing Manager report is due out at 10amEDT. Some earnings reports to lookout for next week include Cisco(CSCO:NASD), Taser(TASR:NASD), WebEx(WEBX:NASD), Shell Transport(SC:NYSE), Maxim Integrated(MXIM:NASD), and LM Ericsson(ERICY:NASD).

Brokerage Chatter:
(DAL:NYSE) was cut to underperform from neutral at CSFB. Merrill Lynch downgraded Grainger(GWW:NYSE) to sell from buy. Deutsche upgraded National Semi(NSM:NYSE) to buy from hold. Fitch rating agency upped Advanced Micro Devices(AMD:NYSE) debt to B-. Merrill Lynch downgraded Gilead Sciences(GILD:NADS) to neutral from buy.

Banc of America downgraded Adolph Coors(RKY:NYSE) to neutral from buy. Guidant(GDT:NYSE) was upped to outperform from peer perform at Bear Stearns. JP Morgan removed Omnivision Tech(OVTI:NASD) from its Focus List. However, J.P. Morgan upgraded Yahoo!(YHOO:NASD) to overweight from neutral with a $56 price target and upped Yum Brands(YUM:NYSE) to overweight from neutral. General Motors(GM:NYSE) was cut to in-line over at Goldman Sachs.

Financial Headlines:
Stories :

Bloomberg newswires report that Pixar(PIXR:NASD) has ended its talks with Disney(DIS:NYSE) over an extension of a five picture deal.

General Dynamics(GD:NYSE) won an $8.4 billion multi-year contract for building submarines from 2004 through 2008.

Wendy's(WEN:NYSE) beat by $0.02
Constellation Energy(CEG:NYSE) beat by $0.07.
T. Rowe Price(TROW:NASD) topped estimates by a penny.
Anadarko Petro(APC:NYSE) beat by $0.03.
U.S. Steel(X:NYSE) beat by 5 cents.
Gateway(GTW:NYSE) reported in-line.
Chartered Semi(CHRT:NASD) reports in line.
Intl Rectifier(IRF:NYSE) beats by $0.02
Nortel(NT:NYSE) beat by a penny.

Around the world in 80 ticks:
Reuters reports that Israeli troops have stormed the city of Bethlehem before daybreak following a bus bombing in Jerusalem that killed 10 people. Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, the spiritual leader of Hamas, dished out threats while speaking to reporters today claiming the militant group would kidnap Israeli soldiers in an attempt to exchange them for Palestinian prisoners held by Israel.

Reuters reported that Cuban President Fidel Castro today vowed to die fighting "with a gun in my hand" if America invaded Cuba in an attempt to overthrow his government. Castro didn't elaborate which direction his gun would be pointing however.

AP news reports that Senator John McCain has called for a probe into the US intelligence failures over Iraq.

According to USA Today, for the first time since the 1979 Iranian revolution, a U.S. congressional delegation could be admitted into the country.

Bloomberg newswires report that Microsoft Corp.(MSFT:NASD) will offer a $250,000 reward for information leading to the capture of the person responsible for creating and spreading the most lethal internet virus known as the MyDoom worm. Authorities claim the number of infected computers doubled overnight.

For those betting on the Superbowl this weekend... As of this morning, the New England Patriots were favored by 7 points. Interesting fact espoused by CNBC this morning, if an NFC teams wins the Superbowl, the market has a positive year 78% of the time. So it must be true. The line for the Lingerie Bowl which will take place during the half time activities was a scant 3 points in favor of Team Dream over Team Euphoria.

Random Thought: I don't mind the smell and suffocating crowded nature of a NYC MTA subway train, that's part of the charm with commuting in New York, but if they raised my fare another 50cents, could they get a second train to work on the 8th Avenue line before the market opens?

Have a profitable day.


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