The stock market held its gains of earlier today, although doubts about how financial companies are going to raise capital when their balance sheets are in complete disarray are prevalent on the street. The Dow was up 70 points and the Nasdaq up 18 points - thus providing some relative stability in the financial markets this week. Some tech stocks in the news include Advanced Micro Devices and Expedia. Says Michael Yoshikami of YCMNET Advisors, appearing on CNBC this afternoon, both stocks have issues, but they also have merit. ""You can find opportunities when things drop out of sentiment that …

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It almost seems out of place – like a spritz of a lilly inching up through the crusted snow after a long winter – to report some good economic news these days. But there it is, in the form of an investment forecast by the investment bank UBS that says the U.S. stock market will rise, and significantly, in 2009. “The consensus outlook for 2009 is a full year of gloom,” writes UBS analyst David Bianco in a research report released this week. “We believe 2009 will bring signs of a dawn in confidence with the first faint light appearing …

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Both the Dow and the Nasdaq are flirting with positive territory today, thanks in part to one biotechnology stalwart, Amgen, which is up three points in trading. Why? Well, the Street is getting excited about life sciences stocks again, as several research reports hit the street suggesting that the biopharm sector was undervalued, fueling a run-up in the sector today. Overall, the market seems to be digesting the lousy jobs number issued this morning, with the private sector lopping off 250,000 more jobs in November. Brightening things up a bit is news from the Labor Department that productivity, the key …

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At the end of trading today (Friday) it looks like the stock market won't end up in positive territory, but it will come close - an event every trader and investor on the planet planet will take in a Wall Street minute. No rhyme or reason why, it just seems that the market is finally ready to capitulate after eight straight days of mega-losses that wiped out over $2 trillion in portfolio assets in the U.S. alone. A point worth noting, markets always self-correct - in both directions. So eventually profit motives will be so strong that investors won't be …

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Some good news - rare good news - from the U.S. stock market late today as reports and rumors seem to point to a new U.S. government agency to assume and/or manage bad debts for financial services companies. The new agency, similar to the Resolution Trust Corp of the early 1980's, which was used to minimize the damage done by the savings & loan scandals of the time, would indeed be welcome news to investors and to big banks and lending firms. By accepting the bad debts incurred by financial firms, a new RTC-like agency would open up the credit …

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Last week saw a potential top in commodities prices, as both oil and gold prices seem to have stalled out from their upward march in 2008. That should have spelled relief for the stock market, which has been down by 13% in 2008, as measured by the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Yet, it didn’t. The week saw the Down finish lower by 0.63%, while the Standard & Poors 500 index rose by a meager 0.15%. The market may be waiting until after Labor Day, where it can have another two weeks to be certain that commodity prices have topped out. …

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I've written about the importance of knowing your investments before you buy them. You might remember the story about Fidelity Magellan mutual fund legend Peter Lynch, who would spend his Saturdays walking around Boston looking to see where shoppers were spending their money. Then he'd invest Magellan's money in the same company's stock. That's why retailers like The Gap, Target and Boston Chicken found their way into Lynch's high-flying fund. An article in today's Motley Fool has a similar theme. Writer Selena Maranjian tells the story of buying America Online back in 1995 after being impressed on how easy the …

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Information Week has a great piece out on how IT CEO’s are riding out the rough economy. Surely, the 266 hike in the Dow Jones Industrial Average today, thanks to lower oil prices and a report indicating increased consumer sentiment, should soothe the jangled nerves of even the most downcast boardroom baron. The IW piece, written by Marianne Kolbasuk McGee and John Soat, includes a survey of 600 business technology decision-makers that shows things may not be as bad as the pundits want us to think. In the survey, 40% of respondents say they decreased IT spending this past quarter …

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Looking for a “relief rally”? That’s what Wall Street calls a temporary lull in selling that could lead to a more sustainable uptick in broad-based stock prices. Usually, it’s one industry that feeds the bounce-back and Kevin DePew, an analyst and editor at Minyanville.com, which tracks the stock market, says that technology is that industry right now. As a result, several indicators that he uses are back to levels last seen before the market's mid-March bounce. In an interview on TechTalk today, Depew pointed to the Bullish Percent Indicator and High-Low Index produced by Investors Intelligence as proof of a …

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With the stock market down 300 points, once again thanks to high oil prices (now over $140 per barrel), technology stocks should be directly in the line of fire. But they’re not – and some big shot investors think the technology sector might even be a good defensive stop-gap until the economy rebounds. Take Diane Garnick, a fund manager at Invesco, a firm with over $500 billion in assets under management. She made the case for tech stocks today on the Tech Talk pod cast, arguing that, in a tough economy, companies will look to technology to help them cut …

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Harris Associates is typically one of the better value strategists out there - especially when it comes to finding value in technology stocks. One reason is why is the stock-picking acumen of chief information officer David Herro. He was interviewed on Tech Ticker this morning and had some interesting things to say about the tech sector and the prospects - long-and short-term of some of the sectors biggest names like Intel and Dell. I was scribbling notes from the interview as fast as I could. So, as accurately as I can gauge, here is Herro's take on the tech sector.. …

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Tech stocks have been lagging along with the rest of the stock market so far in 2008, but its long-term prospects are much, much better. So says Imran Khan, a JP Morgan senior analysts who specializes in the telecom and Internet markets. Khan is one of my favorite analysts and his argument that technology has a long way to go if it ever hits critical mass - if ever - is a compelling one. His case is also a simple one - so simple most financial analysts miss it. Tech stocks will rise because capitalism - often brutally criticized in …

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This morning's Tech Ticker drew a bead on short-sellers who saw a wounded beast in Google and bet that the stock would go down this month - even though sellers weren't really sure what Google's 1st quarter financials would look like. Well, they know now. As I said yesterday, Google performed much higher than analysts on Wall Street had predicted, and saw its stock price rise as a result. That's poison to Wall Street's short-sellers, who bet on stocks going down - not up. A quick word on short-selling, a strategy I used many times during my years as a …

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I’ve been tough on Google this year, and with good reason. Part of what I do is write about how technology impacts the financial fortunes of companies and Google has been losing market share to the lousy economy and to other web portal developers in recent months. Look at online advertising – some estimates that paid “clicks” – where Web 2.0 providers make their bread and butter – have been off by anywhere from 5% to 15% so far in 2008. And reports from users of Google AdWords – despite a big splash in 2006 and 2007 when paid search …

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The roller coaster ride for tech stocks grew even wilder today, but in a good, adrenaline-rush kind of way. The news is mostly all good, with Banc of America Securities issuing a report that boosted semiconductor companies, stating that "a modest inventory build-up has eased". That's all investors needed to know, as shares of tech stocks rose en masse, with Intel, up 4% after the Banc of America news hit the trading floor, and Apple the big winners. The tech sector was also buoyed by a JP Morgan analyst report that upgraded Apple's profit forecasts. That shot Apple's stock up …

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It’s been a lousy first quarter for tech stocks but the outlook for the second quarter of 2008 looks brighter and shinier. So say the investment gurus at Tech Ticker – specifically former Wall Street tech analyst Henry Blodget and Barons West Coast editor Eric Savitz. Savitz says there are plenty of bargains and buying opportunities for tech investors as April opens up. “We’re still seeing a deterioration in fundamentals, specifically with Oracle’s mediocre earnings picture (from last week) and with Google and the ongoing online advertising malaise.” But Savitz really seems to like certain sectors, like semiconductors, where stock …

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The End.