Ghost of Bull Markets Past as Microsoft, GE Pace Gains: Chart

In a year when a handful of Internet companies are getting all the attention in the stock market, two heavyweights of past bull markets have quietly taken over leadership.

Up 26 percent this quarter, software maker Microsoft Corp. has contributed more to gains in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index than any other stock since September, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. General Electric Co., whose shares last peaked in 2007, was third in helping boost the U.S. benchmark equity gauge after Amazon.com Inc.

It isn’t just Facebook Inc., Amazon, Netflix Inc. and Google’s Alphabet Inc. carrying the advance in stocks this year. Microsoft’s rally has left it just 6 percent from the record it hit at the height of the technology bubble, as new Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella repositions the company to compete in mobile and cloud computing. GE reached a seven-year high this month as CEO Jeff Immelt streamlines the company to focus on its industrial roots.

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