Totally unrelated: Pop, pop, pop?
by Wolf Richter • April 28, 2014
The debacle has become part of the public debate even on NPR, which is a terrible sign. And KQED, one of our radio stations in San Francisco – a city that had been particularly impacted by the implosion of the dotcom bubble and isn’t naive about it – aired a one-hour show Friday morning, titled, “Are we in another Tech Bubble?” The discussion between the host and the guests didn’t leave much room for the title’s question mark.
The Fly posted some of the biggest losers that once had been among “2013′s favorite stocks.” Biotech company Exelixis tops the list, down 61% from its 52-week high. It’s also down 93% from its all-time high shortly after its IPO in early 2000. In second place on the list: another Biotech outfit, Halozyme, down 60% from its all-time high in early January. It’s back where it was in mid-2013. Imperva, a Big Data security products maker, crashed 64% from its peak last year. And so on.
This sort of wholesale destruction makes the biggies look practically tame: Twitter is down only 44% from its high late last year, Amazon 26% from earlier this year. Amazon has the dubious distinction of having been an early warning signal during the blowup of the dotcom bubble. It started crashing in early December 1999 and was down 40% six weeks later. The bubble officially burst in early March 2000, after which Amazon continued to eviscerate traders and investors alike. Unlike many of its brethren, however, it survived and a decade later made new highs.
Internet-radio miracle Pandora has plunged 42% in six weeks, taking it back to where it had been in September. This is the nature of momentum stocks that get unhinged from reality and soar without even the sky being the limit. When the hot air hisses out of them, they plunge at three or five times the speed. Escalator up, elevator down.