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Amazon's stock is 'not without risk': Analyst

Amazon (AMZN) may be in the middle of its Prime Day shopping bonanza, but that doesn’t mean the stock is without risk.

Shares of the online retailing giant have been on a tear, up more than 30% so far this year, outpacing the S&P 500’s nearly 20% gain. Still, Amplify ETF’s CEO Christian Magoon tells Yahoo Finance’s “The First Trade” that the stock has more downside risk going forward.

“These risks are real and could create some significant volatility for Amazon’s near all-time high stock price towards the end of July,” he says.

Headwinds on the horizon

Magoon points to unresolved trade issues with China and Amazon’s heavy reliance on its clouding computing business for growth, as possible headwinds. He says Amazon Web Services (AWS) business faces stiff competition from Microsoft (MSFT) and Google (GOOG).

“In the next week or two however, Amazon is likely to continue to be a market darling,” Magoon says. “Our view is that Amazon needs to be owned, but as part of an overall basket of online retail stocks in order to diversify business and geographic risks.”

Amazon is part of Amplify’s online retail ETF (IBUY), which is the largest of its kind with $282.91 million under management.

“Believe it or not, Amazon is only the 14th best-performing online retail stock in our ETF this year,” says Magoon. “So 13 other retailers have outperformed their stock valuation.”

Singer Taylor Swift performs at Amazon Music's Prime Day concert at the Hammerstein Ballroom on Wednesday, July 10, 2019, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

Magoon expects Amazon’s sales from its Prime Day event to top $5 billion this year, as it adds 12 more hours to its shopping holiday and expands to 18 countries. In 2018, Amazon’s 36-hour Prime Day racked up a record $4 billion in sales.

He believes competitors, including Walmart (WMT) and Target (TGT), could see another billion dollars in sales from their own discounts over the next 24-48 hours.

Presidential risk for Amazon

Another possible negative for Amazon? The upcoming U.S. presidential election.

“Amazon is so big, that it’s a target for many of the political characters running around today,” says Magoon.

And the presidential risk for Amazon will only get bigger, as candidates take aim at giant companies they say have monopolistic characteristics. “I think Amazon will likely come up more and more as we edge towards election day 2020,” he says.

President Trump has had a very public battle with Amazon CEO and Washington Post owner, Jeff Bezos. The company is also a frequent target of Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Bernie Sanders, who has been a vocal critic of Amazon’s working conditions and wages.

In fact, some employees in the U.S. and Europe are walking off the job for periods of time during this Prime Day event to protest how the company treats its workers.

They say that although Amazon has raised hourly wages by more than double the federal minimum to between $16 and $20, the company sets unrealistic expectations and quotas.

“I think that makes investors fearful that regulatory action or maybe even some FTC investigations could maybe could come down on Amazon,” says Magoon.

“Amazon is not without risk,” Magoon says, “but certainly today is a great day for the company and to see this juggernaut continue to go well past the $2,000 per share mark is amazing.”

Alexis Christoforous is co-anchor of Yahoo Finance’s “The First Trade.” Follow her on Twitter @AlexisTVNews.

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