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    Stocks climbed on Thursday with technology the star of the day largely due to optimistic comments from Nokia.

  • For most of the day, stocks moved in a narrow range, but volume and prices picked up late in the day.

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    Around lunchtime the bulls were whispering about Google’s quarterly results, which come out after the bell, and what they’d reveal. There’s cautious optimism in the sector...

  • Fifth Third Bancorp was one of a long list of regional banks that had been practically left for dead, but yesterday (Tuesday) its shares spiked nearly 18 percent with heavy options activity.

  • The face of Wall Street undoubtedly changed forever last fall, with the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy, the Bank of America acquisition of Merrill Lynch, the government’s unprecedented 79.9% stake in AIG, and the shift of major investment banks (like Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley) to become bank holding companies. However, before all those stunning events unfolded in the fall, exactly 1 year ago today, JPMorgan Chase agreed to acquire Bear Stearns for $236 million or $2 per share – signifying the end to one of Wall Street’s most storied franchises.

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    CNBC’s Million Dollar Portfolio Challenge once again saw contestants trading on earnings news and currencies as well as taking some risks, but our latest contest had a new twist - ETFs.  CNBC asked the three winners of the challenge about their strategies, top trades and anything else that helped them profit in a down market.

  • US Bancorp is seeing huge options trading, both calls and puts — that appear to be linked. USB averages 24,000 calls per day, but some 30,000 calls changed hands Thursday in the first 45 minutes of trading alone. Puts are also well above normal levels.

  • As of this morning, nearly 80% of the S&P 500 companies have reported earnings. Here's a look at which companies have had the biggest surprises so far...

  • SunTrust Banks is up 10.5 percent with heavy call activity Wednesday, after plunging along with other banks yesterday. ... Options traders are focused on the March 12.50 strikes.

  • As of yesterday afternoon, nearly 70% of the S&P 500 companies have reported earnings. Here's a look at which companies have had the biggest surprises so far...

  • The "higher risk" trade is unwinding. In the last week, there has been a simple trade: lighten up on defensive positions, take on more risk.

  • Fifth Third Bancorp is attracting heavy call activity as it reaches new 52-week lows. FITB is but a shadow of its $28.58 high from last March, dropping 70 percent last month alone and closing yesterday only a nickel above its new $1.74 low. That was enough to draw options traders, as calls outnumbered puts by 10,000 to 1,700.

  • As of this morning afternoon, nearly 50% of the S&P 500 companies have reported earnings. Here's a look at which companies have had the biggest surprises so far...

  • While investors hoped that a new year would bring better results, a plethora of downbeat earnings reports, poor corporate outlooks, gloomy economic data, and heightened concerns over the health of many large financial firms plagued the markets in January.

  • Government bail-outs in the wake of financial wreckage have inundated news headlines across the globe. Capital injections by the government into leading American banks under the U.S. Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) have been redefined across multiple sectors. With so many institutions holding bad assets and seeking to tap TARP, a new index by the NasdaqOMX Group was introduced as the Government Relief Index (QGRI) to track the performance of U.S. listed companies that are participants of U.S. government sponsored relief programs such as TARP.

  • As of yesterday afternoon, roughly 18% of the S&P 500 companies have reported earnings. Here's a look at which companies have had the biggest surprises so far...

  • Andrew Busch

    As we prepare for US Treasury nominee Tim Geithner's confirmation hearings before the Senate Finance committee, we have already got a taste of what is to come, says Andrew Busch.

  • The British pound fell to its lowest level against the dollar since 2001 on continuing fears that UK banks would need to raise more capital and are facing massive dilution from investments by the UK government.

  • Over the past few days, the markets have been weighed down by weak economic data, downbeat corporate earnings forecasts, and concerns that many financial firms may post large quarterly losses in the upcoming weeks. Now at its lowest level since December 1, the Dow is down for its sixth straight session – its longest losing streak since the beginning of October.

  • The market may seem boring today, but look under the hood--something is happening. That "something" is rotation: traders are looking to buy some stocks and sectors, and sell others.