The Fokker Chronicles
Global markets were weaker today as the DAX once again led Europe lower by nearly 1% while the Italian MIB, CAC40 and FTSE trailed not far behind. Asian markets carried the weakness overseas after the weak US payroll data on Friday. The Nikki lost 0.59%, the Hang Seng finished in negative territory and the Australian All Ords closed down 0.55% on its session. Spot gold was giving back some ground this morning dropping below the $400 level. Meanwhile IPE Brent Crude oil in London was off to a firmer start surging $0.40 per barrel.
The main event of the week is likely to be tomorrow's FOMC meeting and expectations are strongly leaning to a Fed rate hike of a quarter point.
Later this morning at 10amEDT the government releases its data for June Wholesale Inventories.
Walt Disney (DIS:NYSE) and Cisco (CSCO:NASD) report tomorrow while Wal-Mart (WMT:NYSE) and Dell Co (DELL:NASD) will be the highlight companies on Thursday.
Thomas Weisel downgraded Tiffany (TIF:NYSE) to peer perform from outperform. Toys R Us (TOY:NYSE) upgraded to buy from hold at Smith Barney with a new price target of $22 up from $15. Prudential upgraded Revlon (REV:NYSE) to overweight from underweight. Deere & Co (DE:NYSE) was upped to buy from neutral at UBS.
Nextel Partners (NXTP:NASD) was upped to overweight from neutral at Prudential. Prudential also upgraded Priceline.com (PCLN:NASD) to outperform from neutral. Merrill Lynch upgraded Citizens (CZN:NYSE) to buy from neutral. Lehman downgraded St. Paul Travelers (STA:NYSE) to underweight from equal weight.
Bloomberg newswires report Knight Trading Group (NITE:NASD) has agreed to sell its derivatives unit to Citigroup (C:NYSE) for $225 million. In related news, Merrill Lynch analyst Guy Moszkowski said a Citigroup purchase of Barclays Plc would not only be a "strategically attractive" deal but could boost its earnings per share within the first year. Separately, NITE announced it would increase its share buy back from $140 million to $250 million.
Yesterday, retail department store Dillard's (DDS:NYSE) announced it had entered into a definitive agreement to sell its credit card unit to General Electric (GE:NYSE) for $1.25 billion, $850 million in cash and $400 million in debt.
NICOR (GAS:NYSE) beat estimates by $0.25 .
Maxim Int (MXIM:NASD) announced in-line results for both EPS and revenues but guided its 2nd quarter numbers slightly above expectations.
Around the world in 80 ticks:
The LA Times reports that a terrorist suspect arrested in England last week was purportedly in contact via the internet with a United States Navy reservist and had obtained detailed information as to the sailor's battleship carrier group. According to military sources, the information had included classified travel plans as well as the San Diego battle group's vulnerability to attack.
Reuters reports that Salem Chalabi, the administrator of the Iraqi war crimes tribunal which is trying Saddam Hussein, is now under fire following an arrest warrant issued by an Iraqi judge for the murder of the Finance Ministry official. Salem's uncle Ahmad Chalabi meanwhile, has been charged with counterfeiting.
It's no wonder Brits have been so laid back the past few years. Reuters reports that traces of the anti-depressant Prozac have been found in Britain's drinking water supply but environmentalists are somehow depressed about it; something about potentially toxic effects. The concern mounted after UK's The Observer newspaper reported in its Sunday edition that Prozac, manufactured by Eli Lilly (LLY:NYSE) had been building up in river systems and in the groundwater which gets used in England's' drinking supply. Additionally the paper cited that overall prescriptions in Britain have surged from 9 million up to 24 million per year.
Have a great day.
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