Microsoft gave Wall Street hope, but then the cloud forecast turned dark

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MarketWatch First Take

After Microsoft’s and Amazon’s stocks briefly gained on decent Azure results, executives detail a decline late in the year that is expected to last, suggesting cloud growth will stay muted

A Microsoft store in New York on Friday.

Bloomberg

Microsoft Corp. sparked a relief rally for the cloud Tuesday, then rained on that parade after less than two hours of joy.

Microsoft MSFT reported slightly disappointing holiday-quarter results, but the Azure cloud-computing business topped Wall Street’s expectations and initially sent shares higher in after-hours trading. Other cloud businesses — including the only rival believed to have a bigger market share than Microsoft, Amazon.com Inc. AMZN — joined in the fun with after-hours gains.

On…

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