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The Fokker Chronicles

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World Markets:
Europe was much firmer today led higher by the German DAX and the resurgent Spanish IBEX. Even the CAC40 was gaining over 1% halfway through the European trading session. Asian stocks closed stronger today as the Japanese Nikkei added 1.73% and the Hang Seng finished up 0.33% on its session. The US dollar index was whippy most of the morning and was poised to hold onto its early gains heading into the open of trading on Wall Street after a benign CPI reading.

Heads-up:
Fed Chairman Greenspan is scheduled to speak via satellite on banking (11:30am; comments related to near-term monetary policy are not expected).Triple witch expiration on Friday. Jabil(JBL:NYSE) earnings after the bell tonight while tomorrow lookout for Morgan Stanley(MWD:NYSE) and Adobe(ADBE:NASD) to report their results.

Brokerage Chatter:
Smith Barney upped Yahoo!(YHOO:NASD) to buy from hold and raised its target to $60 from $50. CSFB cut the metals & mining sector to benchmark from 25% overweight. RBC upped Polaris Industries(PII:NYSE) to outperform from sector perform and raised its price target to $49 from $46. CIBC lowered RadioShack(RSH:NYSE) 1st quarter same store sales estimate to -1% from flat. UBS lowering price tgt on Adaptec(ADPT:NASD) to $9.50 from $11.50.

ThinkEquity reiterated its strong buy rating and its $17 target on Siebel Systems(SEBL:NASD). Merrill Lynch upgraded TXU Corp(TXU:NYSE) to buy from neutral, raised its 2004-05 EPS estimates above consensus, and raised its price target to $33 from $25. UBS upgraded Plexus(PLXS:NASD) to buy from neutral. Wachovia upgraded General Mills(GIS:NYSE) to outperform from market perform.


Financial Headlines:
Stories :

According to the Wall Street Journal, the combined Banc of America/FleetBoston (BAC:NYSE/FBF:NYSE) is expected to cut approximately 7% of its workforce or 12-13,000 people beginning next month.

The New York Post reported that Time Warner(TWX:NYSE) could be considering a sale of its AOL unit. As part of its considerations for strategic alternatives, TWX is also looking into an acquisition of Adelphia once it comes out of bankruptcy.

Apogent Tech(AOT:NYSE) and Fisher Scientific(FSH:NYSE) announced they will merge for $29.30/share in a deal valued at $3.7 billion.

Earnings:
Gamestop(GME:NYSE) beats by $0.01
Bear Stearns(BSC:NYSE) beat by 54 cents.
FedEx(FDX:NYSE) beat by $0.05 and also guided its forecasts above consensus for its 4th quarter and 2004 estimates.
Lennar Corp(LEN:NYSE) beat by a penny and guided 2004 EPS above consensus.
Agere Systems(AGR:NYSE) guides Q2 rev outlook below consensus.
KB Home(KBH:NYSE) beat by $0.16 and beat on revenues.


Around the world in 80 ticks:

CNN reports that the suspect in the Ohio shootings, Charles McCoy Jr., has been arrested in Las Vegas shortly after his sister and mother publicly pleaded for Charles to call home. The local dispatch was given information that McCoy Jr was given a hand gun from McCoy Sr. and ballistic tests matched that gun with the one used in at least 7 of the shootings including one incident that proved fatal.

The Associated Press reports that intelligence specialists said the threatening letter that had been sent to France did not resemble typical Islamic terrorist group letters. In related news, a U.S. defense analyst was quoted as saying Al-Qaeda could be in the planning stages of an unprecedented maritime attack, in which they would deliver chemical, biological or radiological attacks against land targets.

Reuters reported yesterday that U.S. government officials unveiled its plans for unmanned aerial drones that would detect illegal immigrants, drug traffickers and terrorists along the Arizona/Mexico border. Estimates show that nearly 40% of all illegal immigrants enter through the Arizona border with Mexico despite over 400,000 arrests made last year.


Have a great day.

Fokker

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