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The Fokker Chronicles



World Markets:
Europe was firmer half way through the day as the German DAX reversed its losses from early yesterday and posted a 1.20% gain. The Japanese Nikkei bounced a bit after the 3% drubbing it took yesterday and added 0.78%. The Hang Seng gained 1.78% on its session. US markets appeared geared up for Dow 10,000 in pre market trading, bonds and gold futures were also trading higher along with the equities.

Lookout for the Wholesale Inventory data for October to be released at 10amEDT. The FOMC will release its rate policy announcement at 2:15pmEDT. Looking ahead, there's nothing on the economic front until Thursday.

Bear Stearns Semi Bus Tour begins today and speaking at the conference includes Linear Tech(LLTC:NASD), Marvell Tech(MRVL:NASD), Intel(INTC:NASD), National Semi(NSM:NYSE), Advanced Micro(AMD:NYSE) and Micron Tech(MU:NYSE) to name a few. Cisco Systems(CSCO:NASD), BEA Systems(BEAS:NASD), and Hewlett Packard(HPQ:NYSE) will also be hosting analyst meetings today. After the bell today, AutoZone(AZO:NYSE) will post its earnings report.

Brokerage Chatter:
Goldman Sachs upgrades Amerada Hess (AHC:NYSE) to outperform from underperform and downgraded Kerr-McGee (KMG:NYSE) to underperform from in-line. UBS upgraded Wachovia(WB:NYSE) to buy from hold. Bear Stearns upped Triad Hospitals(TRI:NYSE) to outperform from peer perform and raised their target to $40 from $37. Merrill raised its price target for Tyco(TYC:NYSE) to $33 from $25. Prudential raised its Industry Rating on the chemical sector to favorable from neutral. Individually, upgraded Dow Chemical(DOW:NYSE), Lyondell(LYO:NYSE), and Nova(NCX:NYSE) to overweight from neutral weight.

Goldman Sachs upgraded General Motors(GM:NYSE) to outperform from in-line and raised its 2004 estimates 23% above the consensus. Wachovia upgraded Amgen(AMGN:NASD) to outperform from market perform. Morgan Stanley upgraded International Paper(IP:NYSE) to equal-weight from underweight and downgraded Smurfit-Stone Container(SSCC:NASD) to equal-weight from overweight. Piper Jaffray upgraded BEA Systems(BEAS:NASD) to strong buy from outperform and downgraded Teva Pharm(TEVA:NASD) to market perform from strong buy and cut its target to $62 from $70. SG Cowen upgraded Protein Design(PDLI:NASD) to strong buy from outperform. Merrill Lynch told investors interested in getting involved in the wireless trade angle that they should own National Semi(NSM:NYSE) over Texas Instruments(TXN:NYSE).

Financial Headlines:
Stories :
The Wall Street Journal reports that Hewlett Packard(HPQ:NYSE) is expected to announce that it is reorganizing the way it sells computers and services to its corporate customers

Qualcomm (QCOM:NASD) and America Online(TWX:NYSE) announced an agreement for the distribution of America Online's content and applications across QUALCOMM's Binary Runtime Environment for Wireless (BREW) platform.

Texas Instruments(TXN:NYSE) raised its 4th quarter revenues guidance to $2.64-2.76bln, consensus was at $2.62bln. The company said it sees strong demand across a broad semi conductor product range.
Costco(COST:NASD) beat the street estimates by $0.03.
Washington Mutual(WM:NYSE) at its analyst day told analysts this morning that it will miss big for 2003. WM cut its 2003 forecast which was at $4.42 down to a range of $4.15-$4.25. The company also said it sees "significantly lower 4th quarter mortgage gains and announced it aims to cut $1 billion of costs over the next six quarters.

Around the world in 80 ticks:

The New York Times reports that the U.S. has asked Taiwan to avoid holding its referendum that could add fuel to the island's independence movement.

MSNBC reported that former Vice President Al Gore is expected to endorse Howard Dean for the Democratic presidential nomination today, snubbing Gore's former running mate in 2000, Sen. Joe Lieberman. Lieberman told NBC News that Gore was backing a contender who is "diametrically opposite" to Gore's own views on defense, tax cuts and trade.

According to a new U.N. report, the World is on pace to have nearly 9 billion people 300 years from now. This report suggests a stabilization of two children for every woman. However, the worst case scenario: the population could swarm to 134 trillion. The UN which normally gives projections going out 150 years cited that a the smallest shift in fertility levels could have an enormous impact on the future population forecast. AP newswires reports this new projection for the year 2300 is ground breaking since it's the furthest the United Nations has been able to project. The U.S. population, which stood at about 76 million in 1900, doubled by 1950 to 158 million and by 2010 it will have doubled again to about 315 million according to a UN representative. The median age of the world today is 26 years. By 2300, it will nearly double to 50 years.

Have a profitable day.


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