[CNBCfix Fast Money Review Archive — January 2015]
[Friday, January 30, 2015]

Chef shows purported traders
how it’s done, predicts $56 SHAK ‘next week’

The notion of Fast Money/Halftime Report is supposedly that seasoned traders will tell you how to make a quick buck in the stock market.

Except they rarely do, because they generally don't have the brass to make the call that celeb chef Tim Love suggested on Friday's Halftime Report in regard to SHAK.

"I think at some point you're gonna see probably next week it's gonna hit 55, 56 bucks; I'll probably get out then," said Love, predicting the stock would "settle in somewhere around 28 or 29 dollars" over the next "3 or 4 months."

And you thought the best advice was taking a "look" at Mobile Telesystems every fortnight.

Love told guest host Michelle Caruso-Cabrera that he indeed owns SHAK; "we got in uh just a little over 46 bucks."

Elsewhere in restaurants, Jim Lebenthal chipped in with more MCD commentary since Don Thompson's ouster.

The stock "is going to be interesting; it's not right now," said Lebenthal. "Let's wait 2 quarters."

Dan Greenhaus twice referred to "Chipotalay" (sic pronunciation).

No ‘ma’am’

As if we needed one more jock's opinion on football air, Pete Najarian on Friday's Halftime Report somehow felt compelled to waste his very limited time with Cam Newton on the Deflategate story.

After stumbling through that long-since-tiresome subject, Newton and Najarian switched gears, and Newton said people don't realize the NFL includes characters who don't enjoy speaking such as Marshawn Lynch.

"Why force him to do something that he doesn't want to do," Newton said, demonstrating top-notch CNBC aptitude by tossing in an "at the end of the day" (Drink) to Michelle Caruso-Cabrera's follow-up question.

Pete called Marshawn Lynch "a great guy."

Dave Briggs told the gang that Super Bowl tickets are at all-time high prices; "cheapest ticket on Stubhub.com, $8,400."

Caruso-Cabrera asked Newton not to call her "ma'am" because "it makes me feel old."

OMG, no one mentioned
AAPL’s 9 multiple

Michelle Caruso-Cabrera, known for spicing up Fast Money and the Halftime Report in her various guest-hosting appearances, unfortunately was unable to give Friday's Halftime any more of a pulse than Judge has been able to produce through the early stumbles of 2015 (and Joe wasn't even present to elicit some "Dr. New Worlds" and "Mr. New Lands").

Christine Short told Caruso-Cabrera, "I wouldn't be jittery" about the market right now.

Jim Lebenthal said that with the 10-year at 1.80%, he doesn't like utilities.

Dan Greenhaus for some reason invoked Brian Sullivan's chief worry that energy-related losses will offset the gains from lower gasoline prices.

John Schroer said his top biotech picks are BIIB, CELG and VRTX, stating BIIB still has a "great pipeline."

MCC asked Schroer if he's tempted to take a profit on BIIB on its 1-day move; Schroer hung a "closer to 440" target over the next year.

Pete Najarian and MCC gushed about the strength of the biotech sector, but Jim Lebenthal said he gets "nervous" every time the White House invites a sector's CEOs in for a meeting.

Jim Iuorio, sorta like Jim Morrison, said he's not sure the dollar can get much higher.

MCC challenged Dan Greenhaus to clarify whether, in his comments about the strong dollar that took no position, he was actually implying a short. Greenhaus said he actually thinks that with a ride like this, you should probably lean toward it continuing.

Greenhaus admitted "one of our overweights is financials."

Christine Short said she would "estimize" (sic) DIS at $1.10 a share, above the Street's $1.08.

"Twitter, we're expecting a miss," Short said.

Pete Najarian said Jon Najarian is "overexposed in many ways."

For reasons we can't fathom, producers decided to have MCC and the gang stand behind empty, illegible grocery bags.

Jim Lebenthal's Final Trade was EEQ. Pete Najarian said FEYE and Christine Short said GILD.

[Thursday, January 29, 2015]

Guest: MCD does better
during high unemployment

Thursday's Halftime Report got right to the point — yesterday's oversight.

Mr. New Land noted that Don Thompson was "the 1 name that we didn't talk about in our CAO (sic), uh CEO conversation yesterday. I blame Stephen Weiss for that."

Stephanie Link contended Thursday that "Thompson really was an underperformer unfortunately."

Link insisted there is "kinda like low-hanging fruit" at MCD that includes the opportunity to "monetize the land."

However, the rest of the gang seemed to think MCD's problems aren't really associated with the CEO.

"There's a secular issue here," said Josh Brown, stressing "Marketing is not the issue ... the issue is that the consumer does not want to eat factory food."

Bill Smead, who told Judge he only owns a "small position" in MCD, suggested "cyclical things" were hurting the stock, including rising employment and what Smead described as a persistent fantasy that people really are going to eat healthier long-term.

"Give 'em 2 kids and a house in the suburbs, and that all goes down the toilet ... 70% of 'em are gonna have PotBellies at age 50," Smead contended.

Pete Najarian took both sides, stating the problem is too many "menu" (sic) items while pointing out the company competes against popular niche eateries such as "Smack (sic) Shack."

Smead, who appeared to be talking silently while Judge made a point about MCD competitors, said that Jim Skinner's big success "was getting more liquids in the system."

Joe Terranova said he wouldn't buy the stock; it needs a "big turnaround."

Where was the AAPL conversation follow-up, omg, it’s a NINE multiple ... an OLIGOPOLY ... even a SHORT SQUEEZE going on ...

Josh Spencer, picking up on Thursday where Carl Icahn left off as the Will Rogers of Nasdaq stocks, told Judge on the Halftime Report that "I could not be more optimistic about Amazon."

Spencer called TSLA "an early-stage Apple."

Spencer and Josh Brown agreed that BABA's slide is a "gift." (This writer is long BABA.)

Pete Najarian though questioned if Spencer isn't concerned about the Chinese regulation crackdown.

"I wouldn't be surprised to see Alibaba have to backpedal a little bit on this one," Spencer admitted.

Pete Najarian mentioned Apple's "ecosystem" (Drink).

Dr. New World contended that "macro trading is back," suggesting it's "good for momentum names."

"I think Tesla's a buy actually right here," Joe said.

9,999 to 1 that Seahawks
score exactly 4 points

Ric Edelman on Thursday's Halftime Report told Judge from San Diego that "5 years from now, 10 years from now, 20 years from now, the stock market's gonna be a lot higher than where it is today."

Chris Hyzy predicted February will be a "much better month" for stocks than January.

Scott Nations told Jackie DeAngelis that crude's tumble isn't a sign of deflation; rather it's just "coming out of our ears" and that's why the price has fallen. DeAngelis struck a curious but sexy crossed-arms pose.

Jeff Kilburg said not to be surprised if crude rings up a 30 handle before a 50 handle.

Steve Liesman discussed the "conflict in the dual mandate" of the Fed.

WYNN sports bookmaker John Avello evidently didn't know what he was in for when he agreed to talk to Thursday's Halftime about Vegas lines on the Super Bowl.

Pete Najarian tried to claim that Avello is against prop bets, but Avello insisted he finds prop bets a "good alternative to the game."

Avello said he opened the Seahawks as 2½-point favorites only to see the line swing to the Patriots at -1.

Judge claimed this is "one of the more difficult Super Bowls to pick."

Final Trades were a scratch.

[Wednesday, January 28, 2015]

Instant results: MCD dumps CEO hours after Halftime Report declares him on ‘hot seat’

In journalism circles, effecting change is often considered the pinnacle of the job; Pulitzers are often doled out based on government reaction to investigative reporting.

It would be a stretch to say that Scott Wapner's Halftime Report on Wednesday muscled out McDonald's CEO Don Thompson — especially because Judge has been looking the wrong direction all along and waging a bizarre 2-man campaign (consisting of 1 analyst stating only, depending on the day, that it's "possible" and a "good chance") to pressure Twitter's chief into some kind of ouster in favor of a guy who ... yes, this is what he said on television ... actually wants TWTR to buy YHOO — but it was nevertheless impressive to realize hours after the program that Thompson, identified as a "hot seat" CEO, is out. (Dick by the way isn't going anywhere.)

Unfortunately, Thompson escaped mention Wednesday from panelists, who spent the time on Marissa Mayer and others.

Judge tried to convince Mayer critic Eric Jackson that Marissa'a reign has been a successful one.

Jackson responded, "Quite honestly you or I could've taken over the job 2½ years ago and the stock would've gone from 15 to 50," and predicted further pressure on Mayer despite Judge's insistence that Marissa's doing something right.

Pete Najarian, who rightly credited Jerry Yang and not Marissa for the BABA stake, is skeptical of Jackson's suggestion that YHOO can reach 80.

"Marissa's seat has cooled. It's still warm," said Najarian.

Stephen Weiss dismissed the notion of Microsoft's Satya Nadella on the hot seat. But he wasn't so charitable toward Caterpillar's Doug Oberhelman.

"I think his time's up, frankly," Weiss said.

Joe Terranova and Pete Najarian suggested Ginni Rometty is more deserving of the hot seat than others.

Honestly, regarding Thompson and McDonald's, here's the deal ... we don't know this fellow. It's likely true that Jim Skinner left at the top, so there's a little bit of a Phil Bengston issue here.

However, this is a company that sells Happy Meals. Rather than being a happy-go-lucky ambassador for such a product, this serious fellow could never be found on CNBC, and isn't about to be confused with Howard Schultz.

Only a 9 multiple ... no-brainer ... oligopoly ... huge cash ... Judge prevents Carl from bringing up corporate governance, instead it’s half hour of starry-eyed AAPL cheerleading

Tim Cook obviously walks on water.

That's the takeaway from Wednesday's Halftime Report, one of the most fawning programs you'll ever witness.

Chief cheerleader was none other than Carl Icahn, who indicated the $203 price target that he and his son suggested to Tim Cook last year might be too low.

Carl suggested an "ad hoc short squeeze" is occurring in AAPL right now.

"You don't really need an encore" in AAPL, Icahn said, but he gave the floor to son Brett and David Schechter to do their own 9 multiple-great company-all that cash-oligopoly routine.

Stephen Weiss clarified that Carl was talking about funds being underweight AAPL — only the world's biggest market cap — and needing to catch up, not a bona fide short squeeze.

Early in the program, Weiss, allowed to make a speech, said expectations for the "iWatch" (sic) are "nil."

Dr. New World said "it's interesting" that he's "received e-mails from some" presenting excuses for selling AAPL, when it's "so non-complicated" to be long the stock.

Joe at least impressively referenced his "generational buy" bust on AAPL a few years ago but shrugged it off.

But by the end of the program, Joe revealed he's even drinking the this-will-be-the-year-Congress-works-together Kool-aid, suggesting "some sort of tax holiday" could enrich AAPL shareholders with all that overseas cash.

Alex Gauna, who resembles Buffalo Bills great Jim Kelly, said there's still "plenty of runway" in the AAPL story.

Honestly, we're definitely not making a stock call (and if you listen to this page's stock advice, you deserve to lose money), but this whole conversation sounded probably a lot like what they were saying in September 2012.

How come Judge hasn’t brought up Ross Levinsohn’s cockamamie idea that TWTR buy YHOO?

You'd think he'd be happy with his 7-fold gain or whatever the heck it was.

Instead, prominent Internet/government watcher Carl Icahn lamented on Wednesday's Halftime Report that he was actually too conservative toward holding Netflix because of Net Neutrality concerns, but now, "That one storm cloud has gone away."

Mark Mahaney was barely given a soundbite to explain what Facebook investors will be looking for, stating he doesn't see "a lot of upside" from this earnings report.

Explaining the addition of X to his Playbook Playoffs portfolio, Mr. New Land was tripped up saying he's been "patien-ate" (sic) so far this year.

Stephen Weiss' Final Trade was ABBV. Joe Terranova said PKI and Pete Najarian said CSX.

[Tuesday, January 27, 2015]

Judge’s new panelist uncorks ‘at the end of the day’ (Drink) 4 times during broadcast

He began it that way, and basically ended it that way.

Ian Winer, perhaps an impromptu panelist on Tuesday's Halftime Report given the weather considerations, wasted no time at the top of the program calling the global financial picture "pretty bad" and throwing in an "at the end of the day" (Drink) before adding, "I do believe uh that America is gonna continue to go down."

"I don't understand what you mean by continue to go down," said Judge.

"Well, go down from here. How's that," said Winer, tossing in another "at the end of the day" (Double Drink).

Later in the program, giving Scott Wapner an 1,800 S&P target for end of 2015, Winer added another "at the end of the day" (Triple Drink).

Jim Lebenthal, perhaps irked by Winer's dismissal of Lebenthal's point earlier in the program that Greece appears willing to negotiate, told Winer that such an S&P target is merely "riding the trend lower."

Winer countered that big companies are cutting jobs, before tossing in (you guessed it) another "at the end of the day" (Quadruple Drink).

Jim Lebenthal silent on theory that untested U.S., Russian commanders could bump subs

On Tuesday's Halftime Report, New Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis told Michelle Caruso-Cabrera in Athens that the ECB isn't as opposed to his goals as MCC suggested it is.

"Europe doesn't work on the basis of yes or no," said Varoufakis, who asserted that viewers must have found it "quite strange" that it took a "radical left party" to establish that "bankruptcy cannot be dealt with by more borrowing."

Assessing the interview, Jim Lebenthal suggested, "He said he's open to negotiating."

Meanwhile, in another place without a blizzard, Jeff Gundlach told Bob Pisani he doubts that QE will save Europe and that the "relief" being felt is actually just "the beginning of the end."

Pete Najarian said there was "huge paper" in the VGK.

Judge spares makeshift panel from opining on Bob Peck’s assessment of Dick’s job security

Tuesday's Halftime panel — which basically consisted of anyone willing to show up — opened their program with a half-hearted analysis of the stock market and the impact of currency fluctuations.

Jim Lebenthal, Pete Najarian, Kenny Polcari and David Kudla all acknowledged a headwind on earnings but dispensed a reasonable level of optimism, shattered only by Ian Winer's gloomy outlook that he was forced to defend all program long.

Steve Liesman said he's now "50/50" on a Fed hike in 2015.

Pete Najarian said "The honeymoon probably is over" at Microsoft.

Jim Lebenthal contended that "Windows is as mature a business as you will ever see."

Steve Milunovich said his AAPL target is 125, and "I still think there's some more to go."

Ian Winer said "I'd be trimming" AAPL ahead of the quarterly report (oops).

Pete Najarian said BTU is in a "no-touch zone."

Jim Lebenthal said it's "way too early" to get into FCX.

David Kudla said ZION's chart is one of lower highs and lower lows.

David Kudla pointed to BUD and Jim Lebenthal offered BP (his Final Trade) and Pete Najarian singled out ZIOP as positive stories, while Ian Winer said to sell KMX, his Final Trade. Pete said he'll be in ZIOP calls for no more than "a couple weeks" (Drink).

David Kudla's Final Trade was F. Pete Najarian said MRK.

[Monday, January 26, 2015]

Scheduler puts Sara Eisen
on Monday’s Fast Money

It was a day of blizzards and warnings and grumbling about stock exchanges being open ... and a day of CNBC superfoxes at the Nasdaq.

Sara Eisen guest-hosted Monday's Fast Money while Karen Finerman played along in new gray top.

Karen Finerman expertly cornered bitcoin fan Brian Kelly on why he wouldn't short Mastercard. Kelly stumbled to try to explain, "I don't think it's black and white like that" before actually claiming that MA is looking to improve its results by using bitcoin technology.

Brian White actually predicted people are going to love the "Apple Watch" (sic correct name).

Passersby snap picture of Guy Adami, perhaps ask what camp to be in regarding rates or whether FDX hedges fuel

CNBC viewers last week experienced, as always, the Squawk Box crew (it always used to be Maria Bartiromo, but ...) interviewing bankers complaining about heavy-handed regulation amid the ski slopes of Davos.

Monday, just to prove they are indeed broadcasting from an area in which there is snow, Guy Adami spent a few moments of Fast Money dashing outside the Nasdaq to measure the non-shoveled snowfall while experiencing microphone glitches.

Tim Seymour recommends taking a ‘look’ at MBT (Drink)

We figured Generac generators would be the preeminent CNBC cliche on Monday, and they basically were, but that didn't preclude some old standbys, such as when Sara Eisen elicited from Tim ("This reminds me of being in Russia in 1998") Seymour the recommendation to take a "look" (sic not a buy or sell recommendation) at ... Mobile Telesystems (Drink).

Eisen told Seymour he's "too cool for school."

Karen Finerman suggested MAT's new CEO uncork a "kitchen-sink quarter" (Double Drink).

Guest: ‘Let’s define growth’

It only took 34 minutes to bring up Dick Costolo's job security.

Judge couldn't even let a weather-dominated Halftime Report Monday go by without dabbling in his favorite subject of 2015, his bizarre campaign to report pressure on Twitter's CEO even though (so far) he has only produced 1 individual (Bob Peck) with a half-hearted assessment that an ouster is possible actually Peck just wants someone to hire Ross Levinsohn.

In the 52nd minute of the program, after teasing this interview about halfway through, Judge actually allowed the other side of the story.

Eric Jackson called Peck's analysis "off base" and said there's "no merit to his argument" that Twitter needs personalities with entree to marketing budgets, an obviously valid point (as if corporations don't realize yet they can advertise on Twitter).

But most of Jackson's appearance was spent discussing Marissa Mayer, as Jackson told Judge that Tuesday will be Mayer's "moment of truth," stating he's "hopeful" that she'll announce she's spinning off the core business away from BABA that would allow her to sell the BABA stake tax-free and predicting a gain of "6, 7 bucks" in YHOO if that happens. (This writer is long BABA.)

Jackson even suggested a possible 80-handle on YHOO in 2015.

Josh Brown insisted there's no growth in display banner ads.

Jackson responded, "Well, you know, let's define growth," only to imply that "growth" is equivalent to beating low expectations.

Judge demanded to know why Jackson just won't leave Marissa alone. "I gave her the benefit of the doubt for 2 years," Jackson bristled.

Then Judge pulled an end-around, suddenly telling Jackson (and not in the form of a question) that there were suggestions "in the most recent past" that Yahoo might buy a cable network, and the fact it hasn't happened, "that made it seem as though they were throwing darts at a board."

Jackson affirmed that Mayer "has put herself behind the 8-ball."

Image of Jackie DeAngelis in winter gear is actually from Fast Money

Judge spent several clumsy moments on Monday's Halftime Report talking over Pete Najarian, who didn't make it down to Englewood Cliffs (probably figured he'd never make it home and that Monday's Halftime wasn't worth it), while trying to ask how Pete feels about UPS.

Pete ambiguously told Judge "I would be a buyer" at $100.81, but then stressed that he expects the downgrades to take it down to 99.

Josh Brown, invoking one of Dr. New Land's famed slogans (that he doesn't use anymore), argued that UPS and FDX are both in the "penalty box" for 90 days.

"UPS is not washed out yet," cautioned Sarat Sethi.

Meanwhile, Citizens Financial CEO Bruce Van Saun said "there's pockets of real strength" on the consumer side, particularly in auto loans, and that there's "huge interest" in mortgage refinancing.

As Judge again talked over Pete Najarian, this time on banks, Pete finally was able to suggest this will be the year Congress will work together (Drink).

Pete Najarian predicted "trimming" in the airline space given the storm and said that's OK.

Did Judge ever interview that teenager in New Yorker mag who had $72 million account?

On a Halftime Report Monday that (with the exception of Eric Jackson's remarks) offered little more than "Hey there's a bunch of snow coming," Steve Liesman contended that the Fed "is running out of time for the data to back up a move in June, or earlier than that."

Michelle Caruso-Cabrera, from Greece, predicted "some kind of showdown" between the new Greece government and its creditors.

Stephanie Link said what's "really key" about this week's earnings reports is the guidance we'll hear.

Pete Najarian remotely said he would "absolutely not" be buying energy now even though the names are getting more attractive.

Pete called the STX pullback "extreme" and said it's an opportunity to buy.

Stephanie Link assessed the leverage ratio of MWV and RKT and said she likes the combination a lot.

Josh Brown happened to observe that HAS is eating MAT's lunch recently.

Dom Chu pointed out one of our favorite Fast Money/Halftime cliches, that GNRC is rising as another big storm arrives.

Stephanie Link's Final Trade was USG. Josh Brown offered CME, and Sarat Sethi suggested AL.

[Friday, January 23, 2015]

Judge for some reason unable to bring up Dick Costolo’s job security, settles for his next-favorite subject

No, we're not rooting against the Halftime Report.

But anyone who was able to watch Friday's edition without falling asleep/changing the channel during the latest opening round on whether the U.S. is better than Europe needs to find new priorities in life.

Tyler Vernon, who apparently was auditioning as a regular for the entire hour (that's fine but where are Zach Karabell and Patty Edwards), stumbled in trying to explain to viewers exactly what Carl Icahn was talking about a day ago regarding EBAY referring to Europe as a "country" but predicted its QE is "really gonna launch valuations."

Stephen Weiss said he bought the HEDJ, which was also his Final Trade. Josh Brown seconded that choice.

Judge brought in WisdomTree honcho Jeremy Schwartz and told him "don't just talk your book," but Schwartz said Brown and Weiss already made his points, that a stronger dollar will hurt U.S. exporters (for those who haven't figured that out yet).

Judge even brought in Art Hogan, who didn't try to recap the trajectory of Jon Najarian's recent winning NFLX long but did say the U.S. dollar's strength is a sign of the investing climate.

Weiss made HEDJ his Final Trade.

Who does the CNBC cafeteria now?

Pete Najarian on Friday's Halftime Report told Judge if he had to pick between SBUX and MCD, he'd pick SBUX "by far."

But he doesn't dislike MCD.

Pete conceded UPS did everything wrong over the holiday quarter but said the stock's actually appealing on the selloff. Steve Weiss said he prefers FDX because he wants the global play.

Both Stephen Weiss and Tyler Vernon stated "at the end of the day" in assessing GPRO's future; Vernon said the company is "amazing" when it comes to marketing.

Pete Najarian said there was "huge activity" in August 41 calls in SYY, which became his Final Trade. Steve Weiss said he doesn't think Sysco does the CNBC cafeteria anymore, "but they used to do it."

Rick Heitzmann said he's not an investor in Box, but he's a "believer in Box."

A skeptical Tyler Vernon asked Heitzmann, "Where do you really see the value?" Heitzmann said storage gets cheaper, and that actually helps Box. Vernon questioned if revenues fall accordingly. Heitzmann said, "Not necessarily."

Josh Brown said Box's product is appealing, but the stock is not.

Josh Brown tries to
impress Dave DeWalt

Brian Stutland told Jackie DeAngelis on Friday's Halftime Report that "we could be 5, 10 years away from a hundred-dollar oil."

Helima Croft gave Judge a well-detailed explanation of Sugar Ray Leonard's fight venture with NBC that will show competitive bouts and not 1-round knockouts the state of the Saudi oil dynasty; unfortunately the video and sound weren't quite in synch.

Stephen Weiss said that because of hedging, there are "selective buys" in the energy space but didn't name any. (Translation: the Floyd Trade still has a chance.)

Tyler Vernon, who unlike Paul Ebner didn't say anything about tracking Google searches to determine the health of the American consumer, pounded the table for COP. Pete Najarian said he bought COP calls.

Tyler Vernon's Final Trade was GOOG. Josh Brown said FEYE.

[Thursday, January 22, 2015]

Julia Boorstin’s husband is
executive producer of ‘Whiplash’

Rarely these days, unfortunately, does this page have an opportunity to delve into cinema.

But sometimes worlds collide, as in the case of the Oscar-nominated film "Whiplash."

"Whiplash," which evolved from a short film of the same name into a feature-length film, counts Couper Samuelson as an executive producer.

Samuelson happens to be the husband of CNBC's Julia Boorstin.

"Whiplash" purportedly is a movie about jazz, but it's really a movie about perfection and how such obsession warps highly successful people.

It's far from perfect. Only some of its faults (the worst is its ranking of art with almost scientific precision) are mentioned in this excellent critique in the New Yorker.

But it's got a masterpiece from J.K. Simmons, whose Terence Fletcher will be rightly included in the same conversation as Gordon Gekko, Raymond Babbitt and Ben Sanderson.

If you haven't already, go see this intriguing film.

Judge actually went a few days without bringing up his Dump-Dick Theory; Dick isn’t going anywhere

Judge opened Thursday's Halftime with his favorite subject and favorite pundit for that subject, enlisting Bob Peck to opine on Dick Costolo's job security even though Dick's company is well above its IPO price of barely more than a year ago.

Peck first told Judge that the Google-buying-Twitter theory is a "perennial rumor," and if it happened, the price would be "north of $40 billion."

Invoking Rocco in "Part II," Judge characterized that potential deal as "difficult but not impossible."

Yet, Judge persisted in suggesting the premium would be small. "Now would be the time to do it, right, whi- while the share price is, is wounded, while- while speculation is swirling about the management team etc.," Judge suggested to Peck.

"I would agree with that," Peck said.

"Color me skeptical," said Jon Fortt, who suggested only AAPL, MSFT and GOOG are really viable candidates to buy Twitter and that AAPL and MSFT are distracted by other priorities. Peck tossed in BABA, a notion backed by Pete Najarian.

Jon Najarian contended that Instagram got bought when it did because Facebook was concerned someone else could get it first, whereas there is no such pressure to acquire Twitter. "Google can wait around," Doc said.

Mr. New Land curiously observed that "Twitter's almost a better search engine than Google is right now in itself (sic last 2 words redundant)."

Peck affirmed to Judge that he believes there's a "good chance" that Dick Costolo is not TWTR CEO by year-end.

‘1% is not that unreasonable’

With the ECB in the news, Judge on Thursday's Halftime brought in old hand Gemma Godfrey, who called Draghi's move a green light for stock buyers and said this is a "fantastic opportunity, um, to buy into companies which are gonna benefit, um, from lower input costs."

Bonnie Baha agreed with Godfrey but added, "The devil's in the details," then threw in an "at the end of the day" (twice) (Double Drink) and even "the can has been kicked down the road" (long overdue Drink).

Baha said the notion of the 10-year "actually going to 1% is not that unreasonable."

Judge has a different recollection of recent bank-stock conversations than his panelists do

Judge on Thursday's Halftime Report aired a clip of Bob Diamond stating this a great time to buy financials and curiously told the Najarians "You guys don't agree with that."

The Najarians protested they actually do. Judge rebutted that over the last week "there was a turn in sentiment" toward owning banks, "I'm not crazy; you guys said it."

Stephanie Link bragged that Cramer sold BAC "closer to 18" and sold AIG "at 55."

Dr. New World is giving up on volatility, ditching VXX in his 2015 Playbook Playoffs portfolio and adding old favorite TCBI (Drink) instead.

Carl’s visit is a bust

Carl Icahn, the star guest of Thursday's Halftime Report, took up the subject of Sugar Ray Leonard's NBC fights that are going to be competitive and not 1st-round knockouts grumbled about "dysfunctional" corporate governance in a clumsy, rambling statement mostly praising EBAY and then finally clarifying that his issue is, "the company owes to- owes the right to its shareholders to determine if they want to be sold, if somebody wants to buy it."

It's clear Icahn was sort of talking about EBAY, but if we were quizzed as to what this conversation was about, we'd get an F.

On other matters, "I believe that oil will go lower," Icahn said.

Carl told Joe Terranova that the spread between high-yield debt and Treasurys will widen. Joe said that comment "suggests the discourse (sic) in high-yield, particularly energy, is not over."

As Judge ran long for the 2nd day in a row, Pete Najarian's Final Trade was DAL, Doc said POST, Joe said VSI and Stephanie Link said SYMC.

[Wednesday, January 21, 2015]

Edward Snowden alert: Stock market analysts tracking Google searches

Here's one you don't hear every day.

Paul Ebner admitted on Wednesday's Halftime Report he's actually short the U.S. consumer.

Ebner claimed he's been "tracking Internet search activity" for clues to consumer activity and has detected a "falloff" in big-ticket items among American shoppers.

Slightly in disbelief, Judge asked, "So you're- you're literally doing your research in your channel checks so to speak by looking at Internet searches for various topics?"

"That's exactly right," Ebner confirmed.

Ebner said there's "a lot of signs of positive momentum" in Europe; it's his top pick for 2015.

Doc makes a good trade; buy-energy call of last week of 2014 goes unmentioned

On Wednesday's Halftime Report, Jon Najarian wasted little time reporting his NFLX Brag Trade.

"I was in the, the calls folks, up to the 360 strike," Najarian explained to Scott Wapner. "Those calls last night closed at $15; I'd exited, uh, about half of it during the day yesterday. Because it was an $11 pop. I was out when it was $7 to the upside, as far as half of that spread."

Mr. New Land, evidently violating Mr. Gekko's edict about not getting emotional about stocks, humbly admitted he bungled NFLX a while back. "I gave up on Netflix, I stopped trading Netflix, I don't- I don't get involved anymore," Joe said.

Moments later, Joe struggled to explain "there's a coral-larly (sic) between Amazon and Netflix."

(Stumbling throughout a quiet show, Joe also said the UNH report "bode (sic) wells (sic)" for Anthem and also "bode (sic) well" for Aetna.)

Scott Devitt, who has a $500 NFLX target, thinks that despite what Doc said about everybody already subscribing to Netflix, there's still growth in the U.S.

Judge doesn’t give panel chance to opine on Obama presidency, State of the Union Address

Harold Ford, one of America's greatest politicians who isn't actually in office, with impressive candor took up Mike Mayo's characterization of Morgan Stanley as the Seattle Seahawks admitted on Wednesday's Halftime Report, "I'm hopeful that some of the president's ideas don't see the light of day, and I'm hopeful that some of them do."

Ford even said, "It seems like the only thing that unites Republicans and Democrats routinely is attacking Wall Street."

Joe Watkins, the purported rival in the conversation, didn't have nearly as many interesting things to say, stumbled over "labor force participation rate" and lobbied for the Keystone Pipeline.

Jim Lebenthal finally pronounces Ginni Rometty correctly

Jim Lebenthal delivered a head-scratcher via phone to Wednesday's Halftime Report, first formally stating the IBM chief's name and then somehow predicting a 25-30% gain in the stock.

Paul Richards said the market is pricing in a $1 trillion ECB bond-buying program even though that doesn't quite equate with the 12-month math of maybe $50 billion; "anything less would be a disappointment for the market," Richards said.

Anthony Grisanti told Jackie DeAngelis that oil bulls (snicker) are coming out of hibernation and a "short-term bottom" might be in. Jeff Kilburg said oil trading now is like the "Wild, wild West" and the "O.K. Corral."

Pete Najarian said to wait for a pullback in WFM.

Josh Brown said QCOM hasn't been acting well for a long time.

Jon Najarian said short interest juiced the CREE pop, so "be careful here."

Pete Najarian called CHL a buy.

Joe Terranova endorsed fertilizer stocks and said Goldman Sachs' sell rating on MOS is "completely wrong."

Doc said a trader bought MW January 2016 45 calls and was selling puts.

Pete Najarian said he owns EBAY stock and calls.

Barry Sanders for whatever reason found the Fast Money Halftime Report an adequate venue for promoting the Tackle PBA campaign.

Judge ran well over allotted time with Sanders, whom he wrongly called "NFL (sic) Hall of Famer." (Sanders is indeed a Hall of Famer, in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.)

[Tuesday, January 20, 2015]

Crude ‘maybe even sub-30’

Oil happens to be in that CNBC parlor game in which each interview only becomes interesting when a new number is floated.

Merchant Commodity Fund CIO Doug King obliged on Monday's humdrum Halftime Report, telling Kate Kelly in a clipped interview soundbite that crude has more to go "nastily on the downside ... maybe even sub-30."

Kelly said the Merchant Commodity Fund returned 59% last year, largely because it got crude's forecast correct based on rubber's price.

Jon Najarian impressively addressed his gargantuan long-energy bust in his 2015 Playbook Playoffs portfolio with humor.

Scott Nations predicted to Jackie DeAngelis that gold traders will "reject" the 1,300 level. Brian Stutland said gold can go higher than 1,300 but it'll require more euro weakness.

Mike Mayo spent Sunday
watching football

We kinda thought Judge might talk football on Monday's unusually sleepy Halftime Report, but not in the way the subject surfaced.

Phone guest Mike Mayo, curiously likening James Gorman, Greg Fleming, Gary Kaminsky and Harold Ford to Pete Carroll, Russell Wilson, Richard Sherman and Marshawn Lynch, contended, "Morgan Stanley lost the quarter but still won the year. They're a little bit like the Seattle Seahawks."

Mayo, long an MS bull, then channeled John Harbaugh (the Joe Flacco any day of the week and twice on Saturday or Sunday thing) in stating he'd take a Morgan Stanley revenue miss "any day of the week" as opposed to a "credit blowup or a big hole in their balance sheet."

Mayo said he doesn't like BAC because the part he does like, Merrill Lynch, you can get as a pure play with MS and avoid the "bureaucratic, uh, you know, stuff" from the rest of BAC.

Dan Greenhaus slams
central bankers’ sneaky tricks

Offering not the most robust endorsement, Jon Najarian on Monday's Halftime Report said of NFLX, "If you've got guts, it's a buy today."

Josh Brown called 300 "fairly iron-clad" support in the name.

Hardeep Walia told Judge the hot Motif of the month is "Discount Nation," focusing on discount retailers.

On the upper end, Paul LeJuez, who raised his TIF price range from 104-108, conceded the company "fell short" over the holiday but said the "tea collection" is attracting new customers and the company has a "commodity tailwind."

Judge questioned "when the heck" a company can "market" if it can't "market" during the holidays. LeJuez said TIF might've made a mistake in overpromoting the tea collection.

Josh Brown opened the program with a clumsy exchange with Judge over how "sanguine" investors are.

Doc said June 33 calls in IMAX were hot.

Dan Greenhaus, pointing to the Swiss surprise, cautioned, "you are trading at the behest of a couple of guys and gals in a room somewhere."

Stephanie Link's Final Trade was UPS. Josh Brown said "duct tape for microphones" but apparently intended R. Doc said GFI and Dan Greenhaus said to stay short the euro.

Not a total bust

This page makes an annual event of predicting the entire NFL playoffs on the eve of Wild-Card weekend (see below, far down this page).

Yes, this year we somehow got Jedi Mind-Tricked into picking the yinz to go all the way, which embarrassingly left the bracket in shambles on Day 1 of the playoffs.

But, in a remarkable turn of events culminating in Seattle's overtime win Sunday, we somehow managed to stumble through the NFC side with a perfect 5-game record.

We didn't have Seattle winning the Super Bowl … but we didn't have the Patriots winning it either. So whatever happens, we're likely to call it a draw. 'Cause that's how we roll.

[Friday, January 16, 2015]

Presidential press conference preempts much of Halftime

With much of the Halftime Report hour Friday devoted to the Barack Obama/David Cameron press conference, guest host Michelle Caruso-Cabrera led a low-key program with an emphasis on currency leverage and ramifications, featuring Sara Eisen.

Jim Lebenthal warned viewers, "Playing currencies directly as a retail (sic) is akin to gambling."

Lebenthal and Jon Najarian indicated that as far as stocks go, there's no reason to panic.

Stephen Weiss contended, "I think this will be the year that, No. 1, hedge-fund performance comes back."

Doc admitted he's already made some "horrible picks in the energy space" and then told Mike Santoli how banks have gotten slammed too.

Jim Iuorio told Jackie DeAngelis, in very pretty new outfit and new hairstyle, that the 10-year could see 2% before going lower. Jeff Kilburg said he likes disagreeing with Iuorio.

[Thursday, January 15, 2015]

More than a ‘bit’

Christine Lagarde, the star guest of Thursday's Halftime Report, didn't answer any questions about Sugar Ray Leonard's NBC boxing venture that will show evenly matched fights and not 1-round knockouts Steve Liesman's first question as to whether the Swiss move should've been handled the way it was, but she did call it "a bit of a surprise," which CNBC found highly newsworthy.

Lagarde also admitted that "I find it a bit surprising" that she wasn't contacted directly while it's possible others in the IMF were contacted.

Echoing the sudden favorite phrasing of the program, Pete Najarian detected "a bit of anger" from Lagarde on this subject.

Lagarde also told Liesman, "We will see more volatility. There is no question about that."

Judge not around, so Abhey Lamba avoids question on Dick Costolo’s job security

Abhey Lamba, whose AAPL interview was notably short, told guest host Melissa Lee on Thursday's Halftime that the iPhone 6 margins could reach 60%, but he sees the risk/reward as fair, so he's neutral with a $115 price target.

Pete Najarian gave Lamba credit, "He's been right for 3 years on this stock," Pete said, and noted that Lamba has identified the Apple Watch as some kind of bust.

Bryant VanCronkhite told Mel, who ran a tight ship, that he likes CNC.

Stephanie Link noted VanCronkhite also likes DST and asked what "innings" DST is in for unloading non-core assets; VanCronkhite speculated "3rd or 4th."

VanCronkhite also likes CHD but didn't talk about that one.

Joe Terranova called oil's reversal Thursday an "ominous sign."

Joe later said, "I disagree with the premise that low oil prices are a near-term benefit," citing energy companies' sudden need to hedge.

Pete Najarian said there's been a lot of option activity in gold miners, specifically Barrick.

Mr. New Land said gold does have potential but cautioned to make it a trade and not an investment.

Ed Yardeni said the Fed hikes this year will be either "1 and done or none and done" because the doves will be patient.

Michelle Caruso-Cabrera said we're in "unprecedented financial times."

Pete Najarian's Final Trade was INTC. Mr. New Land suggested HRC, and Stephanie Link offered EL.

[Wednesday, January 14, 2015]

Bill’s 1st comment was the only one that matters

Adhering to what seems like a newfound let's-schedule-a-Halftime-Report-appearance-each-month routine, Bill Nygren began his interview with Judge on Wednesday stating that if the long-term price of oil is $45, "there's basically nothing in this whole sector that makes any sense to own."

However, sounding a little bit like when Roger McNamee circa 2001 pronounced all kinds of great opportunities in the tech space, Nygren doesn't think that'll be the case. So he does like CHK, based in part on what Nygren sees as a "stale perception" of the stock. (As opposed to the "shale perception" of the stock.)

Nygren, who struggles to smile beyond a faint corner-mouth twitch (though we're sure he's a nice guy), also likes APA, which he defends or even ramps up in each appearance. And, Nygren is bottom-picking in GE.

Doc said Nygren is joining him in the energy space that's in a "world of hurt." Jim Lebenthal bluntly stated that GE is too diverse as to be unanalyzable.

Judge tries to rope Scott Devitt into a dump-Dick call; Dick isn’t going anywhere

Scott Devitt visited with Wednesday's Halftime crew and said NFLX has significant profitability potential internationally.

Devitt concluded, "I've got about 10-15% downside if this transition is not yet complete; if it is, this stock goes right back to where it was after 3Q."

Looking a couple years down the road, Jim Lebenthal asked Devitt, "Doesn't this look an awful lot like Comcast?"

Devitt said no, it looks a lot more like HBO.

Doc spent quality airtime telling everyone how he successfully rode the Mark Cuban-likes-NFLX trade while pretending to phrase it to Devitt in the form of a question. Judge floated the usual gee-is-it-within-the-realm-of-possibility-Dick-Costolo-could-be-replaced question (and this time overstated how Bob Peck actually characterized this situation), and Devitt answered obligatorily in the affirmative.

Nobody has the guts to Fast Fire Pete on his atrocious LOCO trade

Josh Brown on Wednesday's Halftime Report pronounced the market a "trader's paradise."

Steve Grasso predicted a test of 1,965.

Savita Subramanian, who is cute, contended that "volatility is the new normal" and said she favors big-cap as "the best place to hide" in this market.

Jim Lebenthal told viewers to ignore the 10% correction and buy what you like.

Pete Najarian said he scooped up some more JPM on Wednesday.

Anthony Grisanti told Jackie DeAngelis that copper demand is "way down."

Josh Brown tried to praise CMG's brass over squealing-pig sound effects.

Pete Najarian again pushed the case for LOCO despite his ghastly averaging down in the name in November when it traded around $28 on a secondary.

Judge enlisted Sugar Ray Leonard to trumpet NBC's new boxing venture; Leonard curiously suggested that the appeal of the bouts will be the competitiveness, stating of boxing fans, "They don't wanna see these 1-round knockouts."

[Tuesday, January 13, 2015]

Dan Dicker simplifies things

Dan Dicker on Tuesday's Halftime Report told Judge he can't give him a thesis for oil's slide, other than to say "No buyers."

Then, Dicker suggested Steve Weiss had "overplayed" the Saudi factor in oil's slide.

Dicker even had the audacity to bring up the Floyd Trade, prompting Weiss to insist, "Hedged out in '15, and most of '16." (Not too much longer until Judge can bring Floyd back on and ask whether Floyd is going to vote for Jeb Bush or Chris Christie or Mitt Romney and get "I'd rather vote for Ronald Reagan" as the answer.)

Speaking of oil, LOCO chief Stephen Sather told cute Courtney Reagan (above) that lower gasoline prices are helping the consumer.

Sather called Pete Najarian's softball query about LOCO's pricing power a "very good question."

Without mentioning Pete's ghastly long LOCO recommendation in November when he boasted of averaging down on the secondary (roughly $28 a share), Josh Brown said he really likes LOCO in the low-20s.

Actavis’ CEO just said a day ago that they aren’t defensive about ‘roll-up’

Valeant boss Mike Pearson told chipper Meg Tirrell — CNBC's star of the week — that his company is "on a bit of a mission" to "prove" that many "allegations" about its business model and R&D "are just not true."

Most significantly, Pearson told Tirrell that Valeant will "absolutely start getting back in M&A," though he didn't specify a timeline or size.

Judge said it looked to him like the stock "moved a little bit lower" when Pearson told Tirrell they intend to do more deals.

Stephen Weiss said Pearson's comments about doing deals and not doing deals have been kind of scattershot, and Endo seems like a "cleaner story" now than Valeant.

Implying a high ceiling to the size of the deal he can make, Pearson assured Tirrell, "We have access to capital."

Pearson said it's "unlikely" Valeant will work with Bill Ackman on future ventures.

‘Mildly safe’ for gold

Dr. New World was impressively gung-ho at the top of Tuesday's Halftime Report, trumpeting ESRX, then "Charlie (sic) Schwab," which he said could be 35 and a takeover target, then ROST (though he unfortunately attributed that to Josh Brown's loopy 90-to-100 theory that works great until it's like, oh, October 2007, and then the $92 stock goes to $52).

Stephen Weiss likes the market but thinks you need to be "a lot more careful."

Weiss said he sees "issues" with Amazon but thinks it could go higher because it's "kinda time of the year" when it's beyond Christmas concerns.

Weiss called Jeff Bezos a "great CEO."

Jim Iuorio told beaming Jackie DeAngelis it's "mildly safe" to get into gold. Brian Stutland said it'll probably take a dollar selloff to launch gold through 1,250.

Joe Terranova coolly ranked LEN the best of the builders, even if he started to say "well-perditioned (sic)."

Josh Brown indicated the GPRO chart is rather gloomy.

Sam Isaly conceded "there is a little bit of catch-up in here" in the biotech space but that the sector has morphed into leader.

Isaly likes ABBV and INCY, and Pete Najarian noted Isaly also likes mighty ISRG.

Judge said the prompter got "spastic," a term (in a different usage) that got Tiger in trouble a couple years ago (but not in as much trouble as something else).

Pete claimed the prompter was like "Poltergeist."

Stephen Weiss' Final Trade was to short OCN. Joe said to buy ORLY, Josh Brown said he wanted to change SPWR to DIS and Pete Najarian offered DNKN.

[Monday, January 12, 2015]

Whatever happened to
that $200 ‘superspike’

Kate Kelly livened up Monday's Halftime Report with a rare get — a Goldman Sachs honcho — in landing Jeff Currie from London to discuss all those things Carl Levin said about the company Goldman's $65 WTI forecast.

Currie, who adeptly described the timeline that fracking has brought to oil production, said the crude market is experiencing a "paradigm shift" (Drink).

Currie also said the industry needs to "let go" of the notion of oil prices rebounding to $80-$90 a barrel.

Mr. New Land stuck to his rig-count (Drink) thesis for oil's stabilization.

Elsewhere, Josh Brown said he dumped DE from his Playbook Playoffs portfolio because it dropped below its 200-day moving average, and added CME instead.

Jim Lebenthal explained that he doesn't want viewers to think he crafted a "Dumpster-diving portfolio" just because it's got JCP and IBM. But Judge said people might see it as a "Dumpster fire" if those picks plus MRO, GM and TRMB don't pan out.

Michael Santoli praised Brown's portfolio for having "an inherent (Drink) risk-management component."

You calling me a ‘roll-up’?

In a humdrum Halftime Report pegged partly to some biotech conference Monday, Anne Wojcicki told Meg Tirrell, "I don't think we're in a bubble" in biotech because in fact the "productivity" is emerging.

Mr. New Land said he likes MCK (Drink) and then went out of his way to avoid a political firestorm on Twitter.

"We've gotten past the worst on the Affordable Care Act in terms of its impact on the capital markets. I'm not making a, a societal, uh, statement here," Terranova said.

Later, Actavis chief Brent Saunders, who is known by some as "The Chuck Norris of Pharma M&A" according to Meg Tirrell, told Judge that pharma CEOs aren't actually "defensive" about the term "roll-up," it's just that a few famous ones such as WorldCom or Tyco didn't end well.

He said he couldn't "speculate on what Pfizer's gonna do."

(Karen Finerman was heard to say on that 5 p.m. show that she's still playing the XBI (Drink) and IBB (Double Drink) and is now dabbling in the FBT.)

Judge somehow thought it was important to enlist Pete Najarian for a prediction on the college football championship game, which wasn't even broadcast on a sister channel. (But it was Judge, not Pete, who correctly called Ohio State.)

Stephanie Link's Final Trade was CBS. Jim Lebenthal said JCP, Joe Terranova said WBA and Josh Brown offered CME.

[Friday, January 9, 2015]

Halftime preempted Friday

Grim reality overshadowed the stock market on Friday as Scott Wapner's Halftime Report became devoted to coverage of the closure of 2 hostage situations in Paris.

Strictly as a news observation, there were few details for CNBC and other outlets to share at the time, and little footage. Thus, one diligent guest of FBI credentials was repeatedly asked at the top of the program to explain how 1) police in general want these things to end (not too hard to figure out) and 2) police might've ended these particular situations, which seemed more speculative than that Petroleos de Venezuela bonds trade mentioned by Michelle Caruso-Cabrera on yesterday's program.

Caruso-Cabrera on Friday referred to the 2 Charlie Hebdo suspects as "gentlemen."

Godspeed to those on the front lines of this monstrosity.

Guy Adami joined Kelly Evans' Closing Bell at 4 p.m. Eastern and first scoffed at the buy-the-dip strategy, then defended bonds' potential with the word "camp."

"The economy is lousy!" Adami contended.

[Thursday, January 8, 2015]

Instant home run: Doc’s ‘Amateur Week’ is early Call of the Year

Thursday's Halftime Report brought a rare appearance from perhaps Judge's best guest, Larry Altman, who correctly called the October bottom in a couple of appearances that month.

However, on Thursday Altman merely predicted volatility, albeit while making thought-provoking comments about how regulation has sapped a lot of the juice from the oil market.

"There's no more speculation in crude oil," Altman said, cautioning that stocks are still hitched in some way to crude's slide.

"Oil hasn't found its home yet," he contended, adding, "Markets go up and down now like air."

Jon Najarian agreed. "Elevator up or elevator down," Najarian said.

Najarian contended, insisting he wasn't making a value judgment, that high-frequency trading has something to do with it. But Josh Brown insisted ETFs have something to do with it too.

Joe tried to go deep but only stumbled through one of those slogans that people tend to say but nobody really cares about; "it has to be suggested that there is something that is wrong with the infrastructure of how markets conduct themselves right now."

Missing the trees through the forest, Judge again ignored Doc's great, if slightly early, call on Monday that the 1st week of January is Amateur Week and a lot of things are going to be buys.

Joe and Josh haggled over whether the January V bounce was bigger than the October V bounce.

Dan Greenhaus pronounced the bull market in a "new era" of volatility.

Pete credits Kate Kelly for bolstering confidence in SD

Kate Kelly explained on Thursday's Halftime Report that Marc Lasry's opinion that crude will be back in a 70-90 range in a couple years sounds fine, but that he might be underestimating some of the difficulties in the high-yield energy space.

Kelly suggested that SD looks like it's going to weather the storm, but a name like SFY might be in bigger trouble.

That proved worthwhile to Pete Najarian, who suggested an SD bond as a "crazy" trade he's not going to put on himself but said Kelly's report made him feel better about it.

Doc suggested Lukoil bonds as his own "crazy" trade, while Josh Brown offered RSX and Joe said to buy the euro.

Even sexy Michelle Caruso-Cabrera chipped in with Petroleos de Venezuela bonds and Greece government bonds, for those looking at significantly-below-par opportunities.

Mr. New Land said he wants to see "a little bit more proof" that oil will be 70-90 in a couple of years, but he is indeed looking at bonds of energy companies as a signal whether to buy the stocks.

Jim Iuorio likely wore the man-fur on Thursday; Judge didn’t ask

Announcing his 2015 Playbook Playoffs portfolio on Thursday's Halftime Report, Dr. New World said his thesis is "Rent the consensus, don't own it."

Last year's champ, he's keeping AAPL, EOG, MCK.

Pete Najarian wasn't impressed by MCK, asking Terranova, "Why that name again?"

Joe said MCK's best quarter is a quarter away, so "I like the momentum behind it."

Terranova is also in the VXX, and 20% cash.

Dan Kozlowski, a chipper guest from Janus not named Gross, told Judge the theme of his 3 top contrarian picks is "spinoffs."

He singled out MSI, which he said has a virtual monopoly on government emergency communications, SYF and KN, which is "the dominant player in the MEMS microphone market."

Mr. New Land said he likes SYF the best of the 3, a "solid" company.

Doc said somebody bought 2,000 calls in DKS just before the rumblings of going private emerged and reminded Judge that a day earlier, "You talked about Dick's," to which Josh Brown said, "Every day."

Judge cracked up Pete with a joke about OptionMonster commercials.

Josh Brown, who made GOOG his Final Trade, defended the company as one that has a bright hundred-year outlook (seriously) and catalysts ahead, and Brown even said "in and of itself" (sic) (Drink).

Joe Terranova said Google's initiatives the last couple years have been "unsuccessful."

Judge even quoted Cramer (Drink) as saying Facebook is investing in profits, while Google is investing in "wonders."

Phil LeBeau told Judge, "I think the worst is probably behind General Motors."

Jim Iuorio told Jackie DeAngelis, with new glamour hairstyle and a gorrrrjus camera pose Thursday (see above), that the dollar's strength "is probably helping more than it's hurting."

Joe's Final Trade was CF. Pete Najarian endorsed DD and Doc suggested FIVE.

[Wednesday, January 6, 2015]

CNBC doesn’t know how to spell contributor’s name

Who woulda thunk that the 2015 Playbook Playoffs would be a demonstration of what not to do.

Josh Brown on Wednesday's Halftime Report told Judge he wants to own market leaders for his portfolio, which is fine.

But then Brown invoked the goofy past-$90 theory and indicated he wanted to own stocks around that level; "the idea is to hold them for at least 20%."

The original Fast Money crew invoked the often-repeated refrain of "stocks that go through 90 generally go to 100;" we think (but aren't sure) that Jeff Macke was the instigator.

Anyway, Brown's picks include AET, DE, DIS, EXPE and R.

Mr. New Land tried to come across as neutral but sounded unconvinced, stating, "There's been this long-held premise in the markets for as long as I've been doing this that if you put a 9-handle on something, you're gonna get the 10-handle for it to follow."

But, Joe added, "I just don't know the quantitative data behind it, if it supports it; I don't know what it is, I don't know if it's real."

Brown said he's not going to reveal what "went into this" and allowed "it's not a grand slam" but insisted he (i.e., Barry's office) has done "pretty substantial testing."

Less controversial, Jon Najarian said his Playbook Playoffs portfolio is all about beta. His group, a collection of 2014 laggards, includes WNR, RIG and BTU.

Joe questioned why Doc ditched BHI. Doc indicated BHI doesn't have enough beta.

Doc also picked ARAY and SSYS, which he claims are takeout candidates.

Panelist admits watching Fast Money, taking mental notes

Mike Harris claimed on Wednesday's Halftime Report he's been short oil for "10-11 months" and said everyone's focused on the "$40 level," but that traders are keeping their "powder dry."

Harris even admitted he watched Pete Najarian on last night's Fast Money stating he's "only made a couple of trades" this year.

For oil to recover, "The rig count has to fall below a thousand," Joe Terranova said, rather clumsily.

Doc pronounced stocks an opportunity "if we are not going down hard" in oil.

Jim Iuorio told Jackie DeAngelis that global liquidity is boosting bonds and stocks. Brian Stutland said a robust jobs report could boost 10-year rates.

Pete Najarian said he bought JPM upside calls.

Josh Brown said he likes the GMCR deal with DPS.

Doc disagrees with Dana Telsey's downgrade of TJX.

Joe said he likes SNDK. Pete bellowed that he likes MU but likes INTC the best.

Jon Fortt conducted a choppy interview with John Chen that really didn't clue us in about anything.

Leaked? Or bungled into a regular tweet that everyone saw?

Judge brought in Bob Peck on Wednesday's Halftime Report to assess Ross Levinsohn's startling suggestion the other day that TWTR should buy YHOO.

Peck claimed "it is feasible."

Peck insisted about Dick Costolo, "We think it's possible he's gone by the end of the year." (Really.)

Peck also affirmed to Judge that Twitter might well be in buying mode, in part because of his curious description that "we saw some of the DMs from CFO Anthony Noto that got leaked."

Dr. New Land said to look at XCO for his Final Trade. Josh Brown said TNET, Doc trumpeted JNPR and Pete offered PEP.

[Tuesday, January 6, 2015]

Dick is funny, Dick gets it, Dick is going to get the last laugh (a/k/a apparently there’s going to be a bidding war for YHOO between BABA and TWTR)

Ross Levinsohn, as this page has explained several times before, is an impressive new-media executive who should be running something far bigger than whatever he's running now.

He doesn't need to run TWTR, which is eventually just going to get gobbled up by some Steven Ballmer type anyway.

Levinsohn on Tuesday's Halftime Report described Dick Costolo's performance this way: "I think Dick has done a, a, a really strong job. He steadied a rocky ship when he came in."

Amid that faint praise, Levinsohn quickly indicated he was having lunch at Burger King, given the whopper he uncorked: "Frankly, honestly, I think Twitter should go buy Yahoo."

Suggesting a non-BABA valuation of YHOO around $6-$10 billion and a "$23-ish" billion valuation of TWTR, Levinsohn indicated the math works.

"It'd be a super-exciting company to watch," he said, with a straight face.

Curtis Jackson, also known as 50 Cent, said his headphone line benefits from being able to collaborate with INTC.

New hairdo for Jackie DeAngelis

Josh Brown on Tuesday's Halftime Report somewhat hilariously tested Judge's patience in suggesting that Bill Gross' warning that the good times are over might be a "rerun" of Gross' commentary from 2010 or 2011.

Backpedaling, Judge, who said Gross is a "smart man" with a "great track record," admitted Gross "clearly hasn't always been right over the past few years."

Meanwhile, Andrew Wellington said, "I don't think the good times are over."

Wellington made a case for AER (which Judge for some reason wasn't sure how to pronounce), stating it made an acquisition last year that was "the most accretive acquisition I've ever seen" in his 20 years of doing this.

Wellington also likes GT and NCR.

Jon Najarian reaffirmed he views the first days of January trading as "Amateur Week."

Judge, a step slow at the start of 2015, failed to push the subject of Doc's intriguing and highly convincing call, possibly one of his best since he correctly pegged Albert Hammond (who's from Gibraltar, and if you want to know who's really in charge of Gibraltar, it depends on whom you ask) as the artist behind "It Never Rains In Southern California," suggesting this week will be a great one to buy once all the morons are done with their tax-related selling.

Steve Grasso said to keep an eye on S&P 1,960 and warned that a breach could lead to 1,920 "very soon."

Pete Najarian outlined his 2015 Playbook Playoffs portfolio, leading off with mighty Citigroup. Pete also has BAX, UPS, FL and AXP but said he plans to make a lot of trades this year.

Brother Doc dubbed Pete's portfolio "very conservative."

Stephanie Link also unveiled Cramer's her portfolio, starting with HDS, the one that's "most interesting to me." She also picked LULU, RHT, MA and ALSN.

Pete Najarian said he was looking over Link's portfolio and was surprised to see RHT, which, based on the multiple, is "not a Stephanie Link-type name," Pete contended.

Anthony Grisanti told Jackie DeAngelis, who had a new look, that "statements by the Saudi king" were sticking it to crude. Scott Nations didn't really answer DeAngelis' strange follow-up question about how much lower oil must go to hurt the stock market more than it already has.

Stephanie Link's Final Trade was CI. Josh Brown said XLE, Doc said GT April 30 calls and Pete said LLY.

[Monday, January 5, 2015]

Fast Money ushers in new set with Carter Worth’s same old useless January Effect analysis

And you thought you'd be impressed by the slick new look.

So the 5 p.m. Fast Money crew debuted Monday in its sleek new upstairs set ... and produced as their star guest Carter Worth, to recite the same stats he recited a year ago about how January results signal how the whole year will turn out, a presentation that 1) wasn't remotely challenged by the panel despite the fact it didn't work last year and 2) could probably reach the same conclusion for any other month besides January, but nobody volunteered to Kensho (sic verb). Jon Najarian probably would've done it, given his astute observation at Halftime that this will probably be a great week to buy after everyone rinses out their capital gains, but he wasn't around.

Worth claimed the evidence is "irrefutable," which is like saying it's "irrefutable" that when the Yankees have Joe DiMaggio they tend to win 9 titles.

As if anyone needed more reasons not to watch this program. Someone's gonna tell you about the same absolutely phenomenal options activity they already told you about around noon, someone's in a camp of some kind, someone endorses bitcoin, someone remembers when the drachma traded demonstrably around 500 to the dollar, a bunch of Grandpa curmudgeons are going to tell you "there's no support below XX level" and omg better sell when the technicals are falling and omg better sell when there's a new all-time high, and some chap will serve the crew some bourbon or flavored whiskey in the final 8 minutes.

Oh, joy.

At least Melissa Lee purchased a new outfit for the occasion.

Games are also being played at corporate (check our home page), where daytime Nielsens are being dropped, simply because they reflect the terrible truth, in favor of a new gizmo that will seek to invent ways to persuade advertisers to commit dollars to initiatives the numbers don't justify. CNBC honchos are employing a media version of financial engineering that, if IBM were doing it, would actually be criticized on-air. No, this page is not cheering bad ratings or rooting against anyone or wishing any program anything but the best. Just tellin' it like it is.

Joe Terranova wins
2014 Playbook Playoffs

It couldn't have happened to a better guy.

Judge Scott Wapner revealed on Monday's Halftime Report that Joe Terranova — this page's choice since late 2013 — prevailed in an extremely tight contest for Halftime Report 2014 Playbook Playoffs champion.

Even more impressively, 4 panelists — Terranova, Mike Murphy, Pete Najarian and Jon Najarian — topped 20%, despite the unrealistic trading limitations of the contest, which necessitates a boom-bust approach. (It's kinda hard to find the Playbook page at CNBC.com, but it's there.)

Terranova scored big with AAPL, PANW and also exited KORS with a healthy return.

Joe told Wapner on Monday that his strategy, based largely on what he learned from Mark Fisher, is "Never lose a lot of money on one singular position."

Jon Najarian seconded that, explaining, "You never ask, 'How much can I make.' You ask, 'How much can I lose."

Joe said he'll make a donation to FasterCures.org.

Karen Finerman takes the subway, high-5’s NYPD cop in fresh batch of Fast Money promotional ads

They'll turn their backs on Bill de Blasio.

But they'll cheer the Fast Money traders who have to commute to midtown for their 5 p.m. show.

An apparent NYPD officer is seen sort of participating (we don't think it falls under the category of cops endorsing a product) in the new round of ads for that 5 p.m. show we don't watch anymore that debuted Monday on the Halftime Report, including snippets from Guy Adami explaining how he still sees lower rates and deflation how trading is all about the passion.

Twitter ‘could be an AP’ if only it had a way of ‘vetting’

Man of the hour Joe Terranova suggested on Monday's Halftime Report that the market "borrowed" in late 2014 a lot of the potential 2015 gain.

Josh Brown shrugged off the "very, very, very red day" Monday but said the same thing happened in 2014 and it "didn't matter in the end."

Jon Najarian insisted that this is the week to invest, though he wishes the clock could start for him at the end of the week.

Doc said the notion that Europe is the place to be is "b.s."

Star guest David Westin, former ABC News president, uncorked the howler of the day, stating "I haven't understood" why Twitter hasn't "moved into the newsroom."

"They could be an AP. They could be a Reuters," Westin contended, provided Twitter (snicker) (this is the important part) "had a way of vetting."

Westin, who said "surmising" a couple times, called "streaming over the top" for television "inevitable," and praised ESPN for its aggressiveness while suggesting others are a bit too sanguine.

In the oil patch, Dan Dicker said "this is a disaster" and said he wouldn't try picking a bottom.

Joe Terranova agreed. "I would not be picking a bottom in oil," Joe said.

Doc complained about flat tires on his jet and drachma in his pockets even though he clarified he doesn't really have drachma, only energy stocks.

"Angela Merkel called Greece's bluff," said Paul Richards.

Stephanie Link said you can buy technology "certainly today."

Barry Bannister said his 2,300 S&P target like Tony Dwyer's doesn't actually matter is about 17% with yield, "so it's not that much upside."

Bannister said energy bottoms when the dollar tops.

Doc said Ford was stung by GM's report.

Stephanie Link said Cramer trimmed SBUX last week.

Josh Brown said he'd "tend to stay long" TIF.

Joe Terranova called UA one to keep an eye on.

Joe Terranova's Final Trade was WMT. Stephanie Link said PFPT. Doc said 6.50 calls in JCP and Josh Brown offered TIF.

[Friday, January 2, 2015]

No. Not possible. Maybe.

The first thing one must do in evaluating the NFL playoff field is eliminate the quarterbacks north of 36.

Which removes a considerable amount of AFC firepower.

In the NFC, a few factors are important. 1) Pete Carroll has never lost a home playoff game. 2) Most people don't think the Seattle Seahawks, while a great team, are good enough to win back-to-back Super Bowls.

Surely we can eliminate Baltimore, Cincinnati, Carolina, Detroit and Arizona (because of the QB situation), all just happy to be here.

Indianapolis is a dangerous team and figures to be a handful for the Patriots. But the Colts at this stage aren't capable of winning 2 road playoff games against this caliber of competition.

Yards/attempt, possibly the most important stat in football, supports the Dallas Cowboys, who have overachieved this season.

But Dallas doesn't have the defense to win successive games at Green Bay and Seattle.

New England has participated in the last 3 AFC Championship Games, playing progressively worse each year.

Pittsburgh should defeat Baltimore without Le'Veon Bell. It is hard to see a Pittsburgh win in Denver if Bell does not play. The gut says if this weekend was the Super Bowl, Bell would be playing.

Denver lost the last Super Bowl — always a bad indicator of next season — and has run out of magic this season.

The guess here is that Seattle would be favored by 3 vs. Green Bay in the NFC title game. It's a coin flip, but the nod goes to Seattle.

So, here's how this page sees it all unfolding. As always, there's no penalty for guessing:

Carolina beats Arizona
Pittsburgh beats Baltimore
Indianapolis beats Cincinnati
Dallas beats Detroit

Indianapolis beats New England
Seattle beats Carolina
Green Bay beats Dallas
Pittsburgh beats Denver

Pittsburgh beats Indianapolis
Seattle beats Green Bay
Pittsburgh beats Seattle

[Friday, January 2, 2015]

Stephen Weiss’ definition of ‘stock-picker’s market’ seems to be ‘avoid biotech’

Well, it's the beginning of a new year.

And you know what that means on CNBC's Fast Money/Halftime Report:

Expect more volatility ... Washington's finally going to cut through the gridlock ... this is going to be the year for M&A ... banks have put the litigation behind them and are looking ahead to "normalized" earnings ... this is the year we'll get corporate tax reform ... a correction at some point ... rates are going to rise ... and the all-time staple, as much a part of new-year Fast Money/Halftime Report episodes as "It's a Wonderful Life" is for holiday gatherings ...

"You've really gotta be a stock-picker" (Drink).

That was heard on Friday's Halftime Report from Stephen Weiss, who insisted investors in 2015 won't be able to ride the "rising tide" of the market.

Unfortunately, even one of our favorites, Jim Lebenthal, is not immune from this loopy approach to cliché-making, agreeing with Weiss that this is going to be a "stock-picker's market," with more volatility and an "honest-to-God correction."

Dan Greenhaus scoffed, except he used the wrong rationale, stating, "It's always a stock-picker's market," when it only sorta always is, and sorta always isn't.

Weiss countered with a head-scratcher, "What I should've said was, 'There's going to be a premium put on it.'"

Weiss further cited how biotech indexes have been going up for years. "It's not just a question of showing up and buying an ETF anymore," Weiss insisted.

So, let's get this straight ... last year was not a "stock-picker's market," because everyone was divinely assigned to biotech over, say, energy, which people on Halftime tripped over themselves to recommend in the first half of 2014.

Larry McDonald revealed he's a proponent of the greater-volatility notion.

Superfox Sara Eisen guest-hosted a crisp Halftime Report Friday, which allows us to run the photo above (from Wednesday actually).

Jim Lebenthal:
$5 too much for Big Mac

David Lebovitz, who thinks European equities represent opportunity, told Sara Eisen on Friday's Halftime Report that he's not sure exactly what QE accomplishes for the real economy except that it "pushes up asset prices."

Josh Brown and Jonathan Corpina shrugged off the potential of a rocky stock-market opening to 2015, with somebody noted that's what happened last year and the markets turned out OK.

Brown, finally catching on to the notion this page has been floating since mid 2013, revealed, "I wouldn't fall out of my chair if the Nasdaq made a new all-time high."

Dan Greenhaus said nobody cares about gold right now.

Josh Brown suggested the Business Insider "scoop" about Marissa Mayer supposedly eyeing cable networks stems from a Business Insider writer's book about Mayer coming out this week.

Jim Lebenthal said to avoid Macau stocks.

Lebenthal complained that Big Macs were $1 when he was a kid, but nowadays, "it shouldn't be at $5" because him being a kid wasn't really that long ago.

Dan Greenhaus said "there's something going on internally" at MCD that may not be Don Thompson's problem, but he hasn't fixed it.

Jim Lebenthal said "2014 was the throw-in-the-kitchen-sink (Drink) year" for IBM.

Josh Brown claimed XOM goes up "regardless of what crude does." Stephen Weiss insisted there are "other opportunities," perhaps APA, which will rise more than XOM if oil rebounds.

Stephen Weiss' Final Trade was long volatility. Jim Lebenthal said JCP, Josh Brown said DIS and Dan Greenhaus said XLF.

Back to CNBCfix home

CNBCfix.com home

Fast Money’s
Call of 2013

Pete Najarian's 2nd-half story

Fast Money’s
Call of 2012

Steve Grasso's (dash) to the finish line

Fast Money’s
great moments
of 2011

K-Fine bailed too early on year's most spectacular call

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

Fast Money review

FM archive: Dec. 2014
FM archive: Nov. 2014
FM archive: Oct. 2014
FM archive: Sept. 2014
FM archive: Aug. 2014
FM archive: July 2014
FM archive: June 2014
FM archive: May 2014
FM archive: Apr. 2014
FM archive: Mar. 2014
FM archive: Feb. 2014
FM archive: Jan. 2014
FM archive: Dec. 2013
FM archive: Nov. 2013
FM archive: Oct. 2013
FM archive: Sept. 2013
FM archive: Aug. 2013
FM archive: July 2013
FM archive: June 2013
FM archive: May 2013
FM archive: Apr. 2013
FM archive: Mar. 2013
FM archive: Feb. 2013
FM archive: Jan. 2013
FM archive: Dec. 2012
FM archive: Nov. 2012
FM archive: Oct. 2012
FM archive: Sept. 2012
FM archive: Aug. 2012
FM archive: July 2012
FM archive: June 2012
FM archive: May 2012
FM archive: Apr. 2012
FM archive: Mar. 2012
FM archive: Feb. 2012
FM archive: Jan. 2012
FM archive: Dec. 2011
FM archive: Nov. 2011
FM archive: Oct. 2011
FM archive: Sept. 2011
FM archive: Aug. 2011
FM archive: July 2011
FM archive: June 2011
FM archive: May 2011
FM archive: Apr. 2011
FM archive: Mar. 2011
FM archive: Feb. 2011
FM archive: Jan. 2011
FM archive: Dec. 2010
FM archive: Nov. 2010
FM archive: Oct. 2010
FM archive: Sept. 2010
FM archive: Aug. 2010
FM archive: July 2010
FM archive: June 2010
FM archive: May 2010
FM archive: Apr. 2010
FM archive: Mar. 2010
FM archive: Feb. 2010
FM archive: Jan. 2010
FM archive: Dec. 2009
FM archive: Nov. 2009
FM archive: Oct. 2009
FM archive: Sept. 2009
FM archive: Aug. 2009
FM archive: July 2009
FM archive: June 2009
FM archive: May 2009
FM archive: April 2009
FM archive: Mar. 2009
FM Viewers Guide
Fast Money cliches

CNBCfix capsules:
Movie of the week

♦ Bonnie and Clyde
♦ Rain Man
♦ The Paper Chase
♦ The Cooler
♦ Giant & There Will Be Blood
♦ Return of the Jedi
♦ Rocky II
♦ The Last Picture Show & Friday Night Lights
♦ She's Out of My League
♦ Con Air

Movie review:
‘Wall Street’

Gordon Gekko:
The Michael Corleone
of Wall Street

CNBC/cable TV
star bios

♦ Jim Cramer
♦ Charles Gasparino
♦ Maria Bartiromo
♦ Lawrence Kudlow
♦ Karen Finerman
♦ Michelle Caruso-Cabrera
♦ Jane Wells
♦ Erin Burnett
♦ David Faber
♦ Guy Adami
♦ Jeff Macke
♦ Pete Najarian
♦ Jon Najarian
♦ Tim Seymour
♦ Zachary Karabell
♦ Becky Quick
♦ Joe Kernen
♦ Nicole Lapin
♦ John Harwood
♦ Steve Liesman
♦ Margaret Brennan
♦ Bertha Coombs
♦ Mary Thompson
♦ Trish Regan
♦ Melissa Francis
♦ Dennis Kneale
♦ Rebecca Jarvis
♦ Darren Rovell
♦ Carl Quintanilla
♦ Diana Olick
♦ Dylan Ratigan
♦ Eric Bolling
♦ Anderson Cooper
♦ Neil Cavuto
♦ Liz Claman
♦ Monica Crowley
♦ Bill O'Reilly
♦ Rachel Maddow
♦ Susie Gharib
♦ Jane Skinner
♦ Kimberly Guilfoyle
♦ Martha MacCallum
♦ Courtney Friel
♦ Uma Pemmaraju
♦ Joe Scarborough
♦ Terry Keenan
♦ Chrystia Freeland
♦ Christine Romans

CNBC guest bios

♦ Bill Gross
♦ Dennis Gartman
♦ Diane Swonk
♦ Meredith Whitney
♦ Richard X. Bove
♦ Arthur Laffer
♦ Jared Bernstein
♦ Doug Kass
♦ David Malpass
♦ Donald Luskin
♦ Herb Greenberg
♦ Robert Reich
♦ Steve Moore
♦ Vince Farrell
♦ Joe LaVorgna
♦ A. Gary Shilling
♦ Joe Battipaglia
♦ Addison Armstrong
♦ Jack Bouroudjian
♦ Stefan Abrams
♦ Warren Buffett