The Fokker Chronicles
European markets were trading modestly to the upside today. However, Russian markets were tripped up from the start after a homicide bombing spooked its markets. Stocks have regained some traction leading up to the US opening of trading. US equities poised for a stronger start today before the payroll data came out and sent treasuries soaring and equities to reverse course somewhat.
Later this morning the government will release its Consumer Credit figures for December at 10amEDT. Check out Brian Reynolds for his take on the Payroll data released earlier. Next week's earnings calendar includes Prudential(PRU:NYSE), Coke Cola(KO:NYSE), Walt Disney(DIS:NYS), Dell Computer(DELL:NASD) and Barrick(ABX:NYSE).
CSFB upgraded PepsiCo(PEP:NYSE) to outperform from neutral and raised its price target to $60 from $48. JP Morgan upgraded Expeditors Intl(EXPD:NASD) to overweight from neutral. Wachovia upped Check Point Software(CHKP:NASD) to outperform from market perform. Prudential upgraded Bed Bath & Beyond(BBBY:NASD) to overweight from neutral-weight and raised its target to $48 from $44. EDS downgraded at UBS from neutral to reduce and had its price target cut from $22 to $18.
Goldman Sachs upped Ericsson(ERICY:NASD) to outperform from in-line. Morgan Stanley upgraded Moody's(MCO:NYSE) and Starwood Hotels(HOT:NYSE) to overweight from equal weight. UBS upped Monsanto(MON:NYSE) to buy from neutral and raised its price target to $42 from $25. JP Morgan upgraded Watson Pharma(WPI:NYSE) to overweight from neutral and Royal Dutch(RD:NYSE) to neutral from underweight. Fulcrum downgraded Boston Scientific(BSX:NYSE) to neutral from buy.
AMG data report that equity funds show net cash inflows totaling $3.8 billion for the week ended February 4. The rate of net investor inflows are now coming into equity funds at $7.2 billion per week (measured over a four week period), representing the heaviest rate since March of 2000.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the Federal government has announced it will end its practice of providing interest-free daily loans in 2006, another move by the government to distance itself from the GSE's(Government Sponsored Enterprises) such as Fannie Mae(FNM:NYSE) and Freddie Mac(FRE:NYSE).
Deutsche Bank AG(DB:NYSE) has ended acquisition talks with Citigroup citing the CEO of DB, Josef Ackermann in an interview with the Financial Times that this arrangement would create too much political controversy. Consequently several brokerage analysts are out this morning increasing their ratings on the shares of Deutsche Bank.
Maxim Int(MXIM:NASD) - beat by a penny as well as topping revenue estimates and guided the Street higher.
THQ Inc.(THQI:NASD) reported better than expected results citing positive Finding Nemo sales.
LM Ericsson(ERICY:NASD) was trading up 10% in Europe following better than expected 4th quarter results. Had originally expected its global mobile systems at flat but now see its systems up in 2004. Margins also came in 5% better than expectations.
Vishay(VSH:NYSE) reported in line but raised it 1st quarter above consensus estimates.
Cigna(CI:NYSE) reported 25 cents better than expectations. However they missed on their revenue estimate and will be slashing its dividend.
California Micro(CAMD:NASD) beat by $0.03.
TriQuint Semi(TQNT:NASD) beat the street by a penny.
EDS(EDS:NYSE) beat by a penny.
Around the world in 80 ticks:
According to the Washington Post, President Bush has requested an appearance on NBC's `Meet The Press' in an effort to defend his record. The interview will appear this Sunday for a full hour with Tim Russert in the Oval Office. In related news, Bush was expected to name Senator John McCain to the bipartisan commission that will investigate the intelligence flaws used in justifying the war in Iraq.
The UN has confirmed that the bird flu has been transmitted to a pen full of pigs in Vietnam after they tested positive for virus.
The Associated Press reports the case of the missing 11 year old Florida girl came to a grim conclusion when the body of Carlie Brucia, whose abduction was captured by a car wash surveillance camera, was found this morning by Sarasota police. Brucia had been missing since Sunday. Officials told reporters today that Joseph Smith, a local mechanic has been charged with her murder. Smith was already in custody as of Tuesday on an alleged probation violation.
Reuters citng news from the Interfax Agency reported an explosion tore through a Moscow subway this morning killing nearly 40 people and injuring 100 more during the rush-hour commute. Although it has yet to be ruled a terrorist act, officials said a female Chechen homicide bomber had likely been responsible for the act. Russian markets were rattled losing nearly 2% initially before regaining some ground after President Putin addressed his country.
According to the Associated Press, a U.S. soldier stationed in Afghanistan was wed today with long time girlfriend via videophone. Although the couple had frequently discussed getting married after he returned, they decided it couldn't wait. Lt. Col. Leon Ensalada would not likely see his new bride until July or August at the earliest. Despite the unorthodox ceremony, new bride Joanne Packer tossed Ensalada's flowers to the 15 family and friends on hand in the conference room.
Have a terrific weekend.
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