And then there were two. After 10 grueling trading days and five rounds of action in TheStreet's Market Bracket Challenge, we have tech heavyweights Facebook(FB) - Get Report and Apple(AAPL) - Get Report left in our bracket.
So now, its Zuckerberg and Cook. Funny enough, Menlo Park and Cupertino, Calif. are about 14 miles apart. Perhaps the two can meet at Alphabet's(GOOGL) - Get Report Googleplex, which is roughly halfway between the campuses, and watch the final matchup.
But before we look ahead to the exciting, one-day matchup of Apple vs. Facebook that will take place on Monday, let's take a look back at the Round of 4, which took place from Thursday to Friday.
Here are the highlights:
Apple Kicks Nike to the Curb
It was never really a contest, to be honest. After taking a bit of a hit yesterday, the Beaverton, Ore., footwear maker continued its decline on Friday. Apple, meanwhile managed to stave off a big dip over the past two days, finishing down less than 1% over Thursday and Friday. Maybe it was just a lack of real catalysts for Nike, or maybe it was the fact that Under Armour(UA) - Get Report recently released a high-end sneaker (priced at $300 per pair) that could challenge Phil Knight's apparel powerhouse.
On the Apple front, analysts seemed bullish on the Cupertino, Calif., tech company, and that was enough to keep its stock from dipping too much and putting it out of the running. Canaccord Genuity analyst Mike Walkley on Friday reiterated his buy rating on Apple's stock and hiked his price target to $165 from $154, saying the company has "little to fear" from Samsung's new Galaxy S8. And then there was that talk earlier in the week that the company could be worth as much as $200 per share in the not-so-distant future.
Illumina Can't Keep Its Winning Sequence Going
Oh, Illumina. You plucky, $25.1 billion in market cap, gene sequencing company, you. The South Carolina of TheStreet's Market Bracket Challenge, Illumina had its title hopes dashed late this week as the company posted a 0.8% dip over the past two days. Illumina couldn't muster the gains it needed to topple the House that Zuck Built, which only ticked down about quarter of a percentage point.
Zuckerberg's social media behemoth posted a slight loss over the past two trading days, enough to eke out a victory and punch its ticket to the title matchup. Facebook investors shrugged off news that Palmer Luckey, co-founder of Facebook's virtual reality company, Oculus, would be leaving the company. The dominant themes for Facebook over the past week or so (and going forward for that matter) continue to be how it plans to eat Snap's (SNAP) - Get Report lunch and how digital ads and marketing will continue to proliferate on the internet. Investors shrugged off news of a congressional ruling that could make it easier for cable operators and telecoms to sell patrons' personal data for profit.
Editor's note: We've wasted all our good puns for this round above, but here's a look back at some of the punniest content from the bracket:
Financials Struggle to Sink Shots
Micron Can't Fabricate a W
Can Home Depot Stay on the Sunny Side of the Court?
Facebook Proves It's No Harvard; Advances to Round of 8
Apple Gives CBS a Black Eye
Facebook's Copycat Tactics Mute Snap's Epic Run
Facebook Squanders Snap's Title Hopes, Nike Advances
Snap Pulls Off Miracle, Can the Good Times Continue? An Update From the Challenge
Here's a Look at the 64 Best Performing Stocks Over the Last 4 Month
As denoted in the introduction, TheStreet has ranked some of the best-performing and most widely held stocks in the S&P 500, based both on their appreciation over the past four months and their prospects for the coming weeks.
DISCLAIMER: This challenge is for entertainment purposes only. There is not a prize associated with this challenge. All trademarks are the property of their owners. This challenge is not sponsored, endorsed or administered by any such trademark owner. Questions can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Editors' pick: Originally published April 1.