Amazon makes new highs following e-commerce data; eBay range-bound

|By:, SA News Editor

The Commerce Department estimates U.S. e-commerce sales rose 17.5% Y/Y in Q3, and made up 5.9% of total retail sales (up from 5.7% in Q2 and 5.2% a year ago). The growth rate is down a bit from Q2's 18.2%, but up from Q1's 16.4% and Q4 2012's 15.5%.

comScore previously estimated U.S. PC e-commerce sales rose 13% Y/Y in Q3, and that mobile sales rose 26%.

Amazon (AMZN), which soared last month following its Q3 report but gave back some of its gains in early November, managed to make new highs today. Shares are now up 48% YTD. eBay (EBAY +0.2%), which has been range-bound this year after a very strong 2012, closed up fractionally.

comScore forecasts U.S. holiday season e-commerce sales (both PC and mobile) will be up 14%-17% Y/Y, even though retailers have six less days to work with (26 vs. 32) than in 2012.

Amazon plans to cope with the shorter season partly by starting its Black Friday promotions a day early. eBay, meanwhile, plans to waive the $5 delivery fee normally attached to its Now same-day delivery service, and to also offer longer hours for delivering Now orders made with retail partners.