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The Fokker Chronicles



World Markets:
Europe was much firmer today with most indicies gaining over 1% halfway through the European trading sessions. The German DAX showed the greatest leadership adding 1.20%. The Japanese Nikkei lost a half of a percent while the Hang Seng posted a 2% gain today. US equities were poised for a higher start to trading.

Lookout for the December Wholesale Inventory report at 10amEDT. Heads up for Wednesday when Greenspan delivers his Humphrey Hawkings testimony. Earnings reports are light today but lookout tomorrow for such notables as BP(BP:NYSE), Clorox(CLX:NYSE), Viacom(VIA.B:NYSE), Sycamore(SCMR:NASD), Leapfrog(LF:NYSE) and Prudential(PRU:NYSE).

Brokerage Chatter:

Barron's had positive chatter on Intel(INTC:NASD) in light of INTC and Texas Instruments(TXN:NYSE) work on silicon chips for the next generation of Televisions. RW Baird upgraded QLogic(QLGC:NASD) to outperform from neutral. Banc of America downgraded Baker Hughes(BHI:NYSE) to neutral from buy. Piper Jaffray said that investors should be buying the recent pull back in Chinese internet stocks.

CE Unterberg upgraded Brocade(BRCD:NASD) to buy from market perform. Goldman Sachs downgraded Royal Dutch(RD:NYSE) and Shell Transport(SC:NYSE) to in-line from outperform. AG Edwards upgraded FedEx(FDX:NYSE) to buy from hold. UBS upped Laboratory Corp(LH:NYSE) to buy from neutral and raised its target to $49 from $41. Merrill Lynch upgraded Walgreen(WAG:NYSE) to buy from neutral. Wyeth(WYE:NYSE) was upgraded at Merrill Lynch to buy from neutral. Deutsche Bank upgraded El Paso(EP:NYSE) to buy from hold.

Financial Headlines:
Stories :

NetScreen(NSCN:NASD) will be acquired by Juniper(JNPR:NASD) for $4 billion, or approximately $41.37 per share in an all stock deal.

According to UK paper, Telegraph, Barclays has been exploring the possibilities of buying Providian Financial(PVN:NYSE) which could be valued $4 billion.

Reuters and Bloomberg newswires reported yesterday that Walt Disney(DIS:NYSE) has declined to let the daughter of estranged shareholder Roy Disney and other individual investors to attend a meeting for institutional investors and analysts this week.

Bloomberg newswires report that Microsoft(MSFT:NASD) and Disney(DIS:NYSE) have agreed on a multiyear contract for digital media initiatives.

According to Bloomberg newswire, PeopleSoft's(PSFT:NASD) board of directors have rejected Oracle's(ORCL:NASD) revised bid.

Pepsico(PEP:NYSE) said it has raised its annual profit forecast for 2004 and has restated its previously reported 2002, 2003 upward due to an overstatement of its stock option expense.
Cypress Semi(CY:NYSE) guided its 1st quarter revenue outlook higher.
Alcan Aluminium(AL:NYSE) beat by $0.02.

Around the world in 80 ticks:
Yesterday on NBC's 'Meet the Press', President Bush spent an hour among other things discussing his decision to go to war in Iraq. Bush conceded that he had been surprised by the lack of weapons in Iraq. He also acknowledged that he was apparently wrong to claim that there was no doubt Hussein had WMD but added that he couldn't wait for Iraq to become an imminent threat. Al Gore dipped his head back into the spotlight yesterday and took the opportunity to accuse Bush of betraying the nation when he chose to invade Iraq. According to a Newsweek poll, Bush's approval rating has slipped to 48%. In related news, the Independent reported over the weekend that over half of Britons want Tony Blair to resign and 54% believe he lied to them over the threat Iraq had posed.

The Observer has reported that Islamic terrorists have been practicing their abilities to assemble explosive devices aboard European-bound passenger jets while in the air. These tactics have been found to evade aviation security systems.

AP news reported that authorities in Delaware began testing chickens at 12 farms over the weekend after an outbreak of avian flu(bird flu) was discovered. Although experts say this particular strain is different from the one found in Asia and that it can't be transferred to humans, several Asian countries have banned U.S. poultry shipments.

The Associated Press reports that a man was arrested yesterday by FBI authorities after he attempted to board an airplane with a loaded gun. Cleve Unselle Burley falsely claimed to be a law enforcement officer when questioned and although terrorism has been ruled out as a motive, he could face a maximum of a 10-year federal prison sentence if convicted.

Have a terrific day!


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