In terms of stocks, Google picked out the 10 biggest trending topics — searches with the largest increase in search volume since last year.
From Twitter’s (TWTR) IPO to “activist investor” ego battles, these 10 companies had some of the biggest market stories of 2013.
Now we know what people are searching for.
10. Freddie Mac
Year-to-date return: 810.71%
Bruce Berkowitz of Fairholme Capital Management recently announced that he and other investors are willing to buy and recapitalize Freddie Mac, the mortgage-backed security seller and government-sponsored entity that gained fame as it crumbled during the financial crisis.
Year-to-date return: 132.39%
Herbalife is “trending” more because big personalities have been going on TV to talk about it (rather than because of the product itself). “Activist investors” Bill Ackman and Carl Icahn have squared off over the diet supplement company all year.
Ackman, of Pershing Square, is short and has said the company is a “pyramid scheme.” Ichan took the other end and went long, and says he’s made $500 million on the bet — which probably was less about the money and more about one-upping Bill Ackman. George Soros is also long Herbalife. In hedge fund land, and otherwise unknown stock can become the perfect arena for big egos.
8. Better Business Bureau
Ticker: (not public)
Year-to-date return: NA
The Better Business Bureau is actually a non-profit. It is a highly-searched company because it provides consumers with information about various businesses. We’re not really sure why this was in Google’s list.