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Tech Industry

Microsoft could inspire a rally

The court ruling on the software giant may give investors incentive to close the quarter with a positive note.

    Investors will decide whether to close the quarter with a positive note Friday, with a little incentive from the Microsoft ruling. The Dow was set to open slightly higher.

    News that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia has thrown out the judgment against Microsoft caused some celebration Thursday. But the case was sent back to a lower court, and Microsoft's worries are far from over.

    With little else on investors' plates Friday, the Microsoft news may continue to inspire a rally, though the broader markets could suffer from news that a last-ditch attempt to push the General Electric-Honeywell merger through have failed.

    A few revisions to economic data will also be released Friday. The Commerce Department will announce the final report on first-quarter gross domestic product before trading begins, and a revised June consumer-sentiment report from the University of Michigan is also due.

    Stocks to Watch
    •  PMC-Sierra joined the long list of communications chipmakers that won't make their current quarter estimates. The company warned Thursday that it will miss revenue and earnings expectations for the second quarter, with revenue of between $93 million and $95 million and a loss per share between 7 cents and 9 cents, excluding charges. First Call's estimates had been for revenue of $102 million in revenue on a loss of 2 cents a share.

    •  Liberate Technologies just scraped by in its fourth quarter. The maker of software for interactive television lost $12.7 million, or 12 cents a share, excluding special charges, on revenue of $16.1 million. In the same quarter last year, the company lost $11.4 million, or 13 cents a share, on revenue of $9.1 million. First Call's consensus estimate had called for a loss of 13 cents a share.

    At the Bell
    The Dow Jones industrial average may open 51 points higher. The Standard & Poor's 500 index for June futures contracts was up 6 points to 1233 at 7:10 a.m. EDT in 24-hour electronic trading.

    Reuters contributed to this report.