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The Fokker Chronicles



World Markets:
European markets were mixed at best while the CAC40 and London FTSE were weaker for most of their trading day. The Japanese Nikkei gave back 1.27% today as Japan headed into a three day weekend. On the economic front, personal income crept up a bit, personal spending showed a slight downtick. The revisions however offered a favorable backdrop and U.S. equities reversed some of its earlier weakness.

Lookout for the University of Michigan Confidence number due out at 9:50amEDT. Consensus is at 89.50. At 10amEDT, the government will release the Chicago Purchasing Manager report for October and the Bloomberg survey is pegged at 56.0.

Brokerage Chatter:
UBS upgraded Ericsson(ERICY:NASD) to buy from neutral. Wachovia raised its estimates on ERICY but reiterated its sell rating on the stock. InterMune(ITMN:NASD) was downgraded from buy to hold at Legg Mason. Morgan Stanley upgraded Duke Energy(DUK:NYSE) to overweight from equal-weight. Colgate(CL:NYSE) was upgraded at Morgan Stanley. Merrill Lynch upgraded Liz Clairborne(LIZ:NYSE) to buy from neutral.

Cigna(CI:NYSE) was upgraded to buy from hold at Solomon Brothers. Lehman upgraded Halliburton(HAL:NYSE) to overweight from equal-weight and raised its price target to $29 from $24. Deutsche downgraded Kellog(K:NYSE) to hold from buy and cut its target to $35 from $38. Lehman upgraded Juniper(JNPR:NASD) to overweight from equal-weight. UBS upgraded Alcoa(AA:NYSE) to neutral from reduce.

Financial Headlines:
Stories :
New York times reports that Microsoft(MSFT:NASD) had approached Google to discuss a partnership and acquisition but was turned down. Google is purportedly selling a 10 to 15% stake in an initial public offering.

According to AMG data, equity funds reported net cash inflows totaling $2.2 billion for the week ended 10/29/03 with 60% of that going to Domestic Growth and Value funds.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Spitzer will testify before a Senate committee on Monday and is expected to highlight the problems he has discovered and propose an overhaul of the industry.

According to the New York Post, Computer Assoc(CA:NYSE) founder Wang has indicated his intentions to purchase the New Jersey Nets.


ChevronTexaco(CVX:NYSE) beat the street by $0.25
Anadarko Petro(APC:NYSE) beat the street by 29 cents and upped its dividend.
Cigna(CI:NYSE) reported earnings 28cents better than estimates.
Ingram Micro(IM:NYSE) beat by $0.02

Around the world in 80 ticks:

According to several Middle Eastern online journals, including the UK's Middle East Online, a Saudi magazine reported today that Al-Qaeda warned they are planning on carrying out a "death blow" against Americans during the the Muslim holy month known as Ramadan.

The New York Times reports that Saddam Hussein could be the root cause of the problems that US forces have been encountering and said that he may be playing a key role in the coordinating and directing of attacks in Iraq.

BBC news reports that the Russian Orthodox Church and the Moscow city schools administration have banned Halloween celebrations. A Russian Orthodox Church spokesman was quoted as saying, "When people turn to evil forces by way of a joke, when they praise them and flirt with them, it reflects on the fate of the person, because it teaches him that evil is acceptable."

This day in history: (one version anyway) All Hallow's Eve, Halloween or Samhain was born out of a Celtic village in the isolated mountains in Northern Britain. Dead relatives were exhumed and their skulls were painted in the hopes they could rejoin their families during October feasts. Today little kids dress up like Harry Potter, walk around their neighborhoods collecting candy bars and Twizlers, how times have changed.

Happy Halloween!


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