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Job Boards Down Double Digits As Financial Markets Tank

Aug 8, 2011
This article is part of a series called News & Trends.

HR stocks are getting hammered far harder than the broader financial markets, as the global selloff that began a week ago resumed today.

HR stocks are bleeding more than the market as a whole, as investors worldwide continued their rush to sell. The publicly traded job boards were all off by double digits, with LinkedIn down more than four times the Dow as a whole.

At mid-afternoon in New York, the Dow was down 4.4 percent, which translates into a nearly 500 point drop. The NASDAQ, where some of the HR stocks trade, was off 137 points, a 5.5 percent from its opening.

Investors spared none of the HR stocks we track. Wall Street darling LinkedIn was off $16.68, a drop of 18.26 percent. It was the biggest decline of any of the job boards and, for that matter, of all the HR firms on our list.

Last week LinkedIn reported revenues and earnings significantly higher than analysts had been expecting, and though company executives tamped down 3rd quarter expectations, what they projected was still above Wall Street’s early predictions. LinkedIn was rewarded for its performance by managing to climb $4.50 after the numbers were reported.

The double-digit drops in the other publicly traded boards — Dice, Monster, 51Job — can be interpreted as a lack of investor confidence in U.S. job growth. Although Wall Street got some “goodish” news Friday about July job growth, it wasn’t good enough to offset the mediocre financial news of the previous several days. Some economists are wondering whether even the modest July growth will be sustained, let alone accelerate.

Those concerns may account for the for the job board price declines, and for the relative support that staffing stocks got. Though down, too, the staffing firms weren’t hurt as much. In times of economic uncertainty, employers add overtime and bring in temps.

Manpower, for instance, was off 5.28 percent at mid-afternoon in New York. That was only about a point more than the Dow at that time. Kelly, also off, was in line with Manpower.

The tech vendors as a group were off more than the market as a whole. Cornerstone OnDemand was the best off of the publicly traded tech firms. It was down a mere .13 percent at mid-afternoon, well below the Dow.

At the other end, was SuccessFactors, which lost 10.6 percent of its value. Kenexa and Salesforce.com were down 8.29 percent each.

The chart accompanying this post was updated mid-afternoon New York time. By now, the numbers have likely changed, since market prices are moving quickly for many companies.

This article is part of a series called News & Trends.
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