Microsoft Stock Gets Boost From AI, Machine Learning Initiatives

Microsoft (MSFT) executives trumpeted machine learning, artificial intelligence and software bots at the start of the company’s Build developers conference on Wednesday in San Francisco. And investors liked what they heard. Microsoft shares were up 0.4% to above 55 in afternoon trading on the stock market today, approaching their all-time high of 56.85, reached on Dec. 29. “Microsoft’s Build conference was more exciting than we expected, with major announcements around machine learning, bots and AI,” Pacific Crest Securities analyst Brendan Barnicle said in a report Wednesday. “These products show Microsoft’s development focus is moving beyond the cloud to Conversations as a Platform.” Barnicle reiterated his overweight rating on Microsoft stock with a price target of 65. At Build, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella showcased improvements to the Cortana personal assistant software and…

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