The Fokker Chronicles
European markets were a little shaken and stirred following explosions in Uzbekistan and weaker than expected U.S. economic data. The London FTSE was one of the weaker markets in the region losing nearly ½% halfway through its session. In Asia however, markets closed before the news hit the fan as the Nikkei gained 1.88% and the Hang Seng added 0.45% to finish out the week and the July period. Spot gold added over $4 while the dollar index was trading below the $90 level again heading into the opening of trading on Wall Street.
Month end rumblings today as we usher in August already during this weekend. Economic data expected for later this morning include University of Michigan confidence at approximately 9:50amEDT and the Chicago Purchasing Manager Index for July at 109amEDT.
Next week we can expect earnings results from Proctor & Gamble(PG:NYSE), R.J. Reynolds(RJR:NYSE), Prudential(PRU:NYSE), Cigna(CI:NYSE), and Maxim Integrated(MXIM:NASD).
FTN Midwest downgraded Costco(COST:NASD) to neutral from buy, cut its 2005/2006 EPS estimates and also dropped its price target to $45-$46 from $51. JP Morgan raised PalmOne(PLMO:NASD) estimates for the current quarter and 2006. Prudential downgraded Nordstrom(JWN:NYSE) to underweight from neutral but upped Kohls(KSS:NYSE). Baker Hughes(BHI:NYSE) was upped to buy from hold at Smith Barney and had its price target taken up to $50 from $41. RBC cut LSI Logic(LSI:NYSE) to sector perform from outperform.
Piper Jaffray upped Gilead Sciences(GILD:NASD) to outperform from market perform. Covance(CVD:NYSE) was upped to outperform from peer perform at Bear Stearns. UBS cut Wendy's(WEN:NYSE) to neutral from buy. Piper Jaffray downgraded THQ Inc(THQI:NASD) to market perform from outperform and cut its 2005 estimates to $1.00 from $1.10. KLA-Tencor(KLAC:NASD) was upped to buy from hold at WR Hambrecht. Gillette(G:NYSE) was added to U.S. Analyst Focus List at JP Morgan.
Boston Scientific(BSX:NYSE) said late yesterday that its Taxus stent was now back in use at Brigham & Women's Hospital, where it was originally suspended. According to the Wall Street Journal, the stent was put back in use at one of several large hospitals that removed BSX's product after it was linked to three deaths and over 40 injuries.
BellSouth(BLS:NYSE) said it has filed a $6.95 billion debt shelf to fund its Cingular acquisition of AT&T Wireless(AWE:NYSE).
ChevronTexaco(CVX:NYSE) beat the Street estimates by $0.39.
Edison(EIX:NYSE) missed by $0.13.
Bowater(BOW:NYSE) missed by a penny.
Constellation Energy(CEG:NYSE) beat the Street by $0.20.
Around the world in 80 ticks:
AP newswires citing a Russian news agency report that explosions have hit both the U.S. and Israeli embassies in the Uzbekistan capital today. According to Israel radio, the Israeli embassy attack was carried out by suicide bombers adding that several people were injured while the Russian-based Interfax news agency reported there were deaths in the explosion.
BBC news reports that the Francis Crick, who helped unlock the code for DNA, passed away at the age of 88 after his battle with colon cancer. The famous British born scientist had won the Nobel Prize for his work on uncovering the DNA's structure back in 1953 along with James Watson.
According to the Miami Herald, recently retired Miami Dolphin star running back Ricky Williams said he had failed a third drug test for marijuana use prior to his surprise decision to quit football and could have cost him a four-game suspension if he had played out the season.
Reuters reports that Democratic Presidential nominee John Kerry will be joined over the next few weeks by actor Ben Affleck who'll be hitting the campaign trail to add even more substance to an already richly experienced-laden party.
The Chronicles just love the MTA, and not just because of the added aggravation they provide to a simple morning commute for New Yorkers. The Chairman of the Metropolitan Transit Authority said yesterday that once again due to budget shortfalls, a $539 million budget gap for next year might have to be made up by another increase in fares and cuts in service. In related news, a DC woman who works as a government scientist was arrested and cuffed for three hours by transit police for eating a PayDay candy bar on the subway where eating is prohibited. Initial reports suggest during the detainment the officers ate the candy bar in front of her in order to teach her a lesson.
Good luck in your new digs Toddo!
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