May 24, 2024

Deal for Skype Lifts Stocks

Companies have built up a record amount of cash since the recession, and they have begun to use it for acquisitions, dividends and stock buybacks. Technology companies have particularly big cash hoards. The purchase of Skype is Microsoft’s largest deal in its history.

Stronger-than-expected earnings reports are also lifting stocks. Dean Foods, Activision Blizzard and others reported earnings that beat analysts’ expectations.

In early trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 59.98 points, or 0.5 percent. The Standard Poor’s 500-stock index was up 8.06 points, or 0.6 percent. The Nasdaq composite index rose 17.56 points, or 0.6 percent.

European stock markets and the euro rose on hopes that Greece would get another financial bailout to help it avoid a restructuring of its debts.

A restructuring — a renegotiation of existing debt deals — could have repercussions for Europe’s financial system, causing losses at banks holding Greek bonds. Germany’s DAX and the CAC 40 in France rose 1.3 percent. The FTSE 100 index of leading British shares was up 1 percent.

Earlier in Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 closed up 0.3 percent to 9,818.76, with shares of Chubu Electric Power rising 1.9 percent after the Japanese utility agreed to a government request to shutter three nuclear reactors at the Hamaoka coastal power plant.

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