Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Which way are they leaning?

I usually don't comment on intra-day GOOG movements, on the grounds that I don't know what's going on. But I also have a firm policy on making exceptions to all my rules, just to keep things interesting.

GOOG's poor action, today and recently, seems to me an anticipation of Google's imminent earnings release. Not that they are going to miss any of their marks, but that the thesis has taken hold that a domestic and, possibly, global slowdown is in the offing, which will crimp Google's style, going forward. And also, to some extent, a taking into account of the Biblical injunction that "the first will be last," and other irrefutable and inscrutable advisories of faith-based investing (all investing is faith-based).

Never mind that, in the ruminations of at least one GOOG analyst, any advertising slowdown might well be evidenced by an acceleration of the move toward on-line advertising and away from traditional media.

Since earnings will probably be good, if not great, and Google doesn't give guidance, a lot of attention will probably be given to the body language displayed by the principals.

If there is any truth in any of this, the question of the moment may be, how much of this negative expectation is being baked in prior to the earnings release?

The current period reminds me of the time when GOOG had achieved 475 and then fell to diddling lower. It diddled to the 340 area (back when 135 points was a bigger diddle than it is now), and I recall traders saying that they were waiting for the 300 marker to jump back in.

It never got there.

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