Earnings jitters hit Google stock prices

Stock prices of Internet giant Google plunged below the $400 level due to worries about the firm's upcoming fourth quarter earnings report, an AFP report said.


The AFP report said the dip in stock prices was also due in part to Google's "brewing battle" with the Bush administration, which had compounded investor worries on the earnings report.


Google's share price dropped $36.99, or 8.5%, to close at $399.46 on the Nasdaq, its lowest since November 16, the report said.


The report said Google's market value also plummeted by 14% during the last week, wiping out $20 billion in shareholder wealth.


Wall Street's jitters intensified as the market mulled the possible fallout from Google's rebuff of a Justice Department subpoena seeking a list of its users' search requests for a one-week period, the report said.


US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales filed a motion in a San Jose federal court a few days ago seeking to force Google to hand over the requested information. Google is the only major search engine so far to challenge the Bush administration, the report said.