The Fokker Chronicles
World markets were already weaker following the lackluster close in the US markets. A terrorist bombing in Spain added more sour to the mix and consequently, Europe was trading off a couple of percentage points today. The German DAX led the region lower losing over 3% halfway through its session. The Spanish IBEX had lost just over 2% way off its lows of the session which was down nearly 3%.
Earnings to look out for today include Oracle(ORCL:NASD) and National Semi(NSM:NYSE). Sandler O'Neill West Coast Financial Services Conference is today and Deutsche will be finishing up its Global Software conference.
Morgan Stanley raised its EPS estimates for Phelps Dodge(PD:NYSE) and Inco(N:NYSE). UBS lowered its target on Harley-Davidson(HDI:NYSE) to $60 from $63. JP Morgan upgraded Cooper Cameron(CAM:NYSE) to overweight from neutral and raised its 2005 EPS estimates to $2.00 from $1.67. Thomas Weisel downgraded Alltel(AT:NYSE) to peer perform from outperform. CSFB upgraded Hewitt Associates(HEW:NYSE) to outperform from neutral. CSFB upped Target(TGT:NYSE) to outperform from neutral and raised its price target to $49 from $40.
Banc of America dumped Mattel(MAT:NYSE) down to a neutral from buy, slightly cut its 2004 EPS below consensus and cut its price target to $20 from $26. Thomas Weisel upped Red Hat(RHAT:NASD) to outperfrom from peer perform. Lehman upgraded CheckFree(CKFR:NASD) to overweight from equal-weight and raised its target to $34 from $25. Both Piper Jaffray and CSFB downgraded Leapfrog(LF:NYSE) to underperform from outperform.
According to the Wall Street Journal, General Motors(GM:NYSE) said its retiree health costs will rise. The company is expected to report in its 10k report that its future health care costs now appear to exceed $60 billion.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Viacom(VIA.B:NYSE) and Echostar(DISH:NASD) have reached a settlement ending their feud early this morning. Terms of the deal were not disclosed however the Viacom programming has been restored to all its subscribers. In related news, DISH said it would be delaying its earnings results due to SEC discussions into its accounting. A conference call has been scheduled for 12pmEDT.
According to the NY Post, Pfizer(PFE:NYSE) is currently under investigation by the Justice Department.
Ceradyne(CRDN:NASD) declared a 3-for-2 stock split.
Yellow Roadway(YELL:NASD) narrowed its 1st quarter EPS towards high end and reaffirms its 2004 guidance.
Nortel(NT:NYSE) said it will delay its annual report, most likely to restate its numbers.
Shire Pharm(SHPGY:NASD) beat by a penny.
Urban Outfitters(URBN:NASD) beat consensus by $0.02.
Tech Data(TECD:NASD) beat by $0.13 and guided its 1st quarter revenues above consensus.
Around the world in 80 ticks:
CNN reported that a Spanish terrorist group had set off a series of explosions tearing through crowded passenger trains in Madrid that were packed with morning rush hour commuters. Officials claimed that a Basque Separatist group, ETA, is most likely responsible for the blasts that killed at least 173 people and wounded hundreds more.
AP news reports that Alice Pike, the woman who tried to use a phony $1 million bill to purchase $1,675 worth of goods at a Georgia Wal-Mart said she had thought the bill was real. Pike added that she did think it was odd that Alfred E. Newman was printed on the bill, but that was all she had left over from her previous evening's Mad Magazine party.
Have a great day.
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