Tue, December 21, 2010
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Holiday shoppers flock to the web

2010-12-21 09:22:50 GMT2010-12-21 17:22:50 (Beijing Time)  SINA.com

Online retailers are having a very merry Christmas. So far this season, online shoppers have spent $27-1/2 billion, according to tracking firm ComScore. That's up 12 percent from the same time a year ago. Since November 1st - daily online sales have topped $900 million four times - and hit a record $1 billion on the Monday after Thanksgiving known as "Cyber Monday".

eBay is looking past the holidays and is looking to Germany for long term growth. The web commerce company is buying brands4friends, Germany's largest online shopping club for about $200 million in cash.

Accounting firm Ernst and Young is likely to face civil fraud charges over the collapse of Lehman Brothers, according to the Wall Street Journal. Citing sources familiar with the matter, the report says the suit led by outgoing New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, could come as early as this week. An Ernst and Young spokeswoman said the company would not comment on speculation.

Meanwhile, Lehman Brothers' London headquarters has been bought by JP Morgan Chase for $773 million. JP Morgan plans to fill the building with its investment banking unit.

As for the markets - investors looking forward to the holidays kept stocks pretty close to opening levels.

Travel across Europe was at a standstill as heavy snow and frigid temperature grounded travelers. Weather disruptions are also keeping shoppers home as the holiday shopping season enters its home stretch.

Looking at the markets: Investors bet cold weather will mean higher energy demand - energy stocks took the lead in a modest rally.

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