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The Fokker Chronicles



World Markets:
European markets were firmer today led in part by a 0.60% gain in the DAX. The Japanese Nikkei lost some ground while the Hang Seng gained 0.88% on its session. Treasuries added to their winnings from last week as the 10year future gained just under a half a point in early trading. The US dollar index remained range bound hovering at unchanged prior to the open of trading on Wall Street.

Lookout this week for Oracle(ORCL:NASD) and National Semi(NSM:NYSE) which will report their earnings. Texas Instruments(TXN:NYSE) will give its first-quarter business update after the bell. No economic events scheduled for today's trading session.

Brokerage Chatter:
In Barron's this weekend, Walt Disney(DIS:NYSE) was given positive mention. Citing rebounding fundamentals, Barron's said the stock could be a good purchase for investors. Barron's also made some positive chatter on Veritas(VRTS:NASD). SAP AG(SAP:NYSE) was upped at Prudential to overweight from neutral-weight. Deutsche raised its EBITA estimates for Time Warner(TWX:NYSE). Deutsche is also looking for an upside pre-announcement from Nokia(NOK:NYSE) within the next couple of weeks. Lehman made some positive chatter on Cisco Systems(CSCO:NASD) saying its quarter could arrive at the higher end of forecasts.

UBS reiterated its buy rating for McDonald's(MCD:NYSE) however it raised its 2004 estimates and took up its price target to $35 a share. Banc of America took up its price target for Wendy's(WEN:NYSE) following its meeting with management. Bear Stearns took up its numbers on Lehman Brothers(LEH:NYSE) and Morgan Stanley(MWD:NYSE) and cited Merrill Lynch(MER:NYSE) as its favorite name in the sector. Banc of America is telling its clients to buy Echostar(DISH:NASD) on the stock's current weakness over the Viacom(VIA.B:NYSE) dispute and added the stock remains inexpensive and placed a $43 price target on the company.

Prudential downgraded Navistar(NAV:NYSE) to neutral-weight from overweight. Deutsche Bank upgrades Affiliated Computer(ACS:NYSE) to buy from hold. Needham upgraded Novellus(NVLS:NASD) to buy from hold. UBS upgraded Scientific-Atlanta(SFA:NYSE) to buy from neutral. UBS downgraded AmerisourceBergen(ABC:NYSE) to neutral from buy. Piper Jaffray raised its target on Coach(COH:NYSE) to $54 from $44. Legg Mason downgraded Toll Brothers(TOL:NYSE) to hold from Buy. Legg Mason upped STMicroelectronics(STM:NYSE) to buy from hold.

Over the weekend, Warren Buffett released Berkshire's annual letter to shareholders and cited the trade gap and weaker dollar as causes for concerns that could reach "well beyond currency markets." The letter apparantly also took shots on mutual fund companies, greedy CEO's and exposed that he was building up positions in foreign currency.

Financial Headlines:
Stories :
Jam giant J.M. Smucker(SJM:NYSE), according to Bloomberg newswires, announced today that it has agreed to purchase International Multifoods(IMC:NYSE) for approximately $840 million.

According to the New York Post, Martha Stewart will speak with the directors of her company letting them know that she plans on quitting the board. In related news, the Post has learned that CBS, a unit of Viacom(VIA.B:NYSE) will be canceling her show, "Martha Stewart Living" effective today as a result of her conviction last week.

Hovnanian(HOV:NYSE) declared a two-for-one stock split.

The Wall Street Journal has reported that Boeing Co.(BA:NYSE) could face $710 million in charges should certain military airplane contracts get canceled.

General Electric(GE:NYSE) announced plans to offer $3.8 billion in a planned stock offering.

Bloomberg newswires report that BellSouth(BLS:NYSE) has announced it will sell its Latin American operations to Telefonica Moviles for $4.2 billion in cash.

Around the world in 80 ticks:

Reuters reports that U.N. atomic watchdog chief, Mohamed ElBaradei expressed what he called "serious concern" today about Iran's omissions from its nuclear activity declarations. Both Iran and Libya were cited as guilty of breaking long-term violations of their nuclear non-proliferation treaties. Taking a step further, ElBaradei rejected Tehran's plea to drop its investigations. In related news, an IAEA spokeswoman said that Libya and Nigeria would sign an "Additional Protocol" this Wednesday giving the UN authority to conduct more "intrusive" inspections.

According to Reuters, the Bush administration is planning on imposing sanctions against Syria for its ongoing support of terrorist groups and for allowing fighters to enter Iraq.

Planning your next romantic getaway? Consider an Indonesian prison say law officials in Southeast Asia. According to the BBC, the government of Indonesia has put a ban on couples caught kissing passionately in public and under the draft of its parliament, could face up to 5 years of jail time and a fine of 250 thousand rupiah or $29,000. Officials claim that this is part of an anti-pornography bill sweeping this region that also attempts to ban public nudity, flashing, erotic dancing and sex parties.

Have a great day.


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