The Shape of a Profitable Amazon

Rather than cleaning up by selling books, music, and the like, Bezos & Co. is more likely to become an outsourcing powerhouse

It's beginning to look at lot like Christmas for Amazon. The company's stock climbed 28%, from $7 to $9 a share, on the U.S. Commerce Dept.'s report that retail sales were up a better-than-expected 7.1% in October. That tally was skewed toward auto sales, but Web audience-measurement service Nielsen/Netratings reported that for the week ending Nov. 11, the number of online shoppers increased 14%.

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