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The Fokker Chronicles



World Markets:
World markets were taking its cue from the US today as better than expected U.S. GDP numbers lifted most averages. Europe was trading higher across the board while the Asian markets took a breather. The Nikkei ended down 0.41% falling for the first time in five sessions. The US equities were poised for a much stronger open following those GDP figures.

Treasury Secretary Snow will testify in front of the Senate Banking Committee at 10amEDT. Help-wanted index will be released at 10amEDT as well. Natural Gas inventory figures will be released at 10:30amEDT. Earnings front will remain light for the remainder of week while the government will release data on Personal Income and Spending, the Michigan Sentiment and Chicago PMI tomorrow morning.

Brokerage Chatter:
Ask Jeeves(ASKJ:NASD) was started with an outperform rating at Soundview. Coors(RKY:NYSE) was downgraded at Goldman Sachs to underperform from in-line. Credit Suisse First Boston upgraded Tommy Hilfiger(TOM:NYSE) to outperform from neutral and raised its target to $19 from $13. UBS downgraded Providian Financial(PVN:NYSE) to neutral from buy. CSFB upped Anadarko Pet(APC:NYSE) to outperform from neutral. UBS downgraded Vishay(VSH:NYSE) to neutral from buy. Gilead(GILD:NASD) was upgraded at JP Morgan to overweight from neutral. Merrill Lynch downgraded JC Penny(JCP:NYSE) to neutral from buy.

Financial Headlines:
Stories :
Fannie Mae announced yesterday afternoon that it would update its previously reported 3rd quarter earnings release. This comment dropped Fannie shares down 5% while agency spreads widened by 2 basis points. Shortly thereafter, FNM cleared up its previous announcement and said that it was only correcting its earnings release in order to fix 'computational errors', which would have no adverse affect on the company's income statement. The Wall Street Journal reported this morning citing how this announcement by Fannie demonstrates the difficulties in managing these GSE's and how this could be another catalyst for increasing the government's oversight

Reuters reports that according to research issued today from the Global Competitiveness Report, Finland is said to be the world's most competitive economy followed by the United States, Sweden, Denmark and Taiwan.

Strong Funds founder and chairman Richard Strong was alleged to have netted $600,000 from market timing trades in mutual funds and according to Bloomberg newswires will likely be charged with improper trading by Elliot Spitzer. It was also reported that Spitzer said SEC mutual fund regulators should lose their jobs.

Bloomberg newswires is reporting that Treasury Secretary Snow who will be testifying today in front of the Senate Banking Committee, is under some pressure by Senators to affirm that Asian governments including China and Japan have been manipulating their currencies curbing US exports and jobs.

The Wall Street Journal reported this morning that Merck's(MRK:NYSE) painkiller drug Vioxx, may increase the risk of heart attacks.

BBC news reports that Japanese car manufacturer Nissan is recalling more than 2.5 million cars worldwide due to an engine defect.

Exxon Mobil(XOM:NYSE) missed by 7 pennies and reported lighter revenues as well.
Placer Dome(PDG:NYSE) missed by $0.03.
United Online(UNTD:NASD) beat by $0.02; guides above Q2 rev consensus
BMC Software(BMC:NYSE) beats by $0.05
Bausch & Lomb(BOL:NYSE) beat the street by $0.02 and guided its estimates for the 4th quarter and 2004 above consensus.
Biovail(BVL:NYSE) missed by $0.17 and guided its estimates for 2004 below consensus.
Martha Stewart(MSO:NYSE) beat the street by $0.06 and guided estimates for the 4th quarter above consensus.
Ericsson(ERICY:NASD) 3rd quarter loss narrowed and beat estimates by 15cents.
Mylan Labs(MYL:NYSE) beat by $0.06
Hercules(HPC:NYSE) missed by $0.03
Capital One(COF:NYSE) issued 2004 guidance slightly below forecasts.
ON Semiconductor(ONNN:NASD) reported in line results.
Electronic Data Systems(EDS:NYSE) reported in line but missed on revenues.

Around the world in 80 ticks:
The Associated Press reported that one of the most powerful geomagnetic storms enveloped the Earth yesterday, the 4th most powerful space storm ever seen according NASA. While some airline communications were temporarily knocked out, there were no reports of any major power outages. Space forecasters are still concerned going forward into the next week as continued disruptions are possible. The last time a space storm of this magnitude hit earth, power grids and electrical blackouts in Quebec were damaged. According to researchers, Earth is protected from the flares because of the magnetic field surrounding the planet. If the storm shifts southward however, scientists say a "hole" in the planet's shield could open up and cause some electrical system problems.

Reuters has reported that the FBI is investigating the finding of a box cutter, a utility knife and a razor blade on US Airways jets in Philadelphia and Boston.

AP Newswires report that the California wildfires have spread across 662,904 acres as of yesterday and have killed 20 people while destroying more than 2,600 homes making this the worst fire in California history according to authorities.

The Associated Press said that researchers have discovered the vulnerability of cats and ferrets to SARS during their searching for animals to test potential vaccines. Today in an issue published in Thursday's issue of the journal Nature, noted in a report that cats were found infected with the virus in a Hong Kong apartment complex where residents had contracted SARS last year.

Have a profitable day.


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