NEW YORK (
iPod is expected to be the must-have gift-giving item this holiday season, according to users of TheStreet.
The mp3 device garnered 42.2% of the vote in our weeklong poll, following
Sales jumped 25% in its fourth quarter, on strong demand for Macs and iPhones. And while those two products topped Apple's sales, iPod sales, which include the iPod Touch, reached 10.2 million units sold.
Shares of the company grew 8.4% to end the week at $203.94.
The next-hottest gift is not as flashy. TheStreet users (25.1%) said the second most popular present this holiday season would be a
While a survey conducted by Archstone Consulting said Wal-Mart gift card sales are expected to be flat to down by 5%, as Wal-Mart continues to lower prices, gift-givers may well view these cards as carrying the most bang for the buck.
The behemoth discounter revealed this week during its two-day annual meeting that it will roll back prices on thousands of items each week during the holiday season. Already, Wal-Mart has reduced prices on toys and books.
Kindle ranked third with 16.7% of the vote. On Thursday,
the e-retailer posted a 69% surge in its third-quarter earnings, which it attributed primarily to Kindle sales.
As a result, shares of Amazon ended the week up 24.3% to $118.49.
Even though other retailers -- most notably
Barnes & Noble
- have rolled out e-readers, based on the company's outlook for the fourth quarter, it appears that Amazon will win with Kindle.
Wii placed fourth at a time when video game sales and hardware have been struggling. On Monday, the NPD Group, a market research firm, said
, but were still well below analysts' expectations.
And sales of hardware tumbled 6% to $472.3 million. For the first time since its launch three years ago,
PlayStation 3 was the category winner, selling more units than the Wii and
new Keys Collection came in last, garnering just 4.6% of the vote. Jewelry sales are expected to struggle this holiday season.
According to the National Retail Federation, holiday sales made up 25.5% of jewelry stores' annual sales in 2008. Thus, retailers like Tiffany have even more at stake.
Shares of the company slipped 1% to end the week at $41.45.
-- Reported by Jeanine Poggi in New York
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