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Quick Hits: Nike Runs Away with Sales

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Brief scrutiny of today's headlines.

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Penny-pinching consumers appear to be driving Nike's (NKE) online sales.

CEO Mark Parker says the company has seen a "fairly dramatic" increase in online sales recently.

Nike is the world's largest athletic shoe maker. Last month, the company said quarterly net profit increased 9% in a downbeat economy.

Online retailing is one of the few bright spots in an otherwise dismal retail sector. Consumers appear to like the ability to shop for the best price with a few clicks. For many, online shopping beats the thundering herd at the shopping mall during the holiday season.

Amazon (AMZN) earlier reported an 8.7% increase in fourth-quarter net income to $225 million, or $0.52 a share. Sales rose 18% to $6.7 billion.

In general, traditional brick-and-mortar retailers reported a dismal holiday shopping season. But Amazon had its best season ever, attracting wary consumers with low prices, shipping promotions and an extensive product selection.

But eBay (EBAY) reported a drop in quarterly revenue for the first time in the company's history. That seems counterintuitive, but maybe most people balk at the idea of giving used stuff as Christmas gifts.

Athletic shoes seem like an odd sector to show strength in the current sour economy. Some theories: People need new shoes to run faster to their next job, or maybe they're just running to relax.
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