The leading internet media company's shares closed at $291. The 6.6% drop came as the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell for the third consecutive day.
The DJIA closed at 8,283, down 411 points or 4.7%. It's now 13.9% below its Election Day close, though still above early October's bear-market bottom (7,883).
'Buy' and 'hold'
Google tumbled as analysts weighed just how the ad-spending downturn will affect the search market's standout player. Citi Analyst Mark Mahaney today lowered estimates on Google and gave its stock a price target of $450. He noted that fourth-quarter online advertising is slowing materially, with growth rates at the largest e-commerce companies declining. "At some level, Google will be impacted," he wrote in a note.
That doesn't mean the Street's giving up on Google. Among 39 analysts who follow the company, 37 --including Mr. Mahaney -- have "buy" recommendations and two have "holds," according to the Bloomberg database. Google now has a market cap of $91.6 billion-and another $14.4 billion in cash.
Google has been getting more aggressive in its monetization and in the third quarter carefully managed costs to maintain margins.
Yahoo down 9%
Rival Yahoo today fell 8.9%% to $10.34, hitting its lowest level since 2003. Its market cap -- $14.3 billion -- is less than one-third the takeover bid ($44.6 billion) from Microsoft Corp. that Yahoo rejected earlier this year.
The Standard & Poor's 500 fell 5.2%, getting perilously close to its bear-market low. The Ad Age/Bloomberg AdMarket 50 fell 4.4%. Click here to see current AdMarket prices.
Retail stocks slumped on increasing worries of a disastrous Christmas season. Best Buy fell 8% after slashing its holiday forecast. In a memo to employees (as reported on Consumerist.com), Best Buy said: "From where we stand today, we could see total company comparable store sales for the rest of the fiscal year decline by 5% to 15%."
Just two of the AdMarket's 50 marketer, media and agency stocks today rose: General Motors Corp., which jumped 5.5% today after hitting its lowest point in 65 years on Nov. 11, and its ailing Big Three sibling, Ford Motor Co., up 2.2%. The two stocks advanced amid signs that Democrats in Washington are pressing ahead on a bailout plan for Detroit.
Eighteen of the AdMarket 50 stocks hit 52-week lows -- and in some cases multidecade lows. Interpublic Group of Cos. plunged 14.3% to $3.88, reaching its lowest price since 1988. Interpublic's market cap now is just $1.85 billion.
The AdMarket's worst performers: troubled telecom Sprint Nextel, down 22.9%; CBS Corp., down 19.3%; and Interpublic.