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The Fokker Chronicles

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World Markets:
World markets were weaker today and especially in Spain where the IBEX had lost over 3% leading up to the US open on Wall Street. The DAX lost just over 1% halfway through its session. The Japanese Nikkei gained 1.39% today while the Hang Seng finished slightly in negative territory. US treasuries had started the day higher and added to those gains with a weaker than expected Empire Manufacturing number. They have since given back all of its gains following a stronger industrial production number. Check out Brian Reynolds comments for more on that.

Heads-up:
The economic data calendar this week should be busy. This morning the government delivers industrial production, FOMC meeting tomorrow afternoon and Wednesday lookout for the CPI. Earnings report from Tenet Healthcare(THC:NYSE) after the bell today while tomorrow we'll get reports from Lehman Brothers(LEH:NYSE), KB Homes(KBH:NYSE) and Lennar(LEN:NYSE).

According to CNBC, Treasury Secretary Snow will be meeting with all 12 bank presidents this evening.

Brokerage Chatter:
Bernstein upgraded Coca-Cola(KO:NYSE), Accenture(ACN:NYSE) and BearingPoint(BE:NYSE) to outperform from market perform. UBS cut its price target on NetGear(NTGR:NASD) to $17 from $19.50. Barron's made some negative chatter on Intl Bus Machines(IBM:NYSE) software unit while the paper was somewhat bullish on Nike(NKE:NYSE). Bear Stearns raised itS view on the large-cap packaged food sector to market overweight from market weight. Bear also upped Heinz(HNZ:NYSE) to outperform from peer perform. Prudential was slightly negative on Apple Co.(AAPL:NASD). eBay(EBAY:NASD) had its numbers raised at Goldman Sachs.

Lehman upped Forest Labs(FRX:NYSE) to overweight from equal-weight and raised its target to $83 from $60. AG Edwards upgraded Bank of New York(BK:NYSE) to buy from hold. Deutsche Bank upped Goodrich Corp.(GR:NYSE) to buy from neutral. Thomas Weisel upgraded Merck(MRK:NYSE) to outperform from peer perform. Banc of America upgraded Monster Worldwide(MNST:NASD) to buy from neutral and raised its target to $27 from $25. Bear upped ATI Tech(ATYT:NASD) to outperform from peer perform.

Financial Headlines:
Stories :
According to Bloomberg newswires, Electronic Data Systems(EDS:NYSE) announced it has sold its UGS PLM Solutions division for $2.05 billion in cash.

General Electric(GE:NYSE) confirmed its acquisition of InVision Tech (INVN:NASD) for $900 million, or $50/share.

The Financial Times reports that Ford Motor(F:NYSE) disclosed in its 10K that its health care liabilities were now at $32.4 billion, a rise of $2 billion from last year. Senior management said it expects its healthcare costs to rise 9% this year after its liabilities rose from $57.1 billion to $67.5 billion year over year.

According to the Barron's cover story over the weekend, the overall assessment on the two presidential candidates concluded that Bush would be better for stocks and Kerry better for bonds.

Earnings:

Delta(DAL:NYSE) disclosed in its 10K filing that due to high fuel costs, a wider loss than originally anticipated will be reported this quarter.
Dollar General(DG:NYSE) missed estimates by a penny.


Around the world in 80 ticks:

Reuters reports that following yesterday's surprise election results in Spain which ousted the pro-U.S. ruling party, incoming Socialist leader Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero indicated today he would be pulling Spain's 1,300 troops out of Iraq by the end of June. In related news, Russian PM Putin won his country's elections yesterday by receiving 71% of the vote with a better than expected 64% voter turn out.

The Associated Press reported that in a poll released yesterday in Britain, nearly half of U.K. muslims that were polled said they would possibly consider becoming suicide bombers if they lived in the Palestinian territories. Further results indicated that more than one in ten felt further terror attacks on the U.S. would be a justified course of action. Let's hope Scotland Yard kept the names and addresses of the survey takers.

According to the Associated Press, new research that will be published next month in the journal, Nature Technology cites that a cure for baldness might be in the near future. The hair raising discovery was found after scientists implanted stem cells into the mice which ultimately led to a full head of lustrous hair for the less than furry rodents. Approximately $1 billion dollars is spent in the U.S. each year in the fight against baldness.


Have a great day.

Fokker

position in dal, ibm
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