The Fokker Chronicles
World markets were in slightly positive territory following the European Central Bank raising its economic growth and inflation forecasts for 2004. The major regions were trading near their lows of the respective sessions following mixed economic reports in the US. The Japanese Nikkei however added 1.66% today and the Hang Seng finished up 1.26%. US equities were higher prior to the release of the retail sales and jobless figures. While advance retail sales showed a pickup, jobless claims appeared to have added some pause as those numbers crept up above consensus forecasts. Check out the notes from Brian Reynolds for a more in depth look on the economic data released earlier.
Business Inventories for November are due out at 10amEDT. Fed Chairman Greenspan is scheduled to speak before the World Affairs Council at 12:30pmEDT. The FOMC will release the minutes of its meeting at 2pmEDT. Tomorrow, more on the economic front as the government releases data for the PPI, Trade Balance, and University of Michigan Confidence.
Merrill Lynch upgraded Brocade(BRCD:NASD) to neutral from sell. Friedman Billings Ramsey upgraded Forest Labs(FRX:NYSE) to outperform from market perform and raised its price target to $65 from $54. JP Morgan downgraded Glamis Gold(GLG:NYSE) to neutral from overweight based on valuation. Wachovia upgraded Monster Worldwide(MNST:NASD) to outperform from market perform. JP Morgan upped Electronic Arts(ERTS:NASD) to overweight from neutral. Intel(INTC:NASD) was started with an outperform rating at SG Cowen.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Alliance Capital(AC:NYSE) will cut its fees to investors as part of a settlement reached in the Spitzer probe. In an added note, Calpers, the largest pension plan in the nation, said it's mulling pulling its investments in the money management company.
Home Depot(HD:NYSE) authorized a $1 billion share buyback.
Susquehanna(SUSQ:NASD) announced it will purchase Patriot Bank(PBIX:NASD) in a merger valued at $212 million in stock and cash.
Bloomberg newswires report Caterpillar(CAT:NYSE) Chairman and CEO announced his retirement effective at the end of next month.
IPO's are back, at least for China. Chinese travel Web site, Ctrip.com(CTRP:NASD) gained 89% from their $18 offer price in their first day of trading on the Nasdaq making it the best first day performance since November 2000 when Transmeta Corp(TMTA:NASD) rose 115%.
Ciena(CIEN:NASD) beat by a penny.
CKE Restaurant(CKE:NYSE) missed their EPS target by $0.07 but topped revenue forecasts.
Atmel(ATML:NASD) raised 4th quarter revenue guidance above consensus estimates.
TriQuint Semi(TQNT:NASD) raised its 4th quarter guidance.
Around the world in 80 ticks:
Authorities told AP newswires that in pre-dawn raids, over 5,000 German police have searched well over 1,000 apartments of suspected Islamic militants across Germany today, including four people believed to be associated with planning terror attacks.
Debkafile reported two killed and 33 injured in a powerful explosion that tore through the heart of Tel Aviv's business and shopping district today. Other sources are citing police saying several may have been killed in the explosion at the Tel Aviv coffee shop where a senior Israeli Mob figure was killed. Authorities have cited the recent serious escalation in criminal violence in gangland warfare might have been responsible and not a Palestinian attack.
The Washington Post reports that the Central Intelligence Agency is planning on setting up an Iraqi intelligence service that would spy on groups and individuals inside Iraq that which could be targeting U.S. troops and civilians.
BBC news reports that British scientists might have created working "sperm" from cells taken from another part of the body after the cells fertilized a mouse egg and ultimately began creating an embryo. Now infertile boy mice might have a safe and viable way to impregnate girl mice. Experts say that no live births have yet to have been achieved and while they believe sperm cells can be produced this way, it is unclear if all the information needed to produce a fetus can be delivered. Cambridge University scientists added that this is a long ways away from being used in humans.
Reuters reports that R&B singer R. Kelly, who is currently facing multiple child pornography charges in several states, was one of the big winners last night at the Billboard Music Awards honoring best selling artists of the year.
In a first of its kind in Washington, a 20-year old man was charged with using a cellular telephone camera to take electronic photographs up a woman's skirt, and if convicted could face up to five years in prison according the Associated Press.
According to the BBC, Canadian researchers are claiming some nursery rhymes could be sending your children dangerously inaccurate messages. In a light-hearted paper published by the Canadian Medical Association Journal, the academics questioned what kind of medical and safety information we are teaching young listeners. Characters cited in the study included Humpty Dumpty, who had a great fall as well as Jack and Jill who tumbled down a hill. The journal added that maybe "all the kings' men" should have provided Dumpty with some medical attention and proper care.
Have a profitable day.
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