On the bright side, at least its latest S&P 500 snub gave Google ( GOOG) another chance to wear that bridesmaid's dress.
The Mountain View, Calif., company may be on the verge of developing an always-a-bridesmaid complex when it comes to the big stock market index. Ever since Google came public last August, the market has been rife with rumors that the owner of the most popular search engine would score an invite. The company's widespread appeal and ballooning stock market value have only made the argument in favor of its inclusion seem more compelling. But on Friday, the Mountain View, Calif., company got jilted at the index-fund altar once again. Standard & Poor's said homebuilder Lennar ( LEN) and oil giant Chevron ( CVX) would replace departing Gillette in its S&P 500 and S&P 100 indices, respectively. After running up 2% in regular action Friday on speculation it was finally due to join the S&P 500, Google gave back some of those gains in postclose trading. It was up 80 cents Monday to $317.26. The S&P mania is notable because fund managers manage $1.2 trillion tied to the index. Were Google to get picked for inclusion in the S&P 500, managers would have to purchase even more Google shares, potentially driving the share price even higher. Google shares have more than tripled off last August's IPO. "It's a trader's paradise when speculation of that kind emerges," said Marshall Front, the head of Chicago-based Front-Barnett Associates, which has $1.9 billion in assets under management but doesn't own Google shares. "They have the opportunity to catch a quick profit if they are nimble enough." Google's shares certainly haven't hurt so far by their exclusion. They are up more than 60% this year, giving the company a market capitalization of almost $90 billion. Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin are each listed at No. 16 on the Forbes 400 list of the wealthiest Americans.