Editors Note: The list of top stocks 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 or company names on our site.
1. Apple (AAPL)
This week marked a rare bright spot in the post-Steve Jobs Apple era and a potentially watershed moment for maligned CEO Tim Cook.
Cook headed to Congress to discuss corporate taxes. By all accounts, Cook’s performance was masterful.
“By the end of the ordeal the Senators were falling all over themselves praising Cook, Apple and iPhones,” noted Breakout’s Jeff Macke.
Todd Schoenberger, managing partner at LandColt Capital, believes the testimony reignites the bullish case for Apple.
"What it brought to the attention of everybody is how much money this company is actually saving and how much money they have in cash," he said. "That's why you want to be long this stock."
Still, Macke believes that a good showing before Congress won’t be enough to save Apple.
“Apple needs a visionary at the helm to succeed. What they have now is a steward,” he said. “Americans will always hate taxes and love the Next Big Thing. Unless Apple plans to create an iTax program that allows us to stash money abroad, it would be better for investors if Apple concentrated on innovation of products more than preservation of capital gains.”
The biggest scandal may not be Apple's tax dodges but Congress' implicit approval of Apple's behavior, tax expert David Cay Johnston told The Daily Ticker.
"We don't how much Apple lobbied to get provisions that allowed this," he notes. "Congress has known about these things for years and hasn't acted on them. Congress can fix this and ought to do that."
Shares of Apple were up 0.7% over the past five full trading days, closing at $442.14 on Thursday. Shares are down 19.5% for the year to date.
2. Bank of America (BAC)
Roiled global markets had investors frequently checking in on America’s second-largest bank this week.
Little of note happened this week that directly impacted Bank of America. According to a report from TheStreet.com, an analyst from KBW downgraded the stock on Sunday, questioning the overall uptick in the banking sector. The way forward for Bank of America in particular, seems cloudy.
"We are in a broad-based rally in the banking sector that we admittedly don't fully understand, as it is not supported by any signs/catalysts for improved revenue growth," wrote analyst Christopher Mutascio.
"At this level we think the 'easy money' has been made and the next material leg up in the shares will be predicated on several positive factors all coming together."
Shares of Bank of America have shed 2% this week, closing at $13.21 on Thursday. Shares are up 9.8% for the year to date.
3. MagicJack VocalTec (CALL)
The bulls and bears on MagicJack continued to battle it out over the company’s prospects in the blogosphere this week, but their interest has been more than enough to keep the Internet phone service provider among the most-viewed ticker symbols on Yahoo! Finance for some time.
The last solid news on the company came several weeks ago. The company swung to profitability in the fourth quarter, reporting earnings of $22.3 million, or $1.17 a share, compared with a loss of $5.6 million, or 26 cents, in the same quarter a year ago. Revenue jumped 56% to $41.4 million from $26.6 million.
A Seeking Alpha post this week cast doubt on Copperfield Research's short call on the company, and also provided some anecdotal evidence of MagicJack items flying off the shelves at a couple of RadioShack locations.
Shares are down 3% over the last five full trading days, closing at $15.94 on Thursday. They're down more than 14% for the year to date. According to Yahoo! Finance data, some 29.5% of the 10.7 million available shares are short the stock.
4. Hewlett-Packard (HPQ)
Expectations heading into H-P's release of its fiscal second-quarter results on Wednesday night were anything but high.
“The problem is the story part, the emphasis is all on the story there … as opposed to the actual turnaround,” said Breakout’s Jeff Macke ahead of the release.
While revenue continued to decline during the quarter, cost-cutting and heavier leaning on the company’s more profitable areas helped it beat estimates. Management also said it expects to top expectations for the current quarter.
Wall Street appears to be ready to reward CEO Meg Whitman for her efforts. Shares shot up on Wednesday and have maintained those gains, despite broader market turbulence.
Shares are up 14.5% over the last five full trading days, closing at $24.34 on Thursday, and have gained 65.5% for the year to date.
5. Fannie Mae (FNMA)
Mortgage giant Fannie Mae made a splash by reporting earnings of $58.7 billion for the first quarter in early May (including a tax-related gain of $50.6 billion), sending its shares soaring. Because Fannie and Freddie Mac are under government control, all those profits go right to the U.S. Treasury.
CNBC’s Diana Olick traced the run-up in Fannie shares this week, noting that the trade is drawing more and more interest.
“At first it was small individual investors, but now larger hedge funds, like Paulson & Co. and Perry Capital, are getting in, according to several published reports,” Olick reported. “While members of Congress have yet to pass any legislation toward dismantling Fannie and Freddie or returning them to private companies, with or without a government backstop, the idea that they would just give them back to shareholders is, again, unlikely.”
Shares have gained 93.5% over the last five full trading days and are up a staggering 678% for the year to date.