Shares of e-commerce giant Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) were down as much as 7.4% this morning following a report from website Axios that described how President Donald Trump is allegedly "obsessed" with Amazon's impact on the American business world and wants to hurt the company in any way he can. By 12:35 p.m., the stock was sitting 3.9% lower than yesterday's close.
According to Axios' anonymous sources, Trump would like to change Amazon's tax treatment in order to rescue mom-and-pop retailers from the e-commerce onslaught. The president's "wealthy friends" in the retail and real estate industries are allegedly feeling the pain and are supposedly asking for help. Furthermore, Trump seems to believe that Amazon is getting a "free ride from taxpayers" while putting the U.S. Postal Service deeper into its doldrums.
"He's wondered aloud if there may be any way to go after Amazon with antitrust or competition law," says one of Axios' sources.
Trump's dislike for Amazon is not exactly news, though the Axios article paints a more detailed threat map. Trump also seems to need a refresher on some of the facts here. As Axios writer Ina Fried notes, the USPS has expanded its services to include Sunday delivery in some areas, specifically thanks to high volumes of Amazon shipments. According to Stifel analyst Scott Devitt, "common sense suggests USPS needs Amazon more than Amazon needs USPS."
Devitt also argues that there are no game-changing new threats in the Axios report and that Amazon remains a solid buy for long-term investors. That's my conclusion, too, and Amazon shares should probably be snapped up at this sudden and likely temporary discount.