December 20, 2007 at 09:44 AM EST
Opening Bell Report

Investors were mostly pleased with the latest batch of corporate earnings against the backdrop of a slowing economy. The Dow rose 46 points to 13,254 while Nasdaq surged 21 points to 2622 on hopes of a resilient software sector.

On the upside

Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL) posted revenues and earnings that surpassed analysts' expectations late yesterday and issued an upbeat forecast for 2008.

Bear Stearns (NYSE: BSC) posted its first loss in the company's 84-year history due to significant exposure to mortgage-backed securities. The investment bank decided to pay a full dividend.

Athletic retailer Nike (NYSE: NKE) posted a healthy increase in sales and earnings due to strength from its European and Asian operations.

On the downside

Package courier FedEx (NYSE: FDX) posted a smaller profit to meet lowered expectations blaming high fuel costs and a sluggish U.S. economy.

Rite Aid (NYSE: RAD) continued to struggle as its quarterly losses widen while the pharmacy retail store operator lowered its 2008 forecast for a second time.

Investors worried about rising credit protection costs at MBIA (NYSE: MBI) which has significant exposure to more than $30 billion of collateralized debt obligations.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of 4 to 3 on the NYSE and by a margin of 2 to 1 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks rose a fraction to 754.

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