The Fokker Chronicles
Lookout for more data points on the economy this morning. At 10amEDT the ISM Manufacturing, ISM Prices Paid, Total and July Construction Spending reports are released. At 10:30amEDT the API will release its weekly energy inventory levels. Later in the day the autos will have August Total Vehicle sales to contend with.
After the bell lookout for earnings from Veritas(VTS:NYSE) which will highlight a slow earnings week.
Banc of America raised Air Products (APD:NYSE) from neutral to buy based on a handful of potentially positive catalysts and on fundamentals. JP Morgan dropped Forest Labs (FRX:NYSE) from its Focus List following the failure of a Phase III trial for Neramexane (potential treatment for Alzheimer's) to demonstrate statistical significance. Morgan cut Fifth Third Bancorp (FITB:NYSE) from overweight to equal weight citing margin pressure during a transition to rising rates. Bear downgraded Sanofi (SNY:NYSE) from outperform to peer perform. Friedman Billings upped Dover Corp (DOV:NYSE) from market perform to outperform on valuation. Wachovia carved Tyson Foods (TSN:NYSE) and Smithfield Foods (SFD:NYSE) from outperform to market perform.
Piper Jaffray lowered estimates for Siebel Systems (SEBL:NASD) for Q3 to $298 mln vs $308.9 mln cons, Q4 to $330 vs $345.6 mln cons, and '05 to $0.23 vs $0.26 cons on rev's of $1.297 bln vs $1.26 bln cons. Prudential lowered the software industry from favorable to neutral as a function of an industry shift in terms of delivery and pricing. Merrill Lynch quietly raised its forecast for '04 WTI crude to $37.70 / brl and for Q4 from $32 to $35 / brl. Deutsche Bank downgraded Bayer AG (BAY:NYSE) from buy to hold after the company's Q2 earnings report yesterday. JP Morgan reduced its FY'04 and FY'05 estimates on Teradyne (TER:NYSE) based on slowdown in back-end equipment orders from Asian subcontractors recently.
The weekly Investors Intelligence(II) figures showed a rise in bulls from 39.6% to 43.6% while bears fell from 30.2% to 27.7%.
The weekly MBA mortgage applications index came in -0.6% vs. -6.3% in the week prior.
Another pipeline fire in northern Iraq has helped push crude futures prices up this morning by 60 cents to $42.72 a barrel in pre-mkt electronic trading. The API weekly report on U.S. fuel inventories is expected to show a decrease in gasoline stockpiles, ahead of the Labor Day holiday driving surge. Keep an eye out for the API data due out at around 10:30amEDT.
Bloomberg news wires report that the French Government will sell as much as $7.1 billion in shares of Europe's second largest phone company, France Telecom SA(FTE:NYSE) in an effort to reduce debt to below the EU limit. The amount represents 12% of the company and following the sale, the state will control between a 41% and 43.5% stake. Convertible bonds are also expected to be sold to help improve its balance sheet.
Corinthian Colleges (COCO:NASD) reported Q4 EPS of $0.22 vs $0.19 on rev's of $217.1 mln vs $216.7 cons.
Fairchild Semiconductor (FCS:NYSE) reaffirmed prior guidance for Q3 sales to be approximately the same as Q2 sales figures. Rev's for Q2 were $427.5 mln, cons for Q3 is $416.9 mln.
Around the world in 80 ticks:
BBC news reports that a Russian hostage crisis is taking place at a school in North Ossetia where nearly 400 people including 200 children are being held by nearly a dozen armed men and women in the Southern Russian province.
The Governator Arnold Schwarzenegger anchored the Republican convention last night to which he greeted the public with his usual humor and charm. ``To those critics who are so pessimistic about our economy, I say: 'Don't be economic girlie men!'" Schwarzenegger said. Arnold went on to discuss his childhood under Soviet occupied Austria up to his career through body building, acting and finally politics.
Have a great day.
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