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By Jason Stipp | 01-14-2010 03:47 PM

Earnings Expectations, Google, Electric Cars and New Taxes

Morningstar markets editor Jeremy Glaser on the market's high earnings expectations, potholes for plugged-in cars, the Google-China conflict, and more.

Jason Stipp: I'm Jason Stipp for Morningstar, and welcome to the Friday Five. This is our look back at some notable headlines for investors. Joining me as always with the Friday Five is Morningstar markets editor Jeremy Glaser. Jeremy, welcome back from Vegas and thanks for being here.

Jeremy Glaser: Thanks, Jason. Good to be back in Chicago.

Stipp: So what do you have for the Five this week?

Glaser: Well we saw Google decide that they might pull out of China; retail sales disappointed a little bit; Alcoa also had disappointing results; we saw a new bank tax being proposed by President Obama; and finally, we'll see if the Chevy Volt is actually going to be revolting.

Stipp: Well it sounds like a good lineup so let's go to China for number one.

Glaser: Google posted on their blog this week that they're reconsidering their business operations in China. They've decided to uncensor their Web site, which is something they had agreed to do when they entered the market just a few years ago. And I think this is a move that the Chinese government is not going to take very kindly. I think it's likely that Google will have to pull out of China.

So what's the impact of this? I think for Google it's probably pretty minor. Their China business is certainly growing but they're definitely a clear number two to Baidu which is the locally grown search engine, and it doesn't make up a huge amount of the revenue or a huge amount of their profit.

Could there be greater political implications or greater implications down the road? Possibly, but I think for now it's certainly an interesting event but not something that's really going to drive the investment story at Google.

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