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The Fokker Chronicles

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World Markets:

Europe was weaker today ahead of the US equity open as the German DAX lost 0.65% and the CAC40 gave up 0.45%. In Asia, the Nikkei was closed for holiday, but the Hang Seng added 0.89% on its session. Spot gold was down nearly $2, while the dollar index edged slightly into positive territory. IPE Brent Crude was near its highs of the session but remained in negative territory ahead of the open in New York.

Heads up:

Earnings later today include Allstate(ALL:NYSE), Corning(GLW:NYSE), and Flextronics(FLEX:NASD).

The NAHB Housing Market Index for July will be released at 1pmEDT. Lookout for the SEMI book-to-bill ratio expected after the bell today.

Fed Chairman Greenspan will give his semiannual testimony before the Senate Banking Committee tomorrow afternoon offering the Fed's economic outlook for '04 and '05 in a two day meeting.

Brokerage Chatter:

Kmart(KMRT:NASD) received some negative press in Barron's over the weekend citing the stock to be worth closer to $65 and speculated that they could merge with Sears(S:NYSE). Barron's also commented on Intel(INTC:NASD) with positive comments on its ability for its margins and inventories to bounce back. Prudential downgraded Harley Davidson(HDI:NYSE) to neutral-weight from overweight however they raised its price target to $66 from $63. Friedman Billings dropped PNC Bank(PNC:NYSE) to underperform from market perform and cut its target to $52 from $56. CIBC downgraded Motorola(MOT:NYSE) to sector perform from outperform.

ThinkEquity upped KLA Tencor(KLAC:NASD) to buy from accumulate. CIBC upgraded Johnson & Johnson(JNJ:NYSE) to outperform from sector perform. Bear Stearns made rating changes on some of the retailers this morning upgrading Circuit City(CC:NYSE) to peer perform from underperform while cutting Federated(FD:NYSE) and May dept(MAY:NYSE) to peer perform from outperform. Forest Labs(FRX:NYSE) was upped to overweight from equal weight at Morgan Stanley. Soundview upgraded Check Point(CHKP:NASD) to outperform from neutral. Blockbuster(BBI:NYSE) was upgraded to neutral from sell at Fulcrum.


Financial Headlines:
Stories :

According to the New York Post, Cendant(CD:NYSE) may sell its mortgage lending unit to Countrywide(CFC:NYSE) for $1-1.5 billion.


Earnings:

3M Company(MMM:NYSE) beat by a penny and guided in line with consensus. 3M boosted its 2004 forecast above consensus.
Black & Decker(BDK:NYSE) beat by 25 cents.
Kraft Foods(KFT:NYSE) reported in-line but reduced its full year guidance.
Mattel(MAT:NYSE) beat by a penny.



Around the world in 80 ticks:


According to the UK's Guardian, Palestinian President Yasser Arafat has backed down from his controversial appointment of cousin, Moussa Arafat to the security chief role today. Seen as yet another sign of Arafat's corruption, Palestinian militants and members of the al-Aqsa Martyr's Brigade, an offshoot of Arafat's Fatah faction have gone on a terrorist blitz on its fellow terrorist brothers leading Arafat to a change of heart and to recant the appointment.

AP news reports that the Californian governator Arnold Schwarzenegger told a crowd in Ontario California that the Democrats were a bunch of "girlie-men" because they delayed the budget by catering to special interest groups. A spokesman for the governor said no apologies would be given despite the cries from Democrats that he insulted both gays and women.

Protesting the protestors is all the rage these days. The Associated Press reports that a new conservative GOP group approximately 200-300 strong is planning on greeting the Anti-GOP protest at next month's Republican National Convention by defending President Bush and his policies. The large contingent of Bush opponents will be met by a group calling themselves "Protest Warriors" during the four-day convention which some of the young Republican's 3,000 member group are referring to as the "protest Olympics."

Have a great day.


Fokker

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