FORTUNE -- I've long since given up on Google (GOOG) as fair arbiter of business news value (see Has Google Finance's news feed got it in for Apple?). I'd assumed, however, that it could be trusted to deliver accurate market data.
But reader Hank Vaccaro points out that according to Google Finance, Apple's (AAPL) $450 billion market cap was eclipsed overnight by the $1.03 trillion valuation the site assigned to Regis Corp. (RGS), the world's largest hair salon chain.
Yahoo Finance puts Regis's market cap at $1.03 billion. That sounds more like it.
Pity the poor investor who tries to evaluate Apple based on these headlines
FORTUNE -- Hey, Apple's (AAPL) down, let's pile on!
That seems to be the attitude -- if a computer can have an attitude -- of the program that filters headlines on Google's (GOOG) financial news feed.
The list at right (expanded below) was generated by doing a Google Finance search for "Apple" at 8 a.m. Monday morning. You have to MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Jan 28, 2013 8:24 AM ET
Type "over sold" and you get Amazon
FORTUNE -- Tricks you can play with Google Finance:
Typing "sell" (without quotes) brings up Apple (AAPL)
Typing "over sold" brings up Amazon (AMZN)
Typing "buy" brings up -- you guessed it -- Best Buy (BBY)
Saturday was a busy day for Google Finance memes. The "sell Apple" one was started, apparently, by Greedy Picks, who described it as "kicking someone in the face when they are already MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Dec 29, 2012 6:53 PM ET
Apple shares briefly fall to $0.00 on Google Finance
Under the heading "OK, I almost just had a heart attack," one of the investors who follow Apple (AAPL) on Investor Village's AAPL Sanity board posted the screenshot at right, in which Google's (GOOG) stock-tracking service reports Apple's shares plummeting $350.96 (100%) in after-hours trading Tuesday.
The stock bounced back in the next clock tick, but the glitch shook investors who rely on MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Mar 31, 2011 6:18 AM ET
Google does "the wisdom of crowds."
If you think about the millions of searches conducted daily using Google, (GOOG) there is reason to believe you ought to be able to divine patterns or trends from the activity. If everyone is searching for a particular song for example, you might expect that artist to climb the charts. If searches are fast and furious for a digital camera, sales ought to correspondingly increase.
But MOREMichael V. Copeland, Senior Writer - Sep 8, 2009 7:29 AM ET
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