The Nasdaq-100 PowerShares QQQ (NasdaqGM: QQQ) opened higher Friday as key holding Microsoft (NasdaqGS: MSFT) rallied following an announcement that Chief Executive Steve Ballmer plans to retire within a year.
MSFT shares were up more than 7% on the news. The stock is the second-largest holding in QQQ at 7.8% of the portfolio. Apple (NYSEArca: AAPL) is the ETF’s largest stock at 13.5% of the fund.
QQQ was higher in morning trade, one day after a trading glitch halted the tech-heavy ETF and thousands of stocks at the Nasdaq for over three hours. [‘Flash Freeze’ Halts Trading in QQQ and Nasdaq ETFs]
MSFT is also a top stock holding at other tech ETFs such is iShares US Technology (NYSEArca: IYW) and Technology Select Sector SPDR (NYSEArca: XLK).
Ballmer will continue as Microsoft CEO until a successor is found. Chairman Bill Gates will be involved in the search, the company said.