Opening Bell Report

The markets opened higher after a Federal Reserve official offered an upbeat assessment of the economy for 2008. Bargain hunters lifted the Dow to 12,655, up 66 points while Nasdaq climbed 15 points to 2455.

On the upside

E-Trade (Nasdaq: ETFC) sold off another $3 billion in mortgage-backed securities and municipal bold in order to reduce risk in its portfolio. The stock fell to an all-time low yesterday.

Shares of Shutterfly (Nasdaq: SFLY) rebounded after an analyst upgraded the online photo company citing continued customer growth versus its low valuation.

QLogic (Nasdaq: QLGC) raised its 3rd quarter revenue and profit outlook citing strong demand for networking gear.

On the downside

The volume of mortgage application leaped over the holidays, but the new trend failed to lift the beleaguered financial sector. Shares of Citigroup (NYSE: C) and Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) fell to their lowest levels in more than 3 years.

AT&T (NYSE: T) reported a decline in broadband and traditional wire phone sales to consumers as further proof of a slowing economy.

Shares of Garmin (Nasdaq: GRMN) tumbled following an analyst downgrade citing price competition for the navigation device maker.

In the broad market, declining issues outpaced advancers by a narrow margin on the NYSE, but advancers edged out decliners by a margin of 10 to 9 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks slipped a point to 704.

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