The Fokker Chronicles
Europe was off to a good start today with the German DAX trading up 1.52% and the London FTSE higher by more than 1%. Tokyo was on holiday today and the Hang Seng finished relatively flat to up a little. US markets were poised for a higher start as we head into the holiday shortened week.
Light earnings news during the holiday shortened week. No economic data to report until tomorrow. Nokia(NOK:NYSE) will be hosting its 2003 Capital Markets Days in Texas. Xerox(XRX:NYSE) will have an investors' conference. Lookout for the mid quarter update from Novellus(NVLS:NASD) at 4:30pmEDT. Tomorrow lookout for a flurry of economic releases that will include the GDP, Consumer Confidence, Existing Home Sales, and Personal Consumption figures.
Smith Barney downgraded Semi and Semi Equip groups this morning. Lehman Brothers however upped Fairchild Semi(FCS:NYSE) and raised the targets for On Semi(ONNN:NASD) and Int'l Rectifier(IRF:NYSE). WR Hambrecht reiterated its buy rating and $85 price target on Adtran(ADTN:NASD). Prudential downgraded Nordstrom(JWN:NYSE) to neutral-weight from overweight. OmniVision Tech(OVTI:NASD) added to the Top 3 List at JP Morgan and given a $75 price target for the next 6 months. JP Morgan upgrades Hewitt Associates(HEW:NYSE) to overweight from neutral.
Wachovia upgraded Pulte Homes(PHM:NYSE) to outperform from market perform and downgraded KB Homes(KBH:NYSE) to market perform from outperform. UBS trimmed Johnson & Johnson(JNJ:NYSE) estimates and price target following an adverse court ruling. Estimates get cut by 4 cents and its price target was taken down from $55 to $51. In contrast, CIBC raised the price target on Boston Scientific(BSX:NYSE) to $49 from $40 following the same court ruling. WR Hambrecht downgraded a couple of video game makers which include Electronic Arts(ERTS:NASD) that goes from hold to sell, and Take Two(TTWO:NASD) that got cut to hold from buy. AG Edwards upped Citigroup(C:NYSE) to buy from hold. Thomas Weisel downgraded Tech Data(TECD:NASD) to peer perform from outperform. SoundView upgraded NetScreen(NSCN:NASD) to outperform from neutral and raised its target to $29 from $23. UBS downgraded PETsMART(PETM:NASD) to neutral from buy. UBS upgraded Adobe Systems(ADBE:NASD) to buy from neutral.
The NY Times reports that Goldman Sachs(GS:NYSE) has placed a growing emphasis on its electronic trading. The article further discusses how GS considered eliminating its research department altogether and forming a 3rd party research clearing company.
According to the NY Times, CBS, a unit of Viacom(VIA.B:NYSE) is said to be finishing up its most successful November since the Carter administration. CBS will be up 10% in terms of total viewers in this past month versus General Electric's (GE:NYSE) NBC down 14% in the month of November. This is in contrast to the other networks down between 6% and 11% over the same time period.
Bloomberg newswires report Time Warner's(TWX:NYSE) sale of their Warner Music Group to an investor group led by Thomas H. Lee Partners, Edgar Bronfman, Jr.'s Lexa Partners, Bain Capital and Providence Equity Partners for approximately $2.6 billion in cash and other considerations.
Nike(NKE:NYSE) raised its quarterly dividend by 43%.
Campbell Soup(CPB:NYSE) beats by $0.02.
Xerox Corp(XRX:NYSE) guided its 2004 estimates below consensus and its 2005 numbers slightly above consensus estimates.
Multimedia Games(MGAM:NASD) beat by $0.03 then guided its 1st quarter below consensus, and its 2004 above consensus estimates.
Around the world in 80 ticks:
Reuters reports that U.S. cell phone customers could look forward to cheaper prices and more attentive service beginning today following a sweeping regulatory change in the mobile phone industry. If the rule change creates an environment similar to that of the 18 countries which have already undergone this transformation, wireless companies are bracing for a huge boon in competition. In Hong Kong, where these barriers collapsed back in 1999, three of every five customers switch phone carriers each year, up from one in three before the rules changed.
According to UK newspaper, The Herald, British security services are hunting Al-Qaeda cells that are believed to be preparing to carry out "spectacular" terrorist attacks in Britain. On Friday, the Radio France reported that Al-Qaeda warned Japan it will attack Tokyo as soon as Japanese troops are deployed in Iraq.
AP news reported that the last New Jersey commuter train to leave the World Trade Center before the collapse of the Twin Towers on the 9/11 terrorist attack was the first one to return yesterday. Today will mark the return to service of the PATH train which connects New Jersey and downtown Manhattan. In addition to New Jersey Governor McGreevey, New York City Mayor Bloomberg, New Jersey Senators Corzine and Lautenberg, widow of Port Authority police officer Walwyn Stuart Jr., Thelma Stuart, rode into the temporary Trade Center station yesterday. The completed $2 billion station hub is due to be finished in 2006.
Have a profitable day.
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