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eToys, e-tailers surge

2 min read
E-tailers saw booming business on the day known as "Black Friday", and shares responded accordingly on Monday. eToys Inc. (Nasdaq: ETYS) shares rose sharply as sales across the sector up topped last year's levels.

Shares of e-tailers were up across the board, with e-Toys posting the biggest gains. The company's shares, which were up 48 percent on Black Friday, rose another 29 percent Monday, up 0.53 to 2.34. Amazon.com (Nasdaq: AMZN) gained 1.56 to 30.5, while Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO) rose 2.93 to 43.81.

Strong weekend sales were touted as well. Yahoo said Monday that it had smashed its sales performance for the "Black Friday" weekend, with order volume doubling over 1999. The weekend performance adds to the 120 percent jump in average daily transactions already seen for the first three weeks of November, over the same period in 1999.

eToys was also confident that its holiday orders would double over last year, as it continues to add new Internet shoppers to its base.

The strong performance is good news to a sector that has seen more than 50 e-tailers close their doors this year, hammered by falling stock prices and depleted cash reserves.

But many doubts still linger with regard to the sector. Last year's bout of holiday season service glitches reappeared Friday as Amazon's site went down.

With the realization that technical challenges could bungle the promising start to this season, e-tailers have adopted a cautiously optimistic tone. "This is our fourth holiday season and every one has been critical," Reuters reported eToys spokesman Ken Ross as saying. "Every year you learn a little bit more."