[CNBCfix Fast Money Review Archive — January 2014]
[Friday, January 31, 2014]

Worth: S&P to ‘1,600s’

What can we say, we're suckers for canine programs.

So, Friday's Fast Money was a raging success.

Carter Worth delivered the troubling truth about down Januarys, that when it happens, the likelihood of a down year goes from 33% to 58%.

Worth also, with really no supporting case, said the S&P has been bouncing off its 100-day for a while, but for whatever reason this time, "it's our premise that we're gonna break."

Honestly in our opinion, where the S&P is on Dec. 31 doesn't really matter right now; the question is whether we bottomed this week, are going to bottom next week, or aren't going to bottom for many weeks.

Worth didn't address that, but told Steve Grasso, "We think we're going into the 1,600s."

Brian Kelly actually drew parallels to 1929, stating "there are a lot of similarities with the economics" which would bring the S&P, according to Kelly, to 1,700, if it turns out like 1929, a point so ludicrous it should not be mentioned on any semi-serious page, but the pooches won us over, so we're mentioning it.

Steve Grasso predicted the S&P 500 tests the 200-day, "right around 1,700."

Tim Seymour indicated the emerging markets hysteria may pass; "I've seen this before."

While no one pointed out why a certain name is being floated at Microsoft (to gauge market reaction before actually doing the deal, unlike Google and Motorola Mobility), Tim Seymour suggested they're turning a page in Redmond; "this is gonna get Microsoft out of their image of the past."

While nobody pointed out Steve Jobs' age at death, Steve Grasso said that a fresher face than Bill Gates will help; "I think without him, it probably does better."

Grasso said he's waiting for $1,060 in GOOG but maybe won't get it.

Tim Seymour and Josh Brown suggested it's not a struggling consumer that's hurting retail stocks including AMZN, but more of a pause after a series of robust quarters. "Spending has not fallen off a cliff," Seymour said.

Brian Kelly claimed natural gas and heating oil are too tricky for others; "I wouldn't be surprised if we hear about a hedge fund blowup over the next couple of weeks." Steve Grasso said it's "time to take profits" in ECA, SWN and COG.

Tim Seymour said "I would be a seller" of CMG, while Steve Grasso said he "probably wouldn't be there" in NEM.

Seymour's Final Trade was POT. Josh Brown said WOOF, Brian Kelly said EUO and Steve Grasso said SO.

Mel wore her lovely green/aqua short-sleeve top and looked stunning but it was the doggies who stole the show; if you're champing at the bit to zip out to the Connecticut Humane Society on Monday but can't make it, the site is www.cthumane.org.

Contrarian alert: AMZN board member is a ‘full-on believer,’ has ‘no questions and no doubts’

It was Simon Baker who had mike problems on Friday's Halftime Report, but in fact guest Bing Gordon didn't really need to be miked at all.

Gordon stiff-armed every one of Judge's questions about Amazon's dismal quarter and embarrassing headline-deflector of mulling Prime price increases (but no, according to Pachter, they care "not a whit" about stock price), revealing only, "I agree with Jeff's point of view ... I'm a full-on believer ... So, you know, I have no questions and no doubts."

Wow. A utopia of business.

Judge even had the audacity to ask if Amazon needs to communicate better.

"No," Gordon said.

Gordon did offer to speak a little bit about ZNGA, stating Don Mattrick is great and the games it's got are great.

He even offered a device forecast. "I predict in 10 years, um, 10% of people connected to the Web are wearing some kind of uh, visual, uh, wearable," Gordon said.

Jon Najarian said that in order to be an "aggressive buyer" of AMZN, "I need that price increase for the, uh, Prime."

Mike Murphy said he's not buying it and warned what could happen if it (snicker) starts trading at a "normal valuation." But he said hiking Prime fees makes sense; "that's just money in the bank for them."

Simon Baker said the easy money has been made in ZNGA and said to "take profits."

No ‘proper panic’ yet in EM

Extremely good-looking Sara Eisen opened Friday's Halftime Report emphasizing that emerging markets are "so not in favor right now."

Ben Willis offered the most curious comment in praise of a selloff. "Thank God, it's necessary, it'll benefit the long-term health of this market," Willis claimed.

How come it's always the corrections that are "healthy," and you never hear anyone say a rising market is "healthy," even though that is the goal of bulls.

Does that make any sense to you?

Didn't think so.

Simon Baker had an issue with the volume — not on NYSE shares, but with his microphone that apparently was turned off.

Richard Titherington told Judge that in fact, the biggest mistake people make with emerging markets is buying high, when the way to profit on them is "moving against the crowd." Steve Liesman said that in the market, "the concern is that they can't pay their external debt."

Candace Browning said Brazil in the MSCI is equal to GOOG, and Turkey is equal to SBUX. But, she contends, it's "still too early to buy emerging markets," and she's looking for "capitulation," asserting that a "proper panic" is 10-20% below the 200-day moving average, and it's only 6-7% now.

Browning's full-year S&P target is 2,000. She also likes wearable tech and obesity trades.

Simon Baker pointed out, "We just had Mr. Bing (sic) on."

Murphy: 75 ‘conservative’ in FB

Judge Wapner suggested at the top of Friday's Halftime Report that Scott Devitt was "capitulating" on his NFLX call, cementing an embarrassment by Pete Najarian who on Jan. 8 was negative on NFLX citing Devitt's (incredibly old) argument that there's a "lot more competition out there."

Jon Najarian on Friday said "kudos" to Devitt for presumably buying in at the high and being wrong again. But Mike Murphy is concerned that everyone's now on the "same side" on NFLX, and he wouldn't buy over 400.

Murphy argued that WMT is not that relevant; "Wal-Mart hasn't been that important in a long time."

Jon Najarian said he sold puts in MA as a wimpy way of getting into it; "I think this one's a buy here."

Simon Baker gushed about CMG; "this came out of nowhere ... we really like this name going forward."

Mike Murphy was hailed for the inclusion of FB in his 2014 Portfolio Playoffs (or whatever it's called), prompting a Brag Trade about how he really thinks his 75 tally is "conservative" (interesting he didn't say that before the report). The sad disclosure from Judge's Playbook rankings was that right now Joe is getting manhandled.

Simon Baker thinks now's the time to get into BBY, there has been "seller's exhaustion," and Baker said to "think Gap 2010." Mike Murphy first trashed the stock, saying "it was overpriced" in 2013, but then admitted it's now about "fair value," so in other words, sounds like not a bad buy.

Jon Najarian argued that YUM's China price hike will be "huge" and cited the India population under 35 as a bull case. But Murphy insisted it'll have to be all India because "they're way past their peak growth over in China."

Najarian insisted "the bad news is priced in," but Simon Baker backed Murphy and said, "Technically it looks dreadful."

Keyshawn Johnson told the group "I'm leaning toward Seattle," then, apparently not realizing Mike Murphy was trying to bait him into a Chrebet controversy, earnestly dubbed Wayne "the original Wes Welker."

Jon Najarian said he got into hot MON calls because the July 115s were moving and told Judge he'd be in this trade "about 20 days."

Mike Murphy's Final Trade was WEN. Simon Baker said NSC. Jon Najarian said TMO.

The cameraman forgot to give Seema Mody a close-up, but this view is great for the chic dress.

[Thursday, January 30, 2014]

Wrong: AMZN brass does care about stock price, probably more than anything else

Few things on Fast Money are more annoying than the Amazon earnings release, in which a couple panelists will say "I can't even come close to getting on board this valuation" and a couple others will say "it's not a valuation story."

At least on Thursday, some constructive opinions were offered, with Tim Seymour stating, "I say you buy this weakness," advice that proved valuable within the hour.

Brian Kelly on the other hand said, "I wouldn't be buying this at all; I'd be selling."

Karen Finerman defended long-term support in the name; "I don't think this is the time that the music stops," said Finerman, who says the stock can "always get a buy-in" when it falls.

At that point the conversation did in fact revert to its traditional loopiness, with Tim Seymour arguing the company's "certainty" is the difference-maker; "these guys are so far ahead ... the certainty is what you pay for," while Karen Finerman questioned what if anything is certain about Amazon and complaining of the financials, "it is so opaque."

Guy Adami didn't seem on board with buying but cautioned, "I don't think you can short it here."

Michael Pachter delivered even-handed commentary, saying the afterhours AMZN problem stems from "creating this perception that they're gonna crush numbers."

Pachter said he has a 330 target; "I just thought the stock was ahead of itself."

Karen Finerman asked Pachter if AMZN management cares at all about its stock price. "Not a whit," Pachter said, whether it's $100 or $500, "they don't care."

Julia Boorstin said later that Amazon might boost the price of Prime from $80 to $100 or $120, which Melissa Lee found fascinating. (But they don't care if the stock is $400 or $100, so why do they care about gouging Prime customers?)

Tim Seymour admitted his enthusiastic BBY call purchase of a week ago (how's that for a specialist in emerging-markets stocks) looks like a bust.

Guy & Mel’s bickering-married-couple routine centers on Chipotle menu, pronunciation during Yahoo comment

Martin Pyykkonen, whose phone connection on Thursday's Fast Money made him sound like Mushmouth on the old "Fat Albert" show, said that "fundamentally this is a very predictable story" in Google.

Karen Finerman, who took her first turn an hour earlier on the Kelly Evans Fast Money-encroaching Closing Bell (and still looked good enough on Fast Money for another excellent profile) and said stocks had a "relief rally," cautioned on Fast Money that GOOG is "getting a little stretched ... I would not be adding here."

Guy Adami said, "I'm surprised Google's up as much as it is," calling the quarter his favorite word, "benign at best."

Melissa Lee noted Google's sudden dumping of Motorola Mobility and questioned if the company has a practice of "buy high, sell cheaper." Karen Finerman humorously said, "A lot of times they buy high and you never hear about it again."

Julia Boorstin reported on Facebook and informed viewers that the Super Bowl is "the biggest TV event of the year." Brian Kelly said to "wait 3 days" on FB but said Instagram is the key, "they're killing it there."

Guy Adami said something about YHOO and the email hacking and clarified "the jigst (sic) of my question." Tim Seymour said "I think this is a yawn."

Seema Mody plays Clumsy Ninja

Brian Kelly, always turning to some supposedly dire international story to proclaim a contrarian call, said on Thursday's Fast Money that he was looking at European banks and then analyzed MS and GS and found "Morgan Stanley has more European exposure," which Kelly thinks will be a problem with the "contagion."

Kelly claimed that "Accuweather came out, they front-runned, uh, franned- front-ran" (sic all) Punxsutawney Phil this year and predicted excessive cold continuing.

Karen Finerman said she sees mighty "Citibank" (sic) rallying (Drink Drink).

Guy Adami said that BA's underperformance on Thursday's tape "makes you wonder that maybe there's a little more room on the downside."

Super-sizzling Seema Mody said she plays Zynga's "Clumsy Ninja." Guy Adami, invoking his favorite word again, said ZNGA's "quarter was benign."

Mel beaming in silky smooth ensemble while speaking with pro football players

Guy Adami indicated without saying as much on Thursday's Fast Money that JCP is in no-man's land.

"It's impossible to short it here. I think it's equally impossible to buy it," Adami said, suggesting that maybe the "flush" will happen on Friday.

Brian Kelly said 50 is "pretty decent support" in CTXS.

Karen Finerman said WLP was getting a "delayed reaction from some very good earnings."

Finerman said that "something smells terrible" in the Corvex-ADT share deal, and "I'd stay away; something is very off here."

Melissa Lee indicated she knew, and she didn't know at the same time, whether someone could answer her question about when an activist investor can sell after getting a board seat, "Are there any rules right now- I don't know if you guys have the answer but I'm sure one of you do."

"One of you do"?

Tim Seymour said of BX, "I think you stay in this trade."

Melissa Lee and Guy Adami did the bickering-married-couple routine over Chipotle's menu. Adami said of the stock, "You gotta say it's a little rich," while Tim Seymour said "good luck" with that stock getting through 550.

Mike Khouw said March 10 calls in JBLU were hot but he thinks Delta and American are cheaper.

The Fast gang actually took some stock-market questions from the NFL players who visited the Nasdaq (gee wonder why they're in New York right now). Tim Seymour had the insight to tell Aldon Smith that FB was rising because "people are making a bet on the future." (Which is better than making a bet on the past, apparently.)

Guy Adami told Brandon Gibson that as it relates to AAPL, "it's not a numbers question; it's an innovation question."

The curious thing was, as much as the panel enjoyed shooting the breeze with Aldon Smith, in fact Smith is well known for another kind of shooting, one that triggered 3 felony charges to go with his 2nd DUI arrest in 2 years, but while the Fast crew asked really insightful questions about whether Richard Sherman really overdid it, nobody questioned why Roger Goodell is OK with a guy who was loaded at least twice behind a wheel and also hosted a party and fired a handgun twice off a balcony and got himself stabbed in the process with thugs present missing only 5 midseason games during rehab ... while a 2-time champion quarterback got 6 games only for an embarrassing — yes it was disgraceful — tavern incident in which police determined there was no case and the purported victim announced she did not wish to pursue a case, and then despite this stiff punishment for what was determined a non-crime still got trashed in a mag article during the playoffs by the commish, who claimed the QB's own teammates didn't support him, just before Super Bowl 45 occurred. Evidently repeated drunk driving and buying assault rifles the day before a game and firing handguns off balconies and getting stabbed and other people getting shot in players' driveways isn't that big of a deal.

But that information evidently wasn't on Mel's note card.

But the backdrop made for a great endorsement for Mark Doman's money-management services for young athletes. (He wants them to think about retirement, so how come we didn't hear Brian Kelly recommending bitcoin?)

Meanwhile, Mel looked dynamite in incredibly smooth and sleek navy top paired with golden skirt.

Karen Finerman's Final Trade was to sell TKR. Guy Adami said QLGC, which he apparently just picked up about 10 minutes earlier. (See, sometimes the "Final Trade" is not something they devote a lot of effort to.) Brian Kelly said CNX. Tim Seymour said something about an emerging market but the pick was unintelligible.

Judge fails to ask Joe what he thinks of the name ‘Redskins’

Washington Redskins great Joe Theismann told Thursday's Halftime Report crew that trading stocks is one of the few endeavors to rival pro football for excitement.

"It's one of the places where you can get a great rush," Theismann said. (Has he looked at Simon Baker's portfolio recently?)

Like a play-action pass, Joe delivered a bit of a mixed message on his own trading, stating he used to trade S&P futures but "now I just trade the equities quite a bit," and then pinning everything on his advisor, Ed May of Morgan Stanley; "I let the professionals do it."

So Joe is apparently calling the plays, and Ed is the quarterback.

Or maybe it's the other way around.

Joe issued a Brag Trade, saying that unless the U.S. disappeared, stocks were a screaming buy in 2009, so "I went all in."

As for the stocks that give Joe a bigger rush than Lyle Alzado and Howie Long in XVIII, he said, I like Keryx (KERX), and SLB.

Jon Najarian seized on that to trumpet BHI in his Playbook Playoffs portfolio.

Recently it seems as though Barack Obama sees no more important issue than the nickname of the Washington pro football team. But Judge didn't bother to ask Joe Theismann about that; nor did we hear about it in the State of the Union speech.

Pete makes no sense, cites MSFT at 16 and asks Joe Theismann if owning a sports team is a greater investment than owning MSFT

Pete Najarian went down the right path, and then bungled it like a fumble in the open field.

Najarian on Thursday's Halftime Report pointed out to star guest Joe Theismann what Paul Allen paid for the Seattle Seahawks, and then cited MSFT at 16 ... which was either MSFT's price at the time of Allen's purchase in the 1990s (entirely possible), or MSFT's price in the 08-09 bottom (also entirely possible) ... and asked Theismann whether the Seahawks (apparently at today's value) or MSFT (apparently at today's value) is a better investment.

Theismann opined, "I think Microsoft has a much greater chance of going higher as opposed to a team increasing its value."

Seriously?? Maybe for 2 months, but, say, 5 years from now, we'd put our money on the Redskins or Cowboys vs. MSFT shares.

Theismann further undermined his own ability to forecast net worth in claiming he "never" believed quarterbacks or even a defensive lineman would get a $100 million contract. (Wait until it's $200 million.)

Joe said, "I like the Seattle Seahawks in this game," but then lamented the weather wrinkle for "people traveling from Seattle (snicker) and Denver," and if he had attended XL in Detroit as some of us did, he would've counted about 18 Seattle fans in the entire stadium.

Theismann indicated the proposed "union" by Northwestern University football players may not be that feasible, but it could "accelerate the process" that would lead to a "stipend."

Judge didn't bother to ask Joe exactly why a backup tight end for Purdue should get bonus money on top of a scholarship, or whether that bonus money should be the same amount that Johnny Manziel gets.

Famous Grudges: Joe Montana

Dominic Chu mentioned on Thursday's Halftime Report that groups will pay former greats such as Joe Montana, Boomer Esiason and Phil Simms $50,000-$60,000 to deliver speeches.

What no one will pay them to do anymore is be the starting quarterback.

If you saw our home page the other day (and you know you did), you saw this fascinating report from the Bay Area involving Joe Montana's scoff at skipping the final game at Candlestick Park.

"If somebody left IBM and went to Apple, if they were shutting IBM down, do you think that guy would go back and visit?" Montana said, prompting the San Francisco sports writer to explain, "It shows that Montana still views what happened as a job firing."

Greatest quarterback of all time. (See below.)


There was tremendous drama here. The 49ers were viewed as aging fast after losing the 1990 NFC title game to New York, legendary greats Montana, Lott and Craig all north of 30, Jerry Rice about to enter his 7th season.

Age (35) wouldn't have bumped Joe to the bench. Rather, it was the combination of not playing at all in 1991, missing nearly all of 92, and seeing the younger replacement deliver an MVP season in Joe's absence that prompted the 49ers to declare Steve Young the permanent starting quarterback and ship Joe to his destination of choice, Kansas City.

Very justifiable. But if you've already put 4 Super Bowl rings in the franchise's pockets, and you would've preferred to keep your current job, you might be a little ticked.

Particularly when your replacement happens to be your own personal Public Enemy No. 1.

So, what do we conclude from here ... when you're an enormous fish in a tiny pond of greatness ... say, Joe Namath and the New York Jets ... you can be king for life ... but when that pond has a lot of other greatness and very high standards ... say, the Holy Roman Empire or the 1980s-90s San Francisco 49ers ... even the kings better expect sharp elbows.

Marc Faber just said to short TWTR

Pete Najarian thundered praise for mighty FB on Thursday's Halftime Report, stating "they absolutely slaughtered these numbers," and pointing to FB and UA as well, "that's why it's a stock-picker's market."

Well, actually, for the month of January, he's right, it has been a stock-picker's market.

Daniel Ernst, on the other hand, called FB a hold, saying its sector's stock gains have largely come from "multiple appreciation" and not growth.

"These guys are not knocking the cover off the ball in terms of pure earnings growth," Ernst said, drawing comparisons to Google.

Judge protested what else FB needs to show the bears. Ernst evidently wanted to talk more about GOOG and questioned which company Judge was talking about, prompting Judge to snap that he's talking about FB. But Ernst insisted it's kind of the same story, "they really have 1 core thing that they make money on," and went on to say that the most important metric for Google is "paid click growth," throwing in an "at the end of the day."

Jon Najarian said of AMZN (oops), "I would be holding."

Greatest stock since
sliced bread: C

On a nice day up Thursday, Steve Grasso was a sour voice on the Halftime Report, shrugging off the gains as short-covering and end-of-the-month shenanigans and pointing to Turkey's inverted yield curve as a reason not to buy stocks.

Josh Brown also wasn't jumping aboard, stating, "I don't think we're out of the woods just yet."

Josh Brown pointed out how much better BAC is than C, which got Pete Najarian's dander up. "I totally disagree with you guys," Pete said, calling C the best opportunity in big banks, which is probably what he said years ago when he and Mr. New World used to claim that once it passed $5, all those institutional buyers would step in.

Steve Grasso chimed in on Brown's side, saying we don't know how C is hedged and that those hedges could actually prove a drag if international growth does surge. But then Grasso's mike cut out and he did a little Shields & Yarnell routine.

Vince Reinhart told Judge, "We got good news on the economy," but cautioned that "capital inflows can be fickle."

Who wants to go to Utah?

Jim Iuorio said on Thursday's Halftime Report that "I don't think the upward move is quite over yet" in crude, while Brian Stutland invoked "Back to School" in citing a "Quadruple Lindy."

Jon Najarian argued that "China's the solution" for WYNN, while Josh Brown insisted that "Macau is actually gonna slow this year" and that WYNN is vulnerable to every emerging market headline.

Pete Najarian sided with Jon Najarian, predicting 230 "in a very quick time" for WYNN.

Morgan Brennan, in another example of the sloppy gaffer work in which CNBCers off-camera are heard talking over the people on-camera (some guy this time said "talking from there where would you go, to Utah?"), reported that UPS is "pretty optimistic on 2014." Josh Brown said there's support in the name at 90/91 and it's a "low-risk entry," but that there are "so many other better stories right now."

Jon Fortt said that for QCOM to rally, "China better come through." Pete Najarian likes both QCOM and MU.

Seema Mody reported on BX. Mike Murphy, practically shut out for the day, said, "I think this story is far from over," and also suggested PSP.

Pete Najarian gave Judge the obligatory expected time frame of his option play on UA, "I will be out of this before the end of the day ... who's killin' it online? These guys are."

Phil LeBeau said TSLA crews were performing an "electronic 'Cannonball Run'," and "it's not your leisurely drive across the country."

Jon Najarian's Final Trade was TPX. Josh Brown said AWAY, Mike Murphy said HTZ and Pete Najarian said C.

[Wednesday, January 29, 2014]

Guy Adami pushing his luck

He's very close to being right on 1,765 and could just spectacularly hit that number this week.

Otherwise, Guy Adami's day-by-day S&P 500 forecast looks a bit bone-headed.

On Tuesday's Fast Money, Adami predicted the S&P would be up 10-15 handles Wednesday. When, in fact, it actually went the opposite direction.

So Wednesday, Adami declared, "I'd be shocked if tomorrow we went down and tested that 1,765" ... but it could well happen on Friday.

Josh Brown disagreed, stating, "I don't think that there's gonna be a rally tomorrow" and pointing to the XRT.

Steve Grasso also said the market is starting to batter the 100-day, and "I think we're going lower."

Brian Kelly said 1,700 is "probably the next stop."

It wasn't really clear what Dan Nathan meant, but he was heard to say "very shallow pullback."

Dan Nathan implies there’s a new Google, Facebook or Twitter every 2 weeks

In a clumsy mix of GOOG/FB discussion on Wednesday's Fast Money, Guy Adami claimed the "prudent thing to do" if you're long GOOG is to "take something off the table" before the report.

Maybe, Karen Finerman was listening somewhere.

Adami also claimed that FB "wants to trade $60 now."

Dan Nathan though was the skeptic, calling GOOG a "really, really crowded trade," and then, challenged about FB and GOOG valuations, insisted "they're all very crowded trades" because people think those names are the future of the Web, while "I think there's gonna be other futures."

And how in the world is that a short-term trading call on Fast Money, was the question Melissa Lee did not follow up with.

Steve Grasso predicted that once TWTR reports, people will switch out of FB into TWTR.

Grasso also called YouTube the "crown jewel" of GOOG (Drink). But he wasn't so high on LNKD, saying the dip always has been buyable, but "I don't think it's that buyable any longer."

Bob Peck, who was bizarrely stationed with a phone in front of all those gawkers in Times Square, said Facebook's ad revenues were up 76%.

Julia Boorstin later said that Sheryl Sandberg told her something about Coca-Cola getting 3.6 times the impact of some non-Facebook ads in France, or something like that.

Mel and Guy’s bickering-married-couple routine gets started early on the word ‘rhetoric’

Steve Grasso, who enjoys making the same comment for days and weeks on end on Fast Money, struggled to say "all about Alibaba" a couple times Wednesday while reaffirming of YHOO, "I'm 80% out of the name."

"It's a placeholder for me," said Grasso, who indicated it would have to get closer to 30 for him to get back in.

Josh Brown bluntly declared the YHOO trade dead; "this is over."

Guest David Chao told Melissa Lee that it's possible China IPOs could be delayed, but they likely won't be. Chao said "the hype is warranted" in Alibaba, but Josh Brown took issue with the notion that YHOO is the only vehicle for playing it, insisting Softbank is "a layup."

Brown, tearing a page from Dr. New Land's trusty playbook (not the one that said "Buy AAPL" for the 2014 Playoffs), suggested QCOM is "probably in the penalty box" and broke hearts after failing from the breakout. But Steve Grasso said it's OK, "as long as it protects that $70 level." Guy Adami said people keep using QCOM as a proxy for shorting AAPL (Double Drink) and it doesn't work and he's sick of warning about that.

Cameraman gives Mel 360°
in sizzling new gray dress, perfectly clipped hair, lap shawl

Dan Nathan, protesting that he doesn't really like YUM that much, said on Wednesday's Fast Money that someone was buying the February 70 calls, and at this point in the range it's intriguing, so "this stock could move on slightly better-than-expected news."

Josh Brown suggested a Twitterer's query about $700 PCLN was too dire, explaining there are "various levels of support north of a thousand."

Guy Adami said "buying and holding are the same thing" while endorsing KKR, or better yet, BX.

Adami congratulated himself for his recent X range calls and said to stay long against 24½.

Josh Brown said not to credit Loeb for whatever DOW's doing. Steve Grasso said "I'm staying long" AA. Dan Nathan said if a TMUS deal doesn't happen, there's a 10% air pocket.

Rarely if ever has Dave Barger passed up a chance to join the Fast Money gang; Wednesday, while acknowledging the hideous weather this month in much of the country, Barger claimed "there's an upside to it as well" because people seek flights to Florida and the South. (Yeah sure, people in Atlanta suddenly are booking trips to South Padre Island.)

Steve Grasso gushed about getting streaming video on an airplane, asserting that email is no big deal to him. Guy Adami, as always, suggested JBLU is a good play here, with "limited downside."

Steve Grasso's Final Trade was BAC (why would he say that if, according to his earlier commentary, the markets are heading lower?), Dan Nathan said to sell GOOG, Josh Brown said buy DOW and Guy Adami said TLT.

Unhappy YHOO investor claims
Jack Ma is tanking stock

This is a good one.

Eric Jackson, the YHOO long who 2 weeks ago on the Halftime Report hung a $70, 18-month target on the stock, on Wednesday uncorked a conspiracy theory that he didn't bother to bring up last time.

"Jack Ma has basically given his senior managers a directive over there, uh, as of several months ago, to basically slow down the process, because they want to IPO at a lower valuation if possible when they do IPO this year because that means they'll be able to buy their stake back from Yahoo at a lower price," Jackson claimed.

Judge, borrowing Steve Weiss' line from 2 weeks ago, suggested to Jackson that "the bloom's off the rose, isn't it," as far as Marissa Mayer's leadership. But Jackson insisted, "I like Yahoo, and I will be buying more ... there is still upside ahead," at least in the realm of "financial engineering."

Jackson reaffirmed his belief in a big merger: "A combination with AOL makes more sense today than it did yesterday," Jackson said.

Pete Najarian said April 55 and July 50 calls in AOL are still hot.

Steve Weiss said of YHOO, "I would not own it," and then in what seemed like overkill on this subject, was enlisted to debate YHOO bull Jon Najarian, who claimed the secret sauce is now Alipay, "that's what you really want here."

Weiss said Alibaba's revenue growth was down 20% year over year and that Marissa Mayer is "over her skis a little bit."

Doc, who didn't reaffirm his point from last week that Marissa showed decisive leadership like Eisner at Disney in the '90s in booting her ridiculously bungled COO hire, insists the stock should get to $50.

Pete pronounces Gemma’s first name with a hard ‘G’

In a weak intro to Wednesday's Halftime Report, Steve Liesman predicted the Fed wouldn't pull back on its taper process because it doesn't view the present emerging-market currency issues as a big deal; "it amounts to a Bogartian hill of beans" (as CNBC courts that younger demographic).

Stephen Weiss wasn't so sure about the Fed; "I'm not so sure that they go today," oh well.

Gemma Godfrey said that evaluating countries in this current turmoil is just like evaluating companies, it's about "management and balance sheet," and that some of them have "attractive entry points."

Pete Najarian took up a couple individual stocks, stating it seems like in AAPL, the sellers are "winning," but in JPM, he sees a "lot of upside call-buying in there," before mispronouncing Gemma Godfrey's first name.

Jim Keenan said global uncertainty has affected the bond market.

Pete suggests you should be buying and selling UA at the same time

Brian Billick, hell-bent on promoting seatgeek.com, told Judge Wapner on Wednesday's Halftime Report that the Super Bowl pits "truly the best defense vs. the best offense in the game."

Um, well ...

The purported "best offense" has not scored 30 points yet in a playoff game. (As a matter of fact, neither has the team with the purported "best defense.")

And all of those games have been played at home, by 2 clubs that tend to be much different (i.e., worse) away from the friendly confines.

This feels like a Super Bowl V type of situation, a "blunder bowl" in the making.

Billick wouldn't predict a winner but did predict a final score of 24-17.

Pete Najarian questioned having a cold-weather game. But Billick said that the forecast doesn't look bad, which is going to prompt other cold-weather cities to demand to host especially when Dallas had ice storms a couple years ago (that was one game to forget).

NHL exec John Collins said fans love the outdoor games.

Jon Najarian suggested COLM as a cold-weather athletic play. Pete Najarian delivered a schizophrenic opinion on UA, advising people to take profits while owning it into earnings at the same time. Stephen Weiss said FL and FINL are the names that are working, "not Dick's."

CNBC stepping up new agenda of forcing Najarians to declare expected holding period of options plays

Jeff Kilburg said on Wednesday's Halftime Report that there's more upside in natural gas. The Ilchmeister, Rich Ilczyszyn, said "5.80 is the line in the sand" and said someone bought a "boatload" of March 6 calls.

Jon Najarian flagged WU as a possible stumble, stating "payments could be down," and affirming to Judge that he expects to be in the trade "a week to 2 weeks."

Stephen Weiss called WLP the "place to be with Obamacare."

Pete Najarian said of VLO, "I think it goes higher; I own calls."

Jon Najarian said EA is in a "very hot space."

Pete Najarian said VMW is outperforming rivals; "I love this space right now."

Stephen Weiss said JBLU and other airlines like the retailers will be trumpeting the bad-weather story.

Jon Najarian explained TUP is struggling because "these guys have massive exposure to emerging markets."

If security names are so great, why are there so many reported breaches?

Pete Najarian on Wednesday's Halftime Report again pounded the table (Zzzzzz) for security names, trumpeting INTC.

Stephen Weiss couldn't seem to make up his mind on whether he really likes QCOM's stock prospects, asserting that "smartphones continue to grow" but that Chinese taxation issues are a potential headwind.

Jon Najarian also seemed at a loss to make a call on LVS, stating a couple times he prefers MGM and WYNN and that LVS is "under pressure going into earnings tonight" but that twice as many LVS calls as puts were moving in the options market.

Pete Najarian said it's been a volatile month for FB but it's basically flat; "now we're looking for the upside."

Stephen Weiss' Final Trade was to short RIO. Jon Najarian said buy CPN, and Pete Najarian said to buy JPM.

[Tuesday, January 28, 2014]

Nobody apparently heard Brian Kelly urging Carl to short TWTR

Tim Seymour said on Tuesday's Fast Money that trading in AAPL is "gonna be sloppy the next couple of days," and made clear, "I'm not sure how much people are listening to Carl on this one."

It wasn't much of a conversation; in fact no one seemed to hear Brian Kelly uncork this head-scratcher: "If I were Carl, I'd be short Twitter," because it's "not working anymore." Even though on Tuesday it was up 4%.

We'll take the other side of "BK" and Carl's and Marc Faber's mythical short. (This writer presently has no position in TWTR.)

Karen Finerman said she wondered if AAPL might do some buyback purchases in the wake of Tuesday's selloff but then concluded it probably can't do it so soon after a report but likely would have to wait 2 days.

Guy: S&P up 10-15 on Wednesday

Around here, we'd never mistake Michelle Caruso-Cabrera for anyone, let alone former CNBC hosts.

But that didn't stop Tim Seymour on Tuesday's Fast Money from telling MCC, "Hey Maria it's Tim Seymour," before finally screwing his head on tight enough to continue with the program.

In the first of his roughly 4 opportunities to discuss emerging markets during the program, Seymour dubbed Turkey's move as "very good news" and then explained that for emerging markets traders, "it's all about currency," then stating that you "should be buying this for a trade," before ultimately suggesting TUR (big shocker there, except it can always be VimpelComm, Cemex, Embraer or Mobile Telesystems) as his Final Trade.

Guy Adami a couple times in the program predicted Wednesday would be up, maybe 10-15 S&P handles, then stated Thursday would be a "benign day," and finally called Friday a "wild card" while strongly hinting that Friday could see the south side of 1,765, which would be bad.

Jon Hilsenrath made perhaps the show's most important comment. "If they increase the, the pace of tapering, they're sending a signal to the markets that rate hikes are coming sooner," Hilsenrath said, but he predicted no earthquakes until at least the "next forecast revision" in March.

It took a Google Glass demonstration to get just the right look from Melissa (as Lance Ulanoff delivered wrong information)

Rob Sanderson told Tuesday's Fast Money that YHOO's report was "not totally unexpected" and conceded that the stock is basically just an Alibaba story; "undeniably this is a really important asset."

Brian Kelly said of YHOO, "now's a chance to get in," a point echoed by Guy Adami.

Karen Finerman, like she always does, said she prefers GOOG, but she sold GOOG 1160 calls and said she'd regret that if it spikes.

Tim Seymour waffled like l'eggo my egg'o on BIDU, seemingly liking the stock but questioning whether its issues are over in 1 day.

Guy Adami said NFLX is over its skis, and "now it gets really hard to stay with it ... ya gotta take some money off the table here."

"Sometimes there are selling opportunities," Adami said, bemoaning the fact that whenever you hear "opportunity" on business television it's almost always preceded by "buying."

Adami said he figured the T quarter would be lousy, but at 33, "the stock might be interesting." But Tim Seymour opined, "The best times for these guys are behind them."

Adami said to buy GLW at 16.

Lance Ulanoff brought in some Google Glasses (or is it just "Google Glass") and shared with the panel. What we got from this is a near-perfect image of Mel, slightly unguarded, because of the mouth. And the watch, jewelry, and gentle handling of the frames. She might not like it. People are fickle. We like it.

Ulanoff, referring to a story that was run up the flagpole on this site before Henry Blodget's $100-million-isn't-enough Business Insider bothered to aggregate it, pointed out that if you wear Google Glass into a movie theater, "you might get arrested ... as one guy just did."

Lee and the Fast Money crew sort of indicated they weren't even familiar with that story (their loss). Except Ulanoff wasn't quite 100% familiar with it either, as the gentleman in question was NOT arrested, but essentially forced to have a 30-minute "voluntary" conversation with Homeland Security agents.

Cameraman gives us an awesome profile of Karen Finerman

Tim Seymour, in one of the most lukewarm, tepid, iffy, uncertain performances of all time, said on Tuesday's Fast Money that F (Drink) is a name you can "start to nibble at."

Karen Finerman said that everything Seymour said about F is true for GM (Drink), and "I still like it."

Guy Adami said F has "gotta prove itself" and hold 15.50.

Tim Seymour cautioned not to go plunging into TTM, but "give it a day or 2."

Brian Kelly, evidently not buying Don Drapkin's Halftime spiel, said of CLF, "I wouldn't be buyin' it." Karen Finerman said she didn't know why URI was up.

Guest Nili Gilbert, in her first Fast Money appearance, curiously reminded everyone that valuation calls are dicey because "stocks can stay overvalued or undervalued for a really long time," then recommended MASI, which admittedly has "stock-price momentum," and FCH, which she called a "contrarian pick" because of its low dividend.

Mike Khouw said March 50 calls in MTH were hot.

Brian Kelly said, "I think you short EEM right here," and that was his Final Trade. Karen Finerman said buy TKR, and Guy Adami said buy YHOO.

Remembering what we were doing when JFK died, when we first bought AAPL in the 2000s, etc.

Pete Najarian said on Tuesday's Halftime Report that he's been thinking of following Carl Icahn with yet another buy of AAPL, the 2014 Playbook Playoffs head-scratcher that both he and Dr. New World somehow indulged in, but, "so far I haven't done anything."

Pete maintained that "the 14½ earnings per share; that's a huge number when you really amotorize (sic) that out for the year."

Josh Brown said AAPL represents "opportunity under 500."

Guest Don Drapkin took the panel and viewers down memory lane, explaining that he bought AAPL when he first saw an iPod and thought it was so much better than a Walkman, and for that, he "was well-rewarded."

Unfortunately, "I sold it at $200," said Drapkin, whose comment about thinking Steve Jobs had left a longer runway didn't really make any sense for someone lamenting the sale of the stock.

Guest Ken Allen said AAPL is posting some unprecedented cash flows, but the problem is there's no growth in the iPhone, though "something like a smart watch" might move the needle.

Allen was more excited about GOOG, asserting, "I think that Google over 3 years could become the largest market cap eclipsing Apple and ExxonMobil and others along the way."

But Josh Brown opined, "I think Apple is probably the better buy a few days from now."

Allen said CSCO is big enough to figure things out; "it has the benefit of time."

‘More downside to come’

What looked on Monday to be a temporary move to address rocky markets now looks like a permanent fixture — assembling several non-Fast-Money/Halftime types to open up the Halftime Report as though it's a Closing Bell roundtable.

Super-stunning Seema Mody reported that the Nasdaq Composite was actually up despite AAPL's terrible day.

Josh Brown called Tuesday a "back-to-normal day." But Kenny Polcari contended, "I actually think there's more downside to come."

Steve Liesman said the $10 tapering seems set in stone for the Fed, but he thinks GDP is now looking "somewhere between the low to high 3s."

Simon Baker sort of said he likes stock-picking and sort of said he likes industrials as a group, specifically CMI and PH, the former being his Final Trade.

Josh Brown helpfully bragged, "We trimmed when the year turned over." (But did he buy AAPL when he first saw an iPod and thought it was better than a Walkman?)

‘Early innings’ of health care

Don Drapkin took his CLF-activism case to the friendly confines of Judge Wapner's Halftime Report on Tuesday, saying he wants to split the company into an MLP and then everything else, and "stop exploration."

"This is a no-brainer," Drapkin argued.

Drapkin dangled a carrot-and-stick approach to management, insisting they didn't start this mess and "they can step up and be heroes," but that they better do either his plan or some other that gets the stock to 50.

Josh Brown questioned, "Aren't they at the mercy of what the coal market will bear," but Drapkin drew distinctions to iron ore and indicated no.

Meanwhile, Daniel Chai contended that, "We think um, health care's sort of in the early innings of a big re-rating here," and he likes MRK and NVDQ, the latter providing a "real-time operative road map for a surgeon."

Chai also thinks biotech is not cooked. Pete Najarian said Chai convinced him even more that MRK is great, and Pete likes LLY also. Mike Murphy touted UNH, GILD and TEVA.

Judge tells entrepreneur that his Super Bowl ad isn’t sleazy enough

Mike Murphy said at the top of Tuesday's Halftime, "Stay away from housing," and then tried to prove it in a lackluster DHI debate with Pete Najarian.

Pete's bull case had little more than essentially "they can keep doing it," and he actually said, "sales prices are up 10%."

"It's gotten too far, too fast," said Murphy.

But Pete said, "I think the stock goes to 28 and then tests 30," prompting Josh Brown to declare, "I think Pete is dead-on."

Phil LeBeau reported 36,522 flight cancellations in January. Josh Brown scoffed that every day in the country there's a weather-related problem for airlines, so it's not an investable thesis. But Simon Baker said that cancellation number is higher than the amount of Teslas made last year.

Brown said of GLW, "I would buy the 7% selloff," and made it his Final Trade.

Baker said ANF is doing a "good job" for shareholder value.

Mike Murphy rooted for the home team, saying of CMCSA, "I like the stock here."

Pete Najarian said of STX, "I think it's an opportunity down here at 51."

Anthony Grisanti said he doubts the extra tapering will happen but thinks gold prices "can't hold higher." The Ilchmeister, Rich Ilczyszyn, took a page from Gerry Rafferty and claimed "we're stuck in the middle" between 1,230 and 1,280, and if either is broken, "you're gonna get a directional move," perhaps toward 1,200, at which point he'll be interested.

Judge Wapner obviously didn't see enough bikinis in the SquareSpace Super Bowl ad and asked founder Anthony Casalena, "Why not try and do something a little more flashy" given that SquareSpace competes with Go Daddy. Casalena rather unimpressively said his ad is designed to draw a contrast between the "kind of a cluttered world on the Web" and where SquareSpace can take you.

Simon Baker claimed, wrongly, "If these commercials don't work, it can really hurt your image too," but nobody challenged him.

Pete Najarian said he's in the AOL options trade and made selling UA his Final Trade. Mike Murphy's Final Trade was buy WFM.

Brian Marshall tells Carl Quintanilla ‘at the end of the day’ twice on Closing Bell

It's not just a Fast Money thing.

Brian Marshall joined Carl Quintanilla on Tuesday's Squawk on the Street, and the first thing he said was, "At the end of the day."

And then he said it again.

[Monday, January 27, 2014]

Josh Brown is continuously improving his cost basis in AAPL

Guy Adami, evidently designated the AAPL expert of Monday's Fast Money, managed to keep calling the shares a buy no matter how much they tumbled during the program.

At first, it was, around $520, it "might set up pretty interesting tomorrow."

"This is a quarter where you finally got the flush," Adami suggested.

Ultimately, he predicted the shares would trade Tuesday in the "low 5-teens" and that it could be capitulation on a "monster volume day."

Tim Seymour said he wanted to see it hold 525 but insisted the afterhours action is irrelevant and it's Tuesday's trading that matters.

Jon Najarian observed, "It's hanging in right there at the November 20th low," and grasping to turn a lemon of a report into lemonade, claimed, "the biggest thing is the supply constraint."

Josh Brown said there isn't a big support level until 480, but then explained that every time it gets pounded, he buys more; "at the end of the day ... I continue to improve my cost basis."

Brown told Karen the stock should get a 9 multiple. But Finerman seemed the most skeptical of the whole panel, asking, "What is the catalyst here" and stating we're "still waiting" for the next product.

"I would let it shake out a little bit," Finerman advised. "I don't know what the right multiple is."

If Finerman wasn't the most pessimistic, then Colin Gillis surely was, suggesting "it could be a dead-money stock."

Guy Adami patted himself on the back for his recent NUAN calls and suggested that as an AAPL derivative play (and we thought we had seen the last of those on Fast Money). Josh Brown said to just play AAPL. Tim Seymour pointed to QCOM and invoked a legendary cliche, "I don't think you need to be a hero."

Dennis Gartman, lagging indicator

Dennis Gartman, who tends to wait to see how the chart goes before deciding it's going to keep going that way, told Monday's Fast Money that he's in risk-off mode.

"Now I think it's time to be somewhat frightened ... as Dougie Kass says, risk happens fast," Gartman said.

Gartman said the Japan trade might well be over, and that he was wrong to be bullish on palladium just last week in that goofy exchange with Tim Seymour that made almost zero sense (but Mel didn't bring up that angle).

Guy Adami warned that if the S&P crashes through 1,765, it'll be an outside month, so that level is critical.

Josh Brown called 1,750 a "logical support level."

But Tim Seymour said that if you're inclined to short emerging markets at Monday's levels, "you have to be careful," and Karen Finerman pointed to the rapid rise in the VIX and said, "We were net buyers today."

Larry McDonald pointed to credit-default swap correlations between HSBC and JPM and Standard and MS. "HSBC started blowing out relative to JPMorgan," McDonald said, suggesting that if that spread narrows, that would be a buy signal for stocks.

McDonald called the Chinese shadow-banking hysteria "very much like the S&L crisis in the '80s" in that the system isn't all connected; "these loans are isolated."

Tim Seymour asked Melissa Lee if she's going to a water park. Here's the correct phrasing of what Seymour was really asking: "Are you going to be poolside in your swimsuit anytime soon?"

Karen Finerman observed, "It's the worst part of parenting, water parks."

Back in black: Karen
wears new leather dress

Bob Pisani reported on Monday's Fast Money that in the ETF world, "They're weeding out some of the crazier ones," but nevertheless there are still things like the Nashville ETF, or the Forensic Accounting ETF, and the carbon-related vehicle that strikes Pisani as a fine idea but has no volume.

Melissa Lee declared, "When he called them strange, I think he was putting it politely."

Josh Brown started to say "at the end of the- " (Near Drink), he gets visits all the time from guys peddling these products (do they look him up at Ritholtz Wealth Management offices or the Nasdaq/Englewood Cliffs?), and he wouldn't buy them.

Karen Finerman said she covered her CAT short on the day's spike. Guy Adami though suggested CAT's closing level was an interesting place to put on a short.

Tim Seymour said of the VOD drop, "I don't think they're comin' back" to make the deal. Josh Brown said he wouldn't buy MRK at Monday's price. Karen Finerman, unlike Pete Najarian and his foolish Halftime call, suggested LULU "might be starting to get worth a nibble here." (This writer is long LULU.)

Guy Adami said XRX had a "monster double-top" but when it hits "9 even," you can buy.

Scott Nations reported double the average daily put volume in IWM.

Tim Seymour's Final Trade was to short UTX. Josh Brown said long GLW, Karen Finerman said buy URI and Guy Adami said to buy ABX.

Judge strongly implies that
Marc Faber has ‘credit’ on other things

Coincidentally, the 2 panelists on Monday's Halftime Report were the 2 who made the head-scratching decision to put AAPL in their 2014 Playbook Playoffs portfolios. (Hey, can't say we didn't warn 'em.) (This item was posted after trading Monday.)

Pete Najarian declared, "I expect a pretty big number tonight."

Dr. New World said the numbers he was looking for are 58 billion, 14.25 EPS, as well as "significant cost improvements."

Star guest Steve Milunovich predicted a (snicker) "strong report, decent guidance," and said the stock is still in a "correction pattern but still an upward trend."

Judge Wapner and Jon Fortt and super-gorgeous Seema Mody pointed to the tech/social media slide, with Judge even stating that Marc Faber's comments in Barron's were behind the selloff in TWTR. But Judge cracked, "I don't know about his credit on Twitter," and suggested there was another cause. (This writer is long TWTR; goal being to take the other side of the Marc Faber trade.) (The fact Judge read that entire roundtable is startling.)

Pete Najarian called CSCO a hold but questioned why GOOG was getting hit and said GE would be an opportunity on a selloff.

Mr. New Land said Royal Caribbean is even a cold-weather play; "this is a name that has worked; this is a name you stay with." Joe also said AT&T is focusing on U.S. issues and "I like what AT&T is doing here," but in fact, "I like Verizon better."

Pete seems to think Janney downgrade of stock that’s down 32% in 6 weeks is all right

Likely unleashing a bust, Pete Najarian on Monday's Halftime Report noted that Lululemon has been down since contra-indicator Janney called it a great pick, then claimed "I still love Under Armour" and that that name is taking LULU share, and predicting there's "still downside for LULU from here."

And we'll gladly take the other side of that one and, as this page previously schooled Mike Murphy when EXPE was in a similar free fall at the same price, predict that LULU gets to 55 faster than one of Pete's banking warhorses, mighty C, omg those banks are just so great and all those buyers of XLF options and all that international banking growth that's in the C sweet spot and the synergies that Mr. Corbat's doing etc., perhaps even 50 to be honest but C has a decided head start there. (This writer is long LULU.)

Pete took on Mr. New World (there wasn't anyone else to challenge; Fish wasn't gonna do it) over CAT, of all stocks. Pete claimed "it's construction and it's power" and not just mining, and actually said with a straight face that it's a "well-managed company right now."

Mr. New World shrugged and said "I actually shorted the stock today," claiming there's a "ceiling to all that financial engineering."

Pete insisted it's not all about China and hung a $100 target. Joe rebutted, "Their high was buying Bucyrus for $8 billion," but what he could've said was that Pete used to pronounce "Bucyrus" as "Buka-riss."

Twice as many Seattle folks want to attend the Super Bowl compared with last year

Mark Fisher, a guest for all of Monday's Halftime (but not dressed nearly as snappy as Michelle Caruso-Cabrera), aside from stating about 5 times which stocks/commodities put in a high for the year on Jan. 2 and which put in a low, offered an analogy about selling natural gas just like selling milk just before the expiration date and contended that nat gas is "a story going forward" and not just for the winter.

Fish established a 95-125 range for crude and suggested Canadian energy names might be ripe for the picking including by Chinese pursuers.

Dr. New Land praised HES and indicated he likes "activism" in the shale names. Pete Najarian pointed out he's got BP in his Playbook portfolio.

Joe said "I would not" plunge into coal here but would need to see Australia strength. Pete said there's a "price tipping point" at which they switch from nat gas.

Jon Najarian beamed in to say he plans to spend 5 days in his long TWX trade.

Brent Bellm, the COO of HomeAway, which apparently books homes to rent for big events such as the Super Bowl, said places near the stadium are going for $1,500 a night.

Then, Bellm went on to say that demand is "up over 100% year on year coming from Seattle." Which makes sense, given that the Seahawks weren't in the Super Bowl last year.

Pete Najarian's Final Trade was WHR. Joe Terranova revealed, "I bought Urban Outfitters today."

Pete Najarian: ‘There’s a lot
of panic right now’

The January selloff in stocks is now apparently worrisome enough to stoke talk of a rollback of the QE rollback.

Steve Grasso observed on Monday's Halftime Report that "people are selling first," but that, "if the Fed sways (sic) away, strays away, from that 10 billion, this market will- will, uh, react incredibly to the upside."

But star guest Mark Fisher suggested almost with disbelief that "if the Fed doesn't taper," after just a 4% correction on the heels of a huge year, then it shows "they care more about the stock market than they care about the economy."

Grasso indicated it would not be a sudden reversal but more about the language of the next Fed statement showing "they are capable of not tapering," because to the market it has been "so damn telegraphed."

Grasso said 1,764 is the next market test.

Rick Santelli opined, "I don't see the Fed altering course at all."

Guest sexy Michelle Caruso-Cabrera, whose best move on the show is saying "Dr. New World" or "Mr. New Land," said some people are downplaying the foreign risks as similar to 1997 and 1998 when stocks still went up.

Caruso-Cabrera and Fish agreed that trying to prop up currencies, as some countries are doing, is either a "quagmire" or hopeless or just a bad idea.

Paul Richards said the market is "very nervous" and focused on the "periphery" of the world markets, and "periphery to me is Turkey and Argentina," but he thinks overall emerging markets have suffered "contagion that was frankly unfair."

Richards claimed the next big moment for stocks is (Zzzzzz) China PMI on Friday night.

Pete Najarian believes that people who chased in late December have "puked" stocks in Janauary because they can't take the volatility. "There's a lot of profits being taken right now ... there's a lot of panic right now in the market," Najarian claimed.

Dr. New World said the "consensus" on basically everything "has been entirely wrong in 2014."

Joe also told Judge that he doesn't see a buy sign, that being the "marginal buyer" of institutions stepping in, until "early next week," and that it would be "foolish" to buy ahead of that.

More from Monday's Halftime and Fast Money later.

[Friday, January 24, 2014]

The 5 Greatest QBs of all time

We could insert a lengthy intro here.

But you know this category needs no excuse for posting.

In fact, you've undoubtedly been mulling it yourself over the last few weeks.

We put the necessary regular season, post-season and career stats through the data machine, but only the amateurs rely on that; this one sort of comes down to, "We know what we saw."

And here they are ...

1. Joe Montana

Reinvented the position, threw the most catchable ball, won 4 Super Bowls, the greatest clutch player. It wasn't all Rice; went 18-1 in 1984, a team considered by some at the time the greatest ever. It's the total package of stats and brilliant play, in blowouts and at crunch time. The only kryptonite, and not until well into his career, was the New York Giants. In 4 Super Bowls threw 11 touchdowns, 0 interceptions. A 3rd-round bargain.

2. Tom Brady

The greatest overall victory producer for the longest time. It's the will to win that's immeasurable, the toughest out of this generation. Critics will say he won his Super Bowls when he had Seymour, Bruschi, Vrabel, Law, McGinest, Harrison. The numbers somehow seem a bit inflated beyond the considerable greatness on the field, but the amount of wins, playoff record and long-term success rate are undeniable. Lacking the explosiveness of other greats, somehow shattered the league record with 50 touchdown passes. Propensity to overachieve in regular season, underachieve (slightly) in playoffs, but if not for the dual nemeses of Eli Manning and the city of Denver, might be the first to 5.

3. John Elway

The biggest victim of the AFC Super Bowl jinx, turned conqueror. Had he stopped in 1996, this would be a great career and not much more, unfairly tainted by the misfortune of playing most of his career on teams that didn't actually belong in title games. The most pedigreed, justifiable No. 1 pick for a quarterback boasted the best arm in football history (tied, with Terry Bradshaw; Doug Williams is close, but not accurate enough), a weapon that the likes of Montana and Brady did not have, and rarely if ever was beaten in the final minutes. Given the pedestrian stats, needed every win his last 2 seasons to make this list.

4. Terry Bradshaw

NFL's greatest big-play machine. Obliterated the boos and mistakes with a staggering onslaught of playoff points not seen since, against the most elite defenses, for 5 straight years. While even the highest highs were accompanied by costly mistakes, the reward/risk here was off the charts, a 4th-quarter machine in every Super Bowl. Threw the bomb as easily as a 10-yard slant, ran like a fullback, hit like a linebacker. Possibly the greatest physical talent in league history.

5. Roger Staubach

Football's greatest competitor, never out of any game; pioneer of the modern shotgun. The toughest call of the group, but the epitome of "it's all on the tape," as the stats don't indicate the performance here, much of it occurring in his mid- to late 30s. Strange mix of remarkably one-sided playoff results, many wins, some losses. Have to wonder, without the Naval requirement and Dallas' glut at quarterback, whether the Cowboys would've had a couple more rings.

Fleck actually comes closest of the Friday crew to getting it right

Bill Fleckenstein's notion of restarting a short fund at some undetermined point in time has been well-chronicled on this page.

And not necessarily in the most enthusiastic way.

Yet, on Friday's Fast Money, Fleck was talking more sense than anybody else.

Except he didn't go far enough.

Fleck stated that as long as the Fed can keep printing, you can't short the market.

He even suggested a possible reversal, that if they "start to back off from tapering," then the market will rally and go the "other direction" from Friday's debacle.

What he should've said was that government is more attached to the stock market/unemployment/banking/housing/general economic concerns than at any point in its history, and that (this is the big drum roll) numerous important precedents have been established suggesting that bailouts and low-interest-rate tactics will continue to be the knee-jerk reaction to blips in the data.

Fleck stated that as for shorting targets, "the most vulnerable are all the high-flying tech stocks."

That's a valid point; we don't think any precedents (other than sticking it to Henry Blodget) were established after 2000 to prevent a high-P.E. meltdown.

But anything of the 2008 variety, and expect Uncle Sam to be there.

Steve Grasso disagreed with Fleckenstein on tapering. "If they stop, that would be a problem," Grasso said. Tim Seymour referred to the "Fed crack pipe."

Only once? How come Mel couldn’t elicit an extra ‘at the end of the day’ (Drink) out of Brian Marshall?

With the "War of 1812" (see below) evidently lost on Friday, Steve Grasso predicted on Fast Money that 1,760 or 1,762 (wow big difference there) could be in the cards.

Josh Brown went much lower, to 1,665 as a possibility, and said "this is about sentiment."

Brian Kelly said this "could be" the big correction many have feared.

But Kelly's bouncing thesis that goes from "emerging markets are in trouble" to something like (possible comment) "actually it's the U.S. in trouble, or everyone's in trouble" didn't fly with Brown, who insisted, "This is not a deterioration of the U.S. economy."

Tim Seymour said stocks were "overbought," but protested, "What has fallen apart on the macro."

Seymour suggested employing IWM puts but also buying YNDX, his Final Trade. Steve Grasso suggested playing Mexico or energy-related names there including KEG and HAL. Josh Brown shrugged off emerging markets opportunities at all, stating, "this selling will probably stay indiscriminate."

At the end of the day, everyone's favorite AAPL watcher Brian Marshall told the gang that China Mobile is ramping up, it'll be 6 months before we hear about the bigger iPhone screen, and the stock's attractive.

Brian Kelly helpfully said of nat gas, "At some point it's a sell." Tim Seymour suggested coal is doable, if it's a name such as CLF. But Steve Grasso said there's "a lot more against coal" than just other forms of energy, and suggested ECA, SWN, COG as plays on this subject.

Brian Kelly's Final Trade was EUO. Steve Grasso said SO. Josh Brown said something about looking over your portfolio and consider ditching things you don't like.

Funny that Carter didn’t mention what stocks did after ‘Margin Call’ and ‘Too Big to Fail’ were released

We gotta keep an eye on Options Action.

If so, we apparently would've learned long before we read it on Drudge Report that Carter Worth last week actually claimed the December 2013 release of "The Wolf of Wall Street" is signal of a market top.

This is the most bone-headed, knuckle-headed, brain-dead comment we've heard on CNBC stock-picking programs since Simon Baker called "game over" for DAL in August.

If it were actually true, shouldn't Fleck and Chanos, instead of evaluating balance sheets and doing channel checks, just commission screenwriters to put something in motion about, oh, Bernie Madoff?

This is a joke, right? A comedy routine? Does Carter have some of Dolly Lenz's houses to show?

Joe claims that Ackman should want to invest with Carl even though Ackman hates Carl’s guts

Judge referred to Bill Ackman as "Eichmann" on Friday's Halftime Report, but that wasn't the most bizarre comment of the segment.

Dr. New World chose the moment to uncork a Trade School, explaining, "It's just a classic example of not allowing emotion to get involved in your trading ... What Bill Ackman said to Carl Icahn, 'I would never invest alongside of you.' Really? What a year Carl had; I wish I invested alongside Carl."

Seriously? That after a years-long court battle and public feud, Ackman should've realized, "OMG Carl's long Netflix and Chesapeake and Forest Labs, I'm putting $500 million into IEP!!"?

Jon Najarian pointed out that a bunch of HLF puts were bought after the stock had fallen but before Sen. Edward Markey's announcement, which "smells bad."

"The timing is very suspect," Najarian said.

Judge said they asked Markey's office for comment, but he was "unavailable."

Joe Terranova said of HLF, "I'm actually surprised that it's not a little bit lower."

‘Time to sort of
be ready to buy’

The stock market, for some reason, cratered on Friday.

Yet the Halftime Report crew sounded like the market is correction-proof.

Michael Santoli said that despite the selloff, he doesn't see that there's "any big player trapped," and that he'll be "keen" on watching U.S. credit markets for a tell.

Meanwhile, Santoli was actually endorsing the beleaguered EEM, stating, "I think it's the time to sort of be ready to buy" but play as a "multi-year hold."

Anthony Scaramucci opined that "this is not the correction that people are expecting" because steep selloffs haven't happened in QE, but this looks like a "mild 1-2% correction."

Jon Najarian offered that "people were being forced to buy protection" because they'd been lazy or greedy, but he seemed to think time's running out for shorts. "If people don't take some off the table here, that are short, I think they're foolish," Najarian said. "If you're short and you're not covering, you're stupid."

Steve Grasso said, "I don't feel like there's any real panic today either," but then cautioned, "This could be significant if we don't close higher than 1,812 in the S&P."

Mr. New Land agreed with Santoli that Friday's problem was emerging markets, but "I don't think this is long-term."

"I'm staying short the emerging markets," Terranova said, but he actually likes gold as well as Canadian and Australian dollar, and his stock remedy apparently is USB.

Pete Najarian admitted an "explosive move in the volatility index" and likewise agreed, "I think the EEM does go lower."

Sara Eisen, a stunning young woman, pointed out the impact of currency problems in certain parts of the world.

Honestly, Friday's action just didn't feel real, but we've been wrong an awful lot before.

Rick Santelli offered the most austere opinions, suggesting traders weren't running away from the markets but that it was an "eviction," and cleverly dubbed Grasso's S&P 500 level as "The War of 1812."

Bill Gates ‘clearly cares about what happens with this company’

CNBC On-Air Editor Jon Fortt opined Friday on the Halftime Report about Microsoft's outlook (that's a lower-case "o"), which seems basically now a "commercial cloud" play, and reported that Bill Gates probably isn't going to run the place heavy-duty, but is fully engaged.

"He clearly cares about what happens with this company going into the future," Fortt explained.

Jon Najarian said of the stock as the CEO machinations continue, "I don't know why you'd get rid of it ... I think this is the biggest story in tech."

Brother Pete revealed, "I never really thought quite frankly that Mulally was the right guy to run Microsoft."

Halftime Report sadly encroaching on Fast Money’s rich-and-famous liquor displays

Pete Najarian on Friday's Halftime Report argued that not only is SBUX's growth intact, it's got an "ecommerce" angle. ("I'd like a cup of coffee; please deliver within 5 minutes.")

Jon Najarian said the stock is vulnerable to China disruptions and suggested $71.50 as the target; "that's the level that I'd buy."

Asked to determine a winner, Dr. New Land indicated he didn't prejudge the case, but "I took notes on this," and decided Pete made the best arguments, because the company's opening stores in China and you don't open stores if you're not confident, also Joe actually cited "ecommerce."

Pete Najarian said activists may be seeking more cash from JNPR and may not succeed, but "I think the stock goes higher regardless."

Joe Terranova said that PG's done fine, but the question is, "what gets the stock to 85, 90."

Joe suggested playing nat gas not in the UNG, but with equity names EOG, BBG, UPL, SWN and COG. However, "coal I don't think is ready just yet."

Jon Najarian said in the gaming space, there are winners and losers, and IGT showed Friday that "this is the loser," so he likes MGAM and SGMS.

Pete Najarian said interest in EBAY feels like YHOO and that the July 57.50/62.50 call spread was hot. Pete said those buyers are looking for upside in the "near-term future" (as opposed to "near-term past").

Mr. New World said Carl's push in EBAY "could take years" and said the stock has underperformed AMZN and V/MA. But Pete claimed that comparing EBAY and AMZN is like comparing "apples and oranges."

Judge sought no Final Trades. Pete Najarian said he'll be looking over the weekend for "what can possibly turn green" in this market and has pinpointed banks; if we get "any green out of these financials," that'll be a good sign.

Jon Najarian said he'll be watching for the VIX to flatten and get out of backwardation to see a market recovery.

Judge said Pete Najarian has a healthy lead in the 2014 Playbook Playoffs and that only the Najarians are in the black for the year. Dr. New Land was already warming up the excuse machine, stating, "You have to acknowledge, you know, this is not active trading."

Mike Murphy has evidently made the first trade of the 2014 Playbook Playoffs, substituting NYCB (out) for WFM (in).

If the Halftime Report is looking to jump the shark, the Fast Money-esque whiskey/bourbon/scotch routine is a good start. Friday, Daniel Boulud and Chris Watt explained why people actually want to spend quality cash on 1973 scotch.

[Thursday, January 23, 2014]

Guy reverts to last June’s cliche, Japan ‘losing control’ of its markets (but what about how there must be a derivative book somewhere that’s blown out?)

Guy Adami on Thursday's Fast Money uttered a statement on Japan nonchalantly that taken literally would've sunk the markets overnight, except no one's taking it literally or even seriously, that being, "I think the genie's out of the bottle there, my sense is they've sort of lost control."

He insisted he's not predicting a sudden meltdown, but "it's a little dicey over there."

Bitcoin investor Brian Kelly, as he always does, claimed a certain subset of forgettable or unnoticeable international headlines are indicative of pending doom for U.S. stocks, this time tying Argentina to Venezuela and predicting that, apparently if this gets bad, "you could see a spike in oil," so the ways to play that would be to short EWZ or be long oil.

Kelly also said, "I'm still short some yen, but I'm not long the Nikkei anymore."

Sara Eisen, in stunning fuchsia

The highlight of Thursday's Fast Money discussion about SBUX wasn't the stock chatter itself but that Sara Eisen had a hand in it.

Steve Grasso does not favor the stock, "I don't like the chart anymore," and thinks it must hold $72.

Guy Adami called Thursday's gain a "relief rally."

Eisen reported late that Howard Schultz, a veteran of Fast Money appearances, used one of the magic words ("affordable luxury") (Drink) while cautioning that Starbucks is not immune to brick-and-mortar declines.

Carter Worth opined that there's "more to come to the downside" in SBUX.

Brian Kelly declared, "At 80 it's a sell."

Mel impressively asked Karen Finerman about the SODA trade. Even Karen had to smirk, "Bad trade, and just done."

Worth: Stocks going up 5% would be worse than stocks going down 5%

It seemed on Thursday's Fast Money like a few more eyebrows got raised over Thursday's selloffs as opposed to previous selloffs this month ... but nobody was exactly calling the whole market the deep end of life's pool.

Steve Grasso noted "it was such a quiet selloff," that support lines are at 1,821 and 1,815, and the "real test" will be the first half hour to hour on Friday.

Guy Adami took that further and suggested "the test comes next Friday" and that he thinks 1,755 is possible.

Karen Finerman said she's "not really" concerned about January's stumble and that, after last year's monster gain, it's "probably a good thing."

"Nothing is different today than it was yesterday," said Finerman, who added that if earnings come in OK, "the market'll be fine right here."

Brian Kelly was bearish, insisting, "I don't think it's over."

It was Carter Worth, grasping for whatever information he can find to support a selloff, who conceded that this year in the S&P, "not much has happened" but insisted, "the issue is what is coming."

Worth also claimed, "the only thing that keeps a bull healthy are corrections," and invoking the old Vietnam-style village-destruction slogan added, "what would be worse than a dip 5% if is we went up another 5."

Worth said "the emerging markets have never participated" in the years-long S&P rally, and it looks like they're now going south, so that's trouble.

Mel spends much of the program mugging for the camera

MSFT watcher Daniel Ives said something on Thursday's Fast Money that you don't always hear about the PC industry: "You're starting to see the headwinds subside there."

But he said that until Microsoft picks a CEO, "I continue to view the stock as range-bound."

Guy Adami questioned if maybe now MSFT is finally getting it right and deserves a (snicker) 14 or 15 multiple. Ives said maybe, but he's gotta know who the CEO is first.

Adami questioned, rather humorously, whether the new CEO will be able to set a low bar. "I don't know if there's a kitchen sink to kitchen sink," Adami said.

Steve Grasso said not to chase the stock but wait to see if it holds 37.10.

When we hear ‘game over’ on Fast Money/Halftime, we generally think 1) it’s Simon again, 2) Buy-Buy-Buy

Intuitive Surgical got a lashing on Thursday's Fast Money from Karen Finerman, who said it's "never a good sign" when a company suddenly stops giving guidance.

Brian Kelly registered on our contrarian meter when he added, "If people aren't using their product anymore, it's game over," and all we can say to that is that whenever we've heard "game over" on Fast Money, we've generally found the stocks in question quite buyable.

Melissa Lee pointed out that 2013 darlings BBY, GME, BBBY and SPLS are getting their butts kicked this year. Steve Grasso advised against buying those dips. "I would not dabble" in these he said; "these are probably gonna be hated names this year." (This writer is long GME.)

But Guy Adami opined that "I do think the airlines will continue to work," as well as biotech, PCLN, and look what MSFT did on a "benign" (Drink) tape.

Grasso said of BBRY, "I think it's truly overextended now."

Joe might’ve botched NFLX, but he kicked ‘BK’s’ butt on PXD

Melissa Lee, trying to overcome a lapse a day earlier, asked Guy Adami to make a NFLX call on Thursday's Fast Money, and basically got little.

It's now an "international story," Adami said again, but "I don't think you have to now chase it here."

However, he predicted it would "work its way higher" and be strong for the "next 6 months or so," and "hopefully it pulls back to maybe 355, 360."

Karen Finerman said the hit to retail was too much for her to hang onto that long JCP trade; "I'm not gonna wait around for a bounce."

Carter Worth said transports are 45% above the trend line just like they were in (you guessed it) 2007, so look out. Brian Kelly suggested shorting regional airlines such as SKYW because their pilots are going to be hired by the majors.

Guy Adami advised taking profits in UNP on Friday. Karen Finerman prefers GNC to VSI.

Brian Kelly predicted that FB is going the way of MySpace.

Steve Grasso said, "I'm still long SO."

Mike Khouw noticed big buying in CLF March 18 puts. Guy Adami said to buy X below 25.

Vegas proprietor Derek Stevens curiously said his D and Golden Gate casinos are the first to take bitcoins because it got him an interview on CNBC that the Bellagio/MGM/CircusCircus/TreasureIsland chiefs didn't get because those casinos are in downtown Vegas and downtown is the center of the Vegas tech community.

Brian Kelly claimed bitcoin works as a no-fee money-transfer system. Karen Finerman asked Kelly, "Why is it so volatile if it's just a payment system." Kelly said, "It's volatile because there is a speculative element to it," but Kelly claims that volatility has "died down."

Steve Grasso's Final Trade was URI. Brian Kelly said gold, Karen Finerman said C and Guy Adami said MCK.

It took a while, but Guy Adami and Melissa Lee did the married couple bickering thing over Paul Bunyan and square dancing.

Guest: iPhones, YouTube are
‘very dangerous’ to people’s security

Over the years, we've heard a lot of things on Fast Money/Halftime about iPhones and YouTube.

But never that they're actually unsafe.

Yet, investor Tom O'Halloran said on Thursday's Halftime Report, "We like LifeLock" (LOCK), because of this:

"It's a more dangerous world with the cloud, with uh, uh, iPhones in people's hand, with YouTube, it's very dangerous, and people are gonna become increasingly conscious of the fact that they can lose more money online than if someone broke into their house."

So, visit youtube.com ... and empty your pockets??

O'Halloran also likes GLOG. And he thinks the U.S.-centric nature of micro-caps will put them on parity with the large caps in what should be a mean-reversion-type of year.

Pete Najarian at one point pounded the table for the "security names," because this market is "still stock-specific." Stephanie Link's Final Trade was actually SYMC.

Privacy ‘probably a lost notion’

Michael Price didn't add a whole lot to the discussion of Thursday's Halftime, but if nothing else he sort of backed Tom O'Halloran's cloud/iPhone/YouTube fears.

"Our old sense of privacy ... is probably a lost notion," Price said, referring about 3 or 4 times to an "Internet of things" and rattling off every hot 1999 tech name as an apparent winner.

Price said BBRY could get going again "if they re-create the old product." Regarding cable TV, Price said, "The offer by Charter is not compelling."

Pachter clinging to net-neutrality ruling as NFLX headwind (but nobody tackles the ‘whisper’ Joe was hearing)

At least give him some props for coming on.

Michael Pachter joined Thursday's Halftime Report to admit his NFLX bear case is a train wreck.

"I've been completely wrong on the opportunity for subscriber growth," Pachter said, adding, "I actually took my target to 175." (Oh joy.)

Meanwhile, Mark Mahaney, who has his own albatross in FB-not-reaching-38-in-2013, was actually right on this one and said NFLX is riding a "big, broad secular theme" of more device usage, and most importantly, "this is far surpassing HBO's subscriber potential."

Judge tried to scare Mahaney into taking the loopy net neutrality ruling seriously. Sticking to the fundamental script, Mahaney acknowledged "that is a major systemic risk" but one he rightly finds "very improbable."

Judge then delivered a slam to Pachter regarding price target. "A 12-monther of 160 just seems ridiculous."

Pachter, who already said it's now up to a grand 175, insisted net neutrality is on his side, "I think ISPs are highly likely to charge."

Josh Brown's opinion was useless, stating he can't buy it but if you're long, there's no reason to get out, "just use the moving averages as your risk gauge."

Stephanie Link made a quality observation. "This could be the single-best reported company so far in this earnings season," and that the endless competition arguments seem overrated.

Shocker: Nobody including Stephanie Link mentions F, or how Fiat stole Chrysler

Sarat Sethi, who said on Thursday's Halftime Report that he owns DAL and UAL, has decided that not only are airlines alive and well, there's a new flavor of the month.

"Now we're starting to buy American," said Sethi, who thinks that name is just starting to experience the consolidation greatness.

Pete Najarian reaffirmed support for UAL and called Thursday's selloff an "opportunity to add," and ultimately made it his Final Trade.

Sethi likes GM, though he admitted "it might be dead money for 6 months."

Phil LeBeau said that $121,000 for Tesla Model S is "a steal over in China," and then chipped in an "at the end of the day."

Jon Najarian questioned why Tesla is focusing on China right now; "I would just concentrate on Europe," this is "not the play that I'd make."

6 times an hour is too much: We’ve had about enough of Dell’s folk version of ‘This Magic Moment’ commercial

It wasn't until midway through Thursday's Halftime Report that Bob Pisani was called upon to explain why the stock market was getting pummeled.

Bob acknowledged it was almost all Asia, that futures were higher on Netflix's report, then China, then "the yen started strengthening," and he even mentioned something "Argentinian."

Steve Grasso said there may not be panic, but for the first time this year, "I definitely see a sense of urgency on the sell side." Yet, Grasso said the S&P held on "firm support at 1,815."

Josh Brown acknowledged Asian concerns, "that is what people are reacting to." But Stephanie Link didn't sound worried. "The stocks that are getting hit the hardest are the ones that are up the most," Link said.

Pete Najarian, like Link, seemed not worried, though he acknowledged we may be "on the cusp of a potential correction."

Brown somehow suggested that at year's end, everyone should've been smart enough to shift from consumer plays to bonds and (incredibly) gold miners, "rebalancing still works." And Jon Najarian gushed that the GDXJ is "up 22% year to date."

Link did allow that the "U.S. consumer continues to be really tough."

Anthony Grisanti helpfully noted that nat gas price swings are "all about supply and demand." Jeff Kilburg credited him for saying that and then added, "I think it's gonna go further."

Stephanie Link said Cramer sold FB to buy GOOG. Josh Brown also likes GOOG and said he has liked it for hundreds of dollars, and there's no reason to get out now.

Brown's Final Trade was TAN. Jon Najarian said HUN.

[Wednesday, January 22, 2014]

Mel asleep at the switch: Incredibly, no one is asked to make a NFLX call

Mostly, all we need to hear from Fast Money/Halftime about Netflix is how in the world Dr. New Land came up with a miss and "priced" some puts underneath the market.

Until that happens, we would like to know whether the stock is a buy or sell in the aftermath of Wednesday's report.

3 of the 4 panelists hailed the company, with Guy Adami touting "the international growth," and Jon Najarian insisting "the moat just keeps getting bigger" between Netflix and potential rivals, and even Comcast "can't compete with Netflix," and only Amazon can according to Najarian. (Well, Jeff Bezos was Person of the Year in Time mag in 1999, omg that's such an AWESOME choice, so he's probably interested in jumping into the movie/TV distribution and make $0 margin on that as well.)

Dan Nathan, who somehow thought they were talking about eBay despite all evidence to the contrary, actually claimed that sentiment had been bad in NFLX, which doesn't feel true although he's correct it was in an early 2014 slump, thanks in part to that loopy net-neutrality ruling that everybody knows either 1) won't stand or 2) won't matter and only Steve Grasso had the brass and foresight to call the stock a buy on that selloff.

But Josh Brown questioned how anyone can call the sentiment bad when its 1-year performance is astronomical, and "no one can compete" in this space, not with 41 million subs.

Yes. But is the stock a buy at 390. Or isn't it.

Tony Wible told the crew that the reality for NFLX is "their ability to extract pricing power." Wible even added, "I think Netflix has more control over the studios," and if people start using it to air gripes to representatives it'll be a "political nightmare."

Uh-oh: Carl’s gonna tell Judge not that Faber is wrong but that Faber reported something without actually speaking with him

Probably 3 or 4 times on Wednesday's Fast Money, we heard a Netflix stock call the notion of a PayPal split from eBay described as old news.

"This is not a new idea," Colin Gillis assured everyone, before opining, "spinning it out may not necessarily be a good move."

Guy Adami astutely pointed out where he thought the shares might be trading had there been no Icahn news at all (roughly 51) and then sort of answered his own question in asking Gillis, "Is this a move to fade."

Gillis waffled but cautioned that if you're buying the shares now on expectation of this split, it "could be a long, protracted situation."

David Faber, who was dissed at Halftime by Carl Icahn, joined Fast Money to report that Carl's actual EBAY stake is bigger than disclosed, "It's a larger position than .82 would imply ... He's gone up from there."

Jon Najarian, stumbling through supporting evidence that was too cumbersome and wasn't needed and involved options activity around Christmas, revealed "I gave up on eBay."

Not a word about Carl’s board gripe or dinner with Tim Cook

AAPL watcher Chris Cado visited with Wednesday's Fast Money crew to report that a bigger screen is evidently in the works.

(Which is great, and what product do they have similar to iPod 2003, iPhone 2006 and iPad 2010?)

Jon Najarian, pretending to ask a question, merely complained to Cado that there really hasn't been a "plan" announced by Apple's board about the cash stockpile. Cado tried to state it both ways, that there's a plan to update everyone with a new announcement, but as far as he's concerned, the more cash they give back, the better.

Dan Nathan said you "fold" the stock if it falls below 500. Josh Brown hung a 600 target on it but questioned how a company that big and mature will ever get a 13, 14 or 15 multiple.

Sold: Ordering ‘The Kid Stays in the Picture’ based on Doc’s recommendation

GOGO chief Michael Small on Wednesday's Fast Money easily handled The Question You Always Get From Mel, which is, are you going to remain an independent company, but didn't reveal anything close to a secret regarding his business.

Mel had trouble stumbling over an assessment of the company's stock "decline since December" of 30%, and Jon Najarian reported being "frustrated" as an early user "because the bandwidth ... too many of us on the plane are using it."

Not particularly encouraging, Small said it's a "forever challenge to provide more bandwidth."

Josh Brown said "I'm not involved right now" in the stock.

If nothing else, the discussion prompted a "benign tape" sighting from Guy Adami, who said names like GOGO are "casino bets," but you can play the airlines; look what they did on Wednesday's "benign tape."

Dan Nathan called COH "kind of a broken brand" that has "the mid-40s written all over it," Nathan said to avoid until 45.

Josh Brown said you can play BBRY with an 8.50 stop and credited the Pentagon with possibly saving the company.

Guy Adami admitted that in his WDC short, "I had that one dead wrong."

Dan Nathan said he was intrigued by somebody buying May 46 calls in EEM and moreso, someone buying the May 38/41 1x2 call spread in FXI.

Jon Najarian said April 75 QCOM calls were hot; "I am in the trade, I'm long this name."

Melissa Lee and the panel made a halfhearted attempt at narrowing the list of CNBC's 25 most influential people (or whatever it's called), with Josh Brown questioning, "Where are the investors."

Guy Adami touted Joe Cassano. Jon Najarian recommended Robert Evans, stating, "that guy defines rebels and icons," and then heartily recommended the Evans book, The Kid Stays in the Picture, so we figured we'd give it a try.

Dan Nathan's Final Trade was EBAY at 55. Jon Najarian said VZ. Josh Brown said DXJS and Guy Adami said APC.

Guy Adami and Melissa Lee almost avoided the bickering-married-couple routine for an entire show, until the end, when they started it up over "how many times can you vote" in the CNBC Most Influential poll.

Joe bungled NFLX

"Ultimately," he was way off.

And "ultimately," Karen Finerman's SODA has a rival for Bust of the Year.

Joe Terranova, so eager on Tuesday's Halftime Report to address Netflix that he commandeered the topic from Judge Wapner, reported that day that he'd been hearing "a lot of whisper that they're gonna miss" and had priced some puts "underneath the market" as a result.

As of Wednesday's afterhours, no miss. (This writer was long NFLX but is now no longer long NFLX. And had no clue what the whisper was.)

In essence, we look forward to Joe ultimately explaining what whispering he was listening to, and whether he's putting that trade in the penalty box.

Carl critiques David Faber’s journalism skills, assures everyone that David’s a great guy

Carl Icahn on Wednesday's Halftime Report suggested CNBC's David Faber was wrong.

Sort of.

"I really like David Faber, I think he's a great guy," Icahn complained to Judge Wapner, "but- and he did call, but how the heck do you keep coming out and saying I'm gonna do something when you never even really talked to me on the phone."

"Faber's got good sources," Wapner said.

"Faber's a great guy. I'm not arguing about Faber. But I am saying, that it's sort of funny to ask me what I'm doing with Hertz when you don't even know if I own it," Icahn responded.

Moments later, Carl balked at Judge's push for HTZ news. "I don't think I'm a fiduciary for uh, CNBC, you know," Icahn said, questioning the source of Faber's reporting; "how do you know that's not some shareholders that wanna see the stock go up."

Carl added, "I don't think it should be CNBC telling people what I'm doing when they could be very wrong."

Fast Money = Michael Burns, Irwin Simon and Dave Barger; Halftime = Carl, Gemma Godfrey

Carl Icahn, suddenly keenly sensitive to the news demands of business television, told Judge Wapner on Wednesday's Halftime Report that "maybe my lawyers will get pissed off at me," but "in the next few weeks there's gonna be another big one" that he's gonna announce on Twitter.

"You're a big tease now," Judge Wapner cracked.

"I like to tease you, because you, you come back at me with all this stuff ... you like news, I'm giving you news," Carl said, insisting, "I never said I owned Hertz."

The bigger picture for viewers is not what Faber is doing, but that Judge has effectively stolen Carl away from the Fast Money flagship show in one of those internecine TV battles; at least Fast Money can claim all those whiskey/bourbon dudes.

Some on Wednesday's Halftime questioned Carl plunging into HTZ at seemingly highs for the stock. But Mike Murphy said "the stock can go a lot higher."

Murphy said that if you're weighing whether Steve Jobs or Jeff Bezos is more influential, it's "easily Steve Jobs." (But doesn't he recall late 1999 when Time magazine declared Jeff Bezos "Person of the Year" (that's correct, "Person" not "Man" for the first time), all the intellectual types said "Oh that's SUCH a great choice, Jeff Bezos as Person of the Year...")

Carl complains about news dissemination on CNBC but uses channel to pressure Tim Cook, is reduced to attempting reverse psychology

Obviously, Carl is getting frustrated with AAPL.

(Or, he's just bored with the flat market and boring football this winter and can't find anything else to do.)

Unfortunately, Carl failed to bring a hook to his latest CNBC appearance, on Wednesday's Halftime Report, other than the tired old "Apple's board doesn't get it."

Spending much of his intro explaining how great investors love the "no-brainer" type of good stocks, Carl explained, "I think Apple is a no-brainer ... I mean it's sort of amazing to me that it's just not picked up."

(Actually, it has "picked up," so we're not totally sure what he means, but perhaps it has something to do with the company's massive success coming down to 3 products, the freshness of all 3 rapidly fading in the rear-view mirror.)

Saying it's "sort of disgraceful" for a company to sit on that much cash, Icahn complained, "there's nobody on that board that has real finance experience," which is likely true.

Judge insisted there are "seasoned people on the board," but acknowledged Carl's reputation for increasing share value is large, so Icahn questioned, "so why don't they listen to some extent."

Icahn wouldn't disclose a recent purchase price but said he bought "in this area."

Adding in a dose of reverse psychology, Icahn actually said to Judge with a straight face, "I'm actually better off they do nothing."

Incredibly, Judge found this crucial time with Carl so expendable (in other words, pushing the corporate agenda) as to actually ask him whether Sandy Weill or Jamie Dimon is more influential. Carl took a pass on that, as well as Bob Crandall vs. Herb Kelleher, but at least with that one he indicated "they both made impacts in different ways" but that he didn't want to opine more about that on television.

Pete Najarian bluntly disagreed with Carl (after Carl was gone), stating, "I wanna see Apple use that cash for acquisitions" rather than buybacks.

But Stephen Weiss sided with Icahn, "they have more than enough cash," which is true.

Jon Najarian also backed Carl, asserting "silence is not golden" when the Apple board won't disclose a plan, "so that's where Carl is right ... they have to have some plan."

Have you ever bought something online from TJ Maxx?

In a nice treat for viewers, Judge brought in foxy/newly engaged CNBC retail reporter Courtney Reagan to address the 2014 retail smackdown.

Consumers are buying a little, but "they're buying selectively," Reagan said, arguing that the shift to online is losing out on the "impulse" purchase.

"Well I don't know ... they give you suggestions," Judge said, but Reagan said that's basically an Amazon thing.

Mike Murphy said Target has "huge headwinds" and he thinks it'll go lower.

Pete Najairan said that in shopping for retail stocks, "You should be buying the ones that have the best presence in e-commerce," and thundered another endorsement for UA.

Stephen Weiss hailed M management (Drink) but said to avoid "trendy names."

Jon Najarian said "a lot of it is probably weather-related," which we agree with, and mentioned TJX as a key indicator, that if people aren't going into those stores, then we're really in trouble.

Reagan bickered with both Najarians as to whether TJX is doing anything online; the Najarians say they're in the process of getting shoppers there.

Jon Najarian, repeating an old theme, said IBM is "make or break for Virginia" and if it's break, could see the 160s.

Pete Najarian said "the heat" in the tech space is in the "security names."

Stephen Weiss said that FCX's outlook is "dependent upon China," which he thinks is in free fall.

Pete Najarian said TXT has some headwinds, but "people are able to shrug this off."

Joel Greenblatt endorsed AAPL's valuation, stating, "If someone offered you this whole company at, at these prices, you'd think they were a little bit crazy." He also said there are 2 things he has learned in 50 years, "don't fight a land war in Asia," and don't disagree with Carl Icahn on TV.

Greenblatt seems to think large caps have better prospects than small caps, based on valuation.

Anthony Scaramucci dialed in (briefly, because Judge's Carl time preempted a lot of commercial revenue) from Davos (hopefully he doesn't bump into Felix Salmon out there) to say Ray Dalio might be brainier than both himself and Greenblatt combined, but he thinks markets will do better than Dalio said.

Greenblatt was given the lone Final Trade as Judge noted he owns QCOM and PEP. "Pretty much everything that we own is out of favor," Greenblatt said, stating QCOM is a play on a move into smartphones (that sounds new). Judge said Greenblatt is short DDD.

[Tuesday, January 21, 2014]

Dennis Gartman and Tim Seymour combine to make almost zero sense on palladium/platinum/gold

We watched it 3 times ... or was it 4 ... and it still was gobbledygook.

Dennis Gartman visited with Tuesday's Fast Money, apparently for the purpose of recommending palladium.

"It looks like it's breaking out on the upside," Gartman said, and "could be looking at $1,000 or more."

That much, we get.

Except Gartman also said something about gold not "giving up the ghost."

Then Tim Seymour was compelled to butt in and mention not palladium, but platinum and gold.

That might've been doable, except in his typical fast-talkin' way, Seymour referred to the trading relationship between the two with platinum outperforming, and said something about "reverse it the other way."

Gartman said "Timmy I agree with you completely," then proceeded to say he'd prefer to be long palladium and short gold, and then moments later suggested long palladium and short platinum.

Host Melissa Lee, asleep at the switch here, didn't bother to seek clarification.

Tim Seymour told Melissa Lee that rather than buy auto stocks (what happened to Fiat stealing Chrysler (Drink) for a change?), "I would rather play a spread relationship."

At the end of the day,
Steve Grasso likens IBM to BBRY

It wasn't too long ago that Guy Adami made a semi-career on Fast Money out of essentially guaranteeing $20 EPS by 2015 for IBM and a mythical 12 multiple.

Tuesday on Fast Money, his recent "Meh" toward the stock intensified as Adami said the quarter looks just "as lousy" as previous ones, though he downplayed ramifications on the broader market, calling the results "IBM-specific."

Tim Seymour seemed to acknowledge that a lot of engineering has occurred here, "despite accounting hieroglyphics, et cetera, et cetera," Seymour said.

Accounting "hieroglyphics"?

Steve Grasso even went so far as, "It's almost as if you're talking about BlackBerry on a different scale."

Only Karen Finerman was interested, saying the stock is "worth looking at," but then backpedaling and stating she needed a better price while conceding the ideal forward multiple is a "made-up number."

Brian Marshall was Old Reliable with the show's preeminent cliche, stating, "at the end of the day" (Quintuple Drink), (why doesn't he adopt the flavor of the month, "ultimately"?), his negative thesis isn't changing, that even though "they reported a beat on the bottom line," it's a miss of "at least 10%."

Take that, Charlie: Guest claims he’s ‘exposed more corporate fraud’ than any journalist

Andrew Left made several interesting comments on Tuesday's Fast Money, none moreso than the last.

"I've exposed more corporate fraud than any other blogger, journalist, columnist, that's ever existed," Left said.

Left was either unprepared, or unwilling, to disseminate his Organovo (ONVO) bear case on television, saying it's "obvious" and that viewers can find it on any number of blogs or Web sites, but that the trading hook for Monday involved a Swedish letter warning of a boiler-plate scheme in Japan that mentions the stock.

Left said the company isn't printing anything now but hopes to "bioprint limbs, kidneys."

He said he is short ONVO, and said the notion he's being paid by hedge funds to gin up a negative opinion is "ridiculous."

Guy Adami said Left has done great work, but short interest in ONVO is relatively low, so the outcome "seems pretty binary."

Mel & Guy continue bickering-married-couple routine with ‘pashmina,’ ‘intrepid’

You knew that when you saw Guy Adami outside in the snow on Tuesday's Fast Money, it was only a matter of time before host Melissa Lee gave him the wife routine.

Sure enough, Lee complained, "I offered you my pashmina." (We had to look that one up.)

Steve Grasso said you can try nat gas as a weather play, or CMP, but "with road de-icing ... it's not a straightforward play."

Tim Seymour called nat gas a "widowmaker" and said of UNG, "I wouldn't touch it ... UNG is value-destruction."

Lee and Adami jabbed over "intrepid" as well. Mel even threw in a "Semper Paratus."

Karen Finerman said she likes DECK as a cold-weather play, plus, curiously, PVH as the North Face parent, before clarifying after the break that she really meant VFC.

For no reason whatsoever, Tim Seymour claimed, "I love Starwood here."

Tim Seymour said on TV he’s long BBY (but you know how that really works)

Tim Seymour reported on Tuesday's Fast Money that, having watched BBY experience a merciless slide last week, "I bought calls on this" at the February 28 strike on Friday.

And, it was described as a "trade," in the present tense.

But as you can see above from official disclosures at CNBC.com, that may or may not be the case. (Fast Money stock recommendations tend to be for entertainment purposes only.)

Meanwhile, Karen Finerman, who is actually long GOOG and so is her firm according to CNBC.com, said the stock has run enough that she'd sell upside calls at this point, while Guy Adami said the stock should be owned into earnings, then sold.

Guy also strangely credited Tim Seymour for Seymour's opinion on NUAN when it was Guy himself who called a buy in the 14s, then said it's about time to pull the ripcord.

It was a shocker — that he didn't for once say that "AMD only exists so that Intel can avoid an antitrust case" — but Guy suggested avoiding AMD and just "sort of watch it go into continued oblivion."

Steve Grasso warned that AMD can be volatile and you can get your "face ripped off."

Look at how even Mel’s hair is after fresh clipping, paired with chic, off-centered open collar new ensemble

For all of those Fast Money viewers wondering how HAL is going to do a year from now, Mike Khouw reported that someone was selling the January 2014 50/47 put spread and buying the January 2015 60/70 call spread.

Karen Finerman wore an intriguing white outfit (seen in one of the photos above), but Melissa Lee carried the day in new frock.

Yet, even Lee admitted that her own show's new game, "Buy or Bye," was "entirely confusing."

Steve Grasso called AA a buy, as did Guy Adami with DAL and Tim Seymour with BBRY. Karen Finerman suggested FRO is a "bye."

Derek Smith of Shape Security said hacking nowadays is not really about hacking but an evildoing "script," and that his company makes a wall to stop bots.

Guy Adami tepidly backed SYMC but acknowledged "it's gonna take time" for this endlessly suggested trade to unfold, but when it does, it'll be a "big winner." Karen Finerman mentioned, as she does about once a quarter, "Gemalta."

Steve Grasso said that for once, buying SBUX on the dip "could be a big mistake here." Tim Seymour said VZ slipped on competition fears. Guy Adami said, "I still like Raytheon and the rest of the space." Karen Finerman said of GM, "I like it, I'm long," which actually matches what is "disclosed" at CNBC.com.

Tim Seymour's Final Trade was YHOO. Steve Grasso said AA with an 11½ stop. Karen Finerman said C (Drink), and Guy Adami said to sell NUAN.

Joe wears workout gear
‘out to dinner’

Guess when they talk about "casual" dining, they really mean it.

Mr. New Land said on Tuesday's Halftime Report that athletic specialty apparel is the growth area in clothing. "3 days this weekend, I wore this stuff all weekend, whether I was indoors, outdoors, playing sports, out to dinner," Joe said.

The Denny's crowd won't mind, but hopefully Joe's not pulling that at Rao's.

Under Armour chief Kevin Plank told Judge that "of course" the University of Notre Dame can buy stock in the company as part of their new deal. (How much is Champion paying to continue to have the "Play Like a Champion" sign shown on NBC despite the uniforms coming from adidas or Under Armour?) Stephen Weiss said FINL and FL are direct plays on athletic apparel.

Discouragingly, the fair-weather fans on the Halftime Report blessed the ground on which Seattle's thug cornerback walks, just like Cris Collinsworth in the Week 2 Sunday night game ("Oh Richard Sherman is just such a wonderful gentleman ... have I told you in the last 10 minutes how impressed I am with this young man ...") in which he and Al Michaels sounded like paid associates of Pete Carroll.

Steve Weiss actually called Sherman "extremely articulate" and a "Stanford guy."

"I think he's the man," said Josh Brown.

Joe Terranova claimed, "He's got the performance on the field to back it up," which is a sorry sign of what constitutes quality play in today's NFL from a guy who'd get thrown off the field by Mel Blount.

Stephanie Link decried interviewing players right after the game ends. "It's unfortunate," Link said.

Joe twice insists he’s not really bringing up Pete’s DAL-refinery argument

It's kind of like saying "We're not even gonna use Percy Harvin," but putting him in the game anyway.

Dr. New World said on Tuesday's Halftime Report he likes DAL over LUV, but NOT because of Pete's refinery argument, rather it's "the balance-sheet story that I wanna stay focused on."

Josh Brown said LUV is a better choice because there's "more room for improvement." But Joe claimed DAL's management is better focused on the shareholders right now.

Stephanie Link sided with Brown; "there's more upside to LUV." But Steve Weiss said DAL margins "are more robust."

Judge tried to claim both stocks are winners.

Joe reasserted before it was over that Pete talks about Delta's great refiner move, and "I didn't even bring that into the argument."

Joe: ‘Odd reversals’ all year

Josh Brown on Tuesday's Halftime Report argued that a flat market is justifiable.

"We pulled forward a lot of 2014's gains into 2013," Brown said, echoing the original Lee Cooperman argument. "It makes sense for us to be pausing here."

Mr. New World insisted "the market wants perfection" for the previous quarter and a guidance raise, and in 2014 we've had several days of "odd reversals."

"It is not a beta chase, it's about alpha," Terranova said.

Stephen Weiss said the S&P is hanging in there, and banks are doing OK. Josh Brown said the most important point, which is that retailers are weighing on the market.

Stephanie Link said JNJ was priced to perfection and is a prime example of today's market; "at 90, you buy it."

Rob Sechan took up the Loeb story from Davos and said, "Activism is not good for investment-grade corporates" because of the leverage. But in general, market fundamentals are "really healthy," and Sechan sees a "lot of opportunity in this market."

Stephanie says ‘piss’

As storms smother the upper Northeast/Midwest, Jeff Kilburg said on Tuesday's Halftime Report that he'd be buying the spike in nat gas because utilities are "grabbing" it.

Jim Iuorio allowed that "probably it continues higher." Dominic Chu had a lot of trouble with Jimmy "Uriurio" (sic something like that). Chu also had a lot of trouble with a Futures Now teaser to Peter Schiff, what he's buying or not buying, etc.

Mr. New Land said he's not going to make a BBRY call this time.

Stephen Weiss still has a rosier BlackBerry outlook than most, claiming, "You're starting to see tiring of the iPhone keyboard," but he's not buying BBRY yet.

Josh Brown suggested rather nonchalantly (in other words don't do it) that you can take a flier on BBRY, just "put in a stop at 8.50," because not even management really knows what's going to happen, according to Brown.

Josh Brown suggested that Amazon's new inventory speculation tactics will make consumers "feel guilty" that the company is stocking your products and you haven't bought them.

Joe Terranova overstated the importance of this goofy report that is no different than what the company already does, wondering about a contracting economy and "what happens in terms of inventory-building" in that scenario. (Yes, too many Bay City Rollers Greatest Hits CDs sitting in a Richmond distribution center, watch those margins disintegrate.)

Stephanie Link warned, "If you piss off the customer," and we'll let you decide if such terminology makes Stephanie come across as sexy.

Joe predicts NFLX miss.

One of the bolder calls on a sleepy Tuesday Halftime Report was Dr. New Land's intuition toward the Netflix earnings call, so eager to discuss it that he told Judge he's taking that one.

"I priced out some puts underneath the market," Joe said, reporting "a lot of whisper that they're gonna miss. I think they may ultimately miss."

"Ultimately"? (This writer is long NFLX.)

Judge tried to sound mysterious in questioning Andrew Ross Sorkin, "What did Loeb know, and when did he know it." (Turns out, apparently, it was just a coincidence.)

Stephen Weiss said he's using "tire irons" on his Bentley.

Josh Brown said you don't have to try a pairs trade with DDD and SSYS. Stephen Weiss mocked a TGT call, saying the analyst just wanted his name out there. Joe Terranova likes XOM and not the negative call, saying it's a "great defensive oil play." Stephanie Link said the environment for LULU is "too hard" right now but that Cramer bought NKE down last week. (This writer is long LULU.)

Josh Brown said of COH, "This is not a buy."

Brown's Final Trade was LUV. Stephanie Link said CIEN. Joe Terranova said KRE. Stephen Weiss said to short RIO.

[Friday, January 17, 2014]

Pete taking off with UAL
in 2014 Playbook Playoffs

The standings of the 2014 Playbook Playoffs were updated at CNBC.com late Friday.

And Simon is already firmly ensconced in the cellar.

Basically there are 2 big winners — Pete Najarian's UAL and Josh Brown's TAN — and everything else is jockeying for positionn.

Here's the leaderboard:

Pete Najarian: +3.70%

Josh Brown: +3.04%

Jon Najarian: +1.17%

Mike Murphy: +0.22%

Stephanie Link: -0.40%

Joe Terranova: -0.75%

Stephen Weiss: -1.17%

CNBCfix: -1.43%*

Simon Baker: -4.04%

(*Portfolio not seriously assembled initially but put together afterwards based on our commentary on panelist picks.)


Tip: Short the afterhours moves of Dr. Yaron Werber’s Fast Money picks

Dr. Yaron Werber, who just a week ago indicated that ICPT was a value buy in the mid-$400s, told Friday's Fast Money that he doesn't think cholesterol concerns are a big deal because this will treat the liver, then statins can treat the cholesterol.

Steve Grasso, impressive for his honesty, admitted he was inspired by Werber's CLVS comments last week and the resulting action, "I bought the stock on Monday, I paid 79 and change," and asked Yerber what he thought. Yerber indicated it's just as promising as last week, when his comments spurred the algorithm nuts to pay $90 afterhours.

Grasso later said that Yerber didn't mention it, but he has a $109 target on CLVS.

Yerber was purportedly on to discuss Google's biotech ventures, including "smart contact lenses for diabetics" and some cancer avenue. Yerber said, "This is gonna be a process."

Yerber's new picks was MDVN. He thinks its prostate data will beat the numbers when revealed Jan. 30.

Melissa Lee pointed out that MDVN was up afterhours during the show.

Mel also tried to stump Kelly Evans at the top of the show on how well biotech is doing this year. Evans indicated she wasn't stumped.

What in the world was Sara Eisen talking about?

Josh Brown on Friday's Fast Money shrugged off profit warnings, stating, "The average magnitude of warning is only half the historical number," a sign that "companies have gotten wise to the game."

Guy Adami suggested there's a "good chance that IBM might get whacked next week."

We're not exactly big IBM bulls here, but Steve Grasso's claim that the stock is the "short of the decade" just sounds bogus.

Grasso however said the S&P "held that 1,815 range ... seems like it's support to me." Pete Najarian said he sees a higher range, from 1,825 to 1,845.

Najarian actually said "I think IBM's going to the upside," as Grasso touted HPQ.

Josh Brown concluded, "You can't be bullish on the market and terribly bearish on IBM."

Sara Eisen, in a hit meant simply to get her on television (nothing wrong with that) and not really to imply any useful information said there's "scary stuff" in the Chinese shadow banking space, although she qualified, "this is not a Lehman situation."

Eventually even Mel Lee didn't get it and reverted to old standby cliche; "Connect the dots for us then Sara; what's the end game here."

Eisen then pretended others on this panel were taking this seriously. "It's not imminent, OK, so, calm down, you know, here, we don't have to raise the flag right now," Eisen said.

Josh Brown said FXI isn't the China story, but the consumer is.

Guy Adami added, out of the blue, "I think there's a lot of value to those gold miners."

But Pete Najarian said Chinese Internet names are "really significantly off of some of those highs."

Pete Najarian said GS is the shop to listen to on TWTR.

Josh Brown coined the term "Twommerce."

Brown said the narrative on Marissa quickly changed from assertiveness to, "Today out of nowhere, it's starting to look a little bit weird."

Steve Grasso repeated he sold 80% of his YHOO stake and is hanging onto the rest for an Alibaba pop. "I'm cutting out a lot of this noise," Grasso said. But Brown suggested he switch to Softbank for the Alibaba play.

Steve Grasso said "I'm staying long" AA, looking for an $11.77 breakout, and that was his Final Trade. Pete Najarian said F calls were heavy, and JNJ was his Final Trade. Josh Brown's Final Trade was AWAY, and Guy Adami said JACK.

Judge gets carried away with Jeff Sonnenfeld’s small talk, compelled to apologize

For whatever reason yukking it up with Jeff Sonnenfeld on Friday's Halftime Report, Judge Wapner then declared, "Breaking News from Jane Wells in California. Jane, save us! Help!"

Wells, dressed elegantly, responded, "Hey Scott, uh, well I wish it was as, uh, funny, but as we're still dealing with this huge fire ..."

By the end of Wells' report, Judge respectfully explained, "Sorry for that awkward segue there. Uh, I don't wanna make light at all about what's happening, uh, out in California or what it means to the people and the businesses out there." And so we all can let the matter drop.

18 months, 18 years: Jeff Sonnenfeld can’t even get his own invented category straight

Jeff Sonnenfeld, a fine pundit who has carved a nice niche as CNBC go-to guest on beleaguered CEO activity, told Friday's Halftime Report that the timing of Marissa Mayer's recent shake-ups is not a surprise to him.

"We often see this in leaders at the 18-month mark," Sonnenfeld said.

Without offering any evidence to back up this timeframe curiosity, Sonnenfeld went on to salute Mayer's early accomplishments (um, higher stock price thanks to Jerry Yang and Terry Semel's decade-old investment), then came up with this twist on the narrative: "Now at the 18-year (sic) mark, we're hearing problems."

If Marissa Mayer is Yahoo CEO for 18 years, we'll be quarterbacking the Steelers in 2032.

Sonnenfeld also referred to former Groupon CEO as "Anthony (sic) Mason." (Prior to spearheading a tech startup, he was quite the power forward.)

At least Sonnenfeld admitted that Yahoo's email is an "unbelievably bad service still."

Judge questioned "if there's a little too much Google in Marissa Mayer," and threw in an "at the end of the day."

Sonnenfeld said he didn't wait to "bait" Judge over JCP because they've disagreed on it before. Judge cracked, "I almost took offense at that comment Jeff."

Joe somehow unable to form an opinion on INTC

Lacking interesting material, Judge put viewers through another INTC debate on Friday's Halftime Report.

Jon Najarian, the bull, said he wasn't thrilled about the overnight decline, but "it's not even at Monday's lows, folks," and because PCs aren't dead but flat, "I still see a lot of upside."

But Mike Murphy, the bear, stated, "They're not even looking for growth next year," and so you're paying 14 times for nothing.

Furthermore, Murph said the stock's only good if there's a pickup in PCs, not if they're just flat.

Judge asked Dr. New Land to determine which competitor has a better view of this glacial stock in which just a 28 handle would be a monstrous effort. "I don't know ... I think the jury ultimately is still out on this name," Joe said.


Pete Najarian pronounced his last name as "Nigerian."


In essence, shouldn’t Joe do readers a service, talk about No. 1 instead?

Judge opened Friday's Halftime with a sleepy intro on whether tech is the place to be in the stock market.

Pete Najarian stammered and stumbled through a weak declaration, saying yes and finally touting HPQ and IBM.

Then, Joe Terranova hailed "capital spending in the technology space. It's Investment Theme No. 7 for our Virtus outlook."

Mr. New World went on to assert that "value technology outperforms growth technology by 2,000 basis points," so "overweight it."

Jon "Nigerian" said he likes INTC and BRCM and predicted INTC north of 30 this year and then grumbled that the contestants in the Portfolio Playoffs only get "5 ins, 5 outs" for the year. (But if you're so confident of your picks, why would that matter?)

Mike Murphy touted MU and FB and said, "Facebook has the potential to be the story for 2014."

Michael Santoli, referring to a column he wrote (probably for Marissa' Yahoo, at her 18-month/year mark), interestingly pointed out that new media stocks are priced for future ad revenue potential while old media is also priced highly on ad expectations, so "how do you square those 2 things ... Facebook better become Google if you wanna buy it at this price."

Santoli, perhaps believing he was saying something new, opined that TWTR "has to become something pretty enormous, uh, to really get a great return from this level." (But he didn't say whether it's "COST-uh-low" or "kah-STOLE-low.")

Pete declares his short
is better than Joe’s

Joe Terranova declared on Friday's Halftime Report that he's hardly done with that SHLD short.

"I'm building a bigger and bigger short position," Joe explained, targeting a price in the "low 20s."

All well and good, until Joe reaffirmed, "I've called it the JCPenney of 2014."

Pete "Nigerian" balked that JCP, which Nigerian is short, is actually the JCP of 2014, and compared to Joe's SHLD short, "I actually think it outpaces it."

OptionMonster client advice dispensed for free on national television

Jon "Nigerian" crowed on Friday's Halftime that MDLZ options went from 27 cents to about a dollar, and he recommended OptionMonster clients take some off, though he's still holding some, "I'll probably be out of it by Wednesday."

Nigerian added that April 5 calls in ODP were hot.

Mike Murphy downplayed any big gains from MDLZ, "the news is out there," but said, "I like the Office Depot" play as a "flier."

Joe Terranova said ODP is worth a look for "consolidation in that entire space."

Mike Murphy protests that builders are appealing — provided they fall 10-12%

Bill Pulte, who pointed out he doesn't work for PulteGroup Inc., nevertheless told Friday's Halftime crew that "I think we're in really good shape" in the housing sector.

Yet Pulte listed American Woodmark (AMWD) and MAS as his top picks, not actually the builders.

Mr. New World suggested AWI, and Jon Najarian said SHW.

Mike Murphy said the time to buy the builders will be when they experience their semi-regular 10-12% hit.

"I don't work for Pulte by the way," Pulte said.

Jon Najarian said that if the GE expansion in emerging markets continues, then "I like buying the stock on this dip."

But what if Carl sells NFLX and puts the cash into SHLD?

In what proved to be a valid call on Friday's trading, Jonathan Corpina told the Halftime Report that with a 3-day weekend ahead, "Investors might take some risk off the table."

George Gero declared, "Gold is the buzz today."

Kayla Tausche reported that Goldman Sachs is suddenly a great place to work, because analysts don't have to work Saturdays. (Boo. Hoo.) Mike Murphy astutely suggested that at places like that, it probably comes down to, "what's the bonus structure."

Pete Najarian hailed MS' surge and said the transformation began with John Mack and extended to James Gorman and that the bank has "removed a lot of the risk."

Mike Murphy said "don't jump in right now" to UPS. Likewise, Mr. New Land advised not buying TGT just yet.

Jon Nigerian said AXP turned around after its afterhours slide a day earlier.

Joe, inventing theoretical possibilities for disliking NFLX, said he wonders whether, should the shares fall below 300, "does Carl get out of the rest."

Pete Nigerian seemed to pick Seattle (snicker) on Sunday without declaring such, except the players he mentioned in particular were San Francisco players, while knocking Josh Lipton's bogus report on NFL stat collection. "Seattle's playing at home, they have the best defense in all of football ... it's about all the players. It has nothing to do with these stats." (Tip: Take the 49ers and watch the Seattle offense surge about as much as INTC shares.)

Mike Murphy's Final Trade(s) was/were CSCO and TEVA. Pete Nigerian said DOW. Jon Nigerian said HSH. Joe Terranova said MS.

[Thursday, January 16, 2014]

Brian Kelly evidently is not actually long IRBT, despite what was implied on television

In the goofiest call of the day, Brian Kelly on Thursday's Fast Money interpreted a decade-long Bank of America chart of U.S. manufacturing jobs vs. "global industrial robots," inspired by Melissa Lee's "Rise of the Machines," into an automation trade.

And, "I think the trade is iRobot (IRBT)," Kelly said.

But when challenged by Lee as to whether that's the right space for manufacturing, Kelly said (and note the first 3 words), "My bet here is that either somebody else is going to want this robot-type of technology, if you will, and/or, when they start to get more into the consumer, the valuations are gonna change on this.

In fact, according to the show's disclosures at CNBC.com (or our handy graphic above), Kelly is making no bet at all on the robotics space, unless "gilts" are considered automation.

Karen Finerman observed Kelly's chart and said it made her wonder, "Could we be at a generational bottom of manufacturing jobs in the U.S.?"

Brian Kelly says ‘I’m short the European banks,’ but according to CNBC.com disclosures, he’s actually short the Euro Stoxx 50, so Tim Seymour’s concerns about the DB spike should be mollified

Nary an episode of Fast Money or the Halftime Report occurs without a discussion of (Advance Drink) F, M or C (Ending Drink), and such was the case on Thursday's Fast Money when Brad Hintz showed up.

Hintz didn't exactly make the best case for C, describing the company's approach this way: "They're trying to expense their way down to profitability. That's a tough thing to do. On the other hand it's a bet on, on, on Asia; Asia didn't really show up this, this time."

OK. And other than that, Mrs. Lincoln (shout-out to Zach Karabell), how'd you like the play.

Yet, Hintz declared, "It's cheap ... frankly it's an inexpensive stock."

Guy Adami tried to score points with USB, but Hintz shrugged that one off as "a little bit of a grandma-type stock."

Brian Kelly claimed, "I'm short the European banks," because "January's been a huge month for redemption in the bond market."

Karen Finerman couldn't contain her giddiness about C, explaining she was "long going in," and "I would like to buy more," perhaps Friday or Monday. Not surprisingly, it was her Final Trade.


Karen goes long JCP

Perhaps the shocker of the day on Thursday's Fast Money was the revelation that Karen Finerman is long JCP.

It's "counter to my whole genetic makeup," Finerman claimed, without specifying why, insisting it's "not that it's cheap; it's just a lot lower. So I feel like so much bad news is already in this stock."

Finerman dismissed the bankruptcy notion. "They are not going away this year," she said, but this is a short-term thing for her; "this is as 'trade' as I get."

(The picture above is from a couple days ago. But we like it.)

As Melissa Lee rattled off the struggles of LULU, BBBY, BBY, GME and SODA, Tim Seymour invoked an old favorite of the wisened-cliche crowd, saying all of those companies but 1 have an "inherent problem" that explains the shellacking. "It's about valuation, it's about picking good companies here," Seymour insisted, prompting Finerman to agree that it's not the cheap retailers who have gotten haircuts.

Brian Kelly invoked an old standby of Melissa Lee, explaining that when you "connect the dots" between the jobs data and certain retail numbers and other indicators, "it could be slowing globally."

Get-a-life moment: Not doing the 4-digit TV again — ever again

Leapfrogging the Halftime Report on this particular subject, Thursday's Fast Money crew impressively spotted what they seem to think is an instant stock trade: BBY.

However, it's worth noting that while all 4 panelists liked the stock, only Brian Kelly was enthusiastic, calling Thursday's slam a "massive, massive overreaction" giving interested longs a "huge opportunity to buy this stock."

Tim Seymour merely said, "I don't think this company is going out of business," and twice called the day's move an "overreaction."

Guy Adami said that at $27, "it's pretty interesting."

Even Karen Finerman agreed, "It does seem a little overdone" and is "fine for a trade," but she was nevertheless hesitant, calling it "fairly priced here."

Guest David Strasser, who has the biggest emotional stake in this subject (other than maybe Jim Lebenthal, who declared the shares "still cheap" during his marathon late-December appearances), insisted, "I think they're gonna be fine" and lamented the company as a casualty of the "most aggressive promotional environment I've seen since 1995."

Strasser somehow claimed the public is going to get excited about another round of $1,500-to-$1,000 TV sets with "4K" but went unchallenged in claiming that "Apple didn't have the inventory that people wanted" this holiday season.

Guy advises eager INTC buyers to wait another 3-4%

A relentlessly boring stock got 2 scoops of commentary on Thursday's Fast Money.

Doug Freedman said he doesn't like INTC because of its "doubling-down" in the tablet space.

But Freedman, who recently took flak from Judge over his MU call, said he does like MRVL on any pullback; it has "a little bit of a headwind in the legal case they're facing."

Guy Adami lukewarmly declared the INTC quarter "all right" but agreed with Freedman that "Marvell is interesting ... where there's smoke there's fire with a name like this."

Somehow near the end of the show, Adami was asked again about buying INTC and wearily offered, "You gotta give it a couple of days," or wait for "probably another 3 or 4% from here."

Guy Adami delivers backdoor slam to Fed, questions societal value of rising stock market

Further delving into retail, Mike Khouw reported on Thursday's Fast Money that options traders are anticipating a 9% move in COH.

But which direction? "I think the bulls are in trouble," Khouw said, citing buyers of the February 52.50 puts that he finds most convincing.

Tim Seymour didn't say the magic words ("lifestyle brand") but did affirm he dislikes the stock. Karen Finerman said that in the beauty space, there is "one best in class, which is Estee Lauder," but she's not high on AVP and thinks that for ULTA, the RDEN news "will probably hurt them as well."

Finerman conceded that in the retail space in 2014, "this is really looking bad," but that a select few such as M (Drink) are "OK."

Guy Adami suggested, "You need Dramamine to trade 3-D Systems," but he thinks HSY "is a little rich" and that if you're long, you're in the "deep end of the pool."

CNBC's Sister Golden Hair reported that AXP said the Target data breach had a "minimal impact" on its own operations.

Guy Adami questioned the relevance of the Dow to the American public. "What percentage of the population is helped by a rising stock- I don't know the answer to that; I don't think it's nearly as much as people would think," Adami said.

Mel describes herself
as ‘unmarried’

Tim Seymour said on Thursday's Fast Money that SCTY is "real exposure to the retail side of solar," but he thinks it's frothy; "I'm not sure I need to run in and buy it tomorrow."

Dominic Chu and Guy Adami had chuckles over TSCO.

Tim Seymour seemed to endorse RIO, but then mentioned BHP, and apparently was referring to the latter when he said, "Stay in that one," as it was his Final Trade.

Guy Adami said to watch for UNH at 68½, "that's where I would buy it again."

Karen Finerman said Bill Ackman must've had a delightful week with the BEAM sale and Thursday's HLF selloff.

Brian Kelly said of KR, "I would be out of this one."

Kelly said he'd "probably be short the rails here" but likes GBX. Guy Adami tossed in TRN. Tim Seymour said he'd pick UNP over KSU.

Seymour said the U.S. dollar is rising against everything but the euro, so, "Stay short the Aussie, stay short the Canadian dollar."

Guy Adami warned that TMUS "could easily just go back down to 25," so if you're long it for the consolidation, just make sure you know why you're long.

Tim Seymour, apparently not referring to anyone in particular, declared, "Trade School ... Listen to that. Post it."

Karen Finerman said "nothing really happened" in UA and the valuation is "crazy crazy," and there's "way more downside to go than upside."

Brian Kelly said WPRT is not the best way to play nat gas prices, instead used UNG for short-term trades, or APA.

Tim Seymour claimed that on a "bottom-up" level, Turkey banks are great (oh sure), and in fact are "extremely cheap on a 3-year basis," but warned of unrest in that country if you're thinking of the TUR, but he did seem to endorse TKGBY on the pink sheets.

Brian Kelly's Final Trade was TLT. Guy Adami said RSG, because "Timmy was spouting a lot of garbage."

Melissa Lee showed footage of "husband-tossing" in Japan and opined, "I think it's fine," while conceding she is the "unmarried" voice on the desk.

Gorgeous Michelle Caruso-Cabrera slams Rothstein Kass report/survey/study/poll of female money managers on Closing Bell

(Karen please don't get mad) We'll have a report on our home page.

Our assessment is below (PgDn to Wednesday's report). MCC indicated that it's performance that draws investment dollars, so how in the world would or should it make a difference if someone tells potential investors, "I beat the S&P 500 by 2 percentage points last year" or "I beat the S&P 500 by 2 percentage points last year and by the way I'm a woman."

Otherwise, we're staying out of this.

Mike Mayo evidently had Oscar nominations on the mind (and presumably wasn’t affixing an ‘outperform’ to ‘her’)

Stephanie Link made sure to emphasize at the opening of Thursday's Halftime Report that C was dogged by a "capital markets miss," which isn't the most important part of the business, and "I would buy more."

Stephen Weiss agreed it's a "must-own," and made it his Final Trade.

Much later in the show, Mike Mayo put in a call to Judge about the C call and said there's no sugar-coating, "it was a bad quarter," but because of "bad trading."

Mayo did indicate a bit of frustration with the company, saying he feels like he's been watching the movie, now we're at "intermission, and I'm on my 2nd box of popcorn." (Ouch, that'll necessitate another hour on the treadmill.)

Mayo dodged a Fast Fire on BAC by stating MS (his favorite pick) is succeeding in the same way.

After the initial interruption from the conclusion of the Ben Bernanke forum, Steve Liesman nevertheless opined that the Fed chief "feels a measure of success" for what the Federal Reserve accomplished.

Doc attributes YHOO personnel decision to yesterday’s chatter about women being better money managers

Many stock-market calls are wrong.

So if you're going to do one on television, might as well make it entertaining.

Such was the case on Thursday's Halftime Report with Eric Jackson, who seemed intent on applying a little public push to Marissa Mayer.

"I think AOL and Yahoo are on a collision course," Jackson said, predicting a deal this year and even more greatness to come in YHOO, which he's long.

"I plan to stay in it until this thing hits $70 probably in about 18 months time," Jackson said.

Yet, he admitted the "core business" is the "weak link" in the stock, and what really gets him excited is the unrealized wealth of "Yahoo Japan."

Grasping for support for this curious acquisition theory, Jackson pulled a Najarian and reported "big buys of the April 55s in AOL."

Jon Najarian, who happened to be on the show, said he doesn't see a YHOO-AOL deal, but he hopes Jackson is right, but he thinks people were probably buying AOL for something else.

Meanwhile, Najarian argued a bull case himself for YHOO that didn't involve AOL, stating, "of course Alibaba" (Drink), plus "Yahoo Japan," and then somehow linking the recent COO firing in which "Mayer made the decisive move ... she cut the loser right away" to Wednesday's discussion about the survey/poll/study/report based on anecdotal conversations and knowledge of the firm's principals that women produce better hedge fund returns than men.

Stephen Weiss, the YHOO bear, scoffed, stating "the loser was her loser ... the bloom's off the rose" for Marissa Mayer, and by the way, "they're not gonna acquire AOL."

But Najarian incredibly likened this move to Disney's 1990s power team, "Just like when Eisner had brought in ..."

Stephanie Link said it was a good debate, but after the Asian assets, "the fundamentals stink" at YHOO.

Josh Brown credited Jerry Yang for getting Alibaba (actually we think Terry Semel was the one who secured the present stake at its current level) but said "I bought Softbank" as his own play in the space.

Another GILD year

Dr. Mark Schoenebaum, who said on Thursday's Halftime Report that last year was the best year he can remember in biotech, explained why 2013 was so lucrative.

"If you threw a dart at 10 biotech stocks, 9 of 'em went up," Schoenebaum said.

Pity the guy who hit the 1 that didn't.

Schoenbaum said the sector has risen on growth, but the future is in multiple expansion, as the "implied P.E." going out to 2016 is "hovering around 10 times."

"Gilead was my top pick last year, and I've doubled down again," Schoenebaum added, conceding his "conviction level's a little bit lower" than last year.

He said MRK is in the "4th inning" of something or other, and that there's actually "probably more opportunity" in pharma than the biotech space at this point.

Jon Najarian is keeping an eye on VVUS, OREX and ARNA.

But what about the support ANF always finds at 30 (Drink), according to Steve Grasso?

Josh Brown said at the top of Thursday's Halftime Report that the big wipeouts in 2014 have been retail, which perhaps "really doesn't bode well for the general market."

Courtney Reagan joined the group to report that at least one major retailer, BBY, is undaunted, as Herbert Joly insists, "We still all believe that we're doing the right thing."

Stephen Weiss scoffed that unless you're in a niche such as KORS, you're in a permanent headwind, it's the "complete commoditization of all retail."

Hey, in September, Aswath Damodaran’s Tesla target was $67.12

In hardly the most convincing point, Steve Weiss claimed on Thursday's Halftime Report that UNH sold off because it's a Dow component.

Josh Brown called SCTY the "hottest stock in the market."

Jon Najarian predicted TSLA will re-approach its old high around 194. (BTW that was supposed to be in our year-end review, that this page Aug. 26 hung a 200 on TSLA before 2014; didn't happen (but did get close, was $164 at the time and got to $194) but we did nail that NFLX would catch AMZN, which it did rather easily although AMZN has creeped ahead.)

Stephanie Link said that on heels of CSX's report, she'd "look at UNP." Josh Brown actually made CP his Final Trade.

Jim Iuorio, the lone Futures Now guy on Thursday, said he's not hanging a glorious $1,400 target on gold or anything like that, but "right now it seems positive for the next couple weeks."

Stephen Weiss said he bought a GNRC generator, but "it's a disaster stock ... it is overvalued; I'd wait for a better entry point."

Jon Najarian said he's into MDLZ calls, probably for 2-4 days, because January 36 calls were hot.

Judge mistakenly says Chicago has ‘banned’ e-cigarettes; rather it just voted to regulate them like traditional cigarettes

Philip Morris honcho Robert Dunham told Judge Wapner on Thursday's Halftime Report that e-cigarettes present a "massive opportunity" to wean people off the more dangerous variety and that it's unfortunate if cities such as Chicago are going the wrong direction on this subject.

Judge questioned whether people should assume e-cigs aren't harmful, "there just isn't enough science at this point."

Dunham said people concerned about the vapors are jumping to a knee-jerk conclusion equivalent to denouncing water because it looks like vodka. Dunham contended "there is not one credible study" that shows 3rd-party harm from being in the presence of e-cigarettes.

Stephanie Link's Final Trade was MJN. Jon Najarian said COP.

[Wednesday, January 15, 2014]

Karen complains female money managers never ‘get that meeting,’ can’t explain why they won’t accept SALT invitations

(Sigh) This one is guaranteed to get us in trouble, so let's just get it over with.

Please note that Karen Finerman's considerable expertise, according to her bio at CNBC.com, is in economics, finance, risk arbitrage.

Not social science. Or biology. Or hormones.

It was a daylong Wednesday theme, and a fascinating one, on CNBC about whether female hedge fund managers are better than male hedge fund managers.

Karen Finerman asserted on Fast Money, "I really think it comes down to ego ... and I think women have less ego."

As to why there aren't more female money managers, Finerman suggested, "Maybe they are risk-averse."

Tim Seymour, as you can see from the photo, wasn't buying it.

"We're going down a slippery slope, where I think it's probably ultimately insulting to women," Seymour said, and that, "'Women are actually better because ...' I think, is not what women wanna be saying."

Finerman objected. "Here's the problem with that though. If it were a level playing field and if women would get that meeting just as often as the men would, then maybe that would be the case, but that isn't what happens. They don't look at the women ... there's absolutely a prejudice against women. No doubt."

So, evidently we should make off-the-cuff scientific declarations to rectify a social problem.

Anthony Scaramucci managed to get himself tangled up in this one declaring that it's "absolutely true that men have bigger egos than women," and "I do agree with Karen on that" and "at the end of the day (Drink), this is still a man's industry," only to undo her whole argument in one little remark: "I even have a problem frankly at SALT. I invite a lot of women hedge fund managers, I end up with a sausage party."

So they're better money managers who need the meetings, but don't actually want the meetings.

(Sigh) Here's where we're really gonna get in trouble (and no, it has nothing to do with making a nice comment about Stacey Widlitz's clothing that was unfathomably misunderstood, or claiming Dr. New World is a Rush fan) ...

Can you imagine anyone — anyone — releasing a report about this subject that concludes males are better at money management than females?

Out of curiosity, we looked up the actual report. And honestly, after reading the first several pages of the intro, we can't really figure out what's going on here.

It is called a "study" on the cover. On the introductory Page 3, "report" and "study" appear once each, while "polled" occurs 4 times.

Based on the cover, and introductory Page 3, this "report" seems to convey more than anything that women prefer long-term "investing" to short-term "trading."

Trying to determine how actual numbers were compiled here, besides a poll ("Yes, we made 64% last year"), was a bit of a challenge.

The beginning of the "Methodology" description goes like this:

To create the 2013 Rothstein Kass "Women in Alternative Investments" (WAI) report, we relied on the following information:

• A survey performed by Rothstein Kass in September and October 2013. The survey, which was conducted over a period of five weeks, captured the sentiments of 440 senior women in the alternative investment industry, including fund managers, investors and service providers.

• Responses from the survey were analyzed and aggregated to create summary results. (CNBCfix editor's note: As opposed to being completely ignored after taking the time to collect them.)

It's not until we get to the 5th item that we find this:

• A Rothstein Kass Women in Alternative Investments (WAI) Hedge Fund Index was created for performance analysis on the hedge fund component of the WAI universe. It was constructed based on 82 hedge funds that have reported monthly performance to either HedgeFund.net or the Hedge Fund Research databases. Funds were selected based on individual knowledge of women-owned or -managed status, or based on the presence of female principals listed in the Hedge Fund Research diversity category listing. No adjustments were made to account for survivor bias due to the scarcity of available information on defunct women-owned or -managed funds.

• Rothstein Kass principals were asked to weigh in on subjects on which they are experts.

• Industry publications, articles, studies and white papers were used in developing this report.

So, an index measuring financial performance was built based on anecdotal knowledge of those entities actually compelled to report statistics, as well as other "industry studies and white papers."

Essentially the introductory text (after the flowery, overwritten mumbo jumbo), in fact, does not deal at all in performance issues, but in what it sees as rising growth opportunities for female-run firms, with several concessions that this demographic prefers a long-term view and delivers short-term results that some find unexciting. Furthermore, the report/poll/study/survey suggests that the volume of meeting snubs suggested by Karen Finerman is more than offset by the social inclination toward these investments that men do not benefit from. Note this very important sentence, and note which of the 2 rationales is listed first: "However, while perhaps not as speedy as some would like, diversity mandates, as well as demonstrated outperformance by women managers, are driving investors to increase allocations to women-run funds."

This is a media-critic Web site. Forgive us, it's what we do. This report/poll/survey/study produces a fine conclusion, one we'd love to deem undeniable, an iron-clad analysis important for people making real-money decisions.

Instead, we smell a lemon as to the entire compilation, whipped together by people with an overwhelming Freakonomics-like incentive to deliver exactly these kinds of statistics, and seriously get the feeling that some savvy publicity hound is manipulating the financial media and years' worth of grad-school-paper starting points with bogusness enhanced by personalities on CNBC with no formal training in biology (that we're aware of) opining on ego differences as though they were Sigmund Freud.

Here's our point: We think female money managers are wonderful. We have no idea if they collectively do better than men, because of smaller egos or bigger risk-aversiveness or any other reason. And neither does Rothstein Kass.

Buy-buy-buy — Michael Pachter now claims it’s net neutrality court rulings that will sink Netflix

Michael Pachter, constantly grasping for negative NFLX headlines, found one to his liking on Wednesday's Fast Money, asserting that the court ruling on net neutrality could wipe out 2/3 of the company's profit.

Pachter claimed, "The guys who transmit a lot of data are, are ripe for the ISPs to go after," and then speculated that at just a penny per gigabyte, this suddenly could cost Netflix $144-$936 million.

Host Melissa Lee, who put together a great show, suggested that, rather than heavy-handed, unblockable 1-cent levies, there could well be middle ground in this situation.

That prompted Pachter to suddenly concede he envisions a scenario where Netflix users will get a certain amount of HD streaming for free, but then, "you're gonna watch it get pixillated after the first 40 hours."

Bottom line, Pachter claims, "Netflix has to raise price."

Bottom line, this page claims, this is a nutty rationale for a new/old thesis to be stated on television (what happened to the 1) Amazon/Hulu competition, 2) international growth that will never be realized, 3) gouging from movie/TV distributors who are going to drive a hard bargain), is actually more bone-headed than anything Ronnie Moas said on the program, and we'd buy gobs of these shares on the selloff if we had the cash, except people were already doing that Wednesday morning. (This writer is long NFLX.)

Steve Grasso, who gets it, pointed out, "This is not a done deal though ... I have a sneaking suspicion that you're gonna see this turn backwards here" in the legal system, which would create "easily a buying opportunity" in NFLX.

Anthony Scaramucci essentially agreed, saying you can't underestimate Reed Hastings, whose management well may "pull another rabbit out of their hat," and then the "stock goes to 400."

Tim Seymour was, on this subject, the voice of knuckleheads, vouching for Pachter's bogusness by claiming it's a legitimate argument for choosing the broadband distributors such as CHTR and CMCSA (Gee, think that one wasn't for the bosses? Does anyone NOT recommend CMCSA?). We'll take the other side and gladly predict a 10% gain in NFLX (that would be roughly 363 if we multiplied correctly) before a 10% gain in CMCSA (let's call it 60). Jon Najarian tried to parse and equivocate and claim that both Seymour and Grasso were right.

Ronnie Moas’ intensity is admirable, but he’s rapidly making less and less sense

It could've been her finest hour.

Melissa Lee rebounded from a silly performance the first time around with Ronnie Moas with a masterful follow-up on Wednesday's Fast Money.

Lee this time impressively accepted Moas' questionable position with 100% seriousness and avoided the "nervous breakdown" nonsense, then allowed Moas to dig himself a considerable hole from his own shaky fact-checking.

The only problem was that Lee, as she's prone to do, missed the big picture, which is, this is a colorful, soundbite personality here, let's talk about interesting things, not belabor the issue of whether he's meeting the "research analyst" job description.

"I'm sick to my stomach from what I see in this country," Moas initially said, but then it became murkier as to whether he's more sick from what he sees in other countries, or from what he considers the inaction of the world's superrich.

Lee simply repeated her question from the last time, whether Moas is really sure that Foxconn workers are making $2 an hour.

Evidently, he doesn't really know.

"You have hundreds of different Web sites, and each one reports a different number," Moas said Wednesday.

He also admitted, "No I haven't visited the workers in Asia."

Less sympathetic this time than last, the Fast panel expressed extreme skepticism, with Tim Seymour asserting that to call this a U.S. problem is "challenging."

Anthony Scaramucci declared the War on Poverty to be a costly failure.

Steve Grasso for whatever reason actually thought he could convince Moas about the transitory nature of jobs and (essentially) that people lucky enough to live near a factory should appreciate it and that they could be running it someday.

Moas claimed that the only way Jeff Bezos could ease Moas' concerns is to fly all of his employees down to the Galapagos Islands.

Moas told Lee he wants a "redistribution of wealth," and to "wipe poverty out," and asserted that whatever his job title, "I can argue whatever I want to argue," something that evidently troubles Lee greatly.

‘Net interim income interest’ (sic)

"We are still in a bull market," declared Anthony Scaramucci on Wednesday's Fast Money.

Steve Grasso asserted that "financials are what's behind this move higher," a comment backed by Jon Najarian and Anthony Scaramucci.

Najarian pounded the table for BAC, "I still think the stock goes to 20 by the end of this quarter," while Scaramucci dubbed it "still a strong buy."

Tim Seymour, who toyed around with his hair during the program, was in bone-headed land, stating BAC's "net income- uh, net interim- income interest, excuse me, 11 billion beat 10.6," and by the way, it "stole Merrill Lynch" (Quadruple Drink).

Jon Najarian gushed that Vegas stocks have been rising and shrugged that people waited until 2014 to sell their big 2014 winners, such as LNKD and TSLA, "names that have come roaring back in the last few days." (Actually, LNKD has hardly "roared," but whatever.) (This writer is long LNKD.)


Doc: Get long AMCC

Females were the topic du jour on Wednesday's Fast Money, as Whisper chief Michael Heyward first spoke of a "virgin" poll in a classroom, and then revealed, "Females are really the, the sharers in our culture, that's what makes products go viral."

From everything we heard Wednesday, we extrapolate that big egos don't share.

Honestly we have no clue what "Whisper" is, though Mel & Kel sounded excited about it at the opening, but whichever CNBCer wrote the Whisper gags (only one reference to hair would've been fine, and the Nasdaq account left open was flatter than the Chargers/Saints 3-quarter offense) isn't quite ready for "SNL."

Tim Seymour said of JCP, "I wouldn't touch this one," and claimed that Mike Ullman's almost certainly necessary cuts are "almost a sign of desperation."

Jon Najarian said of AMCC, "I am long this name."

Steve Grasso said the exit of YHOO's prized CCO is "not a great thing" for Marissa Mayer. Grasso said he owns the shares for Alibaba, and "I've sold 80% of what I've owned of it right around these levels."

Tim Seymour said of AAPL, "I think you own this stock here." Jon Najarian revealed, "I'm still long the stock." Anthony Scaramucci said that in China, Apple will "figure out these price points," and the shares will go higher.

Steve Grasso said (for the 386th time) that 30 is "real good support" in ANF (Double Drink).

Tim Seymour said stay long WLT, "I think coal is going higher." Jon Najarian knocked XONE, "I would stay away from these," except maybe DDD. Anthony Scaramucci saw a "dead-cat bounce" in AA. Steve Grasso said TSLA must hold 157 to stay long.

Mike Khouw said someone was buying 62.50 January calls and selling the February 65s in DD.

Steve Grasso warned about the impact of crude exports on refiners, beginning with a 2-part sentence in which neither part has a correlation to the other. "If this ban is lifted, these refiners have had such a great run. They could lose 30 to 50% of their stock," Grasso said.

Tim Seymour's Final Trade was POT. Jon Najarian said AMCC, Anthony Scaramucci said MS and Steve Grasso said QCOM.

We still like Karen and don't want her to be mad at our media analysis of the hedge-fund-women study/survey/report/poll, so that's why we're re-running the picture, also because it's a dynamite picture.

Judge indulges much of critical opening 10 minutes on personal household AAPL anecdote but somehow isn’t sure about the ending

Eamon Javers broke the incredibly important news on Wednesday's Halftime Report about Apple having to pay perhaps $32 million for kiddie app downloads.

Judge decreed that amount "chump change," then revealed to everyone, "I sit here having had to deal with this very issue, uh, for hundreds of dollars."

But before you get outraged, know that Judge explained moments later, "If I recall correctly ... once we called" and explained that these downloads were inadvertently made by the kids, "They wiped it away." (Translation: Wife handled that one, and I can't remember exactly what she told me about it.)

Simon bumbles and stumbles his way through embarrassing TSLA bear case built around nothing

Once again, TSLA is suddenly among the most exciting stocks.

Which should've made Wednesday's Halftime Report debate between Jon Najarian (bull) and Simon Baker (bear) reasonably interesting.

But calling this clunker "interesting" would be like calling "Nebraska" (the Bruce Dern movie, not Springsteen album although the punch line applies to either) "fast-moving."

Najarian started off saying he "certainly liked it a lot better at 140," but it still looks good now because projections are "through the roof," and by the way they do inconsequential "remedies" via software upgrades, not from bringing the car in like you'd have to do for an actual real repair, which Najarian somehow described as "huge."

Baker, however, was far worse, practically conceding from the beginning that he wished he hadn't chosen to do this, asserting that everything Najarian said was true but that "it's a cult stock" with a high valuation.

"We are short the stock," Baker revealed, and only goodness knows why.

Pete Najarian actually sided with Baker, saying he'd probably rather be in GM, F (Drink) or even TM, because "I see much more downside than upside" in TSLA.

Baker then had the audacity to say that if Tesla has more battery issues, the stock could "completely melt down."

Stephanie Link endorsed GM, "I think it's a buy here."

Richard Bernstein twice protests that he’s a ‘very bad’ market timer (which is a great qualification for ‘Fast Money’)

Judge spent the crucial opening moments of Wednesday's Halftime Report fishing for takers of the notion that every pullback in this stock market is small, to the point of a "phony correction," and then stocks roar ahead.

Everyone sort of passively agreed, with only Simon Baker impressively telling it like it is ("Ya have to be long") and not equivocating and parsing.

Pete Najarian explained that "the financials are OK, and possibly much better than OK."

Stephanie Link claimed with a straight face, "Data points are so incredibly important," and that the biggest news of the day (for those keeping score) was the "World Bank revising global growth higher for the first time in 3 years."

Jon Najarian stammered, "I do see tech continuing to work here," and mentioned some stodgy old names that only hard-core "value" folks really want.

Judge then invited Richard Bernstein to tackle the "phony correction" concept. Bernstein explained that he's a "very bad short-term market timer" but that the bull market continues to be real, one of the great ones of our careers, because a high level of skepticism still remains.

After declaring again that he's not the right guy to be forecasting monthly returns, Bernstein said it's actually high-beta, with "historically cheap relative valuations," that indicates the market is not actually frothy.

Bernstein is bearish on emerging markets.

Gemma Godfrey doesn’t seem to be playing the gold miners but has a thought for those who might

When seeking a mythical stock play, who better to turn to than Gemma Godfrey.

Godfrey on Wednesday's Halftime Report purportedly was going to endorse gold and/or gold miners.

But when the time came, all Godfrey said is that if the spot price remained pressured by macro headwinds, that would be difficult for the stocks, unless they started buying each other, in which case perhaps some of them could create efficiencies, so the opportunity (if any) is in consolidation.

In conclusion, "We would be looking actually to, if we were to play gold, buy the miners," Godfrey said.

Which sounds like she's not playing gold ... so what's the point again, other than needing an excuse to show off Gemma's overseas teeth?

Jon Najarian crowed, "I continue to own the GDXJ." Stephanie Link defended VALE; "we're gonna stick with it."

Jeff Kilburg called crude's spike a "short-term blip" and said crude has no correlation to the stock market. Brian Stutland though thinks there is real "danger" of being "caught offsides" on an oil short.

Doc thinks female investors
‘pull the trigger quicker’

One of the cliches of slick-salesmen movies such as "Wolf of Wall Street" is that it's generally a male getting himself in trouble with a dumb investment, and a female (if anyone) trying to talk him out of it.

However much truth there is to that notion, Jon Najarian strongly implied on Wednesday's Halftime Report that women are actually better day-traders than men.

"I think they pull the trigger quicker ... which helps them cut losses," Najarian said.

It also helps curb the gains, but that's another topic for another day.

Kate Kelly reported a survey that indicated female hedge fund managers have been doing better than males since 2007.

Kelly helpfully pointed out that while that's not a whole lot of years, it includes 2008, and "that of course drags down the market performance." Generally speaking, yes, incorporating results from 2008 does drag down market performance.

But Kelly said these numbers suggest that women are "possibly better risk managers than men."

Jon Najarian somehow got Fast Fired for not being aggressive enough in CUDA last year.

Pete Najarian said he's in the HAL January 51 options and used a spread so that he could get in for the same price that he initially put in an order for.

Pete said CHRW February 57.50 calls were hot, but he has no position.

Stephanie Link said FAST was hurt by gross margins.

Jon Najarian hailed BAC (Drink); it's "just gonna get better for them." Stephanie Link likes the HMO space. Simon Baker said ARO has gotta get youngsters back in the stores (ya think?).

Pete Najarian wasn't impressed by XONE, stating, "The 3-D printing area is exactly where all the bubbles are." Simon Baker piled on with a reference to a topic from a day ago, suggesting it would be a "great Motif to short those stocks," which could possibly qualify Simon for the royalties from such a Motif if he chooses to take the time to file it.

Todd Colvin told Judge that yields could be at risk in the next debt-ceiling debate. Ira Eckstein said crude could top 95. Ben Willis said it's great to be talking about an up market on TV.

Jamie Ritchie was the latest alcohol guest (Drink) on Fast Money/Halftime.

Jon Najarian's Final Trade was XLNX. Pete Najarian said LLY, Simon Baker said GS and Stephanie Link said EMN.

[Tuesday, January 14, 2014]

Karen’s already the front-runner
for Bust of the Year

Perhaps Karen Finerman, like Fast Money viewers on Tuesday, was wondering why, if Sodastream is so great, we had to watch CNBC's repeat footage of this woman pouring iced tea and shaking soda pop and viewing the whole thing in wonderment several times in the span of about 15 seconds.

Finerman said the stock, which she famously defended a week ago, experienced "clearly a breakout to the wrong side for sure, and I'd like to say this is my worst call of the year but we are only at January the 14th."

Conceding she was "blindsided" by the company's report, Finerman revealed, "We sold half, probably gonna sell the other half," in one of those "rip the Band-aid" type of trades.

Guy Adami butted in to deliver his own "mea culpa" on GME, and later, responding to a tweeter, said it recently had the type of action that looks like a washout, but it "doesn't always work" as in this case.

We hesitate to say it, but this page will just note that last February, after trumpeting how great McGraw-Hill was, Karen threw in the towel a day after the Justice Department's case, which was roughly the capitulation bottom on an absolute monster.

Guest somehow doesn’t answer Karen’s question even though she looks dyn-o-mite in black

Seeking a useful pundit on the Google-Nest acquisition, Fast Money host Melissa Lee on Tuesday turned to SmartThings chief Alex Hawkinson, who happened to be one of the folks profiled in Lee's "Rise of the Machines."

Not surprisingly, Hawkinson defended data collection, asserting that the "responsible companies in the space" will craft "policies" in which "customers elect how their data is used."

So basically, we get our house wired, we tell them, "Here's the people who need the data: Wife, kids, grandma, Dennis Gartman and Scott Wapner." And no one else will ever know a thing, including the National Security Agency, because of this policy we can "elect." (Funny no one asked Hawkinson about that.)

Ever a lucky man, Hawkinson was asked a question by Karen Finerman, who said, "It's Karen, let me ask you something," and he did let her ask without objecting; Karen wondered if the Nest deal meant that others such as Hawkinson's company would need deep pockets as well. Hawkinson never came close to answering, saying the Google move is "fostering a lot of that vision," whatever that vision is.

Brian Kelly said the play is BMI. Finerman said, "I'd be in Google." Guy Adami curiously said HON.

The picture above (look at the exceptional physique, side profile, jewelry accessory) originally included Melissa Lee, so that we could hail their dual black outfits, but unfortunately we couldn't get a good expression of Mel from that angle, so rather than risking posting something that didn't pass muster, it's solely Karen. (Yes we know she has a husband, we're just paying a compliment.)

If Guy thought he was scoring points by praising analyst, he was wrong

INTC watcher Christopher Danely somehow was the star guest of Tuesday's Fast Money and claimed that Intel's "foundry business" — we couldn't tell you in the slightest what that is — has been one of the "biggest buzz topics" in Silicon Valley in years, and is likely to rapidly find deep-pocketed clients.

(We thought HPQ's eventual entree to the 3-D printing space would be the biggest buzz topic, but that's apparently only among people listening to Steve Grasso.)

Guy Adami hailed Danely's opinion. "I love the call, because you got ahead of it," Adami said, but Danely only sat there stone-faced and didn't even smile.

Danely indicated that Taiwan Semiconductor is the clear loser of this trend. But Brian Kelly said he likes TSM better than INTC.

Dan Nathan said no one has to buy INTC here. Guy Adami said he likes QCOM best in this space even if it doesn't have the beta.

Dan Nathan sounds confused as to whether he noticed February or June puts in FDO

Smokin' Bonnie Herzog (OK, sort of having fun with that one on a number of levels) told Tuesday's Fast Money that "I think the advent of e-cigs really are (sic should be "is") going to increase tobacco profitability," and said LO is her top pick.

However, if that's not good enough for you, she also said PM is her "top long-term pick."

Brian Kelly pounded the table for LO. Karen Finerman stated, "I'd probably go with PMI." Guy Adami backed Kelly; "I think Lorillard has the most upside here."

Dan Nathan first stated that there was a "monster buyer of the June 40 puts" in the EEM while the graphic indicated it was "February" 40 puts; then Nathan himself said "February."

Nathan also tried to sound impressive in rattling off an FDO January 2015 put spread from 55 to 62.50.

Karen Finerman questioned if the purported Allied Nevada pursuer, China Gold Stone, actually exists. Guy Adami had trouble with "redacted."

TSLA analyst decrees call is a combination of sentimental-fundamental

Ben Kallo, who has carved out a sudden niche as Official TSLA Market-Timer for the Halftime Report and Fast Money, told Tuesday's Fast Money that the stock is now cleared for takeoff.

Previously cautious as the stock hit all-time highs, Kallo now says "the sentiment is where it needs to be" for the company to exceed expectations, also 2014 is to be the "year of the Model X."

Basically, shorts are in for a "rude awakening," Kallo said.

Brian Kelly enthusiastically endorsed the name even after Tuesday's move. "I love Tesla right here," Kelly said.

Kelly said to sell GM. Karen Finerman, meanwhile, said she's sticking with GM. Dan Nathan said he sold his F stake Tuesday, but "GM, I'm still long."

When is the ICPT analyst who indicated that $450 was a justifiable price going to get his mea culpa?

Guy Adami, who spent much of Tuesday's Fast Money apologizing and praising analysts, admitted he figured the S&P 500 would be down 15 handles Tuesday, and "I was dead wrong."

Adami said he does find the JPM trading action Tuesday "a little bit concerning." But he likes the move in AAPL, predicting a swing up to 585.

Guy acknowledged that, amid reports of more 787 battery trouble, BA "seems to be impervious to any kind of news like this," but he thinks there are better trades in the space.

Guy said MA experienced a "huge range," but "I still like it here at 820."

Pointing to XONE, Guy warned viewers that playing the 3-D printing space takes intestinal fortitude; "it's not gonna be straight up in this space."

Dan Nathan chipped in that DDD is too big now as a takeover play; "Nobody can buy triple-D at 9 billion-plus."

Guy said, "I like Potash here."

Dan Nathan said YELP "seems a little bubbly to me ... I don't get it."

Brian Kelly advised regarding ISRG, "get out of this if you're in it."

Karen Finerman bemoaned the volatility, however positive, in NM. "Nothing much has changed today," Finerman said.

Dan Nathan's Final Trade was GM. Brian Kelly said long VIX, Karen Finerman said C and Guy Adami said APC.

Porter Bibb: TWC taken out
‘north of $145’

Porter Bibb, perhaps our favorite Halftime Report guest, told Judge Wapner on Tuesday that the cable TV space isn't so hot, but "the stocks are great because there's gonna be consolidation."

Bibb said TWC eventually will be sold, "it's gonna happen north of $145," but that "160 is a real pipe dream."

Scoring points for the home team, Bibb claimed, "Comcast probably will step in and carve the deal up."

Bibb took issue with the Charter chief's comments earlier about TWC slumping; "Charter is not doing any better than Time Warner Cable."

Knocking Twitter, but ignoring the simple concept of demand for the stock, Bibb asserted, "There is no rationale you can put behind the valuation that Twitter has achieved ... it's 10 times overvalued." (This writer is long TWTR.)

The Portermeister also seemed to think Google had overpaid for Nest, while it is getting an "immense amount of data ... I just shake my head" at the $3.2 billion price.

Josh Brown suggested there was "universal scoffing" when Google bought YouTube (there wasn't), and "I actually like the deal."

Stephen Weiss agreed with Bibb that TWC won't get 165, but "it's gonna go higher" and get a deal.

Mr. New Land said, "I think you have to incorporate Cablevision into that conversation."

Scoring extra points for the home team, Simon Baker likes Comcast, which he also called "Comsat" (sic).

Interesting — but we still don’t quite get it

Hardeep Walia visited Tuesday's Halftime Report to discuss his "Motif" investments, which he described as "customizable no-fee ETFs" that are bought for a $9.95 commission as though they were a single stock.

Walia explained that these Motifs can play on more theoretical concepts not yet present in the established ETF market, such as robotics, and that it's not just a bull-market idea; "we do have short motifs."

What we couldn't figure out is whether it's the Motif crew creating the aggregations, or the customers, and what kind of volume would occur with each. According to its Web site, its most popular picks, on cleantech, rising rates and cybersecurity, were built by Motif.

But Walia said Tuesday that "investing is inherently social" (we'll forgive the "inherently" for now) and that you can "publish your own motif" and collect royalties if others use it. "In our first 6 months, 30,000 of these motifs have been built by our customers," Walia said.

Simon Baker was impressed and told Walia, "Congratulations, I think it's revolutionary."

Walia opined that "Microsoft is a ridiculously complicated business" and a tough job for any CEO, but that it's more about the team than 1 person, and "I think they'll make the right decision."

Simon first says it’s about
stock-picking, then says ‘I would buy the market’

It was sorta Steve Grasso vs. the pack on Tuesday's Halftime.

Opening the show, the crew seemed a day late on whether the correction is starting, with Josh Brown suggesting "possibly," but "It's too soon to tell."

Dr. New World said that on Monday, stocks breached their "1st technical vulnerability."

But Stephen Weiss insisted "the market's not going to have a major correction," and that having "back-to-back years" of big returns over time is more the norm rather than exception.

Simon Baker asserted, "It's about picking stocks," then admitted moments later, "I would buy the market," and added that "to have a correction of 1 or 2% is fantastic."

Paul Hickey, rather measured, said this is a "very tricky period for the market," but he could see a 2014 gain in the "mid-teens."

Judge complained that there's "no real leadership stock" in the 1st 2 weeks of 2014, but Josh Brown suggested health care is doing just that; "it's not your grandfather's health-care sector."

Late in the program, Judge brought in No. 386, who despite insisting a week ago that the big market selloff isn't going to happen in January, cautioned, "I'm concerned about rates moving lower" and that the jobs number may not be a December anomaly, "maybe it's a bigger, softer patch ... we're long-term overdue for that 5-10% selloff."

Someone owns C, BAC

Bill Nygren, a nice guy and semi-regular Halftime guest who unfortunately tends to be soundbite-challenged, said he likes banks and especially BAC (Drink), "largely because of valuation" and because of the great job that Brian Moynihan has done.

Nygren was asked what would be the most ideal rate environment for the bank stocks. His answer was, "Interest rates going up a little bit from where they are now."

He likes old tech, including INTC, which he thinks will equal in mobility its prior success in desktop, and allowed that "we have not been thrilled with prior Microsoft management."

Joe Terranova reported, "I have USB long," and he said to look at AXP, DFS and MA for "opportunity."

Stephen Weiss said he's long C (Drink), BAC (Drink) and MS, and "I don't think you have to get too esoteric here."

Simon Baker touted LAZ, which also became his Final Trade, "I think everyone on the desk thinks there's gonna be more and more M&A activity" (Drink).

Brown: Wait on SSYS

Joe Terranova indicated on Tuesday's Halftime Report that some of this Big Brother stuff is getting on his nerves.

The fact that Google is "gaining a lot of information on us personally ... it's just a little creepy," Joe said.

Joe said he likes FFIV but reiterated his technical turn prospects in ARUN.

Addressing his major 2014 Playbook Playoffs bungle, Joe unfortunately asserted, "I think Apple's gonna be OK."

Simon Baker thinks INTC will play "catchup in the tablet space." But Stephen Weiss said MSFT is not even good for widows and orphans anymore.

Judge pronounced SSYS as "Strataysis" (sic) and couldn't even find a taker in 3-D guru Josh Brown, who Brag Traded that with an I-chose-one-and-picked-DDD-a-while-back and said of SSYS, "wait for it to get cheaper."

Josh said it's OK to walk away from RVBD with a profit.

Steve Weiss said TSLA's got a good product, but "I'm negative on the valuation." Weiss also Brag Traded a Fast Fire implication from Judge over his previous favorite, SODA, "I haven't owned that for a long time. It was a good trade for me last year actually."

LULU smashed a day earlier; Steve Weiss doesn’t bother to do his homework until Judge asks about it Tuesday

Josh Brown said on Tuesday's Halftime Report that "I would not be a buyer" of LULU, though "you can't short it," there's "no compelling reason to buy."

Stephen Weiss said it's unclear whether to buy LULU; "frankly I'm not so sure about the CEO," but the time to get in may be now, he has to do more work on it.

Brown said NKE and GPS are making inroads in the LULU space. But Weiss assured that, based on his wife and daughters, LULU still resonates, "if you're married to Lulu, you're not walking into Gap to buy yoga pants."

Congratulations, Simon

In what could've been a little better debate, Josh Brown and Stephen Weiss on Tuesday's Halftime Report squared off on CLF, with Brown (bull) claiming buy based on nothing more than bad news priced in and the short float.

Stephen Weiss, the bear, claimed the valuation "has gotten worse," and that "China is still a house of cards," and he'd rather be short than long in the name.

Mr. New Land said iron ore is the challenge here, so "I am going with Stephen."

Anthony Grisanti told Jackie D that bond yields are dropping because traders are deciding that "equities aren't a slam dunk to the upside." Rich Ilczyszyn said bonds are a matter of "buy the dip, sell the rip."

Mike Gurka, caught without much to say, said the 10-year yield move was unexpected. Alan Harry likes nat gas between 4.47 to 4.57 as long as it stays over 4.28.

Steve Weiss' Final Trade was TBT. Josh Brown said BAC and Joe Terranova credited his friends at OptionMonster with MOS.

Judge declared a happy moment, that Simon Baker has become a U.S. citizen. Josh Brown had a good line, suggesting they could "send Stephen across the Atlantic" in exchange.

[Monday, January 13, 2014]

Fast Money crew does not seem concerned about January’s market

Tim Seymour is apparently fed up with people harping on the importance of the early trading days of January.

"People are looking at every history book in the world" (which seems mathematically impossible in a 2-week time frame), Seymour grumbled at the opening of Monday's Fast Money, saying the data has been getting better and hasn't changed in 2 weeks.

Guy Adami said he thinks the S&P needs to test 1,750 to restart a bull run, but he questioned the terminology some use about stocks being "overbought."

Josh Brown explained that "overbought" is really a "measure of RSI," which isn't showing "overbought" levels.

Brown said most of the battering so far is happening in retailers, as it should.

Adam Parker predicted earnings season is "gonna be fine" and suggested the lack of dire warnings is a "harbinger" (without adding, gracefully, "of things to come").

Parker said the S&P is down just 1.5% from its all-time high, so "calm down."

"I don't think we're very frothy right now," he added, saying it takes "hubris and debt" to accomplish that.

Meanwhile, Parker specifically likes health care over staples.

The key here for viewers, on a day in which the Nasdaq got monstrously shellacked, is to observe the demeanor of the panelists. In fact they were quite possibly too nonchalant, which suggests a deeper plunge might be in the cards this week, but otherwise that there's no reason to bail from your favorite positions, we're not talking September 2008 here.

And Tim Seymour said, "At the end of the day."

Tim assures viewers that Karen played SODA long with proper risk management

Josh Brown on Monday's Fast Money shrugged off TGT's daily disaster, claiming, "Nobody thinks this is gonna be a huge long-term issue."

Tim Seymour said that at 61, "This stock is oversold ... you take a shot with limited downside."

However, Seymour said that the upper 30s is "not necessarily a place" where you jump into SODA.

Brian Kelly scoffed at SODA as a "snow-cone machine," which Melissa liked a lot.

Wonder how many on Monday’s panel actually drive a Ford

Dennis Gartman on Monday's Fast Money denounced the UNG as a vehicle that gets tripped up by backwardation costs, and further stated that he has no interest in trying to trade the refiners, heating oil or gasoline right now.

However, "I'm long gold and short crude oil," Gartman revealed.

Guy Adami said long gold is OK, but "short oil scares me," and suggested airlines on a selloff.

Brian Kelly suggested going "long gasoline, short Ford."

But Josh Brown, meeting the show's quota (see Halftime below), made F his Final Trade.

Tim Seymour said "I like Cummings (sic) Energy (sic)," because "this is a secular story."

Even Mel has had enough of the greatness of Alibaba

Brendan Ahern, a buddy of Josh Brown evidently, visited Monday's Fast Money, which featured Brown (that means Barry's minding the store again), to tout the KraneShares KWEB, the "only pure play on the China Internet and e-commerce sector."

Melissa Lee asked Ahern if investors could get a play on Alibaba. Incredibly, Ahern's description of the company was even too much for the slow hook of Lee, who pushed Ahern to answer the question. He did, explaining that KWEB is incorporating the "methodology to fast-track conclusion" for Alibaba that should take "11 trading days."

Well, that sounds a lot smoother than Dennis Gartman's backwardation-cost problem with UNG.

One of those days where David Faber earns his salary, except he hasn’t put Icahn and Ackman together like Judge did

David Faber made a rare appearance on Fast Money with (what else, his specialty) an update on dealmaking in the cable TV space.

Faber reported that TWC has told Charter it would take 160.

Tim Seymour hailed the sector, stating, "This is just the beginning" of cable consolidation, and "everybody's involved in this."

Guy Adami suggested this works for BX, it's "completely in their sweet spot."

"I'd buy Time Warner right here," said Brian Kelly.

Calvin Klein underwear is the source of Monday’s Bickering-Married-Couple Routine of Guy & Mel

Brian Kelly said on Monday's Fast Money that TWTR "turned around today," but he wouldn't buy it until it tests 50. (This writer is long TWTR.)

Kelly told viewers they can short BMO.

Josh Brown said JPM has beaten expectations 8 quarters in a row. Guy Adami warned on behalf of IBM that he expects another disastrous quarter.

Tim Seymour said "Nest is a fantastic company" and praised the "genius purchase" by Google.

Guy Adami said that over 22, CSCO "looks interesting."

Scott Nations noticed February 55 puts very active in DLTR.

Tesoro, er Tesaro, chief Lonnie Moulder explained how Rolapitant helps with chemotherapy. Guy Adami said you can take a flier on TSRO and play it long.

Josh Brown said Oppenheimer's downgrade of BBRY was an "appropriate call" (i.e., apparently not a "clowngrade").

Tim Seymour said "congrats" to Irwin Simon for HAIN's performance.

Guy Adami said he still likes VFC.

Brian Kelly called himself "BK," which prompted Melissa Lee to somehow conclude, "It drives the point home," and the question then is "what point"; surely you'd like to think that a Harvard grad such as Mel, particularly in her striking fuchsia appearance, actually listens to males who say at least semi-interesting things, rather than these dudes, but we're running out of free advice here and the inclination to dispense it regarding this subject.

Tim Seymour's Final Trade was YUM. Brian Kelly said to sell gold, Josh Brown said F and Guy Adami said TLT.

Sitting next to guy from Thailand is proof positive of bourbon’s strength

Some anecdotal evidence is strong.

But not all.

Mario Gabelli, who dialed into Monday's Halftime Report to celebrate the BEAM deal, explained that he's taking part in the Barron's panel, which apparently lasts all day.

Gabelli said there are a "limited number of buyers" for BEAM but seemed to think the dividend made it worth holding in case Diageo somehow makes a bid.

Judge admitted he drinks bourbon, for the "great taste of it."

Gabelli explained bourbon's appeal by revealing he was "sitting here with someone from Thailand" who prefers bourbon to scotch, so, "You know, it's got global aspirations."

Ah. Folks in Thailand strive to some day drink bourbon. Got it.

Another episode of Fast Money/Halftime Report, another panelist who likes F

Just the other day, we flagged on our home page that Kelly "She's Everywhere" Evans asked a group of 5 guests on Closing Bell if anyone actually owns a Ford, and no one said yes.

Yet, every time F is mentioned on the Halftime Report or Fast Money, there's always at least one taker, including on Monday's Halftime both Stephanie Link (she likes GM too) and Mike Murphy, who claims, "I think there's a lot of upside in Ford."

So, nobody's interested in actually buying the product, but they think the stock's wonderful.

Mr. New Land conceded that "Toyota should be doing a lot better than it is" but said it's "time to ring the register on GM," while recommending, "Take a look at BMW."

Shock: Bear call on gold

Kathleen Kelley told Judge on Monday's Halftime that "the demand is just not there" for gold, and that "a thousand is a good price" to look for some kind of bottom.

Kelly is also negative on natural gas and thinks crude will find the mid-80s. But, "We like copper," she said.

Pete Najarian said he's still in the HAL trade but lamented not cashing in a bigger profit.

Najarian also cautiously endorsed MCP but suggested using options; "it's a buy on the side of a trade."

Joe Terranova endorsed GT. "I like the name in the near-term," Terranova said.

How is it necessarily ‘cheaper’ if the estimates come down

Evidently devoid of ideas, Judge Wapner kicked off Monday's Halftime Report with slow-moving questions for each panelist as to whether they want to be in U.S. stocks (i.e., Goldman Sachs reax).

Sure, "you wanna be with the U.S.," said Pete Najarian, calling it the "best house" in the neighborhood.

Stephanie Link didn't seem to disagree with that but contended, "International markets are cheaper."

Mike Murphy too claimed there's been "huge option activity in the emerging markets over the course of the last 48 hours."

Joe Terranova, questioning how low the market can go, credited Pete Najarian for raising the issue on Friday as to "why is volatility so cheap."

Michael Harris seemed to want to give himself a 15-month Brag Trade, as that's how long he's been bullish on the S&P 500, and "we've actually been adding to that long position," which has support at 1,820 and 1,800.

An ER with no hospital

Pete Najarian argued on Monday's Halftime that JPM is better than WFC, largely because "they are the best management team in all of finance," and they happened to beat WFC last year.

Mike Murphy said the JPM headwinds linger; "they still have a bull's-eye on their back."

Murphy said he likes WFC better as a play on the housing recovery.

Stephanie Link grudgingly said she likes Pete's argument better.

THC chief Trevor Fetter said his company's adjusting to ObamaCare and rising ER visits by properly scaling, something like "an emergency room without a hospital behind it."

Mike Murphy said UNH is his favorite in health care. Steph Link said WLP and HCA, and Joe Terranova enigmatically stated, "I'd like to sell biotech."

Looks like Josh was right

We'd love to give Mike Murphy a hard time for botching his LULU bull call last Tuesday ... except this page not only agreed with him, but declared Josh Brown (the bear) to be wrong.


However, we at least declared that Murphy made his argument with no catalyst, and as of Monday, you now have one; it's a kitchen-sink declaration.

Murphy indicated he still likes the name but admitted it's "really taking on some water here." He thinks management, as Karen Finerman predicted, is trying to "underpromise, overdeliver."

Pete Najarian curiously said he loves LULU, but it sounds like he likes UA better.

Stephanie Link opined, "I don't know if it goes down a lot from here, I just don't know if you have a lot of upside." (In other words, she just doesn't know where it's going.)

We wouldn't want to guess how much pain is left in LULU, but at some point there'll be a hot new product, and once this thing gets going ...

Pete Najarian said SODA is buyable, but wait before you do it.

Mr. New Land said "the Street does not believe in the story," so "the momentum continues" in WEN.

Stephanie Link called TGT interesting at 60 or below.

Joe Terranova said he bought ARUN, which he thinks is making a "technical turn," and made it his Final Trade.

Pete Najarian said FFIV April 100 calls were active, perhaps spaced that far out to be inconspicuous, but he thinks the stock "can move long before that," so while he didn't get a position because he put in an offer and stuck to his discipline, he would still be planning to play this for weeks, not months.

Pete's Final Trade was INTC. Mike Murphy said CSCO, and Stephanie Link said PENN.

Joe is not going to finish in last place in the 2014 Playbook Playoffs

A startling revelation from Friday's Halftime Report was that Joe Terranova somehow, momentarily, found himself in last place in the 2014 Playbook Playoffs.

That's not going to happen.

We just discovered that, during the very busy month of December, we never bothered to post our own complete portfolio for this contest on this page.

Initially, traders listed 3 picks on air, then Judge forced viewers to visit CNBC.com to see the final 2. We never got around to that.

This page at the time did list a trifecta of QQQ, LNKD and TBF.

Then we said that among the actual traders' picks, we liked FB, GRPN and KORS (all longs).

So, in that order, this page will consider QQQ, LNKD, TBF, FB and GRPN its portfolio.

By our calculation (feel free to proof, but why bother), this page's portfolio is presently up 0.39% in 2014.

That would put us in 4th place based on CNBC's official standings, which list Mike Murphy 1, Josh Brown 2 and Pete Najarian 3.

Of course we're not rooting for anyone to finish last. Someone will have to do it.

As for winners, the Najarians already had a great year. Weiss would be insufferable. Cramer would be insufferable if Link-Cramer somehow pulled it out. Simon's a bit of a sentimental favorite but he's too prone to decide something up 100% can't go further and bungle it with a short. (Key tip: Don't short anything in this contest.) Josh Brown would never stop talking about solar being in the 2nd inning. Mike Murphy's already gloating. So, the goal is to get Dr. New World to the top.

Now, did Joe botch a few of his picks? Yes, Joe unfortunately botched a few of his picks. AAPL is going to be the painful extrication, like that naggingly aching tooth you know will have to come out during the next trip to the dentist. There's no beta there, and the big run already occurred in the previous 6 months.

EOG had already started flagging in 2013, not necessarily a big deal, but energy doesn't make much sense for this contest. A lot of the charts look the same. As much as we like PXD, because once it gets going it really gets going, that could involve unexpected pain in the interim, as this baby can flatline for months on end, and it might've been better to skip that one at the start of the year and plan to add it later based on the contest's purported 10-trades rule.

Joe overthought his energy bias. He should've kept it simple and picked social media, biotech, cable TV, maybe the rails, and the old reliables V or MA.

Others have also made the energy mistake. It's worth noting that Pete Najarian picked BP, one that's actually on a roll, and it's unclear from CNBC.com whether dividends count in this contest.

This page will, when appropriate, make public recommendations for not just Joe's portfolio, but all of them. As usual, like our punch lines, they are available free of charge (sic redundancy). For starters, Simon needs to ditch that KORS short in a hurry.

[Friday, January 10, 2014]

Here’s an intriguing visual (that would be the CLVS price at the bottom, but YELP isn’t too shabby either)

In a further sign of algorithms run amok, Dr. Yaron Werber managed to trigger a $16 move in Clovis Oncology (CLVS) afterhours Friday simply by calling the stock one of his top plays on Fast Money.

(This one actually went ballistic last summer after ASCO, came back to earth, and has sort of held the ASCO bounce.)

But it was mighty ICPT, not CLVS, that Werber seemed most enthusiastic about, stating that despite his $400 target, "the sales estimates are conservative," and the stock remains an attractive target even with this week's gain.

Werber said ICPT owns this breakthrough liver drug, which produced unexpectedly great trial results, and this is a rarity and something the big caps need, so kind of a win-win in play here for society.

Werber said he likes CLVS because "they got 3 drugs," the most important one at the moment being treatment for lung cancer, and management has succeeded before and is well-known to the Street.

Werber also said he's above the Street consensus in CELG EPS (7.60 vs. 7.30) and thinks "they can raise guidance."

Guy Adami stated, "Clovis is a really interesting stock," and he thinks CELG is best in the space.

Melissa Lee in the image above was dodging a fake punch, kind of like the way it works in "pro wrestling."

If you’re going to coin nicknames, please make sure they’re spelled correctly

Tieless Tim Seymour took up the jobless report and said on Friday's Fast Money that "I think this number is more of an anomaly," an d "I would fade gold," which he predicts will get knocked down Jan. 28-29, and "get out of the EEM at 40 and a quarter."

Steve Grasso said, "We've all been waiting for the selloff and it never seems to come," and he thinks it's more likely to be February or March than January, despite the fact "the market does seem a little bit soft."

Brian Kelly advised viewers to "stay short" the markets.

Tim Seymour said of TSLA, in an understatement, "You don't need to buy it."

But Brian Kelly declared, "I actually like Tesla here ... against 145," and backed Seymour's use of "vociferous."

Steve Grasso, long a TSLA fan turned sourpuss, said that a Tesla-related home fire is much worse than a Tesla-related car fire, something people don't need while "having a dream about Cocoa Pebbles."

Jon Najarian reported that "somebody may have been tipped off" about the NPO news.

Guy Adami said that at 62, "Target is a long-side buy."

Steve Grasso said you can try BBRY if you want, but use $8 as hard stop.

George Barrios told the gang under the guise of an "interview" about the WWE's $9.90-a-month package, which he said a couple times will put "smiles on people's faces."

Melissa Lee questioned what that does to the more lucrative pay-per-view market, "you're effectively cutting them out." But Barrios didn't answer and merely spoke of the international opportunity of this new plan.

Tim Seymour said he used to be "Timmy the Superfly Snuka."

Tim Seymour said, "You should be buying weakness" in TIF.

Brian Kelly said of AA, "I think you get another chance to sell this at 10.50."

Guy Adami advised staying long ANF with a 36 stop.

Steve Grasso lukewarmly said CVX "looks poised" to bounce.

Tim Seymour's Final Trade was SINA. Brian Kelly said USO, Steve Grasso said SAP and Guy Adami said APC.

Missy Lee dubbed Kelly Evans "Lush Frost" for a wrestling handle.

K-Cups: Not as bad as Pete says, but he’s kind of right, it’s not the greatest cup of coffee of all time either

ANF watcher Adrienne Tennant enhanced our reservoir of stock-market knowledge (snicker) with this comment on Friday's Halftime Report:

"The surprise to the upside actually does cause these stocks to move."

You don't say.

Tennant thinks ANF still has a lot of leverage to drive EPS, and "the brand still resonates."

Mike Murphy wasn't convinced, stating, "I would fade it if I did own it."

Stephanie Link suggested AEO instead.

Pete Najarian scoffed at his dual-Fast Fire on GMCR with Joe Terranova, saying, "I think it tastes like garbage." Terranova also shrugged that GMCR is bound to fall; "the only thing supporting it in the near-term is coffee prices."

Joe: Jobs number was
‘good news either way’

Honestly we didn't care much about this month's jobless number, which means we weren't too eager for Steve Liesman's expected Halftime Report appearance in which he explains how this is just 1 data point for the Fed but that the trend has been better, etc.

Dr. New World, however, suggested the number could be important, because "maybe they don't taper as quickly, or the runway doesn't end as quickly as we thought."

Curiously, Joe claimed, "I think it was good news either way ... it gives the emerging markets a lift," as well as housing, so we're back in the bad news is good news and good news is good news type of market that everybody already sort of knows we're in.

Pete Najarian in fact said the homebuilders were "absolutely exploding," and Mike Murphy suggested watching for a breakout in that sector to get long.

Joe Terranova insisted there's a "large weather component" to the numbers, a point backed up by Pete Najarian, who asserted that the "extreme weather pattern" of the last several weeks has been a "huge influence" on the employment market. But Steve Liesman said the jobs number can't be explained totally by the weather.

Rick Rieder said the number will keep interest rates down in a range. "We like the long end of the curve, we think municipals make some sense," Rieder said.

Paul Richards got scholarly on the subject. "The number introduces 2-way risk into what was a linear risk market. That's probably a good thing," Richards said.

Pete Najarian said that the VIX being under 13 is a sign people aren't panicking.

The trading question: Did Target’s bad news bottom on Friday?

Mr. New Land explained on Friday's Halftime Report that he's surprised that SHLD hasn't bounced from short covering, but "I'm staying with it" as a short, and "I'm looking for somewhere around 20 bucks."

Mike Murphy questioned if the risk isn't that Eddie Lampert takes the company private — which prompted Joe to unleash one of our favorite Intellectual-Sounding Fast Money Words.

"Is there that inherent? (sic forgot to end with "risk") Yes- Yes, possibly. But I'm not looking at that in terms of what I'm modeling right now," Joe said.

Another retailer with issues (though not the same kind), TGT, was dubbed worth a look by Stephanie Link, who said, "The action today is very interesting."

Mike Murphy though thinks legal costs will weigh on TGT and predicted, "I think there's more downside."

Pete Najarian though said the Target situation suggests a play in cybersecurity, such as FTNT, whose January 20 calls were hot.

Basically it would help if everyone in the world would just assume their credit and debit cards and email addresses and account numbers were all exposed at Target, and then we could move on.

So how’d we do?

On Wednesday's Halftime Report, as Judge promised a debate on MCD that was postponed, this page speculated that the bull case would amount to: "First of all, valuation, we're starting to see the pennant formation; then there's the headwinds lifting in Europe, finally there's a new McBurger on the menu."

On Friday's Halftime, this debate occurred, though it was actually MCD vs. YUM.

Mr. New World, as the MCD bull, said he likes the stock for "their exposure to the U.S." as well as Europe and not China, feels the stock has "priced in the worst," and also there's a "new initiative of packaged coffee."

So we got our valuation call (if not a "pennant" reference), our Europe call, and new product call, if not in quite the exact order.

Check, double check, triple check.

Stephanie Link endorsed YUM instead, saying, "they were both horrible stocks in 2013," but she thinks YUM is better leveraged and can double MCD growth in either earnings or sales or both.

Pete Najarian concluded, "I like both names," but he thinks YUM has more upside in 2014; "2015 will be the year for McDonald's to really take off."

Pete warns against
a ‘roach motel’

Andrew McOrmond, whose name was misspelled on one of the CNBC graphics, said on Friday's Halftime that people interested in playing the financials could try the IAI, an "investment services" ETF that benefits from more trading. (Unfortunately, we've heard the "benefits from more trading" argument several times over the years for Schwab, E-Trade, etc., and there's never really a sustainable spike in trading, but whatever.)

Pete Najarian warned, as we knew he would, that volume in IAI is relatively light, "77,000 shares per day," and that "you can get trapped in certain trades."

However, "I'm not saying that's the case in this name," Najarian quickly equivocated.

Stephanie Link basically agreed and suggested the XLF; "I would just stay with the most liquid one."

Both Stephanie and Joe Terranova said they'd be watching reports from the financials this month (who won't be), and Stephanie added FAST to that.

Pete: ‘Weak hands’ bought AAPL

Pete Najarian on Friday's Halftime Report seemed to whine about the early 2014 performance of AAPL, complaining that "weak hands" chased the name into year-end. (Funny how in the last quarter of 2013, none of the AAPL-into-year-end bulls were warning everyone that it was only "weak hands" chasing the shares.)

But, Pete clarified, "I'm not looking for sympathy."

Dr. New World offered a different wrinkle, that emerging markets are important to AAPL, and that we'll have to wait a couple weeks to schedule a new trade based on earnings. "What happened to the momentum," rightly scoffed Judge.

Pete Najarian said that when he was in Hawaii, the line of "folks that were not from the United States" snaked outside the TIF store "absolutely looked like an Apple store."

Najarian continues to like MSFT, pointing to a 42 target and opining, "I think that's low."

Pete said if you want to try BBRY, "I think you can trade it," but Mike Murphy questioned why be in the name at all.

Pete said of INTC, "I think this goes higher." Mr. New Land said he added to PANW.

Murph has Wheels Up momentum

Pete Najarian on Friday's Halftime Report cautioned viewers away from TSLA; "I still think there's downside."

Mike Murphy agreed. "I would also stay away from Tesla," Murphy said.

Murph said that to justify the huge gain in ICPT, "this drug better be really, really good."

Murphy said he's long GDX for a trade, with a stop at 20 and change, "I think it can get some legs." He also said, "We're long United Health" and will be looking at that earnings report this month.

Judge revealed that Murph, fresh off his guest-assisted flight back from Florida, is in first place in the increasingly interesting 2014 Playbook challenge (how come they didn't do this 7 years ago), prompting a Brag Trade, as Murphy claimed that if PBR gets to 15-16, "This thing could be over before it really gets started."

Pete Najarian thinks "there's a lot of upside" left in airlines. Joe Terranova said he was "adding to PXD today."

Stephanie Link said she'd buy IR based on the AA report.

Pete Najarian said he's trading HAL because the monthly January options were moving, but he'll maintain this trade maximum for a week. That allowed Mr. New World to say "bifurcated" (Drink), as in, he likes HAL despite spot oil, it's "completely bifurcated" as to spot oil vs. oil equity earnings potential.

Stephanie Link's Final Trade was JCI. Pete Najarian said BMY, Joe Terranova said to sell GM and Mike Murphy said CSCO. Judge let the episode run over its alloted time.

[Thursday, January 9, 2014]

CNBC ‘rebuffed’ John Melloy’s
bid for larger digital role

Savvy viewers know that John Melloy was long the stalwart producer of Fast Money.

Until he decided, as so many of us have, that at the end of the day, he'd had enough, and hopped right on over to StockTwits as Howard Lindzon's sidekick.

Veteran Silicon Valley writer Sarah Lacy tackled this subject last week, noting StockTwits' impressive rise to profitability and the stature it received from CNBC's consideration of filing a breach of contract suit regarding the hiring of Melloy.

Melloy, according to Lacy, had been pushing CNBC for a "broader digital role," and didn't get it, so Hello, Howard.

Honestly, we don't know what really happened here, but given how often Scott Wapner is compelled to mention Twitter account handles and Twitter questions on air, it seems unfathomable that someone at CNBC would be "rebuffed" in seeking a broader digital role.

Where this article gets a bit loopy is in quoting Lindzon that "StockTwits will eventually be in the transaction space," which is the argument somebody made last week for Twitter; just imagine tweeting Gasparino something like "Nice HLF report Sherlock" and then getting dozens of offers to short 100 shares.

1st Dress Barn reference
in a long time

Given the way the clothing discussion went on Thursday's Fast Money, it's a good thing neither Tim Seymour (accuses Joe of shopping at Chess King) nor Joe Terranova (accuses Tim of carrying wallet in back pocket) were on hand.

"When I was a kid, I used to get my Toughskins at Sears," Brian Kelly revealed.

Which should've struck a chord with most of the males on and watching the show, except Josh Brown tried to be cool and actually asked, "What's a Toughskin?"

Brown curiously claimed that technically, SHLD has become an "utter give-up," and the question is how bad will it get; "I wouldn't touch it."

Guy Adami, the voice of reason here, said SHLD could trade down to a "trough" as ANF did and bounce.

Steve Grasso thumped his chest while circling the bases on ANF; "you should've taken a flier if you didn't," he said, but "I would not rush in to be a buyer."

Guy Adami wasn't sure that it's time to pull the ANF ripcord, stating, "There might be some more room to this on the upside."

Perpetually cute Dana Telsey declared, "Overall it was a really disappointing holiday season." But Telsey said GPS wasn't bad compared with rivals.

Telsey said she likes URBN and finds ASNA "very interesting." ASNA, we learned, is the parent of Dress Barn, which is one of our favorite names in business and generally draws a comment from Karen Finerman, except Karen wasn't on this show, and Missy Lee was silent on the matter.

Steve Grasso said he'd be "willing to take a risk here" in URBN, for a $5-$7 boost.

Josh Brown likes the trend in FINL. Then again, aside from Telsey, none of these folks, unlike a former Friday Halftime Report regular, actually visits these stores to see what they're doing firsthand, so consider these calls "for chart purposes only."

Dominic Chu said the FIVE boss blamed the shorter season and weather for poor results.

Every time you hear
‘layup trade,’ you have
to be a little wary

Brian Kelly, who has apparently decided to get short a bunch of markets now, said on Thursday's Fast Money, "I got short Europe," which didn't sit well with Josh Brown.

Brown suggested that "mean reversion" between U.S. and European stock performance is good for a "layup trade" of being long Europe, adding, "A lot of the stuff Brian seems to be worried about is very well-known."

In fact, Brown thinks the EUFN, his Final Trade, will go "bananas."

Kelly said it's already gone bananas. Brown countered with a good point, that if weakening China is part of Kelly's negative Europe thesis, then shouldn't U.S. stocks also be a sell. Kelly responded, "I am short the S&P 500 right now."

Melissa Lee credited both for the debate. "Nice heat, as we like to call it in the TV biz," Lee said.

Jimmy Page’s birthday (i.e., Led Zep), is the material for Guy & Mel’s bickering-married-couple routine

Guy Adami crowed on Thursday's Fast Money that biotech would get a bounce off the Goldman Sachs mistake, pointing to CELG, GILD and suggesting AMGN has more upside.

Panelists took a crack at other downgrades or "clowngrades" and found virtually all of them OK, including YUM, which Josh Brown called "legit."

Steve Grasso said TMUS is better now than S, which "got way ahead of itself." Brian Kelly said a downgrade of MON was "decent," and while Guy Adami clucked about the XOM analyst raising his target while downgrading the shares, still "this was a very thoughtful call."

Josh Brown hailed SCTY; "the residential solar market is on fire."

Taking up the show's most tiresome sector, Steve Grasso said "Ford vs. GM; I'd be a buyer of Ford."

You'd think of all the Fast Money guests, Michael Burns is the one whose title would be seared into memory, yet Melissa Lee, asleep at the switch Thursday, introduced Burns as "president and CEO of Lions Gate."

Burns wisely praised Comcast right away and hailed how the "electronic sell-through" benefits his industry and company.

Guy Adami for once didn't issue a blanket buy on LGF, but said to wait for it to break out at 32 or 33.

Dick Kovacevich told Lee, as expected, that the government is too hard on banks, "size is not the issue." But, he said, "The industry has to grow revenue." Josh Brown stated that financials have the "lowest forward P.E. of all 10 S&P sectors."

Grasso: $30 ‘next stop’ in MU

Brian Stutland indicated on Thursday's Fast Money that someone might be expecting some turbulence in the airlines, as he reported a big seller of March 43 calls.

Guy Adami, fresh off a great MCK Final Trade call, said "I still think there's room higher" in the stock.

Steve Grasso called $30 the "next stop" in MU.

Brian Kelly said to avoid BWLD. Josh Brown said the BWLD selloff "might be an opportunity."

Brian Kelly slammed LL; "it doesn't look good at all." Guy Adami said to buy SBUX below 75. Josh Brown said he'd be long neither FB nor TWTR before earnings, but he's hoping (Drink Double Drink) for a big drop so he can really get long.

Steve Grasso agreed with that, explaining he's still long TWTR and has no edge, but "I'm hoping for that selloff" (Triple Drink). (This writer is long TWTR.)

Steve Grasso said that LUV is "a lot less leveraged" than other airlines but OK, but "I like JetBlue as well."

Grasso's Final Trade was CREE. Brown said EUFN, Kelly said short EWY and Adami said HXL.

‘The clock is running out on the correction’

Some people, such as Carter "Braxton" Worth, seems to find the opening trading of 2014 rather ominous and a "harbinger" of things to come of a bad annual return.

Dr. New World, on the other hand, on Thursday's abbreviated Halftime Report (thank you, Gov. Christie) practically scoffed at the notion of a steep pullback in the works, stating, "The clock is running out on the correction."

Describing the state of global financial markets, Joe whipped out his scalpel, explaining, "You have to dissect between exposure to emerging markets and exposure here domestically.

"I'm short EEM," Joe revealed, adding, "emerging markets really right now are controlling our overall tape."

Judge told Steph Link, "you are holding the least amount of cash you've had in a long time." Didn't he really mean "Action Alerts is all in?" Is Stephanie investing cash for investors now?

Link said, "The economy is improving; we feel good about that."

Randy Brown insisted to the group, "We think that Europe has turned the corner." But Stephen Weiss, gnarly about everything Thursday, scoffed, "France is a disaster in the happening."

The Hynix Fire Trade (cont’d)

Evidently, that "sideways for the next 6 months" (thank goodness he wasn't referring to watching an endless reel of that movie) trade is over.

Doug Freedman, who took a grilling from Judge last Friday over his MU downgrade, revealed on Thursday's Halftime Report that he's changed course.

Sort of.

"The rating is remaining sector perform," Freedman asserted, while acknowledging, "the timing was poor."

Freedman insisted he wants to see "a little bit more normal pricing dynamic," and complained "the company never seems to hit the guided numbers."

Dr. New World called Freedman's analysis "somewhat suspicious" and credited Pete Najarian, Mike Murphy and David Einhorn for being ahead on this name. Simon Baker also dissed Freedman, stating, "I didn't agree with his thesis when he came on last week," and said he prefers QCOM.

An analyst’s faulty report actually unites Stephen & Stephanie

Neely Tamminga endorsed JCP on Thursday's Halftime Report, stating the outlook isn't bad; "the market really just wanted more."

Steve Weiss was not impressed. "Let's cut through the garbage ... at the end of the day, I didn't see a valuation section in her report," Weiss scoffed. "Why on earth would you want to own this stock at all?"

Stephanie Link somehow agreed with Weiss: "It was totally glaring in the report that there was no valuation," Link said.

Simon Baker said (super Quadruple Drink) that M is benefitting from lost JCP traffic.

But the day's most provocative retail comments were provided by Dr. New Land, who asserted, "I truly believe shorting Sears potentially could be as rewarding as shorting JCPenney was a couple years ago."

Certainly, it "could."

Joe said that shorting SHLD is no longer just a "trade," but a "trend."

Scott Wapner realized that "even pop culture's poking fun" at Sears.

Mr. New World also warned against buying BBBY on the dip. "Get out of the name," Joe said.

24% every year for 30 years is quite a streak of consistency

Bill Greenblatt admitted to Thursday's Halftime Report that when it comes to the Labor Department's unemployment report, he doesn't get it.

"How the government really creates the numbers is, is a mystery to me," Greenblatt said.

But he stressed that December is an anomaly. "30 years in a row, hiring is down 24% in December as compared to November," Greenblatt said, nevertheless predicting a jobs number of 190-195.

Steve Liesman got to say there's a "bifurcation" (Drink) in this economy. (When John Edwards says that, it's "2 Americas.")

Mr. New Land urged people interested in TWTR or FB to "wait till the earnings come out." (Too late; this writer is long TWTR.)

Stephen Weiss said FB's valuation is "egregious" but that TWTR's is even more "egregious."

Joe Terranova said airlines are gaining presence in the S&P 500 and that UAL should be next.

Stephen Weiss said he's interested in FDO if it gets cheaper, but by the end of the day, it didn't.

Stephanie Link said she'd be interested in COST under 115.

Link got a Fast Fire on XOM.

LeSean McCoy told Judge he likes the Broncos and 49ers (but he didn't sound too convincing).

Joe Terranova said, "I like adidas," and he didn't say "I like Dick's," but he did mention the sporting-goods retailers. Stephen Weiss scoffed at the McCoy/Nike presentation and said if they really want to keep players warm, "Let 'em wear sleeves," while suggesting FINL and FL.

Weiss' Final Trade was TBF. Stephanie Link said AET, Joe Terranova said USB and Simon Baker said AA.

[Wednesday, January 8, 2014]

1. So is Carter actually telling clients to abandon stocks for 12 months; 2. When did January probabilities become considered ‘chart analysis’?

Wednesday's Fast Money, pinned to its curious declaration of a 7-year anniversary when it actually began months earlier, impressively aired some clips featuring Dylan Ratigan, but less impressively aired Carter Worth's 1st-5-days-of-January thing for the 2nd time (and talked about it for about the 5th time).

Worth re-stressed the 1st-5-days percentages as well as January's odds of signaling a good year, then took it further in pointing out how well February-December have done after January has been either up or down.

Worth, perhaps anticipating the commentary that would appear on this page, said some folks carp about small sample sizes, but "this data goes back to 1927." (Sure, when people were making $9.99 orders on schwab.com while waiting for the impact of Basel 3 while the Joads were coming to life and exiting the Dust Bowl.)

In fact, Worth missed the greater carp — failing to show what is the typical 11-month performance after ANY given month has been up or down.

Why Worth is obsessed with Dec. 31 when we're only at Jan. 8 is a mystery. We have no clue how this year will end, and neither does Worth. The question for Fast Money is what the market is going to do NOW, and only Steve Grasso seems willing to answer.

Whatever. Worth said the 1st 5 days, barely down, are a "bad harbinger of things to come" (sic redundant last 4 words).

Karen Finerman tried asking Worth what the average annual return is when the 1st 5 days show a very tiny loss, as is the case this year. Worth didn't have an answer for that.

Guy Adami said he'd like to see "1,750 or so."

Kelly Evans (she's everywhere) bungled the transition to Fast Money this time.

Host thanks CNBC

The "deadly" trades on Wednesday's Fast Money made utterly no sense; unclear whether they're warning what not to do, or lamenting what already happened ... But whatever.

Fast Money declared Jan. 8, 2014, the 7th anniversary of Fast Money and celebrated with its favorite motif, shameless alcohol promotions (top photo), when Mel's outfit (above photo) was enough to carry the day.

Someone came up with the notion of having traders identify 7 "lucky" and "deadly" trades (gosh, that goes together so well) that basically amounted to a recap of last year.

TWTR, which has been trading for a grand total of about 2.5% of the purported history of Fast Money, was declared the No. 7. "deadly" trade because Tim Seymour thinks "this thing is way out over its skis."

Pete Najarian reiterated that TWTR will have a miss, then "that drop will be the opportunity."

But Guy Adami thinks it's going to move a few dollars every day, so Wednesday was a day to buy; "this is where you trade it from the long side."

Tim Seymour did the "lucky" 7 trade(s), which were ZNH and CEA.

6, courtesy Guy Adami, were (lucky) CERN and (deadly) shorting WDC, actually citing Barack Obama's 1st inauguration speech with the former.

5, courtesy Pete Najarian, was HPQ (lucky), because Steve Grasso's buying it for 3-D printing Anthony Scaramucci says Meg learned from that Jerry Brown thumping in a GOP year "it's this hybrid cloud ... I think Hewlett goes a lot higher." And NFLX was the 5 "deadly," as Najarian cited Scott Devitt as always being right on the stock and now Devitt sees a "lot more competition out there" (Triple Drink) (oh joy heard that one before).

Najarian says NFLX needs more of a pullback, like $50 lower. (This writer is long NFLX.)

4, courtesy Karen Finerman, was URI (lucky) and SHLD puts (deadly), with a shout-out to how great Macy's is (Quadruple Drink).

Pete Najarian offered DAL (lucky) and JCP (deadly, but if you were short it was lucky not deadly) for No. 3.

Guy Adami nominated BX for No. 2 lucky and gold for No. 2 deadly.

Tim Seymour dubiously made dollar the No. 1 "lucky" offering, and fading the EWJ as the No. 1 "deadly" suggestion.

(Yeesh. Thank goodness for the sake of this nonsensical exercise that Fast Money didn't turn 15.)

Guy Adami praised the show's origins; "we tried to level the playing field."

Karen Finerman blamed her worst month, September 2008, on rules banning shorts on financial stocks (gee whiz, we hadn't heard that particular outrage for a long time).

Tim Seymour said August 2008 was "our worst month ever" and as a result, he learned to not be "overtrading."

Irwin Simon grumbled that only part of the Cheerios line is GMO-free now; "I don't think it's fair to the consumer."

Ina Fried said BBRY chief John Chen is "doubling down on keyboards."

Mark Cuban revealed, "I think somebody told me that, the Wilshire 5000 now only has 3,700 companies."

Melissa Lee called Pete Najarian a "handsome specimen of a man."

Tim Seymour's Final Trade (as if there weren't supposedly 14 others already) was to short FXC. Karen Finerman said LINTA, Guy Adami said MCK and Pete Najarian said short JCP.

Tequila man Ken Austin stated "Frankly, at the end of the day," and we can say that on Fast Money's 7th birthday, Web sites that mention this program at the end of the day got snubbed again. Melissa Lee however knows where the bread is buttered, making sure to say, (gak), "Of course our thanks also to CNBC."

Sounds like Halftime Report is trying to scoop NBC Uni’s own Re/Code Kara

Our choice would have to be ... Cody Willard (snicker).

Given that the reported list of Microsoft CEO possibilities is suddenly incredibly dull, Wednesday's Halftime Report crew tried its best to make this glacial, tiresome endeavor interesting.

Mike Murphy claimed, "As this search drags on, the chances of Bill Gates at least throwing his hat in the ring definitely increase."

Josh Brown said if that happens, "It's 15% on the stock the day it's announced."

Even icy smooth Dan Niles, who thinks the company will "look for somebody internally," allowed that Bill Gates is a possibility, because "when you're pushed to the wall," if you're in Gates' position, you might do it, though "I think the odds are pretty low."

Yet Kara Swisher, whose Re/Code/NBC-Uni-backed scoop Wednesday was that this decision won't happen for "at least a month" (we like Swisher, but that's basically all it was), seemed surprised that Judge was even floating a Gates return; "I don't think so," Swisher stated, even though he'll be "super-involved" in this proces, "I think his wife doesn't want him to do that."

Swisher did allow that Gates is a "key decision-maker in this process," and that his busy January is a big reason this isn't going to happen until at least February.

Jon Najarian suggested 2 possibilities, which combined, must equal 100%, which were, "Mulally may or may not have been offered the job."

Doc suggested perhaps MSFT brass were actually not that excited about Mulally. Josh Brown suggested maybe Stephen Elop is next, but "bad news for Microsoft is great news for Ford."

Pete Najarian opined, "Elop makes a lot of sense," and added, "I love Mulally" and his success at Boeing and Ford, but "that doesn't really transcend (sic meant "transfer") to what he would do at a tech company."

How come Niles didn’t just say that he shorted TWTR via options and ‘defined’ his risk? (On the other hand, ‘incredibly expensive insurance’ is a clever twist on ‘shellacked’)

Jon Najarian, whose bullishness on MSFT throughout 2013 was part of his spectacular year, was not so high on the stock on Wednesday's Halftime; "it just doesn't seem like it's cheap anymore."

Dan Niles downright scoffed when asked if he'd own it; "Why would you want to?" Niles said hedge funds may "puke" the shares if an internal candidate gets the job.

Niles said he's "more interested in someone like Tony Bates" than Elop.

Judge impressively zinged Niles over his TWTR short. We eagerly awaited the explanation from Niles, which was that the trade must be put in "portfolio context."

"We're long over 10x the amount of Yahoo that we're short in Twitter," Niles explained, and this one's over; "we're actually covering the stock today with this downgrade."

"We're long a lot of other stuff," Niles reassured, though shorting TWTR amounted to "incredibly expensive insurance."

"Being short Twitter naked is just stupidity," Niles opined.

Meanwhile, that downgrade mentioned by Niles was courtesy Cantor's Youssef Squali, who lowered TWTR to a sell with a (snicker) 32 target. "Stocks can stay overvalued for an extended period of time," Squali cautioned Judge.

Josh Brown, continuing a current theme, said the downgrade was a "smart political move by the analyst." Doc indicated he "hated" Squali's move and told Youssef he's off his Christmas list.

There is, if it only cost you $1.80

One of the biggest "momentum" names of 2013, MU, is again in the spotlight, as Mike Murphy on Wednesday's Halftime Report started talking about $4 earnings with a 15 multiple.

"We bought more of the stock today," said Murphy, who made it his Final Trade.

Murphy gushed about the "unbelievable deal for Forest Labs" and said normally you'd sell Wednesday's pop, but not in this case.

Josh Brown said of STZ, "I still think it's a steal."

Pete Najarian called the selloff in TCS "an opportunity."

Jon Najarian lamented selling out of his POT trade.

Peter Kafka said he just arrived at CES and told Judge the day's issue was, "What's gonna go on those TVs in the next couple years," and then made the necessary reference to Comcast.

Steve Quirk, instead of Nicole Sherrod this time, said TD Ameritrade found that retail investors got bullish, but not really heavily until the end of the year.

That prompted the insanely tiresome expected response from Judge, which is, should that make us "start to worry about everybody being bullish."

Oh, and Quirk said AAPL is a popular stock for retail investors.

Jeff Kilburg said 3.03% is important for the 10-year, and let's wait for the auction. Anthony Grisanti said that if the Fed increases the rate of taper, 3.20% is possible.

Jon Najarian said someone bought 12,000 puts in JCP in advance of Wednesday's report. Doc also carped about Penney's apparent discount pricing; "there's no margin when you're sending stuff out the door at $1.84."

Gemma Godfrey, who has nothing specific to say about anything but equivocations from Tahiti to Shanghai, opined that "small-cap Japan is the under-the-radar catchup play."

Alan Knuckman said he likes the euro while predicting 1.40; "the death of the euro is greatly exaggerated."

Tom Reilly said crude would fall to 90-91, then you should get long. Steve Grasso thinks stocks will be bought, to the point of "maybe 1,865 in the S&P cash."

Jon Najarian's Final Trade was BHI. Pete Najarian said C, and Josh Brown said POT.

Judge promised a debate on MCD Thursday. (Sigh.) Let's help 'em out a bit. Bull: "First of all, valuation, we're starting to see the pennant formation; then there's the headwinds lifting in Europe, finally there's a new McBurger on the menu." Bear: "This stock just can't get out of its own way, input costs are up, and Burger King's just eating its lunch."

[Tuesday, January 7, 2014]

HPQ has inkjet-style 3-D printing, oh joy, maybe they should go private like DELL to pull this off

Sherri Scribner, in a kind of unique way, is good-looking. Thus we were more focused on her appearance than on her assessment of the (yawn) 3-D printing space during Tuesday's Fast Money, in which she pointed out that "the industrial market is actually a bigger market" for 3-D printing than the consumer side.

Karen Finerman suggested that people might focus on the consumer because that segment could be "bigger at the end of the day" (Drink).

Steve Grasso pointed out that he owns HPQ partly as a 3-D-printing play (Drink) (Double Drink) and asked Scribner what she thinks of that. Scribner, in not the most robust endorsement, explained that there's 7 types of technology under 3-D printing, and HPQ is interested in "sort of an inkjet type of technology," but not really the other 6 of the 7.

Scribner was a bit cagey about how "I still like the group" though DDD is right at her price target. She said those targets were based on data she's released, and there have been recent deals, so "possibly more revenue growth."

Katie Couric creates ‘content that’s exciting to advertisers’

This page has wondered recently whether Katie Couric has actually ever made any money for anybody.

Apparently, yes, according to Silicon Valley ace Kara Swisher on Tuesday's Fast Money.

Discussing the state of affairs at YHOO, Swisher said, "They have Katie Couric, who's gonna be creating content that's exciting to advertisers again and the audience."


Can't wait.

Yet Swisher also stressed the importance of advertising at YHOO, and gushed that "they're doing this tech site," before pointing out that the tech site was shown with a "design that doesn't have any advertising in it."

Melissa Lee referred to Marissa Mayer as a "telegenic tornado," which apparently was Swisher's line.

Swisher admitted that there was "not a lot of news, I would say," from the company.

Guy Adami said YHOO's run is getting long in the tooth, but "I still think it has room to the upside." Steve Grasso said he owned it for the Alibaba stake, and has mostly taken profits.

Mel reaches into the
air quotes playbook again

This time, it was the "options" on Spirit Airlines.

Melissa Lee on Tuesday's Fast Money interviewed Spirit chief Ben Baldanza and, going to the well once too often on this subject (which never happens on Fast Money), used a visual aid to illustrate her dissatisfaction with Baldanza's insistence on labeling certain passenger costs as "options" rather than "fees."

Baldanza acknowledged that bag fees have risen for those not purchasing airfare online, making them "a little less economic for those who buy at the airport."

Baldanza said Spirit dodged big trouble this week because of "very good operational planning" for the new pilot rules this year, as well as having a smaller percentage of flights in the really cold-weather spots.

Guy Adami predicted that "airlines and anything related to airlines is gonna continue its upside move this year." But Steve Grasso warned the glory days might be ending; "a lot of stuff has to go extremely well for them."

Great in black

Recognizing the asset they've got, CNBC brass enlisted Sara Eisen to rehash recent opinions about KO, not for the purpose really of advancing the subject matter, but finding an excuse to put this gorrrrjus young woman and her snappy outfits in front of the camera.

Eisen said a lot of the KO headwinds are priced in, and (sigh) there's a growing middle class in emerging markets.

Guy Adami said that if he had to pick between PEP and KO (ignoring the fact that no one actually does), "I'm still in the Pepsi camp."

The conversation drifted to SODA, thanks to Karen Finerman, who said that's "kind of a controversial one," but she likes the razor-blade strategy, and so for the beverage space, "that's the way I'm playin' it."

Tim Seymour explained that he got a SODA machine, and "I keep my beer just over freezing."

"As you should," opined Missy Lee.

But, Seymour continued, when he puts his SODA containers in the beer container, they don't hold up; "I don't think their bottles can withstand a proper cooling environment."

Though long KO, Seymour questioned during the KO discussion how KO improves its revenue, but at the end of the program, citing "Sara Eisen," made it his Final Trade.

Kel & Mel: Melissa refers
to Evans as ‘Kara’

For whatever reason, Tuesday's Fast Money opened with a discussion of GOOG, and (you got it), Tim Seymour wasted little time before saying "converting the YouTube" (Drink). (See, every day the stock is worth buying, because Google owns YouTube.)

Seymour rambled on about how GOOG still has likable tech growth but with a reasonable, calculable, valuation. Karen Finerman said she's "agreeing with just about everything Tim said," though she would like the company to do something with its cash, but "I'm not looking to sell here."

Guy Adami said if you want to get long GOOG, your best hope is really for a big earnings selloff.

Tim Seymour said it all makes him like the Chinese names, BIDU, SINA, EDU.

Steve Grasso actually claimed that TWTR has "changed the way we all watch television."

Georgetown is the macguffin for Guy & Mel’s bickering-married-couple routine Tuesday

We love it whenever there's unexpected breaking news on Fast Money, because it often brings out the best (and sometimes worst) in instinctual trading calls.

Tuesday, we can't say we're terribly excited one way or another about Alan Mulally not leaving Ford, but Guy Adami concluded, "It makes Ford more attractive," and added, "if next month is better, I think Ford is a screaming buy."

Tim Seymour opined, "This is a Microsoft that you fade."

Karen Finerman suggested, "Makes me wonder if Microsoft is close to naming someone else."

Finerman endorsed a sector we wouldn't expect, oil shipping, after its "horrific downturn," because "I think that is just starting to turn."

MU watcher Betsy Van Hees said she has an outperform, $27 price target, and said something about DRAM pricing (Drink) (Yawn), and said that the company just had a "monster beat ... it's looking good for Micron."

But, she's not sure 2014 will be as good for MU as 2013.

Tim Seymour apparently said there's no reason not to take profits; we only know that because Guy Adami said he agrees and that if you're long, "now you're taking profits here." (See, Tim confused us and every other viewer with a double or triple negative there.)

Karen Finerman said she wouldn't short LULU but doesn't want to go long here, though there's potential for the kitchen-sink quarter, "that very well might happen here."

Mike Khouw said January 22 calls in XLF caught his eye.

Guy Adami said of UNH, "you can actually chase this." Karen Finerman (Drink) called KORS "a little expensive for me."

Tim Seymour said "I would not follow this pop" in JNJ. Steve Grasso said SD has had "lower highs," and "I would be a seller."

Guy Adami suggested a short-term bottom in GME; "I think you've flushed out GameStop today." Karen Finerman said GPS is in "a little bit of no-man's land," though "it's OK."

Mel incredibly needed to ask Karen whether Macy's (Drink) was Karen's favorite (Drink) (Double Drink).

Tim Seymour isn't high on IBM; "I would take the profits and run."

Steve Grasso's dubious Final Trade was GOOG but "wait till earnings." Karen Finerman interestingly said ANN, and Guy Adami said COL.

Branding: ‘King Air 350i’ was mentioned 4 times; we’d never heard of it before

Though his appearance was a bit unconventional, Kenny Dichter demonstrated on Tuesday's Halftime Report why he's been a successful air-travel entrepreneur; by the end of his presentation we were tempted to grab the phone and dial Wheels Up and see if we could get a lift to Englewood Cliffs. (Scratch that; Judge won't let you in the door.)

Dichter unfortunately began with corpspeak, saying Wheels Up is "further democratizing the private aviation space." He articulately explained the pricing ($15,750 for first year, then $7,200), however, he didn't quite explain in his limited soundbites exactly how feasible this service is for most people who aren't in Florida or New York, for example.

Mostly, it was just Dichter's enthusiasm and obvious high regard for this industry that kind of made the sale here.

Mike Murphy was convinced, revealing in a necessary disclosure, "Kenny was able to send a plane down for me and my family to Florida to fly us up here." (See, that's a 1% issue.)

In the obligatory call, Murphy sees "a lot more upside in Textron."

Josh is wrong

With zero catalyst other than his belief that the shares have simply fallen too far, Mike Murphy on Tuesday's Halftime Report recommended LULU, because "this is THE name" in the yoga space, and the stock has taken a hit.

Josh Brown, the bear, introduced a Brag Trade, stating, "I was long the stock for 3½ years, I rode it from $10," which apparently bolsters his credentials for making Tuesday's call, which is that the stock is not cheap, but has merely lost momentum.

"I think it's really dangerous," Brown said.

Murphy questioned Brown's suggestion of competition; "who are the peers." Brown said NKE, but Murphy said Nike is only in a "small fraction" of the LULU space and that Under Armour isn't in it at all.

Dr. New World, skittish to a fault, said he's owned the stock before, but "I am actually afraid to buy this name now," and if you're going to get long, use options and plan to hold it for more than 3 months.

Dr. J said that's exactly what he's doing, "I'm long March options," hoping it sees the mid-60s.

Honestly, we've seen this happen countless times, this is one of those elite names that sometimes falls out of favor and everyone starts dumping on the valuation (see AMZN from mid-2011 to almost mid-2012), and before you know it, there's a hot new product or some kind of clever financial engineering and it comes roaring back, so now is almost certainly a good time to jump aboard. (This writer has no position in LULU.)

Doc churnin’ & burnin’

Josh Brown, as he's prone to do every day in 2014 apparently, on Tuesday's Halftime Report shrugged off the importance of stocks' performance in the first 5 days of the year as "superstition more than real analysis" and pointed to financials as a sign of strength.

Mr. New Land, at a loss for quality soundbites all program, suggested the key is "building out your portfolio for what will be sustainable trends in 2014." (Translation: Pick stocks that go up, not the ones that go down.)

Mike Murphy said he's more into the regional financials and likes NYCB as well as IR.

Jon Najarian, who like his brother Pete enjoys reporting to viewers statistics from his trading account, revealed, "I'm probably at my quickest turnover right now than I can remember in the last 5 years," closing most trades in "less than 48 hours."

Dr. New World, again grasping for a theme, lamented that NFLX didn't get to 400 as he kind of thought, advised that if you're long, "you pare back your holdings" and "look for some other growth opportunity."

Dr. J correctly disagreed with Terranova that NFLX will be forced to cut prices because of (snicker) competition (how old is that one). "I respect the heck out of Joe. But we will not see prices cut," Doc asserted. (This writer is long NFLX, after the show aired.)

Mike Murphy didn't directly endorse LNKD but did endorse the social media space, forecasting a "lot more upside in all these names." (This writer is long LNKD, both before and after the show aired.)

At least Judge didn’t suggest analyst was having a nervous breakdown

Judge Wapner welcomed KORS analyst Oliver Chen to Tuesday's Halftime to explain his KORS downgrade.

Living up to Josh Brown's earlier scoffing about early-year downgrades, Chen really had no specifics, other than this is about "risk/reward and valuation" and that he thinks the stock will be "range-bound."

Chen also added, "There's fashion risk in this name," as if anyone didn't know that.

Mr. New Land credited Chen for getting him some shares on the cheap, telling him, "You did me a favor this morning ... I bought it on the downgrade."

Julia Boorstin makes 50 Cent uncomfortable by referring to ‘rival’ headphone makers

Brian Stutland said on Tuesday's Halftime Report that with much of the nation in a frigid vise, bulls would've hoped nat gas could hit $5, but it hasn't, so "I wonder if selling pressure is coming."

Jim Iuorio agreed that buying it now is like buying a snowblower in the middle of a blizzard; "I'd be a seller of nat gas."

Julia Boorstin reported that CMCSA reported in Q4 its 1st video subscriber growth in 6 years (for all those keeping score at home who don't work for NBC Universal). Dr. New World likes CVC, "there's opportunity there."

Boorstin later spoke with 50 Cent, and quite honestly, interviews with entertainers tend to be profoundly dull; even though Jackson seems like a savvy guy, this was hardly cutting-edge business they were discussing. Boorstin made the mistake of asking about Beats. "You see my eyes, they get a little uncomfortable when you say 'rival,' because I, I like love them," 50 said.

We can't figure out the purpose of Jonathan Steinberg's (his wife apparently works for Fox Business now, look at those ratings go) visit Tuesday other than to re-tout the DXJ and HEDJ; "both of these are strong dollar plays."

Jon Najarian said "I'm out already" of his BBRY trade, but POT on Tuesday was the one with "strong, unusual activity in this name" that extends to February. Najarian said he's in the stock and options.

Josh Lipton reported that High Times is getting into the legal-pot space, which is drawing private equity. Jon Najarian mentioned MDBX as the "biggest one in the space."

Mike Murphy said he's still long MU.

Josh Brown's Final Trade was FSLR. Jon Najarian said MRVL, Mike Murphy said GDX and Joe Terranova revealed, "I shorted Sears today."

[Monday, January 6, 2014]

Jan. 2 open the high of the year? In 1998, stocks hammered first 6 days, ended up for month, ended up 26% for the year

Tim Seymour, citing Carter Worth's recent declaration about the importance of the 1st 5 days of January, suggested on Monday's Fast money that the beginning of 2014 has been "very ominous" for the year.


Honestly, we've been tempted to post a headline that the high for 2014 could've been put in with the first millisecond of trading. (That would be 1,845.86.)

But, like Steve Grasso indicated, we just don't believe it.

2013 drew comparisons to 1997 for the magnitude of the S&P 500 return. In 1998, the S&P rose, barely, the first 2 days, then over the next 4 days underwent a selloff reaching 4.4%.

By day 7, it was off to the races. Until August, when the next buying opportunity occurred.

So don't blink. You might miss it.

The dumbest tackle in football ...

... was surely made by the Auburn player who stopped Florida State receiver Rashad Greene from scoring a TD with 50 seconds left.

Melissa somehow didn’t think Ronnie Moas was taking his own report seriously

It started with the 10-minute teaser at the first commercial, when Melissa Lee implied a scoff at a research reference to the pope and "moral reasons," and got a backup chuckle from Tim Seymour.

Had Ronnie Moas been watching at that time — and perhaps he was — he might've anticipated that he was about to be accused of a "nervous breakdown" by a panel that generally thinks arguments of the kind Moas made about Apple's Asian workers are silly.

Moas used the interview to single out big tobacco, Amazon and Apple (though he never got into AMZN specifics, but the guess here is that it involves the German subsidiary) as companies he dislikes for what he considers social abuses.

He said everyone studies the financials, but "no one's asking how they're making the money," which isn't true in the specific sense, albeit perhaps in the broader sense.

He said tobacco is going to kill a billion people worldwide this century.

Then he called AAPL a company "whose management would be thrown in jail if they treated their American employees the way they're treating their employees in Asia right now."

Missy Lee, treating this subject frivolously, read excerpts of Moas' report mentioning Lunesta pills, Pope Francis (we have no idea why she considers that so ridiculous) and minimum-wage outrage and said it sounds like "you're having some sort of a nervous breakdown."

"You're taking something out of context; I did not have a nervous breakdown," Moas snapped. "I am disgusted with the way the employees are being treated."

Lee fought back, citing Foxconn's assertion that it's paying Apple workers a minimum $700 a month. That exposed an apparent legitimate weakness in Moas' report, that he seems like he really isn't sure what they make, given that his response was, "There have been- it's hard to get accurate information on the Internet."

(Seriously? We look up the bank info, restaurant phone numbers, maps & addresses, and it generally seems like the stuff is pretty "accurate.")

However, everyone should be true to his or her values, which is why Moas' presentation was 100 times more real than the show's soundbites from CES. Lee's panelists in fact acknowledged as much and discussed Moas' arguments with impressive fairness.

In this page's opinion, investing in the stock market, and liking or disliking a company's practices, are independent of each other, and you don't have to feel guilty about buying tobacco stocks or Aubrey McClendon-run common stock even if you're not on board with those operations.

Other people disagree, and that's fine.

Moas said he lost 1 account, from a "far right" individual who pays him $48,000 a year.

Our guess is that individual will come back, now that each has made his point.

Where this page disagrees mightily with Moas is his contention that it's up to developed societies to erase the poverty he sees in much of the world. Notice he never offered a game plan for this massive endeavor, for example, how does a person in South Carolina put a Pyongyang resident in the 1%.

Worse, Moas actually claimed that Barack Obama made inaction by the wealthy in helping the poor a "central theme of his campaign in 2008." (He also made not wearing a flag pin a theme. Since spring 2008, he wears one every day.)

Josh Brown concluded, "I like that guy. That's some Jerry Maguire stuff going on right there."

Tim Seymour said he found Moas' arguments "admirable."

Guy Adami likes AAPL shares. "With the risk/reward, it sets up really nicely here," Adami said.

Melissa Lee pointed out that Apple has made a move to be transparent on the Web. "I know a lot of people out there think I'm an Apple hater," Lee sighed.

Kel & Mel: Sleeveless again

Tim Seymour kicked off Monday's Fast Money with a statement about the "China ISM for non-manufacturing," and you knew we were in trouble.

Josh Brown reiterated that there are a "lot of weird things going on" in the stock market, and Tim Seymour actually cited Carter Worth's assertion that the first 5 days of January are a strong indicator of January, which is a strong indicator of the year, (Drink), and Seymour finds the current start "very ominous."

Guy Adami found 1 stock he doesn't like, CAT: "I think you sell it here," Adami said.

Josh Brown got a lot of bizarre chuckles for the Morgan Stanley "clowngrade" of TWTR.

Guy Adami thinks Goldman Sachs analysts have been "grim death" in the biotech space.

Brian Kelly dubbed ZNGA "not a bad buy technically."

Tim Seymour proclaimed that "spot gold is going lower," perhaps all the way to 950. He thinks you should be long platinum and exiting gold.

Dennis Gartman, who every couple months calls gold a raging buy and every couple months claims there's no bottom in sight, said this time that the time to short gold has passed, though he's not ready to pile in just yet.

Josh Brown said that if you're going to buy a gold miner, don't pick the sharpest of the falling knives.

Guy Adami likes SLW if it gets over 22.

JBLU honcho Rob Maruster blamed the weather and "fragile infrastructure" in New York for the company's problems this week, but Guy Adami finds the stock "pretty interesting."

Tim Seymour said that if you're trading the airlines based on this weather, you're "absolutely insane," and said "United is the place where there's real value."

Ralph De La Vega never really answered Jon Fortt's question about why AT&T is specifically targeting T-Mobile folks now.

Dennis Woodside of Motorola Mobility claimed Apple and Samsung have had 4 and 7 years of head start and he's only had 5 months.

Melissa Lee really only wanted to ask Typo chief Laurence Hallier about Ryan Seacrest. Hallier would only say they're going to "vigorously" fight the BlackBerry suit, and then refused to disclose his sales.

Lee admitted she hasn't tried Typo. "I had a BlackBerry and I ditched it and I have an iPhone now," Lee mumbled.

Mike Khouw said TSM experienced 67 calls and 15,000 puts Monday, and in particular, the July 15 puts were hot.

Lee called Josh Brown's loopy tie "amazing." Tim Seymour is familiar with the Backstreet Boys.

Person without ‘a market view’ predicts, ‘you should expect another positive year’

Andrew Wellington on Monday's Halftime Report had a message for all those mean-reversion types out there:

"There's almost no correlation at all between the returns you got last year and the returns you get the following year," Wellington asserted.

Wellington thinks the stock market is "10 or 15% overvalued," but he said that's not a big deal with a valuation under 20.

He said his approach, after doubling the S&P last year, is "not having a market view," but nevertheless believes, "you should expect another positive year" just because in general, stocks tend to go up.

Wellington unleashed the Whitney Tilson Playbook of Cliches, "intrinsically" (i.e., we've done cutting-edge research), "undervalued" (i.e., no one's excited by the story) and how you shouldn't try to merge "investing" vs. "trading" (i.e., there is something noble about holding a stock for 12 months and a day rather than 11 months and a day). He likes CAR, calling it "intrinsically" undervalued, and also HTZ.

Doc offered "kudos" to Wellington for alerting him to HTZ last year. Doc then asked if Wellington likes hotels as part of that travel space that went gangbusters. Wellington insisted that's not the way he looks at things (it's about intrinsic value) and said hotels are not trading at big discounts.

Stephen Weiss issued what's already a candidate for Punch Line of the Year, stating Najarian uses different hotels than Wellington, ones with "hourly rates."

Wellington still likes NDAQ, making a far greater case for it than anyone else rationally believes, and he likes GT, WDC and SU, and added, "Seagate would be a great stock as well, I think."

In a good question, Anthony Scaramucci asked Wellington to offer viewers some advice about lessons he has learned. Wellington said it's about "how little we actually trade."

Bob Peck twice dubs FB
a ‘utility’

After a sluggish start to Monday's Halftime Report, things got going a bit with a discussion on TWTR, which Jon Najarian thinks has "more room to the upside."

Najarian later suggested that the stock represents "extreme risk" that Ma & Pa won't take, but some guy with Jon's amount of hair can dabble in with a small position.

"You could still buy it on these dips," Najarian asserted.

Anthony Scaramucci cautioned that "2013 was the year of financially engineered stock market upside," but now we're getting to growth, and with TWTR, you can expect "a lot more retail buying of this name."

Pete Najarian predicted TWTR will disappoint at some point. Scaramucci declared of both TWTR and FB, "the valuation on both these stocks is senseless."

Bob Peck initially scared us with a chart listing 5 reasons he likes FB (we can't handle more than 3, if that), but thankfully he only mentioned 3, starting with a good 4th quarter, ad-load concerns "overblown," and teens "going there every single month."

Happy 50th, Mooch (not many would spend the special day on the Halftime Report)

Once again, we kinda blew it.

We shoulda figured out last fall that this was 50th birthday season on CNBC, but even after missing Guy Adami in December, we forgot to keep checking the list, which would've prompted us to offer a shout-out to Anthony Scaramucci on Monday.

Sir Richard Branson, in a recorded call with Judge, even chimed in with a curious description of Scaramucci, saying, "He's a rebel."

The Moochmeister added a good story, saying a while back he was "water-jousting with a few Google billionaires" at 1 a.m., with Scaramucci as the knight and Branson as the horse.

Later, Bobby Valentine dialed in and discussed Ralph Branca with Scaramucci, and refreshingly, no one felt the need to repeat what Branca is famous for. (Be well, Ralph.)

What happened to the $20 EPS in 2015 that Guy Adami says you can attach a 12 multiple to and get 240 ... and what about Ginny’s Augusta membership ...

If he's looking for a repeat, this isn't the way to do it.

Fresh off his 2013 Fast Money/Halftime Call of the Year (see below), Pete Najarian, in a sleepy topic to say the least, argued a bull case for IBM on Monday's Halftime Report, first saying, "It's all about high-performance computing," then moments later saying, "The biggest thing however is the IT spending."

Stephen Weiss said "sure," the stock can hit $200, but it's slowing growth facing competition, "you're seeing Amazon in the tech space."

Pete rebutted that you get a dividend, and it's getting into the "storage space."

Jon Najarian said he'd be bullish rather than bearish "not because Pete's my brother" but because Andrew Wellington's intrinsically undervalued investing-vs.-trading story purportedly sold him. But Doc said pressure is building on Virginia Rometty; "I don't think she has much more room."

Out of equities,
into fixed-income

Pete Najarian stumbled out of the gate on Monday's Halftime Report, suggesting people keep their eyes on financials all through 2014, as well as AAPL.

Stephen Weiss shrugged that "people have taken a pause right here," but "we're still in a bull market."

Holly Liss offered perhaps the show's most provocative remark, saying, "We're seeing more buying in the fixed-income coming out of the equities."

Jeff Grossman said people were surprised that nat gas is not off to the races.

Steve Grasso chimed in to say "keep buying stocks," the "massive selloff" that some people predict is not going to happen.


Byron Deeter told Judge on Monday's Halftime that CES will feature "a lot of explosive ideas," but then the next thing he said was "the 4K TV's everywhere," which didn't seem that explosive (although we don't really know what a 4K TV is).

Phil LeBeau reported quite well how "this extreme cold has slowed down operations" at O'Hare Airport, partly because crews can't be exposed to the cold as long so flights get canceled, which hurts the airlines because they lose last-minute bookings, which are highly profitable.

Stephen Weiss insisted not all the airlines were down Monday, that American was up. Jon Najarian said the smaller carriers were the ones getting hurt the most and are the ones to buy on the pullback, including SAVE, JBLU and RJET.

Stephen Weiss twice said "Joseph Banks" but shrugged off the men's clothing duel; "I don't think you can play it here."

Jon Najarian carped about SIRI merging way back with XM, but "this is a great play by Malone."

Pete Najarian said there's "gonna be an opportunity" in FSLR, but "not today."

Anthony Scaramucci suggested GOOG is like MSFT in 2000 (ouch, hopefully he doesn't mean after April 2000) and said he thinks UBS' new $1,300 target is "a little on the low side."

Jon Najarian said someone bought some January 7.50 calls in BBRY, "definitely an opening trade ... I bought the stock, and the options."

Najarian said of gold, "I don't think it's a good short." Stephen Weiss said now's the time to "look for stocks that are down the most." Anthony Scaramucci said, "We're very big on the financials."

Weiss' Final Trade was HCA. Pete Najarian said LLY, he owns it and bought calls. Anthony Scaramucci said F, and Jon Najarian said CX.

Fast Money 2013:
A Najarian rampage

At the rate we're going, we're gonna be lucky to get this posted by 2015.

Throughout the year, just because a few folks actually read this page (actually the views steadily increased in 2013, we're happy to report) we try to make note of the most memorable moments of CNBC's Fast Money/Halftime Report, if for no other reason than to try and sort out who's really doing some impressive work here, and who's just tweeting Doug Kass. (That's just a joke.)

This year, you'll be happy to learn, we cut out a lot of the drivel and limited our findings to 4 simple categories: Best Calls, Worst Calls, Quotes, and Ego. Oh, and a sampling of the best images (and you know who that means).

One person went so gangbusters in 2013 that somehow denying him the No. 1 ranking (which he shockingly earned) would've been like turning down Denny McClain for the 1968 American League Cy Young Award.

To find out who it is, you'll have to keep reading.

Fast Money/Halftime Report
Ego of the Year: Scott Wapner

Initiated just last year, perhaps our favorite category. This site reported exclusively last summer that Scott Wapner's in-house acknowledgment of his extremely successful Ackman-Icahn debate was wearing a bit thin among colleagues, to the point some wouldn't have minded seeing a bit of comeuppance.

This page also noted that Wapner has earned every bit of praise, demonstrating extraordinary effort toward news-breaking that quite frankly has left most of his colleagues in the dust. (And, the suit above was a great one.)

Fast Money/Halftime Report:
The Year in Screen-Grabs

Worst Calls of 2013

Lessons: Don't sell FB short, careful picking a bottom, watch what you say to mag writers ...

10. Porter Bibb apparently tells
Jon Najarian that Facebook has
5-person sales team, July 24

At least that's what Najarian reported on Fast Money as FB finally kicked its shares into high gear. But Doc explained a day later, "He corrected it today; he said there are 50 ad sales people."

9. Guy Adami, S&P will reach 1,550, Jan. 31:

There was nothing wrong with that opinion at that time, except Guy followed it with, "I believe that'll be the high for the year."

8. Joe Terranova, Sept. 6, ‘You will see taper on September 18th’

No, you won't. But in fairness, Joe was hardly the only one off-base on taper timing.

7. Bill Fleckenstein announces plan to restart short fund, Oct. 11:

Making clear he wouldn't short any stock at the time, Fleck insisted you can't be late; "you have to plan to do it" and get the "moving parts forward," with an eye on launching this enterprise "early next year."

6. Guy Adami, March 21, ‘I think gold’s put in a bottom’

Too many folks opined wrongly on this subject to rank this higher, but in fact on this day, the bottom-picking was only just beginning.

5. Mark Mahaney, Feb. 4, says it’s ‘highly unlikely’ that FB can see 38 in 12 months.

If he'd only said 68, he'd be onto something.

4. Jon Najarian and Brian Kelly debate how well DIS will do after opening weekend of Warner Bros. film ‘Man of Steel’

"I'm telling you, Superman comes in light, Superman comes in light, Disney's going down." "I agree," is what they said in this ghastly demonstration of lack of research.

3. Karen Finerman bails on McGraw-Hill in mid-40s, Feb. 6

The potential for "barrage of embarrassing discovery with no end in sight" was too much for The Chairwoman, who wondered, "Who knows what the liability could be. I feel like we are in Day 3 of Macondo." Or, one of the biggest buys of the year.

2. Melissa Lee opines to Resident mag about tapering

The way she put it was, "On Fast Money we believe that Quantitative Easing (QE) will shortly easy." (Hey, if she hadn't been trumpeting this article for the last 2 months, we would've just let it go.)

1. Simon Baker claims DAL will end year below $20, Aug. 14

Beyond knuckleheaded, a gargantuan miss, and hopefully the last time we have to report, "If Delta is higher than this price today by the end of the year, I'll give you a first-class ticket to California and back."

Notable quotes of 2013 — Stephanie defends Ron Johnson, says he could accomplish much through ‘virtual networks and that kind of thing’

Quite honestly, we had a fair chunk of these but decided most of them just weren't worth repeating...

Jordan Rohan, Oct. 25: "20 or 50 years from now, do you really think Amazon's gonna be supplanted by anybody else?"

David Winters, Oct. 7: If you focus on "what's knowable ... you can be one of the richest people in the country over time."

Brian Kelly on Appple's bond offering, April 30: "It is Ponzi finance, in the Minsky type of Ponzi finance."

Jamie Foxx, Sept. 11: Says he invests not for himself, but for "humanity."

Stephen Weiss, March 11: "I'm not as enamored with- of Dick's as Simon is."

Steve Cortes, "Closing Bell," March 4, on YHOO: "I think this is the JCP of tech."

Melissa Lee reveals date, April 29: "Thank you for the invitation, but I've got plans."

Stephanie Link defends Ron Johnson's work schedule, Feb. 11: "I don't really care where Ron Johnson actually works or what he's doing on a day-to-day basis ... In this day and age, you can do a lot through kind of the virtual networks and that kind of thing."

Larry Fishelson, Jan. 14: "I believe Facebook will buy Netflix."

Best Calls of 2013

Anyone named Najarian had a banner year...

10. Jon Najarian, AAPL, Sept. 17

It wasn't even the best AAPL call of the year, but Doc's proclamation that "I'll be surprised if the stock is any lower than the lows we saw yesterday" ($447) indeed must've left him surprise-less, as the stock proceeded on autopilot to year-end.

9. Joe Terranova, June 3, declares ‘30 days of frustration’

Only 2 months of 2013 were losers. Joe managed to pick the 1st of them, just as it unfolded.

8. Dan Nathan, ZNGA, Aug. 8

Jon Najarian came close to nailing this one as well except he bailed at the wrong time on a bad earnings report; Nathan saw the potential for "asymmetric return" in this $2.85 summer gem that drew a nod from Karen Finerman.

7. Guy Adami, X, July 29

Stephen Weiss for way too long was allowed to drown out voices of reason on this sector, none more prescient than Guy's assessment that the "trough ... may actually be in" on a day of an $18.89 closing price.

6. Pete Najarian, KFN, Dec. 13

Borderline unbelievable, it's almost an absurdity not to rank it No. 1. Asked to make 3 picks on-air for Scott Wapner's "2014 Playbook Playoffs," Najarian submitted KFN as his top choice. 2 days later it rocketed 29% on news of the deal — and instead of getting an award, it got booted from Pete's 2014 Playbook Playoffs portfolio because it got taken out prior to 2014.

5. Pete Najarian, MU ‘screaming buy,’ July 15

While DRAM skeptics played the "Husker Defense" (see December archive) all year on this name, Pete not only deemed it a "screaming buy" at a $13.07 close, but hung a lofty price target; "I think it's going to $20 a share."

4. Steve Grasso buys more TSLA, July 16

For pure exhilarating return, TSLA has to be regarded as the stock of the year, even better than NFLX, and no one played it more aggressively than Grasso, who told Fast Money that after buying in the upper 120s and seeing it fall to 109 in less than a day, he was buying more. (The downside is that he tried to give it all back in autumn.) Dan Nathan came close here by zeroing in on the stock sub-$100, but his was more of an anti-short warning than a celebratory long.

3. Josh Brown puts DDD in the ‘2nd inning’ May 14, then ‘3rd or 4th inning’ on June 21

Others liked and disliked this name occasionally; none was as steadfast as Brown. The only drawback to this months-long call is that Josh didn't anticipate this game going to extra innings, in which many are still taking their at-bats.

2. Guy Adami, McGraw-Hill, Feb. 5

As the Justice Department unleashed a civil suit and weaker hands such as Karen Finerman folded the stock, Guy stood tall, telling viewers get long at 42, "It's a frivolous lawsuit ... there's nothing there." And look at it now.

1. Fast Money Call of the Year — Pete Najarian dubs AAPL
a ‘2nd-half story’

Pete Najarian spent much of the first half of 2013 boring the (bleep) out of viewers with his tiresome refrain that "Apple is a 2nd-half story."

Things looked bleak on June 30, when AAPL sat at $391.64.

Exactly 6 months later, it finished the year at $561.02 — good for a 43% half-year return.

Many stocks do well in the 2nd half of the year. What is staggering about this call is that its June 28 low was essentially its low for the year, other than the fractional difference on April 19.

The next time Pete tells us something a hundred times, we're actually gonna believe it.

Scoring the Call of the Year, Pete joins brother Jon (2009, banks, early March before the 9th), Whitney Tilson (gak, yes, 2010, because he backed BP in early June), Karen Finerman (2011, GLNG), and Steve Grasso (2012, S) on the illustrious list of winners, and has the opportunity in 2014 to become the first to repeat.

The Saints go marching in

We tried this last year.

And it didn't quite work.

But we sorta came close enough to try again.

That would be the NFL pre-playoff bracket, featuring picks for all 11 games.

Last year, we made Seattle the Super Bowl champion. That was an interesting, but bad, call. Quite frankly, the Seahawks were/are more bark than bite. The defense is phony. Griffin's Redskins carved them up (until he exited), and Ryan's Falcons did the same.

Nevertheless, we missed just barely on that Atlanta-Seattle divisional playoff, just like we barely missed the Denver-Baltimore game that catapulted the Ravens into the driver's seat. That divisional round is where the kingmakers are made.

Both presumed favorites are overrated. Denver feels like a poor-man's version of so many vulnerable high-scoring offenses, take your pick, 1984 Miami, 2007 New England, 2004 or 2005 or 2009 Indianapolis, etc., regular-season heroes that aren't cut out for postseason. Seattle is a paper tiger. The offense simply can't score; it's not a playoff offense, and more than perhaps any other team in the playoffs, they will struggle to put drives together.

This year Manning will have no trouble with the Colts. The divisional upset will be the Saints returning to Seattle and avenging their exaggerated defeat of Dec. 2.

The presence of Green Bay and San Diego, given how they won their season finales, in the playoffs is laughable. Nothing could be finer for the 49ers than a playoff game against the Packers. The 49ers' comeuppance comes a week later at Carolina.

New England has the same problem as last year, too many journeyman spare parts; that would still be enough against most teams, but Cincinnati plays them well and wins this one.

We'd like to be contrarian and take Cincinnati all the way, but they're still the Bengals, which means they're just not going to knock off New England and Denver on the road in successive weeks.

The Saints have had the kind of season that championship teams have — undefeated for a long time, the most reliable offense, a surprisingly decent defense. The knock is that they've lost 5 games on the road, and that's where they'll conduct their playoff games. They'll be facing 3 teams with no credible playoff offense. The climate keeps getting better for the Saints, from Philly to Seattle to Charlotte.

Yes, it's daunting to see the Saints as 2.5-point underdogs in Philadelphia. Because there is no reliable defense in the NFL, this season is the most unpredictable perhaps ever. The last thing we probably should be doing is picking a Rob Ryan team to go all the way. Some might say the "story" this time will be Manning capping his career with another title. It's more likely to be the Saints avenging a year of punishment and sending Sean Payton into retirement.

So, here's the ledger:

Indianapolis beats Kansas City
New Orleans beats Philadelphia
Cincinnati beats San Diego
San Francisco beats Green Bay
New Orleans beats Seattle
Cincinnati beats New England
Carolina stomps San Francisco
Denver destroys Indianapolis
Denver beats Cincinnati
New Orleans beats Carolina
New Orleans beats Denver

TWTR valuation questioned

We didn't catch every moment of Friday's Fast Money — honestly, just the thought of Melissa Lee holding up whiskey bottles while another guest tells us which drinks are hot nowadays was too much — but we saw enough to see Victor Anthony suggest there really isn't much in the way of a negative catalyst for TWTR, but he thinks it's clearly "gotten ahead of itself."

Oh, and the DDD boss, Avi Reichental, made another appearance. (Good reason to skip.)

Tim Seymour's Final Trade was to buy platinum and sell gold. Josh Brown, doing double-duty while Barry runs the shop at Ritholtz Wealth Management, said "I like XLF." Guy Adami said BX, while Brian Kelly actually said bitcoin.

Josh acts like a gold-mining debate with Simon is a really important thing

First declaring his credentials as the show's biggest critic of gold miners for the last 3 years, Josh Brown said on Friday's Halftime Report that NEM is a "very very easy stock to buy here," apparently because it still has purportedly 30% margins.

That, and because, according to Brown, "this stock was vomited up 3 times last year."

Simon Baker offered to be the bear in this debate, but unfortunately, even though we agree with him, he hardly made any case at all for why it'll go down in 2014, first claiming that of the miners, this one'll take the biggest hit, and also that reserves are going down in Peru.

By the end, Baker scoffed that Brown should've made it one of his 5 Playbook Playoffs (or whatever the heck it's called) picks for 2014.

Judge tries to buffalo guest out of MU downgrade

Doug Freedman told Friday's Halftime Report that "Micron has some structural challenges," which is why he's downgrading it, and who woulda thunk that it was Judge who decided to take the other side of that trade.

Judge even expressed borderline incredulity that Freedman could make such a call given that MU hasn't done outrageously better than its peers, and that the DRAM chart looks fine.

Freedman asserted that there's "demand volatility" in the DRAM market, and he called that chart a "very unnatural curve."

Freedman predicted MU goes "sideways for the next 6 months."

Bull market enters ‘Phase 2’

Keith Banks, who joined a disjointed crew for Friday's Halftime Report, said at the top of the program that we're now in "Phase 2 of this bull market," which he asserted is no longer a buy-the-index market, but a "stock-picker's market." (And haven't we heard that one before. Like 2 months ago. And 3 months ago. And 6 months ago. Etc.)

Mike Santoli questioned if stocks aren't a little bit further along than "Phase 2." Banks admitted that people don't see the market as particularly cheap, but instead of last year's modest economy and great market, he sees in 2014 a "great economy and a good market," one that will post a "low double digit" return.

Josh Brown said that in energy, he likes anything but the biggies such as XOM or CVX, in fact, "I really like pipelines." Keith Banks endorsed the drillers and exploration companies.

Echoing a 2014 Fast Money cliche, Banks said that in emerging markets, he likes South Korea, Mexico and Poland (those are the "surplus" names), but he'd avoid India, which we all know, is the dreaded "deficit" country du jour.

Phil LeBeau reported that the auto numbers were a disappointment. Jon Najarian lukewarmly said he likes F, "but I really like BMW and Volkswagen." Peter Costa said he wasn't disappointed with the numbers even though everyone else was, and he thinks GM is a "buying opportunity."

On the heels of foxy Jane Wells' CES/Vegas report, Jon Najarian said Japan isn't going to be as big a deal as Macau, but he likes the gambling stocks, and "any dips should be bought."

Chris Gersch told Judge that the euro is "getting smashed." Thomas Vitiello said gold was getting a short-covering rally.

Josh Brown's Final Trade was DE. Mike Santoli said HRB, Simon Baker said AA and Jon Najarian said weekly GPS 39 calls.

[Thursday, January 2, 2013]

Brian Kelly didn’t even buy his good TWTR call, cites ‘portfolio management’

In an example of how much conviction exists behind Fast Money trading calls, Brian Kelly revealed Thursday that, despite what he suggested to viewers Monday, he didn't even buy TWTR at 60.

"It was only because of portfolio management that I didn't buy it," Kelly said.

Evidently, "portfolio management" involves not buying things one believes will rise.

(Either that, or he didn't actually believe it was going up.)

If you're still in it, Kelly said, "I would definitely take off at least half of it."

Guy Adami agreed, saying you should be "taking some off the table here."

Guy: Bulls should hope for
quick detour to 1,760

The S&P 500 got hammered to the tune of 16 points on the 1st trading day of the year ... but the Fast Money crew on Thursday couldn't have cared less.

Guy Adami actually claimed, "Today is actually a constructive day if you're bullish," and he thinks the faster we get an "important correction to the downside," say 1,760, the better.

Josh Brown cautioned against reading anything into Thursday. "Animal spirits are starting to take over," Brown said, and those take a long time unwind, so stay positive.

Tim Seymour said 1,680 is the 200-day in the S&P 500, and "I don't know that you get there."

We couldn't put a finger on why certain things went up and others down on Thursday and thankfully were not alone, as Brown said it was a day of "a lot of wonky, weird action."

Mel credited Tim Seymour for correctly reciting Carter Worth's 76% 1st-5-days theory and 82% January-determines-the-year theory. Mel also said people got their "knickers in a twist," which is another way of saying "panties in a bunch" (Do NOT write that. Don't DARE write that).

Finally at the end of the conversation, Brian Marshall included an ‘at the end of the day,’ then another

Regarded as The AAPL Analyst With the Widow's Peak, Brian Marshall told Thursday's Fast Money, "We still like Apple here," based on improving revenue with "flattish margins at 37%."

Marshall said that big tech should expect a 10-times forward multiple.

Avoiding cliches throughout his commentary, Marshall ultimately cracked when asked about CES, saying, "at the end of the day," he expects to see "more services," but, "at the end of the day, nothing really interesting."

Guy Adami said nothing about those $20 earnings in 2015 IBM's recent rally should be sold.

$10 million, $20 million, $50 million, whatever, we get it, as well as the ‘penetration story’

Host Melissa Lee on Thursday's Fast Money forced Generac boss Aaron Jagdfeld to spend way too much time trying to quantify storm-related revenue (that's called an "outage event"), but Jagdfeld did trumpet his home standby generators.

"We think it's a penetration story," Jagdfeld said, explaining that "every 1% of penetration is a $2 billion market."

Brian Kelly said these things are too expensive for most people to buy; "you're talking 10, 20,000 dollars ... I don't know if the market's that big."

Kelly said he likes the stock though it's been doing great; "I still think it has room to run."

Meanwhile, Compass Minerals boss Fran Malecha was actually asked by Lee if having more snow this year will help the pricing of road salt next year. (Ya think.) Yes, Malecha said, because the last 2 years have actually been underwhelming.

Malecha blamed the potash slump on "more timing than anything." Guy Adami said that was the right question for Lee to ask, as the shares can top 90 if there's "any pickup whatosever in terms of demand" in potash.

Seymour: Buy the DRYS dip

Phil LeBeau told viewers of Fast Money on Thursday about Fiat taking care of Chrysler without that loopy IPO that nobody believed, and he said Ford's solar car is "not happening anytime soon."

Melissa Lee tried to sound cool about the latter, stating, "Maybe it comes with a flux capacitor as well."

Tim Seymour, who loves to talk about Fiat, added something useful this time, pointing out that FIATY trades on the pink sheets legitimately (i.e., not a Jordan Belfort scheme).

Brian Kelly suggested ARII or GBX as a rail play, while Tim Seymour went deeper, suggesting long CSX vs. short KSU.

Seymour said he likes GE, FDX and the airlines. Seymour also pronounced DRYS a buy while lamenting its plunge Thursday. "One of my best trades of 2013," he said, "I buy some here."

Brian Kelly actually suggests bitcoin could go a lot higher

The folks on Thursday's Fast Money weren't that impressed by gold.

"I am still short," said Brian Kelly, while Tim Seymour opined, "I think gold's going to 1,100."

Brian Kelly described bitcoin as having a binary type of outcome.

In the ever-popular payment space, Guy Adami tepidly endorsed MA, but "I think it's gonna be choppier this year." Josh Brown said V can get to 250, and Tim Seymour mentioned QIWI, which admittedly is quite a chart.

Guy & Mel get through a program without the bickering-married-couple routine

Nothing on Fast Money/Halftime (you'll see this in our year-end review that's coming up) is endorsed nearly as much as the banks, and Josh Brown couldn't wait beyond the first day of trading to do the same in 2014.

This time it's BAC that's unstoppable, with a "gap and roll ... massive green candle," to the point it could find 19-20 "in relatively short order."

Brown explained that "green candle" means a "confirmation of the existing trend," which is helpful, because sometimes they confirm nonexisting trends.

Brown said PBPB isn't cheap but it still doesn't have many stores and seems to do well with same-store sales.

Brian Kelly said he shorted Brazil, and likes DE rather than POT.

Kelly confirmed that MCP options were hot, but he doesn't "anticipate" being in it himself.

Guy Adami said of X, "I would definitely be taking profits."

Kel & Mel: Both sleeveless

Nik Modi updated viewers of Fast Money Thursday on the e-cig/marijuana scene, contending that "these vaporizers to me are a big risk" to the tobacco market.

Melissa Lee asked if people would use these to "smoke weed," then after getting jabs over that terminology stressed, "Well I mean, I don't know this ..."

Modi nevertheless likes LO, because it's done well with the menthol overhang, and "we could see significant upside." His favorites in general are LO, MNST and ENR.

Josh Brown referred to HLF as "herbaloff" and said a new report sees blockbuster growth in China, so it's not that expensive (tough break for Ackman).

Scott Nations said there was a big buyer of April 18 LEAP puts.

Melissa Lee yukked it up over "donkey tartar" and "nuts" and introduced Sarah Dallof as "Sarah Doll"; Dallof reported "freezing cold temperatures," which is a relief, because we can't imagine what freezing hot temperatures would be like.

Tim Seymour's Final Trade was to buy EEM for a 10% bounce. Brian Kelly said UUP, Josh Brown said FCX and Guy Adami said CROX.

Doc called it overvalued Monday, ‘a little frothy’ on Tuesday, but he’s making the bull case on Thursday

Demonstrating how market sentiment can twist in the wind, by far the most startling event of Thursday's Halftime Report was Jon Najarian suddenly arguing a bull case for NFLX.

It was based on some disjointed argument about Microsoft and Google boxes as well as international growth.

Dr. New Land was the bear (there's gonna be something about that in our year-end review, hint hint), questioning, "Has the stock exhausted itself," making the Amazon-competition argument (but not Hulu this time), and dubbing it a "sideways type of equity."

Stephen Weiss grudgingly allowed that both could be right, but "I don't wanna be there when the stock falls apart."

Simon Baker took Joe's side; "the easy money's been made in it."

Judge said he can "guarantee" that NFLX will be "talked about" in 2013.

3 hours into 2014, Simon already calling 2014 a ‘stock-picker’s market’

Steve Liesman articulated some good points on Thursday's Halftime Report about the choppiness of last year's GDP, stating, "2013 is not the year we thought it was."

Liesman stressed how the 1st half was much different than the 2nd half, and that the market has more of a growth underpinning now than just Fed machinations.

Mr. New Land said the question is, "How long is the runway," and opined, "I think we end tapering June or July."

Joe also hailed a certain tech stock, calling AAPL a "1st-half story" of 2014 that will exceed $600 in 3-6 months.

Simon Baker took the opportunity to hail AAPL and, demonstrating his enthusiasm, said this stock is somehow proof that this is "much more of a stock-picker's type of market."

Doug Cote said to invest in global growth in 2014, particularly emerging markets.

Low-quality video of Doc matches his dull start

Stumbling out of the gate, Jon Najarian clumsily opened Thursday's directionless Halftime Report, which was obviously caught off-guard by the selloff, by stammering about the 2014 market being a case of risk vs. reward.

The rest of the gang was much sharper, with Joe Terranova suggesting there's a "little bit of a buyers strike," but if you're a money manager, it's part of the job description, "You have to get in."

Stephen Weiss also downplayed the market reaction. "What we're seeing is tax-selling today," Weiss said, and he's still "very constructive on the market," to the point that later on he called for "20% up market" in 2014, but he doesn't like the high-fliers.

Weiss would add, "I think you'll see large caps do very well this year."

Simon Baker on the other hand likes the "high-beta cyclical names," specifically AMZN and FB, and suggested unloading GE and HON.

Joe Greco said that in the opening hours, traders were shedding stocks of 40%-plus gains and buying some laggards. Todd Colvin, who had earpiece trouble, said traders were watching volatility creep higher. Eric Zuccarelli pointed to "structural tightness" in copper.

3 hours into the year, Jon Najarian reaffirms that he likes his Playbook Playoffs picks

While it's ridiculously — beyond ridiculously — early to start scoring Judge's 2014 Playbook Playoffs, traders nonetheless shared some interesting opinions on Thursday's Halftime.

Most refreshing was Dr. New Land revealing he's not listening to that Brian Kelly garbage about PXD needing to build a costly new well every 2 weeks to keep finding oil, stating he bought PXD and EOG. (This writer has no PXD position but did a couple weeks ago.)

Jon Najarian told Judge he likes his picks, including INTC, BHI and BRCM.

Stephen Weiss correctly noted that Judge mentioned 3 of his picks, not 2.

Simon Baker denounced KORS and said he's making a yearlong short; "this is gonna fall apart sometime over the year," but Judge called that a "dicey scenario."

Joe Terranova defended the trend in KORS, but Stephen Weiss said he sold KORS on Thursday to reduce his retail exposure.

Judge took a dig at Gene Munster, pointing out Gene picked ANGI as 1 of his 3 top 2014 picks.

‘Teetering’ toward buy on GS

Jeff Harte, generally regarded around here as the Will Rogers of bank-stock analysts, told Thursday's Halftime Report that "I think 2014 will be a good year, with upside risk."

It's the money-center banks "where I get even more excited," Harte said, revealing he likes C and JPM and thinks "Morgan Stanley specifically has more room to run."

However, "We actually have a hold on Bank of America," and "we're still a hold on Goldman, but I'm kind of teetering toward a buy," Harte added.

Kate Kelly said the sentiment in the hedge fund community is that stocks are "fairly, but not fully valued" with "more room to run."

Simon Baker predicted that in 2014, "The short book on the hedge funds is gonna do much better." (Because it's now a stock-picker's market based on 3 hours of trading.)

Joe Terranova said Warren Buffett's move with USG "makes great accounting sense."

Simon Baker said Fiat is buying Chrysler to "try and circumvent an IPO ... I think Fiat is where Ford was 2 years ago."

Jon Najarian said "I like the Evercore call" raising the TWTR target to 70.

Anthony Grisanti downplayed gold's move, saying "low volume has something to do with it." Jim Iuorio asserted, "The pain trade here is up."

In an overly long report, Judge Wapner said even HTZ doesn't know who's buying its shares.

Jon Najarian said he bought MCP based on rapid option activity that suggests something will happen "just in a matter of hours." But Joe Terranova wasn't sure about chasing this; "that's a really volatile name."

Dr. New World said for his Final Trade, "I shorted Caterpillar today." Simon Baker said long CY, Stephen Weiss said to buy TGT and Jon Najarian said YGE.

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Fast Money’s
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special report: CNBC ‘Fast Money’ trader positions often go undisclosed

♦ Daily online recaps often omit certain traders' holdings, appear voluntary, unenforced, no requirement for accuracy or timeliness, no description of the size of position or whether positions are for clients or traders' own accounts

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