Yet, LVS is up 72% year to date, compared with the S&P 500's 2% decline. It is also outperforming peers with a bigger presence in Macau, such as Wynn Resorts (WYNN -commentary - Trade Now), up 42% for the year, and MGM Mirage (MGM - commentary - Trade Now), up 27% for the year. Even against a smaller U.S. regional player such as Boyd Gaming (BYD - commentary - Trade Now), which has regained a healthy 31% of its stock price this year, LVS is still way ahead.
What's even more remarkable, these healthy gains didn't come in January, followed by a sharp retracement since Europe's troubles began. The stock's gains held up, and even increased through the past six weeks.
Consider Royal Carribbean (RCL - commentary - Trade Now), the ultimate consumer-discretionary purchase. During the "melt up" from January through April, the cruise-ship operator, along with many other retailers and discretionary names, benefited. Its stock gained more than 40%. Then came Goldman, Greece, the flash crash and China worries. Suddenly, investors recalled RCL's heavy debt burden -- $6 billion market capitalization and long-term debt exceeding $8 billion. If RCL were a country, it would be one of the PIIGS (Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain). In fact, RCL has been battered these past six weeks, although it remains up 12% for the year, still good by S&P standards.