Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Why Alphabet Stock Popped 4.8% Today

By Rich Smith - Updated Jan 20, 2021 at 1:15PM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

Mixed news is apparently good news for Google's parent.

What happened

Shares of internet search giant Alphabet (GOOG 2.32%) (GOOGL 1.88%) are flying today, up 4.8% in noonday trading, but it's not immediately clear why. There's good news and bad news for Google's parent company today, but the bad news predominates.

Arrow angles up on a green stock chart

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

The good news: Reuters reports that Google is asking a federal judge to remove 10 states' antitrust lawsuits against it and have them tried in California, where jurors may be more favorable to the tech company. The bad news: Reuters also reports that 38 other states are suing Google over monopoly concerns, and the European Union appears to be gearing up to do likewise.    

Adding to the bad headlines, Axios reports today that Google -- which in December may or may not have fired (the facts are disputed) one of its Ethical Artificial Intelligence (AI) team members, Timnit Gebru -- has discovered that a second member of its AI team, Margaret Mitchell, has been looking through Gebru's messages to find examples showing discriminatory treatment of her.

Google responded to the apparent data misappropriation by locking Mitchell's accounts at the company, and said it is "actively investigating this matter."  

Now what

How bad this will get for Google, and for Alphabet, remains to be seen, but it certainly is bad optics, in public relations language. And the fact that Mitchell has begun tweeting angry notes about the company suggests that this is a negative headline that won't go away anytime soon, potentially damaging its reputation at the same time it's fending off multiple litigation assaults.

Why any of the above would add up to a 4.8% stock price gain for Google is beyond me.

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Stocks Mentioned

Alphabet Inc. Stock Quote
Alphabet Inc.
$2,165.92 (2.32%) $49.13
Alphabet Inc. Stock Quote
Alphabet Inc.
$2,155.85 (1.88%) $39.75

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning service.

Stock Advisor Returns
S&P 500 Returns

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 05/26/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.