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Amazon and Facebook send global stock markets on billion-dollar rollercoaster

Getty Images
By @SimonEngStand
04 February 2022

mazon has booked one of the biggest opening price gains in Wall Street history, ending a rollercoaster week for US tech titans and the pension pots worldwide which rely upon them.

Shares in the e-commerce and cloud-computing giant jumped 12 % as markets opened in the US this afternoon - adding almost $170billion to its value.

It came after the company reported fourth-quarter results above expectations with sales of $137 billion after trading ended last night.

Income was further boosted by its stake in electric vehicle maker Rivian, a 17% rise in the price of Prime membership and stellar performance at its cloud computing business.

The rally helped to lift other tech players which had slumped in a sympathy sell-off after Facebook-owner Meta’s 26% collapse.

Snapchat-owner Snap rose 51% fueled by its first ever profitable quarter.

Pinterest was unable to hold onto its 32% pre-market pop but stayed in the green, up 3.7% after posting fourth-quarter results better than feared.


Billions of dollars was wiped off the value of some of the biggest US tech stocks after Facebook owner Meta suffered the biggest one-day wipeout in history: a 26.4% crash which erased $230 billion from its value.

Founder Mark Zuckerberg owns 12.8% of the stock. His paper fortune took a near $30 billion hit as investors fret his social nework is losing ad revenue and eyeballs to rivals like SnapChat and TikTok.

These are eye-watering, stomach churning moves

The movements in US stocks led to big swings in global markets.

In London the value of tech-play shares soared: BT, Vodafone, Avast and Airtel Africa stocks gained a combined £1.3 billion in value.

AFP via Getty Images

Tech investment funds such as Edinburgh Worldwide Investment Trust joined the party.

The wild gyrations have implications beyond the US, with many UK pension funds invested in tech stocks.

The UK’s workplace pension scheme invests just over 1% of contributions into Meta.

Many ordinary investors also have exposure through funds such as Baillie Gifford’s Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust and its USA Growth Trust.

Apple set the current record for added market value last week after it gained about $179 billion on the day after its earnings report.

Michael Hewson at CMC Markets said: “These are eye-watering, stomach churning moves normally associated with penny stocks, and yet they are happening in companies with billion-dollar market caps, such is the fragile nature of sentiment.”

Willem Sels, at HSBC Global Private Banking, said: “Equities are in a tug-of-war between Fed policy tightening and the earnings outlook - and nowhere is this more the case than in tech.”