The Fokker Chronicles
European markets are firmer today with the German DAX the standout of the region. The Japanese Nikkei closed up 0.31% while the Hang Seng closed flat on its session. US markets looked modestly stronger on the heals of an Intl Bus. Machines(IBM:NYSE) upgrade while treasuries weakened following Bush's comments last night asking for greater monetary support that could include increased government borrowing.
Data on Consumer Credit for July will be released at 3pmEDT. Earnings reports remain light but tomorrow Adobe(ADBE:NASD) will release their results. Bear Stearns will host their 16th Annual Healthcare Conference, Genetech(DNA:NYSE), Abbott Lab(ABT:NYSE), Amgen(AMGN:NASD), and Merck(MRK:NYSE) will be presenting. Also Lehman Brothers Financial Services Conference will start today, Wells Fargo(WFC:NYSE) will be one of the speakers.
Fannie Mae(FNM:NYSE) and Freddie Mac(FRE:NYSE) watchers should keep on eye out on Wednesday when Treasury Secretary Snow speaks on the GSE's in front of Congress.
Intl Business Machines(IBM:NYSE) was upped to outperform from neutral at Credit Suisse First Boston, and raised their 2004 estimate above consensus as well as taking their price target up from $87 to $102. UBS Europe upgraded Deutsche Bank AG(DB:NYSE) to buy from neutral. Leapfrog(LF:NYSE) was downgraded by Bear Stearns to peer perform from outperform. SLM Corp(SLM:NYSE) was initiated with an underweight rating at Morgan Stanley. RBC Capital downgraded Ann Taylor(ANN:NYSE) and Gap Inc(GPS:NYSE) to sector perform from outperform.
Deutsche Securities upgraded Marathon Oil (MRO:NYSE) to buy from hold and raised their 2003 and 2004 estimates. Deutsche also upgraded ConocoPhillips(COP:NYSE) to buy from hold. And sticking with the oil theme, they raised their 4th quarter 2003, 2004 oil price forecasts.
Barron's put the drug stocks in a favorable light citing attractive valuations, especially in comparison to technology stocks. EMC Corp.(EMC:NYSE) was initiated with a buy rating at Soundview. Oppenheimer upped their view on the software space today, individually, Fulcrum upped Oracle(ORCL:NASD) to buy from neutral and placed a $17 price target on the stock. Two opposing views on Lexmark(LXK:NYSE), with a positive note of Merrill Lynch and negative chatter from UBS Warburg.
Morgan Stanley lowered its rating on the real estate investment trust (REIT) sector to cautious from in-line, citing high valuations. Merrill raised 3rd quarter estimates for Goldman Sachs(GS:NYSE) and Lehman Brothers(LEH:NYSE). Both Wal-Mart(WMT:NYSE) and Target(TGT:NYSE) were downgraded at Bernstein.
CBS Market Watch reports that Intel(INTC:NASD) launched two new Itanium 2 chips today that will target the lower-cost servers
STMicroelectroincs(STM:NYSE) CEO said this morning that they see 20% sales growth in 2004 while the street is at 13%.
RF Microdevices(RFMD:NASD) has guided the street up this morning although many traders and analysts were expecting this.
Nextel(NXTL:NASD) CEO affirmed its full year guidance citing continuing robust business trends in the 3rd quarter which includes strong subscriber and revenue growth.
Around the world in 80 ticks:
MSNBC reports that following the resignation of Mahmoud Abbas, Arafat announced that Palestinian parliament speaker Ahmed Qureia will assume the leadership role. Qureia agreed in principle to serve as the new prime minister, however, he is looking for U.S. and European guarantees of support for peacemaking before accepting the post which would include a full Israeli pullback.
Washington Post reports that in a televised speech to the nation, Bush dismissed Democrats criticism, defended the US involvement in Iraq and said that Congress will need to provide an additional $87 billion in military and reconstruction spending for next year, approximately 50% more than officials were previously expecting. Bush said "This will take time, and require sacrifice....Yet we will do what is necessary, we will spend what is necessary, to achieve this essential victory in the war on terror."
Reuters reports that there is some speculation in Washington that North Korea could carry out a nuclear test on Tuesday. North Korea is also allegedly planning on displaying a new long-range missile at a military parade on its 55th anniversary. The new missiles are supposedly capable of targeting all of Japan and the U.S. territory of Guam.
ABC news reports that the hunt for the ever-elusive Osama bin Laden has been narrowed to 40-square-miles on the Pakistani side of the Afghan-Pakistan border. The area is said to be infested with al Qaeda supporters and locals loyal to the Taliban. Click here for more.
Have a profitable day.
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