Opening Bell Report

The markets opened higher after Microsoft made an offer to buy Yahoo. The Dow rose 48 points to 12,698 while Nasdaq surged 20 points to 2409.

On the upside

Shares of Yahoo (Nasdaq: YHOO) surged after Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) made an unsolicited offer of $44.6 billion to buy the largest Internet portal whose shares had recently fallen to a four-year low.

Several large U.S. and international banks were reportedly working to boost bond insurers like Ambac Financial Group (NYSE: ABK) and MBIA (NYSE: MBI).

Management software company CA (NYSE: CA) posted higher 3rd quarter profits that beat estimates and raised its full-year outlook.

On the downside

Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) posted higher revenues and earnings that narrowly missed expectations as expenses continued to increase. The search engine company's bid on wireless spectrum added more uncertainty to its outlook.

Callaway Golf (NYSE: ELY), a maker of high-end golf clubs, posted a wider 4th quarter loss due to fewer new product launches and lower domestic sales.

Outdoor apparel retailer Columbia Sportswear (Nasdaq: COLM) reported higher 4th quarter profits that beat estimates due to a lower tax rate, but the company lowered its outlook.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 4 to 1 on the NYSE and by more than 2 to 1 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks leaped 14 points to 727.

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