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.