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The Fokker Chronicles



World Markets:

Global markets were fairly muted today but edging towards the weaker side ahead of the U.S. equity trading. In Asia stocks finished lower as the Nikkei lost 0.55% and the Hang Seng gave up 1.63% on its session. Spot gold continued its torrid run adding another $2 before stocks began trading on Wall Street.

Heads up:

The API will release its inventory data today at 10:30amEDT. Crude markets will be keeping a careful eye on the inventories as NYMEX crude holds just below $40 a barrel.

Economically, stay tuned for the May Consumer Credit report due out at 3pmEDT. Estimates were for an increase from $3.9 billion last period up to $7.5 billion in total credit.

Earnings results will refocus on tomorrow's reports when General Electric(GE:NYSE) and Abbott Labs(ABT:NYSE) release their numbers.

Brokerage Chatter:

PeopleSoft(PSFT:NASD) was cut to neutral at Baird and lowered its price target to $20 from $26. Merrill Lynch downgraded Tel-Mex(TMX:NYSE) to sell from buy. Caesar's Ent.(CZR:NYSE) was cut to net neutral at Susquehanna from continued net positive. Intl Bus Machine(IBM:NYSE) had its revenue estimate cut at Schwab SoundView.

Siebel Systems(SEBL:NASD) was cut to neutral from outperform at Schwab SoundView. Thomas Weisel upped Motorola(MOT:NYSE) to outperform from peer perform. AutoZone(AZO:NYSE) was cut to market perform from strong buy at Raymond James. CSFB upgraded Altera(ALTR:NASD) to neutral from underperform.

Financial Headlines:
Stories :

As expected, the Bank of England left its benchmark rates unchanged.

Dow Jones reports that a European legal adviser to an EU court backed a decision to allow generic pharma manufacturer Teva Pharm(TEVA:NASD) to produce a competing version of such drugs as Prozac, ultimately adding to the pressure at Eli Lilly(LLY:NYSE).

The Wall Street Journal reports that the amount of new apartments due to hit the market in the next 6 months threatens that industry's recovery throughout the nation. According to the article, vacancies could climb to as high as 7.1% by the end of the year, levels unheard of since 1986 when the vacancy rate reached 7.9%

Yahoo!(YHOO:NASD) reported earnings in line but on revenues slightly below consensus.
Genentech(DNA:NYSE) reported in line.
Alcoa(AA:NYSE) missed by $0.02 on lighter revenues.
Target(TGT:NYSE) reported June same store sales increase of 2.3% year over year.
Gap Inc(GPS:NYSE) reported June comps down 2%.
Sears, Roebuck(S:NYSE) reported June comps down 3.1%.
JC Penney(JCP:NYSE) raised its 2nd quarter outlook.

Around the world in 80 ticks:

As the plot thickens in Iraq, Reuters reports that Islamic extremists donning masks and flashing their rifles and grenade launchers threatened to behead any lawyers that defend former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. Apparently the assault rifles and grenade launchers were just for show since beheading will almost assuredly be the threat of choice. On the flip side of Iraq, a Filipino hostage that was broadcast on Al Jazeera television has apparently caused Philippine President Arroyo to pause in his decision to deploy troops to Iraq. Last night Arroyo ordered an immediate halt to the deployment of Filipinos to the region.

Spanning the globe on terror, AFP reports that North Korea has allegedly stepped up combat preparations and ordered the deployment of newly acquired intermediate range ballistic missiles.

In a potentially bullish move for Home Depot (HD:NYSE), AP news reports that Playboy(PLA:NYSE) has confirmed it will be ratcheting up its website with the "girls of Home Depot". interviewed approximately 400 potential bunnies wearing nothing but socket wenches, er, wrenches. Out of the sawdust pool of 400, six HD employees have been chosen to represent the building product retailer.

Have a great day.


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