The stock market was surprised by the news it got on the inflation front, but major stock indexes were able to bounce back from their worst levels earlier today. After opening down about 1.5%, the S&P 500 (^GSPC 1.20%) managed to rebound to a nearly 1% gain as of 11:30 a.m. ET. The Nasdaq Composite (^IXIC 1.59%) and Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI 0.69%) also saw impressive rebounds from early losses.

Earnings season is kicking off, and a couple of key stocks gave their latest views on business conditions and the macroeconomic environment. For semiconductor giant Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (TSM 2.84%), worries about an industry slowdown had investors nervous about what the company would say. Meanwhile, Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA -0.93%) has been working toward a transformation of its business, and investors seemed to be pleased with its progress thus far. Strength from these companies could inspire gains across the market.

Taiwan Semi chips away at the competition

Shares of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing climbed nearly 7% at midday Thursday. The chipmaking giant showed strength in its core operations, flying in the face of the weaker results that some of its industry peers have posted recently.

Taiwan Semi saw revenue soar 36% year over year in U.S. dollar terms, clocking in at $20.23 billion. Adjusted earnings came in at $1.79 per American depositary receipt on net income of $9.27 billion. Earnings jumped nearly 80% in local currency terms.

CFO Wendell Huang pointed to strong demand for Taiwan Semi's small 5-nanometer technology as the driving factor in its quarterly results. Yet Huang also warned that the industry is indeed seeing a slowdown, and the CFO projected that conditions in the fourth quarter would likely see flattish results due to falling end-market demand. The company projected revenue to come in between $19.9 billion and $20.7 billion in the final quarter of 2022.

Taiwan Semi anticipates that its profit margin should remain steady, though, and that's a key component of the semiconductor giant's long-term success. That's likely what made investors happy with the report, and it could keep Taiwan Semi moving higher even as the chip sector goes through its business cycle.

Walgreens moves forward

Meanwhile, shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance climbed nearly 6% late Thursday morning. The drugstore chain announced its fiscal 2022 results for the year ending Aug. 31 and predicted it would return to a long-term growth trajectory over the next few years.

The numbers at Walgreens weren't entirely encouraging. Fiscal fourth-quarter sales were down 5.3% to $32.4 billion, as weakness in the AllianceRx business offset gains from Walgreens and the company's international segment. Quarterly adjusted earnings fell 32% to $0.80 per share. For the full year, Walgreens' sales inched higher by 0.1% to $132.7 billion, with adjusted earnings climbing 2.5% to $5.04 per share on a continuing operational basis.

Walgreens did note some big wins. Membership in its myWalgreens loyalty program rose to 102 million, and COVID-19 vaccinations and testing programs were pivotal in keeping sales up.

What investors probably liked best, though, was the idea that Walgreens might return to its former strength in the years to come. Fiscal 2023 guidance was mixed, with the expected reduction in COVID-19 vaccinations likely wiping out projected core business growth of 8% to 10%. Longer-term, Walgreens boosted its sales targets for its U.S. healthcare segment by $2 billion to a new range of $11 billion to $12 billion. With help from that segment, Walgreens expects to see adjusted earnings-per-share growth of low-teen percentages by fiscal 2025.

2025 is a long time to wait, but given Walgreens' recent performance, any light at the end of the tunnel is good news. Investors seem willing to be patient in hopes of Walgreens making it worth their while.