Microsoft Corporation

(

MSFT

) pushed the Computer Software & Services industry higher today making it today's featured computer software & services winner. The industry as a whole closed the day up 3.8%. By the end of trading, Microsoft Corporation rose 57 cents (2.4%) to $24.87 on average volume. Throughout the day, 44.8 million shares of Microsoft Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 56.5 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $24.69-$24.97 after having opened the day at $24.94 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $24.30. Other companies within the Computer Software & Services industry that increased today were:

Pansoft Company

(

PSOF

), up 24.1%,

Merge Healthcare Inc

(

MRGE

), up 17.5%,

VanceInfo Technologies Inc

(

VIT

), up 15.4%, and

CyberDefender

(

CYDE

), up 14.3%.

Microsoft Corporation develops, licenses, and supports a range of software products and services for various computing devices worldwide. Microsoft Corporation has a market cap of $208.54 billion and is part of the

technology

sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 8.9, below the average computer software & services industry P/E ratio of nine and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 12.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Microsoft as a

buy

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, growth in earnings per share, attractive valuation levels and good cash flow from operations. Although no company is perfect, currently we do not see any significant weaknesses which are likely to detract from the generally positive outlook.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the computer software & services industry could consider

iShares S&P NA Tech Software Idx

(

IGV

) while those bearish on the computer software & services industry could consider

ProShares Ultra Short Technology

(

REW

).

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