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The Fokker Chronicles



Heads up:

Bear Stearns will kick off its 17th Annual 2-day Healthcare Conference this morning in New York. At 2pmEDT the government releases the Monthly Budget Statement for August. Tomorrow on the earnings front, lookout for Oracle(ORCL:NASD) to report its results.

Brokerage Chatter:

Banc of America dropped Corinthian Colleges (COCO:NASD) from buy to neutral. Prudential cut Placer Dome (PDG:NYSE) from overweight to neutral based on concerns about output at two mines. JP Morgan added Moody's (MCO:NYSE) to its Focus List citing better than expected macro trends. Banc of America raised Mercury Interactive (MERQ:NASD) from neutral to buy. Smith Barney lowered its estimates on Anheuser-Busch Companies(BUD:NYSE) taking Q3 to $0.85 vs. $0.86 cons and FY'04 to $2.74 vs. $2.76 cons on spoiled beer trends.

Deutsche upgraded Visteon (VC:NYE) from sell to hold on valuation. Wachovia cut mortgage insurers PMI Group (PMI:NYSE) and MGIC Investment Corp. (MTG:NYSE) from outperform to market perform. Bernstein raised National Semi (NSM:NYSE) from market perform to outperform on valuation. Smith Barney lowered Cummins (CMI:NYSE) from buy to hold on valuation.

Financial Headlines:
Stories :

The Wall Street Journal reports that US Air(UAIR:NASD) has filed for Chapter 11, again. The airline cited lack of a labor agreement for transformation plan and has asked the court for supervision to complete restructuring.

According to the WSJ, Gateway (GTW:NYSE) plans to announce that it will exit the consumer electronics business and get back to its core focus of selling PC's.


International Steel Group (ISG:NYSE) guided Q3 EPS higher to $2.00-2.10 vs $1.70 cons citing strong demand and higher steel prices.

Around the world in 80 ticks:

The New York Times reports that President Bush held a briefing with his cabinet over North Korea's potential that it may be closer to testing a nuclear weapon than originally perceived. Meanwhile, the article comes amid speculation that the North Koreans tested a bomb last Thursday which created a huge suspicious mushroom cloud with nearly a 3-mile wide explosion radius. The LA Times cited Secretary of State Colin Powell as saying the explosion which North Korea said was done to blow up a mountain top was not caused by a nuclear bomb test. In separate news, the local North Korean fishing industry reported hundreds of precooked three eyed fish have been found ashore over the weekend creating an unexpected boom to the local industry.

According to the UK Sunday Telegraph, Al Qaeda terrorists have plans to highjack oil tankers and freighters and turn them into floating bombs. U.S. intelligence officials have purportedly passed on warnings to the South Asian allies including Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia of the plot to attack their busy shipping ports.

The Independent reported that following the severe hurricanes that have hit the shores over the past month including Hurricane Ivan, the return of El Niño could be in the cards. According to the article, disastrous weather is set to continue for at least another six months and the U.S. government has confirmed that a new El Niño is about to strike, which brings with it torrential rain and droughts around the world.

Have a great day.


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