It's been a crazy week on Wall Street, and Thursday was no exception, with major market benchmarks soaring to recover some of their lost ground from the past several days. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 401 points to claw back much of its roughly 600-point loss Wednesday, and the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite posted even larger gains on a percentage basis. Market participants reacted favorably to positive earnings news, and after such a big decline, even bearish investors were ready to acknowledge that stocks needed a break from selling. Some companies had very good news to report, and Twitter (NYSE:TWTR), Ford Motor (NYSE:F), and Shopify (NYSE:SHOP) were among the best performers on the day. Here's why they did so well.
Twitter sings a happy song
Shares of Twitter climbed 15.5% after the social media company reported its third-quarter financial results. The microblogging specialist said that revenue was 29% higher than in the year-earlier period, with daily average user growth of 9% slowing from previous quarters but reflecting the efforts that Twitter has made to clean up its user base. Because of its purge of bots and other undesirable accounts, Twitter actually saw monthly average users fall, but advertisers are responding favorably to the strategic decision, and the fact that adjusted net income more than doubled from the third quarter of 2017 speaks volumes to the company's ability to turn a profit.
Ford gets in gear
Ford Motor stock picked up 10% in the wake of the release of the company's third-quarter financial report. The automaker said that revenue climbed 3%, but net income slumped 37% as a result of losses in key international markets in Europe, South America, and China. However, investors were pleased at how well Ford did in its home North American market, overcoming sales declines to watch pre-tax profit climb from year-earlier levels. Those overall results might not sound that impressive, but Ford shareholders have been nervous that the automaker could continue to see competitive declines. Even a less-than-ideal report was enough to calm investors' nerves, and income investors are more confident that Ford will maintain its lucrative 7% dividend yield for the foreseeable future.
Shopify makes some money
Finally, shares of Shopify rose 12%. The e-commerce facilitator said that revenue in the third quarter was higher by 58% from year-earlier levels, including 46% gains in subscription solutions and 68% in merchant solutions. Shopify also surprised investors by posting an adjusted profit of $4.5 million, and while that was down about 10% from the third quarter of 2017, it was far better than the modest loss that most of those following the company had expected. Some think that Shopify has a key role to play in the development of the Canadian cannabis market, but that's only one of the many ways that the e-commerce tool builder could benefit from improving conditions in its core market.