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The Fokker Chronicles



World Markets:
European markets were modestly lower ahead of the US equity open. The German DAX and CAC40 were down 0.45% and 0.54% respectively. The Japanese Nikkei played some catchup following its day off yesterday and posted a 2.73% gain. The Hang Seng added 0.44% on its session. US equities were mixed to lower in pre-market trading.

Nothing to report on the economic frontier, however lookout for data tomorrow on factory orders and ISM non-manufactuing. Earnings after the bell today from Priceline(PCLN:NASD) and Prudential Financial(PRU:NYSE). Tomorrow the earnings highlights include Cisco Systems(CSCO:NASD), Beazer Homes(BZH:NYSE), Fox Communiations(FOX:NYSE) and Qualcomm(QCOM:NASD).

Brokerage Chatter:
Metlife(MET:NYSE) was downgraded at Deutsche from buy to hold. Goldman Sachs downgraded AT&T Wireless(AWE:NYSE) to underperform from in-line. Wedbush Morgan removed Xilinx(XLNX:NASD) from its focus list and added Texas Instruments(TXN:NYSE).

Deutsche downgraded Laboratory Corp.(LH:NYSE) to hold from buy. AG Edwards downgraded Qualcomm(QCOM:NASD) to hold from buy. McDonald's(MCD:NYSE) and Wendy's(WEN:NYSE) were both upgraded at SG Cowen to strong buy from outperform. Both had their 2003 and 2004 estimates raised as well. JP Morgan upgraded Hewlett Packard(HPQ:NYSE) to overweight from neutral. Lehman Brothers raised its price target for Freeport-McMoran(FCX:NYSE) to $50 from $42.

Financial Headlines:
Stories :
The Wall Street Journal announced that Massachusetts regulators along with the SEC are expected to charge five former employees of Prudential Securities that despite receiving over 25 thousand written complaints on fund abuses, the allegations were never acted upon.

The Financial Times reports that Russian oil giant, Yukos, has named Simon Kukes, as its new CEO. Kukes is a US citizen and former head of Russian oil company TNK.

Bloomberg newswires report that Richard Scrushy, fomer CEO of HealthSouth(HLSH:NASD), could be charged today with the $2.5 billion accounting fraud that nearly bankrupted the company he founded.

Intl Bus Machines(IBM:NYSE) and Novell(NOVL:NASD) announced a pact in which NOVL will purchase Suse Linux for $210 million in return for IBM's $50 million investment.

(CLE:NYSE) announced a 2 for 1 stock split.

Emerson(EMR:NYSE) beat by $0.04 and topped revenues as well.
Gillette(G:NYSE) beat the street by $0.05
Clear Channel(CCU:NYSE) missed by a penny.
McDATA(MCDTA:NASD) lowered its 3rd quarter revenue outlook.
Metlife(MET:NYSE) reported results inline with expectations
Cephalon(CEPH:NASD) beat by $0.06
Atari(ATAR:NASD) beat by a nickel on slightly lower revenues.
Hutchinson Tech(HTCH:NASD) beat by 5 pennies on revenues slightly higher than estimates.
Tyco(TYC:NYSE) although beat estimate for the quarter by a penny, the company gave lower guidance for 2004 and said they will trim its workforce by 7,200 as part of its restructuring.
BJ Services(BJS:NYSE) missed by $0.02 and guided 2003 estimates below consensus

Around the world in 80 ticks:

Reuters reports that the UN has put its global security chief on leave in Iraq following an independent council which blamed officials for poor safety precautions before the bombing that claimed 22 lives.

According to, the Sun unleashed another three severe solar flares from Sunday to Monday out of a total of nine since the sun storms began. Scientists are marginally baffled by this claiming to have never witnessed such events. Experts state that a "colorful aurora" is expected to reach the earth's skies over the next few nights in lower areas of the United States and Europe but also putting at risk satellites and power grids once again.

Israel announced that it will propose its first ever UN resolution according to Bloomberg newswires, which calls on the Palestinian Authority "to undertake effective operations" against terrorists that have caused unrelenting suffering among Israeli children. The resolution is expected to be presented to the UN general assembly later this month.

Reuters reported that a 5 year old Dutch girl handed out what she thought were sweet treats to her Amsterdam classmates yesterday but turned out to be ecstasy, cocaine and heroin pills according to police officials. The "candy" was immediately confiscated by the teacher before the children could consume any of the handouts. Police later arrested the young girl's older teenage brothers along with her mother.

Have a profitable day.


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