The Fokker Chronicles
Have a peaceful weekend.
European stocks were off their lows today as the Spain bombings earlier on had weighed on the markets but has rebounded heading in the Wall Street open. The Spanish IBEX was clearly the weakest index losing over 1% halfway through is session. Asian stocks had difficult sessions today as the Japanese Nikkei gave up 1.19% and the Hang Seng lost 0.71%. The South Korean Kospi lost nearly 2 1/2% over night following the impeachment of its President.
Lookout for the University of Michigan confidence report at 9:50amEDT with expectations for 94.50. Looking ahead to next week, earnings reports from Tenet Healthcare(THC:NYSE), Lehman Brothers(LEH:NYSE), Lennar(LEN:NYSE), KB Homes(KBH:NYSE), Bear Stearns(BSC:NYSE), Morgan Stanley(MWD:NYSE), and Adobe(ADBE:NASD) will all paint the tape.
Morgan Stanley upgraded Dell Computer(DELL:NASD) to overweight form equal-weight. JP Morgan upped Dell Co.(DELL:NASD) to overweight from neutral. UBS lowered its estimates and price target for Ciena(CIEN:NASD). Banc of America initiated coverage of Columbia Sportswear(COLM:NASD) with a buy rating and $65 target. Banc of America upgrades Jabil(JBL:NYSE) to buy from neutral and raised its target to $33 from $28. First Albany upgraded Oracle(ORCL:NASD) to buy from neutral. Merrill Lynch upped Citrix Systems(CTXS:NASD) to buy from neutral. Thomas Weisel upgraded eSpeed(ESPD:NASD) to outperform from peer perform.
CIBC downgraded Petco(PETC:NASD) to sector perform from sector outperform. Merrill Lynch made some positive chatter on its long term view of Intl Bus Machines(IBM:NYSE). UBS raised its target on National Semi(NSM:NYSE) to $62 from $58. Prudential downgraded Altria(MO:NYSE) to neutral-weight from overweight. Legg Mason upped Deere(DE:NYSE) to buy from hold. Bear Stearns upped Halliburton(HAL:NYSE) to outperform from peer perform. UBS made some positive comments as well on HAL citing its liquidity worries have become overdone.
Bloomberg is reporting that Novartis AG said it might be interested in a merger with Aventis SA. (AVE:NYSE). AVE is currently fighting off a hostile takeover from Sanofi-Synthelabo SA.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Worldcom could soon announce that its accounting fraud might have reached $11 billion.
The Financial Times reported that US regulators might conduct a formal inquiry into El Paso's(EP:NYSE) and its sharp downward revision of its oil and gas reserves and delayed earnings report.
The Wall Street Journal reported that according to India government officials, Intl Bus. Machines(IBM:NYSE) plans on doubling its workforce in that country.
Oracle(ORCL:NASD) reported results in line with expectations but guided the street slightly lower.
Charter Semi(CHRT:NASD) raised its guidance.
Analogic Corporation(ALOG:NASD) beat by $0.25
Aetna(AET:NYSE) issued an upside preannouncement for its 1st quarter.
Petco(PETC:NASD) beat by $0.03 but came in a bit light on the revenues.
Around the world in 80 ticks:
The BBC reports that following yesterday morning's horrific coordinated attack on Madrid's transit system which left 198 fatalities and more than 1,400 wounded, Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar claimed they would pursue those responsible. Spain has yet to rule out any one group at this point, al Qaeda, ETA, and even Abu Hafs al-Masri Brigades have been mentioned. All but ETA has claimed responsibility for the ruthless attacks.
According to the Washington Post, the U.S. government is stockpiling anthrax vaccine for nearly 25 million people.
BBC news reported that South Korea has impeached its President Roh Moo-Hyun. Parliament cited his actions for endorsing a pro-government party, allegations over corruption and deeming Hyun incompetent to serve as President.
Reuters reports that the U.S. Senate approved early this morning to a $2.36 trillion budget for next year.
Reuters reported yesterday that in a landslide vote, the U.S. House of Representatives approved of legislation that hikes the fines on TV and radio broadcasters for violating indecency levels. The Federal Communications Commission now has the authority to fine broadcasters as much as $500,000 per violation, up from $27,500 and must warn the individual before imposing the fine.
Have a terrific weekend.
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