Microsoft Debuts Windows 8.1 As Free Download and 2 More Heavily Traded Stocks to Follow

Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT): Current price $34.89

Bowing to users who continue to dislike Windows 8 on Thursday, Microsoft released its promised Windows 8.1 upgrade as a free download. Addresses some of the complaints the company has received about Windows 8, Windows 8.1 still features the dual worlds of tablet and PC that Windows 8 created when it came out a year ago. However, the update brings in some new “finger- and gesture-friendly shortcuts” for touch-based applications, while nodding to the desktop mode to which a billion PC users have become accustomed.

msft-20131017

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ): Current price $48.98

Chief Financial Officer Fran Shammo says that Apple’s iPhone 5C “undersold expectations” in the third quarter, while its more expensive iPhone 5S is in tight supply. Shammo told Reuters in an interview on Thursday that the “5C is in plenty supply” and “if you generally talk to each of the carriers I think they’ll tell you the same thing.” Meanwhile, a source knowledgeable with its supply chain told Reuters on Wednesday that Apple is lowering its production orders for the less expensive plastic-backed iPhone 5C only a month after its debut at the same time as the iPhone 5S.

vzz-20131017

Groupon Inc. (NASDAQ:GRPN): Current price $10.64

Shares of Groupon are down by about 6.5 percent Thursday in heavy volume without any particular news other than the stock is plunging. The Street is offering the rationale that the drop in share price seems to be in sympathy with bellwether e-commerce firm eBay, which is down by 4 percent after posting sluggish holiday forecasts on Wednesday evening. Thus far in 2013, Groupon shares have gained 122.2 percent, says The Street.

grpn-20131017

Don’t Miss: Apple’s iPhone 5C: Colorfully Unsuccessful.