Amazon’s stock just racked up its highest close in more than two years

United States Inc. shares continued their charge higher Friday, securing their highest close in more than two years.

The e-commerce giant’s stock advanced 2.7% in Friday’s session to finish the day at $ 174.45. That was the best ending level since Dec. 9, 2021, when Amazon’s stock AMZN, +2.71% closed at $ 147.17, according to Dow Jones Market Data.

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Amazon briefly surpassed Alphabet Inc. GOOG, +2.04% GOOGL, +2.12% as the third most valuable U.S. company by market capitalization last week, though it’s since fallen back to the No. 4 spot. Still, the recent momentum for Amazon shares has been enough to help the company hold down a place in the top four even as Nvidia Corp. NVDA, +3.58% nips at its heels.

Alphabet finished Friday’s session with a $ 1.86 trillion market cap, while Amazon’s was $ 1.81 trillion and Nvidia’s was $ 1.78 trillion.

Wall Street had a mixed reaction to earnings from big technology companies this quarter, but Amazon’s results were among those that were well received.

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“Overall the overhangs which kept a lid on AMZN?shares — e-commerce deceleration in 2021, e-commerce deceleration and margin compression in 2022 and AWS deceleration in 2023 — will have dissipated throughout 2024,” UBS analyst Stephen Ju wrote in a note to clients following those results.

The company has been a huge driver of earnings growth for the S&P 500 consumer discretionary sector, as its quarterly earnings per share grew to $ 1 in the latest quarter from 3 cents a year before. The consumer discretionary sector is now expected to post 33% growth in EPS for the fourth quarter, according to FactSet, but without Amazon, that would swing to a decline of about 1%.