Welcome to week 11 of my stock-picking throwdown with Mr. Market. Let's get right to the numbers:

Company

Starting Price

Recent Price

Total Return

Akamai (NASDAQ:AKAM)

$22.23

$12.72

(42.8%)

Harris & Harris (NASDAQ:TINY)

$6.22

$4.25

(31.7%)

IBM

$129.05

$82.07

(36.4%)

Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL)

$22.75

$16.20

(28.6%)

Taiwan Semiconductor (NYSE:TSM)

$10.34

$6.46

(37.5%)

AVERAGE RETURN

--

--

(35.40%)

S&P 500 SPDR (AMEX:SPY)

$126.73

$87.04

(31.32%)

DIFFERENCE

--

--

(4.08%)

Source: Yahoo! Finance.

Up, down, up down -- Mr. Market just can't make up his mind. Not that he ever has in the 15-year history of The Motley Fool. I'd just like to catch a wave and ride it for a while, you know?

Good news from Akamai and Taiwan Semiconductor, both of which report on Thursday, could help. Recent history seems favorable; Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) still has a great story, and Google is winning even as the recession looms.

Trouble is, too many investors have turned into Chihuahuas -- timid and visibly shaken by the selling around them. So they also sell, sending excellent stocks lower. It's astounding, if perfectly predictable, behavior.

Top investors keep their cool to generate superior returns -- like when David Gardner produced a decade of 20% returns by buying and holding the likes of Amazon.com and eBay in the real-money Rule Breaker portfolio, or when Tom Gardner selected a "simpleton portfolio" to hold for a decade, with market-crushing results. I think these five tech stocks will produce plenty of durable gains.

This week's checkup
Now, let's move on to the rest of this week's update:

  • Akamai got into the advertising business this week with behavioral-targeting technology that executives say will make ad-serving systems from Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), Google, and others, smarter.
  • Oracle announced that it would blow $8 billion to sop up dilution caused by employee stock options. Why not just pay me a dividend, Larry?

There's your checkup. See you back here on Friday for more tech stock talk.

Get your clicks with more techie Foolishness:

Amazon, Apple, and eBay are Stock Advisor selections. Akamai, Google, and Harris & Harris are Rule Breakers recommendations. Try either of these market-beating services free for 30 days.

Fool contributor Tim Beyers recently returned from a tour of Silicon Valley with his Rule Breakers teammates, during which they visited more than a dozen established and emerging innovators, including a Harris & Harris portfolio company. Care to learn more? Just tell us where to send you our free updates.

Tim had positions in Akamai, Apple and Apple LEAPs, Google and Google LEAPs, Harris & Harris, IBM, Oracle, and Taiwan Semiconductor at the time of publication. The Motley Fool owns shares of S&P 500 depository receipts and has a tech-tastic disclosure policy.