[CNBCfix Fast Money Review archive — February 2017]
[Tuesday, February 28, 2017]

Still wondering how one ‘subscribes’ to an iPad

Toni Sacconaghi on Tuesday's Halftime Report said AAPL tends to outperform the market on average by 1,600 basis points in the 6 months before a product launch.

Judge mentioned Buffett's large AAPL position "in and of itself" (sic redundant) (Drink).

Sacconaghi continued to harp on his curious notion of subscribing to iPads, something Judge never questions; Toni told Judge the risk to AAPL is that replacement cycles get pushed farther out because the products are not "true subscriptions."

Nothing to do here, move along

Steve Grasso and Dan Nathan on Tuesday's dud of a 5 p.m. Fast Money clashed over Donald Trump and Obamacare.

Both made quality points, honestly. (You can basically figure out which side each is on.)

But they buried the lede.

The current office-holder of the presidency of the United States is there because someone has to win. But there's nothing for him to do; no mandate for utterly anything. Same as with the last guy.

See, this is actually a good thing. It fits the Republican ideal nicely, keeping government restrained from screwing up everyone's life.

The problem is when national leaders get bored and decide to take on projects that no one is calling for, such as sending American boys to Asian jungles or Middle Eastern deserts.

There are things on the longtime Republican wish list that figure to be addressed. That's politics; that's fine. But those are all partisan measures unlikely to attain anywhere near the broad-based backing required to make anything happen in federal government. John Harwood accurately indicated as much on Tuesday's Halftime.

If Hillary Clinton had won with the same Democratic congressional advantages, that previous paragraph would still apply.

If the current occupant of the White House wants to discharge his political capital on a border tax, or building a wall, as the previous occupant did on health insurance, OK, not our favorite idea, not sure why it's so important suddenly, but whatever.

If instead he discharges it playing chess games of American troops — which might well be the case with this mysterious Yemen raid — then he should be run out of office by the time the next balloting comes around.

Tuesday night, he insisted to the world, "I just spoke to our great General Mattis just now who reconfirmed that, and I quote, 'Ryan was a part of a highly successful raid that generated large amounts of vital intelligence that will lead to many more victories in the future against our enemy.'"

Some of us will be keeping a scorecard.

CNBC promoted the Target interview as though they had found Bigfoot

Pete Najarian on Tuesday's Halftime said the TGT guidance was "awful."

Joe Terranova predicted THC will have longer-term "resistance" to selling.

Josh Brown said AMD will be volatile, but he wants to use the selling as an opportunity to buy more.

Jon Najarian said VRX sellers started in immediately when the numbers came out.

Sarat Sethi said PCLN bodes well for airlines and the travel stocks.

Steph Link said the Fidelity news shouldn't be that surprising and said she likes the online brokers anyway because fee pricing is not the bread and butter of the industry.

Jeff Kilburg predicted an upside breakout in crude. But Jim Iuorio, who doesn't need the man-fur this winter, predicted crude will find the lower end of its range again, 51½.

Judge suggested President Trump, or at least "someone" in the White House, is aware that Sen. Rand Paul is not a "her" of the Consumer Reports auto picks; Phil LeBeau wasn't really buying it.

Josh Brown said to keep homebuilder stocks on your radar screen.

Joe Terranova reiterated his BAC 25 calls and hung $100 on V.

Judge refers to Sen. Rand Paul as ‘her’ (snicker)

Judge opened Tuesday's Halftime asking for thoughts about Donald Trump's big speech.

Jon Najarian offered, citing options activity in companies with a lot of overseas cash, "I think he's gonna hit repatriation hard."

Joe Terranova said the key is for financials and tech not to roll over.

Sarat Sethi said it'll be an "issue" if Trump starts complaining about Congress or the media. (But not about the Oscars or city of Chicago.)

Josh Brown said he's better at analyzing reactions than making predictions; he said if Trump gives the market everything it wants but the market still sells off Wednesday, that's a risk.

John Harwood reported, "President Trump's agenda is in deep trouble across the board." (Translation: There's really nothing to do.)

Then Judge brought in Orrin Hatch, who wouldn't take a stand on the border tax but admitted he has "some real reservations about it." (Further translation: There's really nothing to do.)

Hatch said Democrats oppose everything Trump and haven't even given him a "period of goodwill."

Hatch did suggest the State Department might be a little bloated. "There's a lot of dead wood over at the State Department that really hasn't been doing the job for our, for our nation," Hatch said.

Hectored by Judge repeatedly on whether Obamacare can be repealed without a replacement plan, Hatch repeatedly insisted they just need to keep the "monies flowing."

Hatch also said they need a "bipartisan solution" (snicker).

Joe Terranova said the problem with the interview is that it seemed we're not getting a narrative of "civility" and getting things done ahead of the speech.

Pete Najarian said with a straight face he buys Sen. Hatch's notion of keeping the "monies" in place during an Obamacare repeal process before a solution is reached, and people shouldn't expect an "instantaneous" solution from our government.

Judge declared, "There's no way the Republicans are going to, to, to repeal Obamacare and, and risk breaking it and owning it."

Josh grumbled about word games, stating, "If you repeal it and keep funding it, you didn't repeal it."

More from Tuesday's Halftime later.

[Monday, February 27, 2017]

Judge sinks show from the outset with old news (according to Weiss) about Tepper

Flatter than a pancake.

Judge led Monday's Halftime into a 20-minute quagmire on bonds, panelists finding nothing to talk about.

The hook was Judge's off-the-air chat with Dave Tepper, who apparently told Judge that stocks and bonds might be representing "2 different economies" (sic not to be confused with John Edwards' 2 Americas).

Weiss said Warren Buffett and Tepper are saying the same thing about bonds not looking great, then chiding Judge, said Tepper has "been saying it for a while; I'm glad you finally got to it today."

Jim Lebenthal said what's happening in the bond market "doesn't make sense."

Joe Terranova pointed out that the 10-year yield is a lot higher than on Election Day, then, in a Faye Dunaway type of moment, stated that Jeffrey Gundlach was predicting sub-2.0% 10-year.

Erin Browne said there's a "disconnect" between stocks and bonds, which makes her more cautious on stocks.

"Bonds are in a bear market," Weiss said.

Jon Najarian said Weiss is "nice enough" to report regularly on Tepper's thoughts but where Doc thinks Tepper is wrong is Tepper's opinion on catalysts from European rate policy, which Doc insists hasn't changed. Judge said Tepper is merely observing that it's "still" a loose policy around the world.

Joe asserted, "2 and 20 does not work. There are way too- too many managers."

Buying LMT, not just because of fighter jets but nuke missiles

Ike Boruchow on Monday's Halftime Report suggested there might be a light at the end of the retail tunnel; "February's meaningless," he asserted, and tax refunds are being delayed and there's also a late Easter (which we think has never been a catalyst even though people always talk about it).

Boruchow mentioned some discount retailers. Judge suggested Boruchow's outlook is disproportionately bright; "He doesn't have to worry about the department stores because he doesn't cover them."

Doc said he thinks LB is still "way too cheap." He thinks RL is still cheap, but he sold out of his RH.

Grasping for an opening to mention JCP, Jim Lebenthal said retailers are doing what a troubled sector does, downsizing/right-sizing.

Steve Weiss said the phone subsidies for iPhones aren't going away for at least a few years.

Joe Terranova said he owns NOC "because it screens well when you look at it from a technical capacity," and then there's the balance sheet and management strategies.

Doc said he likes RTN for the "cloaking" of radar, which is "the closest thing you'll see Judge to something like 'Star Trek.'" Weiss touted OA. Josh Brown hailed WWD, which has a "breakout in progress." Jim Lebenthal singled out LMT, pointing out LMT's Trident is "the newest and most sophisticated of our nuclear missiles."

Meg Tirrell pointed out how JNJ is trying to get ahead of the drug-pricing story. Tirrell acknowledged to Josh Brown that pharmaceuticals are "hoping" that all they have to do is announce new jobs at Mar-a-Lago, and no one will care about the prices of their drugs.

Jeff Kilburg said crude seems "destined" to 57. Scott Nations said 55.24 is the next key level.

Joe hung a 25 on BAC. Jim Lebenthal seemed to recommend AVGO. Erin Browne is short the XME.

[Friday, February 24, 2017]

There’s ‘a lot of volatility,’ and apparently a correction next Wednesday

In the category of Loopy Pessimism That Only Drives This Market Higher, we can now include Jon Najarian.

Doc on Friday's Halftime halfheartedly protested "I am still bullish" (actually, he generally is, and rightly so, which makes this call even stranger) but suggested a correction might be due next week, citing … Donald Trump's speech to Congress.

Judge asked Doc what there is to fear from that speech.

Doc actually said, "If he forgets that it's CPAC (sic meant "not CPAC") that he's speaking to." But then he said, "I don't think he's gonna forget."

But apparently it's going to cause a selloff regardless.

Meanwhile, Judge told Kate Moore there's "some people" who see an "overoptimism" in the market. (And how's Carl's "Day of Reckoning" working out?)

At least some weren't buyin' it. Jim Lebenthal said at some point, a correction will occur, but he admitted, "I don't know when … I don't think you can figure that out."

That matches Karen Finerman the other night on Fast Money, challenging Tim Seymour to call both the top and the re-entry point of the short-term market correctly.

Another skeptic was Pete Najarian. "Today's big pullback is 47 points. FORTY-SEVEN POINTS!" gushed Pete.

Stephanie Link actually claimed, "There's a lot of uncertainty; there's a lot of volatility."

"I also think the European elections are very important," said Link.

Honestly, this market feels like 1998 or even 1995, there's a level of giddiness over finally having a pro-stock market presidency that probably hasn't occurred this century, coincidentally while rates and unemployment are highly favorable and there's no unwind of anything in progress that must be completed first. Nobody believes stocks will keep going up week after week even though they basically are, which is why the peak is nowhere in sight; every dip is gonna get bought and at some point we're going to see some really wacky speculation, at which point it'll be time to call Meredith Whitney.

But we ain't there yet.

Along those lines, Robert Buckland on Friday's Halftime cited for bullishness the percentage of "global market capital that's taken out," stating it was around 9-10% in 2000 and around 9% in 2007 and currently is around 6%, so companies haven't gone whole hog into this market yet. His year-end target is 2,425; we'll take the over on that bet.

Pete Najarian said he doesn't know that you can be a "raging bull" right now. But Stephanie Link said you can make the case that "companies are more confident." Link, who thinks there's "a lot of volatility," said the rally was broadening out into health care, staples and utilities.

Jim Lebenthal said "there's no indication" of a recession in the U.S. or elsewhere, "hence no bear market."

One permanent bull market happens to be Karen Finerman (above), who's celebrating a new number on Saturday.

‘Obama would always show up late, lecture ’em and leave’

Updating his short situation, Andrew Left on Friday's Halftime said that in December, he thought NVDA would eventually fall to 90; on Friday, he saw it near 96 and figured he wouldn't be exactly right, so he closed the short and said he turned his focus to MBLY, a "one-trick pony."

Left said Mobileye is no longer a front-runner, "everyone has caught up to them," and that it's not just him but the insiders who are selling.

"When the CEO sells more stock in a year than the company invests in R&D, investors should be wary," Left said.

Left told Pete Najarian that in the future, "They are not even close to being the leader in autonomous."

Doc said he has "no interest" in NVDA. (This writer is long NVDA, even though the story's all over now according to Guy Adami because the Nomura guy wrote a "thoughtful" note the other day.) Pete said he got "a little bit fortunate" in MBLY but missed the big run.

Left may well be right about MBLY, but we didn't detect enough of a catalyst from his comments.

Consumers are ‘gravitating towards the big-box stores’

Dangling some red meat for the bears, Eric Chemi on Friday's Halftime Report said 28 companies in the S&P 500 have been losers since the election and since the inauguration. (There wasn't any mention of Jeffrey Gundlach's call that the top would be in by Inauguration Day.)

It's worth noting that Ron Johnson, who rightly took a lot of ribbing on Fast Money/Halftime during his monstrous tenure at JCPenney (just change the name; the stores will do a lot better), gave a great interview on Thursday's 5 p.m. Fast Money and suggested the problem with retail stocks isn't so much the internet, but Amazon, and that the survivors/winners will be the ones who can cope.

Jim Lebenthal on Friday's Halftime, perhaps in denial, said JCP "didn't miss by much," and he thought they "guided very well." Jim said "there's no good answer" for the "nonsense" selloff; he thinks it's a great buy.

Pete Najarian pushed back at Stephanie Link that JWN is growing the Rack and online, but Link said the store comps are down 7%.

Jon Najarian said FL had a "phenomenal" quarter.

Doc hailed the RH gain that this page mocked a day ago. Gotta admit, it was a great call. Also gotta admit, Doc suggested a few days ago "why not" plunge into LB ahead of earnings, which wasn't exactly the greatest call.

Stephanie Link questioned why Berenberg was picking on GS when it's actually not the best-performing big bank. Pete Najarian mocked the downgrade and said the analyst went from a neutral to a sell but a price target from 140 to 190. Pete suggested C might play catchup (Drink) (snicker). Link likes STI.

Link said you've got time to buy HPE (Zzzzzzz) if you want it.

Doc said he likes the new biography of Elon Musk, and Musk is why he likes TSLA. Jim Lebenthal pointed out that in terms of market cap per car, TSLA is 60 times the valuation of GM.

Scott Nations said OPEC production cuts are "finally turning the tide." Brian Stutland said he'd probably be a crude seller over 55 and would look to buy around 52.

Pete Najarian said someone was interested in the GLD September 127 calls. Doc said NUS June 50 puts were popular; "I followed 'em."

Link likes LLY. Jim touted big pharma. Doc said to watch LB based on its recovery Friday. Kate Moore, who had a quiet show, touted emerging markets.

[Thursday, February 23, 2017]

Halftime and Fast Money:
Chock-ful of guys calling the end of the bull market (date above was Aug. 17, 2016)

If it weren't for the "manufacturing" CEOs, the highlight of Thursday's Halftime Report would've been newest CNBC superfox Leslie Picker's report on ValueAct's Jeff Ubben.

Picker said Ubben is calling this market "bad stuff" and warned of inflation. But Picker said he made a double on MS from last summer.

Stephen Weiss said Ubben is only 20% in cash, so it's a case of playing stocks, not playing the market, an observation that brought a parade of agreement as panelists suggested with a straight face that single stocks will work but averages won't.

Jon Najarian said "broad-market participation … is exactly what I don't want. I want stock-specific exposure." He mentioned RL and RH (snicker). And then later in the show, he said he likes 84 calls in SMH, even though he says he wants "stock-specific exposure."

Jim Lebenthal said, "What Jon was saying is absolutely right — don't throw money at the market overall but buy the cheap stocks and sell the expensive ones." But then he indicated he's going to keep holding BA, which has a P.E. of 23.

Weiss said Ubben is a deep-value investor, that's why he's not impressed by this market.

Weiss pointed to X's doubling and insisted "there's no basis for that."

Pete Najarian predicted tech stocks "hit a pause for a while," then take the "next leg up."

The 5 p.m. Fast Money momentum traders were already bailing on NVDA (this writer is long NVDA) while Carter Worth predicted an 8-10% drop in semiconductors. We'll take the other side of both shows' momentum guys who don't seem to get it on any day when Judge isn't waving pages of 52-week highs (or believe their own comments about animal spirits) and predict a correction every other day and don't realize this market's giddy about the end of the Obama years and on autopilot for at least the near future. By the way, how's Carl's "Day of Reckoning" working out (funny you don't hear about that anymore since he started advising the president).

Pete Najarian also knocked Ubben for mentioning volatility even though that wasn't heard on the show. Weiss argued volatility isn't as useful as it once was; Pete disagreed.

Karen’s birthday Saturday

On Thursday's Halftime, CNBC's Eamon Javers turned in a yeoman performance of chasing down "manufacturing" CEOs who were leaving the White House (even though it was fairly clear he recognized hardly any of them besides Immelt and Fields) and even showing a side view of the White House grounds that viewers don't often get.

Javers elicited upbeat remarks from Jeff Immelt and Mark Fields until Javers asked Fields, "What'd you tell the president about immigration?"

Fields responded, "Sorry we gotta go."

Jeff Immelt said they actually talked about "education" with Trump. (During Squawk Alley while the meeting was occurring, Immelt was prompted by Donald Trump to tell a story about Donald Trump hitting a hole in one, only to have Trump say that Immelt misquoted him.)

Jim Lebenthal said that, based on Mario Longhi's comments later, Trump is going to take on the Chinese "head on."

No question, the most successful element of the Trump presidency has been CEO meetings. The techies might've been rolling their eyes, but the rest of them all sound more legitimately enthusiastic than folks did under the last 2 administrations.

Elsewhere, Jeff Kilburg and Jim Iuorio suggested possible $1,300 for gold; Jim cited "worry" about the French election. (Um, we're sorta thinking the selling-the-upset-protectionist-election-victory trade is kinda dead.)

Doc said someone bought a "huge put spread" in the IWM, apparently to get a little hedged. Steve Weiss said he bought the 135 puts recently "and lost a lot of money on 'em." (But now he says you should just play stocks and not the market.)

Pete Najarian predicted an ORCL breakout at Halftime and 5 p.m. Weiss touted SXL.

Halftime gang: Obama ‘actively anti-business,’ would ‘lecture’ CEOs and leave without listening

2017: The Year of Euphoria continued or even hit overdrive on Thursday's Halftime as Judge's panel unleashed 8 (or more) years of pent-up political frustration on … Barack Obama.

After some crackerjack reporting by CNBC's Eamon Javers on the White House grounds as CEOs exited Donald Trump's manufacturing meeting, the Halftime gang noted the glee coming from Andrew Liveris and certain others.

Jon Najarian mentioned Liveris' statement and said, "It'll be interesting to see how many media outlets cover that statement Scott," adding that those CEOs are saying something "diametrically opposed to what we're fed a daily dose of."

Scott responded, "We're not talking about other media organizations here, OK. We're only talking about the way that we frame the conversation."

Doc said it's fine for Donald Trump to use the Dow as a scorecard; Doc said Barack Obama, in his last press conference, "was pounding his chest" about the stock market and mentioned it "at least 3 times."

Jim Lebenthal said Doc was being "charitable" to say that the previous administration "didn't know what it was doing." Rather, "I think it was actively anti-business."

Steve Weiss said that he heard "directly" from a CEO of a large company that when this person had meetings with President Barack Obama, "Obama would always show up late, that's OK, president's got a lot to do, but would lecture 'em and leave. … That's one story, but I've heard others."

Pete gushed about Andrew Liveris' Founding Fathers comments. Judge brought in Mario Longhi, but Longhi's answers could barely be heard over some other fellow talking near him.

More from Thursday's Halftime later.

[Wednesday, February 22, 2017]

Someone’s birthday
is Saturday

It's perhaps our favorite week of the Fast Money year — the week when we get to announce, with plenty of advance notice, the birthday of a Fast Money VIP.

That birthday occurs this Saturday.

That doesn't make it a sure thing for a program celebration; presumably/hopefully, if this person is on the Friday panel, there will be a cake with candles.

In case you don't know who it is, here's a tip: "She" on Wednesday's 5 p.m. Fast Money heartily endorsed GOOGL.

On that program, Tim Seymour declared, "We haven't been this overbought since 2010."

But Karen Finerman wasn't buying Seymour's once-again-scattershot notions of maybe trading around the peaks and valleys of this market, stating it seems "very very hard" to correctly time both the exit and re-entry of a stock position.

"I don't see overbought," shrugged Pete Najarian, pointing to earnings. Pete said he still likes CSCO even though he took his options off. He also said there was "huge upside buying" in NKE.

Pete made an extended bull case for CRM. (This writer is long CRM.) Karen Finerman questioned if CRM might be an acquisition target. Pete said there's no reason it couldn't be, but "that would be a pretty big one to swallow right now." (Why? It's only about double the size of mighty LinkedIn.)

Guy Adami said JACK is in "no-man's land." Susan Li said LB's guidance was "much worse than expected." Karen Finerman said it's a company "in flux," and "I wouldn't jump in right away," though ultimately she thinks the management team will figure it out.

At the end of the show, Karen said that while gentlemen want to rescue "damsels in distress," don't buy LB just yet.

CAVM analyst a dollar or two short of extra publicity

Pete Najarian on Wednesday's Halftime Report hailed the bullish MKM chip call, but Kourtney Gibson said Loop Capital was bullish in December when its analyst, Betsy, moved the sector "8 or 9%" by initiating coverage.

Jon Najarian spent a lot of time pointing out how Samsung's struggles could be an easing headwind and agreed "these stocks have a lot more room."

Joe Terranova said the chip run started with the 2016 CES emphasis on AI. He touted TXN and said he bought NVDA last week, which he's "holding onto for a trade."

But someone was actually selling not for where the stock is going but because of where the stock came from. Steve Weiss said he bought CAVM in the 40s (Brag Trade) and "actually sold a little bit of it the other day" because of the gain.

Judge told Weiss the MKM analyst thinks CAVM can get to 77. Weiss suggested that when it's an analyst initiating coverage, sometimes he or she reaches high in terms of price targets to get attention. But Gibson said the Loop analyst is a dollar higher.

Gibson called INTC the "sleeper name" in the space.

Joe mentioned NXPI and said it has "further roomside (sic) to the upside."

Judge suggests activists have been in ‘risk-off’ mode

In a choppy, clumsy, forced beginning to Wednesday's Halftime, Judge struggled to explain what Carl Icahn's interest in BMY means for … anything else in the world.

Meg Tirrell reported there's only a "small number" of companies that could buy BMY.

But Jon Najarian said a price over $100 billion isn't off-limits to some potential buyers.

Stephen Weiss said he got in the stock because it used to be a very crowded trade, and then everyone got out, so the risk was minimal.

CNBC's gorjus Leslie Picker, who's on all the time now, said that in the activist space, "It feels really busy."

Ken Squire said activist investors took only a "very small bit of a hiatus."

But Judge actually claimed to Picker and Squire that maybe it's been a "risk-off environment for some period of time."

Squire noted Valeant was "a bad advertisement" for activism for 6 months.

As to what this means for folks watching this on TV, Weiss said, "By definition, you can't just cherry-pick the ones to follow."

By definition?

Weiss at least shot down Judge's persistent argument that activists such as Icahn haven't done anything recently, rattling off investments in HLF and HTZ. Weiss predicted a "massive pickup" in M&A from private equity.

Pete: WMT ‘killing it’ online

Playing Kensho, Kourtney Gibson on Wednesday's Halftime said the S&P 500 yesterday passed 90 days without a daily decline worse than 1%.

Asking fellow panelists for guesses (none really wanted to play along), Gibson said it hasn't happened since 2006.

Jon Najarian said there's been a "shoveling" of "bad news" in various forms of media telling us how bad things are, but look at the market.

Joe "big-box" Terranova somehow contended that "everyone seems dismissive of earnings." Judge snapped, "No one's dismissive of earnings." Joe said the European recovery is faster than anyone imagined.

Doc said the regulation rollback is a "certainty." But he said the tax plan will "unleash" further animal spirits" even though "we don't know" what'll be in it.

Steve Weiss said DD is well-positioned for a global recovery.

Doc said TOL is performing great.

Pete Najarian said WMT is "killing it" in e-commerce and said it's going higher. Joe said WMT is called a "big-box" store.

Joe lamented buying the top tick of TJX in August and thought Tuesday morning's guidance "pretty weak."

Kourtney Gibson said FB has no competition. Doc said WhatsApp is going to kill whatever Snap is going to do.

Doc said February 27.50 CREE calls were being bought in "big numbers." He said he's "in there with 'em."

Pete said there was "extremely aggressive" buying in QVCA April 22 calls.

Kari "pent-up demand for SBUX coffee" Firestone said SCHW is her newest financial pick. One of her arguments was that the stock has "no problem with border adjustment taxes." Doc said he likes the stock but that SCHW threw a "grenade" at online brokerage pricing.

Judge read a tweet that served as another ad for Interactive Brokers. Pete endorsed E-Trade because it bought OptionMonster.

Weiss said he likes and still owns LUK.

Scott Nations said the market expects inflation to be much more tame than the dollar rise indicates. Jeff Kilburg said the 10-year yield's in a range and that the Fed isn't as hawkish as maybe some think.

[Tuesday, February 21, 2017]

Bubble brewing — in CNBCers’ anecdotes about hearing regular Joes ask about stocks

On Tuesday's 5 p.m. Fast Money, Guy Adami said you should buy this market, it will grind higher as long as the IWM stays over 130.

Karen Finerman, rarely if ever looking better, said, "I think you don't buy stocks here. I think you buy protection here."

After analyzing every angle of the rally, Tim Seymour said the 86 RSI is "way overbought."

Guest host Sully said a friend of his got a question from a mid-30s friend of that friend (that's correct, 2nd-derivative anecdote) who has "never owned a stock in his life" but wondered what stock he should buy. Sully said that made him wonder if the newbies out there are "gonna regret it." Which ranks up there with Judge's report about the former Heisman winners in December.

Joe says it’s time to roll into energy equities, then says it’s only time for ‘consideration’

In the day's most controversial call, Joe Terranova on Tuesday's Halftime asked himself if he should roll out of technology into energy equities and answered the question "yes."

"I don't agree on the energy trade," said Kevin O'Leary, who is also "completely done" with small, regional banks.

Jonathan Krinsky likes old tech and like O'Leary, but unlike Joe, suggests selling energy names.

Walking back from his early commentary, Joe responded that you merely have to give "consideration" to rotating into energy names now. "I'm not in them yet," Joe assured twice.

Steph Link though said she started adding to CVX. She also likes WMB. Jon Najarian said there's been "very strong activity" in COP and CVX.

"I'm out of the bond proxies," Joe said.

Mark Cuban would probably delete his ‘animal spirits’ comment if it had been a tweet

As he's prone to do, Judge on Tuesday's Halftime held up 2 sheets of paper purportedly showing all the market's new 52-week highs.

Stephanie Link said part of the rally is Trump excitement, but also, "Global economies are getting better." And, she said, the market "started to go up before Trump got elected" (Drink).

Link said she doesn't know how you can be negative on CAT, CMI or DE if you believe in the commodities cycle.

Kevin O'Leary said the next inflection point for the market will be the president's speech that will hopefully "detail with some spicefity (sic pronunciation)" about the tax agenda.

O'Leary asserted that the VAT is "dead in the water."

Joe Terranova said he'd look at financial managers, insurers and the exchanges in the financial space. Joe said he'd be more of a seller than buyer of COF.

Finally given a chance, Doc quoted Paul Samuelson and said he disagrees with Mark Cuban about the "animal spirits" and predicted a "continued surge into these stocks."

Jonathan Krinsky said the bearish argument has been that the market is "overbought," but the uptrend is strong, and it's really hard to predict such a pullback.

Retailers with impressive locations can probably monetize those better than mall locations

Matt Boss said on Tuesday's Halftime Report that same-store sales and the Dillards report cast doubt over M.

"I haven't seen any reason to step into the department stores," Boss said.

Boss twice said "80% of, of sales right now are taking place at brick and mortar," and Amazon's only getting stronger.

As for Macy's and other big operators and the potential real-estate play, he said "flagship properties" are more monetizable than perhaps the mall properties.

Boss did tout FL as the "diversified" play in athletic apparel.

Stephanie Link said for the 2nd time on the show she likes AMZN.

Link also touted NKE (Drink) but said she trimmed some TGT into strength Tuesday.

Pete Najarian called EBAY "very, very interesting." Pete said he sold HD because it "might feel a little bit stretched" and advised waiting for a pullback.

Doc said he likes TJX, and he also likes LB near the 52-week lows.

Later in the show, Joe "energy equities consideration" Terranova tried to contend that consumers are "gravitating towards the big-box stores."

Judge said, "It depends which big box you're talking about; we just got done saying they're like running away in droves from big boxes."

"Well does the performance of the stock show that? I don't think so," Joe said, pointing to WMT.

Wow. Redo of iPads.

Kevin O'Leary on Tuesday's Halftime Report rattled off several reasons to buy AAPL and asserted, "People are really diggin' the 8."

Jon Najarian said there's a rumor that Apple might unleash a "red iPhone" (oh joy) at its March event as well as a "redo of the iPads."

Pete Najarian trumpeted Katy Huberty's AAPL boost from 150 to 154.

Doc said someone was buying October 15 calls in PBI. He said he'll probably be in the trade for a month or two.

Doc also said he's in RL calls of some sort. Pete said he's long UNP stock and calls, for short-term and long-term buying.

MSFT can’t buy ADBE until it’s digested its $26 billion LNKD deal

Joe Terranova on Tuesday's Halftime Report said the "real story" in the PLKI talks is M&A.

Anthony Grisanti said winter hasn't been cold enough to help nat gas, and he's looking for 2.50. Pete Najarian touted AMJ again.

Jon Najarian said FCX was down on heavy volume.

Judge brought up SHW; Joe said he should've bought it and held onto it.

Steph Link bought more WLK.

Joe Terranova mentioned strength in FUN.

Steph Link said she owns GD. Pete Najarian touted SWK. Joe said he loves ADBE and wonders "when is Microsoft gonna buy them?"

Doc suggested RTN was likely off Donald Trump's radar.

[Friday, February 17, 2017]

Mark Cuban has never heard anything more ridiculous in his life than ‘animal spirits’

It all depends on what "animal spirits" means. (Or maybe what "earnings" means.)

Sparring with star guest Mark Cuban, Kevin O'Leary on Friday's Halftime said it took Donald Trump to "unleash the animal spirits again that have been dormant for a decade."

"The whole concept of animal spirits is the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard in my life," Cuban scoffed.

"You're witnessing it right now. P.E.s have expanded right across the market. Earnings haven't changed, just P.E.s," O'Leary asserted.

That exchange split the hapless panel, who had to sit for an hour to deliver about 3 soundbites.

Josh Brown backed the "animal spirits" notion and said, "Without a doubt, people are feeling more dangerous, more sexy, more willing to take risk."

But Rob Sechan disagreed with O'Leary and Brown that "animal spirits" have returned because "tons" of investors remain "paralyzed." Sechan also told O'Leary that "earnings are increasing" at a 0-0-11 clip.

Mark Cuban makes sure people know he deleted a tweet

Generally speaking, deleted tweets tend to be those that people wish had never been posted and would like everyone to think never existed.

Evidently, Judge let the cat out of the bag on Friday's Halftime, prompting Mark Cuban to admit that one of his tweets quoted by Judge was, in fact, deleted.

Judge said Cuban has been "sparring" with the president, quoting Cuban as tweeting, "It's time we accept POTUS for who he is. He is entertaining, he is oblivious. He isn't smart enough to be dangerous." Then Judge said Cuban posted another tweet with a Pinocchio reference.

Cuban chuckled, "I deleted the first tweet because I thought the Pinocchio tweet said it better."

Hmmmmmm. If he deleted the first tweet, it probably had less to do with the 2nd one being better and more to do with suddenly being uncomfortable with "isn't smart enough" or "dangerous" or both. (Keep in mind, this fellow has never heard anything more ridiculous in life than "animal spirits," so he might be a little prone to hyperbole.)

Cuban's chief beef seems to be that Trump is promising more factory jobs while technology is actually causing fewer factory jobs, and Trump doesn't seem to get that.

Then there's the blame game. "All these leaks that he's concerned about. Those aren't a failure of those individuals. He's responsible for those people. Those are failures of leadership, and he refuses to admit it," Cuban said.

Then, meeting the show's quota for a Mad Money cross-reference, Cuban added, "Jim Cramer said it best. He said the market doesn't seem to care if Mike Pence is named president."

Later, Cuban tried to turn the tables on Kevin O'Leary's own characterization of the president, telling O'Leary, "You called him an idiot!"

"I never called him an idiot. Never," O'Leary insisted.

"Yes you did!" Cuban said, before clarifying, "I'm not disrespecting the office; I'm disrespecting the person."

Judge says first month of presidency has been ‘maybe sloppy’

Judge introduced Friday's Halftime promising a celebration of active investing … then gave the whole program to presidential critic Mark Cuban.

Except it was Kevin O'Leary playing Defender in Chief after a most curious press conference a day earlier.

O'Leary told Cuban that substantively, Trump might be OK. "Every administration going through a transition has gaffes … a lot of your criticisms are stylistic," O'Leary said while complaining that people at one of O'Leary's Texas speeches were complaining that Cuban is being too hard on the president.

"As far as, 'Well Mark, people are critical of you,' you think I care?" Cuban said.

"Are you too critical on style over substance?" O'Leary persisted.

Judge told O'Leary that he has to admit that the Trump presidency has been "clumsy" so far, "maybe sloppy."

O'Leary, who said "at the end of the day" (Sextuple Drink) at least 7 times, went on nevertheless to grumble about the border tax. Cuban correctly noted that O'Leary was making Cuban's point, complaining about a chassis being taxed crossing a border 7 times.

Cuban admitted there's "less volatility than I would've expected" in stocks. Judge pointed out that CEOs have praised Trump's meetings. "More kudos to President Trump for, for sitting there and talking to them," Cuban grudgingly said.

Stephen Weiss said of Trump, "It was lack of stability and rational thought process throughout the entire press conference."

Cuban agreed with Weiss that if tax reform stumbles, the market will sell, but as long as the administration seems to be executing on its agenda, the market will keep going.

Josh Brown said he agrees with Cuban on the president's ignorance of technology. "Every time Trump goes 'Mexico,' it's so ridiculous …" Brown said, stating the "real issue" is "automation."

Rob Sechan said he's bullish because this is a "self-sustaining recovery."

In other (meager) stock-picking/commodity news, Jeff Kilburg said there are rumors of OPEC extending cuts. But Anthony Grisanti suggested possible crude weakness over the next couple of weeks.

In his lone soundbite, Jim Lebenthal touted JCP again (snicker) (yawn).

[Thursday, February 16, 2017]

Karen wears striking red-black ensemble in much-anticipated return; Mel promises improvement

On Thursday's 5 p.m. Fast Money, we expected more commentary about the Donald Trump press conference, but in fact that portion of the show was rather limited.

Karen Finerman, back after several days off with a new hairstyle, contended the markets have overdone expectations of tax reform. "We've heard this tax thing multiple times. I'm not buyin' it right now," Finerman said.

We discovered afterward that at least one tweeter was not happy, telling Finerman, "@karenfinerman I don't tune in to #fastmoney to hear your political opinions and negativity #enoughAlready."

Karen insisted, "it's not a political opinion it's about the likelihood of reform getting done."

That tweeter might've instead targeted Dan Nathan, who on the same program twice said it's "laughable" that the president is "ringing the bell at the stock market all-time highs."

But Pete Najarian pointed out, "People are nervous to be short in this market right now."

In a sign that Twitter's PR handler is doing a better job than its ad sales folks, Melissa Lee issued a correction: "In referring to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey's purchase of $7 million worth of stock, we also noted that Dorsey had sold 125 million shares (sic wrong) worth of stock in May of 2016. That was not correct. He did not sell those shares. He in fact gifted those shares back to his employees. We regret the error and promise to do better for you guys out there" (unclear which "guys" she was talking about).

Leslie Picker (below) (who met her husband on a blind date), CNBC's newest superfox (unless she started before Ylan Mui), graced Thursday's show in gray with a Snap update.

Josh: TWTR board members don’t even use the product; Joe says it wasn’t clear TWTR had no buyer until Dorsey bought $7 million worth of shares

Anthony Noto spoke with Jim Cramer, and Thursday's Halftime Report crew was not the least bit impressed.

Judge aired a clip of Noto telling Cramer that apparently, digital chieftains are a year behind the times, as Noto claimed, "Advertisers are using our audience and our audience size from 6 to 12 months ago."

Josh Brown said, "I like Noto; I-, I, I don't think- I don't think what he's saying is the truth."

Judge asked, "What does it say, in and of itself (sic all 4 of those words redundant)," that Twitter put out its "biggest horse" on Wall Street to speak to Cramer, and the stock's still down 1%.

Joe Terranova curiously claimed Twitter longs are "relying on" people actually "paying for the product," which doesn't seem a reality, and also it's the "wrong move" for Jack Dorsey to buy the stock because it confirms there's "no buyer" of the company.

Josh Brown said, "Oh I disagree," and Pete Najarian thundered in, "I disagree as well."

"We already know there's no buyer," Brown and Pete said.

"They shopped it to everyone on earth, Joe, publicly, it didn't work," Josh added.

"They don't have confirmation of it though," Joe responded. "There's no confirmation until he actually goes out and buys the shares. Now you know there's confirmation, there's no buyer," Joe said.

Pete said the problem is that Dorsey should've bought 7 million shares, not $7 million worth of shares.

Steve Weiss said it's no accident that Noto spoke on a day that Snap set its price range.

Josh Brown uncorked another problem with Twitter. "You have board members of this company that don't tweet. It's unbelievable," Josh said.

Pete said the big competition for Snap is WhatsApp, then conceded he meant Instagram.

Weiss says there’s a bubble, then says there’s no bubble

Thursday's Halftime Report frittered away quality minutes showing an empty podium. However, to his credit, Judge manufactured some quality commentary even with the cameras on the White House.

Joe Terranova said the robust market action of a day earlier was "a significant short squeeze."

Stephen Weiss first told Judge that tax-reform hopes have "created the bubble," then he immediately said, "I don't think it's a bubble. At all. There's no bubble."

Josh Brown said not to get "overly concerned" with the market possibly being on a fading streak; when it's had streaks before, the bull market continued even after the streaks ended.

Pete Najarian said, "I think there are still some bubbles," mentioning "utilities and some of the others."

JPMorgan's Jason Hunter admitted his note's headline, that we're entering the "acceleration phase" of the rally, is "sensational."

Hunter said it's a "very good sign" that value and growth are rallying together. He said his "base case" is 2,450 for 2017. However, while Hunter spoke eloquently, we're not really sure what his position is other than the market seems OK.

"Jason lookin' like a young Ben Bernanke," Weiss said.

Josh Brown said the market isn't perfect; "I don't think we're, we're talkin' Goldilocks here."

Joe contended, and Josh agreed ("gambler's fallacy"), that betting against trends simply because something has gone up significantly is the wrong move, pointing to oil going from $50 to $147 years ago, suggesting that as people bet against it, it creates "one helluva move to the upside."

As far as the presidential remarks, afterwards on Power Lunch, Tyler Mathisen declared, "Today he redefined the art and nature of the presidential press conference in my view."

AAPL surfaces; DIS, NKE don’t

Josh Brown on Thursday's Halftime warned viewers against trying to find Apple derivative plays because those suppliers are in the "caboose" and indicate whatever slowness AAPL might have a quarter late, and by the way, there's people with boots on the ground in Taiwan "that will school you" on those trades.

Judge rightly hectored Brown over why he likes NVDA so much then. Brown said NVDA is a lot more than an AAPL play.

Pete Najarian said he's been watching CRUS closely and sees an opportunity "somewhere around 50."

Josh touted JPM and V as $100 stocks that are masquerading as $80-something stocks.

Josh said "it's no wonder" WEN is falling; high multiple with slow growth.

Joe Terranova said TRIP's plan hasn't worked well and that EXPE and PCLN are better.

Steve Weiss said he bought KATE and the stock looks attractive.

Pete Najarian said CSCO is "going towards 35."

Pete said 9 calls in AKS expiring next week were popular.

Joe Terranova said of TSLA, "the stock doesn't go down" though everyone bets against it. "It's just a cult stock," Weiss said.

[Wednesday, February 15, 2017]

Surprised Trump, Bibi weren’t asked whether ESPN is priced in

Euphoria was overflowing on Wednesday's Halftime Report in which skepticism registered about a zero.

Tom Lee admitted, "We've definitely been too cautious."

Jim Lebenthal pronounced the market "momentum-driven" but said that doesn't make it any less real.

Jim said it's "amazing" that the market doesn't care about Russia and that previous markets would be in an "uproar" over it.

Jon Najarian contended, "I don't think there is anything that's market-moving in any of the things that the press gets so excited about."

Doc explained that there's more demand now for stocks while the supply's the same.

Doc said PRXL calls were popular.

Pete Najarian predicted a higher XLF and said George Soros was piling into options in the financials.

Jim Lebenthal trumpeted CSCO (again). Doc said he was buying "a lot of LUV" on Wednesday.

Pete and Jim hailed Nelson Peltz's presence in … anything. (But Jim cautioned that PG isn't a cheap multiple.)

Judge was saying that Jim Cramer thinks rate hikes are finally a buy, not a sell, a "tectonic shift" in the market.

Michelle Caruso-Cabrera wished Judge a happy birthday. (Last year, they brought Judge a cake during the program.)

Donald Trump asserted during his press conference with Benjamin Netanyahu, "We are going to stop crime in this country."

[Tuesday, February 14, 2017]

Joe likens March guesses to predicting Super Bowl outcome

Yielding mostly to Yellen, Judge on Tuesday's Halftime stocked a 4-person panel, plus Steve Liesman, for about 15 minutes of work.

Liesman said Yellen didn't go "far" in terms of issuing a March alert.

Judge kept trying to push the notion that the market should start pricing in a March hike, but Liesman insisted he's not seeing March as a "foregone conclusion" in the "probability charts."

Joe "Main Street" Terranova said the inflation report (Zzzzzz) will be important.

Joe curiously likened March to being like the Super Bowl going from 28-3 to 28-9, whereas June is like a tie game and Brady with the ball in OT and you know what's going to happen then.

Jon Najarian said Yellen walked back rising 10-year rates.

Josh Brown grumbled that algorithms were obviously trading on select words used by Yellen.

Josh said the market not only doesn't fear a rate hike but would be "glad" for one.

Steph Link bought more CAT and ETFC on Tuesday.

Stephanie carped about Joe's emphasis on the importance of emerging markets and the dollar on Fed decisions.

For Final Trades, Doc mentioned CERN, Josh said AAPL, Stephanie said ETFC and Joe said to "stay with financials."

[Monday, February 13, 2017]

BWLD should do more franchising; DECK should stop opening stores, nothing else to see here, move along

Judge's star guest of Monday's Halftime was Marcato's Mick McGuire, who doesn't think the BWLD management team or board has "articulated a clear plan" to maximize value.

Zzzzzzzz. (That's about how it went.)

McGuire indicated he hasn't decided whether to attend the annual meeting.

McGuire said the company's never delivered a plan in the last couple years to boost profit margins on its restaurants. He said BWLD has a 50/50 mix of company-owned and franchised models and that the latter seems to be doing better, which became his answer to about the next 5 questions.

Judge pointed out that BWLD is a full-service restaurant with alcohol and isn't like a Burger King. McGuire re-stressed that franchisees seem to do better than the company does. (Drink)

McGuire asserted that BWLD exercised "fairly poor governance" by adding 3 members to the board.

Seema Mody, who has never looked better in leopard-print ensemble, arrived at the 25-minute mark to save things. Then Judge returned to McGuire.

McGuire said DECK has a "great brand," generates cash and trades at a low multiple, but "they've made some very, uh, critical missteps around capital allocation."

Judge asked McGuire if DECK should spin off Ugg because some think it's worth $2 billion itself. But given that according to the chart that was shown, Ugg delivers 85% of DECK revenue, wouldn't unloading that brand be like Apple unloading the iPhone?

McGuire didn't answer the question, merely stating that DECK has a lot of brands he likes.

McGuire admitted to Jim Lebenthal he doesn't have a lot of enthusiasm for brick-and-mortar and said he's reduced his M position "fairly significantly" (and added it's dropped since then #bragtrade).

McGuire retraced the "incredible run" of URI for those who don't want to bother looking at the chart. (#bragtrade) But now, he seems to like BID better.

Josh Brown questioned if DECK might take the CROX route in terms of stock price. McGuire suggested CROX's plunge was possible because it traded at an "outrageous multiple."

Judge assured viewers that CNBC would air DECK's response (if there was one, but it didn't happen).

Judge, who likes to hold up sheets of paper in front of the camera, showed viewers his report from Marcato as well as the report from Steve Milunovich.

For first time in recent memory, neither Najarian on the show

Joe Terranova opened Monday's Halftime with a curious qualification, stating the Russell 2000 isn't necessarily the best place for your money, but it's "one of many" places for your money.

"Financials once again are good," Joe said.

Jim Lebenthal, pushing the boundaries of fashion with purple-striped business shirt paired with striped suit, contended, "It is definitely a stock-picker's market" (Drink) (Message to passive investors), and for whatever reason for comparing 2 completely unrelated stocks, he said he'd pick WGO over DCO.

Josh Brown said "Right now is an incredible time for diversified investors." (Translation: Take that, passive investors.)

Judge said Pete Najarian has been talking about AAPL services "nonstop."

Joe hailed the run of IBM. Josh Brown and Jim Lebenthal questioned the BA downgrade. Joe touted LLL and NOC.

Joe said the previous steel trade of buying debt and selling equity is "getting unwound."

Josh Brown said Goldman "may have missed the boat short term" in HAS.

Jim said "the Dolans aren't going to do anything to mess up the value" of MSG.

Joe said of VZ, "Buy it."

Joe's final trade was FANG, thanking Jim Cramer. Josh Brown said ADBE and Jim said CSCO.

Judge gains remarkable traction from Kevin Plank interview

And this page barely even noticed it. (Oops)

On Tuesday, Judge asked Kevin Plank how Donald Trump was doing.

Plank said, "To have such a pro-business president is something that's a real asset for this country."

We yawned. (Possibly because Judge had previously enabled 10 minutes of mumbo jumbo about how Under Armour built this all up from no sales and who would ever bet against them.)

But others noticed and literally connected the dots.

CNBC labeled its video description as: "Kevin Plank: Trump a real asset for country"

The Business Insider declared: "UNDER ARMOUR CEO: Trump is 'a real asset for the country'"

The Associated Press bluntly decided that Plank "called Trump 'an asset to the country.'"

The comment ultimately got the attention of not only Stephen Curry and Misty Copeland but mighty Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. (At least in Curry's case, he heard about it not from watching the Halftime Report but from a reporter.)

Honestly, Plank didn't exactly call Trump a "real asset for this country." He strongly praised one of Trump's characteristics. We thought it was a bigger deal that Plank was comparing himself to Tom Brady.

But in the newsgathering business, the goal is to identify the stories, and reporting that Kevin Plank called Donald Trump a "real asset for the country" may not have been literally true … but falls within the bounds of editorial fairness, like reporting something cost $10 million when it was really $9.7 million.

So, we're jealous.

We're also one day late (and maybe more than a dollar short) in reporting a notable day for Judge (see photo above).

[Friday, February 10, 2017]

Grasso: If border tax dies,
it’s face-ripped-off land

Addressing a space that is getting more and more interesting, Larry McDonald on Friday's Halftime Report said the bad news in retail is priced in, so "the risk/reward is fantastic here."

He's not the first one to say that. In fact in the same discussion, Jim Lebenthal said "seasonally," this is the time retail works.

Maybe now more than ever, given massive brick-and-mortar headwinds and the time-specific overhang of a threatened border tax. The only problem is, it's not like banks or semiconductors or iron ore names, where you buy or sell them all at once; the whole retail space is cannibalistic, and it's hard to always know which dogs are due for a bear-market rally and which ones will remain dogs.

Much of the conversation centered on JCP, which Jim Lebenthal touts for its balance sheet.

Stephen Weiss though questioned why a "boutique firm" such as Susquehanna is hiring a retail analyst to make a call on JCP and other names, calls you can get "in 50 other places."

Weiss scoffed that JCP was 42 just 4 years ago; Jim said it was 6 years ago. Jim said the retail investing key is to shrink stores.

But Weiss seemed to agree with Jim that after Christmas is the time to buy retail.

Pete Najarian disagreed with Weiss that there's no value added by the Susquehanna analyst. Pete called COST "Amazon-proof." As always, he recommended TJX and ROST.

Larry McDonald said "a bear market rally in Sears is very, very likely."

Citing Chuck Schumer's vote against Mitch McConnell's wife, McDonald said the Senate is "toxic," so the border-adjustment tax is "light years" from happening.

Steve Grasso on the 5 p.m. Fast Money suggested if the border tax dies, shorts will be in face-ripped-off land, even with crummy retailers.

Steve Weiss on Halftime said he bought M, "got lucky," sold 3/4 of it last week and the rest Friday morning. Jim Lebenthal called TSCO "the next Costco."

2008 financial crisis ‘best thing that ever happened to Europe’

John Harwood on Friday's Halftime revealed that Shinzo Abe previously gave Donald Trump "a gold-, uh, plated golf club, uh, a driver."

Harwood said the Trump administration has left somewhat of a "bull in a china (no pun intended) shop" impression but doesn't want to break too much china.

Judge actually TWICE said it's interesting that Abe will be staying at Mar-a-Lago, "in and of itself" (redundant) (Drink) (Double Drink), then threw in another one moments later (Triple Drink).

Stephen Weiss again mentioned Trump staying off the warpath on China, enabling a "synchronized globally emerging economy, I mean growing economy." Jim said that's a good point, but "politics can interfere."

Weiss said he "felt much better" about the U.S.-China tension because of Trump's maneuvering around Japan, South Korea and Russia.

David Marcus, not to be confused with Pete (40% or 35% cash) Najarian, said he's at the lowest level of U.S. investment since starting the fund 7 years ago and is heavily into Europe.

Marcus said investing in Europe is "progressively getting better" and that the 2008 financial crisis actually "was the best thing that ever happened to Europe."

Marcus likes VIVHY, calling it "grossly undervalued." He also likes ThyssenKrupp.

"Japan has been a tomorrow story for 20 years," Marcus grumbled.

Actually made it through a whole program without mentioning Disney

Josh Brown on Friday's Halftime Report called TWTR "a giant pizza bomb" and suggested there's no reason to get long.

Stephen Weiss explained he bought more AAPL because he likes the market and wants a "market stock."

Pete Najarian said July 32 EBAY calls were popular; Pete and Josh agreed the stock is breaking out. Josh said it "really doesn't have any natural sellers."

Jim Lebenthal said INTC is driving him crazy, but he's not selling.

Stephen Weiss said CSX already reflects a lot of good news. Weiss said it was a "big mistake" for him to sell ATVI based partly on GameStop (snicker) numbers.

Weiss admitted he sold NVDA too early. Josh touted YUM's all-time high.

Jim said he might buy more NKE by the end of the day.

Weiss touted C and LUK and BAC.

Judge issued a happy birthday to Jim Cramer.

[Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017]

What about appointing the special prosecutor for Hillary’s server?

Practically hopping in her chair (which was cute), Karen Finerman on Thursday's 5 p.m. Fast Money asserted that "phenomenal" will be the "most specificity" that we'll get from President Donald Trump on tax reform, calling it a "throwaway line."

Karen insisted there's "no consensus" on these tax issues, so the rally "just seems crazy to me."

Yet, Karen admitted, "I wanna stay long" and be protected.

Judge said at the top of the Halftime show that the indexes "set new (sic redundant) all-time highs once again."

Stephen Weiss noted something else about Donald Trump. "He's lived up to everything he said," said Weiss, adding, "He could've gone after the Chinese, but he didn't."

Yet Weiss said, "I'm still sitting in a good amount of cash."

Jim Lebenthal suggested the market is trading on "hope." Judge carped that Trump's only been in office "2 weeks." Jim, who mentioned "Frank-Dodd," said Trump's tax-plan vow is just like his statement about replacing Obamacare, there's no details yet and so this is just a "melt-up."

When was the last time Judge or Mel did a segment on answering viewers’ Twitter questions? (#engagement)

Judge on Thursday's Halftime brought back Rich Greenfield after yesterday's debacle in which Greenfield with a straight face actually touted TWTR for its growth in daily average users.

Greenfield insisted his call was "not about the near-term." He said the "engagement," or time spent on the service, is climbing.

Judge suggested the more important metric may be ad revenue, which is going the opposite direction. Greenfield said video ad revenue is going in the right direction.

Steve Weiss said Greenfield's "logic makes sense" but asserted that ad dollars follow brand, and Twitter's brand "has been tainted almost from the go."

Weiss said the TWTR stock price "ratifies that taint."

Greenfield said "there's plenty of negativity that happens on Facebook." He also said a buddy tweeted out the Charles Oakley thing and found it turned up "EVERYWHERE" (as if no other news source would've mentioned it).

Judge finally cut to the chase, telling Greenfield, "You're not telling anybody anything they don't al- already know."

Greenfield insisted the focus has been "backward-looking" rather than "forward-looking."

Earlier in the show, Josh Brown, who for head-scratching reasons remains long this name, said "compensation is completely out of control" at Twitter and said if an advertising-driven company can't flourish in this environment, that's trouble.

After a glitch, Judge brought in Scott Devitt to reiterate Devitt's "sell" on TWTR. Devitt still thinks it has "significant downside."

Judge then brought in Brian Wieser and said Wieser had a 26 TWTR target; Wieser said "No, that's old" (from the time of the "M&A speculation") and said it's actually 17. "The company has not been able to figure itself out," Wieser said.

Wieser cited an "apocryphal" line from Mark Zuckerberg: "Twitter's a clown car that fell into a gold mine."

Judge and Greenfield both claimed there was "irony" (actually there really wasn't) in that Judge asked Greenfield via Twitter to be on the show again.

Hyperlocal coverage: Ex-jock having a scrape at Knicks game is considered tradeable event

Stephen Weiss on Thursday's Halftime Report said of WFM, "It wasn't as bad as people thought," thus the stock rose.

Josh Brown said WFM was probably "overhated" going into the numbers, but technicals don't suggest it's at the bottom. Jim Lebenthal said the stock's up because they talked about closing 9 stores rather than continuing expansion.

Weiss smartly questioned how Jim can say ESPN is fully priced in to DIS but WFM's slide isn't priced into that stock. Jim repeated his 9-store-closing thing and didn't really answer the question.

Guy Adami, however, said on the 5 p.m. Fast Money that WFM's strength post-earnings suggests it's going higher.

Josh Brown said GRUB is low enough market cap that anyone could take it out, but he suggested all the other ways of ordering food as a headwind. Weiss agreed the space is a "commoditized business."

Jim Lebenthal suggested MSG as a value play that the market understands. He predicted the Knicks "could easily get a $2 billion valuation." Judge said he wouldn't argue with that.

Steve Weiss said "Dolan's been a terrible steward of this franchise."

Josh Brown said net revenue at DNKN is up 6% quarter on quarter and that they're (drum roll) simplifying the menu. He said they're opening 383 stores in 2017. Weiss called it a "nice investment" that's "uncorrelated to the markets."

Pete Najarian said the U.S. airline playing field "is not often times fair." Pete touted SAVE as apparently his favorite of the airlines with a "huge runway in front of them." Weiss, of course, owns and likes the airlines in general.

Michelle Caruso-Cabrera said now that David Perdue is lashing out at the border-adjustment tax, it might be in trouble.

For the first time, Judge welcomed CNBC's newfound gorjus reporter Ylan Mui to the Halftime Report with a news alert; Mui said she just got the memo that Rep. Jeb Hensarling is circulating about financial regulation changes.

Judge called it "good news" and then "interesting news." Weiss said Dodd-Frank has good things but also "horrendous" things.

Pete said DLTR May 82.50 calls were popular; "I actually bought the stock today."

Jim Iuorio said crude needs to reach 54.60 before he buys. Brian Stutland said we're in a range of buying 52 and selling 55. Guest Futures Now host Courtney Reagan said David Stockman was going to be on the show explaining why stocks (drum roll) might be headed for a "free fall" (snicker).

[Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2017]

Before you count out Jeff Immelt, remember that a lot of people were counting out Tom Brady on Sunday

Morgan Brennan on Wednesday's Halftime Report made every excuse possible for the Immelt era ("the 9/11 terrorist attacks, a tech bubble and of course the financial crisis") before admitting GE has been "a woeful underperformer since 2001."

Josh Brown, who always sees a GE breakout just around the corner, said he buys it under 30. He said a lot of new GE businesses aren't getting credit and shouldn't now, but when they "begin to get discovered," the stock will see "new investors."

Jim Lebenthal said short term, GE is in the "penalty box."

Stephen Weiss said he doesn't find GE very exciting and noted the amount of "moving parts." Weiss told Judge that Peltz will never own enough stock to successfully "agitate" at GE.

Jon Najarian pointed to diverging results of GE and HON since the EU decision in 2001.

This was a quality discussion, but we have to note, again nobody brought up what seems an obvious problem, that the company spent years after 2008 unloading its finance arms, which was viewed as a positive, except now the financials are roaring, so shouldn't that be considered a negative?

Company buys ‘Star Wars’ franchise not for any artistic inspiration but to milk brand with pointless greatest-hits sequels to compensate for ESPN headwinds

Apparently because Bob Peck was unavailable, Rich Greenfield visited with Wednesday's Halftime crew to predict Twitter will see "the early signs of engagement picking up" (snicker).

Greenfield claimed Twitter has become a "top 20 download" in the Apple IOS store.

Steve Weiss said one reason he doesn't like Twitter is the "hate-spewing garbage." He called the service "faddish."

Greenfield explained how Twitter is now featuring "one story" that supposedly everyone wants to click on. Weiss asked, "in whose judgment."

Judge tried to insist DIS is a better stock than Greenfield seems to think. Greenfield said it hasn't done anything over a year, and "the challenges to ESPN (Drink) aren't going anywhere."

But another guest, Benjamin Swinburne, contended that all the ESPN and skinny bundle concerns are priced in, then he added 3 possible drivers for ESPN alone. (However, he didn't actually cite "the next 'Star Wars' movie" (Drink) as a Disney catalyst.)

Weiss called DIS a hold and said he's "not jumpin' up" to buy it.

Weiss and Jim Lebenthal tangled further over ESPN being priced in, Jim insisting it is. "I wasn't aware there was a statute of limitations on decaying fundamentals," Weiss said.

Someone bought AAPL, who cares

In a very clumsy start to what proved to be a good, crisp show, Judge on Wednesday's Halftime wasted precious early minutes badgering Steve Weiss about buying (Zzzzzzzz) AAPL.

Like Cindy Brady and her secrets, Weiss said he wouldn't tell Judge about the "physical circumstances" of the trade, though Judge knows about them. Weiss said the rationale is "a factor of people getting on board early before the 8 comes out."

However, Weiss predicted longer-term trouble with companies who make products overseas, stating Democrats as well as Trump are irked by it and asserted the practice "at some point will come home to roost."

Jon Najarian said he's seeing people doing what Weiss is doing but not the "long-term buying" of AAPL.

Doc told Judge that Judge scoffs at Apple services revenue. "I don't scoff at, ever. Never scoff," Judge insisted.

GILD evidently not kitchen-sinked enough

Wednesday's Halftime crew put together a super-efficient little go-round on GILD, chock-full of quality input and a group conclusion that the stock isn't yet a buy.

Judge said GILD "kitchen-sinked it." Stephen Weiss said people own the stock for an acquisition, but that's been a "flawed strategy."

Josh Brown asked, "Have you ever heard of a stock bottoming on news that they're buying someone?" Weiss agreed, no. Brown said that according to RSI, it's still not oversold.

Meanwhile, Andrew Wellington said the market is split into "2 halves" (sic first word redundant), stating one of the halves is really cheap.

He touted COMM for making equipment attached to equipment. He also likes WHR because appliance sales are still below trends. He said he bought LNC because the whole space had an incredibly low valuation; he bought at a 6 P.E. And, he likes MSCC.

Jeff Kilburg said "Dr. Copper has regained its mojo." Scott Nations said there's more to the upside if copper can clear its recent 2.75 spike.

Doc said there was "big buying" in April 52.50 COP calls, though Jim Lebenthal (who had a quiet show) insisted oil's going lower.

Weiss tepidly likes airlines. Doc said gold has been surging on Le Pen talk.

[Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017]

Dan Nathan: UAA is ‘Apple in 1997 … or Apple in 2002’

We thought it was rather assertive for Kevin Plank on Tuesday's Halftime to sorta compare himself to Tom Brady.

But if Dan Nathan, of all people, is right about his jaw-dropping UAA assessment on the 5 p.m. Fast Money, then Plank is about to become Michael Jordan.

"This is Apple in 1997. OK, or Apple in 2002 with the launch of the iPod," Nathan asserted.

The funny thing about that, Mel was earlier faulting Kevin Plank for not buying Under Armour shares ... but if Nathan actually thinks this is AAPL 2002, something Plank wouldn't even say ... and Nathan's still not buying the shares (according to disclosures at cnbc.com (snicker)) ... isn't that worse?

Guy Adami though said the stock didn't seem to have a capitulation bottom Tuesday "by any stretch of the imagination." Karen Finerman praised the business but said UAA stock is "priced too much for perfection."

Mel said it "doesn't get any better than this" for Susan Li fans ("and who isn't?"), seeing Li in 2 windows on the same screen. "Melissa, let's stop scaring the audience," Susan protested, which is always cute but even moreso when coming from a bona fide superfox.

Kevin Plank likens himself
to Tom Brady

Judge's lack of specificity (the first question should've been "Why'd your CFO quit?") virtually sank his interview on Tuesday's Halftime with Kevin Plank; if we had to hear one more time how Plank's got an "energized" team that's been through this before and built this thing up, we were ready to fling the remote at the TV.

The Lou Holtz-wannabe speech to no one finally jumped the shark when Plank said, "You know, I think a lot of people, you know, they bet against Tom Brady the other night too."

Judge said it's the "2nd quarter in a row" that he and Plank have talked about a disaster (not the term used by Judge, who said "big slide"). Plank said he needs to "control the narrative" a little bit and insisted UAA is a growth company.

Judge asked a repeat question about how this feels by pointing out Plank's the founder too. "This company plays offense," Plank insisted, despite the "tweaks."

At the 9-minute mark, Judge finally brought up CFO Chip Molloy's departure. Plank said it was "for personal reasons."

He said his "team of people … are pissed off."

Plank is actually one of the more articulate guests when not asked about his company. He called Donald Trump "highly passionate" and someone who "wants to build things." He conceded there'd be an "absolute effect" from the border tax.

On Halloween, days after Plank previously sat down with Judge, Joe Terranova and Pete Najarian tangled over this stock, with Joe stating that as cash exits the adidas trade it should go "rightfully into Kevin's company" because of Plank's plans for 2017-18 (snicker). Pete impressively warned about looming UAA spending. Joe said he agrees, but, "He's not taking on debt! He's got the money!" (snicker). Maybe most impressively, Steve Weiss on that show called UAA (closing that day at 31.10) "egregiously overvalued."

MSI asleep at the switch, fails to respond to Andrew Left

Speaking of egregiously, Andrew Left on Tuesday's Halftime told Judge he's been looking at companies that are "completely, uh, viciously, egregiously ripping off the government" and therefore found MSI, claiming it's "gouging" the U.S. government at the expense of law enforcement and innovation.

Left said the notion of overcharging was "out there" before the "whole thing" with the pharma industry given that a congresswoman complained about pricing.

Left shrugged off the notion that British devices use a different system and thus merit a different price, stating they're both on LMR and that it's equivalent to plugging in an appliance to one adapter and a different appliance to a different adapter.

Jon Najarian said Left is "flying against most of Wall Street" but noted Gartner said handset sales are projected flat. Joe Terranova said the gross margin differential gives "credibility" to Left's argument.

Judge suggested MSI's corporate mouthpiece would be issuing a rebuttal, but it wasn't heard on this program.

Meanwhile, Stephanie Link said CAT is not compelling but could be bought on weakness.

Bob Iaccino said he's looking for "at least 50.75" in crude. Anthony Grisanti though thinks oil rises.

Joe Terranova stated, "S&P 2,300 appears to be a ceiling for the marketplace right now," but he said a corporate tax cut is the "put" under the market.

Joe mentioned TER and AMG; Stephanie Link touted EMR, Doc endorsed ETE and Pete touted GDX.

[Monday, Feb. 6, 2017]

What if UAA is going to get cheaper?

Josh Brown on Monday's Halftime offered a curious bit of advice for Kevin Plank, stating Plank should make a "big buy" of stock, even if it's "token."

First of all, it seems hard to believe that a "token" buy would also be a "big buy."

Aside from that, maybe Kevin is thinking the bottom might not be in yet. It's not exactly like the whole rest of the market is cratering.

Anthony DiClemente said basically everyone would be thrilled for Bob Iger to continue at DIS. DiClemente said he's in "wait and see mode" about VIAB.

Joe Terranova said if DIS' tax rate goes from 34% to 25%, then you're talking DIS 120.

DiClemente picked FB as his favorite of the FANGs.

Joe said there's "opportunity" in HA (Drink) and ALK (Double Drink) but said JBLU is "confusing." But Pete "40% cash (or 35% cash)" Najarian said there's an "opportunity" in JBLU.

Pete and Cramer suggested Donald Trump might side with U.S. airlines in terms of whatever their foreign grievances are.

Josh credited Barron's for being "kinda right" on CMG since 2015 but cautioned the stock's been severely beaten.

Pete said he thinks there's further downside in TIF, but you could buy over 80.

Joe said he's not sure he likes COG but would buy ETP. Joe warned Cramer about the "avalanche" of credit issues for CHK and the nat gas space.

The Najarians said someone was buying MSFT 63.50 calls (and when is someone NOT buying MSFT calls); Jim Cramer actually trumpeted LinkedIn, which makes him unique among the 4-5 people who touted MSFT a week or two ago and never bothered to mention it among 5 other things.

Jon Najarian said MYL 42.50 calls were being aggressively bought; he trumpeted the trade twice.

Cramer touted one of Joe's favorites, FANG. Pete hung a 135 on AAPL. Doc suggested NUS. Josh hung a 15 on AMD. Joe touted AMG.

The story that vanished
into thin air

Word filtered out over the past month that WaPoster Ylan Mui, rather than just contributing to Kelly Evans' Closing Bell, would join CNBC as a full-time reporter.

Mui's gorgeous, so around here, we started doing backflips about the prospects of trumpeting her scoops whenever possible.

Such an opportunity surfaced Monday morning, when Mui reported on-air and in a CNBC.com article that the Trump administration apparently was not going to delay the onset of the fiduciary rule.

This report — which stated that the administration's final draft no longer included the 90-day delay — raised eyebrows, given that we'd seen editorials over the weekend decrying how Trump was apparently rolling back consumer protections.

Mui promoted the post as a "newsflash" on her Twitter feed, and it was even tweeted by CNBC managing editor Nick Dunn, so we gladly put it on our home page. And why not. Give Mui a shout-out, inform readers about something important …

… Until we noticed in the afternoon that the body text was removed from the article, and the video clip of the report has ceased to exist.

The obvious implication is that someone in the White House saw/heard the report and protested that Mui was either misinterpreting the memo or simply reviewing an older version of it. The fact the whole report has disappeared — and there's not even a correction at CNBC.com — is an indication that something was misunderstood here and that a "story" was never actually a story. How this happened, we'll probably never learn. But Mui's gorgeous, we do know that much.

Joe says trading this year must be ‘stock-specific’

Tony Dwyer on Monday's Halftime contended "this whole thing is not about Trump" and stood by his 4-7% correction call in the next 2 months.

Judge told Dwyer his assessment of the market sounds more like a bull case. Dwyer said the market isn't factoring in "enough of a more hawkish Fed," and when that happens, that's when you buy.

Amid a long introductory spiel by Jim Cramer, Joe "Main Street" Terranova said you could be alarmed about the 10-year yield at 2.43% and retail. "Trading the macro this year is the wrong strategy," Joe said. "It's gotta be stock-specific." (Yep. It's a stock-picker's market.)

Jim Cramer touted WPZ but didn't like KMI as much as Pete Najarian does.

Josh Brown said, "The people trading on quote-unquote Trump stuff since the beginning of this year are massively underperforming."

Jon Najarian warned about European elections and "Ms. Le Pen" (snicker).

In a mess of a useless dialogue, things turned to laffalympics by about the 10-minute mark while Judge stayed virtually silent.

More from Monday's Halftime later.

[Friday, February 3, 2017]

No one was bored, meeting was ‘exciting,’ Trump entertained ‘a hundred or so ideas’

Steve Schwarzman, one of a parade of CEOs to sit down with Andrew Ross Sorkin on CNBC's Halftime Report Friday after the Trump meeting (while the rest of them just got chased down by Eamon Javers), actually claimed there were "a hundred or so ideas that were on the table."

That's quite a number for 1 meeting in which everyone was completely "engaged."

Schwarzman said Trump had a "bipartisan meeting," which doesn’t always happen in D.C. Schwarzman noticed "complete engagement by everybody in the room."

He said the discussion was "spirited intellectually."

Jack Welch was even more ecstatic, telling Sorkin that the president is "deeply involved in every issue."

Trump, Welch said, "acted like a peer … This was the most exciting presidential meeting that I've ever been in."

Mark Weinberg used a form of "engaged" 3 times.

Eamon Javers cornered Mary Barra for a comment on whether anyone disagreed with the president; Barra declined to answer but called the meeting "very productive."

Javers explained that CEOs already inclined to agree with Trump would be "energized" by this particular meeting, but others might be more "trepidatious" (wow) (those are probably the ones not sitting with Sorkin but being chased by Javers) about a gathering such as this.

Predicting 50% Dow rise over 8 years hardly seems like grounds for business television invite

Judge on Friday's crisp and informative Halftime Report asked Jeremy Schwartz if he's not only drinking the Jeremy Siegel Kool-aid, "but now I'm wondering if you're dumping the whole thing over your head."

Schwartz went to great pains to say that Dow 30,000 is just an extension of a series of articles with Gene Epstein (rattling off the years) and that projecting Dow 30,000 by 2025 is not an "outlandish" call by any means.

Judge tried to corner Schwartz into linking the 30,000 to Trump policies. Schwartz said it would be "very positive" to cut corporate taxes, but the Epstein article wasn't about Trump's policies.

Jon Najarian predicted banks go "significantly higher, for a whole host of reasons."

Judge said the market Friday had turned the volume down on some of the "ancillary noise."

Josh Brown said he thinks there's a purpose for Dodd-Frank, but talk of scrapping it will nevertheless help banks.

Judge said, "Financials are up 17% since the actual (sic redundant) election."

America needs malls (cont’d): Feel bad for Macy’s, but maybe the whole space can get better

Dana Telsey on Friday's Halftime said the Macy's-Hudson's Bay rumors are "probably more real than not."

Judge impressively questioned how the deal improves Macy's. Telsey suggested they might bring in different "activities and experiences to drive the top line," which sorta seems like wishful thinking.

Stephanie Link said Terry Lundgren is "the best" in the industry, and does this rumor indicate that nobody can really turn this ship around.

Josh Brown said mall operators bought the right to run Aeropostale stores, and if the retail landscape is such that mall operators are buying the stores just to keep them open, it's hard to be positive about the space.

Those comments are largely along the lines of what Thursday's Fast Money crew said, struggling to identify any buyer or partner who could really fix Macy's.

AMZN long Steph Link said of the stock's earnings expectations, "You have to have a blowout."

Doc said AMZN was talking about cutting AWS price "7 times in the quarter."

"Microsoft is really makin' inroads here," Doc said.

Josh said to wait for an AMGN breakout before buying.

Steph Link questioned if there's "confidence" in the $10 EPS forecast for CMG and suggested it's "too early" to buy. Doc said GPRO, like FIT, has a "great product," but "they don't make a lot of money."

CLSA had the audacity to rate NVDA "underperform." Josh Brown said he doesn't agree, stating that downgrades based on valuation or how far a stock has run aren't very convincing, a fair point.

Doc said to buy the online brokers on the price-cut pullbacks, but they were already back up Friday.

Doc, who impressively with Pete flagged WFT a few weeks ago, said NRG was experiencing "huge upside call-buying" and that it's rumored that someone's advising them on takeout prices in the 20s. Josh Brown said AMD's on the verge of another leg higher.

In the cutest moment of the day without question, Mel, in attractive red/black dress, asked CNBC superfox Jane Wells, back reporting on Super Bowl bets, if the Gaga cleavage bet "includes inadvertent show- show of cleavage as well as on-purpose show of cleavage."

Jane said it's "on purpose."

[Thursday, February 2, 2017]

Pete tangles with Joe over energy’s correlation with … something

In a strange and choppy opening go-round on whether the stock market is stalling, Jon Najarian on Thursday's Halftime said someone bought "a whole bunch of protection that expires Monday next week" but has "already lost a pile of money on that trade."

So, whatever.

Joe Terranova is "not necessarily sure" the Fed moves in March (which sorta puts him in the Rick Rieder camp), but the market needs banks to move again.

Pete Najarian said he and Steve Weiss (not on Thursday's show) were talking about being 35-40% in cash last week when actually they stated it as 40% last week.

Jim Lebenthal declared, "Individual stock volatility is much higher than the overall market," a point he'd revisit later in the program.

Joe said you have to question why the 10-year is under 2.50%.

Joe contended that "you've also lost the participation in the correlation between higher crude oil prices and energy equities."

"Really?!?!" asked Pete Najarian. "Or is it kind of flattened out?" Pete then suggested Joe was only talking about equities.

"Pete that's what I just said, I said, 'Energy equities have lost the correlation with the spot price of oil,'" Joe said. "That correlation has broken down, what is that telling you?"

Joe said he got back into his GS position and added to RF and BAC. Pete said he owns BAC and still loves it but doesn't see it going "very fast" now. Paul Richards said U.S. financials are better positioned than European financials.

Doc said he's not seeing "massive bets" on the "tail."

Somehow individual stocks are super volatile, but the whole market isn’t

Former hedge fund mogul Ron Insana, who quite possibly has never been heard on the Halftime Report or Fast Money, on Thursday's Halftime said he agrees with Dan Loeb that this is an environment for active investing, not passive.

But he's not sure that Loeb is calling this a "passive bubble."

Judge admitted, "We've debated this topic so often on this program."

Joe "Main Street" Terranova said he talked to an investor in L.A. who has bolted hedge funds who said, "Show me the volatility and I'll get back into hedge funds."

Jim Lebenthal chimed in, "Individual stock volatility is way, way higher than the overall market volatility (Drink). I hope you said that to him." (Joe didn't answer; probably not.)

Joe says ‘no one is really having’ a conversation about shoddy retail results

Jon Najarian on Thursday's Halftime said right after the RL open, people were buying out of the money puts expiring Friday.

He said if the CEO were making an "immediate departure," it would've been even worse.

Jim Lebenthal said he would've thought of M as an acquirer and questioned if the sale notion is a CEO "head fake."

Joe Terranova said the state of retail is an "incredibly important conversation" that "no one is really having."

Judge said, "We're having it all the time."

Doc conceded he might've been "alone" on the desk a day ago liking COH (Judge yesterday said the panel had no takers even though Doc indeed said he liked it). Joe said if JWN is a "sell" at $43, then "we've got a big problem" in retail.

Doc remains skeptical about the Under Armour CFO’s exit

Speaking of retailers, Pete Najarian said on Thursday's Halftime that Guggenheim's FL analyst buy call "makes sense," but "85 seems like a pretty tall target though."

Doc likes FL but not so much FINL; he also wants to hear more about the UAA CFO departure (Drink). Jim Lebenthal suggested there's "cannibalization going on" of FL by DKS. He also likes NKE (Drink) for its international reach. But Joe Terranova said FL "still has that international exposure," pegging it at 28%.

Perhaps the president will shift from Twitter to Facebook Live

Judge on Thursday's Halftime questioned if this is "Peak Facebook."

Jon Najarian said Facebook Live is an "explosive success," and someone told him Martha Stewart's been on it "about 60 times."

Pete Najarian said Facebook is "winning" against Snapchat, however, the spending discussion in the call Wednesday night pulled the stock back. Josh Brown dialed in to say Facebook is "pursuing a revenue-share model for content."

Jim Lebenthal said of FB, its single-stock volatility is a lot higher than the market "It's getting into value territory, believe it or not."

Eamon Javers said the White House loves "any kind of interesting visuals," such as Harley-Davidson executives riding up in leather jackets to shake Donald Trump's hand. He said Bikers for Trump claims 9 of 10 bikers voted for Trump.

Doc said PRGO March 85 calls were popular; someone bought big and sold puts to pay for it. Pete said someone was scooping up March 27.50 calls in RH, of all names.

Scott Nations said dollar moves are all "political" now, it's not about the Fed anymore. Brian Stutland said to be careful if the dollar breaks 99.

Dr. William Jarnagin spoke about Cycle for Survival, which raises money for rare-cancer research.

Pete Najarian touted COST but admitted he doesn't own it. Doc said a lot of out-of-the-money calls in M were trading. Jim predicted CSCO outperforming in 2 weeks. Doc said someone was buying 955 AMZN calls (snicker).

[Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017]

Brent Musburger is not famous for announcing games but for running every CBS sports desk show in 1970s/’80s

Jon Najarian on Wednesday's Halftime halfheartedly said "sure" you can buy COH but used the opportunity to talk about how much he dislikes UAA.

Kevin O'Leary called COH a "mall-based story," which is a "negative traffic story." Josh Brown and Kari Firestone didn't like it either. So Judge said he had "no buyers" for COH, and everyone agreed … even though Doc had just said "sure" you can buy it.

Doc said June 115 DIS calls were popular. Kevin O'Leary said of ESPN, "Nobody's talkin' about it any more." Judge congratulated "the great Brent Musburger … the guy's a legend."

Jim Iuorio, sans man-fur, said the risk of gold is tough Fed talk about tightening. Anthony Grisanti said all indications are that rates are going higher and gold is going lower.

Kari Firestone touted AWK. Kevin O'Leary trumpeted SIX for its domestic revenue. Doc trumpeted BX for its yield.

Firestone was forced to defend buying BMY all the time. She said she also added AGN.

Karen Finerman on the 5 p.m. Fast Money said FB may "appear" to be expensive, but it's not.

Doc says tweeters are calling AAPL a sell

In a curious go-round on Wednesday's Halftime Report, Rick Rieder said "I think the Fed has gotta start moving," suggesting potentially "4 times" this year, but then said there's nothing like a 75% chance of a March hike.

Judge correctly wondered why Rieder wasn't touting a March move more than he was given his suggestion of 4 hikes this year. Rieder then said Judge is right, it doesn't make much sense to wait from March to June, so there's at least a 50/50 chance of March.

Meanwhile, in this show that got a slow start from coverage of a Trump meeting, Mark Mahaney said the earnings of FB, AMZN and NFLX will "justify" the stocks.

Mahaney did caution that Facebook is not in "voice-activated devices in the home (snicker) … and I wonder about where that is in its growth strategy."

Judge asked if there's "any political risk" in owning AMZN. Mahaney said "there is" political risk in AMZN, "and I hope that doesn't come to pass for a variety of different (sic redundant) reasons."

Jon Najarian mentioned the "2 chances" to buy FB at 114 since the election and took a victory lap for calling them. (In fact, those were both great calls.)

Everybody gushed about AAPL; Kari Firestone suggested a 20% gain in 2017. Doc said, "I know a lot of people on Twitter come at me today and say, 'I gotta sell it here.' Fine, take profits."

Everyone also gushed about how great AMD has done over the last year. At the end of the show, Josh Brown said AMD and NVDA are "starting to work again," but he doesn't "love that setup" with NVDA into earnings.

Josh Brown doesn't like MTCH; "I think Tinder is probably under a lot of pressure." Kari Firestone said ANTM looks good, but there's deal risk. Kevin O'Leary defended owning MO (but Karen Finerman on the 5 p.m. show said the new president "hates smoking," and she wouldn't be "shocked" to see "some sort of anti-smoking tweet").

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