Friday’s stock market session was all about bond insurers.
Worries that a rescue of bond insurers wouldn’t come in time to save their top credit ratings dissipated late in the day on reports that Ambac Financial may be nearing a bailout. The news was good for a 2% rebound in the major stock indexes in the final 30 minutes of trading.
Worries about bond insurers have weighed on stocks in recent weeks, since lower credit ratings could lead to a new round of woes for troubled credit markets.
Not all tech stocks followed financial stocks higher, however. Intel, Microsoft, AMD and Apple each ended the day with losses of 1.5% or more.
Amazon.com, which fell 5% Thursday on reports of stock sales by CEO Jeff Bezos, recouped 3%.
Intuit and Cbeyond fell sharply after lowering guidance.
Sigma Designs fell 15% on a Baird downgrade.
Syntax-Brillian plunged after amending its credit terms.
The Nasdaq rose 3 to 2303, the S&P 500 gained 10 to 1353, and the Dow rose 96 to 12,381. Volume declined to 3.55 billion shares on the NYSE, and rose to 2.34 billion on the Nasdaq. Advancers led by a 19-13 margin on the NYSE, while decliners led 16-13 on the Nasdaq. Upside volume was 71% on the NYSE, and 53% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 28-150 on the NYSE, and 37-210 on the Nasdaq.