26 October, 2007

Markets End Week on a high, boosted by further Strong Earnings

Microsoft (MSFT) led the markets higher as its quarterly earnings surpassed estimates. The Dow finished up 1% and the Nasdaq almost 2%. Hope in the Financials was somewhat restored today also as Countrywide Financial (CFC) painted a hopeful picture for Mortgage recovery.

CFC, seemingly America's poster child for the credit crisis situation, rose over 30% as the company provided an outlook that signalled recovery. Investors met this with broad buying in many large and tailored financial names. The big banks, including Bank Of America (BAC) and Citigroup (C), after being pressured all week, recovered a few percentage points.

On the heels of the red hot IPO of VMWare (VMW), parent company EMC (EMC) reported a stellar quarter and outlook Thursday. Shares lifted EMC to new highs and Friday sent the stock to a record of close to $25/share. The company was hovering around $18-$19 when a small stake of VMWare went public recently, and subsequently more than doubled.

Investors will wait for the Fed Rate Decision to come in the week ahead but the hope instilled by CFC has to provide some foundation for recovery in the battered sub-prime sector. The start of a recovery for the big banks and trading houses should filter through as well. All eyes will be on the Fed in the trading days to come.

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