[CNBCfix Fast Money Review Archive — January 2016]
[Friday, January 29, 2016]

2008 again — or no?

Rich Ross of Evercore ISI brought up a subject on Friday's Halftime Report that doubtlessly has caught the attention of a lot of stock market historians: The similarities of January 2016 to January 2008.

Ross told Judge he would "file" this month's market under "be careful what you wish for," asserting a strong dollar will continue to weigh on the oil complex, which will weigh on emerging markets and high yield.

Pointing to the 2008 debacle, Ross contended, "I don't think we're going down 50%. I'm just saying there's a lot of room between 10% off an all-time high and down 50%."

He added, "I think we're looking at a normal, cyclical bear-market correction ... (that) brings us down to 1,670, 1,700," which he expects in the first half of this year.

Josh Brown took an alternate approach, pointing to 1984 and its "raft of oil bankruptcies" and the stock market plunging from Jan. 1 through the summer in a double-digit correction.

"I think that's exactly it Josh. I love your thinking," Ross said.

Ross contended biotech is "still overowned and crowded" and has 10% more downside.

Moments later, however, Judge brought in Tom Digenan, who insisted, "I don't look at this anything like January 2008," because oil's weakness gives the economy a tailwind.

Digenan even pronounced the market "pretty attractive" from a valuation standpoint.

He even touted semiconductors and biotech.

Stephen Weiss declared, "I disagree with, with ISI," suggesting this is not "anywhere near like '08."

"I think a lot of it's corrected," Weiss said, suggesting crude could go to 20 but that he likes biotech.

Jim Lebenthal said "there just really is no stress in the banking system."

Actually, Ross is more right than wrong. It's not about U.S. banks. It's about the emerging markets disaster and the Fed's ridiculous idea that it needs to clamp the brakes on this fictitious runaway growth, plus a presidential field that everybody hates. It'll be risk-off for much of the year, and that isn't going to be good for stocks.

Another panelist says lower oil should be making stocks go up

Stephen Weiss on Friday's Halftime put in an 1,850 floor on the S&P and contended, "I do believe that if China straightens things out, and that's a long shot at this point, that can be off to the races (sic grammar)."

However, "Until further notice, it's a trading bounce," Weiss added.

Mike Block said we're "stuck" in a range-bound market, but there are "a lot of opportunities to trade."

Block said "I'm a little skeptical" about the prospects for inflation in Japan.

Block also contended that Chinese bankers aren't as concerned about their country's stock market as other central bankers are.

Josh Brown said "long term we'll be fine," but "short term, everywhere I look, there are piles of money on fire."

"The broader trend is still down," Brown said.

Jim Lebenthal said he's tired of such a consumer tailwind as lower oil "being construed by the stock market as a negative" (Drink) but suggested that American job growth will drive the market.

They grumbled about MAT’s dividend while stock was in the teens

Judge on Friday's Halftime took up Michelle Caruso-Cabrera's favorite subject and noted that Fadel Gheit declared the CVX dividend "at risk."

Josh Brown said one analyst reported that CVX capital spending actually crept up a little bit.

Mike Block agreed with the hike in CVX capex and said the CVX dividend has "become the whole story."

Steve Weiss said BHP is yielding 11%; "that's crazy; they shouldn't be yielding anything."

Jim Lebenthal said he doesn't know if CVX cuts the dividend and that it depends on the price of oil. He started to talk about BP's dividend history until Judge cut him off. Then Lebenthal said his "best name" is either MPC or KMI because he doesn't want to be tied to the price of oil (but he didn't say "agnostic" (Drink) to the price of oil this time).

Joe’s FB to 120 call looking good, like a moonshot

Judge on Friday's Halftime asked the panel to take part in a fawning process about which tech CEO is the "best bet." Mike Block said Tim Cook.

"This is a CEO and a stock question," Judge claimed.

Stephen Weiss declared Mark Zuckerberg and said for stocks, AAPL is his "least favorite."

Weiss also stated, "This is when you have to buy Amazon." (This writer is long AMZN.)

Judge grumbled that nobody picked MSFT or Satya Nadella. Josh Brown said "Sat (sic pronounced "saht") is too new" but hailed MSFT as the pick among the stocks.

Jim Lebenthal impressively pointed out that AAPL typically beats, but the beat "has been going down over time." Now, he thinks they're "sandbagging" the next quarter "like crazy."

Josh Brown said GOOG might be more economically sensitive than the other FANGs.

Brown rattled off the history of ETF currency hedging.

Jim Iuorio told Jackie DeAngelis that the 10-year's yield decline may move the needle a bit for the Fed to not act, but he said he already thought the Fed wasn't hiking again in 2016.

Jeff Kilburg said he thinks the 10-year gets lower, though not all the way to 1.39%, maybe the 52-week low of 1.67%.

Mike Block said V was "unloved" going into the numbers.

Jim Lebenthal said HON continues to outperform. Stephen Weiss said it's "tough waiting for" GILD to get going.

Hardeep Walia said his Motif of the Month, Electronic Trading, is a play on volatility. Weiss made a good point, that it's a Motif that does better when the markets are at extremes.

Seema Mody explained that the Bank of Japan's negative-rate move is the "last instrument left."

Mike Mayo declares bank stocks must start going up

Mike Mayo joined Friday's Halftime crew to say he's upgrading BAC — another stock trading below tangible book — because he's "calling an end to silly season" in bank stocks, which have "recession prices without a recession."

Judge rattled off that we've heard this all before; "stock's trading below tangible book. Stock's trading below tangible book. Stock's trading below tangible book ..."

Mayo said "Do the math," and you'll find that at BAC, "their book value is recession proof," which didn't address the point.

Mayo said there is impetus to make tough decisions at BAC; "Bank America has the worst efficiency among the largest banks."

Mayo said BAC's dividend "certainly should go higher" but didn't answer Jim Lebenthal's question about whether the Fed will allow BAC to return more capital.

Josh Brown asked a rather lengthy question suggesting Merrill headwinds from the OMB. Mayo said "Merrill Lynch is still a crown jewel" and stressed that wealth managers trade at 2 times book.

More from Friday's Halftime later.

[Thursday, January 28, 2016]

What does an oil production cut actually accomplish?

Perhaps Judge or Mel could enlist their oil experts to help us out on this one.

Virtually every other day on the Halftime Report or Fast Money, someone is suggesting the possibility of an oil production cut. (Thursday it was Judge and John Kilduff; see below.)

But does the math really work.

Let's say, for simplicity's sake, that Saudi Arabia produces 100 barrels of oil a month and receives $33 a barrel for them.

That's a gross of $3,300.

To get a higher price, Saudi Arabia decides to reduce its production 5% to 95 barrels of oil a month.

To gross the same $3,300, Saudi Arabia must receive 34.74 per barrel — or 5.2% more than the present price. (Of course, there would remain 5 extra barrels of future inventory in the ground.) (Man, is that a struggle ... sometimes getting 2+2 correct around here is a challenge.)

If that formula works, why not just produce 10 barrels a month and watch the price reach $330 a barrel?

The gut feeling here is that production cuts simply for the purpose of manipulating the price do not actually work; the real goal is a headline to scare the markets into artificially bidding up the commodity while the producers churn out as much as previously if not more.

Perhaps someone on CNBC will either reinforce the merits of this strategy ... or debunk it for being the intellectual fraud that is likely is.

If you want to know what ‘2014’ means, go back to 2014

Joe Terranova on Thursday's Halftime predicted (oops) a "blowout quarter" from Amazon. (This review was posted after market hours.)

Judge asked Joe if AMZN is a sell on the news in the run-up to its quarter. Joe said, "No way" (oops).

Guy Adami on the 5 p.m. Fast Money claimed "this was a 2014 Amazon release" and then asked aloud, "What does that mean? Well, go back to 2014, and you'll see what I'm saying."

Adami said it could reach 500, a number somewhat affirmed by Steve Grasso. Karen Finerman, in dynamite black ensemble and pearls, threw up her hands on Amazon's "unsustainable" valuation.

"It's still in crazy land," Karen said.

Karen actually opined of AMZN management, "I don't know they care where their stock trades. I, I really don't," and in the process got tangled up with Steve Grasso

No follow-through on whether AAPL has no pipeline or a ‘long’ pipeline

Pete Najarian on Thursday's Halftime Report said he was "lucky enough" to get into FB options but he thinks he'll be out by Friday because he thinks this stock like others can get "pushed around" by the market machinations.

Josh Brown joined Pete in gushing about FB's quarter.

Yana Barton praised FB's quarter and said the stock can do "a lot more" over 12-18 months.

Barton said "growth still works" in the FANG stocks.

Barton said her AAPL position "stayed where it is," and she's focused on the longer term.

Josh Brown summarized AAPL this way: "No growth, for now."

Joe claimed that "a lot" of the AAPL selling on Thursday was going into FB.

Kate Moore said "FANG-like themes" will continue to win.

Pete Najarian projected an "absolute incredible quarter" for MSFT and said he's long MSFT calls heading into earnings. Josh Brown suggested MSFT is "OK" going into earnings. Joe said if MSFT goes down, you buy it, and if it goes up, "you buy more."

Nothing gets a company going like an Ivy League athletic endorsement (a/k/a Still Not Clear Based on Halftime Report Whether Kevin Plank Really Does Or Doesn’t Know What He’s Doing)

Still reeling from 1) promoting UA for months if not years because of the awesomeness of Kevin Plank and then 2) dismissing the stock just because the momentum stalled a couple months ago, Pete Najarian on Thursday's Halftime Report groused that UA's sneakers are "a very small percentage of this business." (This writer is long UA.)

Pete said the "direct to consumer" is what helped the quarter so much. But he said the company admits that it has to do a better job in women's gear.

Josh Brown gushed about how UA gained a lot of "prestige" by doing a deal with Yale because of all the grads worldwide. (Just walk into a Dick's Sporting Goods anywhere in the world today and ask some shoppers if they're buying UA gear because it made a deal with Yale.)

Joe Terranova pointed out Yale won the 2013 national hockey championship.

Corinna Freedman, a UA critic like Pete, dismissed the stock's day as a short-covering "relief rally" and told Judge there's a "disconnect" between UA fundamentals and the sentiment.

Freedman claimed the company's long runway is priced into the stock.

Judge praised Freedman's short-term call but wondered if the concerns were "overdone." Freedman grudgingly admitted you can play the stock for a "tradeable bounce."

Pete Najarian suggested NKE and LULU because of better valuation than UA and advised viewers not to "chase" UA on the gains.

Josh Brown said to give UA one more day and see if there's follow-through from "real buyers."

ABT’s PR handlers have Meg Tirrell’s email address

Meg Tirrell on Thursday's Halftime Report told Judge, "It has been a bad year for biotech."

But Tirrell said "people are saying" that the sector isn't trading on fundamentals.

Josh Brown stated, "When the whole index though tripled, was it trading on fundamentals then?" which prompted a laugh from Tirrell.

If Tirrell was trading on how good-looking she is, she'd have a triple-digit multiple. (By contrast, if Pete and Josh and Weiss were trading on how good-looking they are, it would probably have to be market multiple or below-market-multiple depending on ex cash ... not trying to dis anyone, just being honest.)

Judge satisfied the obligatory cross-promotion rattled off Cramer's bull calls on BMY, CELG and LLY.

Pete Najarian pointed out how the biggies in biotech — THE ONES WITH REAL EARNINGS — weren't trading at silly multiples.

Judge dubbed biotech a "presidential punching bag."

Tirrell said ABT even emailed her to point out that it stated on its conference call that it's looking for acquisitions.

Joe Terranova endorsed SYK, "Medtronics" (sic plural) and BAX.

Nobody suggests when Rex Tillerson might start backing up the truck

John Kilduff opened Thursday's Halftime Report stating he's "skeptical" of the whole OPEC cut story and then said he flat out doesn't believe the Saudis proposed a 5% cut.

Joe Terranova affirmed his own belief in lingering upside to oil.

Josh Brown called oil "incredibly overextended to the downside." But Brown said it's rare that a bear market such as oil's ends with a "whimper," so he thinks it could still get "ludicrously undervalued" before the recovery.

Kate Moore said she's not buying energy stocks yet.

The oil chatter later got a serious bounce to the upside when CNBC superfox Deirdre Bosa, whose beauty multiple tops Rogers Hornsby's best batting average, pointed out how Canada is taking a beating from oil's debacle. However, Bosa said the real estate market in Vancouver is "white hot."

Unfortunately, Bosa said it's a "tale of 2 economies" (Drink).

Kate Moore said banks are a huge portion of the Canadian market.

Joe gives the buybacks-are-coming routine the day off

Scott Nations, who likes to dismiss almost any subject he talks about on Futures Now, told Jackie DeAngelis on Thursday's Halftime that China's problems are "all that matters" to gold.

Anthony Grisanti said gold needs to get through 1,130 but that it does serve as a safe haven for overseas investors.

Joe Terranova said CAT got "a little bit of a bounce" and halfheartedly said to take profits.

Judge said Doug Oberhelman sounded "dour" about this year.

Josh Brown said U.S. investors are losing interest in China despite BABA's good quarter.

Pete Najarian said PHM's numbers were "absolutely fantastic" but that the stock should've had a bigger pop.

Joe Terranova said Carl Icahn "did and is probably doing" the Cam Newton dance over the EBAY-PYPL split.

Josh Brown called QCOM "the worst of the chip stocks" and said technically it's "off a cliff."

Judge mentioned that Jim Lebenthal actually likes this wretched stock.

Pete said it's "really intriguing" to watch how HOG traded Thursday.

[Wednesday, January 27, 2016]

AAPL either has no pipeline or a ‘long’ pipeline

Pete Najarian opened Wednesday's Halftime telling Judge AAPL did post "record numbers and suggested "services" could be the answer.

Pete said if AAPL takes advantage of the user base, "their problems are over."

Stephen Weiss though called the "record numbers" claim "misleading" and said of the iPhone, "It has peaked, at least short-term."

"I'm not buying it here," Weiss said.

Mike Santoli said AAPL "has looked cheap for years" and suggested the market doesn't know what to do with it.

Joe Terranova qualified AAPL ownership from every conceivable angle, stating, "I don't think you sell it" if you own it. He said you're better off buying FB than AAPL over the next 90 days but doesn't think you'll get hurt in AAPL.

The graphic credited Joe with saying don't buy AAPL now, but he indicated that would be OK.

Then Judge brought in Toni Sacconaghi, who asserted, "I don't think that the iPhone has peaked," citing "income growth (snicker) in emerging countries (double snicker) that's very rapid (triple snicker)."

"First and foremost, the market is not saturated," Sacconaghi contended, adding average iPhone prices are going up.

Stephen Weiss congratulated Sacconaghi for a "phenomenal" and "tremendous" AAPL report but questioned what the valuation should be given declining products and margin concerns with the iPhone.

Sacconaghi said it's important to "give some consideration" to AAPL's cash balance.

Sacconaghi said AAPL is trading about 6.5 times cash flow ex cash, "an extraordinarily low multiple."

Judge aired a clip of Aswath Damodaran earlier in the day calling AAPL "a very mature cash cow." Savita Subramanian suggested maybe it is part of a class of tech stocks that you buy for reasons other than growth.

Mike Santoli pointed out that having money for acquisitions isn't always helpful; "You can make more mistakes than smart moves with $150 billion."

Finally, in a clear indication of what can happen when a topic that deserves about 7 minutes gets 12 minutes, Pete Najarian suddenly belly-flopped on his AAPL assessment, stating the company isn't PFE because PFE has a "pipeline."

Savita Subramanian, though, claimed AAPL has a "long pipeline." That prompted Pete to wonder where the iPhone growth is.

Pete suggested AAPL could maybe buy NFLX or get into the streaming world someday.

Pete also said Apple's innovation exited with the death of Steve Jobs. "Show me the products that they've come up with since."

Judge brought up Cramer's suggestion of AAPL buying HAR (Drink) for about the 3rd time now.

"If they bought Tesla," I'd short it, Weiss said.

Dan Dicker wrote a book called Oil’s Endless Bid

Ed Morse told Judge on Wednesday's Halftime Report there are "3 good reasons" why oil could sink again, those being 1) Iran, 2) rising inventories and 3) unhealthy world economy.

Judge told Morse that Dennis Gartman, "a couple days ago, maybe it was yesterday, I can't remember" said we'll never see $44 oil again in Dennis' lifetime. But Morse said never is an "odd" thing to say and predicted $45 by the end of this year.

Joe Terranova said he wants to "keep it simple" and asserted that oil "still wants to go higher."

Stephen Weiss predicted "we do make new lows" in crude, then start moving up in 3rd or 4th quarter.

Joe sounded wishy-washy on the regional banks.

Joe said HES is "out of things to sell off."

‘Normalizing’ = wishful thinking (cont’d)

Steve Liesman on Wednesday's Halftime Report outlined possible Fed statements later in the day and praised Judge's crew for talking about the fundamentals of AAPL at the top of the program rather than a .25 rate hike.

"The markets probably want a more dovish message," said Savita Subramanian, who predicts "3 more tightenings (snicker) this year."

Subramanian, cute, who has a 2,200 S&P target, called it "really important" that cash is going from 0 yield to a positive yield.

Yet Subramanian admitted being "a little bit nervous" that "sales growth has really failed to materialize."

Scott Mather of Pimco told Judge that for the Fed, "it's definitely the right thing that they be normalizing policy rates."

Mather said March is "certainly" still on the table.

He conceded, "The headwinds to corporate profits are definitely there," but that doesn't have to impact the U.S economy "in a major, uh, negative way."

Mather told Judge bonds are "pretty close" to peaking and he sees "a lot more value" in the corporate sector.

Karen Finerman on the 5 p.m. Fast Money decried the reaction to the Fed; "I don't understand it at all."

The buybacks are coming,
the buybacks are coming (cont’d)

Joe Terranova on Wednesday's Halftime was compelled to explain to Savita Subramanian (who hasn't heard it yet unless she watches the show when she's not on it) that buybacks "could stabilize the market."

Joe trumpeted F for the dividend. But Savita Subramanian called high-yielding stocks a "trap."

Pete Najarian backed T but admitted it's "absolutely not" exciting. Stephen Weiss also backed T.

Pete said BIIB "seems very very cheap."

Weiss said the banks are "all compelling valuations here." Pete Najarian trumpeted USB.

Pete predicted the FB quarter to be "very impressive."

Stephen Weiss gives FB an A+ for "innovation" and "execution."

Joe Terranova said he'd buy FB on Wednesday.

Seema Mody, The CNBC One Everyone's Dying To Rescue Sometime, reported the FTC is suing DV.

[Tuesday, January 26, 2016]

Joe: FB to 120 before AAPL

Pete Najarian on Tuesday's Halftime told Judge the next 15 points in AAPL are up, an "easy" call. But he lamented that puts were outnumbering calls by 2 to 1.

Conceding the company won't have a "blowout" quarter, Pete contended, "A lot of this is probably already priced in."

Stephanie Link, who covered her underweight, said she'd be listening for Apple's gross-margin guidance.

Joe Terranova agreed with Link that guidance is the key but said he's been saying all along that "this is about the March quarter ... it's about the guidance going forward (sic last 2 words redundant)."

Pete Najarian said everyone thought Mac sales would roll over, but they haven't rolled over.

Late in the show, Joe Terranova predicted FB will see 120 before AAPL sees 120.

Joe suggests shopping spree in energy names

Taking a victory lap of sorts, Joe Terranova on Tuesday's Halftime Report predicted oil would take out 32.74 and can reach the "mid-35s" and will take the S&P with it.

Joe said he thinks you can own PXD, EOG or CXO, or (the magic Rex Tillerson trade) XOM (except it's not $68), then later added RRC, COG and SWN.

Jim Lebenthal reaffirmed that he wants to be in energy names "agnostic" (Drink) to the price of oil, such as KMI, ENB and PSX and MPC.

Stephanie Link said to try "best in breed" such as CVX, EOG, SLB and OXY.

Pete Najarian backed KMI. He also said SWN calls are active.

Joe said FCX needs to "sell off some of their assets" and said he wouldn't buy it just yet. Pete claimed the FCX shorts are trying to "reposition."

400 higher in S&P

John Stoltzfus, who has a 2,300 S&P target, admitted on Tuesday's Halftime Report "it most certainly sounds aggressive" in this market.

But Stoltzfus pegged the decline on "equities trading on technicals."

He said of his target, "We stay loose on that."

Stoltzfus, cut short by a breaking news report, knocked the bear argument of "late-cycle dynamics."

Judge seemed to think stocks have been trading less on technicals and more about "fear of fundamentals."

Jim Lebenthal sort of disagreed, stating that in 2015, "It was a lot of technicals that were going on."

Weiss not available to decry COH’s bid to become a lifestyle brand

Stephanie Link on Tuesday's Halftime Report gushed that COH is on track for positive comps.

Pete Najarian told Judge he wants to get back into LULU and stressed that if UA (his previous flavor of the month) is losing market share, it's losing it to LULU, not NKE. (This writer is long UA.)

Stephanie Link likes LULU and is long.

Joe Terranova said "retail is about momentum" and indicated both LULU and COH have it.

Jim Lebenthal called S a "troubled stock for some time."

Stephanie Link called AIG "very attractive."

Pete Najarian said there's been an "incredible number of guys" exiting Twitter but claimed the stock could "actually move to the upside."

Jim Lebenthal indicated "the bloom is off the rose" of NFLX given its performance since the report. Pete Najarian trumpeted AMZN.

Michelle Caruso-Cabrera reported on China's warning to Soros and asserted "they could do a lot" and that "money" or "capital controls" can be used to stop speculators.

Jim Lebenthal said China has made a lot of "amateurish moves" and also referred to IMF chief "Christian" (sic) Lagarde.

Stephanie Link painted a bull case for PG.

Brian Stutland said Treasurys have benefitted from a "flight to quality" amid a surging VIX. Jim Iuorio said there's less reason to buy now and that 10-year yields could reach 2.15%.

Pete Najarian identified "a lot of aggressive buying" in VIAB calls. Pete also said MW calls were popular.

Pete again called DIS a buy under $100.

Dom Chu praised the "civility" and "nice discourse" on the show.

[Monday, January 25, 2016]

Calling the bottom: What happened to Doc’s favorite stock picker, Rex Tillerson?

Last fall, had to be at least a half-dozen times, Jon Najarian crowed about how he made an awesome trade by suppposedly following Rex Tillerson into XOM around the Aug. 24 low, something like (not the exact quote), "JUDGE THE TIME TO BUY EXXON IS WHEN REX TILLERSON WAS BUYING, AROUND THAT $68 LOW!!!!!!!!"

So we gotta think, for everyone on CNBC who has been asked to call a bottom in oil, shouldn't they simply ask Najarian when Rex is going to start buying again and then start entering the limit orders?

The only problem with hailing Rex as a champion stock-picker is that you might happen to follow him into XTO and pay about, oh, 2/3/4/5 (take your pick) times what someone else might pay for the same assets.

The other bottom indicator of course is Bill Fleckenstein; next time he visits Halftime or Fast Money to discuss relaunching the short fund, you'll know it's time to back up the truck.

But Bob Peck says the ‘cadence’ of product rollout is a catalyst for the stock

Sarat Sethi on Monday's Halftime Report said that until TWTR can "prove" how it will make money, the stock won't go up.

Jim Lebenthal wants to know if the TWTR execs were fired or "left of their own accord," the latter suggesting "some sort of rot in the system."

Judge pointed out that Scott Devitt had recently gotten on the TWTR train and is suddenly getting off.

Sarat Sethi said "at the end of the day" (Drink), at least Yahoo has some value for its sites, but he's not sure about TWTR.

Joe Terranova said he still wouldn't buy TWTR and said the conversation has been "boring" for a year.

Joe questioned Twitter management's handling of the departures. "How do you allow them to leave," Joe wondered.

None of the panel bought Judge's suggestion that the risk in TWTR is to the upside. "There's risk to the downside here," Lebenthal said.

Joe insisted "Twitter is the ultimate real-time news feed."

Sarat Sethi has a case of at-the-end-of-the-day-itis

Eric Chemi visited with the panel on Monday's Halftime Report to say that oil and stocks are at roughly maximum correlation and that when this has happened in the past, it ends when stocks start going higher.

Joe Terranova pointed out that nat gas stocks such as RRC or SWN are higher this year.

Jim Lebenthal said "the problem with the high-yield sector, is, you know, if one sector of the high-yield sector" (sic triple "sector") (Drink) goes bad, "they're selling across the board."

Sarat Sethi said it's "liquidity at the end of the day" (Drink) in high yield.

Joe Terranova said he doesn't think you can like the regional banks right here, but he pointed to ICE, CME and VIRT. Jim Lebenthal suggested banks have been hit "way more than they should've been."

Joe noted the Goldman Sachs CAT analyst didn't even wait for earnings to downgrade to sell.

Sarat Sethi noted Judge's favorite subject, AXP's fall since the Costco announcement but said, "I would be a buyer at these levels."

Sethi said he's still long WFM and that management knows "they have an issue" and is trying to turn it around.

Jim Lebenthal said expectations for KMB are for flat revenue over the next year.

Lebenthal said he'd dumping GM and MPC in his Halftime Portfolio, though "I might be back into them by the end of the week." He put in a trade to buy QCOM while on the show. He also was buying Apple supplier QRVO.

Lebenthal said he's "not yet" ready to buy CMG. Sarat Sethi said he "lived through YUM China" and these things take 3-6 months and he'd wait for a "20-handle" on the CMG multiple.

Joe Terranova admitted he was "incredibly wrong" in not liking MCD at 95 and said you "have to" buy MCD over CMG. Jim Lebenthal said, "Can't do it."

Joe did pronounce CMG as "Chipulte" (sic) (Drink).

Stephanie Link made a bull case for SWK beginning with "it's down 12%, um, year to date." Sarat Sethi likes the stock. Link and Joe Terranova endorsed MHK.

Joe predicted AMZN earnings "will come out very strong." But Sarat Sethi wondered about Amazon's momentum "going forward."

Joe predicted MSFT earnings would be "OK."

On the 5 p.m. Fast Money, from Florida, with wind whipping through Melissa's dazzling hairstyle, Guy Adami and Tim Seymour disagreed on the significance of bank stocks' slide. Adami pointed out we haven't heard "1 word" from Carl Icahn about FCX during its cratering. (That's because Judge hasn't called him for about, oh, 48 hours.)

Jeffrey Gundlach sounding ‘the most bearish I’ve heard him’

Josh Brown, live from an ETF conference in Hollywood, Fla., on Monday's Halftime Report, said he's been listening to Jeffrey Gundlach for 5 years, and Monday was the "most bearish I've heard him," specifically regarding emerging markets and junk bonds.

"Oh my God, Scott, he was growling," Brown said.

Judge, who partly talked over Brown because of satellite delay, questioned how much of Gundlach's presentation was "truly new."

Brown said Gundlach said junk bonds are the key to whether stocks recover, and junk bonds are sending "all the wrong signals."

Crude’s fall has GOT to be great for stocks

Despite whatever Jeffrey Gundlach was saying Monday, Joe Terranova on the Halftime Report told Judge he's "sticking to" his call of a short-term bottom last week, suggesting a "tradeable rebound recovery coming."

Kenny Polcari said he's a believer that stocks won't "completely collapse," but he "absolutely" thinks we'll test lower again, suggesting an 1,850-1,900 range.

Jim Lebenthal became the latest to state, "Equities should be rallying on the news that oil is lower" (Drink).

Sarat Sethi predicted a retest only because "there's really no catalyst right now" but said longer term, he agrees with Lebenthal on the benefits of lower oil (Double Drink).

Lebenthal said January's turmoil isn't "enough" to suddenly get the Fed to "reverse course."

He said earnings have been "a little better than OK."

Kenny Polcari said in terms of the Fed, he thinks the markets were thinking more June than March. Polcari said he doesn't think Fischer's prediction of 4 is "real."

Sethi said bank stocks indicate rates aren't going higher but that other stocks are trading like we're in a recession, creating opportunity.

More from Monday's Halftime later.

[Friday, January 22, 2016]

Stephanie says, again, the rest of the economy is better off when oil is lower


Some folks are having a difficult time getting it.

Stephanie Link, like so many trying to argue with the market, declared on Friday's Halftime Report, "Again, I mean, lower oil prices is, is more beneficial for many more companies and people than it is for uh- you know, for like the oil companies."


It's like staring in front of your TV all weekend declaring, "THE PACKERS ARE BETTER THAN THE CARDINALS!"

"Clearly you don't wanna be exposed in a big way on- on the energy side," Link added.

OK. So Link thinks energy stocks remain trouble, but the rest of the market is suddenly going to decide that cheap oil is great and start going gangbusters.

That's quite a thesis.

Oddly enough, Link conceded at the top of the show that market direction is still tied to oil, which she predicted will be "very volatile."

Given the weight of oil on this program, you'd think Judge would immediately summon Jackie DeAngelis and the Futures Now crew. Instead, they surfaced at the end of the program, with Brian Stutland telling DeAngelis that 70 in the oil VIX was a "sign of capitulation."

"Maybe we've temporarily bottomed," Stutland said, adding he doesn't expect it to top $35.

Anthony Grisanti said he wants to "wait a couple more sessions" before determining whether to buy oil.

Mike Block said "fear-mongering's always overdone, let's face it, it's what people do."

Block noted the Nasdaq was outperforming the S&P 500, indicating people were paying for growth.

Judge tried to convince Jim Lebenthal that the small-cap rally on Wednesday was a positive sign, but Lebenthal noted those stocks have been "absolutely devastated" in previous weeks. Lebenthal said he'd feel "a lot better" about the end-of-week rally if there was a "disconnect" from oil.

Lebenthal said he doesn't see a recession; he said jobless claims are ticking up but they're still low.

Mike Santoli said it's "plausible" that Wednesday marked a "washout low, at least for a while." By the end of the program, he seemed even more convinced of that possibility.

Carl Eichstaedt contended "the Fed is doing exactly the right thing."

"My glass is half full," Eichstaedt said, but we're not sure if he was referring to the bond market or stock market or both.

Eichstaedt projected 2-3 Fed hikes this year.

If AAPL is trading $150 in September, you want to be buying this whole market right now

Star AAPL watcher Gene Munster, suggesting a possible 50% move by September, contended on Friday's Halftime Report that this is a "golden opportunity" to buy the stock.

Why so golden? Because "valuation on a 10-year basis is near a historical low," and investors are "handcuffed" and "afraid" of a "massive reset" going into the earnings call, Munster said.

Judge questioned why not just wait for the reset. Munster said the bad news is "priced in, and that the "extremely negative numbers" thrown around for iPhone sales aren't going to happen.

Hmmmm. After all that, we still don't have any clue what his bull case is. (Maybe it's going to be the next BMW.)

Mike Block asked Munster what might happen in the way of AAPL acquisitions. Munster said, "The best thing for them to do is to buy Tesla."

Judge went to bat for Cramer, suggesting AAPL might prefer HAR to TSLA.

Jim Lebenthal said to be talking about AAPL's June quarter is a "rush to judgment."

Judge claimed "sentiment's so bad here" in AAPL. But Mike Santoli questioned, "How are we quantifying sentiment?," noting there's 40-something buy ratings on the Street and 1 sell.

Stephanie Link said she's waiting to have "the news out there" before making decisions on AAPL.

Judge sure believes AXP has had rough sledding ever since that Costco announcement

Judge on Friday's Halftime Report promoted his Ivy Zelman interview as though he had landed Jeff Bezos.

When finally on, Zelman said a big Vegas housing conference was more "upbeat" than she expected. She said there's not much inventory, and affordability is very high.

Judge said "there's just a flat housing shortage."

Zelman touted KBH as having "tremendous upside" and said the market for this space "is pricing in a huge recession."

Zelman also likes CAA, PHM, MHK and LOW.

Jim Lebenthal said he'd still stay away from AXP; "it's just another credit card company." Also he called it a "value trap."

Judge brought up his favorite subject, AXP's performance since the Costco announcement. Lebenthal insisted "that was not the beginning" but rather it was when the interchange fees to merchants started declining.

Stephanie Link said she'd "definitely" be a buyer of SBUX.

Link said she sold GE during the week and put the money in HON.

Mike Block said 3-5 years from now, SLB holders will be happy they own it.

Jim Lebenthal said the depth of the upcoming 777 production cut will determine the course of BA.

[Thursday, January 21, 2016]

‘This year’s Bear Stearns’
(for lack of a better term)

In a guest stint, Judge helmed Thursday's 5 p.m. Fast Money, and that crew took up a far more important conversation than the Halftime gang was contemplating:

Are the banks of January 2016 saying anything like the banks of 2008?

Initially centered on DB, the conversation intensified with Tom Lee.

Guy Adami asked Lee if DB 2016 is like Bear Stearns 2008 even though Adami didn't want to use the term "Bear Stearns."

Lee suggested Adami was suggesting more "like an Enron or something."

"I'd be remiss to call it Enron," Adami said, but Judge chortled, "You already called it Bear Stearns."

Adami insisted he's not alleging any fraud. Finally answering, Lee said $20 oil is bound to bring "stress" in high yield and leveraged loans.

Lee said bank stocks are possibly reflecting the "potential" that the Fed will delay rate hikes.

Lee said in general, he's "bruised bullish."

Guy Adami said that despite the weakness in the big banks, he thinks the S&P gets to 1,920.

Dan Nathan was the first on the show to identify this important subject, indicating he doesn't see a sustainable stock rally with the banks struggling this way.

Nathan said the banks are "telling you something here people; I'm not exactly sure what it is."

Steve Grasso said he doesn't think oil's slide is over and he doesn't think the market slide is over but he does see a short-term pop.

Guy Adami didn't seem to impressed by SLB's news but shrugged that it's hardly an "all clear" sign.

Karen Finerman, in lavender outfit, said the market "seems so oversold" and said she'd love to see a day when stocks don't follow crude.

Karen Finerman said that 500 SBUX stores in China is a "nice number," but the company's already got 23,000 locations.

The bottom in stocks, short term or otherwise, still seems elusive. Steve Liesman (see below) was on the right track Thursday but didn't quite finish when he noted Wednesday's wild ride of the Dow on basically no news. Until we hear something from the Fed or ECB or some other entity, we're probably stuck in sell-the-rips land.

Doc: Banks are ‘very good value’

By contrast with Fast Money, Judge's Halftime crew on Thursday was practically pounding the table for financials.

Eddie Perkin told Judge there's a "bull market in pessimism" and then cited Warren Buffett buying when there's panic and selling when there's greed.

Perkin conceded he's scared a bit by the banks because he thinks they haven't "fully confessed" their energy exposure. Nevertheless, he likes "non-bank financials" including "hotel stocks within the REITs," plus IVZ and the popular ticker symbol of PUK (Prudential of the U.K.).

Judge asked Perkin for more about those banks' confession problems. Perkin said some have energy loan books north of $20 billion, "and they're taking provisions of a couple hundred million."

Stephen Weiss said C's 40% discount to tangible book is "crazy," and "I think they're a steal here."

Doc halfheartedly endorsed the banks; "I think down here, they are a very good value."

Doc said to "hold off" on buying DB. But Weiss said European banks are "OK" and that DB has had a "kitchen-sink" quarter.

Joe Terranova said he likes European credit.

‘Palpable fear’

Joe Terranova on Thursday's Halftime led the chorus for a bounce, telling Judge that there's a near-term, tradeable bottom in stocks and oil.

"I think the next 500 points for the Dow are up. I think oil is gonna rally above 30," Joe said, stating the same thing happened to energy late January last year.

Stephen Weiss, who had a quiet show, said the market's multiple is suddenly low but insisted he's not just plunging in.

Steve Grasso said "the risk is to the upside short term," if the S&P closes above 1,880 for the week.

Pete Najarian noted the VIX is still at 26.

Doc said "Clearly, there was palpable fear in the market um, last Friday and again yesterday."

Joe said this is a "hedge fund" and "institutional" type of game.

Steve Liesman grumbled, "You guys don't talk about fundamentals anymore," prompting Weiss to note he just mentioned the S&P multiple.

Liesman decried the lack of fundamentals in Wednesday's roller-coaster ride, but primarily he was there to talk about the Fed and suggested it could acknowledge the weakness in data and the volatility in the stock and oil markets.

Mike Santoli said the 2011 selloff took us below 11 times earnings, while we're right now around 15 times. Thus, Santoli said it would take "more downside" to consider the market "cheap." Stephen Weiss said he agrees with Santoli's numbers.

Addressing Joe's favorite subject, Santoli said only 3% of buybacks since 2007 have occurred in January. Joe said 3/4 of the S&P by Feb. 5 will be able to buy back stock.

Judge asked the question of the hour, do you buy or sell into the rally. Doc said if you already bought, you sell, but you don't buy into the rally at that stage.

Not exactly pounding the table for Fitbit

In a lukewarm endorsement, Tavis McCourt, who hasn't been on the Halftime Report for a while, on Thursday said the FIT risk/reward profile for 12-18 months has gotten better.

He said there is "no doubt" that FIT has been paying for GPRO's slide.

Judge noted that McCourt called FIT "at the very least, a good trade" and said "that says to me" that maybe McCourt isn't a believer in the long-term story.

McCourt said he's not negative on the long term but is just being "honest" about uncertainty of knowing where the wearables market will be in a few years.

Didn’t Jeffrey Gundlach call a technical bottom in crude a week ago?

Jon Najarian on Thursday's Halftime Report said he bought SWHC and BUD for unusual call activity, both for "real" and his Halftime Portfolio.

Pete Najarian said he liked John Skipper's WSJ interview and that it prompted him to buy DIS on Thursday morning.

Joe Terranova called VZ "fine" at 46.

Stephen Weiss said he likes KMI but that you've got "a little time" to get in.

Pete Najarian said you better have on your "seat belt" if you want to be in AMZN.

Jim Iuorio said he's not getting long oil until it settles over 32. Jeff Kilburg said, "We get above 32; 36 should come quickly."

Francisco Blanch told Judge we're in the "process of finding a bottom" in oil, and he doesn't think we'll be in the 20s for very long.

Joe asked Blanch if OPEC was going to coordinate something with non-OPEC producers in the form of emergency meetings because OPEC in 2014 surely didn't see oil cratering to the point it is now. "I think it's pretty unlikely," Blanch said.

Joe told Judge that oil is not forecasting any kind of U.S. "economic contraction" but that the stock market is reacting in a "highly volatile nature" because there aren't any buybacks.

[Wednesday, January 20, 2016]

‘Earnings’ begins with an ‘E’

When people on CNBC bring up lists, we can't handle more than 3.

Mario Gabelli on Wednesday's Halftime Report brought up the "4 C's," which normally we'd skip, except it was enough of a reach to bear mention.

Gabelli identified those "4 C's" as currency (yes), China (sure), commodities (of course) ... and "current earnings" (um, no).

Gabelli also said that by Q4, he sees "bright spots" including U.S. "tax reform" (snicker).

Gabelli was unfazed by the monstrous S&P selloff. "This is good. This is the way markets are supposed to do" (sic grammar), he said.

Atul Lele said there are some "technical dislocations," but the important thing is that "there's a shortage of U.S. dollar liquidity," so we're seeing "basically a financial crisis which is going to hit emerging markets."

Lele, fixated on this dollar-liquidity theme, told Josh Brown "there's a lot more that can come out" of China.

Mohamed El-Erian dialed in to say, "Now, this is full-scale contagion."

But he doesn't think it's 2008-esque. "This is more just a classic price overshoot," El-Erian said, pointing to 2001-2002.

El-Erian insisted "at most we're gonna get 2" rate hikes in 2016, and "I don't think QE is the next response."

Rich Saperstein said what we're seeing now "is a fear of the unintended consequences of the Fed's zero interest-rate policy." He pointed to the trouble spots of emerging markets, high yield and commodities, suggesting markets fear a "watershed occurrence," which seems the most reasonable analysis.

Judge asked Gabelli if VIAB chief Philippe Dauman needs to go. Gabelli only said his favorites are TWX and CBS and didn't answer the question. "I didn't want to," he told Judge.

Marc Faber called the monthly low on Jan. 7

Judge's Halftime Report on Wednesday was billed as "Breaking News," but it was really nothing more than tape-watching.

Josh Brown said if advisors are diligent about client education, then "your phones aren't ringing off the hook" in times like these, and he emphasized that "it's day to day."

"You have forced selling out there," said Brown, "but I don't think that this is panic selling on the part of people that are investing for retirement."

"It's not that panicked yet," said Kenny Polcari, stating the market needs a "flush" (Drink).

Polcari said to look for 1,770 on the S&P next, but that was before the 50-60-point recovery. (This review was posted after the market close.)

Jon Najarian said, as the S&P traded at 1,819, that the "whoosh" (Double Drink) is yet to come and is probably "2 and 5% from here."

Doc stressed how sovereign wealth funds were being forced to unload and suggested C is one of those thrown out with the bath water.

Pete Najarian said the selling has been "too methodical" and lamented, "It's been tougher and tougher and tougher to find some of those opportunities ... there just has not been paper."

Doc said he unloaded the AAPL he bought last week. Josh Brown said he's long the name and noted the shares have lost a quarter of a trillion in market cap, so fears of soft iPhone sales are probably already in the stock.

Pete suggested one sector is on the verge of a 2008 situation. "We haven't seen the Bear Stearns moment in energy yet," Pete said.

Bob Pisani said that Wednesday, there was "very heavy volume" and "massive indications" of poor breadth.

Jackie DeAngelis said crude has seen a "massive selloff" since Jan. 1 and that traders weren't expecting a "straight line" to the bottom.

[Tuesday, January 19, 2016]

NFL Network forced to re-air
Super Bowl I without the garbage of last week’s production


Less than a day after this site — among others — told the truth about the NFL Network's deplorable treatment of its newly compiled Super Bowl I footage, we scored a victory in the revelation that the lighter-than-MTV channel will re-air the footage without the studio garbage that desecrated the original program (and so many others on the channel).

That's a nice move. But it doesn't wipe the slate clean.

How many folks who diligently tried to watch this treasure through the monstrous chatter and heckling on Friday are really eager to try it again just 7 days later? Best bet seems to be, record the new version — and hope they don't screw it up again — and plan a viewing party around the summer solstice.

Then there's the matter that hasn't been addressed: How someone, undoubtedly with a fat salary and a lot of slick ideas about what 18-35-year-old males want to see on television, actually approved the original production.

You KNOW how those conversations went: "Well, ya know, 20-year-olds aren't going to sit through this game film and Jim Simpson play-by-play." "Yeah, that's why I'm saying, put a bunch of guys out there in easy chairs and tell jokes and just talk about cool stuff about football and the '60s." "But how do we get 'em on the screen; people won't know who's talking in the background." "Just split the screen so you've got the game in the corner and the guys in the other corner." "OK. What about stats, etc." "Just put that in another box. The game doesn't have to be enormous. Everybody knows who won."

See, here's the deal. Around here, we just get by with head down, tell it like it is and move along.

This corner of cyberspace might not be much. But this is stocks, this is business TV, and as CNBC always likes to tell advertisers, this is an audience of big-time brains, a highly informed sector of the population who on any number of subjects gets it.

We're here because you are, talking about stocks, talking about TV, dedicated to the highest standards of journalism established for decades by the nation's newspapers, news magazines and leading broadcasters.

Like Col. Nathan Jessup, we're not interested in medals, salary. Nor are we ever playing the "respect" card. Rather, we're just trying to be useful in ways afforded by today's media landscape.

You WANT us on that wall.

You NEED us on that wall.

O. M. G.
Jackie DeAngelis’. New. Outfit.

Jackie DeAngelis on Tuesday's Halftime Report asked an "impossible" question of Anthony Grisanti ("only because I love you" sic) — where's the bottom in crude.

"Thanks, Jackie," said Grisanti, floating $25 or even $22.

Scott Nations noted the March WTI contract is right at 30.

Jon Najarian pointed to an analyst's note indicating sovereign wealth funds are "aggressively" hitting the exits on crude.

Meanwhile, David Herro told Judge he is "buying things that their prices have overreacted to some subdued, uh, macroeconomic data out of namely China" (sic grammar).

"We still like Glencore," Herro said, stating the price doesn't match the fundamentals and that people are lumping in copper with coal and iron ore.

Judge told Herro about articles or a "blog post" he's seen about a possible European banking crisis "if the carnage in commodities continues" and noted Herro holds CS and BNP. Herro said those companies have "very little exposure" in their lending books.

Joe Terranova said Goldman Sachs "potentially lines up" for a FICC beat on a comp basis.

FB doesn’t fall under the category of IT services; who knew

Judge on Tuesday's Halftime opened his chat with Kyle Weaver of Fidelity IT Select Services about as clumsily as possible, first acknowledging that an IT services portfolio doesn't seem like one to own the FANG stocks, then nevertheless asking Weaver about the fact he really doesn't own the FANGs; "what is that a statement of."

Weaver said IT services tends to be a "hodgepodge of idiosyncratic stocks" before trailing off, not really sure how to answer the non-question.

Weaver contended that IBM "has become a value stock and said V and MA are in the middle of a "multi-decade secular trend."

Steph Link asked about when the synergies from Visa Europe will kick in. Weaver said he's "not trying to dodge the question," but he doesn't look at it that way.

Capping off this interview of fairly limited information, Weaver said he couldn't disclose the answer to Judge's question about the most recent add to the portfolio.

Pete Najarian said he's "not ready" to jump into IBM until there's growth.

Rich Greenfield doesn’t address Doc’s argument that people with 130% gains in NFLX were smart to unload the first hour of 2016 to put off that 55% capital gains tax

Wall Street analysts, for better or worse, tend to come up with nifty slogans or terminology to better define the metrics they study.

For Rich Greenfield, the flavor of the month happens to be "price-value relationship," which most folks would simply call "value."

Greenfield, the CNBC go-to guy on Netflix, contended on Tuesday's Halftime Report that the company is teaching consumers that "there's a much better price-value relationship to television than what they get through the cable company," and that's why people shouldn't sell the stock.

Or, in other words, a lot of people order Netflix instead of pricier cable packages.

Greenfield cited a survey in which 56% purportedly would opt out of ESPN to save $8 a month. The only problem with that — and Judge unfortunately never ventured down this path — is that it's not like they'd get the entire rest of the package for $8 less; once they buy the Weather Channel and the Oprah Network and the Conan O'Brien carrier a la carte, it's the same price.

Judge strongly hinted to Greenfield that NFLX and its "group, in and of itself (sic redundant)," is more vulnerable than other stocks to a market pullback.

Greenfield said "sure," but "on the other hand," the "price-value relationship" (Drink) suggests the bundle players have the bigger subscriber risks.

Pete Najarian asked about the NFLX global expansion opportunities "at this point in time (sic last 2 words redundant)."

Greenfield pointed to "primarily" English-speaking markets such as India, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia as the "really big opportunities."

Greenfield also said NFLX has "self-admitted" (sic first word redundant) that Japan is going to be the hardest market Netflix has ever entered.

Joe Terranova said NFLX has the "potential" to take off again with the premiere of Season 4 of "House of Cards."

Jon Najarian said $20 out-of-the-money NFLX puts are trading for 80 cents.

Parsing Larry Fink’s 10% call (but did he really trash activist investing?)

Joe Terranova on Tuesday's Halftime Report pointed to the return of buybacks Feb. 5 and advised being in domestic names, but he said it gets "boring" being patient.

Stephanie Link said the day's gains (at the time) were encouraging, but it's only 1 day.

Jon Najarian stressed that Larry Fink was only saying there's a "chance" we drop another 10% and didn't say the "odds are" that we fall 10%.

Judge insisted Fink was saying "probably" another 10%.

Doc said he bought DAL, JNJ, MU, STO and MRO.

Stephanie Link said she was doing "a little bit of defense" and "a little bit of offense" (which sounds like Mike Mayo's JPM-as-LeBron-James thing) and bought V, DAL, CCL and PG.

Stephanie Link said there's a lot PG can do in terms of margins.

Joe Terranova said the "best trade" right now is "no trade," only to add that buying right now is "warranted."

Pete Najarian pointed to fuel savings as a tailwind for airlines, but this time Josh Brown wasn't around to say that coal has killed the rails far more than lower gasoline has lifted airlines.

Doc trumpeted CHRW for the "logistics" angle of the delivery system.

Joe won’t eat a fried chicken sandwich at Shake Shack

Jon Najarian on Tuesday's Halftime said he and Josh Brown bought AAPL "live on air last Friday" and said he's long AAPL and MCD calls.

Joe Terranova said he's "surprised" where AAPL is trading and curiously said people will need a "patient strategy" in the stock and that the buying opportunity is later in the year.

Stephanie Link said she's holding MCD.

Pete Najarian said SHAK has been "absolutely bludgeoned" but that it still trades at an "incredible multiple" with 58% short interest as of year-end. He doesn't think now is the time to jump in.

Joe suggested that when a burger franchise such as SHAK unveils a chicken sandwich, it's acknowledging a "problem."

Joe said "of course" he's been to Shake Shack, but he won't have a fried chicken sandwich there.

Jon Najarian reported "strong activity" in JNJ calls. Pete Najarian said there was huge activity in CSCO February 25.50 calls, but don't jump aboard, "they're actually selling those."

[Friday, January 15, 2016]

NFL Network’s broadcast
of Super Bowl I deplorable

So much for 50 years.

One of the most anticipated events in football-watching in recent years was the film compilation of Super Bowl I. Only one partial copy of the actual 1967 TV broadcast is known to exist, and no one has seen it because it's in legal limbo.

At the time, TV footage was costly, and networks repeatedly taped over their programs.

So anyone under 50 never saw the game.

Various clips have been shown for decades in NFL Films' Super Bowl capsules.

However, for whatever reason, NFL Films had never stitched together the entire play-by-play until now, in commemoration of the 50th Super Bowl that will be played in February.

It could've been a fine network TV program. Instead, Roger Goodell's league aired it Jan. 15 on the NFL Network, a channel that has more to do with MTV than vintage football.

Rather than let the game, and accompanying audio from Jim Simpson, tell the story, the NFL Network chose to bring in 7 chums who had absolutely nothing to do with the game — Antonio Freeman, Terrell Davis, Steve Mariucci, some guy who looks about 29 but claims to be a historian — to sit in easy chairs and talk about whatever they felt like.

The picture of the actual game was scrunched into a corner. A square in the top right showed our NFL Network crew the size of postage stamps. A too-large stat box on the lower right offered tweets and occasionally useful, occasionally not useful information. The bottom of the screen included a running ticker of the day's NFL news.

Someone decided that host Chris Rose's panel, which spent a decent time on their own Super Bowl experiences, buckled chin straps and making curfew, would talk over the audio broadcast for most of the production, meaning the vintage call of Jim Simpson — who just passed away last week — was basically stepped on and relegated to background noise.

Visits by actual Super Bowl I players Fred Williamson, Mike Garrett, Len Dawson, Dave Robinson and Jerry Kramer were positives, but for whatever reason they were shooed out of there after apparently hitting their comment quota.

The players have spoken about this game many times. Somehow, no one from NFL Films (lacking a frontman since the death of Steve Sabol) was presented to discuss the recording of this game and how this was put together.

This should've been a tribute to football royalty that was instead given all the respect of a Week 13 highlight clip.

This was a travesty of a broadcast.

Sports Illustrated's Peter King agrees but needs to do more than bury this outrage at the bottom of an enormous thread.

[Friday, January 15, 2016]

3/4 of the way into the show,
Judge & Josh get to the point

Perhaps they missed the boat.

40 minutes into Friday's Halftime Report, Josh Brown stated, "No one is talking about the real reasons why this is happening." #hillary70%

Judge claimed to have the answer, chortling that "No one wants to be long into a long weekend."

Brown said "we're in a buyback blackout period," so "you've lost that marginal buyer."

Stephen Weiss opened the program saying things are "confusing" because "we've never really seen this" in terms of a global market and global economy and China's impact.

"Time will cure all ills," Weiss predicted, but he doesn't know how long it will take.

Weiss said he bought the USO on Friday hoping it rallies into the close.

Brown said to pin this on China "is a little bit disingenuous," explaining biotechs have nothing to do with China.

Brown said in 1984, oil companies were "blowing up" and stocks were down for 6 months. Brown also pointed to the 1998 "rolling currency crisis."

Weiss took issue with the "disingenuous" comment, asserting it's "absolutely not" disingenuous but that we're in a "risk-off" environment.

Late in the program, Weiss reiterated "this is a new day; it's a new age" and we're in "truly global markets."

The technician and the fundamental analyst and the falling knife ...

Lee Cooperman, star guest of Friday's Halftime Report, said Larry Fink, a "very smart man" and "worth listening to," was "bullish all of last year," so Fink must be concerned about credit markets.

But Cooperman thinks Fink's 10% further prediction is a "little bit too pessimistic."

Cooperman decried Dodd-Frank and the Volcker rule impact on banks and eliminating the uptick rule in July 2007.

Coop, who spoke uninterrupted for minutes, told a humorous anecdote about market watchers and asserted, "There's a soft spot going on, but there's no signs of recession.

"I'm of the view that the market is going down to be bought," Cooperman said.

Lee even took a dig at politics, decrying "these ISIS folks" and complaining there's no global agreement to "wipe out these SOBs. OK, and so, you know, there's just no leadership."

Lee also knocked the Fear of the Month, pointing to Ebola and Greece the last couple years, "and now it's China."

He said "unequivocally" 3 times that people are shorting the S&P as a hedge against the credit markets.

"There's no basis I think for a big decline from here," Cooperman said, revealing he's watching the 1,825-1,850 S&P level.

Jon Najarian predicted a "capitulatory low" before we fall another 10%.

Jim Lebenthal concluded, "This is not a structural decline that we're looking at here."

Don’t be a hero

Rebecca Patterson, who had to wait for Lee Cooperman on Friday's Halftime, called Judge's interview with Coop "great" and said she's "sympathetic with a lot of the comments he made."

Patterson said she does not expect China to weaken the yuan "materially more in the short term."

Patterson suggested equities could start to stabilize and recover, but "I wouldn't be a hero" (Drink) in buying emerging markets.

She said she's using a "managed-volatility approach" to stock exposure that she expects will limit the downside.

"The issue's timing," Patterson said, dubbing that the "hard call right now."

Judge noted that Patterson was a stalwart of Money in Motion.

Not sure about Gundlach’s technical confirmation of short-term low in crude

Steve Liesman paid a visit to Friday's Halftime Report and said Dudley's comments signify maybe the Fed is trying not to put some kind of "floor" under the market but is leaving the market on its own.

Judge asked whether the Fed wants to tighten because it "truly believes" in this economy or because it knows the economy is struggling and wants more "ammo" to deal with it. Liesman said it's the former.

Jim Lebenthal said he has a "ton of respect" for Liesman but thinks the Fed merely wants to "normalize" rates so it can deal with the next recession, which is the old saw about reducing speed from 75 mph to 55 mph just in case they find they're running late so they can speed up to 75 again.

Lebenthal suggested there's "contagion" from bonds on banks' trading desks.

Josh Brown said he just bought AAPL on Friday under $96. Doc said he too bought AAPL as well as GPS, and he put on some spreads (presumably calls) in financials.

Jackie DeAngelis, in new earrings, reported Brent touching 28.82.

Jim Lebenthal said the energy complex was in "free fall" a year ago, but producers were hedged. Now, "those hedges have clearly come off," Lebenthal said.

But Steve Weiss said, "What's going on is that they're getting closer, some of 'em, to insolvency."

Weiss affirmed he's short BHP and FCX.

Stephanie Link reaffirmed her belief in INTC.

Jim Lebenthal said he likes TIF, and to look for "decoupling."

[Thursday, January 14, 2016]

Extreme jocks don’t actually watch each other’s GoPro videos

Judge revealed on Thursday's Halftime Report that Alex Gauna finally threw in the towel on GoPro, stating the company "dropped the ball on the session camera," though he's apparently standing by his $21 price target.

Judge congratulated Stephen Weiss for being "dead-on" with this name "for as long as I can remember asking you about it."

Weiss said GPRO is a "tainted, damaged stock" and "not yet" attractive.

Weiss said the notion of AAPL buying GPRO is an "interesting thought."

Doc said "wow," he would've thought AAPL or someone else might've bought GPRO around 25, and now it's half that.

Josh Brown shrugged that GPRO is just a "camera" and not a media company or platform.

But Pete Najarian said GoPro is a "real company with real products" and "still has an addressable market."

Josh Brown said that extreme athletes put up some great GoPro videos, but "They're not really that into watching each other's content."

Piper Jaffray's Erinn Murphy, who is cute, told Judge that "proprietary research with teens" indicated fewer people were requesting GoPro devices for the holidays.

Judge asked Murphy, who has a $9 target, if there's anything to Alex Gauna's notion of a buyable stock.

Murphy, who has a 9 target, said "we're still bearish" even at $12 and that there's a big inventory work-through in progress.

Murphy gives AAPL an "almost nil" chance of buying GPRO.

In a hilarious botch, Murphy said she doesn't cover GOOG, but "my competitor at Munster does" (sic meant to say "my colleague Gene Munster does").

According to Murphy's Piper bio, she grew up in the Middle East and attended Calvin College in Michigan.

Borrow on BTU is 95%

As has been the case for all of 2016, Thursday's Halftime was a mixed muddle of messages.

Stephen Weiss first could only say that gains haven't held, and it will be "interesting" if it could hold in the afternoon.

Weiss said not much has changed except the market's in a "really rampant oversold condition."

Weiss stuck by his Europe-improving theory.

Josh Brown said he'd disagree with Weiss that "not much" has changed in the macro space and said buying dips is "no longer the thing to do."

Pete Najarian said "the panic is there."

Jon Najarian said he was "heartened" to see that the big move in the tape wasn't just a "dash for trash."

Weiss mentioned the "shadow" markets in China, first time we've heard that term in a while.

Brown said he bought "a little XLE" Thursday morning.

Pete Najarian pointed to Jeffrey Gundlach's call of a short-term oil bottom. But Steve Weiss said he shorted BHP on Thursday and also "went back into" his FCX short.

Weiss said he tried to get a borrow on BTU but found it's 95%.

Weiss suggested getting long MLPs providing you're "very selective," which startled Judge.

Doc said he picked up MRO because it's down 40% in the last month.

BlackRock's Russ Koesterich asserted, "There's not a big reason to come in and buy aggressively right now."

Koesterich conceded that his 2,175 S&P target "may be" too high, if there's no rebound in inflation expectations.

No one’s talking about the impact of a Sanders presidency on the banks (cont’d)

Mike Mayo visited Thursday's Halftime Report, but you've seen this movie before.

"Absolutely JPMorgan is still the LeBron James of banking," Mayo said, explaining it beat expectations on defense.

Mayo said he expects loan losses to double over the next couple years but remain below long-term averages, telling Judge it's only a "dime hit to earnings."

Mayo also said this is the "opposite of 2006" for banking stocks.

Stephen Weiss pronounced C's price "just unbelievable." (Remember when Pete and Joe used to agree about all those "institutional buyers" who would pour into C once the stock held $5?)

Nothing more about that Hillary 70% thing

Judge asked Bonnie Baha on Thursday's Halftime, what is the most important thing she and Jeffrey Gundlach are watching right now.

Baha said "everything."

Baha said that in high yield, the default level is still below the long-term average, which is why some competitors "are probably getting their heads handed to them" for buying the dip.

She said that until the default level climbs, you're "way too early."

Baha also said she's "fearful" of "another Third Avenue Capital situation."

Baha said she'd be "very surprised" if the Fed hikes in March.

Scott Nations said you have to ask whether Wednesday's oil trade looks like capitulation, "and it actually does look a bit like capitulation." Brian Stutland said he doesn't see crude crossing 35 anytime soon but would buy in the low 30s and sell around 34 or 35.

Pete Najarian said there was a "big buyer" of March 30 BX calls. Doc said he bought stock and options in MCD on Thursday.

Josh Brown said he's keeping DPS, ADBE and LB in his Halftime Portfolio and adding OA and EXR.

[Wednesday, January 13, 2016]

0.5% on the 10-year

Raoul Pal told the 5 p.m. Fast Money crew Wednesday that he expects 0.5% 10-year yields "by next year."

"It's a position that nobody's in," Pal said, and a "good opportunity."

Karen Finerman asked how that would square with the Fed in a tightening cycle. Pal eventually answered they'll have to reverse at some point and suggested it won't be QE next time but perhaps "negative rates."

Pal even mentioned 1,600 S&P.

Missy Lee brought up an all-time Fast Money slogan, largely from Eric Bolling, saying perhaps traders on Wednesday were being "tapped on the shoulder" (Big Drink).

Karen Finerman ... In. New. Outfit. ... finally said that the selloff felt "a little bit panicky."

Karen also called M cheap (Drink) but didn't mention that Marc Lasry has made it a play on spot crude.

The panel mentioned CMG, and Karen Finerman hilariously noted the "flight to e. coli today."

Hillary at 70% doesn’t seem to go over well with panel

As the Halftime Report crew continues to refuse to tell viewers whether to buy or sell RIGHT NOW, Joe Terranova opened Wednesday's show stating "I still think" we're gonna take out the 2014 lows.

But Joe called the market "very oversold right now."

Jim Lebenthal said it's the 3rd day in a row that premarket futures have been up and then the gains are lost during the day. Lebenthal said "most of the trading" occurs in the first half hour and last half hour of the day, for those wondering about the lack of lunchtime excitement.

Pete Najarian said we've had elevated volatility "for quite some time."

Jon Najarian said people are using the high-flying names as the "piggy banks" and that the market isn't happy about Fischer's "4 more" (snicker).

Karen Firestone (that's correct, not "Finerman"), who was in and out in a jiffy, noted the market is down 5% this year and said often the year is up despite rocky Januarys.

Jim Lebenthal mentioned the "noise" about AAPL selling more iPhones in China than expected, suggesting he's not seeing any sign of recession.

Judge bickered, "What happens if the meaningful downside takes you into a recession? Who knows?????? Why do you have to have a recession precede big downside?"

"Well, at the very least, I would say they correlate together," Lebenthal said.

Karen Firestone touted AMT and conceded it's a "little bit of a controversial name" because it's not just domestic. But she said it's a way to get dividend growth.

Firestone said AAPL is attractive strictly on the numbers and not because it's AAPL.

It was near the end of her appearance that Firestone dropped a bomb, stating Hillary Clinton has a "70%" chance of becoming president.

Firestone actually turned this into a trading call, explaining that in 7 cases over 20 years when a woman has been elected in other countries, the markets have "gone up an average of 9.4%."

Quote of the day standards aren’t what they used to be

Phil LeBeau on Wednesday's Halftime Report told Judge the "quote of the day" is from Stifel's Jamie Albertine, who according to Phil said, "There is a substantial disconnect between how General Motors views its business and its outlook and what investors are expecting."

Wow. That is some quote.

Offering the usual Halftime/Fast Money plaudits for General Motors, LeBeau sought to squelch the theory that Silicon Valley is taking over the auto market.

"People are missing the point," LeBeau asserted, that "these self-driving cars, they're WAY off."

Harry Wilson praised GM for growing margins while approaching peak sales. He said the stock has been plagued by concerns about "cycle" and what Google and others are doing.

Wilson contended there will still be "substantial profits" even if there's a cycle reversion. He also said Uber, etc., could lead to fewer "urban" car sales but not fewer car sales in general.

Judge questioned if it's "prudent" for GM to allocate buyback cash when there are a "growing number of voices" talking about a U.S. recession.

Wilson said it's "critically important" for GM to be "prudent" but said the company is still planning for $2-$3 billion of excess cash flow and has "more than enough cushion" to survive a "horrible downturn."

Doc said auto stocks aren't running because of fears of rate hikes/stronger dollar. Judge said "I got ya" but that they're talking about performances over a longer period and that if someone had predicted there'd be 17 million car sales and the stocks didn't do "squat," you'd have called that person "crazy."

Doc said that's because the currency took out the margin.

Jim Lebenthal said he sees a "parallel" to the airlines a few years ago. "I can't say exactly when," Lebenthal said, but it should be this year.

Pete Najarian though disagreed, saying the airlines suddenly discovered pricing power.

Joe Terranova said sentiment is the problem with automakers; there's not the pessimism that there was with airlines.

Nobody mentions what a Sanders presidency could do to the big banks

Judge gave Anton Schutz an opportunity for a victory lap on Wednesday's Halftime Report, stating that over the past year, Schutz's regional bank stocks have "crushed it."

Schutz said the disparity in banking is because larger banks are simply hoarding capital because they're being forced to. He thinks the big banks have been "beaten to death enough" and are poised for a bounce.

He singled out BAC, and C "trading so far below tangible book value" (Drink).

Schutz told Pete Najarian that the way to play investment banks is writing puts out of the money.

Schutz said he's added to YDKN and thinks it's worth mid-$30s.

Schutz said Midland, Texas, is becoming a "ghost town."

‘Just August all over again’

Jim Iuorio on Wednesday's Halftime Report said the Fed's rate hike actually lowered long-end rates, and he predicted 2.0% on the 10-year. Jeff Kilburg said to look at 1.93%.

Joe Terranova at one point said, "The U.S. 10-year Treasury has to begin to see yields rise once again for stocks to go up."

Joe said the "correct strategy" for energy is a "patient strategy." Doc said AXP hasn't done anything right "in an awful long time." Joe Terranova said AXP management has done a "horrible job."

Judge finally asked a good question, what price was AXP during the Costco fallout last year. Pete Najarian said it was about $100.

Jim Lebenthal unveiled his 2016 Halftime Portfolio and mentioned TRN, which he said will benefit from an overturned "frivolous" lawsuit.

He also came up with ORBC. Judge wondered about Lebenthal's "continued fascination" with JCP. Lebenthal said "I love the management."

Pete Najarian asked Lebenthal, why MPC. Lebenthal cited the good "geographically diverse" operations and the capex cycle ending.

Jim Lebenthal said he thinks QCOM is trading at a "very attractive price."

Joe hung a 60 on MSFT.

Pete Najarian said "Finerman's sister" produced "Forrest Gump."

Pete suggested that if he won Powerball, he could buy either the Tampa Bay Buccaneers or Oakland Raiders.

Judge defined a "trio" as 3.

Joe predicted Thursday and Friday would be "troublesome."

Doc said he's waiting for a capitulation day like Aug. 24. Judge questioned if this is "just August all over again." Doc said it is, in a "slow-motion version."

[Tuesday, January 12, 2016]

Guest complains about Judge’s commercial tease

Bill Nygren paid a visit to Tuesday's Halftime Report, apparently to tout the merits of Ally Financial.

Nygren, whose Oakmark Fund according to the show's chart was down 9.6% last year, said "last quarter we sold Amazon, we bought Ally Financial," stating that a year ago, AMZN was worth 11 or 12 shares of Ally, and now it's worth 38.

"We think Ally's a great buy at this price," Nygren said.

Judge asked if Nygren, in selling AMZN, was making a "broader statement" about the FANGs. Nygren said he still owns Google.

Most impressively, Nygren indicated he actually heard Judge's commercial tease about 5 minutes earlier in which Judge said Oakmark is "loading up" on energy stocks. Nygren stated he's "not getting anywhere near" that point but warned about the U.S. E&P industry going out of business if oil remains at $30.

Joe seizes the ‘moment’

The opening of Tuesday's Halftime sounded rather poetic.

"This seems to be the moment, this seems to be what we feared, this seems to be the 2008 moment for the natural resources," opined Joe Terranova.

Pete Najarian said, "The losers just continue to be bigger losers and bigger losers."

Stephanie Link said she doesn't know why the markets rallied a bit on Tuesday.

"I'm kinda buying a little bit," Link said.

Link said there's the manufacturing part of the economy, "which you really don't want to be part of," but also the consumer part, which "you do wanna be part of."

Judge for some reason brought in Sully to outline falling bond prices in the high yield market. Sully said they're options are either a debt swap, or a "probably impossible" equity raise, or "hope for a buyout." Pete Najarian pointed to "absolutely massive" open interest in MRO April 9-10 puts. "I got back in Freeport yesterday," Pete said, "because you know what, I couldn't take it anymore." He declined to provide a price target.

Doug Terreson of Evercore ISI said "we should be pretty worried" about stocks in the energy space. "We should be looking for safe harbors in this storm," Terreson said, suggesting BP and CVX and XOM because he sees the dividends as safe.

For energy and natural resources, "This is their 2008 moment," reiterated Joe.

Gundlach’s mystery technicals

Jim Iuorio told Jackie DeAngelis on Tuesday's Halftime Report that supply is "the bigger part of the story" in crude right now.

Anthony Grisanti said 29.60 is the next support in crude, and there's bigger support at 27.50, 28.

Joe Terranova said he doesn't think a 2-handle in crude is "that damaging." Joe said the "relevancy" is that oil is "holding back" the S&P 500.

That was superseded later in the program by Jeffrey Gundlach's short-term oil bottom. Joe Terranova said that'd be "great" but admitted, "I'm not sure exactly which technicals Jeffrey is talking about."

Meanwhile, from San Francisco, Alex Denner told Meg Tirrell there's a "revaluation" going on in the biotech space.

Denner said "concerns over pricing" will be a "front page news item" at least until the presidential election.

Denner said "our near term plan" is not to try to sell Ariad.

That ‘cadence’ of Twitter’s new products must be kicking in

Sarat Sethi on Tuesday's Halftime Report said AAPL is being used as a "source of funds" and said it could definitely bounce in the short term.

Joe Terranova praised Judge for tweeting out his Carl-not-in-TWX scoop last night and suggested rumors of activity in TWX will provide support for the name.

Stephanie Link took another opportunity to rattle off INTC's fundamentals.

Pete Najarian admitted he missed the day's spike in LULU but took the opportunity to trash his once omg-the-almighty-Kevin-Plank UA again (this writer is long UA).

Judge said he read some "other commentary" on LULU suggesting 1 quarter doesn't change the story. But Stephanie Link said in this environment, it's "very impressive."

Sarat Sethi made a case for the consumer economy, touting M, YUM, BWA, QCOM and XPO.

Pete Najarian said Macy's is "interesting" and now has a Starboard element but asked "why now." Sethi pointed to "weather being so bad" and strong dollar and suggested some short-term value creation.

Pete Najarian outlined his 2016 Halftime Portfolio strategy, pledging to be "more aggressive." Pete touted SBUX and MSFT.

Pete actually endorsed TWTR, saying he's buying Bob Peck's bullish outlook. "I think there is a plan in place," Pete said, stating the Google deal intrigues him "the very most." He also mentioned the "500 million folks who have logged off."

Joe said he doesn't like TWTR, FIT or GPRO.

Pete actually roared that GPRO's $2 billion market cap "gets intriguing" for possible buyers.

Joe said he has bet $2 on the lottery "every year since 1998."

[Monday, January 11, 2016]

Judge congratulates analyst for shifting AAPL target by $5

Much ado about ... basically ... nothing.

Judge on Monday's Halftime sought to make Abhey Lamba's AAPL call sound like Bobby Fischer's pivotal game against Boris Spassky, only to learn there was really nothing to it besides hope.

Lamba, who issued a buy but dropped the price target $5, told Judge that AAPL bears have been extrapolating weakening supply-chain points "to eternity."

Assessing the company's worth, he said he comes up with $120 per share "as these data points clear out."

Judge noticed Lamba was saying that "somewhat casually" and wondered about currency impact. Lamba cited the company's "very loyal" customer base, and that people have to "refresh" their phones "every 2 to 3 years," and said currency affects everyone.

Joe Terranova, in a fairly flimsy call of his own, said knowing when to buy AAPL "depends on the market."

Judge had the audacity to summarize Lamba's commentary with this loopy conclusion: "Give the guy credit then for at least sticking his neck out and making a move on the stock beyond cutting the price target, which he did anyway by 5 bucks."

Congress ‘spearheading’ CEOs

AGN chief Brent Saunders and PFE chief Ian Read got the break of the day Monday in the form of a Halftime Report interview with CNBC's Meg Tirrell.

Saunders said that "at the end of the day" (Drink), both AGN and PFE are "extremely committed" to making sure patients can get their medication.

Tirrell told Read that politicians are "spearheading (sic not sure what the intended term was) you guys for drug prices."

Judge flagged Read for claiming the issue of drug prices is a "political issue" and wondered if PFE's mass increases "could come into play" about approving the merger.

Read insisted that PFE should be treated no differently than foreign companies. "Have foreign companies raised their prices? Of course they have," Read shrugged.

Joe Terranova flagged MCK for hitting the health-care space. Josh Brown said CELG is the name that's got people "really spooked."

Jim Lebenthal said PFE has been a "carousel of buy something big, and then sell it off in pieces," and "it gets a little tiresome."

Pete Najarian scolded Lebenthal that "Jim, it's about pipeline." Lebenthal said the problem is that PFE's great pipeline is a "drop in the bucket" given the size of the company.

A day without ‘Benelux’

We've been waiting for this one.

Pete Najarian on Monday's Halftime Report didn't say that he bungled UA mightily for months until giving up late last year, but did seem to buy the MS report whole hog. (This writer is long UA.)

"The only positive" on the Morgan Stanley note is UA's international growth potential, Najarian said, adding that worse than UA's shoe problem is women's apparel.

Then Pete said he was "lucky" to have some LULU calls this year.

What happened to all the gushing from Pete and Doc last year about how awesome Kevin Plank is and how consumers are healthy and are getting the merchandise just not from the traditional brick and mortar retailers?

Joe Terranova said the Morgan Stanley note "is more of a trading note" than an "investment note."

Josh Brown said the market has already figured out the MS note based on UA's slide from 104 and contended, "This name is now so oversold, I almost can't think of an example where I've seen anything like it short term.

"From a short-term perspective, there's probably a great trade to be had," Brown said.

Jim Lebenthal said the numbers say you can't own UA, but try NKE instead.

Sound advice: Don’t
liquidate your 401(k)

Josh Brown on Monday's Halftime called FCX "the Hugh Hefner of copper stocks."

Pete Najarian crowed that he said in August that people were buying puts in FCX like you wouldn't believe.

Joe Terranova said the problem in commodities goes back to currency issues. Jim Lebenthal pointed out the ramifications of FCX not holding $5. (That's an easy one; just do what Citigroup did.)

In a segment titled "The Farce Awakens," Josh Brown contended that 401(k)s should be separate from any kind of trading and that dollar-cost averaging "is really the only strategy that makes sense."

Judge asked for the "farce." Brown said market volatility brings out some of the worst investing advice imaginable, such as people talking about "liquidate your 401(k)."

That prompted Judge to inadvertently question the merits of his own program, stating, "We talk about this all the time about the ability to time markets" and that they talk about AAPL, and "if you sell it, how are you gonna know when to get back in?"

Isn't that what the panel of experts is supposed to tell us?

Stephanie Link told Judge she likes the risk/reward in INTC.

Jim Lebenthal predicted a "pretty boring quarter" for the banks. Josh Brown said he'd avoid the group. Pete Najarian said he likes USB and WFC. Joe Terranova added PNC.

On the 5 p.m. Fast Money, Dennis Gartman uncorked a Brag Trade in telling Missy Lee, "People forget that it was a year and a half ago that I said we're probably gonna get to the, to the middle 30s, when the- when the crude oil price was trading at $125 a barrel."

Guy Adami on Kelly Evans' Closing Bell carped again about all these people who purportedly claimed China's growth was so important and now are shrugging off the troubles and they can't have it both ways, but he told Catherine Rampell, who looked stunning, that he wasn't referring to her.

Sitting on hands

Monday's Halftime Report opened with a collection of folks suggesting that things have been rough and figure to, or might, get worse but not suggesting what you should do with the radioactivity in your portfolio.

Josh Brown re-asserted we're in a "cyclical bear market, but that's OK."

However, Brown said it's "hard to understand" where earnings growth will come from.

Jim Lebenthal predicted "the general trend is going to turn soon," because we're "so far from an American recession."

Joe Terranova said we'll need to see something out of the natural resources space to turn things around. Joe said the market decline ends when there's a "technical flush" around the August lows.

Pete Najarian grumbled about oil's plunge "each and every day" (sic redundant).

Whether any of that makes you buy or sell on Monday is between you and your portfolio.

More from Monday's Halftime later.

NFL playoff forecast:
Beware of the Chiefs

It's one of our favorite Fridays of the year: NFL wild-card weekend.

(Actually it's Saturday morning as of this posting, and it doesn't have a time stamp, but take our word for it.)

This page doesn't flinch in predicting not only the wild-card games ... but the entire NFL playoffs.

Last year, we busted mightily in picking the yinz (won't get fooled again) ... but scored big with a perfect bracket in the NFC.

So here's how it's gonna go:

Kansas City beats Houston: Alex Smith has 9 playoff TD passes, no INTs.
Cincinnati beats Pittsburgh: No running back, no chance.
Seattle beats Minnesota: It was just too easy the last time.
Green Bay beats Washington: Imagine being told of this matchup in August. You wouldn't hesitate.

New England beats Cincinnati: Reality check.
Arizona beats Green Bay: Not even close.
Carolina beats Seattle: The Seahawks just aren't a road team.
Kansas City beats Denver: Had no trouble the last time.

Carolina beats Arizona: Perhaps the lowest-rated NFC title game of all time.
Kansas City beats New England: They did it a year ago.

Carolina beats Kansas City: Alex Smith's Cinderella ride falls just short.

The jacket was a home run

One train that the Halftime Report crew wasn't about to step in front of Friday was Marc Lasry's "At the end of the day."

"Our economy is fine," said Lasry in his initial commentary before adding, "At the end of the day (Drink), our focus is really what's going on in the United States."

Lasry said he doesn't see a recession. "At the end of the day (Double Drink), the U.S. economy is doing fine."

Minutes later, it was, "At the end of the day (Triple Drink), the Fed raised rates ... the question is, are they gonna continue," said Lasry, later adding. "They're not gonna move quickly."

Josh Brown asked Lasry if he's concerned that other holders of the same distressed energy debt issues may not have as much time to wait as Lasry and could unload. Lasry said he's "absolutely" been too early but that what's happening is, "At the end of the day (Quadruple Drink), that, people are gonna be forced to sell," and as long as you've got reserves, you can keep buying.

Lasry explained why he likes DYN equity, suggesting it's been wrongly linked to oil's slide. "At the end of the day (Quintuple Drink), you're investing in a company with a 3 or 4 multiple," Lasry said.

Later, addressing Kyle Bass' projected Asian credit cycle, Lasry contended, "I think at the end of the day (Sextuple Drink), what China was able to do in the last crisis, is, they don't really sell that debt," agreeing with Bass that there will be "an absolute credit crisis" in Asia.

Finally, Judge gave Lasry a chance in the closing seconds to break the show's record by shrugging off Carl Icahn's high-yield gloom forecast. "I think at the end of the day (Septuple Drink), if you take a look at the high-yield market last year it was down, what 5% ... I'm pretty sure the equity markets were down," Lasry said, adding both high yield and equities both had at times "a lack of liquidity."

‘Benelux’ streak at 3

Josh Brown on Friday's Halftime Report said it's "pretty obvious" that we're in a downtrend and contended the "worst thing" you can do is overrate one day's worth of trading.

"Europe is making the move up," said Stephen Weiss, mentioning his favorite region again.

"These corrections are just normal plays in the market," Weiss said.

Jim Lebenthal asserted there are "plenty of opportunities both overseas and in the U.S."

"It's really hard to find somebody who's saying sell in this market," Lebenthal said, a point this page has made the last few days.

After others haggled over semantics, Lebenthal said it's not a question of whether this is a bear market but whether you should be selling. "I'm gonna pound the table and say no, you should not be selling," Lebenthal said.

‘Time game’ = bottom’s still a ways off

Jackie DeAngelis turned up on Friday's Halftime without the usual Futures Now crew and said a 2-handle is "not out of sight" for crude and that some of the more "extreme" folks are talking teens.

Marc Lasry said he's not buying distressed energy stocks but distressed energy debt in which you get a 12% coupon while you wait; he thinks over 2-5 years, "you're either gonna get paid off, or you're gonna end up owning these companies" as the debt is converted to equity.

"Oil can't stay where it is, you know, in the 30s, for the next 5 years," Lasry contended.

Lasry said the "whole key" to investing in that space is the "luxury of time," without which you'll get hurt.

That prompted Judge to stress that energy equities are a "time game."

Lasry said he picked CHK for Portfolios with Purpose because it's a "massively levered play on the energy space."

Weiss backs down from complaining about Watch sales

Stephen Weiss on Friday's Halftime said he wouldn't short AAPL but doesn't feel compelled to go long.

Judge wondered if AAPL sentiment is getting "a little out of whack." ('Cause they sell A LOT of Watches, OK.)

Jim Lebenthal said he's in AAPL, which he considers "undervalued."

Rob Sechan said his first advice to jittery investors is, "Don't panic."

Sechan said that this year, you want "optionality" in your portfolio, which you can find in some of the "hardest hit" areas, though he doesn't like emerging markets.

Rob Sechan said that competing in Portfolios with Purpose is "like playing pickup basketball with the '92 Dream Team."

Macy’s as an oil play

Kyle Bass dialed in to Friday's Halftime to support Portfolios with Purpose and also tell Judge that the "narrative" about the 2016 stock market that's been "kinda propagated through the press" is "a little bit wrong."

He said "the real issue" in China is not that profits have peaked but "the size of their banking system."

Bass said China's banking system is almost $35 trillion against a GDP of $10 trillion, predicting an upcoming "credit cycle."

"Asia is going to go through a credit cycle," Bass said, adding, "What that means is stocks are not going up," predicting U.S. stocks down 10-20% by year-end.

Judge brought up Bass' initiative from the end of last year, challenging certain drug patents. Bass said it's an "abomination" that some drug patents exist but that "no one wants us to win."

Stacey Asher explained how to play Portfolios with Purpose, stating you log in as a pro or novice, pick 5 stocks, long or short, with $1 billion minimum market cap, and you can make 5 trades during the year, and all proceeds go to charity.

Marc Lasry said that to win the contest, you have to pick "levered" names. He curiously said his portfolio includes DYN, M, CPN, CHK, AAL, the theme being that if oil bounces back, "all those companies, that stock will move, um, you know, they'll double if not triple."

Steve Weiss said if he scored the $800 million Powerball jackpot, he'd spend $700 million on golf lessons for Judge.

[Thursday, January 7, 2016]

Judge bashes Weiss’ criticism of the Apple Watch, sounds a bit like the gang in ‘The Breakfast Club’

Toni Sacconaghi, who captured Judge's fascination months ago by stating Apple's best days are behind it, said on Thursday's Halftime that there's a lot of "noise" in the iPhone supply chain indicating sales are weak, and "that's what we're seeing" in the stock.

Sacconaghi suggested the possibility of "gross margin pressure" and said that's not widely expected.

Sarat Sethi said he used to own AAPL but unloaded over the last year and asserted it's "not a growth stock anymore" and invoked the "law of large numbers" (Drink).

Josh Brown said he would buy AAPL here and pointed to previous strength at the 200-week moving average, which is about 89.90.

Stephen Weiss grumbled about the Apple Watch, prompting a remarkably snarky retort from Judge.

"They've sold a lot of watches Steve, OK. I mean, they've sold a lot of Watches," Judge said.

Got it. They've sold A LOT of watches. Crown 'em.

"It's still a disappointment," Weiss said.

Joe Terranova said there's further downside potential short term in AAPL.

Weiss admits he loves
reading Faber

Another monstrous down day, and the Thursday Halftime crew couldn't hardly care less.

Stephen Weiss did try to open with gloom, asserting yuan devaluation is the "absolute biggest issue" and reaffirming his notion of China's "house of cards" in terms of debt.

Josh Brown ho-hummed, "We're probably in the midst of a cyclical bear market."

Of all people to lighten things up, Judge's go-to fearmonger, Marc Faber, said "the market became extremely oversold" and even predicted it has seen "probably the low for the month."

Faber pointed to homebuilding stocks sliding and having nothing to do with China. He predicted most stocks ultimately will drop between 20 and 40% from the S&P high and called that "conservative."

Weiss said if Faber ever sounded bullish it would be like Weight Watchers opening a Baskin-Robbins franchise "in their meeting rooms."

Weiss said the U.S. economy isn't so bad and that the homebuilder stocks aren't a reliable indicator of that.

"Different people have different views," Faber responded, prompting giggles on the desk.

Weiss actually told Faber, "Marc I actually do love your work; I love reading your stuff."

For the 2nd day in a row, Weiss, who on the one hand is insisting China's a house of cards, mentioned "Benelux" glowingly.

Joe Terranova contended "we don't know what we want" in terms of a labor report.

Josh Brown shrugged that only 2% of the Chinese stock market is owned by offshore investors.

Kathy Lien seems to think China "knows exactly what they're doing with the currency."

Don’t all those people unloading winners this week know that the capital gains rate is now 60%?

On a day the Halftime crew made the market sound flat, Judge brought in Jeremy Siegel on Thursday to take a crack at Marc Faber's forecast.

Siegel said Faber's 20-40% drop would only happen in a "severe recession," and Siegel doesn't see a U.S. recession "in the cards."

Siegel also finds the Fed "much less aggressive" than people fear and suggested it might "defer" in March.

Judge demanded Siegel explain how the "race to the bottom" in global currency wars won't cause a "dramatic hit" to U.S. earnings.

Siegel said currencies are especially being hit in EM countries that export oil but that China's yuan only became "way out of line" with the yen and euro and is just now getting back to the "middle of the road."

Judge congratulated himself for straightening out Doc's tax-selling-strategy thesis having a "debate" with Siegel.

Joe Terranova, in what is likely a quality point but unfortunately one that went over our limited head, said the U.S. exported deflation to China years ago and if China has to export it somewhere else, "it's coming here."

Stephen Weiss said he agrees with Siegel that there's not a recession looming but disagrees (presumably with Kathy Lien) that China's controlling the yuan.

Sarat Sethi is a wonderful panelist who needs to unleash some sharp elbows (Weiss can take it); Judge needs to start pushing buttons here. Sethi predicted the U.S. economy will be "better than what people expect."

Gold. Zzzzzzzz.

Tom Kloza on Thursday's Halftime Report predicted a test of 25-26 in crude if it falls "convincingly below" $32.

Josh Brown said oil markets tend to overshoot. Joe Terranova said to look at Canadian energy producers.

Jim Iuorio concurred with Jackie DeAngelis that gold is "probably" some kind of "safe haven" trade. Jeff Kilburg said it may take off if it clears 1,120.

Michael Santoli told Judge that despite the selloff, it seems like there's "some money" to be put to work.

[Wednesday, January 6, 2016]

Before this is done, folks will be paying 100% tax on NFLX capital gains, regardless of whether they sold in 2015 or 2016

This is just downright bizarre.

The last thing we expected this week (or forever) on the Halftime Report was for Doc to revisit his "Chinatown"-esque sister-daughter theory on tax selling.

But sure enough, he gave it a shot at the tail end of Wednesday's show.

"Judge, we talked about it the first day of the week, Monday, and said, 'Boy it seemed like a fool's errand to sell this thing just because of the tax consequences,'" Doc actually said. "Now look at it, right back, almost to the exact level it sold off from, um, Thursday of last week."

He even made a reference to the "55-60% tax."

The only problem was, Doc didn't exactly call it a "fool's errand" on Monday.

He actually told Josh Brown — twice — "It's actually a smart move!"

Then he said he doesn't think people should trade stocks for tax reasons.

Then he uncorked a very muddled example of a person who made $130,000 in NFLX last year and seemed to imply that waiting until 2016 to sell was the best approach by contrasting "55%" vs. "7%."

Just to make sure we're not quacking up here, we re-watched the Monday tape for about the 4th time (yes, Mohamed El-Erian's 2 additional things about the 3 important things, etc.) and confirmed that Brown indeed was knocking the Monday morning FANG tax sellers while Najarian was praising them.

If he thinks it was dumb to sell on Monday morning, he should've just agreed with Brown on Monday, instead of twice claiming it's a "smart move."

Kevin O'Leary said NFLX is in a "viciously competitive space."

Weiss’ managers outperform

Jong-Un wasn't exactly getting any respect on Wednesday's Halftime Report.

Kevin O'Leary shrugged off the reclusive nation, calling it a "perpetual Dr. No movie."

"Yeah, we've seen this movie before," said Judge.

O'Leary said he loaded up on Samsung, Toyota Wesfarmers and BHP Billiton after "the whole region got really kicked."

Later, Ian Bremmer said more important than this nuclear test is that it's Jong-Un's birthday Friday and that you have to have a celebration and do it before the birthday in case something goes wrong.

Bremmer said China's ability to influence North Korea is greater than any other country's, but there's a limit to what Beijing can do.

Bremmer said he doesn't expect a hard landing in China.

Stephen Weiss said he has increased his Europe exposure and that "our managers" all outperformed the Euro Stoxx 50 by playing the Benelux region.

Weiss affirmed he thinks China is a "house of cards."

Jim Lebenthal said he's concerned about the amount of time it's taking the stock market to overcome the "wall of worry."

Doc vowed that earnings will be "far more of a driver" than a 1-day, North Korea event.

Steve Liesman said if he had to guess now, he'd predict a Fed "pause" in January before another hike in March.

Guy Adami on the 5 p.m. Fast Money claimed, as he has done on Closing Bell recently, that "the same people" (names unknown) that stressed China's growth importance a year ago are now saying it's "not a big deal," and "you can't have it both ways."

Karen Finerman is "a little bit nervous" but didn't see Wednesday's selling as "crazy."

Someone actually talks about AAPL going lower, and nobody actually whines about getting hate tweets

It's hardly something you hear every day on the Halftime Report.

Ian Winer on Wednesday predicted AAPL "takes out that Flash Crash low in (sic) 92" and called it a strategic "core short."

"All I hear every day is how cheap it is," Winer told Judge. "Well I heard the same things about Hewlett Packard and IBM."

Judge insisted that if you take out the AAPL cash, it's cheaper than CSCO, ORCL, MSFT, IBM.

Winer said a lot of that cash is overseas and that analysts are forecasting mid-single-digit revenue growth for a couple of years.

Jim Lebenthal asked Winer if there's a point where the cash is too good to ignore. Winer said yes, around 85 or 90 a share.

"Value stocks in tech just do not work," Winer said.

Kevin O'Leary cited the overseas nature of AAPL's cash as an issue and pointed out how he successfully transitioned to MSFT last fall.

Stephen Weiss pointed to "another issue," that being recent Apple products, calling the Watch a "disaster."

Judge balked at the term "disaster," but Weiss said he'd stick to that and Doc said customer satisfaction with the Watch isn't nearly as high as with other AAPL products.

Jim Lebenthal praised AAPL's buybacks.

Judge asked if, 3 months from now, AAPL would be closer to 75 to 125. Jim Lebenthal said 125, "with a caveat." Kevin O'Leary said it'll be near $85.

Kevin O’Leary suggests $18 crude

It's been ages since Jeff Macke's name appeared on this page.

But that's the case with Wednesday's Halftime Report, as Jon Najarian credited Macke for having "nailed" CMG's slide.

Najarian, who recently called the stock a buy under $500 and promised $100 in return within 90 days, admitted "I've been wrong about it," suggesting the upside might come from "much lower levels."

Anthony Grisanti said once North Korea's nuclear test occurred, crude dropped.

Brian Stutland said $30 oil is a possibility, maybe sooner rather than later.

Kevin O'Leary admitted his Canadian energy play is "wrong in 2 places."

O'Leary wondered why nobody talks about the economic upside of $18 crude, if it happens.

Stephen Weiss said he knows the interim VRX CEO but that the company is still a "mess" and he'd avoid it.

Jim Lebenthal said the fact YHOO was up Wednesday is a sign that somebody thinks Starboard's letter will gain traction.

Kevin O'Leary said it's time to take "a little off the table" in AN.

During the program, Jon Fortt told Oculus chief Brendan Iribe that, trying the Oculus Rift a couple months ago, "after a couple minutes, I was blown away."

But Kevin O'Leary told Iribe that when he tried a similar product on Shark Tank, he got ill.

Iribe told O'Leary this has been a problem in virtual reality for "decades" and that Iribe is "very sensitive" but can still use the Rift for 2½ hours straight.

Judge said seeing "Star Wars" in IMAX 3-D was "awesome."

[Tuesday, January 5, 2016]

SWHC, the gun-control trade

Tuesday's Halftime Report lost about a third of its time for the president's remarks; no argument there.

Judge revealed a new wrinkle in the 2016 Halftime Portfolio contest, namely that unlimited trades are allowed.

Stephanie Link pronounced 2016 a "stock-picker's market" (Drink) and said she's stocking her 2016 Halftime Portfolio with SYF, URI, PF, NXPI and DAL.

Jon Najarian said his strategy for the 2016 contest is "to trade instead of to own." He said he added LB, ODP and ORCL.

Doc even suggested he might turn over his entire portfolio "every day."

Tony Dwyer, the star guest of the show, who has a 2,360 S&P target, said people are skeptical of the bull market because we're in the 7th year.

Joe Terranova credited Tony for calling the beginning of the year as "bumpy" and was thanked by Tony.

Dwyer affirmed to Judge that he still thinks the bull run will ultimately end badly.

"You cannot fix debt with debt!" Dwyer exclaimed.

Josh Brown suggested it's not really "groundbreaking" to suggest this is going to end badly.

Brown said he doubts there will be the "consensus" 4 rate hikes this year, which he finds "hilarious."

Jon Najarian owns SWHC and said he took profits on half of it Tuesday (Drink).

Joe said AAPL is "technically broken" but predicted it will be "quickly reversed" as soon as there's "some fundamental story."

Josh Brown said the S cycle "sucks" but that AAPL is "a better buy than a 10-year Treasury at 2%."

Doc said he sold AAPL in the morning and bought ORCL, including for his personal account. (Thankfully he didn't try to explain what he saved by selling in 2016 rather than 2015.)

Joe endorsed NVDA and MSFT.

Jackie DeAngelis looked dynamite in new hairstyle but unfortunately said, "What a difference a day makes." Anthony Grisanti said he'd side with a geopolitical boost in oil vs. a supply headwind. Scott Nations said he disagrees and thinks the story's all about oversupply.

[Monday, January 4, 2016]

Should’ve stuck to football: Doc’s 55% capital-gains commentary makes utterly no sense

Oh my.

He likely didn't go to Burger King for lunch, but the commentary served up by Jon Najarian on Monday's Halftime Report was far beyond a whopper.

It started when Josh Brown asserted the FANG stocks were getting slaughtered Monday because "pigs" who wanted to sell but didn't want the tax hit for 2015 were unloading first thing in the morning, a "big mistake."

"No, it's actually a smart move!" Doc interrupted.

Najarian made this argument: "Think of it though, Josh. So, 7% selloff in Netflix. Are you better off taking the hit last year and paying 39% on your taxes, because- or taking a 7% hit on the stock carrying it over."

A couple things with that decision: 1) Those people didn't know Thursday whether NFLX would be up or down Monday, which supports Najarian's argument. 2) There's no reason they had to sell immediately into the lows of the first morning of the year, which sounded like Brown's point.

Brown explained that delaying the capital gain for a year doesn't make it go away.

"You're gonna pay eventually when you sell," Brown said.

"Eventually," Najarian said.

So, at this stage of the conversation, kinda dubious, but no major grievances.

Until Doc said this: "I always think that's bad decision (sic omitted "a" before "bad") to- to, make your buys or sales based on taxes."


"I agree," Brown said.

Unfortunately, it just got worse.

"Today people got hit in the mouth," Doc said, invoking Mike Tyson. "How long can you take that kind of pain. A lot of people, uh, are gonna hit the exits today, and tomorrow, and I think just as Josh said that that's the wrong thing to do. ... There were stocks that I bought this morning, stocks that I sold of course too."

OK. So those who smartly delayed the tax gain until Monday morning are now "wrong," and the sells of everyone else are "wrong" ... BUT DOC'S WERE RIGHT????

Moments later, Najarian apparently felt compelled to straighten things out.

"You had a hundred thousand dollars and you bought a hundred thousand dollars of Netflix," Doc theorized. "You made $130,000 last year, because, obviously it was up 130%. Well, now take a look at what has transpired today. If you sold, uh, last week, uh, then- in order to avoid taxes and so forth, OK, so you're paying 55% in most states, somewhere around there, 55%, to the federal government. Versus $7,000 that you're gonna pay at the end of, you know, take some, take care of that today. I don't think one makes any sense vs. the other. So, if somebody does, then I guess you wanna hold on longer."

Say whaaaaaaat?????????

If you sold last week, you weren't doing it "in order to avoid taxes and so forth."

If you sold the stock last week or Monday, you are not gonna "pay" $7,000; you are merely collecting $7,000 less on Monday morning (that's if you were in the situation Doc described and sold down 3%; it was actually down a lot more than that while these guys were talking) than what you could've gotten last week.

How did we go from 39% capital gains to 55% capital gains "in most states" paid to the "federal government"?

We'll give Doc the most extreme benefit of the doubt, just to demonstrate how loopy this train of thought is.

Let's say that somehow, incredibly, a NFLX holder on Thursday actually KNEW that the stock would get demolished on Monday morning. (Of course he/she didn't, but we're dealing in logic (snicker) here.)

THAT indeed would be a mildly tough decision: Do I take my gain in 2015, or put it off at risk of the stock taking a big fall?

Except that person has no idea what the stock would do Monday afternoon, or Tuesday, or next week ... at which point it could possibly actually be HIGHER than last Thursday as well as lower.

Najarian implied that people expecting such a 7% NFLX selloff on Monday would still accept the hit and make the decision to hold until the new year to delay taxes.

But that would be idiotic on that criteria, not knowing what the shares would do Monday afternoon or Tuesday or next week.

Delaying taxes is an obvious strategy. But a sale generally is only a "smart" move if the stock continues to fall after the sale. The argument was whether it made sense to dump into a whoosh down in the first hour of the new year.

And, those who sold NFLX at 10 a.m. Monday morning quite frankly were knuckleheads when (based on Doc's example) they could've gotten the same tax benefit AND an extra 10 grand immediately simply by waiting until 3:59 p.m.

Judge should've put a stop to this immediately. Then again, maybe he did, if Doc tried to resuscitate the subject later in the program.

Wonder if Walter Robb and John Mackey understand that Herb feels really badly about confusing them

This page said overnight that Judge needed to spend Monday's Halftime on the NFL playoff picture, which is what people are talking about, and not on stuff people AREN'T talking about, such as whether value will beat growth this year.

However, with the Dow down with a 400-handle, we'll give him a pass.

Josh Brown said Monday was just a "continuation" of last year except that this time, the leaders were getting hit.

Joe Terranova said the market's looking for growth and grumbled that October merely borrowed from December's gains.

Joe pointed out that one problem is that companies can't do buybacks yet but insisted Monday's action didn't feel like an "overreaction," as Judge suggested (even though half the losses were wiped out by the end of the day, when this review was posted).

Jim Lebenthal said if the U.S. gets job growth, that will take care of everything.

Josh Brown said that on Thursday, there was a "last-15-minute vomitorium across the entire U.S. stock market" that should've indicated trouble for Monday.

Joe didn't seem floored by the FANG shellacking. "There's nothing about these that are surprising," he said.

Judge said that Cramer was advising "Don't be a hero" (Drink) on NFLX on what purportedly is Day 1 (Monday) of the selloff.

Josh Brown said he agreed with Cramer because 400-point Dow drops aren't what they used to be, and there could be more to fall.

But on the subject of market leadership, Brown pointed out how the Nifty Fifty outperformed through 1972 after the market topped out in 1966.

"It shouldn't shock people if they continue on," Brown said.

Joe Terranova said no "technical breakdown" has been confirmed yet in any of the 4 FANGs.

Jim Lebenthal got Joe to concede that his evaluation of NFLX is basically momentum. "I don't look at the valuation at all; I'm looking at the momentum, I'm looking at the net-, uh, technicals," Joe said.

Jim said the FANG momentum now is "shoddy." Joe said it's only "1 day."

What happened to the June calls in ‘ARCH’

Who better than to ring in the new year of stock trading on the Halftime Report than Mohamed El-Erian, who came packed with his 3 economic indicators or something or other.

El-Erian told Judge Monday was a "continuation of last year with 2 important qualifiers," those being "cascading poor technicals" and lack of liquidity support. He too mentioned not getting any buybacks for a few weeks.

El-Erian didn't seem that interested in Judge's Fed line of questioning, stating we "may get a couple of hikes at most; I don't think you'll get 4."

El-Erian said this is not about "beta," but "alpha," and in select energy and materials spaces with the "right vehicle" of "patient" capital, expect a "very attractive medium-term opportunity, and it will be throughout the year."

El-Erian revealed he has a book coming out on liquidity-supported growth in 3 weeks.

Jim isn’t asked to restate his ‘agnostic’ energy picks

On Monday's Halftime Report, Helima Croft, who has a smile per second, noted crude's meager gains given the geopolitical tension and said it would take a "physical supply disruption" to take off.

"We think oil goes higher in the back half of the year," Croft said, saying she wouldn't "write off" something happening in Saudi Arabia's eastern provinces where the Shiites live.

Declining Russian production is a "wild card" factor, Croft said.

Joe Terranova argued that the oil headlines were the most bullish in 25 years and that oil's response Monday was "absolutely incredible."

As far as another Middle Eastern mess, "The Americans are between a rock and a hard place," Croft said, telling Joe she doesn't see the U.S. "actively" getting involved in the dispute.

Joe said M&A will "ultimately" mark the bottom in energy.

Virtually every stock is down; does that mean he likes them all?

Ed Yardeni on Monday's Halftime Report admitted, "I don't do, uh, day moves very well."

Yardeni, who has a 2,300 S&P target, said the Chinese news was not all that "earth-shaking."

"I'm not at all impressed by the, uh, apparent weakness in the PMI," Yardeni said.

Yardeni told Judge that the panel covered the FANG story "extremely well."

Stressing a long-running theme of CNBC guests, Yardeni argued that fuel savings are bound to work ... sometime. "That's gotta be stimulative," he insisted.

Yardeni called Monday's decline the "humbug selloff" and added, "The stocks that are down today are the stocks I like."

Congrats, Josh Brown

Judge on Monday's Halftime Report crowned Josh Brown winner of the 2015 Halftime Portfolio contest.

This page isn't a big fan of the contest because 1) its rules are unrealistic and 2) panelists don't seem to care that much about it, but it nevertheless is an impressive showing for Brown.

Brown said he made it "rules based" and strove to eliminate "behavioral biases."

Judge said Brown's best move was actually FB. Brown pointed to selling DIS based on his sell discipline and avoiding a pullback.

But really, the bottom line in these contests — or life in general — isn't any more complicated than picking stocks that go up.

Once again, huge selloff, but Karen doesn’t see ‘panicky’ selling

Unfortunately late on Monday's Halftime, Doc was at it again, with an invented survey on fast-food dining.

Addressing McDonald's, Najarian said, "I gotta believe Judge it's maybe 1 in 8, or uh, maybe 1 in 6 people that actually go there have experienced that 24-hour clock for that breakfast. I think it's a great move, I think the stock goes higher, and I think this is the catalyst."

"Maybe 1 in 6 people" experience some kind of "24-hour clock for breakfast"??

The guess here is that he really meant that 1 in 6 customers during the old non-breakfast hours (probably about 10:30 a.m. to 5 a.m.) is ordering breakfast, which doesn't mean anything great and could even suggest they'd otherwise be having a higher margin Big Mac.

Josh Brown said the MCD fundamentals haven't turned as much as the stock price, which seems to benefit from "new blood" in management. (Pete wasn't around to say "THEY NEED TO SIMPLIFY THE MENU!!!!!!")

Stephanie Link said China's shellacking is mostly related to "currency concerns," and she thinks the volatility continues.

"I am a buyer of stocks here, for sure," said Link, pointing to CVX and WMT.

Link said WMT has the "lowest amount of buy ratings in a decade" and that the company's truck fleet will benefit from lower fuel (Drink).

Jim Lebenthal didn't really like CVX or WMT but said "I think Stephanie's idea is the right one."

Josh Brown said he sees no sign of a bottom in AXP, though it's getting "really cheap," so he wouldn't sell.

Jim Lebenthal backed TIF.

Doc noted LULU got an FBR upgrade at the end of last week.

Joe Terranova said he likes GM, and he also "kinda" likes what Lyft management is doing.

On the 5 p.m. Fast Money, Guy Adami said, "Today should've been a lot worse than it was."

"It did not seem to be panicky at all during the day," said Karen Finerman.

Judge needs to focus on the important things

The Redskins are hosting a playoff game (that's correct, not a misprint) ... and they're actually not the underdog.

As of Monday morning, the only thing the whole country is talking about is the NFL playoff picture.

All of which means Judge should devote Monday's Halftime Report to football conversation, assessing the wild card schedule, possible divisional matchups, and even coach firings and draft order.

If instead we get "Is this the year value outperforms growth" or "When will the next Fed hike be" or anything on Carl Icahn's goofy Pep Boys plan, we'll be switching over to (rapidly falling victim to cord-cutting) ESPN without an ounce of regret.

Thank you, Rex!

Pittsburgh doesn't deserve it.

But we'll take it.

The yinz managed to back into the NFL playoffs, not because they did anything courageous ... but because Rex Ryan's troops, with absolutely nothing on the line but pride, played like champions Sunday when the chips were down.

Tonight, wherever you're at, if at all possible, toast Rex and this 1977 Houston Oilers-esque-caliber victory with a cold one. (Remember to drink responsibly.)


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