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The Fokker Chronicles



World Markets:
Europe was trading mixed to modestly higher today. The CAC40 was the strongest region in Europe gaining 0.65% while the London FTSE traded lethargic down 0.15%. In Asia, the Japanese Nikkei gained 1.2 percent, a new 22-month high for the index while the Hang Seng was closed today. The US dollar index remained strong today as the Dollar continues to rise against the Yen.


Earnings season is set to kick off this holiday shortened week. Alcoa(AA:NYSE) will lead the pack out of the Dow 30 and report EPS tomorrow, and reports from General Electric(GE:NYSE), Yahoo(YHOO:NASD), Abbott Labs(ABT:NYSE) and Genentech(DNA:NYSE) will get released later in the week.

Brokerage Chatter:
Smith Barney upgraded the Tobacco and Beverage group to overweight from market weight. SB also removed Viacom(VIA:NYSE) and Coca Cola Enterprise(CCE:NYSE) from its recommended list and added Atria(MO:NYSE) and Pepsi bottling(PBG:NYSE) in its place. Siebel Systems(SEBL:NASD) was upgraded at UBS. Intel(INTC:NASD) received some positive chatter out of Merrill this morning. Barron's had a positive cover story for American Intl(AIG:NYSE). Barron's also gave a handful of positive updates for BP(BP:NYSE), Nokia(NOK:NYSE), Gateway(GTW:NYSE) and SunMicro(SUNW:NASD).

CarMax(KMX:NYSE)was upped to strong buy from market perform at Raymond James. Piper Jaffray increased its estimates on Ask Jeeves(ASKJ:NASD). 2004 revenue estimates go to $224.7 million from $145.1 million. CSFB downgrades Georgia Gulf(GGC:NYSE) to neutral from outperform. CIBC upped Oracle(ORCL:NASD) to outperform from sector perform.

Financial Headlines:
Stories :
Dow Jones news wires is reporting that Altria(MO:NYSE) would be paying $250 million within 60 days of signing a deal with the European Union Commission in order to avoid further lawsuits that claimed collusion in cigarette smuggling. The report also said an additional $150 million would be paid after a year, and another $100 million 12 months later. MO would be expected to pay $1 billion over 12 years.

The Wall Street Journal reported that J.C.Penney(JCP:NYSE) will be selling its Eckerd unit for $4.4 billion to CVS Corp(CVS:NYSE).

According to the Wall Street Journal, Boeing(BA:NYSE) has been granted approval by the Air Force to bid for a $5 billion government rocket contract.

The Wall Street Journal reports that WellChoice(WC:NYSE) is purportedly in talks to acquire Oxford Health Plans(OHP:NYSE).

CIGNA(CI:NYSE) raised its 1st quarter and full year earnings outlook above consensus estimates this morning.
Siebel(SEBL:NASD) raised its outlook after Friday's close and said it now sees $0.05-.$06 on $329 million versus prior guidance of $0.04-$0.05 and $315-335 million.

Around the world in 80 ticks:

Reuters is reporting that Spanish investigators are looking into a fax from Al-Qaeda that was sent to a Spanish newspaper over the weekend. The fax warned of turning Spain into "an inferno" threatening more bombings unless Spain withdraws troops from Iraq and Afghanistan.

According to BBC news, senior senators Richard Lugar and Joe Biden have informed the White House that a hand over of sovereignty in Iraq set for June 30th should be postponed due to the strong potential that Iraq could be on the verge of civil war.

Have a great day.

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