This Day On The Street
Continue to site
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

Five Dumbest Things on Wall Street: Nov. 14

Big Tech's Tug Of War

As if tech companies weren't putting enough people out of work, IBM's (IBM) now letting jealousy keep qualified employees from getting new jobs.

Mark Papermaster, recently appointed as Apple's (AAPL - Get Report) iPod and iPhone engineering chief, was ordered to stop working by a federal court judge last Friday amid a breach-of-contract dispute with IBM. Big Blue sued Papermaster after he handed in his notice last month, alleging that he breached a noncompete agreement.

Under the terms of the agreement, Papermaster, who spent 26 years at IBM, cannot work for a competitor for up to a year after his IBM employment ends. Judge Kenneth Karas of New York's Southern District will hear the case on Nov. 18.

It all comes down to whether Apple and IBM are direct competitors. Simple enough to figure out -- when was the last time you downloaded a song or sent a text message from an IBM device? Case closed.

That is, in fact, Papermaster's defense. In a court declaration, he said that aside from a few isolated cases, "I do not recall a single instance of Apple being described as a competitor of IBM during my entire tenure at IBM."

At The Five Dumbest Lab, we accept Papermaster's recollection.

In fact, we're not sure International Business Machines Corp. really makes that many machines anymore. The company sold its personal computer business to Lenovo in 2005 in order to concentrate on hawking so-called "systems" and "solutions," and the "hardware" division accounted for only 17% of revenue in the latest quarter.

IBM should drop the silly suit, lose the "M" from its name, and let the guy go to work.

Dumb-o-meter score: 65 -- On the other hand, Apple doesn't sell apples, does it?
Before joining TheStreet.com, Gregg Greenberg was a writer and segment producer for CNBC's Closing Bell. He previously worked at FleetBoston and Lehman Brothers in their Private Client Services divisions, covering high net-worth individuals and midsize hedge funds. Greenberg attended New York University's School of Business and Economic Reporting. He also has an M.B.A. from Cornell University's Johnson School of Business, and a B.A. in history from Amherst College.
5 of 5

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG
AAPL $125.58 0.84%
APP $0.49 -2.00%
GM $33.38 0.44%
GE $26.62 -0.08%
FB $85.88 0.09%

Markets

DOW 17,656.04 +59.69 0.34%
S&P 500 2,064.22 +6.58 0.32%
NASDAQ 4,988.8870 +30.4190 0.61%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs