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The Fokker Chronicles



Heads up:

Later today we'll get the Phila Fed numbers for September at approximately 12pmEDT. Tomorrow triple witching will hit full stride as the simultaneous expiration of futures, stock and index options will take place. The University of Michigan confidence figure will also get released.

Brokerage Chatter:

CSFB dropped Qualcomm (QCOM:NASD) from outperform to neutral citing limited upside. Prudential raised Illinois Tool Works (ITW:NYSE) from neutral to overweight. Smith Barney lowered Guidant (GDT:NYSE) from hold to sell after the stock's recent rally (up 27% since July low) and on the belief that U.S. approval of certain stents could be a long road. Piper Jaffray cut Mercury Interactive (MERQ:NASD) based on competition.

CSFB upgraded Nokia (NOK:NYSE) from underperform to neutral. Deutsche dropped AmSouth Bancorp (ASO:NYSE) from hold to sell. Motorola(MOT:NYSE) had its numbers raised at CSFB and its price target upped to $23 from $21. Prudential lowered Tribune Co. (TRB:NYSE) from overweight to neutral weight.

Financial Headlines:
Stories :

The Financial Times reports that in measuring current hedge fund performance, these funds have gained just 2.75% year to date, well short of the 11% reached over the past 10 years. The article adds that 2004 has been the worst year since 1998, when the industry suffered losses related to Long Term Capital Mgmt. About 43% of hedge funds are in negative so far this year.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Goldman Sachs (GS:NYSE) will buy interests in 12 power plants and a natural gas pipeline owned by National Energy & Gas Transmission for $656 mln in cash and assume $1.3 bln in debt.

Office Depot (ODP:NYSE) announced a $500 mln stock buyback.


Nortel (NT:NYSE) expects Q3 rev's to be below Q2 revs of $2.6 bln (vs. Q3 cons of $2.58 bln). For '04 the company expects mid-single digit rev growth.

Around the world in 80 ticks:

The Associated Press reports that the U.S. decision to go to war in Iraq without the approval of the U.N. Security Council was "illegal," according to Secretary-General Kofi Annan in an interview with the BBC. Inside sources admit it only took Kofi just under two years to comb through all the UN legal drafts and find the appropriate legalese for his opinion.

According to Bloomberg, President Bush cited his concerns with Russian's President Putin and his plan of personally overhauling the Parliament's regional governors calling it a threat to democracy in the country.

BBC news reports that Iraqi gunmen have kidnapped two Americans and a Brit in Baghdad, believed to be civilians. The people that were seized were reportedly taken from their homes and no reports of fighting occurred as the hostages were taken. According to the interior ministry in Iraq, the total currently being held against their will amount to 20 people.

Have a great day!


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