[CNBCfix Fast Money Review Archive — April 2016]
[Friday, April 29, 2016]

Weiss says a couple times he’s a fundamental investor, then says he’s waiting for momentum in VRX

Steve Weiss spent much of Friday's Halftime Report trumpeting his dedication to fundamental stock investing.

Until Judge cut him loose late in the program to go on a VRX spree.

Early in the program, Weiss stated, "I'm taking risk off," because "fundamental investing means nothing" and "something's going on that I can't understand."

Moments later he complained how BTU's chart activity is "not fundamental."

Nevertheless, Weiss later admitted, "I like Valeant as a trade," though he bought it and got stopped out "quicker than I've ever on a trade."

Curiously, Weiss called VRX "all a momentum trade," and if it doesn't have any, he'd "frankly" rather short it. "I don't know that it's over," he said of the selling.

Doc endorsed ABBV and ABT, but Weiss said "average out-of-pocket expense" for drugs is a headwind in the sector.

We looked it up: Cramer invented
the term ‘FANG’

Judge on Friday's Halftime correctly saluted Josh Brown's excellent February call to buy LNKD on that steep plunge. Brown said he's not sure it'll be a "great year" for the stock, but over 3-5 years, it will be a "very relevant" business.

Judge said Brown made "credible" arguments for LNKD and questioned why the stock is down so much in the past 12 months. Brown said it was "way too expensive."

Stephen Weiss said of LNKD, "We use it; we were looking to hire somebody to add to marketing and an analyst, and we got tons of resumes, but we also got a lot of qualified resumes within there. And the costs of recruiting from that. I wouldn't go with a real senior person on it, but with somebody more in the junior mode, I, I think it's a valuable tool."

John Spallanzani said AMZN is turning into more of a "logistics company."

Josh Brown invoked a "construct in economics" called the "give and good," which Brown said is an item for which "demand for it goes up as price goes up."

"Amazon stock seems to be exactly that," Brown said.

Brown added, "At the end of the day, if you're already long the name, they didn't give you any reason to sell it."

Jim Iuorio hangs $1,400 on gold

Jim Iuorio on Friday's Halftime Report said gold was spiking on the yen's move, and then, in a notably bold call, said he's looking for the 1,330 level and added, "I think 1,400 the next couple months."

John Spallanzani said gold's in a "new trend," and he wouldn't fade it.

Jon Najarian said both Najarians are in the GDX and that "it just keeps workin'. There's barely even a pullback."

Josh Brown said he doesn't put his clients in gold and that other vehicles are better for playing inflation or deflation or strong/weak dollar.

Spallanzani, who is quickly demonstrating expertise at pushing buttons and challenging his colleagues and added oomph to what probably would've been a sleepy show on Friday, clashed with Brown over whether Brown was issuing facts or "personal opinion."

Spallanzani told Brown, "Your personal opinion is that you don't want to put clients into gold. That's fine. But I have clients making money in, in GDX, and GLD."

Steve Weiss said, "Nobody's ever ever been able to tell me what the intrinsic value is of a bar of gold."

Josh indicates Judge’s chat with Carl on Power Lunch wasn’t as relevant as CNBC would hope

Josh Brown said on Friday's Halftime it "makes sense" to be cautious about the market, but there's nothing special about being cautious this particular day.

"Could we have a 10% correction? I don't see it in the cards here," said Jon Najarian.

Hearing Stephen Weiss' complaints about the shunning of fundamentals, Josh Brown insisted that Chinese stimulus and the reversing dollar are "fundamental shifts" for the U.S. stock market. Weiss scoffed that they're "temporary fixes" and said China is putting off the "inevitable."

Weiss also tangled with John Spallanzani as to whether people are cashing in from hedge funds.

Spallanzani, instantly earning his stripes by barreling into feisty clashes with his colleagues, said the HYG is not indicating a problem. "Things are not getting worse," Spallanzani said, but this might be a "hiccup."

Doc said with a straight face that people are worried about Carl Icahn being the "canary in the coal mine" in AAPL.

But Josh Brown questioned if anyone with "real money" is selling because of Carl Icahn.

Weiss noted crude was up and stocks were down Friday.

Still waiting for Judge to explain why Jared Goff can’t negotiate with Redskins or anyone besides the L.A. Rams (a/k/a instead Judge has got a ‘Stock Draft’)

In the spirit of what the NFL is doing this week, Judge on Friday's Halftime Report conducted a "Stock Draft."

We don't do Stock Drafts or (more typically) Stock Brackets during the NCAA basketball tournament.

Josh Brown said CVX and XOM were benefitting from lower expectations.

Jon Najarian said the Pandora churn "was not bad," and time spent listening was up.

Stephen Weiss said BIDU's results prompted him to buy JD.

Weiss said CAT has remained higher than it should've, so he's not interested. Brown said it's only trading this high because of the dividend.

John Spallanzani said the WDC-STX space is under pressure and that WDC didn't plan for fewer orders, and "the chart looks really ugly."

Spallanzani touted his "Finergy" space, basically financials, energy and materials. (That's a good one, but not in the same league as "BRIC" or "FANG.")

Judge probably aired 3 or 4 promos about his interview Monday with Ackman. #viewershaveshortattentionspans

[Thursday, April 28, 2016]

Judge totally ignores the great socialism experiment: the NFL Draft

We weren't sure they'd make a big deal out of it.

But we were startled to find on Thursday's Halftime Report that Judge wouldn't even mention a word about the NFL Draft.

Among other things, he could've mentioned how the Washington Redskins do not get to sign the top dozen or so prospects to their ballclub ... because the Redskins had a slightly better season than many teams last year, and the NFL entrusts the losers with its most valuable commodity — good young players.

This site has crushed this topic before and doesn't need to do so again.

There is absolutely no purpose to the NFL Draft except to restrict the rights of some of the most productive people of society.

The way the system works would be an affront to the Federal Reserve — in the NFL, you not only WANT the peaks and valleys, you NEED them. See, the Fed and government policymakers want a world with no euphoria and no bumps. None of this "bridge" from a slowing economy to avoiding further recession. In the NFL, nobody ever wants to be bad, but to win future Super Bowls, you HAVE to be bad for at least a short time so you can spend a few years in the top 10 of the draft where the future best players reside. (And you thought Cam Newton (No. 1) and Von Miller (No. 2) had nothing to do with the Panthers and Broncos ending up in the Super Bowl last season.) This is a big problem for Patriots, Steelers, Packers fans (but the Baltimore Ravens inadvertently figured it out.)

Basically the worst possible record is not 0-16, but 8-8.

How this offends no one is bizarre.

If Goldman Sachs had to turn over its top draft picks to Comerica simply because someone 80 years ago thinks that out of fairness and cost savings (which no longer applies; hello, we've got a salary cap), Comerica should get just as talented bankers as Goldman Sachs ... you'd hear the biggest roar from Wall Street since about 1929.

We'll look forward to the panel's recap on Friday.

Judge talks to Carl on Power Lunch; Carl slams Cramer

Halftime Report viewers on Thursday who wanted to hear Judge conduct a phone call with Carl Icahn had to wait until Power Lunch.

On that program, Icahn said he eliminated his AAPL position. He said he sold not at the all-time high but within "a point or 2" of Thursday's price.

Nevertheless, "We obviously made a great deal of money," Icahn said.

While hosts whispered stats and questions to each other as Icahn spoke, Judge questioned what happened to Icahn's "no brainer" 240 call to being out in a "relatively shorter period of time" than people thought. Carl affirmed after several follow-up questions that China is the "main reason" he's out.

Icahn knocked Cramer for lack of equal time during the LNG interview. "I love Jim Cramer, great respect for him, but I wish he had called me," Icahn said.

Judge then guest-helmed the 5 p.m. Fast Money and rehashed the conversation while Carl basically got a free pass for his September "danger" video and assertion of the market being "way overpriced."

1 great quarter, Doc plants Zuck on Mount Rushmore

It's sort of like the NFL Draft, when beat writers and fans indulge in fantasy about how the 18th pick of the first round is going to "be a shutdown corner for the next decade" or "anchor that line for the next 10 years."

Facebook had a good report, so Josh Brown has decided it's suddenly the world's new religion ... even though he could've written the same article 3 months ago ... a year ago ... during the IPO ... before the IPO ...

Judge said Josh has a blog post about Facebook "that everybody should read" and managed to reach Brown by phone.

Brown asked, "Can you think of any institution, corporation, religion, or anything that captured this many people's attention at any point throughout human history, um, on any given day, as Facebook?"

Kevin O'Leary said of Brown's commentary, "He just called the high on this stock. If I ever heard a sell signal, I just heard it now."

O'Leary's right — Brown's fawning was embarrassing.

Brown countered O'Leary by mocking stocks like MCD trading up on all-day breakfast.

O'Leary insisted, "This level of euphoria, this level of ownership, generally gives you a top," and then hammered the "crazy price on this thing." (And he didn't even mention that Mohamed El-Erian of all people said, "I also want a name, like Facebook, that can combine platform and content. That is the most powerful equation today.")

Oddly enough, O'Leary began the show stating "my problem" with FB is merely the dual voting-class shares.

Jon Najarian raised more eyebrows suddenly lumping in Mark Zuckerberg with ... Winston Churchill.

"You've got Edison, you've got Churchill, you've got Steven Jobs, obviously Zuckerberg has to be in the conversation," Doc asserted.

Then he happened to make perhaps the best observation of the discussion, stating, "If Zuckerberg left ... it would be like rats off the sinking ship."

There's another relevant observation that no one made, which is simply, what if everyone starts using another computer program; doesn't seem likely now, but certainly is possible before we ordain Facebook another religion. (Same thing with cellphones.)

There's an even more relevant observation that wasn't made, namely that businesses that persuade regular folks to do the work for them (according to Brown, people give Facebook 45 minutes of free essays and pictures a day) tend to make a lot of money. Imagine how much money MCD could make if regular folks volunteered to serve all-day breakfast.

Guest Aaron Kessler contended FB is "executing on all cylinders" and is "still in the relatively early innings."

But Kessler told O'Leary that not everything is a home run at Facebook (yet). "What's less clear to us is Oculus (snicker), when that- if that really ever scales," Kessler said.

Kessler said "Facebook's almost become a utility" and that it's different than Yahoo because Yahoo is a news provider, and people go to different places to get their news.

Joe Terranova, in a shockingly quiet performance, stated of FB, "I don't see the business pulling back," and noting institutional money is driving FB higher.

Jon Najarian reassured anyone who was afraid the Najarians went a whole day without a major score in the stock market. "For our wealth-management clients, knock on wood, we were loaded up on Facebook. Had call spreads, had naked stock and all the rest. Uh, it worked out very, very well," Doc said.

But Doc said to let the stock "rest" a bit around 119.

El-Erian impresses Najarians with his range-bound visual aid

Mohamed El-Erian implied on Thursday's Halftime Report that we don't need a Fed as much as a Dow.

"If markets continue to behave, I think we will get a June hike," El-Erian said. "The market leads the Fed, not the other way around."

"That is a scary thought," said Kevin O'Leary.

(If Joe had been awake for the program, he might've said the VIX leads the Fed.)

El-Erian invoked a theme heard on CNBC all the time (virtually since this site's inception long ago), that the Fed has done such and such for a long time but won't be able to do such and such in the future.

"There should be a wake-up call that central banks are becoming less effective in delivering financial outcomes," El-Erian said.

OK, sure, got it.

"We are in this tr- range-bound world in which you have to be tactical," El-Erian said.

He said the thing about Bank of Japan is, "I think the shocker is, whatever they do, they get it wrong." And he actually said emerging markets are "among the top tactical trades."

Kevin’s COP-out (cont’d)

Thursday's Halftime Report brought another episode of Kevin O'Leary's Big-Oil-Dividend Runaround in which O'Leary claims with a straight face at the same time he won't own any of them that cut the dividend except the one he already owns under the notion that it improves the balance sheet.

It started when Judge brought in Doug Terreson, who said XOM should still be bought and that Big Oil will "surprise on Friday" and that those stocks will "travel higher" over several months.

Judge asked Terreson a good question even if the answer's a bit obvious — why XOM shouldn't cut its dividend. "Well, the reason that none of these companies should cut their dividend is because it represents between 50 and 100% of their total return during the past decade," Terreson said, an excellent answer. "It would really call into question the value proposition and the business model."

Kevin O'Leary told Terreson that if any Big Oil made a "material" cut to the dividend, "I would not own these stocks for 200 years."

Then O'Leary noted that this is the 3rd time they've talked about the COP cut; O'Leary asserted that this particular cut is good because it covered the balance sheet ... but the other oil names better not or don't need to or something or other.

Bullish on MCC no matter
how foxy she is

Kevin O'Leary on Thursday's Halftime said "slowing" return on assets caused him to sell AAPL (a while back; we've heard this before on this program), as well as borrowing overseas to pay dividends.

O'Leary said be careful when you buy an "index" stock because "when it blows up, it's almost impossible to recover ... you're basically screwed."

He indicated he might be interested from 83-93.

O'Leary contended the new Android Samsung phone "is gonna be a problem for Apple ... it's got features these guys haven't even dreamed of yet."

But Pete Najarian said he added to AAPL yesterday because of the ecosystem and contended Samsung always is ahead of AAPL, only to have AAPL be the product people want.

O'Leary said he can put his whole catalog, including Steely Dan, on his Samsung phone.

Elsewhere, O'Leary said AMZN is the only company that doesn't have to make money to have its stock rise. He said he won't own it because of its "infinite" multiple.

Pete Najarian basically agreed, stating, "The numbers just don't justify it."

Doc said "the tell isn't there right now" in AMZN. (After hours, it crushed it.) (Wonder if Josh Brown will write a blog post about there's never been as big of a thing in history as Amazon.com.)

Michelle Caruso-Cabrera, again from Tehran, explained that in Iran's stock market, "Here, they have lions and foxes. So if you are bullish, you are lionish. And if you are bearish Scott, you are foxy."

[Wednesday, April 27, 2016]

Doc’s ‘simple’ trade quintupled in days (a/k/a obviously had no losers during the same time frame)

For those who feared they might go a day on the Halftime Report without hearing about a Jon Najarian options trade that made double-digit percent in days, Wednesday provided early relief as Doc revealed putting on a "simple put spread" on AAPL that cost him 40 cents, and it "went to about $2.20 today. Took off half of it at that level."

Jim Lebenthal said Apple had a "stinker of a quarter" and for the time being is "probably dead money."

Andrew Uerkwitz told Judge he thinks the iPhone 7 cycle "won't be very good," and "kind of at the end of the day (Drink) we thought that uh we could probably buy this stock at 95 a year from now."

Those who feared they might go one episode without hearing from Toni Sacconaghi were assuaged early as Judge brought in Sacconaghi, who seemed to think Apple is in some kind of "trough" that is bottoming.

But Uerkwitz contended, "We do think it's gonna get worse."

"My sentiment is no different than it was yesterday," Sacconaghi insisted, making Wednesday's appearance all the more unhelpful.

Judge asked Uerkwitz if Uerkwitz couldn't have made his same skeptical arguments months ago. People are "really underestimating that replacement cycle lengthening here," Uerkwitz said.

Stephen Weiss said "absolutely" Apple's best days are behind it, and "it's just another market stock."

"They still blew the Apple Watch," Weiss said, impressively naming the product correctly.

"This guidance was awful," said Pete Najarian, who nevertheless claimed services and the replacement cycle could carry the stock to 125-130.

Judge debated with Weiss whether 12 million Watch sales was unsuccessful.

"12 million of anything is not unsuccessful," Judge said.

"Not relative to the market," Weiss said.

Seema Mody knocked our socks off on the 5 p.m. Fast Money with new white-collar outfit.

Still waiting for Bob Peck’s ‘cadence’ of new products

Most of Wednesday's Halftime Report panel waffled and wavered on pathetic TWTR, which is why it's refreshing that Steve Weiss called it like it is in 4 characters: "sell."

Oh, but it's a "unique property" (as the 5 p.m. crew likes to say) ... who gives a bleep ... this site's a unique property too ...

The monetization (snicker) prospects for this toy are next to zero; someday people will be talking about it like they do VCR tapes. (This writer has no position in TWTR.)

Even so, Jon Najarian cautioned everyone that they too can make 400% in a TWTR options trade that you don't want to be short TWTR because there could be a "takeout" (snicker).

Nevertheless, "I don't see the compelling reason to be in it," Najarian said.

Pete Najarian claimed, without quite saying as much, that TWTR management has no clue. "Jack has to produce," said Pete.

Judge suggested Twitter might have to "better monetize" (snicker) its users rather than grow the users.

Jim Lebenthal explained his own problem with Twitter: "I get engaged for a day or 2 or 3, and then I, and then I just lose the interest in it."

3 whole days?

Doc said Twitter needs a "curated list" (snicker) of pundits during Twitter's streamed football games. (Oh joy, knowing we can click on Joe Theismann's analysis rather than just Googling it ...)

Pete demanded, "They've gotta show us what they're doin'. What is Jack's plan for this company?"

Dick Bove’s barometer
not questioned

Judge and Adam Parker put viewers to sleep on Wednesday's Halftime, as Parker was given about 3 times as much airtime as he needed to say he's assuming 4% earnings growth in 2016 and 2017, which could "take the air" out of some of the risk-on trades recently.

Parker rattled off his colleagues' names as though he had a quota and suggested the Fed acts in December; "it's a little bit like a replay like 2015."

Pete Najarian said his issue with CMG is "traffic."

Stephen Weiss said CMG still has an "egregious valuation."

Weiss said he agrees with Dan Loeb that hedge funds have experienced a "catastrophic" month. But Weiss said "long-only funds are similarly underperforming."

Doc said he continues to own June 37 calls in YHOO.

Jeff Kilburg said 2% "caps the yield" on the 10-year.

Judge pressed David Maris on why VRX can't rally. Maris said the business "remains weak," and as for the pricing strategy, "that game is up."

Maris told Stephen Weiss it's "amazing" that the company is raising prices as Pearson and Ackman speak with Congress.

Pete and Jon Najarian both advocated buying FB into earnings, which proved a good call. (This review was posted after market close.)

"I think you're supposed to take off," said Jim Lebenthal. (Oops)

MCC: gorjus

Viewers of Wednesday's Halftime Report were treated to CNBC's Michelle Caruso-Cabrera in Iran, stating that country is vowing to get back to 4 million barrels a day by the end of June.

Jon Najarian said everything in the oil drilling space was "screaming" Wednesday morning and that he'd be inclined to bet against it.

Pete Najarian said he trimmed his XOM and COP calls and might be completely out of each by the end of Wednesday.

"If production in the U.S. goes up, this rally is over," Jim Lebenthal said.

Why doesn’t Judge just implore viewers to be among the first 100 to order How We Trade Options?

Judge on Tuesday's Halftime obviously had to meet the quota of trumpeting Najarian Miracle Option Plays.

Judge introduced Doc as making "some 40%" profit in the last few days on SRPT before (of course) unloading it before it crashed.

"Made a nice scalp on that," Najarian said, "and now I'm back in again today and have written fat calls yet again on this stock. I think it's the gift that keeps giving."


Judge thanked Doc for calling in and said, "It's good to have your Brag Trade insight" (snicker).

Josh Brown and others had to giggle their way through Brown's assignment of the HSY report; "there's literally (sic) no story here."

Josh said DD is a play on a non-strengthening dollar and said the chart looks great.

Joe Terranova pointed out that PXD is back to the Einhorn "motherfracker" level.

Pete Najarian said LLY is "too cheap."

Pete would buy JBLU.

Stephanie Link likes PG.

Link said WHR had an "ugly" quarter.

Link knew that Goldman Sachs upgraded CAT to neutral on Monday. Josh Brown said he's skeptical of CAT because every time the enthusiasm happens (about once a year), "it ends up in disappointment."

Joe Terranova would not buy Standard Chartered, even though the worst is "probably" over.

Josh Brown said TWTR expectations are so low that if it gets a boost in MAU, it might see 20.

Phil Knight got the gift of a lifetime — a chat with Sara Eisen, who recapped the conversation on Tuesday's Halftime. Eisen said Knight claims to have "only 50 pairs of shoes ... I know I have a lot more than that."

Pete Najarian said there's "no love lost" between Phil Knight and Kevin Plank.

On Tuesday's 5 p.m. Fast Money, Karen Finerman said AAPL's report was "not delightful."

Guy Adami mentioned "hardware companies" and even "Sony in the '80s." Dan Nathan suggested a possible "lost decade" in AAPL.


Like a dentist pulling a tooth without a local, Judge prodded and cajoled Tuesday's Halftime panel into making a call on AAPL that no one seemed the slightest bit interested in making.

Josh Brown said "Apple is its own planet" and doesn't have anything to do with the direction of the stock market.

Pete Najarian said nearly all the analysts seem to think AAPL is great but that a humdrum quarter is probably baked in.

Joe Terranova said to expect a "soft quarter" and that the "real story" for AAPL is the "2nd-half part (sic last word redundant) of the year."

Then, Judge invited back Toni Sacconaghi but this time didn't greet Sacconaghi in a Katy Huberty mask. Sacconaghi told Judge the AAPL quarter matters less than the outlook. "The guide is really what people care about" (Drink), Sacconaghi said.

Sacconaghi risked the ire of Laura Martin in explaining the debate about AAPL is whether its "hardware" culmination is near.

With everyone mumbling about a hold, Pete Najarian finally said if you don't already own AAPL, you buy it. Joe Terranova suggested AAPL is now a "classic Warren Buffett stock, believe it or not." (Evidently Warren invests in 2nd-half stories.)

Meanwhile, Jeff Currie said the "dividend markets" indicate that big oil dividends are "likely to come down," because they reached current levels when oil was over $100 a barrel.

Currie said there's "potential for downside" in oil's price but that he has a $45 year-end target.

More from Halftime/Fast Money in a bit.

[Monday, April 25, 2016]

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

Stephen Weiss on Monday's Halftime said the Saudi Aramco honchos are "only gonna listen to Saudi Arabia" and not outside investors.

Joe Terranova told Judge that PSX may have some "opportunity." Jim Lebenthal prefers MPC. Pete Najarian said he just took some off of his "beta" play, COP.

Weiss called MLPs, at least some of them, a buy.

Jim Iuorio told Jackie DeAngelis that gasoline could rise another 10%. Brian Stutland said he'd be buying gasoline futures anywhere below 1.50.

Joe Terranova said he agrees with the Stifel buy and $90 target on LB. But Jim Lebenthal wondered, "Who are the new shoppers that are gonna go there?" Jim said the analyst upgraded the stock despite estimating next year's earnings below the Street, "a little bit of a disconnect."

Jim Lebenthal said he's not selling MAR short, but he's not buying the Barron's 30%-gain prediction. Judge mentioned CNBC documentary on the company (that Judge helmed). Stephen Weiss said he sees "a lot of supply continuing to come on" but thinks the earnings growth will support a $100 price eventually. Joe called it the "JPMorgan" of the lodging space and hung an 84 on the stock. Pete said people have rotated out of the lodging sector.

Pete said DLTR calls were popular.

Joe led a quiet chorus skeptical of TWTR, questioning what the strategy is.

Mel in No. 1 outfit

Hours after Judge gave Dick Bove a platform, Guy Adami on Monday's 5 p.m. Fast Money said "not so fast" in criticizing Lloyd Blankfein.

Pete Najarian (on the 5 p.m. show, as well as the Halftime Report) said you can't compare GS with JPM, as Bove did, and that GS is a "premier-run hedge fund that happens to be traded out in the world."

"Unfortunately they're not a hedge fund anymore," said Steve Grasso, who concluded, "Dick Bove was picking these bank stocks when they were all 10 times the value they are."

Grasso said he's long PHM and KBH, because both have been "thrown out, baby with the bathwater" and because he thinks KBH might be a target of PHM.

Karen Finerman isn't sure "the bad times are necessarily over" in specialty pharma. Guy Adami said "you gotta wait a little ways" before buying PRGO.

Stephen Weiss on the Halftime Report said PRGO may get another bid, "maybe Allergan." (This writer is long AGN.)

Steve Weiss takes up Dick Bove’s barometer in GS clash

Star guest Dick Bove told Judge on Monday's Halftime that Lloyd Blankfein and Gary Cohn have collectively made half a billion dollars in the last 10 years while the price of GS is down "substantially" during that time.

"The core businesses have shown deterioration, meaningfully," Bove contended, stating, "Clearly, they made the wrong decision at Goldman Sachs" 6, 7, 8, 10 years ago in picking out "the wrong side" of the business to be in, though Bove struggled later to explain what the bank should be doing other than calling investment banking and traditional banking promising.

Judge questioned if Goldman Sachs is no worse than peers. Bove told Judge that JPM has doubled trading revenue over the last 10 years.

"Not everybody missed the boat," Bove said. "You can't protect Goldman Sachs by saying 'Hey, gee, everybody else was wrong.'"

Joe Terranova asked how GS' stock price compares with others over the last 10 years. Bove admitted that somehow "I did not take a look at the price of the- of all of these stocks."

Stephen Weiss said he's "surprised" that Bove didn't compare other stock prices to GS and that he "should know it as the analyst." Weiss said GS has done a "phenomenal job" in a tough environment.

Bove responded, "The bottom line is, if the whole concept is to lose money because everybody is else is losing money, then you're right."

"That's not what I'm saying," Weiss protested.

"Yeah it is what you're saying," Bove said.

"No I'm using your barometer," Weiss said.

"You're not using my barometer," Bove said.

Not sure why nobody’s jumping aboard Doc’s 400%-in-2-months trade in NFLX

In a scattershot conversation that accomplished little but unfortunately led off the program, Monday's Halftime crew batted around tech names with about as much conviction as a preseason NBA game.

Stephen Weiss called AAPL "dirt, dirt cheap" and said he's looking to buy for the first time in a long time.

Pete Najarian pointed to Intel and said some tech money is transitioning to beaten-down names, except for those that "absolutely crush it."

"Technology's having a lousy month," said Joe Terranova, suggesting looking at GOOG or MSFT over 6 months even though "for now," they seem headed sideways, which didn't make a lot of sense as to whether Joe is signaling "buy" or not.

Jim Lebenthal said AAPL expectations are so low so that it's "almost impossible" not to beat them.

Moments later, Jim wouldn't say "impossible," but "hard for them" not to beat.

Pete Najarian said he thinks AAPL can go higher if the earnings are "decent" and guidance is "OK."

Denny Fish of Janus Capital pointed out NOW had a good week.

Fish said he doesn't look at Apple on a "quarter-by-quarter basis."

Weiss asked Fish at what level he'd buy AAPL. "I couldn't, you know, actually give you a level that I would buy the stock at right now," Fish said.

Pete Najarian said MSFT has the biggest upside of the big tech names. Stephen Weiss said GOOG, and Jim Lebenthal said CSCO.

Nobody’s terribly excited about Kyle Bass’ China endeavor

Joe Terranova on Monday's Halftime called himself a "big fan of Kyle Bass," but "that being said," Joe's not sure he's interested in taking part in Bass' fund against China.

Stephen Weiss said there's "clearly a bubble" in China but that Bass is making a "very tough bet" that others have already made, even though "conceptually" Bass is right.

Jim Lebenthal said betting against China is "not a slam dunk."

More from Monday's Halftime later.

[Friday, April 22, 2016]

Friday Halftime a scratch

With impeccable timing, the press conference of David Cameron and Barack Obama began just at the start of the Halftime Report window and wrapped up about 57 minutes later.

[Thursday, April 21, 2016]

Deirdre Bosa & Susan Li:
Pair of CNBC superfoxes

Karen Finerman on Thursday's 5 p.m. Fast Money said the GOOG move down is not "disproportionate" for the EPS miss and predicted FB would be down in sympathy Friday.

"This is still a really attractive story," Finerman said.

Guy Adami said that after the last quarter's results, Dan Nathan was right, GOOG wouldn't hold 800 and it indeed fell; Guy wonders if it might revert the other direction this time and quickly recoup Thursday's afterhours decline.

On the Halftime Report, Pete Najarian said to buy MSFT and SBUX. (Oops.) Pete doesn't own GOOG but called it "probably a buy." (Oops.) (This review was posted after market close.)

Three striking young women from Columbia paid a visit to the 5 p.m. Fast Money to state their case for Couche Tard, a pitch that despite not referencing Sully's claim for the last 9 months that all the gasoline savings goes to convenience-store cigarettes won Bill Ackman's Pershing Square Challenge, which was judged in part by Karen Finerman.

Castle Rock Chairman and CEO Martin Shafer was revealed as the very generous $40,000 donor to the Lulu & Leo Fund charity that earned him a spot on Fast Money. (Mike Mayo by contrast gets to hang with the crew whenever he wants without having to donate anything.)

Day 2 of Harvard profs rewriting case studies to account for United’s 2 new board members

Scott Cohn on Thursday's Halftime reported from Alaska on the impact of lower oil and eventually concluded, "Here's the bottom line: Pumping oil in Alaska is now a losing proposition. Break-even is $52 a barrel."

Pete Najarian carped at the Jeffries sell call on COP citing debt. "Holy smokes, did he get a chance to look at the Exxon debt? Or the Chevron debt? Those guys have debt as well," Pete said.

Pete said "if oil's going higher," COP is the stock; if oil goes lower, then it's XOM and CVX.

Doc said COP was experiencing a "very minor selloff." Jim Iuorio said there was a "very unusual set of circumstances today" in precious metals that we didn't understand in the slightest. Bill Baruch said, "I think gold's going to $1,400 this year," citing a "super-constructive" chart. "It's yields," Baruch contended.

Pete Najarian said UAL's tumble was "all about the guidance" and admitted his upside calls are going to go to zero.

Unclear if Joe Biden is still on a train talking about carried interest, putting the spin in the right direction

Showing off the bod, Diana Olick on Thursday's Halftime demonstrated Deskercise.

At one point, Olick stood up and explained she would have to "pull the dress down," which was cute.

Noting Olick's toned physique, Judge said "Diana's showing off the guns."

Olick introduced Chicago entrepreneurs Shivani Jain and Arnav Dalmia, who invented Cubii (not to be confused with "Cubbie", who were invented more than a hundred years ago but have trouble winning the World Series.)

Judge has a new gag.

Rich Saperstein on Thursday's Halftime Report told Judge that even though markets are "melting up" right now, he's "really cautious" for 3 reasons. (Of course, we can't handle any more than that.)

Saperstein said there will be a "penalty" for negative rates "somewhere down the road," plus P.E.s aren't cheap, plus he doesn't like the tape. (This despite the fact Josh Brown has been gushing about the breadth of the rally.)

Later, Saperstein knocked the bond-proxy stocks. Stephen Weiss said those stocks will "unquestionably" get hurt at some point, but at this point, MLPs are a "reasonable place to go."

In his most provocative comment, Saperstein said he's OK with a rate hike, that markets will "scuttle through" it because the alternative is ZIRP's pain for the banks, and as long as that is happening, he doesn't see stocks taking off.

"When the Fed raises rates, that makes me more comfortable that we're normalizing monetary policy," Saperstein claimed, asserting that monetary policy has been carrying the load in the absence of fiscal policy, which is "one of the inherent (Drink) problems we've had."

Pete delivers classy tribute to Bill Campbell for 2nd day in a row

Pete Najarian continues to be the only person on the Halftime Report or 5 p.m. Fast Money saluting Bill Campbell, calling Campbell on Thursday's Halftime an "unbelievable man in the Silicon Valley."

Assessing AAPL, Pete said, "Literally (sic) like a couple years ago, this has become a 2nd-half story" (Drink).

Jon Najarian predicted AAPL trades in a "band" into July and said he likes LVS, whose report was "misinterpreted," better for the next few months.

Rich Saperstein called AAPL a "great long-term hold."

Pete said revenue's up big at NOW, but so is the valuation.

Pete gushed about his new long-term hold in CSCO.

Stephen Weiss called IBM a "value trap." But the only impressive/funny thing we've heard about IBM this week is Dan Nathan's observation that the company deluged Masters viewers with a "thousand, mind-numbing Watson commercials" that are just a "smoke-and-mirrors thing."

Not sure how far Judge has gotten through the 50-page MS downgrade

Pete Najarian, suddenly back in the UA corner, said on Thursday's Halftime Report that the multiple is "very scary" but that the company is showing growth in shoes and apparently isn't getting killed in women's apparel by LULU.

Jon Najarian credited UA inventory management, "These guys, they get rid of it." But Judge said the inventory is still "elevated."

Judge, however, said UA's China sales in Q1 were bigger than the company's full-year China sales a couple years ago.

In an incredibly rare miss, Doc said he didn't get into the UA trade because the call-buying on Monday wasn't heavy enough. "I clearly missed the boat by not being in," Doc said.

Stephen Weiss said that any stock at this multiple is not "underappreciated" but that it's a "great" stock for growth players.

Pete Najarian said he still prefers LULU, but "if you put a gun to my head I'd be a buyer, yes," of UA.

Camilo Lyon said the UA concerns of Q4 and Q1 have been "laid to rest" and said the company is "distinctly in charge of its own future." He said in all his time of covering the company, there's never been a time when people were "comfortable" with the valuation.

Lyon even balked at Doc's inventory gripe, claiming, "There was an intentional, strategic move to bring on inventory and hold it longer so that they can meet better delivery times with their wholesale partners."

Pete Najarian hinted at a double standard, pointing out that FB also is in "nosebleed territory ... yet everybody seems to love it."

Mel, Karen in new outfits

Stephen Weiss on Thursday's Halftime once again claimed to be ahead of the curve on Karen Finerman's nemesis, SUNE; "I actually know more funds that were short it than were long it," Weiss said, adding, "that's the function of these funds getting so, so big, where their opportunity set is limited."

Weiss said BIIB had a "good quarter" though there were some "mixed numbers."

Weiss also said, "I don't see a lot of downside" in VZ.

Rich Saperstein said to hold GM. But Karen Finerman on the 5 p.m. Fast Money lamented that nothing seems capable of driving the stock higher; "What do you need to happen for GM to move," Finerman wondered.

Jon Najarian said YUM's China growth is "pretty exciting."

Rich Saperstein doesn't like AXP and mentioned one of Judge's favorite inflection points, the legendary Costco contract.

"That was the beginning of the end," Judge trumpeted.

Rich Saperstein doesn't own MCD, "we think it's gotten ahead of itself." Weiss said the stock is "not cheap" and cited "how bad prior management was." Doc said 24-hour breakfast was a "great move."

Judge asked Rich Saperstein to take a victory lap on CVS, up 7% since his February call on the show.

[Wednesday, April 20, 2016]

When not suing the banks ... (a/k/a Old Hickory doesn’t have a Broadway hit)

Sometimes, tributes just feel right.

JFK died, many things were named after him, and Franklin yielded his spot on the half-dollar.

Recently the federal government decided some U.S. currency needs to be reidentified with more relevant people, though no one really agreed on who those more relevant people should be.

And because of a popular Broadway show, whatever the U.S. Treasury was apparently planning to do has been scrapped in favor of another idea.

Eamon Javers reported the $10 and $20 news on Wednesday's Halftime Report.

"This was a lot more political than anybody thought it was going to be," Javers said with a straight face.

Note the term ‘started’ (as Harvard profs rewrite case studies based on 2 more United board members)

Phil LeBeau reported on Wednesday's Halftime Report that the United/Continental solution appears to be ... a couple more board members.

Also, Robert Milton will be the non-executive chairman.

This opened the door to Judge's interview with Altimeter founder Brad Gerstner, as Judge asked Gerstner, "Is this a victory for you, or a defeat."

Gerstner of course praised the deal as a win-win for everyone and congratulated "the entire United board" and praised Oscar Munoz for leading "from the front."

"This was never about individuals on our slate," Gerstner insisted. "This was about bringing change to the boardroom at United that could help move the company forward."

Judge took a called strike 3, as he has done before on this subject, not actually asking Gerstner what exactly these new board members are going to do.

Judge did ask what happened to Gordon Bethune. Gerstner said "this was never about him ... he showed amazing leadership throughout this process."

Judge asked if United made it a "non-starter" that Bethune not be looking over Munoz's shoulder. Gerstner called that a "misunderstanding" and notably said "neither side started with non-starters" (but he didn't say how they finished).

Judge noted Gerstner's not on the board, but Ed Shapiro of PAR made it. "This was never about me," said Gerstner, even calling these machinations a "case study" of people getting along during and after the process.

Judge asked the same question he has asked before, whether there were better "targets" for activism than United.

Gerstner acknowledged this sentiment. "Your very own Jim Cramer was pretty outspoken in criticizing our effort," Gerstner said, stating activism is not "per se bad" and that Oscar Munoz wouldn't have taken part in this deal if he didn't think change was needed.

"Let's revisit this on your show in a year or two, um, and talk about, uh, the outcomes that this led to," Gerstner challenged.

Pete Najarian asked Gerstner about DAL and Richard Anderson's retirement. Gerstner said "We're constructive on the industry," and then uncorked perhaps the biggest whopper of the interview: "We think, you know, when you look back on this industry 5 years from now, uh, the Harvard Business School case studies are gonna have to be rewritten on how industries evolve and change."

Judge used the term "sports parlance."

Other than lower guidance, not much of a problem

In a market assessment that qualifies at a minimum as odd, Jon Najarian on Wednesday's Halftime Report said people will sell stocks as they get near their all-time high, but those sellers won't necessarily be taking short positions.

Stephen Weiss said he was under the impression that crude and stocks were decoupling, but "apparently that's not the case today."

Weiss said, "The algo guys are saying, 'I gotta go find something else to wreak havoc with.'"

Josh Brown said global slowdown fears have abated, "and the dollar has no traction at all."

Judge unfortunately tried to liven up the conversation with a hearty analysis of INTC (Zzzz).

Pete Najarian waffled as to which 3-handle is the best place to be buying INTC. Jim Lebenthal said "the negativity's a little bit overdone here" in INTC, because "really the only negative thing here is that they're guiding down for the 2nd quarter, below estimates."

Lebenthal said INTC is more promising than IBM (Double Zzzzz) because "Intel has a history of making these transitions." Lebenthal even suggested that the company is freshly inspired by the death of Andrew Grove.

Pete Najarian said the IBM transition is "just taking far too long."

Pete said he actually owns CSCO stock as well as the calls.

Jon Najarian begged off a question about value plays, stating, "It's not really the way I invest" and retrumpeting his NFLX trade this week that's going to make 400% in the blink of an eye.

But Najarian managed to knock Buffett's IBM buy at 195 and suggested you could buy it in the 135-145 range. Doc halfheartedly endorsed RIG, BHI and SLB but seemed to think the big money in those stocks was earlier this year (ya think?).

Stephen Weiss said he bought ENDP a day ago as a value play, though "there's some hair on it ... there's always hair on a value play."

Doc said he's looking at frackers, but "Don't wanna mention those names right now because we're busy trying to accumulate positions," he said.

Pete Najarian said if oil stays over 40, he likes COP.

Josh Brown, as he does about twice a week every week, touted DE.

Pete Najarian on Wednesday's 5 p.m. Fast Money offered the 2 shows' lone tribute to Apple/Google adviser/Columbia football coach Bill Campbell.

Weiss: Stocks can handle
a rate hike

Stephen Weiss said on Wednesday's Halftime Report there's "no chance" of a Fed hike in June and then, in perhaps the day's biggest jaw-dropper, added, "I do think the market could handle a rate increase at this point."

Seema Mody reported on KO's stumble and referred to "Dr Peppler" (sic pronunciation). Pete called KO a value buy and not a value trap. Invoking a Joe Terranova classic, Josh Brown said KO may be in the "penalty box" for 90 days but called it probably a better buy than a sell.

Brown, who otherwise had a quiet day, offered a couple graphics showing a broad rally in S&P and global stocks this spring and not just the FANGs of last year.

Anthony Grisanti told Jackie DeAngelis that the weekend meeting "signaled to me the demise of OPEC." Grisanti said 40 is "good support" for crude, which could see 45.

Stephen Weiss said he sold Viacom last week because of the Paramount news; "so better lucky than smart sometimes." He thinks it's "still a troubled company" that needs a new CEO.

In a feature that got more promo time than actual air time, Robert Frank said some Rafael Nadal watch is popular.

Pete Najarian said he likes BA for the long term, but he wouldn't buy it now.

Judge noted that Carl Icahn likes Donald Trump.

[Tuesday, April 19, 2016]

A serious man: Toni Sacconaghi stone-faced during Judge’s goofy visual presentation on IBM

He was in no mood for gags.

Ace IBM watcher Toni Sacconaghi, though an affable fellow, evidently never got the Halftime Report memo Tuesday indicating the gang was supposed to be having fun with IBM recommendations.

Judge began by airing Cramer's absurd morning declaration that the fate of the company hinged on whatever Sacconaghi was going to say at Halftime. Then Judge asked Sacconaghi if he's really a "downer" on the name.

Sacconaghi said he's been "cautious" on the stock for a while. He said it's "very difficult" to buy given that it's trading 12 times cash flow.

Pete Najarian wondered if the IBM security/cloud business could "tip the scales." Sacconaghi said the problem is, "the rest of the company has shrunk by 30 billion."

Judge didn't ask, and Mel has never asked anyone, what would be a great question, which is, What exactly does IBM do. Sacconaghi sort of ventured down that path, stating, "IBM is an on-premise provider. They help people build IT to run on premise. And the world is moving to off-premise, and, and moving to cloud."

Judge, in a manner of speaking, brought in Katy Huberty's arguments with a visual aid, stating Huberty is keeping her EPS forecast and thinks the new initiatives are paying off.

Sacconaghi responded that "it's a very complicated company" and said the "key metric" is to determine revenue growth while factoring out currency and acquisitions. "There's no evidence that the overall portfolio is transforming," Sacconaghi said.

"I think it's still too early to make the leap," Sacconaghi added.

Former IBM bull Jim Lebenthal opined, "Huberty is going to be right, but not right now."

Joe Terranova noted that Satya could make the MSFT transformation, but IBM can't.

Pete Najarian thundered, "These guys at IBM, they got 16 quarters of revenue declines. I mean, holy smokes, how do you actually survive that as a CEO."

But no one ever mentioned Ginny Rometty's name.

Joe said he disagrees with Jim that it's "too early," rather, "it's too late for IBM. It's way too late."

Our guess is that Judge resorted to the Huberty prop because either 1) CNBC can never get her on the air, 2) she dissed the program in some way, perhaps saying she would be on and then canceling, or 3) the crew thinks she's good-looking.

"She's great in Apple. But I think she's off on this one," said Pete Najarian.

PHM board, Pultes take day off

Pete Najarian on Tuesday's Halftime seemed to be saying that if oil breaks through its 37-42 range, then the stock market rally can continue.

Rob Sechan called the rally "Fed-induced, still. ... I worry that markets are pricing in a little bit too dovish of a tone from the Fed."

Sechan said, "In the short run, we're probably overbought," but he'd buy the dip.

Jim Lebenthal said we're in a "low-growth environment," and stocks need 2-2.5% to go "meaningfully higher past the all-time highs."

Joe Terranova said the G20 made a "back room" deal, "and that's why the Federal Reserve backed off."

"Those that are short are pushing the markets higher," Joe said.

Pete said the money's been going to "dash for trash."

Rob Sechan said the materials rally can continue "for a little bit," but you have to be ready for "the minute there's an inflection point."

Sechan said the emerging markets rally has been built on "weak fundamentals." Pete said it's been a great example of "dash for trash." Joe defended India.

Jim Iuorio said oil players have been "racing to cover their shorts," but he's still more bearish than bullish. Jeff Kilburg though said "the momentum is still intact to the upside," and he's looking for 46 in the June contract.

Biden spinning carried-interest argument in the right direction

John Harwood on Tuesday's Halftime Report aired clips of his chat with Joe Biden and said Biden predicts the next president will end the carried-interest loophole (snicker); Harwood actually claimed "there's some reason to expect it." (Except for the reason that those folks give loads of money to campaigns.)

Pete Najarian questioned, "Are we trading on hope on that?"

Pete said Biden "definitely was able to spin that in the right direction."

Pete said refining the corporate tax is a "job creator."

Judge said a "good portion" of the show's viewers agree with Biden.

Rob Sechan decried the "outdated tax code."

"The entire tax code system is way too complicated," said Joe Terranova.

Last time, Doc misunderstood Rob Sechan’s MLP argument

Rob Sechan on Tuesday's Halftime Report said MLPs have been "hostage" to energy prices and capital markets activity, but both of those situations are improving.

Sechan suggested MLP implied returns in the 13-14% range, though there are "macro risks."

He said the "abatement of those negatives" in the MLP space will allow it to move higher.

Jim Lebenthal said MLP distribution growth was thought to be shrinking a while back, "but for the most part it did not happen." (But he did mention KMI. But he didn't mention that OMG IF YOU BOUGHT KMI AT 12, IT WENT TO 18!!!!!)

Sechan mentioned his favorite term, "midstream," and said he still owns the space but has "cut our weightings because the risk profile has increased."

Doc already predicting 400% gain on his NFLX calls in 2 months

Gosh, this stock market stuff is easy.

Jon Najarian on Tuesday's Halftime said he bought NFLX last night because he was getting "such a discount," then he traded out of it into an options position, then pointed out how he spent $48,000 on NFLX calls rather than $300,000 on NFLX stock, then said he'll "basically" make 400% on the trade if the stock merely trades over 100 by June.

"I think On Demand is where everything's going," Najarian said.

Pete Najarian, without saying as much, seemed to think SBUX could deliver its own great return, revealing a pop in 64 calls, then suggesting it's a buy anywhere under 60. Pete said that Asia could be "absolutely unbelievable for them," plus mobile pay, plus "selling their merchandise in all kinds of other different venues, including the Costcos of the world" and Delta Air Lines.

Obviously oblivious to what this page reported early Tuesday (that Joe recently hung a 300 on TSLA), Judge said he'd ask the panel if anyone likes TSLA, but he wasn't going to bother because "everybody says no."

Moments later, Joe clarified, stating he's going to "take away" his $300 because it "doesn't look good technically" and is leaning toward a double-top. (So basically, it was going to 300 until it wasn't.)

Judge said he's "tired of hearing the same old argument" about TSLA valuation.

Jim Lebenthal said he really feels bad for holders of ILMN, but "I'd stay away" from here.

Joe mentioned his UNH 130 target and said if it shakes out to 125 or 120, then get "right back in."

Pete Najarian called HOG a buy.

Joe said his concern with EBAY is that the revenue growth lags ecommerce growth, and it's "yesterday's story."

[Monday, April 18, 2016]

Yes — except in 2008,
or Dec. 31, 2015

In a curious string of commentary that wasn't adequately explored, Jim Lebenthal on Monday's Halftime Report declared that going to 100% cash is going to be in "almost all cases, foolish" and suggested dollar-cost averaging.

Josh Brown said the notion of going to all cash "is probably always a mistake."

Hmmmm. We have a hard time agreeing with "foolish" or "mistake."

If you're a professional money manager, it's somewhat true, chances are, you're going to get the timing wrong and go to cash when you should be buying. (But then again, if you're in any stocks besides an index fund, you're basically betting on your own timing skills being better than the market's, so why not.)

If you're a regular Joe, well, a lot of regular Joes over time are probably behind in the stock market ledger. A lot of folks would probably be better off in a bank CD, regardless of how little the interest. CD rates merely reflect inflation. Risk-taking isn't for everyone.

Pete Najarian actually indicated that cash isn't a bad idea now (despite the fact all of his options trades skyrocket so much so fast that he has to take half off), stating that if you look at his disclosures (snicker), "I am probably the least-exposed in the market as I usually would be at any point in time. ... Right now we're about 30% in cash. That's huge for us."

Brown also claimed "there are other things happening in this world besides central banks" (snicker). (Sure. Fitbit, and Shake Shack has a chicken sandwich.)

Joe Terranova said there's still a "tremendous amount of skepticism" about this market.

Slow start for Judge

Judge on Monday's Halftime themed the program "The Good, The Bad & The Ugly" — the first time anyone has ever used that label.

Judge also stumbled early in requesting a Nasdaq graphic to straighten himself out even though he correctly said the Nasdaq Composite was within about 50 points of 5,000.

Josh Brown gushed, "Market breadth is improving materially."

"Energy is healing itself," said Joe Terranova, who contended "the path of least resistance continues to be higher" and that regionals are outperforming "some of the larger banks."

Pete Najarian said the higher-beta big banks were doing the best recently; moments later, pushed by Judge on this topic, Pete said he's in BAC, of course the biggest outperformer recently. (He'll probably have to get out once the options go sky-high in a matter of days.)

Josh scoffed at the Morgan Stanley beat; "there's nothing good going on at any of these companies."

Jim Lebenthal said technicals look good, but fundamentals don't, and he's concerned about the "tepid growth" of the U.S. economy.

Joe insisted, "The U.S. dollar. That's what it's all about."

Reached in the United Arab Emirates, Brian Sullivan insisted "they got pretty close" in Doha to a deal. Sully claimed people would be saying 3 months from now that they knew there would be no deal.

Doug Terreson said oil prices will "continue to increase" the old-fashioned way and he likes BP, CVX, XOM, "partially" because of their "pretty resilient" dividends. He also predicted $45 Brent in 2016 and $50 in 2017.

Still unclear if Yahoo needs West Coast offense or Raidahs’ deep-passing attack

Jim Lebenthal on Monday's Halftime Report said he likes the Pivotal upgrade of DIS and suggested cord-cutting concerns already have to be in the stock.

Pete Najarian shrugged off ESPN concerns but pointed to the Iger succession plan and said "it's about who's really in charge?" (Answer: Iger, for probably 4-5 more years)

Joe Terranova, who seems to be pinpointing bottoms everywhere, predicted the "89ish" February lows in DIS will hold.

Jim Lebenthal kept pronouncing Disney's Marvel franchise as "Mar-VELL" (sic).

Pete Najarian said it seems like there's not much interest in YHOO, and he's only in the calls and not stock because it might be a "take-under."

"I think Verizon's probably bidding against itself," said Josh Brown.

Dan Nathan on the 5 p.m. Fast Money, guest-helmed by Judge, correctly slammed the "thousand, mind-numbing Watson commercials" from IBM that aired during the Masters and labeled them really a "smoke-and-mirrors thing."

Well, it makes a little more sense than Mike Mayo’s contention that bank revenues will surge simply because they’ve stunk for 3 years

In a curious argument, Jim Lebenthal on Monday's Halftime Report said the bull case for autos is "the absence of a bear case," then mentioned the average age of cars on the road being around 11 years, which is an argument we were hearing probably 5 years ago.

Pete Najarian bluntly stated that "the absence of a bear case is part of the problem I think with this argument."

Joe Terranova, who didn't mention TSLA 300 this time, said consumer spending on trucks and cars has "actually flattened out" and called GM and F a "value trap."

Jim mentioned a 5% yield for GM and seemed to suggest another 5% return would magically appear out of thin air. (Probably when everyone stops calling AAPL a hardware company.)

Still trying to figure out how stores increase square-footage sales simply by aging from 2 to 4 years

Michelle Caruso-Cabrera, as stunning as ever on Monday's Halftime Report, gave an update on Brazil, while Pete Najarian trumpeted how much the EWZ call prices soared in such a short time. (When was the last time Pete mentioned call prices plunging over a couple days.)

Joe Terranova said the UNH earnings call is one you don't want to miss at least in the health-care space and he likes the stock rising to 136.

Josh Brown said he's really glad to see the HAS jump.

Jim Lebenthal said PC demand is "really through the basement" but if INTC gives any positive guidance, the stock can break out.

Evan Sohn visited the set and explained the origins of the Ira Sohn Conference, which benefits pediatric cancer, coming up in a couple of weeks.

Angelo Martorell explained how he arrived at a bull case for IAC based on Tinder and got to make a presentation at Sohn amid the greats.

Joe Terranova said to buy NFLX on a pullback but at 108, it looks a little rich. Pete, Joe and Jim picked AMZN over NFLX.

[Friday, April 15, 2016]

Benelux is back

Seema Mody on Friday's Halftime Report explained the possibilities with the Brazilian impeachment process.

Guest Talley Leger said the stock market is "clearly cheering" the potential of a Rousseff impeachment, stating impeachment could "open up" the Brazilian energy sector.

Jon Najarian said he has owned EWZ for several weeks, and it has performed "wonderfully." Stephen Weiss suggested Brazil could be like India, which had a big move up and then "sort of sitting flat to slightly down."

Leger said "Europe is a buy" but contended that the financials must work for European stocks to work. Simon Hobbs called that a "massive caveat." Steve Weiss said he disagrees because of Benelux (Drink).

Sully’s been saying for 6 months a year now that all the gasoline savings has gone to convenience store cigarettes

Unfortunately, a decent chunk of Friday's Halftime Report (basically the beginning) was devoted to panelists' predictions and what-ifs about the OPEC meeting.

Jackie DeAngelis reported that an "exclusive survey" found that most respondents think the bottom's in for oil, which was the most useful information imparted. (Who was surveyed and how the poll was conducted and what those folks' biases may be was not disclosed.)

Jon Najarian predicted Sunday's outcome would be a "negative" for oil; he doesn't expect a cut, though he gave a shout-out to Sully for being on the scene.

Stephen Weiss said "cuts aren't on the table here" and asserted that OPEC has never done what it's said it's going to do since its inception.

Sarat Sethi said all this weekend is about is that probably "down the road," there will be an agreement.

Jim Lebenthal said the shale producers have become a lot more efficient and that the crude break-even price for many is "well below $40."

MU: ‘Pretty close to a bottom’

Hans Mosesmann, who seemed to have a video delay, was put to the test on Friday's Halftime Report defending his MU upgrade.

Mosesmann said his move is "opportunistic" and based on the Seagate-related commentary, specifically "more deployments into the cloud."

Guest host Simon Hobbs astutely noted those dynamics are "not new" and that over time, MU has "destroyed a lot of value for people."

"This is not for your average investor," Mosesmann conceded while contending, "You're pretty close to a bottom."

Stephen Weiss shrugged off MU. "It's a commodity," Weiss said.

Mosesmann reiterated, "This is not for everybody," but he insisted the issue is the "timing and the trade," a fair point, and quite honestly, it probably makes more sense to buy this stock now than when Pete Najarian was pounding the table every day in the upper 20s and low 30s.

Jon Najarian called MU "very very cheap" on a "relative valuation." Jim Lebenthal though said MU, while "not a rabid bear case ... smells much more like a value trap."

‘Averaging down’ into
a department store

Bickering with guest host Simon Hobbs, Jon Najarian on Friday's Halftime said there's a 25-40% chance of Macy's doing a REIT spinoff and said that's not a "low probability" as Hobbs suggested.

Najarian said if it happens, M could "recoup" most of the 40% stock decline.

Sarat Sethi admitted he's been "averaging down" in M. Simon Hobbs questioned if Sethi's arguments for being long were the same arguments when the stock was 40% higher.

Jim Lebenthal said he prefers JCP and TGT and "would wait" on M. Stephen Weiss called M a "relatively safe holding."

Weiss explains why Amazon Prime is a better viewing experience than Netflix

Jon Najarian on Friday's Halftime said he's not buying BATS for 2 reasons, the ballooning number of shares and the first-day pop.

Stephen Weiss said "nothing against the company," but he needs to see BATS "mature" as a publicly traded stock before jumping in.

Doc said bulls were targeting Aug 14 CHS calls. He's only in the stock and not options, in fact, he "took about half of it off on a very nice pop this morning."

Sarat Sethi likes Barclays' airline upgrade.

Doc predicted BABA at some point will be a "major favorite" because of China's "recovery."

Stephen Weiss said some people are owning VRX because they think it will be the "world's greatest breakup story," otherwise known as the Greg Kihn Trade.

Jim Lebenthal said he's bearish on CAT because dealer sales in every region have been negative for months. Weiss said it hasn't been months, but years.

Sarat Sethi said electronic components in today's cars, per the Delphi meeting, are increasing "by more than double digits." Jim Lebenthal again touted GM. Sethi said he owns GM and F also.

Jon Najarian said he put on a NFLX call spread. Steve Weiss said, "I actually like the Amazon viewing experience better than Netflix," then told Simon Hobbs, "on Amazon, you can hit the middle of the screen and pause, you can fast-forward 10 or 15 seconds, you don't have any of that on, on this."

Flash: C trading below
tangible book

Jim Lebenthal missed Thursday's bank love-fest with Mike Mayo but made up for lost time on Friday's Halftime Report.

Jim said he's long C, stating it's trading at "about 60 70 90 80 73% of tangible book value" and suggesting it's time to "stop saying they have a bad balance sheet" and compel the shares in some way to rise "a good 30%."

Steve Weiss claimed that tangible book discount is "unwarranted" and asserted again that Corbat has done a "phenomenal job" and so have other bank CEOs.

Weiss said he'd be "hard-pressed" to think of a big bank that hasn't had job cuts, but he singled out CS as being the worst in terms of cutting trainees.

Weiss said "Goldman typically cuts the bottom 5 or 10%; it's a weeding-out process every year."

Simon Hobbs mentioned Lloyd Blankfein, the first time we've heard that name on the show in months. Doc even mentioned Hank Paulson again.

More from Friday's Halftime later.

[Thursday, April 14, 2016]

Shocking retail call: Store aging triggers higher sales per square foot

Citi's Kate McShane joined Thursday's Halftime to say she added KATE to the focus list and hiked the target to $32 because it's "one of the better stories out there."

Stephen Weiss said it's been a great call but the stock is no longer cheap, and there is still "fashion risk" and "competitive risk," though he thinks "the consumer's in pretty good shape."

McShane, who is cute, said you have to look at KATE on a PEG basis, where it appears undervalued.

Pete Najarian mentioned online sales (Drink) and asked if KATE can continue to grow at last quarter's pace. McShane said yes and added, "what we like about the upside potential is the propensity for increased productivity."

The potential is the propensity for increased productivity. (Sic)

But that wasn't the doozy. McShane actually said of KATE, "A lot of their stores are under 2 years old, and as the stores get to 4 years old, that's when you start to re- reach, um, much better sales per square foot and better productivity."

That's one we hadn't heard before.

Jon Najarian said KATE keeps bouncing from 24 to 25, and he doesn't see a breakout. Joe Terranova said KATE has "underperformed" KORS and COH and he doesn't like the inventory-vs.-sales-growth comparisons recently.

Pete Najarian said he bought into M because of unusual activity.

Weiss knocked McShane's emphasis on PEG ratio, "so I'd sell it."

Steve Grasso said on the 5 p.m. show that KATE has 20% upside.

Mike Mayo: Bank management doesn’t have to be the ‘smartest guys’

Joe Terranova on Thursday's Halftime said he likes the banks for a trade and for some reason claimed Pete Najarian has "made a lot of money off the banks the last couple years" before asking regular guest Mike Mayo a great question about the brain drain on Wall Street.

Mayo's bizarre answer was an implication that brains can get ahead of themselves; "You don't need the smartest guys in the room," but just "stick to the basics" and avoid "mission creep."

Stephen Weiss said he understands Mayo's point about limited downside in banks, but, "We're never gonna see the valuations we saw before" because banks are "ATMs for the government."

Weiss said banks are "utilities with a little better growth" without a public commission that can allow them to increase their returns.

Mayo said Weiss is a "smart guy" who "made a mistake;" the banks "are not utilities, but they have more utility-like outcomes," and those types of stocks have "skyrocketed" in this market, Mayo claimed.

Mayo said that adjusting the dividend yield for buybacks and rates, banks are better than utilities.

"You just faulted me for saying this," Weiss rightly carped.

"Let's cut through all the crap," said Pete Najarian, demanding to declare which bank is best and announcing JPM as best management team.

But Joe pointed out, "He just said management teams don't matter."

Joe said a premium is "rightfully" being paid for JPM management and said he disagrees with Mayo that the talent exodus doesn't matter. "We're at the later stages of these legal settlements," Mayo shrugged, adding that if you can break up the banks, you'll have Carl Icahn, Elizabeth Warren and Neel Kashkari all happy.

Flash: Mike Mayo is bullish on banks, cites catalyst as being lousy revenues for the last 3 years

Judge wasn't on Thursday's Halftime, but another person featured nearly as often on the program managed to make it.

Mike Mayo said he's "absolutely" the most bullish he has been on banks in 20 years because "the risk that you're taking is so much less than it was any time since the financial crisis."

Mayo conceded government oversight; "Jamie Dimon can't leave the building without someone watching what he's doing," which sounds like he ought to join forces with Apple.

But, "What generates the rally here," asked guest host Simon Hobbs. Mayo's first (and presumably best) answer was merely, "Well, you're going to see- revenues have been lousy over the last 3 years. So as bad as revenues were, they should be better the next couple years."

As he always does, Mayo trumpeted banks' capital positions. "You can charge off a- another housing crisis over the next 5 years and still have more capital than you had before the last downturn," Mayo said.

Definitely, we're not pro bank analysts around here. But the gut feeling has to be, if bank stocks surge for any reason, you're probably going to get greater return in any number of sectors.

Mayo: Previously unaccountable banks are suddenly going to be accountable

Mike Mayo was getting tripped up all over the board on Thursday's Halftime, including over his claim that bank management is suddenly being held accountable. (This from the guy who claimed 2 years ago on the Halftime Report that John Gerspach must go (update: he's still there).) (By the way, C is Mayo's top pick.)

Mayo claimed, "We're holding these management teams accountable by going to annual meetings."

He asserted that "Citigroup is a D student that we think will become a B- student."

Pete Najarian said the cheapest bank is the one he wants, and that's BAC. Mayo said he likes BAC but would put C above, and he also likes CMA.

Stephen Weiss scoffed at Mayo's pick of Comerica and how it has the lowest return and hasn't changed a director. "It sounds like they're not accountable," Weiss said.

Mayo said CMA is the "most flammable shareholder base that I've seen at a major bank in years."

Doc: Lew pointing
to wrong obstacle

Sara Eisen on Thursday's Halftime Report recapped her interview with Jack Lew, which allowed the panelists an opportunity to weigh in on inversions. (Simon Hobbs implied the interview was Thursday when, as you can see from Sara's clothing, it was actually Wednesday.)

Stephen Weiss said inversions are "not un-American," and Allergan et al. "wasn't wrong" to attempt one. But Weiss said money managers have to be prepared; he said he looked around at the fund managers he deals with and one of them thought the government wouldn't block AGN-PFE, so "shame on them."

Weiss said Lew should be disappointed not that Congress hasn't blocked inversions but that Congress hasn't made the U.S. tax code competitive. Joe Terranova said the answer would be "corporate tax reform."

Jon Najarian said he agrees with Hank Paulson that the AGN move was an "overreach" by the government — then pointed to the man in charge.

"The president needs to stand up and take some of the responsibility here because he has said that he will not sign anything coming out of Congress that doesn't include an increase just to the 1%," Najarian said. "So when Mr. Lew says, you haven't seen, uh, Congress act, that's why they haven't acted. Because it's as useless as trying to charge for air."

Weiss: Pension funds should’ve been smarter than to invest in big hedge funds that owned Valeant

Steve Weiss on Thursday's Halftime said performance for all active money managers has been "horrendous," but hedge funds are the "lightning rod because they charge a lot of fees."

But Weiss somehow blamed pension funds for investing in players who owned VRX and AGN, the latter of which Weiss himself (and Pete Najarian) bought a week ago (neither has said a word about the position since); they "keep putting money- nearly 90% of all assets go to the largest managers, and guess what — they all own Allergan, they all own Valeant," Weiss said.

Weiss indicated this has hurt personally. "I'm as depressed and frustrated about hedge funds, as I do this all day long, but I see light at the end of the tunnel," Weiss said.

"I agree," said Joe Terranova.

Weiss actually claimed "a lot of hedge fund managers" somehow haven't "adjusted to" or figured out that it's "truly a global economy" ... a phrase we'd been hearing on business television since before CNBC was created.

Doc said there's a perception that hedge funds will outperform; when you buy a Kenneth Cole suit instead of the Brioni that Simon Hobbs wears, "you don't expect the same sort of quality."

Weiss said "there's no doubt in my mind whatsoever" that Steven Cohen will be running outside capital again. Pete Najarian questioned, "Is it worth the headache." Weiss said Cohen has gotten a thousand employees, "and they're not makin' $15 an hour."

Pultes, PHM board take day off

Joe Terranova on Thursday's Halftime said he was "really skeptical" of the recent Barron's bull call on STX; evidently that depends on one's definition of "really skeptical," as Joe at the time called Barron's projected 20% gain in the stock "a little bit, uh, rich."

Jon Najarian said he bought GPRO because of unusual activity, about 12.75 (that means a huge gain). Joe questioned if there's "sustainability" in the move. Doc said yes, citing the Apple guy who's apparently going to GPRO because he sees greater short-term potential there.

But Stephen Weiss said, "He took that out of Ron Johnson's playbook" and said BlackBerry kept adding to its developer base while the stock went "down, down, down, down."

Pete Najarian said "they've gotta get somebody operationally in there" at GPRO and that "Apple's the right one to do it." Doc said he'll only be in GPRO for about 2 weeks, but he predicted a double over 3-6 months.

Steve Weiss said not to be in a stock such as DDD with such a high short interest. (Basically he shot down every potential stock idea he was presented with on Thursday.)

Pete Najarian said he's hoping DAL can get to 50 to save his calls and said "it's not a concern," but by the way Richard Anderson is stepping down. (But if this is a weak time for refineries, shouldn't this be a sell?)

Pete doubted the news about MSFT butting heads with the government over cloud snooping would affect the stock.

Doc said JPM and GS disagree on CMG.

Jeff Kilburg said gold is "range-bound" and said Thursday is a buying opportunity. Jim Iuorio said gold heads down to "12 bucks" (sic presumably 1,200).

Hardeep Walia said the Motif of the Month is Battery Charged, which is exposure to lithium cells but sounded way too technical to mess around with. Walia said it's been underperforming but has suddenly been catching up. Doc said he'd buy it; Pete and Joe wouldn't.

Pete is still in the AMAT trade "but took off half of it yesterday" (Drink).

Doc said somebody bought a bunch of ST May 40 calls.

Weiss said oil is his top trade. Joe said to look at regional banks (Zzzzz). Pete mentioned SAVE. Doc said NTRS, STT and BK on the basis of Mayo's comments (snicker).

[Wednesday, April 13, 2016]

Guest suggests Diana Olick wrong that public PHM battle is ‘obviously’ hurting stock price

He was kind of a man of few words.

James Grosfeld, speaking with CNBC's Diana Olick, made his points with brevity on Wednesday's Halftime Report.

Grosfeld said "one of the reasons" he's exiting the PHM board is because he's the only board member calling for Dugas' resignation.

And, he said, "Certain board meetings have gone on without my attendance," which he finds "improper."

Olick said Jim Postl said last week that Grosfeld "circumvented" the board's process by meeting with Dugas.

Grosfeld responded, "I specifically opened the meeting by telling him that I was there as a shareholder and not as a director ... Mr. Dugas is the chairman of the board of Pulte. What else was I supposed to do, call special meeting of the board to tell them that I had a meeting with Mr. Dugas? That's crazy."

Grosfeld said he disagrees with the company's strategy of paying "by far the largest dividend in the homebuilding business" while it's not the most profitable "by a long shot" and in his view has been overpaying for buybacks.

Olick said taking the battle public is "obviously" hurting the stock price. Grosfeld grumbled, "That's your decision," and in fact, "it may be helping the stock price."

The panelists didn't seem to see it that way. Pete Najarian said the builders haven't been as appealing as other housing-related names. Jim Lebenthal said it's "easier" to make money in other sectors. Jon Najarian suggested USG but said housing is not an "exciting" trade for him.

CNBC pronunciation of "Dugas" is all over the map; Wednesday on Halftime we were hearing "Doo-gahs" as opposed to Judge's "Doo-gah."

Mel didn’t ask Pete what in the world FCX has to do with BTU

Judge was off for Wednesday's Halftime Report, and it was a bit of a treat when Melissa Lee dropped in from her usual perch on the 5 p.m. Fast Money for a guest-host gig.

Mel, who looked great in fuchsia, happened to ask Pete Najarian about BTU.

Pete for some reason reminded everyone he was recently suggesting FCX could go to zero because of debt, etc., and was wrong, but in coal, "that's more of a political thing I think ... they were gone after (sic word choice) by the folks that are sitting in the White House right now." (Translation: All those folks who beat me up on Twitter for dissing FCX, OK, I get it, let's move on.)

Josh Brown said BTU has been in a defined downtrend every month for 6 years, which should've made any bulls question their fundamental thesis. Mel mocked, "best advice of the hour I'm sure, Josh Brown."

Missy asked an excellent question, whether BTU's bankruptcy represents a bottom in the sector, only to be met with derision from the panel.

Jim Iuorio said if crude can't close above $42.70, then maybe it heads $3 lower. Jeff Kilburg said Iuorio is "absolutely wrong" on the sentiment and that $45 "looks like a technical target."

Jon Najarian said crude could see $44 "easily" but then breaks into the mid-30s in the next month.

5 p.m. interview with Forbes writer on Mike Pearson promised far more than it delivered

Jim Lebenthal on Wednesday's Halftime Report offered a curious rationale for higher stocks, because it's "the opposite of capitulation selling uh when you're in a downtrend."

Josh Brown said there have been "big picture things happening around the world" that have been headwinds, but it's starting to change, for example transports and semiconductors catching a bid, so we could have an S&P 500 breakout.

Pete Najarian said there's never an "all clear" for stocks, but JPM's results are a good start.

Jon Najarian used the occasion to gloat, stating he's holding about 60% in cash right now but that in the Halftime Portfolio, "I'm still up 15% year to date!"

Even better, "The option account, knock on wood, I'm up better than that," Najarian said.

Najarian lamented that so many of his holdings have been "liquidated" during the recent rally. (Translation: I sold 'em too quick.)

"I think Mario Draghi gave us several years worth of runway," Najarian added.

Lebenthal offered, "There's always something to be said for buying high- excuse me, buying low and selling high," and it's hard to argue with that.

Jim cautioned that GDP and retail sales numbers don't justify the market rising. But he touted CSCO and GM and told Mel he's not afraid of peak auto, stating "the labor market is strong enough to- to overcome all of that basically."

Pete Najarian pounded the table for CSCO's transition and likened it to Satya Nadella at MSFT and called it a "longer term, $40 stock very easily."

Josh Brown trumpeted DE, saying it's around the time when you want to buy this type of cyclical.

Doc said he was buying QCOM on Wednesday and touted AMBA and MRVL.

FL discussion would’ve provided Judge an opportunity to introduce the 50-page MS report on UA

Josh Brown on Wednesday's Halftime said FB was slumping because he's hearing that there's an analyst note repeating another analyst note about a "huge ad spend in Q4" that poses Q1 headwinds for FB.

Jon Najarian said he's "very surprised" that FB was getting hit on Wednesday.

Josh said CMG looks "really, really bad technically" and that "there's nothing going on here" in YUM.

He said he likes THC and predicted follow-through.

Doc said people believe there's value in MDVN despite its rejection of a bid. Jim Lebenthal said railroads are a "tough play" now.

Jim touted BA while conceding "it's not a slam dunk." But he cited the P8 program and F18 orders and 6 years of backlog in commercial aerospace.

Pete Najarian said warm weather was giving HOG a boost, and he likes the name.

Doc said options in FIT were hopping, in part because of Twitter chatter about Nike buying it and said he knows that someone has a $30 target. Josh Brown said he doesn't like the stock. Pete Najarian called it "cheap."

Jane Wells, who looked dynamite in new hairstyle and outfit but had earpiece trouble, mentioned this bizarre interest in paying huge sums of money for tickets to Kobe Bryant's last regular season NBA game (and by the way, they're not in the playoffs). Mel told Jane that Mel has been following the Lakers season "very closely."

FL watcher Erinn Murphy told Mel that while Nike's DTC is growing, Foot Locker is the "marquee partner" for NKE, and NKE needs that relationship.

Murphy also said the European business, which is 30% of FL's business, is "on fire" right now.

Pete Najarian said he has liked FL for a while and "it doesn't make any sense" why the stock hasn't done better, but he questioned if FL has enough online sales. Doc would rather pay more for NKE than buy FL. Josh Brown said kids like to go to FL but that technically it looks "atrocious."

Jon Najarian said he sold half of his CYH and all of his RIG and added AMBA to his Halftime Portfolio.

[Tuesday, April 12, 2016]

What happened to Weiss and Pete’s AGN buy?

In one of the more provocative interviews recently on the Halftime Report, Judge on Tuesday brought in Armistice Capital's Steven Boyd, who made an intriguing case for health care: "Altogether, we view this as sort of a 1-in-10-year buying opportunity, something I haven't seen since really 2009."

Boyd conceded it's a "turbulent time" in health care with a "trifecta of bad news" in specialty pharma. But, "Our suspicion is that come 2017, the rhetoric around pricing will really die down," Boyd said.

Boyd said he's not buying VRX because "I don't know what they're doing in Russia, I don't know what they're doing in Poland, or Brazil." But he touted HZNP.

Josh Brown asked Boyd if there's a "limit" to how big a fund can be in health care and still succeed. Boyd said that's an important concern, but "we stay hedged; we're always hedged."

All of which reminded us of the Halftime Report stampede last Wednesday to buy AGN, namely Pete Najarian and Stephen Weiss, the latter stating "man it was so beaten up." (Which makes us wonder, what's the difference between beaten down and beaten up?) (This writer is long AGN.)

The only thing is, that day it closed around 244. Today it's about $20 lower.

Boyd on Tuesday also touted TLRD, which we learned was the former Men's Wearhouse and of course has been "decimated" but according to Boyd now offers rare appreciation potential.

Plunging into health care right now seems kind of loopy, but then again, financials didn't seem so great in early 2009, and look what happened there.

Judge is booked Tuesday night, revealing he'll be hosting the Investors Choice Awards.

Panel makes oil companies sound like the next FB or AMZN

If health care isn't exactly working, at least energy is.

Joe Terranova opened Tuesday's Halftime stating oil continues to be a short squeeze and that the dollar is working for energy.

Josh Brown called the XLE "the anatomy of a bottom-fishing trade that works."

Pete Najarian said there have been some "unbelievable tells" in options activity in the energy space, but he said VLO was pulling back.

Stephanie Link said APC has come far but has "a long way to go."

Josh said the dollar is the "lever" affecting the oil trade.

Pete praised COP for cutting the dividend, which "offered them an opportunity" of some sort. (BUT WHAT ABOUT THAT KINDER MORGAN CUT??!!!!!)

As the conversation got a little carried away, Joe rattled off a pack of names, HAL, CVX, XOM, the integrateds, SU, CNQ, PXD, EOG but cautioned against refiners.

Joe said the default rate in the high-yield space is actually at "historical lows" and said the "apocalypse" feared in energy hasn't happened.

Flash: Halftime Report panelists criticize another downgrade

Pete Najarian on Tuesday's Halftime Report said the Deutsche Bank SBUX downgrade is a "little bit of an odd call."

Specifically, Pete attacked the price target. "Why was the value 70 before, and now he moves it to 64," Pete wondered. "If it's fully valued, I would've expected the stock to be very close to 70 rather than very close to a 64 number."

He called the SBUX pullback "an opportunity."

Joe Terranova said the Deutsche Bank analyst is merely "joining the chorus" of concern for the SBUX quarter.

"I think it's too rich," said Stephanie Link, revealing she sold SBUX at 59, just missing the top.

Josh Brown said he's not afraid to get long SBUX here and if it gets above 62 or 63, "from a technical perspective, you've got an inverse head-and-shoulders here."

Pultes, CEO apparently
took the day off

Josh Brown on Tuesday's Halftime Report had an interesting angle on the FB story.

Brown said you can't be short the stock because some morning you'll wake up and hear that Facebook is in China; "they will do some sort of a censored version of Facebook for China." (Translation: No posts about Tiananmen Square.)

Joe Terranova said the FB valuation argument sounds like the Amazon argument a couple years ago.

Joe actually said that FB earnings expectations "are incredibly low."

Pete Najarian said it's "much easier" to buy FB if it pulls back 10%. But Pete also stated, "We could just wake up and all of a sudden a few months from now see this thing trading 130, 140."

Stephanie Link said FB's valuation is "pretty extreme" despite phenomenal fundamentals. "I had a nice profit in it, took my gains," and she'd be happy to get back in under $100.

Judge likely still poring over 50-page Morgan Stanley downgrade of UA

Scott Nations on Tuesday's Halftime Report said he'll only look at gold "maybe on the short side" (Drink), and even Jackie DeAngelis wasn't surprised.

Brian Stutland said he'd wait to buy below 1,250, perhaps around 1,220, and that it trades up to 1,280.

Pete Najarian said he's "completely out" of the GDX. Josh Brown said from a trading standpoint, "gold can still work even if stocks work." Brown said he'd play GLD rather than GDX.

Meanwhile, Jim Lebenthal dialed in to say TIF isn't for "the faint of heart" and that it requires faith in the 2nd half of the year. But he sees 30% upside over 12 months in part because analyst negativity "has gotten about as bad as it's going to get."

Josh Brown said he wants to see the TIF downtrend is ending; it has been "brutal." Brown said "above 80 is probably where the sellers give up."

Stephanie Link said TIF product changes have not boosted same-store sales and that the multiple is rich, but there are "easy comparisons" for the 2nd half of the year.

Link bought CSCO on the JNPR plunge. Link said JNPR's problems are related to Juniper itself and that Cisco's quarter does not include January.

Pete Najarian praised Link for a "great job" of scooping up Cisco. Joe Terranova said the JNPR news is negative for FFIV.

Phil LeBeau reported that Ford is renovating its headquarters through 2023. "Some of those buildings do need to be renovated," LeBeau acknowledged.

Judge reported that a deal over the United Airlines board looks "increasing likely." Pete Najarian said he doesn't understand why UAL isn't a $70 stock.

Pete said he trimmed some of his great BBBY calls but "stupidly" held onto the rest too long.

[Monday, April 11, 2016]

If not for a UA call and the weekly Barron’s, Judge wouldn’t have had anything to talk about (OK, maybe the Pulte letter or Steph Link on EBAY’s new search engine rankings)

Stephanie Link on Monday's Halftime Report said she likes that EBAY is "kinda controversial" and her first argument was, "They've got a very strong business model." (Which isn't the most dynamic catalyst.)

Link then said management "has actually been changing the way they change their rankings for search."

So perhaps EBAY previously has given you Red Sox stuff when you're searching for Yankee stuff. (Of course Link cited no before-and-after examples of this new technique; trust 'em, they're doing it.)

Josh Brown said there's a "perception" that EBAY is "kinda yesterday's tech company." Joe Terranova grumbled that EBAY revenue growth is significantly trailing ecommerce growth. Link again mentioned the changes "as Google made some changes on terms of their rankings in search." (Why does Google need to change its formula? Didn't everyone say in the other segment (see below) that Google's awesome?)

Joe Terranova said STX is in a "secular shift" but called the Barron's 20% gain prospects "a little bit, uh, rich."

Josh Brown said it's "ironic" that a newspaper company apparently is mulling YHOO. Brown said "we all know" that VZ is the likely buyer.

Pete Najarian said there has been options activity in UAL "forever."

Steve Weiss said the "Uber effect" is hurting HTZ and CAR. Weiss claimed he knows as many hedgies who are short HTZ as are long, and they're still short.

Weiss said CVC is his own largest position because if the deal closes in 2 months, it's an "annualized return of 36%" and there's "very little" deal risk.

Pete Najarian said AMAT April 20.50 calls were popular. We'll probably be hearing in a day or two that the run-up has been sooooooo huge that Pete had to get out of the trade.

Golfer has bad hole;
stock downgraded

Around here, if we won the Masters, the first thing we'd do is pick up the phone and dial Judge's show at 12:01 p.m. the following Monday.

But Danny Willett apparently had an earlier deadline, calling Carl Quintanilla and Kayla Tausche on Squawk on the Street instead and encroaching on the Halftime start on Monday but missing the Under Armour downgrade discussion, which Judge for some reason milked to the max from his panel until they could take it no more.

Josh Brown said the Morgan Stanley analyst (we don't think he or she was ever named on the show) who hates UA "could be on to something," but if so, the question is how much of that's already built into the price. (This writer is long UA.)

As far as the stock, "At the end of the day (Drink), it seems to have found some support today," Brown said.

Joe Terranova called the stock fairly valued and said he "completely" disagrees with the Morgan Stanley $32 target. "Forget about a $32 price," Joe said, explaining UA has only missed once, in Q4 of 2006.

Running late, Pete Najarian dialed in to say UA has "great growth," but it's only in 17% of its business, something that was never clarified.

Steve Weiss said "there's no rush to get in" to UA, adding, "I like the story; I don't like it this price."

Josh Brown suggested it's more likely that it will trade down than up if Morgan Stanley is right about things in this report, but the stock doesn't have to fall to $32.

Joe said, "If you're buying it in the low 40s, you have to believe it's going to the 50s and above." Says who? Maybe someone buys it in the low 40s thinking it will go to the high 40s and then stop there.

Judge said the analyst acknowledged short-squeeze potential. Pete Najarian said that's why he would want to have "some kind of an options-type trade in there Scott" (Drink).

Pete noted a "30% short on the stock" that could "dramatically push this stock up" on good news.

Josh Brown said if you believe in the UA story, you want to have dips to buy.

Perhaps the telltale comment here was Pete Najarian noting Jordan Spieth's "just awful day on Sunday" which we knew would produce some kind of downgrade or at least a downgrade that people actually temporarily believed, also Pete and Judge's references to Stephen Curry and the Warriors; apparently people decided Under Armour doesn't work because Spieth took a 7 on the 12th but they're not going to believe that the shoes made Stephen Curry win 73 games.

Weiss: PHM CEO should quit ... now

Judge on Monday's Halftime Report brought up the latest in the PHM battle, which apparently is a scathing letter from William Pulte.

Steve Weiss said he doesn't understand why a CEO would say he's leaving in a year; "move on now."

"There is no value creation happening here," Josh Brown said of PHM.

Diana Olick pointed out how perceived mortgage-rate hikes are always head fakes and even suggested a possible "new low" on the 30-year fixed.

Joe Terranova halfheartedly suggested HD and LOW. Pete Najarian said if he had to look at builders now, it'd be LEN.

Josh Brown said if Barron's case for TOL is correct, it's not bullish for the homebuilding sector.

Stephen Weiss said GE wants to move its headquarters to Boston because that's where the talent wants to live rather than Stamford, Conn., so we're seeing a "generational move" into cities to rent.

Judge later read a statement from PulteGroup that sounded like PulteGroup didn't find William Pulte's letter all that convincing.

Not sure if Wall Street banks should adopt a West Coast offense or the Raidahs’ deep passing game

Steve Weiss on Monday's Halftime Report said there's "no reason to jump in" to financials, which he called "worse than utilities" and "under the onslaught of regulation."

Josh Brown said the market in general has gotten it right on financials in recent years. "They are worse than utilities," Brown said.

Judge said Brown and Weiss were painting banks as "uninvestable." Joe Terranova said everyone is "hiding" in Canadian banks, such as TD and BMO.

Christine Short said this could be the "last quarter" of companies having comps against huge dollar headwinds. Short said 80% of the small number of companies reporting so far have beaten Estimize's higher-than-the-Street expectations.

Joe Terranova pointed out at the end of the program that banks were up Monday and questioned if the sentiment has gotten too negative. Pete Najarian said he's gotten a lot of "pushback" about Jamie Dimon's stock buy in February, and Pete isn't sure what the pushback is.

Joe predicted "further upside" for the S&P 500 in April.

Karen Finerman on the 5 p.m. show conceded that net interest margins are under pressure but contended that C is "so far under book value" that it doesn't have to reach book value to make a good return from here.

Finerman though said credit quality has "been outstanding, probably the best we've ever seen," and if that ever starts to turn, she'd get "nervous."

Guy Adami astutely pointed out that certain factors such as the IPO calendar and the yield curve are not suggesting any short-term catalysts for banks.

Whew — managed to avoid TSLA for a day

Pete Najarian on Monday's Halftime said Pivotal's hiking of the GOOG target is very interesting because it suggests an "awfully high" multiple of 18.

Stephen Weiss said he'd buy the stock as a "mainstay" of a portfolio. Joe Terranova said that splitting Google's businesses has been "favorable" (but he didn't say whether the similiar stock machinations of UA are good or bad).

"I think it gets above 800," Joe said.

Josh Brown cautioned that GOOG isn't as dominant in the cloud as MSFT or in phones as AAPL and suggested the possibility of a "head-and-shoulders top forming here."

Pete said the Pivotal analyst was talking about higher margins for GOOG as a catalyst.

[Friday, April 8, 2016]

A day ago, Doc’s position was ‘locked up,’ but evidently he had to sell out of it

Ronnie Moas opened Friday's Halftime Report by telling the group he just met Mario Gabelli's son. Then he said Tesla's valuation is "completely, uh, disconnected" and pricing in a "best-case scenario" fueled by short covering.

Moas doubted the notion of Tesla sales ramping up from 100,000 to 500,000 and said there are many better stocks to choose for the next several years.

He said Tesla will have to raise capital to meet new sales goals and that the competition won't just sit around and get beat; however, you could've said that in the '60s and '70s and '80s and '90s when several foreign makes were introduced to U.S. consumers.

Moas said he "would not look at this name before it dropped below $180."

Jon Najarian repeated he had a TSLA position but "had to sell out of it" because it "just went parabolic" (Drink).

Judge put Mario Gabelli on the "Mount Rushmore of Value Investors" and asked him if he has invested in Tesla. Gabelli said he was "almost tempted to put uh, a deposit down of a thousand dollars" because it's an "interesting car," but he's not long the name.

Josh Brown said money managers are simply "wildly overpaying for anything that's got even a whiff of revenue growth" and for some reason made yet another of the show's comparison of FB to DIS.

Jim Lebenthal said "this is a classic case of a great company and a bad stock" with TSLA and said if the stock goes higher, it's mostly "speculation" and "hype."

Not clear if YHOO needs a West-Coast offense or the Oakland Raidahs’ downfield passing game

Mario Gabelli on Friday's Halftime Report said Verizon should buy the core of Yahoo; it will fit in "nicely" with the spinoff from Time Warner.

Gabelli said he doesn't know Marissa Mayer.

Jon Najarian said he extended his YHOO position "because they extended the bidding time." He sold the higher-premium April 22 expiration calls and bought the June calls, a play that "the stock stays right here," even though "it could even end up being a take-under."

Josh Brown said YHOO is not in a "stasis," but "everything about where this company plays is getting worse, not better." He said buyers of YHOO shares are banking on a "retro moment in media."

Mario Gabelli did another go-round on VIAB, stating, "The only thing we objected to was not disclosing the health of Sumner when they knew what was really going on."

Gabelli called Philippe Dauman's pay package "much ado about nothing" before admitting "you can't reconcile it."

Jim Lebenthal said the biggest plus for VRX is not so much the Bausch & Lomb vow but that it amended its terms for debt; also it's clear Ackman is in charge.

Doc said GPS looks like it wants to trade around its February low of 22.40 or so; he wants to buy it but hasn't pulled the trigger yet.

Josh Brown said LNKD got a downgrade for one of the "sillier reasons," the notion that online job postings have "peaked."

Mario Gabelli said to look at MGM and its "significant benefits" in financial engineering; also he touted PNK and the "significant legs" of its REIT structure. He said he bought each of those on Friday.

Gabelli also pointed to HOT and called Nashville "the hottest place in the United States" and suggested RHP as a play on the Gaylord hotel. He said he's hoping that MSG gets into the "gaming," not gambling, business.

Gabelli suggested buying Lennar-B voting stock, and perhaps even shorting regular Lennar against it; he said the spread will narrow. He also touted MLI as gaining 50%-100% in 3-4 years.

[Thursday, April 7, 2016]

Joe hangs 300 on TSLA while Judge saves all the bad news for after the commercial break

Josh Brown on Thursday's Halftime Report called Tesla "the hardest stock in the market" because it's been on fire but has failed twice previously at 280.

Joe Terranova asserted, "I think it's gonna hit 300."

Jon Najarian disclosed he has been in the name and of course had another winner. "I was in it, um, and uh took off half when it traded 230. Um, locked it up with uh 235 and 240 calls against the rest of it. So basically my position's locked up," Najarian said.

Pete Najarian did slip in a question, "Are they gonna be able to ever meet these production numbers?"

All the good stuff though came after a commercial and news break, when Josh Brown said bears are "probably hanging on" to the notion of a TSLA secondary offering as it might need to raise cash to meet these orders.

Judge then invoked air quotes to question if these are all "real" orders for the Model 3 or people just placing spots in line similar to ticket scalping. "Most people want to sell that spot in line," Jon Najarian explained, "much like Harley guys."

"Of this 300,000, I'd be shocked if half even were willing to take delivery rather than flipping that to another name," Doc said.

But nobody complained about the unfair label of a ‘hardware company’; when they stop calling it that, it’ll go to 150

Not wasting any time with tedious introductions, Judge on Thursday's Halftime got right into it with Walter Piecyk, who is watching iPhone upgrades.

"The operators are just aren't seeing the customers upgrade their phones, and that gives us a little bit of concern about whether there's just an intrinsic, uh, change, uh, in how people are holding onto their phones longer," Piecyk said.

He added, "It's just a little early to be overly bullish on an iPhone 7 that no one's seen."

Josh Brown questioned if the multiple already reflects Piecyk's view and, by the way, "why would anyone upgrade right now."

Piecyk said he has 7 years of data on the ebb and flow, "and the ebb in this case is much more dramatic than it's ever been."

Jon Najarian said he bought AAPL around 100 (news flash: that's a gain) and still likes it. Pete Najarian called the stock a buy and referred to Laura Martin's take a day earlier on the "ecosystem." Pete also trumpeted Apple's 2% of India's market share that he said could be 10% easily.

Josh Brown claimed AAPL will have a "next-generation product" in (snicker) virtual reality.

Judge unable to trip up Joe during yen discussion

Joe Terranova on Thursday's Halftime Report sort of took Judge to school on Asian currencies, saying "you have to understand" the "dynamic" of why the yen was rising.

Judge said Joe was "talking like central bank-speak" by implying a "transitory" move.

Joe said it's a "positive thing" because the G20 crew got together and "collectively is on the same page."

Josh Brown said sometimes slumping transports means something, and other times it doesn't. Jon Najarian said NSC was getting some call speculation.

Ed Yardeni, who wasn't quite Mr. Excitement in this appearance, said he doesn't think yen strength has much bearing on U.S. stocks but predicted the U.S. market would "consolidate for a while."

Yardeni said he calls Janet Yellen "the Fairy Godmother of the Bull Market."

Yardeni also said he worked at the New York Fed when Volcker was there, and, "We were on a first-name basis; uh, he called me 'Ed' and I called him 'Mr. Volcker.'"

Not clear yet if TWTR has adopted the West Coast offense or Oakland Raidahs’ deep passing game

Josh Brown said on Thursday's Halftime Report that "something momentous happened yesterday that must be mentioned," which is that the IBB has never had a volume day like Wednesday's and still been positive.

But Brown said it's still 14% below the 200-day, which he said is likely a "formidable resistance level."

Pete Najarian pointed out big-cap biotech has smaller P.E.s than a lot of biotech names that have almost no earnings (Drink), but he waffled when Judge pressed as to whether the sector is a buy.

Joe Terranova floated MRK and ISRG and SYK.

Jon Najarian said he follows the IBB and took notice when it hit 240 and "bounced like a rocket."

Karen Firestone said there's "something attractive" at the biotech price level but she wouldn't call the entire sector a buy. Firestone touted BSX and TMO.

Jeff Kilburg is the best of the Futures Now bunch — the rest of the group also does a fine job — and should get more airtime

Scott Nations on Thursday's Halftime wasn't high on gold, suggesting "it might wallow around here" but won't make a new high anytime soon.

Jim Iuorio called gold's move Thursday a "big deal" and said it "tends to correlate pretty well with yen" and that he might get in with a close above 1240.

Karen Firestone touted V because of the integration of Visa Europe and the possible bottoming of gasoline prices because so many people pay for gasoline with credit or debit cards.

Pete Najarian called Jamie Dimon a "class act" and said Dimon wants the company to outperform not just rivals but the S&P. Pete said "you could understand" why JPM thinks the headwinds will start lifting in the 2nd half of the year, a comment we've heard about the banks for about 7 years in a row.

Jon Najarian said he doesn't own JPM because he doesn't think it represents alpha. Pete said JPM is "best of the breed" but that others such as BAC might outperform.

Pete Najarian said he took half of his GDX position off in his Halftime Portfolio, sold GM, BMY and AWI, and added half a position in SBUX.

Doc sold EBAY and MRO (which supposedly was going to hit 12) in his Halftime Portfolio but unlike Pete did a full position in SBUX.

Josh Brown called YHOO a "melting icecube" and advised staying away.

Joe Terranova didn't like the margins in BBBY, nor the coupons and markdowns.

Jon Najarian said he would "applaud" LB for splitting its divisions into silos.

Pete Najarian said Steve Wynn's recent buy was the signal to get into WYNN, and now they're partnering with Disney on some kind of golf course; "they're turning that into a resort Scott."

[Wednesday, April 6, 2016]

Pulte discussion unleashes Weiss and John Spallanzani in a battle over housing affordability (a/k/a should Pulte look at things in 50-year increments like the United Arab Emirates?)

Assessing Judge's interview with Bill Pulte (see below), Jon Najarian on Wednesday's Halftime Report decided "that it was the company and/or Mr. Dugas that decided to basically splash this all over the news."

Stephen Weiss waded in far more to the debate, stating of Pulte, "The only thing he's citing is the last 5 years, which by the way is when money has never been easier," and we couldn't figure out which side Weiss was on.

Then Weiss continued, "But I agree, making a large acquisition, a billion and a half dollars and writing it off, to me that's a death blow for a CEO," suggesting the better option for Dugas would be to "walk out now rather than taking the nuclear option as Jon suggested and go public with it."

John Spallanzani seemed to credit Dugas for positioning the company for the "demographic onslaught" that will favor it. "Pulte is more land and single-family housing, right; that's not the sweet spot right now," Spallanzani said.

Weiss took issue with that. "Still houses are not that affordable," Weiss said.

"They are very affordable compared to rent. I mean, we can debate that all day," Spallanzani chuckled.

"That's actually not true," Weiss said.

"That is true. I'll show you charts on that," Spallanzani promised.

"Well you can show me charts on affordability. But it's a question of can you get the financing," Weiss said.

"It's a demographic thing," Spallanzani insisted.

Honestly, we're not sure who's right in this one. Maybe both. It's been a while since we've heard the "banks aren't lending" refrain, but at the same time, they're not exactly handing out $500,000 interest-only loans with $1,000 down either.

Not going to engage in public nonsense, but ...

In an impressive get for Wednesday's Halftime Report, Judge wasted no time in plunging into details with Bill Pulte.

But, while it was an important interview, it was never made clear exactly what Pulte and his relatives have accomplished — if anything. Nor was it clear exactly what numbers should be attributed to Dugas for evaluating his record.

Pulte made clear he wants Richard Dugas out as CEO. "First of all, we're very happy that he's gonna be leaving the company," Pulte said.

Then curiously, "We don't want to change a big direction. We just want a new leader," Pulte said.

Pulte explained that Dugas "has long been a family friend of the- of the family. We didn't really bother him for the last several years. But the reality is from 2004 to 2015, on a cumulative basis, the pretax earnings of the business have been a loss of over $400 million." (Translation: We have no bias against him; we were getting skeptical of him while his plans seemed to fizzle but gave him time to right the ship.)

Judge said Dugas would argue that his value-creation strategy of 2011 has delivered shareholder gains that outpace competitors. "What's wrong with those kind of numbers," Judge asked.

Pulte said those numbers came from a Centex guy, Jim Postl, and "Jim Postl, it's surprising he's still a director, much less the lead director of the organization," which never answered the question.

Then this complaint about the disclosure of this effort. "Mr. Dugas decided to make this public. We were working with them privately. Monday morning we were blindsided by this announcement. We've replaced, the family has over years, over 10 CEOs. This is nothing new for us. We'd prefer not to have this public battle," Pulte said.

Replaced over 10 CEOs? What is this, UCLA basketball?

Judge read a statement from Postl suggesting the Pultes want to go down the "old path" of "excessive risks."

Pulte reiterated that Postl has been with Dugas "since the failed Centex deal," which is a fair credibility attack, and asserted "the family does not wanna go back to the old model."

Pulte said "somebody who really understands the homebuilding industry" and "with all due respect to Mr. Dugas, didn't come from Pepsi" would be a great CEO.

Judge rattled off Dugas initiatives that could be considered "shareholder friendly." Pulte said, "Scott, where has the stock price gone in the last 2 or 3 years," and Judge had no answer.

"Richard's made over a hundred million dollars while the stock price has not dramatically increased," Pulte added.

"We think it's a great buying opportunity," Pulte said of the stock. Judge asked Pulte if he wants to be CEO. Pulte said, "Absolutely not."

Jim Grosfeld came up in the conversation, then Judge asked why moving the company from Detroit to Atlanta has rankled the Pultes. Pulte responded that it "so far has not been apparent to us why that move occurred," and he cited a "significant loss of talent." (Then again, if they moved it to Silicon Valley, they could possibly hire Sheryl Sandberg if she doesn't get the Disney job.)

Pulte floated Ryan Marshall and Harmon Smith as great candidates for leadership. But after an interview that lasted double digits in minutes, he closed with this dubious assertion:

"We do not want to engage in this, in this public nonsense," Pulte said.

Stop calling Apple a hardware company!

Laura Martin said on Wednesday's Halftime Report that if you took AAPL's "moniker" off the stock and laid the numbers vs. Disney or Facebook, they'd be favorable, and "if you took that hardware label off, it'd be valued at $200. ... So in the next 12 months, we're talkin' about 150."

All of which seemed to be an assertion of ... nothing.

Stephen Weiss carped at Martin's AAPL analysis. "All she did was look back," Weiss said. "I think it's an S&P stock ... the best days are behind it in terms of outperformance. You can't say it's not a hardware company. It is. Period.

Jon Najarian said he's long June AAPL calls, "that's where the heavy buying was."

Martin also said it's "unconscionable" that DIS doesn't have a succession plan.

Doc said Tom Staggs is "probably" in the succession plan either at Viacom or somewhere else.

Actually the games will be on CBS and NBC as well as NFL Network

Steve Weiss and Pete Najarian both bought AGN on Wednesday; "man it was so beaten up," Weiss said on Wednesday's Halftime Report, saying he was "glued to" the AGN CEO's remarks on CNBC.

John Spallanzani said it's "huge" when American/Western CEOs need to worry about changes to rules or laws during a transaction. Pete Najarian was suddenly gushing about his new AGN calls after questioning the valuation a day ago.

Mary Thompson delivered an update on Ackman, stating he of course finds HLF a short and a "pyramid scheme."

John Spallanzani said that selling VRX puts and buying the calls "was very good."

Jon Najarian said he was selling 25 puts in VRX about 10 days ago when the stock was under 28. #anotherwinner

Steve Weiss said VRX "probably" works for a trade, but "until the filings are out, you can't analyze it." Weiss said the only way it's a "dream job" for a CEO is if the CEO is a "frustrated attorney."

Seema Mody said Tiger Global was down 22% in the first quarter. Weiss said Tiger's honchos live and die by their momentum names and their volatility.

Bill Baruch told Jackie DeAngelis he's selling the bounce in crude, predicting a dollar recovery. Jeff Kilburg, one of the best on these shows who doesn't get nearly enough airtime, said it's great to be in New York and said 38 is a key level of resistance.

Doc said he put on RIG in his Halftime Portfolio and "made a very nice pop" (Drink) so he took off half (Double Drink) Wednesday. He also took off half of MRO, which he mentioned last week, even though the price is about the same level when he was talking about it previously and didn't approach the $12 he floated.

John Spallanzani corrected Judge that he's long TWTR calls (not stock) because "I think it's more about monetizing the 300 million people that they have on the platform right now." But Judge carped that "the story lives and dies on user growth."

Spallanzani protested that getting a few pennies a month from those users is "a lot of money," which sounds like the YHOO argument.

Judge said Scott Devitt walked back his "Hail Mary" on the TWTR-NFL deal but thinks it's "more likely than not a dump pass into the flat."

Pete Najarian claimed "Anthony Noto I think got a very good deal from the NFL on this whole thing for $10 million" despite pointing out "those are gonna still be on television," which Doc said would be the NFL Network.

Judge questioned whether Twitter has to be like the 49ers' West Coast offense or "the Raidahs" (sic) and their purported strategy of throwing deep "every play" (actually that was all bluster, Lamonica was their only QB who regularly threw deep). Steve Weiss said TWTR just needs "some marginal improvement."

Jon Najarian said HOG "might be" losing market share and that there was put activity a day ago.

Weiss said Wells Fargo has never been bought for its valuation but for its prestige.

[Tuesday, April 5, 2016]

Sheryl Sandberg: The Gene Bartow of media companies?

Well, this page called it. (Pats self on back.)

We noted a day ago that the business media would be tripping over a certain name as Disney's heir apparent; on Tuesday's Halftime, Judge plunged right in to a Sheryl Sandberg discussion.

Unfortunately, the crew took another called strike 3, as nobody bothered to try to explain how it might actually work for Sandberg to quit her job to work for Bob Iger for at least a couple years, probably more like 4 or 5, to maybe get a permanent offer.

Guest Doug Creutz, who called the Staggs news "surprising and, and, a little mystifying," seemed to chuckle at the prospect of a Sandberg hire.

"If it's true that they are concerned about his (Staggs') ability to handle creative content, I don't know why you go out and hire Sheryl Sandberg," Creutz said.

"This is almost like trying to replace John Wooden," Creutz added, prompting Judge to explain who Coach Wooden was. Judge even noted that Harrick won a national title at UCLA (except that was about 6 coaches after Wooden).

Stephanie Link said DIS is "a little too rich" and she wouldn't own it now. Pete Najarian said he owns it and would consider adding and doesn't think the succession news is that big of a deal.

Creutz called Disney "one of the pillars of our economy" and "always investable," but he thinks the stock is a little expensive.

Joe Terranova, apparently just catching up with the news, suggested "maybe they did not want Tom, maybe that's the reality."

Stephanie Link said you don't have to short FB if Sandberg leaves because it has "such a great bench."

AGN even more clearly oversold

Just on Monday, Dominic Chu suggested on the Halftime Report that AGN, according to Kensho, could be due for a pop.

Joe Terranova moments later, in the show's closing seconds, added to the bungle, calling AGN "clearly oversold."

Both escaped a Fast Fire on Tuesday's show, with Joe explaining there is "rhetoric" and "reality" related to Allergan and suggesting waiting until Pfizer says the deal is dead. "I will tell you when that happens, I think Allergan's a buy," Joe said.

Pete Najarian said some activity indicated people were looking for a bounce in AGN. Pete said some people think AGN is cheap, but it got rid of a big revenue stream.

Stephanie Link seemed to take issue with that, calling Allergan a "best in breed company that is totally on sale."

Pete Najarian said TWTR winning NFL streaming "kinda feels like a Hail Mary to me" but claimed the company is looking for "the right thing." (Perhaps it's part of the "cadence" of new products that Bob Peck talks about.)

Sarat Sethi shrugged that TWTR is only competing with other giants on unfamiliar turf that it's not very good at. Judge snapped that it's addressing "exactly what the problem is." Sethi said the company is only "segmenting" its audience.

Steph Link called Twitter's NFL deal "a step in the right direction." Joe Terranova said the "short trade is over" in TWTR.

Stephanie Link said the dollar is "looking like it's peaked."

Joe Terranova said the dollar is in a range and stocks on Tuesday were getting a "natural correction."

"Recession fear now has dissipated," said Sarat Sethi, who had a quiet show until impressively taking on Judge over TWTR.

Julie Sandler, who is very-very pretty, said from the Iconic conference she'd be "surprised" to see a surge in the tech IPO market.

Joe Terranova said everybody on the panel likes SBUX, especially below $60, though "you may have to pay to wait here."

Pete Najarian said he likes WEN and noted "we talk about Shake Shack all the time" (actually they don't. They used to, for about 3 weeks, then got tired of it).

Joe (WEN) and Stephanie (MCD) disagreed over whether WEN or MCD is a better buy now. Sarat Sethi trumpeted YUM.

Anthony Grisanti said he likes gold and that hedge funds do too. Scott Nations said he disagrees and that retail investors disagree also.

Sethi touted HBC. Stephanie Link got long ALXN.

Karen Finerman, in a new sweater-top ensemble on the 5 p.m. Fast Money, said the market is in "no-man's land," but "I certainly wouldn't sell."

[Monday, April 4, 2016]

The United Arab Emirates and its 50-year plans (cont’d)

Kulbinder Garcha told Judge on Monday's Halftime he did a "very deep dive" on Apple services and determined the market underappreciates the value.

Judge questioned if Garcha's call is actually an "indictment" of the iPhone.

Garcha said they've been saying for 2-3 years that the iPhone is definitely in the "latter stages" of growth and that "what's different about this morning is though, if you have a services business, it's recurring," which sounded flimsy but got a pass from Judge.

Jim Lebenthal said the stock "absolutely" keeps going and that the SE will "crescendo" (sic verb) into the iPhone 7. Joe Terranova said a lot of people got underweight AAPL, which is almost equivalent to being short.

Pete Najarian said of Garcha, "He's not talkin' about today. He's talking about years into the future," although it's not clear if he's talking in 50-year increments like they do in certain countries.

Remember, probably no chance for a pullback in gold

Judge devoted the opening of Monday's Halftime to a typically boring subject — the dollar — but a spirited panel put together a quality show.

Rebecca Patterson said the dollar has reached an "inflection point" of entering a range.

"A range is a change, and it's a good one," Patterson said.

Joe Terranova said not to make long-term investing plans based on a weakening dollar.

Pete Najarian predicted the dollar will be "all over the map" in coming quarters.

Jim Lebenthal merely predicted "rather tepid" earnings reports for Q1 and said he'll be paying attention to guidance (Drink).

Judge suggested that if "you" (meaning everyone, not specifically Jim) think the dollar will be weak, then you want to be buying stocks.

Joe called the yen "the one low-hanging fruit" globally and suggested if the dollar rises, then look at Japanese stocks over 6 months.

Judge wondered if 10% of stocks being at all-time highs represents a tired market or a market still in liftoff. Jim Lebenthal noted that a lot of sectors are "not close to their highs."

Joe pointed out that despite the last 6 weeks or so, the markets are little changed for the year, stating, "Flat's the new up" (Drink).

Mel doesn’t confirm with Mohamed El-Erian if the old-fashioned way still doesn’t work

Karen Finerman, with new hairstyle, on Monday's 5 p.m. Fast Money wondered if at Disney, "the heir apparent is Bob Iger."

James B. Stewart called the Staggs departure "truly a shock."

We don't think anyone mentioned Sheryl Sandberg on the show, but that's the "cool" name that everyone's talking about.

Judge forwarded Mohamed El-Erian to Mel's 5 p.m. show this time; El-Erian said stocks are at the "top end of the range."

Non-position disclosed;
Judge doesn’t care

Judge on Monday's Halftime for some reason carped at Jim Lebenthal simply for stating he doesn't have a position in GE; eventually Jim was allowed to say the stock could go higher and that the multiple isn't high, though he's not going to buy it.

"Valuations can stay high a lot longer than you expect," Lebenthal said, the best observation of the GE discussion.

Pete Najarian owned calls in GE and ... of course ... took them off because the stock rallied so much (Drink).

Josh Brown called to say that when an analyst such as Bernstein downgrades a stock only because it has had a great run, "that's one of the all-time best times to put a name on your radar."

Brown said Bernstein downgraded and raised the price target; "I don't think I've ever seen anything like this," even though it's occasionally mentioned on the show when a shop previously had a low target.

Brown pointed to HD's extended run as an indication of what GE can do.

Pete Najarian questioned Brown whether health care is a drag on GE. Josh said GE is not in the drug-development business or "the areas that are being called into question directly."

Joe does a U-turn on TSLA

Jim Lebenthal on Monday's Halftime Report said the Virgin acquisition is a "great deal" for ALK. (This time, however, Judge did not invite Richard Branson to dial in to talk about his son being rescued somewhere.)

Judge said you have to "wait forever" to get a Tesla Model 3. Joe Terranova said Joe was "completely wrong" last week in suggesting a pause and this time hung a 300 on the name.

Joe conceded FB's results could actually come in light, but he still thinks it's going to 120 and doesn't want to play the trader game with the stock.

Pete Najarian agrees with the Barron's call on TWX of possible 25% upside, suggesting 80 is "not that far into the future."

Pete didn't really make a call on YHOO.

Dom Chu said Kensho has churned out stats suggesting AGN could be due for a pop and MA could be due for a drop. Pete Najarian said he still likes MA. Joe said he had no interest in "oversold" RIG but said AGN is "clearly oversold."

Joe said he likes SLB. Pete said SLB is "premature" right now.

Pete Najarian said BBBY calls were hot just ahead of the earnings report. Jim Lebenthal said TIF is up 20% since February's lows.

Brian Stutland said Treasurys have found a bid and that on any rise in rates, he wants to buy the 10-year.

Rebecca Patterson said, "at the end of the day (Drink)," Janet Yellen has "got the final say" at the Fed (for those who thought it was Peter Schiff).

Ivy Zelman watches the show

On Monday's Halftime Report, Jim Lebenthal said the PHM CEO is being "pushed out."

"The stock has been stuck, and the board has said, we need to do something," Lebenthal said, questioning whether it's a "fair move" but stating the new CEO will enter with a tailwind.

Judge said Ivy Zelman gave PHM a downgrade (stop the presses); "I don't know if a lot of people know about that ... she's reminding me right now that they downgraded it, uh, today as well," Judge said.

Pete Najarian called consumer stocks "a bit stretched" but not fully stretched yet.

Joe Terranova said he'd reallocate staples money into discretionary and explained he's never been a believer in utilities.

Stephanie Link said she unloaded TJX on valuation and put the cash into WBA, even mentioning the Rite Aid deal. "She's just moving things around," said Pete Najarian, questioning if TJX's run is really done.

[Friday, April 1, 2016]

First several weeks of the year apparently matter more to gold than last several weeks

Anthony Grisanti on Friday's Halftime Report predicted a continuing bid for gold and said he'd like to buy it "close to 1,200." Jim Iuorio agreed it's a buy at $1,195.

George Milling-Stanley sat in with the panel and told Judge he's not sure gold will have another pullback. "Frankly I don't think I would want- I would risk waiting," Milling-Stanley said, the type of comment that always sort of raises eyebrows.

Milling-Stanley said it's a "favorable climate" for gold and floated a $1,350 price target. He said central banks continue to buy and predicted decent consumer demand in China.

Kourtney Ratliff cited a "record inflow in high yield in the 1st quarter," which to her says "risk on," and she wonders if that could siphon gold dollars. Milling-Stanley said that he's looking at the entire 1st quarter, and risk-off was the case until the last few weeks.

Nobody’s laughing anymore at Joe’s linking of TSLA to crude (cont’d)

A lot of times on the Halftime Report and Fast Money, panelists get a little overly complicated in trying to parse when things are buys or holds or sells.

Which is why it was refreshing to hear Kourtney Ratliff on Friday's Halftime Report say of TSLA, "If you think it's going higher, that's when you actually do buy it."

(Ratliff even tossed in an "at the end of the day" (Drink) twice (Double Drink).

But it didn't sound like many on the panel think it is going higher now.

Josh Brown said it's tougher to make an "investor" case for TSLA than a "trader" case, although nobody was making the latter.

Stephanie Link said she doesn't get the valuation and said it's "such an emotional trade" and thus is hard to own for the long term.

Jim Lebenthal said what's "hanging out there" for TSLA is that it's an auto company and pointed to F and GM multiples.

Link insisted, "It's a technology company for sure ... this is a game-changer in the auto industry."

Lebenthal said he agrees with the game-changer notion but thinks it "would be very speculative for it to go higher from here."

Brown said if you want to buy it, you buy on the "hiccups," not at times like this.

George Galliers told the group it's not a "valid comparison" to contrast the TSLA multiple to the GM/F multiples. He said he gets to a 310 target with a discounted cash-flow model because the company might be capable of lowering its costs to a "best in class" margin.

Then there's the wow factor. "There's no other car in the industry- of the automotive industry we're aware of which has had this kind of consumer reaction," Galliers said.

Ratliff tossed in one more "at the end of the day" (Triple Drink).

Judge warns of thick satellite delay, talks over Weiss anyway

Judge on Friday's Halftime turned to Seema Mody for an update on the steep gains in emerging markets in March, specifically Brazil's 16% rise.

Stephanie Link said "I don't own any of the emerging markets per se" but certain multinationals.

Josh Brown said you actually need the equities in those countries "to truly be diversified."

Jim Lebenthal said EM is a "very volatile asset class" and you should treat it as a "Rip Van Winkle asset class," or one you only look at over the long term.

Steve Weiss on a steep delay from Dubai said the "No. 1 thing" he heard was that a "very senior" oil exec from the UAE told him that they think "in increments of 50 years" (why that's important, we're not sure) and that it wouldn't be good for them if oil climbed over 50, so he doesn't see any type of freeze occurring at the April 17 meeting in Doha.

Weiss also said "around here," they're talking about Saudi plans to buy shale assets out of bankruptcy and said that one of his P.E. contacts is working on 10 bankruptcies that haven't been announced.

Weiss said the sovereign wealth funds are still putting money into hedge funds.

C still at discount to tangible book

Kourtney Ratliff on Friday's Halftime said you want to follow Jamie Dimon's buy in JPM but that it's a "longer-term play."

Stephanie Link said she owns GS because she thinks the capital markets space has gotten too crushed.

Jim Lebenthal said he likes C (snicker) more than JPM because C trades "at a meaningful discount to tangible book value" (Drink).

Josh Brown said if MS gets above 26, "it could be a powder keg."

Stephanie Link defied Deutsche Bank's DAL rating cut and called the stock a buy.

Jim Lebenthal said if you own airlines, you can continue to own them, but the time to buy them is during downturns when they really sell off. He said ALK is the best opportunity now.

Josh Brown said the airline charts are "messy" right now but that HA looks the best of the group.

Stephanie Link said she's buying UPS. Jim Lebenthal said there's opportunity in MLPs, specifically the "cream of the crop" such as EEP and MMP.

Stephanie Link said AAPL has an "ugly quarter ahead." Jim Lebenthal said he thinks AAPL guided "sufficiently low."

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