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Google Gives Back Ground

The stock is down 7% in the past month.

Shares of



slipped in afternoon trading on Monday -- signaling an "aggressive break" under the stock's three-week range floor, according to market analysis site

The stock has now given up about one-third of its gains for the year and is down more than 7% since that high.

The retreat follows what had been a strong seven-week run-up for the stock. Shares had gained nearly 27% from the beginning of October to close at a high of $509.65 on Nov. 21.

Shares of rival




Time Warner


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, which operates AOL, and



have outpaced Google over the last month, as have the tech-heavy


and broad-based

S&P 500


The next technical support level for Google is at $472.52, and the one below it is at $468.63, according to Jim Schroeder, analyst at Schroeder calculated the levels based on the stock's 50-day moving averages. Schroeder says that no catalyst was immediately apparent for the latest move. An inexact science at best, technical analysis uses terms including floors and ceilings that refer to the trading patterns that a variety of market factors can induce into a stock.

Google remains up nearly 14% for the year, edging out the Nasdaq and S&P 500. The large-cap

Dow Jones Industrial Average

is up 14.7% year to date, virtually on par with Google.

Trading at 34.5 times forward earnings, Google is far from the most expensive in the Internet sector. The median price target for the stock is $549, according to analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial/First Call. The stock is rated a buy or a strong buy by 33 analysts, with only two analysts rating it a sell.