Every time I walk out of my apartment and walk past the mountain of packages left for residents in my building, I’m reminded of Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN).
By now, everyone in the United States has heard of it. You see its packages and boxes in the recycling and delivery trucks with the large, unmistakable Amazon logo. It even has its own fleet of planes that you might see at the airport. Not just an e-commerce company, it also has a music service, the top video game streaming service, payments platform, an over-the-top entertainment platform, and one of the largest web services in the United States. This is how you create a trillion-dollar company.
According to Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, it has 112 million members in its Prime loyalty program as of December 2019. That is 34% of the U.S. population, and given that people sign up as families, eMarketer takes it one step further and suggests that 82% of households have a Prime account.
Living in Washington, D.C., it’s good to see that COVID-19 cases, which peaked on April 30, continue to decline. As a result, restaurants, retail stores, and some barbershops have started to open in a limited capacity.
But that reopening isn’t happening everywhere.
There are still thousands of new cases daily across the United States and many states that have started to open back up such as Texas, California, and Florida continue to see a rise in new COVID-19 cases.
Not even a brutal market selloff can keep Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) down.
Here’s the thing. This is no ordinary bear market, one defined as a 20% drop from the previous high.
It’s the coronavirus panic that has most of the economy in a deep freeze.
As a result, physical retail stores are getting hammered. The U.S. Commerce Department says retail sales for March fell a seasonally adjusted 8.7%.
That’s the biggest one-month decline since the agency began keeping records back in 1992.
And while Amazon definitely faced some supply chain issues, the King of E-commerce came through when the nation needed the tech giant’s help the most. It delivered millions of packages to homebound families all across America.
With that performance under its belt, yesterday the firm’s stock hit a record high – a feat that few stocks can match.
The coronavirus crisis is an event like nothing we’ve seen before in our lifetimes. It’s put an unprecedented strain on our economy by forcing people to stay in their homes. The markets may be down, but many of the same high-tech innovations that drove the pre-virus economy to new heights are helping society stay connected now. That means working from home, shopping for necessities online, and keeping in touch with friends and family. In short, online infrastructure has gone from convenient to totally indispensable. This is a prime opportunity for any online innovator to rise to the occasion, and rise in value. And when this crisis passes, tech will be poised to lead the market again. Click here to watch.
When we spoke on Tuesday, I made a bold prediction: the Covid-19 outbreak, while serious, will not be as bad as the worst-case predictions would have it.
For one, much of the country is already on lock-down, cutting off the spread of the disease. That is buying us some valuable time as researchers race to find a cure or at least a good treatment option.
And I’m happy to report there have been some exciting developments in the search for treatments and vaccines against Covid-19
Last week, I noted that most vaccine research remains rooted in 1950s technology.
Despite mapping the entire human genome back in April 2004, drug firms and scientists still rely on slowly growing viruses inside chicken eggs to create a vaccine.
This takes a lot of time – and a lot of eggs.
But the Covid-19 pandemic has them racing to find a treatment using novel and fascinating science.