Some highlights from the day's business news:
Stocks hit fresh highs as dollar weakens
U.S. stocks rose to multi-year highs on Thursday, as investors dismissed a series of mixed earnings reports as well as disappointing economic news.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 72 points, or 0.6%; to close at 12,763.
Boeing led the Dow higher, with its shares rising more than 3% a day after the company reported its quarterly results. Exxon Mobil was among the biggest drag on the blue-chip index, after it reported sales that fell short of forecasts. Exxon Mobil's stock slid less than 1%.
S&P 500 rose 5 points, or 0.4%, to 1,360; and the Nasdaq Composite rose a modest 3 points, or 0.1%, to 2,873.
Both the Dow and the S&P 500 ended at levels not seen since May 2008.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq was weighed down by shares of Akamai Technologies, which dropped 14% after the company warned that sales would fall short of expectations. Still the Nasdaq closed at its highest level since December 2000.
Microsoft profit soars 31% on strong Office and Kinect sales
Microsoft likes to talk about how its business doesn't rely on personal computer sales to consumers. It proved the point this quarter.
While consumer PC sales dropped 8%, Microsoft's profit rose 31%. The company's overall sales were up 13%, to $16.4 billion.
"Despite the mixed PC environment, we delivered strong results," Todd Setcavage, Microsoft's new director of investor relations, said in an interview right after the company's earnings announcement. "It really speaks to the breadth of our businesses."
Sales of the Xbox and the controllerless Kinect add-on were incredibly strong. Revenue in Microsoft's entertainment division rose 60% to nearly $2 billion, as it sold 2.7 million Xboxes and 2.4 million Kinects.
CNNMoney.com contributing writer Ken Sweet and writer David Goldman contributed to this report.