The Fokker Chronicles
European markets were leaning modestly higher half-way through its day. Asian markets closed lower as the Japanese Nikkei finished down 0.23% and the Hang Seng closed with a loss of 0.70%. US equities were trending lower in pre-market trading on light volume.
No economic numbers to lookout for today however, Thursday and Friday will keep the economists busy. The Gross Domestic Product, Personal Consumption, Initial Jobless Claims are the major reports for tomorrow while Friday will deliver the Personal Income and Spending, Michigan Confidence, and Chicago Purchasing Manager reports. The earnings data will remain light as we head into the Labor Day weekend.
Bank of America was busy this morning on the research front. Bank of America raised its 2003-2004 oil price forecast. Their oil price forecast now represents a 19% premium to the First Call consensus. Exxon Mobile(XOM:NYSE) was upped at Bank of America to buy from neutral while they downgraded Royal Dutch(RD:NYSE) and Shell Transport(SC:NYSE) to neutral from buy. BofA also upped their view on the Cosmetics, Household, and Personal Care Products group to overweight from market weight. The firm upped Colgate(CL:NYSE) and Estee Lauder(EL:NYSE) to buy from neutral. BofA also initiated coverage on AT&T Wireless (AWE:NYSE) with a buy and Sprint PCS(PCS:NYSE) and Nextel(NXTL:NASD) with a neutral rating.
Boston Scientific(BSX:NYSE) was cut to equal weight from overweight at Morgan Stanley. Harrah's(HET:NYSE) was cut to neutral from buy at Merrill Lynch. Fairchild Semi (FCS:NYSE) was upgraded at Bear Stearns to outperform from peer perform. Morgan Stanley cut its estimates for drug makers Schering-Plough(SGP:NYSE) and Johnson and Johnson(JNJ:NYSE) for 2004.
Solomon Brothers made some positive chatter on Novellus(NVLS) and said they expect a positive tone on the company's mid-quarter update tomorrow night. Solomon raised its price target from $37 to $42 a share. National Semi(NSM:NYSE) was upgraded by Lehman Brothers to equal weight from underweight and also made some chatter on the wireless semi's.
Adolph Coors(RKY:NYSE) was upgraded at Bear Stearns to outperform from peer perform. US Bancorp upped 3Com(COMS:NASD) from underperform to market perform. Motorola(MOT:NYSE) was downgraded from overweight to equal-weight at Morgan Stanley.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Intel(INTC:NASD) plans to invest more than $200 million in a new semiconductor-chip facility in central China.
The Washington Post quoting U.S./Iraqi occupation coordinator Paul Bremer, said yesterday that Iraq will be looking to American tax payers and foreign governments to provide "several tens of billions" of dollars in the next year to rebuild its infrastructure and revive its economy.
H & R Block(HRB:NYSE) beat the street by $0.05
Dollar Tree(DLTR:NASD) beat by a penny and raised its full year 2003 guidance.
Semtech(SMTC:NASD) beat by a penny, ex items, and guided the 3rd quarter in line, also announced the appointment of a new CEO.
Brown-Forman(BF:NYSE) missed estimates by $0.07.
Sears, Roebuck(S:NYSE) announced their August sales are tracking better than expected
Around the world in 80 ticks:
The Associated Press reports that the United States and North Korea held talks today in a formal diplomatic setting for the first time in months in an effort to resolve Pyongyang's nuclear program.
The BBC reports that Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat has called on his militant groups to reinstate the ceasefire that had formally ended last week.
Sky News reported that at 9:51amGMT, or 4:51amEDT, Mars was closer to the Earth than at any time since the last Ice Age, almost 60,000 years ago. At a distance of 34,646,418 miles, 145 times the distance to the Moon, Mars' surface markings and polar ice-caps were visible through a small telescope.
Fokker newswires reports, to the dismay of some avid tennis-goers, no Mandy Moore sightings at the U.S. open last night. However, that didn't stop Andy Roddick from moving past Brit Tim Henmen in three straight sets. Other highlights included Andre Agassi who played a day match against Alex Corretja and won handily 6-1,6-2,6-2. Jennifer Capriati easily took out Cristina Torrens 6-0,6-1. In one of the better matches of the day, ESPN reports that Gustavo Kuerten ended up on the short side of a 7-5, 2-6, 6-2, 4-6, 7-6 never ending match to Dmitrv Tursunov but not before he had a fan removed in the fifth set for hollering and making the Brazilian feel, "a little bit scared." And no, that wasn't me yelling the obscenities. Thanks for the press pass Kirky!
The Fokker Chronicles will return on Tuesday morning following an extended Labor Day weekend.
Have a happy and healthy Labor Day weekend!
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