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The Fokker Chronicles

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World Markets:
Europe is considerably lower following some negative press on Intel(INTC:NASD) and lackluster economic reports from the government. Check out Brian Reynolds for more info on the payroll data released earlier. Both the German DAX and CAC40 are leading the region lower posting 1.40% declines so far today. Japan finished down 0.54% to head into the weekend. US equities are poised for a lower start to trading today and the dollar is taking more of a beating following the economic data.

Heads-up:
More economic news on its way at 10amEDT with data from Factory Orders and Consumer Credit. Quiet week coming up on the earnings front. Hovnanian(HOV:NYSE), AutoZone(AZO:NYSE), Toll Brothers(TOL:NYSE), and Ciena(CIEN:NASD) will round out next weeks reports.

Brokerage Chatter:

Smith Barney upgrades Caterpillar(CAT:NYSE) to buy from hold, raised its 2004-05 estimates above consensus, and raised its price target to $90 from $77. Raymond James upgraded Ingram Micro(IM:NYSE) to strong buy from outperform and raised its target to $18 from $16. CE Unterberg upgraded Mercury Interactive(MERQ:NASD) to short-term buy from market perform and raised its target to $60 from $45. Family Dollar(FDO:NYSE) was downgraded at Prudential and had its target cut to $34 from $48 a share. Friedman Billings Ramsey upgraded EMC Corp(EMC:NYSE) to outperform from market perform and raised its target to $16 from $12. Friedman also downgraded Gilead Sciences(GILD:NASD) to market perform from outperform and cut its target to $59 from $65.

AG Edwards downgraded YUM! Brands(YUM:NYSE) to hold from buy. JP Morgan upgraded ACE Limited(ACE:NYSE) to neutral from underweight. CIBC upgraded Comcast(CMCSA:NASD) to sector outperform and downgraded Cox Comms.(COX:NYSE) from sector perform from sector outperform. JP Morgan upgraded Triad Hospitals(TRI:NYSE) to overweight from neutral. Piper Jaffray downgrades Adobe Systems(ADBE:NASD) to outperform from strong buy and cut its target to $45 from $50. Bear Stearns and Merrill Lynch cut its numbers on Jet Blu(JBLU:NASD) following the company's lowered outlook. Smith Barney analyst made some negative chatter on Intl Bus Machines(IBM:NYSE) and thinks the street numbers need to come down and wouldn't be a buyer till $80.



Financial Headlines:
Stories :
The Washington Post's John Berry, said that a rate increase in the upcoming months is highly unlikely and should not be expected for many months.

Sega of America said it was suing Fox Ent.(Fox:NYSE) and Electronic Arts(ERTS:NASD) over a 'Simpsons' video game citing it infringes on a Sega patent.

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that retailer FAO Inc. is in the process of searching for a buyer to avoid the liquidation of its stores, however the well-known toy store name, FAO Schwarz, is not the company's to sell. FAO currently licenses the name from a foundation set up by the heirs of FAO Schwarz's founder, and the foundation has the right to block a transfer of the name if a buyer does not satisfy its standards. The agreement lists Saks Fifth Avenue(SKS:NYSE), Bloomingdale's and Harrods, among several others, as quality buyers. Saks told reporters it was not interested in buying FAO.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Intl Bus. Machines(IBM:NYSE) said it sees IT spending showing signs of a rebound.

Earnings:
Intel's(INTC:NASD) revenue range was tightened towards high end (from $8.1-8.7B to $8.5-8.7B) while GM guidance raised from 60% to 62%. The revenue was a disappointment to some, especially when considering how several other semi firms (Qualcomm(QCOM:NASD), Xilinx(XLNX:NASD), Fairchild Semi(FCS:NYSE)) raised their guidance.
Integrated Defense Tech(IDTI:NASD) during its mid-quarter update told investors that its revenues will come in at high end of prior guidance.
Jetblue Airways(JBLU:NASD) cut its 4th quarter operating margin guidance to 13-14%.

Around the world in 80 ticks:

The Financial Times reports that 36 people died in a suspected Chechnya suicide bomb attack. The bomb blew through a commuter train near Chechnya today in an apparent attack to create caution before the parliamentary elections this weekend.

CNN reports that according to a new Al-Qaida tape, intellegince officials are growing more alarmed as we head into the holiday season. On a website affiliated with the terrorist group, footage was shown of the two planes that hit the twin towers on 9-11. What made the tape odd to security officials was the angle which had been videotaped had never been viewed before.

The New York Times claimed Israeli officials have concluded that Hamas has suspended its suicide bombing campaign in recent months, citing that as one reason Israel has not suffered any deadly bombings in the past two months.

ABC news reported that an unhappy McCustomer, Waynetta Nolan, is off to McPrison for 10 years on charges of aggravated assault after she ran over the restaurant manager at the local McDonald's chain in Houston, Texas following an argument over mayonnaise that was missing from her burger.

According to the UK Times which cited US research this morning, a few alcoholic drinks a week were deemed enough to shrink the brain. In a study from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, even a low intake of alcohol was found to be risky. Scientists studied middle-aged men and women that consume moderate amounts of alcohol regularly and were found to have less brain tissue than occasional drinkers. I knew there was a good explanation for this.

Have a terrific weekend!


Fokker

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