Apple Becomes World’s Most Valuable Company; Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos $7B Richer As Earnings Pump Stocks

Apple became the world’s most valuable company Friday, dethroning state oil giant Saudi Aramco, and Amazon founder-CEO Jeff Bezos saw his net worth surge as stocks jumped following a round of stellar tech earnings.

Apple and Amazon (along with Facebook and Google parent Alphabet) all reported second-quarter numbers after the market closed Thursday showcasing financials that blew past Wall Street’s expectations and appeared to withstand the economic ravages of COVID-19. Apple surged more than 10% to close above $425 with a market cap of $1.84 trillion, overtaking Saudi Aramco, at $1.76 trillion, as the world’s most valuable company — one that’s pushing towards a market capitalization of $2 trillion.

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The strong earnings and stock performance followed testimony by the four tech titans at an antitrust hearing on Capitol Hill on Wednesday to explore whether these companies are too big and should be broken up. The executives argued that they face stiff competition across their businesses and anyway do much more good than harm.

It will soon be easier to afford a share or two of Apple, which declared a 4-for-1 stock split effective August 31. The company’s almost $60 billion in sales in the quarter were up 11% from a year ago. It also set an October date to start shipping the next iPhone.

Shares of Amazon closed up 3.7% at $3,164 — off its high for the day of $3,244. Founder and chief executive Jeff Bezos owns 11% of the company, meaning his net worth surged by around $7 billion in a day, according to calculations by MarketWatch. Amazon reported sales of $88.9 billion for the quarter. It ended the day with a market cap of about $1.6 trillion.

Facebook shares also roared, gaining more than 8% to close at a new high of $253 and a market cap of $724 billion. Sales for the three months ended in June rose 11% year over year to $18.7 billion and global users hit 2.7 billion.

All three way outperformed the broader market. The DJIA was up 0.44%, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq up 1.49%.

Alphabet was the only tech downer in Friday’s session, slipping 2.17% to $1,482 for a market cap of just over $1 trillion.

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