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Two Ways: Microsoft Surrenders Browser Battle With EU

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Strengthen your portfolio in good times and bad.

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Mr. Softie Drops IE for EU

Microsoft (MSFT) has bowed under pressure to the European Union and will release the upcoming new operating system, Windows 7, without its Internet Explorer browser. According to The Wall Street Journal, the company said in a statement that given the legal proceeding, it will drop the software and offer it on a separate easy-to-install basis.

EU officials have long been attacking Microsoft for its bundling practices. The company was fined last year for not complying with a ruling that found it had violated an antitrust law by not making information relating to is Media Player available to rivals. In response to Microsoft's decision to drop IE, EU regulators issued a statement saying it would shortly decide the case but it didn't seem confident that dropping IE was the "complete answer" to its concerns that users lack a real choice in browsers.

For more on Microsoft, see Professor Vitaliy Katsenelson's Why Microsoft Will Rise Again.

From the Bull Pen: Professor Katsenelson laid out a great argument for Microsoft. Passive bulls can start an initial position here and add on pullbacks near $20.50. A sell stop can be set below recent lows near $19.50.

From the Bear Cave: Bears can look elsewhere like Gymboree (GYMB). Professor Fil Zucchi mentioned the stock yesterday on the Buzz. A buy stop in the near term can be set above $37-38.

Quick Check Around the World

Asian trading closed with the Hang Seng 0.52%, India -1.13%, Shanghai -1.91%, Nikkei 1.55%, and Taiwan -1.81%.

Glancing towards Europe, we see the FTSE 0.12%, CAC 0.05%, DAX 0.34%,

As of 8:10 AM EST, S&P Futures are trading -3 to 935.40, and Nasdaq futures are -2 to 1489.25.

A Look at Commodities

Over in commodities, crude oil is trading -1.44 to 71.24 while gold is -13.4 at 948.60 this morning. Silver is -0.440 to 15.05 and copper -4.30 to 240.20.

The dollar index is +0.7850 to 80.2150.

On the Radar

Economics

08:30 Export Prices Ex-ag: -0.3% prior
08:30 Import Prices Ex-oil: -0.7% prior
09:55 Michigan Sentiment: 68.6 cons.

It's Fat Friday! Eat up and Good luck!
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No positions in stocks mentioned.

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