MARKET REPORT: Amazon joins America’s oldest stock market index in online giant’s first


Amazon has joined America’s oldest stock market index in the first reshuffle since the pandemic.

The online retail giant entered the Dow Jones Industrial Average yesterday having seen its shares rise 15 per cent so far this year, taking gains this decade to 90 per cent. But they barely shifted yesterday, inching down 0.03 per cent.

The Dow is home to 30 huge American corporate giants including Nike, Walmart, Coca-Cola and IBM. Making way for Amazon is Walgreens Boots Alliance.

Amazon is the third of the so-called Magnificent Seven tech stocks to join the index, with Microsoft entering in 1999 while Apple has been included for almost a decade.

The latest reshuffle comes as optimism over artificial intelligence has pushed Wall Street to fresh record highs. Yesterday, the Dow Jones edged up 0.01 per cent, the S&P 500 inched down 0.06 per cent and the Nasdaq rose 0.2 per cent.

Tech titan: Amazon entered the Dow Jones Industrial Average having seen its shares rise 15% so far this year, taking gains this decade to 90%

Tech titan: Amazon entered the Dow Jones Industrial Average having seen its shares rise 15% so far this year, taking gains this decade to 90%

In London, the FTSE 100 fell 0.3 per cent, or 21.98 points, to 7684.3 and the FTSE 250 slid 0.3 per cent, or 52.64 points, to 19126.92. 

Standard Chartered extended its gains as analysts at Morgan Stanley, Berenberg and JP Morgan upgraded the lender’s stock.

It came after the bank on Friday reported a 19 per cent increase in profits to £4billion, hiked its dividend, and announced a £790million share buy-back, as well as a three-year plan to cut costs by £1.2billion. Shares rose 0.2 per cent, or 1.4p, to 636.4p.

Another riser was engineer Rolls-Royce, reaching its highest level since August 2018, after its impressive results last week. Shares grew 2.3 per cent, or 8.1p, to 361.2p.

Sentiment towards Ocado soured after analysts at investment bank Peel Hunt downgraded the online supermarket and warned it had focused on consumer tech and retail for too long. Shares sank 7 per cent, or 36.9p, to 491.5p.

Miners also came under pressure, with Anglo American down 3.3 per cent, or 59.4p, to 1726.6p, Rio Tinto falling 2.5 per cent, or 130p, to 5067p and Glencore sliding 1.8pc, or 6.85p, to 368.95p.

Stock Watch – Ensilica 

Shares in Ensilica soared after it reported booming demand for its products.

The AIM-listed chip maker’s revenues rose 11.5 per cent to £9.6million in the six months to the end of November. The second half of its financial year has started well, too, with a deal signed with a major telecoms equipment supplier that could be worth more than £28million.

It also landed its first customer licence with a top semiconductor supplier. Shares, which listed at 50p in 2022, soared 28.7 per cent, or 14.5p, to 65p.

A drug made by AstraZeneca has been approved by the EU as an additional treatment to ones already being used to treat a severe blood disorder.

Shares in the pharma giant added 0.3 per cent, or 34p, to 10254p.

Birmingham Bullring owner Hammerson has sold its Union Square shopping centre in Aberdeen for £111million.

The sale to a group linked to the Lone Star Real Estate is 8 per cent below Union’s £121million price tag at the end of December.

As a result of the deal, Hammerson has completed the £500million programme it started in early 2022 to sell assets it no longer considers essential. Shares, however, inched down 0.3 per cent, or 0.08p, to 25.62p. Four fresh faces will be joining the board of Frasers Group.

The appointments made by Mike Ashley’s fashion empire, which owns Sports Direct, Jack Wills and Flannels, include Sir Jon Thompson, the former chief executive of watchdog, the Financial Reporting Council. But the shares slipped 0.3 per cent, or 2.5p, to 831.5p.

Disinfectant firm Tristel reported a record-breaking six months. The group, whose chlorine dioxide chemistry is bought by hospitals to clean medical devices, reported that revenues rose by a fifth to £20.9million in the first half to the end of December while profits jumped 44 per cent to £3.4million.

And its surface disinfection system, which provides a greener alternative to anti-bacterial wet wipes, has been approved by UK and EU regulators. Shares gained 4.4 per cent, or 20p, to 470p.

But IT service provider Made Tech headed in the other direction after clients held back on spending amid continuing economic uncertainty. Shares dropped 0.6 per cent, or 0.05p, to 8.7p.

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