The Fokker Chronicles
Global equity markets were noticeably higher thus far today. Both the DAX and CAC40 were trading up over 2%. The Japanese Nikkei gained 1.13% and the Hang Seng saw a 0.44% rise today. Treasuries on the other hand were getting crunched following the jobs numbers as both the 10 year and 30 year bonds were losing over 2 points. Gold in contrast to the dollar index had lost over 2% prior to the open of US equities on Wall Street.
Looking past the final four matchups this weekend, Monday the government will deliver the ISM non-manufacturing data at 8:30 am EDT(or 8:27am EDT depending on what news service you're plugged into.)
Earnings reports next week include Alcoa (AA:NYSE), Yahoo!(YHOO:NASD), Genetech (DNA:NYSE) and Research in Motion(RIMM:NASD).
Bear Stearns upped Agile Software (AGIL:NASD) and Gateway Co.(GTW:NYSE) from underperform to peer perform. Meanwhile, Needham downgraded GTW to underperform from hold. JP Morgan was out this morning with a technical call on the semis citing many of the names in the sector have broken through their 50 day moving averages. Merrill Lynch raising 2004-2005 EPS estimates and target on Qualcomm(QCOM:NASD). JP Morgan upped Lucent (LU:NYSE) to neutral from underweight. Lehman downgraded CarMax (KMX:NYSE) to equal-weight from overweight and cut its price target to $31 from $38. Air Products (APD:NYSE) was added to JP Morgan's Focus List.
Viacom (VIA:NYSE) was added to Merrill's Focus List. Clorox(CLX:NYSE) was upped to overweight from neutral at Prudential and had its price target raised to $60 from $53. Emulex (ELX:NYSE) had its estimates cut at Merrill and a price target change from $36 to $31. Prudential upgraded Bank of New York (BK:NYSE) from underweight to neutral and raised its price target from $32 to $34. Banc of America upped BK as well this morning. Lehman had nice things to say about Yahoo! (YHOO:NASD) today and raised its estimates for the 1st quarter.
The Labor Department issued a comment that no evidence of the jobs data was leaked, despite both the treasury and equity markets spiking a few percentage points 3 minutes before the actual release.
Conflicting data on equity flow data this week. According to AMG data, equity inflows totaled $2.8 billion this past week however Trim Tabs showed an outflow from stock mutual funds of $300 million.
According to CBS Marketwatch, Gateway Co. (GTW:NYSE) announced after the close last night that it was closing all 188 of its retail outlets and will lay off 2500 employees. GTW added that it will now sell its PCs and other consumer electronic products through 3rd party outlets.
The Financial Times reported that Reuters services consisting of core news and information lost more share to Bloomberg by 2% last year. Reuters said the share loss was in line with its expectations however and added that it had actually gained share within its premium services market.
Semi data last night showed that global sales of chips rose by a record 31% year-over-year in February.
Verisity (VRST:NASD) guided the Street below consensus for its 1st quarter forecast.
Hutchinson (HTCH:NASD) issued a negative preannouncement by guiding the Street down to $0.30-$0.33 from a consensus $0.42.
Sun Microsystems (SUNW:NASD) is another preannouncement victim guiding the Street below consensus and announced they would cut 3,300 jobs.
Around the world in 80 ticks:
According to Reuters, after pressured on Bush's attention to terrorism prior to 9/11, the White House decided to release classified documents that showed that one week before the attacks in New York and Washington, President Bush had ordered military action against Al Qaeda. While just portions of the September 4th plans were released for the 9/11 panel, national security adviser Condaleeza Rice announced she would take center stage for the commission on Thursday, April 8th.
BBC news report that Spanish police have discovered 24 pounds of dynamite and an explosive device on a high-speed railway which connected Madrid and Seville. In related news, the Spanish PM reiterated his firm stance of removing his troops from Iraq, appeasing the Spanish branch of the Al Qaeda network that might have been concerned otherwise.
AP news citing US authorities promised an overwhelming response to the brutal Iraqi killings of Americans in Fallujah this week.
The Associated Press reports that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon told an Israeli paper that if their troops withdrew from the Gaza Strip and attacks against Israeli civilians still continued, he would consider shutting off water and electicity to the Palestinians. In a stern warning, Sharon added that Arafat "has no insurance policy." In related news, Israeli police stormed the Jerusalem holy site today after Palestinians left their mosque and proceeded to throw rocks at police and Jewish worshipers.
Enjoy your weekend!
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