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Traders work under monitors displaying 3M Co. signage on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York.
Facebook shares rose more than 8% after its first-quarter numbers showed promising growth in Stories and ads.
“We believe investors will continue to gain comfort with the incremental financial risk created by content and privacy concerns,” Guggenheim Partners analyst Michael Morris wrote in a note. “The company is proactively and definitively addressing these issues while expanding core monetization and new initiatives.”
The analyst also raised his price target on Facebook to $220 per share from $200.
Microsoft, meanwhile, climbed more than 4% as its better-than-expected earnings were driven by a 41% surge in its commercial cloud revenue business. That growth was led by Azure, which saw sales skyrocket by 73%.
More than 170 S&P 500 companies have reported quarterly results so far, according to FactSet. Of those companies, 78% have posted better-than-expected earnings. “The company is proactively and definitively addressing these issues while expanding core monetization and new initiatives.
“With the earnings season approaching the halfway mark, the news has been good enough to keep bulls committed to their positions and there have been few examples of genuinely troubling news,” said Michael Shaoul, chairman and CEO of Marketfield Asset Management, in a note. “The worst we could say is that investors are drawing in some cases on hope to a greater degree than normal, particularly in the key semiconductor sector where a strong second half rebound has been priced into many issuers, but this seems unlikely to be a factor over the near term.”
Wall Street ended Wednesday’s session lower on the back of mixed corporate results. Earlier this week, the S&P 500 notched an all-time closing high and remains about half a percent below its intraday record.
—CNBC’s Silvia Amaro contributed to this report.