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Private Briefingwith WILLIAM PATALON III, Executive Editor
Ask any of our gurus for advice on how to survive a stock-market sell-off – or even a whipsaw period like the one we’re navigating now – and you’ll get a surprising answer.
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Talk about two stocks going in the opposite direction: Apple stock (Nasdaq: AAPL) is trading near its 52-week lows, while Google Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG) recently hit an all-time high.
The trend has some wondering if investors are consciously moving their money from one tech giant to the other.
"There's a lot of money that likes the tech sector, and I think Google has kind of taken over from Apple," Eric Kuby, chief investment officer at North Star Investment Management, told Reuters.
Looking at the charts, it's clear that Google stock is now enjoying the kind of momentum that Apple had for years, while sentiment toward AAPL almost couldn't get any more bearish.
Since Apple stock hit its all-time high of $705.07 in September, it has plunged 40% and lost more than $260 billion in market capitalization. AAPL is down more than 20% year to date.
Google hit several new highs recently, and poked briefly above $840 in early trading Wednesday. Google stock is up 48% from its mid-June low last year, and up 17.5% so far this year.
And at least two analysts recently put a $1,000 price target on GOOG, reminiscent of last year when analysts were rushing to put a $1,000 price target on Apple.
"The bulls are in Google's camp, and the bears are in Apple's camp at the moment," Neil Mawston, the executive director of Strategy Analytics, told CNBC.com, which speculated that Google could be replacing Apple as the dominant tech giant, as Apple supplanted Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) in the past decade.
But any Apple investors who haven't already dumped shares in favor of jumping on the Google stock bandwagon might want to think twice before doing so now.
Just as when Apple was soaring, investors are in love with Google's potential for growth.
"We believemobility, together with continued innovation in search such as new formats and better targeting, willsupport growth of search revenues in the double digits for several years to come," Sanford Berstein analyst Carlos Kirjner wrote to clients in a January note that raised the company's target on GOOG to $1,000."We also believeYouTube is already a multibillion dollar business, growing fast and with healthy operating margins,whose growth potential is not fully reflected in consensus."
But here’s what many investors fail to realize:
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