Last week's best stocks to buy started out D.C. driven. But when the drama on Capitol Hill subsided - for now, at least - focus turned to third-quarter earnings.
Google Inc.'s (Nasdaq: GOOG) better-than-expected quarterly results and upbeat outlook helped markets move sharply higher.
The S&P 500 Index and the Nasdaq logged their best weekly gains in three months, up 2.42% and 3.23% respectively. It was the Nasdaq's best close since September 2000.To continue reading, please click here...
Peter Thiel's Solution to the Student Loan Bubble Makes a Lot of Sense
Peter Thiel, Co-Founder of PayPal
"Education is a bubble in a classic sense. To call something a bubble, it must be overpriced and there must be an intense belief in it. Housing was a classic bubble, as were tech stocks in the '90s, because they were both very overvalued, but there was an incredibly widespread belief that almost could not be questioned - you had to own a house in 2005, and you had to be in an equity-market index fund in 1999." ~ Peter Thiel on higher education for NRO.
Peter Thiel is a highly successful entrepreneur, venture capitalist, hedge fund manager, and perhaps most notably co-founder of Internet giant PayPal.
He is also a staunch libertarian, and anything but meek about sharing his philosophic point of view.
When it comes to higher education in America today, Thiel is less than impressed:
"It's basically extremely overpriced. People are not getting their money's worth, objectively, when you do the math. And at the same time it is something that is incredibly intensively believed; there's this sort of psycho-social component to people taking on these enormous debts when they go to college simply because that's what everybody's doing."
Like Thiel, we at Money Morning believe that America has been swallowed by a student loan bubble.
And, like Thiel, we've thought up some reasonable alternatives to the blind pursuit of higher education.
For instance, we suggested starting a business. There is something about real-world experience that can't be replicated in higher education right now.
Just look at the commentary by some of the business elite.
Dumping Apple Stock for Google: How Investors Could Get Burned
The trend has some wondering if investors are consciously moving their money from one tech giant to the other.
"There's a lot of money that likes the tech sector, and I think Google has kind of taken over from Apple," Eric Kuby, chief investment officer at North Star Investment Management, told Reuters.
Looking at the charts, it's clear that Google stock is now enjoying the kind of momentum that Apple had for years, while sentiment toward AAPL almost couldn't get any more bearish.
Since Apple stock hit its all-time high of $705.07 in September, it has plunged 40% and lost more than $260 billion in market capitalization. AAPL is down more than 20% year to date.
Google hit several new highs recently, and poked briefly above $840 in early trading Wednesday. Google stock is up 48% from its mid-June low last year, and up 17.5% so far this year.
And at least two analysts recently put a $1,000 price target on GOOG, reminiscent of last year when analysts were rushing to put a $1,000 price target on Apple.
"The bulls are in Google's camp, and the bears are in Apple's camp at the moment," Neil Mawston, the executive director of Strategy Analytics, told CNBC.com, which speculated that Google could be replacing Apple as the dominant tech giant, as Apple supplanted Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) in the past decade.
But any Apple investors who haven't already dumped shares in favor of jumping on the Google stock bandwagon might want to think twice before doing so now.
Apple iWatch, Google Glass First Shots in New Clash of Tech Giants
Coming less than a year after Google unveiled its Google Glass Web-connected eyeglasses, reports that an Apple "iWatch" is in the works emphatically confirm that the battle is now joined for dominance over the next wave of tech - wearable computing.
According to the reports, Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) has 100 people working on an iWatch users would wear on their wrists, but that would have many of the same capabilities as an iPhone.
But wearable computers could enable new uses, particularly in the area of healthcare, while perhaps providing the spark to encourage some promising technologies that have yet to catch on, like contactless payments.
Four of the biggest names in tech - Apple, Google Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG), Sony Corp. (NYSE ADR: SNE) and Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) - either are selling, have announced, or are known to be working on wearable computing ideas.
The Tech Play That's Better Than the "Next Google"
I probably spend more time than anyone searching for hot young startups that will make money for my readers - even as the companies themselves change the world around us.
I'm talking about firms like Google Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG), which in nine years has grown from a newly public company into a Web search, digital advertising, and online video juggernaut with a market value of $230 billion (and a stock price of $705 a share).
But I'm going to let you in on a secret that I've learned from my three decades in Silicon Valley.
You don't always have to find the "next Google" to make big money.
In the near term you can reap windfall profits by searching for the beaten-down tech stocks that the institutional players seem only too happy to ignore.
Those laggards are often hidden gems ... can come roaring back ... and turn the market on its ear when they do.