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Nasdaq +3.57 (+0.16%)
S&P 500 +10.58 (+0.79%)
News That Moved the Market
Scary Session Finishes With Happy Ending. With little news after Thursday's disastrous Philly Fed figures, the markets drifted lower throughout the morning before finding support in the afternoon. In the last minutes of the session, CNBC reporter Charles Gasparino announced that a source had told him a bailout plan for troubled bond insurer Ambac (ABK, +16.0%) was close to being completed and could be announced early next week. Though the details were sketchy, MarketWatch added the plan may include eight banks that are major counterparties to Ambac. The list includes Citigroup (C, +0.3%), Barclays (BCS, +3.4%), UBS (UBS, +3.0%), and Wachovia (WB, +2.9%), among others. The markets shot up on the news, with the S&P gaining 2% after the announcement. The deal is not complete and could fall apart, but if the deal is announced, investors would feel as if a major disaster would have been averted and could start putting money back in financials.
Weak Outlook At Intuit. Intuit Inc. (INTU, -9.2%), maker of small business software such as QuickBooks and TurboTax, announced fiscal second quarter results which were in-line with analysts' forecasts, however, the company lowered its fiscal third-quarter EPS estimates. There were some interesting comments make by CEO Brad Smith: "Small businesses are out there competing in this market and the small business customers we serve are very much like consumers… A lot of small businesses today will operate their business with lines of credit, credit cards, home equity loans, and we know the condition there."
Quick Tics. Fannie Mae (FNM, -0.9%) and Freddie Mac (FRE, -4.1%) were both downgraded at Merrill Lynch (MER, +4.2%), citing poor business conditions…Next week's important economic figures include PPI (Tuesday), Durable Goods (Wednesday), Preliminary GDP (Thursday), and Personal Income and Outlays (Friday).
Notable Earnings (Full List Here):
Nordstrom (NYSE:JWN) After Close
Lowe's Companies (NYSE:LOW) Time Not Supplied
10:00 AM: Existing Home Sales