The Fokker Chronicles
Europe and Asia have traded weaker today following terrorist fears and the US led drop from Friday. The DAX gave up 2.46% and the CAC40 was off 1.75% half way through the trading day in Europe. The Japanese Nikkei lost 3.74% today and the Hang Seng finished down 1.69%. US treasuries initially lost some ground following the better data on the Empire State manufacturing but have regained some entering into the weaker open for US equity trading.
Lookout for Credit Suisse's financial services and insurance conference today. The Comdex 2003 Fall Expo kicks off today as well. After the bell earnings from Agilent(A:NYSE) will hit the tape. Tomorrow on the economic front, the government releases its data on the CPI. Earnings will include Home Depot(HD:NYSE), Staples(SPLS:NASD), and Analog Devices(ADI:NYSE).
Prudential upgraded WellPoint Health(WLP:NYSE) to overweight from neutral-weight and raised its target to $110 from $100. Legg Mason downgraded Deere(DE:NYSE) to hold from buy. Goldman Sachs upgraded the Base Metal industry to attractive from neutral and announced it has raised its forecasts above the consensus for aluminum, copper, nickel, iron ore, and zinc. CIBC downgraded PMC-Sierra(PMCS:NASD) to underperform from sector perform.
ASML Holding(ASML:NASD) was upgraded at Deutsche to buy from hold. Bank of America reiterated its buy rating and $82 target for Amgen(AMGN:NASD). Lehman Brothers raised its view on computer hardware and the semi groups to positive from neutral. Individually, Lehman upped Cypress Semi(CY:NYSE), Altera(ALTR:NASD), Xilinx(XLNX:NASD). Wyeth(WYE:NYSE) was downgraded at Merrill Lynch to neutral from buy.
Barron's highlighted the trouble with REITs going forward as a result of the growing real estate bubble. Prudential upgraded Viacom(VIA.B:NYSE) to overweight from neutral-weight. CSFB downgraded Myriad Genetics(MYGN:NASD) to underperform from neutral and cut its target to $12 from $18. USB Piper Jaffray downgraded Roxio(ROXI:NASD) to outperform from strong buy and cut its target to $8 from $15. UBS downgraded Varian Semi(VSEA:NASD) to neutral from buy. JP Morgan removed Travelers(TAP/a:NYSE) from its Focus List and downgraded the company to neutral from overweight.
Insurers St. Paul Companies(SPC:NYSE) and Travelers(TAP/A:NYSE) have announced plans to merge in a deal valued at $10 billion according to the Wall Street Journal.
Cablevision Sys(CVC:NYSE) announced a delay in releasing its 10-Q as a result of an earnings revision. In related news, the YES Network and Cablevision have purportedly held discussions about joining forces to create a super regional network for the New York area according to the New York Post.
USA Today said that Microsoft(MSFT:NASD) chairman Bill Gates told reporters that his company and Google never had merger discussions as had been widely reported.
According to the Wall Street Journal Microsoft(MSFT:NASD) has announced plans to introduce a song-downloading service next year which is intended to compete with that of Apple(AAPL:NASD) and Roxio(ROXI:NASD).
According to the Washington Post, Morgan Stanley(MWD:NYSE) and the SEC are set to announce a settlement today that some have speculated could involve a large sum of money.
Lowe's(LOW:NYSE) beat the street by $0.03 on revenues of $7.92 billion versus $7.586 billion consensus. The company also guided its fiscal year 2004 above consensus estimates.
Kulicke & Soffa(KLIC:NASD) reported a loss and missed on its revenue forecasts. However on its call, the company issued an upside preannouncement for the next quarter.
Toys R Us(TOY:NYSE) missed by $0.03
Around the world in 80 ticks:
Turkish authorities have reported that security cameras captured the Istanbul suicide bomber on film just before setting off synagogue blasts which killed 23 and injured 300 Muslims and Jews according reports from Reuters. Al Qaeda had later claimed the responsibility for the strike in a London Arabic newspaper over the weekend.
According to AP newswires, a UN expert panel said the Al-Qaeda terror network is determined to use chemical and biological weapons.However its only obstacle remains its technological difficulties in delivering that type of attack.
Reuters reported that ahead of President Bush's visit to England, security in London was raised to unprecedented levels. Armed police were said to be on high alert amid heightened fears of a guerrilla attack while the President was there. The White House had insisted on the tight precautions which led London to block off roads, stop and search drivers, while police snipers will also line the President's route on rooftops. The city's rapid response unit has also been placed on full alert. Security was also heightened at the nation's ports and airports. In related news, an Arabic newspaper based out of England citing a member of Al Qaeda said the terrorist network has planned more attacks against the U.S. and its allies Britain, Italy, Australia, and Japan.
BBC News reports that a possible audio recording of ousted and wanted Saddam Hussein was broadcast on Dubai-based TV, Al-Arabiya yesterday. Apparently finding religion on these tapes, Saddam made several references to God and was quoted as saying to the US Coaltion forces, "...we can expect for you either that God will send His punishment from Himself, or by our hands..." The tape further urged Iraqis to increase its resistance against the US-led coalition and further informed the world, the "coalition will fail."
The Washington Post cited health experts as saying their greatest fear of a reemergence of SARS is possible as we head into the winter season. With the flu season just getting underway, experts are bracing for an outbreak that could mimic the Spanish flu which killed millions.
The Associated Press reports that Gov.-elect Arnold Schwarzenegger plans to take office today in California following a brief, low-key ceremony. Good luck Arnie!
Welcome aboard Adam!
Have a profitable day.
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