What happened

Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) stock has surged 35% this year, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence, as the e-commerce giant has ridden a broader wave in tech stocks and continued to put up strong growth numbers. 

A worker at an Amazon fulfillment center

Image source: Amazon.com.

The stock has climbed steadily over the course of the year, topping $1,000 for the first time ever.

AMZN Chart

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So what

There was no singular news item driving Amazon shares higher, but the company continues to execute, growing sales and market share across a wide range of industries. Investors keep pushing the stock higher, as Amazon has built up a network of competitive advantages that is virtually unparalleled in the modern world.

In its fourth-quarter report out in February, the company posted sales growth of 22% to $43.7 million and earnings per share of $1.54, up from $1 the year before. Sales in the key cloud-computing division, Amazon Web Services, jumped 55% to $12.2 billion.  Shares fell modestly on the report, as revenue and guidance were below estimates, but the stock recovered those losses soon after.

A bullish tailwind in tech stocks has pushed the Nasdaq up more than 17%, with fellow tech giants AlphabetAppleFacebook, and Netflix, or the so-called FAANG group of stocks, all gaining more than 20%.

In April, Amazon posted strong first-quarter results, with revenue up 23% to $35.7 billion, and earnings per share increasing from $1.07 to $1.48. Both numbers beat analyst estimates, and the stock rose on the report.

The stock topped $1,000 for the first time in May, and Amazon then stunned the business world in June with its $13.7 billion acquisition of Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ:WFM). That move, by far the company's biggest acquisition in its history, pushed the stock a nearly 3%, indicating a ringing endorsement from its investors.

Now what 

Amazon has long aspired to be the "Everything Store," and the Whole Foods acquisition brings the company significantly closer to that goal. For years, it's angled to break into groceries, but it has struggled to do so without a brick-and-mortar presence.

The stock's valuation remains stretched at a P/E ratio of 190, but the market has long given Amazon a pass on traditional valuation metrics as long as it continues to put up strong top-line growth. While the stock is still vulnerable to a sell-off, its competitive position continues to grow stronger, meaning it should continue to outperform the market.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.