August 22, 2011, 9:07 AM

E-commerce stocks head for bear country as markets slide

The Internet Retailer Online Retail Index fell more than 8% for the week.

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A 20% decline in stock prices is the standard definition of a bear market, and e-commerce shares are getting near that benchmark as the stock market slide continues.

As of the end of last week, the Internet Retailer Online Retail Index, which tracks the stocks of 25 online retailers and e-commerce technology and service providers, was down 18.7% for the year. By comparison, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 6.6% since Jan. 1 and the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index off 10.7%. The broad market index closest to the Online Retail Index in type of companies tracked, the tech-heavy NASDAQ, was off 11.7% for the year.

The poor performance of e-commerce stocks continued last week, as the Online Retail Index lost 8.32%, while the Dow she 4.07% and the S&P 500 4.69%.

Only two stocks in the Online Retail Index gained last week: contact center technology provider eGain and diet plan e-retailer NutriSystem. Hardest hit last week was online jewelry retailer, whose shares lost more than 28% of their value. Competing online jeweler Blue Nile also was among the 10 Online Retail Index stocks to suffer double-digit losses for the week.

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

• eGain, 1.1%

• NutriSystem, 0.4%

• Coastal Contacts, 0.0%

• PetMed Express, -1.9%

•, -3.8%

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

•, -28.2%

• Netflix, -15.9%

• Digital River, -15.9%

•Shutterfly, -15.8%

• Blue Nile, -12.0 %

The 25 companies in the Internet Retailer Online Retail Index are: Inc., Akamai Technologies, Inc., American Greetings Corp., Inc., Blue Nile Inc., Bluefly Inc., Coastal Contacts Inc., DemandTec Inc., Digital River Inc., eBay Inc., eGain Communications Corp., Keynote Systems Inc., LivePerson Inc., Netflix Inc., NutriSystem Inc., Inc., PetMed Express Inc., Shutterfly Inc., Systemax Inc., U.S. Auto Parts Network, United Online Inc. (owner of, ValueClick Inc., Vistaprint Ltd and Inc.

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