The S&P 500 may be in negative territory this year, but Amazon.com Inc. has been one of the standouts, despite the economic damage done by the coronavirus pandemic. Bloomberg reported that stock in the Seattle-based global eCommerce company has soared by nearly 20 percent since January.
This makes Amazon one of the 10 biggest percentage gainers among its S&P rivals and puts the company back above the $1 trillion market capitalization threshold, the news service said.
Amazon shares rose 5.4 percent at mid-day on Tuesday (April 14), taking it past a record hit earlier this year, according to Yahoo! Finance. The world’s largest online retailer, which has 750,000 employees, is expected to report its first-quarter results later this month.
The company’s success in the stock market comes as governors across the U.S. have ordered most stores to close to protect the public from the COVID-19 crisis. The advance in the stock comes in stark contrast to the overall U.S. equity market, which has struggled in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, Bloomberg wrote.
Still, it’s not all good news for Amazon.
The company was ordered by a French court to temporarily sell only essential food, hygiene and health items after labor unions said they failed to protect staff from the virus. The ruling gave Amazon 24 hours to comply before facing fines of one million euros, or $1.1 million, for each day’s delay.
Amazon “evidently failed to comply with obligations to protect the health of employees,” judges said in their Tuesday (April 14) ruling, per a Bloomberg report. The court also said the retail platform should carry out a more thorough evaluation of the coronavirus risks in its warehouses. Amazon declined to immediately comment.
Last month, Amazon said it was looking to transfer employees to its grocery bagging division as the need for grocery delivery has risen sharply due to the coronavirus. As a result, Amazon’s warehouse employees will have the option to transfer to Whole Foods’ grocery team. If they do so, they will earn higher pay of $19 per hour, the company said.