Amazon's first-quarter results rose 18 per cent, beating expectations and sending its shares nearly two per cent higher in aftermarket trading.
Spain's economy is growing at its fastest rate since 2008, with Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy saying growth would exceed government forecasts.
Starbucks says global sales at established locations rose six per cent for its second quarter, including in the US, where it has more than 11,000 cafes.
Visa has reported net income of $US1.6 billion or $2.52 per share, for the three months that ended March 31.
Oil prices have risen as the market reacted to escalating tensions between Russia and Ukraine.
Microsoft net income for the third quarter through to March 31 came to $US5.66 billion, down from $US6.06 billion a year ago.
The S&P 500 advanced 3.22 (0.17 per cent) to 1,878.61, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average was unchanged at 16,501.65.
General Motors has confirmed that the US Attorney's office in New York is investigating the company's delay in a two million car recall.
European stock markets have closed on a positive note, with the euro easing slightly against the dollar because of escalating tensions in Ukraine.
Johnson & Johnson chief executive Alex Gorsky says the company is poised to lead the health care industry.
US durable goods orders rose by 2.6 per cent to $US234.8 billion in March, well above the consensus estimate of 2.0 per cent.
Applications for unemployment aid in the US have jumped 24,000, likely reflecting temporary layoffs before Easter.
Swiss pharmaceuticals giant Novartis has posted a 24-per cent jump in first-quarter net profit.
Asian markets have ended mixed following losses on Wall Street.
Brewer Heineken says its business in Western Europe grew by 3.4 per cent, but earnings were lower.
Stocks of interest on the Australian Securities Exchange at close on Thursday
Ruralco says it expects to post a half year net profit of between $4.5 million and $5 million in May.
Energy stocks are continuing to rise on hopes opposition parties seeking to regulate the sector won't be calling the shots after the election.
There was no surprise when the Reserve Bank of New Zealand hiked its official cash rate on Thursday but the NZ dollar rose anyway.
New figures show car production is surging, driven by European demand.
Hong Kong shares have closed 0.24 per cent higher following two days of losses.
Whitehaven Coal has reduced production guidance by up to 900,000 tonnes due to problems at its mines.
Zynga's Mark Pincus is stepping down as chief product officer but will remain as chairman of the company he founded in 2007.
Stocks of interest on the Australian Securities Exchange at noon on Thursday
Ratings agency Moody's has cut Cuba's credit rating a notch citing its vulnerability to a shock increase in fuel costs and its rocky political transition.
The new Heathrow Terminal 2 should be pleasant and desired destination thanks to its use of natural light, its lead architect Luis Vidal says.
Business-focused electricity provider ERM Power has secured $1 billion worth of contracts, but also downgraded its profit forecast.
Tokyo stocks have closed down 0.97 per cent after an apparent failure by the US and Japanese leaders to clinch a trade deal.
A solid report on the eurozone's PMI, which jumped to 54 points in March, has boosted the euro against the greenback.
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