- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 29, 2008

NEW YORK (Bloomberg) — Most stocks rose for a fourth day after billionaire Warren Buffett financed the $23 billion takeover of Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co. and investor Kirk Kerkorian bought a stake in Ford Motor Co.

Microsoft Corp. slumped for a second day, helping drag the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index and Dow Jones Industrial Average lower on speculation the world’s largest software company will have to increase its bid to acquire Yahoo Inc.

The S&P; 500 slipped 1.47 points, or 0.1 percent, to 1,396.37. The Dow decreased 20.11, or 0.2 percent, to 12,871.75. The Nasdaq Composite Index added 1.47, or 0.1 percent, to 2,424.4. The Russell 2000 Index of smaller companies gained 0.5 percent for its fourth consecutive advance.

Ford climbed 71 cents, or 9.5 percent, to $8.21. Mr. Kerkorian, the billionaire investor who tried to overhaul General Motors Corp. three years ago, holds 100 million shares in Ford and seeks an additional 20 million, according to a statement.

GM had the steepest gain in the Dow, rising 2.6 percent to reach $21.94.

Some energy companies gained after oil rose to a record $119.93 a barrel in New York on the shutdown of a North Sea pipeline and as a strike and militant attacks reduced output from Nigeria.

There is a “huge risk” that oil prices will continue to rise until demand collapses because additional supplies are limited and alternative fuels are decades away from replacing crude, Deutsche Bank AG said.

Microsoft fell for a second day and posted the steepest decline in the Dow, losing 2.8 percent to arrive at $28.99. Chief Executive Officer Steven A. Ballmer is weighing a fight to oust Yahoo’s board and pave the way for a takeover, after the Internet company let his deadline pass without agreeing to a deal.

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