RealTime IT News

Holiday Forecast Brightens Etailers' Day

A report issued today by Nielsen/NetRatings and Harris Interactive that looks at what can be expected in e-commerce this holiday season was bullish in its predictions and the market for some e-tailers reacted in kind.

Amazon rose more than 9 percent and CMGI , which owns etail site uBid, was up 8.9 percent on a day when NASDAQ rose 2.2 percent. The report predicts a rise of more than 40 percent in this year's online sales total. That would be an increase from $6.6 billion spent online last year to $9.9 billion this holiday season. And, perhaps even more bullish for the sector's longterm prospects, the report's authors believe there will be strong growth in the number of customers shopping online. "The number of shoppers for the 2001 holiday season is expected to grow 27 percent," said Sean Kaldor, vice president of analytical services, NetRatings. That means another 21 million new online shoppers will be browsing through the etailers, compared to last year.

The NASDAQ's 36 point gain was led by the chip sector as Intel gained more than 3 percent and Applied Materials was up about 5 percent. The Philadelphia Semiconductor Index rose 3.9 percent.

The rally was not across the board. The ISDEX eked out only a slight 1.89 gain to close at 144.8. Art Technology Group lost 7.7 percent and Homestore was down 8.7 percent.

In the broader markets, optimism reined, helped by a solid earnings report from 3M. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 172 points and the S&P 500 was up 16 points.