Google's stocks have shot past $600 for the first time, kindling investor hopes as the cyber giant eyes a possible buy of ad distributor DoubleClick. CNN Money reports that stocks peaked at $610.26 in New York today and closed at $609.92, a 2.6% gain. The rise extended a monthlong surge in which shares spiked 17% in anticipation of a rosy 3rd-quarter report.
Starting at $85 in 2004, the stock's rise has spawned many millionaires—including hundreds of employees—and turned Google's top execs into multibillionaires. Now Earth's biggest online advertiser, the company will increase its power if regulators let it pick up ad distributor Doubleclick Inc. for $3.1 billion. Critics say the sale would grant Google too much sway over online ad prices.