A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York. (Photographer: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg)

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U.S. stocks rallied strongly after a rout had sent equities into negative territory for the year. Amazon and Alphabet missed some expectations, while Intel beat. Here are some of the things people in markets are talking about.

Stocks Stage a Comeback

U.S. stocks surged back into positive territory, with the Nasdaq Composite Index registering its biggest increase since March, a day after a broad-based rout sent equities negative for the year. Yields on Treasuries rose and the dollar strengthened to the highest level this year. The S&P 500 Index finished higher for the first time in seven days, propelled by strong earnings results from Twitter, Microsoft and Tesla. The Dow Jones Industrial Average surged 400 points, after tumbling 600 points Wednesday. European stocks edged higher. The sentiment has been darker in Asia, but stocks looked set to end a torrid week with gains following the U.S. rally. Oil advanced from a two-month low.

Mixed Tech Earnings

Amazon.com sales and operating-income forecasts fell short of analyst estimates, sending its shares 6 percent lower in after-market trading. Third-quarter operating income exceeded forecasts, though sales were below estimates. The web-services division saw sales rise 46 percent year-on-year, while ad sales soared 123 percent. Google parent Alphabet reported third-quarter revenue that missed Wall Street projections, squeezed by payouts to partners for distributing its money-making search engine and web browser. The positive standout was Intel, which gave a positive forecast for revenue in the current quarter, boosted by a surprising surge in demand for chips used in personal computers.

Alibaba’s Own Chips

Soon, as trials expand, millions of Shanghai subway riders may not need cash, or a wallet, or even a cellphone to get around. They’ll just need Alibaba. The company’s ambitions in China, from facial recognition in subways to cloud computing, have never required more computing power. To satisfy its own bottomless demand, Alibaba Group Holding has added a member to its corporate family: Pingtou Ge, a subsidiary that will design semiconductors tailored for artificial intelligence. It’s part of the company’s pledge to heave $15 billion into research and development on AI.

Malaysia and LGBT Rights

Going against a growing tide of legal reforms sweeping the region, Malaysia’s Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said Asia didn’t need to “copy” the West in accepting its lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender citizens. Mahathir said Western countries were disregarding the traditional family unit by allowing gay marriages and permitting gay couples to adopt children. His comments come after India’s Supreme Court struck down a 158-year-old colonial-era law banning gay sex, Australia legalized same-sex marriage and a Hong Kong court granted visa rights to same-sex expatriate couples in Asia’s premier financial hub.

Coming Up…

In addition to a strong rally in equities, Asian traders can parse the words of Mario Draghi, who played down risks to the economy as he set the European Central Bank up for a weightier meeting in December, when policy makers will have new forecasts. Friday's data docket in Asia is a light one, with Malaysian CPI and Singapore industrial production the highlights.

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