The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI ) was up 203 points as of 11:30 a.m. EST. Dow Jones component Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT ) was leading its index higher, while tech stocks including Zynga (NASDAQ: ZNGA ) and Qualcomm (NASDAQ: QCOM ) were moving strongly to the upside.
Putin backs off Ukraine
The Dow Jones' rally on Tuesday may have been a rebound from Monday's sharp sell-off. The blue-chip index tumbled to begin the week as investors priced in a potential conflict in Ukraine -- Russian troops entered the nation's Crimean region late last week after Ukraine's president was forced from power. But Russian President Vladmir Putin made comments suggesting that military conflict in the Ukraine would be unlikely.
With the probability of a conflict receding, the Dow Jones was free to rebound.
Microsoft leads the Dow Jones higher
Microsoft was one of the Dow Jones' best performing tech stocks, posting a modest 1% gain early in the session. There wasn't any particularly significant news affecting Microsoft's shares, but investors may have been considering a few news items.
Recently departed CEO Steve Ballmer, in a conversation with business school students, admitted that Microsoft missed an opportunity in the mobile market. At the same time, one product that could help Microsoft regain lost ground is Cortana, the digital personal assistant that is roughly equivalent to Siri. Cortana has been known about for some time, but details continue to emerge. According to The Verge, Cortana will come to Windows phones in the near future.
Qualcomm boosts dividend
While Microsoft may have missed the mobile revolution, Qualcomm has been at the center, selling chips to many of the major mobile device manufacturers. Qualcomm shares posted a nice 3.8% gain on Tuesday after the company boosted its capital return program.
Qualcomm said on Tuesday it would raise its dividend by 20% and increase its stock buyback program by $5 billion. Although Qualcomm is still widely seen as a growth stock, it is slowly becoming an attractive dividend payer, with a yield near 2%.
Zynga to shift focus to mobile
Zynga shares, meanwhile, were up almost 9% in the session. Zynga's rally seems to be fueled by comments from new CEO Don Mattrick, who has laid out a plan to turn the struggling video game maker around.
Going forward, Zynga intends to focus on games for mobile devices. Upcoming sequels to its most popular games, including FarmVille and Words With Friends, will be aimed at mobile platforms, rather than the social networks Zynga has long depended on.
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