Amazon shares hit $1,000 for first time

Amazon book storeImage copyright

Shares in online retail giant Amazon have risen above the $1,000 mark for the first time.

The shares touched $1,001.20 at one point in early trade before slipping back to $998. It originally listed its shares in May 1997 for just $18 each.

Amazon now has a market capitalisation of about $478bn, which is more than twice that of Wal-Mart.

After starting as a bookseller, it has steadily expanded to become much broader-based retailer.

According to consultancy Slice Intelligence. Amazon now accounts for about 43% of all online sales in the US.

Amazon is now the fourth-largest US company by market capitalisation, behind Apple, Google owner Alphabet and Microsoft.

Alphabet’s class A shares were also close to hitting four figures on Tuesday, trading at $995, meaning the company is worth $681bn.

Despite the rise in Amazon’s share price, the Nasdaq index – of which Amazon is a member – was down 4.03 points at 6,206.17.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 30.36 points to 21,049.92 while the wider SP 500 index slid 2.30 points to 2,413.52 as investors picked their way through a raft of US economic data.

Figures from the Commerce Department showed that consumer spending posted its biggest rise for four months in April, climbing 0.4%. That followed an upwardly revised 0.3% increase in March.

Separate data showed the personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index rose by 0.2% in April, following a 0.2% fall in March. Prices in April were up 1.7% from a year earlier, although that was down from March’s figure of 1.9%.

The so-called core PCE price index – which strips out food and energy prices, and is the Federal Reserve’s favoured inflation measure – showed a 1.5% annual rise, compared with a 1.6% increase in March.

The Fed targets a rate of 2% for the core PCE index. Many analysts expect that the US central bank will raise interest rates when it meets next month.