Welcome to week 21 of my stock-picking throwdown with Mr. Market. Let's get right to the numbers:

Company

Starting Price*

Recent Price

Total Return

Akamai

$22.23

$15.09

(32.1%)

Harris & Harris (NASDAQ:TINY)

$6.22

$3.95

(36.5%)

IBM (NYSE:IBM)

$128.33**

$84.16

(34.4%)

Oracle

$22.75

$17.73

(22.1%)

Taiwan Semiconductor

$10.34

$7.90

(23.6%)

AVERAGE RETURN

--

--

(29.74%)

S&P 500 SPDR (AMEX:SPY)

$125.26**

$90.24

(27.96%)

DIFFERENCE

--

--

(1.78%)

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

Goodbye, 2008. Mr. Market's final week was good to most investors, but my tech portfolio couldn't keep pace, falling another 24 basis points behind in this race.

So be it; it was a tough year for tech stocks. Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) fell 45% as Vista faltered. EBay (NASDAQ:EBAY), meanwhile, lost far too many of its top sellers and 58% of its market value.

Will 2009 be any better? That's a tough question to answer. Data from comScore shows that shoppers mostly kept away from the keyboard this holiday season. Palm's (NASDAQ:PALM) make-or-break moment comes next week at CES. And while the iPhone and iPod Touch have enjoyed strong sales, chipmakers are expecting to supply fewer PCs and gadgets in the year ahead.

There are a few bullish stories, however. Superstar investors are loading up on shares of video game maker Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI). Big money investors are following microblogger Twitter. And top tech executives are preparing to buy capital-light peers and upstarts while they're still cheap. 

Smart move. History shows that today's panic is tomorrow's opportunity. David Gardner produced a decade of 20% returns by buying and holding disruptive winners 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:

  • IBM inked a deal with Japan's Ricoh paper, in which the two will swap sales lists and sell their servers and printers together, the local Nikkei business paper reported on Tuesday.
  • As planned, Harris & Harris namesake Charles Harris retired as CEO on Wednesday. Company President Doug Jamison now leads the firm that Harris created in 1981. Foolish wishes for a long, happy, and healthy retirement, sir.

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

Get your clicks with more techie Foolishness:

Activision Blizzard and eBay are Stock Advisor selections. Microsoft is an Inside Value pick. Akamai and Harris & Harris are Rule Breakers recommendations. Try any of these Foolish services free for 30 days. There's no obligation to subscribe.

Fool contributor Tim Beyers had stock and options positions in Google and stock positions in Akamai, Harris & Harris, IBM, Oracle, and Taiwan Semiconductor at the time of publication. Check out his portfolio holdings and Foolish writings, or connect with him on Twitter as @milehighfool.

The Motley Fool is also on Twitter as @TheMotleyFool. Its disclosure policy is tech-tastic.