After yet another Microsoft statement of disinterest, Yahoo stock down 15 percent

No surprises here. Yahoo stockholders wanted Microsoft to buy the beleaguered yet large and profitable web company — or nothing — judging by Yahoo’s stock price today. The 15 percent drop so far today is apparently due to statements Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer made in Australia last night.

Ballmer said no acquisition is under consideration, only that his company is still open to a search deal with Yahoo, maybe. Such a deal will likely be worth far less than the now-defunct Yahoo-Google search partnership, given Google’s dominance in the search industry.

This is the latest non-news about Yahoo that stock traders are reacting to; chief executive Jerry Yang had said on Wednesday that his company wasn’t talking to Microsoft.

Nevertheless, Yahoo’s stock has been on a roller-coaster because of all this deal-making. Shortly after the Google deal’s death was announced Tuesday, a rumor spread among New York hedge funds that a Microsoft acquisition was imminent, and Yahoo’s stock jumped in the early hours of trading Wednesday. The rumor was fabricated by traders aiming to short the stock and make a quick profit, as we guessed upon hearing it.

[Screenshot via Google Finance]