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Hated Netflix vs Loved Apple: Netflix Wins

The following commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet's guest contributor program, which is separate from the company's news coverage. The opinions expressed are those of the author and do not represent the views of TheStreet or its management.

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The financial markets have the ability to take the most common of human traits and take full advantage of them to an extent that would even make P.T. Barnum look away in embarrassment. All the common emotions we rely on for our day-to-day survival often end up costing us our wine-and-cheese money on the alternate planet known as Wall Street.

The emotions of love and hate play an important role in determining the what, how and why of a stock's behavior. Ask Senor Average, who invests with XYZ Brokerage, whether a stock that is loved by the masses should outperform a stock that is hated and questioned by most. Invariably, Senor Average will tell you that love will win. Love for the company's products, management and brand will end up trumping anything a company that has been cast in a suspicious light can produce. Love beats hate in the stock market.

Arguably, there is no greater love that exists on Earth today than the love for Apple (AAPL - Get Report). People of the modern world, after all, spend more time on their iPad, iPhone or listening to their iPod than with their children, spouses, pets or mistresses. The threat of not having any of these devices for any period longer than that spent in a state of sleep, far outweighs any threat of not seeing friends or family for days or even weeks.

Therefore, it only makes sense that if and when the markets decide to pull back, Apple wouldn't suffer nearly as much as a stock that doesn't have the cult fanfare or the mass following. And there's the trap: It makes sense. Whenever something "makes sense" in the eyes of Senor Average and therefore, in the eyes of a majority of investors, it becomes the market's responsibility, duty and privilege to take full advantage of those who believe in putting their money into "making sense" investments.

What doesn't make sense in today's market, as one example, is Netflix (NFLX - Get Report). Here you have the opposite emotions of Apple. Netflix is a company that is looked at as being easily replaceable. It is also a company that is seeing its valuation questioned daily, as well as its long-term viability in the media marketplace. A company that sees its stock price shunned, as if it were a green ogre, attacking a helpless village. Quite the opposite of the make-out session we see between investors and the princess -- Apple. These expressions of love and hate come in form of buys and sells in the financial market. The love for Apple is expressed through an abundance of investors, few remaining short sellers, and fewer still, those investors waiting on the sidelines to deploy their funds into the stock.
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