[CNBCfix Fast Money Review Archive — April 2013]
[Tuesday, April 30, 2013]

Brian Kelly: Apple bond
offering ‘is Ponzi finance’

Have to admit, this page finds it odd that a company purportedly with $145 billion in cash is borrowing a huge sum of money to pay stockholders.

But we didn't realize until tuning in to Tuesday's Fast Money that, according to Brian Kelly, actually "it is Ponzi finance, in the Minsky type of Ponzi finance."

Kelly said it's just taking out debt to pay the people you just borrowed money from, "but that can go on for a long time."

Tim Seymour balked. "But they're underlevered. There's nothing Ponzi about that," Seymour said.

Kelly then backpedaled. "I didn't mean Ponzi scheme," he said, but money that flows in "kind of a circular motion."

Fast Money’s AAPL bandwagon finds another rider

If nothing else, Tim Cook has the seal of approval of Larry McDonald.

McDonald told Tuesday's Fast Money that now's a great time to lock in cash at low rates, and he would "commend Apple for doing it."

McDonald issued a Brag Trade on the stock, explaining, "We liked it last week," while admitting, "technically it's in a bad spot" and is "probably gonna retest" some level above the lows. But, "net-net, the lows are in."

Brian Kelly: ‘still short’

Carter Worth identifying a trend that's hardly news to anyone, first offered an "at the end of the day," then told Tuesday's Fast Money that the divergence between staples and the energy/materials sector is so wide, it portends a significant May-esque correction.

"Both extremes are getting more expensive," Worth said, deciding that the rising sectors are unimportant and pointing to the laggards saying, "This is the real story, is Europe OK," which is curious, given that a chart-watcher would be so interested in fundamentals.

This isn't just your typical divergence, Worth said, so "maybe it'll be worse than just the normal correction."

Nevertheless, Worth likes SWK, because "breakouts occur from this kind of setup," while he thinks the PETM chart has "all the hallmarks" of topping out.

The most significant comment of the presentation actually came from Brian Kelly, who admitted, "I'm still short," and then grasped for support, even trying the old "Hindenburg Omen" that he claims happened a couple weeks ago.

"Clearly the economy is decelerating," Kelly said.

Nobody has ever believed
Mark Zuckerberg is the
next Steve Jobs

Brian Kelly is the only person we've heard on CNBC who has said (hundreds of times actually) that the reason you'd buy FB is because you think Mark Zuckerberg is the next Steve Jobs.

(We're not aware of anyone who actually believes that, but tons of entities have bought the stock, so ... there's some kind of disconnect there.)

Unfortunately, Kelly made this declaration again on Tuesday's Fast Money, which would signal we're in mumbo jumbo land, except Kelly managed to rally together an effective debate with Tim Seymour about the prospects of owning Facebook shares.

Seymour's bull argument was a tepid one, that the company is stealing mobile market share. Kelly stumbled mightily with his Yogi Berra opening and Zuck-as-Jobs routine, but then pointed out there really hasn't been "anything that would draw new users in there ... unless all of a sudden Facebook's cool again, it's going the way of MySpace."

"Well they're monetizing it though," Seymour said.

Dan Nathan said "both of those guys made some very good points," and as a result he expects the stock to be range-bound. "Such a crowded trade," Nathan said, asking, "who is the incremental buyer?"

Guy Adami said that for a trade, he sides with Seymour; the stock "might have some mojo post-earnings."

Mike Khouw said there was a buyer of January 25 puts in FB for $2.

Mel likes ‘at the end of the day’

Tim Seymour said on Tuesday's Fast Money that with the demand for Apple's borrowing, "why not" do it.

Dan Nathan said the bond issue alone is not a floor under the stock, unlike the time of Steve Jobs' leave of absence, "unless" Jobs is coming back again, which then prompted a "sorry."

The fundamentals are "not good," Nathan said.

Melissa Lee, invoking the show's favorite cliche, "At the end of the day, what happens to the stock." Guy Adami said it would take a close around or above 450 for a couple days to break the downtrend.

Tim Seymour, citing a Russian bigwig who's investing in the digital incubator business, said the "smart money" might be getting back into the name. Dan Nathan said the easy money is perhaps already made.

Brian Kelly later said of Apple, "You buy the stock if you think interest rates are going up."

Bob Seger gets a nod in the
Fast Money music selections

Brian Kelly, clinging to whatever might bolster the ongoing 1937-esque bear thesis, said on Tuesday's Fast Money that the markets shrugged off "just awful economic news."

Tim Seymour said AVP is giving people something to believe in again. Mike Khouw called BBY "still troubled." Guy Adami said JCP the company is broken but the stock isn't and would be a buy.

Seymour said "I would take the money and run" in FSLR, assuming anyone has made money in it. Mike Khouw said GME looks "technically overbought to me." Dan Nathan said it's time to sell COH and Guy Adami said to hang onto PSX.

Dan Nathan boasted about his recommendation (on the 1 day SPLS spiked over 14) to avoid Staples on the OfficeDepot/Max combination; "I don't buy stocks on spikes." Tim Seymour called revelations of Marissa's salary a "non-event" but referred to the old reliable, the purported valuation of Alibaba (about time for some upgrades there).

Mike Khouw suggested that MRK, like PFE, could face yen headwinds. Guy Adami said to take the money in CMI and run.

Chris Marangi told the panel, "I still continue to like Comcast," in part because of the "continued turnaround at NBC."

(Evidently, that doesn't include the "Today" show, based on the articles in the New York Post.)

Marangi called DIS a "great brand." Tim Seymour said "I like MSG here," and Guy Adami said DWA can continue to rally with 40% short interest.

A couple months behind the news, Brian Kelly claimed the Post Office is "closing down on Saturday," when that's not the case.

Russell Goldsmith of City National Bank seems like one of the finest bankers a person could possibly have, but in a strange, angle-less segment spoke only of serving the "high-end retail client ... lawyers, advertising executives, accounting firms," people who might have "a million dollars," or "hundreds of millions of dollars."

University of San Diego MBA student Dan McAllister was cheered for developing an algorithm that trades upon "moving averages" (and someone alert Mark Cuban that people are writing stock programs and the markets aren't just serving businesses who want to build capital).

Dan Nathan's Final Trade was sell JNJ. Tim Seymour said to sell PBR. Brian Kelly said DBA. Guy Adami said DWA.

Mark Hulbert bails out
Joe’s anticipatory comment

Mark Hulbert advocated "sell in May" on Tuesday's Halftime Report, only to practically run into snickers from a skeptical panel.

Hulbert claimed that on a statistical basis the evidence that sell in May works is "incredibly strong," even going back to 1694 Britain, though he concedes it's not "guaranteed."

"No one really knows why it should work," Hulbert said.

Mr. New World was skeptical, dropping another "in essence" on viewers, explaining that Hulbert is "in essence saying market timing doesn't work" and also that it does work ... except that, at least in this conversation, Hulbert wasn't saying timing doesn't work ... except maybe until after he responded to Terranova, when he claimed that certain sectors (consumer goods, financials, technology and telecommunications) are "relatively immune" to this sell-in-May fluctuation.

Josh Brown offered a "public service" announcement not to make trades based on certain dates or holidays.

Stephen Weiss slightly defended Hulbert, saying that Hulbert is really advocating not being in indexes. "He may not know that's what he said," but that's what he said, Weiss said.

Meanwhile, Joe Terranova said "I like the participation this week of technology. I remain long," though he has taken profits in crude.

"Today I'm not doing anything," said Stephen Weiss.

All aboard AAPL bandwagon

Yesterday this page reported that, after a couple of days of AAPL being up, the Fast Money gang was firmly back on the bandwagon.

There was follow-through on Tuesday's Halftime Report, with Mike Murphy saying he likes the stock because the company is now "doing the right thing" by borrowing cash, and that there's 460, 465 resistance, and once that's cleared, then 500.

Stephen Weiss wasn't buying it, insisting "those margins have to come down." Murphy said that's already happened, that's why it's down $300.

No, Weiss said, it's "because everybody owned it, didn't know what they owned."

Josh Brown said it's a "pretty easy one to call," and "I think Murph's got it right." But he admitted to Weiss he owns it but hasn't "bought it recently."

Dan Niles, in a bit of a Brag Trade, pointed to becoming bearish after the missed quarter a year ago but said he started buying recently the day before the company reported, and for the next 3 days, because the dividend and buybacks amount to "roughly 7% a year" of return, plus estimates have been cut in half.

But Niles admitted, "It seemed to me like a good spot ... if they weren't returning this much capital, I wouldn't own it."

Niles said IBM "blew up" and not to buy it. He likes AMAT and doesn't regret not owning MSFT.

Shocker: Builder downgrade

Michael Rehaut told Tuesday's Halftime Report that despite robust reports in the homebuilding sector, he's downgrading PHM based in part on a "more conservative order-growth outlook."

Mike Murphy questioned if Rehaut is getting "too cute" in isolating a single name in a sector that overall has been doing great.

Joe Terranova said he missed the homebuilder trade and is "totally afraid to get in here." Likewise, Stephen Weiss said "I just can't step in here."

Josh Brown warned that there's "a lot of momentum money in this" and pointed to the shellacking a couple weeks ago. Weiss said he knows someone who formed a limited partnership recently in the housing space and now says it's the "most overcrowded trade."

Machines are taking over, no one has any confidence in markets as S&P flirts with all-time high

Joe Terranova said on Tuesday's Halftime Report that rather than be in CHK, it's better to be in the companies scooping up the CHK assets.

Steve Weiss flat-out said, "To me this is nothing but a short."

Josh Brown said any CHK bull case is tempered because there is only 9% short interest in the stock.

Judge suggested they get Mark Cuban on the line to tackle the sudden SYMC drop. Mike Murphy asserted that it's "clearly sort of a Flash Crash ... this has to be addressed."

Anthony Grisanti said the Fed easing program will continue "full-steam ahead." Rich Ilczyszyn said "this is the new normal" of low yields in Treasurys.

Murphy: Buy CMI at 104

Joe Terranova said on Tuesday's Halftime Report that Stephanie Link made a great call Monday on PFE and said there's a currency headwind and advised, "Between 27.50 and $28 you put a resting buy order." Josh Brown likes the stock enough to have made it his Final Trade.

Mike Murphy said CMI is a buy if it holds 104; in that case it should get a 2nd-half bounce. Stephen Weiss countered, "Don't ever believe this company ... stock should go lower."

Weiss said DB is benefitting from raising money and might not have to realize losses. Weiss said he wouldn't buy PBI at Tuesday's levels. His Final Trade was HIG.

Joe Terranova predicted more 52-week lows in the near future for NEM, "they're actually seeing cost inflation." Terranova's Final Trade was hotels.

Mike Murphy said it's a great time to take profits in BBY. His Final Trade was INTC.

Josh Brown said there's talk about splitting up OIS.

Herb Greenberg was billed as having something profound to say about NUAN but instead created dead air around "... they came out and they talked about ..." Josh Brown said it reminds him of how Garmin and the navigation stocks began to fall a few years ago.

[Monday, April 29, 2013]

Fair-weather trading: Fast Money gang back on AAPL bandwagon

Guy Adami opened Monday's Fast Money sounding a reasonable tone on AAPL; "I think it's gotta close above 450 in a somewhat meaningful way" before you get bullish.

But then, unfortunately, his AAPL-bottom-picker colleagues took over with arguments that carry less weight than Danny Noonan's case for the caddy scholarship, starting with Pete Najarian, who claimed the "weaker hands" have been shaken out of the stock and that 400 represents a put.

Tim Seymour, who thought it was just dandy a couple months ago when Tom DeMark was calling a bottom about a hundred bucks higher, said the Street finally has some clarity on "what's the bottom on gross margins," and that with a "505 target ... ultimately it's a buy."

Steve Grasso assured viewers, "it is still a buy" as long as it's above 420. "I'm happy being long the name," Grasso said, saying he expects it will go "back up to 500."

Tim Seymour says it’s
‘almost like 1999’ for MSFT

While the Fast Money is almost unanimously back behind AAPL, the consensus on IBM on Monday's show was anything but warm and cuddly.

"At 200 it's at best a hold," said Guy Adami.

Steve Grasso shrugged that there are "much better places to put your money." Tim Seymour said if he owned the shares he would sell.

Guy Adami called MSFT "at best" a hold. Pete Najarian said it's a buy, because they're ready to "kill it" in cloud computing.

Tim Seymour said if you're long MSFT you can stay in the name; it "almost looks like 1999 for this stock."

Guy Adami, joining the Fast Money Cliche crowd with "have a drink out there for the end of the day," said he'd be a buyer of GOOG.

Pete Najarian, though, again disagreed, calling GOOG a sell; a "one-trick pony" that had been getting AAPL money that will now be going back to AAPL.

Have a drink? Does anyone actually drink while watching Fast Money?

Mondale for president!

Dennis Gartman took a moment on Monday's Fast Money to steer viewers away from the gold miners — especially the junior variety.

"I hate them. I mean there's no reason in the world to own a miner at this point," Gartman said.

But he allowed that if they did actually start hedging again, "I think it would be beneficial to the gold miners."

Tobias Levkovich visited the Nasdaq to tell the gang he thinks utilities are probably still OK but he'd be taking profits in staples and health care, and he pointed out that stocks with more international exposure are facing headwinds.

Levkovich said he's more concerned about "August angst" than "sell in May," and predicted "another 50, 60, 70 points in the S&P." (But Brian Kelly says he's never been this bearish in his life.)

Craig Johnson was more effusive, telling Melissa Lee, "I definitely think we're going higher." Neatly pressed by Lee as to whether that means buy now, Johnson backpedaled a bit, advising viewers "buy any sort of pullbacks."

Johnson made the case to be long Ford and sell eBay. Taking a page from John McCain's rhetoric, Johnson told the gang "My friends," this seems like the early 1980s, "history is repeating itself."

Guy Adami addressed Johnson's Ford call and said "I don't see that in the charts," but did say he thinks TM looks strong.

Tilman Fertitta told Melissa Lee that the nation has to solve the immigration problem. That prompted Lee to issue her own "at the end of the day," wondering if it would create more jobs. Fertitta noted a setback from the end of the payroll tax break but asserted, "The consumer started spending money again in March."

Melissa has a date

Tim Seymour on Monday's Fast Money made the case for a revival in Chinese Internet names.

"I think we're going higher," said Seymour, specifically targeting SINA as well as BIDU, which he said is now in "extreme value territory ... around $80 you have a very good floor in this stock." And the other obligatories were SOHU and YOKU.

But Brian Stutland had a bolder outlook on LGF. "This is a stock that can get totaled," Stutland conceded, reporting a buyer of June 23 puts, but "I think this stock can get to $30 a share here" based on sequel potential.

Seymour said you can be long DE to 95. His Final Trade was selling PBR.

Pete Najarian called LVS' day a "buying opportunity." Najarian also reported a big buyer of May 18 calls in DAL after a big buy in the May 17s. Najarian said he likes the whole big pharma space but MRK the best. His Final Trade was FB, saying it might even test 32.

Steve Grasso said to avoid FSLR on either side. But he'd still be in VZ. Grasso's Final Trade was GOOG, predicting it would beat its 844 high but cautioning that below 812 you must exit.

Guy Adami said there's still "upside momentum" in JCP. Adami said GIS "feels like it still has some mojo." He said he "had been right for a while" in ORCL, but "I'm wrong now" and would avoid. Adami's Final Trade was TM.

(Sigh) Here's the deal ... we don't want to specifically dump on Melissa Lee for having a Twitter account.

But does CNBC really need another person performing a non-moneymaking waste of time an enhancement to the cable channel's digital package by alerting people who somehow choose to "follow" these accounts that Fast Money will be starting in 15 minutes?

One tweeter on Monday hoped for dinner with Mel, which would've been outstanding given Mel's new sizzling sharp navy outfit, but Lee informed viewers, "Thank you for the invitation, but I've got plans." (And it's always nice to be in the position of turning down dates.)

Tim Seymour got downright raunchy in saying, during a discussion of chicken wings, pretty much to Lee, "You gotta work the bone."

Joe: LNKD to $200

It's fine to talk stocks over lunch, but Joe Terranova served up what might've been a certifiable Whopper on Monday's Halftime Report.

"I've been saying 'be in LinkedIn' for many many years," Terranova said.

The stock has been public for less than 2 ... but who's counting?

(Unless, of course, Terranova is advising people to just hold the stock for many many years, which would be quite the aggressive call on a show that used to be called "Fast Money.")

"I think you're gonna see a $200 handle on LinkedIn shortly," Terranova declared.

Meanwhile, Terranova told Judge Wapner that "potentially you could" regret not owning AAPL in the low 400s (because then if it shoots back up to 700 and then falls back to 500 you won't be able to share how happy you are about the Cost-Basis House's Money Trade like all the pros do on Fast Money), but "I am gun-shy, after incorrectly trading it over the last couple of months, to buy it," and would use options to be long now, Terranova said.

Jon Najarian said "We're seeing just an explosion" of AAPL calls, which means the AP Twitter account must've had something about iPhone screen sizes. Simon Baker said "I think you own it here," but Stephanie Link called it "probably a trading range stock" until there's more clarity on new products.

Stephanie advises holders
to be ‘patient’ with GE

Simon Baker, steering clear of another LULU "game over" call, made a tiresome, years-old bull case for PFE on Monday's Halftime Report, saying it has demographics in its favor, "great drugs in the pipeline" and there's talk of a potential breakup.

Stephanie Link argued it's got "4% earnings growth this year at best," that the pipeline is factored in, and "I think you can get a better price for this stock."

Baker said people keep chasing the stock hoping for that pullback that doesn't happen. Link called chasing it a "very dangerous" strategy.

Dr. New Land said Link had the better argument.

Barbara Ryan wasn't terribly enthusiastic about PFE; "I'm more on the buy camp ... I think the most undervalued is Merck."

Jon Najarian said he'd buy EXPE and sell TZOO. Joe Terranova gushed about SWN, "love the trade."

Stephanie Link tepidly defended GE; "we still own it; I still like it ... I think you have to stay patient." (For what, another decade?)

Simon Baker touted AIG and made it his Final Trade. Stephanie Link called CMI "absolutely" a buy on a pullback and made DD her Final Trade.

Mr. New World made MS his Final Trade. Jon Najarian said HUN, and also mistakenly said ACI and the coal names are all at "52-week highs."

Joe: ‘I am not cautious at all’

Judge Wapner on Monday's Halftime Report managed to neatly back Joe Terranova into a little pickle.

Joe began the program reminding viewers he advised them at the beginning of the month to be "tactful" in April, which at this point amounts to "I wanna sell Treasurys in May."

But moments later, after Wapner observed that everyone seems to be cautious on this market despite the fact it's reaching new highs, Dr. New Land, bristled, rather curiously, "I am not cautious at all ... I'm actually very aggressive."

Stephanie Link suggested we could get a rotation rather than a big correction. Simon Baker said the jobs number Friday figures to be a "big catalyst," but we're not really sure in which direction. Baker suggested being long AIG for its book value.

Terranova outprepared Steve Liesman, who, when asked if an ECB rate cut is priced into the market, explained, "I have to do some work on this," while Joe asserted it is priced in.

Stephen Weiss wasn’t available to insist it’s still going to single digits

Mr. New World was flagged by Judge Wapner for sounding a bit contradictory on JCP on Monday's Halftime Report, saying that the company's ability to land cheap financing "really blows up the bear thesis," but nevertheless "I wouldn't jump in and chase it here."

Jon Najarian backed off making a call on JCP, saying, "Pete is the one that's still holding it."

Najarian did trumpet Microsoft and the clever options trade he made with it (hopefully that doesn't sound like a "hater"), "I like it to continue higher."

Guest Robert Zagunis opened with a long statement about unemployment, saying it's a social and governmental problem, but "it isn't particularly a fundamental business problem." He apparently likes UTX, ABT and MSFT.

Stephanie Link said Cramer owns CSCO around current levels. Jon Najarian, citing MSFT, said "watch Cisco outperform over this next quarter."

Judge introduced John Chambers as "Mr. Chambers." Chambers said, "Please call me John so I won't feel old and formal."

More from Monday's Halftime and Fast Money later.

[Friday, April 26, 2013]

Melissa: ‘I like single malt scotch, on the rocks’

Brian Kelly, trying to compartmentalize his erroneous, ongoing bear case into a viable thesis like some people struggle to cram a trash bag with 3 pizza boxes into a garbage chute, said at the top of Friday's lamentable half hour of Fast Money that "I'm still selling," that the market's strength is "uncanny," but that it's being led by "very weak hands" who are making a "very scary trade."

Josh Brown said it's ludicrous to not want or expect a pullback and said he "wouldn't mind" a correction."

Dan Nathan complained about staples' action and claimed "this could be the canary in the coal mine."

Guy Adami said that while he thinks eventually there will be a selloff, some say 5%, but it "could be a lot worse than that," and meanwhile he thinks the market will "continue to probably grind higher."

Nathan's top trade was JNJ puts. Kelly said SPY puts, Josh Brown supposedly was going to say OXY but instead made a bizarre argument against QCOM that led into buying JNJ. Guy Adami said CERN.

Melissa Lee for some crazy reason asked traders whether they prefer GOOG or MSFT. "I buy Google here, it's a layup," said Dan Nathan. Guy Adami agreed, but Brian Kelly said he'd rather have MSFT.

Guy Adami said "now's not the time" to chase NFLX but to wait for the 190s. Brian Kelly said AKAM longs "have to take some profits." Josh Brown said of RHI, "I would stay away from it." Dan Nathan said longs are trying to squeeze the shorts in FSLR.

Guy Adami said if you've made money on the JCP bounce, you should "probably take some off the table." Josh Brown said the good thing is that talk of an $8 stock is off the table and so is the notion of suppliers abandoning the company.

Flavien Desoblin said whiskey is hot and so are flavored whiskeys. The conversation was most notable for the insight Melissa Lee provided into her happy hour preferences.

Melissa Lee gave the camera one of those looks when talking about Steve Grasso.

Josh Brown said the weekly charts in AMZN look "awful" but that buyers came in at 250.

Guy Adami said the potential for ZNGA is "grim" and that a squeeze is the only hope.

Josh Brown's Final Trade was OXY. Guy Adami said gold.

Pete falls for the same trap as every NFL writer, giving highest draft grade to team simply making most 1st-round picks

One of the reasons Michelle Caruso-Cabrera seems like such a pleasant companion for a social event is not just her extraordinary beauty but because she will say things on the air such as, "Pete and I were discussing football during the break," which was heard on Friday's Halftime Report.

Later in the program, MCC came through on that teaser, asking Pete Najarian who did the best on Day 1 of the draft.

Pete claimed it was the Minnesota Vikings: "They absolutely crushed it last night," pointing out they acquired Sharrif Floyd, landed the "best corner" in the draft, and got a "monster" at wide receiver in Cordarrelle Patterson.

(Sigh ...)

If anything, Minnesota's 1st round looks like one of those bad cost-basis trades with the house's money and is sketchy at best.

Their first pick, expected by most observers to be taken in the top 5, fell 20 positions, a staggering slide that indicates big-time concerns by a host of teams.

Their second pick is a good player but not the best corner in the draft, he was the FOURTH cornerback chosen.

Those 2 picks are not bad. The problem is that to get Pete's purported "monster" wide receiver — who would not have been taken in the first round otherwise and possibly not early 2nd — the Vikings coughed up a 3rd and 4th. That's an extremely steep price many teams foolishly pay for someone in the range of the 25th-40th pick, the vast majority of whom are not impact players and often tend to be busts.

So to recap: The Vikings got one guy who fell like HLF after Bill Ackman's Ira Sohn presentation. They got one B+ cornerback. They traded half the farm for an iffy wide receiver prospect who nobody else thought was 1st-round material.

But because they got 3 picks, Pete calls them the best. The truth is that whoever got one of the 4 tackles or 2 elite guards probably had the best drafts.

Meanwhile, back to Michelle Caruso-Cabrera and the fun things she says ... Mike Murphy enjoyed it when MCC said he was "looking good" on a Sprint pick. Murphy indicated that comment applied to his appearance, to which MCC said, "You can dream," then asked for Guy Adami.

Meanwhile, after Adami showed up for no real goofy reason and got to put his arm around Michelle, Pete said of Adami, "He's very fragile."

The word "sensitive" came up, and Michelle explained, "Girls like that."

So, "let's talk later," piped up Mr. New World.

It was definitely notable that Michelle Caruso-Cabrera oversaw a discussion of the NFL Draft but never challenged her panelists on whether this is a shining example of free-market capitalism, forcing the most elite players to negotiate only with one team, which earned the right to this exclusive negotiation by losing a lot of games.

Doc says ‘haters’ get on his case for Brag Trades

Apparently some folks out there aren't too impressed by Jon Najarian's Brag Trades.

Najarian told guest host Michelle Caruso-Cabrera on Friday's Halftime Report that he's not in NFLX over 200; "I was lucky enough to be in it earlier."

MCC said he didn't have to call it "lucky," that "it was a judicious buy that was very very smart."

Najarian shrugged, "I could put it that way, but then I'd just get all the haters coming after me."


Guess it's not kosher to question the need to learn of someone else's past success when trying to determine if a particular financial instrument is a buy or sell right now.

Or in other words, why did Najarian have to bring up his "lucky" trade at all, given A) that countless people have owned this stock from time to time making his own trade hardly unique, and B) the question was what to do with the stock right now.

Mike Murphy said NFLX would be a desirable takeover target and so, "I don't think you'd ever want to be short this."

Was it really Richard Nixon who said, "Once they hate you, you have won"?

Pete apparently doesn’t believe
the refinery business can turn south

Pete Najarian, evidently all Red Bulled up from the NFL Draft, claimed payback on Friday's Halftime Report for what he considers an airline dis.

The issue was Delta's refinery buy, something Pete said "everybody on the desk — everybody — said that's the stupidest trade ever."

(We checked. This basically went down in April 2012, and the haters on record were Anthony Scaramucci and Josh Brown.)

Joe Terranova told Pete, "Not everyone on the desk has been in disagreement with you," and then said that hedge funds like Alaska Air, and also mentioned UAL.

Mike Murphy asked Pete a great question, what happens to DAL shares if the refinery business goes south. Pete's remarkable answer: "I don't really understand the turning south part of it."

(By the way, Pete wasn't done complaining; see below on the VIX.)

Pete accuses colleagues of disagreeing with him too much

But Pete Najarian's warpath didn't stop with Delta Air Lines on Friday's Halftime Report.

Pete crowed how he called NFLX topping $200 — he did, an admittedly great call — and chortled that "a lot of guys were naysayers on that too."

(Gee whiz, what in the world were they serving at the Najarian family dinner(s) this week; evidently there's a belief folks aren't paying enough homage to family success.)

Once again, Dr. New World, far more under control in this program than Pete was, took exception, telling Najarian, "We've got footage of that one when it was trading 170, what I said to do." (Which, yes, parallels Dr. J's own poor-me Brag Trade, but at least Joe was responding to a specific comment on that very subject.)

Maybe they've got footage, but who wants to see it. Just scroll down this page and you'll find that on April 3, with the stock closing at 169, Terranova said he likes the name and recommended buying 1/3 then, 1/3 a week later and 1/3 before earnings, which would've indeed been a home run.

Guy Adami also impressively stuck with the name. Pete's right that others were naysayers, but so what ... everyone on the show goes from being right to wrong in that name about every 2 weeks.

Meanwhile, back to Friday, Pete Najarian said now that it's over 200, you have to sell, and can buy it back under 200.

Sounded uncontroversial. But Dr. New World rightly pressed a good case, questioning why sell here with the puts so cheap.

Because "the momentum's done," Pete insisted.

"The evidence in the actual price action doesn't suggest that," Terranova said.

"Well, we'll see in a couple days," Pete scoffed, no sign of the Red Bull wearing off.

Analyst predicts 50% gain in FB, just not a return to IPO price

Aaron Kessler told Friday's Halftime Report that he likes FB on the strength of increasing monetization (Zzzzz), that the company "significantly increased the ad loads in Q1," and coupled with "mobile ad adoption" brings him to a $37 price target.

Mike Murphy said he likes the name and thinks it will break "quickly" over 30 on any good news, perhaps something with Home.

Pete Najarian said that while being long FB he's been "selling calls for over a year in this stock," claiming that means "practically I think I might even be ahead at this point in time." (And omg, we're not about to question how that helps the viewer decide if FB is a buy or sell lest we get sacked by the Najarians like Joe Theismann on Monday Night Football.)

Joe Terranova said he doesn't own the name, and "I am not on Facebook."

BEAM us up, Michelle

Kevin Dreyer told Michelle Caruso-Cabrera on Friday's Halftime Report that he likes 3 select staples names not only because "these are great companies," but "M&A is now back in the sector."

So his picks are BEAM, which drew bourbon references from Caruso-Cabrera, HSH and MDLZ, the latter he said could be bought in the "high 30s, conservatively."

Joe Terranova reached for an endorsement of SJM. Dreyer said he likes the company but "don't necessarily think it's a takeout candidate."

Mike Murphy asked a good question, whether Warren Buffett overpaid for HNZ. Dreyer called it an "appropriate price to gain control of the company," which sounds like a no.

Jon Najarian said he likes HSH more than BEAM, which he thinks will take longer.

WY not?

Goodness knows why, but Friday's Halftime Report decided to pit Joe Terranova vs. Pete Najarian in a battle of WY, which is outside Joe's LPX wheelhouse and is more a Stephanie Link-Cramer kinda thing.

"Everyone is betting against Weyerhaeuser," Joe insisted, but adding that activists have been successful in initiating capital-allocation strategies. Mr. New Land said analysts have 5 sells on the name.

Najarian said it's done well, but "I think you had to be in this stock a year ago ... I think it's priced to perfection."

Mike Murphy concluded, "I'm gonna go with Pete," calling the shares "expensive" and "overextended" at 28.

Mike Murphy’s BAC call
fails the logic test

Pete Najarian said at the top of Friday's Halftime Report that homebuilders continue to be strong, a point backed by his brother Jon, then scoffed at those who say volatility is no longer an indicator.

That brought the first of Joe Terranova's rebuttals to Pete's tirades on the day, as Dr. New Land asserted that "volatility is one of the reasons to be bullish."

Terranova said that for top trades, "I would say look at gold ... I would be a seller of gold," but on the other hand, "I think there's tremendous opportunity in energy."

Michael Santoli once again brought his mild contrarian routine to Friday's Halftime, which continues to miss the presence of Bellevue's No. 1 U2 fan, saying "sell in May" works "over a long period of time as a general tendency," but that "May might've come in March this year," and old tech looks appealing as people may transition into them from staples.

Mike Murphy, for one, backed INTC.

Murphy said "I'm not in JCPenney right now" but nevertheless made the tiresome bull refrain, that there's "the REIT structure" possibility, plus the stock would bounce on "some sort of positive news about sales, or about anything."

Jon Najarian said YHOO simply had a "little bit of relief selloff" and he wasn't surprised by the chairman move. Mike Murphy said "I wouldn't be a buyer of Coinstar" until it crosses 60.

Joe Terranova thinks IGT is a "better trade" than WYNN. Mike Murphy suggested MGM.

Jon Najarian said LOGM got a Cowen upgrade and is doing better than CTXS. Pete Najarian said if you want to go long EXPE, OK, but you can "still be patient for a couple of days." Mike Murphy said DHI has a "textbook" chart and "it's going higher." Joe Terranova said to stay with CERN.

Pete Najarian and Joe Terranova endorsed playing the XLF (for viewers just joining Fast Money in progress about 7 years too late). Mike Murphy added, "it's gonna cushion you on the downside." Jon Najarian also suggested the XHB.

Pete Najarian insisted he's still bearish on S and claimed he was kind of right in that it didn't make sense to own it over 6 hoping just to get to 7. (Hopefully we communicated enough praise there for that bungled trade so Pete and/or Jon doesn't come on the warpath against his/his critics.)

Mike Murphy made utterly no sense in claiming that if you're trading BAC, wait for 11.50, but if you're owning it long term, you can "buy it right here."

Joe Terranova said that with BMY, "focus on the R&D," it's a "long-term winner."

Jon Najarian said, "I like Verizon a lot." Pete Najarian crowed that he's never been on a cruise (hope nobody tries disagreeing with him) and said of CCL, "I can't put my arms around the trade ... I wouldn't be in the name."

Mike Murphy's Final Trade was INTC. Joe Terranova said (and this didn't get nearly enough discussion) to short AMZN. Pete Najarian said long UNH, and Jon Najarian said GTAT (if that hits, we promise we'll give him plenty of credit and won't be a "hater" if he mentions it).

[Thursday, April 25, 2013]

Neither Dan Nathan nor
Tim Seymour opines as to whether Jarvis Jones is a buy at 17

Tim Seymour pointed out on Thursday's Fast Money that AMZN seemed unable to get through 285 in the after-hours. Guy Adami said he thinks that with all that's going on with the company you still have to own the shares. Dan Nathan was circumspect, saying the options market was predicting a big move that didn't happen.

Nathan twice trumpeted QCOM, explaining that like Steve Weiss, "I bought this stock today." But he said CSTR would probably hit resistance at 60.

Steve Grasso said he wants to get long GOOG but it must hold 812.

Guy Adami said, "I think you buy Expedia here on the selloff," but advised taking profits in AKAM's move.

Scott Nations said someone plowed cash into a May 28/31 call spread in FB, a trade of a limited range because "nobody thinks it's gonna retest that $38 level."

MMM chart ‘on fire’

Steve Grasso (with Melissa Lee off, viewers didn't have to hear the "P") made the bull case on Thursday's Fast Money for Barkevious Mingo MMM, essentially saying it's doing great in a weak economy.

On the other side was Guy Adami, who said "2% revenue growth year over year is not good," and that being down 3% year over year in industrial division operating income is flat-out "terrible."

Grasso fired back that there's a yield over 2%, and "the chart is on fire."

Tim Seymour, having prejudged the debate, agreed with Adami on the grounds of valuation and "major currency headwinds," which Adami never brought up. Dan Nathan said he agrees with Adami simply because he sees momentum breaking.

‘Gold will continue to go higher’

Guy Adami, grasping once again for a gold bottom, claimed on Thursday's Fast Money that it has found a "new foothold," and that "gold will continue to go higher from here."

Tim Seymour reaffirmed his ongoing cliche about miners being priced like they're going out of business, and asserted, "I think copper's oversold here."

Steve Grasso said he doesn't believe in the move in CLF but names like that are already heavily shorted, and if you're inclined to get long, buy just a 25% position.

Grasso said of PFE, "I think you buy this on the dip." Tim Seymour said VOD is in an enviable position of being able to sell assets.

6.60 floor in JBLU

Adam Parker, busy backpedaling in 2013 from months if not years of ridiculously bearish misses on the S&P 500, insisted to guest host Brian Sullivan on Thursday's Fast Money that the ratio of company's issuing negative vs. positive guidance is "4½ to 1."

So, why are stocks going up then? Because "we can dream," Parker said, in not the most convincing argument, adding that the Fed influence is powerful and "the playbook could last for a while."

Vladimir Jelisavcic trumpeted how he's short WLT bonds, not the stock, even though "they haven't moved." He said "credit at this point in time isn't responding yet."

Dave Barger told the panel "this is broken government ... If the government would just let us run our airlines, I think that, uh, this is a really good time to be in airlines."

Guy Adami said he likes JBLU "as both a company and a stock" and recommends buying the dip. Tim Seymour said it will hold 6.60.

Dan Nathan's Final Trade was short IWM. Steve Grasso said buy BWLD. Guy Adami said buy SYMC. Tim Seymour said to buy puts in the Paris CAC.

Brian Sullivan promoted the airing of CNBC's "The Rise of the AR-15," which we might've been interested in if it wasn't being shown the same night as the first round of the NFL Draft.

Kilburg: Potential back and fill
of gold to 1,523

Perhaps the most intriguing commentary on a tepid Halftime Report Thursday (thanks for talking about the NFL Draft, Judge) came from the Futures Now folks on gold, as Jeff Kilburg explained, "We will see a back and fill potentially up to 1,523."

Rich Ilczyszyn contended, "Let's be clear: Gold is in a downtrend. ... This is capitulation, and this is a short-covering rally."

Jon Najarian told Scott Wapner, "I'm still trading gold ... knock on wood," which is code-speak for "I've got a Brag Trade."

What about the competing-with-Netflix angle?

About once every 2 weeks, the Fast Money/Halftime franchise likes to conduct a bull-bear debate on AMZN, and none of them ever produce an instant catalyst.

Jon Najarian argued on Thursday's Halftime that Web traffic is ramping up in Amazon's favor, and the company "might be getting involved in mobile payments."

Dr. New World, on the other hand, cited a "series of lower highs" in the stock and a revenue hit from the yen.

But Najarian and Terranova agreed that valuation "hasn't mattered" in the shares forever.

Stephanie Link, prejudging the case, said "I side with Joe on this," citing margins.

Mark Cuban finds ‘nothing new’ in the stock market

Keith Banks told Judge Wapner on Thursday's Halftime Report that he's standing by his 1,600 target, and "we'd be adding new money to more pro-cyclical areas."

"Saint Jim" Paulsen said it might be OK to buy in May, because GDP is going to outperform expectations and there is more confidence.

Mark Cuban, who always has interesting thoughts, got bogged down in the HFT one-trick pony, and unless you think the exchanges are going to remove electricity and take computers out of the process, you have to take Cuban's complaints as about as effective as warning against fracking.

Instead of existing to build investment capital, Cuban contended, the exchanges are now just "a platform designed more for algorithmic traders and hackers."

"What's gonna happen if there's a real event," Cuban asked. (Answer: Probably, stocks will fall.)

Cuban scoffed, "I really rarely invest in stocks anymore. There's just nothing new."

Bill Belden said there are still "record-setting fixed-income flows" in the ETF space.

Weiss still buying QCOM

Joe Terranova said, as the Halftime Report is always a reaction to 3 hours of morning trade, that the energy space is suddenly looking appealing, and the recent selloff "might be the trough of the year."

Stephanie Link said Cramer was selling HD and NWS, but meanwhile, VALE had an "excellent quarter," and thankfully Judge didn't try to stir up another pointless debate on this subject.

Steve Weiss said he's "not going anywhere near the consumer stocks." Weiss said SWY simply missed, and he thinks the "selling's overdone," but he doesn't really want to own that name. Weiss said QCOM has become frustrating, but "I bought more in the aftermarket" Wednesday and then more on Thursday morning, and he made QCOM his unconvincing Final Trade.

Jon Najarian revealed, "I'm in the homebuilders again." Judge Wapner said, during some technical dead air around a Jane Wells report, there seems to be a lot of serious put-buying in HLF, but Najarian insisted it didn't look like much to him.

Najarian said AKAM traded great but he's already out of it, but he does like FFIV. His Final Trade was CTSH.

Joe Terranova said if you're in CLF, "this is your opportunity to get out." Joe's Final Trade was TER (for Teradyne, not Terranova). Stephanie Link said SWK.

[Wednesday, April 24, 2013]

Dennis Gartman says he was ‘agnostic’about U.S. stocks since mid-February

It was on Feb. 21 when Dennis Gartman made a bear call on stocks to Judge Wapner, saying, "I think this could be a very serious correction, at least 7%."

Yet, on Wednesday's Fast Money, Gartman said he has merely been "agnostic" of U.S. stocks since mid-February.

And now he's suggesting buying ONN, the risk-on ETF.

Gartman said he would buy Chinese equities and perhaps short crude against it. Tim Seymour clucked at that one, saying "China's tough to buy" and arguing Korean and Russian names would be better. Gartman said he doesn't disagree but that the question he received was whether he would buy China stocks, and he would.

Doc: Gold-miner re-hedging
would knock $200 off spot

Tim Seymour, who loves talking about the horrible miners, tried on Wednesday's Fast Money to assure viewers that the world isn't coming to an end because NEM is cutting its dividend; "I don't think that's a big deal."

Even so, "I'd rather own Barrick at half the price," Seymour said, explaining, "We covered Freeport today" after more than 2 months, referencing a trade he took rightful heat for on this page but has since actually moved in his favor.

Jon Najarian said that if the gold miners were to start hedging again, "We will see a $200 day" to the downside in spot price. Najarian said that as in poker, he'd look to the weakest hands for clues.

Najarian, for a Green Trade (we thought those were done since Jeff Immelt relinquished control of NBC Universal to Comcast), suggested SODA and then described the recycling scene as rather bleak. Tim Seymour actually recommended FSLR with a straight face.

Karen spends half the show trying to convince herself that it wasn’t a bad idea maintaining an AAPL long for 8 months

Melissa Lee, who regularly asks AAPL analysts to comment on her program, said on Wednesday's Fast Money that Josh Lipton's tallying of wildly bullish AAPL analyst calls from September is a "very shameful example of Wall Street analysts not doing their homework."

Tim Seymour chimed in that the analysts were "basically smoking their own stuff on this."

Karen Finerman acknowledged that being long the shares as they climbed to 700 is the "same as buying it at 700," but asserted, "what I really didn't see was the P.E. compression to the level that it is now."

A year ago, Gene had a $910 AAPL target

Gene Munster, who was undoubtedly one of those AAPL analysts Mel Lee was chiding earlier on Wednesday's Fast Money, was basically given the hero's welcome moments later for calling in to discuss Amazon's set-top TV box.

"It doesn't make a ton of sense for them to be there" in this "crowded space," Munster said.

Munster said he expects an "essentially in-line quarter" from Amazon. Melissa Lee did ask him a question about AAPL, but it wasn't "How in the world did your price target (which right now is $688) get so loopy," but rather, does Tim Cook need to announce to everyone that he's the new Jeff Bezos.

Melissa doesn’t see the need
to tell viewers what
Huntington’s Disease is

Huntington's Disease is a tragic neurological disorder that gradually affects behavior in adults and includes among its victims Woody Guthrie.

That's what we learned from Wikipedia, since Melissa Lee's Fast Money production on Wednesday opted not to tell viewers what Huntington's Disease is during an interview with ISIS chief Stanley Crooke. (Unless you count the bottom of the last graphic after the interview was nearly over.)

Lee questioned Crooke as though she were double-parked, at one point asking, "Does this technology, is it applicable towards other diseases since it's so specific?"

"What's so exciting about-" Crooke started to respond.

"Uh huh," Lee interjected, before Crooke has really actually said anything.

In a very genteel interview, Crooke curiously made a reference to expectations of being well-compensated for the benefits that Antisense figures to bring ... which of course is entirely appropriate, but just seemed an unusual way of putting it.

Wednesday, it’s none other than Jon Najarian talking about the importance of cost basis

Jon Najarian, apparently attempting to gloat about how he luckily and inadvertently got ZNGA shares cheaper Wednesday than he planned to pay for them, said he bought at 3.05 and 2.86, and sees potential for the stock in U.K. gaming/gambling and in whatever Chris Christie is going to muscle through.

Najarian said of AKAM, "I thought it was a crush," and took credit for spotting it quickly on Twitter. Najarian made a curious reference to RHI having an AMZN-type problem in Europe. His Final Trade was KOG.

Steve Grasso said of WLT, "I would be a seller on all of these rallies." Grasso's Final Trade was GOOG but he said it must hold $812.

Tim Seymour expressed doubts about T, "I don't think you grab it here." Seymour's Final Trade was TCK.

Michael Dubin accepted gushing praise from Melissa Lee about the ads of DollarShaveClub.com and insisted he's not trying to be drugstore.com; "there's really not an acquisition, uh, plan for us, or strategy."

Scott Nations reported a big seller of May 57.5 puts in SBUX.

Karen Finerman said the hit to PG represents a "shift out of defensive names." Finerman's Final Trade was FL.

Shocker: Karen calls AAPL
value ‘trade,’ not value ‘trap’

Karen Finerman on Wednesday's Fast Money took a moment to discuss that sizzling new navy sleeveless dress she was wearing parsed another excuse for being long AAPL, claiming that the buyback represents "fair value" in the shares at $477 even if net income and P.E. were "flat."

"I like that capital allocation plan a lot," Finerman said.

Tim Seymour asked Finerman if she'll still feel that way if they sell 25-26 million iPhones in the next quarter. "That depends," Finerman said, wisely not getting further backed into the corner, although the answer is basically no but admitting such would undermine her opening statement.

The whole exchange allowed Seymour to meet his Samsung-mention quota early.

Steve Grasso said Samsung has already set the price/margin curve on TVs, so an iTV won't help AAPL too much.

Jon Najarian claimed iPhones are different than previous fizzled phonemakers because those others haven't sold this many smartphones. Najarian cited AAPL's fading volume as reason for bullishness; "the public is not all over this name like they were."

More from Wednesday's Fast Money later.

AAPL called buy on ‘innovation’

On a quiet Halftime Report Wednesday, Judge Wapner was joined by Jim Chanos for a go-round on Chanos' favorite subjects and a refresher on the merits of short selling.

Most interesting was Chanos' assessment of 3 notable tech names, AAPL, DELL and HPQ.

Chanos said he has had a "small long position" in AAPL, and "we are short both Dell and HP." He said that was a "great trade" until last fall, and a "pretty bad trade" since.

He insisted that PCs have just begun to slide, and that in general, companies he chooses to short are ones "not spending on R&D."

Toni Sacconaghi, meanwhile, said AAPL announced a "very significant return of cash" but that there's "evidence of gross margin pressure."

In the weakest commentary of the hour that evoked memories of Jeff Macke's "hope is not a strategy" routine, Sacconaghi said he has a buy on AAPL because he believes in the "innovation" story.

Bill Nygren wouldn't comment if he has bought AAPL this quarter but said he did buy some last quarter, and while the earnings and guidance were "a little bit disappointing," they were "at least offset" by the buyback, which seems hard to believe, but that's what he said. Nygren said he got out of Dell once Blackstone decided against pursuing a deal.

Sacconaghi said if there's no deal for DELL, there figues to be "significant near-term downside" for the stock.

‘Whole yield in 1 day’

Jim Chanos on Wednesday's Halftime Report treaded carefully around his former short of HLF, saying "the jury is out on Herbalife," and bears face the risk that it is producing cash, but he still thinks "ultimately it's not a viable business long-term."

Chanos said he has been short Coinstar and sees the DVD evaporating, which is a concern for NFLX, which he said may have trouble around the 30 million subscriber mark.

As for China, reaffirming his long-held belief, Chanos said, "It's gotten worse."

Steve Weiss pointed out the fall in T despite the healthy dividend, a sign that if you own it strictly for that reason, "There goes your whole yield in 1 day ... sometimes yield is not a support."

Pete Najarian called BA's continued strength, as many staples pulled back, "very, very impressive."

Anthony Grisanti credited Jim Iuorio for seeing the nat gas surge a couple months ago. Iuorio said "the tailwind is still behind natural gas." Jim Chanos indirectly mocked CHK by saying that in scouting shorts, "We often looked at companies that put their name on arenas and sports teams."

Bill Nygren said DTV has become a favorite of his for its "disciplined return of capital."

[Tuesday, April 23, 2013]

Fast Money gang watches, bewildered, as AAPL takes
after-hours roller-coaster ride

Ya gotta wonder who was plowing into AAPL after-hours at 425.

Tuesday's gun-shy Fast Money crew basically took a pass on advising viewers what to do as AAPL suddenly shot up $20 on a quarterly report that everyone implicitly agreed basically sucked.

Jon Fortt explained the initial pop in the shares as "expectations are finally low enough," but evidently, by the end of the show, they weren't low enough.

Peter Misek said the guidance was even worse than he expected, but "I think the surprise was the buyback coming on the earnings call."

Tim Seymour said "there's really no wow factor" with the stock right now.

It would figure — who knows how it will trade Wednesday — that someone might've advised taking the pop over 425 right as it happened and unloading, but unfortunately the Fast Money gang punted, most disappointingly Keith McCullough stating "I do absolutely nothing right here."

Also, Jon Najarian, who has crafted a cottage industry out of chiding people for trigger-happy after-hours trades, failed to call the stock a sell in the 420s, despite gushing about the competition; "the 6-page, uh, ad for Samsung's products in the Wall Street Journal today was something to behold, beautiful, full-color, 6-page spread," he said, adding Tim Cook and Apple brass has "really missed" the bigger-phone movement.

Mike Khouw opined that "retail participants are speculatively optimistic" about AAPL, whereas the institutions seem to be less so.

McCullough concluded, "what Apple really means is that this market's going higher," and he recommended Wolverine Worldwide (WWW), which was also his Final Trade.

Judge has fresh material for another ‘public doesn’t trust stocks anymore because machines are taking over the market’ routine

Corporate security expert Lev Lesokhin told Tuesday's Fast Money, in the wake of the embarrassing AP Twitter hack (and even more embarrassing stock trades that were made because of it), that organizations have gotten better at managing security but while some "have put policies in place" regarding Twitter, tweeting security is still pretty much in Twitter's hands.

"Twitter is a complex beast," Lesokhin said, noting that in today's world of algorithms, "all data is now becoming currency."

Tim Seymour chided those who trade on something that's strictly on Twitter and/or enact deep stops for situations like these; "this is something you never do."

Keith McCullough said that if you're using algorithms to trade, this is what happens, so "live with it."

Just a week after announcing he was ‘as short and as bearish as I ever could be,’ it’s the ‘1st day’ he’s been ‘a little concerned’ about being short

Guy Adami warned viewers of Tuesday's Fast Money that Tim Seymour would try to "seduce" them into selling BA (which would be an improvement because he sure can't seduce anyone into buying VimpelComm or Mobile Telesystems or Wimm-Bill-Dan or whatever the heck it is/was).

Adami asserted, "I think Boeing is breaking out a range," it has the sequestration already priced in, and it's a "bit of a coiled spring."

Seymour asserted that a recovery from a bear event is not a bull event (that sounds like a lot of flowery mumbo jumbo) and then offered some scripted "Top Gun" lines that didn't resonate, "The valuation is full."

Mike Khouw said he agrees with Adami but that BA is a longer-term play. Keith McCullough said he'd be "long and strong Boeing."

Tim Seymour said China difficulties are priced into YUM, and "$75 is the right call on this stock." Seymour said ACI and the coal space is under pressure, and his Final Trade was RTI.

Guy Adami said he thinks LMT is "still intact," cautioned viewers to let the T report "digest" for a couple days and predicted R could see another day of pain but would be "interesting" afterwards.

Adami said AMGN is still a buy. COL was his Final Trade.

Keith McCullough called BAC a "backdoor way to play" housing data; "I like it."

Mike Khouw said COH has legs; "I think this stock actually is still attractive." But he said he's not inclined to chase airlines in the "very volatile space," and cautioned that May 75 puts in PG were heavy. Khouw's Final Trade was CAT.

Brian Kelly actually claimed that Tuesday was the "1st day" that he's become "a little concerned" about being short the market, a position (unfortunately like Guy Adami) he has made zero argument for whatsoever, and said for his Final Trade, "Stay short this market .. if it doesn't go down I'll eat my shoe."

How good it feels to lose value in AAPL for months with house’s money (cont’d)

Continuing a recent months-long trend on CNBC's Fast Money/Halftime Report, Larry Haverty on Tuesday's Halftime spoke of how great it was to have bought AAPL years ago at levels below what we're seeing now.

Recently, Haverty admitted, he bought some shares "probably around 430," but back in the day he thought the Apple stores were really a great idea, and so a "large amount of it is nicely above water still."

Meanwhile, he's got "high hopes" for the earnings, saying all it has to do is trade at 8 times and then you've got a "double."

Josh Brown acknowledged, "This could be the washout quarter" that turns things around. John Taylor said AAPL is a much better buy now than previously; "I thought it was ridiculous before."

Anthony Scaramucci actually calls NFLX a ‘falling knife’

Judge Wapner ushered in a curious bull-bear debate on Tuesday's Halftime Report, curious in that it was between 2 analysts.

Mark Mahaney, a Netflix bull, said he gets 250 on a "sum-of-the-parts basis," based on anywhere from 30-40 million U.S. streaming subs and "expanding margins and profits."

Michael Pachter, who already exhausted his commentary a day earlier on Fast Money, insisted, "I did the same math that Mark did," which comes out to "65 on a sum-of-the-parts basis."

Pachter conceded the stock is hot, but "I think you see that tipping point in the fall."

He said "House of Cards" isn't enough; "HBO has 63 shows."

Pachter also prepared a cliche, "This is deja vu all over again," saying Mahaney is right in the first half of odd-numbered years, but "I'm gonna be right the 2nd half of the year."

Mahaney said investors will pay up for the U.S. business alone and that the international prospects are gravy.

Pachter shrugged, once again not making much of a case just like a day earlier, "The content owners aren't going to let it happen."

Mike Murphy said he's not long but definitely wouldn't short the name.

Anthony Scaramucci, who has hated the stock for a while, claimed, "This is a falling knife sort of a stock for retail investors ... I would be super-carful in this name."

1.40% still ahead for 10-year

Guest John Taylor told Judge Wapner on Tuesday's Halftime that he thinks the S&P will have one more downturn, all the way to 1,430, but "that's not gonna happen till July or so."

It'll be a "sell in May story," Taylor said.

But it'll just be "one more leg down," Taylor said, in which the 10-year goes below 1.40%.

"I think that's gonna happen," agreed Anthony Scaramucci.

Josh Brown tried to get Taylor to knock the vestiges of the decoupling crowd, but Taylor said "sometimes it does" happen, and right now U.S. is strong while "European numbers are God-awful." He predicted 25 bps from Draghi.

Anthony Scaramucci added, "There's a sclerosis in the credit system in Europe."

Steve Weiss said "It's a glass half-full market." Mike Murphy said he's "been a buyer," and that names such as CAT are key to another breakout and that people waiting to buy it at 79 had a brief chance at 79.50 and then missed it.

Josh Brown said "the market seems unfazed," but advised not to "jump in with both feet" to names such as CAT and DE; "you really could have a very quick correction."

‘You should own gold right now’

Touching upon a controversial subject of late, John Taylor said on Tuesday's Halftime Report that "I believe very much that you should own gold right now ... the 1,400 level has really held."

Taylor is predicting the yen will be range-bound from 92-102, and that it can see "105 to 110 by the end of the year."

"Abe's a Ronald Reagan," Taylor said, prompting the line of the day from Judge Wapner: "There are those betting, right, he's either gonna be Ronald Reagan or Ronald McDonald."

Anthony Grisanti called the bounce in crude "just technical." Jim Iuorio said the decline in gas prices hasn't been felt yet in the economy, let alone stocks. Iuorio said he is "slightly negative" on crude.

Stephen Weiss said COH remains a "troubled brand" and asked "why gamble" on owning the shares.

Josh Brown said BAC is "kind of in this no-man's land ... I would wait for the breakout." Steve Weiss said DAL and the airlines are benefitting from "consolidation in the industry." Mike Murphy said of the DHI/housing space, "still a lot of room left in these builders."

Jay Bowen balked at Judge's description of him as "the Oracle of Tampa," saying his father is more deserving. Bowen said he expects ongoing strength from the trend of central banks targeting nominal GDP growth."

In a term we haven't heard much since Cramer was touting RIMM, Bowen spoke of his "4 horsemen," which are KO, JNJ, PEP and KMB. He also likes NSRGY, BHP and UL.

Golfer James Driscoll has launched a "Birdies for Boston" campaign and is contributing $1,000 for every birdie he makes over 2 weeks. Mike Murphy is matching Driscoll's donations.

Josh Brown's Final Trade was OXY. Mike Murphy said INTC. Anthony Scaramucci's Final Trade was HIG. Stephen Weiss said HIG was his trade too, but he also offered AIG. As the show cut away to Power Lunch, Weiss was heard to say "No s---."

[Monday, April 22, 2013]

Dennis Gartman actually thinks people get ‘upset’ about the gold-in-yen-terms trade because they can’t ‘figure out’ how to do it

Dennis Gartman revealed something interesting on Monday's Fast Money:

He actually thinks people are trying to do the gold-in-yen-terms thing at home.

"We may well have seen the lows last week" of gold in dollar terms, Gartman told Monday's show, before stressing that he's sure that we've seen the bottom in gold in yen terms — and that regular folks don't know what that means.

"I know that makes most people very upset; they can't figure out how to get it done," Gartman said.

Gartman bluntly told Steve Grasso, "Avoid the gold miners," although this time he didn't mention the wake-up-to-learn-a-mine-is-flooded routine. And, "whatever you do, avoid the junior miners, that's just a place to throw money down a hole," Gartman advised.

(Sigh) Why in the world does Guy Adami keep trying to call S&P and gold direction?

Guy Adami, who like Gilligan trying to get off the island every episode evidently figures that if he keeps talking about a bear market and the high being in for the year then it might happen (even though the notion of gold being the trade of Q2 probably isn't), argued on Monday's Fast Money that a triple top in the S&P 500 looks possible, but this time he couched himself, saying it might easily break through, the point is, "the S&P is not staying here."

Steve Grasso, in a strange equivocation, said he agrees with Adami that he thinks the market's going lower, but cautioned that YHOO also recently seemed to be in triple-top land, and it just smashed through it.

Pete Najarian said even on the bad days, the VIX just can't explode, indicating "protection is in place" to the downside.

Sell the stock, Karen (cont’d)

Steve Milunovich said on Monday's Fast Money that one problem with turning around the "battleship" of AAPL stock is that the company has yet to "fire back" at all the criticism of its products, capital allocation, etc., and once that happens, then the stock may begin to turn.

Milunovich said the "stock is cheap" but then — see, this is the key part — said it will take some progress in the categories of giving back cash, and innovation.

(Actually he's only half right; the manner in which they return cash isn't going to produce a permanent lift for the stock by any means.)

Karen Finerman explained again that she's long the shares, and owns out-of-the-money puts and calls. (What she sees in it these days — besides undistributed cash — is hard to fathom. Oh yes, there's all the "intrinsic" value nobody else has recognized yet in a stock that is only the world's largest market cap.)

Pete Najarian admitted he's been holding this stinker a long time, "I never did get out of it too," but at least didn't talk about the "2nd half story" for a change.

Karen suggests investment dollars can be drawn to CEO spin

Guy Adami on Monday's Fast Money contended that CAT looks to have "put in a decent double-bottom" and for the first time in months, sets up as a "good long-side trade."

Karen Finerman offered the most mysterious critique of the show, saying she listened to "Doug" Oberhelman, and "he's a great CEO" who tends to describe things positively, and she didn't think that used to matter, but "sometimes perception is reality."

Pete Najarian, who made CAT his Final Trade, said the homebuilders have been "absolutely trading unbelievably well" and pointed to May 21 calls in KBH. Steve Grasso said HD is a smart and sensible way to play it.

Nothing excites the Fast Money gang more than a picture of Brian Kelly

Kim Forrest told Monday's Fast Money that she's not quite ready to pounce all over IBM just yet, saying China is key, and that Chinese banks had been doing great, but now "a lot of revenue has dried up."

Forrest described IBM as a 3-pronged company that will "sell off the stuff that's commodity," which sounds to us like they have things that HPQ might be interested in.

Steve Grasso said if you want to stay in the oil services space, stick with HAL. Pete Najarian said BIIB and the rest of biotech is "on fire." Karen Finerman said if PAY drops another dollar or two, she'd buy. Guy Adami cautioned against chasing HAS on Tuesday.

Pete Najarian made a bull case for KORS, which amounted to, "By 2015 this could be a huge story." Brian Kelly, who wasn't even on the program but apparently had to call in so his colleagues could talk about him, insisted it's a sell, "People are looking past the margin compression that's gonna come." (No worries; Kelly is bound to be on at least one of the 2 Fast Money shows Tuesday.) Steve Grasso said he doesn't really like the stock but if you're in it, use 50 as a stop.

Scott Nations said there was big put buy in UPS, a weekly 82.50.

Karen Finerman said she'd fold SPG (and man, that's one, every time you see the chart you can't believe it). Steve Grasso said he would not be in BTU.

Grasso's Final Trade was SO. Karen Finerman said LVY, and Guy Adami said ALB.

Pete, overtanned,
says to take profits in NFLX

NFLX critic Michael Pachter, whose bearish call and price target have been getting obliterated for months, told Monday's Fast Money, "I think they have another quarter of this" before the "house of cards" comes crashing down.

Citing the "last page of their investment letter," Pachter said Netflix for now is able to "exploit" the content guys in ways that are "not sustainable" for the longer term once the content guys start seeking their "fair share."

Pete Najarian, who appears to have been on a beach recently, got nowhere with Pachter on Netflix's international potential, with Pachter asserting "they're losing money on every single subscriber." Pete advised viewers to "re-evaluate" and take profits here; "this is just not a sustainable bounce."

Steve Grasso said Netflix's results suggest LGF and DIS are buys.

Guy Adami pointed out that Pachter is an analyst, and the Fast Money crew are traders.

More from Monday's Fast Money later.

Judge impressively sticks it to Simon’s tiresome AMZN fawning, doesn’t even mention that Simon’s LULU ‘game over’ call March 19 stank up the joint

It's something Halftime Report viewers have grown to expect, that in any given hour's episode, Simon Baker will talk about how great Jeff "Bayzoos" is and how the future is unlimited for AMZN.

Judge Wapner on Monday snapped back at that hyperbole, telling Baker after first catching him napping on AMZN's year-to-date performance, "Everybody continues to say they love it, they love it, they love it, they love it ... the stock hasn't performed."

"The stock has performed," Baker insisted, "over a long period of time."

Stephanie Link said she'd buy EBAY at 50. Jon Najarian predicted NFLX would continue to be "wicked" to the shorts, a blockbuster call by the end of the day.

Stephanie carries Ferragamo bag

Little did viewers of Monday's Halftime Report know that they were going to get some fashion insight, courtesy Simon Baker.

Baker battled Stephanie Link in a debate over COH. Link made the bull case, saying, "I do like what I hear, and see," from the new management, and predicted quality earnings.

Baker, who sounded like someone peed in his Cheerios, grumbled, "What kind of earnings" will they have while arguing that whatever they get in gross margins, it will be "very very difficult to sustain it."

Baker dissed the incoming management. "Ask Tim Cook how life after Steve Jobs is." Finally, he told Link of the most useless anecdotal reason for avoiding the shares: "You had a Ferragamo bag, not a Coach."

Dr. New Land gushed that Baker was "very aggressive" in making his case, but Joe, having already prejudged things by virtue of his 59-esque, big-time bungle in KORS recently, said there could be hope for COH shares because money that had been flowing out to its rival could be coming back, evidenced by Joe's "personal trading loss in Kors right now."

In one of the strangest comments recently, Jon Najarian said he likes COH, due to the "wicked" shellacking of the stock in Q1, explaining he was using "wicked" as part of "Boston themes."

Doc’s got it in for Heather Bellini

Mr. New World, offering one of his favorite unnecessary terms again ("in essence"), called MSFT a sell on Monday's Halftime Report.

Which figured to pave the way for another boring MSFT discussion. Except Jon Najarian, who is evidently trying to get Heather Bellini fired, couldn't let go, in the form of a Brag Trade, his 1st of 2 on the day.

"This one she's been dead wrong on," said Najarian, thundering that there was a hard floor under the shares in the 28s and urging viewers not to sell. "I love the stock ... I don't think the story's over," Najarian said.

Doc’s so hard up for Brag Trades he has to tell Judge about something he told a different host

Joe Terranova, citing the Deutsche Bank report on ABX and other gold miners that he said is recommended reading for anyone who can get ahold of it, said on Monday's Halftime Report that the miners are "going to have significant debt concerns ... I don't think you touch the miners."

Jon Najarian, meanwhile, was crowing about the bounce in spot gold from the 1,300s, citing Louise Yamada again and informing Judge Wapner, "I sold puts on the GLD" last week. (Unclear if Judge was impressed.)

Dr. New Land said what concerns him about gold is the lack of a central bank coming out and aggressively declaring it will buy.

It was unclear if Najarian and Judge discussed bitcoin during show breaks.

If the show had only lasted another half-hour, Stephanie could’ve said CAT is $20 off its high about 5 or 6 times

Joe Terranova declared at the top of Monday's Halftime Report that stocks are in a "trading range" bounded by 1,530 and perhaps 1,570. A bit overly dramatic, Terranova said, "I shall WAIT, until tomorrow or Wednesday," to decide what he's going to do about stocks.

Simon Baker said "I like the names in the technology space," and Jon Najarian said the oil-related names are recovering with the stabilization in crude.

Stephanie Link contrasted CAT with IBM and said "It's all about relative expectations."

Link said, here she was hoping to buy IBM back around 200, and now lookie here, it's $10 below that. But her most tiresome commentary involved CAT. "I think at 80 it's very interesting," before noting it's "down $20 from its highs," the first of 3 times she made that point during the program.

Jon Najarian said 82.50 and 85 calls were hopping in CAT.

Guest Luiz Soars said he likes emerging markets (and what day goes by where Tim Seymour does not?) because they have a "strong consumer" and they're undervalued compared with developed markets. He recommends "overweight Mexico, India and Brazil," with highest confidence in India.

"We own VALE," said Stephanie Link, without Steve Weiss to bicker with.

Gemma Godfrey (Zzzzzzzz) said bullish sentiment tends to be a contrarian indicator and that she's a bit concerned with fundamentals.

Keith Meister, from a conference, delivered the Corvex point of view toward the Commonwealth battle, a battle we didn't know was in progress.

Stephanie Link's Final Trade was LII. Joe Terranova said DK, Simon Baker said COH and Jon Najarian said DWA.

[Thursday, April 18, 2013]

Sell the stock, Karen

Karen Finerman's got a bit of an AAPL conundrum.

Finerman said during her very limited airtime on Thursday's Fast Money that she's got AAPL 400 puts that expire next week, and she's "really at a loss what to do."

Evidently fearing the worst, Finerman even joked that if she holds them to expiration, the stock will trade at 400.

Guy Adami said that if you want to be long the stock, you have to hope the earnings report is a disaster, to get a big washout, that "has to be your game plan."

Finerman asked Adami if that's a better result than an earnings beat. Adami said yes.

Tim Seymour lamented the reaction he and his colleagues have gotten when talking about this subject. "Any time we had anything bad to say, uh, on this show about Apple, we- we-, you know, we- I would hear about it the next day," Seymour said, arguing the stock "probably doesn't deserve this move," and when did "deserve" have anything to do with stock performance?

Seymour asserted that AAPL's trading action has been very similar to what happened in gold. Jon Najarian backed that, saying, "They are trading almost lockstep."

Doc: IBM below $200 is ‘good deal’

The screen graphic said his name was "Walter," but it's really "Martin," but whatever the case, Mr. Pyykkonen of Wedge Partners said Google's results show mobile is "really starting to work," and as for the stock, "I think it looks attractive here."

Pyykkonen did concede that Motorola has been "dragging the lead ball on the chain."

Karen Finerman's long. Jon Najarian said the stock had already traded within a $36 range in Thursday's afterhours.

Guy Adami called IBM's revenue problem a "pretty significant miss." Jon Najarian said "below 200 is a good deal" in the stock.

Tim Seymour said, in an analysis that once again was too deep and didn't help anything, that PEP valuation should be "somewhere north of 20." Compared with KO, Guy Adami said, "I do think Pepsi's the better company." Jon Najarian said "input costs" (as opposed to just costs) are coming down.

Oh joy — company unveils
new logo on Fast Money

Sam Hamadeh told Thursday's Fast Money crew a lot of facts about the Seaworld IPO — so much so that Mel Lee had to go into even heavy-duty nod and blink mode to get him to stop — which included that they think it will be popular among retail investors whose kids will want shares, and Chinese.

Compared to other parks which aren't really the same thing, the valuation is "a little bit rich," Hamadeh said.

Mike Farr offered the most plain-vanilla portfolio suggestion/argument for sticking with S&P 500 and in particular suggested YUM and FDX, telling the crew, "I always try to hit 'em where they ain't."

Michael Burns, who has a lot of time for Fast Money, said "Hunger Games" is really hopping on social media and that's really important. Jon Najarian said he loves the shares.

What happens when Karen has finally bought all the outstanding shares of BAC?

Guy Adami said on Thursday's abbreviated Fast Money that with MSFT, "there was a revenue miss," and the stock seems "mired" in a range.

Adami said VZ has "further room here on the upside."

Karen Finerman (stop if you've heard this before) touted BAC, "We actually bought stock today."

Jon Najarian, who during Pops & Drops generally won't make a stock call, said that for UNP, "revenue per car was up 3%."

Tim Seymour said FDX is watched by some as a signal of a slowing economy.

Seymour's Final Trade was EWW. Jon Najarian said he bought PG, Mike Khouw said to roll the EBAY put spread "out and down," Karen Finerman said not to chase VRTX and Guy Adami said gold.

Mike Murphy gives Dan Nathan the all-clear in AAPL; ‘if you like it at 375 you can start buying it here at 395’

AAPL falls, and once again the Halftime/Fast Money traders are experts on its bottom.

Guest sexy Michelle Caruso-Cabrera told/reminded Thursday's Halftime Report crew that Dan Nathan was talking yesterday about buying AAPL at 375.

Thursday, Mike Murphy said, "If you like it at 375 you can start buying it here at 395."

Josh Brown said it's "very tough" to get excited about JPM's 700 price target on the shares, but the good thing for the stock is that it's "getting more hated," although for the moment, it's "still probably a little bit overowned."

The only thing Stephanie didn’t bring up was the 2015 guidance

Guest host Michelle Caruso-Cabrera found her panel on Thursday's abbreviated Halftime Report about as interested in the top 3 stocks she brought up (IBM, MSFT, GOOG) as the Republican Party is in renominating Mitt Romney.

Jon Najarian stressed that IBM is a proxy on the S&P 500 but not the tech sector.

Josh Brown said of IBM, "Truthfully, there's not much to get excited about here."

But that made Stephanie Link, who was probably looking for Steve Weiss to pick on but he wasn't on the show, bristle. Link said IBM has "never" (that's always a loaded word in television commentary) been a revenue story and apparently thinks the market is just discovering that it's in the transition of becoming a services business after being a hardware business. (The CEO, Virginia Rometty, is not a member of Augusta National, but nobody cares about that anymore.)

"I would love to buy it back at 200," Link said.

Mike Murphy said the only one of those 3 he'd consider buying before earnings would be MSFT.

If the news is better than what is priced in, stocks will go up

Gina Martin Adams, who recently took a 1-2 punch from the Halftime Report's Stephen Weiss and Judge Wapner over percent of companies making earnings beats, told Michelle Caruso-Cabrera on Thursday that there's "no reason to really chase stocks here."

But Martin Adams disagreed with Josh Brown, who suggested staples and health care and utilities are priced high enough so as not to be defensive anymore. Martin Adams called health care "incredibly attractive."

Martin Adams also said that while she thinks stocks have lower to go this year, they could rebound off her expected decline in the 2nd half if either 1) analysts have overestimated their revisions, or 2) if growth is stronger than thought.

Mike Murphy’s suggestion that this could be bottom for BTU doesn’t sound that convincing

Herb Greenberg promoted on Thursday's Halftime Report his examination of ISRG's Da Vinci equipment (some patients have sued).

Jon Najarian had the audacity to claim that if the earnings are average or worse, the stock could test 450, but if they're great, the stock could explode higher.

Mike Murphy suggested REM as an ETF play on REITs, with an 11% yield.

Stephanie Link called UNH "interesting." Jon Najarian credited "the other Michael Jackson" for the move in AN. Mike Murphy said at some point names like BTU (which has been BTU-ugly) will bottom and enjoy a huge snapback; "maybe today's the day." Josh Brown said NOK's turnaround just isn't getting going.

Jon Najarian made a tepid bull case for CMG, predicting strong sales and falling input costs (or simply put, "costs"). Stephanie Link made an equally tepid bear case, citing valuation and saying guidance "may have to come down." Mike Murphy said he agrees with Najarian.

Josh Brown said of his bad call on IEO, it's only a "pretty benign pullback ... we've been buying it this entire month."

Stephanie Link's Final Trade was JPM. Mike Murphy said BAC, Jon Najarian said July 70 calls in FDO (a name he said a couple months ago he would never trade again) and Josh Brown warned not to buy this dip in the broad market.

[Wednesday, April 17, 2013]

AAPL slides $20+ again, so
everyone on Fast Money
is a genius on the stock

Where Joe Terranova, Doug Kass, Carter Worth and Tom DeMark have recently gone, Dan Nathan now goes.

And, it practically sounds like the rest of Wednesday's Fast Money crew is ready to follow Nathan right along.

Nathan, evidently hell-bent on erasing his "Hates Everything But Especially Apple" nickname, actually declared that if AAPL falls to 375 370, "I think it's probably the buy of the century ... buy this, short everything else."

After a commercial break, Melissa Lee indicated that Nathan was doing a walkback off the air, even though what he subsequently said he said (it's a buy on a "puke") was no different (other than the 375 becoming 370) than what he said before the commercial.

Steve Grasso didn't say "buy of the century" but was remarkably unfazed by the decline and asserted, "At this point, Apple is very appealing." Jon Najarian, in a clumsy assessment of GOOG and AAPL and how much of Q2 is priced in, said, if you're getting long GOOG and AAPL now, "I think you're getting a lot of cushion built into that."

For some reason no one mentioned Carter Worth's suggested "epic" breakout of the stock that will take it to $525.

Colin Gillis said the question with AAPL is, "has the weak June quarter been factored in," and then, in an unbelievably brilliant statement, said, "The problem with Apple is, you know, it keeps getting lower."

Melissa always says it’s not a political show but airs 20 minutes of Barack Obama urging viewers to ‘send the right people to Washington’

Steve Grasso said on Wednesday's Fast Money that in the day's markets, "We stopped really at the 50-day moving average in the S&P cash," but there wasn't a big selloff in utilities and staples, names such as D, SO, MCD, where people are hiding out.

Jon Najarian seemed most concerned about drillers such as HAL, ESV, SDRL and DO, as investors fear lower capex spending and so were "seeing them pull back from those dramatically."

Karen Finerman, indicating a refreshing breeziness toward Wednesday's action, said she was concerned about the day's selling, "a little bit," and "I sold some MDY puts," and would like to buy more BAC.

Dan Used To Hate Everything Especially AAPL Nathan said he actually covered his gold short.

Despite it being an abbreviated show, Jon Najarian felt compelled to restate what he said about FXI on the Halftime Report, "the single biggest trade" in options this year.

Dan Nathan said EBAY took a dip because they already laid out 2015 guidance. Later in the show, Nathan said he likes the stock around the "$50 level." Colin Gillis said EBAY is a buy on a pullback because in terms of guidance, "full year is maintained."

Jon Najarian called SNDK a buy in the "52-range."

Dan Nathan said ABT benefitted from a flight to safety. Mike Khouw said that in CSX, we "might be seeing something close to the bottom here."

Melissa Lee and John Harwood scoffed at the "idiotic" arguments they said opponents of whatever gun package just failed were making.

The Barry Bannister Market®:
‘We’re just consolidating’

Like Derek Jeter returning to the Yankee lineup, stock market bulls had to be re-energized Wednesday when Barry Bannister returned to the Halftime Report to stiff-arm the pesky questions that don't matter and stomp on the overnight phantom bears.

Barry, who has recently upped his 1,600 target to 1,700, said it's been good for 9 months, and "the March 15th event was the Cyprus bail-in," which he said is a "positive change overseas. The U.S. is leading the world."

Bannister suggested that estimates will come down, but when it turns out the actual earnings aren't as bad as the revisions indicated, we've got a "powerful market rally" on our hands, "high P.E. on low inflation."

Barry dismissed the typical Halftime Report wind-twisters who say the fiscal cliff sequestration Italian elections Cyprus China gold's plunge Monday's selloff Wednesday's selloff is the dawn of a bear market. "We're just consolidating after a very powerful run," Bannister said.

‘As bearish as I ever could be’

Despite the presence of Barry Bannister on Wednesday, the Halftime Report produced the typical amount of omg-reaction-to-3-hours-of-selling-it's-all-over near-term market calls viewers have grown to expect.

Leading the charge was Enis Taner, who waited until the end of the program to say that previous corrections were like the boy who cried wolf, but "I think this is the real deal."

Taner, talking with his hands and sounding like Apollonia rattling off days of the week in "The Godfather" while retracing the VIX's recent path of "13, 18, 14, 17," cited "serious concerns in terms of liquidity," claimed "I think the commodities are signaling that China might be in a deflationary spiral," and then, in the most ridiculous call of the day, said of financials, "I'm a seller for the rest of the year" (so why wasn't his Final Trade — for the year — that triple-short financials ETF, instead of FXE puts?).

Brian Kelly actually claimed, "I am as short and as bearish as I ever could be."

Jon Najarian avoided getting carried away but said options players in IWM were making a big "bet to the downside," and that someone who cashed in on FXI 38.50 puts just rolled it into May 35 puts.

Steve Weiss adequately summarized, "These corrections are natural, they happen all the time."

Weiss says ‘crap’ on television

Stephen Weiss at the top of Wednesday's Halftime Report denounced the importance of copper on the markets. "Any talk of Dr. Copper is actually crap," Weiss said.

Rich Ilczyszyn, meanwhile, suggested the headwinds might linger. "If we close below 3.19, I'm guesstimating the next support is around 3 bucks."

Anthony Grisanti argued that "cheaper commodities are actually very good for corporate America."

Gemma Godfrey claimed that "the risks are overstated" in gold because Cyprus only has minimal holdings and there are limits per EU regulations on how much gold can be sold.

Godfrey actually claimed there's upside in the gold miners, because you can get a dividend while the shares have already been "factoring in a lower gold price."

Unfortunately Joe wasn’t on
to comment as to whether
AAPL is a buy

Brian Blair told Wednesday's Halftime Report, helmed by Michelle Caruso-Cabrera in what was (for her) a decidedly low-key day, that the CRUS-related selloff in AAPL is justified, because it's clear that the iPhone/iPad complex is "really slowing down right now."

Stephen Weiss asserted, "They are losing market share to Android."

Normally Dr. New World will on these occasions take a stab at pinpointing a short-term AAPL bottom and line of support, but he wasn't on the show Wednesday, so it was Jon Najarian who nearly took the plunge, except Najarian wasn't quite all in. "I think Apple is overly pessimistic at 400, so I'm close to pulling the trigger," Najarian said.

Enis Taner, who says banks are done for the year, said of AAPL, "I would love to get in the stock around 375, after a bad number."

Taner called MAT a hold. Stephen Weiss said "I wouldn't buy" TXT and made short AKS his Final Trade (this writer is long AKS (and yes it sucks)). Brian Kelly called KMX a sell and offered short EWH as a Final Trade. Jon Najarian said ABT had strength as a defensive name; Najarian said LULU 72.50 calls for his Final Trade.

[Tuesday, April 16, 2013]

McCullough: Why not $600 gold?

Dennis Gartman claimed on Tuesday's Fast Money that the weekend annihilation of gold was so extreme, he can't remember anything like it.

"If it's not unprecedented, there are few precedents uh, uh near it," Gartman said.

Then, in what sounds more like wishful thinking than an objective market call, Gartman said, "I really hope that last night we might've seen the low."

Gartman admitted, while feebly making a cost-basis-hero claim, that even the gold-in-yen-terms concept got blistered over the weekend, but he's still "enamored of gold in yen terms ... I don't think that gold in yen terms has seen its high."

And, in a bit of a facial, Gartman told Keith McCullough he trades futures; "I don't care about GLD."

Gartman's commentary was at odds with Tim Seymour, who claimed central banks have a "lot to gain by putting a floor under this." Gartman said in fact that central banks of the Western World would like lower gold, though China would like it higher.

Mike Khouw said puts were outpacing calls 2 to 1 in the GLD. "I would be bearish here," Khouw said.

Keith McCullough scoffed at the downgrades or potential downgrades of gold miners based on credit ratings related to spot price. "Where were these calls when gold was at 15 and 1,600," McCullough asked, predicting this would be "ongoing," and "we're just getting started in terms of the backpedaling work."

Brian Kelly questioned if $1,200 was the bottom, and McCullough shrugged and wondered why not $600.

Jane Wells, who is about 31, had one of the better lines of the day in reporting on some impromptu gold market we hope is out of the earshot of any thugs, saying some guy brought in a lot of gold but perhaps only a portion of what he owns because "I don't know how big his stash is."

Tim Seymour probably had the most useful comment of the entire spread-out dialogue, suggesting FCFS has been wrongly hit on gold's move and is a buy.

Basically analysts decided last summer that something was about to happen in the stock, so they’ve made it happen self-fulfilling-prophecy-esque

The Fast Money discussion of YHOO on Tuesday started out with Keith McCullough asserting "21½ is the trend line," and wrapped up with Guy Adami asserting it's "gotta hold 22½."

But the most intriguing comment came from Jon Fortt, who reported on remarks made by the CFO, who apparently said the company "intentionally removed some ads from the home page and (unintelligible, sounded like "from mailed to") the highest traffic pages," which apparently hurt display ad results short-term but amounts to "investing in people's quality of experience."

Or put another way — which nobody on the program bothered to do — the latest gambit didn't work, and they have no clue what to do next.

The most curious commentary on this subject came from Tim Seymour, who enthusiastically said at the top of the program he likes the company's Asian assets, which are regular recipients of phantom valuation upgrades to justify price targets ... only to (rightly) complain at the end of the program that Fast Money spends "so much time, so much time" discussing this irrelevant stock.

How come there were no stories last weekend about Ginny Rometty not being an Augusta member?

Brian Marshall complained on Tuesday's Fast Money that "there's no revenue growth" at IBM.

Marshall called FFIV, which Guy Adami was interested in for some reason, a "lukewarm buy," but said "EMC is actually our top idea for the year."

Guy Adami said he thinks the trend in INTC (another name that Pete Najarian constantly liked as it kept going up, and then it stopped going up) since last year continues lower. Marshall, when he wasn't saying "at the end of the day" 4 times (that's correct, 4 times), said companies exposed to PC hardware are facing a tough headwind.

Guy Adami said of LNKD, "I think it goes higher from here," and then made it his Final Trade.

Keith McCullough warned against shorting TSLA. "If you're betting against Elon Musk, I'll take the other side of ya on that," McCullough said.

KO ‘in weak hands’

Tim Seymour made a tired case for KO on Tuesday's Fast Money, saying "EM is where all their growth is."

Brian Kelly said the stock is most vulnerable not for valuation, but dividend reasons; "this stock is in weak hands" and amounts to a "bond proxy," and meanwhile, "China is tapping on the brakes."

Guy Adami said KO's chart looks like a "classic double-top" and he agrees with Kelly. Keith McCullough backed Seymour, "I go long Coke."

Seymour, meanwhile, at the top of the program could barely get out of his own way, which is often a problem for him, clumsily trying to explain that his top trade was selling puts in IWM because you have to take the value when it's there (or something like that).

Person who used to draw parallels to 1937 questions if Clinton economy relevant to today

Dani Babb, who is photogenic, visited the Nasdaq again on Tuesday and told Fast Money she is "cautious" about housing because of "new permit starts" and "builder confidence" and concluded, "I'm personally short housing stocks right now."

Keith McCullough said his top trade of the day was buying SBUX, because a "study of history" shows that this is a good play on commodities, which he called "a bubble in the middle of popping," even though Brian Kelly challenged him over whether the "study of history" of the Reagan and Clinton years reflects the same economy we've got now.

Mike Khouw said SRPT's options activity included a seller of May 33 puts and of May 36 calls, apparently expecting range-bound movement. Khouw said GMCR "looks a little expensive to me."

Tim Seymour said UAL is "probably goin' higher." He said BIDU is building a "very interesting trading base around 83, 84." He made EWW his Final Trade.

Guy Adami said of GS, the stock Steve Grasso just weeks ago was crowing would go to 170, "I think it's a no-touch here to a sell here." Adami said "the space is broken" for names such as JOY and CAT.

Keith McCullough said of AIG, "I think it's going to 41." His Final Trade was HOT. Brian Kelly said to sell EWG.

Gold crush: Massive decline puts Seema Mody back on Halftime

If nothing else, the plunge in gold accomplished something important — bringing superfox Seema Mody back to the Halftime Report, coincidentally on a day with foxy guest host Michelle Caruso-Cabrera.

Mody, in what we think is some kind of call on price elasticity (or something like that), said there are indications of improving demand for gold in India, and India GDP is correlated to the price of gold.

Guest Tyler Broda seemed sorry to have to deliver a negative opinion but predicted gold's crash will "linger with the market" for 6-12 months and that what happened Tuesday was a "weak rebound in all honesty."

Mr. New World flat-out declared, "Gold's going down," calling the bounce "super-weak."

Josh Brown and Stephen Weiss argued whether gold's impact on the miners is "vexing."

"The miners are due for a huge bounce," Brown said.

"The miners are due for a huge collapse," Weiss insisted.

Murph: At 1,570, it’s like Monday never happened

Guest host Michelle Caruso-Cabrera always brings a healthy supply of "Mr. New Worlds" to the Halftime Report, and Tuesday she didn't disappoint, turning to Joe Terranova for a market call.

Joe says confidence was "clearly shaken" on Monday, and then went way overboard into personal technical details, bringing up the S&P mini-futures but concluding that Tuesday's bounce is an "opportunity to reduce actual equity holdings" and in his case, get that exposure below 70%.

Josh Brown advised viewers to "keep your favorite names" but "save some dry powder" for a correction.

Mike Murphy said that if 1,570 S&P holds, then "I think yesterday never happened."

Stephen Weiss revealed, "I've basically done nothing over the last 3 weeks," but "I bought more Citibank," and would look to "short some more iron ore stocks."

Dr. New Land said he'd get into GS between 130 and 135.

Someone actually admits YHOO only goes up because analysts keep raising phantom Alibaba valuations

Mike Murphy argued the bull case for Intel on Tuesday's Halftime Report because "so much negativity is already priced in." Josh Brown said "valuation alone is never a catalyst" and "this is an imploding market" in the PC space. Murphy contended Intel is moving into TVs and the cloud and that owning INTC prior to a correction makes sense and that the stock could rally 20% on a new CEO. Brown said prior to a correction he'd rather be in cash.

Steve Weiss, who had utterly prejudged the case, said "I don't like the stock" and that the yield doesn't mean much to him.

Brown expressed disbelief that Intel is getting into TVs. Murphy said, "Do the research."

Meanwhile, guest Darren Chervitz said he's "actually been trimming" his YHOO position because it's been on a good run and could have another "ho-hum quarter."

Quite correctly, Chervitz pointed out that the stock gains aren't based on a "core Yahoo" turnaround, but "their investments in Asia." Then, like everyone always does, Chervitz made the cost-basis argument, admitting he's been holding the shares for a very long time from a higher price, but insisting, "We also bought more when Yahoo, was in the, you know, teens."

Mike Murphy said that whatever Julia Boorstin reported is "huge news for facebook" and that the "stock goes higher." Dr. New Land said to stay with SNDK.

Murphy, not Joe, mentions LPX

Anthony Grisanti said on Tuesday's Halftime Report that crude oil's price reflects healthy supplies and not much demand. Jim Iuorio said "there's a lot of gold positions to work through" before he gets comfortable with a long-term thesis but revealed he's thinking about buying it for a short-term pop.

Erin Gibbs told Michelle Caruso-Cabrera that we could be looking at yet another year of a sell-in-May situation. Gibbs' top pick is financials; she said she endorses the notion of rotating out of the big winners such as consumer discretionary, which is a "definitely much more challenging" environment right now than in Q1.

Gibbs and the screen indicated materials is her top sector to avoid but she said Rio Tinto is being unduly punished. Stephen Weiss said "I still stay short iron ore."

Stephen Weiss said the hospitals' problems indicate a good quarter ahead for managed-care stocks. Mr. New World said he likes IP. Mike Murphy said WHR will move higher.

Steve Grasso said to get long housing-related stocks, you have to believe the market's going higher, but don't try to parse it into sectors, just buy Home Depot. Mike Murphy said he didn't like housing's reaction to Tuesday morning's data. Grasso also suggested MAA as a REIT play. Joe Terranova suggested VMC and Stephen Weiss suggested SWK.

Joe Terranova said to do nothing on SLB. Josh Brown said he likes TSLA but you have to have a stop at 40. Mike Murphy said not to get into BIDU ahead of earnings. Steve Weiss said to start selling BBY.

Josh Brown trumpeted JNJ and made the case for XBI and made it his Final Trade. Stephen Weiss said weather caused headwinds for Target and that's lifting; "I still like the retailers," but his Final Trade was C.

Mike Murphy said you can't fight the trend in KO. His Final Trade was LPX. Mr. New World's Final Trade was SAP.

[Monday, April 15, 2013]

Boston preempts Fast Money

Brian Williams and NBC News took over Monday's hour of Fast Money, as one would hope, for live coverage of the disturbing and tragic news from the Boston Marathon.

Fish says gold had ‘a small Flash Crash,’ then says ‘I’m not saying it’s a Flash Crash’

Judge Wapner on Monday's Halftime Report welcomed back an overdue legend, Mark Fisher, to tackle the cratering of gold.

Fish a couple times said if you believe in the gold story long-term, "you should love this," and said the carnage across commodities "just shows you what happens when the market has no bid."

He said we could see a short-term bottom in gold in the "next day or so."

All of which was well and good, until Fish ad-libbed a bit and told Wapner we've had "a small Flash Crash in gold here," raising Judge's eyebrows about what that means.

"I'm not an alarmist, I'm not saying it's a Flash Crash," Fisher protested, insising it's just a "lack of bids."

Fisher indicated he's not expecting a crude crash. "I don't think WTI gets much below, you know, 2-3 dollars from here," Fisher said.

Joe: Gold’s slide reminds me
of when I called a ‘generational’ buy in AAPL

Mr. New World, in a refreshing bit of candor on Monday's Halftime Report, explained that gold has been sliding for 6 months and what that reminds him of.

"It is the same type of price action that we saw in Apple. It is the same foolery that I presented in saying Apple was a generational buy," Terranova said.

Mike Murphy said that with a smackdown like this, you can't charge in just yet, but "sit back and wait." Jon Najarian said "no doubt" there were margin calls hammering the price.

Kathleen Kelley said gold's spiral is proof there isn't much demand beyond the ETF, and that there are 10 million ounces in ETFs under water, so there's likely more selling to go. But she refused to make a call on deflation, saying the world is "still deleveraging" and that's all she knows.

Mike Harris did the Cost Basis Brag Trade on gold, saying "we've been short since January" and asserting that 1,525 was the key level. Harris predicts it goes lower still "before we find real support."

Joe Terranova asked Harris how much of this is driven by algorithm trading. Harris said it's not those guys' fault.

Dr. New Land pointed out that gold was shellacked on a day the dollar was actually lower and said "the commodities meltdown I think is going to continue."

Jon Najarian didn't call a bottom but pointed to a super-spike in the gold VIX and contended, "I've gotta think that that fear level will not be sustainable."

Stephanie wasn’t ready for Judge’s demand for specifics on the integrateds

Mike Murphy on Monday's Halftime Report said recently high-flying refiners are back, provided Brent-WTI doesn't get out of whack; "I think Valero has a ton of value."

Stephanie Link suggested integrateds instead and made a noticeable face when Judge asked for names, telling him COP, OXY and CVX.

Joe Terranova suggested DK, TSO and VLO and said there is "opportunity coming here."

However, Mr. New World was grasping for help in asking Glenn Schorr why BK is so hated, and probably got more than he hoped for, as Schorr explained there are "headwinds in net interest income" and that BK has more fixed income and less equity exposure.

Schorr's top picks are C, JPM, BLK and IVZ.

Jack Caffrey told Judge Wapner that commodities are a lagging indicator of growth, which he thinks will be on a smile curve in 2013. Caffrey said he likes staples/dividend plays, and the "improving housing market."

Joe hangs a 2 on ACI

Other than Mark Fisher’s off-the-cuff Flash Crash, the most provocative call on Monday's Halftime Report was Joe Terranova's denunciation of Arch Coal.

"This is a stock that is going to go to $2," said Terranova, who said if you must have something in this space, try CNX.

Stephanie Link said of CMG, "You can buy this at a lower price." Mike Murphy warned there could be more selling in SKS. Jon Najarian said $6 calls in S for May and August were hot.

Mike Murphy made a bull case for NFLX that was frankly thin, saying it's above the 50-day and the chart represents "a very bullish tone to the stock." Also, he expects a "big pop in subscribers."

Jon Najarian countered that margin selling will hit winners such as NFLX, and once again showed why Hulu exists, for Fast Money Netflix competition arguments. Najarian said 180 will be a critical level.

Stephanie Link had slightly prejudged the case, saying she agrees with Najarian because of content costs and competition but acknowledged the margin pressure.

Stephanie Link mentioned WY for the first time probably in a couple weeks and was abuzz about TOL trading around 31.

Jon Najarian said of RAD, "I like it." Stephanie Link called T a hold. Joe Terranova called QCOM a buy and Mike Murphy said to sell YHOO. Stephanie Link was given a Final Trade and it was some kind of financial that couldn't be fully understood.

[Friday, April 12, 2013]

Stung by gold takedown,
Tim Seymour apparently thinks there’s such a thing as too much money, accuses Karen Finerman of gluttony

You’d almost have to think that Tim Seymour and Karen Finerman bumped automobiles in the Nasdaq parking lot.

Finerman, long a critic of the gold story, took an opportunity to crow a bit on Friday's nothing-else-to-put-in-this-time-slot edition of Fast Money, insisting "gold has no fundamentals" — and possibly rankling The Ambassador, who scoffed, "To say gold doesn't have fundamentals...," but whose comments on the subject recently have actually been quite reasonably cautious, at least until he indicated Friday that it's about "deflation" (at least 5 times). (Seriously.)

Whether it was that quip by The Chairwoman or something else, Seymour was downright ungentlemanly when JCP came up moments later, and Finerman trumpeted shorts in both the stock and bonds.

"It seems like you are really being gluttonous on this one," Seymour actually said, as though an individual shouldn't try to make money where he or she sees fit, adding that the bonds can't move the way the stock does.

"You don't need a default" for this trade to work, rebutted Finerman, who also argued that the stock is "lower" but still not "cheap."

Back to gold, Josh Brown suggested, convincingly, that after it moves sharply, there is a tendency to "retrofit" a theory to the move when it's best described as a broken trend, and his Final Trade was to avoid it. Brian Kelly, who has been recommending people buy gold for weeks if not months, said "I did get out of gold and silver today" and then tried to turn this embarrassment into victory by pointing out how much better he felt when it kept going lower.

Josh Brown told Karen Finerman that "JPMorgan has probably given you as much as it's gonna give you for the short term" and predicts 45 will be coming. Finerman said she "totally" disagrees based on net interest margin, and got Fred Cannon to back her up.

Josh Brown said he wouldn't be surprised to see a LNKD blowout to the upside and asserted "really there are no sellers" in GILD. Tim Seymour's CNBC U portfolio suggestion is too much thinking and makes less sense than just buying the S&P 500. Seymour touted KO, said to avoid JOY, made too nuanced of a call on MCD and suggested IWM puts for a Final Trade.

Karen Finerman called VZ a hold and made GM her Final Trade.

Early candidates for Bust of the Year: Guy Adami calling gold the trade for Q2; Brian Kelly likening bearish guest’s gold call to 1979 BusinessWeek cover about death of equities

Judge Wapner for some reason mostly sidestepped on Friday's Halftime Report the really big issue of the day, which was gold, which was so bad that even Dennis Gartman probably lost money on it in yen terms.

But Wapner wasn't helped by Jon Najarian, who first eloquently stated that it's time to start wondering of the gold-mining companies, "When does the first CEO break ranks and start hedging again," but then skiied off into bizarre tangent-land, pointing out that this bitcoin garbage went from 60 to 260 to 60 and now is pushing 80.

"What does that have to do with gold Doc," asked Judge.

Eventually, Najarian got back on point and said, "We could see Louise Yamada's 1,340 for gold," which has nothing to do with bitcoin but whatever.

Mike Murphy suggested there could be a washout in place. "I think you get a ... tradeable pop in gold," Murphy said. Steve Weiss basically agreed, pointing out the ridiculous forecasts have gone from $2,000 to $1,200 but saying it "might be oversold near term."

Later in the show, Mr. New Land said NEM printed a 52-week low and would likely print another one next week because "gold's going lower."

‘Permanent, right now’

Stephen Weiss said on Friday's Halftime Report that if private equity does get into JCP, it will protect itself by securing its loans against the top assets and "put a lien against their best assets."

"It's a mess. Stay away," Weiss said.

But moments later, Judge Wapner, in an overdue question, rightly pressed Weiss as to how he can be so sure that JCP won't get a sudden short-term catalyst such as BBRY or BBY or HPQ got.

Weiss said BBRY fell to 8, indicating JCP can go lower, and "They've been losing share to others."

But Weiss conceded, "Mike Ullman's gonna come out, and he's gonna say, the first time he comes out, scare the crap out of everybody, the stock's gonna get annihilated, and then you're gonna have to worry about, OK, he's reset the bar low."

But Weiss predicted that Ron Johnson left bears in good shape; "the damage that he caused to this company is permanent right now."

Joe Terranova, basically agreeing with Weiss, said the problem with being long JCP is what if Bill Ackman just decides "I don't want this anymore" and gets out of it. Weiss said that doesn't have to happen for the stock to crumble, noting Ackman rode Borders to the end.

Mike Murphy said he might like to try JCP long, but for now, "let this dust settle a little bit." Jon Najarian gave himself a verbal fist pump, saying he sold the JCP puts for 80 cents and bought them back at 21 (and to honor that great call, we present above a real fist pump, of Jimmy Connors in the 1991 U.S. Open), and then said having BX involved is good for JCP; "Blackstone is the right group to get them buyers."

Guest confuses Joe

Tom Digenan was a guest on Friday's Halftime Report, but Dr. New Land was hardly the Welcome Wagon.

"It's been a defensive rally," Digenan told Judge Wapner, while asserting, "Staples is, is probably the most expensive segment in the market" and likened the sector to a "10-year Treasury proxy."

Joe Terranova bluntly told Digenan, "I'm confused," and asked him where the 10-year is headed. Digenan said the yield is bound to rise.

Sure, Terranova said, "however it's not, so it looks to be an environment where it's a bond-friendly world in essence."

Digenan suggested that there's "maybe a Bernanke bubble" in play.

Mike Murphy said, curiously, "I agree with his case almost completely. However, it hasn't worked."

Mr. New World concluded, "The rally can continue to move higher. I disagree with everything Tom basically said."

Joe’s back in mini-S&P mode

Slightly in line with Tom Digenan, Stephen Weiss complained on Friday's Halftime Report that while the market is doing great, consumer staples have "ridiculous multiples."

"Right, right, right," said Judge Wapner, who basically made Weiss' point for him.

Weiss said the bears may crow a bit, but it'll be short-lived, and "today is a day where I'm not doing anything."

Dr. New World, who reverted to earth-tone attire Friday, said he disagrees with Weiss, who sported a spectacular pinstripe suit, asserting that while staples are high, "valuation is not a reason to sell them."

"I sold some mini-S&Ps," Terranova said.

Mike Murphy said his trades for the day were buying IP and JPM, plus 49 calls in JPM.

‘Destined,’ unless you talked to Dennis Gartman, Guy Adami or Brian Kelly

Michael Santoli, who gets to do his mild-contrarian thing on Friday's Halftime Report because they're somehow not extending invites to the best thing to hit Bellevue, told Judge Wapner that M&A perhaps hasn't taken off as he expected because "It's still a little bit early in the year" and perhaps also because of "global, you know, kinda macro stuff."

"Kinda macro stuff."

Santoli also said companies have been "preoccupied with buying themselves."

Santoli said the Dow and S&P 500 highs were "destined it seemed," but he still sees "unfinished business on the corrective side."

Stephen Weiss said there isn't too much euphoria; "even the bulls are scared."

Daniel Gamba, an iShares honcho, said they have seen "some rotation from commodities into fixed income," and within fixed income, long maturity into short maturity. But he said there is not a great rotation, but incoming "money from the sidelines."

Mike Murphy and Jon Najarian and Steve Weiss all said they like the EEM. Najarian mentioned EWJ, and Weiss said he likes shorting XLP as a hedge against his longs.

PSX: It worked until it didn’t

Joe Terranova opened his bull case for HD on Friday's Halftime Report with a curious argument, saying to question the stock's strength is wrong, and by the way, the company is "able to go into the debt markets" and is a "clear standout in the space."

Murphy said that's fine, but it's "the valuation ... it has to come in a little bit."

Joe, bristling at everything he heard Friday in earth tones attire, insisted "nothing has to happen in the markets," and also the company's "guidance was so light" that a beat could drive the stock.

Terranova predicted nat gas "continues to move higher." He said he "still wouldn't buy the refiners," that he would stay with PFE and LLY, and "I like TripAdvisor here." His Final Trade was SJM.

Stephen Weiss said "I'm not a buyer" of WLT, and of HRS, "I would continue to avoid this stock," as well as CAT. Weiss said he doubts we're creating the next bubble in housing yet, and his Final Trade was selling CL.

Mike Murphy said ELY is thinly traded, and "I wouldn't want to be a buyer here until I get Stephen Weiss out on the golf course."

Murphy thinks MCD "can continue to move higher in a big way." He called 23 "massive support" for EMC, which drew agreement from Steve Weiss, and made IP his Final Trade.

Jon Najarian said CHRW's troubles were linked to J.B. Hunt. Najarian also pointed out that PSX, after a boffo Q1, lost momentum, "it began a run for the exits," and MRO and MUR have also been affected.

Najarian said he likes Expedia but loves Priceline. He conceded his bull call on FTNT missed; he was "long calls in this one, did not work out ... I'm out," a trade that won't get the Jimmy Connors fist pump and perhaps offsets that JCP put score.

Najarian's Final Trade curiously involved getting to the sidelines in M, or "bearish" M according to the screen, but not sure if it was a short.

[Thursday, April 11, 2013]

Melissa’s interview with short seller makes absolutely no sense

Watching CNBC's Fast Money can sometimes be downright painful.

Such was the case for anyone trying to figure out exactly what Thursday's show was trying to glean from John Del Vecchio.

Lee described Del Vecchio as someone who "focuses on finding red flags for earnings and making short bets around those findings," as well as being a co-founder of Ranger Equity Bear ETF Fund, a "fund dedicated to shorting stocks."

As you can tell from the image, the screen text indicated to viewers that companies with "red flags" this earnings season would be dicussed.

So, you'd think Lee would ask Del Vecchio what his top shorts are right now.

Instead, she began by asking him for the "potential beats" of earning season.

Del Vecchio then proceeded to make an extended "beat" case for both HPQ (with a scripted, tiresome joke about Messrs. Hewlett and Packard rolling over in their graves) and CHK, "both of which would be controversial stocks."

Then a chart listed HPQ and CHK (plus AKAM) as Del Vecchio's "Q1 winners," and then another chart listed those 3 as Del Vecchio's "Q1 picks."

So he's apparently picking these stocks to be long ... even though Lee said he "focuses on finding red flags" and runs a "fund dedicated to shorting stocks."

But then it got stranger. Lee said "All right, so Q1 losers, Wal-Mart and Nike are on your list," and asked Del Vecchio what made him "forensically" put those on his loser list.

Del Vecchio said "Wal-Mart's actually losing cash EPS," and then, indicating that media is used in forensic accounting, said a couple "articles out" suggest that Wal-Mart may be undergoing some poor inventory management. Then he said NKE is "definitely overbought on a short-term basis."

Lee then asked, "Just quickly, losers, does that mean that you're shorting them?"

"No we don't, we exclude them from the index," Del Vecchio said. "The stocks are graded A through F like a report card grade, and instead of underweighting we just exclude them overall from the S&P 500."

So, (sigh), lessee what was going on here ...

A guy whose job is identifying stocks to short is evidently not shorting any of the 4 names he mentioned ... and perhaps is actually even long the first 2 ... or at least recommending a long.

And so it seems that Del Vecchio's purported "red flag" hunt is nothing more than general earnings-season analysis and reliance on overbought/oversold indicators.

Among other things, we've believed for a couple weeks now that Q1 is over, so we're not entirely clearly how WMT or NKE could now be a Q1 "loser."

Tim Seymour said, "My hat's off" to Del Vecchio for trying to short things (assuming that's what he actually does), then expressed skepticism about active management of Del Vecchio's portfolio, saying "we run our shorts with a much tighter leash, with a much shorter time horizon than we do our longs."

Karen Finerman actually said, "It's interesting what he was saying."

This is one of those cases where you'd think someone not dozing at the switch would point out, after a commercial, "By the way, in our last segment with John Del Vecchio, we want to make clear, he isn't/wasn't shorting HPQ/CHK/WMT/NKE now/in Q1; he is/isn't making a stock call for Q2 and he is/isn't long the first 2 names he mentioned despite running a short fund," etc., but that didn't happen, and of course the disclosures at CNBC.com do not mention Del Vecchio at all.

Neither Lee, who said the worst grade she got at Harvard was a B, nor Jon Najarian, who uses more of his PC than his brain, evidently were capable of sorting this one out.

Karen twice says of insider stock transactions, ‘You only buy for one reason’ — true?

You've heard it countless times on Fast Money, and it sounds so good:

Insider buying is far more important than selling, because people sell for all kinds of reasons, divorce, taxes, etc.

But, according to Karen Finerman (twice) on Thursday's Fast Money, "You only buy for one reason."

But do they?

Longtime Fast Money viewers will recall the scoffing in August 2010 when embattled BAC CEO Brian Moynihan announced he had purchased 30,000 shares of company stock for about $390,000.

This was a guy who, according to the article, was earning $6.5 million a year.

The truth is, CEOs could be buying to artificially project confidence in the company, or to assuage critics who think they don't have enough stake in their own job.

In other words, not "only for one reason."

Dr. J advises greenhorns to buy both dips and non-dips

Jon Najarian on Thursday's Fast Money offered a "CNBC U" lesson to stock market newcomers about how to build a portfolio.

"I'd commit about 50% of the portfolio right now to the stocks that I'm about to name," Najarian said, stressing the regular "dollar cost averaging" type of investing that Josh Brown mentioned a day earlier, because "I think you don't want to throw all your money into the market at any time."

(Sigh) Which means, here we go again with our own version of "CNBC PostGrad" (for generic specifications only; remember we're the worst stock-pickers you've ever seen); every amount of money you put into the stock market is a "lump sum" and the market doesn't care whether a $5,000 investment this month is one person's whole ball of wax or another person's first installment of $60,000 on the year, and if you have $60,000 to invest right now and you parcel it out by $5,000 a month then you are implicitly making a bet that the market is going to go down before it goes up, in which case you might as well wait until that downturn happens, but in any case, just know that ANY investment in the stock market is a market-timing call of some kind.

Najarian curiously went on to advocate WFC and JPM, then PWE and ECA, then AEP, SO and DUK.

What's curious about that is that 1 share of each of those companies comes out to (if we added correctly) roughly $286.

If you're only committing 50% of your portfolio to these names, you'd need to commit at least $600 to your portfolio with each regular investment to get at least 1 share of each.

But that wouldn't be equal-weighted, of course. So you'd either have to buy fractional shares of the higher nominally priced names, if that's possible, or you'd simply have to commit enough money for a nice approximate lowest common multiple (or whatever the Pythagorean Theory it's called), perhaps $200 in each name, which means you're contributing (as of this moment) $3,200 per interval, and paying commissions on 8 stock purchases.

But whatever. It was also curious when Najarian acknowledged there isn't technology in this portfolio, but "on dips I would add" some, specifically BRCM and MRVL.

The "on dips" part is curious, because right at this moment, AEP and WFC are in no kind of a dip whatsoever.

Guy Adami chipped in another one of those Things Investing Pros Tell You That Sounds Profound But Really Isn't, that your portfolio ideally could be "75% stocks, you throw a little commodities in there, and keep some cash on the side," when in fact, if you're ALWAYS keeping some cash on the side, then the 75% stocks is basically the amount that's 100% stocks.

And another curious thing: Najarian, according to disclosures at CNBC.com, isn't long any of the names he recommended, except for being short JPM puts.

Obviously they need a meet-&-greet in the green room — regular guest of the Halftime/Fast Money franchise doesn’t know host’s name

In the funniest line of the day (and goodness knows viewers needed one), John Stoltzfus, who has been on the Fast Money/Halftime Report franchise before, began his appearance on Thursday's Fast Money by telling Melissa Lee, "Hi Michelle, good to be here."

The camera caught an extended smile from Karen Finerman as Lee righted the ship.

Stoltzfus predicted the Fed would "telegraph" rising rates, and then rattled off an extended list of winners in that environment: Energy, utilities, materials, industrials, telcos and financials.

He said the losers have tended to be tech, health care and consumer staples and discretionary, but then got tangled up with Michelle Melissa over where to include financials and pointing out that health care and the consumer staples/discretionary but not tech have been winners.

Tim Seymour whined about the state of emerging markets. Stoltzfus said that a comeback in emerging markets will help commodities. Overall, Stoltzfus said, "cyclicals will do remarkably well."

Good thing they sought Karen’s opinion; she might’ve been persuaded by the bull case

Jon Najarian made the bull case for AMZN on Thursday's Fast Money and the top argument he made was "Jeff Bezos."

Then he pointed to the lack of Internet sales tax collection being a "huge edge for them," and how the CIA is even contracting with Amazon Web Services.

Unfortunately Mike Khouw didn't have anything fresher for the bear case, asserting, "The valuation in this company is just off the charts," but noting that it's trading at "22 times earnings," which is not this year's or next year's, but "all their earnings the company has ever made."

Najarian backpedaled slightly, saying neither he nor Khouw is advocating buying the stock, but using an options spread.

Prejudging the case, Guy Adami admitted, "I'm sorta with Mike," because it's been a margin story, and "if their margins come back down..."

Karen Finerman said in one of the most predictable Fast Money comments ever, "I can't possibly get on board a valuation like this." Tim Seymour said AMZN may be flying high now, but they won't win forever, and in fact, "I think Amazon's days of dominance are certainly coming to a close."

Pete Najarian used to say every other episode that the real story of AAPL was how the iPhone got people into the MacBook ecosystem

Guy Adami said at the top of Thursday's Fast Money that NFLX looks good, "technically the stock has done everything right."

Adami said he could do the CMG short of Jeff Gundlach (who now fancies himself an elite stock shorter, which may or may not be the case) one better, by going long JACK vs. short CMG, and then saying of CMG's prospects, "we've talked about that for a while," which they really haven't in the slightest.

Karen Finerman said she got out of MSFT and WMT.

Tim Seymour had trouble explaining what his top trade of the day was, only that in emerging markets (which is where he invests), he was "adding to some core positions."

Jon Najarian trumpeted WAC, CLGX, LPS and NSM.

Najarian actually was on the verge of making a beautiful point — that perhaps the biggest problem for PCs is that they are sold with far more capabilities than the typical consumer wants or needs, "most people use far less of that PC than they use of their brain" — until he let Tim Seymour derail him into a Brag Trade wisecrack, "except for me of course," while questioning, "do you really need a Terabyte, or 2 Terabytes?"

Tim Seymour said people in the emerging markets might "leapfrog" tablet purchases by just going straight to smartphones.

Time was when Anthony Scaramucci was ridiculed for endorsing PFE

Barbara Ryan visited the Nasdaq and 1) appeared to know the panelists' names and 2) endorsed continued strength in big pharma under the notion of, "Let us drug analysts have our moment of glory ... I think they still look attractive."

Karen Finerman asked if the ETFs such as IBB still make sense. Ryan said yes, "it takes a village."

Guy Adami asked Ryan if Celgene isn't over its skis. "Everyone loves oncology," Ryan said, before conceding that biotechs are the part of the space probably "a little bit in front of their skis" and may be most vulnerable to a (snicker) Fed tapering.

Mike Khouw said September 31 calls in PFE were active.

On fire: WLT

Guy Adami said on Thursday's Fast Money that his top pick among the financials is BX; "this stock is on breakout mode."

Jon Najarian revealed, "I'm short puts in JPMorgan."

Karen Finerman backed FINL; "I still think it's attractive here."

Guy Adami called CBI "a buying opportunity" while saying he doesn't normally say that. Mike Khouw called BKW too rich.

Tim Seymour lamented in discussing WLT that apparently not just the miners but the coal space too was priced like it's going out of business, so it's "great to see that actually people have been wrong on the wrong side (sic)."

Seymour said BIDU "may have put in a bottom around 85." He also said, "I like Deutsche (Bank) here if Europe's gonna come out of this." Seymour called HAL a "safe place" and made WLT his Final Trade.

Jon Najarian warned fad chasers, "If you're looking for safety it's gold, it's not bitcoins. Bitcoins are beta on steroids. ... Be very careful." Najarian's Final Trade was a Steve Weiss specialty, also known as the Floyd Trade, HK.

Mike Khouw said that with ADP, "The problem here is valuation," and he would avoid. Khouw's Final Trade was sell MMM.

Guy Adami said with EMC, "wait until they report," and he made CBI his Final Trade.

Karen Finerman, if not for John Stoltzfus, would've had the line of the day, referring to Bill Ackman's new dream level of JCP, "he's lowered his price target by $125." Finerman acknowledged a great Twitter question about PC sales' slowdown being "not the best for Staples," an "excellent point." Finerman's Final Trade was TKR.

How in the world does the
Halftime gang keep talking about stock-picking when you can be up 11% in 4 months just in the SPY?

Judge Scott Wapner found another cost-basis king on Thursday's Halftime Report in the form of Andrew Wellington, apparently famous for making 3 trades a year.

Actually, Wellington, who called stocks "a little overvalued" but not seriously so and sees long-term gains in the 7-10% range, was a modest and slightly uncomfortable guest while endorsing 3 picks, the first being NDAQ, because "2/3 of their revenues come from recurring or subscription-based services, not from trading."

Wellington also touted CE, for cheaper ethanol.

It was his non-argument over a previous winner, Avis (CAR), that rankled, explaining he bought it around 70 cents, and he'll "never have one any better than that."

But that wasn't the real outrage here. Judge Wapner actually told Wellington, "You have to be a real diligent stock picker still in this market," which is a continuation of the most knuckle-headed, bone-headed regular Halftime Report commentary on this stock market, which would make perfect sense if the market were actually FLAT or DOWN, not up 11% in the first 4 months of the year and setting all-time highs.

Even Laszlo Birinyi couldn't figure this out a couple weeks ago, despite beginning his own commentary with this very point.

Wapner on Thursday even ridiculously at the top of his program asked his panel for "Rip Van Winkle" stocks, and everyone managed to offer one or more risky names rather than the obvious choice of the SPY.


Simon Baker invokes the cost-basis trade, doesn’t care what stock does as long as fungible investment capital is deemed house’s money

Yesterday (see below) we pointed out that Karen Finerman took on the cost-basis heroes.

Obviously Andrew Wellington didn't notice, nor did it sway Simon Baker on Thursday's Halftime Report, as Baker defended owning FB against a pesky Joe Terranova by insisting, "I'm not frustrated in the stock because I bought it 10 points lower than here."

Baker had asserted "the mobile ads are improving" and so he'd be a "buyer of the stock." Terranova, however, asserted the investment cash in the space is constantly changing, and right now "it just goes back to LinkedIn," and pointed out that FB was in the 30s when the institutional move in AAPL began.

Jon Najarian curiously defended the side projects of Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg in somehow describing them as, "This is playing for time," and said he likes the stock but only when it tumbled below 30.

People on CNBC actually claim they think Steve Ballmer could be replaced

Stephanie Link said on Thursday's Halftime Report that "it's not really that surprising" that PCs are in steep decline, and that she'd be interested in MSFT around 26 or 27.

Jon Najarian crowed that he made money by "selling puts" on MSFT. Then he called Heather Bellini a "brilliant analyst ... but I think she's been dead wrong on this stock," wondering where Bellini has been since 23.

Dr. New World scoffed. "I want no part of the entire space ... this is a late-cycle story," he contended, explaining "I bought Splunk (SPLK) this week," and that BMC and MMS are plays for the next generation.

Simon Baker basically agreed; "why would I wanna be in that space at all."

Jon Najarian said Steve Ballmer is "probably a brilliant guy but he's not run the company brilliantly." That was a precursor to Herb Greenberg's update of his worst CEOs list (and isn't it curious who makes and doesn't make that list), from which Herb contended that Microsoft needs a leader to get to the next phase, and "Ballmer's proven not to be that guy."

Judge Wapner finally spake the truth in this ridiculous, occasional CNBC subject for a decade or more, noting the television groundswell against Ballmer "doesn't seem to have any resonance."

Greenberg admitted, "that's an important question," and said if we want to know how safe Ballmer is, "Ask Bill Gates."

Ticker symbols that should
exist: BRA (cont’d)

Dr. New World, refreshingly back from a break, said at the top of Thursday's Halftime Report that his best trade is "buy natural gas," specifically SWN and BBG.

Terranova also seemed to go overboard on his praise for GE's deal and Oklahoma plans; "this is actually going to reduce the deficit. We're going to import less oil."

Stephanie Link suggested HIG, ORCL and ETN, and Simon Baker, in a performance as clumsy as T.C. Chen in the 1985 U.S. Open, managed to finally come up with EWJ.

Jon Najarian said to "Take a look at Victoria's Secret parent company," and who wouldn't want to do that, then triggered disbelief in Judge Wapner by crowing, "I'm long JCPenney through sales of puts" and saying the stock's a buy under 14 while conceding it'll probably be back there again sometime.

Kimberly Greenberger also gushed about LTD and her $53 price target. In a bit of a Brag Trade, but not really a cost-basis trade, Greenberger told Judge Wapner she's been "underweight" on JCP throughout the whole Ron Johnson era and that it's even gone "bumpier than we expected." But now, "we are feeling incrementally more constructive," because Mike Ullman doesn't seem to want to fire the customer, unlike Ron Johnson.

Greenberg also said that the retail numbers were "less bad than feared" and said the issue is "how durable is that pent-up demand."

Tip: You can buy them both

In another tiresome discussion of JPM, Stephanie Link said it's a buy because it's "best in breed" and because of the old "tangible book" argument.

But in a bizarre showdown with Simon Baker over whether JPM is a better stock than WFC, Baker argued the latter, saying the WFC execs are not on TV because "those guys just don't make any mistakes in the capital markets," and that the stock is "cheaper" than rivals. Link fired back that WFC trades at 1.8 times tangible book.

Mr. New Land, who had already prejudged the case, said the winner, "for me, JPMorgan," because there's a "tailwind in capital markets" and that higher rates will help JPM more than WFC. Jon Najarian touted WFC at the top of the program.

Gasoline potentially ‘a lot lower’

Jeremy Siegel told Judge Wapner on Thursday's Halftime Report that stocks remain a convincing buy because they are "one of the only asset classes that are reasonably priced today." He calls 16,000 Dow by year-end a "good bet" and sees 18,000 in 2014.

Joe Terranova sidestepped RAD to advise viewers to stay with CVS and WAG. Joe called BBRY "technically broken," and made TUMI his Final Trade.

Stephanie Link called BBBY a "very cheap housing play" and likes TJX as well as ROST. Link's Final Trade was CBI (and Judge couldn't make the tunnel joke).

Jon Najarian said trading in Carl Icahn's IEP is "anorexically thin" (at least he didn't say as Brian Kelly did that it "hasn't really performed that well") and so that's why he can't do it. Najarian's Final Trade was LCC. Simon Baker spoke about NFLX and Hasbro but as always, opted for simple newsreading and refused to make a recommendation while in Pops & Drops mode. Baker's Final Trade was WFC.

Anthony Grisanti said "I do expect gasoline to pop," but rather than jumping aboard, he'd be "looking to sell any kind of a pop." Jeff Kilburg said we "could potentially see gasoline go a lot lower."

Craig Siegenthaler gave Judge Wapner 3 regional banks to mull, starting with RF ("very stable NIM" and Southeast exposure), MTB, which is ready to close the Hudson City acquisition, and HBAN, which Siegenthaler said has made a "lot of investments in the business" and figures to "pull back on that expense growth."

[Wednesday, April 10, 2013]

Karen finally fires back against all the AAPL cost-basis folks who consider the house’s money different from regular fungible investment capital

Nothing is more pleasing about Fast Money than seeing Karen Finerman in the 2 o'clock chair; on Wednesday's program in a rare treat Finerman even kind of went on the offensive about recent show comments from AAPL-holding guests.

"I am still long," Finerman said, acknowledging that a lot of people are bragging about their cost basis while they've made nothing in the stock recently. "That's not relevant to me really, it's do I wanna own it right here tonight ... I do now," Finerman said.

Yes, it’s hard to lose money in something that closes on the high

Josh Brown took a turn Wednesday in the new "CNBC-U" feature in which Fast Money panelists offer advice to beginners.

Brown suggested index ETFs with an "automatic purchase." Nothing wrong with that, a very fine strategy, except as usual, neither Brown (despite showing a misleading (in terms of starting point that could be anywhere) chart in which the "lump sum" investor just managed to pour all of his cash into the market near the peak (wonder what his return would be if he poured it all in during March 2009)) nor anyone else indicated what "automatic" investing really is, which is just a "lump sum" no different than the other "lump sum" on Brown's chart, and then another lump sum that's completely oblivious to the previous lump sum or subsequent lump sums, and such a strategy is really an implicit argument that the market will decline before the end of the time frame is reached (or else you'd put it all in right away); in which case why not just wait for that decline that your strategy is implicitly expecting, but whatever. (See, there's a lot of layers to this cost-basis thing that Karen Finerman still hasn't debunked on the show.)

Brown also advised owning some large-cap U.S. stocks, which will give investors an "excuse to every week read the news," and who can argue with that (well, that is, except for the people reading the early Fed minutes and guessing the stock market would go the opposite direction).

But Brown suggested newcomers cool it a bit and not get too excited; "you should not expect to be vying with Dan Loeb for the crown your first year or two." He suggests the SPY, IJH and EEM.

45 minutes of programming fails to change Guy Adami’s mind on YHOO

Colin Gillis visited the Nasdaq on Wednesday to tell Fast Money that MSFT has no real traction in tablets or smartphones, and the Windows 7 effect is fading, so don't get carried away with this stock.

Gillis actually indicated he thinks the big EU fine is not priced into the stock. But he said Steven Ballmer is safe; "I think he stays."

Karen Finerman said at the top of the show, "I had to sell some Microsoft," because of the recent surge. Selling MSFT also was her Final Trade.

Steve Grasso said he's looking for a re-entry point in GOOG. Much later in the program, Grasso reiterated that he'd like to get back in, but only after the stock starts showing "momentum" again.

Guy Adami said, "I still think Yahoo works," and refreshingly for those who hit the "buy" button after that comment, later in the program, just like Grasso with GOOG, got to say it again, "I like it still."

Dennis Gartman says he’s buying gold in yen terms

The last time anyone in the Fast Money/Halftime sphere actually came close to challenging Dennis Gartman on his bizarre obsession with owning gold in terms of a particular currency was a few months ago, when Judge Wapner went down that path and then practically apologized.

On Wednesday's Fast Money, Gartman said the yen is leaving Japan for everywhere else, and he's putting it into gold, cotton and crude.

That prompted a curious observation from Melissa Lee, who said Josh Brown was nodding his head "quizzically" upon hearing this trade.

"Not quizzically at all," Brown said, but playing this one diplomatically, said a lot of people have owned gold as a hedge, but "you needed a hedge against your hedge," which came across as a semi-endorsement. Guy Adami flat out advised "don't overcomplicate this" and just short the yen.

Flash: Retail blaming weather

New guest Gabriella Santaniello, who blinked constantly throughout her appearance Wednesday, told the Fast Money crew "there's definitely less to spend" in the retail space and that March weather was "not cooperative."

Santaniello eventually got to her top picks, which have been AEO but now include ANF, because "Abercrombie's coming back," though her low-inventory argument made little sense. According to the screen and Melissa Lee, Santaniello also likes GPS, KORS, "Kate Spade" (we think that means FNP) and FRAN.

Mike Khouw said the XRT looks "a little bit toppy to me," and he'd be inclined to buy puts.

Steve Grasso's Final Trade was M, and Guy Adami said GPS after the report Thursday.

Karen Finerman said "Finish Line and Macy's" for her top retail picks.

Later in the program, Finerman said the problem with KORS is that the "valuation here is just too high," and that M is better. She said she no longer owns WAG and is lightening up in CVS, and called YUM's problems in China "1-offs for them."

THC gone to pot?

In what figures to be an intriguing sector, THC was the subject of a bull-bear debate on Thursday's Fast Money that could've used a few steroids.

Guy Adami, long a bull, blamed the rough day Wednesday on HMA guidance. But he called that "HMA-specific," and said it's only been the "1st meaningful sell-off" since October for THC.

Steve Grasso had no better counterargument than "it's too toppy," saying "Tenet has been up 155% since the Supreme Court hearing" that validated ObamaCare.

Josh Brown said "I think Guy is right," but Karen Finerman found the whole exercise so uninteresting, she was barely compelled to shrug and say "I'm long Wellpoint instead ... I'm not bullish on the hospitals."

Apparently Guy’s belief that last week was on the verge of an outside reversal and the end of the 4-year bull market was very short-term in nature

Guy Adami said at the top of Wednesday's Fast Money that he would've expected a different market reaction to the Fed minutes than what we got, so "I'm glad I didn't have 'em ahead of time."

Josh Brown scoffed that the Fed minutes are a "delayed release," and who's going to day-trade material from a month ago.

Mel Lee tried to stir up a battle between Brown and Adami as to whether the laggards are the new best trade, which Adami disputed. Brown insisted that it's a longer-term trade for "savvy investors," not traders, and that he's not calling a bottom in the coal trade.

"Guy and I can both be right," Brown said, and Karen Finerman sort of backed that, saying some laggards in a market like this can suddenly become "bottle rockets."

Steve Grasso said he's "still long my coal." Brown said his top trade was DVYE. Karen Finerman said she likes RLGY on the pullback, "good day to add some there."

Kate Kelly reported that Dan Loeb loaded up on IP and VMED. Charlie Bobrinskoy expects the banks to have "relatively low volatility" this earnings season and said the Bulge Bracket's net interest margins will be "lousier" than expected. "Short term, we love KKR and Blackstone," Bobrinskoy added, and also mentioned GS and COWN.

Josh Brown says gold miners are outperforming the stock market

It was one of those comments that had to be a mistake.

Either that, or our own chart-reading skills are a lot worse than we thought.

Josh Brown actually said on Wednesday's Fast Money that NEM and its ilk are "stocks that outperform the stock market," but underperform gold.

Guy Adami said "silver's gonna skyrocket one of these days."

Mike Khouw advised against chasing NFLX (and Guy Adami was silent after saying yesterday it had just reversed to the upside), saying "I'd stay away from it still."

Khouw said the April 40 calls in FSLR were active. He called JNJ "still a safe bet" and made puts in the banks his Final Trade.

Karen Finerman said she's "hangin' on" to XBI. Steve Grasso said if you want to be long R, it must stay above 60.

Josh Brown's Final Trade was PFE. Melissa Lee actually asked Guy Adami at one point if he was about to say something "racial."

Ilczyszyn buying bond futures

Anthony Grisanti said on Wednesday's Halftime Report that every time there are Fed minutes release, there's someone else wanting to speed up the unwind, and there are "probably 2 ways it ends good and about 10 it ends bad," so "I'm a seller of bond futures."

The Ilchmeister, however, Rich Ilczyszyn, explained, "I've actually bought those futures," starting as far back as March 17.

Brian Kelly, pounded into submission by Barry Bannister's S&P 500, feebly made the bull case for gold. JJ Kinahan said there's no inflation, global uncertainty has eased, and people are more comfortable moving into stocks.

Steve Weiss said even in Japan, they're selling gold, and it's a "myth" as inflation hedge.

Jon Najarian said the VIX's curious rise Wednesday doesn't mean it's positioning for a selloff. JJ Kinahan explained that put buyers are outnumbering call buyers 3 to 2, a sign bulls are seeking protection.

One call that was not dead balls on was going short at S&P 1,563

A joyous day in stocks, and Wednesday's Halftime Report brought in Robert Sluymer to spoil the fun.

Sluymer claimed that all the indicators are showing "overbought territory," and most curiously, "there are divertices (sic) developing."

But, Sluymer conceded, "the rotation is into the megacaps," particularly laggards.

Steve Weiss said Sluymer failed to note that the money going into MSFT is "new money" and not a rotation. Jon Najarian crowed that he's the one who has been defending MSFT recently.

Najarian pointed to the dash for trash of recent days and claimed, "Michael Santoli, Jim Cramer were dead balls on when they said you gotta buy these stocks."

Stephen Weiss asserted, "the big-cap rally will continue." JJ Kinahan said that what nobody was talking about was that the yield names, such as MSFT, GE and KO, were moving.

Keith McCullough said the market's on fire and the trend started about 4 months ago and pointed to the "bear market developing in commodities" as a boost for the consumer.

Brian Kelly tried to spin an embarrassing series of recent bear calls into a positive, claiming he previously said the S&P would peak between 1,576 and 1,586, failing to mention that after saying that, he said March 26 he was shorting S&P around 1,563, expertly challenged by Joe Terranova as to why he was already shorting before the market reached the peak he predicted for it (and if anyone thinks this train is stopping at 1,586...).

Don’t panic in BBY

In one of the more curious chart interpretations of recent memory, Brian Kelly on Wednesday's Halftime Report congratulated Jefferies on a "great call" in upgrading IEP because even though Carl Icahn has been on fire, "his stock hasn't really performed that well."

Year to date, "it's up almost 50%," said Judge Wapner.

"Look- look at the ... from March, to now, the last 6 weeks," Kelly stammered.

Stephen Weiss said "I'm ready to go back in" to CYH. Weiss said MS is correlated to tech issuances and tech strength, and warned, pointing to the TMHC IPO, "these are not sure things."

Jon Najarian pointed to FXI strength since Friday. Weiss insisted "it's a mess over there" in China.

Weiss said he's "still not a buyer of Tiffany," would stay away from FSLR, and made SODA his Final Trade.

Brian Kelly said if he was long RLGY he'd get out. He called JCI a hold and made MSFT his Final Trade.

JJ Kinahan said even though BBY fell, it's "not really time to panic here" because it's had a big year, and he thinks it might test 21.75. Kinahan said PSX might need to test 60 and made ORCL his Final Trade.

David Zier said that when stocks in Q1 are up 10% or more, there's an 85% likelihood they'll be even higher at year end. Zier called emerging markets most attractive, which Steve Weiss questioned.

Jon Najarian crowed about calling a top in LEN but said you can get back in here. Najarian's Final Trade was CTSH.

[Tuesday, April 9, 2013]

Fast Money gang and guest can’t think of a single name that would be a good takeout for AAPL except Twitter

Walter Piecyk explained to viewers of Tuesday's Fast Money that the problem with AAPL right now is that "people are just questioning whether they can ever return to growth," or whether they just had a "peak earnings year last year" that won't be duplicated.

Piecyk painted a grim near-term outlook for the shares, saying he's looking for a "bad March quarter" below consensus, but that's not the real issue, which is the risk of a bad June guide, and it's critical for the shares to "get that June guide out of the way."

Brian Kelly asserted that "Apple has the ability to monetize Twitter" better than Twitter does now, and, in not exactly a ringing endorsement, "that might get me to be in the stock."

Steve Grasso asserted, "They need something like Twitter." But the funny thing about that was that late in the show, Grasso said he's long the shares because, given the negativity toward the stock, you "have to be a buyer of the name."

‘The difference is very different’

Courtney Reagan, who has looked stunning on the streets of Manhattan or Queens for several days now, reported on Tuesday's Fast Money the difficulties JCPenney faces in returning sales to pre-Ron levels.

Guy Adami said enough shares were washed out Tuesday that there might be a good JCP entry point on Wednesday.

"I'm gonna take the other side of that," said Dan Nathan, who said shorts see a hat size number for the stock and aren't going to cover for a while.

Retail-space honcho Daniel Hurwitz said the immediate concern about JCP's cash isn't paying the rent, because "they don't pay very much rent." But he said there should be more concern among the vendors.

Melissa Lee noted, "The difference in sales between now and when Mr. Ullman was in, in, the CEO office is very different."

The curious thing is that only 1 of those names is listed in Guy’s years-long portfolio disclosure at CNBC.com

In a curious segment, Guy Adami on Tuesday's Fast Money offered stock-market advice for youngsters that he insisted was about "investing" and not "trading."

"6 to 8 stocks should be fine," Adami said, before suggesting an online-shopping-related portfolio that he says appeals to young people, explaining that he'd be supplying "4 stocks; you have to pick 1 in each group."

So he began by advising they choose either V or MA (that's the first group), either FDX or UPS (second group), then AMT (apparently a group of its own), then 1 of 4 among WFC, C, BAC and USB (that should be the 4th group), and finally NFX, which has a "lot of potential upside." (But we thought it was only supposed to be 4 groups.)

Meanwhile, Adami made the bull case for YUM, saying the avian illness is already "priced into the stock." Brian Kelly, however, said he doesn't like the stock because "It is a China play. Plain and simple." Steve Grasso said he prefers MCD; "Yum looks a little triple-toppy."

Steve Grasso uses stage of national television to convince himself he made the right decision on HPQ

Guy Adami said near the top of Tuesday's Fast Money that NFLX looks like it has shaken out some negativity, and that Tuesday's action was "the flush you were waiting for" as the stock proceeds higher.

Dan Nathan, just as he did with JCP, took the other side of Adami's argument later in the program, warning that if anything is not "kosher" on the next NFLX earnings report, expect a print below 160 en route to 140.

Steve Grasso revealed he "sold 80% of my Hewlett-Packard," saying it came down to the question of, "why don't I just lock it in."

‘Beekers’ was said 17 times during the program (yes, we counted), but in a small blessing, nobody asked Melissa a 2nd time how many people in China died from avian flu

Dan Nathan on Tuesday's Fast Money said he "wouldn't touch" the day's hot name, FSLR.

Nathan said one issue with RLGY is that it hasn't been public for very long before Tuesday's warning, so "you have to question their credibility a little bit."

Nathan said "I got back in on the short" in XHB, his Final Trade, and said the momentum has come out of names such as LEN. Nathan said TJX would be a "good long" if you can get in around $44.50.

Mike Khouw told viewers "I'd definitely stay away from" HMA, and the same for STJ; "I would avoid this stock."

But Khouw said there was a big buyer of weekly 8 calls in ANR. He predicted, "I think we're gonna see the VIX go higher sometime soon," and made CAT his Final Trade.

Diana Olick reported on the pluses and minuses of Taylor Morrison and its pending IPO. Guy Adami said he's not sold on this one but he's sure he'll be hearing Bob Pisani saying the IPO did great.

Guy Adami said the day's activity was marked by "relative underperformance" in both the Russell and transports. (In other words, not bookmarking any Moby Dicks or seeing the outside reversal end of this 4-year bull market.) Adami said he likes CXW but thinks "this run is over" in KO. His Final Trade was GLD.

Melissa Lee used the term "bastardization."

Brian Kelly said he'd sell KMX and made short EWG his Final Trade. Steve Grasso said of HLF, "the best trade here is no trade." Grasso said he's long ACI and made MKC his Final Trade, but he struggled mightily to explain what to do with D.

Dan Niles: GOOG is 1 for 6

Dan Niles, regularly one of the best guests on the Halftime Report, issued a stark assessment of GOOG on Tuesday that had even Judge Wapner questioning if it might not be on the AAPL path.

"It's actually surprising the stock had done this well," Niles said, before referring to Apple's quarterly misses that were a precursor to a fall, and then noting that Google has "missed 5 out 6 quarters of revenues as well."

Niles said the company gets less for mobile ads than desktop (hardly a new point) and that it's got fiber initiatives that are probably barely break-even (also not really a new point) and that they're "still losing over a billion dollars" in Motorola, the "big millstone around their neck."

"I don't plan on owning the stock right now," Niles chuckled to Wapner.

However, Niles touted SNDK, because "every 10% move in the yen is roughly a 4% gross margin impact," and ONNN. He also mentioned RFMD, MXIM and QCOM.

Jon Najarian said he seconds SNDK and ONNN. Stephen Weiss first suggested that it's the "$100 billion market cap" that is thwarting QCOM, then admitted, "I don't know where the incremental buyer is coming from." Mike Murphy actually said it looks like MSFT is breaking out.

Weiss puts a 5 on JCP

It hardly got much attention, but Mike Murphy and Pete Najarian put together an interesting debate over Sprint on Tuesday's Halftime Report, with Murphy insisting S shareholders will get $7.30.

"That's a monster 'if' right now," said bear Pete Najarian.

Steve Weiss said he agrees with Murphy, "The government is really behind this transaction."

Weiss reiterated that "I'm short" JCP and asserted "I still think it goes to 5 ... I think they're in a terminal downdraft."

Mike Murphy, who just a week ago was telling everyone who'd listen that JCP was due to rise on any kind of new news, feebly pointed to the stock's half-hour gain in Monday's afterhours before admitting to Judge Wapner he has "no position right now."

Mandy Drury in hot top pointed out an interesting stat, that gold and the S&P 500 hit the same level this month. Jim Iuorio said that between those choices, "I would rather buy gold today," only because he sees a correction coming in stocks. Anthony Grisanti said until gold bursts through 1,617, it's going nowhere.

Mike Murphy said "the trend is still to the downside" in the gold miners.

Kate Kelly, in cute top, reported that Bill Ackman had a good first quarter aside from JCP, and she wonders "if people are questioning what a new auditor may see" in HLF given its differing reaction to the KPMG news from Skechers.

‘Technically, I think this rally is ending’

Josh Brown wasn't present Tuesday, but Stephen Weiss allowed Pete Najarian to lead the "rally's continuing" cheers on the Halftime Report.

"I remain very bullish," Najarian said, backed by Mike Murphy, who said "The trend is still up in a big way."

Weiss reiterated his point about foreign investors needing U.S. investments but actually expressed more caution than the others, only to have Jon Najarian cite gasoline prices as the "wind in your back for the consumer."

The designated bear was guest Jurrien Timmer, who asserted, "Technically, I think this rally is ending," citing in part, "fairly 1-sided sentiment."

Timmer said that 1,539 is key and that if broken, "things are rolling over."

Stephen Weiss rightly questioned the historical models Timmer is using to draw parallels to this unique market; "there is no history here."

Jon Najarian admitted he actually got into CLF around 18 and change, but he "got out of it like for a nickel or a dime because I got so scared that the thing might just go right back down."

Najarian said CXW rose on a special dividend. Brother Pete said STJ's performance confirms MDT as a "strong buy." Steve Weiss said don't trust Chinese data regarding X and called the gain a "great opportunity to sell the shares." Mike Murphy said 32 calls in BBY were hopping.

Pete Najarian said he's still bullish on airlines. Mike Murphy has been "long for some time" in F but wants to see it above 13. Stephen Weiss said MNST is "much too controversial" to play either long or short. Pete Najarian said there were call buyers of GT's May 13 and now April 13 strikes.

Pete Najarian predicted a good 2nd half (not for AAPL this time) for NSC and made HOLX his Final Trade. Jon Najarian said he likes the trade of long COP vs. short HES and made TJX his Final Trade. Mike Murphy actually said GLW "looks like it's in an uptrend" and said long GS for his Final Trade. Steve Weiss' Final Trade was to sell JCP.

[Monday, April 8, 2013]

‘Something was out there today’ — Pete really worked up over buyers of JCP weekly 16½ calls

In probably the best prediction of the day, Steve Grasso said early on Monday's Fast Money that by midday Tuesday, JCP shares will no longer enjoy a $1-plus post-Ron-Johnson pop.

That was already the case by the end of the program, though who knows what might happen on Tuesday.

Karen Finerman raised an interesting point about the timing of the move, saying it raises questions about "what's happening this quarter."

The company is a "gigantic mess" and hardly a turnaround but a "salvage plan at this point."

Pete Najarian, of course, wondered if someone in the options market somehow pulled a fast one; "did somebody know about Ron Johnson leaving." If they did, they surely didn't know what kind of a damper Mike Ullman was going to bring about a half hour later.

Tim Seymour called Ullman "a face-saver for now."

Stacey Widlitz said absolutely nothing other than that the company is in trouble (who knew) — and, as Widlitz put it, "a bit of a dinosaur."

Liz Dunn, whose analyst work on this company leaves, um, quite a bit to be desired, explained that the announcement suggests to her that "things are still very much in flux at JCPenney" (ya think?). Dunn predicted the company would have "positive comps" in a year.

Courtney Reagan helpfully pointed out that when she interviewed Ron Johnson way back in the beginning of February, he did not come across as a guy who knew he'd get fired in April; "this was not expected at least at those times."

Elsewhere, Michael Burns via phone did his usual we've-got-a-great-new-movie/show routine again, after which Pete Najarian, asked to make a call on the stock but waffling more than those offenses who pretend to go for it on 4th down but never actually snap the ball, said first that some see the stock as overpriced, but if its international growth trajectory continues, "potentially it's not overpriced."

Melissa Lee and the panel determined who won the Fast Money Madness (incredibly, it was Bank of America).

Pete Najarian's Final Trade was BAC. Tim Seymour said C, Steve Grasso said M and Brian Kelly said sell AFL.

The most curious point of the program was made by Paul Hickey, who said, "When IBM beats estimates, uh 80% of the time the ... S&P trades higher over the um, the next 5 weeks when the stock goes up," and 75% of the time it trades down when IBM either 1) beats and/or 2) falls on earnings.

Josh Brown calls Monster Beverage’s product ‘poison,’ ‘same thing’ as tobacco, bristles at Judge’s suggestion to ‘walk it back’

Herb Greenberg joined Monday's Halftime Report to talk about something related to Monster Beverage and red meat and basically said very little.

The dynamite came when Josh Brown listed the company's negatives, including, "plus it sells poison."

That "p" word caught the attention of Judge Wapner, who moments later asked Brown, "You wanna walk that back a little bit."

"What," Brown said, not realizing why Judge was bringing this up. "Do you think it, do you think it's good to have mass doses of caffeine for anyone in the world."

"You used a word that you may wanna distance yourself from," Wapner said.

"It's the same thing with tobacco. It's not a healthy product," Brown insisted.

"I'm just saying, you may have an opinion, but, you know, I would want it to be a little more measured," Wapner said (translation: remember when Warren Buffett sent a "folksy" e-mail to CNBC after Gary Kaminsky's commentary? This one could be signed by a lawyer).

"Energy drinks are not healthy," Brown eventually said.

"I'm trying to help you out," Wapner said.

The gut here is that Brown's terminology, barely noticeable during an exchange with multiple people, will not draw any fire from Monster's PR crew, which won't want to give the remark any traction it probably won't receive otherwise.

"Life's too short to own these stocks," said Stephen Weiss.

Once again, no one on Halftime Report will ask Steve Quirk what his 537 index actually measures

Judge Wapner welcomed TD Ameritrade's Steve Quirk to Monday's Halftime Report to offer insight into what retail investors are doing, and Quirk initially agreed with Judge's stated theme for the segment that the investors are seeking yield.

Quirk then outlined a 3-step analysis, first claiming investors are rotating from the winners into the laggards and explained, "the index is now at 537," the highest since June '11.

What "the index" is, and what in the world 537 means, we have no idea.

Then Quirk said "they're very much in favor of yields," before adding, "they're replacing equities with derivatives."

Stephen Weiss, in the question of the day, astutely realized that TD Ameritrade is trying to get more customers to trade options chasing yields is the opposite of replacing equities with derivatives.

"They're chasing risk, they're not chasing yield," Weiss concluded.

No, Quirk said, these are just 3 things he sees investors doing; "they are not all doing the same thing."

So, the retail investor is seeking yield ... but rotating out of winners into laggards ... and rotating out of stocks into derivatives.

Or, basically doing everything, without a concrete theme.

Simon Baker recommended TDIV, which he misspelled later as his Final Trade, for a yield trade.

Simon Baker twice suggests rather provocatively that BBY can be like HD, but no one addresses that point

Simon Baker, clueless that his mike wasn't working, made part of his case for BBY on Monday's Halftime Report for naught, his best audible argument being that there's a "long way to go yet in this story."

Josh Brown, acknowledging the company's recent strengths, shrugged that "all of it is priced into the stock," which has experienced a "dead-cat bounce writ large."

Steve Weiss, having prejudged the case, said "I'm with Josh," saying the bull case has been that there is room for 1 company in this space, but "tell that to Toys R Us." Stephanie Link though said she would buy it on a pullback.

Will stocks play catch-down to commodities?

For much of 2013, CNBC's Halftime Report has opened with Josh Brown and/or Stephen Weiss stating that the market rally will continue, but Monday brought a warning from Brown that things are "precarious" and resemble the spring selloffs of the last couple years.

"This is not where you wanna be adding new longs," Brown said.

Weiss remained in form, saying David Tepper says to short at your own peril, in part because European and French investors are going to look to U.S. stocks.

Brown asserted the "statistics" don't favor that notion right now.

Simon Baker made little sense as to whether he agrees with Weiss/Tepper or not, and much of this clumsy exchange (which extended through the program) as to what people were actually saying and whether they actually went unresolved, though not to ridiculous extremes like Laszlo Birinyi's nonsensical market definition(s).

Stephanie Link, as she always says, claimed "This is a stock picker's market," and mentioned names such as COP, JNJ, ADT and HIG.

Guest Tyler Vernon said investors have to get more "defensive" now, because "hogs get slaughtered." Vernon claimed that stocks and commodities have typically had a "very high correlation there, and we've seen a very large disconnect," meaning "stock prices have to come down."

Gemma Godfrey said Japan "definitely has further to go."

Hulu once again exists simply to be mentioned in the Fast Money NFLX conversations

Stephen Weiss asserted on Monday's Halftime Report, "I think Whole Foods has always been vulnerable."

Speaking of vulnerable, Weiss said the problem with JCP is "the sales you just can't recover." But he said "I'm actually out now" of favored Macy's.

Josh Brown scoffed, "I don't want any brick and mortar retailers clogging up space," though at some point he'll like TGT.

Stephanie Link said she likes JWN. Simon Baker said to avoid LULU and KORS.

Stephanie Link called OI "very interesting." Link said she likes the GE announcement, it "continues the story of getting more simple ... we were buyers this morning."

Also, "I think Toyota's actually interesting," said Link, who called IBM a hold and made AVP her Final Trade.

Simon Baker said NFLX was taking a hit on news of Hulu. Baker said JNJ can be bought "all day." Baker said he'd own BAC here.

Josh Brown said TWC has had trouble around $100, and "I don't think you wanna be long." But regarding the GE deal, Brown pointed to "huge volume" trading in Weatherford and warned, "one is not the same as the other."

Brown said DXJ could get an added boost from Japanese buyers. He said to stick with YHOO and made JNJ his Final Trade.

Stephen Weiss is sick of hearing about stocks at 52-week lows such as CLF being hailed as takeover targets. "I would sell it," Weiss said. He also called CHK "a sale here," and said people are wary of piling into GOOG because "nobody wants to own the next Apple." He said of BBRY, "I think the stock's OK here," and made T his Final Trade.

[Friday, April 5, 2013]

Joe LaVorgna:
‘Give me a break’

Early efforts to turn Friday's Fast Money into a scare fest on the basis of Japanese bond yields quickly were snuffed out as the cooler heads prevailed.

Tim Seymour claimed the fixed-income guys "freaked out today," only to have Karen Finerman reveal she was adding to BAC and C, before asking Seymour if Japan's strategy will actually work.

That prompted Seymour to admit, "This is something I think can work."

Joe LaVorgna flat out scoffed at the jobs data. "It's 1 data point. It's a bad data point," but the revisions could put it anywhere.

"Give me a break," LaVorgna said.

Of course, there's always the chance of another spring slowdown like we've seen the last couple years. "The housing market is finally recovering. That's a big difference," LaVorgna concluded.

Steve Grasso said it's time to sell the HMO pops. "A lot of these names feel very toppy," Grasso said.

Grasso also said he'd stay away from PSX and related names, and bashed Goldman Sachs for its $200 oil call in 2008. But he recommended CLD and ACI and suggested ACI as a Final Trade but only with a $5 stop, "could be a 1-week wonder."

Tim Seymour said STZ benefitted from the Justice Department's intervention in the beer deal. Seymour said not to buy YUM at Friday's levels, and advised selling FXA for his Final Trade.

Karen Finerman shrugged at BBY; "I don't get it at all." Finerman's Final Trade was C. Brian Kelly's Final Trade was to short EWC.

Sounds like Robert Shiller enlists someone else to do the day-trading

At the beginning of his chat with Judge Wapner on Friday's Halftime Report about the "market," Robert Shiller had to admit he didn't know what market Judge was talking about.

They decided it would be stocks, which Shiller called "rather highly priced," but nevertheless "it's a good investment," even though his confidence indicator of buying on dips has fallen.

Shiller asserted that the housing market is "getting more and more speculative," and most intriguingly claimed there's a "substantial probability of future losses as well."

Judge tried to get Shiller to reveal whether he's buying stocks on the dip. Shiller indicated he doesn't do that, because it's a "professional portfolio."

Pete: FB Home could be ‘huge home run’

Mike Murphy made the bull case for FB on Friday's Halftime Report, saying what the company did in its phone-related announcement about Home was "absolutely perfect."

Dan Nathan insisted the stock is "very over-owned," and that the Home thing or whatever it is "seems very uninteresting."

Pete Najarian actually sided with Murphy, saying Home can be a "huge home run."

Jon Najarian explained why he'd much rather buy something like FFIV than chase a recent high-flier, but stressed you can wait a couple days; "you don't have to do it today."

Pete Najarian said the STX slide is "related to FFIV," and represents a "buying opportunity." Mike Murphy said he wouldn't jump into HPQ at Friday's level.

‘3 to 6 months from now we’re gonna be much lower’

Jon Najarian assured viewers of Friday's Halftime Report that by going "long calls in the VXX ... that more than offset any of the longs I had in my portfolio."

As always, that means he came out ahead.

But Najarian asserted that institutions are "buying trash," a theme that continued throughout the program.

Dan Hates Everything Especially AAPL Nathan warned that "we could be heading into a seasonally soft period for economic data" and said he's "not adding" to any positions Friday.

Brian Kelly even dialed in and, like everyone else who spoke to Judge Wapner Friday, carried on a clumsy macro-economic discussion before declaring, "I think 3 to 6 months from now we're gonna be much lower than where we are right now." (We're still waiting for that 1937 redux to come to fruition.)

However, the bears were drowned out on this down day. Mike Murphy said, "I don't see this as a reason to panic." Pete Najarian said it was a good day for upside call-buying in BAC.

Joe Tanious said he thinks growth can be decent, and "I think there's some upside from here."

Keith McCullough said the 3 key things are that the dollar is strengthening, oil is falling, and nobody's talking about oil falling. McCullough also asserted that "the transports trend is nowhere near broken."

Dr. J likes ZNGA

Kate Kelly said on Friday's Halftime Report that a lot of hedge fund bigwigs have done the long Japan trade, even though one of the kings of the recent speaking circuit, Kyle Bass, insists they're "macro tourists."

Anthony Scaramucci, who likes to argue with Kelly about SAC Capital, said Japan has been like "Afghanistan" for a lot of seasoned traders, so be careful, but he thinks Dan Loeb is awesome and wouldn't mind being called a "macro tourist" here.

Mike Santoli, who gets Friday Halftime airtime since The Stock Picker Who Made Bellevue Famous hasn't been extended a recent invite, said Grandma stocks have thrived because they're "the most bond-like paper in the stock market," which he says is now a "bifurcated market."

Dan Nathan warns that staples are a "very very crowded trade."

Mike Murphy, clinging to his dubious long, said JCP can take off it gets through 17; if that happens, people will say "technically this stock looks good."

Pete Najarian likes JPM and said "I think it's actually gonna hold support." Jon Najarian said the 787 fix is "already priced out" of BA and "I'd stay on the sidelines."

Dan Nathan said of LULU, "I think you wanna avoid this one." Mike Murphy said every time YUM falls it's a "buying opportunity." Jon Najarian said CNX was one of the trash trades, "you're seeing the coal trade just take off today."

Jon Najarian said he still likes JNPR and AKAM. Dan Nathan said of NFLX, "it's gotta hold here ... I don't like it." Pete Najarian said "I don't think it's time yet" for VALE. Jon Najarian said of ZNGA, "I think it's a buy." Mike Murphy said RLGY is a name you can "start looking at."

Jon Najarian's Final Trade was June 10 calls in PWE. Pete Najarian said NFX, Mike Murphy said TRN and Dan Nathan said short MSFT.

[Thursday, April 4, 2013]

Lazard knows the secret to getting reports mentioned on CNBC

Karen Finerman, in a hot new dress, shrugged off Lazard's ridiculous AAPL-as-a-storage-play rationale on Thursday's Fast Money, cracking, "Maybe it's a fruit company ... OK, I'll buy the storage thing, I guess."

But Finerman noticeably avoided chiding guest David Gerstenhaber for indirectly referring to his cost basis in the shares; "it's been a good position in the time that we've had it." (Uh huh. And where is it going from here.)

Gerstenhaber said the shares were overowned, and "we're still redistributing that stock." But his advice for the company's cash pile was about as weak as the most recent Oracle earnings report, suggesting Apple could do something to "advance the business somewhat further."

Steve Grasso said, "I'm still long the name." Jon Najarian grumbled that "they're not giving people what they want," which is a bigger phone, and if that's still not in the cards, he could see another 10-15% lower, the wash-sale bounce-back apparently not happening.

Steve Grasso said HPQ is "not out of gas." Jon Najarian said he got out of it around 20 and is not playing it right now.

Najarian said there was a positive to Facebook's announcement; "I was delighted that it wasn't a phone." Grasso said he would sell the pop, or at least wait a few days.

Not clear if he’d buy gold in yen terms

Thursday's Fast Money crew decided that the initial go-round with David Gerstenhaber might not be enough to put everyone to sleep, so they revisited his Japan reflation trade about 20 minutes later.

Gerstenhaber told Melissa Lee that the jobs data should be in line and that it keeps the Fed "in play," and so "the equity market is OK at this point."

But according to the screen text and much of the commentary, Gerstenhaber is most high on Japan, except not high enough to actually name the ETF that goes long Japan but protects from yen weakness. (DXJ proved to be Mike Khouw's Final Trade.)

"I think Europe is largely in a void," said Gerstenhaber, who nonetheless suggested bonds from "peripheral" countries while twice conceding those are "not for the faint of heart."

He agreed with Jon Najarian's seemingly twice-a-day outrage about the San Francisco Fed's tapering suggestion (in other words like the Steelers, don't expect anything until 2014 at the earliest).

Guy Adami said TM is a very interesting stock with a currency tailwind, and he made it his Final Trade.

Advice on a show called Fast Money: Keep 2 years of expenses in a bank account

Gregg Fisher said on Thursday's Fast Money that people with a 50-year investing horizon (oh, if only we all had one) should be "mostly invested in riskier assets," but with a key caveat: have 2 years' worth of expenses in the bank and not much debt.

Fisher also advised working global real estate into your portfolio for favorable risk/return.

Peter Hayes said it's "likely that rates stay range-bound" and will top around 2% or 2.25%.

David Gerstenhaber said gold "probably is over" as a safe-haven trade. He also indicated homebuilders are extended, saying, "I guess I'd be interested in the suppliers to housing much more than I would be in the housing manufacturers themselves."

Steve Grasso said he has a position in the gold miners but "I don't think you're gonna see a gold bottom here."

Mike Khouw detected a big buyer of May 12 puts in JCP. Karen Finerman said Ron Johnson's hold on the job "seems tenuous."

Finerman said that Macy's is, "even here, not expensive." Guy Adami said that for the first time in a while, TDC "might be interesting." Jon Najarian said PXD is fairly heavily shorted. Steve Grasso called VLO "out of gas."

Mike Khouw said "I would absolutely stay away" from NFLX. Guy Adami said "I don't see getting short Priceline anytime soon" and that the valuation isn't rich. Steve Grasso's Final Trade was GOOG if he can get around 780.

Jon Najarian said he likes CAT "down here" though it might get to 80. His Final Trade was FTNT. Karen Finerman said she's not adding to TKR but "I like the story." Finerman's Final Trade was C and joked that Jamie Dimon "wants a restraining order." (For those making inquiries wondering what Karen is talking about, it's a long-running Fast Money joke that Karen considers Jamie Dimon her "boyfriend" (she is married to someone else).)

1 and done with Alain Bokozba

In a curious interview choice, Judge Wapner welcomed Alain Bokozba to Thursday's Halftime Report, and then, acknowledging the satellite delay, managed to ask one question, which prompted Bokozba to predict a possible significant rise in Treasury yields because "there is potential for significant acceleration of the U.S. economy."

Joe Terranova said to "stay long financials ... stay long consumer staples, stay long health care," and be "U.S.-centric."

Enis Taner said to be long dollar, which prompted Mike Murphy to say a stronger dollar would actually help U.S. markets while recommending EWJ and DXJ.

Jon Najarian said to short EEM.

Tobias Welo told Thursday's Halftime crew that "we have a long way to go" in housing but what he really likes now is the "recovery in non-residential." Welo mentioned UTX, HON, ETN and MTW, and the screen suggested PPG as one of his top picks.

Welo backed Mike Murphy's defense of IR.

However, Welo never answered Enis Taner's question as to whether homebuilders are expensive, instead just talking about how much he likes the non-residential area.

The discussion produced what has actually become a rarity in 2013, an LPX recommendation from Mr. New World, who also likes DLR. Jon Najarian touted FBHS.

Murphy: Watch AAPL 419

Mike Murphy, assigned to make a bull case for MSFT on Thursday's Halftime Report, first pointed out how it hasn't done anything in 5 years, then said "the stock's not going down at all on this downgrade," before getting to his first catalyst, which is "new CEO."

And he also said an increased dividend and big acquisition would help.

Instead of making the obvious argument — in other words, there is no catalyst — Enis Taner said Microsoft has lagged in innovation, and "Windows 8 has been a failure," and CSCO and QCOM are more attractive.

Henry Blodget, who had prejudged the debate, insisted MSFT is really "not that cheap."

Blodget said Facebook's supposedly big phone announcement is really just a "souped-up app."

"I don't think it's a big deal at all," he said, and predicted the stock is "likely to be moving sideways for a long time."

But Blodget said there's more to like with LNKD, which has lower margins that can "accelerate rapidly."

Mike Murphy said FB has "been a great stock to trade." He also said "we shorted Google," but "we covered it yesterday."

Enis Taner said he'd like to buy GOOG in the 750 area. Jon Najarian insisted that trading below the 50-day doesn't matter to him if it's not for 2 days.

Murphy said AAPL needs to hold 419 and then could rise again.

‘Another year of this rally’

In a clumsy, uncertain opening to Thursday's Halftime Report, Mike Murphy asserted that "right now the trend is still up," though a correction of some kind will eventually happen.

Joe Terranova then went off on a curious thesis, predicting "asset reflation" fueled by the yen. Enis Taner said it's more telling to him that copper, oil and gold are in decline. Terranova scoffed that those trades haven't mattered since November, and if it's a warning sign, "It's a very long warning sign."

Jon Najarian for the 2nd day in a row reiterated his belief that the taper suggestion out of the San Francisco Fed was "ludicrous."

Paul Richards, formerly a Money in Motion guy (that show apparently doesn't exist anymore), flat-out declared "I think you get another year of this rally" and said "I'm long property. I'm long stocks."

He said Kuroda means what he's saying about the yen. "I wouldn't mess with this guy ... it's a green light through a hundred," Richards said.

The other 70% only see nobility, humility, grace

Michael Pachter on Thursday's Halftime Report complained that Netflix has been "less than forthright about their original content" and in fact is "merely a licensor of that content."

Pachter specifically referred to "House of Cards" being produced in standard TV length, a sign Netflix is just one of the distribution channels.

Kate Kelly meanwhile reported on a troubling survey that found 30% of folks at hedge funds indicated they have direct knowledge of wrongdoing.

Joe Terranova said to ignore CCL and try NCLH, "that's the name that will win here in the cruise space." Mr. New Land also said to get out of VLO, and made long TM his Final Trade.

Enis Taner still doesn't like LULU — see-through pants or not — and advised taking profits in BBY. Taner's Final Trade was selling MSFT.

Mike Murphy disclosed a "small long position in JCPenney," which he said was 10% of a normal position, asserting the stock could soar with "one hint of a positive." Murphy said he would "stay away" from AN, and made ADT his Final Trade.

Jon Najarian's Final Trade was RFMD puts. Paul Richards said to buy euro/yen.

Jim Iuorio said he expects crude to test 90 first, then, "if that gives, 88.82 is possible."

[Wednesday, April 3, 2013]

Guy Adami says this week could end 4-year bull market (but his PSX advice is too late for Mike Murphy)

We don't actually want to pile on Guy Adami, a class act.

But when we hear, as we did on Wednesday's Fast Money, that a close this week below 1,546.22 "could be the signal that maybe this bull run over the last 4 years is finally over," we laughed even more than we did at those "Three's Company" reruns that were on the other night (first season only).

In the background, we thought we heard chants of "Bar-ry, Bar-ry, Bar-ry" (that would be Bannister, not Obama).

Adami trumpeted the outside day in LNKD (which we think was a couple days ago) and contended, "We could easily trade back down to 155."

Then he admitted he didn't talk about PSX yesterday when the going finally got rough, "my bad and I apologize," and called it a "no touch," hours after Mike Murphy plunged in headfirst.

Remember when the anti-gold thesis was Barrick buying back its hedges?

Louise Yamada issued a public service announcement to Fast Money viewers on Wednesday, defining "consolidation" as "anything up to 10%."

And apparently that's Louise's call for the broad market, saying staples are "somewhat extended," though she said you can stay long health care, "just keep raising your trailing stop loss."

This basically is the Fast Money recipe for 2013, every day the S&P falls more than 1 point prompts a series of "this is the end" calls from the same characters.

Things got far more interesting when Yamada tackled gold and said the price is in "feeding the ducks" mode, then pointed out the obvious: "very strong declining monthly and weekly momentum for gold."

"You could go back to 1,400," Yamada said, or even 1,315.

That finally forced Guy Adami to come out of his shell and admit, "I'm one of the few gold bulls" and that it's been painful, the move "based solely on the stronger dollar," without really addressing his phantom-catalyst gold-is-the-trade-for-Q2 call, but based on the macro trends he sees, "gold at some point should win."

Brian Kelly called in to gloat about 1 day's results from being bearish on stocks, not fully explaining that his signature call, long gold, was down 1.12% Wednesday in the GLD while the S&P 500 was down 1.05%.

Tim Seymour said gold's fall has "triggered a lot of stop-losses" and it could go lower, but he insisted it's not hitting the 1,300s anytime soon.

Dennis Gartman: No need to build backyard bomb shelters

Dennis Gartman assured viewers of Wednesday's Fast Money that the North Korean military has "very few capabilities," and then seemed to blame the media: "I think we've blown this completely out of, out of whack."

Gartman even contended, "The Chinese have, have basically written them off."

Nevertheless, "I think there are problems with the stock market far beyond North Korea ... sell bounces," Gartman said.

Tim Seymour, grasping for anyone to give him a hug over his obliterated mining-stock positions, asked Gartman if the commodity supercycle is really done. Dennis parsed like Bill Clinton, saying the 20-year version isn't done, but the current one we've seen quite possibly is.

Ron Johnson facing
‘pivotable’ moment

Stacey Widlitz, wearing a sharp skirt, told Wednesday's Fast Money without venturing anywhere near a usable opinion (she's got a consultancy to run) that with pressure and opportunity in the home goods space, "it is pivotable (sic) for Ron Johnson here," but "they've gotta get the traffic back," and they were counting on Martha Stewart, but who knows how that's going to turn out.

Meanwhile, Whitey Bluestein, who enjoyed his opportunity to talk, insisted that Facebook's phone announcement is "not going to move the needle." Jon Najarian concurred but with stronger voice: "I don't think anybody cares about this," Najarian said.

Tim finds selling ‘scary’

Guy Adami (sigh) said at the top of Wednesday's Fast Money that the day's selloff could be the beginning of something bigger.

"It's a Moby Dick day," Adami said, or the first one since the last one was discarded.

Tim Seymour said the headlines out of North Korea were ridiculous but there does seem to be something under the surface of stocks. Dan Nathan bluntly said emerging markets are a "disaster" and contended several times, "You have a crowded S&P trade."

Nathan dismissed builders, saying "technically they look weak." Jon Najarian blamed Fed speakers and called it "very dangerous" that "this person" uttered something about an early exit.

Seymour concluded, "People are pukin' their winners ... and that to me is scary."

‘Double top’ in PHM

Wednesday's Fast Money gang did a go-round on "breakdown alert" trades, starting with Jon Najarian on the airlines — which was, the correction continues, but buy them back when they're only up 10% for the year.

Guy Adami stressed concern about INTC. Dan Nathan was bearish on WFM, "I actually shorted the other day," then incredibly said, "I'm worried about the U.S. consumer."

Tim Seymour pointed to weakness in RTI and ATI. Mike Khouw said, "I would short the XHB here."

Khouw said he would stay away from ZNGA. Guy Adami said CLF's gain is a "sell the news" trade. Jon Najarian said hospital cash was rotating into the insurers. Dan Nathan called a "double top" in PHM. Tim Seymour doubts YUM can top 67 and said to stay away. Guy Adami warned against shorting CCL and called it a "no-touch right here."

Mike Khouw identified a buyer of NFLX April 165 puts. Dan Nathan "would not be a buyer" of the shares.

Nathan said he took profits in XCO but would like to buy it back. He insisted HD is still due to fall; "this one is overdone here."

Jon Najarian's Final Trade was ROC. Tim Seymour said RIG, Dan Nathan said TSLA and Guy Adami said COL.

Judge sounds like he barely knows the difference between Jerry Maguire and Jerry Lewis

Judge Wapner, introducing Apple's "Jerry Macguire" (sic screen spelling) moment, sounded like he didn't have a clue about the "iconic" Tom Cruise film when introducing AAPL watcher Brian Marshall and demanding to know when the Great Apple Cash Return is happening.

"I think it's imminent," said Marshall, who indicated there aren't really any actual roadblocks and that Apple's long-term management is still fighting 2003's battles.

Marshall stressed a couple times that the next iPhone needs a 5-inch screen, which we'll know from suppliers in about a month, and if not, it'll be a "pretty dramatic disappointment."

Damning with faint praise, Marshall said, "I think Tim is great." But he said Apple is "not leading the next round of innovation," which sounds a bit like Charles O. Finley giving a manager a vote of confidence.

Stephen Weiss questioned why a bigger dividend would matter given what it's done for MSFT and INTC. Marshall stressed that capital allocation is a "distant 3rd" in his list of potential catalysts.

Yet somehow, as Judge pointed out in the key moment of the segment, Marshall maintains a $600 target and "strong buy" on the stock.

Pete Najarian as always came through by calling AAPL a story for the "2nd half of the year ... it's the 2nd-half moment."

Dr. New Land revisited his announced latest bottom-picking grab a few weeks ago and revealed, "got out of half of it; stopped out of the rest."

"Everybody's trying to pick a bottom," Najarian sighed.

Stephen Weiss asked viewers, if there's a company that depends on smartphones for 65% of its revenues, would you buy it.

A late Friday afternoon press release is actually used to make a bear case

Pete Najarian argued on Wednesday's Halftime Report that Caterpillar can make up for capex headwinds, which he said have been baked into the stock, with construction. Stephen Weiss insisted the estimates are overdone and the stock will remain a "pig" and that the mining margins are bigger than the construction margins, and also lambasted management for that Friday afternoon Chinese fraud disclosure, which knocked Najarian on his heels like a lead fullback, though Pete recovered enough to say "that wasn't this past Friday."

Mr. New Land, who had completely prejudged the case and sounded like he hadn't paid an ounce of attention to the argument, said he agreed with Weiss because he's been trying to buy the stock and can't bring himself to do it, and by the way it's a casualty of a stronger dollar.

Weiss, who enjoys talking about steel and JCPenney, called X "the gift that's gonna keep on giving" and even threw Arkansas into the "playbook," then later declared a public service in his attempt to "call the death of Dr. Copper" as a global growth indicator, a "mythical creature" that is just a simple supply-demand story.

‘This could all turn around on Friday’

Pete Najarian said at the top of Wednesday's Halftime Report that he would "ess-ess" (sic) the market as not really in a panic mode; "I don't think the alarm bells are going off just yet."

Stephen Weiss sounded a note of caution that companies will be cutting back staff to deal with ObamaCare and said "get out of your long trading positions at this point," after conceding, "this could all turn around on Friday."

Dr. New World, back after a bit of a break, said savvy investors in Q2 are "going to have to be far more active." He cited 1,530.94 as a critical level (or put another way, the dumbest level you could possibly be selling at) asserted that the Fed will be doing its buying program "far longer than the Street expects," which alone oughta be good for a couple hundred on the S&P 500.

Enis Taner said it concerns him that in March, health care and staples took over leadership. Joe Terranova balked, insisting health care and staples aren't "defensive" plays."

Pete Najarian claimed that so far "it's been just about every single category," which means he was either 1) listening to the first thing Laszlo Birinyi said Thursday, or 2) at odds with everything else Laszlo Birinyi stammered to say on Thursday.

Larry McDonald said he's concerned because "the short interest on the XLF has broken out, uh, to multimonth highs," which probably means something like 3-4 months ago, which would've been a good time to buy. Pete Najarian said it'd be a "great buying opportunity" if JPM falls 10%.

Savita Subramanian, who is kinda cute, said she's bullish because stocks are "not expensive" and there is "lots of dry powder" for creating growth opportunities. Subramanian said, "I think the next leg is, um, is actually moving out of bonds back into equities."

Judge hung the producers out to dry during a fumbled transition to She Of The Perfect Teeth in London, who issued her typical market-caution-we're-due-for-a-correction call but this time suggested rebooting with technology and avoiding consumer staples for Q2.

Weiss: Ditch FB

Anthony Grisanti said on Wednesday's Halftime Report that the "demand picture" for gasoline hasn't regained pre-2008 levels, largely because of fuel efficiency. Jim Iuorio said gas-pump prices will start falling "fairly soon" and could lead to "significantly lower" prices going into the summer and that the gasoline-crude differential is a "mean reversion" trade.

Enis Taner said he thinks NFLX tumbled because it's "people hitting stops below 175." Joe Terranova still likes the name and said to buy 1/3 now, 1/3 next week and 1/3 before earnings.

Taner called ZNGA a "cheap play" in social media — if it can monetize. He also said BIDU is almost a value stock and made TSLA, which he said he bought Wednesday, his Final Trade.

Pete Najarian said he likes the dollar stores but advised against jumping into ANF.

Najarian, in perhaps the most intriguing observation of the day, made Goldman Sachs sound like grim death, noting its downtrend has been "accelerating way in front of the XLF."

Najarian's Final Trade was MRK. Mike Murphy dialed in to say he bought PSX around 63.30; "we think the selling's overdone." Murphy added, "We actually bought Lennar today" and suggested using puts to protect the position.

Steve Grasso apparently told Judge off-camera that 1,538 is the key level. Steve Weiss' Final Trade was to sell Facebook.

Joe Terranova compounded his recent GRPN bear-case mistake, telling Judge, "I have even more conviction that it's going down ... feel even stronger that it's going below 5 bucks."

Pete Najarian sort of sided with that, saying he wouldn't be long it in Q2, but this one is still in flux and for the moment has way too much freight train potential that could put Joe's call in face-ripped-off land.

Mr. New World said MON is the 1 ag name to get long, but he needs earnings before getting into WFM. Terranova's Final Trade was AET.

[Tuesday, April 3, 2013]

Fast Money has a gold discussion without mentioning Guy Adami’s phantom Q2 catalyst

Michael Haigh told viewers of Tuesday's Fast Money, after Melissa Lee had promised it in several teasers, that "this really is the end of the gold era."

Haigh said that hedge funds have been increasing their shorts, and the ETF community has started to "unwind" the trade this year.

Melissa Lee noted that Haigh is apparently predicting a $1,500 average price during the year and $1,375 by year-end.

Brian Kelly, who actually said at the top of the show that his top trade of the day is buying gold, said Haigh's call sounds to him like the 1979 BusinessWeek cover declaring the death of equities. (So all Ron Johnson needs to do is get one of the business mags that still exists to put "The death of JCPenney" on its cover.)

Keith McCullough said at the top of the program that "I think gold is down for a reason."

Tim Seymour said gold isn't crashing soon but he'd take platinum instead. Seymour, incredibly, told viewers "you can take a shot here" in GFI.

At least the catalyst isn’t raising the dividend and repatriating cash

Eric Sheridan on Tuesday's Fast Money upgraded YHOO the old-fashioned way — raising the purported value of the Alibaba stake.

And, his shop is "very big fans of the new management team," Sheridan said.

Sheridan said he reached a $945 target on GOOG because "Google is becoming the Internet sector leader."

Guy Adami said the type of endorsements GOOG is getting are not reminiscent of AAPL summer 2012. "I don't think it's the same thing," Adami said.

Can JCP get a bailout?

Steven Rattner, who spends much of his CNBC appearances defending the General Motors bailout even though there's no indication in popular discourse that it's any better than it was before 2008, didn't disappoint on Tuesday's Fast Money, saying that of all the automakers, GM is the one with an "unnatural and inappropriate overhang."

But Rattner rightly pointed out that whatever Tesla's doing, per Phil LeBeau's confusing report of a $500-a-month lease or something or other, is useless especially given that it seems to be a product for the 1% and now they're reaching out to the 5%ers. "I don't quite understand that, that dynamic," Rattner said, also countering Keith McCullough's skepticism of bailout recipients and praise of Elon Musk by saying "Ironically he's the one who's enjoying more government subsidy at the moment."

Guy Adami trumpeted AXL for the short interest at the top of the show, then said it again, along with BWA. Tim Seymour called Fiat "cheap."

McCullough corn-cobbed

Ken Squire for some reason visited Tuesday's Fast Money set to tell everyone that Carl Icahn can be a passive investor.

Squire didn't get that Keith McCullough was peppering him with a serious question as to whether Icahn recently has been a "genius" or just riding a short-interest train that anyone could see.

McCullough refreshingly admitted he was short UNH and "it was an awful day ... in hedge fund speak, we call that the corn cob."

"A lot of people were front-running this information obviously," McCullough observed.

He said his top trade for the day was HOT, and that if you somehow want to believe in the JCP story aside from Ron Johnson, "one of the things you'd wanna see is him gone." McCullough's Final Trade was IWM.

Mike Khouw got some decent airtime, saying April 65 calls in UNH were hopping, and some people were actually buying April 31 calls in NDAQ, but he wouldn't own that stock. He did say URBN is "still safe here" and made GM his Final Trade.

Guy Adami said X trading at March 2009 levels is "scary" and suggests the global economy might not be so good. Adami's Final Trade was LMT. Tim Seymour said VIP, and Brian Kelly said EPV.

No one else is seeing
Guy Adami’s phantom gold catalyst

Jim Iuorio told Tuesday's Halftime Report that he evidently isn't listening to Guy Adami.

That is, Iuorio said of gold, "definitely short and medium term, the direction is down," perhaps to the "1,550ish" level.

Anthony Grisanti basically concurred and said "the next stop is 1,568."

Steve Weiss took it further and said "there's no inflation anywhere ... I defy anybody to tell me how they value gold," saying some insist to him it's worth $900.

Mike Murphy opined, "I think gold's going lower." Pete Najarian refused to take a position but said that in gold and silver, the "charts right now are broken."

OptionMonster scooped

Pete Najarian grumbled on Tuesday's Halftime Report that the call-buying in HMOs apparently was even too tricky for the OptionMonster computers to detect, saying, "It looks like Washington, D.C., leaks are a, lot worse than anything we see on Wall Street."

Steve Grasso observed that this news was due, and "you always have guys making bets."

But Najarian countered with an equally effective point, "Nobody was going for the downside in these names."

Grasso advised viewers not to chase HUM, which has a "premium tax" on it now, and said there's "probably downside vs. upside from here" in the space.

Stephanie Link chirped that WLP is "kind of an interesting story ... and it's worth a look." But Grasso shrugged, "A lot of these names have already run."

Kik in the Facebook gut

Generally the skeptical commentary toward FB on CNBC involves the word "monetization."

But Porter Bibb on Tuesday's Halftime Report suggested it's actually 3 letters from Britain — Kik — that are the biggest problem.

Kik, Bibb said, is "taking away from Facebook's 1 billion user base," but then he said it's "really hurting the carriers more than it's hurting Facebook."

Bibb offered 3 plays for the "Big Data" trade in tech (whatever that means exactly), IBM, HPQ and AMZN. "I think HP is misunderstood ... they're gonna be a power going forward," Bibb said.

Stephen Weiss said the HPQ downgrade is exactly right.

Relax, Weiss didn’t get burned, but is coming out ahead, on AKAM

Tuesday's Halftime Report opened with the exciting news of ... Pete Najarian recommending data-storage plays.

"I like that storage area," Najarian said, first naming WDC and STX and finally EMC; "I think there's plenty of upside there."

Mike Murphy, like Peter Brady telling anyone who'd listen that his volcano was going to explode with the laza just "oozing" out, claimed again that Facebook is going to keep rising back to its IPO price and has "big news coming out on Thursday." And he also likes EBAY.

Stephanie Link likes ORCL because "a lot of it can be fixed," and she likes IBM and ACN.

Stephen Weiss said he likes Samsung (which we don't think is actually traded in this country) at 7 times, and AKAM, "I bought it after it came down," plus CSC (which is a "lot cheaper" than ACN) and MDRX.

Despite hearing so many names, Judge Wapner was perplexed enough to suggest to the panel that Laszlo Birinyi was right and that one has to be an "expert stock picker" in this market, ignoring that the first thing Birinyi said Thursday was that the rally is incredibly broad-based.

But could the Lowe’s of Europe catch up to the Home Depot of Europe in a mean-reversion trade?

Jason Pride wasn't exactly loaded up on specifics on Tuesday's Halftime Report, saying "we think we're still in a period of deleveraging," and that "it wouldn't be unfathomable to see a 5 or 10% pullback in the market."

His top picks are CL and PM, and he made sure to note that his crew "almost have no representation in Treasurys."

Katrina Dudley asserted that "Europe is a cheap market" and said she likes Safran, as well as Kingfisher ("the Home Depot of Europe"). Stephen Weiss questioned if Italy isn't in the midst of long-term trouble. Dudley shrugged that off saying Monti has overseen some "phenomenal" reforms.

In case you feel like the 1% is always getting ahead, Kate Kelly reported that "the average hedge fund was up only 3.3%" in the first quarter as they plunged into commodities and the dollar instead of Netflix.

Steve Weiss crowed about X's day, saying "that whole commodity index is coming down." He said he'd like to buy the airlines lower, and made CYH his Final Trade.

Mike Murphy said Howard Lutnick "couldn't keep his smile away" and was "laughing at the price he got" from the Nasdaq. Murphy said if you're long HTZ, "buy the puts," and called BUD "too expensive." His Final Trade was KKR.

Pete Najarian said he was hoping for a bigger drop in XOM so he could buy it. Najarian said PFE "still has plenty of upside" but that the refiner pullback is not a "1-day event." Pete said "it's not quite time yet" to buy CAT and made DHR his Final Trade.

Stephanie Link doesn't like NEM, would hold PCLN, and made ADT her Final Trade.

Mike Murphy actually calls AAPL ‘screaming buy’

Here we go again.

Yet another Halftime Reporter is buying into the Apple-oversold theory, as Mike Murphy on Tuesday's program sounded like Bobby Brady with a new Joe Namath football in somehow declaring AAPL a "screaming buy."

"It was cheap at 700," cautioned Pete Najarian.

"Apparently it wasn't," Murphy admitted, then said "we're long the name" because it's now a story of new "products."

Pete made the worst of the bear arguments, regarding the dividend and overseas cash, in asking, "Do they increase it enough," when the best argument for months is that there's still a ton of holders of this name who want to lighten up regardless of what it does.

Murphy actually believes the government might allow repatriation, an argument we've only been hearing on CNBC for, what is it now, maybe 10 years running?

Pete came through with his biggest cliche of late, insisting it's "still a 2nd-half story."

Stephen Weiss, having utterly prejudged the case, refused to rule but took a 3rd position, saying "you buy Apple in the 420s."

Pete did make a worthwhile point that the iPhone has "missed the boat with the larger screen."

Murphy hung a price target on the shares in an unrelated discussion at the top of the program; "Apple is a name that is too beaten down ... you will see Apple start to rebound here, regain the 450 level."

Porter Bibb, our favorite CNBC media pundit (if he's not offended by the term "pundit"), said the long-awaited Apple TV is happening in the 3rd quarter.

More from Tuesday's Halftime later.

[Monday, April 1, 2013]

Karen flirts dangerously close to endorsing cost-basis thinking

You've heard her say it many times before: Karen Finerman thinks that being long any stock at the end of any given day is the equivalent of buying a new position right at the close.

On Monday's Fast Money, Finerman said it's "Groundhog Day" for JCPenney (not the first time she has used that line), and then curiously advised, "I don't think it's necessarily a good place to initiate a new short."

And, we will infer that, given the terminology she used, Finerman isn't necessarily opposed to maintaining a long-term short. (According to the always dubious and hole-filled disclosures at CNBC.com, Finerman has no short position in JCP at this time.)

Meanwhile, Karen Finerman took a little bit from Peter to pay Paul, saying at the top of the program that if BAC gets "closer to 12," then "I would probably buy some more," which was a tweet she also handled later in the program.

Steve Grasso grumbled that he's long BAC at a higher price and wonders if the story isn't over for now. Finerman told him "long higher is irrelevant." They resumed the discussion at the end of the program and Grasso said if it breaks $11.85, you have to bail and call it a bad trade.

Dennis Gartman: $3 corn

Dennis Gartman launched into his appearance on Monday's Fast Money with a bit of a Brag Trade.

Regarding the autograph collection.

"One of my prized possessions," Gartman told the panel, is a 5-kiwi note (or whatever the heck it's supposed to be called; they 86ed Money in Motion you know) signed by Tenzing Norgay and Sir Edmund Hillary on May 14, 1953.

(And rarer still is your interest in Annacott Steel.)

Meanwhile, Gartman said there's "plenty of high-priced crude" on the market and he thinks will be seeing lower-priced crude on the market over several weeks. Also, "Probably copper wants to go lower from this point on." And most significant, the "huge crop this year" means we'll be seeing "$3 corn over the course of the next year."

Gartman suggested a couple possible trades of buying gold and selling corn against it, or buying cotton and selling corn.

The best Guy Adami could do was say 85 is a key level for DE.

We had to hear ‘Steven P. Grasso’ all day, but at least we didn’t have to hear ‘surround the trade’

Pete Najarian thundered at the top of Monday's Fast Money that "People aren't necessarily in fear of anything right now," and that sentiment was basically echoed by Thomas Lee, who told Mel Lee that for a serious correction to occur, "I think the data needs to weaken."

Lee said he thinks materials could be the "catchup trade." He also suggested APOL and AAPL though warning about the latter, "large institutions are still selling this name."

Steve Grasso cautioned that not all is rosy, particularly GOOG, AAPL and AMZN, "those are the names that are pulling back first."

Guy Adami, repeating himself from last week with a refrain we'll probably be hearing for weeks, asserted "gold is the 2nd-quarter trade."

Pete Najarian, not surprisingly because brother Jon had flagged the same name at Halftime, trumpeted OKE and bookended it as his Final Trade.

The Greater Fool Trade (cont’d)

Brian Pitz told Monday's Fast Money that he's bullish on LNKD because it's making strides in how it can "get people on the site, get them engaged, and then start to really monetize them."

Never once did he mention the free labor that its users provide. If we all volunteered to build free combines for John Deere, you'd see those shares at 185, not 85.

Anyway, Karen Finerman asked a good question, "Is there a zero-sum game here" in terms of Facebook losing share. Pitz said, "People want to diversify their free labor in separate products want a personal, and a business site separate."

Pete Najarian made the most telling comment on this comparison, saying he owns FB but thinks LNKD is the better story, but on any sort of earnings metric, "both are ridiculous" valuations.

Scott Nations said a big buyer took a "brand-new position" with 11,500 January 18 calls in CSCO. Pete Najarian said NUAN, in which Mr. Icahn has taken a passive 9% stake, "looks like a Carl-type name."

Karen avoids Melissa’s question about what she thinks of Carter’s analysis

Carter Worth on Monday's Fast Money delivered a technical bear case for 4 "April Fool" stocks that have purportedly risen too far too fast against support levels.

But most notably, Worth singled out JNJ and complained that, given the news of its diabetes treatment Monday, "this should be up a lot" and it wasn't.

So he's a chartist, until he wants to be more than a chartist to suit the chart theory (and why doesn't Eli Manning teach the defensive ends how to rush the quarterback).

Worth said it's been 6 months since anyone has been "questioning" the GILD run. Guy Adami agreed that if there's "any heecup (sic) at all," the stock gets whacked.

Worth dumped on KR, but Steve Grasso said "I would actually stay in Kroger," but perhaps with a $30 stop.

Worth's final warning was TRV. Karen Finerman said the stock is a "little bit overdone" and so she wouldn't buy it here but didn't embrace Melissa Lee's entire question.

No sign of a bounce in GLD (other than Guy Adami claiming there is one)

Pete Najarian said on Monday's Fast Money that according to the options market, a $15 price on DELL is "not happening."

But Najarian said NFLX (to $200), TAP and HES are all going higher, and he admitted he was wrong in opining against TSN.

Pointing to Tesla's 4,700-car plan, Najarian said he'd be "jittery" with the gains in the shares. And he told a tweeter there's no sign of a rebound in GLD, SLV or WLT while noting Guy Adami predicted such a move at the top of the program.

Guy Adami said he still likes GIS but would be a little cautious. Adami called MAT overextended and said to fold MU. His Final Trade was CERN.

Steve Grasso said he'd stay out of TSO and the refiners. He's long AET and long LNG and would also recommend EQT, as well as NYX over the Nasdaq. Grasso credted Gary Berman again for what has been an excellent call on HPQ (if Grasso had embraced it right away last November, it would qualify as potential 2013 Call of the Year) and said he's still long, and made WTR his Final Trade.

Karen Finerman said she's long WLP, would fold BBY, is concerned about too many analysts piling into EBAY and, in the line of the day (and Most Unexpected Line of the Day as well), questioned if Pete Najarian was "surprised" by himself by his own Gatorade shower. Finerman's Final Trade was OCR.

SAC Capital ‘has the tightest insider-trading culture in the industry’

Bristling once again at another SAC Capital report by Kate Kelly (this one featuring the super-cocky-looking dude who got arrested Friday), Anthony Scaramucci assured viewers of Monday's Halftime Report, "I don't wanna be the public spokesman for SAC," but the company has "fully cooperated," and most curiously for an unwilling spokesman, he said it "has the tightest insider-trading culture in the industry."

Once again Weiss issues a prepackaged insult to Stephanie

Stephanie Link predicted on Monday's Halftime Report that "new leadership" at CHK will "aggressively cost cut," and that the company has a lot of great assets it can sell.

Stephen Weiss countered that when he learned someone would be making a bull case for this name, he "assumed it was an April Fool's Day joke." Weiss said the company has "massively" overvalued its own assets and selling them won't be enough to ease the debt burden.

Link said the debate comes down to a disagreement over the value of the assets, and chided Weiss, "I don't know if I'm gonna trust your opinion over mine."

Jon Najarian utterly waffled in picking a winner, saying either one could be right.

Anthony Scaramucci says Monday’s Halftime was ‘good TV’

Steve Liesman, who pays close attention to what Halftime Report panelists say about the Fed and likes instigating skirmishes with them, said he'd give Monday's panel an "incomplete" for not talking about the consumer as the most significant factor in the economy and markets going forward.

Anthony Scaramucci likened, in a reference that won't register with anyone under 60, Ben Bernanke to Leonard Bernstein as the "conductor" of this market, and then told Liesman, "When Bernanke starts to change his monetary policy, the market's gonna crack down," then asserted, "That's why we're making good TV."

For now, Stephen Weiss, who predicted hiring will pick up "exponentially," said "I think you cut back your exposure on the defensive sectors and you go into technology, you go more into financials." Stephanie Link said health care is the one area of defensives that is attractive. Jon Najarian said "I like Expedia" as well as RHT, PVH and FDX, for the valuation.

Bogle: Ignore a 50% drop

Jack Bogle said even if we get 20%, 30% or 50% pullbacks in coming years, which he's apparently now predicting according to Judge Wapner, just "stay the course."

Bogle said he is "profoundly" worried about government spending. But if that's the case, he needs to relax and worry about other things.

Stephen Weiss said he agrees with Bogle that long only portfolio managers underperform so that's why he puts his money in hedge funds. Judge Wapner questioned if that applies to everyone; Weiss assured, "you can find access to it."

Stephen Weiss says Dr. J has it in reverse

Michael Harris said on Monday's Halftime Report that "the animal spirits are definitely out" in painting a bull case for stocks.

And that case seems strong, given that, when asked for potential threats to stocks, Harris actually claimed that Iran could disturb markets on a "nuclear" level, though that possibility being "somewhere in the back of the book."

"We're short a number of currencies," Harris said.

Anthony Grisanti told Jackie DeAngelis, who almost had a Shields & Yarnell type moment with a bad mike, "As long as we have QE going for the next few weeks, I'm still a buyer of this market." Jeff Kilburg's mike was so bad he couldn't even go on-air, but Judge made an awesome ad lib after DeAngelis was heard to say "Oh my God."

Jon Najarian said Hormel, Smithfield and Tyson may "give back" some of their recent gains because of the "round trip" made by corn prices. Steve Weiss said those names might actually rebound and warned against DE instead. Stephanie Link mentioned AGCO as a winner.

Stephanie Link trumpeted TJX and JWN as warm-weather retail plays. Steve Weiss said M and ANF and KORS. Jon Najarian said GPS.

Guest brings 3 dogs to Halftime

Zack Shafran contended on Monday's Halftime Report that "a lot of tech stocks are just, uh, flat-out cheap." Judge Wapner wasn't impressed at all by Shafran's top 3 picks, which included ARIA, SSNI and CY. Shafran said ARIA has leukemia potential, that SSNI can get beyond the "short-term controversy" and CY's problems are "backward-looking."

Shafran said he hasn't been buying AAPL shares on the decline but asserted "Apple's not done."

Steve Weiss said to "stay the course on B of A." Jon Najarian curiously said if you're long Noble, to stay with it, otherwise wait for a pullback. Anthony Scaramucci said to stay in TOL. Stephanie Link said she'd buy GSK.

Stephanie Link's Final Trade was WM. Stephen Weiss said SODA on a pullback. Anthony Scaramucci said TIF, and Jon Najarian apparently said TXN puts, but the screen said long OKE.

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