Stocks End Higher, Facebook Boosts Nasdaq

U.S. stocks ended higher on Thursday, with the Nasdaq Composite propelled higher by strong momentum from Facebook. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 13.37 points, or 0.09%, to 15,555.61. The S&P 500 index climbed 4.31 points, or 0.26%, to
1,690.25. The Nasdaq Composite rose 25.59 points, or 0.71%, to end at 3,605.19, with Facebook shares soaring nearly 30%.

Facebook (FB) was by far the biggest star of the day, with shares of the social network climbing nearly 30% after quarterly earnings released yesterday afternoon surprised and impressed investors and analysts alike. The company reported adjusted earnings of 19-cents a share, a nickel better than expectations. In addition, revenue was also higher than expected at $1.81 billion versus $1.62 billion

Zynga Inc reported $231 million in quarterly revenue, a 31 percent drop from a year ago. Zynga said the number of active monthly players dropped to 187 million this quarter from 306 million a year ago, its lowest since mid-2010. Excluding certain items, Zynga posted a 1 cent per share loss, compared with a 1 cent profit a year ago. Inc reported a second-quarter net loss and issued cautious third-quarter forecasts on Thursday. It reported a second-quarter loss of $7 million, or 2 cents a share, on revenue of $15.7 billion. For its third-quarter, Amazon forecast revenue in a range of $15.45 billion to $17.15 billion.

Starbucks Corp.’s (NASDAQ:SBUX) fiscal third-quarter earnings jumped 25% as the coffee giant booked same-store sales growth across all its regions. For fiscal 2014, Starbucks sees earnings of $2.55 to $2.65 a share on revenue growth of 10% to 13%.

U.S. prosecutors charged six foreign nationals with hacking crimes, including credit and debit card thefts that authorities say cost U.S. and European companies more than $300 million in losses, and charged one of them with breaching Nasdaq computers.

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