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The Fokker Chronicles



World Markets:

World markets were modestly higher today with some strength seen in the CAC40 and FTSE which gained 0.60% and 0.50% respectively midway through their trading sessions. In Asia, the Nikkei gained 0.41% while the Hang Seng gave back nearly ½ percent. Spot gold meanwhile fell below $400 level again unable to break through its 200 day moving average at $400.70 per ounce.

Heads up:
In focus today will be the FOMC rate decision to be released approximately at 2:15pmEDT following its meetings this morning.

Lookout today for earnings reports from Cisco(CSCO:NASD) and Walt Disney(DIS:NYSE), which report their results after the close

Brokerage Chatter:

NVIDIA(NVDA:NASD) was upgraded to buy from hold at Needham. Thomas Weisel downgraded Cephalon(CEPH:NASD) to peer perform from outperform. Morgan Stanley initiated E-Trade(ET:NYSE) and Ameritrade(AMTD:NASD) with overweight ratings. Smith Barney downgraded Total SA(TOT:NYSE) to hold from buy. AmeriCredit(ACF:NYSE) was upped to outperform from market perform at Piper and raised its price target to $25 from $20.

Lehman downgraded the Semis to neutral from positive, individually cutting Xilinx(XLNX:NASD) and Fisher Scientific(FCS:NYSE). Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold(FCX:NYSE) was upped to overweight from neutral at Prudential. Pru added that it could see copper prices double in the next 12 months. JP Morgan removed Phillips Electronics(PHG:NYSE) from its Focus List despite keeping its rating an overweight. UBS upped ST Jude Medical(STJ:NYSE) to neutral from reduce.

Financial Headlines:
Stories :

The Wall Street Journal reported today that Berkshire Hathaway(BRK.A:NYSE) has built its portfolio for a drop in the U.S. dollar by increasing its bet over 70% in the 1st half of 2004 according to its most recent quarterly filing. The total notional value of its foreign currency bet increased to $19 billion in its latest June 30th disclosure.

PC World reported that the antivirus software makers Norton and McAfee as well as others are warning of new strain of mass-e-mailer Bagle worm. The version of the worm began spreading yesterday with name of the attachment "price" or "new price" and affected some corporated e-mail networks.

Reuters has reported that Disney(DIS:NYSE) and writer/director M. Night Shyamalan could face legal action from book publisher Simon & Schuster over what it alleges as very close similarities between the film "The Village" and the 1995 children's book published under the name "Running Out of Time."


May Dept(MAY:NYSE) beat by a penny on slightly light revenues.
Four Seasons(FS:NYSE) beat by $0.04.
Alliance Gaming(AGI:NYSE) beat the Street by $0.04 and guided its 2005 below consensus estimates.

Around the world in 80 ticks:

Despite Pakistani officials claiming a "90 percent" success in terror war, AP news wires reported that two senior Pakistani officials cited their dismay with the media for the disclosure of the Al Qaeda computer expert arrested last week. Although the Pakistanis did not go as far as to point blame at U.S. officials, they claimed it jeopardized their efforts to capture more members of the terrorist network.

The New York Post reports how several casinos and other key installations in Las Vegas were extensively cased by Al Qaeda operatives. According to the paper, surveillance tapes were apparently made of the MGM Grand, Excalibur, and New York, New York casinos. Interestingly, the extensively made tapes of the Champagne rooms at Crazy Horse and Cheetahs have yet to be released by police officials.

Have a great day.

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