Amazon shares are down 7% today and almost 11% in the last two days, breaking below its 50DMA, amid a broad tech unwind contagion and growing concerns about government crackdowns from "obsessed" Trump.
The reason is that according to Axios, it is not Facebook that Trump wants to go after, but rather Amazon: “He’s obsessed with Amazon,” a source said. “Obsessed.” According to the anonymous sources, Trump has allegedly talked about changing Amazon’s tax treatment because he’s worried about mom-and-pop retailers being put out of business.
A source who’s spoken to POTUS: “He’s wondered aloud if there may be any way to go after Amazon with antitrust or competition law."
Trump’s deep-seated antipathy toward Amazon surfaces when discussing tax policy and antitrust cases. The president would love to clip CEO Jeff Bezos’ wings. But he doesn’t have a plan to make that happen.
Behind the president's thinking: Trump's wealthy friends tell him Amazon is destroying their businesses. His real estate buddies tell him — and he agrees — that Amazon is killing shopping malls and brick-and-mortar retailers.
- Trump tells people Amazon has gotten a free ride from taxpayers and cushy treatment from the U.S. Postal Service.
- “The whole post office thing, that's very much a perception he has,” another source said. “It's been explained to him in multiple meetings that his perception is inaccurate and that the post office actually makes a ton of money from Amazon."
- Axios' Ina Fried notes: The Postal Service actually added delivery on Sunday in some cities because Amazon made it worthwhile.
- Trump also pays close attention to the Amazon founder's ownership of The Washington Post, which the president views as Bezos’ political weapon.
To be sure, speculation like this is hardly new, and reemerges periodically, although today it comes at a sensitive time for the tech sector, and Amazon in particular. As Stifel analyst Scott Devitt pointed out today, Amazon's shares are sinking after an earlier Axios report suggested that President Trump may not like the company, yet "we already know this based on numerous tweets on the topic by the president."
And all that means that Jeff Bezos has lost over $13 billion in net worth in the last two days.
Bezos lost $4.6bn yesterday and today's drop is almost double that - the biggest two-day crash in the stock in four years...
Still, at least he has his dog...