Welcome to week 43 of my stock-picking throwdown with Mr. Market. Let's get right to the numbers:


Starting Price*

Recent Price

Total Return





Harris & Harris












Taiwan Semiconductor








S&P 500 SPDR








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

Let's call it even, Mr. Market. My tech portfolio performed a shade better than you did, but we were both very much in the green this week. Intriguingly, the rally accompanied a week in which  General Motors filed for bankruptcy and the SEC filed a civil fraud suit against former Countrywide CEO Angelo Mozilo.

Good jobs data seem to be at least partially responsible for investors' cheeriness. New numbers from the U.S. Labor Department show that the economy lost 345,000 jobs in May, the least since September, and well below the 500,000 Wall Street was apparently expecting, The Associated Press reports.

Creative financiers could help to bring that number down by getting more investor capital into the hands of growing businesses, via vehicles known as HPPOs. These Hybrid Private Public Offerings of stock often help early-stage firms that have yet to attract major market makers such as Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS).

The week in tech
But with or without HPPOs, innovation continues as it always has. Consider the early reviews for Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Wave, an integrated communications and collaboration platform that's been thrown into the open-source wild.

"I can't wait to get my hands on this bad boy and put it through its paces," wrote my Foolish colleague Anders Bylund. "My kids might end up asking me what 'email,' 'instant messaging,' 'SMS,' and 'Twitter' were, back in the day before Wave mashed it all up into a single service. And then we'll move on to pet rocks and the Macarena."

A little too optimistic, you say? Perhaps, but Wave does the necessary job of combining email, IM, and social media; right now, these disparate services are disruptions, rather than conversational tools. I share Anders' enthusiasm.

Intel (NASDAQ:INTC), meanwhile, got bigger and smaller simultaneously. This week the chip maker announced plans to acquire Wind River Systems (NASDAQ:WIND), a maker of software for small and mobile devices, for $884 million. With each passing day and deal, an Intel smartphone seems more likely.

But the biggest news of the tech week broke in today's edition of The Wall Street Journal: Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) CEO Steve Jobs should return from medical leave this month. Would it be too much to ask that he return next week, in time for the company's annual Worldwide Developer Conference?

Perhaps -- it won't change my thesis for Apple if he doesn't. Tech investing works best when practiced over very long periods. Witness David Gardner, who produced a decade of 20% returns in the real-money Rule Breaker portfolio. Tom Gardner's "simpleton portfolio" was also a 10-year winner. 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:

  • Oracle could be entertaining an entry into the netbook market, the Journal reports. The database king last month successfully bid to acquire Sun Microsystems (NASDAQ:JAVA), and ever since, speculation has simmered regarding Oracle's hardware ambitions. Watch here for further developments, Fools.

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

Get your clicks with more techie Foolishness:

Akamai, Google, and Harris & Harris are Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendations. Intel is a Motley Fool Inside Value pick. Apple is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor selection. The Fool wrote puts on Intel. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

Fool contributor Tim Beyers had stock and options positions in Apple and 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.