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The Fokker Chronicles



World Markets:
Global markets were weaker today as the DAX and Spanish Ibex led Europe lower as both regions lost over 1% despite rebounding somewhat following the better than expected US data. The Japanese Nikkei was closed today however the Hang Seng lost 1.37%. Spot gold had been down $7 early on but has since bounced to near unchanged before the open of trading on Wall Street.


The Help Wanted Index is due out at 10amEDT but tomorrow, personal income and spending for March is expected along with University of Michigan confidence and Chicago Purchasing Manager data in the morning.

Brokerage Chatter:
ON Semi(ONNN:NASD) was upped to buy from hold at Needham. Jefferies downgraded Allied Capital(ALD:NYSE) to hold from buy and cut its target to $24 from $34. Merrill Lynch downgraded Taro Pharm(TARO:NASD) to neutral from buy. Morgan Keegan upgraded Qlogic(QLGC:NASD) and Emulex(ELX:NYSE) to outperform from market perform. Merrill Lynch cut its estimates and lowered its rating on Nortel(NT:NYSE) from buy to neutral.

Merrill upped Macromedia(MACR:NASD) to buy from neutral. CIBC downgraded Janus(JNS:NYSE) to sector perform from outperform and cut its target to $17 from $19. UBS upped Coca Cola Ent.(CCE:NYSE) to buy from neutral and raised its target to $32 from $26. Wachovia downgraded JDS Uniphase(JDSU:NASD) to market perform from outperform. Bear Stearns upped Nextel Partners (NXTP:NASD) to outperform from peer perform.

Financial Headlines:
Stories :
Reuters is reporting that Citigroup(C:NYSE) could be planning on European acquisitions and is currently in talks with other firms to expand its private banking business.

According to the Wall Street Journal, under a potential agreement with its unions, Delta(DAL:NYSE) may be forced to rehire 1,000 pilots that were let go following the 9/11 subsequent economic downturn. This would ultimately add $100 million to DAL's annual labor costs. The company is already facing an $85 million rise in its cost structure as of this Saturday as a result of a 4.5% pay rise.

E*Trade(ET:NYSE) authorized a $200 million share buyback program.

LSI Logic(LSI:NYSE) reported EPS of a penny better on inline revenues however guided the Street lower for its 2nd quarter.
Exxon Mobil(XOM:NYSE) beat by $0.08.
Rohm and Haas(ROH:NYSE) beat by $0.07.
Georgia-Pacific(GP:NYSE) beat by 3 cents.
Gillette(G:NYSE) beat by $0.08.
Taro Pharm(TARO:NASD) missed by $0.18.
Aetna(AET:NYSE) topped estimates by 3 cents and guided its 2004 estimates above consensus.
Dow Chemical(DOW:NYSE) beat by $0.08.
Qlogic(QLGC:NASD) reported inline and guided to the lower end of estimates.
JDS Uniphase(JDSU:NASD) beat by a penny but guided a penny below consensus for next quarter.
Time Warner(TWX:NYSE) beat by $0.06 and topped revenue estimates as well.

Around the world in 80 ticks:
AP news reports that the 9/11 commission will be hitting the road today and kicking the tires of the White House when it meets with President Bush and Vice President Cheney in closed door session to get their testimony on the events leading up to the infamous attacks. In related news, according to a CBS/NY Times poll showed Bush's approval rating at 44%, an all-time low.

Reuters has reported that nine more American soldiers were killed in attacks near Baghdad today, eight of which by a car bomb. The deaths raised the number of US casualties to 533 since the Iraqi invasion 13 months ago. The bloodiest month for US soldiers was this past month of April accounting for 125 American casualties.

The Associated Press reports that a Los Angeles shopping mall is currently being searched by a terrorism task force after an "uncorroborated" threat had been made. While the details of the attack remain circumstantial at best, both the name of the mall and credibility of the source was unknown, federal officials say the attack may have been planned for today.

In a recent CNN/USA Today/Gallup "Iraqi satisfaction poll" released yesterday, 71% of those polled viewed coalition forces "mostly as occupiers" as opposed to "mostly as liberators." One third said the attacks on U.S. forces were justifiable, 22% said they were "sometimes justified, sometimes not." 42% of Iraqis polled believed their country was better off since the invasion while 46% said the invasion has done "more harm than good." Despite the shift in attitude indicated in the poll, 53% said they would feel less safe if the US-led coalition left the country today.

Have a great day.


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