Welcome to Week 25 of the Big Idea Portfolio. Once more I'm in the lead, thanks to some modest rallying for all but Riverbed Technology (Nasdaq: RVBD ) . I'll have more on where this deduplication specialist stands, and other notable tech news, in a minute. First, let's dig into the numbers:
|S&P 500 SPDR
Source: Yahoo! Finance.
* Tracking began at market close on Jan. 6, 2012.
** Adjusted for dividends and other returns of capital.
The week that was
After two weeks of rallying, most of the major indexes fell over the past five trading days. Only the small-cap Russell 2000 gained, up 0.3% over the past five days. The Dow Jones Dow Jones Industrial Average led the laggards with a 0.8% decline while the S&P 500 fell 0.7%. Tech stocks performed about in line as the Nasdaq closed off 0.1%, according to data published by The Wall Street Journal.
Expect more volatility this week. The Supreme Court is days away from ruling on the legality of Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare. Intuitive Surgical (Nasdaq: ISRG ) ranks near the top of stocks that could benefit should the law be struck down, killing a 2.3% excise tax on medical-device sales. Meanwhile, a forthcoming EU Summit may accomplish little, with Greece's new prime minister sitting out the meetings because of illness.
Tech poppers and floppers
Most of Silicon Valley's top stocks volleyed back and forth over the past week. Count Facebook (Nasdaq: FB ) among the exceptions. With talk of its failed IPO mostly behind it, shares of the social network advanced more than 9% as the S&P 500 fell. Investors apparently believe the stock has become too oversold to ignore; I agree. A new advertising platform called Facebook Exchange could allow the site to use browsing data to perfect display ads shown on the social network, adding a touch of the search-driven targeting that's made Google's efforts successful over the years.
In mobile news, the Research In Motion (Nasdaq: RIMM ) death watch continues, with Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT ) announcing plans to use a common code base for the phone and desktop editions of Windows 8. The move should make it easier for developers to justify spending time writing code for Mr. Softy's platforms -- time they might otherwise spend writing apps for the BlackBerry.
How will RIM answer? We got a taste this morning with a weekend report in the U.K.'s Sunday Times that says management is thinking about breaking apart and then selling the handset and BlackBerry messaging units separately to unlock value for shareholders. Analysts don't seem to care; Morgan Stanley cut its rating on the stock to "Underweight" and set a price target of $7. Shares of Research In Motion closed at $9.86 apiece on Friday.
Finally, while there doesn't appear to be any particular news that drove losses at Riverbed, a growing number of Fools now see value in the name. Foolish colleagues Rich Smith and Rich Duprey have both made outperform CAPScalls on the stock, citing an attractive valuation and strong competitive positioning, among other things. Mr. Market has yet to pick up on what we see.
Which tech stocks do you like now and over the next three years? Please weigh in using the comments box below.
See you back here over the weekend for more tech-stock talk. And remember to check out the Fool's latest special report -- "The 3 Dow Stocks Dividend Investors Need" -- and add the Big Idea portfolio stocks to your Foolish Watchlist for ongoing, up-to-the-minute coverage. Both the report and the Watchlist are 100% free to Fools: