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The Fokker Chronicles



World Markets:

The European markets were trading higher today led by the DAX and Spanish IBEX gaining 1.10% and 1.05% respectively. In Asia, the Nikkei lost 1.15% and the Hang Seng closed lower by 0.15% Spot gold was trading higher by $3 ahead of the open to equity trading on Wall Street.

Heads up:

Later this morning, we'll have a look at the July Consumer Confidence and June New Home Sales data.

After the bell lookout for Aflac(AFL:NYSE), Chubb(CB:NYSE), LSI Logic(LSI:NYSE), PeopleSoft(PSFT:NASD), Veritas(VRTS:NASD) and Wellpoint(WLP:NYSE).

The four day Democratic National Convention continues today in Boston.

Brokerage Chatter:

Merrill Lynch made some positive notes on the Biotech sector telling investors the time is right to start picking up these stocks that have pulled back recently. Legg Mason also added that the Biotechs are 15-20% undervalued at these levels. Target(TGT:NYSE) was upped to buy from neutral at Fulcrum.

Lehman upgraded Boise Cascade(BCC:NYSE) to overweight from equal-weight but cut its target to $40 from $42. A.G. Edwards downgraded Mylan Labs(MYL:NYSE) to hold from buy. Deutsche Bank upped American Express(AXP:NYSE) to buy from hold and raised its price target to $57 from $52.

Financial Headlines:
Stories :

Standard & Poor's announced changes to its indices today that included Fisher Scientific (FSH:NYSE) to replace Thomas & Betts(TNB:NYSE) in the S&P 500 Index after the close of trading on Monday, August 2nd. S&P MidCap 400 component Apogent (AOT:NYSE), which will be acquired by FSH in a deal to close on or about that date pending shareholder approval, will in turn be replaced by TNB.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Motorola(MOT:NYSE) and Apple Co(AAPL:NASD) will collaborate on iTunes service by providing it on the rollout of new MOT cell phones.

Reuters reports that IBM(IBM:NYSE) was awarded an undisclosed contract by the U.S. military to build its version of a War Games simulation supercomputer. While Matthew Broderick will most likely have no involvement in the project applications for the supercomputer, it will include war simulation games, weather forecasting and other secret applications.

US Steel(X:NYSE) topped estimates by 29 cents.
Phelps Dodge(PD:NYSE) missed by $0.08.
Temple-Inland(TIN:NYSE) topped estimates by 36 cents and much stronger revenues.
Lockheed Martin(LMT:NYSE) beat by $0.05.
Verizon(VZ:NYSE) beat by $0.04.
DuPont(DD:NYSE) missed by a penny but raised its 2004 EPS outlook.
Centex(CTX:NYSE) beat EPS targets by 6 cents.
Silicon Labs(SLAB:NASD) topped EPS by 5 cents, however guided its 3rd quarter revenue estimates below consensus.
Providian(PVN:NYSE) beat by 2 cents and boosted its 2004 revenues.

Around the world in 80 ticks:

The BBC reports that former Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei, who resigned amid frustration with Yasser Arafat, has agreed to withdraw his resignation and return to his post. According to AP news, Arafat sweetened the deal for Qurei by offering him a greater say in the government and control of security and intelligence forces.

The Democratic National Convention kicked off yesterday in Boston and was headlined by former President Clinton who juiced up his party by trashing George Bush and his current policies. Clinton added that the life of many Americans has worsened since he left office, no doubt his life as well. Bill was introduced by his wife, Senator Hillary Clinton, who commented before handing off to hubby Bubba that Kerry "will lead the world, not alienate it, lower the deficit, and not raise it."

According to the New York Times, New York City's disorganized and sloppy subway accounting system, also known as the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), is now reaching out to advertising firms. In an effort to find alternative measures of raising funds to fill over $1 billion in "projected" budget gaps and avoid hiking commuter's fares for the 2nd time in two years, the MTA is considering selling the naming rights to its subway stations, bus lines, bridges and tunnels.

Have a great day.

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