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The Fokker Chronicles

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World Markets:

Europe has been weaker for most of its session today as the DAX and CAC40 led the region lower dropping 0.60%. The Japanese Nikkei closed slightly lower while the Hang Seng raged 1.72% on the day. U.S. Treasuries remained positive today as well as spot gold which hovered around the $420 level leading into the start of trading on Wall Street.

Heads-up:

U.S. March Consumer Confidence is due out at 10:00amEDT.

Brokerage Chatter:

Infineon(IFX:NYSE) was upgraded to overweight from underweight at Morgan Stanley. JP Morgan upgraded General Dynamics(GD:NYSE) to neutral from underweight. Marathon Oil(MRO:NYSE) was upped to overweight from equal weight and had its price target raised to $40 from $36 at Lehman Brothers. UBS upgraded Texas Industries(TXI:NYSE) to buy from neutral and raised its target to $43 from $38.

UBS was negative on Foundry Networks(FDRY:NASD) reducing its 2005 estimates below consensus and cut its price target to $18.50 from $28. JP Morgan upped Hanover Compressor(HC:NYSE) to overweight from underweight. Schwab Soundview raised its 2004/2005 estimates for Ask Jeeves(ASKJ:NASD) above consensus and took up its price target to $40 from $35. WR Hambrecht upped Quality Systems(QSII:NASD) to buy from hold and placed a $60 target for the stock. Goldman Sachs upgraded Federated(FD:NYSE) to outperform from in-line and cut Sears(S:NYSE) to underperform from in-line.


Financial Headlines:
Stories :

Bloomberg newswires report that ExxonMobil's(XOM:NYSE) royalties verdict against them was cut to $3.6 billion from $11.9 billion.

The LA Times reports that Lehman Brothers(LEH:NYSE) received a negative ruling last night which would allow for a lawsuit against them to proceed. The suite alleges that LEH had published misleading info to gain investment banking business.

Bloomberg newswires report that Sony(SNE:NYSE) will not be dropping its price of its PS2 game console as many had speculated. Sony keeps the price of its console at $179 despite Microsoft(MSFT:NASD) announcing they they have dropped its price to $149.

According to Bloomberg newswires, the SEC and the NYSE are expected to announced a settlement with floor specialists for approximately $241 million.

Reuters has reported that Saudi Arabia will back an OPEC cut when the cartel meets tomorrow. Saudi Oil Minister, Ali al-Naimi said he felt a surplus in the market already exists and adding more oil would be "destructive."

The Tyco(TYC:NYSE) board announced that they have approved stock awards for its CEO. Remains unclear if Roman Toga parties have been included in the pay package.

Earnings:
PepsiCo(PEP:NYSE) boosted its outlook and declared a stock buyback.
Autodesk(ADSK:NASD) issued an upside preannouncement for its upcoming 1st quarter results and now sees pro forma EPS of $0.27-0.32 versus consensus of $0.20 on revenues of $265-275 million versus consensus of $243.5 million.
Silicon Storage(SSTI:NASD) also raised its 1st quarter guidance.

Around the world in 80 ticks:

Reuters reports that UK police have seized a large amount of explosive material and arrested eight men in London and southeast England today making the raid the largest operation in years. According to the head of UK's anti-terror branch, Peter Clarke, "It was the biggest counter-terrorism raid in recent years." Clarke added that all suspects were believed to be of Muslim origin.

According to the LA Times, a couple of Democratic U.S. senators may launch a resolution forcing national security adviser Condoleezza Rice to testify under oath before the 9/11 commission.

New York 1 is reporting that taxi commuters in New York City might be in for a fare hike today. The Taxi and Limousine Commission is expected to vote today for fare hikes. This would be the first time they raised fares in eight years and under the proposal, the base fare would increase 50 cents, to $2.50, and each tick of the meter(a fifth of a mile or time spent idling) would go from 30 cents to 40 cents. A $1 surcharge for pick-ups from 4-8 p.m. on weekdays would be implemented but the late night fee would be eliminated altogether. The one perk in all of this is now cabs will accept credit cards. The new fares if approved could take effect as early as next month.

Have a great day.

Fokker


position in leh
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