The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) was up more than 86 points as of 11 a.m. EST. Dow Jones component Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) was outperforming its index, while shares of other tech stocks, including Yahoo! (NASDAQ: YHOO) and OmniVision (NASDAQ: OVTI), also moved higher.
GDP comes in below expectations
The Dow Jones' rally comes despite worse than expected economic data. U.S. GDP, a broad measure of economic activity, rose just 2.4% last quarter, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, less than the 2.5% economists had anticipated.
While slower economic growth is a poor sign for the U.S. economy, and by extension the market, investors appeared to be overlooking the data on Friday. Other economic reports, including consumer confidence and the Chicago PMI, came in better than anticipated, perhaps offsetting any decline that might be attributable to the GDP miss.
Microsoft to offer free Windows?
Microsoft was one of the Dow Jones' best-performing tech stocks, adding more than 1.2% early in the session. According to a report from TechCrunch, Microsoft is considering offering a free version of Windows that may be more dependent on Microsoft's Web services.
While a free version of Windows could weigh on Microsoft's revenue, it could also help the company to remain relevant. The expansion of mobile devices has taken a toll on Microsoft's operating system monopoly, and offering a free version of Windows could grow Redmond's market share.
Yahoo! hit by spying report
Meanwhile, Yahoo! shares rose more than 1.5% despite a report from The Guardian newspaper alleging that a British spy agency had collected footage from private Yahoo! video chats. Former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden provided the information.
The video snooping happened from 2008-2010, meaning that it may have little, if any, affect on Yahoo!'s present user engagement. Other Internet giants have been implicated in similar government spying programs, with little user backlash.
OmniVision surges on earnings
OmniVision was one of the session's best-performing tech stocks, with shares rising more than 7.6% early on Friday. The rally comes on a stronger than expected quarterly earnings report, with both revenue and profit exceeding analysts' expectations. OmniVision also grew its margins, with its gross margin rising 80 basis points from the prior quarter.
OmniVision shares have come under pressure in recent months, as investors may have feared that slowing smartphone adoption could weigh on the company's results -- as a supplier, OmniVision is susceptible to a slowdown in the mobile device market. However, OmniVision appears to be holding up quite well.