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The Fokker Chronicles

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World Markets:
European markets were higher today with the standout in Germany as the DAX gained over 1.30% in midday activity. The Japanese Nikkei lost 0.80% today. The US dollar index, which is a measure of the US dollar against a basket of several major currencies hovered below the key 90.00 level all session but remained off its earlier lows of 89.35 ahead of the US equity open. Gold futures gave back some ground but held its current trend above $400. Check out Brian Reynolds for more on the Productivity numbers released earlier.

Heads-up:
ISM Non-Manufacturing is due out at 10amEDT. API data will follow that release at 10:30amEDT. Eli Lilly(LLY:NYSE) and Siebel Systems(SEBL:NASD) will have their analyst meetings today while Merck(MRK:NYSE) will gives further guidance on its conference call. After the bell, lookout for Synopsys(SNPS:NASD) and Comverse Tech(CMVT:NASD) earnings. Tomorrow following earnings from National Semi(NSM:NYSE), lookout for Intel's(INTC:NASD) mid quarter update.


Brokerage Chatter:
Kohl's(KSS:NYSE) comps and EPS estimates were reduced at UBS. Bank of America also made some negative chatter on Kohl's and downgraded the company to neutral from buy. UBS downgraded GlobalSantaFe(GSF:NYSE) to neutral from buy, cut its 2003-04 estimates below consensus, and cut the price target to $24 from $29.60. JP Morgan upgraded RehabCare(RHB:NYSE) to overweight from underweight. Deutsche Bank upgraded ADC Telecom(ADCT:NASD) to buy from hold. UBS upgraded PeopleSoft(PSFT:NASD) and Oracle(ORCL:NASD) to buy from neutral. Morgan Stanley downgraded H&R Block(HRB:NYSE) to equal-weight from overweight.

JP Morgan upgraded Comcast(CMCSK:NASD) to overweight from neutral. CSFB upped Bausch & Lomb(BOL:NYSE) to neutral from underperform. Jefferies downgraded Chicago Mercantile(CME:NYSE) to hold from buy. RBC out with a positive note on Lam Research(LRCX:NASD) and raised its target to $40 from $31. Ahead of Intel's(INTC:NASD) mid quarter update, Bank of America has upped its estimates and price target from $34 to $39. Bank of America upgraded General Dynamics(GD:NYSE) to buy from neutral, raised its 2004 estimates above consensus, and raised its target to $95 from $84.

Financial Headlines:
Stories :
Reuters reports that a major US Defense Dept contract is expected to be awarded today worth upwards of $4.5 billion to develop an anti-missile rocket which is meant to intercept inbound enemy ballistic missiles within five minutes of their launch.

Anadarko Petro(APC:NYSE) named former Devon Energy(DVN:NYSE) President and COO, James T. Hackett, its new President and CEO.

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK:NYSE), told investors it plans on bringing more than 20 new drugs to the final-stage testing in the next three years.

The Wall Street Journal reported that General Motors(GM:NYSE) Acceptance Corp or GMAC, the GM financing arm, has decided not to sell its commercial-mortgage business.


Earnings:
Wendy's(WEN:NYSE) slightly boosts its EPS forecast for 2003.
Ahead of Merck's(MRK:NYSE) analyst day today, the company said it sees 2004 EPS of $3.11 to $3.17 while consensus was at $3.18 and further said its EPS would come in at the lower end of the range of $2.90-$2.95 while consensus was at $2.97. On a brighter note, the company said it sees its 2004 profit rising 5-9%.
Motorola(MOT:NYSE) reaffirmed 4th quarter guidance in line with consensus.
Fairchild Semi(FCS:NYSE) raised its 4th quarter revenue outlook.


Around the world in 80 ticks:
Approximately 1,000 soldiers raided a small town outside of Kirkuk in Iraq today and arrested at least 54 suspected guerillas. Reuters reports that the miltary says they just missed catching a Saddam lieutenant and the second most wanted man in Iraq after Saddam Hussein.

The Associated Press reports that a CDC commissioned study done by University of Louisville researchers and published on Monday concluded that the US is ill-equipped to handle a major outbreak of the SARS virus. Researchers cited a dearth of epidemiologists, public nurses and other key personnel in the US could create a crisis if ever an epidemic is reached. Health officials have become more concerned heading into this flu season as a worse-than normal season is expected.

AP newswires report that finally the long awaited glow-in-the-dark pet fish are due to arrive to a local fish tank near you. Dubbed the nation's first genetically altered household pet, they are expected to start swimming off the shelves next month with the one exception of California that currently has a ban on "lab-engineered species," and freakishly refer to these new creatures as "Frankenfish." The Glofish were first engineered in Singapore which combines a normal black and silver zebra fish green or red and the genes from a jellyfish or sea anemone. These fish appear to glow in rooms lit with ultraviolet or black light. My former fraternity house would be pleased to know that Independent researchers have also found that no harm would come from eating the fish.


Have a profitable day.


Fokker


No positions in stocks mentioned.
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