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The Fokker Chronicles

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World Markets:

European markets remained range bound and relatively unchanged heading into the open of trading on Wall Street. Asian makets were weaker today as the Nikkei lost 0.63% and the Hang Seng closed slightly in negative territory. Spot gold prices were weaker today losing just over $4 per ounce while the dollar index was gaining ground.

Heads up:

Brocade(BRCD:NASD) will be hosting an analyst day today. Meanwhile on the economic front, wholesale inventories get released at 10amEDT with expectations of 0.5% in April.

Brokerage Chatter:

Sanford Bernstein downgraded Genentech(DNA:NYSE) to market perform from outperform and cut its target to $63 from $67.50. BMO Nesbitt Burns upped Phelps Dodge(PD:NYSE) to outperform from market perform and raised its target to $100 from $97. Oppenheimer raised its price target to $55 from $40 on Automatic Data(ADP:NYSE) while reiterating its buy rating on the stock.

BP(BP:NYSE) was cut to neutral from buy at Merrill Lynch. Banc of America downgraded Alliance Gaming(AGI:NYSE) to neutral from buy and cut its target to $18.50 from $30. Goldman Sachs downgraded Taiwan Semi(TSM:NYSE) and United Micro(UMC:NYSE) to in-line from outperform while cutting its price targets for TSM to $11 from $15 and UMC's target to $5.30 from $6.90.

Financial Headlines:
Stories :

The Investor's Intelligence(II) report showed that the percent of bulls increased over the prior week from 45.1% to 49.5% while the bear camp declined from 24.5% to 20.2%.

According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, applications fell for the fifth consecutive week. 30-year mortgage rates increased 1 basis point to an average of 6.25%.

Bloomberg newswires report that Bank One Corp.(ONE:NYSE), Invesco Funds Group and Conseco Inc(CNO:NYSE) may reach agreements with federal regulators settling allegations that they permitted improper mutual fund trading in the next few weeks.

The New York Times reports that TiVo(TIVO:NASD) is due to release a new technology with features that will become standards in all its systems allowing users to download music and movies from the internet and save them onto their Tivo console.

According to the New York Times, Delta Air(DAL:NYSE) in an attempt to put more pressure in obtaining some legal concessions from union arbitrators told its employees that because of fierce competition and its own high costs of operations, its ability to stay out of bankruptcy may be in jeapordy.

Comcast(CMCSA:NASD) said it is planning on creating a 24-hour network for preschoolers along with PBS, HIT Ent. and Sesame Street according to the Wall Street Journal.

Earnings:
Ameritrade(AMTD:NASD) CEO said the upper end of its earnings guidance was too high.
Fortune Brands(FO:NYSE) raised its guidance to the higher end of previous range.
Tommy Hilfiger(TOM:NYSE) beat by $0.03 but is guiding its 1st quarter below consensus.


Around the world in 80 ticks:

AP news reports that the Bush administration will be asking creditors to reduce the ``vast majority'' of Iraq's debt which totals somewhere in the neighborhood of about $120 billion as sovereignty gets restored to the country. In a related story, the UN Security Council voted yesterday 15-0 to restore Iraq's sovereignty on June 30 while mandating that the U.S.-led military forces remain until the end of 2005 to provide security.

The USA Today reported that in July, Boston public transportation commuters will be randomly searched; prompted by the March bombings in Madrid. The experiment will be the first in the nation and will involve passengers getting chosen at random and having their bags searched and identifications checked.

According to the USA Today, in an ESPN interview Larry Bird, basketball Hall of Famer from the Boston Celtics and current Indiana Pacers President said last night the National Basketball Association needs more "white" superstars. In the transcript that USA Today received, Bird was quoted as saying, "I think it's good for a fan base because as we all know the majority of the fans are white America. And if you just had a couple of white guys in there, you might get them a little excited." Separately, fellow Hall of Famer Magic Johnson echoed those sentiments and added that the NBA needed more "LB's, Larry Birds." Bird cited his irritation that he felt during his career when the opposing team played a white guy to guard him. "I still don't understand why, I didn't care who guarded me - red, yellow, black. I just didn't want a white guy guarding me, because it's disrespect to my game." The interview is scheduled to air tomorrow night at 7pmEDT on ESPN.


Have a great day.


Fokker


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