I still can't figure out what people initially didn't like about Starbucks, but I remember thinking that my charitable trust was getting a chance to buy this stock below $60 -- down a couple of bucks -- on a quarter that, to me, seemed just fine. Well, it was better than fine. Starbucks put out terrific numbers from China and the U.S. and the stock never looked back, embarking on a 10-point rally in pretty much a straight line. Now, that's what I call a buying opportunity.
Perhaps the best trade of all came from the highest-growth stocks when the interest-rate rally occurred. Those are the ones that you are never supposed to buy in an era when rates are skyrocketing -- and, after that move, I don't know how you can say they weren't doing just that.
You are supposed to go after the most highly valued stocks, since the rate rise signals inflation and a concomitant erosion of what you will pay for future earnings.
Yet how did the highest-growth stocks in the biotech world do? Celgene (CELG) and Gilead (GILD) have been downright unstoppable, taking out their old highs. Look, I get that when it comes to Celgene, as the company had just announced that it might soon be able to reapply for a favorable-use rule in Europe for its bedrock drug Revlimid. But Gilead? Nothing happened at all, and it's been the strongest one in the pack. Makes me want to go buy Regeneron (REGN) and Biogen (BIIB).But you know which two have really taken off? How about the two stocks that are regarded as the most expensive large-cap stocks in the universe? I'm talking about Amazon (AMZN) and Netflix (NFLX). When I was at my old hedge fund, I used to go after those kinds of stocks when I started, betting that the multiple would shrink so fast off the higher rates that I could coin money. But once rates would stabilize, you'd be history -- and the shorts who did these trades this time are, indeed, history. Not everything has bounced back. The stocks most definitely in the path of the interest-rate hurricane, the housing stocks, can't get any traction. Nevertheless, they were priced expensively going into the storm, and they have to give back some of their gains, because we know that higher rates do cool housing.