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The Fokker Chronicles

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World Markets:
Europe is adding to its gains today and the standout performer early on was the German Dax again. The DAX posted a 2.20% gain halfway through the day in Europe. The Japanese Nikkei lost fractionally while the Hang Seng added 0.68% today. US markets were acting much stronger early on following positive same store sales results, good numbers from Yahoo!(YHOO:NASD) and better claims data. See what Brian Reynolds has written for more comments on the data released earlier.

Heads-up:
Earnings tonight from Juniper Networks(JNPR:NASD). Tommorrow lookout for General Electric(GE:NYSE). Economic front will come in tomorrow with data on the September Producer Price Index(PPI) and the trade balance from August.

Brokerage Chatter:
Yahoo!(YHOO:NASD) received a handful of upgrades this morning including an upgrade at Piper Jaffray to a strong buy which also raised its price target to $50 from $42. Deutsche upped Yahoo as well to a buy from hold. Morgan Stanley downgraded SAFECO(SAFC:NASD) to equal-weight from overweight. CSFB downgraded Apache(APA:NYSE) to neutral from outperform.

Schering-Plough(SGP:NYSE) was upgraded at Thomas Weisel. Bernstein upgraded Prudential (PRU:NYSE) to outperform from market perform. Banc of America downgraded Murphy Oil (MUR:NYSE) to neutral from buy. Alkermes(ALKS:NASD) was upgraded at Merrill Lynch to buy from neutral. Soundview downgraded Mercury Interactive (MERQ:NASD) to neutral from outperform. Sonus Networks(SONS:NASD) was cut to market perform at Raymond James.

Financial Headlines:
Stories :
The Wall Street Journal reported that Echostar(DISH:NASD) made a $1.85 billion bid to acquire Loral Space & Communications Ltd(LOR:NYSE).

Intl Bus. Machines(IBM:NYSE) and Siebel Systems(SEBL:NASD) announced last night during their Siebel User Week 2003 that they have expanded their global strategic alliance.


Earnings:
Yahoo!(YHOO:NASD) beat by $0.01 and beat on revenue estimates.
Genentech(DNA:NYSE) beat the street by 2 cents and reported slightly better revenues.
Same store sales have been looking on the higher side so far this morning, here's a handful of the results:
Gap Inc(GPS:NYSE) reported 13.0% increase in Sept comps
Barnes & Noble(BKS:NYSE) reported 5.8% increase in Sept comps
Target(TGT:NYSE) reports 5.4% increase in Sept comps
Nordstrom(JWN:NYSE) reported comp store sales increased 7.7%
Sears, Roebuck(S:NYSE) said comp store sales increased 3.2%
AnnTaylor(ANN:NYSE) reported 6.9% increase in Sept comps
Wal-Mart(WMT:NYSE) reported 5.6% increase in Sept U.S. comps
Gadzooks(GADZ:NASD) said its comp store sales decreased 32.5%
Federated(FD:NYSE) issued an upside preannouncement
Marvel(MVL:NYSE) pre-announced their earnings to the upside.
Bowater(BOW:NYSE) guided lower for the 3rd quarter.
Tidewater(TDW:NYSE) guided lower for its 2nd quarter.
Halliburton(HAL:NYSE) lowered forecasts for 3rd quarter.

Around the world in 80 ticks:

Bloomberg newswires reports that a record 165 nominations could be given out for the Nobel Peace Prize. Among the contenders, Pope John Paul II, Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, British PM Tony Blair and rock star Bono. The Pope was the early favorite with odds of 2/1 to win the award.

NBC news reported last night that the bugged and bugged out Mayor John F. Street did indeed find a listening device planted by the FBI according to sources from the Federal law enforcement division. While the FBI was said to be responsible, no comment was made to whether Street or his cabinet were the target of an investigation or to the nature of the secret probe.

Gives a whole new meaning to "can you hear me now?", Nokia(NOK:NYSE), according to Reuters, reported today that counterfeit batteries were the cause of another one of its cell phones exploding and burning its user. This represents the 3rd such case in the past two months. The company said today that a young Vietnamese woman was hospitalized with burns after her mobile phone had unexpectedly exploded.



Have a profitable day.

Fokker

No positions in stocks mentioned.
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