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The Fokker Chronicles

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World Markets:

European markets were trading higher this morning led in part by the DAX and CAC40 which were gaining nearly ½ percent respectively. In Asia, stocks rebounded as the Nikkei added 1.57% and the Hang Seng finished in positive territory up 0.15%. The dollar yen was gaining ahead of the US equity open while spot gold was bouncing slightly and higher by $0.50.

Heads up:
Earnings later today to look out for include Anheuser-Busch(BUD:NYSE), Express Scripts(ESRX:NASD), JDS Uniphase(JDSI:NASD), Metlife(MET:NYSE), and Quest Software(QSFT:NASD).

The two year auction will be in focus early this afternoon while later today the Fed will release its Beige Book at 2pmEDT.


Brokerage Chatter:

UBS downgraded the Semi and Electronic Manufacturing Services groups to underweight from equal weight. Schering-Plough(SGP:NYSE) was cut to underperform from market perform at Sanford Bernstein. Smith Barney upped MicroStrategy(MSTR:NASD) to buy from hold, but cut its target to $59 from $64. Bear Stearns dropped Career Education(CECO:NASD) to underperform from peer perform. Morgan Stanley downgraded Symbol Tech(SBL:NYSE) to underweight from equal-weight.

Automatic Data Processing(ADP:NYSE) was upped to neutral from underweight at JP Morgan. Barrick Gold(ABX:NYSE) was cut to underweight from neutral weight with a new price target of $15 down from $17 while U.S. Steel(X:NYSE) was upped to overweight from neutral and had its target raised to $45 from $40 at Prudential. Merrill Lynch upgraded SBC Comm(SBC:NYSE) to neutral from sell.

Prudential upgraded Chubb(CB:NYSE) to overweight from neutral and raised its price target to $80 from $75. Lehman upgraded Rockwell Collins(COL:NYSE) to overweight from equal weight. Smith Barney downgraded LSI Logic(LSI:NYSE) to sell from hold and cut its price target to $4.50 from $7.

Financial Headlines:
Stories :

CNN Money reported that as a result of a court ordered seizure of operations and sales at Yukos, oil prices were on the move again and approaching 21 year highs.

The MBA mortgage applications index for the past week was up 0.6% compared with the down 4% in the week prior.

The weekly Investors Intelligence(II) figures showed a drop in the bulls from 52.6% to 51.1% and a jump for the bear to 23.3% from 20% in the week prior.


Earnings:

Boeing(BA:NYSE) beat by $0.03.
ConocoPhillips(COP:NYSE) beat by a penny.
Newmont Mining(NEM:NYSE) missed estimates by $0.04.
Lubrizol(LZ:NYSE) beat the Street by $0.11 and easily topped revenue estimates $720mln to $580mln consensus.
Energizer(ENR:NYSE) missed by $0.08 but topped revenues expectations.
Nextel Partners(NXTP:NASD) topped estimates by 4 cents and boosted its 2004 guidance.
Sealed Air(SEE:NYSE) missed by $0.02.
Biogen Idec(BIB:NASD) beat by $0.02 and topped revenues estimates.


Around the world in 80 ticks:

Reuters reports that a document was uncovered referred to as "knowledgeable Russian sources" that alleges Iranian agents were negotiating with a Russian company over a substance which could enhance nuclear explosions in atomic weapons. Washington will likely be using this information as more proof that Iran is aspiring to be a nuclear country.

AP news reports that a driver who was stopped on an Iowa highway this past month and found with flight-training manuals, Arabic documents and night-vision goggles, told state troopers he knew of terrorist plans to shoot up trains in San Diego. According to court documents, the San Diego man arrested in Iowa said he was aware of terrorist activities, people and groups tied to Al Qaeda and the Taliban that were comfortably hiding out in San Diego Muslim communities.

The Associated Press reported that a federal grand jury in Dallas charged a prominent U.S. Muslim charity, the Holy Land Foundation with 42 counts of providing millions in support of Hamas, a Palestinian based terrorist group on the U.S. terrorist watch list over scores of attacks against Israelis. Seven of its officers were charged yesterday with conspiracy, providing material support to a foreign terrorist organization, tax evasion and money laundering. Two of the members charged were not in the country and are considered to be fugitives according to the Attorney General.



Have a great day.


Fokker



position in met, ceco, abx, nem, cb, see
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