JD.com Spikes on Upgrade; Shopify Rises on 'Buy Button' Expansion: Tech Winners & Losers

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- It was a good day for two rising stars in the online retail space. 

Shares of the Chinese e-commerce site JD.com (JD) rose nearly 3% to close at $37.95 in heavy trading even as all three major indexes registered declines. Canadian online retail services provider Shopify  (SHOP) spiked 9.4% to close at $33.63. 

The increases to both stocks reflected favorable news earlier in the week for both companies. The surges also countered prevailing market trends Friday.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was off more than 140 points. The S&P fell nearly 15 points and the Nasdaq dropped 32 points. The markets decline followed two days of surging prices. Shares of such major brands as Facebook (FB), Intel (INTC) and Apple (AAPL) all dropped more than a percentage point. 

JD.com's increase followed an upgrade Thursday by the investment research firm Zacks to hold from sell. Over the past six weeks, other analysts have raised their price targets and upgraded their ratings. These include SunTrust, which increased its price target for the stock from $32 a share to $37 a share and gave the company a buy rating. 

Earlier this week, a Financial Times survey found that the online retailer was eating into market leader Alibaba's (BABA) dominance. The survey found the company's business to consumer platform was outperforming Alibaba's. 

The company sells a range of consumer products through its Web site and mobile applications. It has been likened to Amazon (AMZN) for its speedy and direct delivery services. 

Earlier Friday, Shopify announced that it was expanding its "buy button" initiative with Facebook. An increasing number of small companies will begin participating in the program, which enables consumers to shop directly from Facebook pages. The program has been in beta testing since last September. 

Shopify provides software that helps merchants sell their goods and services. The company's shares rose sharply last month in the first days after its public offering. 

Meanwhile, shares of ITT Educational Services (ESI) rose more than 12% after the company finally filed its latest earnings report. The for-profit college with a heavy heavy emphasis on online programs was a month late in its filing and has struggled on several fronts in recent months.

Over the past few years, for-profit colleges and universities have been the subject of increasing scrutiny. In April, Corinthian Colleges  (COCOQ), which was once the second largest for-profit college, announced it was closing its remaining 28 campuses. The school was hit by allegations that it had falsified job placement and graduation records. The University of Phoenix and DeVry University (DV) have seen enrollment decline -- in the case of Phoenix by a significant amount. 

Last August, ITT Educational Services' stock price plummeted to half its previous value after failing to sell $120 million in real estate. Last month, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced that it was pursuing fraud charges because the school had not revealed the financial impact of two underperforming loan programs. 

ITT Services' net income roughly tripled but revenue dipped by $7.9 million. But investors saw the report as encouraging news. The company's previous quarterly report was 79 days late.

This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.

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