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5 Top Stocks of the Week: March 8

The Exchange

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)

Apple kicked off the week on a sour note. On Monday, the one-time tech darling tapped a 52-week low of $419.

It also appears mutual funds have followed hedge funds out of the stock. According to a Citigroup report, Google (GOOG) has become the most-owned stock among the 50 largest U.S. mutual funds.

Investors still await the introduction of a new and revolutionary product. Instead, they're getting a steady diet of rumor and disappointment. On Thursday, the New York Times reported that the company’s bid to introduce an Internet radio service has been delayed due to negotiations with music companies.

Talk of a so-called iWatch reignited this week as well, with reports indicating that the device could hit shelves within the next few months at a fraction of the cost of Google’s (GOOG) Glass.

"A $150 or $200 watch is probably not enough to generate earnings growth," Walter Piecyk of BTIG Research told Breakout. "The mobile phone business has always been the biggest consumer electronic opportunity," he added, implying that that is where the humbled heads in Cupertino ought to be applying their energy. "Apple needs to focus on how to get involved in the pre-paid business," he says, and begin to tap into the market for people who can't afford a six or seven hundred dollar phone.

On the plus side, CEO Tim Cook did get some moral support from two Wall Street titans this week. Warren Buffett and Jack Welch advised Cook to stay focused on growing the business for the long term.

Shares of Apple rose 0.9% this week and are down 21.6% for the year to date.

2. Bank of America (BAC)

Bank of America continued to lead the charge in financials this week.

Shares rose steadily all week as the Dow tapped new highs and investors awaited the results of the Federal Reserve’s annual bank stress tests. Bank of America and 17 others passed. Bank of America's odds of passing were not seriously in doubt, which helped lift price throughout the week.

Shares of Bank of America finished the week up 6.3% and are up 1.9% for the year to date.

3. Facebook (FB)

Social network giant Facebook spruced things up with a revamp of its News Feed feature this week. In a highly anticipated presentation on Thursday, CEO Mark Zuckerberg unveiled an overhaul of the feed designed to transform the Facebook experience into a more personalized “newspaper” for users.

The changes, naturally, are also aimed at increasing ad revenue and users’ time spent hanging around.

But a new concern is quickly emerging for Facebook. Namely, is Facebook losing its cool factor?

“The apparent loss of hipness and youth appeal presents a vexing strategic issue for Facebook, which as a company worth $66 billion in the stock market must please Wall Street with monthly user-intensity metrics and strong ad-revenue growth,” noted Yahoo! Finance senior columnist Michael Santoli. “It’s not easy to pair the ‘monetization’ of user activity through ads with the re-establishment of a coolness factor among younger users….Facebook suffers from, if anything, the admirable problem that its users once loved its experience so much and spent so much time on there that it became, for some, too popular and crowded.”

Facebook shares got a nice bump from its News Feed revamp, but pulled back on Friday, finishing the week up 1.2%. Shares are up 2% for the year to date.

4. BlackBerry (BBRY)

The week started out for BlackBerry with more concerns about sales of its new Z10 smartphone in overseas markets. Pacific Crest analyst James Faucette raised concerns over rising inventory levels for the phone in the United Kingdom.

However, he also noted that the handset has gained market share in Canada.

CEO Thorsten Heins said at a conference on Thursday that the early feedback on sales in more than 20 countries is “very encouraging.” Heins added that the Z10 has sold particularly well in developing countries like India, where they sold out in two days.

Shares ended the week down 1.4% but remain up 12.8% for the year to date.

5. Nokia (NOK)

As BlackBerry’s Z10 nears its U.S. launch date, interest in the fate of the other beleaguered handset player remains strong.

A report from Bernstein Research released on Monday predicted weak sales for Nokia’s Lumia 920. The report cited a fall in Google searches for the phone.

Things haven’t been on the upswing for top management either. According to a regulatory filing this week, CEO Stephen Elop saw his compensation slashed by 45% in 2012.

Shares of Nokia rose 5.1% over the week and are down 10.2% for the year to date.

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