The 2 Most Popular Stocks Last Week

According to Yahoo! Finance, the following two stocks received the most quote page views last week. The first one won't surprise you, but the second one almost certainly will.

Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL  )
Apple may no longer be
hedge funds' favorite stock, but its appeal remains very broad among institutional and individual investors alike -- which is hardly surprising, considering it is the world's most valuable brand and (once more) the most valuable company, ahead of ExxonMobil.

Last week, news flow concerning Apple was fairly negative, ranging from its legal disputes to reports that the iPhone maker is losing ground to Samsung in China and the United States. Shares were down 1.8% on the week, compared with a 0.9% gain in the megacap Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) . That sentiment could shift next week, which coincides with Apple's World Wide Developer Conference (June 10-14, in San Francisco). As one might expect, there are plenty of rumors swirling around the WWDC, with speculation about the release of iRadio or an iWatch, but the focus is likely to be on the new iPhone operating system, iOS7, and (to a lesser degree) the new version of OS X -- Apple-centric blog AppleInsider reports that new signage has been added displaying simply "7" and "X."

Federal National Mortgage Association (NASDAQOTCBB: FNMA  )
Federal mortgage agency Federal National Mortgage Association, known as Fannie Mae, is a conundrum, and a speculative vehicle par excellence. On the back of a spectacular 676% run-up this year (see the following graph), the company has become, to my knowledge, the most valuable over-the-counter penny stock there is. With its twin, the
Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. (NASDAQOTCBB: FMCC  ) , both of which were nationalized in 2008, during the credit crisis, these companies now have a combined market value of $5.5 billion.

FNMA Chart

FNMA data by YCharts

Last week, details emerged about the potential timetable for the government's plans for the two agencies. Given that the draft legislation from a bipartisan group of senators calls for the agencies to be wound down within five years, the shares' rise now appears to be a case of the triumph of (speculative) hope over reality. Though the shares are down significantly from their May high, there could be plenty of air to come out of them yet. I'd strongly recommend individual investors avoid these issues, except as an alternative to a trip to Vegas (which sounds like more fun, anyway.)

There's no doubt that Apple is at the center of technology's largest revolution ever and that longtime shareholders have been handsomely rewarded, with more than 1,000% gains. However, there is a debate raging as to whether Apple remains a buy. The Motley Fool's senior technology analyst and managing bureau chief, Eric Bleeker, is prepared to fill you in on reasons to buy and reasons to sell Apple and what opportunities are left for the company (and your portfolio) going forward. To get instant access to his latest thinking on Apple, simply click here now.


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  • Report this Comment On June 09, 2013, at 9:47 PM, thombiz wrote:

    Neither Fannie nor Freddie were "nationalized" in 2008. They were put into conservatorship which is legally defined as having someone make fudiciary and management decisions during such time as they are unable to make their own decisions. Fannie and Freddie are still corporations owned by their stockholders. It is against the law for a conservator to take undue advantage of a business during the period of conservatorship. I'm confident the courts will get this cleared up soon.

  • Report this Comment On June 10, 2013, at 7:35 AM, msimons4 wrote:

    Go to: Restore fairness to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac common shareholders

    https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/restore-fairness-f...

    1. Conservatorship for whom? Fannie is delaying the raising of the debt ceiling.

    2. If they can take the Deferred Tax Assets then they don’t need to be in conservatorship.

    “Investopedia explains 'Deferred Tax Asset'

    It must be determined that there is more than a 50% probability that the company will have positive accounting income in the next fiscal period before the deferred tax asset can be applied.”

    3. Best net income since their inception in 1938.

    From Form 10-Q filing:

    "Our pre-tax income of $8.1 billion for the

    first quarter of 2013 was the largest quarterly pre-tax income in our history"

    4. Market cap of 70 Billion in 2004 with one forth less net income.

    5. 117 billion in senior preferred and 80% of the common.

    6. Initially 10% dividend now 100% of the profits not to go towards either the senior preferred or the common.

    7. Sold junior preferred under false profit pretense so the CEO could improve his bonus.

    From: http://www.renewamerica.com/co...

    "Former Fannie Mae head investigated for lying to investors -- his name is "Mudd" "

    8. Order of risk under new deal. Homeowners, private investors, banks then government.

    How is that different from what we have now?

    Homeowners lose their down payment.

    Private investors won’t invest without the government backing.

    Banks are settling with Fannie Mae on misrepresentation.

    So insurance will have to be for 100% of the loan instead of PMI for 20%.

    PMI insurance for 20% of a loan is 1% of the entire loan which is 5% for the amount borrowed.

    How much more will the insurance raise the rate?

    Your local bank factors all this in. Go to your local bank and see what the rate is for an in-house loan on a home purchase.

    We are in a housing crisis with our current historically low rates.

    9. Who can insure 5 trillion?

    AIG tried it with their Credit Default Swaps (CDS) and the government had to bail them out.

    10. So the tax payers should take the risk to keep interest rates low for themselves or Fannie Mae should charge for insurance.

    11. New plan is 5 years out. 8 billion for 20 quarters = 160 billion. 117 billion for the senior preferred and 34 billion for the junior preferred leaves 9 billion for the common.

    - It could take more than 5 years and therefore more net income is accruing.

    - The 8 billion quarterly net income could go up since house prices are going up.

    - The total payback is double what they borrowed not counting the common they have.

    12. What does wanting to end the GSE's have to do with keeping the profits from shareholders?

    13. Do you think they will ever implement a plan where rates will reflect the cost to insure the money from the private investors?

    14. If the money is insured, then why do we need the private investors?

    15. How long do you think the government will be able to keep the net income after they have been paid back?

    16. If they just considered it a wash on their senior preferred after they have been paid back, the common would be worth at a 15 multiple (the average since 1920) 8x4x15=480 billion which they own 80% of for a value of $384 billion. AIG trades at a 30 multiple.

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