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The Fokker Chronicles



World Markets:
European markets were off to the races today as the German DAX was clearly outperforming as a result of Banking shares and much better than expected US durable good orders. The DAX traded up 1.30% and the CAC40 was higher by 0.88%. The Japanese Nikkei ended its session up 1.85%. The Hang Seng gained 0.65%. Despite the US dollar index hovering in negative territory for most of its trading session, US equities looked poised for a higher start.

If you're not too stuffed from the earlier economic reports, the government will be serving a second helping later this morning. The University of Michigan Confidence is due out at 9:50amEDT. New Home Sales and Chicago Purchasing Manager data are expected 10amEDT while the Fed's Beige Book will be out at 12pmEDT. Check out Brian Reynolds post for his breakdown on the data released earlier.

Today is a half day for the bond market, lucky dogs. Friday is a half day for both bonds and stocks. Bonds futures will close at 1pmEDT with the cash closing an hour later. Stocks finish trading at 1pmEDT and equity futures closing at 1:15pmEDT.

Brokerage Chatter:
Merrill raised Dana Corp(DCN:NYSE) to buy from neutral. Merrill Lynch upgraded Ameritrade(AMTD:NASD) to buy from neutral. Credit Suisse First Boston cut Berkshire Hathaway(BRK:NYSE) to neutral. CE Unterberg upgraded RF Micro(RFMD:NASD) to short-term buy/long-term buy from market perform/market perform and raised its 2004-2005 estimates above consensus. Barron's Online made some negative chatter on the Homebuilding sector citing concerns over the potential for higher interests to pressure them going forward. Nextel(NXTL:NASD) had its 2004 estimates and price target raised at Lehman Brothers.

Lehman Brothers from $28 to $32. Electronic Data Systems(EDS:NYSE) had its estimates lowered at UBS for 2004. Smith Barney upgraded Fair Isaac(FIC:NYSE) to buy from hold. Lehman upgraded Mylan Labs(MYL:NYSE) to overweight from equal-weight and raised its target to $30 from $26. JP Morgan upgraded Veritas(VRTS:NASD) to overweight from neutral and raised its 4th quarter estimates above consensus. Constellation Energy(CEG:NYSE) was upped at Bank of America to neutral from sell.

Financial Headlines:
Stories :
The Financial Times announced that late yesterday federal regulators are now investigating Citigroup(C:NYSE) over its transfer agent business.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Hewlett Packard(HPQ:NYSE) will be throwing its hat into the ring joining Dell Co.(DELL:NASD), Gateway(GTW:NYSE), and Motorola(MOT:NYSE) in the flat-panel TV business.

Genentech(DNA:NYSE) announced last night that its Phase II Avastin trial had failed to meet its primary endpoint.

Tech Data(TECD:NASD) beats by $0.03 on revenues slightly better than consensus.
Dollar Tree(DLTR:NASD) reported in line results and guided the 4th quarter below forecasts.
H & R Block(HRB:NYSE) beat by $0.12 topped its reveneue estimates and raised its guidance for 2004.

Around the world in 80 ticks:
According to a Saudi daily paper, Saudi security forces stormed a terrorist hideout in Riyadh yesterday and found enough explosives to conduct a much larger scale attack than the one that killed 18 people there two weeks ago. One official was quoted as saying that they found enough demolition to destroy an entire compound.

The New York Times reported that senior Army officers have advised Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld that the planned rotation of more than 100,000 soldiers into Iraq early next year will present an greater risk for U.S. soldiers, citing a potential for an increase in attacks on troops that might be considered vulnerable during the transition.

The AAA travel group told the Associated Press they expect 36 million people nationwide to travel 50 miles or more from their homes over this Thanksgiving weekend. This would represent the highest number of travelers since the 2001 terror attacks. Travel officials cite an improving national economy and flat gas prices as the main causes for the surge in travel this season.

Debkafile reported that Al Qaeda could turn to kidnapping Americans in order to ransom terrorists held by US, Saudi and Yemeni forces. On Monday, Bin Laden reportedly announced the countdown for the "biggest operation yet inside America."

AP news citing a spokesperson for CBS TV, is reporting that Paris Hilton, socialite, star of upcoming Fox reality series, "The Simple Life", and inadvertent Internet icon, backed out of her interview today on David Letterman's "Late Show" which was due to air tonight.

Back on Friday Minyans....
Have a happy Thanksgiving!


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