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This Week in Trading History: The Beginnings of Twitter and Amazon

This week in trading history saw the launch of two Internet giants; Twitter, originally named ‘Twttr’, and Amazon. We also saw the creation of the world's largest beer company and an unforgettable Live Aid concert...

13th July

The Live Aid concert was held, organised by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure and raising over $250 million for famine relief in Ethiopia. All artists played for free and as a result created some of the most memorable performance in their careers, including Queen, Elton John, David Bowie, Madonna, Mick Jagger and Tina Turner.

Whist already amidst a nasty strike, General Motors was forced to recall over 800,000 vehicles due to malfunctioning airbags. In several cases the airbags were being deployed during low speed collisions of when an object hit the floor pan. GM’s stock price dropped by 1-3/4 points as a result of the bad press.

14th July

American beer maker Anhueser-Busch was taken over by the Belgian company InBev on this day in a $52 billion takeover deal. The newly combined company became the largest manufacturer of beer in the world, owning well known beers such as Bud Light, Budweiser, Becks and Stella Artois.

15th July

William Boeing incorporated a company called the Pacific Aero Products Company with $100,000 in Capital. Less than a year later the company changed its name to Boeing and lunched their first product, the Boeing 1, a single engine bi-plane with floats. In March 2020, Boeing reported total assets of $143.075bn.

Netscape Communication was finally disbanded by AOL, five years after they bought them in a deal for $4.2bn in 1998. Being a part of the 90’s craze, Netscape originally had its IPO in 1995 where it completely skyrocketed, jumping 150% on the first day. Their market cap, which started at $2.7bn, rose to $16.6bn after six months. However, we all know how the story ends, and that bubble had to pop one day.

Twitter, or ‘Twttr’ as it was originally known, was launched to the public. Originally it was a service based around group SMS messages and the logo was a horrible swampy green.

16th July

The first atomic bomb was tested in New Mexico on this day. Investors watched as the Dow Jones Industrial Average began to climb again after a hard few years during World War Two. There was a sense that the war was coming to an end. Three weeks later, Hiroshima was obliterated by the atomic bomb and the war came to an end with Japan’s surrender.

The U.S. stock market teetered on the edge of closing out at 3000 on this day, however closed just below at 2999.75. This would have been the first time in US history; however, this pause at the 3000 barrier was one of the few during the market’s memorable bull market run in the 1990s.

Amazon launched their website for the first time. Originally, they just sold books for cheap and claimed to have one million titles. As they were the first company to start selling books online, within the first month they'd sold a book to every state and made $20,000 in their monthly sales. Very rough calculations to work out how much Jeff Bezos makes suggests around $6.54Bn a month.

The Dow closed above 8000 for the first time.

17th July

Bill Gates was named ‘World's Richest Man’ for the first time by Forbes magazine with a net worth of $12.9Bn. In 2020 Bill Gates' net worth was $106.5bn, however he is not the World's Richest. Forbes confirmed that Jeff Bezos takes that spot for the third year in a row with a net worth of $146.9bn. But Bill Gates is a close second…

18th July

The Dow Jones reached its peaks of 108.67 meaning a 100% gain within the year, this was the only time in history that the markets had doubled within a year. However, the markets were still suffering from the massive market decline from 1929-1932, even at this peak the index was still down more that 70% from its 1929 high.

Intel, founded by Robert Noyce and Gordon Moore, was initiated with a market cap of $2.5m. In July 2020, this market cap has risen to $252.05bn and their stocks traded at $59.53 per share.

19th July

President Carter announced that a multi million dollar sale of the latest computer technology systems to the TASS New Agency would no longer be allowed to go ahead. He also put in place new export restrictions on other technologies that could be used to gain knowledge of the latest computer systems including US Oil Producing Technology.