Welcome to week 18 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

$14.10

(36.6%)

Harris & Harris

$6.22

$3.84

(38.3%)

IBM (NYSE:IBM)

$129.05

$80.58

(37.6%)

Oracle

$22.75

$16.46

(27.6%)

Taiwan Semiconductor (NYSE:TSM)

$10.34

$7.30

(29.4%)

AVERAGE RETURN

--

--

(33.90%)

S&P 500 SPDR (AMEX:SPY)

$126.28**

$87.94

(30.36%)

DIFFERENCE

--

--

(3.54%)

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

Maybe Mr. Market isn't as fast as he seemed a week ago. Turbulence caused by a dead-on-arrival bailout of General Motors, Chrysler, and -- to a lesser extent -- Ford created opportunity for my well-positioned growers. As a group, they outperformed the S&P by close to three percentage points this week. I'll take it.

Now isn't the time to get greedy, or cocky. Too many tech stocks are still suffering. Yahoo! (NASDAQ:YHOO), for example, made history with a pink-slip parade. Seagate (NYSE:STX) reduced guidance and told employees it would shutter some facilities during the holidays to trim costs. And netbooks have proven so popular that they're cannibalizing laptop sales. How do you think Michael Dell feels about that?

So while I'm cautious, I'm also mindful of history. David Gardner produced a decade of 20% returns by buying and holding the likes of Amazon.com and eBay (NASDAQ: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:

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

Get your clicks with further techno-Foolishness:

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.