Stock Market Today: Dow Ends Higher as Microsoft, Visa Shine

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Stock Market Today: Dow Ends Higher as Microsoft, Visa Shine
Credit: © Reuters.

By Yasin Ebrahim

Investing.com – The Dow ended higher Wednesday, but well off its intraday highs as strong gains in Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT ) were offset by weakness in Alphabet and Boeing following an earnings miss. 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.2%, or 62 points, The S&P 500 rose 0.18%, the Nasdaq closed flat.

Alphabet (NASDAQ:{{6369|GOOGL and Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT ) kicked off the quarterly earnings for big tech, but it was the latter’s quarterly results that helped steady sentiment on tech.

Microsoft rose more than 4% after reporting fiscal third-quarter results that beat on both the top and bottom lines, led by strong growth in its cloud business.

“[T]he key metric that moves the stock, Azure Cloud revenue, accelerated to 49% constant-currency growth from 46%, the fastest pace since 4Q20 on double the revenue base,” Oppenheimer said in a note.

Alphabet, meanwhile, fell more than 3% after the tech giant reported first-quarter earnings that missed on the bottom line, paced by weaker than expected growth in its YouTube business.

“YouTube's 2nd miss in a row [was] the main controversy,” RBC said in a note, as the streaming platform “battles TikTok with YT shorts.”

Meta Platforms, the parent of Facebook (NASDAQ: FB ), continues the flow of big tech earnings, with its first-quarter results after the close. 

Semiconductor stocks struggled to turn positive, weighed down by a slip in shares of Texas Instruments (NASDAQ: TXN ). The chipmaker fell more than 2% as its better-than-expected quarterly results were offset by weaker guidance as Covid restrictions in China are expected to dent growth.

Chipmakers will remain in the spotlight as Qualcomm (NASDAQ: QCOM ) jumped more than 5% afterhours trading after reporting better-than-expected quarterly results and upbeat guidance.   

Beyond tech, Boeing (NYSE: BA ) fell more than 7%, to keep gains in the broader market in check, after reporting first-quarter results that missed on both the top and bottom lines. The aircraft maker also said it would halt production of its 777X plane, with deliveries not expected to begin until 2025.

Visa (NYSE: V ), meanwhile, also played a role in lifting the broader market after the payments processor reported better-than-expected quarterly results and said it expected further growth as spending on travel picks up pace.

Energy racked up gains as oil prices pared losses despite the impact of dollar strength and concerns about demand following a spike in Covid-19 cases in China.

Oil prices were also helped by data showing the U.S. weekly crude stock piles rose last than expected last week.

Valero Energy (NYSE: VLO ), APA (NASDAQ: APA ), and Devon Energy (NYSE: DVN ) were among the top gainers in the energy sector.

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