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The Fokker Chronicles

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World Markets:
European markets are getting a significant lift half way through their Friday. Asian markets finished higher today with the Japanese Nikkei posting a 1.09% gain and the Hang Seng adding 0.54%. Friendly payroll numbers has given an already positive indication to the market a real push higher. Check out Brian Reynolds for more on that.

Heads-up:
The ISM Non-Manufacturing report will be released at 10amEDT today. Headline number is expected at 63.0. No economic data or earnings reports until Tuesday. Lookout for the Consumer Credit report and Pepsico(PEP:NYSE), Alcoa(AA:NYSE), and Broadcom(BRCM:NASD) will report their earnings.

Brokerage Chatter:
Legg mason cut Black & Decker(BDK:NYSE) to hold from buy. Wells Fargo raised its price target on Motorola(MOT:NYSE) to $15 from $12. Siebel Systems(SEBL:NASD) was upped to buy from hold at Solomon Brothers. Nextel(NXTL:NASD) had its estimates and target raised at Fulcrum. ASML Holding(ASML:NASD) was upgraded at Merrill Lynch to buy from neutral. Wachovia upgrades Host Marriot(HMT:NYSE) to outperform from market perform. Yahoo!(YHOO:NASD) target was raised to $45 from $36 at Thomas Weisel

Deutsche downgraded the paper stocks today including Intl Paper(IP:NYSE), Meadwestvaco(MWV:NYSE), Smurfit-Stone Container(SSCC:NASD), Temple Inland(TIN:NYSE), and Weyerhaeuser(WY:NYSE) to name a few from buy to hold. UBS initiated coverage of JP Morgan Chase(JPM:NYSE) with a buy rating and placed their estimates for 2003-04 slightly above consensus. Lehman upgraded 3M Company(MMM:NYSE) to overweight from equal-weight and raised their target to $85 from $70. Prudential downgraded Medtronic(MDT:NYSE) to underweight from neutral-weight. Hasbro(HAS:NYSE) was downgraded at Bear Stearns to peer perform from outperform.


Financial Headlines:
Stories :
The Wall Street Journal reported this morning that former head of the NYSE, Dick Grasso pressured the specialist of American Intl Group(AIG:NYSE), Goldman Sachs(GS:NYSE) specialist unit Spear, Leeds, & Kellogg, to buy more of the stock in an effort to curb its volatility. Spear, Leeds claims the purchases that Grasso pressed them to make on AIG resulting in nearly $14 million in trading losses over several years.

Equity funds reported net cash outflows totaling $2.15 billion for the week ended 10/1/03 with Domestic and Non-domestic sectors reporting redemptions.

Earnings:
Eastman Chem(EMN:NYSE) has guided its 3rd quarter below consensus, and plans on cutting 600 jobs
ATI Tech(ATYT:NASD) beat the street by $0.02 and has guided forecasts higher for its upcoming quarter.
Siebel Systems(SEBL:NASD) guided their EPS forecasts in line with the street consensus and although their sales look to fall short of Wall Street expectations, their license revenues will be on the higher side of forecasts.
Starbucks(SBUX:NASD) preannounced its 2003 revenues above consensus.


Around the world in 80 ticks:
According the Associated Press, Chief weapons searcher David Kay told reporters yesterday that no weapons of mass destruction have yet to be discovered in Iraq, however, his team was still in the middle of an extensive search.

Reuters reports that France is taking the stance that the new US-Iraq resolution is not enough. However, they did indicate that France didn't intend to exercise their Security Council veto in blocking any new resolution. In related news, Dow Jones newswire reports that Japan may be sending troops to Iraq as early as December.

Ah-nold's introduction to politics continue today as the controversy swirl comes from ABC news this time when they issued a report that quoted an interview from 1975. Schwarzenegger allegedly made favorable remarks about Hitler according to ABC news. Arnold replied that he has no recollection of making such comments and underscored his opinion by stating that although he admired his ability as a great public speaker he despised everything Hitler stood for.


This day in history... 1995 - OJ Simpson is found not guilty of the murders of his ex-wife Nicole and her friend Ronald Goldman.

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The Fokker Chronicles will return on Tuesday.

Have a peaceful weekend.

Fokker

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