The Fokker Chronicles
Lookout for the Existing Homes sales data at 10amEDT with expectations looking for a slight decrease from last period in August.
Looking ahead to the earnings period next week, Walgreens(WAG:NYSE) will kick off a quiet week with Micron Tech(MU:NYSE), Pepsico(PEP:NYSE), Constellation Brands(STZ:NYSE), and Research in Motion(RIMM:NASD) to follow.
Smith Barney upgraded Circuit City (CC:NYSE) from sell to hold. Smith Barney also raised Marathon Oil (MRO:NYSE) from hold to buy citing catalysts not possessed by competitors and rising near and long-term oil price expectations. Morgan Stanley lowered Phelps Dodge (PD:NYSE) from overweight to equal weight citing valuation and their belief that the price of copper has peaked this cycle. JP Morgan dropped Linens'n Things (LIN:NYSE) from overweight to neutral citing earnings risk and weaker Q3 and Q4 comps. Deutsche Bank raised Aeropostale (ARO:NYSE) from hold to buy citing achievable comp estimates and an expected strong holiday season.
Wachovia reduced Gap Inc (GPS:NYSE) to market perform from outperform. Morgan Stanley upped DTE Energy (DTE:NYSE) from equal weight to overweight. Goldman lowered estimates for Merrill Lynch (MER:NYSE) for Q3 from $1.03 to $0.93, for Q4 from $1.14 to $1.07 and for '04 from $4.44 to $4.28. UBS added Wells Fargo (WFC:NYSE) while it removed Pulte Homes (PHM:NYSE) from its Select 20 list. Morgan Stanley raised Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME:NYSE) estimates for '04 to $6.18 vs $5.98 cons and for '05 to $6.64 vs $6.37 cons.
For the week ended 9/22, AMG Data reported the following fund flows: equity fund inflows $2.111bln; Financial / banking fund inflows for 5th consecutive week; Taxable bond fund inflows $461 mln; and money mkt fund outflows of $2.475bln.
The AP is reporting that federal regulators have raised the possibility of ousting top management at Fannie Mae (FNM:NYSE) in response to serious accounting problems.
The EU commission has announced plans to make a ruling on the Oracle (ORCL:NASD) bid for PeopleSoft (PSFT:NASD). According to the Financial Times, the EU is likely to approve the merger. Last night ORCL said it has extended its offer for PSFT to October 8th.
Cirrus Logic (CRUS:NASD) lowered Q2 revs guidance to $51-52 mln vs $61.8 mln cons and gross margins from 52-54% to 51-53%.
Phillips (PHG:NYSE), warned for its Q3 estimates for its chip unit and said they see a significant slowdown in the semiconductor space next year.
Around the world in 80 ticks:
According to the China Post, North Korea has threatened to turn Japan into nuclear sea of fire in the event of war with the U.S. In separate news, North Korea reafirmed that they have no intentions of building a nuclear bomb.
The latest Forbes 400 list is out today and the list contains the same friendly super rich faces. The top 10 was headed by Bill and then Warren with Paul Allen taking third while the Waltons fought over the next 5 slots. Finally Michael Dell and Larry Ellison finished the list and rounded out the top of the list.
The USA Today reports that U.S. Department of Energy indicated it would consider loaning oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to replenish lost supplies due to the adverse effects of Hurricane Ivan which halted shipments in the gulf last week.
While some view Baseball as more than America's past time but as a religion of sorts, sports reporters gravitate to the same story each late September, not only the pennant race, but the playtime and Yom Kippur observance of Los Angeles Dodger first baseman Shawn Green. This year the most holy of Jewish holidays falls on a Friday night through Saturday with Dodgers barely clinging to a 1 ½ game lead over the Giants in the National League West division. Local sports enthusiasts called Green shellfish, er, selfish for opting to sit out a game during the team's important series this weekend against the rival Giants. Green commented, "I'm not orthodox. I am Jewish and I respect the customs, and I feel like this is the most consistent way for me to celebrate the holiday." According to ESPN, Green decided late yesterday to sit out this Saturday's game to observe the holiday but will be in the spotlight this evening when they travel to San Francisco.
Have a great weekend and a happy and healthy new year!
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