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The Fokker Chronicles

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World Markets:
European markets were firmer today led higher by the London FTSE which was gaining 1.15% midway through its session. The CAC40 and German DAX were also stronger today gaining ¾ of a percent. Asian stocks also put in a positive performance today as the Japanese Nikkei added 1.44% while the Hang Seng lost 0.12% on its session. Russian equities had gained nearly 1.5% on its trading session, a new 52 week high for the RTS index. US equities were poised to join the crowd as futures traded firmer heading into the close of pre-market futures trading. Meanwhile treasury futures trickled down to unchanged in the early session.

Heads-up:
Lookout for the January's Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization figures due out at 9:15amEDT. At 1pmEDT today, the NAHB Housing market index report will be released for February. After the bell, earnings reports from Agilent(A:NYSE) and Network Appliance(NTAP:NASD) will get released.

Brokerage Chatter:

Barron's over the weekend made positive comments on Disney(DIS:NYSE) saying the company could gain value with or without a Comcast(CMCSA:NASD) deal. WR Hambrecht upgrades Ciena(CEIN:NASD) to buy from hold and raised its target to $9 from $5. Wachovia downgraded Monster Worldwide(MNST:NASD) to market perform from outperform. Morgan Stanley downgraded Silicon Labs(SLAB:NASD) to equal-weight from overweight. Merrill Lynch raised its semi equip revenue numbers. SG Cowen raised its estimates for National Semi(NSM:NYSE) and upped Medtronic(MDT:NYSE) to strong buy from market perform. Fairchild Semi(FCS:NYSE) received a positive report from Lehman Brothers.

Financial Headlines:
Stories :

NY Empire State Index came in at 42.1 versus the 37.0 consensus estimate. Check out what Brian Reynolds had to say on the better than expected number released earlier.

AT&T Wireless(AWE:NYSE) agreed to be taken over for $41 billion in cash, or a market price of $15 per share by Cingular Wireless, a unit of SBC Comm(SBC:NYSE) and BellSouth Corp.(BLS:NYSE).

According to Reuters citing U.S. officials, Citigroup Inc(C:NYSE) and the U.S. government are planning on proposing a $200 million project which would help finance Iraqi imports with funds that are guaranteed by the country's oil revenues.

CBS Marketwatch reports that the Walt Disney Co.'s(DIS:NYSE) board said today it had unanimously rejected Comcast Corp's(CMCSA:NASD) unsolicited takeover bid because it was too low.

According to Bloomberg newswires, North Fork(NFB:NYSE) has agreed to purchase Greenpoint(GPT:NYSE) for $6.3 billion.

Reuters reports that in an effort to fend off a hostile takeover from Sanofi-Synthelabo, drug maker Aventis(AVE:NYSE) could find white nights in Johnson and Johnson(JNJ:NYSE) and Novartis(NVS:NYSE).

Earnings:

Deere & Co(DE:NYSE) beat by 16 cents and guided its 2nd quarter and 2004 EPS above consensus estimates.
Hanover Compressor(HC:NYSE) reported in line.
Krispy Kreme(KKD:NYSE) announced an in line pre-announcement.
Teva Pharm(TEVA:NASD) beat by $0.05.



Around the world in 80 ticks:

BBC reports that according to the UK Foreign Office, terrorists could be in the final planning stages of an attack within Saudi Arabia. A British airways flight that was scheduled to fly to Riyadh this afternoon has been cancelled due to security concerns associated with the intelligence received over the weekend.

AP newswires report that Alexandra Polier, the journalist who allegedly had a two-year affair with John Kerry, denied the allegations and issued a statement which claimed she had "never had a relationship with Senator Kerry, and the rumors in the press are completely false."

According to AP news wires, genealogists from Big Isle researchers group, claim that President Bush and democrat front-runner John Kerry are related. The research claims they are distant cousins, 16th cousins, three times removed to be precise.

The Telegraph reported today that a harsh critic of President Vladimir Putin who had vanished for several days claimed yesterday that he had been kidnapped, drugged and filmed in a "revolting" video that was made in order to compromise his reputation.


Have a great day.

Fokker


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