Although some “old school” tech times, such as the aforementioned IBM and Cisco, have been disappointments this year, that is not true of all old line tech firms. With $93.4 billion in added market value, Dow component Microsoft (NasdaqGM: MSFT) has added more in market value this year than Facebook and Yahoo combined. “The appointment of a new CEO next year will be a major factor in which way the share price trends next,” writes Pressman.

Formerly embattled Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ) and semiconductor giant Intel (NasdaqG: INTC) have added $45.2 billion in market value this year. That has helped the Technology Select Sector SPDR (NYSEArca: XLK) and related ETFs endure slack performances by IBM, Cisco and Oracle (NYSE: ORCL). Google, Microsoft, Qualcomm (NasdaqGM: QCOM) and Intel combine for a quarter of XLK’s weight. [A Long-Term Perspective on Sector Investing]

Speaking of Qualcomm, the company’s market cap is slightly larger than Intel’s, making the former the largest semiconductor firm. Qualcomm is eighth on Yahoo’s tech top-10 list, followed by another chip firm, Micron Technology (NasdaqGM: MU). In just the past month, shares of Micron are up 23.2%. Those stocks combine for 22% of the iShares PHLX Semiconductor ETF (NasdaqGS: SOXX). [‘Tis the Season for Semis]

Tom Lydon’s clients own shares of Amazon, Google, Intel, Microsoft, Facebook and QQQ.