December 21, 2009, 12:00 AM

Cheery holiday sales news sends e-commerce stocks up again

Wall Street analysts say online holiday sales are running ahead of expectations, and that’s helping boost e-commerce companies` shares. Even though the market was down last week, the Internet Retailer Online Retail Index saw a modest gain of 0.36%.


The stock market was down last week, but e-commerce stocks managed a modest gain as Wall Street analysts continue to hail better-than-expected online retail sales this holiday season.

The Internet Retailer Online Retail Index, which tracks the stocks of 25 online retailers and e-commerce technology vendors, gained 0.36% last week, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.36% and the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index was down 0.36%.

The gains come amid positive buzz from equity analysts who have been commenting in recent weeks about the strength of web retailer’s holiday sales. For instance, analyst Colin Sebastian of Lazard Capital Markets wrote in a report last week that online holiday spending was tracking toward the high end of his estimate of 5% growth for the season. He said that could benefit such e-commerce service providers as GSI Commerce and Digital River.

Sebastian also noted that his checks of online retailers indicated that some might be running short of inventory, which could benefit online marketplaces operated by eBay and

Overall, 14 of the 25 stocks in the Online Retail Index gained for the week, and 11 lost ground. For the year, the Online Retail Index is ahead 88.2%, while the Dow has gained 17.7% and the S&P; 500 22.1%.

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


  • LivePerson, 13.6%
  • NutriSystem, 5.3%
  • Blue Nile, 3.7%%
  • GSI, 3.6%
  • ATG, 3.5%


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


  •, -11.9%
  •, -10.6%
  • Overstock, -10.2%
  • Netflix, -4.3%
  • Amazon, -4.2%



The 25 companies in the Internet Retailer Online Retail Index are: Inc., Akamai Technologies, Inc., American Greetings Corp., Art Technology Group Inc., Inc., Blue Nile Inc., CyberSource Corp., DemandTec Inc., Digital River Inc., Inc., eBay Inc., GSI Commerce Inc., Keynote Systems Inc., LivePerson Inc., Netflix Inc., NutriSystem Inc., Inc., PetMed Express Inc., RealNetworks Inc., Shutterfly Inc., Systemax Inc., U.S. Auto Parts Network, United Online Inc. (owner of and VistaPrint Ltd.

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