Welcome to week 66 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.

Mr. Market's good week was better for my tech portfolio, and I'm once again more than seven percentage points ahead.

For the most part, the techies have created the tailwind. Mr. Market likes the breeze; he barely took notice when new research from the Federal Reserve pointed to tighter lending standards, higher fees, and, most of all, higher interest rates from credit card issuers such as JPMorgan Chase.

His attention was instead focused on Silicon Valley, where Advanced Micro Devices (NYSE:AMD) and Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) ended their court battle via a $1.25 billion cash settlement paid by Intel to AMD. The deal also includes a wide-ranging licensing agreement between the two chip makers and prohibits Intel from signing exclusive supplier contracts.

The week in tech
And yet the Great Chip Compromise of 2009 was only one tech headline in a week that boasted a few biggies.

On Wednesday, Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) agreed to pay $2.7 billion to acquire 3Com (NASDAQ:COMS), a lagging competitor to Cisco in the networking equipment business. Foolish colleague Rich Smith loathes the deal. Here's why.

Executives at Motorola (MOT), meanwhile, are reportedly mulling the sale of its Home & Networks Mobility unit, which sells set-top boxes, cable modems, and related equipment. Management is asking $4.5 billion, The Wall Street Journal reports.

In earnings news, Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendation Rackspace Hosting (NYSE:RAX) reported 17% higher revenue during the third quarter. There's debate over whether cash is flowing as freely as management says, but the balance sheet is improving and there's evidence that Rackspace is getting more from every server it deploys.

Finally, and in what may be the biggest news of the tech week, Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) on Monday announced a $750 million deal for mobile ad network operator AdMob. The wrinkle? It's an all-stock acquisition.

I know what you're thinking: "All stock? With more than $20 billion in cash in the bank?" Yep, Google will soak up the inevitable dilution via a massive buyback. The Big G values what AdMob has to offer that much.

I like the chances of this deal paying off. Nevertheless, one of the great truths about tech is that overnight successes take years to develop and even longer to create value. Patience and diversification are the keys to tech investing gains.

Look at David Gardner. He produced a decade of 20% returns in the real-money Rule Breaker portfolio by betting on a broad portfolio of innovators, and holding for the long-term. 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:

  • After a month of saber rattling, the European Commission has officially objected to Oracle's $7.4 billion bid for Sun Microsystems, citing concerns that the open-source MySQL database -- a competitor, especially in powering Web applications -- would be limited or even destroyed were Oracle allowed to become steward of the technology. The company has since objected to the EC's objection, and executives appear to be gearing up for a fight.

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

Get your clicks with more techie Foolishness:

Fool contributor Tim Beyers spent part of his week studying emerging tech at the Defrag conference in Denver. Find out about what he saw by visiting the private discussion area for our Rule Breakers service. Not a subscriber? Click here to get a 30-day guest pass.

Akamai, Google, Harris & Harris, and Rackspace are Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendations. Intel is an Inside Value pick. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

Tim owned shares of Akamai, Google, 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 owns shares of Oracle and Motley Fool Options has recommended buy calls on Intel. The Fool is on Twitter as @TheMotleyFool. Its disclosure policy is tech-tastic.