Business

Amazon shares rise ahead of Prime Day

NYSE traders Image copyright Reuters

Investors boosted shares of Amazon on Monday in anticipation of strong sales during the firm's heavily promoted summer discount day.

Amazon's global sales during the Prime Day event could approach $1bn, according to a JP Morgan forecast.

The firm's shares rose 1.8% amid wider gains for tech stocks on Wall Street.

However, traditional retailers fared less well, with shares in Best Buy and Macy's falling more than 6% and Kohl's stock dropping nearly 5%.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq index rose 0.4% to 6,176.39, lifted by Amazon as well as Google-owner Alphabet and Facebook.

The Dow Jones and S&P 500 finished little changed at 21,408.52 and 2,427.43 respectively.

Prime time

For members of Amazon's subscription service, the sales event - which starts on Monday night - means discounts on items ranging from its voice-activated Echo robot, through to diamond stud earrings and chewing gum.

The JP Morgan forecast of $1bn sales would represent about 55% growth over last year.

Amazon has not disclosed how many people are Prime members, but recent reports have suggested the count in the US could be as many as 85 million - more than a quarter of the US population.

JP Morgan said it expected the sales event to have an effect on shares of rival firms, such as Walmart, which had not been affected in prior years. The retailer's stock fell 2.8% on Monday.

"One can easily argue the retail environment and e-commerce threat is a significantly larger and more sensitive topic this year," the note said.