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The Fokker Chronicles



World Markets:

World markets were showing gains today led in part by the German DAX which added 1.68% and the CAC40 which added nearly 1% halfway through their respective sessions. In Asia stocks gained with the Nikkei up 0.28% and the Hang Seng posting a 0.75% gain. Brent crude in London was rallying this morning up 30cents a barrel as both the Dollar index and spot gold showed modest gains ahead of the open of equity trading on Wall Street.


Bush is to make a major televised speech tonight at 8:00pmEDT on his strategy for Iraq ahead of the June 30 deadline for transferring sovereignty to the Iraqis.

No economic data on the agenda today while tomorrow we'll be focused on the Consumer Confidence report for May and April's Existing Homes Sales figures.

Medtronic(MDT:NYSE) will post its earnings results after the bell today while Heinz(HNZ:NYSE), Krispy Kreme(KKD:NYSE), Agile Software(AGIL:NASD) and Tivo(TIVO:NASD) round up the earnings line-up for tomorrow.

Brokerage Chatter:

Barron's over the weekend made some positive comments for the VoIP stocks specifically citing the cable companies as the best positioned to benefit. Barron's also mentioned Beazer Homes(BZH:NYSE) as a stock to buy despite the rise in interest rates. Intl Business Mach(IBM:NYSE) and Hewlett Packard(HPQ:NYSE) received positive chatter in Barron's as well. UBS cut its price targets on Adtran(ADTN:NASD), Cisco(CSCO:NASD), Corning(GLW:NYSE), Juniper(JNPR:NASD), Lucent(LU:NYSE) and Nortel(NT:NYSE) to name a few. Needham upgraded Gateway(GTW:NSYSE) to hold from underperform. Smith Barney upped Edison(EIX:NYSE) to buy from hold.

Fulcrum upgraded Dow Chemical(DOW:NYSE) to buy from neutral. Mercury Interactive(MERQ:NASD) was upped to buy from hold at Wells Fargo. CSFB upgraded Boeing(BA:NYSE) to outperform from neutral and raised its target to $52 from $47. Bear Stearns upgraded Nextel(NXTL:NASD) to outperform from peer perform. Morgan Stanley upgraded PeopleSoft(PSFT:NASD) to overweight from equal-weight. Merrill Lynch upgraded Catepillar(CAT:NYSE) to buy from neutral.

Financial Headlines:
Stories :

The Financial Times reports that HSBC(HBC:NYSE) has begun exclusive talks with China's fifth largest lender, Bank of Communications with the potential of taking a major stake in China. The news follows the speculation on Friday that Washington Mutual(WM:NYSE) was getting perused by the HBC.

Lucent Tech(LU:NYSE) announced it has purchased privately held Telica for $295 million to expand its position in VoIP technology.

According to Bloomberg, Wells Fargo(WFC:NYSE) could purchase Strong Capital once the allegations of its improper trading at the money management company are cleared up.

AP news reports that McDonald's(MCD:NYSE) will be squeezing in a new taste to its menu this summer in Denver as it tests out DVD rental kiosks following its rollout in Washington and Las Vegas. The DVDs will be rented from kiosks for a $1 per day fee and can be returned to any McDonald's location.

Moody's(MCO:NYSE) announced it will begin a new $600 million share stock repurchase program.

Around the world in 80 ticks:
Ahmad Chalabi was on Meet the Press with Tim Russert yesterday denying allegations he gave US intelligence to the Iranians. Chalabi further said he would go before Congress to testify before the American people if asked to do so.

The Sunday Times in England released a leaked foreign office memorandum which exposes apparent riffs between the UK government and the US over its behavior in Iraq.

Cartoonist Garry Trudeau's comic strip "Doonesbuy" caused some commotion over the weekend after his syndicated panel yesterday showed a man's head on a platter. His cartoon was yanked and pulled from the funnies after some felt it bore too close a symbolic resemblance to the beheading of Nicholas Berg in Iraq.

The Associated Press reports that eBay(EBAY:NASD) pulled the Arnold Schwarzenegger cough drop over the weekend citing its no "body parts" rule after an ad was posted Friday under the heading "Schwarzenegger's DNA." The cough drop seller apparently tried to auction it off after the Governator had dropped it into a trash can.

Have a great day.

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