Coconut water. Bacon, egg, and Advil sandwich. Hair of the dog. No matter what strange hangover cure you're milking this morning, the MarketSnacks team has prepared our legendary 5 Wall Street Awards of 2013 for your New Year's Day reading pleasure. Here's to a fun 2014, MarketSnacks Nation:
- Most Valuable Player -- Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) is streaming its way up to a nearly 300% gain over 2013 as the best-performing stock in the whole wide S&P 500. With the success of homemade shows House of Cards and Orange Is the New Black, plus expansion into foreign countries with historically weak broadband access, Netflix has crushed past HBO with 40 million subscribers.
- Most Improved Player -- Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) is finally getting more attention on Wall Street than CEO Mark Zuckerberg's awkward smile and social skills. After falling more than 50% at one point in 2012 following its botched IPO, the stock surged more than 100% in 2013 as the company finally figured out (for the most part) its biggest challenge -- how to finally get not-horrible looking ads on its mobile platform.
- Rookie of the Year -- Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) enjoyed a (shockingly) flawless IPO in November and is up more than 40% in its short 140-character 2013 career. Investors are banking on the hope that Twitter will find additional ways to monetize its huge user base (it already added a new feature for advertisers in December) and that cool people won't get bored with it.
- Least Valuable Player -- lululemon atheltica (NASDAQ:LULU) bent itself into a 22% downward-dog dive in 2013. The combination of its see-through yoga pants debacle in the spring and founder Chip Wilson's controversial weight comments in the fall were non-namaste moments for the company. Now we'll see if Lulu's new CEO can turn things around 180 degrees in 2014.
- Head, Heart, and Hustle Award -- Ben Bernanke is finally going to get some time to work on his golf game. As the 14th ever chairman of the Federal Reserve, big bearded Ben will be replaced by Janet Yellen in 2014. Over 2013, he dominated headlines with investors wondering when he would slow down his Quantitative Easing (aka "QE3") stimulus policy. We're going to miss the "Just for Men" references, Ben.