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The Fokker Chronicles

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World Markets:
World markets were weaker across the board today with the notable exception of Japan. The German Dax led Europe lower with a 1.20% loss. Singapore shares had ended their session losing nearly 3% after the first SARS case since July had been confirmed. The Japanese Nikkei however closed up 2.23% at 10,922.04, its highest close since July of 2002 following a couple of brokerage upgrades on Japan.

Heads-up:
Wholesale Inventories at 10:00amEDT. Thursday and Friday will keep the economists busy when jobless numbers and PPI data get released. After the bell today, lookout for the mid quarter updates from Texas Instruments(TXN:NYSE) and Xilinx(XLNX:NASD).


Brokerage Chatter:
Morgan Stanley changed its rating on Japan to "overweight". Goldman Sachs downgraded its retail coverage view to cautious from neutral. Cisco Systems(CSCO:NASD) was upped to buy from hold at Deutsche Bank. Deutsche also raised their fiscal year estimates for 2004 through 2006 and raised their price target as well from $17 to $25 a share. JDS Uniphase(JDSU:NASD) was upped at Wachovia to outperform from market perform.

JP Morgan upped Xilinx(XLNX:NASD) to overweight from neutral. Fairchild Semi (FCS:NYSE) was downed at CIBC to underperformer. STMicroelectronics (STM:NYSE) was upped at Prudential to overweight from neutral-weight. Motorola(MOT:NYSE) was upped at UBS to buy from neutral.
JP Morgan upped Research In Motion (RIMM:NASD). Comverse Tech (CMVT:NASD) was upped at Merrill Lynch. Legg Mason downgraded Ciena(CIEN:NASD) to hold from buy. Siebel(SEBL:NASD) received positive chatter out of Soundview. Banc of America lowered their view of the Infrastructure Software group to neutral-weight from overweight, individually downgraded Veritas(VRTS:NASD) and BMC Software(BMC:NYSE) to neutral from buy and cut BEA Systems(BEAS:NASD) to sell from neutral.

Goldman Sachs downgraded Home Depot (HD:NYSE) to in-line from outperform and lowers their view on the hard lines retail sector to cautious from neutral. Goldman Sachs also downgraded Federated (FD:NYSE) to in-line from outperform and May Dept. Stores (MAY:NYSE) to underperform from in-line. Target(TGT:NYSE) however was reiterated a strong buy over at Piper Jaffray citing positive sales trends.



Financial Headlines:
Stories :
According to the Financial Times, Intl. Bus. Machines (IBM:NYSE) told the Dept of Justice that a merger between Oracle(ORCL:NASD) and PeopleSoft(PSFT:NASD) would "significantly" limit competition within the industry.


Earnings:
On their mid quarter update, Nokia(NOK:NYSE) said their 3rd quarter earnings were at the high end or slightly above guidance. However, they didn't raise their handset revenue numbers as many had expected. Because of a favorable exchange rate this past quarter, the company still failed to improve its margins and consequently, the stock has been pressured on the downside by more than 4%.

Research In Motion(RIMM:NASD) preannounced 2nd quarter 2004 revenue and EPS to the upside citing new users, channel expansion and hardware upgrades.

ON Semiconductor (ONNN:NASD) raised its 3rd quarter revenue growth outlook.


Around the world in 80 ticks:
MSNBC has cited a government report expected to be released today that claims congressional investigators had easily swayed motor vehicle agency employees around the country to issue drivers licenses. Experts say this could be an open door to future terrorist attacks.

The Wall Street Journal reported that music companies are finally taking action again file sharing users and filed 261 lawsuits. In related news, the BBC reports that a grandfather has said he was wrongly accused of illegally downloading music online. Apparently, Durwood Pickle, 71, of Texas, flipped the blame on his teenage grandchildren saying they used his computer during visits to his home.

Reuter's reports that no military hardware was on display at the national day parade in North Korea, despite speculation that North Korea might showcase a new missile.

According to an AP newswire citing a U.K. study published today, the al-Qaida network is stronger than before the 9/11 attacks, suggesting that the U.S.-led war on terror has so far been a failure.


Have a profitable day.

Fokker

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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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