RIM’s Plunge Can’t Hold Back Bailout Hopes

Stocks rose Friday on hopes that Congress can overcome differences and agree on a financial bailout plan over the weekend, overcoming some dismal news in the process.

Stocks plunged in the early going on disappointing results from Research in Motion (NASDAQ: RIMM) and an FDIC and JP Morgan (NYSE: JPM) takeover of Washington Mutual (NYSE: WM), the biggest bank failure in U.S. history and the sixth major financial firm to fail this year. After the close, Wachovia (NYSE: WB) was reportedly in merger talks.

RIM shares plunged $26.77, or 27.45%, to $70.76 a share, a stunning decline for the high-flyer that showed just how jittery traders have become. The news also hit shares of Motorola (NYSE: MOT), Nokia (NYSE: NOK), Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) and Marvell (NASDAQ: MRVL).

But stocks rebounded late in the day on hopes that a rescue bill can be crafted this weekend.

Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) rose 3% on upbeat comments from CEO Steve Ballmer, as the stock continued to gain in the wake of a massive $40 billion buyback announced earlier this week.

Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) was another stock posting an impressive 3% gain, and Jabil (NYSE: JBL) and Accenture (NYSE: ACN) gained on their results.

The Nasdaq slipped 3 to 2183, the S&P rose 4 to 1213, and the Dow gained 121 to 11,143. Volume declined to 5.42 billion shares on the NYSE, and rose to 2 billion on the Nasdaq. Decliners led by a 23-11 margin on the NYSE, and 16-12 on the Nasdaq. Downside volume was 62% on the NYSE, and 52% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 7-277 on the NYSE, and 13-207 on the Nasdaq.

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