Microsoft's stock is taking a hit after the software giant behind Windows, the Xbox and Surface tablets reported disappointing results for the latest quarter. The results, which fell below Wall Street's expectations, included a large write-off for Microsoft Corp.'s surface RT business. A poor reception for Windows 8 contributed to a revenue drop in the company's operating system software unit. The stock is still up about 18 percent year-to-date.
China's central bank announced interest rate reforms, removing minimum rates banks may charge clients for loans in a step toward more market-driven credit pricing. That move could allow banks to lower rates and more fiercely compete for customers.
An improving outlook for the U.S. economy and signs of stabilization in Europe sent General Electric shares to their highest level since 2008 despite modest quarterly results.