Business news : Top Stocks of the Week: March 15

Editors Note: The list of top tickers is derived from the quote pages that received the most views on Yahoo! Finance by examining data for the current week. It is not, however, a list of the most searched-for tickers on our site.

1. Apple (AAPL)
There were some rare signs of life from Apple this week, and thankfully so considering that rival Samsung spent the week building buzz around the launch of its latest iPhone-challenging smartphone.

In a rare occurrence, Apple unleashed an executive to stand up for the company’s products and trash Google’s Android operating system.

“When you take an Android device out of the box, you have to sign up to nine accounts with different vendors to get the experience iOS comes with,” Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of world-wide marketing, told the WSJ. “They don’t work seamlessly together.”

The Daily Ticker’s Henry Blodget noted the potential folly of this Apple flare up on the day Samsung planned to unveil the Galaxy S4.

“The points that Schiller made about Android–that it is fragmented into different versions and that it’s not as simple to use as Apple’s operating system–were reasonable,” said Blodget. “But coming as they did on Samsung’s big launch day, the comments seemed defensive, classless, and even desperate.”

The company also received a surprising upgrade on Thursday from BTIG analyst Walter Piecyk, giving shares a $540 price target. However, that upgrade was based on the promise of new products, a promise that investors and Apple fans have been waiting to be fulfilled for some time now.

Apple shares have risen 0.8% over the last 5 full trading days, closing at $432.50 on Thursday. Shares are down 22% for the year to date.

2. BlackBerry (BBRY)

BlackBerry is on pace to post huge gains for the week thanks to some acquisition speculation and word of a major sales victory.

Shares made their first bounce on Monday after AT&T announced that sales of the company’s new Z10 smartphone would begin on March 22. Also on Monday, the head of China’s Lenovo Group was said to have told a French newspaper that his company would consider acquiring BlackBerry in the future. Shares ultimately finished Monday up 14.1% for the day on Monday.

Shares got another boost on Wednesday after the company announced that a key partner had placed the largest purchase order in the company’s history, buying up 1 million BlackBerry Z10 smartphones.

Shares of BlackBerry have vaulted 12% over the last five full trading days, closing at $15.06 on Thursday. For the year to date, shares have risen 33.5%.

3. Bank of America (BAC)

The nation’s second largest bank continues to hold investors’ interest after it was among 18 big banks that passed the Federal Reserve’s annual stress tests.

The need and ultimately value of the stress tests is questionable, however.

“The stress tests overall is really an example of the Fed, particularly Dan Tarullo, keeping his feet on the neck of the banking institution,” Dan Alpert, the founder and managing partner of Westwood Capital, told Breakout.

Yahoo Finance’s Jeff Macke and Alpert also noted that he conditions assumed in the tests strayed from reality, anticipating a 50% drop in equities, a rise in unemployment to 12.1%, and a 20% decline in housing prices lasting for 2 years. “If you had that kind of nuclear melt down what you’d have after 24 months would be carcasses of banks,” said Alpert.

While banks are in a much stronger position than they were, CNNMoney points out that the sector as a whole remain 50% below all-time highs reached in 2007.

Shares of Bank of America have fallen 1.6% over the last five full trading days, closing at $12.11 on Thursday. Shares are up 0.2% for the year to date.

4. Facebook (FB)

The big news on Facebook this week centered on a new relationship the social networking giant struck with Netflix (NFLX). On Wednesday, Netflix announced that it would give U.S. customers the ability to link their accounts with Facebook, allowing friends to see what movies they are watching.

The company also announced that it plans to develop conferences for mobile developers, with the first slated to take place April 18 in New York. London will host another conference followed by Seoul, both in early May.

Facebook shares have fallen 4.5% over the last five full trading days, closing at $27.04 on Thursday. Shares are down 3.3% year to date.

5. MagicJack VocalTec (CALL)

MagicJack has bubbled back into our list of top-viewed ticker pages as investors await quarterly earnings from the embattled company.

According to The Motley Fool, the company is expected to turn a profit this quarter, with revenues expected to increase 46.5%.

It’s been a difficult year for MagicJack so far. A Seeking Alpha blog post that ran in early January accused the company of improper accounting to boost profits.
source : yahoo

Business news : Top Stocks of the Week: March 15
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