Happy Holidays for Amazon

Amazon boost

Amazon.com shares leapt to a five-month high after a report showed online spending soared nearly 20% during the Christmas holiday shopping season. The data from Mastercard SpendingPulse showed that while overall retail sales rose 3.4% between Nov. 1 and Dec. 24 compared with last year, online sales grew 18.8%. Thanksgiving landed on Nov. 28 this year, the latest possible date it could fall.

That meant six fewer shopping days than last year, forcing last-minute shoppers to scramble. The Saturday before Christmas was the busiest shopping day in U.S. history, surpassing Black Friday, according to research firm Customer Growth Partners. Mastercard SpendingPulse tracked spending online and in stores across all payment types, including those who paid by cash or check. Sales of automobiles are not included. Amazon shares closed up 4.4% at $1,868.77.