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The Mighty Goldman Sachs Owns These Stocks. Should You?

By Dave Goodboy

NEW YORK (StreetAuthority) -- Goldman Sachs (GS) -- just that name conjures up fear in the mind of its competitors.

One of the world's largest investment banks, it has the respect of just about everyone in the financial business. The company's list of former employees and directors reads like an international "who's who" of government and finance.

Robert Rubin, Henry Paulson (former secretarys of the Treasury under President Bill Clinton and George Bush, respectively), Mario Monti (the prime minister of Italy), Mario Draghi (governor of the European Central Bank) and Mark Carney (governor of the Bank of Canada) are all former Goldman Sachs employees.

The company has been on the New York Stock Exchange since 1896 and pioneered both the use of commercial paper for businesses and the initial public offering market. In other words, these guys are entrenched and clearly know their business inside and out.

Although Goldman Sachs is huge, it's not bigger than the market, therefore is dependent on the economic environment like everyone else. The company survived, but suffered, through the Great Depression and has had its ups and downs since. Its most recent down came this year: during the second quarter of 2012, net income fell to $962 million from $2.1 billion. Profit also plunged 11%.

Goldman cites the deteriorating European economies and a drop in its investment banking activities as the root cause of the decline. The pullback was expected -- Goldman Sachs' losses were not as bad as analysts' expectations for the quarter. The firm actually traded higher on the release date of the second-quarter numbers showing its resilience and strength. Despite various downturns, these guys definitely know what they are doing when it comes to investing.

So, is now a good time to invest in the same stocks that Goldman Sachs owns? With this question in mind, let's take a closer look at two of Goldman Sachs' prime holdings.

Apple (AAPL)

This popular high-tech company has been on the move during the past six months, trading higher by 42.9%. The growth is driven by the company's game-changing products, the iPhone and the iPad. Despite its stellar six-month performance, heavy technical resistance exists at $620 per share.

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