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The Fokker Chronicles



World Markets:

Europe is taking it on the chin today while the DAX and the CAC40 were leading the region lower dropping 1.55% and 1.30% respectively. In Asia the Nikkei lost 1.17% and the Hang Seng lost 0.62%. Spot gold continued its weakness losing nearly $3 prior to the open on Wall Steet.

Heads up:

Earnings after the bell today include Hartford Financial(HIG:NYSE) and St. Paul Travelers(STA:NYSE). Economic numbers later this morning include Factory Orders for June and the July ISM non-manufacturing data at 10amEDT.

Brokerage Chatter:

Vishay(VSH:NYSE) was cut to underweight from overweight at JP Morgan. Lehman downgraded SPX Corp(SPW:NYSE) to equal weight from overweight and lowered its price target to $45 from $55. Kerr-McGee(KMG:NYSE) was upgraded at AG Edwards from hold to buy. Morgan Stanley cut Country-Wide Financial(CFC:NYSE) to equal-weight from overweight.

Prudential downgraded Qwest(Q:NYSE) to neutral from overweight and lowered its price target to $3.50 from $6.00. Caterpillar(CAT:NYSE) was upped to buy from neutral at UBS. Honeywell(HON:NYSE) was cut to reduce from neutral at UBS. Smith Barney upgraded Applied Material(AMAT:NASD) to buy from hold.

Financial Headlines:
Stories :

The Dow Jones reports that three New York Stock Exchange membership "seats" were sold yesterday, one of which fetched $1.25 million, an 11% decline from the last seat sale.

AP newswires report that according to the officials at the Auto Workers union, 9,000 Caterpillar(CAT:NYSE) employees could walk out on Thursday afternoon if the eight-month old negotiations fail to yield a new contract.

The Wall Street Journal reports that U.S. investors are increasingly interested in buying foreign stock. U.S. investors bought $72 billion net worth of foreign stocks last year, far ahead of the former highest amount of $63 billion set in 1993. This year, investors look on track to purchase nearly $90 billion worth of foreign equities, 25% more than '03.

As widely expected, the FDA approved of Eli Lilly's(LLY:NYSE) Cymbalta drug for treatment of depression. The drug was scheduled for approval in September however received an early approval from the FDA.


Tommy Hilfiger(TOM:NYSE) beat by $0.02.
Noble Energy(NBL:NYSE) beat by $0.09.
CIGNA(CI:NYSE) beat by $0.51.

Around the world in 80 ticks:

Reuters is reporting that the military savvy journal of Jane's Defense Weekly said the North Koreans have taken further steps to threaten the U.S. and its neighbors. According to the military journal, new land and sea-based nuclear ballistic missiles could have sufficient land to hit the United States. The journal cites that the North Koreans received know-how and technology from Russian specialists and purchased old decommissioned Russian subs while the Russian government only suspected their intentions were for scrap metal.

According to a survey of Dow Jones, 86% of Fahrenheit 9/11 moviegoers disapprove of President George Bush. It wasn't immediately clear from Dow Jones if the poll was taken prior to those that viewed the blockbuster documentary.

Have a great day.


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