Microsoft's Surge Boosts the S&P 500 Today

Microsoft's Surge Boosts the S&P 500 Today

Microsoft is up more than 6% today after crushing earnings expectations. Microsoft's jump is not enough to give S&P 500 life today: As of 1:30 p.m. EDT, the S&P 500 is up 0.16% to 1,755, and the largest exchange-traded fund tracking the S&P 500, the SPDR S&P 500 , is up 0.17% to $175.43.

Microsoft reported earnings after the market close yesterday that crushed expectations. The PC software giant reported earnings of $0.62 per share -- a 17% increase and better than analyst expectations of $0.54. Revenue came in at $18.5 billion, a 16% increase that surpassed analyst expectations of $17.8 billion. The results were driven by business users of Microsoft's products who increased their purchases of Microsoft's cloud and productivity products. Perhaps Microsoft is taking business from competitors Oracle and IBM in the server markets, as they both have reported lackluster sales the past quarter. This quarter's earnings show that investors' worry over the death of the PC may be overdone.

Also rising in the tech space is Amazon , up 8.3%. The company reported that its revenue rose 24% to $17.1 billion, beating analyst estimates of $16.8 billion. The company continues to report no earnings. Investors in Amazon believe that the company's earnings power is masked by its continued expansion and that at some point the company will produce earnings. Others are not so sure. In the meantime, investors are giving Jeff Bezos a long leash to take a long-term view of what he thinks is the best strategy for the company.

Finally, Zynga is up 89.2% after the company posted better-than-expected sales results and a lower-than-expected loss. The social-gaming company reported a loss of $0.02 per share, beating analysts' expectations of a $0.04 loss. Revenue was $202 million, down 33% from last year but better than analyst expectations of $189 million. The company continues to lose users, reporting monthly active users of 133 million -- a 50% year-over-year loss.

The technology sector is a fascinating area to watch but a scary place to invest.

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Dan Dzombak can be found on Twitter @DanDzombak or on his Facebook page, DanDzombak. He has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends The Motley Fool owns shares of and Microsoft. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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