Boom Town. That's what we are looking at. And it's happening all at once.
Should it take us by surprise? I think that what's shocking us is the coalescence: All at once, analysts and buyers are coming out of the woodwork to say that the United States is about to have a Roaring 20s moment, a period like post World War II, oh heck, the explosion of business this nation experienced post Civil War.
And the train is leaving the station, with it or without you.
I want you on that train.
How do you get on it? You have to think about what you want to do when you have the best balance sheet you ever have -- along with everyone else -- and that's how you get half of what I am talking about. The other half? Think about the world opening for business and what we do overseas.
Let's start with the ones that are so obvious it's almost eerie.
Not that long ago Disney (DIS) put together an amazing quarter, led by Disney+. That makes sense; the numbers are spectacular. But the rest of the company: cruise, movies, theme parks? They've been eviscerated. Now, I am sure that you are thinking, wait a second, I am so late for this, how can I buy Disney's stock up here? Simple: If we are in a boom, as I think we are, then when we see the results when everything comes together, we are going to be saying, why did we believe that a stock of a company that was playing with one hand tied behind its back could possibly not go higher when it's got two arms around Disneyworld? Don't forget how trim Disney is, because the company did take out costs that it could never have done if there weren't a pandemic.
Second, I want a hotel chain that has been able to get through this with a loyal staff and a brand untarnished. I want Marriott (MAR) . Indulge me for a moment when I say that last week Arne Sorenson, one of the most giving, smart and savvy people, passed away last week. I got to know Arne personally and he took Marriott to a level that I never thought possible. Again, the trick here? The stock is up. It doesn't matter. This is just the ante if I am right about the boom.
Third Wynn (WYNN) : Look, we need to have a casino stock that has both China and Vegas and is incredibly well run. Mike Maddox is a brilliant executive who, I think, is the most ready of any of the big dogs to handle the traffic. I know you think that Penn National (PENN) , which I have been championing for 100 points, can't go much higher. You know what? Put it on the list for when someone says this rotation has gone too far. The Portnoy Barstool connection has caused this national casino company into one exciting sports book location.
Fourth, pick an airline. Any airline. I am going with Southwest (LUV) because CEO Gary Kelly is using this moment to take market share and to nail down all new routes. American Airlines (AAL) has become a superstar, but I don't want to have that that balance sheet near my portfolio. Oh, by the way, wasn't Boeing (BA) supposed to be down big on the accident, even as it is a Pratt & Whitney (Raytheon (RTX) ) engine? The boom is about travel, about going somewhere. On a plane. On a Boeing.
Fifth, I told you these cruises are for real. They are bargains. They can be made safe. Royal Caribbean (RCL) reported a ridiculously bad number but CEO Richard Fain has seen an increase bookings.
Sixth, at last the credit card companies can come alive, because of cross border and because of cache. I am talking about Visa V and Mastercard MA for the worldwide opening and American Express (AXP) as a company that quite simply will not be denied.
Seventh, you may think that Estee Lauder (EL) is played out after that miraculous quarter. That's nonsense. This quarter was the beginning of the turn that Fabrizio Freda has charted, one that started in China but is about to spread around the world. Don't worry about U.S. department stores. They are now almost insignificant in the pastiche of things. If you doubt the get-made-up-and-go-outside theory, the one that allows you to Snap (SNAP) the hell out of your life, then why is Ulta Beauty (ULTA) at a 52 week high?
Eighth: It's tough to ignore the endless rally in the stock of Caterpillar (CAT) , especially as the last quarter was just OK. But CAT has more to do with oil than any commodity, and oil isn't stopping right here, given a president who can always ban fracking or make methane rules so tough that it might not be worth drilling.
Ninth, it's Nucor's (NUE) time. Our nation's best steel maker has been able to put through multiple price increases, and it's only today that people have even seemed to notice. This steel maker has been expanding into all sorts of markets and is ready to put up some huge numbers. I will say that I have missed too much of the move in Deere (DE) and Freeport (FCX) to go with this cyclical. But you never know when someone says the rotation has gone far enough. It hasn't.
I know it is crazy, but I continue to believe that Simon Properties (SPG) , the nation's largest shopping mall chain, is going to make a comeback here. That's because stores, physical stores, especially the upscale ones are going to be huge beneficiaries of all that spare cash.
Look, we all knew this day would come where we could project an end to the nightmare. We knew the stocks would jump in advance. That's what's happening right now.
Now, how about the rest of the market? What do we do with it? Do we kick out FAANG? Is it dead? So we want to own the highest growth stocks? Historically, they underperform, because rates go higher on this kind of economic activity.
I think what you have to do is accept a level of underperformance until the opening trade is done. That may mean you will have to absorb some real pain here. I know that taking pain is among the hardest things to do. These days, when you mention that the forecast is pain, a la Mister T, in that seminal movie, "Rocky 3," the average investor, says I'm not taking pain, I am going to ring the register on Alphabet (GOOGL) -- despite its incredible plethora of travel ads, I am going to boost Apple (AAPL) , because it's not about the opening. Time to jettison Snowflake (SNOW) or Twilio (TWLO) or Roku (ROKU) .
I say, not so fast. It's not one or the other. I know that growth and super growth are now out of style. But growth never really goes out of fashion. Yes, the re-opening trade is occurring and you don't want to get in front of a speeding train. But pick two. Pick Microsoft (MSFT) or Apple (AAPL) . Maybe Amazon (AMZN) , Salesforce (CRM) or Service Now (NOW) . And start your buying. Leave two days between each buy. Stagger them so your second buy is far from your first. Sock one of these in. When we get opened you know what happens?
Those are the stocks to own, because growth has nine lives, and as we watch one get squelched, another will be right around the corner.