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The Fokker Chronicles

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World Markets:

Global markets were trading modestly to the higher side today with the DAX trading up 0.65%. In Asia 1.75% gains in the Hang Seng and a 0.22% advance to the Nikkei highlighted the region today. Spot gold lost ground early on today dropping more than $3 per ounce while spot crude was weaker by 30c.


Heads up:
At 10amEDT the government releases its data for Existing Homes Sales in July.

After the bell lookout for earnings from H&R Block(HRB:NYSE) and Portal Software (PRSF:NASD).


Brokerage Chatter:


UBS raised the Integrated Oil and E&P groups from underweight to equal weight while upping its expected oil prices for '04 from $31 to $44, '05 from $28 to $34 and '06 from $25 to $30. Thomas Weisel upgraded Celestica (CLS:NYSE) and Sanmina (SANM:NASD), from peer perform to outperform. Goldman raised Caterpillar (CAT:NYSE) from in line to outperform and cut Eaton (ETN:NYSE) from outperform to in line on valuation.

Merrill raised Potash Corp. (POT:NYSE) from neutral to buy. Bear Stearns made negative comments on Novellus (NVLS:NASD) saying the company may adjust Q3 bookings guidance flat to up 5%. UBS lowered its target and took EPS down (from $0.82 to $0.79) on Cisco Systems (CSCO:NASD). Prudential cut Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF:NYSE) from overweight to neutral weight. CSFB lowered estimates on Broadcom (BRCM:NASD) below consensus on expected Q4 weakness.


Financial Headlines:
Stories :

Sumitomo Mitsui announced that it is proposing a merger agreement whereby Sumitomo would exchange 1 of its shares for each UFJ share, representing over a 23% premium for UFJ.

The Wall Street Journal reports that General Electric (GE:NYSE) is looking into an aggressive expansion into small retail banking in emerging countries in central and eastern Europe as well as some Asian countries. Based on the product mix they intend to employ, Citigroup (C:NYSE) would stand as its biggest rival.

According to the New York Post, the Department of Justice is investigating the American Stock Exchange and the Chicago board of Options Exchange for potentially anti-competitive practices relating to equity and index options trading.


Earnings:

Heinz (HNZ:NYSE) reported in line results on slightly better revenues than consensus.



Around the world in 80 ticks:

While western music is strictly prohibited and censored within Iranian borders, not to mention homosexuality, BBC news reports that Queen's greatest hits album has made the former rock band the first to receive Iran's stamp of approval to sale. Bootleg albums of Queen had already made the rock group the most popular band in Iran. The cassette is reportedly retailing at less than $1.

The beleaguered Iraqis could be eyeing a chance at precious metals Saddam and his sons could never get their hands on during their reign of terror when the national soccer team faces off with Paraguay in a soccer semifinal in Athens. Bloomberg reports that since 1960, the only Olympic medal the countrymen could win was the bronze in weightlifting. The motivational tactics that Uday Hussein would employ, such as torturing the athletes that failed to meet his expectations, also failed to reap successful results, however a victory now would send the Iraqis to the championship match on Saturday to face two of the biggest fixtures and powerhouses in world soccer in Italy or Argentina.


Have a great day.


Fokker

position in c, ge, cls, cat, anf
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