Updates to include Advanced Micro Devices' third-quarter earnings report.

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Here's a look at the major stories and big stock movements in tech today. The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite jumped by 1.8%.

Apple (AAPL) - Get Reportannounced new ResearchKit studies for autism, epilepsy and melanoma. The company said ResearchKit "turns (an) iPhone into a powerful tool for medical research by helping doctors, scientists and other researchers gather data more frequently and more accurately from participants using iPhone apps.

"With ResearchKit," Apple said, "study participants can review an interactive informed consent process, easily complete active tasks or submit survey responses, and choose how their health data is shared with researchers, making contributions to medical research easier than ever. Researchers and developers have already contributed to ResearchKit, with more than 50 researchers adding to the open source framework.

"We're honored to work with world-class medical institutions and provide them with tools to better understand diseases and ultimately help people lead healthier lives," said Jeff Williams, Apple's senior vice president of operations. "In just six months, ResearchKit apps studying everything from asthma and diabetes to Parkinson's disease, are already providing insights to scientists around the world and more than 100,000 participants are choosing to contribute their data.

"With user permission, researchers can also access data from the Health app such as weight, blood pressure, glucose levels, and other data measured by third-party devices and apps, to capture real-time data right from the iPhone."

Apple shares closed at $118.80, a gain of 1.4%.

Shares of Advanced Micro Devices(AMD) - Get Report  rose by about 1%, closing at $1.96 ahead of the company's earnings report, which was released after the market close. The company said it lost 17 cents a share for the third quarter, missing analysts' estimates of a loss of 12 cents a share for the quarter. Revenue fell 25.9% year-over-year to $1.06 billion for the quarter, above analysts' estimates of $995.87 million.

Advanced Micro Devices also announced it will establish a semiconductor assembly joint venture with Nantong Fujitsu Microelectronics. The company's shares rose by another 1.5% in after-hours trading. Read TheStreet's report on Advanced Micro Devices' third-quarter financial performance.

Yahoo! (YHOO) will be phasing out passwords with its updated Yahoo! Mail service, Re/code reported. Yahoo! shares finished the day at $33.48, a gain of 4.3%.

Investors are now questioning Netflix'(NFLX) - Get Report valuation after the video streaming company said Wednesday it had signed up fewer new U.S. subscribers than it had anticipated, Reuters reported. The company's shares plummeted by 8.3% Thursday, closing at $101.09.

Facebook(FB) - Get Report is testing a real-times news app to be called Notify, according to a report by The Verge. Facebook shares closed at $95.96, a gain of 2%.

Twitter(TWTR) - Get Report said it "would provide its advertisers with custom data-driven reports to help them gauge the impact of their ad campaigns on their profits," Reuters reported. Twitter stock rose by 1.2%, closing at $29.72.

First Data's(FDC) - Get Report initial public offering fell flat Thursday. Shares closed at $15.75 after their first day of trading. The shares were priced Wednesday night at $16 for their debut on the New York Stock Exchange.

Among major market movers on Thursday, Seagate Technology(STX) - Get Report dropped by 13.3%, finishing the day at $41.44. NQ Mobile (NQ) soared by 8.8%, closing at $4.08.

This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.