Amazon joins $1 trillion club, on pace to overtake Apple

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Amazon saw its quarterly profit soar past $2 billion for the first time earlier this year as the online shopping, cloud computing and advertising businesses all kept growing.

For context, the entire U.S. stock market - the sum of all publicly traded American companies including Amazon - hit $30 trillion back in January. Amazon has impressed investors by successfully diversifying its business into virtually every corner of the retail industry, altering how consumers buy products and putting major pressure on many brick-and-mortar stores.

For graphic on Amazon vs Apple, click Amazon also provides video streaming services and bought upscale supermarket Whole Foods.

Amazon and Apple are both worth about US$1 trillion.

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Amazon has revolutionised how people shop online and is the world's dominant internet retailer. "Amazon's cloud business is an extra growth driver that Apple doesn't have", said Daniel Morgan, portfolio manager at Synovus Trust in Atlanta, Georgia who describes Amazon's cloud services as its "crown jewel".

Shares of the e-commerce giant gained about 2% in trading on Tuesday to hit an all-time high of $2,050.27. In the second quarter, AWS booked $6.1 billion in sales (up 49%), and generated an operating income of $1.64 billion (up 79%).

Its chief executive, Jeff Bezos, is the world's richest man, with a net worth of more than $US160bn.

The firm is expected to account for roughly half of all online shopping sales in the USA this year - and almost 5 percent of the country's overall retail market, according to research firm eMarketer. The shares climbed as high as $2,050.50 in intraday trading in NY, just above the $2,050.27 level that gives the ecommerce and cloud computing giant a market capitalisation of $1 trillion.