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The Fokker Chronicles

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World Markets:
World markets reversed course today as the German DAX gave up 0.86% and the London FTSE lost 1.20% so far through their sessions. The Japanese Nikkei lost over 2% today while the Hang Seng finished unchanged. US markets were edging slightly higher this morning after its brief flight over Dow 10,000 yesterday. The US dollar was up slightly against a broad measure of global currencies. Treasuries were trading near their highs of the morning futures session.

Heads-up:
Nothing to report today from the economic front. Tomorrow gets busy again as the government releases its data for Advance Retail Sales, Business Inventories, as well as Initial Jobless and Continuing Claims. Lookout for corporate meetings today including analyst days for Altera(ALTR:NASD), Cisco Systems(CSCO:NASD), Unisys(UIS:NYSE), and Tyco(TYC:NYSE). Intuit(INTU:NASD) has a developer conference and Triquint Semi(TQNT:NASD) will host its mid quarter update.

Brokerage Chatter:
Soundview raised its forecasts for global handsets for the 1st quarter of 2004, full year 2004 and 2005. Individually raised its numbers for Nokia(NOK:NYSE) and said it remains its favorite pick. BEA Systems(BEAS:NASD) was upped to market perform at Friedman Billings Ramsey. Morgan Stanley downgraded Aventis(AVE:NYSE) to equal-weight from overweight. Prudential raised its 2003-04 estimate above consensus and raises their target to $66 from $60 for eBay(EBAY:NASD). Goldman Sachs upgraded MetLife(MET:NYSE) to outperform from in-line.

Deutsche Securities upgraded Southwest Air(LUV:NYSE) to buy from hold. CSFB upgraded Northwest Air(NWAC:NASD) to outperform from neutral and raised its 2003-04 estimates above consensus. Brocade(BRCD:NASD) was cut to in-line from outperform at Goldman Sachs. Morgan Stanley downgrades BellSouth(BLS:NYSE) to equal-weight from overweight. Goldman Sachs upgraded EMC Corp(EMC:NYSE) to outperform from in-line. Goldman also raised its view of the IT Hardware sector to attractive from neutral. Piper Jaffray downgrades AutoZone(AZO:NYSE) to market perform from strong buy and cut its price target to $91 from $109. JP Morgan upgraded Corning(GLW:NYSE) to overweight from neutral. CSFB made some positive chatter and placed overweight ratings on a handful of stocks within the brokerage sector.

Financial Headlines:
Stories :
According to the Washington Post, Freddie Mac(FRE:NYSE) has agreed to settle its federal regulatory inquiry for $125million.

The Wall Street Journal reported that PC sales for this Christmas season could be up by 19%.

The Times of London report that Walmart(WMT:NYSE) offered to buy Safeway(SWY:NYSE) for $3.5billion.

The Wall Street Journal reports this morning that the US government released a list of countries that would be eligible to bid for reconstruction contracts in Iraq. This list however, excluded France, Russia, China, and Germany who all opposed the US-led campaign. Those countries left off the list will not be completely snubbed and will be allowed to bid for smaller, sub-contracts.

Lockheed Martin(LMT:NYSE) has reportedly won the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) contract to manage the overall missile defense targets and countermeasures portfolio. The contract is worth $4.6 billion over 10-years.

Earnings:
BEA Systems(BEAS:NASD) reiterated its 4th-quarter revenue outlook.
Toll Brothers(TOL:NYSE) reported $1.19 on revenues of $903 million versus first call of $1.14 and $901 million.
EMC Corp(EMC:NYSE) guides 4th quarter revenues above consensus following the close of its Documentum acquisition.
AutoZone(AQZO:NYSE) beat by $0.07, but missed on its revenue estimates.


Around the world in 80 ticks:

The Associated Press reports that following the 10 month wait for Rhode Island families since February 20th, indictments were handed out for the night club inferno which claimed 100 lives and injured over 200. A grand jury in Rhode Island indicted the club's owners and the tour manager for the rock band Great White on 200 counts of involuntary manslaughter, two counts for each victim.

According to the Associated Press, the relatives of Elian Gonzalez filed a lawsuit yesterday against the federal agents that barged into their home in Miami back in 2000. The relatives claim the officers had entered the home unannounced breaking through their front door, holding them at gunpoint and shouted obscenities. Elian returned home to his father in Cuba two months after the then-Attorney General Janet Reno's infamous raid. Earlier in the year, a federal appeals court ruled Reno could not be named in the suit.

A moderate earthquake shocked across parts of the East coast yesterday afternoon, from North Carolina to as far north as New York State. The tremors had a 4.5 magnitude according to USA Today and were centered slightly west of Richmond, Virginia. Only minor damage was reported as the quake lasted just under 30 seconds and was measured to be only 3 miles below the Earth's surface.

Have a profitable day.


Fokker


No positions in stocks mentioned.
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