Stocks Opened Higher, Microsoft Jumped

U.S. stocks were relatively higher early Friday, with Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT) helping boost the Dow Jones  Industrial Average.The Dow Jones industrial average lately rose 26.87 points or 0.12 percent, to 14,981.04, the S&P 500 gained 2.78 points or 0.17 percent, to 1,659.74 and the Nasdaq Composite added 13.41 points or 0.37 percent, to 3,652.12.

Microsoft Corp said on Friday that Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer would retire within the next 12 months, once it has selected a successor. Ballmer said in a statement that he would have timed his retirement in the middle of Microsoft’s announced transformation to a devices and services company.

Popular electric carmaker Tesla Motors Inc’s (TSLA) plans to enter the world’s biggest auto market have stalled after a businessman in China claimed trademark rights to the name, people close to the California-based company have told Reuters.

With national unemployment at its lowest level since the start of the Great Recession, the numbers keep going the wrong way in several parts of Illinois.

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