Stocks Gain On Microsoft Ruling, Rate Cut

Rate cut optimism and an appeals court decision to reverse the Microsoft break-up ruling boosted the major averages

Stocks finished Thursday higher with some help from Microsoft Corp. (MSFT ), a Dow component, which gave the market a lift following a trading halt. The halt came on news that an appeals court reversed a court order to break up the software giant. Investors also viewed the Fed's modest rate cut as a sign that the worst is over for the economy.

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