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Morgan Stanley Thrills as Market Rallies

Morgan Stanley trading up 3 percent after the close, as it pre-announced earnings above expectations. (See MS earnings report.)

CEO John Mack said, "We have continued to actively reduce our legacy postions and carefully manage our risk, capital and liquidity."

Several factors worked in favor of today's modest but important rally:

1) hope for some kind of short-term government loan for AIG;

2) covering of heavy short positions, particularly on tech and financials;

3) some applauding Fed for standing pat on interest rates. Even though stock traders booed the Fed decision when it came out, and most traders wanted a rate cut, most bond traders applauded the move, noting that lower Fed funds rates will not accomplish notably lower consumer rates, particularly mortgage rates.

Don't get too excited about the rally: there were still more DECLINING stocks at the NYSE than ADVANCING.

Still, the mood was much less somber today. Example: tech traders blew off a downbeat report from Dell, which said that weakness in North America was spreading overseas. Dell shares hit a 10 YEAR LOW today, but other techs rallied as traders claimed it was a Dell-specific problem.

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More Names in the News:

- Lehman Bros.

- Goldman Sachs

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Questions? Comments? tradertalk@cnbc.com

  • A CNBC reporter since 1990, Bob Pisani covers Wall Street from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

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