Countrywide's ( CFC) massive surge spurred the financial sector higher following a considerably volatile day.
Shares of the struggling mortgage lender rocketed more than 50% after The Wall Street Journal reported that the battered mortgage lender is in advanced talks to be bought out by Bank of America ( BAC). Countrywide shares were soaring $2.78 to $7.90, taking back all of its losses from an excruciating one-two punch this week -- denied bankruptcy rumors on Tuesday and ballooning December foreclosures on Wednesday. AMD ( AMD) recovered some ground Thursday. Shares surged on news that rival Intel is being investigated by the New York Attorney General's office for possible antitrust violations for coercing customers to exclude AMD from the microprocessor market. AMD was up 44 cents, or 8%, to $5.97. Intel ( INTC) fell 21 cents, or 0.9%, to $22.54. Logitech ( LOGI) jumped 6.5% on chatter that Microsoft ( MSFT) may bid for the company. Shares were up $ 2.01 to $33.07. "The combination of Microsoft and Logitech would be interesting and make some strategic sense," wrote Manuel Recarey, an analyst with Kaufman Bros. "However, a merger would also raise some issues that the combination would need to overcome, including regulatory concerns," he told clients in a research note. Microsoft fell 11 cents, or 0.3%, to $34.33. Elsewhere in positive territory, Blackstone ( BX) skipped 11.7% higher after saying it will buy back $500 million in unspecified "units," and that it will take out alternative asset manager GSO Capital Partners for up to $930 million in cash and units. Of that purchase price, $620 million will be paid on closing, and the remainder will be contingent on certain earnings milestones over the following five years. Shares of the New York asset manager ramped up $2.12 to $20.22 in heavy trading.