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The Fokker Chronicles


World Markets:

European markets were firmer today with the German DAX leading the gainers posting a 1.2% gain half way through its session. Asian stocks posted strong results today as the Nikkei added 2.8% while the Hang Seng follow suit by gaining 2.53%. Spot gold was adding $3 while the dollar index was slipping heading up to the open of trading on Wall Street. Brent Crude oil in London was losing ground as well, as it indicated a lower start for crude prices this week dropping nearly ½ a point.

Heads up:
In tribute to the death of President Ronald Regan, the NYSE announced it will observe a two minute moment of silence this morning. According to NYSE officials, the exchange has yet to decide if it will close on Friday to observe Reagan's funeral. In 1994, the exchange closed to observe the passing of former President Nixon.

Many of the biotech stocks that target cancer related drugs will be in focus today as the annual ASCO(American Society of Clinical Oncology) conference which concludes tomorrow.

The data on Consumer Credit will be released at 3pmEDT today and expectations are for $5.9 billion in April up from $5.7 billion in the prior period.

Brokerage Chatter:

Washington Mutual(WM:NYSE) was cut to underperform from hold at Jeffries and also was dropped at Sanford Bernstein from outperform to market perform. Banc of America raised its price target for Wynn Resorts(WYNN:NASD) to $45 from $40 and Caesars Ent(CZR:NYSE) to $18 from $15in light of the potential acquisition of Mandalay(MBG:NYSE) and although it doesn't see them as a takeover play, Wynn and Caesars could be undervalued at these levels. Barron's over the weekend gave positive mention to Constellation Energy(CEG:NYSE) and Viacom(VIA.B:NYSE) while offered negative chatter for Quest Communications(Q:NYSE) citing the company appears overvalued at these levels. OSI Pharma(OSIP:NASD) was upped to buy from neutral at Merrill Lynch.

Financial Headlines:
Stories :

MGM Mirage(MGM:NYSE) announced late on Friday that it has bid $4.85 billion for Mandalay Resort Group(MBG:NYSE) or $68 a share after the stock closed on the NYSE at $60.27. The combination of the two according to Bloomberg news would create the largest casino resort company in the country and own half the Las Vegas Strip.

According to the Financial Times, General Motors(GM:NYSE) plans to spend $3 billion in China over the next three years, more than doubling its production with its partners. By 2007, GM hopes to expand on its $1.6 billion investment on its four ventures in the country and have the capacity to produce 1.3 million units.

Around the world in 80 ticks:
President Ronald Reagan passed away at the age of 93 on Saturday of pneumonia, resulting from complications with his 10 year battle with complications from Alzheimer's; Regan's wife Nancy and children Patti Davis and Ronald Prescott Regan were at his bedside. With flags at half mast and various tributes set for this week including a two minute moment of silence at the open of trading at the New York Stock Exchange Reagan's tribute will culminate on Friday when he will have the first presidential state funeral in Washington since Lyndon Baines Johnson died in 1973. President Bush, who will be at the G-8 summit, will depart early to speak at the funeral on Friday. According to Bloomberg newswires, President Bush has issued an executive order to have all federal offices closed on Friday in Regan's honor.

AP news reports that the Israeli government has approved of Sharon's Gaza withdrawal plan yesterday, marking the first time the settlements that were captured during the 1967 Middle East War will be removed. The dismantling of the Israeli settlements will commence in the next nine months.

Have a great day.


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