The Fokker Chronicles
Europe was weaker today led down by the DAX which lost 1.65% in midday trading. In Asia, the Nikkei gained 0.88% while the Hang Seng sank 0.52% on its session. Crude oil might get another lift today according to Bloomberg news after the Energy Industry regulator in Russia said Yukos might have to cut output soon because of a cash shortage.
Looking ahead, due out at 2pmEDT, the Monthly Budget Statement is expected in July with expectations for a $62.5 billion deficit. Earnings after the bell include Ann Taylor(ANN:NYSE) and News Corp(NWS:NYSE).
Cisco Systems (CSCO:NASD), following its earnings last night, was cut at UBS and Merrill Lynch to neutral from and buy and dropped at JP Morgan as well. Moody's rating agency cut the pharmaceutical industry to negative from stable citing several risks over the next 18 months. Progressive (PGR:NYSE) was upped to market perform from underperform at FBR. Allegheny Energy(AYE:NYSE) was cut to underweight from equal weight at Lehman.
Smith Barney cut Weight Watchers(WTW:NYSE) to sell from hold. CSFB downgraded MCI Corp(MCIP:NASD) to underperform from neutral. CSFB also cut Teradyne(TER:NYSE) to neutral from outperform and cut its price target to $15 from $25. Abercrombie & Fitch(ANF:NYSE) was cut to market perform from outperform at Piper. National Semi(NSM:NYSE) was downgraded from buy to hold and had its price target slashed to $16 from $26 at Smith Barney.
Mortgage applications fell for a second consecutive week by 0.7% to 5.8%.
Several Fortune 500 companies are adding contingency clauses to their ads at the Olympics according to CNN Money. General Electric(GE:NYSE,) the parent company of NBC, has an agreement with insurer AllState(ALL:NYSE) for the possibility of a cash refund in the event the games get canceled or interrupted. General Motors(GM:NYSE) was also mentioned to have a contingency plan in place, however no details were given.
Cisco Systems (CSCO:NASD) beat by a penny on higher than expected revenues but cited increased inventories as well as disappointing gross margins and forward guidance.
Federated(FD:NYSE) guided its 3rd quarter and 2004 estimates below consensus.
Kulicke & Soffa(KLIC:NASD) lowered its 4th quarter revenue expectations.
National Semi(NSM:NYSE) cut its 1st quarter revenue forecast.
Computer Sciences(CSC:NYSE) beat by a penny.
Walt Disney(DIS:NYSE) beat by $0.04.
Around the world in 80 ticks:
Bloomberg news reports that South Korea will be moving its capital city of Seoul to the rural village of Gongju, nearly 77 times smaller in population and 90 miles away in an effort to alleviate overcrowding. While the $39 billion project to create a new capital has been met with controversy, the legal changes are set to take place by 2012.
According to the Washington Times, the next major attack from Al Qaeda could be triggered by a high-profile political assassination of either a U.S. or other world leader. Details of the plot were purportedly found on the laptop computer confiscated from the terrorists in Pakistan and indicated that following the release of a public message from bin Laden, the plot will go into motion culminating in attacks on several targets within the U.S.
BBC news reported today that for the first time, British scientists have been given the approval by the government to perform therapeutic cloning on human embryos for the first time
AP news reports that the Governator from California, Arnold Schwarzenegger, received the highest level of support at this point in his term of office in the last 30 years. Arnold received a nonpartisan Field Poll approval rating of 65% just nine months after taking the oath. The last governor with this high an approval rating 10 months into office was Jerry Brown, who had a 67% approval rating back in November of 1975.
Standup comic Chris Rock, who sarcastically warns to look over your shoulder for the media because of the black community's endemic blaming of the "white media", might have been on target when he alerted his audience to run if they see news correspondent Mike Wallace. AP newswires reported that veteran correspondent Mike Wallace from CBS' "60 Minutes" was arrested. The 86 year old was arrested for arguing with city inspectors after he had parked his Lincoln illegally. Wallace was eventually released after he received a summons for disorderly conduct.
Have a great day.
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