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Not content with taking profits and going home, the major indices are putting together another strong session to close out one of the market's most volatile weeks since the heyday of the downturn in March. A string of recent earnings releases, including last night's reports from




Commerce One


, and this morning's release from



, have steadied the market, as investors are starting to leave the jittery preannouncement season in the dust.

"I think we're done with the bottoms, and the bad news is behind us," said Phil Ruffat, vice president of

Fuji Futures


A day after the

Nasdaq Composite Index's 200-point surge, the tech-heavy index is piling onto those gains. It continues a reversal that began two days ago, when the Comp briefly touched 3026. Since that point, it has tacked on nearly 500 points in a session-and-a-half.

Breadth is positive on the

New York Stock Exchange, and the

Dow Jones Industrial Average lately pulled into the green, after an earlier dip into the red on weakness in

United Technologies





. UTX is in

talks to purchase fellow Dow component


, first reported by


David Faber (that's CNBC's David Faber. Once again, that's CNBC's David Faber.)

Coca-Cola, meanwhile, had a

lackluster earnings call and was lately down 4.9% to $54.31. UTX was contributing 43 points of negative drag on the Dow.

The weak components aside, traders report that investors are finding opportunities in the market. Stocks were consistent losers from September through the middle of October, fueled by investor concern that corporate earnings growth would fall short of expectations, and that economic growth would be hindered by rising fuel costs and weakening consumer demand.

In the past few days, however, the market's strongest companies, such as






, and

Sun Microsystems


, have reported strong results, and these have helped allay, for now, fears of a pronounced decline in profit growth.

Among today's movers are



; the optical communications company is up 14% to $329.63 after reporting earnings

yesterday. eBay, which also reported

strong results, is bouncing, up 8.9% to $62.31, and it's helping to lift Internet stocks in tandem.

According to earnings tracker


, with 249 S&P 500 companies having reported results as of yesterday, 56.6% have beaten consensus estimates, with 26.1% in line, which Joseph Kalinowski of I/B/E/S describes as "good, not great." Earnings growth is 16.3% for the quarter on a year-over-year basis.

"Some of these earnings are good," said Larry Rice, chief investment strategist at Josephthal, who tends to be bearish. "Preannouncements had already taken place, but none of these problems with oil and the Middle East have gone away. The technical condition augured for a rally."

The technical condition prompted Richard McCabe,

Merrill Lynch's

chief market analyst to recommend short-term investors to buy dips rather than selling into rallies.

"The market's sharp rebound in recent days from its deeply oversold condition of the last two weeks suggests that its fall decline has reached a primary or benchmark low near Dow 9,650 and Nasdaq 3,000," he wrote in a comment earlier today.

Leading the way today on the NYSE are the brokerage stocks.

Bear Stearns


is rallying, and the culprit, as usual, are the persistent rumors of a potential takeover. The stock is up 13.6% to $63.25.

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter


was benefiting from an upgrade, and it was up 6.6% to $81.63. The

American Stock Exchange Broker/Dealer Index

rose 5%.

Today's biggest loser is

Circuit City


, after the company

warned third-quarter earnings would be below expectations. The stock was hammered, lately down 41.7%.

Meanwhile, in today's edition of "What Else Can Go Wrong at



?" the company is reportedly

considering a restructuring of its business. The stock lately traded at $8.56, down 12.4%.

Market Internals

Breadth was positive on moderate volume.

New York Stock Exchange: 1388 advancers, 1208 decliners, 647.9 million shares. 28 new 52-week highs, 51 new lows.

Nasdaq Stock Market: 2159 advancers, 1482 decliners, 1.189 billion shares. 52 new highs, 64 new lows.

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Most Active Stocks

NYSE Most Actives

  • Circuit City: 19 million shares.
  • Honeywell: 17.4 million shares.
  • Nokia: 15.9 million shares.

Nasdaq Most Actives

  • Microsoft: 53.8 million shares.
  • Ericssonundefined: 52.7 million shares.
  • Intel (INTC) : 39.6 million shares.

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Sector Watch

On the back of SDL's strong earnings report, optical communications and equipment companies are exploding today.



is up 9.6%,



has gained 6.3%, and

JDS Uniphase


has gained 10.7%. Internet Sector

index was seeing some positive lift from eBay's earnings report. The DOT, as it is commonly known, gained 5.6%, thanks to strong gains in



, up 7.3%, and



, up 4.7%.


Philadelphia Oil Service Index

was moving strongly today, up 2.7%.

R&B Falcon


was particularly strong, gaining 3.1% as November crude oil futures increased to $33.20 from $32.91 last night.

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The bond market is little changed today. With no economic releases today, there's little new to cause any change in the market's view.

The benchmark 10-year

Treasury note was lately at 100 23/32, up 1/32 to 5.650%, and it's traded in a tight range today.

The 30-year

Treasury bondis at 107 8/32, 8/32 higher, to yield 5.737%.

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European markets were mixed at the close, as telecoms and media stocks lost steam on Ericsson's poor earnings report.


FTSE 100

was up 57.40 to 6276.30.


CAC 40

in Paris was up 82.96 to 6149.94, while the

Xetra Dax

in Frankfurt was 14.70 lower to 6604.73.

The beleaguered euro continued to rise after the

European Central Bank

decided to leave interest rates unchanged yesterday. The euro was lately trading at 0.8416.

The major

Asian equity markets closed out the week Friday on a positive note, surging as technology shares were buoyed by a rallying Nasdaq and healthy third-quarter earnings from Finnish telecom equipment maker Nokia.

Tokyo booked the region's smallest gains as the country's 11th-largest insurer

Kyoei Life Insurance

filed for bankruptcy. But the

Nikkei 225

still finished up 387.7, or 2.6%, at 15,198.7.

In Tokyo trading, the dollar rose 0.3 to 108.20 yen. The greenback was lately trading higher to 109.12.

Elsewhere, resurgent tech shares ruled the day, as Hong Kong's

Hang Seng

index rose 622.0, or 4.3%, to 15,044.5, South Korea's


index jumped 30.9 higher, or 6%, to 545.9 and Taiwan's


index surged 323.5, or 6.4%, to 5404.8.

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