Amazon beats the Street with blowout sales, strong holiday forecast

Earnings season during a recession has a way of separating the best-run companies from the rest, and this quarter was no different. That dynamic was illustrated Thursday when Amazon, the web retailer, reported sparkling numbers and a strong holiday outlook just hours after eBay's lackluster Yuletide forecast. Amazon shares were trading up over 14 percent in post-close activity after the company reported that third quarter earnings jumped 68 percent from last year and its Kindle e-reader was selling like gangbusters.