This story has been updated with additional information from the National Retail Federation.
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- With parents and students opening up their wallets before schools and colleges open their doors for the new semester, investors should keep a close eye on tech companies Apple (AAPL), Amazon (AMZN) and eBay (EBAY), which are poised to ride the massive back-to-school spending wave.
While Silicon Valley has recently felt the strain of cautious enterprise spending, consumers can pick up some of the slack this time of year. According to the National Retail Federation, combined K-12 and college spending is expected to reach a combined $83.8 billion in 2012, up from $68.8 billion in 2011.
The high growth in spending could be due to record levels of elementary and middle school enrollment, the National Retail Federation said.For Apple, this back-to-school season means tapping the phenomenal popularity of its gadgets amongst both schools and students, while online retailers Amazon and eBay are looking to grab fresh e-commerce dollars. "I think both Amazon and eBay are very nicely positioned for back to school," noted Sandeep Aggarwal, Internet analyst at research firm Digital Route, in an email to TheStreet. "Both are riding the e-commerce adoption and, in [the] case of eBay, sizable investments in mobile and traction for Paypal are providing further tailwind." From backpacks to books, online shoppers are expected to spend significantly more than traditional shoppers before colleges and schools reopen, according to The National Retail Federation. Consumers using the Internet for their purchases are estimated to spend an average of $874 on back-to-school supplies, 27% more than the overall shopper average. Read on for more details on why Apple, Amazon and eBay are top back-to-school tech stocks:
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