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The Fokker Chronicles



World Markets:
The US dollar index (a measure of the dollar against a basket of major currencies) made 10year lows this morning and has consequently made for a soggier start to Black Friday. Individually, the Euro traded above the 1.20 level for the first time in its history while the British pound traded to five-year highs against the US dollar. The dollar's weakness sent a shudder through Europe as the German DAX and CAC40 traded off 0.56% and 0.52% respectively, off their worst levels of the day. The Japanese Nikkei lost 0.62% after regulators told one of its largest regional banks, Ashikago Financial which saw its shares lose 24%, that it could face more than a 1 trillion yen($9.1 billion) bailout from the government. US equity futures were setting up for a lower open ahead of a shortened trading session on Wall Street.

The government takes a breather today on the economic front, but in the tail end of next week the jobs data for November gets posted. Looking ahead to Monday we find the Construction Spending report for October along with data on the ISM Manufacturing and Prices Paid for November. The earnings reports remain light through next week as the only honorable mention will be National Semi(NSM:NYSE) on Thursday.

US markets make an early escape for the weekend when both equities and bonds finish their trading sessions at 1pmEDT.

Brokerage Chatter:
Hard pressed for any meaningful brokerage chatter this morning however, JP Morgan raised its price target on Nike(NKE:NYSE) to $75 from $65. Goldman Sachs reiterated its outperform ratings on both Coke(KO:NYSE) and Pepsi(PEP:NYSE) following Subway's decision to move from serving Pepsi to Coke at its restaurant chains.

Financial Headlines:
Stories :
Reuters reports that according to the World Semiconductor Trade Statistics, global sales of semiconductors rose 23.3% from a year ago in October, to $15.4 billion representing a 6.8% increase from last month.

Johnson & Johnson(JNJ:NYSE) announced yesterday in the New York Times that they have halted its trials of anemia drug Procrit for use against Cancer.

Citigroup(C:NYSE) venture capital fund made a $430 million bid for Asian semiconductor manufacturer Hynix Semi.

According to Russian news agency, Interfax, the merger between oil giant Yukos and rival Sibneft has been called off forcing shares of Yukos down 6% in Russian trading.

Around the world in 80 ticks:
Fox News reported that the President orchestrated a top-secret and potentially dangerous trip into Baghdad yesterday under the cover of darkness and to the complete shock and awe of the troops. According to White House communications director Dan Bartlett, the security measures were so tight that many, including Bush's daughters and his parents were kept out of the loop until just hours before he left for Air force One. Reuters reported that at one point during the flight, a British air force jet radioed to the unidentified President's plane inquiring as to whether he spotted Air force One to which a hesitated reply said they were Gulfstream 5, a much smaller commercial aircraft. Prior to Bush's historic trip to Iraq, a DHL cargo plane making a routine run last Saturday was downed over Baghdad Intl Airport.

The BBC reports that nearly 120 homes were evacuated yesterday in a suburb of England following a joint anti-terrorism raid that yielded a small amount of explosives and a man potentially linked to the Al Qaeda terrorist network. Scotland Yard was continuing its search today of nearby homes following this arrest that authorities believe could be related to "Shoe Bomber" Richard Reid.

USA Today reports that in Friday's edition of the journal, Science, the first identified gene believed to assure anyone a heart attack had been discovered in an Iowa family long plagued with heart disease. The gene known as MEF2A, was found in 21 members of the Iowa family and is believed to cause a breakdown in the interior lining of the heart. Scientists claim that this is a major breakthrough in understanding heart disease and the finding will further the discovery into how other genes create coronary artery disease. So I'm rationalizing that finishing off a bird, a pound of stuffing, and several helpings of apple pie last night might not matter in the grand scheme of things.

Thanks for an amazing Thanksgiving meal mom! You outdid yourself again and I couldn't feel any luckier, fuller and fatter this morning.

Enjoy your weekend Minyans.


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