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The Fokker Chronicles

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World Markets:

Europe was quiet ahead of the quadruple witching today with most average hanging around unchanged for the session. Asia on the other hand was much weaker as both the Nikkei and the Hang Seng lost nearly 2% on their respective sessions. Spot gold was advancing however by over $6 per ounce as the dollar index shed some gains and broke below its 200 day moving average ahead of the Wall Street open.


Heads up:
No other economic or earnings data points to look out for today but looking out to next week, earnings reports will be coming in from Goldman Sachs(GS:NYSE), Morgan Stanley(MWD:NYSE), FedEx(FDX:NYSE), Micron Tech(MU:NYSE), AG Ewards(AGE:NYSE), and Nike(NKE:NYSE).


Brokerage Chatter:


FirstEnergy(FE:NYSE) was downgraded at Sanford Bernstein to market perform from outperform. IBM(IBM:NYSE) was initiated with a buy rating and a $105 target at AG Edwards. NOVA Chemicals(NCX:NYSE) was upped to overweight from neutral at JP Morgan. Sara Lee(SLE:NYSE) was initiated with an overweight and a $29 price target at JP Morgan.

KB Home(KBH:NYSE) and Accenture(ACN:NYSE) were upped to outperform from market perform at Wachovia. Corning(GLW:NYSE) was upped to overweight from equal weight while Motorola(MOT:NYSE) was cut to equal weight from overweight at Morgan Stanley.


Financial Headlines:
Stories :

The SEMI book-to-bill was released last night and showed May's orders at 1.11, below expectations of 1.13.

According to USA Today, Sony(SNE:NYSE) group is close to purchasing Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer(MGM:NYSE) for $5 billion or $13 a share plus assumption of debt.

Bloomberg newswires report that United(UALAQ:U) was denied its $1.6 billion requestion loan in its fight against bankruptcy.

Earnings:

Adobe Systems(ADBE:NADS) beat by $0.01 and guided its 3rd quarter revenues above consensus.
Red Hat(RHAT:NASD) reported in line EPS with its preannouncement but a little light on reveneues.
Solectron(SLR:NYSE) beat by $0.01 and guided its 4th quarter above expectations.

Around the world in 80 ticks:

AP news wires quoting an Interfax report alleged U.S. authorities were tipped off in 2002 from Russian intelligence agents claiming Iraqi secret services were planning terrorist attacks against U.S. facilities outside the United States. While the Russian Interfax tipster confirmed the findings of the 9/11 panel that Saddam and Al-Qaeda had not cooperated in the attacks, the suggestion was made that the commission failed in drawing a "comprehensive picture."

The USA Today reports that the Senate has overwhelmingly approved to add 20,000 more troops to the Army in Iraq.

In the latest edition of Forbes' magazine, the list of the most powerful celebrities was released combining both earnings power and public exposure. In a combined effort of Jesus Christ and Mel Gibson, Mel topped the list after his "The Passion of the Christ" flick reaped $210 million ultimately unseeding last year's Forbes' top star Jennifer Aniston. The top five list was rounded out with Tiger Woods followed by Oprah Winfrey, Tom Cruise, and the entire Rolling Stones band.




Have a great day.


Fokker

position in ibm, gs, mwd
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