Shares of Amazon () rallied Monday, as the world's largest online retailer played a key role in the Cyber Monday frenzy.
Starting at midnight on Sunday, November 25, opened its Cyber Monday Deals Store, offering thousands of "Lightning Deals" and "Deal of the Day" doorbusters through the end of the week, with items eligible for Free Super Saver Shipping and Prime Free Two-Day Shipping.
Digital analytics provider () Sunday reported that for the holiday season so far, or for the first 23 days of the November-December season, $13.7 billion has been spent online, marking a 16-per cent increase versus the corresponding days last year.
Black Friday saw $1.042 billion in online sales, making it the heaviest online spending day to date in 2012 and representing a 26-per cent increase versus Black Friday 2011.
Amazon ranked #1 among online retailers on Black Friday, according to . A total of 57.3 million Americans visited online retail sites that day, representing an increase of 18 per cent versus year ago.
Amazon ranked as the most visited online retail site on Black Friday while also posting the highest year-over-year visitor growth rate among the top five retailers.
Wal-Mart () ranked second, followed by (), Target () and ().
Thanksgiving Day, while traditionally a lighter day for online holiday spending, achieved a strong 32-per cent increase to $633 million.
“Despite the frenzy of media coverage surrounding the importance of Black Friday in the brick-and-mortar world, we continue to see this shopping day become more and more prominent in the e-commerce channel – particularly among those who prefer to avoid crowds at the stores,” said chairman, Gian Fulgoni.
“With Thanksgiving now behind us and most consumers returning to work tomorrow, we can look forward with anticipation to Cyber Monday, which according to norms we’ve observed over the past three years should be the heaviest online shopping day of the season with sales approaching $1.5 billion or even higher.”
In the online retail world, Amazon shares rallied almost 1% to $242.19, gained around 2.2%, jumped nearly 3%, while Target and Wal-Mart lost 2.5% and 0.6%, respectively.
was higher as the AllThingsD blog reported that the company inked a deal to offer iTunes credits through Gifts in time for the holiday season.
Elsewhere in technology today, Yahoo (NASDAQ:YAHOO) shares rose 0.9% as added the company to its conviction list, and raised its 12-month price target to $24 from $22.
The analysts noted that Yahoo's balance sheet assets and its core business are worth more than the current stock price, but key risks remain, including its ability to monetize the remainder of its assets and in its transition to mobile, among other risks.
Shares of () also flew higher looking to close above $25 for the first time in four months, as Bernstein Research analyst Carlos Kirjner raised the stock’s rating to outperform, saying the company “is on path to beat consensus revenues over the next 12-24 months.”