The major indexes extended their gains on hopes that the Federal Reserve may lower interest rates before the end of the year. The Dow climbed 223 points to 13,181 while Nasdaq surged 57 points to 2638.
On the upside
Shares of Freddie Mac (NYSE: FRE) extended its gains as investors viewed the mortgage guarantor's capital plan in a favorable light.
Shares of Verigy (Nasdaq: VRGY) posted 4th quarter profits that handily beat estimates. The company makes equipment to test computer chips.
Furniture maker Herman Miller (Nasdaq: MLHR) announced job cuts last quarter to cut costs and raised its quarterly guidance.
On the downside
Dress Barn (Nasdaq: DBRN) warned that the 2008 outlook for the specialty women's retailers may be negatively impacted by warm weather and cautious consumer spending.
Central Garden & Pet (Nasdaq: CENT) posted a 4th quarter loss due to a drop in sales in both its garden and pet divisions.
Marvell Technology Group (Nasdaq: MRVL) posted a smaller loss than expected, but investors continued to worry about research and other operating costs.
In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 5 to 1 on the NYSE and by nearly 4 to 1 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks jumped 19 points to 762.