Shares in Apple (AAPL
) and International Business Machines (IBM
) were at all-time highs until investors found faults with their third-quarter earnings
reports Monday. Despite those hiccups, both tech stocks have been on a tear since late August. Google (GOOG
), meanwhile, reported stellar third-quarter results last week and its shares have rallied more than 35% so far this autumn.
As enviable as those returns have been, it's critical that investors make a distinction between a company and its stock. As businesses, Apple, IBM and Google have strong fundamentals, rock-solid balance sheets and first-rate management teams. But after such powerful rallies in these companies' shares, investors might want to refrain from putting new money to work now. After all, when it comes to stocks, the idea is to buy low.
For the bull and bear cases on Apple, IBM and Google, see the video below.