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First Solar, Inc. (FSLR), Microsoft Corporation (MSFT), Intel Corporation (INTC): Dow (.DJI) Keeps On Keeping On

Editor’s note: This article was originally published yesterday, after market close.

Related tickers: First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR), Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC)

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (Dow Jones Indices:.DJI) hit yet another record high today, as stocks had a late-day run for the second session in a row today. The buying activity seems to indicate increased optimism about earnings season as the blue chips finished at 14.673, up 60 points or 0.4%, momentarily climbing above 14,700. Investors have now had a two-day breather from any significant economic reports or macroeconomic events, and stocks have made solid gains both days. Despite the continuing bull run, however, there have been 4.7 times as many negative pre-announcements as positive ones, the worst proportion since 2001, according to Thomson Reuters, indicating that there may be reason to fear earnings season.

Tech stocks led the Dow today, as Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) both moved up more than 3%. The Windows maker joined a group of tech companies including Oracle Corporation (NASDAQ:ORCL) and Nokia filing a complaint against Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) in the European Union, which accused the search giant of anti-competitive behavior in its Android strategy. One of the group’s lawyers called Android “a Trojan horse used to deceive partners, monopolize the mobile marketplace, and control consumer data.” Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) has become a major rival of Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s in recent years, as Google vies for dominance in software with its Chrome Internet browser and Google Docs office products. Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), on the other hand, has challenged Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s search leadership with Bing and is also gunning for a piece of the smartphone and tablet market.

Intel, meanwhile, finished up 3.1% after it unveiled its new Thunderbolt interface technology yesterday, which runs at twice the speed of the previous model. The top chipmaker also said that it had begun shipping samples of a system-in-a-chip, known as “Avoton,” to Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ) to be used in its new Moonshot servers. Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ) also finished the day up 1.5%.

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