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 2.3%. By the end of trading, Microsoft Corporation rose 60 cents (2%) to $29.76 on average volume. Throughout the day, 43.8 million shares of Microsoft Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 44.5 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $29.18-$29.85 after having opened the day at $29.48 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $29.16. Other companies within the Computer Software & Services industry that increased today were:

Datawatch Corporation

(

DWCH

), up 27.7%,

Cover-All Technologies

(

COVR

), up 19.5%,

Qlik Technologies

(

QLIK

), up 17.7%, and

NetSuite

(

N

), up 15.2%.

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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 $242.2 billion and is part of the

technology

sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 14.4, equal to the average computer software & services industry P/E ratio and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 12.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 20 analysts that rate Microsoft Corporation a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and eight rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Microsoft Corporation 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, reasonable valuation levels, good cash flow from operations and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

On the negative front,

Helios & Matheson Information Technology In

(

HMNY

), down 9.4%,

Datalink Corporation

(

DTLK

), down 9.4%,

CA

(

CA

), down 7.1%, and

Greenway Medical Technologies

(

GWAY

), down 6.9%, were all laggards within the computer software & services industry with

Cerner Corporation

(

CERN

) being today's computer software & services industry laggard.

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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