Amazon overtakes Microsoft as most valuable US firm amid market turmoil

Amazon has eclipsed Microsoft as the most valuable publicly traded company in the US as a see-sawing stock market continues to reshuffle corporate America’s pecking order.

The shift occurred on Monday after Amazon’s shares rose 3% to close at 1,629.51 dollars and lifted the e-commerce leader’s market value to 797 billion dollars (£624 billion).

Microsoft’s stock edged up by less than 1% to finish at 102.06 dollars, leaving the computer software maker’s value at 784 billion dollars (£614 billion).

It is the first time Amazon has held the top spot and ends Microsoft’s brief return to the pinnacle after it surpassed Apple in late November.

(Andrew Matthews/PA)

The repositioning has been triggered by mounting concerns that the Trump administration’s trade war with China and rising interest rates will bog down the worldwide economy.

If that were to happen, it would be likely to slow the growth of companies in technology and other industries that generate a substantial chunk of their revenue outside the US.

That is one reason most technology stocks are well off their peaks.

Amazon remains 21% below its high reached in September when the company’s stock value stood above a trillion dollars.

Apple was worth even more back then, but its stock has plunged by 37% since early October to erase about 400 billion dollars of its market value.

Apple confirmed some of investors’ worst fears last week when it warned that disappointing demand for iPhones, especially in China, caused its revenue for its most recent quarter to fall well below the projections of its management and industry analysts.