Amazon shares eye record high ahead of a predicted bumper earnings season for Big Tech

Amazon shares touched an all-time high last night ahead of a bumper earnings season for Big Tech that could generate profits of more than £90billion.

Shares in the e-commerce and cloud computing behemoth rose more than 1 per cent to a high of $187.29 before closing at $185.19.

That left Amazon within touching distance of its record close of $186.57 in July 2021.

Rivals including Facebook owner Meta, Microsoft and Nvidia have all hit record highs in recent weeks.

The rally comes as the so-called Magnificent Seven stocks – Alphabet, Apple, Amazon, Meta, Microsoft, Tesla and Nvidia – prepare to post quarterly figures.

Tech boom: Amazon shares rose more than 1% to a high of $187.29 before closing at $185.38, within touching distance of its record close of $186.57 in July 2021

They are expected to post sales totalling £360billion and profits of £92billion.

The period covers the first three months of 2024 for all but Nvidia, whose first quarter is the three months to the end of April.

But while the Magnificent Seven all delivered stellar returns last year, the first quarter of 2024 has seen a big divergence in fortunes.

Shares in chip designer and artificial intelligence (AI) specialist Nvidia are up some 75 per cent already this year having more than tripled in value last year. 

By contrast, Tesla shares are down around 30 per cent having doubled last year.

Ahead of the looming results season, Tesla last week revealed it delivered 386,810 new cars in the three months to the end of March – down 8.5 per cent on the same period last year.

That was the first year-on-year drop for four years and sent shares tumbling as investors fretted over what could be a bleak set of results later this month.

Tesla’s woes have seen chief executive Elon Musk lose his position as the world’s richest man.

According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, he is fourth with a fortune of £143billion after being overtaken by LVMH boss Bernard Arnault on £177billion, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos with £164billion and now Mark Zuckerberg, whose wealth hit £148billion following a near-sixfold rise in Meta’s share price over the past 18 months.

Dan Ives, at Wedbush Securities said: ‘Big Tech is flexing its muscles as the strong get stronger with another robust earnings season on deck.’

Microsoft AI hub in London 

Microsoft is opening an artificial intelligence (AI) hub in London – just a year after saying Britain was a bad place to invest.

The US tech giant said the division – part of its plan to plough £2.5bn into the UK – will be run by Mustafa Suleyman, the British co-founder of AI giant DeepMind, which is owned by Google. Suleyman hailed the ‘enormous pool of AI talent and expertise in the UK’.

Last year, Microsoft president Brad Smith declared that Europe was ‘a more attractive place’ to do business than Britain, in a row with regulators over its bid to take over video games maker Activision Blizzard.