Welcome to Week 29 of the Big Idea Portfolio. This week, Google
|S&P 500 SPDR||$126.50**||$136.47||7.88%|
Source: Yahoo! Finance.
* Tracking began at market close on Jan. 6, 2012.
** Adjusted for dividends and other returns of capital.
The week that was
Mr. Market is a tease. After days of rallying, stocks sold off enough on Friday for most indexes to end up just marginally. Tech led with the Nasdaq Composite gaining 0.58% as the S&P 500 improved 0.43%. The Dow also rose, ending up 0.36%, but the small-cap Russell 2000 fell for the second consecutive week, dropping 1.18%, CNBC reports.
Ongoing concern about the prospects for a recovery weighed down stocks last week, and it's doing so again today. Tepid demand for Spanish bonds in last week's auction appears to have been the initial culprit. More recently, economists said Spain's economy contracted 0.4% over the three-month period ending in June, up from 0.3% the quarter prior.
Thankfully, the U.S. economy is still growing. But there are also plenty of problems to report. As my Foolish colleague Morgan Housel reports, nearly half of Americans don't have enough savings to cover even three months of expenses. Not good, especially when you consider the average worker who ends up laid off spends 10 months unemployed. Frightening stats like these are why so many investors remain on the sidelines despite evidence they'd be better off investing regularly in well-run businesses that provide invaluable products and services to large groups of customers.
Tech poppers and floppers
Earnings season is upon us again, with big names reporting big numbers. Google led last week's list. The search king reported an 11% boost in earnings on a 35% improvement in revenue, aided by its acquisition of Motorola Mobility.
But it wasn't the big numbers that impressed analysts. Paid clicks, a measure of how frequently users click on ads shown on Google properties, rose 42% year over year. The added volume more than made up for a 16% decline in the price advertisers paid for their listings.
To be fair, Microsoft attributed the losses to the entire online services division. Executives said the group, known internally as OSD, wasn't living up to prior estimates for growth and profitability.
Investors have known this for a while. Despite expensive marketing campaigns and a partnership with Facebook
Apple and Netflix
Which reports will impress? Which will disappoint? You tell me. Use the comments box below to weigh in on what you're expecting in the week ahead.
And see you back here over the weekend for more tech-stock talk. In the meantime, remember to check out the Fool's latest premium report on Apple, written by senior technology analyst Eric Bleeker. Inside you'll receive his take on the key opportunities and threats facing Apple, as well as a full year of updates. Also, be sure to add Apple and these other tech stocks to your free Watchlist.