Last week was a bust for tech stocks. Google (GOOG) shares fell more than 8% following a disappointing earnings report accidentally released four hours early. Microsoft (MSFT) also reported disappointing earnings, and its stock ended the week about 2% lower.
This week could prove even more dramatic as Facebook and Apple release earnings this week, the second lockup of Facebook employees' shares expires and Apple and Microsoft introduce new products.
Tomorrow at 1pm ET Apple (AAPL) is holding a "special event" in San Jose, where the world's largest company is expected to debut a smaller version of its top-selling iPad. The screen of the iPad mini is expected to measure 7.85 inches diagonally--almost two inches less than the screen on the current iPad---and its price is expected to range between $299 and $349.
Related: Why Apple's Stock is Dropping
The Daily Ticker's Henry Blodget says the mini could be an important product for Apple's iPad platform and help it compete with Amazon's (AMZN) Kindle tablets. Jeff Macke, co-host of Yahoo!'s Breakout, says this new "cool product" is probably not "exciting enough" to merit an Apple special event.
Can the new iPad boost Apple stock? Shares of Apple slid to their lowest level in almost three months last Friday. Macke says he's not ready to buy the stock on this dip.
"I need something new," he explains. "I need a catalyst beyond just the price."
Another new tech product to be released this week: Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system. Walter Mossberg of the Wall Street Journal calls it the "most radical overhaul" of the Windows system since 1995. For example, there's no more start menu but a start screen that uses touch screen technology. The desktop is like another app, says Mossberg.
Macke says Windows 8 "is the most aggressive bet being made this week in tech by far." He's tried it and says Windows 8 is a "spanking new operating system" but it could be an "enterprise killer." Blodget says Windows 8 could be the catalyst for users to switch to Apple's mac.
The other big event this week in tech involves Facebook (FB). The social media network releases earnings Tuesday and another lockup of restricted shares held by employees ends Thursday. Both could potentially push share prices lower. They're down 30% since the company's first earnings report in July.
"Even at $20 a share, Facebook stock is expensive, trading at two to three times the multiple of Apple," says Blodget.
Macke says Facebook has to figure out "not just how to monetize their mobile users but how to sell anything. Until Facebook does that, the stock is not at a bottom as far as I can see."
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