The Fokker Chronicles
Europe was trading to the weaker side today as the London FTSE led the averages on the downside with a 0.60% loss on its session. Asian was weaker today as well, as the Japanese Nikkei gave up 0.36% and the Hang Seng lost 0.45%. US equities were poised for a mixed to lower start to trading this morning.
Economic front is light with just the ABC Money Consumer Confidence due out at 6:30pmEDT. All eyes awaiting tomorrow's Humphrey Hawkins testimony from Greenspan. Lookout after the bell for Leapfrog(LF:NYSE), Metlife(MET:NYSE), Priceline(PCLN:NASD), Prudential(PRU:NYSE) and Sycamore(SCMR:NASD).
Prudential upgraded Juniper Networks(JNPR:NASD) to overweight from neutral and raised its target to $32 from $26. CSFB upgraded Colgate-Palmolive(CL:NYSE) to outperform from neutral and raised its target to $61 from $54. Friedman Billings Ramsey upped Cypress Semi(CY:NYSE) to outperform from market perform and increased target to $27 from $24. Lehman upgraded Crown Holdings(CCK:NYSE) to overweight from equal-weight. JP Morgan downgraded Celgene(CELG:NASD) to neutral from overweight. Lehman upgraded Phelps Dodge(PD:NYSE) to overweight from equal-weight and raised its target to $110 from $85. CIBC upped the consumer products sector naming Procter & Gamble(PG:NYSE) as one of its favorite names.
Merrill Lynch(MER:NYSE) announced its repurchase of up to $2 billion in common shares.
3M(MMM:NYSE) raised its quarterly dividend 9.1%.
According to the Indystar, results from a coroner's toxicology report set to be released next month could determine whether Eli Lilly's(LLY:NYSE) new experimental drug to treat depression led to the suicide of their clinical trial patient. LLY told the paper that the drug and what caused the woman to hang herself were unrelated.
The Wall Street Journal reported that the Walt Disney(DIS:NYSE)board of directors issued a letter yesterday to shareholders detailing its response to the "dissident" board members and defending its CEO Michael Eisner. The letter gave mention to the ex-directors Roy Disney and Stanley Gold and claimed their campaign to oust Eisner was misleading and detracted from the company's ability to perform. Both ex-directors maintained their position and added that they were "disappointed" by the letter to investors. Information detailing their views on the Walt Disney company and Eisner in particular can be found on their website, http://www.savedisney.com/. Walt Disney is due to report its earnings tomorrow afternoon.
Human Genome(HGSI:NASD) beat estimates by $0.03.
Clorox(CLX:NYSE) beat by $0.03.
BP(BP:NYSE) missed by 10 cents.
Blockbuster(BBI:NYSE) beat by $0.02
Marriott(MAR:NYSE) beat by $0.08.
Linear Tech(LLTC:NASD) increased its March quarter guidance.
Around the world in 80 ticks:
AP newswires report that a recently released study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC) showed that in 2000, the elderly had received dangerous prescriptions one out of every 12 times they visited the doctor, a trend that federal officials have been monitoring since 1995.
The Associated Press reports that Ohio is facing terror from its version of the sniper. A recent spree of sniper shootings has led investigators to link them to earlier shootings 25 miles away leading authorities to feel that it is an attempt to "freak out" more of the population and throw police off his trail. Although 23 shootings have been reported since May, all apparently linked to the same gunman, all but one has missed a person, and that person was killed.
Officers in Woodbridge, Virginia searched the bedroom of a 14-year old boy following his note that claimed he wanted to blow up his school and found a collection of weaponry that would make Rambo proud. According to the Associated Press, court records showed the teen had amassed shotguns, rifles, scopes, handguns, knives, ammunition clips and gunpowder containers. Police said the guns were apparently legally owned by the father.
The Washington Times reports that according to US and foreign officials, hundreds of Islamic radicals are being trained at terrorist camps in Pakistan and Kashmir with the intentions of being sent as operatives to "sleeper cells" in the U.S. Citing secret intelligence data, dozens of terrorists have already been sent through Europe to Muslim communities in the U.S. while many have already been detained by American intelligence authorities.
Daniel Parisi, owner of The Whitehouse.com web site stands to clean up when his url address comes for sale. Parisi, whose website is dedicated to pornography, frequently advertising pictures of sexy interns and a first ladies section (clever), currently earns over $1 million a year in revenues. Last December "men.com" was sold for $1.3 million. His decision to leave the business was because of his toddler son who will be entering kindergarten soon, however those closest to the matter report to the Minyanville Pressroom the site can still be accessed. President Bush signed into law nine months ago that bans misleading Web addressees because they lure children into viewing material deemed harmful in nature.
Have a great day.
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