[CNBCfix Fast Money Review Archive — December 2016]
[Friday, December 30, 2016]

Happy 2017 …
and Happy Trading!

This page used to do a whiz-bang, year-end wrap-up of all the highlights and lowlights of Fast Money and the Halftime Report, but the sprawl, age and redundancies of the programs eventually proved too much even for the most dedicated viewers to maintain a scorecard.

This year, we're happy to recap a few memorable moments and once again determine the Call of the Year, as well as the biggest bust of 2016.

As far as the programs, first, let's express Happy New Year wishes to the panels and crews and viewers, then … let's be candid about a few things …

The 5 p.m. Fast Money needs a jolt of … something. It is less a show about trading than gratuitous chest-thumping about how bad the Fed is and how all these Wall Street knuckleheads have no clue about how bad the economy really is. Some panelists talk too much.

It is not helped by its time slot. At 5 p.m. Eastern, there is occasionally interesting afterhours market action that prompts impressively candid instant stock assessments, but not often enough. Most of the trading advice is warmed-over daytime material or long-term regurgitated bozo macro forecasts.

In the beginning, Fast Money was a testosterone high, giddy traders led by Eric Bolling trying to identify the next day's hot trade and having a blast doing it.

Nowadays, it's often about as exciting as taking out the garbage. The panelists, while offering stock "tips" (or Marc Faber-esque predictions) that no one really believes, too often recycle years-old punch lines that never were funny (the one exception being clips of Guy Adami's day at UPS).

Bad television habits go uncorrected. Pointless inside jokes are not only tolerated but seemingly encouraged; Mel's bizarrely emphatic whistleblowing when people are talking over each other (admittedly an annoyance that Judge doesn't address often enough) is a case of the solution being worse than the problem.

Fast Money is a stretch at an hour a day. A half-hour would be plenty (even the Friday show has filler), or even a weekly hourlong program would suffice.

Guy Adami, the original, is a quality linchpin, and Karen Finerman remains the rock star. Steve Grasso excels in limited opportunities. Melissa Lee and Scott Wapner do a fine job of letting guests talk.

The best panelists for either program are the Najarians. They get what it's all about. Jon, prone to ad-libbing, gets a slight nod over Pete, who is rather measured. Sure, the Brag Trades often wear thin, but there's plenty to mull from this pair.

The Halftime Report is bolstered by real-time trading and breaking news and by host Scott Wapner's impressive improvement in button-pushing. Unfortunately, whatever ratings service CNBC is using must be raising red flags because every other day, we're seeing Cramer or Kevin O'Leary; it probably won't be long until Joe Kernen, Marcus Lemonis, Jay Leno and the rest of CNBC's stable are brought in.

It's entirely possible that Fast Money and the Halftime Report are victims of stock-market success, that viewers tend to yawn until we're either in 1) utter euphoria or 2) fetal positions. Obviously this market hasn't seen much of either in 8 years, with partial exceptions in 2011 and 2013.

Maybe a little market mayhem will be good television.

The DB bungle

He's a complete gentleman, dresses impeccably and speaks with the most eloquent diction, almost a 1-man gang at lifting today's sorry, sagging presentation standards.

So there is no pleasure here in lobbing criticism in the direction of Fast Money regular Carter Worth.

But on Sept. 29, Worth put together a clunker that was so precisely off, it drew 2016 Bust attention.

Afterhours on Fast Money that day, a Thursday, Worth made the case against DB, pointing to the charts and asserting "it's all pretty grim … I think the cautious money or the cagey money either way has to presume that this goes lower … there's no telling how far it can go."

Worth even asked, "What makes someone, taking all the facts, say, right now, I gotta go out and get me some Deutsche Bank shares."

Oh my.

That day was the 52-week low, closing at $11.48.

It's been a moon shot ever since.

We hardly catch every minute of Fast Money, so it's almost a fluke that we saw this one … except it got our attention because the stock was seriously flagging then and, despite Worth's commentary, it seemed prime for one of those "washout" moments that traders often accurately detect.

Hopefully viewers took the other side of this one.

Call of the Year

In the category of televised stock-picking advice, this is undeniably as good as it gets.

3 panelists of the Halftime Report made such incredible calls in 2016 that choosing among them is like deciding between Mays, DiMaggio and Mantle for your last outfielder.

The first nominee stems from July 29, when Josh Brown made an unusually long bull case for NVDA, even suggesting the stock could replace Netflix in the FANG club. "What's really going on with graphics cannot be understated," Brown asserted.

NVDA shares closed that day at $57.10.

During the course of the year, others occasionally mentioned the stock, going back to Joe Terranova on Jan. 5, but nobody made this kind of case for it.

The second nominee is Steve Weiss' May 25 comment about the downside risk in SRPT "maybe down to 4 or 8 dollars, but the upside is to 50 or 60."

Shares that day closed at $23.35, a steep $5 gain from the day before.

In the previous month or two, Weiss and Jon Najarian had both spoke of cashing in big time with options on the volatility in this name. But only Weiss hung a 60 on the shares while Najarian was more interested in the short-term "scalp" potential, and Weiss touted the name throughout summer.

The stock rocketed from the 20s to the 50s on Sept. 19 and crossed the $60 barrier on Sept. 22. It held that level for a couple weeks, giving savvy traders ample time to exit. Since then, it's been walking its way nearly all the way back to $23.

Finally, there was Jon Najarian's prediction, made twice, on the Wednesday, June 22, Halftime Report that Britons would vote to leave the EU.

The Brexit call is all the more impressive given that it had nothing to do with unusual options activity or stock "washouts." However, because no one really had a good grasp on how to trade it (back up the truck on the following Monday) and sort of waffled for a week, we can't say that it was as helpful as a great stock call.

So Najarian's Brexit call gets 3rd place.

That leaves Brown and Weiss. Brown's call was an absolute juggernaut. However, the stock didn't enter hyperspace until after the election, meaning the most successful holders were the ones with patience.

Weiss' trade too took about 4 months to explode. That one, unlike Brown's, has rapidly unwound. However, Weiss' call was pegged to FDA decisions that did indeed produce the anticipated result.

By the numbers, Brown got about a double, while SRPT longs who took Weiss' advice scored a 160% take.

So the Call of the Year is Weiss' SRPT $60.

Jim wins Halftime
Portfolio challenge

On Friday's year-end Halftime Report, Paul Hickey predicted "considerably more volatility" next year, which is what people always predict.

Jim Lebenthal predicted energy reverses in 2017.

Scott Kessler touted BABA with a 102 target, calling the risk "already accounted for" in the name. His top Internet name for 2017 is GOOGL. Judge pointed out that AMZN is not in Kessler's "universe," so it's apparently ineligible to be his top pick.

Jim Lebenthal kicked serious butt with 32.1% in the Halftime Portfolio contest; Sarat Sethi and Stephanie Link also did great as 2nd and 3rd.

[Thursday, December 29, 2016]

Women talking shopping is cute

The crucial opening moments of Thursday's Halftime were so sleepy, Judge even was compelled to replay a clip of Marc Faber in the opening minutes.

Erin Browne said optimism hasn't faded, rather, people are just "taking a breather."

David Rosenberg spent several minutes explaining that the market's gotten a little ahead of itself (oh boy). Near the end of his conversation, Rosenberg tried to suggest the dangers of a hyperactive Fed (snicker), a point mocked by the Najarii.

Joe Terranova said it was "prudent" of himself to take out some puts on this market, then challenged Judge's question about whether "all the optimism is justified," asserting the optimism hasn't even "begun to walk."

Joe said the "right strategy" for January is to be "very patient." (That sounds like the market isn't going anywhere, at least not going up.)

Joe said SCHW has a tax rate of 38%; he likes it in 2017 along with AMG, FANG, PKI and FMC.

Pete Najarian said he likes ETFC over SCHW.

Pete touted KEY and said JPM had a "record quarter" before (Drink) the Trump election.

Heather Zumarraga, who joined the 5 p.m. Fast Money panel for perhaps the first time, suggested Thursday that everyone might be buying things, lamenting, "I can't find a parking spot at the mall to go shopping." (She even repeated it later in the show.) Carter Worth said "Nordstroms" (sic).

Judge apparently doesn’t want to ask questions in which panelists haven’t already rehearsed an answer

Jon Najarian on Thursday's Halftime cited unusual buying in January 175 calls in BDX.

For some reason, Judge said "not to put you on the spot with something you haven't prepared for" but asked if Najarian has seen more activity in KATE.

If we were walking down the street and someone asked us if we'd noticed any more unusual activity in TWLO, we'd say "No" and not consider it being snookered.

Anyway, the Najarians said there was "profit-taking" in KATE.

Jim Lebenthal praised the "very good call" of strong buy for BK.

Joe Terranova said he can see DE at 115 or 120.

Anthony Grisanti doesn't like gold because the fear trade is "dissipating" and because hedge funds are dumping their holdings. Jim Iuorio though likes gold in 2017, stating he added a bit to his position Thursday.

Pete Najarian said JBLU calls were popular, people "rolling up" (Drink) from January 22 to February 23.

Joe suggested volatility will be good for exchanges in 2017. Jim Lebenthal said carried-interest fears are more than priced into BX. Doc said there was strong January 11 call activity in EXPR.

The CNBC News Update was delivered by none other than Contessa Brewer, who strained to add excitement to some amateur kicking a football for Ohio State.

Doc talks about ‘huge racks’

Jon Najarian on Thursday's Halftime (photo above from a different day) insisted the good stuff he stated about AMZN isn't already baked into the stock.

He said he's only playing it with a call spread that makes his exposure "limited."

Jim Lebenthal, brushing up on AMZN details after shrugging off the valuation a day earlier, said AMZN has retained earnings of $4 billion over 20 years, prompting him to restate the "volatile" earnings argument (but not the part about Netflix being well off its highs). (Editor's note: Jim on July 29 said NFLX should be dropped from the FANG stocks.)

Judge tried in vain to get the panel not to scoff at the Global Equities AMZN assessment. Doc revealed, "A lot of our customer base is out on the West Coast," then he sought to offer some kind of channel check in reporting that those customers used to have "huge racks" (sic) of CSCO and "everything else," and now "every single time we speak to one of those groups, they talk about, 'Now I'm all with AWS.'"

Meanwhile, Doc said he's "so frustrated" by TWTR that he sold his calls.

[Wednesday, December 28, 2016]

Barbara Doran concerned about how stocks will do 12 months from now

Pete Najarian on Wednesday's Halftime cited consumer confidence in his 2017 outlook that favors HD, LOW, COST and TJX.

But he said he's "very nervous" about the pharma/biotech world, a sector he said is no longer "defensive."

Jon Najarian endorsed DRI and PLKI as consumer plays in 2017 and predicted that the "repealed" or "redone" Obamacare will "put more money in folks' pockets."

Najarian even touted MOS and AGU as some kind of dining play, and also UNH.

Seema Mody (shown above later in the day but same outfit) reported on KATE's spike on Wednesday. Judge noted the stock's struggles this year, then brought in Dana Telsey, who said COH and KORS are both looking to make a purchase.

Telsey said the outlet channel for KATE has been a bit of a headwind.

Pete Najarian said he'd be "surprised" if KATE's competitors are the buyers. Joe Terranova said KATE might be more of a "private equity-type of deal."

Doc said he bought KATE when it fell out of bed 6 months ago; he said there were big block trades of calls Wednesday before the stock was halted. (Betcha the new SEC will be all over it.)

Jim Lebenthal said the KATE space is "a little bit too mercurial for my take (sic), uh, for my taste," stating handbags should be a "zero-sum game," but they all seem to be losing the last couple years.

Latecomer Barbara Doran called the Trump rally "overdone."

"I am now getting very nervous … for the end of this next year," Doran curiously said, even mentioning "recession" as a possibility for that time.

Jim Lebenthal said recessions typically need a cause, and 3 Fed hikes won't be enough of one.

Anthony Grisanti suggested $60 crude by March. Jeff Kilburg backed that call.

Joe senses correction

Judge apparently thought viewers would be well-served by Marc Faber's predictions at the top of Wednesday's Halftime Report. (See, it's a slow holiday week.)

But Joe Terranova said he was "confused" by Faber's comments, specifically the notion that rising rates will sink the stock rally but that Faber wants to be in emerging markets.

"We're all over the place on this narrative," Joe said.

Joe continued, "I think a correction's coming. I actually bought S&P puts today."

Joe explained that there is "a lot of pent-up (Drink) tax selling" that hasn't occurred this year like it normally does.

But Jon Najarian said the idea of all kinds of sellers waiting for January is "overstated."

Pete Najarian said the strengthening dollar will "eventually" slow things down.

But Jim Lebenthal suggested rising rates aren't that big of a deal unless the "appreciation" continues over 3%.

Jim predicted a 3-5% pullback in January.

Jon Najarian chuckled about Santoli/Santelli (it's low volume in terms of jokes as well as trading) and suggested 2 or maybe even just 1 rate hike next year.

Judge, not necessarily making a trading call, said it feels like buyers are "exhausted."

Pete a couple times cautioned about low volume at year-end as though it was a tornado coming.

Evercore foolishly puts AMZN target at $990 instead of 4 digits, but it was still high enough for Judge to make it the Call of the Day

Jon Najarian on Wednesday's Halftime backed Evercore's 990 bull call on AMZN.

Jim Lebenthal contended the valuation isn't the whole problem with the stock, rather it's the "volatility of the earnings."

Pete Najarian said the Amazon earnings swings are mostly to the upside and not the downside. Joe Terranova said there's "no reason" AMZN can't cross 900 in a "benign overall environment."

Pete said the call is all about AWS.

Jim said "valuation doesn't matter until it does" and inaccurately claimed NFLX is "well off its high."

Joe, on his toes, pointed out that NFLX is actually "pressing towards a 5-year (sic actually all-time) high at 127."

Jim was forced to admit the blunder, acknowledging NFLX has had a "good recovery recently, you're right."

[Tuesday, December 27, 2016]

Joe warns of correction ‘at some point,’ advises buying it

Jonathan Krinsky opened Tuesday's Halftime Report telling Judge we could have a "bullish outside year" in the S&P 500, which supposedly has "only happened 2 other times in history (sic last 2 words redundant)."

Krinsky said those times were in 1935 and 1982, each followed by 28% and 17% gains, respectively.

Krinsky called financials "overbought in the near term" but still attractive, but he asserted consumer discretionary is "one to avoid."

Judge said Krinsky's sample size is not huge enough "to really bank much on."

Joe Terranova, who took his foot off the "Main Street" (Drink) gas pedal, said financials weren't just a Trump phenom but "rallying into September." Joe also said sentiment is not suggesting any "warning signs" yet to the bull market.

Pete Najarian twice said he continues to add to financials (Zzzzzzz).

Sarat Sethi said banks are "underowned" (Zzzzzzz).

Kevin O'Leary said he wouldn't do Krinsky's "regression to the mean" trade because he thinks discretionary will benefit from an improving consumer, and at the same time, O'Leary isn't seeing "any" changes to financial regulation yet.

"You might see some really horrendous misses in energy," O'Leary cautioned. But he said he wouldn't short a boring market, and this is a "boring" market.

Joe assured there will be a correction "at some point" and advised viewers to "buy the correction," whenever this yet-to-happen correction occurs. (Doesn't it make sense to buy EVERY correction, given that every correction has ended and by definition can only end with stocks going higher?) Joe suggested selling S&P futures or playing the VIX as a hedge rather than dumping equities in anticipation of the correction.

Should the president-elect help companies out by pointing out when they’re not charging enough?

Sarat Sethi on Tuesday's Halftime predicted Trump will go after the "me too" generic drug stocks.

Judge scowled that if Trump does go after drug pricing in a "meaningful way," there's no way it's priced in.

Jim Lebenthal touted PFE, INTC, NKE (Drink), despite being in the "penalty box" (Drink), and EEP as 2017 picks.

Pete said he owns and likes PFE but has some "nervousness" about the name. Doc too said he likes it but is "nervous" about it.

Sarat Sethi touted regional banks and Joe's favorite, TMO, and ILMN, as well as FBHS and MAS. He said to be careful of chips. But Pete Najarian said "it depends where in the chip sector you are."

Joe Terranova backed RF and BBT and suggested TXN.

Last time Iuorio’s man-fur came up, Judge thought they were talking about Jim’s trading jacket

Jim Iuorio on Tuesday's Halftime suggested nat gas could have more room to run. Jeff Kilburg said "there's a lot of momentum" that can take it to $4, including that Iuorio was seen wearing the "man fur."

Joe Terranova said NKE (Drink) is "starting to make the turn" (has that ever NOT been the case?) and said the same for LULU and predicted "at some point" (Drink) the same for UA (snicker).

Joe raised eyebrows stating India is the one emerging market that "stands out" and "comes back" in 2017. Sarat Sethi disagreed, stating, "I would wait for India right now" because of its "huge issue" with cash currency.

Doc, who had a quiet show (knocked off his game by Swisher), predicted a great buying opportunity in EM "late in the first quarter."

Jim Lebenthal suggested being in the European multinationals.

Doc said March 125 calls in INCY were popular. Pete Najarian said AAPL 117/118/119 weekly calls are hot.

Joe’s Denny’s-esque miss

Joe Terranova on Tuesday's Halftime Report lamented settling for a "safe single" in energy stocks in 2016 when the market was setting up for a "grand slam."

Jim Lebenthal lamented not being long enough financials. Sarat Sethi trumpeted CERN, though we're not sure where the regret was. Jon Najarian said he was too cautious after Brexit. Pete Najarian was "way way way too early" into airlines.

Pete ended the show touting XLNX. Doc said DAL, Joe said NFLX and Jim said BA.

Bill Griffeth, sitting in for Sue Herera, delivered the "CBC (sic not the Canadian outlet) news update."

First time we’ve heard about Sears in ages

Jim Lebenthal on Tuesday's Halftime Report declared the brick and mortar holiday season "wasn't good."

Kevin O'Leary insisted brick and mortar actually did "much worse" than reported. "These stocks suck," O'Leary said. "The truth is, online is eating their lunch."

Jim said he's hanging onto JCP because "it's up 30% on the year," but the sector needs "consolidation."

Jon Najarian said GPS tumbled because of price cuts, but COST is one retailer that didn't have to cut.

Joe Terranova said "we've been talkin' about Sears for the last couple years," even though we haven't heard the name mentioned in months. "They look like they're goin' out of business."

More from Tuesday's Halftime later.

[Friday, December 23, 2016]

Happy Hanukkah and
Merry Christmas

Friends, we hope this 2016 year-end finds you on the upswing.

2016 wasn't the greatest year at CNBCfix HQ for various reasons. But one thing that actually provides a bit of day-to-day adrenaline is this page (snicker), which boasts (basically accurately) one of the most informed, erudite and savvy audiences on the entire world wide web.

We're here because you are. Talking stocks. Reviewing television. Tellin' it like it is. Dominating "rivals" (snicker) in the mainstream media who can't touch this niche and don't even bother to go here. Once in a while making a joke. Always dedicated to the highest standards of journalism established for decades by print media.

Have the greatest of holidays … and Happy Trading!

Weiss thinks airline tickets
should be classified as ‘toys’

This one was as funny as it was head-scratching.

Stephen Weiss on Friday's Halftime Report tried to cast doubt on Dom Chu's report that NPD found that toy sales are steeply down, calling it a "narrow view" and questioning if they count gift cards or even "trips" or "airline tickets" in the "toys" category.

Weiss said retail names didn't "deserve" the previous gains they had, stating retail is "commoditized."

Meanwhile, Josh Brown said every publicly traded department store has "negative momentum" right now.

Judge, taunting us with terminology, noted "Amazon in and of itself (sic last 4 words redundant) (Drink) is down 3% since the election." (He also said "in and of itself" (Double Drink) when suggesting the failure to surge past 20,000 is a sign the market needed a breather.)

Doc admitted that BBBY, which he touted Dec. 15, "just fell apart this week."

Doc revisited his favorite retail slogan; "Buy 'em Labor Day; sell 'em Black Friday" (Drink).

Jim Lebenthal and Weiss talked over each other about retail margins vs. volume. Jim stressed retail is a seasonal trade.

Estimize's Christine Short brought a "hot list" (sorry, it doesn't include Seema or Sara or Deirdre or Aditi) of 5 CNBCers stocks to watch for 2017, topped by AMZN.

But Josh Brown wasn't so sure. "I don't know that it's done going down," Brown said.

Doc said he likes TSLA because it doesn't have the "anvil" of retiree costs that legacy automakers have.

Short also chose XOM because Rex Tillerson will be out of the C suite because of the prospect of oil gains. Short also picked AET but acknowledges "uncertainty" around the name.

BA long Jim Lebenthal wasn't as enthusiastic about the stock's prospects in 2017 as Short was.

Jim predicted "some giveback" in steel stocks. Weiss said he'd sell CAT.

Josh Brown asserted that Carl's stated concern about the stock market in the interview with Judge a day earlier was really meaningless because there's no downside to anyone saying they have concerns about the market. (Not surprisingly, Weiss somehow found reason to argue with that.)

Brown claimed he talks to "a hundred clients a month." (All of them probably say, "BUY ME SOME MORE NKE.")

Dom Chu revealed TD Ameritrade's top 5 stocks sold in 2016, which were AAPL, NFLX, BABA, BAC and CVX. Jim Lebenthal called the list "almost a perfect contra-indicator" and said to be long AAPL.

Jim Iuorio said an OPEC agreement isn't necessarily an OPEC cut; he thinks crude can reach 54 before it goes south.

Josh Brown said CAG reaffirmed guidance and said he doesn't "hate" the stock.

Jim Lebenthal said UPS has a "slightly better valuation" than FDX but that you can own both.

Doc said the WTW spike was "great for me" because he had some calls.

Weiss said MU "still looks attractive."

Weiss touted BAC and LUK on rising rates and a boost in trading and refinancing. He also touted NKE (Zzzzzzzzzzzz), because they couldn't go an entire program without someone recommending NKE. He reiterated his call to short bunds.

Doc said COG calls were hoppin', and he bought them. Someone was buying FCAU 9 calls and selling the 10s. He also cited "a lot of activity" in FTNT.

Jim Lebenthal said "pharma is the place to be."

[Thursday, December 22, 2016]

Carl: Obama administration let 25-year-olds make national policy

Newly plated Trump adviser Carl Icahn, the star guest of Thursday's Halftime, said he's "sort of surprised" that "so much is being made" of his role with the incoming administration.

Icahn said his goal is that "this absurd regulatory environment is toned down somewhat." (Translation: My refineries have been taking it on the chin for too long.)

Carl 3 times said that any criticism about him giving Trump advice is like saying Trump shouldn't be allowed to talk to Jamie Dimon and Brian Moynihan about banking; then he added just Dimon for a 4th time.

"What exactly will you be doing," Judge asked. Carl said he'll talk about what "hampers" our economy greatly, such as … drum roll … regulation on refineries.

"There are refineries on the brink of bankruptcy today," Icahn explained, adding he warned about "the abuse of mortgage-backed securities," though "I'm not lookin' to pat myself on the back."

"I'm not makin' any policy," Icahn insisted, faulting the current White House for listening to "kids."

"That's the problem with this whole administration for the last 8 years, that the advice is coming, and I don't demean these people, but from 25-year-old kids, have this outsized say in what is going on," Icahn said.

As to his own wealth, "I'm a workaholic so I don't, I don't really spend the money too much," Icahn said.

Icahn said he's concerned about the amount of money "dammed up" in ETFs. He also told Judge that there should be more corporate accountability, "Just like you would be removed from your job if you didn't do the right job at CNBC. I like to think that you're, you're doing very well there."

Carl called the CNBC conference "Seeking Alpha"; Judge corrected him to "Delivering Alpha."

Afterwards, Joe Terranova, one of Judge's overstocked 5-man panel (for 10 minutes of soundbites), said Carl was "underscoring" the importance of Main Street (Drink) that the stock market is "due probably for a little bit of a correction."

Jim Lebenthal said "incremental sellers" will not sell until 2017, and "that will cause a little bit of a pullback."

But Jonathan Glionna said the 12-month outlook is "very favorable right now," and he's got a 2,400 S&P target for year-end 2017.

Not surprisingly, Kevin O'Leary wasn't too impressed with Carl's comments on ETFs, stating, "I think Carl used a very broad club onto a very delicate market"; O'Leary thinks ETFs of market-cap-weighted indices aren't risky.

Judge suggested the expansion of ETF products might be "a warning sign perhaps in and of itself (sic last 4 words redundant)."

Doc said there was big call-buying in TLT.

[Wednesday, December 21, 2016]

The Free Labor Trade (cont’d): Screen graphic says Mark has $155 target on YELP

Mark Mahaney sat looking stone-faced (we can't really call it a Shields & Yarnell routine because he didn't move) into the camera while Judge cheerily welcomed him onto Wednesday's Halftime.

Eventually he got synched in, and Mahaney said he's got a 55 target on YELP and made it his top small-cap pick because he thinks there's a 10% upside to Street estimates next year.

Josh Brown said while Mark was sidelined that apparently YELP's users are getting more active, "more of them in this survey than the prior are not just reading reviews but writing their own."

Really. And let's all donate 45 minutes of our day to work for free at MCD and help out the share price.

Brown said "I've always stayed out of this stock" because the traffic is dependent on Google, which is "also in the same space."

Mahaney said his YELP target is $55, and 2 screen graphics said it's $55, but a third (above) said it's $155.

Mahaney said he doesn't have as much conviction on his favorite large cap, NFLX, and he sighed and said he's got a "sell" on TWTR; "I think the narrative unfortunately gets worth (sic)."

Josh Brown said the compensation is "off the charts" for all the TWTR execs who keep leaving. Jon Najarian said the stock always seems to hover around 17.

Andy Chase: ‘Europe could blow apart’

Judge on Wednesday's Halftime said Andy Chase, situated in Silicon Valley and ranked No. 1 by Barron's, is "presumably" (snicker) a high-net-worth financial advisor.

Chase said 20,000 is "just a number" we're going to "blow through," then suggested maybe it will affect how Main Street (Drink) views the market that's too strong of a term.

Chase contended the current rally is more of a "relief rally" than a "Trump rally," and "it's hard to believe that he's going to reignite global growth." But he thinks it's a "pretty good environment" to be in stocks.

Banks are "still kinda cheap," Chase said, adding "I just don't see" heavy regulation and controls in health care.

Chase said that in the $3 trillion health care complex, drug sales represent "only 10% of the health care spend."

"I really do like emerging markets" because they're "cheap," Chase added.

But Europe has challenging demographics and has "the Muslim creep coming in," Chase said, adding, "Europe could blow apart."

Others weren't as optimistic about health care. Jon Najarian said he cut back "considerably" his exposure to drug stocks. Kari Firestone pointed out that drug pricing is where the most growth is in health care. Steph Link though said she's been buying LLY "all the way down."

Josh Brown said there's "statistical truth" to the Santa Claus rally. Stephanie Link said she bought HDS.

Stephanie rather defensive about uninteresting NKE purchase

Oh joy, everyone on Wednesday's Halftime had, of course, the chance to buy NKE.

Stephanie Link and Josh Brown both said they bought the stock; Link called it "a classic dogs of the Dow into next year."

Link was oddly chippy about insisting to Judge that the quarter was "fine" rather than "good" or "bad." Josh said it's "much better" to buy NKE after the bad quarters than the good quarters and that the chart reflects "a trend of higher lows."

Doc bragged that he sold NKE over 53 in the morning, then when it traded down on the day, it was a "gift." Kari Firestone said "it might be early" and that NKE is not cheap.

After a news break from Phil LeBeau, Steph Link insisted NKE is kicking butt in DTC and that this is the "tail end" of adidas' momentum (Drink).

Oh well, the guess here is that she'll be able to buy it at the same price weeks from now.

Doc said he didn't buy FINL and suggested "institutions are rolling out of this name."

‘Mainstreet’ was hit for Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band

Josh Brown said on Wednesday's Halftime that WGO is not an "easy name" nor "easy sector," but if you're a fan of the business, days like Wednesday are times to buy.

Doc said people might be looking for MNST to get acquired in 2017. Steph said "a lot of the easy money has been made" in GS, but she doesn't think it's over.

Kari Firestone said FDX had a disappointing quarter, and she's "concerned" that the stock isn't getting the expected ecommerce boost.

Jeff Kilburg said to look for the VIX to "retrace higher." Jim Iuorio said there's an "absolute low" that the VIX can't drop below, and he'd "be a buyer of volatility."

Doc said there was unusual buying in June 32 MGM calls. Steph Link said "Las Vegas was mobbed last week" (apparently they weren't all wearing adidas because the momentum is at the tail end).

Link likes CMI more than NAV. Doc said he bought March 72.50 CRM calls. Kari Firestone touted ZTS.

It seemed the show lasted an entire hour with a "Main Street" reference, a steep departure from a day ago.

[Tuesday, December 20, 2016]

Joe says ‘Main Street’
8 times over 6 minutes

Talk about driving home a point.

Joe Terranova on Tuesday's Halftime Report (picture above not from Tuesday) got carried away with retail investing, stating, "What 20,000 means is does the retail investor finally once again trust the process of investing."

Oddly enough, Joe on Dec. 8 (hit PgDn a few times) called Dow 20,000 "meaningless."

Among Joe's comments on this subject Tuesday was this doozy, "Let's talk about what Main Street in 2007 (sic) faishes (sic) uh faces as it relates to this marketplace … I think right now, it's, OK, spend it or invest."

Guest host Missy Lee, in chic leather jacket that turned heads, said one doesn't "preclude" the other and that people can "leg into" a position now and "leg into" a position in January.

Mike Santoli said "the market's up 235% in almost 8 years," and if the bull case is that the public's gonna come in and take out investors at "crazy valuations," that's maybe not the market we want.

Jim Lebenthal suggested the possibility of "some sort of Day of Reckoning (Drink) in January" but said it's "clear sailing" until year-end.

But what about the football players Judge heard talking about the stock market at the Heisman presentation?

And remember, John Fichthorn said a couple weeks ago that we're going to be hovering around 20,000 "a long time."

Stephanie Link said earnings, in what could be a first, will be "dictating" the market.

Rich Saperstein said Dow 20,000 "is emblematic of the post-election investment climate." He said "likely we'll have an air pocket potentially" (sic "likely" and "potentially") in the first half of 2017. Saperstein said he has "zero exposure" to emerging markets.

Mike Farr, whose presence on this show was curious, said 20,000 is "capitalism succeeding" (Zzzzzzzzz).

Jeremy Siegel said this is different than 1999, and "I think this market has a way to go."

Jim Lebenthal said he was in Siegel's class in the late '90s when the S&P broke 1,000.

Bring back Kara, wake up Doc

Brian White, who has a $100 target, said on Tuesday's Halftime that CRM is in a "phenomenal position" and even threw in an "at the end of the day." (Drink)

Steph Link said the crew has been "scratching our heads" about Marc Benioff's LinkedIn commentary. White said there's nothing wrong with trying to "broaden" the company's reach.

Joe Terranova said he bought CRM over 80 in August and complained that it's on Main Street "highly volatile." White said CRM's 2016 performance has been affected by M&A concerns that are "absolutely misplaced."

Mel told White, "We're gonna leave it there" (Drink) (sic not "Gotta" this time). Joe refreshingly admitted he got "burned" on the stock. Steph Link refreshingly said it's been a "terrible" stock for her also.

Jim Lebenthal asked Link if the CRM valuation isn't just too high and maybe IBM is more appealing. Link called CRM a "value within the cloud space" and said she wouldn't even try to claim it's as cheap as IBM.

Jon Najarian, who had a quiet show, said he's focused on AMD rather than NVDA. Joe said TXN is working "incredibly well" and credited Josh Brown for backing NVDA. Stephanie Link touted AVGO.

An entire program without anyone recommending DIS

Jon Najarian on Tuesday's Halftime revisited his BBBY call spread from a week ago based on "rumors about a takeover … now it's making me question that."

Jim Lebenthal said if NKE crumbles on earnings, he'll gladly fill out the other half of his position. Doc said there was strong buying in the 52.50 calls.

Joe Terranova said he told the producers before the show that if FDX goes higher, buy it, and if it goes lower, buy it.

Joe said a tax benefit in 2017 bodes well for casual dining such as DRI.

Jim doesn't see a catalyst for GIS and thinks MCD is "just too expensive" and predicts a 2017 flatline.

Steph Link is "not crazy" about aluminum.

Scott Nations said the strong dollar is bad for gold. Jeff Kilburg said there's support at 1,125.

Doc said there was option buying in CLF. Jim said TWX "trickles higher" each day. (This writer is long TWX.) Joe said he researched DDS (not actually at the stores or on Main Street) and endorses the name.

[Monday, December 19, 2016]

Pete’s birthday is Thursday

Doug Cifu on Monday's Halftime said Virtu folks are "unbelievably humbled and proud" at Vinnie Viola's selection as secretary of the Army.

Joe Terranova, who touts Vinnie from time to time, asked for Cifu's opinions on banks with energy-related loans; after Judge added an explainer, Cifu didn't say much except that he thought they were undervalued a while back.

Jim Cramer said there could be some "levitation" in MRK.

Judge claimed he was presented information that MRK is up 28% since the election. "Nah," everyone grumbled. Josh Brown said BMY's selloff is in the "rear-view mirror," and he likes that name.

Stephen Weiss noted Medicare doesn't negotiate prices and said he doesn't want to be in health care "when he gets elected" (sic already elected).

Joe Terranova mentioned TMO (Drink) again while touting medical devices.

Jim Cramer said he's concerned that The North Face might be a "tired brand."

Everyone agreed FL has exclusivity advantages over FINL.

Joe said he likes LEN and wouldn't sell. Josh Brown suggested TOL, which serves home buyers who don't have trouble getting loans.

The group gushed about DIS and scoffed at those who worry about ESPN. Joe hung a 110 on the name.

Cramer and Josh Brown both endorsed NVDA; Brown also touted AMD. Weiss trumpeted CAA, and Joe backed JBLU.

Oft-bull Tony Dwyer on Monday's 5 p.m. Fast Money said he's merely taking "the foot off the gas."

Karen Finerman on Monday's 5 p.m. Fast Money didn't sound interested in bailing even if there's a brief selloff because it seems like there's more to go; she said even if she actually knew that there was going to be a 1-2% selloff, she doubts she'd sell, and anyway, "they don't give you this long to sell" at a top.

Finerman on Monday followed up her devastating Friday look (above) of new gray top, new hairstyle and new earrings with a chic black sweater (below).

We realized too late again that Sunday was Guy Adami's birthday. Whenever we learn that, we know someone else is due in a few days.

Weiss is not a ‘day-to-day’ trader, just makes those kinds of calls on TV

Back to supply a ratings boost, Jim Cramer on Monday's Halftime said people are "crafting stories" for stocks.

Cramer said "literally" (sic), MSFT can "levitate."

Steve Weiss insisted, "I'm not a day-to-day trader" but said he thinks we "glide up."

Weiss made the Najarians' "ya gotta buy protection" argument, citing how "cheap" it is.

Joe Terranova said this is a market "where you buy bad news," explaining he bought ADBE on the dip.

Craig Johnson insisted the market "has legs to run," perhaps to his year-end 2,350 target, and mentioned "connect the dots" (Drink) possibly to his 2,424 target for 2017.

Johnson said his 10-year call for 2017 is 3.25%.

Johnson likes the APA chart action. He also likes CSCO, and the HOLX chart. Joe called APA a "survivor" in energy and suggested HOLX is due for a breakout.

Joe took pains to talk with his hands and tell Weiss that maybe the rails could trade on something besides coal, as nobody seemed to want anything to do with coal.

More from Monday's Halftime later.

[Friday, December 16, 2016]

If financials are now the place to be, isn’t it bad that GE has shunned the space?

Every now and then, you hear something on the Halftime Report that just leaves you scratching your head.

That was the case Friday when Josh Brown, who has predicted a GE breakout seemingly for years, said the stock is "facing off against a 17-year all-time high, it's right there. … GE is the type of stock once it gets above an all-time high, there are no sellers, and all of a sudden it's going to become high- highly popular."

First of all, what in the world is a "17-year all-time high"?

Second, GE's notorious high is in the 60 ballpark right around Y2K.

Third, according to both Google Finance and Yahoo Finance, GE traded over $38 in April 2008, not even 9 years ago.

For a visual aid, we clipped a little copy of the "max" chart at Google Finance (above).

It is true that since early 2009, the stock has grinded its way higher. But it seems more of a story about lower highs than breakouts.

Judge questioned if we've seen this movie before. Brown shrugged that "failed breakout happens."

Stephanie Link said she prefers U.S. rail, steels and airlines that don't have the same currency issues. Brown said GE has a "big leg" in the "Internet of things" (snicker).

The whole thing got started when guest Steven Winoker explained for some reason what HON was doing Friday, then said he likes GE, which has "a lot of things going for it" including a team-up with Baker Hughes and strength in aviation. But he did acknowledge currency headwinds.

Kevin O'Leary, nailed it, stating GE is a story of "17 years of trying to restructure" and adding, "This has been a dog's breakfast of a stock."

Jim Lebenthal called GE a "good stock" that is "too pricey." Jim warned that "aviation could fall out of bed here."

LMT’s week not nearly as glorious as Jim suggested it might be

Judge on Friday's Halftime asked Jim Lebenthal about Jim's "guarantee" early in the week that LMT would be higher. (This writer is long LMT.)

It was Monday, and Jim said LMT was down 5% on Trump's tweet, then said, "Hands down, end of the week it'll be up."

Seconds after he said that, the ticker showed LMT at $246.08.

On Friday, Jim said "it is up from that low," though he said he thought it'd be up 5% rather than 2½%.

So, he was correct Monday (barely) and Friday.

Josh Brown said "there's a law of diminishing returns for all this stuff."

Jim said Judge had a "Mister Roberts" (sic Henry Fonda and Jack Lemmon and Jimmy Cagney) sweater, but we think he meant "Mister Rogers."

How does the fact Steph bought JWN in the 30s have any bearing on whether to sell it now?

Judge actually questioned on Friday's Halftime Report if there will be a "Day of Reckoning" if the hope doesn't pan out.

Josh Brown correctly pointed out that last January was an "absolute nightmare."

Stephanie Link said the dollar strength "bothers me."

Kevin O'Leary said he has taken his financial exposure down from 20% to 10%. He has sold all his regionals and is even shorting them now. But in one of the sleepiest calls or rationales we've heard in a while, he said he's trying to achieve "low risk of downgrades on earnings in Q1."

O'Leary said he sees "no chance" of XOM downgrading earnings. He also vowed MSFT won't miss Q4 or Q1, and he likes "boring" and "safe" T.

Doc backed MSFT but produced dead air when he told O'Leary that Satya was smiling entering Trump Tower this week. (Translation: Take that, Swisher)

O'Leary said if the T-TWX deal doesn't go through, it doesn't hurt T earnings. (This writer is long TWX.)

Stephanie Link said she "kinda" disagrees with O'Leary on staples stocks especially with currency issues. O'Leary said every sector has dollar headwinds.

Doc gushed that LLY is up $5-$6 since that Alzheimer's drug selloff, which was indeed a good call. Later he said he'll have to get out of it because he sold calls against it.

Jim Lebenthal said ORCL is "very ownable," and the selloff represents a buying opportunity.

Josh Brown said he doesn't want to fade ADBE and suggested it might go back up.

Steph Link said to hold APC but wouldn't chase it here.

Kevin O'Leary said DIS is "underowned," suggesting the typical pro-Disney refrain, that some unbelievably overhyped film will do better than people think, in this case "Rogue One."

Josh wasn't excited about RIG.

Steph Link said she was buying JWN in the 30s and "actually started to trim it" around 60 and was trimming Friday morning but will hold onto a "small piece."

O'Leary said he might look at VIAB if Shari Redstone brings some "adult supervision."

Doc said he's not buying CMG on board changes and predicted some "tax-loss selling" into year-end.

Doc said FSLR December 34-35 calls were popular.

Jim Lebenthal touted AAPL. Josh backed BMY, Steph Link endorsed WBA and Doc offered a rare name, NPTN.

Josh Brown twice said "literally" explaining something about the Dow reaching or not reaching 20,000.

[Thursday, December 15, 2016]

Swisher: Tech CEOs ‘scared’ of Trump (as Doc goes from dubbing Swisher article an ‘embarrassment’ and ‘horrible call’ to merely ‘divisive’)

Well, that was a bit of a backpedal.

Judge on Thursday's Halftime said "some people took issue" with the tech parade to Trump Tower, which prompted Jon Najarian to bellow it was "Kara Swisher … I'll throw it out there and say it."

And Najarian said that what Swisher wrote was an "embarrassment" and a "horrible call."

He added that the group in that room "has almost 2 million jobs between 'em," so they want to be "growing" for the next 4 years "rather than sitting there fighting this guy all the time."

31 minutes later, Judge brought in Swisher on the phone to discuss Najarian's remarks.

"I have no idea what he said, but whatever," Swisher chuckled.

"He'll tell you exactly right now what he said," Judge said, even though Najarian didn't go anywhere close to what he said previously.

"Oh God," Swisher was heard to say.

Najarian told Swisher he follows her and "enjoyed your insights" (which sounds like what the tech CEOs probably told Trump), but he found her comments about the tech-Trump meeting "divisive."

"I didn't think that was anything about bringing America together," Najarian said, adding, "I know your job isn't to make things productive here. But I didn't think there was anything positive about the sorts of comments that you were writing about them meeting with Mr. Trump yesterday."

"I didn't say they couldn't meet with him, Jon. As usual, you didn't read carefully," said Swisher, although Najarian never said she said they couldn't meet with him.

"I did read that," Najarian protested.

"But, I didn't say that they couldn't meet with him," Swisher reiterated. "I said they should say- speak out on critical issues with their- which their employees and most of Silicon Valley believe in. That's a very different thing, and the last time I checked, we're allowed to talk about the feelings we have about different issues. And Donald Trump on the compaign (sic pronunciation) trail said a number of incredibly appalling things about tech that now he's taking back."

"Would you view that as a positive? That he's taking those back?" Najarian asked.

"I view it as a trick," Swisher responded. "I've never seen a bunch of sore (or 'sorer') winners than the Trump people."

Swisher added, "Nothing happened at that meeting. They didn't get any promises; they got a lot of talk."

And about the election: "To just like use- use 'em as a campaign tool to, just, just get votes is kinda sad as far as I can tell. … A lot of those things on the campaign trail were just, just untrue."

Finally, on how Silicon Valley CEOs view Trump: "I know they're scared of him. I know they're- they don't wanna get another attack."

After Swisher hung up, Najarian said that her tweeting during the meeting about Tim Cook presumably disliking Steve Bannon, "that's not somebody that wants them to have a constructive-"

Staking middle ground, Josh Brown said Trump and surrogates on every media outlet said things that are "insulting" to Silicon Valley people. But, "It's worse that they don't meet with him by the way," Brown said.

So, what did we learn, other than Swisher is evidently no fan of Najarian … Swisher's article was no embarrassment. This is a constituency of people who were slightly demonized during a campaign, supported a losing candidate, and now, once it's over, felt compelled for whatever reason to go visit this fellow in his New York power base.

It's rather humiliating, frankly.

It's like Yankee fans feeling like they can't decline an invitation to the 2004 Red Sox championship banquet.

Basically, Swisher's side of this chasm caved, and she called them out for it.

But if you're supportive of the Trump position now, as Najarian apparently is, it's a major coup. He has significant leverage over these people, and he applied it in a way that makes himself look quite good.

As Josh Brown pointed out, for various reasons, the tech titans didn't have a good alternative (though Zuck and Larry Ellison and Meg Whitman weren't there).

It's gamesmanship. Trump scored; the tech titans stumbled.

At one point, Joe Terranova asked Judge, "in the substance of, of actual fiscal policy, what is it that he can do to them." Judge said Trump can help with repatriation. Joe asked what he could do that's detrimental.

Steve Grasso on the 5 p.m. Fast Money said that when the health care CEOs have a meeting with Trump, that will be the "tipping point" or "buying point" of the sector.

‘No reason to sell’

Jon Najarian on Thursday's Halftime said the move was to fade the Fed. But he warned about the possible impact of the 10-year blowing through 2.60 and surging to 3.

Josh Brown stressed that while the dollar and stocks are correlated in the last month, there's really no long-term correlation.

Pete Najarian continued to pound the table for financials.

"No reason to sell," said Joe Terranova, who had a quiet show.

Doc mentioned unusual activity in CCL.

Pete Najarian hailed Needham's strong buy/$150 on AAPL, albeit with no catalyst and the same tired refrain. Pete claimed everyone "scoffed" when he said the growth in Apple is in services.

Jon Najarian doubted CAT can climb another 12-15%. Judge called it "one of the most peculiar stocks in the entire market." Josh Brown said it was in the "penalty box" for a while and pointed to DE as why you can't wait for confirmation to get huge gains in these stocks.

Brown made an interesting point, that when you buy cyclicals at low P.E., you're buying the top.

Rich Saperstein predicted a "dynamic effect" on growth from looser fiscal policy and tighter Fed policy. But he said the market's gotten ahead of itself in the short term.

Saperstein touted AAPL and PKW, the buyback ETF. He also likes CNQ and FLR. But he thinks financials are due for a pause. Josh Brown questioned how retail investors will correctly time the place to sell and then rebuy financials.

Jim Iuorio said there's no reason to buy gold. Jeff Kilburg said global headwinds have been obscured by the Trump victory; he said you can buy at 1,125.

Pete said there was unusual activity in the GDX January 19 calls. Doc likes the play if a little early.

Doc touted BBBY into earnings next week.

[Wednesday, December 14, 2016]

Not sure why Ross Levinsohn apparently wasn’t at tech summit

Richard Fisher, who calls Donald Trump the "orange swan," said on Wednesday's Halftime, "I doubt there'll be any surprise" from the Fed.

Fisher gave a history lesson on lower rates but said "business optimism" is fueling the Trump rally.

Fisher said he loves Janet Yellen, but her testimony to the last congressional committee was the "Homer Simpson D'oh! moment."

Joe Terranova referred to "Secretary of Treasury-elect" (sic it's not elected) "Mnuchkin" (sic pronunciation included a "k") while asking a good question, whether Mnuchin or Trump has contact with the Fed. "No idea," Fisher said, then said he would "caution" Trump (snicker) not to comment about Fed remarks.

Joe mentioned the tech meeting at Trump Tower and pointed out, "Technology needs that globalization story to advance earnings."

Stephanie Link said forward estimates are too low, and earnings will improve.

Barbara Doran is "not at all convinced" earnings will be up significantly next year, suggesting the Republican Congress may not like deficit spending. Doc disagreed, stating Trump is "gonna get what he wants," which might well be true but not because of his frivolous Twitter account as Doc suggested.

Kevin O'Leary gave a long, exasperating anecdotal report on sovereigns, explaining they've hoarded gobs of cash on the sidelines and are not as enthusiastic about the Trump market as American investors … but they do like Rex Tillerson.

Judge hasn't even brought up this subject. Isn't it worth discussing whether the guy who paid $41 billion for XTO is the most qualified American to shepherd through an Israeli-Palestinian agreement?

Judge said he heard O'Leary met with Trump. O'Leary wouldn't comment.

Judge referred to "the rally, in and of itself" (Drink) (sic redundant).

On the 5 p.m. Fast Money, Karen Finerman called Wednesday's selloff a "healthy thing" and that "there was nothing even remotely close" to panic.

Grandpa Dan Nathan got Karen's attention when he claimed there's a "50/50" chance that all the recent gains will be wiped out in the next 6 months; Karen seemed incredulous that Nathan doesn't think there has been a significant change in government, but Dan pointed to the amount of time it took for Reagan's tax cuts. Mel said halfway into the 5 p.m. show that the Trump-tech meeting is an event "we would normally lead with."

The funny thing is, the gut here is that if regular Joes got to eavesdrop on the big Trump-tech meeting, they'd be astounded at how flimsy, low-wattage and pointless much of the dialogue actually was.

Mel also did air quotes for "animal spirits."

Just because people would be happy with the mid-20s doesn’t mean it can’t go to 52

Judge on Wednesday's Halftime Report said Argus hung a 52 buy on MRO, met by disbelief among the panel.

Pete Najarian bluntly said he's "still shocked" at the call and actually asked the show's producers if it wasn't supposed to be MPC instead.

Joe Terranova said "forget about 52," the "reality" should be a discussion of fundamentals, stating investors will be happy if it gets in the 20s. Stephanie Link said along with HES, it's one of the "most levered" to the price of oil. Jon Najarian said he likes the stock but doesn't like its interest in tar sands.

Cowen's Peter Cohen told Seema Mody, in a rare interview gig, that Dow 20,000 doesn't mean much to him. He also said "the Dow is not really reflective of the market" and pointed out, "We have business intervention from past presidents galore."

Speaking of Cohens and intervention, moments later, another Cohen, Acorda CEO Ron, told Meg Tirrell the industry will work with Trump on the "very complicated situation" of drug pricing.

Barbara Doran suggested AGN has good risk/reward.

Doc loads up on KEY calls that expire Friday

Bob Iaccino said on Wednesday's Halftime that "demand is likely to fall" in the crude space. Jim Iuorio said if the February contract settles below 52.50, he sees 45 on the horizon.

Doc said there was "big money" in the KEY 18 calls that expire Friday. Pete said there was "monstrous" buying in GILD May 85 calls. Notice the graphic said "Bullsh" (sic didn't include the "it" at end) rather than "bullish."

Steph Link has taken a new position in DB. Barbara Doran called it a "smart buy."

Joe suggested ADBE on someone's AKAM report. Steph Link said media. Doc said CLF, and Pete said the steel names are "giddyup."

Judge did put together another impressive suit-tie combo.

[Tuesday, December 13, 2016]

Passive investing ‘accident’ looms

Grasping for signals of a pending stock-market slide, John Fichthorn on Tuesday's Halftime singled out used-car prices, claiming that's "the cash in the consumer's pocket" but nevertheless, those prices are down for 4 straight months.

He said he's short AN, KMX and ALLY.

Jim Lebenthal said "the other side to the trade" is that the labor market and wages are picking up.

Jim said he hates the term "green shoots," but he likes the "green shoots" of wage inflation, which he said is more helpful than commodity inflation.

Fichthorn said he's still short ESRX because "Trump never came out and said he liked high drug prices."

"I think the guys who elected him want the health care problem fixed," Fichthorn added.

Really. What exactly are they going to "fix"?

Scott Nations said until Tuesday, bonds were oversold, but JPM traders have more short Treasury positions than any time in the last 2 years. Brian Stutland said 2.80 on the 10-year is possible, but it'd be safe to buy there.

Jon Najarian trumpeted having talked about JBLU call-buying.

Jim Lebenthal called BA "fairly priced."

Pete Najarian said 233 is a "huge stretch" for FDX but is possible; he suggested using options.

Pete said someone was actually buying the March 18 AKS calls. Doc said 36.50 March calls in EEM were popular.

Fichthorn scoffed at EEM plays, stating that if Trump repatriates cash, it'll "blow up" overseas deposits. (And probably crush their used-car markets.)

Discussing Judge's favorite subject (in and of itself), the active vs. passive debate, Fichthorn claimed "the pendulum's getting set to swing" and predicted an "accident" in the passive-investing world.

Doc said May 43 calls in KO are popular. But he does like PEP better.

Judge managed to make it through the program without an "in and of itself."

Jim basically clobbers John Fichthorn in duel over market, economic outlook

Euphoria roared ahead on Tuesday as Jim Lebenthal, who didn't have to deal with Weiss this time, told Halftime Report viewers that there's a "green light" for the next 3 weeks.

"Who is really gonna sell this late in the year?" Jim asked.

Pete Najarian said volatility remains below 13 and urged protection, "because of this huge run we've had since president-elect was, uh, put into that position" (sic grammar).

Doc said we keep "grinding" and trade higher.

Jim said for years, banks have not been evaluated on book value but things like earnings, but now we're seeing a "secular re-rating on book value," in which they're still cheap.

He said the FANG stocks are not "absurdly priced" and suggested we should "bifurcate (Drink) a little bit within FANG."

Grandpa John Fichthorn, who sounded flummoxed by "style" stocks such as the FANGs or CTSH, said he got long coal and has "actually done OK" and sees a "decent move" left in the sector.

But, "I think there's a lot of risk in this market," Fichthorn said.

Fichthorn also mentioned the "delinquency rate increase" and said inflation is being "underestimated."

He predicted we'll be at Dow 20,000 "a long time."

He said Trump, 70, represents a "generational shift" (snicker) in the financial markets, perhaps the end of the decades-long bond bull market.

Judge suggested that such a "generational shift" might indicate stocks have higher to go. Fichthorn protested that without the recent Fed backstop, stocks "may be free to go down."

"I think there's some kind of perverse, upside-down reflexivity going on in the market where people are going, 'Rates are going up, so there must be a cyclical recovery,'" Fichthorn said. Jim countered with Q3 GDP. "But autos are rolling over," Fichthorn insisted.

Najarians agree: NVDA stretched

On Tuesday's Halftime Report, the first answer Betsy Van Hees gave to why she upgraded MU, INTC and NVDA was, "The sector has been really doing well."

And, Van Hees doesn't see negative catalysts on the horizon.

Pete Najarian said NVDA seems a bit "stretched" but wondered if Intel's transition is accelerating. Van Hees said yes.

Jon Najarian agreed NVDA feels stretched. But Pete said INTC has "all kinds of different levers."

Jim Lebenthal questioned why anyone who likes NVDA doesn't like QCOM, which has a much more reasonable valuation.

Jim said "PCs might come back" if employment ticks up and called INTC a "2017 name."

Doc said Bill Gates "firmly endorsed" Rex Tillerson for secretary of state.

More from Tuesday's Halftime later.

[Monday, December 12, 2016]

Judge thinks football players talking about the stock market is sign of a top, in and of itself

His style was lousy.

But the substance of Judge's Halftime on Monday was pretty good, even if the best stock tips came far down in the hour.

Jim Lebenthal started things off contending this is not an "overly expensive" market.

Steve Liesman said the Fed risk is that members "embrace" the market's outlook; honestly we couldn't figure out what he was talking about or why that would be so bad.

Judge asked if the Trump rally is a risk "in and of itself" (Drink), then he said he heard previous winners at the Heisman banquet actually talking about stocks.

He also claimed that while Cramer took him to the sidelines of the Eagles-Redskins game (Zzzzzzzz), Eagles punter Donnie Jones was talking about selling out of BAC too early.

Josh Brown doesn't see a bubble. "There might be exuberance, but it is a different story" than 1999, Brown said.

Steve Weiss admitted that he was asked to recommend financial stocks by an usher at the Duke game Thursday night.

Steve Liesman said he heard someone say that the Trump presidency is not an 11-volatility presidency.

Joe Terranova said the risk of the Trump presidency is that Trump tries to do everything at once. Liesman mentioned (uh oh) "deficit spending" (W. all over again).

Liesman said, "Joe, you sound more concerned than you seem to be acting." Joe said the most important question is "how much can I lose," kind of a strange question to be asking in a euphoria-driven bull market that nobody thinks will end at least for a couple of weeks.

Jim: Buy LMT

Steve Weiss seems to have Steve Liesman on his side in Weiss' battle with Jim Lebenthal over whether Donald Trump's tweets matter.

Jim complained that Weiss is losing him money, that he had him selling pharmaceuticals after Wednesday's rally, "and they did nothing but rally since then."

Jim also said BA had one down day on a tweet, then rallied the rest of the week. By the way, he urged viewers to buy LMT, "hands down, end of the week, it'll be up."

Jim added, "There is no reason to sell here."

Liesman though, after sounding aghast at Jim's contention that the tweets (frivolous waste of time by our incoming commander in chief) don't matter, said we're getting a "ton" of inflation data (snicker) this week.

Jim Lebenthal suggested that, as in 1999-2000, value could outperform as high-flying tech names slide. Josh Brown said high beta is the year's big winner.

Jim said a "dividend rate hike" (sic middle word redundant) at PFE is a lot more important to him than a Trump "teet" (sic, corrected to "tweet") that has a half-life of 24 hours.

Joe: Full SPR is the risk to the oil market

Joe Terranova on Monday's Halftime Report said he likes Big Oil names but singled out FANG, PDCE, PXD and CXO as shale plays.

Joe also touted the energy banks, such as IBCP, CFR and TCBI … but, revisiting a classic, reminded viewers that HES is "tethered to the spot price of oil." (Grand Drink)

Jim Lebenthal touted MPC and EEP.

Judge questioned if the price of oil is a risk to the market "in and of itself" (Drink). But Joe shrugged off the possibility of "triple-digit oil," suggesting American players can ramp up production in a hurry.

Instead, Joe said the risk to the oil market is that "the SPR is completely full."

No matter what NKE trades at, it’s always a buy

We can't figure it out, but oftentimes, the Halftime Report seems to think NKE, FL and UA are the only 3 stocks in the universe.

Judge revisited this astoundingly tiresome theme Monday, bringing in Sam Poser, who has a "postive" (sic, see photo) rating on NKE according to the screen graphic and says people aren't paying enough attention to the company taking over NBA sponsorship next season.

Poser shrugged off Judge's question about currency concerns. "I think that'll all work itself out," Poser said.

Invoking Joe's classic, Judge twice said NKE has been in the "penalty box" (Double Drink).

"When I walk into a store, that, I just see Nike everywhere," said Steve Weiss, who said FINL is a "different animal than Foot Locker completely."

Jim: TWX is the easiest 12% in about 2 months you can make

Jim Lebenthal on Monday's Halftime said the CBS-VZ story is a sign the TWX-T deal will happen because "everybody's" looking to do the same kind of deal.

Stephen Weiss said CBS-VZ is just a "rumor" and that it doesn't mean anything about the TWX antitrust review.

Jim insisted TWX is "the easiest 12% in about 2 months that you can make."

Jim Lebenthal said JNJ is "awfully pricey" but could get "probably 10% over the next year."

"There's nothing good in the prospects for gold," said Scott Nations. Brian Stutland suggested 1,075 as a downside target or 1,250 to the upside.

Josh Brown said COH is "all over the map with their own (sic last 2 words redundant) guidance."

Joe Terranova questioned CMG not doing a conference call in the morning rather than afternoon.

Judge said Chris Kotowski likes BAC, C (Drink), CIT and GS. Weiss said Kotowski led him to LUK, a "mini-Berkshire." Josh Brown touted the "toll takers" such as MA and CME.

Judge said Josh was named by LinkedIn as a "must know writer in finance."

Joe Terranova endorsed BBT and RF. Josh Brown backed LMT. Steve Weiss said he loves shorting bunds.

[Friday, December 9, 2016]

A day ago it was 1929; today it’s been 8 years of oppression …

Euphoria may or may not be in stocks, but it's clearly in sentiment, as Stephen Weiss declared on Friday's Halftime Report, "We've been living under downright oppression for 8 years."

Josh Brown opened the program saying those who didn't panic this year did great; he said he's looking at health care for a comeback.

Jon Najarian gloated that he bought MDT at the 52-week low, and now it's $3 higher.

But Weiss said biotech is the "default trade," and he doesn't think he needs to be in it now.

Weiss said the "best trade" now is to short the 30-year bund, and "my sense" is that Draghi might not last until 2019.

Kevin O'Leary said the CEO of SYK "went out of his way" to say the prices of his products have declined 150 basis points, which according to O'Leary is so that the CEO doesn't get a tweet from Trump. O'Leary said he's long SYK and "Medtronics" (sic pronunciation).

O'Leary reiterated that he finds regional banks "dangerous." Josh said O'Leary could've recited all the negatives "20% ago."

Erin Browne said there's been a "regime shift after the election" and recommends buying domestically oriented value stocks.

Judge asked the panel about making a market call "in and of itself" (Drink) (sic all 4 words redundant).

Weiss said the 10-year will see 3% "before anybody knows it."

O'Leary said Mark Burnett taught Trump the "drama" of negotiating with CEOs.

Who are these voters who want WMT shares in their stocking?

Kevin O'Leary on Friday's Halftime complained about RH's inventory management; "all of the time they get it wrong."

Jon Najarian said he agrees with O'Leary because "this is the 2nd time this year that this has happened."

Doc bragged about buying WYNN on news that happens 2-3 times a year about China supposedly cutting back on capital flows. Josh Brown cautioned that there's a pattern of lower highs in the casino space.

Kevin O'Leary said institutional investors had been reducing to a 1% weighting in DIS and are creeping up to 5%; that's why O'Leary likes the stock into Q1. Jon Najarian backed the call. Josh Brown said DIS has a deal to license content to Netflix and when it ends, DIS could be figuring out its own app.

Steve Liesman said that according to the All-American survey, people's favorite stocking-stuffer stock is AMZN, followed by AAPL, GOOGL, WMT. Liesman said there's an "early indication" that "mom and pop" are embracing this market.

The panel's pick for "stock"-ing stuffers included Erin Browne's KRE, Steve Weiss' short of the 30-year bund (again), Doc's FLR, Josh's XBI and Kevin O'Leary's OEUR, "unhedged Europe."

Josh said he likes that 40% of the SHAK float is short. "If it breaks out, you'll see a lot of people in trouble," Brown said, but while they discussed breakfast, no one explained why the stock is exciting given that it's uninteresting food at extreme prices.

Weiss said he owns DAL and finds it "very attractive."

Doc likes PEP more than KO.

Doc said February 150 calls in the IWM were popular.

Erin Browne closed recommending European financials. Doc touted CPB. Browne disagreed with Josh Brown that emerging markets could present good value.

David Seaburg on the 5 p.m. Fast Money said of the market, "I do believe it's a sell at the beginning of the year." But Mel got exasperated with Seaburg's lack of recognition of "the market we have."

[Thursday, December 8, 2016]

Judge conducts 6 minutes of disaster with Robert Shiller

It was the sorriest, shoddiest, most stumbling, bumbling, crumbling, decrepit interview we've seen in months and never should've been allowed to happen.

Judge introduced the star guest of Thursday's Halftime stating, "One famed market master, Robert Shiller, says this rally reminds him not of 1999 but 1929."

Even though Shiller said, "I don't think we're anything like 1929 now."

Here's how it went down:

Judge said Shiller finds the S&P P.E. is 27.9 times the earnings average of the last 10 years and said Shiller likens it to 1929, 2002, 2007.

The screen graphic did not say 2007 but 2009, which was actually a great year.

Anyway, Shiller would only say that over the next 10 years, stocks "might underperform, uh, 10-year Treasurys."

Shiller said Donald Trump is good for stocks "probably in the short run" and said Trump has an "amazing power to inspire."

But, "I don't think we're anything like 1929 now," Shiller said.

"Well I didn't- I didn't mention it, you did," Judge insisted, bluntly wrong given that he billed the interview with that angle.

"Well I didn't say it quite like that," Shiller said, stating that in 1929, bonds were a more appealing alternative to stocks than they are now.

"1929 is a bugbear that has been spooking people for so many years … I'm certainly not saying we're there now. In fact it's the other way around," Shiller concluded.

Joe actually thinks ‘bubble of passive investing’ is being burst

On the one hand, Pete Najarian on Thursday's Halftime Report said the stock market rally is "startin' to get a little bit ridiculous."

On the other, Pete said he has "seller's remorse" for unloading the XLF.

Curiously skeptical Adam Parker says there will be a "fade the reflation trade at some point," probably in Q1.

Parker said he's "definitely not" reassessing his 2,300 target (apparently for year-end 2017, according to the graphic) and insisted some gains are being pulled forward and argued against discretionary in a rising-rate environment.

Nevertheless, Kourtney Gibson said at Loop Capital, "Our clients are absolutely buying."

Gibson said, "We are getting into that stock-picker's market." Actually, it seems to us like nearly everything's going up across the board.

"I think Dow 20,000 is meaningless," said Joe Terranova, with a rather stark (and likely incorrect) prediction: "This is the bubble of passive investing being burst," adding that "active management will be back" in 2017.

Joe also flat-out asserted that overseas cash "will be returned to the U.S. in a repatriation (snicker)."

Doc predicted a resurgence in health care, suggesting the XLV will eventually climb from 67 back to 72.

Parker suggested the trade might be to buy the election (already occurred) and sell the inauguration, as he seeks the "fade gauge."

Adam Parker wasn’t exactly the definition of euphoria on Thursday’s Halftime

Jon Najarian on Thursday's Halftime demonstrably mocked whoever gave LULU a "ludicrous" downgrade (that was Canaccord) and gushed about the store traffic.

Joe Terranova cackled that the analyst (Camilo Lyon) hasn't had a buy on LULU since June of 2014 at $44.

Joe gushed that Dana Telsey has a $92 target on LULU. But Grandpa Adam Parker asked the crew to revisit the subject in 6 months.

Parker said he works at Morgan Stanley, so he "can't afford" to shop at LULU.

Doc demanded to know how Canaccord sees declining traffic if same-store sales are up 16%, then said he'd "guarantee" that Canaccord will be using Lyon's report as toilet paper.

Meanwhile, in an unnecessary and interrupted interview, Gordon Bethune said there's a "business sense" in the airline space that hasn't been there before and even knocked Hooters. He said he has "some optimism" that business will be better under Trump.

In a rushed and messy episode of breaking news, Steve Mnuchin told Eamon Javers he's "looking forward to the process" of confirmation (yeah, sure). Javers said Mnuchin didn't make any news and didn't want to make any news.

Doc said COST calls were popular.

Doc said he bought PHM calls because the 20 for both January and April was popular. Pete said February 37s in INTC were popular.

Jim Iuorio said the euro "could easily go to parity," not immediately, "but in the next couple months." Scott Nations suggested 106.50 is possible in the dollar index.

At the end of the show, Judge made a good observation about the VIX rising on a market up day.

[Wednesday, December 7, 2016]

40% + another 20% + another 80%

It was fuzzy math that didn't really add up.

But Mark Cuban shed some serious light on the real reach of Twitter during an impromptu chat on Wednesday's Halftime Report.

Eamon Javers, stationed outside the AT&T-Time Warner hearing, caught up with Randall Stephenson, who unfortunately was a bit of a jag taking barely a couple questions.

Moments later, Brian Stutland started to say he's "a little cautious" on silver, only to be drowned out when Javers succeeding in pulling Cuban aside for some AT&T comments.

Things heated up when Judge asked, via Javers, what Cuban was doing meeting Steve Bannon and then what Cuban thinks of the Trump presidency.

"Donald Trump is our No. 1 draft pick," Cuban said. "He's the No. 1 pick, he's who we put our hopes and dreams with, and we're gonna believe in him. … There's no reason to rush to judgment. … I hope he's a superstar."

The Dallas Morning News actually reported on Judge's "interview" with Trump.

Having done this for a long time, unfortunately we can say that when other media members enter this particular space, it tends to be amateur hour.

This Dallas writer, aside from using too many extra words in what's actually a short post, claims in the lede that Cuban "appeared to be taking a wait-and-see attitude about president-elect Donald Trump."

Actually, Cuban already bluntly stated he believes in Trump.

The posting also says Judge asked "questions" about Steve Bannon, when it was only one, and failed to note that Judge's second question, which prompted Cuban's Trump remarks, was overly long and clumsy for the situation.

Anyway, the most interesting comment from Cuban came after Javers asked how to handle Trump's tweets. Cuban downplayed the impact, stating, "If I have 6 million followers, probably 40% of those are bots, probably another 20% are overseas, and another 80% aren't gonna see any given tweet anyways," Cuban said.

We think that sorta adds up to something like celeb tweets aren't even gonna be read by 80% of users. Or that this activity, as no one in media likes to admit (when was the last time you saw Judge interrupting his program to relay tweeted questions to his panelists), is just a frivolous time-waster.

Jim tripped up by Trump’s comments on drug pricing

In hindsight, it wasn't the greatest week to claim that presidential comments on certain businesses or sectors shouldn't be taken too seriously.

But that's what Jim Lebenthal did on Monday, which came back to haunt on Wednesday's Halftime.

Steve Weiss tried to invoke or quote Confucius in claiming victory over Jim about Trump's impact on drugs. Jim insisted it doesn't matter, "You can't govern by tweets" (even though this wasn't a tweet) and predicting pharmaceuticals are up by the end of the week.

But Weiss said pharma, with its huge lobby, has the "hallmark" of everything Trump hates.

Weiss made a great observation about the Business Roundtable, pointing out the only health-care member is someone from the Cleveland clinic, and when CEOs complain to Trump about high costs, they'll mention regulatory first and then "health care, it's out of control."

Judge said the selection of Jamie Dimon as chairman of the Business Roundtable is interesting "in and of itself" (sic all 4 words redundant).

Opening the program, Jon Najarian seemed to be on the same side as Jim Lebenthal, stating, Trump's complaints about drug pricing are "a lot to do about nothing."

Meg Tirrell said people in the drug industry might be feeling a "sense of deja vu," pointing to Hillary Clinton's (snicker) tweet on Sept. 21, 2015.

Chris Meekins of FBR said there are 3 reasons to ignore Trump's drug-pricing comments, 1) Trump is appointing people who don't want socialized medicine, 2) House Republicans won't support changes … and then he never got to No. 3 actually, but the screen graphic suggested Meekins thinks Trump's comments were in response to a "leading question."

Judge questioned that last angle, telling Meekins, "'Mr. President-elect, what's your position on drug prices,' I- I mean, I'm a, I'm a reporter myself; that doesn't sound like a leading question to me."

Meekins said Trump was presented with "huge profit margins" when asked about the money in pharma.

Jeff Sonnenfeld thinks he seems ‘pretty reasonable’ compared with left-of-center academics

For whatever reason, Judge brought in Jeff Sonnenfeld on Wednesday's Halftime for an instant review of Chris Meekins' performance.

Sonnenfeld said Meekins, "brilliant as he is," was giving what was "well-intended but will be sadly, uh, unsuccessful reassurances."

Sonnenfeld first claimed Steve Weiss was making Jim Lebenthal's argument about how Trump's drug-pricing comments don't matter, then Sonnenfeld thought it was the Najarians who were making Jim's argument.

He said Trump is not a "theorist" but a "pragmatist."

Sonnenfeld revealed that in autumn 2015, he brought in some "left of center" academics to meet Trump, and he'd figured they'd "horrify" the candidate and make Jeff look "pretty reasonable," but Trump actually "liked them better than he liked me."

However, Sonnenfeld cautioned, "You can't come back at him with insults — you know, or then you're dead."

Well, lessee … we don't recommend anyone "insult" Donald Trump or frankly any other human being.

But last we checked, it's still a free country, and one can criticize leadership (or run for office against it) and not be jailed.

So far, despite a few embarrassments and dubious calls, this is most likely the most impressive president-elect (emphasis on "-elect") tenure of all time.

Whoever came up with the Taiwan call, Bob Dole or whoever, brilliant. As the CNBCfix official personal trainer used to say about North Korea, "China can control them." But it's not. A little reminder is in order.

If, however, someone resorts to sighing about political rivals and stating "Make no mistake, uh, this notion that someone else has is just ludicrous," with the last few words delivered in mock amazement, then we're thinking primary in about 3 years.

Wonder if Donald Trump will tweet about out-of-control drug coffee pricing?

Pete Najarian on Wednesday's Halftime mentioned SBUX's new $10 line of drinks and questioned "who's really the buyer of this."

Jim Lebenthal said "international expansion" is the reason to own SBUX.

Sue Herera said she might pay $10 for a pumpkin-spiced latte, but she always has kids around, so it would be $30.

Pete Najarian gushed about HA; Doc crowed about talking up XPO.

Anywhere from 2,700 to 1,600

Savita Subramanian on Wednesday's Halftime had an audio issue that bedeviled Judge; Judge seemed to think Savita had hair lying over the mike.

But after Savita did a hair flip, the background noise resumed as Savita said the market's focusing on the "positive."

She said her 2017 year-end target is actually 2,300, but "I'll tell you that target is a little misleading" and that it might actually go to 2,700.

Subramanian said there is still "very tepid" equity allocation today. But on the down side, "So the risks are that policymakers fail to deliver," Savita said, adding 1,600 is her low-end scenario, suggesting a "binary" outcome.

Pete said that he understands the MU bull call but would rather be in other names affiliated with AAPL. Jim said INTC or QCOM.

Doc said TWTR March 21 calls were popular. Pete said February 60 calls in MSFT were popular.

[Tuesday, December 6, 2016]

Producer eager to know if Barry Diller thinks Donald Trump is a quality negotiator

Joe Terranova on Tuesday's Halftime Report had to regurgitate his sneaker/athletic wear point from a day ago and said he disagrees with Cowen's market perform call on NKE, even though Joe has already made Cowen's point that millennials are more interested in UA and adidas than NKE.

Pete Najarian said NKE is "far too cheap," and he also likes adidas on the pullback. Pete said of UA, "It's literally trading like Chipultle (sic pronunciation) right now."

Josh Brown pointed out FL's all-time high Tuesday.

Pete Najarian said the airlines are still single-digit P.E.s, but he wouldn't chase UAL right now.

Joe said he likes the AZO fundamentals but doesn't have a problem with taking profits.

Stephanie Link said she likes COH best in the handbag market.

Josh Brown said NFLX has had a declining 200-day all year until now; he said it "could go ballistic" over 130.

Pete said 9,000 December 57.5 calls in SBUX that expire this week were bought Tuesday.

Anthony Grisanti said if OPEC really did cut, oil goes higher; if not, it goes lower. Jeff Kilburg said 48 is now support, and if OPEC cuts are indeed aggressive, we could see 55-60 in Q1.

Joe said he doesn't like the ETF for nat gas but suggests XOM, PDCE or FANG (not the tech FANG), even CHK.

Stephanie Link owns MDLZ on potential "takeout" speculation. Judge questioned if that ship has sailed.

Link sold V because it's "super expensive."

Pete said he'll add to KO probably by week's end. Joe touted SJM and RF. Link touted BHI. Josh said to stay with banks.

Melissa Lee helmed the 5 p.m. show in her spectacular green-blue-striped ensemble. Julia Boorstin, gorjus, interviewed Barry Diller and was about to wrap it up when she told Diller the "control room" wanted her to ask him whether Trump is a good negotiator.

"I don't know," Diller said, before clarifying that "he's a better negotiator than someone who's trained in government. That's for sure."

Losing his luster — nobody mentions Ackman as possible catalyst for CMG

Josh Brown on Tuesday's Halftime scoffed that Piper Jaffray has been bullish on CMG since $700.

Stephanie Link said Piper is stating you have to be "patient." But Pete Najarian questioned, "why put yourself in now" before the CMG numbers improve.

Joe Terranova said the company was talking about "taking the eye off the ball" in customer service and agreed with Pete. Josh Brown said the analyst "drank the guacamole."

"This guy's been wrong for how long," Pete said. Joe said the right play is JACK.

Stephanie justifies trimming AAPL by buying it at 90 (a/k/a great trades you could’ve made)

Joe Terranova on Tuesday's Halftime said that in "conversations that I've been having recently with a lot of portfolio managers," they're "very excited" about 2017 for AAPL and almost feel like they're getting a "gift" because of the underperformance in 2016.

Josh Brown said AAPL is a "poster child" for the "repatriation (snicker) thing" and called repatriation the "most bipartisan thing" in the "whole firmament" of the conversation; "everyone agrees."

Josh said if AAPL were to write off the Watch, no one would care. Stephanie Link said she "trimmed" AAPL Monday but is "still overweight" the name.

"I was buying it at 90," Link bragged, as if that affects whether viewers should buy it at 109.

Judge claimed Link is the "picture" of the market reaction of selling tech to buy "more cyclical areas." But Link said she was actually "very early" on cyclicals and actually sold AAPL to buy AMZN.

Link also touted CRM and "Palo Alto" (Drink) (bust, see below).

Joe said AAPL has underperformed in 2016 because of product disappointments. For whatever reason, Joe announced that he wasn't sure if Pete would agree with him (Drink). Link said it's a "long time" until the iPhone 8 comes out. Pointing out how analysts aren't omniscient, Josh said no one saw the Samsung Galaxy becoming an "incendiary device."

Joe said that if AAPL can repatriate (snicker) its cash and make an acquisition, that's a "catalyst you're not thinking about."

Sully tried to make a joke about his $70 analog watch; Judge smiled halfheartedly.

Pete: Diana Olick thought I was crazy, but I was right

Old scores were settled on Tuesday's Halftime Report, as Pete Najarian took a jab at CNBC's housing reporter.

Pete chortled that he touted housing stocks just after "the Trump run, and he actually got elected, all that- all that kinda thing," and Pete will "never forget it" because Diana Olick asked him after that remote hit if he was "nuts."

"Now I love Diana; I think she does an excellent job, but she thought I was crazy," Pete said.

Steph Link said there's nothing to poke a hole in TOL's report other than the prospect of higher rates. Josh Brown said he doesn't see a "ton" of resistance until the high 30s or low 40s.

People shouldn’t be too optimistic, but they shouldn’t be too pessimistic either

For whatever reason, Judge decided landing Joe Davis for the top of Tuesday's Halftime was like landing Mike Pence when all Davis said was that the market's getting a little too optimistc.

Davis said we've had a "significant change in sentiment," for those who haven't been paying attention.

Judge said the fundamentals "in some way" justify a higher market. Davis said there was an expectation of 2% GDP at the beginning of the year from pessimists while he saw 3%, but now the stock market is pricing in 4%.

Judge asked if Davis is "flat surprised" by the Trump rally. Davis didn't answer that question but for some reason insisted, "We haven't changed our equity market outlook" (Zzzzzzzz).

Josh Brown said he was "dismissive" of any supposed long-term effects from Trump tweeting about Boeing. Judge spoke of the "risk in and of itself" (Drink) (sic last 4 words redundant) of presidents taking on certain companies.

Eric Chemi said 1/3 of the S&P 500 is down in the last 4 weeks.

More from Tuesday's Halftime later.

[Monday, December 5, 2016]

‘This whole market is going higher through the end of the year’

In a show long on generalities, Jim Lebenthal had the most demonstrative comment.

"This whole market is going higher through the end of the year," Jim said on Monday's Halftime.

Dubravko Lakos, qualifying and measuring everything, said "earnings delivery" is improving, but there's also a multiple re-rating that has occurred.

Steve Weiss struggled to get Lakos to estimate corporate tax savings, then after this cumbersome process, declared that it merely increases growth and lowers the multiple.

Joe Terranova said banks are not ahead of themselves; it's "about a battleship being … moved."

Josh Brown said banks have been "pent-up for years."

Stephanie Link called TROW a "cheaper way to play" the financials than banks.

John Thaler, dealing with a severe satellite delay, told Judge "we're likely to see a lot of very pro-business, uh, policies at least put forth."

Thaler endorsed the usual Nasdaq greats; he said Twitter has traffic, but it's "had a difficult time monetizing that" (Drink). He said he's a "small long" in TSLA.

Joe insisted there was no "fundamental reason" to sell tech stocks after Trump's election.

Lakos asserted, "Consumer is inversely correlated with oil price." He also said margin expectations are high while wage pressures keep growing.

‘A tweet shapes a tone’

Stephen Weiss, haggling with colleagues throughout Monday's Halftime Report, tangled with Jim Lebenthal over whether Donald Trump has tweeted intent to target pharma pricing.

Weiss insisted it's a "mistake" to assume Trump will not target pharma the way Hillary would.

Jim demanded to see evidence of such intent.

Later, Judge tried to get Josh Brown to acknowledge that health care is vulnerable to tweets that can devastate a stock for a whole year. Josh said he doesn't agree that one person has that much influence over a stock, particularly someone like Hillary Clinton who isn't even president.

Judge insisted, "A tweet shapes a tone." (Snicker)

Jim Lebenthal said there's "great value" in biotech.

Meg Tirrell spoke with Incyte chief Herve Hoppenot, who said he doesn't respond to M&A speculation.

Judge observed, "Biotech is having its best day since November." There have been, what, 3 trading days in December?

Joe Terranova said Nomura is "chasing the tape" on MCD. "That's not the right strategy," Joe said, calling it a "fairly valued stock."

Josh said the stock catches a tailwind when they "innovate." Weiss called it a "market stock."

Josh touted GOOGL. Weiss touted DAL.

Stephanie Link said 2017 figures to be a good year for CMI. She'd add it while trimming CAT.

Joe said he was wrong 6 months ago recommending UA over NKE. Joe said "adidas appears to have topped out in August."

Judge had to cut off Dubravko Lakos halfway through a point about oil at the end.

Cyber stumble: Steph talks others into buying PANW around 139

Nearly 2 weeks ago, Nov. 22 (it was a Tuesday), vaunted Internet security name PANW took a tumble from 161 the previous day to close at 139.

Stephanie Link that day admitted buying the stock on the slide, citing something about "deal slippage" that apparently made the quarter not as bad as it seemed.


Barbara Doran also touted the stock and called the quarter a "one-time miss."

Even Doc revealed he bought PANW because of Link and Doran.

But to sellers, that 139 suddenly looks like a gift, as the stock closed Friday at $126.

Josh Brown said on Nov. 22 that PANW is finding support where it should, and that the 200-day looks like a "battleground." Whatever the 200-day was, looks like the battle was lost.

Joe Terranova, who used to talk up PANW the way Durocher talked up Mays, wasn't on the show that day, but admittedly, Joe hasn't been aboard the PANW bandwagon for a long time, a good move in this case.

[Friday, December 2, 2016]

Brown: There was lots of giddiness for the MBA president too

One thing we didn't expect to surface on Friday's Halftime Report was W.

Mr. "big-government conservative" (sic illogical).

Jeremy Siegel, the star guest, said the stock market has to be "very encouraged" by Trump's choices for Treasury and Commerce.

Judge told Siegel, "You deserve, uh, all of our respect" for calling Dow 20,000, but "nothing's happened yet" with the Trump administration. At that point Siegel lost his connection.

Moments later, the connection was restored. Judge told Siegel that the market acts "like the entire Trump agenda has already been passed." Siegel said that even many Democrats believe in lowering corporate taxes, which will deliver a 10% boost, and easing regulation could deliver more on top of that.

But Siegel conceded to Judge and a skeptical Josh Brown that Trump's warning to businesses thinking of moving jobs is troubling, it's not gonna be all carrot, "it's gonna be some stick," and "that's not going to be good."

How about if a company says "stuff it," if you give us trouble, we'll eliminate all of our jobs here, and people can vote for your opponent.

Things really got interesting when Stephen Weiss declared it's been "8 years of negativity, it's 8 years of suppression of success."

Brown asked, "I am the only person that remembers the MBA president who ripped up all the rulebooks, and what we got as a result of that."

"We got a huge bear market, we got a huge bull market; which part are you referring to," asked Jim Lebenthal.

Judge though, while sort of posing the opposite argument to Siegel, admitted that a "billionaire" who didn't vote for Trump told him Thursday night that the tone has changed in the country because of the election. Josh said "I could not disagree more," that everyone's "mood is lifted" simply because the market is up.

"Sentiment follows price, not vice versa," Brown explained.

Doc said he couldn't disagree more. "It's not gonna be a 5% rally, it's gonna be 20%," Doc said.

OK. Where to start.

Brown is wrong on a couple points. But he might have the right idea.

Nobody saw W. as an antidote to the stock market. 95 through 99, under Clinton, is probably going to remain the greatest bull market ever for most people who invested through it. Stocks finally slumped in 2000; we never heard anyone saying "W.'s gonna straighten out the market that Bill screwed up."

He hardly "ripped up any rulebooks." Glass-Steagall was repealed or negated in 1999 and ignored previously.

Does anyone even recall, or know, he's got an MBA?

Jim's wrong that we got a "huge bull market" from George W. Bush. He had one year +20.

Weiss is definitely correct that the current president has spent basically his entire tenure complaining about bonuses and scoffing at financial success as well as often laying blame on America (when he's not blocking judges, his signature move as a senator). (Whatever floats this chap's boat, we have no idea.)

But Josh is definitely right that predicting a presidency is dicey. Unlike previous president-elects, we've hardly seen this fellow do ANYTHING regarding government yet.

If he starts emceeing beauty pageants and tweeting about the Victoria's Secret fashion show and proves incompetent — which is still possible — then the stock market will be a disaster.

But as to the market, Weiss insisted, "There are values if you look" in U.S. stocks, such as LUK, but he doesn't like Europe.

Paul Richards said Siegel is going to be right, even if there are Europe headwinds in the next couple of weeks.

Joe: P sellers didn’t do their homework about subscription promotion

In a curious observation we hadn't heard on CNBC before, Jon Najarian on Friday's Halftime said, "I see a lot of dirty stores at Starbucks."

Doc also said there were "lines to get into the store" at the LULU at Mall of America on Black Friday. But Jim Lebenthal said NKE is better. Steve Weiss doubted the Canaccord claim on LULU that they're doing sales to unload inventory.

Weiss agreed with Josh Brown that the XRT is overdone.

Katrina Dudley helped the binary-challenged, pointing out there are "only 2 outcomes in a referendum," those being "yes" or "no."

Dudley said the polls lean 75% no in Italy but that we've learned recently we can't trust the polls.

Pointing to his call of a day earlier, Doc said "Facebook's 2 bucks off the bottom already."

Joe Terranova dialed in to talk about P. Joe said, "I waited until they had a bad quarter," adding other people didn't do their "homework" and realize Pandora "sacrificed ad inventory for subscription promotion."

Joe said if P gets bought, it's $18-$19. Doc said he sees a lot of upside also.

Doc noted that Jeffrey Gundlach a day earlier touted gold. Jim Lebenthal said Glencore announced the reinstatement of its dividend, something Jim didn't think got much "media play."

Jim said that if you think oil is going higher, buy HAL and RIG.

Doc said there was a lot of activity in EBAY, "but it was just a day trade for me." He said January 22 calls in JBLU were being bought in big numbers.

Josh Brown said "at the end of the day" (Drink), GE is on the "cusp" of a "20-year breakout." Weiss questioned buying GE "when you can buy an ETF on the S&P? I mean, it's unanalyzable."

Doc mentioned buying LLY at 65 and said he still likes it. "You're gonna have to wait though," Jim said, pushing BMY instead.

Judge's gray suits tend to outperform the dark suits; Friday he had another excellent suit/tie combo.

[Thursday, December 1, 2016]

Nobody’s asking what the Obama administration has done to produce cures of diseases

Halftime Report (and all-day CNBC) viewers had their socks knocked off Thursday by CNBC pharma reporter Meg Tirrell, who took her smashing leather jacket ensemble to the Forbes Healthcare Summit in New York and on Halftime sat down with Robert Nelsen, who predicts we'll get a "much more favorable regulatory environment." (That photo above is from a different time of day and different guest than Nelsen.)

Meanwhile, Jon Najarian said he's "sure" that the folks at DIS are happy to have Bernstein telling them they should buy NFLX. Kevin O'Leary said there's "no reason" for DIS to buy NFLX and that if Iger did it, O'Leary would "sell that stock in 2 seconds."

Judge took pains to say Bernstein wasn't "calling for" DIS to buy NFLX, "but at least they're throwing it around."

"I think you should throw it out," O'Leary said, in the best line of the show.

Doc, who was calling FB a gift recently in the mid-teens, said the last time he bought it at 114, "I got an $11 pop out of that."

"It was expensive at 134; is it expensive at 114?" Doc asked, before stating he didn't actually find it expensive at 134.

Judge and Joe were on the verge of an interesting debate, but Judge bungled the follow-through

Jon Najarian on Thursday's Halftime Report predicted oil "pulls back" and said he doesn't think Jeff Currie is right about backwardation.

Joe Terranova said the problem with OPEC's agreement is that Libya and Nigeria aren't part of it. (Zzzzzzzz.)

Jim Lebenthal touted the pipelines, citing "terrific" yields and the fact they haven't priced in a rally yet. He endorsed KMI and EEP.

Judge explained that Guggenheim downgraded MCD and WEN to neutral and DRI to buy. Joe called it "quite candidly" a "complicated call." Kevin O'Leary said he doesn't agree with any of the calls; he thinks MCD is OK and doesn't like DRI.

Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, Judge heard Joe say he doesn't want to be in DG, partly for rising gasoline. Rather than ask an excellent question — does the impact of rising gasoline on a DG customer offset the possibility that more people may choose to shop there in such an environment — Judge carped at Joe's point, apparently suggesting that it doesn't matter because the store doesn't sell expensive goods.

Tyler Mathisen mentioned the "United Spate" (sic) before correcting himself.

Doc said CAT had to issue some "soft" guidance.

Kevin O'Leary said KR's guidance is "not a good signal."

Jim Lebenthal hailed GM's day and said he bought "around 30."

Doc said March 125 calls in the GLD were popular. He said he actually bought the 120s and sold the 125s.

Jim Iuorio said the rise in the 10-year yield is a "powerful move" and a "risk-on trade." He said 2.63% is his target. But Brian Stutland said "you might see some buyers" at this level.

Kevin O’Leary says to short regional banks, make 10% in Q1

The Halftime Report, which feels the need to stock the panel with stars of other programs such as Jim Cramer and Kevin O'Leary, got its money's worth from O'Leary on Thursday when he mocked the rally, scoffing, "this is all about optimism" for a new administration.

"At the end of the day" (Drink), O'Leary said, it's a "load of poo-poo."

"That run-up in regional banks is ridiculous," O'Leary said, stating he thinks you can make 10% in Q1 by shorting them.

Joe Terranova predicted financials will be "OK here over the next 90 days." But Joe warned about Trump trying to do everything at once.

Jim Lebenthal said there are "pockets of strength" in pharmaceuticals, but he'd stay away from financials.

Late in the program, Judge cut in to say that Jeffrey Gundlach thinks "bond yields and stocks have peaked," the dollar is going to decline, "and gold will move up in the short term."

Gundlach, according to Judge, thinks the markets are treating Trump like "the Wizard of Oz," and that the pullback begins no later than Jan. 20.

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