March 28, 2011, 8:49 AM

E-commerce stocks break out of a four-week slump

The Internet Retailer Online Retail Index gains 9.21%, led by Drugstore.com.

Don Davis

Editor in Chief

Lead Photo

After a four-week slide, e-commerce stocks bounced back sharply last week, led by Drugstore.com, whose share value more than doubled after retail chain Walgreen Co. announced plans to acquire the web-only retailer for $429 million.

For the week, the Internet Retailer Online Retail Index gained a robust 9.21%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 3.05% and the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index moved up by 2.70%. The Online Retail Index tracks the stocks of 25 online retailer and e-commerce technology providers.

The big gain put the e-commerce index back into positive territory for 2011, up 5.3% since the first of the year. That gain is in line with the advance of the stock market as a whole, as the Dow is up 5.6% for the year and the S&P 500 4.5%.

While the top performer in the Online Retail Index last week was Drugstore.com, e-retailers Shutterfly and 1800Flowers.com also posted double-digit increases. Investors welcomed Shutterfly’s announcement last week that it would acquire online photo-finishing retailer Tiny Prints. Of the 25 stocks tracked by the Online Retail Index, 22 advanced and only three declined.

Here are the best-performing stocks last week in the Online Retail Index and the percentage gain in stock price for each:

• Drugstore.com, 119.8%

• 1800Flowers.com, 18.9%

• Shutterfly, 15.3%

• Netflix, 9.8%

• LivePerson, 8.7%

Here are the Online Retail Index stocks that performed least well last week and the percentage change in stock price for the week:

• Vistaprint, -1.1%

• RealNetworks, -0.8%

•Bluefly, -0.3%

• Keynote Systems, +0.2%

• GSI, +0.5%

The 25 companies in the Internet Retailer Online Retail Index are: 1-800-Flowers.com Inc., Akamai Technologies, Amazon.com Inc., American Greetings Corp., Bidz.com Inc., Blue Nile Inc., Bluefly Inc., DemandTec Inc., Digital River Inc., Drugstore.com Inc., eBay Inc., GSI Commerce Inc., Keynote Systems Inc., LivePerson Inc., Netflix Inc., NutriSystem Inc., Overstock.com Inc., PetMed Express Inc., RealNetworks Inc., Shutterfly Inc., Systemax Inc., U.S. Auto Parts Network, United Online Inc. (owner of FTD.com), ValueClick Inc. and Vistaprint Ltd.

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