Investors rewarded Web-savvy retailers such as Barnes & Noble, Gap and Circuit City--with each seeing its stock jump 10 percent or more on big holiday sales increases. Gap, for instance, saw its December sales jump 27 percent compared with last year.
But having a Web presence didn't help beleaguered retailer Toys "R" Us, which saw its stock fall 1.44, or 11.9 percent, to 12.12 after reporting that its holiday sales were flat and its same-store sales declined 2 percent during the holiday season.
Williams-Sonoma's stock fell 8.5, or 25 percent, to 34--despite a 22 percent increase in holiday sales. Blackford Securities analyst Jason Klein had expected Williams-Sonoma's sales for the 8-week period ended Dec. 26 to increase 28 percent to 30 percent, according to Bloomberg.
Today's mixed market follows two down days on Wall Street. Despite record online holiday sales, many e-tailers' stocks plummeted in value this week, extending losses that for some began late last year.
The pure play e-tailers' stocks generally closed lower today, with some notable exceptions. Barnesandnoble.com, for example, closed up 0.62, or 4.2 percent, to 14.81 after reporting that its fourth-quarter sales jumped more than 300 percent. And CDNow, which had dropped nearly 50 percent in value since late November, closed up 1.13 at 9.69.
E-commerce bellwether Amazon.com dropped 4.19, or 6.39 percent, to 65.56, a day after reporting that its fourth-quarter sales were more than 250 percent higher than last year's figures. Despite the good news, Amazon has lost 27 percent of its value since jumping to 89.38 Monday.
After announcing yesterday that its fourth-quarter sales would miss analysts' expectations, Beyond.com saw its shares fall 1, or 15.31 percent, to 6.53.