Microsoft slumps on news that change in leadership not imminent

LOS ANGELES  Microsoft (MSFT) shares are down three percent after Ford CEO Alan Mulally said there is no change in his plan to stay with the automaker through the end of next year. That is dampening some investors' hopes he would take over the software giant soon. 

His comments Thursday are no different than what Ford has been saying for months. 

But Morningstar analyst Norman Young says the market's reaction indicates investors are hoping the 68-year-old would in fact replace CEO Steve Ballmer, who is set to retire by August at the latest. 

Ford Motor Co. director Edsel Ford II is also telling reporters at an event for the new Mustang in Dearborn, Michigan, that Mulally is staying with the company through the end of 2014.