The Fokker Chronicles
European markets were mostly weaker with the exception of the German DAX that hovered just above positive territory. The London FTSE traded lower down 0.66% ahead of the US open. US equities were mixed with the S&P's up a 1 point and the Nasdaq futures down 1point. Bond futures remained slightly higher in early trading.
Light day for economic news and earnings reports. Quadruple witching might come into play today as the contracts for index futures, equity options, index options, and single stock futures all expire. Monday will bring the earnings results for AutoZone(AZO:NYSE). Some of the highlights for next week include reports from Goldman Sachs(GS:NYSE), Morgan Stanley (MWD:NYSE), Lehman Brothers(LEH:NYSE) on Tuesday and Micron Tech(MU:NYSE) on Wednesday.
JP Morgan upgraded its view on the global oil stocks. Thomas Weisel reiterated its outperform rating for Agilent (A:NYSE) and raised its target to $30 from $27. Solomon Brothers raised its estimates for the lodging stocks including Hilton Hotels(HLT:NYSE), Host Marriott(HMT:NYSE), Marriott Intl(MAR:NYSE), and Starwood Hotels(HOT:NYSE) to name a few.
Thomas Weisel Partners is upgrading Blockbuster (BBI:NYSE) from peer perform to outperform. SG Cowen upgraded BEA Systems(BEAS:NASD) to outperform from market perform and raised its 2005 EPS estimate above consensus. Morgan Stanley downgraded FedEx(FDX:NYSE) to equal-weight from overweight. UBS upgraded ATI Tech (ATYT:NASD) to buy from neutral and raised its target to $19.50 from $15.60.
Banc of America downgraded Carnival Corp (CCL: NYSE) to neutral from buy. Wachovia downgraded Amgen(AMGN:NASD) to market perform from outperform. JP Morgan added Tyco(TYC:NYSE) to its focus list. JPM ups Yellow Corp(YELL:NASD) to neutral from underweight. Morgan Stanley raised its estimates for Nike(NKE:NYSE) for 2004, 2005, and 2006.
AmerisourceBergen(ABC:NYSE) is reported by the Wall Street Journal to be the subject of an investigation by the FBI and FDA over illegally diverted drugs into secondary markets. The investigation over this "complicated scheme" to collect double rebates from drug manufacturers for drug sales has been ongoing for months.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Blockbuster(BBI:NYSE) and Columbia House are in merger talks.
AMG fund flow data show that equity funds have reported net cash inflows that totalled $2.2 billion for the week ended 9/17/03 with International and Domestic Small Cap Growth funds reporting the largest ($987 million; $615 million, respectively)
In Business Week, Microsoft(MSFT:NASD) is highlighted for their consideration of bundling anti-virus software into its next version of Windows. According to the article, it would represent a considerable negative for Symantec(SYMC:NASD) and Network Associates(NET:NYSE).
USA Today reports that Goldman Sachs CEO and NYSE board member Hank Paulson proposed that Wall Street industry directors should not be permitted to hold seats on the NYSE board. However, these leaders should form an advisory committee which would not have any regulatory or governance powers.
Jabil(JBL:NYSE) said last night that their EPS was in line with expectations on better than expected revenue.
Expeditors Intl (EXPD:NASD) warned last night and now sees EPS .29-.30 versus the street at .33.
Nike(NKE:NYSE) beat forecasts citing better sales overseas.
PALM(PALM:NASD) reported a smaller than expected loss.
Around the world in 80 ticks:
The Washington Post reported that United Nations' Secretary General Kofi Annan informed the U.S and other Security Council members that the U.N. presence in Iraq will not be expanded until a unanimously supported mandate is set that states the tasks for the U.N.
Retired General and Democratic hopeful for President, Wesley Clark told the New York Times that he would have voted for the war in Iraq had he been the President.
Reuters reports that Hurricane Isabel was downgraded to a tropical storm, as it moved inland today, but not before leaving flooding, downed trees, and nearly 4 million homes and businesses without power.
Debka reports that Saddam's former defense minister Sultan Hashem Ahmed has surrendered to US forces.
SKY News reports that the remains of a giant guinea pig have been discovered in South America. Apparently the rodent stood 4feet tall and 9 feet long.
Have a great weekend.
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