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The Fokker Chronicles



World Markets:

European markets were mixed to higher today as the CAC40 lost some ground but the FTSE and DAX each gained 0.30% and 0.25% respectively. The Spanish IBEX, meanwhile, took the day off from trading. In Asia, the picture was a little grimmer as the Nikkei lost 0.65% and the Hang Seng gave back 1.13% today. Spot gold was up over $3 ahead of the equity trading start on Wall Street.

Heads up:

The NAHB Housing Market Index will get released at 1pmEDT today while tomorrow we'll view data from July on the CPI, Housing Starts, Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization. Earnings will be light after the close today, but tomorrow lookout for Home Depot (HD:NYSE), Deere (DE:NYSE), Applied Materials (AMAT:NASD), and Network Appliance(NTAP:NASD).

Brokerage Chatter:

Apache (APA:NYSE) was upgraded to market perform at Wachovia. Oppenheimer upgraded Estee Lauder (EL:NYSE) to buy from neutral. Krispy Kreme (KKD:NYSE) estimates were cut well below consensus at JP Morgan for 2004 and 2005. Goldman Sachs upped Kohl's (KSS:NYSE) to outperform from in-line.

RBC downgraded CarMax (KMX:NYSE) to sector perform from outperform, and cut its 2005-06 EPS below consensus while dropping its price target to $22 from $29. Smith Barney upgraded Dow Chem(DOW:NYSE) and Lyondell (LYO:NYSE) to buy from hold and raised its price targets to $46 and $21 respectively from $41 and $19.

Financial Headlines:
Stories :

According to Bloomberg newswires, the 4th largest exporter of oil to the U.S. and OPEC, Venezuela, announced President Hugo Chavez winning the recall election and allowing him to stay in office, which, despite the ongoing violence surrounding the elections, could quell concerns that oil supply from the South American country will not be disrupted.

Reuters reports that Dell Co (DELL:NASD) will exit China's low-end consumer PC market and cut its overall growth target in the country due to tough competition.

Lowe's (LOW:NYSE) reported 2nd quarter a penny worse than consensus.
Sysco Corp (SYY:NYSE) missed by a penny.

Around the world in 80 ticks:

Hurricane Charley could cost Florida nearly $11 billion in insured losses alone according to experts cited by the ABC News. Initial assessments counted 16 deaths and thousands still without power in 90 degree conditions. Allstate (ALL:NYSE), the second largest insurer in Florida behind State Farm, said this morning that it doesn't see a material effect to its financial condition from its cited max reimbursement of $922 million, and that operations outside Florida could create potential "material" losses to its current quarterly balance sheet.

The Israeli man, Golan Cipel, that has found himself at the center of the New Jersey Gov. James McGreevey's resignation told an Israeli daily that he was the victim of unwanted sexual advances and that it was not until lawyers were planning a settlement from sexual harassment that the governor came forward with his resignation. Cipel added that he wasn't bothered so much by the homosexual allegations, pointing out that the he is not in fact a gay man, but said in the Sunday published interview that he resented the extortionist accusations.

The Olympic events got off to a quick start on Saturday and fortunately without any scary happenings, unless of course you watched the USA/NBA basketball team get spanked by the Puerto Rico squad. One interesting highlight that is setting up in the games could come from U.S. swimmer Michael Phelps who, in an effort to reach Mark Spitz's 32 year-old Olympic record of 7 gold medals, will face off against his greatest threat in the games, Australia's Ian Thorpe.

Have a great day.


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