Yahoo's stock hits where it was in October…1998

The stock market was actually up for much of the day today. While that statement is pretty pathetic, it’s worth noting that the tech-heavy Nasdaq was going strong up until market close (see update below), with many of the big name tech stocks making gains. Because of that, it’s also worth noting one stock that saw no such luck today: Yahoo.

While its counterparts, Google, Microsoft, Apple, eBay and Time Warner (which is trying to merge its AOL brand with Yahoo, more on that below), all were in the black, Yahoo once again saw its stock drop around 3 percent. Now hovering around $14-a-share, you can forget a 52-week low — the stock is at a 5-year low.

Update: The market crashed once again as the day ended wiping out many of the tech stocks’ gains, but also taking Yahoo even lower, down over 5.62 percent to $13.76-a-share.

Even sadder, the stock got as low as $13.20-a-share in early trading today before rebounding slightly. That number is interesting because on October 9, 1998 — 10 years ago tomorrow — its stock closed at $13.20.

Of course 1998 was a grand year for Yahoo’s stock. By the end of that year it was in the $40-a-share range. That led into 1999 where it soared past $100-a-share. We all remember what happened after that.

The reason for the fall today probably isn’t the lackluster reception that its new online calendar has received (after being about 10 years late to the market), it probably has more to do with analysts once again downgrading the stock. There is a lot of worry that Yahoo will be hit hard by a decline in the online advertising market.

Not surprisingly, analysts are also now suggesting that the time is right for software giant Microsoft to step in and make another bid to buy Yahoo. After all, Microsoft’s original $44.6 billion — $31-a-share — offer made earlier this year must look like the deal of the century to Yahoo now. Yahoo’s stock was around $19-a-share at the time of that offer, but immediately shot up getting as high as $34.08 a share before its current meltdown.

But AllThingsD’s Kara Swisher remains adamant that Microsoft will not swoop back in with an offer to buy Yahoo. Her sources tell her that Microsoft is happy to sit back and watch Yahoo try to coordinate its other deals. This includes Yahoo’s search advertising deal with Google, which switches from on again to off again as the U.S. government looks into it. And, more importantly, Yahoo’s talks with Timer Warner to merge with AOL.

Microsoft would be happy for that merger to happen, not to buy both of them, but rather to swoop in to buy the new Yahoo/AOL search business, Swisher hears from execs within Microsoft.


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