October 20, 2007
Shrinking down the boob tube
This past trading week could've gotten messy. Three dot-com bellwethers posted earnings on three consecutive days, and recent gains were just begging to have the rug pulled out from under them.
I guess I shouldn't have been so worried.
The companies all faced unique challenges during their quarters. It was the first complete quarter for Yahoo!'s new CEO Jerry Yang. The number of auction listings dipped at eBay. Google spent aggressively.
Those challenges could have become scapegoats, but they never did. Yahoo!, eBay, and Google simply overcame those hurdles to emerge victorious.
The rest of the earnings season may not play out as smoothly, but it's comforting to see some of the tech world's heavies set the appropriate tone.
On the lighter side
And now, let's take a quick look at some of the other stories that shaped our week.
- Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL ) lowered the cost of its iTunes Plus tracks -- higher-quality files stripped of digital-rights-management protection -- to the same $0.99 price of its other available tunes. Nice. Which do you think fans will seek out now? It's like asking whether you want a burger, or a burger with fries at the same price. Then again, since the iTunes Plus songs are completely portable, maybe the better question would be: Do you want that burger "to go," or shackled to your food tray?
- I've never played Monopoly with someone wishing to hit a five on his opening roll. Then again, I've never played Monopoly with Berkshire Hathaway's (NYSE: BRK-A ) (NYSE: BRK-B ) Warren Buffett. The guy is buying railroads like crazy, I tell you! If my "roll a five" reference went over your head, now would be a good time to crack open the Monopoly board and play along at home.
- News Corp. (NYSE: NWS ) launched the Fox Business Network on Monday. I'm not in one of the 30 million homes that get the new personal-finance television channel, but I did tune in to General Electric's CNBC briefly to see whether they would respond to the debut by serving up meatier market analysis. And what do I hear? Two hosts bickering about their hair. No joke. I'm usually a fan of CNBC. I wasn't sure we needed two 24-hour national business news channels. Now I get it. Godspeed to both FBN and CNBC!
Until next week, I remain,