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The Fokker Chronicles



World Markets:
Europe was trading weaker ahead of the US opening of trading today. Meanwhile, the Asian markets finished a positive day while the Japanese Nikkei added 0.91% and the Hang Seng added 0.74%. US equities were weaker heading into the start of trading today on Wall Street following weaker economic numbers released earlier this morning. Check out Brian Reynolds' post for more on that.

The Humphrey Hawkings testimony will conclude today. Natural Gas inventory numbers are also due out this morning at 10:30amEDT. After the bell, lookout for earnings releases from Analog Devices(ADI:NYSE), Dell Co.(DELL:NASD) and Nvidia(NVDA:NASD).

Brokerage Chatter:

JP Morgan upgraded Fisher Scientific(FSH:NYSE) to overweight from neutral. Merrill Lynch upgraded Freeport-McMoRan(FCX:NYSE) to buy from neutral and added the stock to its Focus 1 List. Prudential upgrades Qwest(Q:NYSE) to overweight from neutral-weight and raised its target to $6 from $4. Morgan Stanley assumed coverage of Wal-Mart(WMT:NYSE) with an equal-weight rating and started Target(TGT:NYSE) with an overweight rating (no prior rating).

CSFB upped Family Dollar(FDO:NYSE) to outperform from neutral and raised their target to $42 from $40. CSFB downgraded Costco(COST:NASD) to neutral from outperform. Lehman downgraded Celestica(CLS:NYSE) to equal-weight from overweight. Deutsche Securities upgraded EchoStar(DISH:NASD) to buy from hold and raised its target to $48 from $36. Bear Stearns downgraded Research In Motion(RIMM:NASD) to peer perform from outperform. CSFB upgraded Brocade(BRCD:NASD) to neutral from underperform.

Financial Headlines:
Stories :

The NY Post reported that the bidding process could be heating up for Mickey Mouse. Time Warner(TWX:NYSE) and even Pixar(PIXR:NASD) might be looking to make counter proposals to bid for Walt Disney(DIS:NYSE).

The Wall Street Journal reported that Intel(INTC:NASD) made a major breakthrough discovery that allows for data to be sent 50 times faster than any other silicon it has made thus far.

Aetna(AET:NYSE) reported eps of $1.32, 14 cents better on revenues of $4.6 billion versus First Call estimate of $4.5 billion.
Campbell Soup(CPB:NYSE) raised its 2nd quarter outlook to $0.57 from $0.52-0.54.
Baker Hughes(BHI:NYSE) beat by 4 pennies and guided the 1st quarter below consensus.
CVS Corp(CVS:NYSE) beat by $0.06
XM Satellite(XMSR:NASD) beat by $0.03
Brocade(BRCD:NASD) beats by $0.01
Computer Sciences(CSC:NYSE) beat by a penny.
YUM! Brands(YUM:NYSE) topped estimates by 3 cents.

Around the world in 80 ticks:
Mohamed ElBaradei, the head of the U.N. nuclear watchdog said in an opinion piece written for the New York Times today that the world is on a collision course for destruction if it does not stop the spread of atomic weapons technology. ElBaradei added that this technology has become widely accessible. ElBaradie wrote that this once unobtainable technology is now obtainable through "a sophisticated worldwide network able to deliver systems for producing material usable in weapons."

Reuters reported that Hamas terrorists vowed today that large-scale suicide attacks on Israelis "everywhere" would commence. Not sure when they ever actually stopped this practice but today's vow would be in the name of avenging the deaths of 15 Palestinians from the Israeli military's most recent strike into the Gaza Strip. Hamas called on its terrorists from refugee camps of Gaza and the West Bank to carry out "major martyrdom operations" against Israelis.

The Associated Press reported that Harvard University has approved of a student magazine named "H Bomb" that will discuss topics such as sex advice and fiction as well as photographs of undressed Harvard undergraduates. The committee, made up of faculty, staff and students, approved of the "H Bomb" magazine with a 12-0 vote. The vote paves the way for the publishers of the risqué mag to apply for funding. The official first publishing date is uncertain. Nothing like a nerd in her knickers, 'ey?

According to Reuters, South Korean and U.S. researchers said yesterday they had successfully cloned a human embryo. The researchers then extracted from it embryonic stem cells while emphasizing the belief that this process would ultimately transform medicine as we know it. These embryonic stem cells would offer many effective treatments for extremely debilitating and fatal diseases such as Parkinson's and diabetes.

Have a great day.


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