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The Fokker Chronicles



World Markets:

Europe was modestly higher today as both the DAX and London FTSE advanced 0.40% and 0.52% respectively. The Japanese Nikkei took a breather today and closed down a half of a percent while the Hang Seng finished up 0.26%. Early readings on the commodity markets showed spot crude advancing $0.60, dollar/yen down slightly, and spot gold trading off $1.38 heading into US equity open.


Later today at 3pmEDT, Consumer Credit figures get released for February. Tomorrow morning we'll finish off the trading week when we receive Jobless claims and Wholesale inventory data. After the bell today, lookout for earnings reports from Genentech(DNA:NYSE), Research in Motion(RIMM:NASD) and Yahoo!(YHOO:NASD). Tomorrow morning we'll review earnings from General Electric(GE:NYSE) and Abbott Labs(ABT:NYSE).

Brokerage Chatter:

Merrill Lynch was out with a negative call on Biogen IDEC(BIIB:NASD) and reduced its EPS estimates. Merrill also downgraded Electronic Arts(ERTS:NASD) to neutral from buy. CIBC upped Mandalay Resort(MBG:NYSE) to sector perform from sector underperform. CIBC raised its target on Linens 'n Things(LIN:NYSE) to $43 from $38. Lowe's(LOW:NYSE) was upgraded at Raymond James to strong buy from market perform. Bernstein upgraded St. Paul Travelers(STA:NYSE) to outperform from market perform and raised its target to $49 from $42.

Smith Barney upgraded Wild Oats(OATS:NASD) to buy from hold, raised its 2004/2005 EPS estimates above consensus, and took up its price target to $17 from $15. CVS Corp(CVS:NYSE) was cut to sell from hold at AG Edwards. Lehman upgraded Cigna(CI:NYSE) to equal weight from underweight and raised its target to $72 from $53. Banc of America upgraded The New York Times(NYT:NYSE) to buy from neutral. Goldman Sachs downgraded Nokia(NOK:NYSE) to in-line from outperform.

Financial Headlines:
Stories :
According to Bloomberg newswires, Lockheed Martin(LMT:NYSE) announced they will cut its offering price on Titan Corp by as much as 9% and delay finalizing the deal by several months as a result of a criminal probe into Titan and bribery allegations on its consultants.

Kerr-McGee(KMG:NYSE) announced it plans to acquire Westport(WRC:NYSE) for $2.54 billion.

Bloomberg newswires report that General Electric(GE:NYSE), Rolls-Royce won a Boeing(BA:NYSE) contract worth up to $40 billion.

Dollar Tree(DLTR:NASD) tightened its 1st quarter revenue guidance range.
Alcoa(AA:NYSE) missed by $0.01.
Seagate Tech(STX:NYSE) guided the 3rd quarter below consensus.

Around the world in 80 ticks:
Sky News reported that Iraq's death toll has been climbing precipitously. Reports from Sunday's incursions cited 130 deaths among coalition forces and Iraqi insurgents. The report further added that this marked the worst losses inflicted on American forces since the war first began. The latest reports claim an American chopper was shot down in central Iraq.

According to AP news, following his jailing for cutting out the hearts of his son, his estranged wife and her daughter, Andrew L. Thomas plucked out his own eye. Thomas took out his eyeball with his own hands while quoting from a verse from the bible that made him believe he couldn't enter heaven unless he did so. Doctors placed his eyeball on ice but added that they couldn't reattach it.

The University of Connecticut capped off an historic sweep of college basketball last night as the women's team beat Tennessee 70-61 for its 3rd straight championship victory and marked a first for both Men's and Women's teams at the same university winning the final game in the same season.

Have a great day.


position in nok
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