The Nasdaq rose 50.72 points to 2,125.46, and the Dow Jones industrial average gained 131.37 points to 10,566.21.
The markets staged a moderate rally in response to news that the Federal Reserve lowered lending rates by a quarter-point Wednesday. The move followed five half-point cuts this year, and though the trim wasn't as big as some Fed watchers expected, comments that it would continue its tough stance on inflation led investors to celebrate.
Microsoft jumped $1.60 to $72.74 after the federal appeals court ruling on the company's antitrust case. The court rejected a lower court's ruling that called for the breakup of the software titan, and sent the decision back to the lower court.
The announcement was good news for the stock, which rose as high as $74.
Oracle shares were also on the rise after the software maker's promise to return to its trademark aggressive stance. The company said at its annual analysts' meeting that the business climate is better now than it was during the March to May quarter. Shares rose $1.14 to $19.18.
Redback was one of the Nasdaq's sorest losers. Shares fell $2.67, or 24 percent, to $8.64, as analysts downgraded the stock after its most recent profit warning. Some analysts deferred changing their projections and hinted that a conference call in two weeks could bring more negative news.
E*Trade Group bought more than 15,000 customer accounts from Advanta National Bank, bringing it more than $389.7 million in assets. Shares rose 21 cents to $6.56.
Nokia said it would cut up to 1,000 employees at its networks unit. The news from the Finnish telecommunications-equipment maker, which followed its profit warning earlier this month, indicated that the slowing telecommunications market is hitting it hard. The stock was up 11 cents to $21.56.
Cisco Systems gained 59 cents to $18.52, and Intel jumped 99 cents to $29.64.
Amazon.com rose 32 cents to $14.36. AOL Time Warner fell 60 cents to $52.08, and Yahoo rose 65 cents to $19.38.
Staff and Reuters contributed to this report.