NEW YORK Stocks soared Thursday, and Google set the stage for a rally on Friday by reporting solid quarterly earnings after the closing bell.
Google’s upbeat report — slightly marred by negative comments about the general economy noticeably weakening in the past four weeks — had its shares climbing as much as 10 percent after-hours. During regular trading, the stock rose 4 percent to $353.02.
Google executives said during their conference call Thursday that they are seeing an explosion in mobile search and that they are bullish on online video, hence their effort to give video results on the first page of searches.
Google’s price action, though, underperformed the broader markets Thursday, with the Dow jumping 4.7 percent with a gain of 401 points and the Nasdaq, ahead 89 points, up 5.5 percent.
Media was weaker, with The Hollywood Reporter Showbiz 50 rising just 3.7 percent. RealNetworks and Crown Media led the gainers, each up 11 percent, and Entercom Communications led the decliners. The radio company plunged 28 percent to $1.69, a 52-week low, after Stanford Research downgraded the stock to “sell.”
Google said net income in the third quarter rose 26 percent to $1.35 billion on revenue that was 31 percent higher at $5.54 billion, including commissions paid to advertising partners.
Also Thursday, Yahoo! jumped nearly 11 percent after Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said a partnership makes sense, though he added there aren’t any discussions yet. Microsoft wanted to buy Yahoo! this year but the companies couldn’t agree on price. Yahoo!’s share price has been cut in half since then.
Reports also surfaced that Citi is laying off analysts, including Tony Wible. The firm, therefore, has dropped coverage of Sirius XM Radio. Citi last had a $3.75 price target on Sirius XM. The stock closed down 7 percent on Thursday to 39 cents.