Commentary: Amid warnings from eToys, United Parcel Service and FedEx, can Amazon hit its fourth quarter sales targets? That’s what a lot of investors will be quietly asking this week. Who can blame them? Let’s connect the dots here. The economy is slowing as a slew of data indicates a hard landing is possible. There’s even talk that the Federal Reserve could even cut interest rates when it meets on Tuesday. Brick-and-mortar retailers such as Home Depot are indicating that sales are slower than expected. Consumer-oriented tech giants such as Gateway and Apple have issued profit warnings, citing a slow holiday shopping season. And then there’s the whole e-commerce thing. E-tailers just didn’t get the pop during the busy Thanksgiving season. The Nielsen//NetRatings Holiday E-Commerce Index shows that the shopping season got off to a slow start, but has picked up lately. Amazon promised Wall Street fourth quarter sales between $950m and $1.05bn, but the real benchmark is $1.1bn. The company could have to stretch to meet those goals. The e-tailer, which was banking on a seasonally strong holiday season, can’t afford any slowdown. On Friday, eToys said its sales would be between $120m and $130m, compared to its forecast… Read full this story
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