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The Fokker Chronicles



World Markets:

European markets were trading lower today as the DAX led the region lower trading down 0.75%. The Asian markets on the other hand bounced today as the Japanese Nikkei gained over 2% while the Hang Seng edged up 0.17%. Spot gold was getting an early lift this morning gaining just over $5 per troy ounce while the dollar index was trading in the red ahead of the US equity open.

At 2pmEDT the government will release its monthly budget statement for April. Tomorrow the PPI, retail sales and jobless claims data will be released.

Lookout after the bell today for Disney(DIS:NYSE), Ann taylor(ANN:NYSE) and Compuware(CPWR:NASD) earnings to hit the tape.

Brokerage Chatter:
Smith Barney upgraded Humana(HUM:NYSE) to hold from sell. Banc of America cut price targets for several retailers this morning including Federated(FD:NYSE), May Dept(MAY:NYSE), JC Penny(JCP:NYSE), Limited(LTD:NYSE), Home Depot(HD:NYSE), Lowes(LOW:NYSE), Target(TGT:NYSE) and Walmart(WMT:NYSE) to name a handful. Cisco Systems(CSCO:NASD) was upped to buy from neutral at Oppenheimer.

Prudential upgraded Abercrombie(ANF:NYSE) to overweight from neutral-weight. Wachovia upgraded Americredit(ACF:NYSE) to outperform from market perform. Duke Energy(DUK:NYSE) was upgraded to hold from sell at Smith Barney. Morgan Stanley upgraded Capital One(COF:NYSE) to overweight from equal-weight. Coventry Health Care(CVH:NYSE) was upgraded at Smith Barney to buy from hold. Prudential upgraded Banc of America(BAC:NYSE) to overweight from neutral weight.

Financial Headlines:
Stories :
Citigroup(C:NYSE) announced it would purchase Principal Residential Mortgage in a deal valued over $1.26 billion.

According to the latest data from MBA Mortgage Applications, U.S. home loan refinancings were off in the latest week. The refinancing index fell 13.2% to 2,184.6 in the week ended May 7.

The LA Times top business headline this morning, "China's Boom May Be Turning Toward a Bust" cited an unsustainable rise in property value in the country.

Reuters reported today that the Saudis were prepared to boost its oil output in an effort to meet the increase in global demand.

Yahoo!(YHOO:NASD) trades on a 2 for 1 stock split basis today.

Northrop Grumman(NOC:NYSE) announced a 2-for-1 stock split and raised its quarterly dividend 15%.


Cisco Systems(CSCO:NASD) beat by $0.01 and topped revenue estimates. Company also gave an upbeat assessment on its conference call however some traders felt they didn't beat its whisper numbers.
OSI Pharm (OSIP:NASD) missed by $0.24 and was light on revenues as well.
Abercrombie(ANF:NYSE) reported 1st quarter results a penny better than the Street on revenues of $411.9 million versus First Call estimates of $405.36 million.
Federated(FD:NYSE) beat by $0.04 and increased its 2004 guidance.
Qualcomm(QCOM:NASD) boosted its 3rd quarter forecast.
World Wrestling(WWE:NYSE) guided its 2004 above consensus.

Around the world in 80 ticks:

The Associated Press reported that the Pennsylvanian man that was beheaded and had his execution aired on an Al-Qaeda linked website was told by U.S. officials prior to his abduction to leave Iraq but he refused.

According to the Associated Press, President Bush yesterday put a ban on all U.S. exports to Syria with the exception of food and medicine. This follows continuing complaints by U.S. officials over the ongoing support of terrorism and the undermining assistance Syria has given to the perpetual violence in Iraq.

AP news reports that the Mexican Air Force might have stumbled upon a different kind of alien back on March 5th after what accounts from the radar operator and pilot Maj. Magdaleno Castanon referred to as a fleet of unidentifiable objects. What's even more incredible than Mexico even having an Air Force is that the jet which had been conducting routine anti-drug trafficking was able to videotape the occurrence of several lights surrounding it despite only three lights showing up on the plane's radar. A Mexican Defense Department official confirmed to the media yesterday the videotape was filmed by members of the Mexican military but no further comments were given.

Have a great day!


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