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TheStreet.com Power Stock Rankings: Feb. 5

Apple tops the list again, but McDonald's, Altria and Freeport-McMoRan break the tech and financial stranglehold.

During the week of Jan. 28, TheStreet.com readers searched for these 10 stocks more than any others. Below, research associate Patrick Schultz makes the Buy, Sell or Hold call on them below, in the order of their popularity.

Top 10 Most Searched Stocks on TheStreet.com, February 4

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1.

Apple

(AAPL) - Get Apple Inc. (AAPL) Report

: The heartbreak continues for the Apple bulls as the fast money is quickly moving out of tech and into financials and other "early-cycle" sectors. Apple has become a victim of its own success, as there was so much easy money made in the past couple years that everybody thought the stock would go up forever. I don't see any big upside catalysts on the horizon, meaning the stock will be trading-range bound, but the fundamental story is sound and Apple is a great long-term investment. --

BUY

2.

CountryWide Financial

(CFC)

: This stock now trades in-line with BAC and a merger spread. To review, earlier this month

Bank of America

offered 0.1822 BAC shares for each CFC share. If you are not an arbitrage trader, you should not be trading this stock. --

SELL

3.

Google

(GOOG) - Get Alphabet Inc. Class C Report

: Tough call as Mr. Google suffered two big downside whammies in the past week -- a bad earning miss and news of a potential

Microsoft-Yahoo!

hookup. But, GOOG is now extremely oversold. I don't expect any wild upside moves until there is more visibility on these two issues. However, I do believe the stock can get a quick technical bounce back to the $530-$550 range. Buy it for a trade, but nothing more than that. --

BUY

4.

Microsoft

(MSFT) - Get Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) Report

: I was dazzled by their earnings report last week and now I am impressed with their aggressive bid for the lost sailor, aka Yahoo!. If I had to think of one company with the firepower and willingness to play dirty to win -- as that is what it will take to beat Mister Google -- it would be Mister Softee. It will be fascinating to watch this Battle Royale over the next few months. --

BUY

5.

Citigroup

(C) - Get Citigroup Inc. Report

: Just like clockwork, the financials took off with the recent rate cuts that showed the

Fed

waking up to the problems our economy faces and cutting rates. Even the poor ugly step-child of the financial sector was not left behind. The stock is up over 19% in two weeks, and I cannot recommend buying Citi after such a large price move. I think we will get lower price levels to establish a position, but I have been saying that for the past four points. --

TheStreet Recommends

HOLD

6.

EMC

(EMC)

: The

VMWare

(VMW) - Get VMware, Inc. Class A Report

results were abysmal, and EMC paid the price as they own 86% of VMW. I was really expecting a big blowout number and big upside guidance from one of the hottest IPOs of 2007. The last time VMW reported numbers, they were incredible and they spoke glowingly of the future of virtualization. So, it came as quite a shock to everybody on the Street when they did not continue down this shining path. I would not put fresh money into this name, but hold the stock if I owned it already. --

HOLD

7.

McDonald's

(MCD) - Get McDonald's Corporation (MCD) Report

: The market is giving you a great opportunity to buy one of world's top global brands. Last week, investors sold off MCD after they reported solid earnings of 73 cents beating consensus by two cents, but investors strangely focused on a weak domestic sales number. The growth engine at the House of Ronald is international sales and those numbers were impressive. Use the panic markets sometimes offer. --

BUY

8.

Wal-Mart

(WMT) - Get Walmart Inc. Report

: The clear and obvious winner from the government stimulus plan. Think of that $600 check coming to Americans, as a nice fat check going right to Wal-Mart's bottom line. --

BUY

9.

Freeport-McMoRan

(FCX) - Get Freeport-McMoRan, Inc. (FCX) Report

: The stealth China play and a proxy on global economic strength. I really liked that

Goldman Sachs

upgrade from last week. Also, there is a lot of consolidation in the mining sector, I would not be surprised to see one of the larger mining companies make a play for FCX. --

BUY

10.

Altria

(MO) - Get Altria Group Inc Report

Whenever talk and fears of recession hits Wall Street or Main Street, traders instinctively flock to this poster child of defensive names. MO will do well in any environment, as demand for their products is not dependent on the cycles of the economy. I do believe we have turned the corner and will avoid a deep recession, but I respect the likelihood that many scary news cycles of recession are on the way. This will frighten investors and benefit shareholders of MO. --

BUY

Patrick Schultz is a research associate at TheStreet.com. In keeping with TSC's editorial policy, he doesn't own or short individual stocks. He also doesn't invest in hedge funds or other private investment partnerships. He has previously obtained Securities licenses under the NASD?s Series 7, Series 24, Series 52, and Series 63 exams and has worked in the financial markets on various trading desks in addition to trading for his own account. Schultz appreciates your feedback;

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