The Fokker Chronicles
European bourses were rebounding slightly today as the DAX and CAC 40 rallied by 0.45% and 0.72% respectively. A stronger than expected PPI and higher claims data pushed 10yr futures initially higher before they settled back into negative territory. Yen made a fresh 8-month low versus the US dollar today as the Japanese Nikkei shed nearly 3%. The Hang Seng fell as well and lost 1.14%.
Lookout after the bell for earnings releases for Analog Devices(ADI:NYSE), BEA Systems(BEAS:NASD) and Dell Co(DELL:NASD).
Looking ahead to Friday, the CPI, Business Inventories, Industrial Production, Capacity Utilization and Michigan Confidence data will get released tomorrow morning.
Oppenheimer initiates coverage of Imclone(IMCL:NASD) with a buy rating and an $84 price target. RBC Capital upgraded Jack in the Box(JBX:NYSE) to outperform from sector perform and raised its target to $42 from $36. DuPont(DD:NYSE) was upgraded to buy from neutral at Fulcrum. Deutsche Bank upped Texas Instruments(TXN:NYSE) to hold from sell.
Goldman Sachs initiated the brokerage sector with a cautious view, individually started Merrill Lynch(MER:NYSE) with an outperform rating, Morgan Stanley(MWD:NYSE) and Lehman Brothers(LEH:NYSE) with an in-line, and started Bear Stearns(BSC:NYSE) as an Underperform. UBS upgraded Goldman Sachs(GS:NYSE) to buy from neutral. Goldman Sachs downgraded Altria(MO:NYSE) to in-line from outperform while they upgraded UST(UST:NYSE) to outperform from in-line. Walt Disney(DIS:NYSE) was upgraded to buy from hold at AG Edwards. Piper Jaffray initiated coverage of Dell Co.(DELL:NASD) with an outperform rating and a $44 price target.
According to SEMI(Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International), global chip equipment sales were up 56% in March over the same period last year.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Dreamworks might be considering an IPO of its animation unit which would largely be determined by the success of two projects scheduled for this Fall, "Shark Tale" and "Father of the Pride."
Genentech(DNA:NYSE) will trade on a 2-for-1 stock split basis effective today.
WalMart(WMT:NYSE) tops estimates by a penny on stronger revenues.
Walt Disney(DIS:NYSE) beat by $0.05.
Mamma.com(MAMA:NASD) reported 1st quarter EPS better by 3 cents on revenues of $4.2 million versus First Call estimate of $3.3 million.
Target(TGT:NYSE) beat by a penny.
Elan Corp(ELN:NYSE) beat by $0.10.
Compuware(CPWR:NASD) reports in line
Around the world in 80 ticks:
Reuters has reported that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld made a surprise visit to Iraq today in an effort to help quell the current disparagement over the Iraqi prisoner abuses by US guards.
The Associated Press reported that government officials were clamoring that with so many National Guard troops over in Iraq, some states having become increasingly worried that if an emergency should turn up at home, they would be caught short-handed.
The New York Times is reporting that the CIA is coming under fire from U.S. officials over what some claim as brutal and severe tactics in interrogation. Further, these methods of interrogation were said to be sanctioned by the Bush administration following the 9/11 attacks. The paper cited measures that included placing hoods on high level Al-Qaeda operatives, soaking them with water, roughing them up and depriving them of food, light and medication. One CIA interrogator was reprimanded for threatening an Al-Qaeda prisoner with a hand gun. It remained unclear if these same unnamed and outraged officials preferred that these terrorists be handed 'lolly-pops' and asked nicely if American lives and interests were in immediate life-threatening danger.
Note: The Fokker Chronicles will not be printed tomorrow as Fokker and his news staff will be headed to Vegas for much needed R&R but will return on Monday, May 17th.
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