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The Fokker Chronicles



World Markets:

European markets were mixed thus far today as the DAX lost ground by 0.65% while the FTSE gained 0.25% in midday trading. In Asia the Nikkei lost 0.19% and the Hang Seng finished higher by 0.57%.

Heads up:

Later this morning on the economic front lookout for the report on June Business Inventories. Tomorrow's data is shaping up for a busy session as we get data on the PPI, Trade Balance, and University of Michigan confidence.

After the bell we can expect earnings reports from Dell Co(DELL:NASD), BEA Systems (BEAS:NASD) and Kohl's(KSS:NYSE).

Brokerage Chatter:

Oppenheimer upgraded Guidant (GDT:NYSE) to buy from neutral. Thomas Weisel upped Gentex (GNTX:NADS) to outperform from peer perform. Bear Stearns upgraded Aetna (AET:NYSE) to outperform from peer perform. Activision (ATVI:NASD) was upped to outperform from sector perform at RBC. LifePoint Hospitals (LPNT:NASD) was upped to overweight from equal weight at Lehman Brothers.

Corning (GLW:NYSE) was cut to neutral from buy at UBS, and dropped its target price to $12.50 from $15.50. Brocade(BRCD:NASD) was upped to outperform form neutral at Schwab. RF Micro Devices (RFMD:NASD) was cut to sell from hold at Deutsche Bank. Banc of America upped Pixar Animation (PIXR:NASD) to neutral from sell and raised its price target to $73 from $58.

Financial Headlines:
Stories :

In a European news flash, and contrary to what Secretary Snow has told the public, the European Central Bank warned that the increase in crude oil prices may hurt growth and boost inflation.

A conservative Washington think tank will be launching its own version of an anti-terror campaign which will encourage investors to sell stock of companies that do business in countries that sponsor terrorism. According to reports from the Center for Security Policy, public pension funds have $188 billion invested in companies that have conducted business in Iran, Syria, North Korea, Sudan, Libya and prewar Iraq.

Kmart (KMRT:NASD) is set to join the NASDAQ-100 Index beginning next Thursday, August 19, 2004, replacing PanAmSat (SPOT:NASD).


Hewlett-Packard (HPQ:NYSE) missed by $0.07 on lighter revenues and guided its next quarter EPS well below consensus estimates.
Tiffany & Co (TIF:NYSE) missed by $0.04 and guided 2004 below consensus.
Wal-Mart (WMT:NYSE) beat by $0.02 on lighter revenues.

Around the world in 80 ticks:

AP newswires report that the Washington Post editors acknowledged that its news coverage during the months leading up to the Iraqi invasion had been underplayed and had lowered the paper's tone in its stories, which questioned, if not outright criticized President Bush's claims of the threat posed by Saddam Hussein.

As we head into the heart of Hurricane season, the first potential damaging hurricane of the season, Bonnie, has been downgraded to a tropical storm as it moves through the Gulf of Mexico sending strong winds through the western coast of Florida. Meanwhile, according to Reuters, Cuba remained on hurricane watch for Charley, which was moving northward into the Florida area. The hurricane center was forecasting a warning for the Florida Keys, Jamaica and the Cayman Islands, indicating hurricane conditions over the next 24 hours. Earlier this year, several meteorologists were forecasting that this year could be one of the most torrential in history.

Have a great day.


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