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The Fokker Chronicles



World Markets:
World markets remained firmer this morning as the German Dax led the pack with a 1.60% gain. In Japan, they were given the day off while the Hang Seng was open and posted a modest 0.22% gain. US equities were pointing to a higher open while US treasuries are closed in observance of Columbus Day.

With the bulk of the economic data not 'till later in the week, the earnings pack will take center stage tomorrow morning. Columbus Day will leave US equities to trade alone today as the US bond market observes the holiday.

Brokerage Chatter:
Piper Jaffray raised Applied Materials(AMAT:NASD) their 2004 EPS est to $0.50 from $0.45. Soundview upgraded Altera(ALTR:NASD) and downgraded Texas Instruments(TXN:NYSE). Lehman Brothers raised its view of the Infrastructure & System Mgmt Software group to positive from neutral. Individually, Lehman upgraded Veritas(VRTS:NASD) and Computer Associates(CA:NYSE) to overweight from equal-weight, and upgraded BMC Software(BMC:NYSE) to equal-weight from underweight.

CIBC upgraded Marriott (MAR:NYSE) to sector performer from sector underperformer. Travelers Property(TAP.B:NYSE) was added to JP Morgan's Focus List. Micron Tech(MU:NYSE) was downgraded at Bank of America to neutral from buy and cut its target to $11 from $19.
AFLAC(AFL:NYSE) was upped to overweight from equal weight at Morgan Stanley and had its price target raised to $39 from $36.

Solomon Brothers downgraded eBay(EBAY:NASD) to sell from hold and cut its target to $48 from $55. FedEx(FDX:NYSE) was upped to buy at Merrill Lynch. Morgan Stanley downgraded UNUM Corp(UNM:NYSE) to underweight from equal-weight. Banc of America upgraded Dick's Sporting Goods(DKS:NYSE) to buy from neutral.

Financial Headlines:
Stories :
Schering-Plough(SGP:NYSE) was granted FDA approval for PEG-Intron Redipen.

According to Bloomberg newswires, Microsoft(MSFT:NASD) and Vodafone(VOD:NYSE) have laid out plans today that will help create a new business for mobile web services enabling opportunities to deliver new integrated services for both customers in wired and wireless networks.


Motorola(MOT:NYSE) released its earnings ahead of schedule following a Moody's credit rating downgrade on Friday and delivered numbers above consensus for its 3rd quarter.
WebMD(HLTH:NASD) cut its guidance for its 3rd and 4th quarter.
Sports Authority(TSA:NYSE) guided its 3rd quarter and full year 2003 above consensus estimates.

Around the world in 80 ticks:

According the Associated Press, Pedro Martinez and Manny Ramirez of the Boston Red Sox along with Karim Garcia and Yankee bench coach Don Zimmer of the New York Yankees were fined Sunday for their actions in Game 3 of the AL championship series. An unidentified source confirmed Martinez was fined $50,000, Ramirez $25,000, Garcia $10,000 and Zimmer $5,000.

The Associated Press citing US counterterrorism experts, reported that the US security warning given last month was a result of uncovered Al-Qaeda plans calling for another massive multiple and simultaneous attack in the United States.

USA today reports that 20year old private Corey Small was not killed in combat in Iraq as originally reported by Army officials but had committed suicide. In an effort to shed light on the fact that there could be a problem developing the Army has made public the number of suicides during Operation Iraqi Freedom. They estimate that at a minimum, 11 suicides have taken place since the war began. The Marine Corps confirmed three suicides among its ground forces while the Navy is investigating one possible case.

In related Operation Iraqi Freedom news, the Gannett News Service is reporting an odd pattern among the letters from soldiers which have appeared in newspapers across the country describing their successes. Gannett says the letters might be serving as part of a public opinion campaign by the military. They found identical letters in 11 newspapers signed by different soldiers in the same regiment. It is noted that it's not clear who organized the letters or if they are indeed part of an organized effort to help curtail a souring public opinion.


Nice new digs at CNBC, congrats on your new home!

Have a profitable day.


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