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The Fokker Chronicles


Have a very happy birthday Toddo!

World Markets:

Europe was rebounding today as the DAX and CAC40 led the region higher today. Both indices had gained 0.80% prior to the open of trading on Wall Street. Asian markets held their prices from the day before and closed nearly unchanged on their respective sessions.

Heads up:
After the bell lookout for Bed Bath & Beyond(BBBY:NASD) and Micron Tech(MU:NYSE). The economic data will pickup tomorrow as we get a look at the Durable Good Orders for May, Weekly Initial Jobless Claims and Continuing Claims, New Home Sales and Help Wanted Index for May later in the morning.

Brokerage Chatter:

Career Education(CECO:NASD) was cut to peer perform from outperform at Bear Stearns. Friedman Billings Ramsey maintained its outperform rating on Imclone(IMCL:NASD) while it raised its target price to $93 from $82. 3Com(COMS:NASD) had its target cut to $6.50 from $8 at Lehman Brothers. Morgan Stanley upped Baxter(BAX:NYSE) to overweight from equal-weight while cutting Becton Dickinson(BDX:NYSE) to equal weight from overweight.

Banc of America raised its estimates on Advanced Micro(AMD:NYSE) after doing some channel checks on its 2nd quarter. Goldman Sachs(GS:NYSE) was upped to outperform from market perform at Wachovia. Deutsche Bank upgraded RJ Reynolds(RJR:NYSE) to buy from hold and raised its price target to $75 from $64. JP Morgan cut its license revenue estimates on PeopleSoft(PSFT:NASD). Meanwhile, JP Morgan added Forest Labs(FRX:NYSE) to their Focus List.

Financial Headlines:
Stories :

The weekly Investor's Intelligence(II) polling showed Bulls losing some steam dropping from 55.7% prior to 54.6% this week while the Bears came in at 18.6% versus 17.5% prior.

The MBA mortgage applications for the past week came in at 0.1% verses higher expectations of 6.5% and the week prior results of 5.6%.

Yesterday the FTC approved of the proposed merger between Brown & Williamson and RJ Reynolds(RJR:NYSE) despite the anti-trust objections of its own staff. The combined company creates the world's second largest cigarette firm. According to the Wall Street Journal, the new company will have a 32% share of US market compared to Altira(MO:NYSE) that represents a 50% stake.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the SEC could approve a plan easing the short sale rules on approximately 1,000 actively trading stocks for a one year trial period.

The Wall Street Journal reported that United Airlines(UALAQ:U) had scaled back the amount of loan guarantees it was asking for from the government from $1.6 billion to $1.1 billion and offered additional concessions. They proposed to shorten the term of the guarantee from 7 to 5 years and also said it will raise $500 million from both private-equity sources and from issuing subordinated debt.

FedEx(FDX:NYSE) reported in line results however guided its 2005 estimates above consensus.

Around the world in 80 ticks:

Sky News reports that Iran has said it had released the eight British sailors today. According to Bloomberg news however, the UK government said it hasn't been able to confirm those reports. It also remains unclear under what circumstance the sailors were released and if any website ransoms were inadvertently created out of habit prior to the release. In related news, AP news reported that U.S. officials said it would keep its prize capture in custody past the June 30th handover of Iraqi sovereignty until further notice.

The New York Times reports that President Bush is set to offer North Korea some conditional nuclear incentives in order to pressure leader Kim Jong Il to give up his nuclear ambitions. In a deal said to be similar to that of the Libyan deal struck last year, North Korea would most likely receive some form of reimbursement for the cost of dismantling its nuclear capabilities and the expense of creating them in the first place in return for feeding its starving people.

According to Newsweek, the prisoner Saddam Hussein wrote an inspiring letter to family telling them his morale is high, meals are pretty good and to "say hello to everyone." Apparently his letter was lacking some assurances to that fact as only 5 lines from the 14 line letter made it through military censors. Family members have reportedly expressed their dismay that only one of his letters has been delivered since the former dictator was admitted to the American prison system.

On a sad note, Mattie Stepanek most commonly known for his inspirational and best selling poetry not to mention a prominent voice for people with muscular dystrophy passed away today at the age of 13. According CNN, he died at Children's National Medical Center in Washington after being hospitalized due to complications with his rare form of the disease. At the age of 3, Stepanek became a best selling author according to the New York Times just weeks after his poetry book was released.

Have a great day.


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