As the U.S. mortgage market continues its ugly decline, Countrywide Financial Corp. is looking to find profits in other lines of business - particularly those within capital markets. In a move that would further align it with the vertical integration strategy currently underway among Wall Street investment banks, the Calabasas, Calif.-based mega-lender may be looking to acquire an asset management business. This move is coupled with continuing to extend its U.S. Treasurys primary dealership to include derivatives and futures.

"We are looking at specific opportunities (in the capital markets area), and hopefully some of these deals will reach fruition in the next couple months," said Angelo Mozilo, Countrywide's chairman and chief executive, during the company's third quarter earnings conference call last week.

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