Shares of Amazon.com rose nearly 9 percent yesterday after the Seattle online retailer said it recorded its best holiday season ever. Spokesman Craig Berman said sales for the...

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Shares of Amazon.com rose nearly 9 percent yesterday after the Seattle online retailer said it recorded its best holiday season ever.

Spokesman Craig Berman said sales for the company’s 10th holiday season were better than in any previous year, but he declined to give specific figures.

Amazon also said it had set a single-day record in which 2.8million units — 32 items per second — were ordered. But Berman declined to say what day during the holiday season that was or whether that also translated into a record sales day.

Retail analysts have been optimistic about online holiday sales, even as some traditional retailers have struggled during the all-important season. Internet research firm comScore Networks said online holiday sales are likely to increase 28 percent, beating original projections of 23 to 26 percent.

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During Thanksgiving weekend, Amazon had said its consumer-electronics sales surpassed sales of books for the first time, also in keeping with a holiday trend that favored electronic gift items this year.

Throughout the holiday, Amazon said popular items included Apple Computer’s iPod music players, as well as DVD players and digital cameras.

At its peak, Amazon hosted more than 700,000 visitors an hour. That compared with the 630,000-visitor pinnacle it reached last year. It also sold more than half a million gift certificates between Nov. 25 and Dec. 24.

The retailer reported selling more than one watch every minute since Nov. 25 and tallying 13,000 orders for a “Lord of the Rings” DVD on Dec. 13. Top-selling books included “America: A Citizen’s Guide to Democracy Inaction” by Jon Stewart and “The Five People You Meet in Heaven” by Mitch Albom.

Amazon shares rose $3.32 or 8.5 percent to $42.25 in trading yesterday. However, the company’s stock still remains far off its 52-week high of $57.82.

Information on Amazon’s peak hosting and product leaders provided by Bloomberg News.