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Amazon Holiday Gains Top Record-High S&P

Amazon led the highest ever S&P 500 Index thanks to robust holiday sales that made 2019 “record-breaking” for the eCommerce giant, Bloomberg reported on Thursday (Dec. 26). 

Prime added some 5 million new subscribers and one-day or same-day shipping quadrupled over 2018’s holiday shopping season. More than a billion products were sold by third-party merchants, Amazon said. Billions of items were shipped and Amazon sold “tens of millions” of devices like the Echo Dot.

Amazon shares posted the biggest gains, going up as much as 2 percent, and leading the S&P 500. 

Bestsellers on Amazon included the company’s Echo Dot, Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote and Echo Show, along with robot vacuums and apparel, USA Today reported.

Although sales figures were not released by Amazon, Mastercard Spending Pulse showed eCommerce sales across the board were up, making 2019’s holiday spending level one for the record books. Online sales were up nearly 19 percent over 2018 compared to last year, five times greater than overall holiday sales growth of 3.4 percent. 

Mastercard’s data also showed that online shopping sales made up 14.6 percent of total retail spending and 24.5 percent of all holiday season shopping happened on Cyber Monday. 

Holiday shopping is responsible for about a fifth of retailers’ annual revenue, according to the National Retail Federation

Although Mastercard data showed department store sales were down 1.8 percent, eCommerce sales grew 6.9 percent as chains like Target and Macy’s expanded their digital landscapes.

Apple, Goldman Sachs and Chevron led the Dow, according to The Street. Initial jobless claims in the U.S. fell last week by 13,000 to a seasonally adjusted 222,000. Economists had expected claims would total 220,000.

Stocks are up overall over the past week after it was announced by President Donald Trump that the U.S. and China were nearing a trade agreement. China’s commerce ministry said Thursday that China was in close touch with the U.S. on signing the accord. 

Holiday sales rose at Tiffany & Co. despite challenges in Japan and Hong Kong. The jewelry company experienced double-digit sales increases in mainland China, which were offset by Hong Kong’s declines.

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