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The Fokker Chronicles



World Markets:

Asian markets followed the rally in the U.S. markets and added gains across the region. The Nikkei gained nearly 1 ½% while the Hang Seng added 2.65% on its session. Chinese and Australian stocks bucked the trend in Asia to finish slightly in negative territory. Spot gold was trading over $5 per ounce above the key $400 level and through its 200-day moving average. Meanwhile the dollar index was trading down nearly 0.60.

Heads up:

Looking ahead this morning, the May New Home Sales and Help Wanted Index will get released at 10amEDT.

Brokerage Chatter:

Banc of America cut its 2004-05 estimates slightly below consensus. Lazard downgraded The Gap(GPS:NYSE) to hold from buy. CIBC is calling AT&T(T:NYSE) warning last night "severe" and warns shareholders that it could become a value trap. T was also downgraded at Bear Stearns and CSFB. Morgan Stanley upped Schering-Plough(SGP:NYSE) to overweight from equal-weight.

Soundview upped LM Ericsson(ERICY:NASD) to outperform from neutral and raised its target to $40 from $30. Jefferies downgraded Career Education(CECO:NASD), Corinthian Colleges(COCO:NASD), and ITT Educational Services(ESI:NYSE) to underperform from buy. SoundView downgraded Vodafone(VOD:NYSE) to neutral from outperform and cut its target to $23.50 from $32.

Financial Headlines:
Stories :

NY Mortgage (NTR:NYSE) goes public today priced at $9 a share after an initial range of $9-11.

South Korean Samsung Electronics had to reportedly lower its sale prices of LCD panels by 20% after poor sales at Walmart(WMT:NYSE) forced a return of $200 million worth of TVs. Talk about a return policy.

General Mills(GIS:NYSE) said it had filed to sell up to $5.94 billion worth of mixed equity and debt. Diageo PLC will represent a large portion of that sale in an anticipated registered sale of 49.91 million shares of GIS.

Corinthian Colleges(COCO:NASD) were looking to take an early nose dive pre-open after a Financial Times article announced an SEC and U.S. Education Department probe into fraudulent federal student loan applications.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Allied Capital(ALD:NYSE) said it is under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission.


AT&T(T:NYSE) warned negatively last night by lowering its revenue guidance for 2004 due to pricing pressure. Said it now sees 2004 capex estimates at $1.8 billion down from prior estimates for $2.5 billion.
A.G. Edwards(AGE:NYSE) missed by 9 cents.
Rite Aid(RAD:NYSE) beat by $0.05 and then offered mixed guidance by cutting its 2005 revenue guidance while boosting its net income forecast.

Around the world in 80 ticks:

Just days before the handover of power in Iraq, BBC news reports that insurgents have killed over 70 people throughout five cities today.

AP news reports that two men have been arrested in an AOL Spam scheme. An insider working for AOL stole a subscriber list of nearly 92 million screen names and sold them to Online Casino owner in Las Vegas for $52,000. The on-line casino owner in turn used the list to spam his advertisements before selling them to another advertiser of penile enlargement pills. Both men could face up to five years in prison and at least $250,000 in fines.

Yesterday, the Saudi government said it will offer amnesty to those not directly involved in the killing of American Paul Johnson however those that are responsible will be charged by the sharia law of God in which beheading is recommended. A spokesman for the Crown Prince Abdullah said "Members of this group who were not arrested in terrorist operations have a chance to return to God."

Have a great day.

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