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The Fokker Chronicles



World Markets:

European markets were trading stronger today led in part by the DAX and CAC40 which gained 1.86% and 1.70% respectively. In Asia the broader markets finished weaker as the Nikkei lost 0.78% and the Hang Seng dropped 1.11%. Spot gold traded off $1 while the dollar index traded back through the $90 level prior to open of equity trading on Wall Street.

Heads up:

Lookout for the Help Wanted Index at 10amEDT along with API inventory data due out at 10:30amEDT. Earnings after the bell include reports from the likes of KLA Tencor(KLAC:NASD) and International Rectifier(IRF:NYSE). Tomorrow the earnings parade continues with reports from Anadarko(APC:NYSE), Bowater(BOW:NYSE), and ChevronTexaco(CVX:NYSE).

Brokerage Chatter:

Prudential downgraded Stryker(SYK:NYSE) to neutral-weight from overweight. CSFB started IBM(IBM:NYSE) with an outperform and a $100 price target. Smith Barney upgraded GlobalSantaFe(GSF:NYSE) to hold from sell and raised its price target to $29 from $25.

General Motors(GM:NYSE) was cut by both Goldman Sachs and Lehman Brothers to underperform from in-line and equal-weight from overweight respectively. Lehman also cut its price target for GM from $57 to $44. CIBC initiated Yahoo!(YHOO:NASD) with sector outperformer and a $36 price target. CSFB upgrades Gap Inc(GPS:NYSE) to outperform from neutral.

Financial Headlines:
Stories :

Standard & Poor's Equity Research cut its year-end target for the S&P500 index 5% to 1,150 down from 1,210 citing the impact of high oil prices and the threat of terrorist attacks.

The Federal Reserve McTeer took shot at the euro today according to Reuters by calling it a politically motivated project that could slow growth and added that " was never obvious to me that was an ideal currency area in the first place."

A justice minister in Russia has unfrozen the production assets of Yukos and said it would not force the Russian oil giant to halt its sales.

According to the NY Post, Martha Stewart continues to linger in the shadows pulling the strings at her former company that bears her name.

The Wall Street Journal said last night that Schwab(SCH:NYSE) would be shutting down 53 branch offices throughout the country.


Shire Pharm(SHPGY:NASD) beat by $0.14 and topped revenue estimates as well.
Northrop Grumman(NOC:NYSE) beat by $0.05.
Bausch & Lomb(BOL:NYSE) topped estimates by $0.12 and guided 2004 above consensus.
Gillette(G:NYSE) beat by a penny but was shy on revenues.
Bristol-Myers(BMY:NYSE) beat by $0.07.
Aetna(AET:NYSE) topped the Street by 11 cents and boosted its 2004 outlook.
Dow Chemical(DOW:NYSE) beat by $0.04.
Taiwan Semi(TSM:NYSE) beat by $0.02.
Beazer Homes(BZH:NYSE) beat by 25 cents and guided 2004 above consensus.

Around the world in 80 ticks:

AP news reports that in a statement posted on the internet in the name of Abu Hafs al-Masri Brigades, European cities were threatened with a bloody war for failing to heed Osama bin Laden's call to exit Iraq by the April 15th deadline. In the released statement, it was quoted as reading, "today, we have declared a bloody war against you. We will not stop our attacks until you have come to your senses."

In a report from the UK's Mirror, Saddam Hussein has purportedly suffered a stroke leading some to fear that the former Iraqi dictator might die before ever making it to trial. According to some sources in the Arab press, Hussein was admitted to the hospital yesterday in critical condition.

The Associated Press reported yesterday that the New York City police department put one of its own officers on trial for failing to arrest a homeless man. If the officer is found guilty, he could get kicked off the force.

Have a great day.


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