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The Fokker Chronicles



World Markets:
World markets have pulled back following the US market reaction to the post Saddam capture. The CAC40 was down 0.30%, the German DAX lost 0.55% and London was slightly in negative territory. The Japanese Nikkei nearly gave back all its gains from Monday before finishing the session down 2.09%. The Hang Seng mimicked Japan and lost over 2% as well. The US dollar continued its weakness today but was hovering around unchanged following the benign CPI data released earlier. On all measures, the Consumer Price Index came in below consensus estimates offering some reprieve on inflationary pressures.

Later today we'll take a look at the data for Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization. Several corporate meetings on tap today which include General Electric(GE:NYSE) with its annual business update and outlook, Honeywell's(HON:NYSE) investor meeting, and Extreme Networks's(EXTR:NASD) analyst meeting.

Brokerage Chatter:

MedImmune(MEDI:NASD) estimates were raised at CIBC. RBC Capital upgraded Check Point Sftwr(CHKP:NASD) to outperform from sector perform and raised its target to $25 from $19. Merrill Lynch raised its semi device and semi capital spending forecasts for 2004. UBS downgraded Dollar General(DG:NYSE) and Sears, Roebuck(S:NYSE) to neutral from buy and also cut Sears price target to $50 from $61. Bank of America says Take-Two Interactive(TTWO:NASD) will meet consensus when it reports its 4th quarter results on Thursday but thinks they'll reduce its guidance during the conference call. UBS upgraded Lehman Brothers(LEH:NYSE) to buy from neutral and raised its target to $88 from $85. Banc of America uppped Verizon(VZ:NYSE) to buy from neutral and raised its target to $38 from $35.
Lehman Brothers initiated coverage of Amazon(AMZN:NASD) with an underweight rating. Bear Stearns cut estimates on Extreme Networks(EXTR:NASD).

Financial Headlines:
Stories :
EMC Corp.(EMC:NYSE) announced an acquisition of private VMWare for $635million in cash.

SEMI released its report on global sales of chip-making equipment yesterday and highlighted that October sales fell 14.5% month over month.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Alliance Capital(AC:NYSE) has offered to reduce its management fees by 20% over the next five years approximately saving investors an estimated $350 million.

Oracle(ORCL:NASD) reported EPS and rev of $0.12 and $2.5billion beating the street estimates $0.11 and $2.4 billion; they said they are starting hiring again b/c they sense an upturn (Merrill says they were the most pos. they have heard in years.
Honeywell(HON:NYSE) guided to low end of estimates warning for 2004.
Lennar Corp. (LEN) posted fourth-quarter earnings above Wall Street expectations and raised its guidance for fiscal 2004
Kinder Morgan(KMI:NYSE) guided its 2004 estimates below consensus.
Extreme Networks(EXTR:NASD) warned for the 2nd quarter.
WW Grainger(GWW:NYSE) guided to the low end of previous guidance.
Amgen(AMGN:NASD) issued in line guidance for 2003-2004 as well, saying its sees strong forecasts for its 2004 results. Company also announced a $5 billion buyback plan.
Sprint PCS(PCS:NYSE) guided at the low end of its 2003 estimates.

Around the world in 80 ticks:

Secretary of State Colin Powell underwent successful prostate cancer surgery yesterday and is expected to make a complete recovery. Reuters reports that Powell will return full-time by early next year.

Reuters reported that Israeli military officials lifted an 11 year old ban on a planned assassination attempt of Saddam Hussein. Commandos had planned to assassinate Saddam at his uncle's funeral following the 1991 Gulf War, however the mission had been scraped after five soldiers were killed in the training. They decided to lift the ban on releasing the information following his capture over the weekend.

A senior Pakistani cleric with close ties to the former Taliban regime warned that unlike Saddam, neither Al Qaeda mastermind Osama bin Laden nor Taliban supreme leader Mullah Omar would likely be taken alive. Reuters cited cleric Shamzi as saying that Saddam only worried about his own life, while Mullah Omar and Bin Laden care about ideology.

Have a profitable day.


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