Welcome to week 133 of my stock-picking throwdown with Mr. Market. Let's get right to the numbers:


Starting Price*

Recent Price

Total Return

Harris & Harris (Nasdaq: TINY)$6.22$5.05(18.8%)
IBM (NYSE: IBM)$122.97**$162.4332.1%
Taiwan Semiconductor$9.35**$12.2130.6%
S&P 500 SPDR$120.57**$130.848.52%

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

Of the all the drubbings my tech portfolio has taken lately, this may be the worst. Mr. Market took back 295 basis points over the past week. Year-to-date, I've lagged the index by more than 10 percentage points.

So be it. Tech investing has its ups and downs. Just look at the Nasdaq. The index that's home to some of tech's biggest and best fell almost twice as much as the S&P 500 over the past week, down 2.48% versus the S&P's 1.28% decline.

Small caps also took a beating with the Russell 2000 down 2.69% while Blue Chips offered cold comfort with a 1.03% decline, CNBC reports. Falling oil prices took a toll on Chevron (NYSE: CVX), which led the Dow decliners with a 3.5% haircut.

In better news, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (Nasdaq: GMCR) stumped the skeptics and shellacked the shorts when it signed a deal with Starbucks that will bring The Mermaid's famous flavors to its Keurig single-cup brewer. The stock is up more than 43% since the announcement.

The week in tech
Silicon Valley can usually be counted on for its own share of dramatic tie-ups, but not this week. The Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) Vortex swallowed the news cycle, which in turn spat out good reviews of the iPad 2 leading up to Friday's debut in retail stores.

As usual, the buildup had the desired effect. Early reports suggest the new tablet is sold out at many locations. Online orders placed as of Saturday evening weren't due to ship for at least three weeks, AppleInsider reported. All told, it appears that analysts were right to forecast at least a half-million iPad 2s sold this weekend.

If Apple continues to dominate the tablet market it will be at least partly due to ineptitude among its peers and would-be competitors. Take Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT). Mr. Softy won't have a tablet OS before 2012, Bloomberg reported this week.

But it may be that more than a tablet strategy is lacking. CEO Steve Ballmer took the stage in Houston this week to tell an audience of technologists that in the future Windows will "look a lot different" and run different software, informed partly by the rise of smartphones and tablets. Specifics are to come. Someday.

Ballmer needs to figure something out, fast. New Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ) chief executive Leo Apotheker said this week that his company will ship PCs with WebOS alongside Windows starting next year. Users choose which OS to run.

Hard to believe this is the same company that looked like a well-oiled machine during January's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, isn't it? Such is the nature of disruptive innovation. History shows us that as the disrupted flounder, disruptors reap billions for shareholders.

But don't take my word for it. Look at David Gardner. He produced a decade of 20% returns in the real-money Rule Breaker portfolio by betting on a collection of innovators, and then holding them for the long-term. Tom Gardner's "simpleton portfolio" was also a 10-year winner. I believe that, with my tech portfolio, I will achieve similar success.

Checkup time!
Now let's move on to the rest of today's update:

  • IBM held firm to earlier estimates for 2015 at its annual investor day held this week. Analysts left the confab feeling bullish, but none more so than Deutsche Bank's Chris Whitmore who raised his target price for the stock to $200 a share. I think he's being conservative.
  • We'll get a better understanding of how the NeoPhotonics IPO and Biovex acquisition impact net asset value (NAV) when Harris & Harris reports fourth-quarter results on Friday.

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

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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.