eBay rose more than 5 per cent, approaching the highest intraday price in almost eight years, on optimism that it will benefit from a surge in online shopping ahead of the year-end holidays.
Shares in eBay, the biggest online marketplace, rose as much as 5.7 per cent to $51.78, the highest on an intraday basis since January 19, 2005. Amazon.com, the largest internet retailer, gained as much as 1.9 per cent to $244.32.
Consumers seeking to save time and money by doing their gift-buying over the Web are flocking to eBay on "Cyber Monday", when many retailers mark down items sold online. Sales volume for San Jose, California-based eBay was up 57 per cent as of early today, a fivefold increase from last year, according to ChannelAdvisor, which tracks online commerce.
"eBay is definitely participating in holiday 2012 in a much different and larger way than last year," Scot Wingo, ChannelAdvisor's chief executive officer, wrote in a blog post today.
Amazon and eBay have recorded strong sales gains each day starting with Thanksgiving, ChannelAdvisor said. Transactions on mobile devices have accounted for more than 30 per cent of the total each day, the Morrisville, North Carolina-based tracking company said.
Shares in other retailers fell, with the S&P 500 retail index off 0.7 per cent after the start of the holiday shopping season over the four-day Thanksgiving weekend.
"The concern is big retailers are discounting so much, sales look better, but at what cost?" said Angel Mata, managing director of listed equity trading at Stifel Nicolaus Capital Markets in Baltimore.
Shares of Wal-Mart and Macy's were among the retail stocks that fell, despite a good weekend, because investors see those stocks as proxies for the overall economy, said Morningstar analyst Paul Swinand.