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The Fokker Chronicles

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Good morning and welcome to the second installment. Thanks for the kind words yesterday from all the cool Minyans out there -- the powers that be actually let me post this thing again. Not sure how I'll squeeze in my pre-open nap, but that's probably a question for management.

World Markets

Europe moved sideways early on until Advanced Micro (AMD:NYSE) preannounced and pushed the tape lower. The Japanese Nikkei finished much weaker with a 2.38% drop. The Hang Seng followed suit posting a loss of 1.08%

Heads Up

Greenspan and the FOMC begins the first of a two-day meeting on Capital Hill. Consumer Confidence is expected at 10 a.m. EDT. The street is looking for an 82 reading in June versus prior months' 83.80. Palm (PALM:Nasdaq) will report after the bell.

Brokerage Chatter

Prudential took ratings up on Merrill Lynch (MER:NYSE) and Morgan Stanley (MWD:NYSE) from hold to buy. Apple Computer (AAPL:Nasdaq) was upgraded over at Merrill from a sell to a neutral. Banc of America, while remaining with its neutral rating, slightly raised it price target. Soundview downgraded Cisco Systems (CSCO:Nasdaq) from outperform to neutral. Solomon Bros made some changes to its recommended list by dropping Home Depot (HD:NYSE) and adding BEA Systems (BEAS:Nasdaq) and New York Times (NYT:NYSE). Ciena (CIEN:Nasdaq) was upgraded at JP Morgan from underweight to neutral.

Juniper Networks (JNPR:Nasdaq) was cut to underperform from neutral at Credit Suisse First Boston. Wachovia took its rating down on Juniper from market perform to underperform. Morgan Stanley is playing the merger arb game by upping Biogen (BGEN:Nasdaq) and cutting its acquirer IDEC Pharm (IDPH:Nasdaq). Banc of America also cut IDPH.

Lehman Bros downgraded Bank One (ONE:NYSE). First Boston in Europe lowered its rating on Alcatel (ALA:NYSE) to a neutral however reiterated Ericsson (ERICY:Nasdaq) with underperform. Solomon raised its target on Charter Communications (CHTR:Nasdaq) from $2 to $4 to reflect their improving outlook. Solly downgraded Unilever (UN:NYSE) from outperform to in-line. JP Morgan is taking its numbers up on eBay (EBAY:Nasdaq) and upgraded Ensco (ESV:NYSE) from underweight to outperform.

Banc of America is talking positive on the retailers, citing recent data that shows improved store traffic, better comps, and more positive chatter from those companies. No change in their forecasts however, Linens 'N Things (LIN:NYSE), Target TGT:NYSE), Walmart (WMT:NYSE), Bed Bath and Beyond (BBBY:Nasdaq) and Staples (SPLS:Nasdaq) continue to be its favorite names.

Financial Headlines

Stories:

Advanced Micro (AMD:NYSE) preaanounced their second quarter by cutting their sales forecast. The company had seen sales at about $715 million and revised its number down to $615million. Thomson Financial estimated their revenues for the quarter at $723 million. Stock traded down by as much as 10% preopen.

The Wall Street Journal reports that as a result of antitrust issues, representatives of attorney generals from states including Texas and California are considering taking legal action in the attempt to block Oracle's (ORCL:Nasdaq) hostile takeover of PeopleSoft (PSFT:Nasdaq).

Corning (GLW:NYSE) reaffirmed their second quarter outlook. Halliburton (HAL:NYSE) announced after the close last night that they will offer $1billion worth of convertible notes securities.

Earnings:

FedEx (FDX) beat the street this morning by 2 pennies and posting revenues in line with consensus estimates. Topps Company (TOPP) missed by a penny. Wonder what that means for my baseball card collection. Kroger (KR:NYSE) beat the street by $0.01 and guides in line. Rite Aid (RAD:NYSE) reported in line, ex items.

Around the world in 80 ticks

Reuters, citing a news report out today, said that Afghanistan's former Taliban regime leader, Mullah Omar, has named a 10-man leadership council to organize resistance against foreign troops in the country. According to a Pentagon official, the BBC is reporting a US Special Forces team that attacked a convoy believed to have been carrying Iraqi leaders, may have taken place inside Syria.

Reuters reports the World Health Organization declared Beijing free of SARS today and lifted its warning against travel to the city. Beijing was the last remaining area in the world subject to a WHO travel warning. According to MSNBC, the anonymous tip yesterday about a tractor-trailer which was headed toward a fuel depot near the Burbank airport was apparently a hoax, and in fact after police searched the vehicle, found nothing more than a legal load of fireworks.

Thick skin today.

Fokker

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