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Some investors will sit out a volatile stock market today, but there are no gains to be made on the sidelines.
Trading is expected to be volatile Friday ahead of Sunday's Greek elections. The markets rose in morning trading on news that Europe's central bankers will not hesitate to offer more stimulus to the economies of the struggling continent.
European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said the bank would "continue to supply liquidity to solvent banks where needed." Draghi stated that the time has come to initiate plans for long term-growth.
Also adding to a messy stock market today could be the fact that today is a "quadruple witching" day. That's when contracts for stock futures and options, as well as stock options and single stock futures, all expire on the same day.
Stock Market Today: Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT)
Microsoft is reportedly in talks to acquire Yammer, which operates a social networking site designed for businesses.
Bloomberg News reported that Microsoft may pay more than $1 billion, and a deal may be reached as soon as tomorrow, said one person, who declined to be identified because the negotiations are private.
Microsoft, the world's largest software maker, hopes that adding Yammer's social networking platform to the company's repertoire of products will excite corporate clients.
Yammer provides an enterprise social networking site that has a similar design to Facebook (Nasdaq: FB) and is intended for use in the corporate world. If you have ever seen the two social networking sites they are eerily similar.
From the sidebar to the news feed Yammer could pass as Facebook's nerdy twin, except this time the nerd is doing the copying.
Microsoft is trying to skip some steps in the social networking arena by purchasing Yammer rather than creating its own social networking product from within. The recent Facebook IPO debacle could limit the deal's benefits to Microsoft.
However, Microsoft would surely regret not testing the waters of adding a social networking dimension as it tries to keep pace in the tech world led by Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) and Facebook.
Speaking of Apple, Microsoft might be taking a direct swing at the Cupertino, CA-based company's tablet dominance.
Microsoft has issued invitations to the media for a major announcement set for Monday, June 18. Many have begun to speculate that Microsoft will announce a Windows 8 tablet made by Microsoft itself instead of one of its hardware partners.
Entertainment site TheWrap.com reported than an unnamed "individual with knowledge of the company" has said Microsoft is introducing its own Windows RT – that's the version of Windows 8 for tablet computers.
Microsoft hopes that shifting from its traditional strategy of just making software to producing both software and hardware will allow it to compete with Apple in the tablet market.
Apple has had tremendous success integrating hardware and software in the iPad. The Android tablet on the other hand has not done nearly as well. If Microsoft does indeed make this announcement, it will be interesting to see how the tablet market changes.
So far the market likes the speculation over the deal and tablet news as Microsoft is up 2% today as of 1 p.m. Microsoft has had a decent year, up 15% compared to a 6% increase for the Standard and Poor's 500.
The S&P 500 today by 1 p.m. was up over 8 points or 0.61% to 1,337.37.
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Microsoft Said to Hold Talks on Buying Yammer Social Site