New York Report: Microsoft’s rise helps lead US shares higher

US stocks advanced yesterday, snapping a three-day losing skid as a rally in Microsoft helped lift the technology sector.

The three major US stock indexes all managed to shake off early losses as Microsoft shares climbed. The stock closed up 2.6 per cent at $32.89 in heavy volume. The S&P information technology sector index rose 0.4 per cent.

Shares of Tesla Motors jumped 14.3 per cent to $153.48 a day after the electric car maker posted an unexpected quarterly profit.

The stock has been a major momentum favorite this year, up almost 350 percent in 2013.

Stocks had inched lower much of this week, pulling back from last week’s record levels, on concerns that the Federal Reserve will start to reduce its stimulus efforts this year as the economy recovers.

Gains in equities have been closely linked to the Fed’s stimulative policy, and many investors are worried that economic growth may stall without the Fed’s intervention.

In the latest comments from a Fed official, Richard Fisher, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, reiterated that the central bank will probably begin cutting back on its massive bond-buying stimulus next month, as long as economic data continues to improve.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 27.65 points or 0.18 per cent, to end at 15,498.32. The S&P 500 gained 6.57 points or 0.39 per cent, to 1,697.48. The Nasdaq Composite Index added 15.115 points or 0.41 per cent, to 3,669.124.

Volume was once again light, with about 5.81bn shares traded on the New York Stock Exchange, the NYSE MKT and the Nasdaq, below the daily average of 6.35bn.

Volume has yet to climb above 6bn for any trading day this week.