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Who Won?

Now that the stimulus bill has been passed, it is becoming clear that technology and diversified tech conglomerates are the big winners.

GE will benefit from appliance rebates to water-treatment spending and wind-energy tax breaks. Google and Microsoft will benefit from billions of dollars slated for technology infrastructure. They will also benefit from environmental and educational projects aimed at improving U.S. competitiveness.

Congress set aside $19 billion for health information technology that would digitize health records. Provisions concerning digitizing health information benefits Intel. Intel has been one of the biggest computer-industry players pushing into the health-care arena, promoting new ways to use technology to help homebound patients and automate hospitals and doctors' offices.

The bill also allocates $7 billion to expand broadband access in areas with little or no Internet access, a potential boon for equipment manufacturers along with cable and phone companies.

Wind firms and solar companies such as SunPower won a new grants program designed to provide a direct cash infusion to projects that have lagged because of tight credit markets and a lack of tax credit investors.

The Associated General Contractors estimate that the package provides more than $130 billion in construction spending. Transportation receives the largest share, more than $49 billion, with $27.5 billion of that for highways.

While the bill is generally disappointing for small and independent businesses, it is a boon for energy and technology companies. Anytime government spends this amount of money, there will be winners and losers. In this bill technology, broadband, clean energy technology, construction contractors, and transportation contractors are the big winners. Businesses with exposure in these categories should have a good 2009 and 2010.