Make sure to come back to Fool.com this Wednesday as Fool analysts will be hosting a live chat on Apple's unveiling of the next iPad. You'll not only get our perspective on what it means for Apple as an investment, but you can also ask questions about how the tablet affects its suppliers and Apple competitors. So make sure to check back at fool.com at 12:45 p.m. ET / 9:45 a.m. PT to get a chance not only to read about the newest iPad and what it means, but also to chat with our analysts about its impact.
Welcome to Week 9 of the Big Idea Portfolio. This time, an impressive rally in Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL ) shares fueled by iPad 3 speculation provided more than enough tailwind to outperform the index. Details below, but first let's dig into the numbers:
|S&P 500 SPDR||$127.71||$137.31||7.52%|
Source: Yahoo! Finance.
* Tracking began at market close on Jan. 6, 2012.
** Adjusted for dividends and other returns of capital.
We now know that March 7 is to be iPad 3 launch day. All signs suggest that the new tablet will sport a high-resolution Retina Display. Additional reports suggest built-in access to both AT&T's and Verizon's fast 4G LTE networks. An upgraded chip, possibly the long-rumored quad-core A6, should also find a home in the new iPad -- good news for ARM Holdings investors betting that sales volume will lead to outsized royalty payments.
Expect a full teardown of the device within 48 hours of its appearance on the market, leading to sharp surges in the shares of confirmed suppliers and depressing declines in the shares of those that didn't make the cut. OmniVision Technologies (Nasdaq: OVTI ) probably has the most to lose. The company's advanced image sensors haven't always made it into Apple products, though strong guidance suggests the iPad 3 might be among the exceptions.
While Apple did most of the heavy lifting this week, Riverbed Technology (Nasdaq: RVBD ) also enjoyed a nice rally. The stock ended the week up more than 4 percentage points after announcing the results of a long-planned joint development effort with Akamai Technologies (Nasdaq: AKAM ) .
With the Steelhead Cloud Accelerator, the companies have combined technology for speeding the delivery of data across what's known as a "hybrid cloud" network. It's a lot like it sounds. An internally controlled hodgepodge of servers and software is privately and securely extended with Web-hosted computing resources.
In those instances, Cloud Accelerator first seeks opportunities to reduce the amount of data sent across the Web and then defines the best path for traveling. The hoped-for effect? Faster access to vital computing resources, wherever they may be. Early customers include offshore explorer Seadrill, which uses Cloud Accelerator to improve the performance of Microsoft's online Office 365 apps.
The week that was
Chalk up another mixed week for stocks. The Dow fell marginally as the small-cap Russell 2000 index fell nearly 3%. Both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq reported marginal gains while the volatility index (VIX), widely considered the best gauge of fear in the market, fell slightly.
Techs were once again the big story, with Apple capturing the majority of the headlines right up until Friday, when consumer-ratings specialist Yelp (NYSE: YELP ) made its New York Stock Exchange debut. The shares rallied 63% from their initial offering price of $15. Is that justified? At least one of my colleagues says no. But that's today; fortunes change fast in the wild world of investing in innovators.
See you back here next weekend for more tech-stock talk. In the meantime, you can check out the Fool's latest special report -- "3 Stocks That Will Help You Retire Rich" -- and add the Big Idea portfolio stocks to your Foolish Watchlist for ongoing, up-to-the-minute coverage. Both the report and the Watchlist as 100% free to use: