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The Fokker Chronicles



World Markets:
Europe was weaker this morning as the London FTSE led the averages lower. The FTSE was down over 1% mid-day. Asian markets despite being rocked by a couple of earthquakes in Japan, finished their trading slightly in positive territory. US equity markets were trading on the higher side following benign economic numbers this morning.

The final reading of the September University of Michigan Consumer sentiment survey is due out at 9:50amEDT with expectations at 88.50.
No major earnings out for today however lookout for Topps Co.(TOPP:NASD) and Walgreen(WAG:NYSE) to report on Monday.

Brokerage Chatter:
JPM upgraded the shares of Intel(INTC:NASD) to neutral from underweight and Motorola(MOT:NYSE) to overweight from neutral. Novellus was cut to neutral at Credit Suisse First Boston while Lam Research(LRCX:NASD) was upped at First Boston from neutral to outperform. 3M Company(MMM:NYSE) was upped to buy at Bank of America. Prudential initiated Microsoft(MSFT:NASD) with a buy rating and a price target of $35. Research In Motion(RIMM:NASD) was upped at Bear Stearns to peer perform from underperform.

RadioShack(RSH:NYSE) was started with an underperform rating at First Boston. Smith Barney upgraded Rite Aid(RAD:NYSE) to buy from sell. Gamestop(GME:NYSE) price target was raised to $21 from $16.50 at UBS. Thomas Weisel upped Solectron(SLR:NYSE) from underperform to peer perform. Trimeris(TRMS:NASD) was cut to underperform at Piper Jaffray and had their price target cut to $15 from $31.

Alltel(AT:NYSE) was upped to buy from neutral at UBS. Amgen(AMGN:NASD) was added to the focus list at JP Morgan. CIT Group(CIT:NYSE) upped to outperform from in-line at Goldman Sachs. Northrop Grumman(NOC:NYSE) was upped to buy at Jefferies and given a price target of $100.

Financial Headlines:
Stories :
AMG data for the week ending September 24th show equity funds reporting net cash inflows totaling $1.4 billion most of which was added to domestic funds.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Motorola's(MOT:NYSE) first camera phone will most likely miss out on most of the upcoming holiday season due to production delays and will completely miss its delivery of Verizon Wireless(VZ:NYSE) phone shipments for the holiday.

The Washington Post citing a congressional research service report, concluded that federal ethics laws would treat Vice President Cheney's annual deferred compensation checks and unexercised stock options as a continued financial interest in Halliburton(HAL:NYSE)

Solectron(SLR:NYSE) reported earnings a penny better than expectations with revenues coming in at the high end of guidance.

Research In Motion
(RIMM:NASD) reported earnings last night that were 2 pennies better and revenues slightly above forecast. The company guided its 3rd quarter above consensus estimates. Now sees EPS of between 14 and 20cents a share while the street was looking for 11cents. Forecast on revenues was also boosted.

Around the world in 80 ticks:

A series of earthquakes struck Japan last night following the NYSE close in New York. One of them measured 8.0 on the Richter scale, the largest such quake this year. Reuters reports that more than 400 people have been hurt as the two quakes hit the northern island of Hokkaido and local officials warned that the aftershocks could last for 10 days.

AP newswires reported that Iran's Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi spoke out in defiance yesterday proclaiming Iran would continue its vigorous pursuit of its nuclear program. U.N. atomic experts have already found traces of weapons-grade uranium at a second site in Iran. Bush said that Iran and their weapons program would be an important topic when Russian President Putin comes to Camp David this weekend.

BBC news reports that British pop singer Robert Palmer has died of an apparent heart attack in Paris at the age of 54.

The Associated Press reported Baltimore health officials have received a complaint from a patron at a Popeye's Chicken restaurant that claims he bit into a fried mouse. It is unclear if that was on the menu but for Tony Hill, it was served fried along with his three-piece chicken meal he ordered. Officials inspected the restaurant but failed to find any additional rodents, however the inspectors said they would be back. It's unclear at the moment if they meant the officials or the rodents. Stay tuned for more tidbits.

Have a great weekend and happy new year!


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