The Fokker Chronicles
The inflation rate in Europe this past month fell to the lowest level in more than four years, and that has added a slight bid to equities overseas today. The CAC40 and DAX were leading the way higher in Europe by 0.67% and 0.51% respectively. The Spanish IBEX was the big gainer in Europe adding 0.85%. Asian stocks were also benefiting from positive economic data on its industrial production. The Japanese Nikkei added over 2% today while the Hang Seng gained 1.70%.
Lookout later this morning for the University of Michigan confidence report and the Chicago Purchasing Mgr report. Next week the PPI, Construction Spending, ISM Manufacturing, Beige Book and February's Unemployment numbers will hit the tape. Earnings reports from Tivo(TIVO:NASD), Autozone(AZO:NYSE), Staples(SPLS:NASD), and Hovnanian(HOV:NYSE) are expected during the week.
JP Morgan upgraded priceline.com(PCLN:NASD) to neutral from underweight. Jefferies upgraded Shuffle Master(SHFL:NASD) to buy from hold and increased its price to $47 from $30. JP Morgan upgraded BearingPoint(BE:NYSE) to overweight from neutral. Genentech(DNA:NYSE) had its price target raised to $150 at UBS, and to $120 at WR Hambrecht. Lehman cut their price target on Amazon.com(AMZN:NASD) to $36 from $40. Countrywide(CFC:NYSE) had its target raised to $115 at Morgan Stanley. UBS downgraded Eastman Chemical(EMN:NYSE) to neutral from buy.
Merrill Lynch upgraded JC Penney(JCP:NYSE) to buy from neutral. People Soft(PSFT:NASD) cut to sell from neutral at Merrill Lynch. Banc of America upgraded MedImmune(MEDI:NASD) to buy from neutral and raised its target to $31 from $24. UBS upgraded MetLife(MET:NYSE) to buy from neutral and raised its price target to $43 from $37. CSFB downgraded Limited(LTD:NYSE) to neutral from outperform. UBS downgraded Coca-Cola(KO:NYSE) to neutral from buy and cut its target to $55 from $58. SPX Corp(SPW:NYSE) was getting slashed by several brokers this morning, Smith Barney cut them to sell, while JP Morgan cut them to underweight and Goldman Sachs dropped SPW as well to in-line.
Bloomberg newswires report that a California jury cleared Intl Bus. Machines(IBM:NYSE) in worker cancer lawsuits
Talk on the street of a Yahoo!(YHOO:NASD) block trade after hours at $43.25 through Goldman Sachs. There is some speculation that it was in the 21-22 million share range.
Trimtabs report that stock mutual funds saw a $2.2 billion inflow from last Thursday through Wednesday.
Kohl's(KSS:NYSE) beat by .03 cents, guides slightly lower.
China.com(CHINA:NASD) beat by a penny.
McData(MCDTA:NASD) beat by a penny.
The Gap(GPS:NYSE) reported in line results.
Autodesk(ADSK:NASD) beat by .16 cents and guided higher.
Home Depot(HD:NYSE) declared a cash dividend of $0.07, and announced a 1 billion share repurchase program.
Placer Dome(PDG:NYSE) beat by $0.08.
Four Seasons(FS:NYSE) beat by $0.06.
SPX Corp.(SPW:NYSE beat by a penny.
Around the world in 80 ticks:
The Associated Press reports that Don Logan, director of Scottsdale, Arizona's diversity and dialogue office, accepted a notebook size package on delivery yesterday that exploded in his hands. The bomb had been powerful enough to shatter the nearby windows and sprayed shrapnel into the walls of the human resources building. Agents were trying to determine who was responsible and why, meanwhile Logan remained in hospital awaiting surgery from injuries sustained to his hands and forearms.
The U.S. Coast Guard told the Associated Press that over the past couple of days, the amount of Haitians fleeing their homes has escalated. Recently the Coast Guard seized boats carrying 546 people.
John Zuccarini was sentenced yesterday to 2 1/2 years in prison according to the Associated Press for registering misleading domain names on the Internet with the intent of guiding children into pornography sites.
Reuters reports that two new dinosaur species were discovered. Announced yesterday, a meat-eater and a giant plant-eater were found in Antarctica following 70 million years of resting in the ice. The remains of the herbivore in the group were about 100-feet long.
USA Today reports that the infamous Bartman ball, the foul ball caught by the Cub fan that became the goat of Chicago's post season and extended their World Series drought, was blown to shreds before hundreds of fans who sang Take Me Out to the Ball Game in a huge tent outside Harry Caray's Restaurant and a national television audience on MSNBC.
Have a great weekend.
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