From Apple's itchy trigger finger to Siebel's loosening its purse strings, you have to hand it to the stocks in the news this past week.

Mac's insides never quite looked like this
With a cast of bellwether stars, it's easy to see why Apple Computer's (NASDAQ:AAPL) decision to turn to Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) as the maker of its Macintosh chips was major news.

Opinions about the move were all over the map. Is this move a long-term winner for Apple as it piggybacks on Intel's efficiencies? Or is it a short-term loser if potential Mac buyers hold off for fear of buying a dying machine before the Intel migration is complete? It may very well be both.

Intel, on the other hand, has too many things going on for Apple's new orders to amount to much in terms of its overall sales. The same can be said of IBM (NYSE:IBM), the company that has been providing Apple with its computing chips. This move is really all about Apple.

The timing may be peculiar. The company has a bullet train of momentum, given its market-share nibbling over the past year. The iPod has catapulted Apple back into the mainstream. Potential Mac buyers may now find themselves on the sidelines until they learn more about Apple's new direction and what its Intel future will mean for its IBM-fueled past.

Buying Larry Ellison's enemies is starting to pay off
If a penny will still buy you a thought, Siebel Systems (NASDAQ:SEBL) should be good for 10 solid thinks a year. That's because the enterprise software specialist initiated a dividend policy that will shell out $0.025 a share to its shareholders every three months. Splitting pennies? Splitting hairs?

Siebel was founded by a former executive at Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL) and initially found great success in the customer relationship management software space. Lately, though, the company has fallen on hard times. Restless investors had been clamoring for a piece of Siebel's $2.2 billion cash pinata. They will get it now, like it or not. Siebel, with new management in place, has been tackling its woes by simplifying its sales force and cutting costs. Baby steps? Perhaps. Its new plan -- paying shareholders for their loyalty in fractional cents -- could use a good lesson in potty training.

The headlines behind this week's stories:

Until next week, I remain,

Rick Munarriz

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz thinks he may have an Intel chip inside. He does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this story. The Fool has a disclosure policy. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.