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The Fokker Chronicles

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World Markets:

Cashing up on the global picture today showed a firmer European start to the week led by German shares(DAX) up 1.70% and the CAC40 which was gaining 1.50% halfway through their respective sessions. The Nikkei added 0.66% while the Hang Seng finished nearly ½ percent higher on the day. Spot gold was losing ground by over $2 per ounce while the energy markets in Europe were quiet ahead of the open to NYMEX trading in New York.


Heads up:

Economic data is quiet today, however tomorrow news will kick up starting with the Existing Homes sales figures for July. Same goes for earnings releases to start the week. Tomorrow's reports will highlight Heinz (HNZ:NYSE) and H&R Block(HRB:NYSE).


Brokerage Chatter:

Bear raised the hospital sector to market overweight based on improving Medicare rates, potential EPS growth, margin expansion and valuation. Community Health Systems (CYH:NYSE) and HCA Inc (HCA:NYSE) were raised at Bear from peer perform to outperform. UBS raised Phillips (PHG:NYSE) from neutral to buy while Merrill added it to its Europe-1 list. Merrill raised numbers on ADC Telecom (ADCT:NASD) based on restructuring efforts from $0.11 to $0.14 in FY'05.

RW Baird punted Alltel Corp (AT:NYSE) from outperform to neutral on valuation. Raymond James upped SBC Communications (SBC:NYSE) from market perform to outperform while cutting BellSouth (BLS:NYSE) from market perform to underperform and took FY'04 numbers from $2.06 to $2.03 and for FY'05 from $1.92 to $1.79 due to an accounting change. Bernstein upgraded Electronic Data Systems (EDS:NYSE) from market perform to outperform.


Financial Headlines:
Stories :

According to Bloomberg, Yukos has cut its oil production target for FY'04 from 1.8 mln bpd to 1.72 mln bpd and has paid $1.5 bln of a $3.4 bln tax bill

Kmart (KMRT:NASD) has completed a deal with Home Depot (HD:NYSE) to sell 18 stores for $271 mln in cash.

Mylan Labs (MYL:NYSE) has been granted FDA approval for the generic version of the Novartis product Lopressor

Earnings:

Wal-Mart (WMT:NYSE) cuts its August sales forecast based on weak back to school demand and now sees comps flat to +2% vs. prior guidance of +2%-4%
FedEx (FDX:NYSE) has raised guidance for Q1 from $0.90-$1.00 to $1.00-$1.10 and for FY'05 from $4.20-$4.40 to $4.40-$4.60 based on strong demand.


Around the world in 80 ticks:

Reuters reports that Senator Pat Roberts, chairman of the Senate intelligence committee, told CBS's "Face the Nation" yesterday that he would unveil a plan for the restructuring of the CIA today. Although the White House has yet to view the plan, which included a greater budget for intelligence operations as well as substantial powers to a new director of the service, Roberts thought he'd put the world on notice in advance. Other Senators were quick to caution any early chatter on the issue and recommended some debate in the Senate, for the traditional bureaucratic red tape purposes, before anything was set in stone.

In the technology space, Japanese electronics maker Sharp Corp. told Reuters that it has developed a new 'fat-busting' microwave oven that can literally melt some of your waistline away. With obesity ever becoming a heavier issue to many, the Sharp machine utilizes a steam mechanism similar to that of a sauna and reduces the fat content of foods by nearly 20% compared with that of a gas grill, which creates 12% reduction.



Have a great day.


Fokker


position in wmt, kmrt, hd, sbc
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