Optimism prevailed on Wall Street today as Microsoft clobbered estimates and Countrywide promised the worst was behind it. The tech-heavy Nasdaq led the way, gaining 53.33 to finish at 2,804.19. The S&P 500 rose 20.87 to 1,535.28; 65% of its components have beaten estimates so far. The Dow finished at 13,806.70, up 134.78 to wrap up a winning week.
Countrywide reported a staggering $1.2 billion loss but shot up 30.68% by forecasting a turnaround. “You've had bad news from financials for the last few weeks and then Countrywide comes out and says they can fix their business,” one analyst told Bloomberg, saying it raised hopes for the whole sector. Optimism likewise abounded that the Fed would cut rates again next week.