The unemployment rate and the COVID-19 case count continue to soar, but the stock market is faring a bit better. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 both surged by more than 12% in the week ending April 9. (The markets closed on April 10 for Good Friday). Stocks made a notable jump on Thursday as the Federal Reserve announced $2.3 trillion in loans to support the economy. The market gains led to a combined $51.3 billion boost for 10 of the world’s billionaires since the market closed a week ago, on April 2.
Amancio Ortega — of Spanish fast-fashion giant Inditex — gained the most, in both dollar and percentage terms. His net worth surged by $7.2 billion, to $64.8 billion, as Inditex stock rebounded by nearly 15.5% this week. (Shares are still down 20.4% from the beginning of the year.) Many Spanish stocks are edging upwards as the country’s COVID-19 death toll slows down. The IBEX 35, the index of the biggest publicly-traded companies in Spain, ended the week up 7.6%.
Jeff Bezos, the world’s richest person, logged the second biggest increase. He gained $6.8 billion, bringing his net worth to $124.7 billion. Despite reports that Amazon may cancel Prime Day due to coronavirus, the company’s share price rose by 6.5% this week, as homebound customers are still flocking to the retail giant for groceries and other necessities.
Luxury goods tycoon Bernard Arnault’s net worth jumped by $6.3 billion, to $92 billion, as shares of his LVMH increased nearly 7%. French stocks across the board are generally rallying, with a 10% surge for French index Euronext Paris. According to the Financial Times, LVMH, which owns brands like Louis Vuitton and Dom Perignon, has reversed its decision to use government assistance for its employees.
Berkshire Hathaway stock has taken a beating recently, but bounced back 7% this week, increasing Warren Buffett’s net worth by $5 billion, to $76 billion. Berkshire has dumped much of its airline holdings, which have been in freefall with customers afraid to travel. The conglomerate announced on April 3 that it had sold 18% and 4% of its Delta and Southwest Airlines stakes, respectively.
Indian oil and gas tycoon Mukesh Ambani’s fortune jumped by $4.4 billion, to $44.5 billion. Morgan Stanley published an optimistic research note on April 8 positing that Ambani’s Reliance Industries could decrease its net debt, even if oil prices and demand continue to fall for the next six months.
Below are the world’s 10 biggest billionaire gainers this week:
Source of wealth: Zara
Net worth change from April 2 to April 9: +$7.2 billion
Source of wealth: Amazon
Net worth change: +$6.8 billion
Source of wealth: LVMH
Net worth change: +$6.3 billion
Source of wealth: Facebook
Net worth change: +$6.2 billion
Source of wealth: Berkshire Hathaway
Net worth change: +$5.0 billion
Source of wealth: petrochemicals, oil & gas
Net worth change: +$4.4 billion
Source of wealth: Tesla
Net worth change: +$4.2 billion
Source of wealth: Oracle
Net worth change: +$4.0 billion
Source of wealth: Microsoft
Net worth change: +$3.6 billion
Source of wealth: Alphabet
Net worth change: +$3.6 billion.