How Amazon Became the Most Valuable Public Company in the World

Amazon.com Inc. is at the top of its game.

The multinational tech and retail business is now the world’s most valuable public company, ending Monday’s trading session up nearly 3.5 percent with a market capitalization of $796.8 billion. Although less than its value of $1 trillion in September, the figure put Amazon ahead of Microsoft Corp., which rose 0.1 percent to be worth $783.4 billion after taking Apple Inc.’s place just over a month ago.

The Seattle-based company has not been immune to the stock market’s volatility in recent months. In its third-quarter earnings report, Amazon recorded disappointing revenues and a weaker outlook for the all-important holiday shopping season. Despite positive sales numbers, it saw shares drop 10 percent in extended trading on Oct. 25 following the earnings announcement.

However, the e-tail giant announced post-Christmas that its customers around the world ordered more items from its site than ever during the holidays, with tens of millions of people signing up for free trials or paid memberships for Amazon Prime. (It did not disclose the revenue generated and is expected to deliver fourth-quarter earnings results in early February.)

Amazon’s market cap title also comes shortly after retail and tech stocks kicked off 2019 with sharp losses due to global economic and political concerns. The ongoing United States-China trade war, the Federal Reserve’s interest rate hike and the contraction of China’s manufacturing sector have all spooked investors, who witnessed Wall Street’s worst trading week since the 2008 financial crisis.

Since the start of the year, Amazon has remained in the green, with shares up 8.5 percent to rebound from a rough period for the market. As of 11 a.m. ET, its stock climbed 10.21 points, or 0.63 percent, to $1,639.72.

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