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TheStreet Open House

Apple Competes With Its Unwritten Future

Stocks in this article: AAPL AMZN BBY

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Joe Strummer of The Clash got it right: "The Future is Unwritten" baby. That's especially relevant vis-a-vis Apple (AAPL - Get Report). (The greatest "London Calling" cover ever comes at the end of this article!).

My latest Amazon.com (AMZN - Get Report) article - Amazon's P/E of 3,000: The Ultimate Buy Signal -- generated considerable reaction.

TheStreet and Real Money Pro contributor Robert Weinstein called me nuts for owning the opinion. In his article, he addressed "investors" as he discussed Amazon like the day trader he is.

And Weinstein is a damn good day trader. Here's a guy who spends most days in a pair of cheese curd-stained shorts beating the other guy (often some Wall Street hack in a suit and tie) on trades that open and close over the course of seconds, minutes, sometimes hours and occasionally days. He's one of the few I would follow into trades blindly. He's that good.

That said, he doesn't understand Amazon. He reads the 3,000 P/E like the typical, misguided Amazon bear. Weinstein can make money on Amazon and most other stocks every single day. Long. Short. Both. Doesn't matter. Most of us are not quite that nimble. Consequently, you invest in companies you perceive as strong and sustainable for a period that extends beyond the foreseeable future.

Pull up an Amazon chart. With few exceptions, if you held Amazon for more than a minute (figure of speech there), you made money. As of Friday's close, the stock is up 17,763% over its lifetime. It's up 236%, 44%, 50%, 23%, 11%, 7%, 4%, 1% and 1%, respectively, over 5-year, 2-year, 1-year, 6-month, 3-month, 1-month, year-to-date, 5-day and 1-day periods.

All of this, yet we're expected to believe that just because Apple trades at 12 times earnings, Amazon must -- out of nowhere, after more than a decade of dominance -- crash and burn. That's nuts. If only these wishful intuitive correlations held in the real world.

In Apple Loses If It Beats Itself, I riff on a lack of meaningful competition. Apple competes with itself.

On my most recent CNBC appearance with the great Carl Quintanilla, I introduce the concept of 'the two Apples.' We're not comparing apples to oranges, we're comparing Apple to Apple.

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