Stock markets moved steadily higher today without any major catalyst. The Department of Labor did report a slight drop in job openings from 3.9 million in February to 3.84 million in March -- roughly flat from a year ago -- but this isn't a market-moving report. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI ) is up 0.56% as of 3:15 p.m. EDT, while the S&P 500 (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC ) is up 0.52%.
Shares of JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM ) have jumped 2.3% after The Wall Street Journal reported that three large investors haven't decided whether CEO and chairman Jamie Dimon should keep both of his roles. BlackRock, Vanguard, and Fidelity Investments together control 12% of shares, and they're undecided about their votes in an upcoming shareholder proposal to split the jobs.
JPMorgan is also cutting about 10 commodity trader positions in London and Dubai following a slump in commodity demand. The 10 biggest banks have seen a combined 24% drop in commodities trading revenue over the past year, and this will reduce costs in a prudent way.
Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT ) stock is one of the laggards today, falling 1.1%. The company announced an update for Windows 8 later this year to fix "key aspects" of the operating system. The company has sold 100 million copies of the software, but that's only in line with the disappointing performance of Windows 7 and well short of lofty expectations. The company will announce details of the release within the next few weeks.
Microsoft also agreed to extend a revenue-per-search guarantee for Yahoo! (NASDAQ: YHOO ) . This is part of the search partnership the companies formed in 2010, which has not yet challenged the search dominance of Google.
Keep in mind that Microsoft stock is already up 26% this year, so one bad day isn't a big setback for investors.
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