Friday, August 25, 2006

Tech stocks: now and then

Ebay, Yahoo, Amazon, Google and even Microsoft. And it's interesting --Yahoo's hit a high of 125, it's now selling for 25. Amazon's high was 113, it's now selling for 28. Ebay's high was 58. It's now selling for 25. Microsoft's high was 55, it's now selling for 26. The latest entry, Google, hit a high of 476, today it's selling at 373.

Could this happen to housing.

It's been said that never has the US economy been so dependent on the real-estate and housing industry. One out of every ten Americans is employed at a job that's real estate-related. Booming home prices have kept American consumers buying and consuming. The whole world, it seems, depends on US consumers continuing to consume. In turn, US consumers have depended heavily on the rising prices of their homes.

Now, it seems, the air is escaping from the housing bubble. And the conventional wisdom is -- "Hey, it's no biggie. So instead of selling my home overnight, now it may take me a few weeks or even a month to sell my home. Soft landing, here we come."

Not quite -- there's a contingent of grouches and curmudgeons who don't believe the soft landing will happen. They believe that housing is going to land on its rump -- but it may take a year or so. They think that the variable-rate crowd is going to get scalped, and that the housing collapse is going to throw the US into recession.

So, we ask, which group is going to be right, the soft-landers or the hard-thumpers? Nobody knows for certain -- how can they? But wait -- the bond crowd seems to know something or at least they're acting as if they know. Today the yield on the bellwether 10 year T-note sank to 4.79%. Declining interest rates are hardly a prediction of a booming economy, they're a vote for a sagging economy with very little in the way of inflation.


Blogger cuff said...

MicroSoft probably doesn't belong in your list, because it split when it was in the fifties, which is why it's in the twenties now.

1:13 PM  

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