Welcome to vacation week here at the Beyers Household, which means I have to cut this week's update of the Big Idea Portfolio shorter than usual.

What's the Big Idea?
For those unfamiliar with this weekly series, I'm going head-to-head with Mr. Market in a three-year showdown to see who's better at producing returns for investors.

Mr. Market is off to a good start this week. The S&P 500 led the resurgent indexes, rising 0.72% through Wednesday's close, followed by the Nasdaq's 0.61% rally and the Dow's 0.43% gain. Even the small-cap Russell 2000 also managed a marginal win with a 0.16% jump, according to data supplied by The Wall Street Journal.


For me, rallies in the shares of Google (NAS: GOOG) , Riverbed Technology (NAS: RVBD) , and salesforce.com (NYS: CRM) more than compensated for Apple's recent pullback. Here's where I stood through Wednesday's close:

Company

Starting Price*

Recent Price

Total Return

Apple

$420.59**

$671.45

59.6%

Google

$650.09

$762.50

17.3%

Rackspace Hosting

$41.65

$67.61

62.3%

Riverbed Technology

$25.95

$23.75

(8.5%)

Salesforce.com

$100.93

$157.04

55.6%

AVERAGE RETURN

--

--

37.26%

S&P 500 SPDR

$125.83**

$145.09

15.31%

DIFFERENCE

--

--

21.95

<h4>Source: Yahoo! Finance.
* Tracking began at market close on Jan. 6, 2012.
** Adjusted for dividends and other returns of capital.</h4>

Notable newsmakers
Google has been rallying for a while now. This week's jump may have as much to do with Apple's troubles with its new iOS Maps app as with the search king's own business.

Or perhaps we're just seeing market momentum at work? On Monday, Google briefly passed Microsoft in terms of total market value. The two remain virtually neck-and-neck as of this writing.

For salesforce.com, bluster from CEO Larry Ellison at Oracle's (NAS: ORCL) Open World conference has done nothing to dampen enthusiasm for shares of cloud computing's poster stock. Among his barbs: that social networking belongs at the "platform" level (whatever that means) and that salesforce's multi-tenant approach to hosting customer data isn't safe. Tens of thousands of customers say otherwise.

Finally, over at Riverbed, Juniper Networks confirmed that it has selected the company as its "provider of choice" for optimizing wide area networks. The move could help Riverbed further distinguish itself from Cisco Systems (NAS: CSCO) , a rival that also happens to be Juniper's largest and most important competitor.

Cloudy with a chance of billions
Now it's your turn to weigh in. Who do you see winning the cloud wars? Leave us a comment in the space below. Or if you'd prefer to see how we think about the rising importance of cloud computing, consider taking a 30-day trial subscription to Motley Fool Rule Breakers.

Still working on your rebel yell? No sweat; there's another movement afoot with some serious moneymaking potential for investors that spot it early. Do you know the three likely winners of this new industry revolution? A free special report will get you up to speed, so check it out now.

See you back here next weekend for more tech-stock talk. In the meantime, if you'd like to tell us more about a Breaker in the making that you believe is either being unfairly maligned or ignored, please leave a comment in the space below.

The article 5 Real-Money Tech Bets I'm Banking On originally appeared on Fool.com.

Fool contributor Tim Beyers is a member of the Motley Fool Rule Breakers stock-picking team and the Motley Fool Supernova Odyssey I mission. He owned shares of Apple, Google, Rackspace Hosting, Riverbed Technology, and salesforce.com at the time of publication. Check out Tim's Web home, portfolio holdings, and Foolish writings, or connect with him on Google+ or Twitter, where he goes by @milehighfool. You can also get his insights delivered directly to your RSS reader.The Motley Fool owns shares of Google, Microsoft, Riverbed Technology, Cisco Systems, Oracle, and Apple. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Google, salesforce.com, Apple, Riverbed Technology, and Rackspace Hosting, as well as creating a bull call spread position in Apple, creating a synthetic covered call position in Microsoft, and shorting salesforce.com. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Copyright © 1995 - 2012 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.


Increase your money and finance knowledge from home

Investment Strategies

What's your investing game plan?

View Course »

Forex for Beginners

Learn about trading currencies and foreign exchange transactions

View Course »

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum