[CNBCfix Fast Money Review Archive — February 2014]
[Friday, February 28, 2014]

No escaping ‘Gravity’

Ranking art is not really a good thing, but for Oscar picks, it's a necessity:

1. "Gravity" — Not quite out of this world, and probably not a long-term thinker, but easily the most satisfying theater experience of all the nominees. 3-D so smooth, it's practically immersible. Pulsating soundtrack and conclusion. Not an all-time great, but good enough; almost certainly best picture winner in this field.

2. "Dallas Buyers Club" — Struggles as an indictment of big pharma (menacing physician meetings), thrives on its unyielding protagonist and celebration of unlikely allies. Script seems to want the Jared Leto character more than it needs it. A bit too reliant on wild sex scenes.

3. "12 Years a Slave" — Episodic to a fault. Unfortunately, the timing is off, coming a year after the edgier "Django Unchained," much different tone, same injustice. Story arc needs stronger drama at the end. Buzz as co-favorite seems overstated.

4. "Philomena" — Powerful story of ultimate forgiveness, but promises more than it delivers. Not really enough here for a feature film, decided padding in hotel scenes and bizarre obstacles from a key U.S. character just to nearly reach 100 minutes.

5. "Captain Phillips" — The action's compelling and nonstop; so is the annoying hand-held camera. Like "Philomena," is hampered by trying to stick to the truth of a story that probably doesn't merit a feature film.

6. "The Wolf of Wall Street" — A mini-tragedy, but laden with bikinis. A spectacularly bloated, wasteful 3 hours does have its moments; nearly all occur within the first 75 minutes.

7. "American Hustle" — Saved by great acting, but the further we get into awards season, the more useless this seems. Hairstyles, De Niro language trick suggest this could achieve "Mommy Dearest"-esque parody status in later years.

8. "Her" — Not a bad concept, worth trying, falls apart around the 45-minute mark in the same manner as "A.I." Would love to get that job of typing up people's personalized notes.

9. "Nebraska" — Goodness knows how it reached nominee status. The ultimate crutch, a profane elderly woman, drags down sleepy character study. Conflicting messages about money's effect on behavior. Best wishes to Bruce Dern; let's not overdo it here.

Tim’s right; Steve is wrong

In what could be his finest hour — ever — on Fast Money, Tim Seymour on Friday delivered assessments of the Ukrainian crisis that were the envy of any television reporter, including fellow CNBCer Michelle Caruso-Cabrera, who (despite being gorjus) was dusted on this one.

Seymour pointed out that "War with Ukraine would be terribly unpopular in Russia," where the Ukrainians are considered "brothers," and then suggested, probably accurately, that Russia's deployment/commandeering/reinforcement of the Crimean airports is getting unduly harsh treatment already.

"In the West, I have to tell you, the press — and I've been doing this a long time — against Russia is very biased," Seymour said.

Honestly, perspective is hugely needed here; we've still somehow got guys dying in Afghanistan, we drone-bomb thugs in Pakistan and Yemen, Iraq is hardly Switzerland, and some people are having a cow because unmarked Russian troops are standing around what's basically a couple of Russian airports.

So far the real monstrosity passed with barely a mention, if any, on Fast Money, the use of snipers in Kiev against protesters.

Yanukovych is a fool (whatever we hadn't read in the papers, we got clued in quickly in the 10-minute speech from our Ukrainian insider right here at CNBCfix HQ). His comrade in Moscow is not. And the truth is that the rest of the world needs this individual in the Kremlin. Otherwise it's radicals or buffoons. He's a chest-thumping egomaniac, but he gets it. Nobody's endorsing him or comparing him to George Washington. This situation's potential as a global crisis is going utterly nowhere.

That was further confirmed by the assessments of President Barack Obama's remarks by Eamon Javers and Michelle Caruso-Cabrera, both indicating as MCC said that "he did not draw a line here," but unfortunately neither connected the dots well enough to point out that he didn't say a damn thing and why in the world did we have to walk out and read a piece of paper instead of just tweeting it like Carl Icahn does?

Yet, Wesley Clark, who once unleashed upon the world an utterly bogus comment about John Kerry that DrudgeReport picked up, told Friday's Fast Money that this is "Act I of a 3-act play by Putin to take over Ukraine," which means maybe Hillary will hopefully ask him to join the team at some point as she crafts her own statement.

Brian Kelly and Steve Grasso, like the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl 48, caved on the first snap, Kelly predicting that Sunday night, "You're gonna see some serious risk-off," and Grasso declaring, "This is gonna be a sell signal ... I would not start buying stocks."

Seymour made the far more credible argument for his Final Trade. "If anything, I think you've got a bounce Monday on this news."

Grasso countered with his own (wrong) prediction, that if there's a bounce, "you sell that bounce."

Grasso said at the top of the show that "nobody wants to own this market at the highs right here," which is odd, because they've been doing that all week. Guy Adami even admitted the late-day rally was the "most impressive part of the day."

Adami cited "relative strength of the bond market" as a disconnect with stock gains, and he's "gotta believe the bond market's probably right."

Brian Kelly revealed, "I did actually sell gold today," oh joy, and said to watch the Swiss franc for his Final Trade. Guy Adami said he'll watch to see if gold bounces. (How exciting.)

Brian Kelly said "Angela" (sic) Merkel with a soft "g," as Americans do.

Tim Seymour mentioned his favorite regular statistic, "China PMI numbers, tonight."

How in the world does
Simon Baker get away with pronouncing ‘Sony’ like ‘Cerner’?

Judge stumbled and bumbled while trying to flatter dynamite Jane Wells on Friday's Halftime and after a discussion on non-Hollywood movie production was reduced to cliche-land, "At the end of the day, it's the incentives."

So, you mean people are going to bring their projects to places that offer them the most money? What a discovery.

Variety's Tim Gray also reported quite a discovery, that "Argo" made a lot of money after winning best picture last year.

Judge did offer a gem (assuming it's true, and we don't know how Hollywood dollar amounts are ever actually verified unless someone has seen the tax returns) in pointing out that Sandra Bullock is already getting $70 million out of "Gravity" (so when you see it, you can know it's like you're paying Sandra herself) and could get more, as Gray indicated, depending on what happens Sunday. "That film is going to keep paying her for the rest of her life," Gray said. (Translation: She won't have to run back to Jesse James.)

Judge asked Gray to pick best picture. "It's a really close year this year ... I'm guessing 'Gravity'," said Gray.

Simon Baker said he likes SNE, which was backed by Pete Najarian. Mike Murphy said Viacom.

We like the other CNBC ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ observation, Carter Worth saying Wall Street-related movies signal a market top (but only the ones conveniently popular in October 1987, 2000 and 2007)

Josh Brown on Friday's Halftime Report opted to make a social statement, that it's only been 5 years since Bernie Madoff and now here we have "The Wolf of Wall Street" up for all kinds of awards.

It's "really surprising how quickly the pendulum has shifted," Brown said, in that "we're willing to celebrate these guys."

First of all, people who actually like "The Wolf of Wall Street" like the bikinis, not much else.

Second, Brown is inadvertently correct (but didn't realize it) on another level, which is that this particular individual does not deserve a 3-hour movie or really even a 2-hour one, for artistic reasons, not moral ones. (See, that's why you get a bikini every 5 minutes.)

Third, despite what Brown said, "Wolf" is actually a mini-tragedy, a likable salesman who is corrupted by fantasies of greed.

Fourth, no matter how many criminals make waves in the financial system, there is a fascination among many people (generally male and younger) for the quick-buck artist, somebody who figures out a way to rake it in, legal or otherwise. Rather than chiding people for purportedly glorifying such activities, Brown should encourage them to save their money and stop buying lottery tickets.

Don Yacktman draws
a parallel to 2007

Judge Wapner, promising more than he delivered, brought in large PEP investor Don Yacktman to Friday's Halftime Report to evaluate Nelson Peltz's proposals, and we're not even really sure why Don bothered.

Yacktman insisted he really wasn't taking sides except for one; "I'm on the side of the shareholder," but he made clear (a couple times) he thinks some of Peltz's arguments are "apples and oranges," and he's "yet to be convinced" that a breakup is needed.

However, Yacktman allowed that he would like to see better capital allocation.

Translation: Not totally happy with company performance, but not willing to have a rabble-rouser upset the applecart for what may just be a short-term gambit.

Mike Murphy said he prefers PEP to KO.

Yacktman's most intriguing remark was on the state of the stock market. "It seems more like '07 than it does '09," Yacktman said.

Pete: AAPL should buy EBAY ... or ‘Net-’ ... or the next YouTube ...

It seems like nothing these days can stop the Najarians (at least one but often both) from declaring on CNBC that Apple needs to buy some sort of big company.

Somehow the Najarians never concede that this isn't Apple's style and never has been. Its execs think they're the premium best (and by many metrics, they are) and consider it laughable that they need to buy some upstart to improve their stock performance.

Nevertheless, Pete Najarian said on Friday's Halftime first that Apple needs to buy the next YouTube, then later stating Apple could "buy somebody like eBay."

Mike Murphy disagreed with that notion, stating that Apple's innovation "better come from inside."

Najarian said none of the companies AAPL has bought are "major acquisitions," then said, "they should buy Net- (sic cut himself off)" before adding the last 4 letters.

Guest Leander Kahney said people have gotten "prematurely judgmental" on Apple, while "the products are as beautiful as ever."

Kahney said TV, wearables and cars appear to be the next frontiers.

Simon: 15% more in EBAY

Josh Brown bluntly said at the top of Friday's Halftime Report that recent stock market action is "definitely not a sign of topping out."

Mike Murphy basically agreed, stating you should only worry about the Nasdaq if you're short.

Murphy downplayed Judge's concerns about AAPL. "This S&P can go a lot higher without Apple leading it," and reported, "This morning we were in buying Citi" (Gee, how exciting).

Judge tried to quell the enthusiasm, suggesting stocks had been moving up on "next to no news whatsoever."

But Pete Najarian said that if financials continue to gain traction, "We're going to 1,900," and then he predicted GS would lead the next leg higher.

Simon Baker, practically shut out in this program, said he expects "15% or so from here" in EBAY. (Probably more, if Pete persuades AAPL to buy them, if he doesn't persuade AAPL to buy NFLX or the next YouTube first.)

Brown: Bubble in art market is ‘almost embarrassing’

CNBC's Wealth Editor Robert Frank explained on Friday's Halftime Report how Sotheby's sold the "Pink Star" diamond last year for $83 million to Isaac Wolf on behalf of a mystery buyer, who backed out, so Sotheby's has to buy it for $60 million.

But, Frank clarified that Sotheby's values the jewel at $72 million.

Mike Murphy called it a "one-off" for BID, and we can't see how it would be anything but, just an adjustment to last year's earnings that will be at least mostly made up this year or next.

Josh Brown contended that there's a "massive bubble" in the art market that is "almost embarrassing," and if you agree with that at all, you can't be in Sotheby's.

However, Brown evidently sees no bubble in Chinese Internet names, which he endorsed heartily via KWEB. Pete Najarian said BIDU is the most appealing with "single digits" forward valuation.

Ben Kallo and Craig Irwin must’ve been unavailable

Few subjects are more dreadful on Fast Money/Halftime than the (daily) discussion as to whether F or GM is better.

Mike Murphy said on Friday's Halftime that F has "a lot of upside."

There was, surprisingly, no Tesla talk this time, but viewers got the next best thing: AMZN.

Simon Baker said the recent selloff has been a "rare opportunity to get into Amazon," evidently not realizing it's available 5 days a week from 9:30 p.m. Eastern until 4 p.m. Eastern, and afterhours also.

Baker offered 3 reasons why, "increasing the margins over there," a "better warehouse print" (whatever that means) and ... drum roll ... our favorite ... "they're gonna increase the price of Prime."

Yes. And what SHOULD the price of Prime be? (Didn't think so.) (Bet Baker just wants to see a higher minimum wage too, doesn't matter what level.)

Anyway, "I think it's very buyable here," Baker concluded.

(Mark Mahaney happened to discuss Amazon devices later in the day on Street Signs and said, "They're not as Ubikitous" (sic, corrected himself) as Apple's.)

Josh Brown said SPLK has been "one of the biggest tech winners I've ever seen."

Pete Najarian said UAL experienced "enough of a correction that it's buyable; I bought more today."

Kate Kelly was apparently sent to Texas to watch guys with natural gas charts on their computer screens. Mike Murphy said, "We're trading it through Cabot Oil & Gas ... I think it's a buy." Pete Najarian touted DVN but didn't say that DVN should buy EBAY, NFLX or the next YouTube.

Pete said he detected "May 8 calls being bought" in NOK. Josh Brown is bullish in the name, "why not?"

Pete Najarian's Final Trade was NKE. Simon Baker said SNE ("Cerner"), Josh Brown said DFE and Mike Murphy said HTZ.

Joe breaks our heart but apparently avoids face-ripped-off land in SHLD

Dr. New World dialed into Friday's Halftime Report to reveal yet another trade (sic he's exhausting them way too soon; leads in this contest are very fleeting) in his 2014 Playbook Playoffs portfolio.

Of course, we were quickly on the edge of our seats, thinking "AAPL gone."

Instead, Joe said that he's unloading PANW.

As the Nasdaq races to its all-time high (a trend this page identified a year ago), Joe's purpose was to get into the financials, evidently because he's been absorbing too much of Pete Najarian's helium.

"Part of being a good investor is listening to the comments of others," Joe said, a troubling statement on a host of levels.

But he at least did OK in deciding, "Let's go back (sic hasn't owned the stock in this portfolio yet) into Morgan Stanley."

Pete Najarian called MS a "great name," and Mike Murphy said it's a "great entry point."

Meanwhile, last month Joe was talking tough about a SHLD short, price about $37, insisting he was going to ride it into the low 20s.

What Joe didn't report on his call Friday, as SHLD reached double the low 20s, was what he reported on Twitter: "Flat $SHLD for now, Will establish short position again."

So, we'll at least credit him for avoiding face-ripped-off land ... but doubtful we'll be seeing "short SHLD" in the Playbook Playoffs portfolio anytime soon.

More from Friday's Halftime and Fast Money later.

[Thursday, February 27, 2014]

Brian Kelly recommends shorting GOOG against an AAPL long

The stock market makes a new high and further embarrasses Steve Grasso's bungled selloff prediction (not to mention Carter Worth's hideous 1,600s, when are we gonna revisit that one?), but Thursday's Fast Money opted to spend the first 10 minutes on ... AAPL.

Tim Seymour said, "This is a stalled growth stock," but Brian Kelly stated, "You could certainly buy Apple right here." (Probably with bitcoins, because exchanges aren't actually needed.)

Guy Adami sounded like he was following Bill Clinton's parsing playbook, first declaring the stock is in "probably somewhat no-man's land," then adding the "downside is 15-20 dollars max," and "I think 575 on the upside is where it gets to."

Pete Najarian said he'd add to his longtime AAPL stake if it pulls back to 495, but he's doubtful it's going to get there.

Pete announced, "I don't want them to buy back shares," but rather "make some acquisitions."

"But what are those," Tim Seymour rightly asked.

Najarian insisted there are "multiple different companies" that would move the needle right away, without actually naming any of them.

Brian Kelly suggested you could "short Google and buy Apple."

Gene Munster said not to expect much from Apple's investor day but played along with Melissa Lee's ridiculous emphasis from every angle on institutional holders, asserting "there's clearly money on the sidelines."

Pete insists he has nothing negative to say about YOKU

The YOKU discussion on Thursday's Fast Money produced the first "Hulu" reference we've heard in ages (probably since Joe heard that Netflix was gonna "miss" the last quarter).

On YOKU, Tim Seymour was as wishy-washy as Christopher Reeve in "Superman II" (before he restored his powers), explaining that "50% of their traffic is mobile" but stopping short of a table-pounding buy with the chicken(bleep), "I think this is an interesting time to look at this stock."

Brian Kelly flat out declared YOKU a great "slow-money trade."

Pete Najarian played contrarian, stating, "They don't make money," though stressing, "I'm not being negative on the stock."

Tim Seymour chided that opinion. "You're playing growth, you're not playing EPS here," Seymour said.

How come Brian was on the show and we didn’t hear a word about bitcoin?

Guy Adami told Thursday's Fast Money gang that "I think you can actually own Best buy here."

And that was bolstered by Tim Seymour's revelation that after busting on February 28 BBY calls, he's trying again with March 28s.

Guy said he'd prefer BBY to JCP, which is still in a "very well-defined downtrend."

Pete Najarian said he's "sort of baffled" as to why DECK's guidance is so low. (This writer is long DECK as of Thursday's afterhours.)

Tim Seymour's GM bull case was positively bone-headed. "Valuation-wise, there's so much wiggle room," Seymour said, which makes zero sense.

Pete Najarian grudgingly said that if he had to pick F or GM, which show panelists tend to think they must do for some bizarre reason, "I think I'd really go with Ford," but really he doesn't like either, "both have more downside."

GM's problem, Najarian said, is "they aren't selling enough vehicles right now."

Brian Kelly said "everybody" is talking about how financials would lead the market higher.

Guy Adami said "this is the deep end of the pool" if you're in JOSB, but it's "probably the right trade still."

Heaven on earth

Sara Eisen is one of those people who has no idea how gorgeous she is, which makes her even more gorgeous; hence you see this page's problem not in making screen grabs, but knowing when to stop.

Why the producers insisted on putting Lawrence Delevingne (a fine chap, but ...) on ahead of Eisen, to speak of what he always speaks about, hedge funds employing a strategy that everyone knows they've been employing for months, is a head-scratcher.

Eisen spoke about the details of the weakening yuan, but to be honest, we were so focused on her dazzling outfit that we lost track of the conversation.

We did hear Brian Kelly say "I'm short copper," and Tim Seymour said the yuan move is a policy move, not a market move, but apparently one they can't fully control (which means it's both).

Delevingne said activist investors have "clearly established themselves as a major hedge fund strategy."

Guy Adami used Delevingne's appearance to start the bickering-married-couple routine with Melissa Lee, calling her "what a hashtag jerk" for revealing Delevingne's nickname or something like that (omg why in the WORLD do we pay attention to the details of this program??).

Mel mentions Seattle’s 1st Super Bowl win, but not its first loss

Pete Najarian said on Thursday's Fast Money that the March 62.5/65 call spread was hot.

Mike Khouw said July 80 calls in PEP were hot.

Brian Kelly said NDLS had a setback but "it actually traded fairly well today," so you can try it.

Guy Adami said he normally wouldn't chase a name like MYL, but you "probably still have to."

Tim Seymour said CTRX has been "gliding through waters."

Pete Najarian said of WEN, "I think this stock's going higher."

Proving himself (as if there were any doubt) one of the most impressive individuals in pro football, Russell Wilson visited with the Fast Money gang and said absolutely, 100% the right thing on every subject.

Wilson even tossed in an "at the end of the day," and conceded he does have some stocks, but he's "very conservative" in that regard.

We couldn't figure out why exactly he was on the show; apparently it's a deal with Vizio as that company's "top value performer."

The panelists spoke a little bit about some goofy idea of taking a lump sum now in exchange for future earnings. Pete Najarian scoffed at that; "I don't wanna give up my upside."

Melissa Lee reported that "The Seattle Seahawks took home its (sic) first ever Super Bowl win," and dubbed Wilson "very well-spoken."

Tim Seymour's Final Trade was selling half his TTM stake. Pete Najarian said long EBAY, Brian Kelly said SPY puts and Guy Adami said TEVA.

Can’t imagine that interest on cash balances is too lucrative at this point

Baiju Bhatt and Vlad Tenev, the founders of the Robinhood online trading platform that will charge $0 commissions, told Judge on Thursday's Halftime they've still got "several monetization revenue streams on Day 1."

Those are "margin lending, payment for order flow, interest on cash balances," Tenev said.

This is real money we're talking about, so let's not get carried away just yet that this is Charles Schwab Jr., but Stephen Weiss was overly curmudgeonly in trashing the concept; "I'm not willing to send them my money. And I think it's like leading lambs to slaughter in terms of no money to trade."

Anthony Scaramucci claims shipping stocks are forward indicators for Best Buy

Anthony Scaramucci on Thursday's abbreviated Halftime Report made a bull case for BBY, starting with, "Take a look at where the shippers are now" from the last time he argued for that sector, and meanwhile BBY has a "strong balance sheet" and "they're gonna see earnings momentum."

Josh Brown stood his ground on the other side, claiming "this is a failed turnaround," and "this is the ultimate sell-the-rally name."

Stephanie Link revealed "I lean towards Josh," because "I'm worried about margins."

Stephen Weiss said he leans bearish because the company strikes him like Toys R Us.

Meanwhile, Brown reported "same-store sales not so hot" at NDLS, and "I would just avoid it."

Stephen Weiss called WEN "still expensive."

Stephanie Link said VALE had its "5th beat on EBITDA in a row," for those not keeping score at home.

Anthony Scaramucci didn't seem to have many specifics on BIDU but said, "Look for this stock to do better next year."

If John Harwood thought the Halftime crew would praise his feature, he was wrong

Stephen Weiss made a mockery of John Harwood's Aging America segment on Thursday's Halftime, suggesting HI, SCI, AGN, CVS and ESRX as his plays on this trend.

Josh Brown chimed in with "all things Angela Lansbury," then made a cogent case for XLV, stating 25% of everyone alive will make it to 93.

Anthony Scaramucci respectfully offered BDX.

Scaramucci said he's biased in praising Dan Loeb and Nelson Peltz because "a billion dollars of SkyBridge's money" is invested with them. Stephen Weiss said he wouldn't go against Loeb.

Phil LeBeau said Tesla's (heroic) battery plant could help them sell "a million vehicles ... by 2027." Josh Brown was avoiding; "the trade is to watch this from afar."

Weiss' Final Trade seemed to be PEP, though the online account says he said to sell rather than buy. Stephanie Link said APC, Anthony Scaramucci said CRI and Josh Brown said DFE.

Anthony Scaramucci refers to Fed chief as ‘Mrs. Yellen’

CNBC's Thursday Halftime Report had barely cut away from Janet Yellen's testimony when Steve Grasso declared a "sell signal right here."

But Stephen Weiss bluntly disagreed. "I think we're going higher," Weiss said.

Anthony Scaramucci, calling Yellen an "intellectual stud," agreed with Weiss, the "market's going higher."

Stephanie Link stated, "I think we're actually in a trading range for the near-term."

Josh Brown observed that "the market really had no reaction" to Yellen's comments, so it looks like "business as usual" on the QE front.

Guest Scott Siegel of Morgan Stanley told Judge, "I think we're gonna kind of stay in this range," but by the end of the year expect a "9-10% type of return."

"We really like municipal bonds," Siegel said.

More from Thursday's Halftime Report and Fast Money later.

[Wednesday, February 26, 2014]

Where are these ‘studies’ that Steve Grasso shamelessly claims validate tax-dodging?

Wednesday's Fast Money got a visit from Robert Frank — but not Dolly Lenz — to tackle the Credit Suisse concealed-banking controversy.

It "sounds like a scene from 'Ocean's 11'," Frank said, pointing out other jurisdictions land accounts when there's Swiss heat, "so it's sort of like Wack-a-mole tax evasion."

Guy Adami attempted some sort of political statement denouncing the notion of "rogue trader."

Karen Finerman singled out JPM for banking imperviousness to these probes. "They announced tons of settlements .. and it just doesn't matter," the stock moves higher, Finerman said.

Steve Grasso conceded, "They've all been buyable dips," then asked everyone to "think out of the box" while making a case for a tax cut that not even Republican leaders seem to want now. "Studies have been done, when you have a more affordable, lower rate, broaden the base, people look for ways to save their money and shelter it a lot less, they bring their money back home," Grasso said.

So, tax cuts = crime prevention.

Perhaps he also believes exchanges aren't needed for stocks or bitcoins or anything, and 10 years from now he'll be able to transfer DIS shares to his kids for free using bitcoin.

Dan Nathan was the contrarian, stating banks could be "dead money" for a while. Guy Adami sided with that, adding, "I really think Goldman has to hold 160."

Mel thinks analysts should move price targets every day based on stock action

It's basically either Craig Irwin or Ben Kallo.

Either way, we've heard the routine so often, we could do it on TV ourselves.

Wednesday on Fast Money, it was Kallo who talked about how great Tesla's doing but how his price target will remain conservative, stating "2 things" are pushing the stock higher, the equity offering and (borrowing Joe's cliche book), "Capex around the plant."

But Kallo admitted there's a lot we don't know about this 2017 venture that purportedly is moving the stock in February 2014; "they're gonna keep it close to the vest."

Steve Grasso was compelled to ask the "Chinatown" question. Kallo answered, "It's a consumer basic technology company."

Mel told Kallo that his price target is now $15 below the share price. "I'm still not raising my price target on your show," Kallo chuckled.

Karen Finerman, always the go-to person on offering details, stated, "We don't know the exact terms" of this one, but Tesla has included a 100% anti-dilutive threshold so that if the offering were issued at, say, $250, the company would "be able to not dilute the stock up to $500."

Dan Nathan chided No. 386 for trying and failing to put TSLA in a "bucket" and declared, "I'll put it in a bucket: It's a mania.."

Grasso said if you're long TSLA, "I would be locking in profits here."

If nothing else, Mel's red top Wednesday took about 8 years off.

Guy: JCP could see 7.25

Karen Finerman was asked to open Wednesday's Fast Money with a TGT analysis but couldn't resist a Macy's (Drink) reference.

"They set the bar low enough," Finerman said of Target, but even a name like M is still not expensive.

Guy Adami said of TGT, "I think you can still buy it."

Jerry Storch contended that TGT has "exceeded already low expectations" and insisted the data breach is "a one-time event," while conceding the Canada losses are "just atrocious."

Karen Finerman asked Storch if a cosmetic outlet such as Ulta is immune to Web encroachment. "Nobody's immune," said Storch, who nevertheless said M (Drink) is "way ahead on the Internet."

Finerman said JCP's results were decent, but it's "such a low bar."

Guy Adami said JCP still has "ridiculous short interest" and could trade up to 7.25, but at that point he'd have to sell.

Steve Grasso repeated his buying-ANF-at-30 story for all to enjoy; "everyone threw this name out," but right now, "I'm still long the name; I think it moves higher."

But Grasso said of the S&P 500 that too many people are unwilling to buy right at the top and want to see a new leg, so "I don't think we're breakin' out here."

Dan Nathan suggested WFM might be experiencing a "Triangle of Death," given that "growth is starting to decelerate" and the stock is "sitting on a massive support level."

If that breaks, WFM could suffer a "10% swoosh (sic Nike trademark infringement) very quickly," Nathan said.

Nathan halfheartedly put SBUX in a similar situation. Guy Adami said he likes DNKN.

Melissa does some sleuthing about KATE’s Japan presence

Melissa Lee on Wednesday's Fast Money finally aired her long-promised exclusive interview with Kate Spade chief Craig Leavitt, who says his stores produce $1,265 sales per square foot and that there is "great consistency in the product" that somehow works both low end and high end (uh oh, another chance for a marijuana joke).

Melissa Lee inferred for the gang that Leavitt's reference to gaining market share in Japan likely means "Coach is getting it from a lot of different sides."

Dan Nathan claimed he bought his wife a Kate Spade bag in 1997 and hasn't heard the name until Wednesday's conference call before the show. "I don't know who has these things," Nathan scoffed.

Karen Finerman, who referred to KATE as "Kors-lite" (gee, how can we do a pot joke off of that), said that in the "entire Liz Claiborne universe" (honestly we're not really sure what that means), Spade is the "absolute crown jewel."

Guy & Mel use Harvard (again) as the day’s springboard to the bickering-married-couple routine

Dan Nathan, echoing Joe Terranova from Halftime, said on Wednesday's Fast Money that "the momentum seems broken here" in LNKD.

Steve Grasso said he prefers SCTY over FSLR but warned SCTY trades "in lockstep" with TSLA.

Guy Adami said of BUD that it's "imperative that it closes above 107," or else expect it to fail to 94.

Karen Finerman believes that NADL's space is "way, way, way too cheap."

Guest Ed Morse said a lot of petro products are being shipped out of our newfound shale space, and "explosions recently might have some consequences in North Dakota."

Steve Grasso said the more we get from there, the more the WTI spread "dissipates," and if so, the refiners are in free fall. He thinks it's the "late innings for refiners ... maybe the 6th or 7th inning," and when it's over the downside can be 1/3 of the stock price.

Dan Nathan suggested "the transports seem like a difficult sector."

Nathan said Jan 50 calls in DOW were hot, and implied volatility in the name is at 3-year lows.

Steve Grasso meekly said of KO, "I think there's some support here," but keep it on a "short leash," which would be a "37 top (sic)," er, "37 stop."

Melissa Lee made marijuana jokes at every opportunity, as the Fast Money crew continues to endorse mind-altering substances.

Dan Nathan's Final Trade was long GM with a 35 stop. Steve Grasso said PAY and received a good crack from Karen about the amount of letters. Karen Finerman said to sell XBI, and Guy Adami suggested CBI.

We’re getting tired of Judge’s
‘eye-ther’ pronunciation, even though it’s acceptable

We gotta ask CNBC viewers one thing.

But first, the backstory.

Josh Brown claimed on Wednesday's Halftime Report that he has studied the great secular bull markets in history, and today's solar space is one of them.

He even said that in a California desert, they are building "the Hoover Dam of solar."

How exactly does that work? Can you drink the sunlight?

Joe Terranova, enlisted to be the curmudgeon here, told Brown that solar is growing, but "we are seeing a slowing in that momentum ... I agree with you there is growth, but it is growth that is slowing."

Pete Najarian could only restate Joe's argument, acknowledging growth but questioning, "Are they maybe a little bit in front of themselves," and suggesting he'd maybe buy a pullback.

Brown conceded that with SCTY's rise, "a great deal of it is the Musk factor," but he's the guy who smartly came up with the notion of leasing rooftops rather than selling them.

Mr. New Land told Brown that Brown should hand the ball to the ref if he "wins" the debate, despite the fact Mr. New Land was crowing about his place in the 2014 Playbook Playoffs, which would be even stronger if he had listened to this page on 1) that useless AAPL long and 2) that head-scratching dumping of KORS just when it was re-igniting.

Now, here's our question. Judge regularly asks viewers to vote and says you can "use eye-ther (sic pronunciation) the hashtag bull ..." etc.

But if CNBC needs your contribution so badly, shouldn't they be paying you for it?

If for example Judge asked you to "eye-ther sweep the floors or clean the john," would you immediately hop a jet to Englewood Cliffs with your dustpan and pail?

Oh well. Happy voting.

Josh Brown suggests there’s a ‘possibility’ that bitcoin could be the next PayPal

We freely admit, we don't have a clue about bitcoins, don't know how to make one, don't know why anyone can't just make one, and don't understand in the slightest how they could evaluated in any manner without an exchange, as Brian Kelly seems to think based on his commentary Tuesday.

On Wednesday's Halftime Report, Josh Brown took this fascination to a new low, telling Judge, "I think there's room to be bullish on bitcoin in terms of its usage and the proliferation of it, rather than be bullish on the price."

So, if we understand this correctly (unlikely), it's not actually a currency but an exchange device, a transaction processor, a token that people will purchase with dollars so that they can redeem it into dollars.

Brown even said he'd "leave open the possibility" that it'll be reminiscent of years ago when some might've wondered, "Why would anyone need PayPal?"

Dr. New World at least said he's not buying this and questioned whether it would replace currencies but didn't have the brass to tell it like it is like Doc and Weiss did a day earlier.

3 buyers for nat gas

Jeff Kilburg said on Wednesday's Halftime Report that front-month expiration in nat gas has "exasperated (sic) the price movement down."

However, Kilburg still sees "insatiable demand," so he recommends "buy it against a 4.40 level."

Brian Stutland said he's willing to buy at the 4.55 level, but he'd be concerned if it presses 4.40.

Mr. New Land said, "I think natural gas is actually a buy right around here," and then, continuing the trend from Ivy Zelman's appearance, spread stocks like backyard fertilizer, including BBG, CXO, SWN and UPL.

Instead of chiding Pete for being clueless, Joe retreats and ‘corrects’ what he accurately said the first time

Pete Najarian on Wednesday's Halftime Report eyed LNKD with a starry-eyed gaze, noting the potential amount of users in China and declaring, "That's insane."

Simon Baker pronounced Mark Mahaney's last name as "Mahoney" (sic).

Mr. New Land, echoing Guy Adami's theme which we believe to be long in the tooth (this writer has no current position in LNKD), asserted, "I actually think you wanna sell rallies in LinkedIn at this point."

Pete Najarian, asleep at the switch, accused Joe of advocating a short, which Joe did not, calling such a move "dangerous" and somehow asserting the stock is "trading very similar to Tel- Tesla right now." Joe backpedaled and insisted he wasn't recommending a short.

Speaking of TSLA (or is that "Telsa"), Pete said the 295, 300 and 310 calls were all roaring, but "I'm not in there now."

Pete: CAM calls hot

Pete Najarian said at the top of Wednesday's Halftime Report that 1,900 in the S&P is possible because when you look at old tech, "None of those areas are way overpriced."

In his own assessment, Joe Terranova slyly inserted his new favorite word; "stay focused on technology, that's where the capex is."

Cute Courtney Reagan questioned whether ANF is connecting with consumers; "they really gotta shake up that management team."

Pete Najarian hailed TJX again, while Joe said he's "still short Sears" but could be tempted by Best Buy.

Simon Baker backed BBY himself, stating, "The stock was overblown when it got sold."

Simon Baker and others hailed the frequent flier move by DAL, a "good decision." Mr. New Land once again suggested "more airline weighting in the S&P 500."

Pete Najarian admitted he does like IBM, but "I've been preferring Hewlett Packard," in part for its "hybrid cloud."

Josh Brown admitted, "I've been so wrong about HP for so long, it's not even funny," but opining on both IBM and HPQ said, "I would avoid both of 'em at this point."

Pete Najarian said someone bullish on CAM was selling March 62.50 calls and buying the March 65 calls. Pete said he'd be in this trade "at least a week, maybe 2 weeks."

Harry Smith, who's doing yet another CNBC documentary on marijuana, told the crew "there is no drug-testing policy" at dispensaries. Pete Najarian said that volume in stocks associated with hemp can be "unmeasurably low."

Josh Brown's Final Trade was FSLR. Pete Najarian said VMW, Simon Baker said SSD and Joe Terranova said VZ.

Housing discussion produces
17 stocks called buys

It would've been easier to ask them which ones they DON'T like.

Housing bull Ivy Zelman, who was a little too polite to her interviewers, told Judge Wapner on Wednesday's Halftime Report, "I think nirvana took a pause" last year, but "I think we're back to seeing very strong activity."

Zelman said the rate-hike concerns of last year have faded, and the consumer is going to roar once the weather warms. "I would say California is back to where it was during nirvana ... I think we're gonna see things rip when we see the weather thaw and the consumers are coming out ... there's not enough supply," Zelman said.

Josh Brown said there seems to be a "bifurcated debate" (sic terminology) as to whether buyers this spring will "show up in force."

Zelman brought up one of the magic Fast Money phrases, suggesting rising rates aren't a problem, it's about the "order of magnitude" (Drink) of a higher move.

Zelman said that in housing starts, we're going to see the "most massive mean revision that we have ever seen," at least post-World War II, then rattled off these names she likes: LEN, PHM, SPF, TMHC, BZH, WCIC, MDC, FBHS, MAS, HD, MHK and SHW.

In the affluent sector, there's just "so much pent-up demand," Zelman said.

Dr. New World backed this outlook and carped about his inbox. "I've already got an email from someone who's dismissing the positives in (sic) today," Joe said, but 2014 is "going to be about the actual homebuilders." He threw in NBR; "don't be afraid of the high price."

Simon Baker touted an old favorite, SSD.

Pete Najarian said he wasn't sure if he heard Ivy mention DHI, but he likes that, pointing to a "stealth rally" in the shares.

Diana Olick said Ivy is focuing on demand, and "I would disagree on some levels of the affordability," that would-be buyers still can't get a lot of financing.

Josh Brown offered TOL and USG, presumably because they hadn't already been mentioned.

Later delving into retailers, Brown added, "I think Lowe's has more upside than Home Depot from here."

More from Wednesday's Halftime later.

[Tuesday, February 25, 2014]

Fast Money trader actually says it’s a ‘great opportunity’ to buy bitcoins

Some things, even those on business televisision, just defy belief.

CNBC's Brian Kelly actually declared on Tuesday's Fast Money that it's a "great opportunity to buy" bitcoins in the wake of the Mt. Gox debacle.

However, Kelly advised viewers, "there's no government protection ... you could lose your entire investment."

Kelly shrugged off the demise of Gox, claiming "You don't need an exchange anymore" even to trade stocks.

Guy Adami, even more incredibly, actually sort of defended this knuckleheadedness, asserting "this should've been catastrophic" for the bitcoin world ... "and it really wasn't."

We've probably never appreciated Stephen Weiss and Jon Najarian as much as Tuesday, when at Halftime (see below) Weiss acknowledged he "sort of" feels badly for the "fools" playing this, and Doc asserted that "people are just gettin' their pockets picked."

Honestly, people should trade whatever they want to trade, but this one has smelled like a bust from Day 1.

At one point Missy Lee brought in Mt. Gox protester Kolin Burges, who said on a muffled phone connection, "I'm definitely worried about using other exchanges" and revealed, "I'll speak to a lawyer" and apparently a "banking regulator."

TSLA analyst keeps urging caution in upping valuations while suggesting $60 EPS

King TSLA watcher Craig Irwin visited with Fast Money Tuesday and suggested Tesla's battery developments figure to be a big deal; "it'll affect a bunch of different things."

Tim Seymour asked Irwin if the "energy storage" angle is being factored into the valuation, which would make it more than reasonable. Irwin responded, "We need to be careful in how we discount the future," essentially shrugging off such calculations.

Then, after having to suffer through Guy Adami pointlessly telling everyone he's missed the run in the stock, Irwin claimed that if certain initiatives come through, "50-60 bucks in earnings is doable."

Irwin told Melissa Lee he has 2 "superbullish scenarios" for TSLA, which include an "electrolyte-free manufacturing process" and acquiring "silicon anode from Panasonic."

Steve Grasso sounded wishy-washy on the stock but allowed, "I think it does have room to go higher."

Tim Seymour was spineless in making a call; "I think it's phenomenally interesting."

Karen Finerman said the short interest is formidable; "I definitely wouldn't short it either."

Later, Jared Rowe joined the group after a teaser (Teslas fetching more used than new) that promised more than it delivered, stating 40 vehicles are in the used-car market, "but not a lot," and that it's more popular in the warm-weather states.

Mike Khouw said weekly 260 TSLA calls were hot.

Oh well, it's safer than a bitcoin exchange.

Grasso: ‘I would be trimming’

Steve Grasso, forced to deal on Tuesday's Fast Money with the embarrassment of his bungled S&P 1,700-correction call (at least it wasn't as bad as Dennis Gartman's), admitted he was wrong but asserted, "I would be trimming positions."

Guy Adami said, "I think the consumers are spending," but then questioned whether they should be spending as much as they are.

Adami said if the IWM fails, that would be bad for the broad market.

Karen Finerman called the market "somewhat frothy."

Tim Seymour said he's not "happy" about a 17 multiple on the S&P 500.

It’s Karen’s birthday, and we managed another gorgeous picture

The Fast Money crew, which sometimes lets birthdays quietly pass, refreshingly did the right thing Tuesday and heeded our call for a big shout-out for Karen Finerman.

The only problem was that Melissa Lee utterly whiffed on the opportunity to question one of the premier names in banking, which is like having Seema Mody drop by CNBCfix headquarters asking for directions, and not even ... stop that. Absolutely stop that right now.

That is, assuming it really was Jamie Dimon who dialed in to tell Karen "You are my favorite" and suggesting a "big martini," and not, as we sort of suspect, Simon Baker.

Tim Seymour seemed fascinated by guessing the decade of each of Karen's song selections. Karen said Billy Joel's "The Stranger" was her first album.

Guy Adami is getting a little shaggy on top; expect a trim by the next appearance.

Kate Spade, a ‘mini-KORS’

Guy Adami on Tuesday's Fast Money had bad news for everyone wishing to plow into LNKD; "unfortunately you have to wait" till it breaks out above 220, because the previous handful of apparent breakouts all failed, and Guy's not saying this one will, but you have to wait.

Tim Seymour, unwilling to commit to absolutely anything Tuesday, was handed BBRY and said, "I would say it's very interesting at these levels."

Karen Finerman said she's been long FNP but, "Unfortunately it wasn't a big enough position ... it is a mini-KORS."

Tim Seymour brought up one of Fast Money's Magic Words in regard to COH, "lifestyle brand." Finerman indicated FNP might not have the same setbacks; "I think they did it incrementally."

Finerman said that what's "so great" about M is that while it's the "best operator in their space," they push themselves as though they were 2nd or 3rd.

Steve Grasso questioned wearing a smartwatch on the wrist as well as having a smartphone in the pocket, suggesting the watch will be "more of an athletic thing." Tim Seymour indicated that Samsung smartwatches are "far and away the best things out there."

You didn’t think that just because it was Karen’s birthday, we would ignore Seema Mody?

Melissa Lee declared on Tuesday's Fast Money that the tweets addressed at the end of the show were the "best tweets of the day," which means that someone asking for Tim Seymour's opinion on AMC Networks is among the best.

The problem with that was, while the question almost certainly referred to AMCX, the chart shown was AMC, and we had no idea which one Seymour was talking about.

Karen Finerman said GameStop seemed like a melting ice cube, but actually "is a cash cow." And, "We actually are long some."

Guy Adami said SWHC "could get squeezed up to 14½, 15."

Tim Seymour, in a line Karen Finerman would surely quibble over, said of TSCO, "Stay in this name if you're there." (But what if you're not?)

Karen Finerman said the LYV story is "early still."

Guy Adami thinks you can own THC around 41½.

No. 386 said "I probably wouldn't be a buyer" of nat gas.

Guy Adami hung a 90 on HD and said "I like Home Depot."

Seema Mody, stupendous in a red sleeveless ensemble, delivered a "mixed report from Boston Beer." Tim Seymour clumsily endorsed BUD.

Seymour said he prefers SCTY and Chinese solar names to FSLR.

Steve Grasso said SCTY and TSLA are the "exact same chart." Karen Finerman started to say that is very dubious, but was cut off.

Tim Seymour's Final Trade was GM. Steve Grasso said QCOM. Guy Adami said WFT. Karen Finerman had a curious rationale for AAPL, stating, "people are bored," and some are following Carl into EBAY, which she finds "absolutely ridiculous."

Judge actually implies a link between stock performance and CEO trash-talking

It's undoubtedly one of the most bizarre conversations on Fast Money/Halftime in recent memory.

Judge brought in Fast Company writer Max Chafkin to lead Tuesday's Halftime panel in a discussion of whether CEO trash-talking makes a company better.

In fact, Chafkin chalked up T-Mobile's high ranking as an innovative company to "John Legere's smack-talking."

"Customers don't need to like the CEO of the company. What they want is the truth," Chafkin claimed.

Usually goofy segments like this are limited to a couple of soundbites from the guest. For whatever reason, this went on and on, with Mr. New World questioning results of AAPL, "They've talked smack over the last couple of years."

"2 words: Ron Johnson. ... It just doesn't mean anything," said Stephen Weiss, who also cited the problems of Thorsten Heins.

Jon Najarian said the point of it is, "You're trying to bolster morale."

Brian Kelly claims bitcoin will be used to transfer shares of DIS to your kid 10 years from now

Melissa Lee on Fast Money tends to talk about bitcoin as though it's the next FB.

She even likes to bring on "Beekers" to make the bull case for it.

The Halftime crew isn't nearly as impressed, with Steve Weiss explaining Tuesday that "I sort of feel bad for the fools that contingue to play this," and Jon Najarian demanding, "When is our Treasury gonna comment on this ... people are just gettin' their pockets picked."

Meanwhile, Anthony Grisanti said "I like gold," and "I don't think we have to see a lot" for more gains. Rich Ilczyszyn said that if it closes north of 1,338, "all arrows point higher," but think about the "exit button" at 1,360.

Weiss: ObamaCare could be pushed back to 2022

Bertha Coombs, reporting from a sleepy health-care conference, told Tuesday's Halftime Report that investors like CYA, HCA and BSX.

Pete Najarian predicted TEVA goes a "lot higher," and said BMY looks "very expensive" but does have the pipeline.

Stephen Weiss observed, "ObamaCare keeps getting pushed out; I wouldn't be surprised if it pushed out to 2022," and said he likes GILD as well as AMGN.

Jon Najarian recommended TMO and ILMN. Joe Terranova wrung his hands over trying to do this with individual stocks and said "I would go to the XLV."

Sister Golden Hair pays
visit to Halftime crew

The opening of Tuesday's Halftime Report was flat as a pancake, featuring a weak go-round on energy.

Addison Armstrong contended that "WTI is showing some signs of weakness." But Armstrong backed natural gas; "once March comes off the board, we're gonna see some strength in April."

Dr. New World, who once again talked about "capex," suggested crude "might pull back to 95" and endorsed EOG and OAS.

Pete Najarian said his energy favorites are BP, BHI and DVN.

Jon Najarian said he likes FTK and of course made sure to make his daily mention of BHI, his Playbook Playoffs pick that he said is up 14%.

Speaking of obligatory Najarian daily mentions, Pete likes UA, even against NKE, which he says has "matured." Stephen Weiss knocked UA's valuation, which has "no room for it to fall," a statement that makes no sense. Dr. New World backed Pete; "I think Under Armour is the better buy."

Crew once again goes to great lengths to make excuses for F

It's the stock they just can't bring themselves to knock.

Tuesday's Halftime Report gang traded around excuses for F as Phil LeBeau reluctantly reported that it's the "2nd-worst brand" in Consumer Reports, its lowest ranking under Alan Mulally.

LeBeau stressed that "in-car connectivity" is the major culprit.

Now, think about how virtually any other company finishing this low in the rankings would be skewered on the Halftime Report; "this isn't just a new CEO or turnaround; he's been there many years," but because everyone for some reason adores F shares (hey, they didn't take a bailout, we like that too, but ...), once again the company got the kid-gloves treatment, starting with Doc asserting the F-150 is the No. 1-selling car in the world, and Stephen Weiss for some reason delving into BBRY, claiming his daughter "loves her new BlackBerry."

Jon Najarian nevertheless said his top picks in the space are ORLY and BWA. Joe Terranova said a lot of GM investors' money has recently gone into F, and "maybe it reverses." Pete Najarian said, "I think it's about the suppliers," specifically GT and LEA.

Weiss thinks TSLA sees 400, but won’t buy it

Pete Najarian frankly declared on Tuesday's Halftime Report that in TSLA, "the shorts got toasted."

Joe Terranova suggested it's not just a loopy momentum stock; "that was a solid earnings report."

Stephen Weiss strangely said of TSLA, "I still can't buy it here even though I think it'll go to 400."

Weiss said M benefits from "perfect execution."

Pete Najarian said LNKD's China venture "could be huge."

Dr. New Land indicated strength in PANW and recommended CHKP and "Fire-eyre (sic), FireEye."

Jon Najarian questioned why CSCO issued "floating rate" bonds.

Stephen Weiss touted HD and LOW in the housing space. Jon Najarian said, "I still like Toll Brothers" and PHM. Pete Najarian picked LEN and DHI. Dr. New Land said 2014 will be a good year for builders.

Joe Terranova said LNKD has a "lot of inventory of sellers" (sic phrasing) around 220 and "I like Facebook better here."

Stephen Weiss endorsed FB, "I think the acquisition's a great acquisition," and added, "I'm in Twitter," a name which no one else seemed to like, curiously enough.

Joe Terranova said "I would never own" BBRY.

Jon Najarian reported "strong upside call buying" in UAL for April and thinks it's "gonna push through 49."

Pete Najarian's Final Trade was DAL. Jon Najarian said RAI, and Steve Weiss said to sell GMCR. Mr. New World refreshingly admitted something this page said on Day 1 of his KORS sale, that he exited too early and it's a buy as his Final Trade.

[Monday, February 24, 2014]

Karen’s birthday today

She turns 33.

Guy mistakenly said ‘Facebook’ when he meant ‘Twitter,’ fooled us all with ‘high 40s’ call

Laura Martin, the star witness on NFLX on Monday's Fast Money (see below), made her most provocative comments on the FB deal.

Martin said FB trades at $160 per monthly average user, but only paid $42 per monthly average WhatsApp user.

So, "We think Facebook gets multiple expansion," Martin said.

Tim Seymour endorsed the deal. "I like it," Seymour said.

Guy Adami said the "trade in Facebook" and then startlingly hung a "high 40s" price target on the name while clearly talking about Twitter's earnings call, then said "Facebook" again and predicted a "67 print." Tim Seymour didn't seem to get the glitch and called high 40s "pretty aggressive" for FB. Guy too didn't get his own glitch and told Seymour the stock was just there a week and a half ago (that was the case for TWTR, not FB, which hasn't seen the 40s since early December).

‘$2,000 lifetime value,’
in something or other

NFLX watcher Laura Martin brought her razor-sharp A game to Monday's Fast Money, outlining a stronger bull case than even Carl Icahn (who actually sold a bit early, didn't he, Doc? Didn't he, Doc?) could make.

Basically everything involving the stock is a win-win, in Martin's mind, including the Comcast deal, given that it's a faster speed with no middleman, while Netflix has experienced "big bottlenecks at Cogent."

Furthermore, Martin contends that Comcast was compelled to "really cut the price" because of D.C. deal scrutiny, and this low price will be the benchmark for negotiations with other providers.

Missy Lee stressed that in a few years, Netflix will have to pay again. But Martin twisted that into a success, asserting that it's "encouraging Netflix to start tiering its pricing ... Netflix undercharges for the consumer value it predates (sic)." ("Predates?")

Guy Adami rationalized Martin's assessment. "This is how you get around their 60-times forward earnings valuation," he said, suggesting a retest of 385 will happen.

Tim Seymour said he "wouldn't touch it." Martin said, "I respectfully disagree with all of them."

Karen Finerman asked Martin, "Why not do an equity offering here" that would be a "relatively modest" dilution?

"I mean you can," said Martin, unconvinced, but insisting that Reed Hastings instead is smartly putting his free cash flow into new markets. "Netflix is a big international story that Wall Street is underestimating," Martin said.

In what sounds like a stretch, Martin claimed, "Every time you add- add a subscriber, it's worth probably $2,000 lifetime value, we calculate." (Whether that means $2,000 revenue, or market cap, or Tim Seymour's hair gel, we have no clue, and Mel didn't bother to ask.)

Only Tim Seymour does not make wishy-washy calls about this maybe being a top

Stocks roared for no reason Monday, and Brian Kelly couldn't wait to make a (snicker) bear case on Monday's Fast Money.

"I'm stunned by today's market move," Kelly said, before pointing to the failure near the top and asserting, "Some people are gonna start saying, 'Was that a false breakout?'"

Tim Seymour, who clearly has watched Oliver Stone's "JFK" on cable recently, claimed there's "some big conspiracy theory" behind why people now wanting to sell the high were selling the bottom 7% ago.

Guy Adami clumsily indicated at first that he likes biotech but sees a "pretty wide divide there" between valuations and revenue, and so maybe it's a good time to take profits.

Karen Finerman cited XBI as an example of what she's doing, selling out-of-the-money calls; according to Finerman they have to be more than a month away and out of the money so as not to affect holding periods. "We have been selling into the rally," Finerman said.

Tim Seymour and Brian Kelly bickered over whether China reports were significant; "I don't think we got new news this week," Seymour said.

Guy Adami said that FIG "all of a sudden looks interesting," and he pointed to strength in NVDA as well.

Dennis Gartman reveals that it’s freezing in Winnipeg

We're not sure why Dennis Gartman elected to call into Monday's Fast Money, unless he was simply meeting a quota.

Gartman stressed that Ukraine will not have much impact on the natural gas market and so it's "illogical" to make a trade in it based on the weekend's events.

Gartman called Venezuela leader Nicolas Maduro "a stupid communist" and said that nation's upheaval figures to be bullish for oil.

Gartman also tepidly said recent price action in copper isn't great for the U.S. economy, but that it's only been a few days.

Tim Seymour declared, "I wouldn't be going short copper here."

Scott Nations said January 20 calls in WFT were hot.

Tim Seymour said of FSLR, "I'm not sure I need to gamble on this one," but regarding SCTY, Seymour advised viewers to "take advantage of the weakness."

However, Karen Finerman said an earnings delay for SCTY is never good, and Guy Adami called the stock a "no-touch."

Back on Jan. 17, Joe was building a ‘bigger and bigger’ SHLD short position, predicting ‘low 20s’

Tim Seymour on Monday's Fast Money issued a Brag Trade on SINA, saying he bought recently in the high 60s, and "I do believe they are starting to monetize," but he thinks you should never chase this stock.

Brian Kelly actually claimed that QNX is not only gonna be in Fords, but is in parking meters, so you could drive up and learn where the parking spaces are, "That's what the value of the QNX is," and if that's the bull case for BBRY, goodness help them.

Kelly called eBay a buy.

Guest Sarbjit Nahal took up one of Mel's favorite subjects (even though it's incredibly boring), cybercrime. "Cyber is increasingly morphing into a national security issue," Nahal said, Zzzzzzz, adding that only "3.8% of IT budgets" are allocated to this concern.

Brian Kelly suggested FEYE and ORCL as the plays here, the latter because "companies are gonna have to decentralize their databases."

Tim Seymour said of DDD, "I would not be in this space."

Karen Finerman said the latest offer for JOSB will be hard to pass up. "We bought some stock, sold some April calls against it," Finerman revealed.

Guy Adami thinks DAL gets to 35.

Karen Finerman said too many factors aside from the retail environment are involved in SHLD's price, and "I wouldn't short that" on the DDS news; she'd much rather short JCP.

According to Brian Kelly, buying CMP never makes sense because you can’t know if next year’s winter will be horrible

Steve Tanger visited Monday's Fast Money set basically just to explain what an outlet mall is. Melissa Lee reported an intriguing number, that the average household income of an outlet mall shopper is $93,000, which actually isn't surprising given that these places are generally in upscale areas.

But Tanger, who admitted the number is "somewhere in that area," said the malls also serve those who "want to aspirationally shop."

Karen Finerman said Ralph Lauren has managed to keep itself a premium brand while thriving in the outlet space as well, while Coach hasn't.

Guy Adami said of SKT, "Decent (sic, not "benign") tape, the stock goes higher."

Adami congratulated himself on suggesting last week waiting to get into GRPN, stating Wednesday is the day and that it might hit $7.50.

Karen Finerman said she'd buy CVS over WAG.

Brian Kelly insisted pricing for CMP this year is over, so the reason to buy it is if you think next year will require just as much road salt, which doesn't make any sense; actually you'd be buying it on the possibility that municipalities start committing to more of it next year, which could in fact be prompted by more storms this season (there's a month to go).

Tim Seymour's Final Trade was SINA. Brian Kelly said HFC, Karen Finerman said NADL (that's one we haven't heard on the show), and Guy Adami said NVDA.

Mel’s got everything working

Monday's Fast Money opened with a treat — Mel in new blue top with new hairstyle.

More from Monday's Fast Money later.

Apparently Andrew Left really got under Josh’s skin

Josh Brown said just last week he was in DDD for the long haul (and chortled about those who had criticized his position on-air), then reported on Monday's Halftime Report that he changed his mind.

"I can hear the needle going across the record right now," said Judge, as Brown revealed "I had some 2nd thoughts" that involved sentiment for the name and the company's emphasis on investment.

Jon Najarian however was positive on DDD. "Somebody would be out there shopping, and it might indeed be Hewlett," Najarian said.

Herb flies all the way in to ask panel how much Netflix’s Comcast deal costs

Herb Greenberg sat down with Monday's Halftime Crew and scoffed that this is a "Pete Najarian-type market where all news is good news" before asking the group about Netflix's Comcast deal: "What is the cost of this."

Nobody seemed to know, but Stephanie Link suggested "that's already baked in to the margin guidance."

Josh Brown flung it back at Herb, questioning the cost of NOT doing such a deal, an observation backed by Judge.

Zuck placed in tech Rushmore

Judge's directionless Monday Halftime Report started off with a tentative rehash of Facebook's WhatsApp buy as viewers were led to believe they'd be getting live clips of Zuck in "Barthelona."

Josh Brown said of FB, "It just seems unstoppable," and Jon Najarian defended the buy (strictly because of the stock performance for the last 3 days, not because he really knows whether it makes sense); "I think that's a great purchase."

Stephanie Link said it "makes me more frustrated at Apple," but Doc decided he didn't have to join into that refrain for the 4th time in about 3 CNBC programs.

Guest Ekaterina Walter listed Mark Zuckerberg in elite company, that of Steve Jobs and Jeff Bezos, the latter being our favorite (hence the image above). Walter called the WhatsApp deal a "vintage Zuck move," and you'd think he was Barry Diller.

BBRY’s goal: Crash Zuck’s next Valentine’s Day dinner, get an offer

Evidently feeling an aftereffect of WhatsApp animal spirits, Jon Najarian on Monday's Halftime Report insisted his bull call on BBRY had nothing to do with Facebook.

Doc instead somehow called the stock a buy based on Ford dumping some MSFT system and "now they're gonna go with BlackBerry."

Brother Pete actually played the bear, unfortunately with Simon-style metrics, shrugging that the stock is already up "30% for the year."

Asked to opine, Josh Brown backed Doc. "This is not really a hard trade to do. It double-bottomed at $6," Brown said, but the funny thing was, Brown ended up getting into it with fellow observer Stephanie Link, who wrung her hands and said, "It's hard because the fundamentals are horrible."

‘Lack of sellers’ detected

Monday's Halftime gang was practically clueless about Monday's rally, with Pete Najarian guessing that the "huge thrust" from integrated oil companies was a sign of strength.

Stephanie Link crowed that Cramer is "way overweight energy now."

Ben Willis, who for the last couple weeks has been warning that the correction isn't done, could do no better, stating "We are in the midst of a global recovery" and that there "appears to be a lack of sellers."

"The only impediment to this market is gonna continue to be the central banks," Willis asserted.

CNBC's Chief International Correspondent, Michelle Caruso-Cabrera, zipped over from Sochi to Kiev to report that Ukrainian bond buyers in the last few days are making money, that's the time to buy, "quite literally when there is blood in the streets."

It took until the end of the program for Pete to make his obligatory UA reference

David Snoddy, whose credentials were extolled by Judge, told Monday's Halftime gang that Japan realized a couple years ago that if it didn't take radical steps, it would be "completely overshadowed by China."

Snoddy sort of concurred with Josh Brown's point that the apparent smooth decline of U.S. QE is a positive sign for Japan and added that the U.S. exit of QE is good for a weaker yen.

Snoddy said casinos are another element to the Japan story. "It's totally gonna happen," he said, by 2020, and he thinks Mitsubishi will be the primary entity seeking blue-chip partners.

Back home, Mike Solimano said Killington Resort has gotten just an average snowfall this year, but the excess in New York and Boston has prompted people to think more about skiing.

Jon Najarian suggested COLM as a play. Stephanie Link suggested MTN, Pete Najarian said UA and Josh Brown, in a good line, said he would play the hospital REIT for himself.

Joe crushing it;
Simon down 13% already

Pete Najarian on Monday's Halftime Report said of EBAY, "I think this goes a lot higher."

Stephanie Link said of DRI, "Under 50 it's interesting."

Jon Najarian in a case of wishful thinking said CHK's move might bring more focus to (his Playbook Playoffs choice that he talks about once a week and his only decent winner) BHI as well as HAL.

Josh Brown said the Blue Harbor-Tribune negotiations are promising.

Steve Cortes was heard to say on Street Signs that defense stocks will continue to receive endless "corporate welfare."

Pete Najarian's Final Trade was DFS. Stephanie Link said IPW, Josh Brown said TAN and Jon Najarian said RKUS.


Important birthday Tuesday

Our Birthday Notification Dept. has spent the last several months quite frankly bungling nearly every early announcement of CNBC-related birthdays. (That means, in other words, not actually announcing them.)

Not this time.

Karen Finerman will observe a special day on Tuesday, so you've got ample time to convey your happy wishes. (Note that it's not yet one of those milestone numbers.)

Now, are we gonna get a call from Karen stating, "Hi it's Karen, let me ask you something, are you gonna meet me at Campagnola to discuss Finerman's Rules?"

No, we're probably not gonna get a call from Karen stating, "Hi it's Karen, let me ask you something, are you gonna meet me at Campagnola to discuss Finerman's Rules."

And that's OK. We'll just hope to see some sort of celebration on Fast Money.

[Friday, February 21, 2014]

Doc wants AAPL to buy something. Anything.

Jon Najarian on Friday's Fast Money Freestyle piled on to his own AAPL Halftime Report tirade, explaining he "absolutely" agrees with the downgrade and thinks it could become the next MSFT.

Tim Seymour pointed out, correctly, that Najarian recently was Katie-barring-the-door in the stock, and asked him what's changed.

Najarian first said it was seeing them buy back $14 billion worth of shares, and then hearing about WhatsApp going to Facebook, "To me that was it."

Seymour, though, said "I would've been very scared" to see Apple buy WhatsApp, and called the shares interesting around 525.

Guy Adami put AAPL in "no-man's land" and called it a "no-touch."

Brian Kelly first said, for a pairs trade, "I would be long Apple and short Facebook," which elicited a "Wow" from Melissa Lee. (Not the "Sham-Wow" in the later reference to Mel's Shamu outfit.)

But moments later, Kelly said he wouldn't be long AAPL at all.

So you figure that out.

Mel: Ukraine contained

Gold happened to get considerable attention on Friday's Fast Money Freestyle, with Guy Adami endorsing NEM.

"I still think you can own these names," Adami said, later offering PAAS as his Final Trade.

Tim Seymour said, "I like Barrick at these levels," and made ABX his Final Trade.

Jon Najarian said he likes ABX as well as GFI and GG.

Brian Kelly said, "I'm short copper right now."

Melissa Lee's academic way of addressing Ukrainian turmoil was to say, "The contagion hasn't really spread too much."

Tim Seymour told everyone, "It's not 'The' Ukraine."

Somebody was turned on by Mel saying "Arabica."

Hard to believe no one
mentioned Lions Gate

John Jannarone, given the nickname "JJ Flash," actually for a couple moments expressed evidence of a sliver of a sense of humor on Friday's Fast Money Freestyle while asserting Starz could be another HBO because it has overcome lackluster original programming by being conservative and because "EBITDA looks great ... they've got runway."

Jon Najarian rather lukewarmly said he'd take a look at Starz, and Guy Adami equally lukewarmly said it looks OK on the beloved benign tape.

Guy said his wait-a-few-days call on GRPN a day earlier was a "prescient call by us."

Doc indicated he wish he'd paid attention, having paid $8.40 for GRPN on Friday.

Doc gushed that UA screamed higher on Friday amid a supposedly difficult week.

Brian Kelly said of STX, "I would stay away from this if not short it."

Tim Seymour said BKS is worth following because "these guys will not give up on this name."

Najarian said HD 78 calls with a Feb. 28 expiration were hot. Tim Seymour said one thing helping housing is that "there's not a lot of supply."

Movidius chief Remi el-Ouazzane said something along the lines of the goal being to bring human vision capabilities into devices.

Guy Adami said the weather has "wreaked havoc" with AGU and it can see $100 on a "benign tape."

Jon Najarian said of MRVL, "I like it," but "I think you can wait a little bit."

Tim Seymour said, not surprisingly, "I would be buying weakness in Yandex" and advised a 35 stop. But he fumbled at making a call on MA, which Guy Adami would clearly take over EBAY, a "face job" to Carl.

Jon Najarian gets a vibrating wake-up call from Fitbit.

Najarian's Final Trade(s) was JOY and HD. Brian Kelly said to sell EWZ.

Judge sort of overstated the greatness of Friday’s JWN debate

At least it didn't begin with Stephanie Link stating, "This is NOT a play on the earnings report."

But the JWN debate on Friday's Halftime Report lacked oomph, largely because Josh Brown brought almost nothing to the table.

"They'll figure it out," was Brown's bull case. "It's ridiculously cheap."

Link, the bear this time, asserted that "2014 is a year of further investments," and the company has "zero operating leverage."

Brown's argument was strange, not just because he really had no catalyst, but because recent support has been around 55, and buying at 59 looks like a questionable place on the chart.

That's perhaps why Jon Najarian said Brown's case was OK for the long term, but in the short term he expects more selling, to 55, where he'd be an "aggressive buyer."

Brown told Link, "Stephanie, what I really want is for you to take me shopping at Nordstrom."

Great idea. Brown can go with Link, and we'll go to JWN with Seema Mody.

Doc: Tim Cook mulling a deal is like an ‘ice-cube thawing’

Jon Najarian on Friday's Halftime Report continued to pound away at AAPL inertia as the stock market claimed victory for FB post-WhatsApp.

Najarian hilariously stated that Facebook executives (um, there's about 1 or maybe 2 people who count) "don't take like an ice-cube thawing" to evaluate whether to make a deal, while we never hear anything about Apple mulling something like an Instagram or a WhatsApp.

Najarian said that news reports indicate Google was willing to pay the same price for WhatsApp, but was rebuffed. Stephanie Link said Google has still spent $5 billion on acquisitions but that Cramer "sold some Apple yesterday."

Guest Terry Kawaja said the price for WhatsApp is steep, but "there's a there there," and it "feels entirely different" than 1999 because these are serious companies fetching the high multiples.

Kawaja said the WhatsApp price was worth it to Facebook because "this was a defensive play" that keeps it out of the hands of Google and others.

Josh Brown said it's "obviously a runaway year for M&A" that could get even more interesting if it seeps into the security space.

Superfox Seema Mody, who wore a stunning lilac outfit but wasn't given enough of a screen for us to get a good picture, told Judge that tech companies are flush with cash, and "when you got more dough, it's easier to spend."

TSLA hit for valuation

TSLA watcher Efraim Levy downgraded the stock and told Judge Wapner with a straight face on Friday's Halftime Report exactly why:

"Valuation ... I think it's ahead of itself," Levy said.

Levy predicted the stock would be volatile and asserted, "It's really hard for me to be positive on the valuation at any point," but admitted, "There is risk of further price appreciation."

Ya think?

Dr. J repeated his long-standing point that Tesla was made a monopoly in high-end electric cars when Fisker went out of business.

Judge actually claims the NFL brand is ‘in jeopardy’ because a Baltimore Raven got arrested

Jon Najarian, in the day's most interesting trading call, backed GRPN on Friday's Halftime Report. "I like the company here at this level," Najarian said.

That didn't sit well with Josh Brown. "No way ... I don't get it," Brown said.

Brown, though, was able to crow about DDD, pointing out "lots of guys like to come on TV and bash me about it," while conceding that at Friday's level, it's a "great opportunity" to sell.

Stephanie Link grimaced at HPQ. "I would not chase this stock," Link said.

Link cheered HOT and its special dividend. Doc noted the stock was his Final Trade recently because of options activity, and whether those buyers knew of a special dividend "would bear some looking into."

Link grumbled that UA is trading at "53 times forward estimates."

Anthony Grisanti said crude was sliding in part because the Houston ship channel was clearing up. Jim Iuorio said crude actually "looks good" as long as it stays over $101.50.

Judge for whatever reason brought in Sports Illustrated's Andrew Lawrence to ask about damage to the NFL's reputation. Lawrence first indicated that the combine is getting going, and basically that's all the league cares about.

Lawrence said the league's biggest hit came from the "Frontline" episode about concussion effects and somehow implied that mothers never were concerned about their sons playing football until the last year or 2.

Jon Najarian suggested the NFL could test for steroids during the season, which would make the players smaller and not hitting with such force. Lawrence sounded skeptical that would make a big difference. What he should've told Doc is that it's in nobody's interest to have the big stars suspended, which certainly would happen in this case.

Judge said CNBC asked the NFL for a response, but "we have yet to hear back."

Jon Najarian said the SWY move isn't a surprise, "they were going to be putting themselves up for sale."

Lawrence Delevingne, who has written a few hedge fund articles on CNBC.com and thus occasionally gets summoned to the Halftime Report, called HLF "officially the worst investment ever made by Pershing Square."

Showing he's got the hang of it, Delevingne added, "At the end of the day, hedge funds are a numbers-driven industry."

Keith Banks twice said his investment approach right now is "rational optimism." Translation: JWN could bounce up to 65 ... but you won't be going shopping there with Seema Mody anytime soon.

Banks sees a market multiple of 16-17 in 2014.

Final Trades were cut off because Judge lollygagged at the end of the program. Stephanie Link was able to mention BAC, Josh Brown didn't even get the name KWEB in, and Doc was left silent, but according to CNBC.com, Doc likes CRM.

[Thursday, February 20, 2014]

Karen still doesn’t get it

In not the most convincing opinion, Karen Finerman on Thursday's Fast Money Freestyle said if she had to do anything with WMT, she'd buy it.

Then Finerman made the mistake of comparing it with His Unbelievable Awesomeness, Jeff Bezos. "You look at Amazon ... it's really hard to do the math there," Finerman said.

Doesn't she know what the math is? Every day Bezos is in charge, it's worth more.

Speaking of high valuations, Guy Adami described his own thoughts on TSLA this way: "Me. Wrong. Got it." Then he decided it would be a good idea to ask everyone if Tesla is a car company or technology company.

Jon Najarian gushed that TSLA is too popular; "you can't possibly meet the demand." Brian Kelly said you should "buy any pullbacks" in the name.

Melissa and Guy did the bickering-married-couple routine over who was able to drive the Tesla. Brian Kelly correctly said "J.W. Nordstrom" and got Karen Finerman to admit concern over that warning.

Guy’s at it again, claiming PCLN watchers are unable to read a P.E. ratio

We thought this one was in the rear-view mirror.

Yet, Guy Adami astoundingly revealed on Thursday's Fast Money Freestyle that he actually thinks people are still skeptical of PCLN's valuation because the stock trades north of $1,000.

Of course, no one has the brass to ask him, if that's the case, why has the stock gone steadily up for the past year/half-decade/decade/century.

"If you just move the decimal point," Adami explained, then the valuation is "reasonable ... not crazy expensive."

Thanks much.

Jon Najarian even sort of backed Adami but with a more legit argument, claiming the lofty nominal price is a "friction" problem for options lots, whereas OWW and EXPE are easily bundled in 100-share offerings; "you can actually trade those. The friction doesn't seem as large."

Brian Kelly said he would "absolutely not" buy PCLN on Friday.

‘3-D printing’s gonna change the game’

Peter Misek said "we're still a hold" on HPQ and, echoing one of the themes of the afternoon/week/month/century, offered that Amazon Web Services is "really the issue here."

Misek said it's not a done deal yet with Meg Whitman. "We don't know whether she can pull this off," he said.

But he did claim that everyone agrees that "3-D printing's gonna change the game."

Guy Adami said you "gotta be careful here" in HPQ and to wait to get long until it tops 31. "I don't think you initiate a long position here," Adami said.

Doc tries to turn a GRPN bungle into a Brag Trade

Jon Najarian reported at the top of Thursday's Fast Money Freestyle that people had spent the day buying "huge upside call bets" in GRPN (snicker).

Doc admitted he got into that trade but insisted he also made it work by purchasing the shares and taking advantage of the brief afterhours bounce. "I bought some of the stock; I sold at 11.50," Najarian said, suggesting sub-9 was a good place to buy.

Guy Adami called Groupon's Q1 guidance "terrible" and said it "empowers the shorts," but before you think about jumping in, "I think you gotta wait at least a couple days" and look for "8½" territory.

Karen Finerman questioned being long GRPN at all; "I couldn't get comfortable owning it."

Guy Adami, who sounded like he'd been having the rest of that Black Box wine, said "ballywick."

WhatsApp is worth
10 times IMAX

IMAX boss Richard Gelfond, generally a good guest, told Thursday's Fast Money that "we do have a good pipeline" of films for 2014, but 2015 figures to be the big year, in part because it includes "Avatar 2."

Sorry, not too excited.

Echoing perhaps the biggest theme of the day (no, not Amazon's Greatness), Gelfond assured the panel, "We are gonna do a lot more with social media."

Gelfond downplayed accusations against a former employee leaking secrets in China; "that's really a side show."

He said "we have a laser system under development" that should make the movies even better.

Jon Najarian said, "I like the stock." Guy Adami predicted 35 or 40.

Karen Finerman called herself a "huge fan" of Daniel Craig, make that "gigantic, gigantic."

Tweeter not paying close attention, doesn’t realize Karen exited JCP long in late January

Guy Adami, who with Tim Seymour not present on Thursday's Fast Money Freestyle tried to do all the talking in The Ambassador's absence, said he prefers railroads to railcar names and that "Trinity especially got ahead of itself today."

Adami said you won't get "massively hurt" in VZ.

Karen Finerman said Hyster Yale is not that liquid and thus is "hard to trade."

Jon Najarian said "Jefferies and S&P got this one wrong" on SWY.

Brian Kelly said "for now I would stay away" from VLO.

Guy played name that tune with Skynyrd's "That Smell" as everyone chortled about a "Tranquility Pod."

Jon Najarian said SWHC calls were hot.

Najarian said Scotland activity won't boost HLT shares but PCLN's results (assuming people can understand how to move the decimal point and still get the same P.E. ratio) will help.

Karen Finerman affirmed "I am not" in JCP and said "hope I was clear" when she last spoke of being in it and out of it.

Guy Adami observed that WYNN has gone "parabolic," and "there's nothing wrong with taking profits here."

Brian Kelly said, "I actually do like the airlines here."

Jon Najarian said "You buy Under Armour still."

Doc's Final Trade was KBH. Brian Kelly said SLV. Karen Finerman said GNC and Guy Adami said SLW.

Stephen Weiss’ argument against AAPL buying WhatsApp makes no sense

Dan Primack on Thursday's Halftime Report said it's the telecom companies that should be most scared of the Facebook-WhatsApp deal, and then opined that Google had a bigger "sigh" than AAPL because "Google wanted the company," a sentiment shared by Henry Blodget.

Jon Najarian took issue with that in lambasting Apple. "I would disagree a hundred percent," Najarian said, before pointing to Al Gore on Apple's board and addressing it directly. "You guys completely missing mobile ... this is one that Apple should've done ... they should've bought this ... this would've been a game-changer for Apple," Najarian said.

This isn't nearly as bad as Doc's supposed expertise at the pricing of Amazon Prime.

Yet, it ignores the enormous reality of personalities. Buying $16 billion companies isn't like moving chess pieces around a board. Doc never explained whether Tim Cook and Jan Koum actually like each other or want to be business partners. Cook would likely demand more control of WhatsApp than Zuck demanded during the Valentine's Day dinner in which the males scooped up Priscilla Chan's chocolates.

Unfortunately, Stephen Weiss took Doc's comments and descended into loopiness. "That makes sense in terms of growth, but it doesn't make sense because it would be so massively dilutive to Apple shareholders" and their P.E. ratio, Weiss claimed. "I don't believe Apple could've done it ... it's selling at a 10 to 12 P.E."

The world's largest market cap could not have bought WhatsApp?


Rather than seize on this knuckleheadedness, Dr. New World revived Karen Finerman's 4-year-old refrain. "At this point, Apple needs to do something ... use the cash ... it's too much cash just to sit there," Joe said.

Terranova, in love with the word "capex" all day, at one point said, "Makes you think with iMessage, they screwed that up." (Now, why Joe insisted on plunging into AAPL for his 2014 Playbook Playoffs against our better judgment, and insists on staying in it, we have no clue.)

Stephanie Link, who made a smart trade, dialed in to say she and Cramer watched FB afterhours and were "kinda hoping to get it down 5%, uh, today," but had to settle for less and "got it down about 2½%," which by the end of the day proved an outstanding trade. Link called WhatsApp a "very high-quality industry leader."

Steve Weiss recently buys FB and TWTR but insists he’s a fundamental investor who doesn’t deal in charts

Introducing the concept as though it were brand new (and "nerdy"), Judge brought in chart-watcher Brian Shannon to Thursday's Halftime Report to report on some promising trends.

Shannon first insisted there's "nothing nerdy about it," then went on to hang a 270 on TSLA, which he said is "obviously not for the faint of heart."

He said CZR has potential above 23, and as for the S&P 500, "charts say we're in an uptrend."

Judge told Stephen Weiss that Shannon's charts are "pretty compelling," and proceeded to endure a moment of dead air before the camera caught Weiss grimacing, "I don't know what to tell ya ... it's just not what I do."

Weiss ultimately took issue with Shannon's strategy of waiting for breakouts to happen. "So you would miss 20% upside, or 10% upside in the stock because you went to the sidelines and not taking advantage of it, now you're buying it up 10%," Weiss scoffed.

"Defense is No. 1," Shannon affirmed, who also included an "at the end of the day."

Jon Najarian insisted on trumpeting fundamentals in TSLA, saying if its margins hit 23%, that's a "blowout number."

Remember when DELL going private was the most exciting M&A in tech?

Facebook's purchase of WhatsApp seems equivalent to a guy with $500,000 in the checking account, no mortgage or student loans, paying $86,000 for a Model S.

If it sucks, really no big deal.

That's basically what happened with YouTube (win), Motorola Mobility (loss) and Instagram (win), though Dan Primack on Thursday's Halftime Report only began by stating the obvious, "They're making a bet here really on growth," and that Facebook can afford this deal, which, given its heavy stock component, is undoubtedly true.

Henry Blodget called it a "very bold move" and told Judge it's somehow for both defensive and offensive reasons.

It could be "brilliant," Blodget said. Or, Facebook "could end up looking incredibly stupid."

Blodget said "they've got the big picture right," and that Instagram has already proved to be "one of the best acquisitions in history."

Bust: Stephen Weiss even invokes the Wayne Gretzky punch line in sorry performance

Tobias Levkovich, who hasn't really liked this market for a long time, insisted on Thursday's Halftime Report that the shape of the yield curve tends to foreshadow stock-market volatility by 2 years, so "we are looking at a much more volatile year."

"Sentiment's still a little too positive," grumbled Levkovich, who has a 1,975 year-end S&P price target.

Joe Terranova contended, "I think it's gonna be a frustrating year" and suggested, in a curious tactic, "you trade around the edges."

For now, Joe likes "energy, energy, energy," and said he was "increasing my long exposure" to PXD (that's one this page liked and said so in the wake of Brian Kelly's bone-headed bearish call on the name involving wells drying up all of a sudden) as well as EOG.

Mike Murphy said of volatility, "I think it gives you opportunity," and pointed to C and WFM as names he likes. (By the way, we'll reaffirm our wager offer that no one on Fast Money/Halftime took us up on that LULU hits 55 before beloved mighty C does, as LULU has in fact trounced that tiresome name since a couple weeks ago when the gang saw it the other way around.)

Jon Najarian said of the market strength, "I think you ride it Judge."

Stephen Weiss, indicating he brought nothing to say on this program, asserted, "You can't buy markets; you have to buy stocks. You have to go where, as Wayne Gretzky says, skate where the puck's going to be."

Weiss, who fell into that C trap despite our warnings (there have been many), claimed, "I added down lower."

Weiss sort of justified WhatsApp's price with a goofy rationale for FB; "keep in mind they're paying with an inflated currency," as we try to discern which stocks are "inflated" and which ones aren't.

Joe demands that traders offering a short-term market opinion on nat gas tell him why knuckleheaded hedge funds don’t get it

Dr. New World, who engineered a clumsy program on Thursday's Halftime Report but was bailed out of the cellar by Stephen Weiss, made a bull case for PCLN beginning with conservative guidance in November and adding that it's "so well-positioned" for a European recovery, neither of which strikes as a fresh catalyst.

Mike Murphy, however, insisted "they've taken their eye off the prize here in the U.S."

Stephen Weiss backed the name. "I think the stock's still got some legs," while Jon Najarian said he too likes it, because of Europe.

Joe had more trouble conveying a question/point to the Futures Now crew, asserting Mark Fisher "clearly telegraphed" the nat gas move and demanding to know why hedge funds haven't gotten aboard yet.

Directing his question to both Jackie DeAngelis and Brian Stutland, it happened to be Anthony Grisanti who started to answer before Judge cut him off and redirected to Stutland, who then merely restated his case that "the price drop could be nasty" once it peaks around 6.40.

Scowling, Dr. New Land concluded, "There's clearly upside momentum," and mentioned UPL and SWN.

Anthony Grisanti backed that argument. "I don't think you have to sell this market," Grisanti said.

Judge brings in a Najarian-approved HFT expert

Mike Persico told Judge on Thursday's Halftime Report that the whole world is constantly going faster, and so by using lasers in the trading world, he's "seeking to democratize this" and create "free, open and equal access."

Jon Najarian said that while he's a big critic of HFT and the people that drill through mountains for an edge, he likes Persico and thinks these lasers "truly could democratize it."

Mr. New Land played the curmudgeon, stating, "The retail community doesn't need this product." Persico countered, "They're not going to embrace it, but they're not going to be disenfranchised by it," and while he didn't say "at the end of the day," he did twice say "leveling the playing field."

Doc playing GGB March 7 calls

Jon Najarian said on Thursday's Halftime Report that Nelson Peltz's less-than-1% PEP stake isn't enough. "I don't think Pepsi listens."

Steve Weiss said "I wouldn't be there" in WMT but would pick TGT instead.

Mike Murphy said he has a "hard time" with TSLA's valuation. (And. Boo. Hoo.)

Jon Najarian said GGB March 7 calls were hot, and "I think it's got a lot more gas in the tank." He's in that trade, and "I'll probably be in for about a week to 10 days."

Mike Murphy OKd GGB as a good options play. Stephen Weiss grumbled, "I'd stay away from steel stocks." Mr. New Land said the only one worth playing is Steel Dynamics.

Joe Terranova's Final Trade was CF. Jon Najarian said HOT. Stephen "I don't use technical analysis" Weiss said TWTR. Mike Murphy said WEN. Judge bungled the timing of the ending, so traders had to keep the banter going.

[Wednesday, February 19, 2014]

She’s doing a lousy job hosting Fast Money Freestyle, but she looks good

The most challenging part of the Fast Money Freestyle is actually getting it on your computer.

Our try Wednesday (yeah, we know) started off with 5 minutes of a blank black screen, until after hitting refresh a few times, we suddenly heard Dan Nathan grumbling that everyone's going to cite the weather in calling growth a "2nd-half story."

The big news of the day proved to be Julia Boorstin's breaking news on FB. Guy Adami said the price paid for WhatsApp is high enough that it "seems to me somebody else must've been in the running for these guys."

Tim Seymour opined, "I'm not surprised Facebook did this," especially when it's doing most of the deal with its own shares; "why would you not use an expensive stock?" (This writer was convinced enough to go long FB afterhours without actually knowing, like the Freestyle panel, what WhatsApp is.)

Dan Nathan later claimed that the deal is a "big time" challenge from FB to TWTR. Guy Adami added, "I think here's where you sell Twitter."

Sailthru chief Neil Capel (whose company was NOT bought by Facebook Wednesday) said his firm helps companies maintain "dialogue" with customers on websites and work to personalize every message.

Missy Lee, showing her age a bit (but looking sharp all day including with Simon Hobbs on Street Signs (above) in sleek black top and chic skirt), asked, "How do you advertise without alienating the young people?"

Tesla watcher Craig Irwin, whose bullish survey about 6 months ago prompted a skeptical Stephen Weiss to suggest a top, told Wednesday's Freestyle that "people are going for a heavy slate of options," and he means the 6-disc changer or whatever it is now, not the stuff Pete and Jon are watching on HeatSeeker®.

Not surprisingly, Irwin said Tesla shares "probably do have some further appreciation potential."

Equally not surprisingly, Brian Kelly said that while he recommending TSLA recently on the breakout, "I personally did not buy it" (that's what's called making a living by doing TV appearances on managing money not actually managing money).

Dan Nathan said to avoid HLF, "I think the company's out of bullets."

Guy Adami likes GRMN, his Final Trade, on a pullback; it's moving on "wearable technology."

Tim Seymour said, unlike Pete Najarian, "I don't think you chase this move at all" in LLY, which the screen said is ELY. (Wrong.)

We think Dan Nathan was referring to KO when he said it has a "textbook head and shoulders" chart.

Brian Kelly said nat gas pricing is "insane at this point." Mr.-Just-Say-No-except-it's-OK-to-drink-wine-during-work-on-television Guy Adami offered, "It's hard to fade it right now."

Guy Adami touted JACK. That prompted another bickering-married-couple routine with Melissa Lee, who said, "I don't laugh at you ... you're surly tonight."

Guy Adami brought up "Todd Marinovich" in questioning Tim Seymour's baseball emphasis for Seymour's son. Seymour asked Adami that of all the ESPN "30 for 30" episodes he has seen, "What's your percentage of breaking out into tears."

In an unbelievably boring conclusion, Tim Seymour differed with Brian Kelly on Russian currency, stating, "I just think here, the ruble is well overdone," but he'd think about shorting Gazprom.

Seymour said he wouldn't be shorting Gazprom, but offered one of the newfound keywords, "I would be going after a current-account-deficit country."

Seymour's Final Trade was adding KO. Brian Kelly said TBT, and Dan Nathan said VZ.

Funny the music has to stop on CMG but not AMZN (and by the way what precisely should the price of Prime be; should they just raise it to $500?)

It was hardly a shocker.

Wednesday's Halftime Report crew was asked to pick recently successful stocks in which they'd "take the money and run."

And 4 of the 5 (Doc added an extra) involved the notorious high P.E. ratio.

Pete Najarian offered CMG, for "valuation ... they have gained far too much, too fast."

Brother Jon agreed. "At some point the music has to stop," Jon claimed.

But Jon's picks were LMT and, in a curious Oscar-peak call, AGN.

Stephen Weiss said GMCR. Josh Brown said TSLA (snicker), based on its "128 forward P.E." (double-snicker).

Halftime crew evidently doesn’t realize Ben Baldanza prefers ‘options’ to ‘fees’

Spirit airline chief Ben Baldanza visited with Wednesday's Halftime Report and demonstrated he's still got every Fast Money talking point down pat.

"The nastier the winter it is, the more people wanna come to places like Florida and the Caribbean," Baldanza claimed with zero proof, so in the wake of winter-related losses, "we're gonna recover a lot of that."

Pete Najarian questioned what's next on the "fee" front. Baldanza explained (sigh) that he prefers the term "options," and he's not referring to the ones the Najarians watch on HeatSeeker®.

Self-proclaimed airline investing expert Stephen Weiss said that for now, the discount carriers have been left alone to thrive. "It's all a question of how much the bigger airlines wanna go after 'em and let 'em in," Weiss said, a statement that made very little sense. Pete Najarian said LUV missed the boat with free bags; "they can't even retract that."

Pete calls volume complaints ‘crap’

Josh Brown didn't realize the hole he was digging for himself at the top of Wednesday's Halftime Report.

Not by stating, "I'm still a little bit skeptical" of the bull market.

Nor by stating he needs to see an increase in the "percentage of stocks above their 200-day moving averages."

Rather, it was his assertion that "the volume is almost nonexistent."

That brought a scoff from the King Scoffer, Steve Weiss. "This is like golf, it's like football, it's like baseball. At the end of the day, did you win, did you lose," Weiss said, before adding another "at the end of the day."

Pete Najarian likewise denounced volume as a factor. "That's crap," Najarian said, pointing to investors using options instead.

Jon Najarian further opined that Big Board volume has gradually been diffused among the "58 exchanges or dark pools in the country."

Weiss said auto sales in Europe are improving, a bullish sign. Pete Najarian said there's "participation" in energy, chips and financials.

Brown closed for some reason by warning the panel that 12 bad days wiped out 73 days of gains. (And if you could go back to September 1987, you could sell everything and save yourself a month's worth of pain.)

60% of whatever’s dragging down housing is weather-related

Bill Pulte, who of course works in P.E. and not for Pulte Corp., addressed on Wednesday's Halftime Report whatever bad housing data came out and asserted, "60% of it has to do with weather."

Pulte predicts a "spring in the spring season." Pete Najarian wondered if there's a level of rates that would signify the "party's over." Pulte answered, "Not really."

Pulte likes MHK, MAS and AMWD. Stephen Weiss said HD and LOW are not "egregiously priced."

Josh Brown warned the group and viewers, "I gotta tell you," a lot of things and not just housing are in a slump, so we better hope it's the weather.

Doc: Nat gas ‘very over-inflated’

Judge delivered a treat for viewers of Wednesday's Halftime Report, bringing in Kate Upton rival Sara Eisen (Sports Illustrated has NOT been looking in all the right places ... look at that side profile, gray top, necklace ...) for a live interview, and a quality one although there wasn't much ground broken, with Campbell's chief Denise Morrison, who says there are "seismic shifts" in the consumer space.

Pete Najarian endorsed GIS; "it's actually a good buy."

Jon Najarian in that vein suggested MDLX, because it just did a "big buy on Twitter."

Steve Liesman conducted an equally good (though not nearly as visually appealing) chat with San Francisco Fed chief John Williams (not the Oscar-winning composer nor the LSU basketball player), who admitted recent data is "somewhat disappointing," but Williams thinks "we're on a really solid footing in 2014" and "the hurdle is pretty high" for a change in tapering approach.

Jon Najarian said HeatSeeker detected hot activity in UPL and said the nat gas curve at the front is "very over-inflated" but the back end of it is not, a sign it's "usually not gonna last."

Doc made a bull case for WMT and argued minimum-wage increases and bad weather are "priced in." Steve Weiss countered that the stock trades at a "40% premium to its growth rate," and he likes TGT better. Josh Brown said he's deducting 2 points from Weiss for his fuchsia tie, but he likes Weiss' argument because he sees no WMT catalyst.

Weiss said "I'd stay away" from HLF. Jon Najarian said there "may have been a leak here Judge" in the Zale deal. Josh Brown said GRMN got a short-covering pop. Pete Najarian said LLY and big pharma have good pipelines.

Pete Najarian's Final Trade was ACAS. Jon Najarian said HD, Steve Weiss said TGT and Josh Brown said BBT.

[Tuesday, February 18, 2014]

Is it the deep end, or the shallow end, of the pool that we should be careful with?

Andrew Left, who evidently likes the Fast Money routine enough to make weekly appearances, said on Tuesday's Freestyle that Medbox's accounting outsourcing/insourcing/whatever the heck it is is a "big change" and cited the company's recent profitability claim as proof its numbers can't be trusted; "3 months later a filing comes out that shows, they're not profitable."

"Your numbers are right. Or your numbers are not right," Left stated.

While acknowledging there has been easy pickin's, Left insisted Citron's researchers "have never been wrong on the space" and invited the company to "sue me. You're a fraud."

Left told Lee the shares might not go to zero, but perhaps "0.001" (we think that was the number of zeroes), and asserted, "eventually there'll be indictments in the stock."

Tim Seymour pointed out the volatile nature of the stock and the emerging markets specialist cautioned viewers, "You have to be very, very careful" when you're trading in the "very, very shallow end of the pool."

The funny thing about that was, later in the show, Guy Adami claimed BBRY is in the "deeper end of the pool."

Let's go to the pool with the Fast Money crew. (Which means we'll finally see Missy and Karen in swimsuits.)

Guy Adami said that while they discussed a marijuana stock on the show, his motto is, "Just say no." Tim Seymour started to question whether legalizing pot is good for removing crime and getting tax revenue but the conversation got broken up. Despite saying "Just say no," Adami joined the other 3 panelists in drinking boxed wine on the clock.

Mel unable to get Tim to stop talking during first 20 minutes of Fast Money Freestyle

Tim Seymour, sort of like Phil LeBeau hours earlier (see below), denounced on Tuesday's Fast Money Freestyle the notion that the weekend Apple-Tesla story should've had any impact on stock prices.

"Absurd," said Seymour, singling out the San Francisco Chronicle as though it's not a legitimate publication. "This is cockamamie."

Pete Najarian, as always measuring the risk of his commentary even greater than the risk of his options positions, stated, "I think Apple and Tesla are gonna work together," and if there's anything to the story, it's a "very bullish maneuver for Tesla."

Guy Adami suggested that TSLA is "getting into nosebleed territory."

Anthony Scaramucci, perhaps to the scorn of Tim Seymour, revealed, "I actually read the thing totally differently from everyone else," that it's a sign "the bull market frankly continues."

However, Scaramucci was heard to use the term "bubble," a rarity these days. (As opposed to November, when Mel used it all the time, when the S&P 500 was roughly the same level it is now.)

Melissa Lee reported that Ben Kallo, despite begging off a TSLA price-target hike on Friday, apparently conveniently raised it over the weekend to 215.

Mel & Guy start the bickering-married-couple routine early, during natural gas discussion

Tim Seymour on Tuesday's Fast Money Freestyle made clear where he stands on SCTY. "I didn't like it 10% ago," Seymour affirmed.

But Pete Najarian said the February 82-85 SCTY calls are hot, "they're very aggressively purchasing options."

Guy Adami broke in to say HUN "is on its next leg higher," prompting Melissa Lee to start in with the eye-rolling and phony sighing, this time over whether Adami should've still been talking about natural gas yet. "Always 2 steps ahead of us Guy," Lee said.

Meanwhile, Dennis Gartman, the Greatest Lagging Indicator in Fast Money history, likes natural gas because, surprise surprise, it's been going up on the chart.

"It's a matter of demand right now," Gartman tried to claim, asserting March will have colder-than-usual weather.

$7 is possible, Gartman said, but nat gas is "not likely to see $4 again for a long time."

Look to fracking, Gartman advised; "You wanna own pipes, you wanna own sand."

Tim Seymour, as he did with the AAPL-TSLA story, questioned how anything could be a play on a "transitory (sic) moment in time" such as the weather. (As opposed to the non-transitory moments in time.) But Gartman even claimed nat gas is a summer trade as well, with air-conditioning. "Now it's a hot weather play," Gartman said.

At least until the chart breaks in a week or two, when Dennis will be back to say "I was wrong."

Seymour touted CMI. "This is how I wanna play nat gas," Seymour said.

Friday was a great time to be buying FRX 90 calls

Guy Adami said on Tuesday's Fast Money Freestyle that in the wake of the FRX deal, "the space is in play," and he likes Mylan and Cerner. "The whole space to me is in play," Adami said.

Anthony Scaramucci, who wasn't able to speak much on the program as Tim Seymour gobbled up most of the airtime, revealed that he and Melissa had spoken earlier on "Talking Numbers" about cash on corporate balance sheets, and "I think it's the first inning" in a "spate of merger activity."

But Pete Najarian questioned the amount of FRX 90 calls that were trading on Friday. "Something smells wrong about this trade," Pete claimed.

Elsewhere, Pete said P benefits from "a large short in the stock" but to be careful because the earnings don't justify the valuation.

Anthony Scaramucci said "I would avoid" DHI. Tim Seymour said of BHP, "stay in this trade."

Seymour declared KO a buy. "At $37, you own this stock ... the comps next year are gonna be so easy for this company."

The Moochmeister has been hanging out at discount retailers recently

Skechers boss David Weinberg said the brand is popular with kids and includes "twinkletoes" (pass).

"We see ourselves as a quality product," Weinberg said modestly.

Tim Seymour said he wouldn't be in the stock. "The big boys can squeeze on margins," Seymour said.

But Anthony Scaramucci, praising Weinberg, disagreed. "I'll take Skechers ... this thing has all of the right fundamentals," Scaramucci said.

Pete Najarian said EXC March 31 calls were hot.

Guy Adami, in the no-brainer of the day, said MU will keep going up if DRAM pricing stays hot.

Tim Seymour admitted he thought 55 was a good "entry point" in CHL. "I like this name," Seymour said.

Anthony Scaramucci called TGT a "high-quality name" and its data-breach issues a "short-term blip," though "I have noticed a lot of people paying cash" in these stores recently.

Tim Seymour's Final Trade was SINA. Pete Najarian said CCL. Anthony Scaramucci said F, and Guy Adami said SLW.

Melissa Lee called clowns "creepy." Tim Seymour said the box wine was "awful."

Judge socks it to the panel

Stephanie Link, making a bull case for PNRA on Tuesday's Halftime Report, started the way she always does in this goofy exercise, "This is not a play on tonight's quarter. At all."

But for whatever reasons, valuations, catch-up, etc., Link likes the name; Mike Murphy though thinks PNRA is "losing ground to the names like Chipotle."

Josh Brown said, "I'm with Murph," pointing to a "triple-top" in the name.

Later, Murphy agreed with Bryan Elliott, who is backing DRI because "we're basically making a risk/reward, short-term trading call here." Murphy claimed, "Darden after this pullback is interesting," and sniped at Link, "Food's better than Panera though."

Josh Brown also tangled with Stephanie, over PEP, trumpeting its outperformance over KO. Link protested, adamant about decrying PEP's recent quarter.

"That's one quarter out of a decade's worth of outperformance," Brown said.

"I'd have to go back and look," Link said.

Judge generally pronounces "either" as "eye-ther" (rather than "ee-ther"; "either" one is acceptable); he was joined Tuesday by Link with that diction.

Judge still thinks Marc Faber is a voice to be taken seriously

It matters not how loopy, daffy, or useless his market calls are.

Marc Faber never fails to get star billing from either 1) CNBC or 2) Barron's.

According to Judge Wapner on Tuesday's Halftime Report, Faber says non-U.S. stocks are a better bet now, to which Pete Najarian said, "I totally disagree with him."

Josh Brown didn't answer Judge's question as to which approach was better but said everyone should be taking advantage of the low costs of having a U.S. and global portfolio.

Stephanie Link asserted for some reason, "It's all about international," and said she likes ACN, one of the 5 in her Playbook Playoffs portfolio, though "unfortunately I'm trailing here."

Mike Murphy said the time to buy EEM was recently when there was "literally (sic) blood in the streets," and he thinks it can see the "low to mid-40s."

Andres Garcia-Amaya reaffirmed he likes Europe and the U.S., "Europe is earlier than the U.S.," but also suggested looking at India, which has been "thrown into the Fragile 5."

Josh Brown seemed to agree with that, stating that when he hears "emerging markets as a catch-all, it makes me wanna pull the hair out of my head." Brown then threw in an "in this day and age" (sic redundancy).

Pete Najarian, grasping for a boost in C, asked Garcia-Amaya if C will outperform "if Europe is OK." Garcia-Amaya informed Pete, "I can't speak on individual names," but he suggested regional banks. Regarding Brazil, Garcia-Amaya said, "I would wait a little bit more," and then invoked the Calculus Trade, "you need to differentiate."

Phil LeBeau seems to think the AAPL/TSLA report was not newsworthy

Phil LeBeau, asked to report on the AAPL/TSLA report, decided to commandeer the stock discussion on Tuesday's Halftime Report, insisting "these guys run in the same circles," and the notion of the "iCar" or "sell out to Apple," "that's not happening."

LeBeau said AAPL, like Steve Cortes (come on, we're only having a little fun here), is interested in the "back seat of the vehicle."

Josh Brown said it's a "lot more innuendo" than anything, pointing out that Google met with Tesla execs a while back about driverless cars.

Mike Murphy said this is another reminder of AAPL's options; "they can go out and buy growth."

Stephanie Link said the tech sector looks good because "valuations are not really extended" and she touted CIEN, "up 12% in 2 days" with a 12 multiple, looks "kinda reasonable to me."

Pete Najarian thundered of MU, "I think this stock's going to $30 a share." Mike Murphy finally is getting on board a prediction this page made last year, that the Nasdaq Composite has the all-time high in its crosshairs; "I think you'll see that this year."

Mike Murphy actually thinks Carl was not boasting

Jim Iuorio said on Tuesday's Halftime Report, "It might be time to buy gold."

But then again, it might not.

"I would probably sell this bounce for a short-term trade," Iuorio said.

Jeff Kilburg asserted that 1,341 is a "huge technical level" for gold.

Pete Najarian said the key to Berkshire's filing is not what it got rid of, but that the "more key elements" are buying GS and XOM.

Stephanie Link joked that with Paulson in GM, "Who's gonna be left to buy." But she likes it.

Mike Murphy said if HLF reports with no "investigation" material that Ackman can jump on, then "I think you see short covering."

Josh Brown called HTZ a "hedge fund hotel" with a high beta.

Mike Murphy said of Carl's reaction to the FRX deal, "He didn't glout (sic)."

Stephanie Link mumbled that BMY might be ripe for a deal and glouted that she led Cramer into the stock; "I got him into that one." Mike Murphy suggested TEVA in this regard, and Josh Brown suggested P; "at some point, someone's gotta take this thing out."

Pete Najarian trumpeted both CBS and NFLX (guess he didn't hear about the "miss" (snicker) that Joe was hearing about); "the streaming is becoming another revenue stream."

Josh Brown said this is great times in the TV/film media space; "almost everyone is in play."

Stephanie Link called Comcast-Time Warner Cable a "home-run deal."

Pete Najarian said CIEN March 28 calls were hot, he bought them and will be in them "about a week and a half," it was also his Final Trade. Mike Murphy said WEN, Stephanie Link said to sell XLU and Josh Brown said AAP.

Judge made a good crack when Brian Sullivan showed the mystery flag; "they put the name of the flag under the flag."

[Friday, February 14, 2014]

Analyst smartly realizes that Fast Money Freestyle is not the right place for a market-moving upgrade

Host Melissa Lee on Friday's Fast Money Freestyle questioned Tesla's Mr. Cool, Ben Kallo, whether investors are "inured" (Yowza) to Tesla fires.

Kallo said he thinks the stock's expectations have risen but that the company can still beat, so "I'm still bullish heading into the quarter," suggesting a 220 price, even though his target is 187 and he said he wasn't going to hike that on the show.

Steve Grasso made little sense in lamenting that he sold TSLA too soon and would like to be long now but isn't; "in hindsight, everything is a roll of the dice," Grasso said, but "I'd be a buyer right here." Then he made even less sense when he listed TSLA as the stock he'd say goodbye to, even though he already said goodbye and wishes he hadn't. (Yep, this is the kind of program we're talking about.)

Hopefully folks don’t let their kids listen to Melissa on the Web

Steve Grasso said on Friday's Fast Money Freestyle that TWTR seemed to bottom recently around 50, and "I'm not worried about the lockup right now."

But Tim Seymour contended that there's "no reason why you wouldn't be taking profits here."

Guy Adami said he'd say "sayonara" to JBLU. Brian Kelly put TTC in that category, and Tim Seymour offered MPEL.

Melissa Lee went out of her way to mention "big blowers," and seemed to be fascinated with asking panelists, "You want me to warm your nuts" and are they "still playing with their nuts." (Good thing they weren't slurping Budweiser this time or it would've been worse.)

CNBC’s Morgan Brennan is cute in curling socks on Kelly Evans’ show

With refreshing candor of Friday's Fast Money Freestyle, Jonathan Weinbach, who's apparently got a new program called "The Rebels" that sounds a lot like O.J.'s old "1st & 10," said that when you make a program, you're not that choosy where/how it airs; "you're hoping anybody buys it."

Guy Adami said to buy Under Armour on Friday's uniform dust-up.

Steve Grasso said of VFC, "I would buy it on weakness." Tim Seymour observed that it was all bad for WTW.

Tim Seymour finds GM interesting around 35 and thinks some of the bad news may "start to slide off into the background."

Guy Adami thinks LGF pushes to 38 but that NFLX is in "nosebleed territory."

Steve Grasso said DIS makes "movies you can take the whole family to," unlike episodes of Fast Money Freestyle.

Guy Adami said "we nailed that" in NUAN and said it has a chance for the high teens.

Brian Kelly said "it looks like" the bottom is in COP but use a 64 stop.

Tim Seymour said the only issue with LNKD is valuation, and "now I wait." Steve Grasso revealed "I'm long" BAC.

Tim Seymour's Final Trade was sell MPEL. Brian Kelly said buy DMND. Steve Grasso said that if HPQ holds 30, get in. Guy Adami said RAX.

Worst part of the show was at the beginning

The relevance-challenged Fast Money Freestyle on Friday began with a crack at gold, which is pushed by Chinese demand, according to bitcoin man Brian Kelly, who said, "I think this does continue."

Tim Seymour basically sputtered the same thing before adding that you "absolutely have to take profits in miners here."

Panelists said "Happy Birthday" to Melissa Lee, except it's not Mel's birthday, but Judge's. Lee then admitted that "I don't know the movie" involving Sgt. Hulka.

Steve Grasso revealed, "I'm long GDX." Guy Adami noticed the TLT.

Brian Kelly said he's put on a "Texas hedge" on a long yen/short S&P 500 position. According to CNBC.com disclosures, that's actually true.

Pete hangs a 40 on HPQ

Lacking another solid hook for Friday's Halftime Report, Judge was reduced to soliciting trader opinions on stodgy tech names.

Josh Brown recommended the RYT, and "equal-weight tech ETF."

Stephen Weiss told viewers what he doesn't want to own, QCOM, because "it's only gonna be a defensive holding."

Weiss then said "I could (sic not 'couldn't') care less."

Stephanie Link wants "growth tech, not value tech," then spread the names around like backyard fertilizer, GOOG, RHT, ADBE, NOW, WDAY, LRCX.

Pete Najarian emphasized that MSFT's new CEO came from the cloud, and "I think there's upside."

Najarian gave HPQ the day's most bullish call, predicting it goes "somewhere close to 35 or 40" in a short time.

Byron Wien ran into some harsh questioning for his call that, after sentiment was too high early, stocks will rise 20% this year on a better economy. "Last year, you were bearish ... from this level, now you're bullish," groused Steve Weiss.

Josh Brown struggles to make a case that FB is not going higher

It was actually a pretty good debate on Friday's Halftime Report over FB and LNKD.

Except the most constructive point was not made.

Stephen Weiss said FB is a better play now than LNKD because it's "purely a story of momentum."

Josh Brown struggled to make an argument against FB, claiming it shouldn't be worth $30 billion more than DIS and that the runway is limited, an argument adequately rebutted by other panelists' point that the ad revenue runway is not so limited. But Brown made a decent case that LNKD is "very underpenetrated" and has a higher ceiling in terms of user base. (This writer is long LNKD.)

What Brown should've said was that LNKD was bought up before earnings, and is now down 18% in 6 days, which collectively indicate this is a stock people at some point are willing to pile into but is presently undergoing an artificial short-term displacement.

The other panelists seemed to side with Weiss.

Stephanie says article(s) suggesting GM is giving out $7,000 discounts is wrong, only for older vehicles

Pete Najarian on Friday's Halftime Report observed that "nothing went well" in the WTW quarter and advised not to catch the "falling knife."

Najarian also lamented GNC's struggles; "I don't know how they're screwing up so badly."

Stephanie Link said of OXY, "We've waited a long time for this restructuring" and suggested a sum-of-the-parts analysis puts it at 115-120, and she and Cramer "still like the story."

Josh Brown called CLF a "really exciting story."

Stephanie Link endorsed HOT. "I really like it here," Link said.

Link admitted being long GM has been "painful ... we started buying this in the 40s" and downplayed news reports of steep discounting.

Steve Weiss took pains to assure Judge he's not shorting TSLA even though he dislikes the valuation. Judge said Weiss has done the equivalent of "verbally short it."

Happy birthday, Judge

Ken Squire, basically the star guest of Friday's lackluster Halftime Report, said he likes Jana's interest in Cameron International, as Jana has a history of amicable results.

Stephen Weiss asked Squire about all these funds that report being long JCP but were out within a day. Squire said that's why "we only buy 13-Ds."

Pete Najarian warned that JBLU hadn't suffered much of a pullback recently.

Stephanie Link said Cramer added HD this week.

Pete Najarian tried to claim "there's only 12 trades" in the Playbook Playoffs. Judge corrected him and said there are 10 (but didn't point out why having only 10 trades makes Joe's early exit of KORS a bust even if POT has trickled up).

Josh Brown said he's trying to do no trades because he likes everything he's got, including TAN, "that's bailing me out."

Pete Najarian said he likes MRK more than PFE. Josh Brown noted BAC has been better than C but said if the outperformance continues much longer then C will be the better trade, "I think it's overdone."

Josh Brown said "I think you can stay long" IRBT despite the week's torrid gains.

Jon Najarian dialed in to say "I've hit the exits" in MUR.

Doc also said SLV April 21 calls were hot, and he'll be in the trade "probably 3-4 weeks."

Pete Najarian, not surprisingly, scoffed at complaints about mighty UA's speed-skating suits; "I think it's crazy ... this ventilation is not one of the factors." Josh Brown scoffed about how many people at the mall today looking over Under Armour clothing are going to walk away because of a speed-skating controversy.

Michelle Caruso-Cabrera told Judge, "I'll be your valentine Scott."

Stephen Weiss is teaching an online investing course you can apparently look up at www.wallstreetmooc.com.

Stephanie Link's Final Trade was PCAR. Josh Brown said OXY, Steve Weiss said PCLN and Pete Najarian said BHI.

We're sorry to report we did not know Feb. 14 was Judge's birthday (we've bungled nearly all of them this season except Melissa's) (last year on this date, John Taylor stated, "God damn it, I don't know what happened today," but he wasn't referring to Judge's birthday) but at least he got a nice cake delivered by Pete Najarian. Josh Brown is in the near future.

[Thursday, February 13, 2014]

Guy Adami tells Kelly Evans he’s scared ‘for the first time in a while’

All of the Fast Money/Halftime theatrics Thursday were seemingly saved for, of all people, Kelly Evans, who now gets to commandeer half the shows' cast to bolster her 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. Closing Bell lead-ins.

On that program, Adami credited a buddy for pointing out Thursday that the "Russell outperformed," but nevertheless, Guy's not buying it; "it scares me actually here for the first time in a while."

Evans, still not fully down with the Fast groove, didn't realize what she was getting into when she took seriously Adami's comment that these shadow Chinese whatevers are the "biggest Ponzi scheme in the history of mankind," insisting with a straight face that this is just "extending credit" and then explaining what the definition of "Ponzi" is.

Patty sighting, unfortunately accompanied by a bizarre analogy

Fortunately, Kelly Evans got a visit from erstwhile Halftime Reporter Patty Edwards on Thursday's Closing Bell, and while we initially got excited to see Patty tapped at the top of the show, we quickly got lost and confused as Patty referred to a "parent-child relationship" with her sons as analogous to U.S. vs. the emerging markets and how "we're starting to get our house in order."

Kel doesn't know all the tricks of the trade of Fast Money and thus didn't ask the questions in Patty's wheelhouse, what's going on at the malls, given that Patty's about the only person in the Fast Money sphere who actually evaluates the products and services of the stocks she discusses on TV (but then again the other guys are just technical traders watching charts, oh, check that, they also know fundamentally how much buyback AAPL should do and how much Amazon should be charging for Prime too, except they don't really know how much, except that it should be more ...)

Patty waffled a bit on gold, stressing it's only part of a "diversified" portfolio, but then pointed to "some of the buying on the margin" being in the emerging markets.

Mandy: Great bod

In the Category of Things They Basically Don't Want You To See, CNBC.com made available about 12 minutes of the purported half hour Fast Money Freestyle on Thursday.

Because we got the shaft on Wednesday trying to watch it live, we said, Skip that.

Evidently the most exciting thing Thursday was Guy Adami seizing the opportunity to call guest host Mandy Drury "svelte" and reassuring her, "You don't need to worry about Weight Watchers." (Hey, he said it, we're just reporting it.)

Adami said to stay away from the stock. Anthony Scaramucci called SKX "a name that's gonna trade higher." Steve Grasso said "I would not be a buyer" of OWW. Adami said you can play WFM long with a stop at 50, though he thinks it breaks that.

ViaSat chief Mark Dankberg was the star guest and said he'd like everyone on board planes using his wi-fi service.

Hard to argue with that

Stephen Weiss on Thursday's Halftime Report cautioned that traditionally, making TV set-top boxes has been a "very low-margin business," so let's see what AAPL can do.

Pete Najarian really added a lot to the conversation in pointing out, "How we go forward is really something that's gonna have to play out in front of us."

Joe botched handling of KORS, sold too soon

Stephen Parker told Thursday's Halftime Report that "any weakness in the market is an opportunity to buy," even in Japan, with this controversial overall stock-market assessment:

"The best trade that you've had over the last 5 years is to invest in the equity market where the central bank has been most aggressive," Parker said.

(And here we thought it was buying the "Web 2.0" names with the highest P.E. ratios.)

Stephen Weiss in fact told Judge he's long FB and TWTR because "I think the market goes higher" and "this is where the market's going" and he wants to play offense and not defense. Weiss said he'll play FB to 70 and TWTR to "maybe 65."

Sara Eisen, an extremely good-looking young woman who wore red top with sweetheart neckline and pendant Thursday, was one of the stars of the show but barely said more than that weather was affecting business.

Judge a couple of times invoked the "pent-up demand" trade, questioning if retailers won't get a big boost in March and April. Steve Liesman assured Judge that description is "almost certainly" accurate.

Weiss helps out those wondering why their flight was canceled

Incredibly, Judge sought to open Thursday's Halftime with CSCO commentary, with even Pete Najarian admitting "Cisco is dead money."

Jon Najarian said JNPR is winning, "They're eating their lunch."

Simon Baker endorsed AMAT.

Jon Najarian called HOT a bet on a global turnaround.

Pete Najarian said of MRK, "I think they're doing everything right."

Stephen Weiss sort of backed GT. "This stock, as the autos recover, should go higher," Weiss said.

Jeff Kilburg said "inflation, that's been the undercurrent" that's moving gold, and "it's goin' higher." Brian Stutland offered that it's "probably headed to 1,320, 1,340 area."

Stephen Weiss disclosed, "I still own American," and then, helpfully, "Everybody knows this is weather-related."

Comcast deal called ‘great’

Surely nobody was expecting to hear the newest Comcast acquisition ripped on CNBC's Halftime Report.

In fairness, assuming it goes through, it's hard to see how Comcast loses.

But we'll get to that below.

Chris Marangi told Judge, "I think it's a great deal," and "I do think it gets done."

Marangi suggested that LMCA represents opportunity here, that its headwinds are already priced in, and when you add the sum of the parts, you get "$160 NAV, uh, you're buying for 132."

Jon Najarian predicted that John Malone/Liberty can pick up some subscribers for virtually nothing as Comcast satisfies the regulatory issues. "Today I bought Sirius," Najarian said.

At one point, Judge asked Marangi if this deal isn't a way of Comcast and the cable giants "to give the Heisman" stiff-arm to Netflix.

Not surprisingly, Judge framed this question the absolutely wrong way when he should've been questioning if this is like the Chicago Tribune buying the L.A. Times around Y2K or New York Times buying the Boston Globe in the 1990s, media giants doubling down on a business model that could — could, or could not — be rapidly fading.

Pete, Simon should’ve used the time to plow the Englewood Cliffs parking lot

Pete Najarian supposedly dueled Simon Baker over WFM on Thursday's Halftime Report with snow-scrubbing-avoidance as the reward, when, as it turned out, everyone would've been better served if each had just grabbed a brush and gotten to work outside.

Pete's bull case hinged on "great growth." Simon's bear case centered on how you "should've bought this stock about 5, 5 years ago," and "competition coming from everywhere."

Stephen Weiss said it's a great company but "the stock is overvalued." Najarian revealed, "I nibbled today."

Speaking of snow, we noticed that Judge on Thursday didn't call on Erika Edwards, even though she is cute, let's make that spectacularly cute. Adorable. Just to help Edwards get through her glitch of a day earlier, we're re-running her picture.

Jorge Perez thought Simon actually is interested in living in Rio

Related group chief Jorge Perez, a gentleman and articulate speaker, told Judge Wapner on Thursday's Halftime that Miami is hot (in realty terms) because of "international demand," to the point that nobody even notices the summer drop-off in tourism, and "I think we've learned" about leverage enough to avoid another 2008-style meltdown.

The only problem came when Simon Baker asked Perez seemingly about whether Miami is as good of a place to invest in real estate as New York or Rio, while Perez seemed to think Baker was asking whether it's as good of a place to call your home.

"I think Miami's a great place to live," Perez said.

Judge’s summary as flat as a can of Miller High Life

Molson Coors chief Peter Swinburn on Thursday's Halftime Report addressed the 800-pound gorilla in the room:

"Craft beer." (And if we never hear that term again, it'll be too soon.)

Swinburn insisted TAP has 29% of the U.S. craft beer market, and does "not at all" need a deal.

Swinburn said that going back the original Miller Lite can has worked. Judge concluded, "In other words, nostalgia sells." Swinburn barely chuckled, not sure what to say.

Jon Najarian said he likes TAP, and that BUD and MDLZ have had unusual activity.

There were no Final Trades, as Pete and Simon went to the parking lot.

[Wednesday, February 12, 2014]

Erika Edwards is soooo cute, we’re reposting her picture even though she flubbed

CSCO watcher Grady Burkett on Wednesday's Fast Money Freestyle took liberal use of verbs, stating, "They're still very cash-generative."

Pete Najarian asked Burkett what the "biggest differentiator" (Zzzzz) between JNPR and CSCO is given that JNPR just had the opposite reaction. Burkett initially just recapped what Pete said, then said CSCO is having some product cycle issues.

Najarian said, "It sort of feels like dead money," then admitted he took a loss on "the call spread that I put on 15 minutes before the close tonight."

Guy Adami said he would consider CSCO a buy around 20.75 or 21.

The funny thing about Erika Edwards' embarrassing Halftime bungle (see below; the smile you see above is halfway through the bungle but before she dropped out of sight) is that, while it should be one of those negative moments, it actually makes her even cuter than she already is.

Live-streaming Fast didn’t work

So we actually went to CNBC.com at 5 p.m. Eastern time Wednesday and clicked on the "Watch Live" link to online-only Fast Money.

No matter which browser we tried, we got no video ... until maybe 5:05 — when a 2-minute promo for "The Car Chasers" started to run (that's some "live" program they've got there).

We just let it run, and when the cockamamie contraption actually started working, the gang was already 8 minutes into a Cisco discussion.

Giving CNBC the benefit of the doubt (snicker), we figured the old PC is probably due for an upgrade, etc. Instead, we learned on Twitter, courtesy of Melissa Lee, "full @CNBCFastMoney freestyle will be on http://cnbc.com . (We had technical difficulties for the first 8 mins- sorry!)"

Not much was actually missed.

Pete Najarian claims AMZN would be ‘gaining market share’ by hiking price of Prime

Like everyone else apparently, we missed the "live" feed of the first 8 minutes of Fast Money. But fortunately, we were connected just in time to hear Pete Najarian uncork a head-scratcher regarding everyone on Fast Money/Halftime's favorite subject, the too-low price of Amazon Prime and the purported $20-$40 increase.

"It's not a monsterous (sic pronunciation) jump," Najarian said, before somehow claiming Amazon would be "gaining some market share" if it does it.

So basically, nobody really knows how much Amazon should charge for Prime. They just know that the stock will go higher if Prime costs more.

That sounds a lot like the boneheads (many of whom seem to circulate around "Bill de Blasio" these days (thanks Gasparino by the way for getting buffaloed on New York City coverage)) who keep saying "Raise minimum wage! Raise minimum wage!" but can't tell you what it SHOULD be other than "higher."

Guy Adami said AMZN has "gotta hold sorta this 340 level" to be a buy.

Brian Kelly actually claims bitcoin is useful for transferring DIS stock certificates to your kid ‘10 years from now’

It's kinda sad, the stuff that passes through Fast Money unchallenged these days.

Brian Kelly, grasping for any positive news about bitcoin, said on Wednesday's Fast Money Freestyle "bitcoin 2.0" will involve using the digital currency to give your kid Disney stock certificates "10 years from now."

Goodness only knows why you would need a bitcoin to do this or why V or MA fees would somehow be a factor in this transition.

Nevertheless, "If you wanna make money, that's really where it is," Kelly claimed.

Pete sick of GE-CREE rumor

Few productions are as productive as an online-only "live" Fast Money episode that 1) doesn't work for 8 minutes and 2) features people talking over each other constantly because the host is on satellite delay in San Francisco and 3) cuts off the host's final comment even though it's online and there's no advertising or reason to cut whatsoever.

Pete Najarian and Karen Finerman, in the opening minutes no one saw/heard unless they looked it up on CNBC.com later, managed to agree that WFM had some disappointments that pushed the stock lower.

Pete Najarian said WFM might be a buy soon, but he expects "multi-day selling." Guy Adami agreed and said to "take a few days" for the dust to settle and then consider buying around 48 or 48.50.

Karen Finerman said PG has "big FX problems."

Pete Najarian likes LO, but "I don't think the time is yet."

Najarian said it's "absolutely unbelievable" how long he's been hearing the GE-buying-CREE rumor.

Karen Finerman:
‘I agree, and I disagree’

Karen Finerman on Wednesday's Fast Money Freestyle waffled like l'eggo my eggo on Jeff Gundlach's tech comments and the notion that a sinking GOOG could sink the market. "I agree, and I disagree," said Finerman, admitting she doesn't know who's leading who when it comes to Google and the market.

FEYE chief Dave DeWalt, actually a "friend of the show" from his days at McAfee (that goes back to when Jeff Macke was a panelist), visited with Missy Lee in San Francisco and said he likes to underpromise and overdeliver, then claimed the market's great for his products because "the defense isn't working very well."

Exactly. It seems like it's hardly working at all, at least for Target, Neiman Marcus and others, so why should anyone be buying this junk?

Guy Adami said of TRIP, "I don't think you can rush into this name," and he likes PCLN better.

Brian Kelly asserted, "It's at least time to lighten up on Netflix." (Maybe he's been hearing the same buzz that Joe did about the quarterly miss.)

Pete Najarian said ECA July 22 calls were hot. Brian Kelly predicts a silver breakout (you can probably buy some bullion and transfer it to your kid for free with a bitcoin in 10 years).

Pete Najarian's Final Trade was HD; "I think Home Depot is a buy here." Brian Kelly said SGG, Karen Finerman said PACD and Guy Adami said LNC.

Guy Adami and Melissa Lee did the bickering-married-couple routine over "warm nuts."

Lee at the end of the program started to offer a "special shout-out," and then the program ended (for the mythical online commercial, apparently). Lee expained later on Twitter that the shout-out was for her niece Allison, who turned 12 on the 12th.

$119? $219? If raising the Amazon Prime price is such a no-brainer, how come the Halftime crew can’t tell us precisely what it should be?

Amazon just had a lousy earnings call, and decided to add some spice to it by floating the notion of a price hike for Prime.

That's a great idea, as the company gets gobs of free advice and something to talk about besides its alarmingly weak profitability and borderline emperor-has-no-clothes stock price.

The tactic worked with the Halftime Report gang, which summarily dismissed the UBS opinion that a Prime hike would reduce customers. (Because on the one hand we're told the problem with retailers is that nearly all retail merchandise has been "commoditized," but on the other hand we're told people will have no problem paying an extra $40 a year for it.)

Jon Najarian said of the downgrade, "I don't buy it."

Josh Brown contended, "That looks more like a clowngrade."

Mike Murphy explained paradoxically that he can't buy the stock because of its valuation, but it's "starting to look overdone," and you can't short it.

Dr. New World said it would be a "tremendous mistake" to short AMZN, with this curious rationale backing the Washington Post owner: "If there was not evidence to suggest that his logistics strategy was not working, then I would agree, the valuation is rich."

Erika Edwards bails

Erika Edwards, an NBC News person in Charlotte, is cute, and was tapped by Judge to deliver an Eastern weather report on Wednesday's Halftime Report.

But Edwards only managed to say, "It is snowing here, the snow is falling hard. Um, more than ... sorry- sorry, back to you."

We're guessing either 1) noise in the earbud that made it impossible to continue, or 2) forgot what she was supposed to say.

Either way, instead of just smiling and faking a technical glitch, Edwards oddly bailed off camera as though she were getting bull-rushed by some thug.

Mr. New World said that if he were forced to trade weather futures, "I think it's the bottom."

Penalty box time:
Joe misuses ‘replica’

Wednesday's Halftime Report crew wasn't terribly bullish — until Tony Dwyer showed up.

Dwyer acknowledged the stock market is "very little changed" since November, but he maintains this is an "extraordinary time for equities."

Dwyer noted his S&P target is 1,955, and "I think I'm actually too low," because "you could get to 19 or 20 times earnings by the end of this year."

Meanwhile, Dr. New Land contended that "there is no way this will be a replica of 2013" but that the debt-ceiling deal was significant in pushing the next of these tiresome showdowns way off into the future.

Josh Brown said Joe made a good point on the debt ceiling. Jon Najarian even claimed stocks would accelerate around 2 p.m. Eastern when the Senate was to take up the measure, even though Judge pointed out it's already a done deal.

Mike Murphy tepidly said, "I'm a buyer of selective stocks," then contended that "a lot of the easy money has been made."

Ben Willis, fighting to maintain his botched continued correction thesis, grumbled that Yellen "did a great job in saying nothing."

Willis said he feels like the cartoon character whose box blows up in his face (we think that's Wile E. Coyote) in the case of CAT, which has given a "wedgie" to shorts.

Dominic Chu didn't seem to be making any sense when he appeared to be traveling back in time to show sector "year to date performance" which seemed like last year's, and tell viewers "so far in 2013 (sic)."

Make money in a ‘risk-conscious way’

U.S. Olympic hockey great Jack O'Callahan told Judge on Wednesday's Halftime what happens every time the Olympics roll around.

"People like you start calling," O'Callahan said.

O'Callahan said his business is essentially an "institutional commodity broker" that makes money in a "risk-conscious way."

Fellow 1980 squad member Rob McClanahan is into small cap equities and likes tech and health care, but "I don't make a market call."

Ambiguously, McClanahan was asked about the correction and said "I don't think it's over," and that the market will be higher by year-end, so we're not sure if he meant the correction isn't over, or the bull market isn't over.

Simon is keeping Stephanie
out of last place

Judge delved into the 2014 Playbook Playoffs on Wednesday's Halftime, summoning a subdued Stephen Weiss to explain how he "liquidated" his dubious EWW and jumped into ... TWTR.

"Everybody now hates it," said Weiss, who insists "the story's not over."

He said he bought at "55 and change" and wanted to wait until the quarter was past.

Mike Murphy claimed his bust, PBR, could turn around and hit 15 and 16. Jon Najarian said he's "really questioning" including INTC. Joe Terranova said he's been "looking for a spot" to get into MS.

Ilch: Sell the crude rally

Rich Ilczyszyn declared in the oil discussion on Wednesday's Halftime Report that "I'm selling the rally."

Jim Iuorio said he tends to agree, but "If it settled above 101, I'd think about maybe going long."

Joe Terranova said he's interested in CNQ and SU. Josh Brown hailed HES, "I think it's worth more than a hundred."

Jon Najarian made a bull case for DE under the curious catalyst that it's far more than an ag company, but a construction and earth-moving outlet.

Joe Terranova countered, "I would actually short Deere here" and pointed to rising soybean and corn inventories.

Josh Brown curiously said Joe's argument is better, but the Street will anticipate more, so "I think it's dirt cheap, you can own it here."

Brown said he likes BAC and BBT (Zzzzz).

Mr. New Land said he thinks TRIP takes out its 91.49 high, and "you use $85 as your stop." But, "I like Priceline over TripAdvisor."

Josh Brown said CLF has rallied since Don Drapkin's appearance and is "setting up to have more gains in the future." Jon Najarian said DOW's performance could've been worse. Mike Murphy said LO has "50% of the e-cig market."

Kenneth Wong put a 78 on DDD and said, "We view the recent pullback as a buying opportunity," and threw in an "at the end of the day." DDD bull Josh Brown conceded "This is not for the faint of heart."

Jon Najarian said June 65 calls in FB were hot, so that was his Final Trade. Josh Brown said FCX, Mike Murphy said WEN, and all Joe could say was that he covered his CAT short (wonder how Karen's is doing?).

[Tuesday, February 11, 2014]

Karen, Mel drink beer
on the job

Honestly, we really shouldn't be preaching to Comcast about professionalism.

But, we gotta wonder when folks on the clock are tossing around beers and slurping like it's a frat party.

Honestly, it was kinda funny, and we don't think spirits at the office, in special situations, are necessarily taboo, so let's not make a capital "case" here.

But ... well ... you be the judge of this one ...

Karen Finerman seems to admit
her book is just for the 1%

We noticed on Wednesday that Karen Finerman this week entertained a critical tweet about Finerman's Rules.

"Your book is unrealistic for poor and middle-class families and or (sic probably "poor" that is how Dick Costolo's Twitter works) people," the tweeter said.

Somewhat to our surprise, Finerman answered in the affirmative: "that is true joe. It isn't relevant to everyone. Those struggling just to feed the family have a much harder road than I ever did."

As this page has stated previously, we didn't read and review the book as we do nearly all others from the Fast Money circuit because, quite frankly, it seems targeted for females, and we were unable to satisfy that end of the deal at present time.

But maybe it's worth a look regardless.

Karen asleep at the switch on LULU’s recent performance

John Jannarone impressed us (because this writer happens to be long LULU) on Tuesday's Fast Money Freestyle by noticing that "the conditions might be ripe" now for the beleaguered yoga apparel maker to announce a buyback.

Karen Finerman didn't seem to get it, asserting there's a "kitchen-sink issue" for the new CEO, and then invoking verb form, strongly suggested he'll "kitchen-sink it" in the next earnings call and they will "not do a buyback."

We have no clue about the buyback, but the "kitchen-sink it," as Jannarone pointed out, was last month (um, that's why it recently hit $44).

Jannarone further asserted that the recent LULU embarrassments aren't a permanent headwind on sales; "a lot of this is one-time stuff."

Nevertheless, Finerman said, "I would wait" before buying.

Tim Seymour agreed, stating "it's too early to chase this thing," which is fair enough, but then like a knucklehead cited "EPS downgrades" as the reason to wait.

Tim Seymour bought YHOO
on Saturday

We're not really sure why — check that, it's re/Code quota day — but Kara Swisher joined Tuesday's Fast Money Freestyle to basically say that Alibaba is the most anticipated pending tech IPO, and YHOO doesn't have much more than that particular stake.

"We don't want this to be a Chinese company," Swisher said of Marissa's fiefdom.

Tim Seymour revealed, "I bought Yahoo 3 days ago."

Steve Grasso decided to tell viewers for the 11th time that he used to have a full YHOO position and sold 80% of it so now he's letting the remaining 20% ride.

Thankfully, Swisher wasn't asked about Facebook, or we might've heard Zuck dubbed a "living organism" for the 3rd time.

Tim accuses sellers
of chickening out

Flatlining from the beginning, Tuesday's Fast Money Freestyle opened with Tim Seymour saying utterly nothing that "nothing fundamentally has changed in the last week."

Which apparently was a bull call, because Steve Grasso emphasized "nothing has changed" and wondered why that wouldn't be a "bearish thing."

Dan Nathan stumbled to make his point, which ultimately was to buy puts on the cheap or make some bearish bets, because some names such as BA have been "slayed" (sic).

Karen Finerman, who brilliantly called the bottom last week (PgDn a few times), sounded clueless about her long AAPL position. "I don't know what to make of Apple, I am still long, I don't know where I'm gonna get out," Finerman said, adding she'll probably sell some S&P.

Later, Finerman predicted AAPL will have a "new product" in the "short to medium-term."

Steve Grasso tried to switch the pressure from the embarrassing 1,600 bearish calls by Carter Worth, Dennis Gartman and himself back to the bulls, claiming "you actually need new highs pretty- pretty soon" before ... apparently, because he wouldn't say what the opposite outcome is ... the market crashes.

Grasso at the end of the program admitted, "I'm more nervous now than I was before."

Karen Finerman seemingly chided Tim Seymour for seemingly chiding those who might be "running for cover."

"There's a difference between protecting your portfolio and running for cover," Finerman said.

Finerman: $132.50 for TWC is ‘the least likely outcome’

Karen Finerman asserted on Tuesday's Fast Money Freestyle that "it is now Charter vs. the shareholders" in the TWC situation, and in her opinion, the standing $132.50 offer is "the least likely outcome" of this dalliance.

Steve Grasso conceded that buying TWC "almost looks like a layup trade," but that makes him concerned.

Dan Nathan said that if CSCO gets through 23, it can go to 25. Tim Seymour said, "I'm comfortable owning Cisco."

Seymour said FEYE had gotten over its skis.

Dan Nathan said TSLA is reminiscent of the dot-com bubble, which he helpfully pointed out was "13 years ago."

Steve Grasso though said TSLA revs through 200; "I would be buying these little dips."

Tim Seymour said he wouldn't own FSLR on its earnings day.

Dan Nathan was asked about shorting LNKD, and we couldn't tell from his answer ("I think you wanna wait here") whether he was talking about buying it or shorting it. (This writer is long LNKD.)

Steve Grasso said he sold S too soon but it has "too many headwinds."

Tim Seymour said "don't touch" GRPN until it bounces off $9.50.

Dan Nathan made a good joke about nearly being long RAX before its earnings debacle; "I almost got caught staring at the racks here." Nathan said that to get long, you must have a hard 30 stop.

Karen Finerman was asked to opine about SODA and said, "This one's just gonna aggravate me forever."

Tim Seymour's Final Trade was to sell GFI. Dan Nathan said to get long SPY puts. Karen Finerman said be long OUTR, and Steve Grasso said to buy TWTR.

Judge hangs a ‘high-rise bottoms’ on fashion-challenged, Yellen/Hollande-shortened panel

To their credit, they took a pass on advertising revenue to deliver D.C. news.

Tuesday's Halftime Report was understandably light on trading (unfortunately on a big market day), but Judge did an impressive job of putting together a crew.

Pete Najarian opined on the rally, "People needed to hear it right from Janet Yellen's mouth."

Jon Najarian actually agreed with Pete.

Josh Brown, who botched the correction call Monday, insisted "I remain unimpressed" by the rally and cited "relative weakness now in small- and mid-caps."

Mike Santoli agreed slightly with Brown in that we haven't gotten the "all-clear signals" yet.

In his 2nd crack, Brown advised viewers, "Don't get too excited."

But Simon Baker told Brown that "we've seen this before," during corrections when people warn against buying the dip.

In his 3rd try at gloom-mongering, Brown pronounced "sanguine" as "sangween."

Contrary to Brown, Jon Najarian predicted, "I think you're gonna see a continued chase here."

Najarian singled out BHI, HAL and NBR.

Pete Najarian said gold has been "impressive" this year although the financials have been "completely frustrating."

Desperate to find a ray of hope, Pete pointed to the unexplained "big swoosh to the upside" in Goldman Sachs just in the previous 30-40 minutes.

Simon Baker said he'd be buying tech stocks Wednesday and not the financials.

Pete Najarian's Final Trade was DOW. Jon Najarian said HK. Simon Baker said GRPN and Josh Brown said IRBT.

Jon Najarian said "tons of 195 calls" traded yesterday in TSLA. Later in the day, we caught up with Zachary Karabell (why, again, is he not on this program) on Kelly Evans' "Closing Bell" and heard the "Zeke"meister advise viewers to avoid TSLA the stock, not the car.

Stephanie, Cramer
share same birthday

We knew that Monday was going to be a day of celebration for Jim Cramer.

We didn't know that it's also a day of celebration for Stephanie Link — though not for the same amount of years. (See, that's the value added that the free-labor writers of Dick Costolo provides on Twitter that will boost those declining user-engagement metrics.)

Our CNBC Birthday Notification Dept. has really stank up the joint since about autumn (PgDn or look up archives for proof), discouraging during a year/season in which a notable amount of CNBCers are touching the 5-Oh mark. Cramer's already done that; Stephanie's not there yet.

In 2 weeks is the next biggie, though it's not a particularly special number.

[Monday, February 10, 2014]

Apple’s stock could rise $21 if they come out with a new product

We could sit here and call Monday's "Fast Money Web Extra Freestyle" a self-indulgent, costly (for Comcast) waste of time ... except then we'd have to answer for why we actually had it on in these parts.

At least we can say that Tim Seymour, simply by accepting this endeavor with some degree of professionalism unlike generally everyone else on the "program" Monday, turned in one of his more impressive performances in years.

Guy Adami unfortunately delivered one of his worst, though he and Seymour agreed that AAPL 525 is promising.

Steve Grasso claimed that 550 would be an "iShot" for AAPL "if they do come out with a product."

Grasso said, "Tesla probably goes higher." Even Brian Kelly was saying, "You have to buy the breakout on this." Tim Seymour had trouble saying "quintiplified" in an actual bungle for him, claiming TSLA valuation matters.

Dennis Gartman, a lagging indicator if there ever was one, told Melissa Lee, "Vociferously I say I was wrong" about the 15% big one that we were supposedly getting last week.

Dennis then parsed better than Bill Clinton, explaining it's still a bull market and it's a question of how long you are, basically, "You can't. Be. Short," Gartman said.

Steve Grasso helpfully noted, "On the way down you don't want to own the miners."

Tim Seymour called MCD a "screaming buy" vs. its peers, while Guy Adami warned it could trade down to its 2012 lows in the mid-80s.

Charles Allen, hoss of the Bitcoin Shop, chose a Web-only production to appear on "Fast Money," suggesting his company is in the sweet spot of "the bitcoin ecosystem."

Putting those awful competition's-going-to-kill Netflix/LinkedIn/Pandora/etc. arguments to shame, Brian Kelly actually claimed that anyone using bitcoin could sell everything that Amazon does but at a 2-3% discount for not paying V/MA/AXP fees.

Guy Adami said to play DKS long with a 50 stop. Brian Kelly would short AXP (that doesn't mean he's doing it). Steve Grasso said if you play AOL, use a 42 stop. Tim Seymour said "you can stay in" BIDU.

Guy Adami said to "wait" on UNH. Steve Grasso shrugged that TWC is more likely to go higher than lower. Tim Seymour said he wouldn't be long WFM going into earnings.

Tim Seymour's Final Trade was YNDX. Brian Kelly said SLW, Steve Grasso said SO and Guy Adami said JACK.

Melissa Lee confidently said at one point, "At the end of the day though ..."

Joe: ‘Challenging’ market in 2014

All those who thought Janet Yellen was going to declare "Hiking to 7%!!!" on the first day on the job should listen to Jon Hilsenrath on Monday's Halftime Report.

"She's gonna come out with a steady hand," Hilsenrath predicted, and then, sticking to his recent talking points, added, "I think the Fed is looking at market action in the last couple weeks and encouraged about something," which are that the stock market's expectation of a rate hike is "still pinged out into late 2015."

Pete Najarian said at the top of the show he's still buying.

Josh Brown though suggested the correction's still among us; "I don't think it's run its course," and then, barely making any sense, pointed out that 10 days wiped out 73 days worth of gains.

So why ever buy a stock again?

Kenny Polcari agreed with Brown on the correction. "I don't think it's over yet," Polcari said.

Stephanie Link did what she always does, rattle off about 15 stocks (and usually she talks about which ones are cheaper on the enterprise-value basis or something like that but not this time) (and if she rattles off 15 stocks, can there really be that much individual conviction behind any of them?) that included a reference to Cramer selling financials and moving into NOV, NBL and OXY, but as for the broad market, "We're hostage to the data."

Dr. New World, resisting something akin to "30 days of frustration," asserted, "I think the market is going to be challenging throughout the whole year."

Joe, Josh must’ve bumped cars in the Englewood Cliffs lot

Mr. New Land actually delivered a bull case on Monday's Halftime Report for gold miners, citing "potential for an M&A rebound."

Josh Brown wasn't the least bit impressed and gave this feature the too-cool treatment. "This was December's trade; I think it's over," Brown shrugged, twice referring to dead-cat bounce, and issuing his 2nd "at the end of the day" of the program.

Terranova and Brown further bickered over whether CEOs actually have marked down holdings to the spot gold price.

Pete Najarian tried to dodge this one without making a call but reluctantly backed Joe; "there's more upside than downside," Pete said. (But how come he didn't insist you have to play it with options so you can get the "limited" downside and endless upside?)

Later, Lawrence Delevingne, who seemed to think Halftime Report viewers had never heard of the DXJ, reported that the "Japan reflation trade" has been burning hedge funds, but the "consensus" is that they're basically sticking with it.

Josh Brown crowed about how great a trade it's going to be long term. That found him in hot water again with Dr. New Land, who warned, "The speculative community is too highly levered to this trade."

Pete: YHOO to $44

Jon Fortt told Monday's Halftime Report crew that joining Twitter is sort of like walking into a party and not being a very popular person.

Fortt also said that YELP watchers are wondering what will happen after the high local ad fees prove unsustainable.

Mr. New World backed YELP; "I think it continues to move higher."

Josh Brown said that when you Google things more and more, you're getting results from Google itself, such as movies, etc.

Pete Najarian hailed Marissa. "I still think Yahoo's a $44 stock," Pete said.

Stephanie called RHT her favorite tech pick, a "great cloud play."

Josh Brown called P a "perennial takeover target" and uttered his first "at the end of the day." (This writer is long P.)

Pete Najarian actually with a straight face touted EMC (as well as STX). Even more bizarre, he was backed by Mr. New Land, who called EMC a "buy-and-take-a-nap" stock.

Nothing makes trading fun like images of the girl in red coat in ‘Schindler’s List’

There's nothing Judge likes better than inviting analysts who mention obscure stocks so that the shares shoot up during the program, which is exactly what happened on Monday's Halftime Report when Ken Hoexter expressed praise for both CPLP and SB. (And you've been led to believe the algorithms are actually smart.)

Hoexter said the weather has had an "outsized impact" on the rails and called UNP "one of our top picks."

Stephanie Link said, "I like UPS," and managed to say that WFT is in her Playbook Playoffs portfolio, impressive given that as of last week she was in last place, but on Monday the data seemed screwed up on the page so we're not sure what place she's in now.

Dr. New World touted PXD and EOG.

Josh Brown said S was "surprised" by resistance to a TMUS deal and that the stock isn't worth holding if the deal doesn't happen.

Joe Terranova said of HAS' results and reaction, "I don't get this."

Steph Link said she likes AXP only in the "mid-80s or low 80s." Pete Najarian, making no recommendation at all, said DKS manages to keep "killin' it," but really all Pete wanted to talk about was how great Under Armour is.

Ron Kruszewski basically appeared on the show for the purposes of posing the question as to how we get a higher GDP.

Pete Najarian said that if you play TSLA at all, use options and not stock, for that "limited risk to the downside ... all that reward to the upside."

Basically neutered the entire program, Pete had the audacity to predict that MCD would "at least get towards a hundred dollars before the end of the year." But Stephanie Link prefers YUM.

Missy Lee promoted the Fast Money Web Extra-Only and crowed, "There's no FCC involved."

Judge reported seeing the Lego movie on a "family outing," but Josh Brown claimed he saw "serious Marxist undertones here," and we figured he had to be referring to "Bill de Blasio's" speech, but he wasn't.

Michelle Caruso-Cabrera delivered an update from Sochi and singled out the skater wearing the "Schindler's List" tribute outfit.

Joe was given the lone Final Trade, a salute to the youth hockey teams at Yankee Stadium.


DId Karen call the bottom?

She doesn't fancy herself a market-timer.

Maybe she should.

Karen Finerman (see below) said after the market close of Monday, Feb. 3 (S&P down 40 points), that she sold puts at the end of the day because "I think we're gonna bounce from here."

‘Bubble’ — heard once in 2014
on Fast Money/Halftime

Remember in the last couple months of 2013 how Melissa Lee relentlessly pushed the "bubble" notion on Fast Money?

And if that notion was accurate, shouldn't we be hearing the term daily in 2014 on the Halftime Report and Fast Money?

We just discovered that "bubble" has appeared once on this page in 2014: When Pete Najarian said Jan. 15 that "the 3-D printing area is exactly where all the bubbles are."

Of course, we don't post a complete transcript of every program, so we're not guaranteeing that the word has only been uttered once — only that, without even thinking about it, we've been compelled to mention it only once.

We point this out because we just discovered that mighty Barron's has bungled this concept, and you can read all about that on our home page.

Apparently the way it works is, when stocks go up, everyone says "bubble bubble bubble," and then once they plateau or drop, nobody's really afraid of the bubble.

Or actually believes it.


[Friday, February 7, 2014]

Look. At. That.

Just a day ago, Jon Najarian tweeted a picture of the "lovely" Seema Mody, an incredibly blurry image that seems like a weak attempt at saying "look who I'm chummy with."

We can do a lot better. And did. As you noticed above.

Hard to argue with this one: Guy says next Friday, S&P will be above or below 1,750

Guy Adami, who got the S&P swings right until he didn't, asserted on Friday's Fast Money that "I don't think we're out of the woods ... I think this is a bounce to sell."

Adami predicted at "this time next week" the S&P will have tested 1,725 and will be on "either side of 1,750."

Steve Grasso insisted, "The market should still be weak."

Tim Seymour was the only one halfway enthusiastic, but he would only go so far as to say "nothing has changed with this data."

Steve Grasso snickered while saying TSLA got a good ranking in Consumer Reports. Guy Adami snickered while calling SODA a buy into earnings. Brian Kelly said if you believe the LOW CEO, "This is a buy." Tim Seymour's handy advice for NOK was, "Don't run in tomorrow."

If it has ‘become consensus,’ isn’t it already reflected in the price of the stock?

Brian Blair on Friday's Fast Money did the Hope Trade with AAPL, saying something will happen, "it's starting to become consensus that they're gonna do some type of wearable," and perhaps a bigger iPhone screen and payment platform.

Blair essentially conceded he's just watching the tape to determine a floor in the shares, "I feel like it's 500" where buyers seem "comfortable."

Blair knows the top Fast Money cliche, telling the gang "at the end of the day," Carl shouldn't be squawking about a bigger buyback, but "he should be doing it in quiet conversations." Guy Adami suggested that's already occurred but refused to talk about it.

Tim Seymour said comparing GOOG and AAPL multiples as Carl did is Apples and Googles; those are "such different businesses right now."

Steve Grasso uttered the obligatory hype, that with Google you "also have the gem of YouTube."

Meanwhile, Blockchain boss Nicolas Cary complained that Apple blocked his app for bitcoin reasons which we don't fully understand; Cary insisted "we don't need the app store" and doesn't plan to sue (translation: doesn't have a case) but then griped that Apple is a "gatekeeper on innovation."

Tim Seymour said NFLX and TWX are in a "little bit of a joust."

Guy Adami said to "take profits here" in GPS, and then "you re-engage" if it gets through 42.

Steve Grasso warned about a TWTR spike; "they better be scared if they're still short this name," citing "Olympics as an advertisement for Twitter."

Brian Kelly was heard to say "withdrarals" (sic).

Melissa Lee, who wore a snappy and sleek red top that suggested gymnastics practice, and Guy Adami performed the bickering-married-couple routine over "price is truth" sarcasm and a reference to "somebody's Mr. Grumpy."

Tim Seymour's Final Trade was WHR. Brian Kelly said TSO, Steve Grasso said YHOO and Guy Adami said HAIN.

TWTR backer claims ‘relief’ that the stock didn’t go to the moon

Todd Chaffee told Judge on Friday's Halftime Report that "the numbers look good" for Twitter, except those user metrics that everyone suddenly cared about when smashing the stock this week.

But, that's "a little bit of a relief frankly," said Chaffee, who contends, "If they had hit every single number right on the money the thing would've shot- the stock would've shot up even further."

Yes. Which apparently would not be "healthy," according to Carter Worth, even though that's the goal; what's "healthy" is trading down to the 40s.

Chaffee didn't answer the question about TWTR lockup concerns, only chiding those who sell. "The real secret to making money as a venture capitalist is not exiting at the lockup," Chaffee said. "In the long term I think Twitter can be well over a hundred billion in market cap."

Chaffee unfortunately decided he would uncork wisdom in quoting Wayne Gretzky's advice to "skate to where the puck is going;" we're not sure who the first person was to use that in the Fast Money sphere, possibly Patty Edwards or Jeff Macke, but, um, we're talking years-old for the program, and probably something heard on CNBC since the days when FNN existed.

Chaffee happened to mention that you could get "multiple compression" in the high-flying tech space (the horror), and threw in an "at the end of the day."

Steve Weiss said he likes LNKD. Pete Najarian said that if you're dabbling in high-valuation names, you must "understand the risks that you have." Jon Najarian praised FB for doing what people want AAPL to do, which is make acquisitions.

Steve Weiss takes offense, says claims of technical buying don’t adequately ‘characterize’ why he buys stocks

Pete Najarian started off Friday's Halftime Report suggesting the rally will be short-lived; "I think the time to get in is when we were talkin' about it the other day," Pete said, explaining he's already starting to take positions off. "It's still just a trading market," Pete said.

Josh Brown said, "I don't see the catalyst that gives us new all-time highs right now."

Stephen Weiss opined, "To me this is weather-related," then predicted, "The market will be higher at the end of this year than it is now."

Moments later, Ben Willis told Judge what sounded merely like an agreement with Najarian and Brown, stating "algorithms" and technicals were driving the market, that the S&P hit 1,735 and since then, "We've seen nothing but a trend back up," but as for the bottom, "I don't think it's in."

Yet, Steve Weiss somehow detected a dis from Willis.

"Let me tell ya; I've got a pet peeve that it's on technicals. So Ben characterized me incorrectly. I didn't- I'm not looking for new highs. But technicals have nothing to do with what I do and equity investors generally do. The technicals don't matter if I buy more," Weiss asserted.

Josh Brown questioned Weiss' belief in 10% earnings growth for the year in stressing that the markets are looking more at the lousy 1st quarter. "How much more benefit are we getting from expanding margins," Brown demanded.

"How much money have you ever made following what strategists and economists have said," Weiss retorted.

Brown didn't answer, but pointed out earnings rose 20% in 1994 and the market did little. Weiss said that was a different market and a different time, which is true, but the valid point being, just because S&P earnings go up 10% this year (assuming that actually happens) certainly doesn't guarantee stocks will rise by the same amount or more.

"I tend to be on Steve's side," said Pete Najarian.

Good thing Josh didn’t pose the ‘whipsaw’ question to Steve

You woulda thunk, on the heels of the Seattle Seahawks winning the Super Bowl, that Patty Edwards would've been invited back to her previous Friday Halftime Report perch to celebrate and say something about "at this point in time" (sic redundancy).

But no.

Instead, Judge welcomed the current Friday special, Mike Santoli, the prize of CNBC's Yahoo deal and a fine market observer in his own right, who pointed out a little déjà vu, "We did have a very similar-type move that we had in May and June."

Jon Najarian insisted "it remains a stock-picker's market" and revealed, "Today I was back in nibbling at Twitter." Najarian also said he likes LULU and LNKD given their selloffs.

Rick Rieder, who had the sniffles, told Judge that the jobs report was a "weird number" and that the economy is "growing with not as many people," but the Fed is still "gonna keep policy easy."

Josh Brown asked Rieder if he's heard the rumor that the whipsaws between stocks and bonds this year are "being caused by a handful of large asset managers." (But how can that be given that Stephen Weiss says stocks are only purchased by fundamental investors?)

"That is dramatically overstated," shrugged Rieder, whose 10-year target for the year is 3.25%-3.50%.

Judge gives analyst far more props for courage than analyst deserves

Howard Tubin on Friday's Halftime Report defended RBC's bull call on LULU, first noting the "stock's been hammered," which has made the "entry point more interesting."

Tubin went on to say that LULU has "completely re- uh, jiggered their management team," which includes a product chief he considers an asset, and that his survey of 350 women found the brand is still strong and still fending off the upstarts.

Judge first dubbed Tubin's opinion "a bold one," and later dubbed it a "bold, bold, bold call," when there's utterly nothing bold about it given that the stock is down probably 40% in a couple months. (This writer is long LULU.)

What was startling was that neither Judge nor anyone else on the panel questioned LULU's ecommerce prospects, if any, given how often we've heard about the decline of mall retail on Fast Money/Halftime recently. #shortmemories

Stephen Weiss, like Jon Najarian earlier, had the right assessment, which is, "Everybody hates it," so "the downside is minimal," although it might be a bit early to buy.

Josh Brown called it a "broken momentum stock ... I don't think this one's bottomed yet," but then acknowledged Weiss had a point.

Jon Najarian revealed he bought at 52 and then again at 44, and "I happen to like it."

How come instead of dealing with Business Wire, companies don’t just sell their press releases directly to hedge funds

Eamon Javers, who once botched the math on milliseconds on the Halftime Report, on Friday credited the Wall Street Journal for revealing how the HFT crowd gets the scoops.

And then Javers proceeded to cover for Business Wire's dubious decision to sell releases to hedge funds at the same time it gives them to news agencies (such as, perhaps, CNBC), implying that Business Wire's insistence that there's no "tiered release" is more noble and thus "a different kind of a story" than the University of Michigan thing and others.

The Brothers Najarian conducted a sleepy (to say the least) and halfhearted "debate" on WMB, with Pete arguing it's been rising for "a lot of different reasons" including pipeline exposure and yield growth.

Jon Najarian said it's already moved on "unusual activity" and would buy at 39 rather than 42.

Josh Brown, who had prejudged the case, said WMB has had a "huge correlation with UNG" in which UNG has outperformed recently, so "I think there's more room to the upside."

Stephen Weiss said he's not short CHK, but "it's not a name I would be playing here."

Pete Najarian said "I think there is some upside" to AKAM.

Josh’s point is not bad and might actually have slightly convinced Doc a bit

Jon Najarian reported on Friday's Halftime that 54,000 GMCR options traded Wednesday, raising Doc's suspicions about advance knowledge of the KO deal.

Doc actually sounded like he believes they really are going to investigate whether options traders have relatives involved with GMCR or KO. #um,SECresourcesalittlemorelimitedthanthat

It was Stephen Weiss surprisingly who uncorked the line of the day, maybe the week actually (it's been a slow week), asserting there was indeed "unusual activity" in SODA because "both Jon and I made money in the stock."

Josh Brown pointed out that the shares hopped on the last earnings call and a Coke-type partnership had been rumored before, so "it's not totally out of the blue" that people were scooping up options on just a good guess.

Jon Najarian said February 62.50 calls in MUR were hot, so hot that Pete Najarian made it his Final Trade.

Nobody said anything about C for about 50 minutes, so Stephen Weiss felt obliged to assert it "goes through 50 very near term," the same level that Pete and Joe used to thunder years ago would bring in all the institutional buyers who can't buy under-$5 stocks.

Josh Brown said EXPE had a great day but "the pop seems to be fading." Pete Najarian said AAPL has better ways to spend its money than a bigger buyback. Jon Najarian called Jonathan Bush "Josh Bush" and was not corrected.

Stephen Weiss' Final Trade was TBF. Jon Najarian said TOL. Josh Brown said BAC.

Judge said Joe Kernen had a birdie. Yet, because he botched the timing again, Judge incredibly had to fill time AFTER the Final Trade and did so with a tiresome round of Final Trade Juniors, Stephen Weiss offering ETN, Jon Najarian financials and Pete Najarian MA.

[Thursday, February 6, 2014]

Joe on fire

We said last month that, to the extent we can prevent it (snicker), we're not going to let Joe Terranova finish last in the 2014 Playbook Playoffs.

Obviously, he doesn't need our help.

According to Thursday's updated results in Judge Wapner's 2014 Playbook Playoffs, Joe has stormed to the top like the 1984 Detroit Tigers, posting a 5.66% year-to-date return while only one other competitor, Mike Murphy (1.65%), is in the black for the year.

Obviously Joe got a big boost from KORS, which this page liked and said so but because it was only our 6th pick (GRPN was 5th, unfortunately), didn't actually make our sample portfolio unfortunately (down 0.52%, our sample portfolio of FB, LNKD, TBF, QQQ and GRPN would be in 4th place, but that will slide a bit with LNKD on Friday). Unfortunately, Joe ditched KORS too early; if there were unlimited trades that would make sense, but there aren't and what he should be doing is extricating himself from that dreadful AAPL selection, but whatever.

Stephanie Link-Cramer so far is the only panelist to be in the red on all 5 picks. #nicejobCramer

Karen chuckles about LNKD valuation but doesn’t offer a recommendation

Gene Munster, generally the go-to guy on AAPL, told Thursday's Fast Money that LNKD is used by 80% of white-collar folks and was being hurt by "conservative revenue guidance," which everyone seems to know and expect but it hurts the stock anyway, so Munster sees a "big opportunity to own LinkedIn on this pullback."

Even general tech curmudgeon Dan Nathan said 200 seems a "good level to step in and buy some."

Tim Seymour also essentially endorsed the stock, but did urge viewers to hold their nose with the valuation, which prompted a sexy laugh from Karen Finerman.

Jon Najarian pointed to the hiring names including MAN and MWW. Najarian was already in Brag Trade mode, saying he picked up LNKD at 194; "I bought it in the afterhours," he said, and "I wish I'd bought more."

It wasn't until later that Brian Kelly opined on the LNKD earnings and said, "The opportunity is to sell this."

Even Dan Nathan is
warming up to stocks

Tim Seymour on Thursday's Fast Money, instead of doing what we were doing which was gushing about Melissa Lee and Karen Finerman's striking new outfits, warned against buying the rally Thursday, saying the stock market has a "bit of a schizophrenic attitude" and that everyone is expecting "weather-related weakness."

"I sold $40 calls" in the EEM, Seymour revealed.

Brian Kelly said the notion of getting over 200,000 jobs is a "pipe dream."

Karen Finerman revealed, "I didn't do a lot, um, on a day like today."

Dan Nathan actually stated, "It all looks pretty benign," and while the S&P could still see 1,700, there "may be some good opportunities" in the market.

Surely somebody somewhere likes BWA, JCI, etc. ...

We were just thinking on the Halftime Report Thursday (see below) that it's been a while (say, a few hours) since anyone on Fast Money/Halftime has recommended the auto stocks.

Karen Finerman took care of that on Thursday's Fast Money, calling it a "good day to announce a miss" as GM did, suggesting a "kitchen sink" quarter with a "fair amount of noise in it," and then posing a delightful accounting question as to whether restructuring is an extraordinary charge; "there always seems to be some sort of restructuring charge."

"I like it, I bought it," Finerman said.

Brian Kelly, as he's prone to do as a "money manager," came up with a cockamamie thesis on "ethanol credits." Kelly did call TSO "interesting" at 45.

Guy jacked one out of the park on SODA

Guy Adami called SODA so good on Wednesday, he dialed into Thursday's Fast Money to take a victory lap.

Adami said that in the wake of the GMCR news, a SODA deal "clearly could happen," although the stock remains a "bit of a lottery ticket ... I say you stay with it."

While Melissa Lee sort of finished her sentences on this subject, Karen Finerman acknowledged that despite "having been burned" in this name, what Adami said was compelling (although not nearly as compelling as the notion floated a day ago by Karen about dancing, whether it's Karen or Mel in their smokin' outfits Thursday).

Tim Seymour called the KO deal "very good for them," meaning KO, though Melissa Lee cited a "risk to their brand." Seymour acknowledged it won't "move the needle" this year, but it's a "free option for these guys ... I think you jump into Coke right here."

Brian Kelly doesn’t really answer Karen’s question about USG leverage

USG chief Jim Metcalf began his commentary on Thursday's Fast Money by stating "hats off to the entire organization."

So, a blanket congrats if you work for USG.

Metcalf said his stock is more than a housing play, he's "very bullish" on repair & remodel and noted "USG provides shelter."

"Bond rates really are separate from our business," Metcalf said.

Tim Seymour though said he finds HD "much much cheaper" than USG.

Dan Nathan said SNE "seems like a real mess over there."

Synaptics chief Rick Bergman said smartphones represent "200 million incremental units of opportunity for us."

Karen Finerman asked a good question about future touchscreens, but Berman unfortunately only spoke about current touchscreens and said it's "certainly a growing opportunity."

Karen Finerman said of KSS' report, "not that bad is the new flat to up."

Tim Seymour called VOD "oversold." Dan Nathan took note of a big buyer of 50,000 March 7 puts in S. Nathan said with this kind of premium, you should be selling, not buying, options.

Melissa Lee pointed out, "I'm not dressed like the animals tonight."

Evidently "Fast Money Freestyle" will be one of the themes of the money-losing online-only version of Fast Money planned for next week; Tim Seymour used the term "Web Extra" (wasn't that a quaint idea).

Brian Kelly said of CHK, "I sold natural gas today." Dan Nathan said he can't recommend SCTY but to use stops if you're trading it. Tim Seymour issued a Brag Trade regarding Softbank; "I bought Yahoo this morning as an Alibaba play after selling it last week around 39."

Karen Finerman came through with a C buy; "we bought some as recently as today. We did call spreads, April 50/55s," Finerman said.

Tim Seymour's Final Trade was SINA. Karen Finerman's Final Trade was GM (you knew it was either that or C); Brian Kelly said SLV and Dan Nathan said NKE.

Happy 50th, Gary Kaminsky
(and another CNBCer coming soon)

We blew it again.

This page usually prides itself (snicker) on forecasting Fast Money birthdays (generally Melissa Lee and Karen Finerman and anyone else we can remember), but somehow in the last couple months did not mention Guy Adami's 50th nor Anthony Scaramucci's 50th.

We did barely note Pete Najarian, because it's only a few days after Guy Adami's.

Anyway, Gary Kaminsky, former co-host of "The Strategy Session" (the last actually "new" CNBC show that we're aware of and one chronicled on this page), recently crossed the 5-0 threshold, as was actually chronicled on Twitter ... which means Kaminsky's colleague David Faber (shhhh!) is due to take the plunge in March.

That top image above is from the final episode of "The Strategy Session," Oct. 14, 2011, in which the ticker is utterly fascinating ... NFLX at 116, AAPL at 416, C at 27, DELL at 16, GOOG as you can see ... and not only that, but Melissa Francis (who has had quite the fallout with her mother, as you can read elsewhere on this site) handled the lead-in with Tyler Mathisen.

Best wishes to Kaminsky, and eventually to his "Strategy Session" colleague, and an early head start on a certain Fast Money fox who is NOT crossing the 50 barrier later this month.

‘I don’t think this
correction is over’

Stephen Weiss, back from a break, said at the top of Thursday's Halftime Report that "tomorrow's such a critical day ... a good number I think does end the correction."

All well and good, except moments later, discussing the jobs number, Weiss advised viewers, "Don't trade on it," that's "lunacy."

So if there's a good number that ends the correction, he's saying don't buy.

Weiss predicted 3.25% in the 10-year by year-end, and revealed, "I bought more Citi," which of course was his Final Trade (we've gone a couple days without one of those; how could that happen).

Mr. New World said the question is whether we've hit a "secular peak," and he thinks no, "it's more of a trading environment this year than we expected." (Translation: Crappier market than we thought.)

Jon Najarian said you should still buy the stocks you like.

Ben Willis on the other hand insisted, "I'm not ready to call an end to this correction ... I don't think this correction is over."

Rick Santelli said that if the 10-year closes above 2.75%, then that trade's over. Then Santelli got into it with Stephen Weiss over whether there's "helium" in the market and whether the Spanish economy is getting better, all while the camera caught Joe scowling.

Simon Baker reported, "I've been short consumer discretionary all year," but likes TIF, which happened to be his Final Trade.

Mark could’ve made a better argument, it’s highly priced but there aren’t many other options for hypergrowth, management is super-smart, etc.

Mark Mahaney acknowledged on Thursday's Halftime Report that the "user metrics" were what sank TWTR, Mahaney contended that his bullish outlook will eventually be right, that the company will "re-accelerate user growth and engagement growth" and produce a "gap up in the stock."

Dr. New Land shrugged that the only metric that matters for Twitter was the problem, despite the company's apparent efforts to make it better.

That would've been well and good, except Joe then went on to hype LNKD, explaining, "You hope they miss ... they're going to guide conservatively tonight." (Well, he got what he was asking for.) (This review was posted after the close Thursday.)

Simon Baker said he too favors LNKD. Jon Najarian said "I actually like TripAdvisor," then said his favorite is actually DMND.

Stephen Weiss also endorsed LNKD; "there's always a reason to go on it." As for Yelp, "I find their content frankly useless. Or next to useless," Weiss said.

Stephen Weiss manages to ground his imagination in fundamentals

Few treats on the Halftime Report are greater than a camera appearance by Sara Eisen, who pointed out Thursday the trade called by Guy Adami the night before, that SODA would rise.

Stephen Weiss claimed a Backdoor Brag Trade, stating the previous night he realized, "The Street reaction is wrong, it shouldn't be down ... every competitor for Coke should now look to SodaStream."

Jon Najarian indicated he felt the same way, admitting he bungled TWTR mightily a day ago in forecasting a great earnings call but saying he got long SODA overnight and "I flipped it this morning."

Herb Greenberg, pressing his endless I-hate-GMCR case, told Judge he was right about the business but wrong about the stock, and that the company is reduced to a "Hail Mary, wing and a prayer forecast."

Herb shrugged off the KO stake as, "This is a cheap call for Coke," and that GMCR's original business is fading.

Steve Weiss shrugged back, arguing that "Ford without cars would probably be bankrupt" and suggested the KO deal "reinvigorates" GMCR.

"How do you know this reinvigorates it?" Herb demanded.

"Using my imagination, grounded in fundamentals," Weiss explained.

Judge gave a shout-out to Lawrence Delevingne's article about Einhorn on CNBC.com (you'd think if they really wanted people to go to the website they'd regularly post trader disclosure and actual substantive clips of the program if not the whole program).

Mr. New World tried to slip through a Brag Trade, claiming he thought about shorting GMCR a while back but didn't. "The lesson obviously is, you don't short those high-momentum names, and obviously I am glad that I did not," Joe said, adding the key to this trade is, "What Pepsi's reaction to all of this is going to be."

Anyone who used this argument to make a decision on GM needs to do more research

We were just thinking it had been a couple of hours days since the Halftime/Fast Money crew took up how great F and GM and BMW and VW and maybe even TSLA are; Halftime Report honchos evidently realized this also on Thursday and brought in Phil LeBeau to report the "glass half-full, half-empty" results from GM.

Jon Najarian declared bullishness for GM, insisting "it is the weather" that's to blame for the "half-empty" part.

Mike Murphy provided the bear case, calling GM an "extremely overowned name" at year's end and stating people will be "questioning all these restructuring charges," as well as floating the notion that rather than being the great opportunity, Asia might be the company's "biggest problem."

Mr. New World unimpressively said of GM, "I would be inclined to buy it again."

Courtney Reagan suggests that $0 for JCP is not unthinkable

We're so enamored with Sara Eisen, we practically overlooked Courtney Reagan, who told Judge Wapner on Thursday's Halftime that when it comes to retailers, "I think it's a stock-picker's market."

Much more alarming, Court actually floated the suggestion of JCP's demise; "they're not going bankrupt tomorrow, but it may not be in the far, far distant future."

Jerry Storch then offered a curious strategy, telling Judge he would "sell every company that mentions the weather" and buy every one that doesn't.

Storch said the retail space is getting squeezed by both online options and a sluggish economy, so the winners will be the "all-channel retailing" names.

Simon Baker asked Storch about BBY, a question that sounded as though the fix was in, as Storch appears to like the stock as much as Baker, stating, "They are the ultimate all-channel retailer."

Dr. New Land said it's the "momentum" names that work in retail, including GPS, KORS and L Brands (correct name this time).

Jon Najarian curiously advised buying retailers who aren't in the malls but have stand-alone stores, including M (of course, even though it's generally part of a mall) and SKS.

Simon (probably) bungles
another one

Simon Baker on Thursday's Halftime Report explained he's getting short OPEN, which means start getting ready to buy, although honestly this page is making no recommendation on that one because we've barely followed it and, for that matter, it did drop on earnings as Baker seemed to think it would.

But when Simon gets short a hot name, you know what to do.

Baker said the business comes down to the "number of bums they have in the seats," then mentioned the weather and insisted there's "complete saturation in the 5 major cities."

Steve Weiss agreed, stating "OpenTable's a commodity," and that's where we got suspicious, because we've heard the endless competition-that's-just-starting-to-wipe-'em-out argument for years regarding NFLX, P and GRPN.

Jon Najarian said he'd hold AKAM and AAPL.

Stephen Weiss called SNE "probably a buy here" but isn't buying himself, stating the stock is trading with the Nikkei.

Simon Baker said "AOL finally got mail."

Anthony Grisanti, not following Steve Weiss' advice about trading the jobs report, said the estimate is 180-190 and predicted we get a "lot less than that" and so, "I'm a buyer of gold." But Jim Iuorio said he's "thinking about going short" of gold.

Jon Najarian said AVGO April 55 calls were hot and he's in; "I'll probably be in it, right around 10-30 days," Doc said.

Najarian's Final Trade was ASH. Dr. New World said JPM.

[Wednesday, February 5, 2014]

Fast Money apparently doing
online-only during Olympics

Here, we thought it was our big break.

Instead, according to what Melissa Lee said on Wednesday's Fast Money, Fast Money is not actually being preempted during the Sochi Games, but in fact a live version will be carried at CNBC.com.

We can't fathom who came up with this idea — certainly not the person paying the panelists their regular appearance fee — especially given that Fast Money's video presence has been so neutered in the last 6 months, not only can viewers no longer get complete episodes, they're lucky to get 60 seconds of any given interview.

Pardon us if we end up watching curling instead.

Mel says DDD critic made a ‘good point’ when in fact he made a nonsensical point

Melissa Lee on Wednesday's Fast Money opted to begin with Andrew Left by asking a double-question about DDD's stumble.

"Do you think this is the beginning, or are you covering part of that short," Lee asked.

"Well those are 2 different questions," Left realized, before only offering to say, "This is the beginning of a long-term move down for 3-D Systems."

Guy Adami persisted with the 2nd part and managed only to elicit from Left that one has to scale into these types of positions.

Left denounced DDD as "a bunch of news and hype, without anything behind it."

"VoxelJet's a short definitely as well," Left added, but "I wouldn't be short Stratasys," he said, because while he finds it overpriced, he thinks it's the most legit of the bunch.

Most curious was seeing a clip of Sherri Scribner, who Left apparently took down in a research note after her Fast Money appearance in January.

We didn't mind seeing that clip again, because Scribner has a bit of an edge to her, and is good-looking.

In fact, Left's criticism of Scribner, describing her consumer-to-institutional appeal of 3-D printing as equivalent to buying a pickup truck and liking it and deciding to get an 18-wheeler, was quite accurate. But, Left at least has a heart; "I feel so bad for her ... No one should be judged on their worst possible moment."

Then he went off on Josh Brown, stating, "I heard this morning you had uh, who's on your show, Josh Brown, and when he discussed uh 3-D Systems, he says, 'Well I think 3-D printing is the way of the future, so I'm long 3-D Systems.' What does one have to do with the next."

"That's a good point," said Melissa Lee, somehow.

Seriously? It's a point that makes no sense, unless DDD has nothing to do with 3-D printing.

What Left could've ripped was Brown defending being long the stock based on his cost basis (tip: the stock doesn't care what Josh's cost basis is), and even worse, actually claiming Wednesday it's in the "3rd" inning when he said "4th" inning last June.

Tim Seymour agreed that DDD is overvalued but stated, "There's a business here that is delivering on the top line," whatever that means. Steve Grasso said SSYS held its key 102 level.

Is it ‘KOST-a-low,’
or ‘kah-STOLE-low’? (cont’d)

Steve Grasso, lamenting his own TWTR long in Wednesday's afterhours, said "it bounced too much off of Facebook's back," and then, in a seemingly overly stark assessment while the ticker showed 58, added, "It has to hold this level or it's lights out for Twitter."

Lights out? Seriously?

Guy Adami said the shares at that moment were holding the level of January's selloff, but he still thinks that over time, the stock will "drift down into the mid- to low 40s."

Adami concluded, "58 to me is the line in the sand," breached before the end of the program.

Tim Seymour called the stock "very hard to value at these levels." Karen Finerman observed that high-fliers seemed to be crushed "across the board," except we didn't actually see that in NFLX or CMG, but whatever.

Grasso said TWTR has "40% short interest," and then contended that over time, "they're going to figure this out," but nevertheless seemed to lament Wednesday's reaction.

Bob Peck, enlisted with conference-call duty in front of the Times Square window, said that from the TWTR call there were "3 big negatives," and you know that's the max we can handle and barely that; Peck said it was "U.S. MAUs," plus "timeline views" and "those units per MAU," whatever the heck any of that means.

Both Tim Seymour and Guy Adami praised P, with Seymour citing an "inflection point in their earnings style" and Adami saying you don't have to buy it Thursday but that it's been holding on the selloffs and you can put it on your radar screen. (This writer is long P.)

If only we could dance with Karen & Mel at the Fast Money holiday party #diedandgonetoheaven

Sara Eisen is a gorgeous young woman, but for some reason she was only summoned by telephone (that means no pictures) to report on the GMCR call and the KO partnership.

Guy Adami was hell-bent on turning this into a SODA trade, which was his Final Trade actually; "the weakness in SodaStream ... it forces them to do something," Adami predicted.

"It forces them to do something but is there someone who wants to dance with them," asked Karen Finerman, and ANY time Karen starts talking about dancing (or even initiates the concept of being on the dance floor) really snaps us to attention. (Yes we know she's married, he doesn't mind; he's a lot richer than we are, but then again, he doesn't know as much about football or "Road House.")

Herb Greenberg, who had nothing to say really but felt compelled to pile on to GMCR in some way, asserted, "This deal comes in the nick of time" and without instant benefits; "we're talking years down the road."

Herb further opined that when it comes to deals, "Sometimes they work out, and sometimes they don't."

Karen Finerman suggested that KO presumably got to look at GMCR's books and must've felt them satisfactory to do the deal; "you have to wonder."

What’s HBO’s ticker?

New CNBCer John Jannarone got a brief audition on Wednesday's Fast Money and delivered a fairly crisp comparison between NFLX and HBO, albeit without stressing the difference between HBO's cable base and NFLX's streaming base.

"It's pretty hard, I don't know, if you ask me, to believe that Netflix is worth much more than HBO," Jannarone explained.

Guy Adami reiterated that he thinks NFLX is due for a selloff; "now you're sort of in the deep end of the pool," but "360-375 is fine."

Mike Khouw said there was a big buyer of MGM June 20 puts, maybe somebody transitioning out of the 22s.

Steve Grasso said he made a "good sale" in Alcoa but regretted exiting TMUS and S too soon; "I didn't want to get greedy."

Mel's Shamu dress, actually the same colors as what Karen wears and what Rene Russo wore in "The Thomas Crown Affair," was appropriate for her brief interview with PETA lawyer Jeff Goodman, whose group was apparently stiff-armed in trying to force a resolution onto the SeaWorld corporate ballot.

Tim Seymour's Final Trade was KO. Steve Grasso said YHOO. Karen Finerman said not to buy DDD.

If you won’t trade based on his trading calls, then why bother to listen to what he says?

Just on Monday, as well as the end of last week, all we heard from the Fast Money/Halftime gang was how the big one (that would be the correction) was just getting under way.

On Wednesday's Halftime report, corrections were getting stiff-armed like Denver Broncos tacklers.

Milton Ezrati said the market is "still a buying opportunity."

Jon Najarian said weather is having an impact and he "can't believe" the jobs report will be any good. But then he trumpeted how select names such as GNW are "exploding."

Mike Murphy said RL is suddenly at a 52-week low, and you can "hold your nose" and buy it, later advising, "You jump in, you pick some up here."

Pete Najarian said JNJ and MRK look like buys, and the financials are showing leadership again.

Judge revealed that Tom DeMark said on CNBC earlier that now we're somehow gonna get the 40% correction to 1,100 because this will apparently be the time nobody buys the dip. Judge justified airing these comments by stating "it gets headlines ... it causes people to stop and think."

Jon Najarian delicately stated, "I like Tom DeMark, so this is not said in a, in a way that I'm trying to rip him, but, he called a top I believe in March last year" with the S&P at 1,560, and now, "We're 200 points above that ... I would listen to what Mr. DeMark said, but I would not trade based on what he says."

So let's figure out that strategy. If Doc was an outfielder for the White Sox and wasn't going to bat the way some purported batting expert was telling him to bat, then why would Doc waste his time listening to this particular expert when he should be spending that time listening to the experts whose advice he IS going to use?

Josh Brown invokes the house’s money Brag Trade over embarrassing setback

Whenever faced with a big bungle, there's always cost basis.

With the air being zapped from 3-D stocks' sails recently, Josh Brown was forced to take a Fast Fire on Wednesday's Halftime Report for not unloading DDD in the 90s.

Brown said he bought the stock in late 2012, so "I'm up 101%," and further maintained, "I'm not going anywhere."

But, he allowed, he would "prefer" not be long a stock that's taking a hit like this.

Brown insists we're still in the "2nd or 3rd inning of 3-D printing," but as for his setback, "that's life, that's trading," when in fact, it sounds more like "investing" than "trading" the way folks on the show generally define it.

Pete hangs a 40 on P

Bob Peck told Wednesday's Halftime Report that TWTR is "not the 'must buy' that Facebook is" but, while he's expecting 210 revenue and 251 million monthly active users, "the takeaway will be about guidance."

Mike Murphy said to "stay long Facebook," but he wouldn't try TWTR.

Pete Najarian said he actually might dabble in a TWTR long by the end of the day. Jon Najarian reaffirmed he's long TWTR since 58 (see, there was a bunch of cost-basis stuff going on) and said, "I think it's gonna be a very strong call."

Meanwhile, Pete Najarian told Mike Murphy "I still think there's some upside" in P because "they own this space." (This writer is long P.)

But Murphy contended that the company is seeing "growth slowing down" and insider selling.

Najarian insisted the competition isn't there yet, and "$40 is in their future."

Jon Najarian said, "I'm sticking with Pete."

Doc: ‘I’d be a buyer’ of nat gas

Anthony Grisanti told Wednesday's Halftime Report that the estimate is for a 273-277 draw in natural gas, and if it's at 277, "I'm actually selling into that rally."

Brian Stutland said, "You have to worry that a blowoff top is coming" in nat gas, and in fact it might've happened Wednesday morning, so he'd short it below 5.30.

Jon Najarian on other hand said that with another blast of bad weather, "You could see another spike higher ...I'd be a buyer." Mike Murphy predicted a "lot more upside" in COG.

Hans Humes said Puerto Rico debt is so widespread, "it's in every muni portfolio out there," but instead of thinking of it as a U.S. thing, "it's a sovereign debt crisis" and if you're long the bonds, expect a "very complicated workout."

Humes uttered one of our favorite Fast Money cliches, saying if Puerto Rico had just accepted the refinancing instead of doing a restructuring, they "would've just kicked the can down the road."

Humes said he likes Argentina and Venezuela.

Notice nobody questioned the impact of CBS’ Thursday night NFL games on Comcast’s Sunday night ratings

Judge questioned on Wednesday's Halftime Report whether it's "a little bit disingenuous" for CalPERS to be carping at Carl when CalPERS too tries to agitate a little bit.

Pete Najarian said all he wants from AAPL is to "give us a plan."

Jon Najarian said the notion of Carl just wanting a quick flip here isn't realistic, he wouldn't exit unless it's over 600, so there's "100 points of upside," but he agrees with Pete (shocker), "They have to verbalize a plan."

Yet, Judge brought in Vanguard's Glenn Booraem to talk about this new institutional alliance, and after listening to it twice, we couldn't figure out which end is up here, whether they're taking sides with the activists or the companies or seeking some kind of middle ground; Booraem insisted they are "absolutely not taking sides" and that Vanguard can't flip because these stocks are in indexes so it's just trying to make sure companies listen to value-creation concerns.

Mike Murphy said to "avoid all housing names," but Pete Najarian disagrees.

Pete said MRK has a "cancer drug in their pipeline," and "I think the stock's going higher."

Jon Najarian said to "hit the exits" in WYNN.

Pete Najarian reaffirmed (might as well say it every 8 hours) that he thinks JCP "could eventually hit towards 1."

Mike Murphy said of CHRW, "Stay away from this name." Jon Najarian said BWLD is caught up in the "minimum wage debate," so wait for 115.

Jon Najarian said CBS' Thursday night NFL games "could be a real ratings windfall for them."

Mike Murphy's Final Trade was MU. Jon Najarian said WMB and Pete Najarian said FB.

[Tuesday, February 4, 2014]

Mel has no idea what Guy’s net worth is, speculates ‘a million dollars’

A person closes a bank account, gets a cable TV interview.

Professor Terence Burnham's visit with Tuesday's Fast Money was billed by Melissa Lee as some sort of crackpot, end-of-the-world type of scheme.

In fact, all Burnham really said, eloquently, is that keeping his money at BAC with 0% interest rates is a "bad deal," and that he's troubled by what he sees as the Fed's impact on rates and on emerging markets.

Melissa Lee put another guest, Wells Fargo analyst Matt Burnell, on the spot by asking him about the possibility of a worldwide run on banks.

Burnell wasn't sure how to respond at first, then, clarifying he works for Wells Fargo, asserted, "That potential is exceptionally, exceptionally, exceptionally small."

Burnham, who said "I think the stock market is in jeopardy," suggested as an alternative to putting the money in the bank just paying lenders ahead of time, in which case, logically, it seems like we'd all have the same problem.

Worse was Burnham's contention, as Ronnie Moas and others have made, that Fed policies "transfer wealth from people who are relatively poor and relatively unsophisticated," which may or may not be true, but if it is, how come a relatively poor person doesn't come on CNBC to explain what's happening instead of relying on 6-figure academics to make the case for them.

Melissa Lee curiously asked Guy Adami if he would consider doing what Burnham did with Adami's own money, which is, "I don't know, a million dollars." Adami said he's not as qualified as a professor, but "he makes some pretty compelling arguments." (Sure, but he never acknowledged it's a "benign" banking environment.)

Burnell apparently was on the set to say he removed C from his top-banks list because of a "timing reaction" to the "market's sensitivity" regarding emerging markets.

Brian Kelly tried to get Burnell to express alarm about MS' international exposure, telling him, "Morgan Stanley's more expensive to insure than Citibank."

‘Very textbook pullback’

Guy Adami, sounding more like John Edwards every day, explained on Tuesday's Fast Money that it's "the have and the have-nots in the consumerland."

Adami apparently thinks a great quarter announcement is a bad thing, at least in the case of KORS, "They should've pre-announced to the upside."

Dan Nathan asserted, "It could be a tough few months for the consumer."

Pete Najarian basically spent the program restating everything he said on the Halftime Report (and making the same faces for the camera), insisting "I think $1 is somewhere in the cards" for JCP and that the weather is extreme enough to be having an impact on shopping.

Guy Adami said SHLD may be the JCP of 2014, but with such a high short interest, "That's a tough short."

Paul Hickey said the leaders downward right now are the same downward leaders the last time, so this is a "very textbook pullback." Hickey likes CMCSA, BAC, ATK and DOW.

‘525 on a benign tape’

Dan Nathan, restating the same thing he says every show, expressed bearishness toward GOOG, "I think it's a very crowded trade ... I do see some issues here," and in fact made selling GOOG his Final Trade.

Both Melissa Lee and Guy Adami used the term "benign" to describe the GOOG quarter. Unfortunately Karen Finerman, who likes every hot tech name with a low P.E. and hates all the ones with a high P.E. and factors in virtually no other criteria, wasn't around to opine on that name this time.

Pete Najarian stammered and stumbled through some observation by Katy Huberty of wearables representing a $17 billion market for AAPL.

Guy Adami said AAPL can hit "525 on a benign tape."

Adami added, "I think Microsoft is fine here." Pete Najarian said the same thing about MSFT he said at Halftime. Dan Nathan cautioned that while everything looks great for FB, people eventually will get annoyed by the ads, and "at some point it's not gonna grow."

Dataminr chief Ted Bailey claimed his service serves basically as a real-time Twitter alert system, pointing to a "3-minute heads-up" that users got on the Toronto Globe & Mail's report about BBRY abandoning a sale bid.

Pete Najarian said of Twitter, "I use it frequently. I- I like to let people know what I'm thinking." Seriously? Pete likes to let people know what he's thinking?

Joe made a mistake in ditching KORS so soon, too early in the year and he’ll need that trade back

Brian Kelly, who uncorked on Tuesday's Fast Money a fresh new batch of 4th-derivative international theories, explained "I am short JGBs" because if Japan starts to fall apart it will make Greece look like a "side show."

Kelly said ARMH's report "makes me worry about Apple."

Guy Adami said OPEN "might be worth looking on the long side."

Dan Nathan said of YUM, "I wouldn't chase it."

Pete Najarian said Radio Shack needs more than clever commercials; "they've gotta fix the stores."

Dan Nathan was particularly fascinated by someone who sold September 13 puts in TTWO and bought the September 22 calls.

Guy Adami said before plunging into HAIN on the selloff, "Now you gotta wait a couple days ... feels like it wants to trade down to the 80 level."

Pete Najarian reported a big buyer of DTV September 80 calls.

Pete's Final Trade was one he trumpeted at Halftime (but didn't actually make his Final Trade at that time), FOXA. Brian Kelly said USO, Guy Adami said UPL, which he credited to Pete but it was really Joe who's out front on that one, and Dan Nathan said to sell GOOG.

Fleck gets it

Stock-shorter Jon Fichthorn told Tuesday's Halftime Report that "volatility itself is volatile" and that the simple truth is that money-printing has boosted stocks and reduced money-printing has hurt stocks and so with the prospects of a pullback in Chinese money-printing on the horizon, this could be a "pretty frightening 2014."

Now, all of that is basically what Fleck says, with one huge difference ... Fleck correctly doesn't believe the money-printing is over.

Nevertheless, Fichthorn insisted "there are opportunities really everywhere" for shorting, starting with railcars being at their "cyclical top," as well as Canadian housing, 3-D printing and semiconductors.

He pointed to TRN and other railcar stocks being at highs while facing pipeline encroachment, foreseeing a "difficult year for that industry" that makes for a great short opportunity.

Pete Najarian said that theory makes sense, but "I'm not convinced" the pipeline story is a go yet.

Stephanie Link further suggested that TRN could use its cash to do a buyback or something else that would continue to propel the stock.

Pete also balked at Fichthorn's apparent INTC short call, reminding viewers that "security is a huge issue." (Yes it's a huge issue in that it doesn't appear to be working.)

Simon once again in the driver’s seat for Bungle of the Year

It was back on Jan. 13 that this page urged Simon Baker to "ditch" that KORS short "in a hurry."

He didn't do it.

And paid the price on Tuesday, when he was forced to cover in 2 parts this monstrous bungle that's every bit as bad as his horrifying Delta "game over" story of last August.

A class act, Baker on Tuesday's Halftime congratulated Dr. New Land for a "great great call" and admitted his own play was a "complete disaster" (without admitting it likely sank him below even Stephanie Link in the 2014 Playbook Playoffs cellar).

Dr. New Land said he was cashing in, not because of concern about the shares but because of the "overall market environment" in which gains must be secured.

Josh Brown, offering the fallacy of the "house's money," said you can remain long KORS with a "tight stop" at 90 because it "probably works its way up to a hundred bucks."

Steve Kernkraut said that "Kors is a walk-on-water company," but in retail in general, "There's still a lot of room on the downside ... why buy ahead of all this negative news."

Kernkraut called M and URBN a "great name" but said not to chase ANF.

Pete Najarian said oF JCP, "I think this name still goes toward 1."

Stephanie chippy
over Joe’s move

Maybe it's about being in last place in the 2014 Playbook Playoffs.

But Stephanie Link, without any supporting evidence whatsoever, decided on Tuesday's Halftime that she didn't like Dr. New World's move to replace KORS in his portfolio with POT.

"It's so volatile," Link somehow claimed.

"I don't think Potash is volatile," Joe cut in.

"Just, let me finish, 'cause I do think that it is volatile. There is a lot of leverage to the bottom line," Link claimed.

As opposed to the
non-emotional fear

At the top of Tuesday's Halftime Report, no comment was getting as much affirmation as Josh Brown's assertion that "bounces like today should not be trusted."

Joe Terranova explained, "I would've liked to have seen the emotional (sic redundant) fear reach a much higher crescendo," because the market needs "elevated fear" to find the bottom.

Later, Joe affirmed, "I'm not sure that the moment of buying the dip is upon us."

Ben Willis told Judge, "I think we've got some more to go" on the downside.

Pete Najarian though said that the call/put ratio in the VIX on Tuesday was "almost 50/50" for a change.

And Stephanie Link decided to uncork a spree of Cramer favorites, including SLB, BHI, OXY, COP, RHT, ADBE, GOOG and USB."

Jon Hilsenrath demanded the gang take seriously the market's view of short-term rates; "this is much different than September" because investors then were looking to as early as late 2014 for rate hikes, and "it's going in the other direction now."

Steve Liesman acknowledged that "pause in the taper is one of the things in Janet Yellen's toolbox."

Sara Eisen, who is extreeeeemely good-looking, told Judge, "You've gotta be watching Japan right now."

Brown: FB is ‘strongest stock in the entire market’

Bob Pisani told Tuesday's Halftime Report that the market seemed to be experiencing an "oversold bounce."

Rick Santelli contended that it's "countertrend Tuesday."

Jeff Kilburg said he's waiting for a gold breakout, "I'll be a buyer above 1,265." But Jim Iuorio said it would need to get to 1,270 or 1,280 before it would "maybe" be a "safe haven."

Joe Terranova opined that if the precious metals really were a safe haven, "You'd see silver up a lot more than it is."

Bryant Vancronkhite said that fleeing small-caps is a "bad move right now" and likes TAP, which he thinks can counter craft beers with (of course) some bourbon-flavored line, and also likes CLH and MRC, the latter drawing a question from Stephanie Link about MRC's troubles and lost credibility and how she owns NOV. Vancronkhite believes MRC has "learned from" those credibility lapses.

Steph Link said she likes the YUM story. Pete Najarian called Nadella "exactly the right guy" for MSFT's future cloud-driven business. Joe Terranova said SWN or UPL are working in the nat gas space because "no one believes the sustainability" of prices over $5. Josh Brown said FB "looks like the strongest stock in the entire market right now," a designation that can change by the week.

Kate Kelly said hedge funds are still interested in Japan, "they haven't abandoned it altogether," and Mike Novogratz sees a Nikkei bottom of 13,800.

Pete Najarian said he's in the FOXA trade on the options activity and "new record" (sic redundant) in Super Bowl viewers and he'll be in that trade "about a month."

Pete's Final Trade was GS. Stephanie Link said HCA, Josh Brown said BBT and Joe Terranova said COF.

[Monday, February 3, 2014]

Tim Seymour actually criticizes people for buying a stock that went up

Peter Stabler (not Ken Stabler), who apparently isn't over his skis on TWTR, told Monday's Fast Money that while it seemed like tons of people were tweeting about the Super Bowl (we can't figure out why Seema Mody didn't have more to say), actually there were "only 3% more tweets sent than last year" (and nearly all were from Gasparino because he's bored).

Stabler said he wants to see users having more "engagement" with Twitter to really get on board the valuation.

Guy Adami said if he had to choose, he'd take FB over TWTR, and that "once the float starts to come in," TWTR may have big trouble.

"I would actually take Facebook also," said Karen Finerman (big surprise there; just look at the P.E. ratio as always).

Tim Seymour questioned those getting long TWTR; "I don't know why you need to be a hero." (And whatever happened to that "price is truth" thing again? Ah, that's right, so yesteryear.)

Guy Adami issues Brag Trade, has trouble deciding whether we’re going to 1,725 or 1,425

As most of the folks on CNBC on Monday scrambled to identify a bottom for the stock market, Guy Adami decided to emphasize at the top of Fast Money how accurate he's been.

"I think we've done a good job navigating the markets," Adami stated, while almost scoffing at the notion of panicking or anyone who tries it.

Guy, who tends to like to say that "price is truth," threw himself a curve when asserting that "people have been right for the wrong reasons."

Perhaps illustrating the futility of certain types of technical analysis, Adami a couple times said 1,725 was a key level to hold, and regardless, at some point stocks become buys, and "I think we're pretty close to that time," but then, on the heels of Dennis Gartman's bearish take, suggested that 1,425 is possible too.

Gartman suggested this market can fall "15% from the top" and that we still have "some distance on the downside."

Gartman quoted Doug Kass again as stating "risk happens fast," and forecast a "very severe, very substantive and really quite ugly correction."

Yet, the rest of the Fast Money panel was not so grim.

"People haven't panicked yet," said Brian Kelly, who suggested 1,700 as a turning point.

Karen Finerman said she sold puts at the end of the day Monday, because "I think we're gonna bounce from here."

Tim Seymour described Finerman as "smarter than me" but insisted, "I don't see anything falling out of bed and I don't see the consumer falling out of bed," and "why not just some rotation" into different leaders.

Seymour stumbled in trying to warn viewers about being long "single-name" (sic) stocks (as opposed to, say, Freeport McMoran, which has double names) while shorting the S&P 500, saying that approach works in the 1st phase of a selloff but not the rest of it.

Melissa Lee said the markets were acting "lousily" (sic).

Not ugly. Definitely not ugly.

Melissa Lee had fun with the camera a bit on Monday's Fast Money, giving a bit of a pose while stating that Karen Finerman bought AAPL "right before the close." (There's a picture of that moment down below.)

Finerman affirmed that statement, "Right before the close I bought Apple," and lamented how it's tough to find support on Twitter when you make AAPL calls on TV because "when I sold it I got a lot of, 'You're ugly'."

Karen said she bought it "just a tad" under 501.

Meanwhile, Guy Adami said he doesn't know what to do about TTWO, but regardless, "This stock sort of interests me."

Guy also said, "Into earnings, I think you can actually own AOL."

Karen sure likes telling everyone that she sold KORS too soon

Sara Eisen, who is young and stunning and is thankfully appearing on Fast Money and the Halftime Report all the time, pointed out on Monday's Fast Money how YUM was rising afterhours.

Tim Seymour asserted, "This is a stock I would actually buy here."

Karen Finerman said of KORS, "I would not short it here; if anything I'd be long." But Guy Adami decreed that stock in "no-man's land."

Karen called the BAC story "still intact ... I'm long."

Tim Seymour endorsed RYAAY, "Stay in this one if you're there," and Guy Adami said "I like Delta here."

Tim Seymour said T and the other wireless networks are now into "predatory pricing" and so you can't buy T, also he "sold out of Vodaphone."

Guy Adami thinks PFE is "OK."

George Goncalves said stock expectations were sky-high last year but have gotten a "reality check," but despite the selloff, "we're still growing."

Goncalves seemed to think the bond rally is in the late innings. "A lot of this is washed out," he predicted, but he said if we cross the 2.50% threshold, then it's a game-changer for the overall financial outlook.

Guy Adami applauded the fact that people at Nomura were watching Goncalves on Fast Money (with a roughly 15-second delay) and said he thinks the 10-year will see 2%.

We get it — NBC Uni is really trying to promote Savannah’s interview with Zuck

We don't always agree with Larry McDonald, but we do like the fact he brings interesting commentary to Fast Money, such as Monday when he suggested EEM is near screaming-buy levels.

It's "trading close to 4% below net asset value," McDonald said, which is "historically extremely unusual," and it's "close to the point where there's nobody left to sell."

McDonald also made a reference to the barrels in "Jaws" that didn't seem to work.

Brian Stutland said there was a big seller of the WFC 44/45 put spread, and he's intrigued by the stock.

Tim Seymour likes WHR between 116-113.

Brian Kelly said, in one of those comments that can come back to haunt, "It does appear that gold has bottomed here."

Guy Adami confused BA with FDX at one point while calling BA a buy between 115 and 118.

Brian Kelly said of FEYE, "You buy this on this dip."

Karen Finerman noted JOSB is now talking about buying Eddie Bauer and opined, "That would be a terrible move for them."

Karen also said that if the Super Bowl commercial was behind RSH's gain, "that is a terrible, terrible reason," and then made a great wisecrack, "The '80s called, they also would like their EBITDA back."

Mel promoted Savannah Guthrie's chat with Mark Zuckerberg. Brian Kelly said Zuckerberg has become a good CEO and threw in an "at this point in time."

Tim Seymour said that MSFT hiring Satya Nadella is the "best of both worlds."

Seymour's Final Trade was KSU, with an $83 "line in the sand." Brian Kelly said sell FXB. Karen Finerman said (no surprise) AAPL. Guy Adami said HIG.

In the span of 90 seconds, Doc contradicts his own stock strategy

Right near the end of Monday's Halftime Report, Jon Najarian told Judge, "I don't look at stocks because I think they're cheap. I look at 'em because I think that they're going higher."

Less than a minute and a half later, Najarian made PG his Final Trade: "Too cheap here, Judge."

January is Pete’s greatest
month of all time

Steve Grasso was the preeminent bearish voice on Monday's Halftime Report, pointing to 1,710 as the next support and declaring, "The market's extremely skittish."

But Grasso said the market last year handled tests of the 100-day well, so "Watch the amount of time that we remain below this 100-day."

Others, however, were a bit more optimistic.

"I think we're seeing a delayed January thing," Paul Richards said, predicting "I think we're gonna feel a lot better in 4 days' time."

Guest Shawn Matthews suggested, "There's a little more downside probably, but, in reality, it's becoming a stock-picker's market."

Pete Najarian thundered that while January sucked for most, "It was the best month I've ever had," and that this is a "great environment" for short-term trading.

Jon Najarian said the put-buying has come too late; "a lot of people caught flat-footed."

Stephanie Link, who's in last place at last check in the 2014 Playbook Playoffs, asserted, "I think volatility is gonna be here for a while," but she apparently still likes BAC, GOOG and OXY, the latter being a "special situation story."

Josh Brown stated that sentiment was a far bigger driver of stocks last year than earnings was, then got into a heated bickering match with Link as to whether there was much earnings growth last year as Link claims.

Brown stressed that XRT has taken it on the chin this year.

Rick Santelli said the 2014 market and bond activity is a reminder "past performance is no indication of future results."

Kara Swisher: Zuck is a
‘learning organism,’ has fixed
his ‘problems talking’

We know there's something contractual about CNBC promoting Re/Code and its star editor, Kara Swisher.

But the psycho-analysis on Monday's Halftime with no real obvious news peg was a bit bizarre.

Swisher said that Mark Zuckerberg "started off kind of jerky ... obnoxious even," and not only took an unfair battering over his choice of clothing, but "he had problems talking, he fixed that, or has fixed it as much as he can."

Swisher twice called Zuck a "learning organism" and said he's taken a "Dale Carnegie" approach.

Swisher suggested that Satya Nadella may not seem like an electrifying Microsoft CEO choice now but that the same was true for Bob Iger and John Donahoe, and look what they've done.

Pete Najarian called Nadella the "right choice" and said he never believed it was Mulally.

Josh Brown questioned Judge and Swisher's description of Nadella as "collaborative," opining, "I'm not sure how great it is to be a collaborative CEO," that you want someone to take charge, and "Steve Jobs is the ultimate example of that."

Swisher disagreed, pointing to Steven Ballmer's loudness amid his mistakes and calling him "such a bully."

Brown, who just recently was arguing that no youngsters use Facebook anymore, thinks the stock will "continue to be bought on dips" because of its "incredible organic growth" and because it has "pricing power coming out of their ears."

Swisher said AAPL still makes great products, but "I think it's just difficult to top themselves." Swisher was not asked to address Ronnie Moas' Foxconn concerns.

Doc: T radioactive

Stephanie Link half-heartedly argued on Monday's Halftime Report that T is one of those "defensive names" that is appealing now.

Jon Najarian countered that "T-Mobile, Steph, is why you don't wanna own any of 'em in the space," citing "mutually assured destruction" and declaring "this is a nuclear weapon thrown at the entire industry."

Najarian said the dividend is at risk, because margins are going to be under pressure, which Link argued is not the case.

Josh Brown said T could fall 5% right away and wipe out that dividend yield and is simply "not cheap enough to buy it."

Brown: TGT is a buy

Pete Najarian, hailing his great month of January on Monday's Halftime Report, said not everything sucks, "Some of these good stocks are getting swept down with the rest of them," and pointed to AOL with the hot July calls; "I'm holding onto my options."

Phil LeBeau reported "ugly, ugly" auto sales and noted, "All of these numbers, worse than expected," partly because of the weather.

Stephanie Link said "we were buying General Motors" and Cramer owns it higher, and they like GM over F.

Josh Brown pointed to the steep selling slowdown in the Chevy Silverado, "that can only be weather," and said if you're an "investor" it makes sense to buy the transports and vehicles on the selloff.

Pete Najarian agreed that airlines, while it makes sense they would sell on the weather problems, are "almost overdone."

Josh Brown said that the Russell 2000 was such an outperformer over the big caps in 2013 that at year-end it was a "no-brainer to make the switch."

Jon Najarian likes GS around 160, plus UAL, TWTR, FB and GDXJ.

Stephanie Link called POST's wellness theme "so brilliant" and made ABT her Final Trade.

Pete Najarian said MA was "unjustly sold off," he likes BA around 115, and "I think Pfizer's got a lot more room to the upside," that one being his Final Trade.

Josh Brown's Final Trade was TGT, shrugging off the data-breach fallout. "I think that's a short-term issue," he said, suggesting it's around a support level, though "you might not be buying the bottom here."

Judge botched time management, ending the show with 3 minutes in the bank.

Being early means you’re wrong

3 hours before kickoff of Super Bowl 48, and we're thrilled to say we're gonna nail it — Seattle over Denver in the Super Bowl.

That is, based on the playoff picks we made LAST year. (Note date above that top headline.)

Incredibly, we had Seattle over San Francisco in the NFC title game, then Seattle beating Denver in the Super Bowl. (We really missed on the Texans-Patriots, and on not giving the Ravens much credit, but whatever.)

Today, this page will refuse to make an official call, given that we just don't have a clue. It seems hard to believe that somehow Peyton Manning is not being handed a trophy amid the confetti around 10:15 p.m.; it just seems some want to will that to happen. Yet, it's equally hard to see John Fox accepting congrats (that feels more like a Pete Carroll situation), and while neither team figures to play that well away from home, Carroll and Russell Wilson are going to be far looser than the incredibly uptight Mike Holmgren and Matt Hasselbeck in 40. (Tip: Avoid Patty Edwards' Twitter stream for the next few days.)

In fact, more than anything, it feels like the pressure's on Manning.

So, we'll stand by our pick, a year early as often happens on Fast Money (there's a handy little grid below of last year's suggestions), which means we're wrong, but then again if it happens, it actually feels a little bit right.

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Fast Money cliches

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Movie of the week

♦ Bonnie and Clyde
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♦ She's Out of My League
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Movie review:
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Gordon Gekko:
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CNBC/cable TV
star bios

♦ Jim Cramer
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♦ Maria Bartiromo
♦ Lawrence Kudlow
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♦ Jane Wells
♦ Erin Burnett
♦ David Faber
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♦ Pete Najarian
♦ Jon Najarian
♦ Tim Seymour
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♦ Martha MacCallum
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♦ Terry Keenan
♦ Chrystia Freeland
♦ Christine Romans

CNBC guest bios

♦ Bill Gross
♦ Dennis Gartman
♦ Diane Swonk
♦ Meredith Whitney
♦ Richard X. Bove
♦ Arthur Laffer
♦ Jared Bernstein
♦ Doug Kass
♦ David Malpass
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♦ A. Gary Shilling
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♦ Jack Bouroudjian
♦ Stefan Abrams
♦ Warren Buffett