It was the downgrade heard round the Street yesterday afternoon, as many market watchers blamed Thursday's late session sell-off on negative analyst comments directed at Chinese Internet guru Baidu.com . The source of the tech-sector's ire? A trimming of BIDU's third-quarter earnings estimates by J.P. Morgan Chase. However, the brokerage firm still maintained its positive long-term outlook for the firm.
Personally, I believe that the selling on BIDU was heavily overdone, and it seems that investors were once again looking for a reason to take profits on a hot tech sector that has led on Wall Street for the majority of this year. You only have to look at the broad swath of declines in the likes of Apple (AAPL), Research In Motion Limited (RIMM), and VMWare (VMW) to realize that the biggest movers and shakers were hit the hardest - hinting to me, at least, that nervous tech speculators were spooked and stampeded irrationally for the exits.
Returning to BIDU, the stock is hovering around the 300 mark today, with its 20-day moving average residing in the area. This region is the home of key support for the shares, and while a close below this level today should not come as a surprise, neither should it be a reason to give up on BIDU all together. In yesterday's edition of The Casual Contrarian, I detailed the wealth of pessimism levied against the shares, which should translate to contrarian investors as potential sideline money. Once the weak hands are shaken out of the stock, we should see a return to BAIDU's winning ways.
Think of yesterday's heavy selling as a leveling of the playing field that put the kibosh on a potential wellspring of bullish exuberance for BIDU. As such, it could be time to regroup and look for a nice entry point for a long-term position on the shares.