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The Fokker Chronicles


Markets a little too whippy for you son?


World Markets:
World markets were trending higher today led in part by German and Spanish stocks. Asia markets were a mixed bag as the Japanese Nikkei gained 0.80% and the Hang Seng lost 1.35%. Commodities were giving back as a group early today following a continued double decade breakout in the CRB. US equities were slightly weaker ahead of the open on Wall Street.

Vehicle sales for February will be released later today while the ABC/Money Consumer Confidence number will be released this evening. Tomorrow's economic numbers include the ISM non-manufacturing numbers and the Fed's Beige Book.

Light week for earnings but looking ahead, Autozone(AZO:NYSE), Costco(COST:NASD), and Toys R Us(TOY:NYSE) will release earnings tomorrow.

Brokerage Chatter:
Schwab Soundview upgraded Micron(MU:NYSE) to outperform from Neutral and raised its target to $21 from $13. Morgan Stanley initiated coverage of Tyco(TYC:NYSE) with an overweight rating. CSFB downgraded GlobalSantaFe(GSF:NYSE) to neutral from outperform. Dean Foods(DF:NYSE) was cut to hold from buy at A.G. Edwards. Banc of America raised its rating on the oil and gas exploration sector to overweight from market weight.

Banc of America upgraded Texas Instruments(TXN:NYSE) to buy from neutral. Also raised its 2004-05 EPS estimates above consensus, and took up its price target to $37 from $32. CSFB reiterated its outperform rating on Altria(MO:NYSE) but raised its target to $67 from $62. Deutsche Bank downgraded MedImmune(MEDI:NASD) to sell from hold. Morgan Stanley made some positive comments on 3m(MMM:NYSE) cost cutting measures.

Financial Headlines:
Stories :

The Financial Times has reported that Intl Bus Machines(IBM:NYSE) is expected to announced today its $1 billion plans to get independent programmers to ditch Microsoft(MSFT:NASD) and write to its own platform.

The Wall Street Journal reported that potential merger discussion could be hearting up between Interbrew and AmBev. The speculation that was inferred is if Anheusur-Busch(BUD:NYSE) would jump in with a counter proposal.

According to the New York Times, a discount airlines said it plans on fighting United Airlines (UALAQ) efforts to win $1.6 billion in federal loan guarantees, the focal point for its restructuring plan.

The Wall Street Journal reported that General Electric(GE:NYSE) will announce a dividend hike. Qualcomm(QCOM:NASD) also raised its dividend by a 43% margin up to $0.10.

BJ's Wholesale(BJ:NYSE) beat by $0.05 and guided next year higher.
Marvel Enterprises(MVL:NYSE) beat by $0.01 and raised its 2004 guidance. Company also announced a 3-for-2 stock split.
Hovnanian Entreprises(HOV:NYSE) beat by a penny, however slightly below estimates for revenues. Raised its 2004 guidance

Around the world in 80 ticks:
The Associated Press reports that NASA scientists have apparently discovered something on Mars that has ground control squeezing their pocket protectors in glee this morning. The spokesman for NASA, Don Savage said he could not go into detail until later today, but offered "The primary mission of the rovers really dealt with the history of water on Mars and we'll be reporting new findings that bear on that." Yesterday they teased the media by admitting the Mars rover, Opportunity, has uncovered some "significant findings"

USA Today is reporting that according to two diplomats that have seen a detailed report issued from U.N. weapons inspectors will be released today and show that no weapons of mass destruction of any significance existed in Iraq after 1994.

AP news reports that according to new findings by the American Heart Association journal "Circulation", men considered to be "hotheaded" and throw temper tantrums seem to be at greater risk of having a stroke or dying. The new research shows that their risk is even greater than men who are merely stressed-out Type A personalities. Angry women on the other hand, a rarity where I come from, don't run as high a risk of having a stroke or heart problems.

Reuters is reporting that South Korean scientists have developed the technology to extract human embryonic stem cells from frozen embryos. Some speculation that axis of evil North Korean leader caught wind of this discovery from his southern neighbor and declared, "begun the clone wars have." Patent rights have been applied for in four countries according to South Korean technology authorities.

According to AP newswires, the story that circulated last week around the press room(Fokker Chronicles included) about the 114 year old man that expired, was in fact a mere pup of 92 years old. William Coates, originally thought to be the oldest ranked man in the U.S. drew attention from media around the country until U.S. Census records claimed he was no older than 92 years.

Have a great day.


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