Best Stocks for 2018:, Inc. Does What It Always Does

AMZN - Best Stocks for 2018:, Inc. Does What It Always Does

Editor’s note: This column is part of our Best Stocks for 2018 contest. The readers’ choice pick for the contest is, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN).

Volatility has started to rise in the markets, but one thing that hasn’t changed?, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), the readers’ choice pick for our 2018 contest, continues to be a ridiculously good stock to invest in.

Like much of the stock market in 2018, it has had to contend with fears brought on by the words and actions of President Donald Trump, though in Amazon’s case it was less about broad trade war fears and more about Trump’s continuing animus toward the company. His latest volley once again mostly took the form of complaining about Amazon’s deal with the U.S. Postal Service.

While AMZN generally takes short-term hits in the wake of the president’s wild volleys, it still managed to be up 23.8% over the first quarter. The stock is still pulling back as Trump continues to harp on his latest talking point, but even now, it’s up about 17%. For comparison, the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (NYSEARCA:SPY) is in the red.

Why does Amazon continue to show such strength?

Well, there are a few reasons, but most of them are the same reasons as it was a great stock for most of last year.

First, its most recent earnings report was a stellar display, with both the top and bottom lines coming in above estimates. In fact, its profits of nearly $2 billion actually broke company records. Amazon Prime was a big star, with its subscription fees up close to 50%. The service continues to add incentives, from its Prime Now service to exclusive television shows and more.

And don’t forget that Amazon Web Services took yet another leap forward last quarter, with its operating income up 46%.

But that’s just the financials. One of the biggest things in Amazon’s favor for years has been its new approach to a variety of sectors and businesses, changing and disrupting as they go.

The latest push is Amazon Go. While there were initially some difficulties with this store concept, the first one has officially opened in Seattle. Amazon Go is a store where you can just grab what you need and, well, go, with sensors tallying up what you picked up and charging your Amazon account after you leave. It’s not clear yet if this is going to catch on, but it is a sign that Amazon is still doing what it has always done — trying new things and keeping the winners.

Is Amazon going to take the prize in 2018’s Best Stocks contest? No one can tell for sure. We’re only a quarter of the way through the year and as previously stated, the president seems to have a hate-on for the company. But Amazon has held up well so far, staying strong in second place, so it definitely has a fighting chance.

Jessica Loder is an assistant editor at As of this writing, she did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. 

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