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The Fokker Chronicles



World Markets:
Europe was modestly higher ahead of the weekend. The CAC40 was the standout performer in the region gaining 0.65% halfway through the day. Asian markets were quiet and closed near their unchanged marks. US markets were poised for a bounce on the outset of trading today. The dollar reversed much of its earlier gains and remained unchanged although on its lows of the trading session, leading up to the opening of trading in the New York.

Quiet today on the Economic and earnings fronts. The action picks up again on Tuesday with a busy economic day. Earnings releases will be muted all week heading into the Thanksgiving holiday. A handful of Fed governors will be speaking today. Ferguson will be speaking at 2pmEDT on the economic outlook in Chicago.

Brokerage Chatter:
UBS upgraded Franklin Resources(BEN:NYSE) to buy from neutral and in addition to thinking the stock is cheap at these levels, they feel the company has a relatively clean record in regard to the recent scrutiny in the mutual fund industry. Lincare Holdings(LNCR:NASD) was downgraded at Wachovia to underperform from market perform. JP Morgan upgraded Nordstrom(JWN:NYSE) to overweight from neutral but downgraded Biovail(BVf:NYSE) to neutral from overweight. Merrill Lynch took down its rating as well on Biovail from a neutral to a sell.

Credit Suisse First Boston downgraded FedEx(FDX:NYSE) to neutral from outperform. Morgan Stanley downgraded Merck(MRK:NYSES) to equal-weight from overweight. Bank of America raised its target on Manpower(MAN:NYSE) to $53 from $48. France Telecom SA(FTE:NYSE) was upped by Goldman Sachs to outperform from in-line. Bear Stearns upgraded Disney(DIS:NYSE) to peer perform from underperform.

Financial Headlines:
Stories :
AMG reported $3.5 billion in inflows to equity funds with 80% going to domestic funds. Money Markets saw $19.5 billion in inflows this past week.

Freddie Mac(FRE:NYSE) announced today that has restated its profits for the past three years and undercut themselves by $5 billion. Yesterday, the nation's 2nd largest GSE announced that as a result of improper accounting, they discovered additional profits totaling $1.5 to $4.5 billion.

According to Bloomberg newswires, Merck(MRK:NYSE) said it will discontinue its development of an experimental diabetes drug that had reached the human testing stage as a result of a rare type of cancer that developed in mice.

Look out for the hot IPO from Buffalo Wild Wings(BWLD:NASD) that will begin trading today. Buffalo Wild Wings', an operator of 217 restaurants that specializes in chicken wings, will price at $17. RBC Capital is the lead underwriter.

Biovail(BVF:NYSE) confirmed today that SEC is conducting an informal inquiry into the company's accounting and financial reporting practices.

Exxon Mobil(XOM:NYSE) reached agreement last night on a tax dispute that will result in a $2.2 billion gain.

According to Reuters, Yahoo's(YHOO:NASD) Hong Kong unit has announced it will purchase Chinese software firm, 3721 Network Software Co, for approximately $120 million in cash over the next two years.

Boston Scientific(BSX:NYSE) announced it received unanimous backing from the FDA yesterday over its TAXUS stent product. The FDA backing was expected for the company.

Brown-Forman(BF:NYSE) approved a 2 for 1 stock split and also increased its stock dividend.

Walt Disney(DIS:NYSE) beat by a penny.
TiVo(TIVO:NASD) beat by 5 cents, raised its subs forecast but lowered its revenue guidance.
Agile Software(AGIL:NASD) beat by a penny and topped revenues as well.
Brocade(BRCD:NASD) reported EPS and revenues in line with expectations, no guidance was given.
Novell(NOVL:NASD) reported $0.05 on $287 million versus the Street estimates of $0.03 on $291.8 million.
Microsemi(MSCC:NASD) reported a penny better.
The Gap(GPS:NYSE) reported a penny ahead of expectations but guided 2003 capex down. The company expects to close about 125 Gap stores while opening 125 Old Navy stores.
Krispy Kreme(KKD:NYSE) meets analysts expectations.
Barnes & Noble(BKS:NYSE) beat by $0.05
Portal Software(PRSF:NASD) reported in-line.
Autodesk(ADSK:NASD) beat by $0.06 and guided the 4th quarter above consensus.

Around the world in 80 ticks:

Reuters reported that Turkish investigators had arrested several people in connection with the two truck bomb attacks on British targets yesterday which killed 27 people and injured well over 400 people. Britain warned that Turkey could still be in for more terrorist attacks.

Reuters reported that a bomb attack on a mosque in western India injured over 21 people today and caused sporadic violence.

World Net Daily reported that King of Pop Michael Jackson, who gave himself up to authorities yesterday on child molestation charges, has allegedly and secretly been housing three teens from Norway at his Neverland Ranch according to a Norwegian newspaper.

If you've only been reading your chronicles this week, then you'll have no clue how to answer the questions on this BBC News quiz, but it's Friday, a slow news day, and you probably have that scent of smoke with a splash of wild turkey, so good luck and wake up.
Have a terrific weekend.


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