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The Fokker Chronicles



World Markets:

European markets were slightly firmer today led in part by the CAC40 and DAX which gained 0.50% and 0.45% respectively. In Asia, the Nikkei lost ground dropping 0.73% while the Hang Seng added 1.28%. Spot gold had lost nearly $3 while the dollar index and dollar yen were unchanged leading up to the opening bell on Wall Street.

Heads up:

The remaining economic reports for today include the Total Vehicle sales and Domestic Vehicle sales for July.

After the bell lookout for earnings releases from Education Mgmt(EDMC:NASD) and Prudential(PRU:NYSE). Tomorrow's earnings reports will get released from Abercrombie(ANF:NYSE), Cigna(CI:NYSE), Tommy Hilfiger(TOM:NYSE), and St. Paul Travelers(STA:NYSE).

Brokerage Chatter:

SPX Corp(SPW:NYSE) had its price target cut to $35 from $40 at Bank of America. Moody's(MCO:NYSE) was cut to equal-weight from overweight at Morgan Stanley. AG Edwards downgraded Safeco(SAFC:NASD) to hold from buy. JP Morgan upgraded HSBC(HBC:NYSE) to neutral from underweight. CIT Group(CIT:NYSE) was upgraded at Smith Barney to buy from hold.

Merrill Lynch upped Aetna(AET:NYSE) to buy from neutral. Jefferies upgraded the education firms to buy from underperform, individually naming Career Education(CECO:NASD), Corinthian Colleges(COCO:NASD), and ITT Educational Svcs(ESI:NYSE) to buy from underperform. Legg Mason upgraded Education Mgmt(EDMC:NASD) to buy from hold. Merrill Lynch upped Apollo Group(APOL:NASD) to buy from neutral. JP Morgan cut palmOne(PLMO:NASD) to neutral from overweight.

Financial Headlines:
Stories :

The Wall Street Journal reports that Lockheed Martin(LMT:NYSE) has been selected by the Pentagon for the production of new army spy planes that could be worth upwards of $7 billion over the life of the program, beating out Northrop Gruman(NOC:NYSE). The total development cost through early 2010 will be $879 million.

The Wall Street Journal reported that in light of the forthcoming Dreamworks animation studio IPO, Lucasfilms announced that it was opening a digital-animation studio to produce animation for movies, TV, and games.

Earnings: forecast for its third-quarter earnings was below expectations.
BEA Systems(BEAS:NASD) warned last night after the close - this was widely expected.
Adobe Systems(ADBE:NASD) raised its profit forecast during its mid quarter update.
Martha Stewart(MSO:NYSE) missed consensus estimates by $0.06 and guided the Street below consensus.
Qwest(Q:NYSE) missed by $0.03.
Mercury Computer(MRCY:NASD) beat by $0.04 and guided its 1st quarter EPS below consensus.
Tyco(TYC:NYSE) beat by $0.04.

Around the world in 80 ticks:

According to the Dow Jones news, more financial institutions than originally disclosed could be at risk of attack. Newsday reported that an Al Qaeda operative has told British intelligence that the group's target date is for early September. The operative was described as "credible" by British intelligence and told his interrogators that the attack would take place 60 days before the presidential election.

In related terror news, the New York Times reports that much of the intelligence that led up to the terror alert yesterday was nearly four years old in some cases, adding that it was possible that information collected might not be considered material.

The Chicago Tribune reports that the Iraqis could soon have a greater fear than war, "reality TV." Privately held Iraqi TV, Al Sharqiya, will be airing a "This Old House" meets Operation Iraqi cleanup called "Materials and Labor" which will show home improvement on homes destroyed by bombings and acts of war which are owned by poor people.

The New York Post reports that the NY Yankees and the Boston Redsox could be putting their rivalry and banter aside, at least for negotiation purposes. The Yankees's YES network and the Red Sox's New England Sports Network (NESN) are in merger talks to create a regional network that would broadcast both games for the Yankees and Red Sox.

Have a great day.


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