Facebook Inc's fast-growing mobile advertising business helped drive a 61 percent increase in revenue during the second quarter, beating Wall Street's financial targets and sending shares to a record-high in after-hours trading on Wednesday. The world's No.1 Internet social network said on Wednesday that it saw increased interest from both advertisers and from users during the second quarter. Facebook now counts 1.5 million advertising customers and the company's ad business saw strong growth across all of its geographic regions in the second quarter, Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg told Reuters in an interview on Wednesday. Facebook said that mobile advertising revenue represented 62 percent of its ad revenue in the second quarter, up from 41 percent in the year-ago period and 59 percent in the first quarter of 2014.
Stocks ended mostly higher on Wednesday, with the S&P 500 closing at a record on Apple's bullish results, though Boeing weighed on the Dow and conflicts in Ukraine and the Gaza Strip kept the broader market's gains in check. The Nasdaq Biotech index jumped 2.2 percent in its fourth straight day of gains. Apple Inc gave one of the biggest lifts to the market, rising 2.6 percent to $97.19 as concerns faded about the iPhone maker's margins. Dow component Microsoft Corp rose 0.1 percent to $44.87 after the company said it aimed to get its money-losing Nokia phone unit to break even within two years.
General Motors Co on Wednesday announced six recalls covering 717,950 vehicles in the United States for varying reasons, although none were related to ignition switch issues. GM has recalled nearly 15 million vehicles worldwide this year for potentially lethal issues with ignition switches. Vehicles involved in the recalls announced Wednesday have been linked to two crashes and three injuries but no deaths, GM said. Most of GM's recalls this year have been for older models, but many of the recalls announced Wednesday are for current-model vehicles, including about 57,000 Chevrolet Impala sedans from the 2014 model year for the loss of power steering.