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The Fokker Chronicles



World Markets:

Global markets were weaker today led on the downside by DAX which was losing 1.20%. In Asia, the Japanese Nikkei lost 1.25% while the Hang Seng in contrast gained a quarter of a percent on its session. Brent crude in London was backing off some after a powerful performance in the energy markets yesterday. Spot gold was up $4 just prior to the close of Globex equity futures trading.

After the bell today we'll get earnings releases from Agile Software(AGIL:NASD), Semtech(SMTC:NASD) and Tivo(TIVO:NASD). Looking ahead to tomorrow's earnings Autozone(AZO:NYSE), Toll Brothers(TOL:NYSE), Dollar Tree(DLTR:NASD) and Tech Data(TECD:NASD) will report.

Lookout at 10amEDT today for the Consumer Confidence figure for May as well as April's Existing Home sales. Tomorrow the economic calendar will pick up some with the MBA mortgage number, Durable Goods orders, and new home sales.

Brokerage Chatter:

RBC Capital initiated an outperform rating for Webex(WEBX:NASD). Schwab Soundview upgraded Omnicare(OCR:NYSE) to outperform from neutral. JP Morgan downgraded Principal Financial(PFG:NYSE) to underweight from neutral. JP Morgan also cut Dana Corp(DCN:NYSE) to neutral from overweight. Coventry Health Care(CVH:NYSE) was downgraded at Goldman Sachs to underperform from in-line. However, Goldman Sachs upgraded Pacific Healthcare(PHS:NYSE) and Humana(HUM:NYSE) to in-line from underperform.

Deutsche Bank upped ChevronTexaco(CVX:NYSE) to buy from hold and raised its target to $99 from $90. Morgan Stanley upgraded Automatic Data Processing(ADP:NYSE) to overweight from equal-weight and upped Ceridian(CEN:NYSE) to equal-weight from underweight while cutting Equifax(EFX:NYSE) to underweight from equal-weight. PeopleSoft(PSFT:NASD) had its estimates cut at Lehman Brothers. UBS initiated its coverage on Red Hat(RHAT:NYSE) with a buy .

Financial Headlines:
Stories :

Bloomberg news wires report that the Genworth Financial(GNW:NYSE) IPO priced at $19.50 a share raising $2.83 billion for General Electric(GE:NYSE). According to preliminary filings, despite being the largest IPO sales since July of 2002, the shares were originally thought to price upwards of $21 to $23 a share.

Schwab(SCH:NYSE) announced it would drastically cut its commissions for on-line equity trading by the middle of next month.

Medtronic(MDT:NYSE) beat the street by $0.02.
Krispy Kreme(KKD:NYSE) reported a penny worse than expectations on revenues that were shy of First Call consensus. KKD also lowered its full year guidance however raised its guidance for 2005.
HJ Heinz(HNZ:NYSE) reported in line results.
Novell(NOVL:NASD) reported in line but topped revenue estimates.

Around the world in 80 ticks:

Last night President Bush outlined his 5 step plan and highlighted the remaining tasks that lay ahead in the transfer of sovereignty to the Iraqis and added that the now infamous military prison Abu Ghraib will be demolished as a symbolic gesture of the end to Saddam's rule. In related news, a new Washington Post/ABC News poll shows the President's approval rating has dropped to its lowest point of Bush's administration.

According to a top London think-tank, a brief was released today that cited Al Qaeda with a militant group of 18,000 prepared to strike. The brief added that the US-led occupation of Iraq has accelerated the recruitment of new terrorists to the network.

The Washington Times is reporting that the U.S. is currently probing a possible Syria-Iraq weapons pipeline. Pentagon is purportedly investigating whether Iraqi weapons have slipped into Syria for training of anti-U.S. militants.

In domestic press, AP news wire reports that the defense attorneys cite new evidence which prosecutors withheld could clear Scott Peterson from the murder of his wife and unborn child. Information from December of 2002, which had been unknown to the defense showed that Laci Peterson might have been abducted by two men in a van.

Have a great day.


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