The Decade in Tech Stocks: Hope You Had GOOG and AAPLS

Turns out it was a tough decade for tech companies. First the bubble they helped create burst and took the rest of the economy down with them; now the credit markets have sunk them in return—with two notable exceptions.

I'll admit that this chart would be more readable if it had been a more competitive field. But isn't that kind of the point? While everyone else was mucking around trying to recover from the mistakes of the late nineties, two truly innovative companies—Apple and Google—distinguished themselves in spectacular fashion. Granted, Google didn't join the party until 2004 and benefits from a severely undervalued IPO, but even taking that into consideration, their current stock price of $622 is 20 times that of Microsoft. No matter what kind of dividend Ballmer hands out, that's an enormous—and telling—gap.

That's the big picture. But I'm curious as to what you guys see in the details, too. A stock can pop on a rumor and drop on a dime. What's behind some of the peaks and valleys we see here? [Chart via Google]