Opening Bell Report
The markets opened sharply higher on upbeat earnings news. The Dow surged 86 points to 13,758 while Nasdaq leaped 42 points to 2793.

On the upside

Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) shares traded at their highest levels in more than 5 years as the software giant reported better than expected revenues and earnings due to strong Vista operating system sales and a successful video game title launch.

Countrywide Financial (NYSE: CFC) posted a 3rd quarter loss of $1.2 billion, its first quarterly loss in 25 years, but suggested that it will be profitable this quarter and through 2008.

The board of Merrill Lynch (NYSE: MER) was reportedly looking to replace its embattled chairman Stan O' Neal.

On the downside

Shares of BEA Systems (Nasdaq: BEAS) fell after the company flatly rejected the $17 a share bid by Oracle.

WellCare Health Plans (NYSE: WCG) continued to sell off after few details emerged from a raid of the company's headquarters by federal agents.

Shares of Trident Microsystems (Nasdaq: TRID) lost ground after the television chipmaker reported lower earnings and revenues that missed expectations.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of nearly 3 to 1 on the NYSE and by more than 2 to 1 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks surged 9 points to 815.

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