What happened

Shares of online marketplace operator Etsy (NASDAQ:ETSY) closed 10.7% higher on Friday. The company didn't have any big news to share today. Instead, the stock rose on general reports of high consumer interest in the annual Black Friday shopping phenomenon.

So what

We're in the middle of Etsy's cyberweek sales event, which runs from Nov. 23 to Dec. 2. This 10-day event is two days longer than last year's online shopping spectacle, suggesting that Etsy is leaning into this year's increased consumer focus on e-commerce options. The discounts include several million product listings and run as deep as 60% on select items.

A young woman smiles at her smartphone and holds a credit card in her other hand.

Image source: Getty Images.

Now what

The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a dramatically different start to this year's holiday shopping season. The doorbuster deals of years gone by have largely been replaced by online discounts and limited-time free shipping events across the retail sector. That's good news for e-commerce specialists like Etsy. The retooled Black Friday event shouldn't surprise anybody, but sometimes it takes a real-world demonstration of expected results before investors are ready to move the market.

Friday's surge supports Etsy's fantastic returns in 2020. The stock has now gained 228% year to date and 234% over the last 52 weeks. The stock isn't cheap at 85 times trailing earnings and 13 times trailing sales, but you can't argue with Etsy's skyrocketing sales. Revenue more than doubled in the third quarter. February's fourth-quarter report will show exactly how big cyberweek turned out to be this year. As a reminder, the cyberweek of 2019 was Etsy's biggest sales event to date.

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