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The Fokker Chronicles



World Markets:

Global markets traded weaker today led in part by the DAX and CAC40 in Europe which declined 0.60% and 0.55% respectively. The Nikkei bucked the trend and gained 0.45% while the Hang Seng lost 0.23%. Spot gold lost some ground ahead of the U.S. equity open dropping nearly $2 per ounce in early trading.

Heads up:

After the bell lookout for earnings from Brocade (BRCD:NAD), Hot Topic (HOTT:NASD), Medtronic (MDT:NYSE) and Nortel (NT:NYSE).

Tomorrow's economic data includes weekly jobless claims, Leading Indicators for July and August, Phila Fed survey.

Brokerage Chatter:

Lehman upgrades Estee Lauder (EL:NYSE) to overweight from equal-weight. American Tower (AMT:NYSE) was started with an overweight rating at Morgan Stanley and an $18 price target. MGM Mirage(MGG:NYSE) and Mandalay Resorts (MBG:NYSE) had their estimates cut at Goldman Sachs. Dell Computer (DELL:NASD) was initiated with an outperform rating at First Boston. Merrill Lynch added Marriot (MAR:NYSE) to its Focus 1 List and JP Morgan added Halliburton (HAL:NYSE) to its own Focus List and slapped a $38 target on the stock. Prudential downgraded Saks (SKS:NYSE) to underweight from neutral and cut its price target to $12 from $17.

Financial Headlines:
Stories :

The Mortgage Bankers Association reported that their applications index jumped 11.9% over the past week.

Google (GOOG:NASD) slashed its IPO price range to $85-95 per share from a range of $108-135 a share and reduced the overall issuance by over 6 million shares.

The Morgan Stanley Capital Intl (MSCI) index of global stocks, which has nearly $3 trillion in funds benchmarked, announced yesterday that it would realign its weightings essentially adding to eBay (EBAY:NASD) and Yahoo! (YHOO:NASD) and reduce its weight in Wal-Mart(WMT:NYSE) and Cisco (CSCO:NASD). The changes come about each quarter due to the change in the number of shares on each issue of stock. Both EBAY and YHOO will be raised by 0.03% and 0.02% to 0.38% and 0.35% overall weight respectively.

Applied Materials (AMAT:NASD) beat by a penny.
Dillard's (DDS:NYSE) missed by $0.18 on lighter than expected revenues.
Network Appliance (NTAP:NASD) topped estimates by a penny on slighter better revenues.

Around the world in 80 ticks:

Kerry objects to Bush's plan to recall 70,000 U.S. troops from abroad: In a speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Kerry was arguing Wednesday that Bush's policy would undermine relations with U.S. allies and dangerously reduce forces at a time when the nation is fighting the Al Qaeda terrorist network in 60 countries across the globe

The Newark Star Ledger reports that given the mounting pressure for New Jersey governor McGreevey to step aside early, Senator Jon Corzine is exploring a run for the empty seat.

The BBC reports that in an updated study of the global population boom, The Population Reference Bureau(PRB), said by 2050, India will overtake China as the world's most populous nation while many others will shrink by nearly 40%. No surprise that 99% of all population increases were said to be taking place in the poorest of countries, however the one exception was that the U.S. is expected to grow by nearly 50% within the next 50 years. Other notes showed that by 2050, Britain would overtake France in overall population.

In recent Taser (TASR:NASD) news, a Virginia man died yesterday after he was shot in a frantic struggle with two police officers on Monday. 29-yr old Robert Trouth who had been pulled over for a traffic stop was repeatedly sprayed with pepper spray then ultimately zapped with a TASR gun which consequently set Trouth's hair on fair. That didn't seem to stop him, however, and he was able to remove one of the officers' hand-guns before finally getting shot in the back by the second officer. While the investigation of the incident is still ongoing, chances are the gentleman in question was guilty of something.

The Associated Press reports that according to a Towson University anthropologist digging in a soybean farm in Maryland, the discovery of a human presence may alter the debate as to when the North American continent first had people present. After taking radiocarbon dates of the soil, it has been speculated that a human had been there 16,000 years ago.

Have a great day.


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