Amazon posted one of the biggest opening price gains in Wall Street history, ending a roller-coaster week for America’s tech titans and the pension pots around the world that depend on them.
Shares of the e-commerce and cloud computing giant jumped 12% as markets opened in the United States this afternoon, adding nearly $170 billion to its value.
It came after the company reported fourth-quarter results that beat expectations with sales of $137 billion after trading ended last night.
Revenues were further boosted by its stake in electric vehicle maker Rivian, a 17% increase in the price of Prime membership and the outstanding performance of its cloud computing business.
The rally helped lift other tech players that had crashed into a sympathy selloff after Facebook owner Meta’s 26% slump.
Snap, owner of Snapchat, grew 51% on its profitable first quarter.
Pinterest was unable to hold on to its 32% pre-market pop but remained in the green, up 3.7% after reporting better-than-expected fourth-quarter results.
Billions of dollars have been wiped from the value of some of America’s biggest tech stocks after Facebook owner Meta suffered the biggest one-day wipeout in history: a 26.4% crash that erased $230 billion of its value.
Founder Mark Zuckerberg owns 12.8% of the shares. His paper fortune has taken a nearly $30 billion hit as investors worry his social network will lose ad revenue and looks to rivals like SnapChat and TikTok.
These are movements that make the eyes water and make the stomach turn
Movements in US equities have led to wild swings in global markets.
In London, the value of tech-play stocks soared: shares of BT, Vodafone, Avast and Airtel Africa gained a combined value of £1.3 billion.
Technology investment funds such as Edinburgh Worldwide Investment Trust have joined the party.
The wild swings have implications beyond the US, with many UK pension funds invested in tech stocks.
The UK Workplace Pension Scheme invests just over 1% of contributions in Meta.
Many ordinary investors also have exposure through funds such as Baillie Gifford’s Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust and his USA Growth Trust.
Apple set the current record for market value added last week after earning around $179 billion the day after its earnings report.
Michael Hewson of CMC Markets said: “These are stomach-churning moves that are normally associated with penny stocks, and yet they happen in companies with billion-dollar market caps, such is the fragile nature of feeling.”
Willem Sels, of HSBC Global Private Banking, said: “Equities are in a tug of war between Fed policy tightening and earnings prospects – and nowhere is this more the case than in technology. .”