Shadowing a fund manager at CES

More than 140,000 people descended (or will descend) on Las Vegas this week to kick the tires on a new wave of consumer electronics gadgets. Of those, a relatively small contingent (estimared? 3,500) are portfolio managers and other financial professionals earnestly seeking to place informed bets on the Next Big Thing.

We tagged along as Hampton Adams, head of research and a portfolio manager at Pasadena, California-based Gamble Jones Investment Counsel, hiked around a CES showfloor spanning 30 football fields in a pair of comfortable loafers, taking a first-hand peek at the technology industry’s latest offerings.

Inevitably, Apple always features high on Adams’ agenda even though the consumer electronics trendsetter isn’t even officially there. He wants to see what might be gleaned about Apple from its competitors.

Here’s a photo log of some of the highlights of our nine-hour odyssey. We’ll publish more details of his discoveries on


Starting the day with a keynote by Qualcomm Chief Executive Paul Jacobs, who reassured the audience he didn't mind them playing with their phones while he talked but didn't give much news.

Corning and Xerox bask in SOTU limelight

Forget Larry Page becoming the new chieftain at Google or Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg being crowned Time’s Man of the Year — the only two U.S. business leaders who will be sitting in Michelle Obama’s private box tonight at the State of the Union address will be  Xerox’s CEO Ursula Burns and Corning’s CEO Wendell Weeks.Beautiful

The high profile honors for the decades-old U.S. tech giants just happen to have been conferred in the same week both report earnings.

Corning, the 159-company which produces specialty glass for flatscreen TVs and more recently, smartphones and tablets, saw its shares rise today by almost 7 percent. While the bump  probably has more to do with the company’s earnings forecast than tonight’s appearance on Capitol Hill, we’ll just have to wait and see if the special invite has the same effect on Xerox, which reports earnings early tomorrow.