Amazon shares open higher, announces plans to hire 120,000 holiday staff

Amazon shares opened sharply higher Thursday following a second share valuation upgrade. The tech giant also announced plans to employ 120,000 holiday staff.

Amazon shares open higher, announces plans to hire 120,000 holiday staff

Amazon shares are going from strength to strength as they opened the US trading session higher, yet again on Thursday.

Private investment bank Atlantic Equities has announced it has raised its Amazon price target to $1,250. That follows the news that Credit Suisse had raised its value of the tech giant's share price from $1,000 to $1,350.

But analysts’ targets aren’t likely the only reason behind the upbeat open.

Hardware improvements excite

Hot on the heels of unveiling Amazon’s new, deluxe Kindle Oasis Wednesday, the popular tech company also showed off its new, smarter Alexa. The voice controlled home-device can now recognise different voices.

Amazon has been behind the curve on this particular development, but no longer. The echo range of home, voice activated tech, can now tell each individual family member apart from the other.

This more specific level of voice recognition will mean each user will gain their own, more personalised experience when using the gadgets.

After closing at $995.00 on Wednesday, the Amazon stock surged higher to move above the $999 level shortly after the open.

Holiday staff plans

With a bumper crop of enticing tech hardware for consumers in the run up to Christmas, Amazon has also announced its decision to employ and additional 120,000 holiday staff. The number is the same as it hired last year, confirming it expects a bumper 2017 holiday season.

The jobs are set to be shared between more than 75 US based fulfilment centres. They will bolster the existing staff who undertake the picking, packing and shipping required to fulfil the many orders the online retail business receives each day.

The National Retail Federation is expected US consumers will spend 4% more on their holiday shopping this year compared with 2016. That outlook has encouraged a number of US-based retailers to increase their holiday staffing head counts from a year earlier.

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