Stocks fell on Wednesday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) down almost 0.3%, and S&P 500 (SNPINDEX:^GSPC) seesawing during the day and closing with a slight loss.

Today's stock market

Index Percentage Change Point Change
Dow (0.27%) (57.11)
S&P 500 (0.06%) (1.42)

Data source: Yahoo! Finance.

Falling oil prices continued to lead the market down, with the SPDR S&P Oil & Gas Exploration & Production ETF (NYSEMKT:XOP) slumping 3.3%. Biotech stocks were strongly higher again, and the SPDR S&P Biotech ETF (NYSEMKT:XBI) gained 4.7%.

Two software companies announced strong earnings results yesterday after the market closed. Shares of Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE:RHT) and Adobe Systems (NASDAQ:ADBE) bucked the trend and posted gains on Wednesday.

Downward graph with spilled oil

Image source: Getty Images.

Red Hat soars in the clouds

Open-source software provider Red Hat wowed the market with its results from its first fiscal quarter. Revenue was $677 million, up 19% from last year, and non-GAAP earnings per share came in at $0.56, compared with $0.50 a year earlier. Analysts were expecting EPS of $0.53 on revenue of $648 million. Shares soared 9.6% on the news.

The strong results were the highest revenue growth the company has posted in four years. Red Hat's largest segment -- infrastructure-related software, at 68% of revenue -- posted 14% growth. The application-related segment, currently 20% of sales, posted scorching 41% growth. The future looks bright, too, with all of the company's top 25 customers renewing their subscriptions, on average spending 20% more than in the previous year. 

President and CEO Jim Whitehurst said in the press release, "We continued to benefit from our ability to deliver important foundational and cloud enabling technologies, which help our customers to modernize and manage their infrastructure and application development platforms for the hybrid cloud."

Red Hat's growth is being fueled by enterprises that are converting IT to a "hybrid cloud" structure, with the company's tools and training helping companies and government build out the private segment of their cloud architecture. Last quarter's results encouraged investors that the company will continue to ride cloud computing's tailwinds.  

Adobe's earnings delight

Shares of creative-software vendor Adobe Systems hit an all-time high today, rising 2.4% after announcing a strong fiscal second quarter that beat market expectations. Revenue was up 27% to $1.77 billion and net income was up a whopping 53%, yielding non-GAAP earnings per share of $1.02. Consensus estimates were for earnings of $0.95 on revenue of $1.73 billion. 

Adobe's flagship Creative Cloud offering is on a tear, driving Creative segment revenue above $1 billion for the first time with 34% growth. Other segments are doing well, too, with the Experience Cloud -- part of the company's marketing offering -- growing sales by 29%. Looking ahead, management guided to Q3 revenue of $1.815 billion, a gain of 24% from last year, and non-GAAP EPS of $1.00. 

"Adobe continues to execute well, with another quarter of record revenue and operating profit in Q2," CFO Mark Garrett said in the press release. "We're excited about the strong business momentum we have as we enter the second half of fiscal 2017 and remain confident in our ability to drive strong revenue and earnings growth in the future."

Adobe has gained dominance in software for creative professionals and has successfully navigated the transition to cloud-based subscription software. Results remain strong, and the stock continues to reward investors.

Jim Crumly has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Adobe Systems. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.