The Fokker Chronicles
World markets were relatively unchanged from yesterday. While the Asian stocks closed mixed to unchanged, Europe had a slightly upward bias albeit modest, halfway through its session. The US dollar was trading weaker as the dollar index was trading just off its lows heading into the opening of equity trading this morning. Bond futures were trading up nearly ½ point in early trading.
The economic chatter will remain quiet until tomorrow. API data however is due out at 10:30amEDT. Lookout after the bell for Applied Materials(AMAT:NASD). Tomorrow's earnings will include Walmart(WMT:NYSE), BEA Systems(BEAS:NASD), Starbucks(SBUX:NASD), and Dell Computer(DELL:NASD).
Smith Barney upped Nokia(NOK:NYSE) to buy from hold. A handful of upgrades for Computer Sciences(CSC:NYSE) today. Smith Barney upped CSC to buy from hold and raised its target to $55 from $49. JP Morgan upgraded CSC to neutral from underweight as well. Goldman Sachs raised Brocade(BRCD:NASD) to outperform from in-line. UBS is getting bulled up on Lexmark(LXK:NYSE) this morning, upgraded the company to a buy from neutral, raised its 2004-2005 estimates slightly above consensus, and raised its price target to $88 from $80. Deustche Bank raised estimates on Fairchild Semi(FCS:NYSE).
Wachovia downgraded LA-Z-Boy(LZB:NYSE) to underperform from market perform. UBS downgraded US Cellular(USM:NYSE) to neutral from buy. Prudential downgraded Abercrombie(ANF:NYSE) to neutral-weight from overweight and cuts its target to $26 from $36. Bank of America dropped GM Hughes(GMH:NYSE) and made EchoStar(DISH:NASD) its Top Pick. Prudential upgraded Merck(MRK:NYSE) to overweight from underweight. S&P cut Ford Motor's(F:NYSE) long and short-term ratings, (A3/BBB-).
According to the Financial Times, interim NYSE chairman, John Reed has proposed the creation of a "super fund." Specialists would contribute money to compensate those who were hurt as a result of their actions. Reed is asking for a contribution of $150 million from the specialists, matching the amount the SEC claims investors lost.
USA Today has reported the Department of Justice would likely oppose the merger between Oracle(ORCL:NASD) and Peoplesoft(PSFT:NASD) citing the potential deal would significantly decrease the competition in the industry.
In an interview given by NASD CEO Robert Glauber in the Boston Globe, the NASD is said to be currently investigating "dozens" of brokerage firms in regard to late trading and market timing of mutual funds.
Sony(SNE:NYSE) said yesterday that its weekly PlayStation2 sales in the North American region grew more than 40% in just the past couple of weeks. In related news, Bloomberg newswires reports that Sony is set to release the world's lightest notebook PC next week. The computer weighs 785 grams and comes with a 10.4 inch liquid crystal display. The notebook's suggested retail price is for 349,800 yen or $3,210.
The Wall Street Journal reports that a former Bank of America(BAC:NYSE) employee who had been fired has now filed charges against his former employer, BAC. The man charges that the company used creative accounting on certain Latin America and junk bond deals and further, forced employees to make political and charitable contributions.
Computer Sciences(CSC:NYSE) reported EPS of $0.60 which beat by a penny and revenues topped street estimates.
Federated(FD:NYSE) beat by $0.02
Elan Corp(ELN:NYSE) missed by $0.03
Sycamore(SCMR:NASD) reported in line results but missed on its revenue estimates.
Abercrombie(ANF:NYSE) came in line with estimates but missed on revenues.
Around the world in 80 ticks:
According to Reuters, a new, top-secret CIA report from Iraq has warned that a growing number of Iraqis are thinking that the U.S.-led coalition can be defeated and are supporting the resistance efforts. Paul Bremer, head of the U.S.-led Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq, arrived unexpectedly in Washington yesterday for strategy sessions and essentially endorsed the CIA's findings. In a related story, the Boston Globe published a recent Gallup poll that indicated more than half of the citizens of Baghdad believe the US would never allow for Iraqis to take an active and shaping role in their country's political future.
BBC reports that twelve Italian soldiers including police were killed in a truck bomb attack on their base in Iraq. Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said Italy would not be intimidated.
According to the BBC News, the number one chess player in the world Garry Kasparov finished the first of a four game match against the computer program X3D Fritz in a draw. The draw ended on the 37th move following three hours and 20 minutes of play time. Because it was a draw, both sides gained half a point each. If Kasparov wins the match, he will get $200,000 and $175,000 for a draw. If he loses, he gets $150,000. In 1996, Kasparov beat the Deep Blue IBM computer, but lost to the machine a year later after the program received an upgrade.
Pornographer Larry Flynt told AP newswires that he had bought nude photos of Pfc. Jessica Lynch and was going to publish them in his Hustler magazine, but in a change of heart, or nerve, changed his mind because, she's a "good kid" and further said that she had become "a pawn for the government." Jessica's attorney issued the following statement: "It's incredulous that anyone would think it appropriate in any way to attempt to publish unauthorized photos of Jessica -- photos taken before she was deployed to Iraq and before her capture and rescue."
According to AP newswires, a Muslim man in southeastern Pakistan has been convicted of blasphemy against Muhammad and consequently sentenced to death. The comments were made at a tea stall and resulted in a handful of villagers complaining to the police. God bless America.
The Wall Street Journal has reported that trucking rates are expected to increase along with changes to truck-driver hours. The new rules are said to increase the time that truck drivers must rest in a 24-hour period as well as the total amount of time a driver can be on duty. In a related story of multitasking gone awry, the Indianapolis Star reported that a trucker in Indiana crashed his semi trailer truck while trying to change his clothes going 60mph around a curve that he said he somehow misjudged. No serious injuries were reported according to police.
Have a profitable day.
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