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The Fokker Chronicles



World Markets:
After a relatively quiet Friday, the activity in the global markets has certainly picked up. The German DAX and CAC40 gained 1.2%, the Spanish IBEX was up over 1%, Turkey gained 1.5%, and Israel's Tel Aviv 100 lost 0.65% during its session. The Japanese Nikkei gained over 3% today while the Hang Seng lost 0.59%. The dollar index had been trading up nearly 1% in early trading but has given much of those gains back heading into the open today of US equities which still looked poised for an early lift. Brent Crude futures on the IPE in London had lost over 50cents today while Gold was also weaker this morning and lost over $3/oz.

Lookout for the NAHB Housing Market Index data at 1pmEDT. Tomorrow, a swarm of economic news will hit the tape including the CPI, Housing Starts, Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization. After the bell, Oracle(ORCL:NASD) and Lennar Corp(LEN:NYSE) will post their earnings results.

Brokerage Chatter:
Piper Jaffray upgraded DoubleClick(DCLK:NASD) to outperform from market perform and raised its target to $15 from $13. CIBC also upped DoubleClick this morning to a sector outperform. Deutsche Bank downgraded HCA Healthcare(HCA:NYSE) to hold from buy. UBS made some positive chatter on Jabil Circuit(JBL:NYSE) citing the company should report at the high end of its guidance. UBS downgraded Apache(APA:NYSE) to neutral from buy. UBS raised its view of the Major Oil & Gas sector to overweight from neutral. The firm also raised its 2003-05 WTI crude oil price forecasts to $31/Bbl, $26/Bbl, and $23/Bbl, respectively.

WR Hambrecht raised its price target on XM Satellite Radio(XMSR:NASD) to $29 from $27. SG Cowen upgraded Texas Instruments(TXN:NYSE), National Semi(NSM:NYSE), Cypress Semi(CY:NYSE) to strong buy from outperform. Thomas Weisel upgraded TIBCO Software(TIBC:NASD) to outperform from peer perform. Morgan Stanley downgraded Xcel Energy(XEL:NYSE) to equal-weight from overweight. JP Morgan added Lexar Media(LEXR:NASD) to their Focus List. Positive Barron's story over the weekend for Toys R Us(TOY:NYSE) citing the potential for more upside and growth. Bear Stearns downgraded AT&T(T:NYSE) to peer perform from outperform and was cut at Credit Suisse First Boston. Bank of America raised its price target on Coke Cola(KO:NYSE) to $50 from $46.

Financial Headlines:
Stories :
Fannie Mae(FNM:NYSE) said its investment portfolio shrank for a second month in November by $6.3 billion and that it expects the portfolio will decline for the quarter.

After the bell on Friday, H&R Block(HRB:NYSE) announced that SEC is conducting an investigation on the company.

TASER Intl(TASR:NASD) said that Congress had affirmed its view that aircraft crews should be armed.

Western Digital(WDC:NYSE) guided its 2nd quarter EPS in line and raised its revenues above consensus.
Standard Micro(SMSC:NASD) reported in line but guided its 4th quarter and 2004 numbers above forecasts.

Union Planters(UPC:NYSE) cut its 2003 and 2004 forecasts. Company also said it sees its 2003 EPS $2.51 to $2.56 versus its prior guidance of $2.66.

Around the world in 80 ticks:

Snagged, tagged, and bagged. Saddam Hussein was clearly the story this morning for the financial markets and which certainly occupied the news yesterday. Captured Saturday in Operation Red Dawn by over 600 troops consisting of artillery, cavalry and specials ops forces, the haggard and worn Saddam was pulled out of a hole from a farm across the Tigris River in the town of Adwar with merely a pistol, $750,000 and two AK-47 rifles. The BBC reported that although Saddam had remained silent during interrogations, soldiers who had captured him said upon his capture, he asked to negotiate. "I am Saddam Hussein, I am the president of Iraq and I want to negotiate," the former leader was quoted as saying in English still huddled in his pit. The soldiers, replied, "President Bush sends his regards." According to Reuters, Iran said it's currently building its case against Saddam and will surely be joining a long line of plaintiffs when he receives his trial. Iraqi officials are calling for the trial to begin within weeks.

In related news, The Sunday Telegraph said that a handwritten memo to Saddam by his former director of Iraqi intelligence was revealed during the capture that allegedly described a training session given to 9/11 hijacker Mohamed Atta that he underwent in Baghdad during the summer of 2001. reported over the weekend that Pakistani officials said President Pervez Musharraf narrowly escaped an assassination attempt when a bomb blew up on a road seconds after his convoy had passed by. This was the second attempt on his life this year.

The Washington Post reported today that Chechen fighters have taken four hostages from a hospital in the neighboring Russian republic of Dagestan. Nine Russian border guards were reportedly left dead after the ensuing gunfight.

According to USA Today, Heisman Trophy winner and Oklahoma quarterback Jason White might be considering a return for a 6th year if he applies to the NCAA committee after the season. If he returns, he would have the opportunity to be the first Heisman winner to repeat since Archie Griffin in the mid 70's.

Have a profitable day.


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