Shares of Microsoft Corp. surged 0.9% in afternoon trading Monday, putting them on track for an 8th-straight gain, as Oppenheimer technical analyst Ari Wald said the software giant was a “top buy” given the long-term bullish technical backdrop. That would mark the second 8-day win streak this year, and third since it went 9-straight sessions ending Oct. 16, 2017 without a decline. The last time it rose for nine-straight days was the 9-day stretch ending Oct. 21, 2013. Microsoft’s stock was also headed toward a 6th-straight record close day. “[Microsoft’s stock] checks all our boxes,” Wald wrote in a note to clients. “Key positives include the stock’s bullish trend, high momentum score and top-down tailwinds based on our view that the technology sector is a prime candidate to be a key driver of the S&P 500’s secular advance over the coming quarters to years.” The stock has run up 35.4% year to date, as it continues to hold the top spot as the U.S.’s largest company by market capitalization, with a market cap of $1.054 trillion. The company is way ahead of second-place Amazon.com Inc. at $938.7 billion and third-place Apple Inc. at $919.3 billion.Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.