Welcome to week 16 of my stock-picking throwdown with Mr. Market. Let's get right to the numbers:


Starting Price*

Recent Price

Total Return





Harris & Harris (NASDAQ:TINY)












Taiwan Semiconductor
















Source: Yahoo! Finance as of close Nov. 26, 2008.
* Tracking began on Aug. 7, 2008.
** Adjusted for dividends and other returns of capital.

Uh-oh. Mr. Market's good cheer didn't much help my tech portfolio. Instead, it lost ground this week, down another 60 basis points versus the S&P 500. Maybe I should just give up. We're all doomed anyway, right? Even Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) may experience tougher times, according to one analyst.

"Apple is facing the possibility that as the economic news gets worse, that they're increasingly pricing themselves out of an important market," Ezra Gottheil of Technology Business Research wrote in a research note. "Economic conditions are accelerating this." Apple may have to respond to low-priced netbook producers like Dell (NYSE:Dell)

Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), too, is facing increased skepticism. Rumors surfaced this week that the search king would cut 10,000 contractors from its rolls. Perhaps, but new search statistics from Nielsen showed further gains for Google and -- surprise! -- losses for Microsoft and Yahoo! (NASDAQ:YHOO). Nibbling at proven, low-priced leaders like Apple and Google now should lead to a feast of wealth later.

Consider history. David Gardner produced a decade of 20% returns by buying and holding the likes of Amazon and eBay in the real-money Rule Breaker portfolio. Tom Gardner's "simpleton portfolio" was also a market-beater. I believe that, with these five tech stocks, I will achieve similar success.

Checkup time!
Now, let's move on to the rest of today's update:

  • Further details of IBM's case against Apple in the hiring of Mark Papermaster surfaced this week. In granting a temporary injunction, the judge ruled that there's "substantial risk" that Papermaster will reveal Big Blue's trade secrets.
  • Analysts at Barclays cut their short-term price target for Oracle from $27 to $22 per share, but also maintained an "overweight" rating. Whatever that means.

There's your checkup. See you back here next week for more tech stock talk.

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Amazon, Apple, and eBay are Stock Advisor selections. Dell and Microsoft are Inside Value picks. Akamai, Google, and Harris & Harris are Rule Breakers recommendations. Try any of these Foolish services free for 30 days. There's no obligation to subscribe.

Fool contributor Tim Beyers is getting killed in CAPS right now. Thankfully, his real portfolio is doing better.

Tim had stock and options positions in Apple and Google and stock positions in Akamai, Harris & Harris, IBM, Oracle, and Taiwan Semiconductor at the time of publication. The Motley Fool has a tech-tastic disclosure policy.