US stocks climb Microsoft soars

US stocks scored solid gains to finish last week, with the market getting a jolt from Microsoft's announcement that chief executive Steve Ballmer will retire within the next 12 months. The computing giant's shares soared 7.3 per cent to $34.75 on Friday as Ballmer, who succeeded Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates in 2000, said the company would search for a new leader who can take charge …

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