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The Fokker Chronicles



World Markets:

In early morning hours, crude oil looked poised to continue its slide from yesterday as brent lost more ground in London. The OPEC basket price leveled off yesterday at $33.07 per barrel down 88 cents. Global equity markets were weaker today across the board. The Spanish IBEX and CAC40 were trading off 0.65% ahead of the U.S. open to trading. The Nikkei gave up 0.20% and the Hang Seng lost 0.64% on the day.

Heads up:

At 10amEDT the Consumer Confidence for June is expected to report a reading of 95.0 up from 93.2 prior.

After the bell today lookout for earnings from Research In Motion(RIMM:NASD). Tomorrow morning earnings from General Mills(GIS:NYSE) and Monsanto(MON:NYSE) will get released.

Brokerage Chatter:

Soundview raised its 2nd quarter EPS estimates for Lexmark(LXK:NYSE) by 2 pennies. NY Comm Bancorp(NYB:NYSE) was cut to market perform from outperform at Friedman Billings and in the process dropped its price target from $28 to $22. Lazard downgraded Target(TGT:NYSE) to hold from buy. Xilinx(XLNX:NASD) had its estimates cut at JP Morgan.

JP Morgan upgraded British Airways(BAB:NYSE) to overweight from neutral. Circuit City(CC:NYSE) was upped to buy from neutral at Robinson Humphrey. Washington Mutual(WM:NYSE) was cut to underperform from in-line at Goldman Sachs. Deutsche Bank upped Amerada Hess(AHC:NYSE) to buy from hold and raised its target to $90 from $62.

Financial Headlines:
Stories :

Heading into the FOMC meeting which begins today, Bloomberg newswires report that because of the increased job growth and the climbing rate of inflation, the U.S. government bond market is poised for its largest quarterly loss in 24 years. While the yield on the U.S. 10 year rose to 4.9% from 3.84 over the quarter, the Merrill Lynch U.S. Treasury Master Index which tracks 113 securities valued at $2.02 trillion lost 3.73% marking the worst quarterly decline since 1980.

Speculation circulated after the closing bell last night that Citigroup(C:NYSE) could take out New York Community Bancorp(NYB:NYSE) for $6 billion.

Dow Jones news reported that the Australian Government said it had no objections to losing News Corp(NWS:NYSE) to the U.S. as the company plans to change its corporate domicile.

According to the Financial Times, in the hopes of enticing investors, LG Philips has once again cut its IPO range, the 2nd time in 4 days, lowering the bottom of its target range by 7% to $1.3 billion.


Washington Mutual(WM:NYSE) sharply cut its 2004 EPS from $4.24 consensus to a range of $3.00 to $3.60.
Target(TGT:NYSE) said its June sales were well below forecast.
1-800-FLOWERS(FLWS:NASD) guided its 4th quarter revenues below consensus.

Around the world in 80 ticks:

Just hours after the transfer of sovereignty to the new Iraqi interim government, the U.S. marine held hostage was reportedly shot in the back of the head according AP news and Al-Jazeera television. The U.S. military could not immediately identify the murdered hostage was indeed Spc. Keith Maupin who had been taken captive back in the beginning of April. The same vile group that beheaded two other foreign hostages released the three Turkish prisoners in a show of solidarity to its "Muslim brothers" and sent them safely home. The gunmen had originally threatened to kill them as well if Turkish companies failed to cut all business ties with America.

Reuters reports that Iraq's old and now grizzly leader Saddam Hussein is scheduled to return home in the custody of Iraq's new government. Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi will be granted his wish for the return of the deposed dictator and the world's most infamous prisoner to stand trial several months from now. Saddam will however remain in U.S. physical custody during his return to Iraq.

And New Yorkers thought they had it bad with the MTA. Sky News is reporting that London commuters are drawing dangerously close to a potentially chaotic 24-hour subway strike. Millions of London commuters have been advised to walk to work where it's possible as the Mayor and his negotiators will continue to work on a deal over wage and working hours of the Rail, Maritime and Transport Union. If not resolved, the walkout is expected to begin at 6:30pm local London Time tonight.

Have a great day.


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