Welcome Back to the 80s

 | Dec 23, 2013 | 11:14 AM EST
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A broken restaurant chain, a homebuilder, a social media company, a refiner and Apple (AAPL)! Something for everyone.

Darden (DRI), Lennar (LEN), Facebook (FB), Marathon Petroleum (MPC) and Apple pretty much define this year.

You have a company in Darden that is so poorly run, with so much bad decision making, including the ridiculous split-off of Red Lobster -- like the balance sheet can afford that nonsense -- and the CEO actually thinks no one else will step in? This one goes up 10% the minute Clarence Otis retires.

You have a homebuilder in Lennar that put up a spectacular number, but was pretty much ignored and ignored wrongfully given how sustainable those earnings were. Of course it has gotten lost in the wash that was the Taper, but now that the Taper is behind us I see multiple expansion taking Lennar to the mid-$40s.

Marathon Pete is a company that is uniquely levered to the American oil glut, one that was perceived to be attached to the slowest-growing independent oil company, and now the pure play is being lapped up because the glut can't go away soon.

Facebook? What can I say? Advertisers love it so and retail investors rejoice in it as they do Twitter (TWTR). You knew you had to buy Facebook the moment that Zuckerberg filed his stock because the stock didn't get hit, which was a remarkable show of force. (Twitter, by the way, is a stock that makes you believe in Santa as the retail investor loves it and isn't supposed to be making this kind of money.)

Finally, there is Apple. What can I say? That there were still people who thought this deal wouldn't occur is amazing to me, given that there had been so much ink about how China Mobile was indeed done.

Why is Apple really up? I think it is because so many analysts were decimated by the ride down that they always have one foot out the door. There are no real champions of this stock anymore. Each note that's meant to be a positive always has some caveat in it that pulls it back. It's all pretty ridiculous. So the stock's shaking itself free of its analyst shackles and can really run unimpeded for some time.

The pastiche of success of this tape is always reminiscent of the 1980s, where all you knew was that all stocks went up, but some went up even more than others and your goal was to eliminate the wheat uber-winners from the chaff not-as-strong winners.

Welcome back to the 80s.

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