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The Fokker Chronicles



World Markets:
European markets were mixed to slightly down today as the CAC40 moved into the red early on and was down nearly a half of a percent. The US dollar stood at an 8 week low versus the euro ahead of the open to equity trading on Wall Street. A strong week in Asia was capped off today with a 1.29% gain in the Japanese Nikkei and for the fifth positive session in a row in the Hang Seng. Hong Kong stocks added 1.1% to finish the week above the 12k mark. Spot gold remained flat while Brent Crude oil was recovering some ground in London following yesterday's meltdown in spot prices.

Michigan confidence and Chicago PMI data are due out at 10amEDT. The US bond market will take off for the weekend early and close its session at 2pmEDT. Equities will remain open for the entire session today.

Next week we will be checking in on the mid quarter updates for Altera(ALTR:NASD), Triquint(TQNT:NADS), Flextronics(FLEX:NASD), and Intel(INTC:NASD).

Brokerage Chatter:

Dresdner upped Intel(INTC:NAD) from hold to buy. Shuffle Master(SHFL:NASD) was cut to hold from buy at Wells Fargo. RBC Capital downgraded ManTech(MANT:NASD) to underperform from sector perform and cut its target to $18 from $28. Morgan Stanley upped Anheuser-Busch(BUD:NYSE) to overweight from equal-weight and raised its target to $60 from $57.

Wachovia downgraded A.G. Edwards(AGE:NYSE) to market perform from outperform. Legg Mason raised its target on eBay(EBAY:NASD) to $105 from $85. UBS made some alterations to its Select 20 list by adding Dow Chemical(DOW:NYSE) and removed ExxonMobil(XOM:NYSE). Prudential upgraded Costco(COST:NASD) to neutral-weight from underweight.

Financial Headlines:
Stories :
AMG Data reflected new equity fund cash inflows of $1.42 billion over the course of last week with 45% journaling into domestic funds.

The Financial Times has reported that scrutiny of Fannie Mae(FNM:NYSE) compensations of its top executives has heated up as regulators have begun to look into whether the execs might have had incentives to be overly aggressive with its accounting methods.

Reuters has reported that Boeing(BA:NYSE) has been awarded a contract worth $500 million to further its work on an airborne laser capable of shooting down enemy missiles shortly after launch.

The Hewlett-Packard(HPQ:NYSE) board has approved of an additional $2 billion stock buyback.


Novellus(NVLS:NASD) kicked off the mid quarter updates last night by raising its EPS and revenue range and added that bookings were to come in at high end or better.

Around the world in 80 ticks:
AP news reports that the prisoner abuse in Iraq was apparently a coalition free for all. In addition to the abuses from US and UK troops, Polish troops have now allegedly been fingered in prisoner abuses as well. Prisoners in Iraq have also accused Iraqi troops of mishandling them and overall occused the entire coalition of treating them like prisoners in some kind of prison.

Reuters is reporting that Greece may have made a mistake in accepting the bid to host the summer Olympics in Athens. This was according to the Public Works Minister in Greece yesterday. An article in the Financial Times cited the spiraling security and construction costs which have cramped the government's financial resources while construction moves along at break-neck speed to complete infrastructure projects.

A report highlighted by the Associated Press into America's prison systems showed that for every 75 males, one is currently locked up behind bars. The study added that despite the overall drop in the crime rate, the inmate population in the US has increased nearly 3% from last year.

AP news wires report that a study into America's fattest kids conducted by the University of Texas School of Public Heath ironically found that Texas had the fattest fourth graders in the country. The study added that these chunky kids were 46% fatter than other children of similar age throughout the country. For their participation in the study, most Texas 10 years olds were treated to field trips to their local Dairy Queen and McDonalds' establishments.

BBC news reports that the Fox Network(FOX:NYSE) has apparently nixed its plan to air its latest attempt at reality TV over the intense criticism from the Gay and Lesbian communities. The show which planned on displaying a different kind of reality apparently planned on showing straight males competing over $50,000 in prizes by pretending to be the most gay. Somehow the protestors couldn't see the reality in the programming choice by Fox. The plot of the show was to display the contestants receiving a hand from three "gay coaches" and ultimately receive votes by a "jury of their queers." A Fox spokesman added that "creatively, it was not where we felt it should be."

Have a great Memorial Day weekend!


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