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The Fokker Chronicles


Did you say a steel cave?


World Markets:
Europe was trading off today led in part to the down side by the DAX and CAC40 which had lost over 1 1/4 % halfway through its session. In Asia, the Nikkei gained 0.41% but the Hang Seng gave back 1.23% on the day. Overnight NYMEX crude futures fell below $38 a barrel following its highest close in 13 years after it settled in New York yesterday at $38.18. Treasuries which had been weak all morning sank on the initial headline for the long awaited January PPI report.

Lookout for the Leading Indicators data for February at 10amEDT and the Phila Fed for March gets released at 12:00pmEDT. After the bell, earnings reports from Adobe(ADBE:NAD), Lattice Semi(LSCC:NASD), and Nike(NKE:NYSE) will post their results. The semi book to bill is due out around 6pmEDT today with consensus views for 1.18.

Brokerage Chatter:

Smith Barney upgraded Stanley Works(SWK:NYSE) to hold from sell and raised its target to $42 from $36. Merrill Lynch upgraded Waters(WAT:NYSE) to buy from neutral and raised its 2004-05 EPS estimates above consensus. CIBC upped Jabil Circuit(JBL:NYSE) to sector outperform from Sector Perform and took its price target up to $38 from $35. Wachovia downgraded Nortel(NT:NYSE) to market perform from outperform.

Morgan Stanley raised its view of the Semiconductor industry to attractive from in-line, individually it upped Microchip(MCHP:NASD) to overweight from equal weight and upgraded Advanced Micro(AMD:NYSE) to equal-weight from underweight and raised its 2004-05 estimates above the Street forecasts. Morgan also raised its view of the Wireline Networking Equipment industry to attractive from in-line. Specifically, Juniper(JNPR:NASD) was upped to equal-weight from underweight, but dropped Tellabs(TLAB:NASD) and Avici Systems(AVCI:NASD) to underweight from equal-weight. Thomas Weisel upgraded Sapient(SAPE:NASD) to outperform from peer perform. UBS upgraded Southwest Airlines(LUV:NYSE) to neutral from reduce.

Financial Headlines:
Stories :
Bloomberg newswires report that Microsoft(MSFT:NASD) and the European Union have failed to reach an agreement in its settlement talks. Softy's lawyer said it will appeal the ruling in court.

According to Bloomberg newswire, Royal Dutch/Shell(RD:NYSE) announced it will once again cut its reserves because its 2003 figures were also bad.

Hewlett-Packard(HPQ:NYSE) shareholders yesterday approved of expensing its options. Board members said they will consider the issue to expense them.

Eastman Chem(EMN:NYSE) filed a $1 billion mixed shelf.

The Wall Street Journal reported that according to a Pentagon spokeswoman, starting next month, Halliburton(HAL:NYSE) paycheck will be 15% lighter so that the oil service giant can catch up on its accounting books over its work in Iraq. The expected amount withheld could exceed $300 million.

Autozone(AZO:NYSE) said it has authorized an additional $600million share buyback, adding to its current $800 million program.

According to the NY Post, Fannie Mae(FNM:NYSE) is receiving closer scrutiny from the treasury department over what it calls "unusual" multibillion-dollar derivative losses that Fannie disclosed in its 10K this past week.


Morgan Stanley(MWD:NYSE) beat the street by 11 cents. Revenues rose 14.0% year over year to $6.24 billion versus the $5.47 billion consensus.
Jabil Circuit(JBL:NYSE) beat by$0.02 and guided its first quarter higher.

Around the world in 80 ticks:

AP newswires report that the Islamic militant group(affiliated with Al Qaeda) which claimed responsibility for last week's attacks in Madrid has issued another warning according to today's Arabic newspaper Al-Quds al-Arabi. The warning said the next targets could be Japan, Italy, Britain or Australia.

Reuters is reporting that according to a senior U.S. senator, the United States will bring its first-ever complaint against China to the World Trade Organization. The complaint accuses Beijing of flooding the markets with impeding microchip imports as the trade surplus with China booms past $125 billion with the U.S.

The Associated Press reported that an asteroid will make its closest flyby of the Earth on record, not including the last time the dinosaurs roamed the planet. Spotted late on Monday, a 100-foot in diameter asteroid will pass within 26,500 miles of our planet this evening. Apparently taking a few days to confirm their data, NASA astronomers buried within a steel cave bunker miles below the earth's surface gave assurances that the large fireball rock poses no risk.

Have a great day.


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