Here's a look at the major stories and big stock movements in tech Thursday. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite jumped by 1.7% to 4,920.05, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 1.9% to 17,489.16. The S&P 500 rose by 1.7% to 2,052.51.
eBay(EBAY) - Get Report shares soared by 13.9% on Thursday, closing at $27.58, a day after the San Jose, Calif., e-commerce company reported quarterly net income and revenue that exceeded analysts' estimates. The company also raised its outlook for the year and bought back $599 million of its own stock, showing investors that it is on solid ground after its recent split with PayPal(PYPL) - Get Report ," Bloomberg Newsreported.
Facebook's(FB) - Get Report Instagram business has announced Boomerang, "a new video app that lets you turn everyday moments into something fun and unexpected," the company said. Facebook shares rose by 2.6%, closing at $99.67.
"Press a button and the app does the rest," Instagram said in a blog post. "Boomerang takes a burst of photos and stitches them together into a high-quality mini video that plays forward and backward. Shoot in portrait or landscape. Share it on Instagram. Boomerang automatically saves it to your camera roll. We're inspired by the visual stories you tell on Instagram. With looping videos and Hyperlapse, you experiment with motion in new and exciting ways. Now, with Boomerang, we can't wait to see what you'll create next."
New initiatives at Instagram are one reason analysts at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey have a buy rating on Facebook. The analysts are forecasting strong third-quarter earnings, driven by mobile, when the social media company reports financial results on Nov. 4.
"Core Facebook growth remains strong, but investors are focusing even more so on the potential inflection points: Instagram rollout, continued video adoption and new targeting and analytics, the "Buy Button" e-commerce and new ad units, the analysts said in their research report.
"We believe the Instagram rollout to Facebook's 2.5 million advertisers could drive a $2 billion revenue lift by 2017."
In addition, Facebook has revamped its search function. Read TheStreet'sreport, which included praise for Facebook's business from TheStreet's Jim Cramer. "To me the story with Facebook is the amazing ROI, Cramer said.
Microsoft (MSFT) - Get Report reported after the closing bell "a 6.6% fall in quarterly adjusted revenue, as a strong dollar hit sales from outside the United States and a weak personal computer market limited demand for its mainstay Windows operating system," Reuters reported.
"The company's net income rose to $4.62 billion, or 57 cents per share, in the first fiscal quarter ended Sept. 30, from $4.54 billion, or 54 cents per share, a year earlier. GAAP revenue fell to $20.38 billion from $23.20 billion," the news service said. "Adjusted revenue fell to $21.66 billion from $23.20 billion."
Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expected the company to earn 58 cents a share on $20.96 billion in revenue.
Microsoft shares closed at $48.03 during the regular trading session, up by 1.8%. They were rising another 7% in after-hours trading.
"Earnings declined to $3 billion, or 50 cents a share, from $3.1 billion, or 60 cents a share, in the same period a year ago," the news site said. "Excluding non-recurring items, such as merger-related expenses and network decommissioning costs, adjusted earnings per share came in at 74 cents, above the FactSet consensus of 68 cents. Revenue rose 19% to $39.1 billion, primarily because of the completion of the DirecTV acquisition, but missed the FactSet consensus of $40.3 billion."
AT&T shares rose by 1.8% in after-hours trading after closing at $33.97, a gain of 1.1%, during the regular session.
Shares of Alphabet(GOOGL) - Get Report were skyrocketing by 9.2% in after-hours trading after the company reported its third-quarter earnings results that exceeded analysts' estimates. The company's earnings for the recent quarter came in at $7.35 cents a share and revenue was $18.68 billion.
Analysts had expected the company to earn $7.21 a share on revenue of $18.54 billion. Read TheStreet'sreport.
The company's shares closed during the regular session at $681.14, up by 1.4%.
The company reported earnings of 17 cents per diluted share on $25.36 billion in revenue for the three months ended September 30. Analysts had estimated a loss of 13 cents per share on revenue of $24.91 billion for the quarter. Read TheStreet'sreport.
Shares of Amazon closed during the regular session at $563.91, up 1.5%.
In a lengthy and detailed statement on Thursday, privately held Theranos offered a point-by-point rebuttal of key assertions of a recent TheWall Street Journalreport that questioned the company's blood-testing technology.
"The stories suggest that Theranos' tests are not accurate. That is wrong: Theranos' tests are accurate and reliable," the company said in its release.
Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes also criticized the newspaper'sreport in her remarks at a conference hosted by The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday.
Read Re/code'sreport on the latest statement from Theranos.
This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.