Welcome to Week 24 of the Big Idea Portfolio. For the first time in this contest, I've fallen behind Mr. Market. Lack of faith in Google
|S&P 500 SPDR||$126.50**||$134.14||6.04%|
Source: Yahoo! Finance.
*Tracking began at market close on Jan. 6, 2012.
**Adjusted for dividends and other returns of capital.
The results are in and we now know exactly what Tim Cook's Apple has planned for the months ahead, with new Retina MacBooks and a ship date for the new operating system -- next month for Mac OS X Mountain Lion -- topping the list. But it was a mapping partnership with TomTom that caused Google the most grief. The forthcoming iOS 6 won't have Google Maps, as expected.
Is this as huge a blow to the search king as the market seems to think it is? Opinions vary. Google Maps has a huge installed base that's growing bigger, with 900,000 Android devices being activated daily. On the other hand, Apple told coders it now has 100 million business listings and is creating a distinct traffic service that could make turn-by-turn directions particularly useful when the system goes live.
On a broader scale, iOS 6, which is due in the fall -- presumably at the same time as a new iPhone -- will feature a more conversant Siri. Apple's somewhat maligned voice assistant will benefit from integrating with OpenTable's restaurant reservations system, Time Warner's Rotten Tomatoes movie review site, and Twitter. Apple also plans to embed the service into the functions of the next-generation iPad.
And that's potentially a huge problem for Google. Siri is imperfect, but it's the closest thing we have to natural language -- or semantic -- search in any everyday, no-training-required device. The Big G needs to come up with an answer for Android, Chrome OS, and its browser-based search engine. Google can't let Apple be better at any type of search, voice-activated or no.
Separately, Rackspace fell when Amazon.com
The week that was
Stocks rallied for the second consecutive week thanks a surging Dow Jones Industrial Average, which closed up 1.7%. The S&P 500 joined the Dow in rallying more than 1% -- up 1.30%, precisely -- while the tech-heavy Nasdaq added 0.50% and the small-cap Russell 200 rose 0.28% for the week. Each of the major indexes is once more in positive territory year to date. Investors also showed signs of remaining mostly optimistic as the CBOE Volatility Index, or VIX -- widely regarded as the best indicator of fear in the market -- fell a little more than a half a percent, CNBC reports.
Continued faith that central bankers would step in to stave off the possibility of a Greek default appears to have fueled the week's gains. Yet fears remain; my Foolish colleague Morgan Housel has details on the varying scenarios being debated by the punditry as I write today. What do you think will happen with Greece? 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 free 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. If you'd like to stay up to date with our lead tech analyst's opinion on Apple, be sure to check out our new Apple premium research service.
Fool contributor Tim Beyers is a member of the Motley Fool Rule Breakers stock-picking team and the Motley Fool Supernova Odyssey I mission. He owned shares of Apple, Google, Rackspace Hosting, Riverbed Technology, salesforce.com, and Time Warner at the time of publication. Check out Tim's Web home, portfolio holdings, and Foolish writings, or connect with him on Google+ or Twitter, where he goes by @milehighfool. You can also get his insights delivered directly to your RSS reader.
The Motley Fool owns shares of Amazon.com, Apple, Google, OpenTable, Riverbed Technology, and salesforce.com. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Apple, Amazon.com, salesforce.com, Riverbed Technology, Rackspace Hosting, OpenTable, and Google, creating a bull call spread position in Apple, creating a synthetic long position in Riverbed Technology, and creating a bear put spread position in salesforce.com. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.