MAY 4 (UPI) — AFTER A MONTH OF BEST PERFORMANCE IN THE U.S. STOCK MARKET SINCE 1987, U.S. STOCKS PLUNGED FRIDAY AS TECH GIANTS REPORTED FIRST-QUARTER RESULTS HIT HARD BY THE NEW CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK, FOREIGN MEDIA REPORTED. The Standard and Poor’s 500 index and the Dow Jones Industrial Average both closed down 3 per cent, particularly as many of the world’s richest people were hit hard.
On Friday alone, nine billionaires, including Amazon’s chief executive, Jeff Bezos, lost $25 billion in net worth.
Amazon was one of the first companies to fall late Thursday after Google, Microsoft and Facebook reported quarterly results that beat analysts’ expectations for several days and sent share sledtering sharply. Shortly after closing at an all-time high, Amazon reported lower-than-expected results from Wall Street. Amazon’s prospects have also rattled Wall Street after it revealed plans to spend about $4 billion on jobs related to the new crown outbreak, including providing protective equipment to employees and raising hourly wages for temporary workers.
Amazon’s shares fell 8 percent on Friday, while Bezos’ net worth fell $10.6 billion, erasing a two-week winning streak of gains in Amazon shares, which hit a record high amid a surge in consumer demand caused by the outbreak. The company’s second-quarter earnings forecast now accounts for a net loss, which it has not reported since 2015.
Mr Bezos’s ex-wife, Mackenzie Bezos, has also suffered a scuttle in her fortunes. On Friday, her net worth fell by $3.7 billion, the second-highest figure among billionaires on the day, and she is now worth $44.8 billion.
Elon Musk, Tesla’s co-founder, was not spared, but the damage may have been self-inflicted. Musk previously tweeted: “Tesla’s stock price seems too high to me! In the next few minutes, Tesla’s share price fell 10 percent and Musk’s net worth evaporated by $2.8 billion. Meanwhile, Musk continued to set off a storm on Twitter, leading many to question his mental health.
Outside the tech sector, warren Buffett, a well-known investor, posted a $2 billion drop in net worth on Friday, its fourth-biggest drop on the day, and his fortune was almost entirely tied to Berkshire Hathaway’s stock, which fell 3 percent on Friday in line with the broader market. Unlike the tech billionaires, their shareprices are back to pre-christmas levels, while Berkshire Hathaway’s has been languishing during the outbreak, as many of the companies it invests in are laying off workers, closing retail stores and even shutting down operations. Berkshire Hathaway’s shares are down more than 20 percent from their late February highs.
Friday’s fifth-biggest loser was Larry Ellison, Oracle’s founder and chairman, whose fortune fell by $1.5 billion as the company’s share price fell. Ellison now has a net worth of $65.1 billion. By Friday, he had recovered almost all the damage caused by the new coronavirus outbreak.
Other billionaires who have lost money include Steve Ballmer, google’s former chief executive and president, with a net worth of $62.8billion, a $1.4 billion reduction; Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, whose net worth has fallen by $1.3 billion to $104.4 billion; Google co-founder Larry Page, whose net worth has fallen by $1.1 billion, and Sergey Brin, who has a net worth of $59.9 billion; and Sergey Brin. Sergey Brin’s wealth fell by $1.1 billion, leaving a net worth of $57.7 billion.