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The Fokker Chronicles


That was yummy!


World Markets:
Global markets were stronger today led by the DAX, Spanish IBEX and even the AEX in Amsterdam which experienced a bomb scare during its lunch hour today, had all been gaining nearly 2%. The Japanese Nikkei added 1.46% today while the Hang Seng went the other way and lost 1.25%. U.S. treasuries were off to a weaker start today but the equities were poised for a higher open.

Chairman Greenspan is currently speaking on rural economic issues in Virginia and Treasury Secretary Snow will be testifying before the House Financial Services Committee in Washington at 10amEDT. Existing home sales for February as well as the Help Wanted index are due out at 10amEDT. Earnings releases will be on the quiet side but look out for Echostar(DISH:NASD) tomorrow morning.

Brokerage Chatter:

Morgan Stanley thinks IBM could report slight upside to Q1's service bookings number. Lehman Brothers put out a note this morning defending Forest Labs(FRX:NYSE). Oppenheimer downgraded Charter One(CF:NYSE) to neutral from buy. UBS raised its price target on Micron(MU:NYSE) to $21 from $18. Qwest(Q:NYSE) was upped to hold at Deutsche. Taiwan Semi(TSM:NYSE) was upgraded at Bear Stearns from peer perform to outperform.

CIBC upgraded Baxter(BAX:NYSE) to sector perform from sector underperform. CSFB upgraded Citrix Systems(CTXS:NASD) to outperform from neutral, raised its 2004 estimates above consensus, and took up its price target to $26 from $23. Lehman lowered numbers for Nokia(NOK:NYSE) while Merrill Lynch had some positive commentary for Novellus(NVLS:NASD). Wachovia was positive on the SEMI's this morning. WalMart(WMT:NYSE) got positive mention from UBS and Pepsico(PEP:NYSE) had its numbers raised over at Lehman Brothers.

Financial Headlines:
Stories :

The Wall Street Journal reports that Microsoft(MSFT:NASD) is gaining in market share for cellular phone software.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the WTO ruled yesterday against a U.S. law which prohibited internet gaming actually violates global trade pacts.

Reuters has reported that Shell(SC:NYSE)/Royal Dutch(RD:NYSE) and Libya have announced they have agreed to a long-term strategic partnership.

Bloomberg news reports the Tenet Healthcare(THC:NYSE) reached a settlement with the DOJ yesterday.

Lattice Semi(LSCC:NASD) missed by 5 cents.
A.G. Edwards(AGE:NYSE) topped estimates by $0.13.
Activision(ATVI:NASD) took its 4th quarter guidance into positive territory and raised its guidance to $0.01 from -$0.01.
ConAgra(CAG:NYSE) beat by a penny.
Avon Products(AVP:NYSE) issued an upside preannouncement for the 1st quarter.

Around the world in 80 ticks:
The Associated Press reports that sixty prominent Palestinian officials and intellectuals have urged its angry public to refrain from retaliating against Israel for the assassination of Sheik Yassin. They argued that actions taken in retaliation would only ignite more bloodshed and potentially damage its chances of having an independent state. No word on whether this plea was meant to signify no further homicide bombers would be sent into Israel but it certainly sounds promising.

AP news reports that researchers said they may have discovered a genetic mutation that caused the earliest humans to branch off from the apes. A gene that led to smaller, weaker jaws, and consequently larger brains ultimately took place in East Africa according to the findings. The researchers argue that because the jaw shrank in size, a bigger brain was able to develop over time into the modern day brain you're using this morning. In over 2 and a half million years since the mutation first began, the brain was estimated to have tripled in size. The mutation findings can be found in the latest issue of the journal Nature reported by a team of biologists and plastic surgeons at the University of Pennsylvania and the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. The researchers had no further comment what this discovery says about people that still have big jaws however.

Have a great day.


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