The stock market managed to mount a modest recovery on Thursday morning, following a terrible Wednesday that saw the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) post its worst drop in months. Investors remain concerned about the steep upward trend in COVID-19 cases, which bodes ill for the coming winter. Yet good news on the economic front seemed to give market participants some optimism. Shortly after 11:15 a.m. EDT, the Dow was up 94 points to 26,614. The S&P 500 (SNPINDEX:^GSPC) picked up 30 points to 3,301, and the Nasdaq Composite (NASDAQINDEX:^IXIC) moved higher by 156 points to 11,160.

Earnings reports continued to come out, with earnings season hitting its peak this week. Ford Motor (NYSE:F) moved higher after its latest results, and Pinterest (NYSE:PINS) was an even bigger winner on rising excitement about the visually oriented social media company's efforts to fully monetize its platform.

Driving higher

Ford shares were up 4% on Thursday morning. The automaker saw earnings soar from year-ago levels, and it set new expectations that made investors happy about its future prospects.

Ford's revenue was higher by 1% year over year, with wholesale units actually falling 5% to 1.18 million. However, adjusted earnings almost doubled from the third quarter of 2019. Adjusted free cash flow soared to $6.3 billion, giving Ford ample resources to look at ways to foster its long-term growth.

Ford Bronco going through sand in a desert.

Image source: Ford.

The gains at Ford came from better business execution and reflected the fruits of efforts to focus on the automaker's highest-profit product lines, including pickups and SUVs. A strong performance at Ford's credit division also contributed to the favorable quarterly results. Yet New CEO Jim Farley emphasized that there's still plenty of work for Ford to do, and he outlined the continuing elements of its turnaround plan.

Of particular interest to car enthusiasts is Ford's expected launch of three new vehicles. A hybrid electric version of the F-150 pickup, the Bronco Sport model, and the all-electric Mustang Mach-E are all coming before 2020 ends, and Ford is looking to embrace the electric vehicle movement. Add to that guidance for Ford to make a profit for the full year 2020, and it's understandable why the stock is higher.

A first-place pin for Pinterest

Pinterest did even better, with its stock climbing 29%. The social media company gave investors a glowing report on its financial progress, reassuring those who'd worried about Pinterest's ability to monetize its platform effectively.

Pinterest saw big gains in key metrics. Revenue soared 58% year over year. The company reported a 37% jump in global monthly active users, hitting the 442 million mark. And although Pinterest still lost money, its net losses shrank by almost a quarter from the year-ago period.

Even more encouraging was Pinterest's guidance for the rest of the year. The company sees revenue in the fourth quarter climbing at an even more impressive 60% pace. Pinterest admitted that the COVID-19 pandemic creates some uncertainty, both in terms of its business strength and with the expenses it's incurring to support a more remote working environment in house.

Investors had been hopeful that Pinterest would do well, especially given the performance of other social media companies in similar positions. That seems to be the case, and Pinterest still has a long growth runway ahead of it that could bring great results in future quarters as well.

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