Feb. 16 (Bloomberg) -- Microsoft Corp. rose to the highest level since 2010 after Morgan Stanley said Standard & Poor’s will probably increase its weighting in the S&P 500 this year because of stock sales by Chairman Bill Gates.
Equity held by insiders at the Redmond, Washington-based company will drop below 10 percent of shares outstanding this quarter for the first time, Adam Holt, an analyst at Morgan Stanley, wrote in a report today. As a result, all of Microsoft’s shares outstanding will be taken into consideration by S&P, driving its weighting up by about 12 percent, Holt said.
Microsoft shares rallied 4.1 percent to $31.29 today, extending their advance in 2012 to 21 percent. They represent 1.9 percent of the S&P 500’s value, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
“The S&P rebalancing will be a catalyst that should have a positive impact to the stock,” Holt said.
--With assistance from David Wilson in New York. Editor: Michael P. Regan
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