On Thursday, the markets took off as Facebook (FB)  shares soared after reporting earnings that beat Wall Street forecasts. Also, PepsiCo (PEP) earnings beat forecasts, General Motors's (GM)  first quarter net income declined but per share profit topped estimates, and Ford Motor (F) reported earnings that beat analysts' estimates. Advanced Micro Devices (AMD)  surged after the chipmaker beat estimates and issued a strong sales outlook.

After Thursday's closing bell, earnings are expected from Amazon (AMZN) , Microsoft (MSFT) , Intel (INTC) and Starbucks (SBUX)  .

Here are three top takes from the columnists of Real Money and Real Money Pro, our premium sites for Wall Street professionals and active investors:

Jim Cramer: Lisa Su Saved AMD From the Garbage Heap

"Turnarounds are elusive," says TheStreet's Jim Cramer. "Most managers simply aren't smart enough or strong enough to engineer them. That's why it was so enlightening and energizing to talk to Dr. Lisa Su, the CEO who turned around the once flailing and almost bankrupt Advanced Micro Devices."

"It's not too strong a claim to state that Su saved this semiconductor company from the garbage heap, brought it back to life by fixing the balance sheet and now has the whole company humming with profit and gross margin expansion to boot," adds Cramer.

Apple Is Facing 2 Big Tests Right Now - Here's a Common Sense Solution

Real Money Pro columnist Ed Ponsi notes that Apple (AAPL)  is scheduled to report second quarter earnings on May 1: "Anticipation is building as analysts are already weighing in with their predictions."

How can Apple solve the problem of constantly dealing with changing expectations for iPhone sales and its other products? See, here.

How Alphabet's Artificial Intelligence Moves Could Play Out

Real Money's Daria Solovieva writes that Alphabet (GOOGL)  is "betting big on Artificial Intelligence, but that doesn't mean you should, too."

"As Alphabet has grown, so has its complicated AI universe: there is Google Brain, the AI startup DeepMind Google acquired in 2014, self-driving vehicle company Waymo and Verily Life Sciences, a research organization looking into AI-driven way to predict and prevent disease," Solovieva says.

Real Money contributors Eric Jhonsa, Ed Ponsi and Chris Versace weighed in on how best to approach AI-driven growth.

(Facebook, PepsiCo, Apple, Alphabet, Amazon and Microsoft are holdings in Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS Charitable Trust Portfolio. Want to be alerted before Cramer buys or sells the stocks? Learn more now.)

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