Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Most Tech Stocks Were Naughty, Some Nice and Only Apple Merry, as Year Ends

The stock market is closed today, as part of the Christmas holiday. But it is doubtful — barring any major announcements — that the vastly different performances seen by a range of tech companies will change much.

Which is to say, some companies — such as eBay and Google — did well, although only Apple shares rose significantly enough to cause festive feelings.

As of Friday, Google rose almost 7 percent for the year to date, eBay rose 10.8 percent and Apple was up almost 26 percent.

As for all the others in tech? Lumps of coal for investors of varying size.

Let’s start with the better negative performances: Amazon was down 1.95 percent, Yahoo was down 2.7 percent and Microsoft was down 6.7 percent.

Not exactly anything to wassail about. And Yahoo shares were only down a little, since the recent swirl around its possible sale gave its stock a recent bump, or the performance would have been worse, based on its financial results.

And the oft-troubled AOL? Down 35.3 percent.

The crop of new Internet companies was also not doing so great. The latest, Zynga was down only 1.2 percent, Groupon down 12.5 percent and LinkedIn down 32.3 percent. Pandora truly tanked, with a 42.5 decline in share price. Only Russia’s Yandex bested that, with a 48.6 percent drop.

Enterprise-focused companies also had a lackluster year. While recently public Jive Software was up 9.2 percent, Cisco was down 8.7 percent and Hewlett-Packard was down 38.5 percent. Juniper got truly socked, with a 43.6 percent decline.

The music you are looking for right about now is “(Hey, Won’t You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song” by B.J.Thomas, which you can enjoy here in this timely video:

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik