Several years ago, a portfolio of Blockbuster (NYSE: BBI), Fannie Mae (NYSE: FNM), and Freddie Mac (NYSE: FRE) would have seemed like a conservative bet on a retailing juggernaut and a pair of financial bulwarks.

Times change.

All three companies with penny-stock prices treated their shareholders to brutal one-day hits this past week. Blockbuster fell sharply on Monday, after reports surfaced that the DVD retailer was negotiating debtor-in-possession financing. Fannie and Freddie met the ticker tape shredder on Wednesday, after regulators ordered an exchange delisting of the shares.

Investors need to know that they often turn into speculators when scouring for winners among stocks trading to the right of the decimal point. There are some success stories, but these are mostly risky lottery tickets.

Briefly in the news
And now let's take a quick look at some of the other stories that shaped our week.

  • Sony (NYSE: SNE) and Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) were the stars of the gamer-centric E3 show this week. The console makers provided more details for their motion-based controllers that are slated to hit the market this year. The first step is getting diehard gamers to actually move and buy the upgrades.
  • Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) is nixing a rheumatoid arthritis drug from its partnership pipeline, throwing more weight and focus behind treatments that stand a better chance of being successful and material contributors to Pfizer.
  • Even exchanges can go public. CBOE (Nasdaq: CBOE) was a hit in its Wall Street debut, as the options trading platform rose 12% during its IPO on Tuesday.

Until next week, I remain,

Rick Munarriz