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RealTime IT News

Microsoft Faces Day Of Reckoning

Microsoft slipped to a multi-month low Thursday on reports that antitrust settlement talks with the EU had broken down.

The result could be a substantial fine and orders to open up the Windows operating system when the European Commission meets next Wednesday.

Microsoft will likely appeal the decision, resulting in more uncertainty for the software giant. And if there's one thing investors hate, it's uncertainty.

Then again, investors sold the rumor, judging by the stock's two-month downtrend that has shaved 14% off its share price. They just might buy the news on Wednesday.

Stocks finished the day lower, weighed down by rising producer prices and a weak Philadelphia manufacturing report. Losses were pared on reports of the possible capture of a high-ranking terrorist.

The Nasdaq lost 14 to 1962, the S&P 500 slipped 1 to 1122, and the Dow gave back 4 to 10,295. Volume declined to 1.36 billion shares on the NYSE, and 1.68 billion on the Nasdaq. Decliners led 18-14 on the NYSE, and 18-12 on the Nasdaq. Downside volume was 56% on the NYSE, and 71% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 132-13 on the NYSE, and 75-20 on the Nasdaq.

After the close, Adobe , PalmSource and Paychex beat estimates, and 3com came in light on revenues.

During the day, Jabil slipped despite beating estimates, while Tibco rose on its earnings report.

CSG Systems soared 17% on a new deal with Comcast .

Chip stocks lost ground on an article in the Wall Street Journal that suggested there could be tough times ahead for the sector. Intel lost 2%.

Novell edged higher on a new Linux release.

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