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Apple and Google Declare War – Here's the Secret Winner

Resident tech guru Michael Robinson and I are both big science-fiction fans. Michael likes traditional sci-fi stories, like those of Robert Heinlein and Isaac Asimov. My sci-fi interests are more focused on “Golden Age” radio dramas, “pre-code” comics, and old movies and TV shows… like The Twilight Zone and The Outer Limits.

And when Associate Editor Cris Skokna joined our team a few months back, Michael and I were so pleased to discover that he was a sci-fi guy as well that I jokingly dubbed the three of us as “The Trilogy.”

And the other day, Cris told me a story that I absolutely had to share with you…

  • Featured Story

    Investing in Financial Stocks: Is Now the Time to Bank on C, COF, BAC or JPM?

    Based on recent performance from the sector's biggest names, it's easy to argue that financial stocks are making a comeback.

    Capital One Financial Corp. (NYSE: COF) is up 27% in 2012. Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C) is up 29%. Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC) is up a whopping 59%.

    Indeed, a survey of 184 analysts conducted by Bloomberg News in January expected bank profits to rise 57% in 2012.

    "The banks could get some positive operating leverage in 2012 from trading normalizing and expenses normalizing," Chris Kotowski, an Oppenheimer & Co. (NYSE: OPY) analyst, told Bloomberg.

    Kotowski expects an 18% earnings-per-share increase for each of the six major investment banks.

    But guess what? A year ago that same survey of analysts predicted profits would climb 32% in 2011.

    Instead, financial stocks were the worst performers among 10 industries tracked within the Standard & Poor's 500 Index.

    So far in 2012, however, financial stocks are the second leading sector in the S&P 500 with an 18% gain. That compares to an 11% gain by the broader market.

    In short, whether you are looking at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) or the entire financial sector, last year's losers have suddenly become this year's winners.

    So is it time to take some chips off the table, or is now the time to double down for the long term?

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  • Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C)