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Record Stock Highs a Risk for 2012 Market Leaders

Priceline, similarly, may soon see the benefits of acquisitons. In 2012, the online travel giant acquired Kayak Software, in a move that may scale its earnings and add to the company's software services.

At Starbucks, CEO Howard Schultz has been concocting a growth brew that consists of new payments platforms, international expansion and the integration of recent acquisitions in businesses ranging from bakeries to teas.

Although Berkshire Hathaway's earnings and Buffett's commentary generally augur well for ordinary investors and the prospect that stocks can continue to add to post-crisis gains, there are still risks investors should be mindful of.

The daily rumblings on Apple's weak share price performance in 2013, for instance, may indicate a wider trend of former market leaders turning to laggards.

Meanwhile, stock prices are, in part, a result of the Federal Reserve's low interest rate policies. Markets remain at risk for a rise in the return of risk free assets such as Treasuries, which could impact current stock valuations.

For more on Warren Buffett's outlook, see why he's questioning Berkshire Hathaway's performance in 2013.

Also see why smarter money is betting on BlackRock and some small-and-mid-cap M&A targets for investing trends to tap rising markets.

-- Written by Antoine Gara in New York

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