We have found a handful of worthwhile articles worth looking at this long, holiday weekend.

We don’t discuss individual stocks much, if at all, on this site, but the story of the Apple Computer (APPL) turnaround is one well worth revisiting. It was back in 1997 when Michael Dell disparaged Apple (and its stock price) in the most indelicate way. Om Malik, among others, notes that Apple now has a market cap that exceeds Dell (DELL). The interesting story is how the technology world has changed during that time period and how Apple has been able to re-generate itself into the market beater it is today.

Barron’s has the first installment of their annual investment roundtable this week. The ETF Investor has a roundup of Bill Gross’ selections which are quite user-friendly for the individual investor.

Kopin Tan in Barron’s is the interesting news that VIX options are going to begin trading. 2005 was characterized by historically low implied option volatilities. Now investors, without a futures account, can trade the VIX. While the relationships are not always intuitive, the VIX could play a role in a diversified portfolio.

Michael Santoli in Barron’s notes a handful of sentiment indicators that show a great deal of optimism from institutional and individual investors alike. However the publication continues to publish the Citigroup Panic/Euphoria Model that has been stuck in the panic range for the past year. Go figure.

One of the most promising aspects of the hedge fund community is their ability to find opportunity in the ruins of failed business models. Alexei Barrionuevo in the New York Times chronicles the rise of energy trading hedge funds out of the self-destruction of Enron and its fellow travelers.

Daniel Gross in the New York Times notes that hedge funds are not the only investors willing to take a more activist track these days. Good old fashioned mutual funds are stirring up the pot now that the climate seems ripe for shareholder activism.

Mark Hulbert in the New York Times notes evidence that Morningstar’s makeover of its famed star system has been on the whole a positive development. Highly rated funds generally outperform their peers, and vice versa for low rated funds. However, Morningstar’s own analysts do not hew to the star system very closely when it comes to their own picks.

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