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The Fokker Chronicles

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World Markets:
Europe was weaker today and leading up to the U.S. CPI numbers this morning, was attempting a rally. That data shook the markets a bit and ultimately took most of the averages lower. The Spanish IBEX was the biggest laggard today losing just over 1%. Asian markets were relatively quiet as the Japanese Nikkei gave back a tad and the Hang Seng finished at just about unchanged today. U.S. equities have bounced a bit following its initial fall from the ominous CPI data. Check out Brian Reynolds for more data points on those figures released earlier this a.m.

Heads-up:
With the CPI numbers out earlier, focus turns to the option expiry today. Earnings highlights for next week include Lowes(LOW:NYSE), Federated Dept(FD:NYSE), and Home Depot(HD:NYSE). The economic calendar will not be as light as the earnings one. Lookout for data on consumer confidence, durable goods, the GDP, Chain deflator, Michigan Sentiment, and the Chicago PMI.

Brokerage Chatter:

AG Edwards raised its target on Nordstrom(JWN:NYSE) to $62 from $49. Thomas Weisel upgraded Citrix Systems(CTXS:NASD) to outperform from peer perform and raised its target to $28 from $25. Bear Stearns was negative on the Coke brand this morning and downgraded Coca Cola(KO:NYSE), Coca Cola Enterprises(CCE:NYSE), and Coca Cola Fesma(KOF:NYSE) to peer perform from outperform. Prudential upped TXU Corp(TXU:NYSE) to overweight from neutral-weight and raised its target to $28 from $25 a share. Bear Stearns upgraded Target(TGT:NYSE) to outperform from peer perform.

Smith Barney kept Hewlett Packard(HPQ:NYSE) at a hold rating but trimmed the company's estimates for 2005. Prudential upgraded Gillette(G:NYSE) to overweight from neutral-weight. CSFB downgraded Micron Technology(MU:NYSE) to neutral from outperform. UBS upgraded Nokia(NOK:NYSE) and BEA Systems(BEAS:NASD) to buy from neutral. Nextel(NXTL:NASD) was upped to buy from hold at A.G. Edwards.


Financial Headlines:
Stories :
The New York Post reports Nasdaq, which recently moved to dual list six NYSE-listed companies, recently said stocks in the Nasdaq 100 must not list on any other exchange if they want to remain part of the index.

The semi equipment book-to-bill ratio fell to 1.18 in January versus consensus estimates of 1.20

According to a Bloomberg newswires report Royal Dutch/Shell, a unit of Royal Dutch(RD:NYSE), said last night that the SEC has begun a formal investigation into its recent decision to cut its oil and gas reserves.

Earnings:
Hewlett-Packard(HPQ:NYSE) reported in line.
Univision(UVN:NYSE) beat by a penny
BEA Systems(BEAS:NASD) beat by $0.01.

Around the world in 80 ticks:

According to BBC news, researchers might have found another planet in our solar system just beyond the most distant planet Pluto. Scientists say that this new world consists of ice and rock and by preliminary observations, appears to be the largest body of mass other than an actual known planet to be circling the sun. Labeled 2004 DW, the discovery was found by the Near Earth Asteroid Tracking survey(Neat).

What next catflu? Thailand has reported that scientists have confirmed the first known case of the bird flu in cats according to BBC news. A Thai veterinarian discovered two cats and a white tiger to have contracted the virus. Authorities added that the severity of this fact is that each time the virus jumps to another species, it increases the likelihood of the virus getting transferred to humans.

On a more serious note, for those of us suffering from Adult ADD, see Toddo's Random Thoughts from yesterday, take the free short 77 question checklist quiz by clicking here and learn more about the disorder that many people you know could be afflicted with. If you happen to answer yes to any of the questions or find yourself distracted during the quiz, you might want to....how 'bout that A-Rod trade huh?

Have a terrific weekend.

Fokker

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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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