Facebook and Amazon hit $500 billion milestone

Earnings fuel Wall Street's record run
Earnings fuel Wall Street's record run

Facebook and Amazon have joined an exclusive club open to only the richest companies in the world: both crossed the half-a-trillion mark.

Facebook (FB, Tech30) exceeded $500 billion in market value for the first time ever Thursday morning as Mark Zuckerberg's company continued its rapid ascent. Amazon (AMZN, Tech30) hit the $500 billion milestone for the first time on Wednesday.

Only three companies, all in the tech industry, are worth more right now: Apple (AAPL, Tech30) ($798 billion), Google parent company Alphabet (GOOGL, Tech30) ($667 billion) and Microsoft (MSFT, Tech30) ($571 billion).

The combined $1 trillion valuation for Facebook and Amazon shows just how euphoric Wall Street has become about the future for these tech juggernauts. The meteoric rise of their stocks -- each are up more than 40% this year alone -- further enriches these companies' visionary founders.

Jeff Bezos, 53, started Amazon in 1995 and just surpassed Microsoft (MSFT, Tech30) co-founder Bill Gates on Thursday as the world's richest person, according to Bloomberg News. Zuckerberg, who is just 33 years old and is a Harvard drop-out, is now worth more than $69 billion, according to Forbes.

Related: Facebook's rapid sales growth is slowing down

Facebook's $500 billion milestone looks stunning considering the social networking giant has only been public for five years. But today Facebook boasts more than 2 billion users and generates the vast majority of its money from mobile phones. Savvy acquisitions have also given Facebook control of two of the most popular platforms on the web: Instagram and WhatsApp.

Wall Street seems to be largely unfazed by signs that Facebook may be nearing middle age. The company's stock soared 5% on Thursday even after it reported the slowest revenue growth in nearly two years.

Amazon has altered the way people shop, creating enormous turmoil for brick-and-mortar retailers in the process. The e-commerce behemoth continues to grow, with sales on this year's Prime Day shopping holiday spiking 60% compared with last year. Now, Amazon has set its sights on the grocery industry by agreeing to purchase Whole Foods (WFM) for nearly $14 billion.

With CNNMoney's Fear & Greed Index of market sentiment sitting in "extreme greed" mode, Wall Street is betting Amazon will reveal more explosive growth when it posts earnings after Thursday's closing bell.

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