The Fokker Chronicles
European markets have bounced back today following its weaker session yesterday. The CAC40 has led the pack so far posting a 0.88% gain. The Japanese Nikkei showed a modest gain while the Hang Seng added 3.21%. Property stocks in Hong Kong had made their biggest one day gain in nearly 3 years. US markets were leaning slightly to the upside while NY crude oil futures made new highs on its session following a surprise announcement from OPEC.
Lookout today for the API weekly stat bulletin at 10:00amEDT. After the bell today we'll get the reports from Micron Tech(MU:NYSE), Bed Bath and Beyond(BBBY:NASD) and Cognos(COGN:NASD). The economic reports will return in full force tomorrow morning as the government releases Durable Goods, Initial Jobless Claims and data from new and existing home sales.
UBS downgraded Solutia(SOI:NYSE) to neutral from buy. Lehman Brothers downgraded Genentech(DNA:NYSE) to equal-weight from overweight. XL Capital(XL:NYSE) was upgraded at JP Morgan to overweight from neutral. Brown & Brown(BRO:NYSE) was downgraded at JP Morgan to neutral from overweight.
Lehman upgraded Adolor(ADLR:NASD) to overweight from equal-weight and raised its price target to $26 from $12. Needham initiated coverage of Level 3 (LVLT:NASD) with a buy rating and an $8 target. Deutsche Bank has taken up numbers on Corning(GLW:NYSE) following its meeting with management. Soundview made some negative chatter on Network Appliance(NTAP:NASD). Soundview also raised its price target for Advanced Micro(AMD:NYSE) to $15 from $13.
Morgan Stanley has taken up estimates for Merrill Lynch(MER:NYSE) and its price target from $61 to $64 a share. Morgan also raised estimates for Lowe's(LOW:NYSE), US Bancorp(USB:NYSE) and ConocoPhillips(COP:NYSE). Morgan Stanley raised its price target for COP from $60 to $65 a share.
According to Bloomberg newswires citing the Kuwaiti Oil Minister, OPEC announced that it will cut its output quotas to 900,000 barrels a day and took the markets by surprise this morning. Nymex crude futures have traded up over 3.4% following the news. The OPEC reductions are due to begin on November 1st.
The LA Times reports this morning that a delegation will be meeting today with representatives from the NYSE. Issues regarding reduction in size of the NYSE board, an increase in the independence of its directors, as well as a separation of regulatory functions from the job of running the exchange are expected to be addressed.
Cisco Systems(CSCO:NASD) last night announced it has authorized up to $7 billion in additional stock repurchases.
Express Scripts(ESRX:NASD) will replace Quintiles Transnational(QTRN:NASD) in the S&P 500 Index after the close of trading on Thursday.
United Online(UNTD:NASD) declared a 3 for 2 stock split.
Flamel(FLML:NASD) and a shareholder plan to offer 3.8 million shares of common stock.
Emulex(ELX:NYSE) announced that it will authorize the repurchase of 4 million share of common stock and all of its convertible subordinated notes.
Lennar(LEN:NYSE) said this morning that it will increase its dividend from $0.50 to $1.00.
Scholastic Corp(SCHL:NASD) beat the street's consensus by 7cents, ex items with revenues rising 55% year over year. The company announced that a big boost to their quarter was the 11 million copies of the latest Harry Potter book it had sold over a 12 week period.
Around the world in 80 ticks:
A US airman has been reportedly charged as a spy for Syria at the Guantanamo camp in Cuba. Reuters reported that the US will be making greater efforts to tighten the security at the military base where there are approximately 680 Al Qaeda and Taliban suspects being held. Syria refuted these allegations from US defense officials as "baseless and illogical."
According to Reuters, a secret meeting had been held by Islamic Taliban commanders and leader Mullah Mohammad Omar last week. Taliban guerrilla commander Mullah Sabir, alias Mullah Momin, told Reuters by telephone today that they vow to step up attacks on the Afghan government and U.S.-led allied troops.
Governor Gray Davis signed into law yesterday the country's toughest anti-spam bill imposing fines that could reach $1 million.
BBC news cites Barbra Streisand as saying she's bored by her own songs and reportedly gave up performing partly because she has become "sick" of listening to them.
Have a profitable day.
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