UPDATED with closing price. Amazon stock fell more than 2% on an otherwise bullish day on Wall Street in the wake of tweets by President Donald Trump assailing the company’s impact on retail, level of tax payments and straining of U.S. Postal Service resources. By the close of trading, though, shares rallied to close up 1% at $1,447.34.
“I have stated my concerns with Amazon long before the Election,” Trump wrote in a single tweet with liberal capitalization. “Unlike others, they pay little or or no taxes to state & local governments, use our Postal System as their Delivery Boy (causing tremendous loss to the U.S.), and are putting many thousands of retailers out of business!”
After a long runup over the past year, Amazon’s stock has hit a rough patch, declining nearly 10% over the past week to its current level of about $1,400 a share. Despite posting spectacular earnings over the past several quarters, it has been lumped in with other tech companies in a selloff as Facebook looks to manage its data crisis and suspicion grows about other giants like Google and Netflix. Today, though, other companies are in positive territory, while Amazon remains in the red.
While Trump’s tweet didn’t mention it, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ purchase of the Washington Post, which has aggressively covered the Trump Administration and elicited many derogatory tweets from Trump over the past couple years, is also a factor. Unlike the bitterly partisan fights over media coverage, though, Trump’s tweet appeared to strike a chord with people on either side of the aisle given the state of retail lately. Toys R Us folded a few weeks ago, and downtowns even in major cities are seeing record vacancy rates and a preponderance of “zombie malls.” Alan Patricof, the legendary venture capitalist who has long supported Hillary Clinton and other Democrats, told CNBC this morning that Amazon is “taking over the whole retail world with what it’s doing with small businesses.”
Amazon thus far has not responded publicly to the president’s charges.