Why Amazon.com stock just popped

Amazon proposes a partnership with the U.S. government.

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This article was originally published on Fool.com. All figures quoted in US dollars unless otherwise stated.

What happened

In a late-breaking development, GeekWire just reported that Amazon.com Inc (NASDAQ: AMZN) has delivered a letter to new US President Joe Biden offering "to assist you in reaching your goal of vaccinating 100 million Americans in the first 100 days of your administration."  

By 3 p.m. EST, Amazon.com stock had jumped 4.9% in response.

So what

In the letter, Amazon Worldwide Consumer CEO Dave Clark reminded the president that Amazon.com is "the nation's second largest employer" with "over 800,000 employees in the United States, most of whom are essential workers."

Clark advised that Amazon has already hired a licensed third-party healthcare provider to administer vaccines on-site at Amazon facilities, and is "prepared to move quickly" to immunize the employees "once vaccines are available." Amazon also says, though, that it is "prepared to leverage our operations, information technology, and communications capabilities and expertise to assist your administration's vaccination efforts."

Now what

Clark did not specifically state in his letter that he wants to use Amazon's facilities, its workforce, or its relationship with the unnamed healthcare provider to administer vaccines to the populace in general, or to help distribute the vaccine to other locales -- although this seems to be implied, and may be something he would offer if the president follows up on his invitation.

At the very least, Amazon seems to be promising to help the new administration get off to a good first start with as many as 800,000 willing vaccine recipients. In so doing, Amazon could lower its own worker safety costs by reducing the incidence of COVID-19 at its stores and warehouses, where more than 19,000 workers have already tested positive over the course of the pandemic.

And if the president takes Amazon up on its implied promise to take an active role in rolling out vaccines across the nation? That could mean contracts and government money for Amazon, which would be an even bigger boon for the stock.

This article was originally published on Fool.com. All figures quoted in US dollars unless otherwise stated.

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Rich Smith has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns shares of and recommends Amazon and recommends the following options: long January 2022 $1920 calls on Amazon and short January 2022 $1940 calls on Amazon. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Amazon. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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