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The Fokker Chronicles


World Markets:
Europe was a lot weaker thus far today as the DAX gave up nearly 2% and the CAC 40 was losing 1.4% on its session. The London FTSE had given up 0.80% following the decision by the BOE to raise its benchmark rate by 25 basis points. Japanese Stocks resumed their trading and promptly lost 1.62% today. The Hang Seng rebounded slightly to add ½ of a percent during its trading session. Heading into the open of trading on Wall Street, spot gold had lost $4.00 while the dollar index was gaining. Dollar yen was up nearly a full point prior to the start of trading in U.S. equities.

Tomorrow's economic news is shaping up to include data on the unemployment rate, non-farm payrolls, wholesale inventories and consumer credit.

After the bell today, lookout for earnings from Nvidia(NVDA:NADS), Pixar(PIXR:NASD) and WebMD(HLTH:NASD). Tomorrow we'll finish out the week with earnings reports from Martha Stewart(MSO:NYSE) and OSI Pharm(OSIP:NASD).

Brokerage Chatter:
Microsoft(MSFT:NASD) was added to the UBS Select 20 list while Chiron(CHIR:NASD) was removed from the list. Goldman Sachs upgraded National-Oilwell(NOI:NYSE) to outperform from in-line. Legg Mason upped Adtran(ADTN:NASD) to buy from hold. Merrill Lynch upgraded Phelps Dodge(PD:NYSE) to neutral from sell. Smith Barney upgraded Veritas (VRTS:NASD) to buy from hold. UBS upgraded Nordstrom(JWN:NYSE) to buy from neutral. Smith Barney upgraded Hartford Financial (HIG:NYSE) to buy from hold and raised its target to $81 from $70.

Morgan Stanley downgraded General Mills(GIS:NYSE) to equal-weight from overweight. Bear Stearns downgraded Chicago Merc(CME:NYSE) to peer perform from outperform. Banc of America upgraded Northrop Grumman(NOC:NYSE) to buy from neutral and raised its price target to $115 from $105. Adobe(ADBE:NASD) received a handful of downgrades this morning including Prudential which cut ADBE to neutral weight from overweight and Smith Barney which reduced them to neutral weight from overweight. CSFB upgraded Micron Tech(MU:NYSE) to outperform from neutral.

Financial Headlines:
Stories :
In the UK, the Bank of England decided to raise its benchmark rates 25 basis points.

A Dow Jones report showed that net outflows of $1.6billion from Asian-Pacific funds last week was the biggest outflow since 1998.

Citigroup(C:NYSE) announced that an SEC investigation was underway into its 2001, 2002 accounting treatment of 2001 and 2002 operations in Argentina

Lockheed Martin (LMT:NYSE) announced last night that it won a $5 billion missile contract over 20 years beating out Boeing(BA:NYSE) and Raytheon(RTN:NYSE).

Gap Inc.(GPS:NYSE) issued an upside pre-announcement for its 1st quarter citing revenues at $3.7 billion versus $3.59 billion consensus.
TXU Corp(TXU:NYSE) beat estimates by $0.03.
Hillenbrand(HB:NYSE) missed by $0.13, guided its 2nd quarter below consensus and lowered its guidance for 2004.
Clorox(CLX:NYSE) beat by $0.03 but guided its 2005 estimates below consensus.
Fox Entertainment(FOX:NYSE) beat by $0.03
News Corp(NWS:NYSE) beat by $0.04
Alcan Aluminium(AL:NYSE) missed by $0.09.

Around the world in 80 ticks:
Reuters reports that the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said today that it had repeatedly called for the U.S. to take effective action at the Baghdad jail that has created an ever growing scandal in Iraq. Yesterday, President Bush went on two Arab television networks to explain his outrage over the behavior of those American troops.

The StraitTimes has reported that Beijing could be ready to accept Taiwan as a separate entity, a move that could help stabilize that region.

The latest NBC/WSJ poll showed ominous results for President Bush with an approval rating that has slipped to 47%.

CNN has reported today that another HIV case has hit the porn industry. Since the self-imposed industry quarantine was first announced over a month ago, a total of five cases have been revealed, the latest a veteran porn actress whose name was not released.

Have a great day!


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