[CNBCfix Fast Money Review Archive — July 2013]
[Wednesday, July 31, 2013]

Bust of the Year: Bill Ackman
(a/k/a the guy with a ‘300’ poster hanging over his bed)

This one likely won't get us invited to the Pershing Square summer cookout.

(Which is too bad, because that likely is a lot of fun, a lot of charitable donations and people talking about what it's like to hear your name/firm brought up on Fast Money, etc.)

Honestly, does anyone believe at this point that the government is suddenly going to sink Herbalife, an international company with a bunch of employees, just because a hedge fund wants it to?

Bill Ackman's short clearly has no chance of succeeding, stick a fork in it, it's done.

Where did this go wrong? Honestly, this quite possibly was one of those things, like a gadget play that Bill Cowher really wanted to run, where the boss gets such a head of steam about something that even his rightly skeptical associates can't talk him out of doing it.

Ackman needed to produce individuals declaring for cameras that they were destroyed by Herbalife.

He never did it, or if he did, we don't even remember it.

Read the headlines on Pershing Square's "Facts About Herbalife" Web site and you won't find a smoking gun of any sort, at least not from the headlines. (Companies get sued all the time, by the way; they might as well put Wal-Mart out of business because shoppers slip on the floors.)

Ackman's last fleeting chance here is that between his own grandstanding and some elusive negative headline, regulators feel pressured enough to pursue some kind of case just to show they've done something, and then he can quickly exit and declare after covering, "We think they should've gone further, but we're pleased that they at least acted on our concerns, and now we're moving on to other opportunities."

It's like he's trailing 40-13 in the 4th quarter, but is still capable of a couple of garbage scores and covering the 14-point spread.

So who, for Fast Money purposes (which doesn't include Carl Icahn even though he's on the show more often than JJ Kinahan or Enis Taner), actually knocked this one out of the park?

That would be Anthony Scaramucci, according to our January archive, which indicated on Jan. 29 that "Anthony Scaramucci became the first Fast Money member to recommend HLF post-Ackman."

But a more blockbuster call was made by a guest surely no one remembers, Sahm Adrangi, who conceded the pyramid notion is a "gray area" but that it's big in Mexico and Indonesia, which have bigger problems than multi-level marketing, and the "stock might you know drop down to 35 bucks or so," but "50 to 70 bucks sounds about right."

Meanwhile, on Wednesday, Guy Adami took up the subject of HLF on the 5 p.m. Fast Money, admitting he was wrong so far about it slipping into the mid-50s and saying it's a "pile-on at this point ... I don't know how this ends ... There's a very good chance that in some way, shape or form, Ackman winds up being correct in some of his ass- you know, assertions ... and I said this $30 ago, but he's gonna wind up being wrong in terms of the stock."

We'll take the other side of Ackman's "assertions" being "correct" in any way that matters.

But it was on the Halftime Report where the most serious HLF dialogue occurred, featuring bull Robert Chapman who played Carl's role and proved an interesting, if highly effusive, guest.

Chapman said of the stock, "Even in the low 60s, it's something you should own," and only later got a little carried away. "Today I think the stock should be trading at 75 bucks," he said, explaining that "the big picture story here is the stock going to 300."

Chapman said HLF compares favorably to Philip Morris/Altria/whatever the right name is from 13 years ago, and while smoking is perceived as hurting health-care costs, HLF is seen as a positive, particularly in a "socialized health-care system."

Chapman though had a bizarre description for "that guy" Ackman (wonder if he and Bill had dinner at Carl's favorite Italian restaurant and accused each other of trying to be the other's friend), opining, "I truly believe he's a guy who probably has a poster from the movie '300' hanging over his bed."

Brian Kelly actually claims you should buy/sell the TLT based on the Summers-Yellen outcome

(Sigh) One of the things we like to single out for skepticism on this page is this constant notion of somehow trading Fed individuals (their speeches and appointments) that many folks on CNBC actually seem to think is a useful appropriation of one's time.

The Fed is perhaps the most glacial consensus of all time, and the only thing that really matters about an appointment is whether enough Congresspeople are annoyed by the way he/she answers their questions.

So take with a grain of salt Karen Finerman's contention on Wednesday's Fast Money that Larry Summers, obviously a very talented individual, is somehow a better candidate for this position than Janet Yellen or hundreds of other people because of his "more real-world experience" that includes standing by during the Mexican peso and Asian debt crises of the 1990s.

(He also witnessed what Linda Tripp could do to a friend, and whether hell hath any fury like the Winklevi scorned, but Karen didn't say that.)

Finerman freely admitted he's a "friend of ours" (we think "ours" means hubby and not that Summers pals around with Brian Kelly).

Tim Seymour blurted, "Is he appointable." Finerman declared, "Summers is absolutely appointable," and it will come down to whether Barack Obama wants him.

And take with a further grain of salt Brian Kelly's suggested trade on this decision, advising that if it's Janet Yellen, you buy TLT, and if it's Larry Summers, you sell TLT.

Fast Money panelist cites HULU (Drink) as a risk to NFLX

Wednesday's Fast Money crew tackled some of the month's hottest stocks, beginning with TSLA, in which Guy Adami admitted "I was 100% wrong" in suggesting the reversal that temporarily stuck Steve Grasso with shares below $110 was something to short.

But, Adami still advises unloading ahead of the Aug. 7 earnings.

Mike Khouw suggested that if you like TRIP, you can "sell out-of-the-money puts, well-out-of-the-money puts."

Khouw was skeptical of ETFC, one of the biggest head-scratchers recently; "I would not be looking to purchase it here."

Karen Finerman reiterated that in AAPL's resurgence, "some of this was a relief rally."

Tim Seymour actually called NFLX a "great value proposition for investors," but then sank whatever point he was making in citing Hulu as a risk (Drink); "I hold this stock; I don't short it."

Guy Adami said of NFLX, "I do think it trades higher from here." (This writer is long NFLX.)

Later, Seymour made a goofy bull case for FB based on how its results provide "validation for all the guys in this space," even though the stock "should stagnate here." Guy Adami pointed to the reversal Wednesday after a couple days of heavy volume as a sign of fatigue.

If this is the top, Guy Adami is really gonna get Fast Fired

Ed Yardeni told Wednesday's Fast Money he can see the stock market stalling, with "some issues coming up here in the fall," but the problem with selling is that "you've gotta time it just right" because you'll want to get back in, and that's difficult.

Nevertheless, "Some consolidation would be overdue and welcome," Yardeni said.

Guy Adami pointed out for the 3rd or 4th time that the market generally doesn't give you this much time to sell a peak, so "I'm hard-pressed to believe that this in fact is the top."

Tim Seymour said, "The dollar's goin' higher." Later, Jens Nordvig came on to explain why. Nordvig said "we're gonna see tapering in September," which he said could be a dollar catalyst, but it's also dependent on data.

However, he said bonds have been an issue. "People are scared of a further backup in yields," Nordvig said, suggesting the dollar could be driven if we see the "short end of the bond market start to go higher."

Adami: Consider chasing SYMC

Chris Marangi told Wednesday's Fast Money that CBS had a "terrific quarter" but that "advertising is probably peaking here."

However, Marangi's take on the sector was lukewarm if anything, suggesting the easy money's been made but that a lot of media stocks are still buys. "Comcast was dramatically undervalued 3 years ago," he said, and consolidation will work for everyone, he added.

He also called Rogers Communications the "Comcast of the North" and said you might want to try the old/new News Corp, where "you get the Wall Street Journal for free," which is a lot cheaper than the cost of a subscription, online or otherwise.

Karen Finerman said that given the size of JCP's recent offering, "it was a little surprising to see this news" about credit lines in the N.Y. Post, and troubling if true.

Mike Khouw said APD options volume, which he flagged a week or two ago, is down since the Ackman news came out, but Khouw has a "hard time" understanding Ackman's valuation case.

Karen Finerman piled on, referring to Ackman's 13D and observing he could nominate a board member (oh joy), but really, "I kinda don't get it."

Guy Adami made a strange analogy in WFM's quarter to the one 6 months ago that didn't seem to be quite the same selloff, but whatever, he said to own the stock, though it "might have a couple days of selloff."

Adami said of SYMC, "I think it breaks out," and you might think about chasing Thursday.

Tim Seymour, a day after gloating he would sell POT at 35.10, did the wishful thinking/Paul McCartney Trade (My Brave Face) on MOS; "I'm staying in this; today's move does not concern me." He made MOS his Final Trade.

Mike Khouw said to avoid DELL; "I would probably stay away from this unless you're an arb." (Yes, but what about all the potential of the services side of the business that they can unlock if they just go private?)

Karen Finerman called BWLD kind of "rich" valuation.

Guy Adami said YELP jumped on short interest and strongly recommended taking profits Thursday.

Adami wasn't high on SNDK, saying it might go lower. His Final Trade was KORS.

Mike Khouw said MA 630 weekly calls were hot. Brian Kelly said to sell VGK for a Final Trade. Karen Finerman's Final Trade was FL.

Kate Kelly thought Gary Cohn might predict a verdict

One thing Bill Ackman couldn't be faulted for on Wednesday's Halftime Report was the last week's surge in FB, which Jon Najarian called "a turning point for Facebook."

Simon Baker said the easy money's been made, but 38 could soon prove to be a floor.

Mike Santoli said, "I think the news flow favors Facebook."

Prof. Aswath Damodaran, one of our favorite Halftime guests (and, unlike another favorite, Porter Bibb, has actually been validated on this stock), said he's done "5 valuations" of FB in the last year, and they've ranged from 24 to 28 in price, so the business worth in his eyes hasn't changed much.

In fact, "I don't share the euphoria that people have," Damodaran said. "I'd be a seller today."

Simon Baker argued LNKD is going to make higher lows and higher highs because everyone uses it and likes it. Jon Najarian countered that it's had a 12% run into earnings, and thinks it will be buyable in the "160 to 180 range."

Stephanie Link said UTX, the best Dow performer of July, "really isn't that expensive."

Simon Baker said AAPL, FB and CSCO are all more appealing than the Dow's worst July performer, MSFT.

Kate Kelly scored an interview with Goldman Sachs' Gary Cohn, who proved convincing; we wondered if he was going to cite Charles Gasparino's inability to find a scam in the N.Y. Times aluminum story as evidence the operation is clean, but he didn't.

Cohn said clients dictate how aluminum is moved, and that the backlog was triggered by the 2008 peak of commodity frenzy.

He said, "We feel horrible for consumers if they can't get metal," but that Goldman Sachs has not been taken up by anyone on its offer to produce the commodity.

"We are staying in the commodity-hedging business," Cohn assured Kelly.

"Equities are still cheap," he added.

Cohn also said, "We continue to do business with SAC Capital."

Kelly spoke to Cohn about the Fabulous Fab trial and bluntly asked, "Is he guilty?"

"We don't believe so," Cohn said.

Kelly then seemed to think Cohn was going to forecast a verdict. "Do you have any expectations on the outcome?" Kelly asked; Cohn said no but that he was watching the trial.

[Tuesday, July 30, 2013]

Head of equity/quantitative strategy says nobody owns GE

Savita Subramanian, who is cute, started off her stint on Tuesday's Fast Money outlining 4 themes, and whenever we hear more than 3 (or sometimes just 3), we automatically write off the details.

Except that Subramanian caught our attention in endorsing the industrials, saying, "You wanna buy the big, globally diversified names that nobody really owns," which she said is "the GEs."


Subramanian had barely gotten the words out for her first theme, global diversity, when Tim Seymour cut her off to ask what's actually a good question, what exactly accounts for global diversity (for example, MCD), only to bend the question into a 2-parter about valuations. Subramanian eventually conceded to the panel that her call to be long tech, industrials and energy is basically a cyclical call.

Meanwhile, Seymour said, "I think the market wants to go higher," but that he'd be buying the dollar now.

Mike Khouw suggested puts on the SPY, one of 2 times in the show.

Jon Hilsenrath, who quickly got annoyed with the satellite delay, told guest host Judge Wapner that the Fed might "codify" its bond buying.

Tim Seymour said it sounds to him like the Fed is determining strategy "minute to minute." Hilsenrath said he thinks the Friday jobs report could move the markets more than the Fed statement.

Karen Finerman was the lone panelist to brilliantly point out that since the taper meltdown of May 22, "the market is actually higher," which makes her uncertain whether tapering discussions are good or not, and she's not going to gamble on it by guessing.

Dr. J apparently knocked one out of the park in COH

Mark Mahaney, in an extremely reasoned and professional analysis, said on Tuesday's Fast Money that FB experienced "an inflection-point quarter" and could rise all the way up to $40.

Judge Wapner wondered why Mahaney doesn't rate the stock a neutral rather than buy at this point, because he "made more of a neutral case." Mahaney said he's not immune to the machinations of the market.

However, Mahaney contended, "The valuation is a lot more attractive on Google."

Mike Khouw said "I don't understand the valuation" in FB, but "it's getting its buzz back."

Guy Adami argued that JNJ is a buy because it has become diversified.

Brian Kelly counterargued that it's at "extreme valuations."

Tim Seymour said Adami made good points, but "I am a seller at these levels."

Seymour gave a fairly helpful (and, for a change, not terribly long-winded) explanation of the potash situation, and said he bought POT in the morning (at 29.10, his Final Trade is to sell at 35.10).

Karen Finerman said COH, subject of a recent Halftime Report debate involving Stephanie Link in which Jon Najarian predicted the stock would fall to the low 50s and be buyable there, has the "cheapest valuation" it's had in a while, but that valuation is deserved.

Don’t expect to see Don Felder performing with the Eagles in the fabulous Forum

While Jon Najarian just might have nailed COH this week, Guy Adami hasn't (yet) had quite the same success with X.

A day after suggesting a trough, Adami on Tuesday's Fast Money was forced to admit it sank Tuesday, but said it's still a buy with a 17.50 stop.

Adami on Tuesday pointed to HLF's odd day and said he wouldn't be surprised to see it at 54 next week.

Mike Khouw said GT 19 calls were hot, but he would sell them and take advantage of premium. Khouw said CYH is "fully valued at this level."

Karen Finerman said a guy from Ackman's shop made a filing about BID, "this is actually a vulnerable target." She said it's appealing in that regard, but "I don't own it."

Tim Seymour predicted resistance at 120 for CMI.

Brian Kelly said there's "probably a little bit more to go here" in DXJ's downside.

Guy Adami said he was wrong on BRCM, but wait till 30 to get back in.

Tim Seymour said "I'd fade this strength" in PBR. Karen Finerman would "probably be a buyer" in M, and Brian Kelly said to look for OXY around 84.

Kelly's Final Trade was to sell FXB. Karen Finerman said to take profits in GNC. Guy Adami said to get long COL.

Jane Wells reported on MSG's interest in the Forum, and even interviewed Glenn Frey (but not about that "I guess" remark Don Felder made to Sen. Alan Cranston). Guy Adami said of MSG, "I wouldn't be trading it here."

Nobody on the Halftime Report asked Chris Hentemann why he said ‘basically’ 5 times in his first 30 seconds, and 17 times total

Housing expert Chris Hentemann delivered an articulate assessment of the industry on Tuesday's Halftime Report.

Unfortunately, he also delivered the word "basically" en masse, to the point we honestly stopped listening to everything else he was saying and just waited for the next "basically."

He said it's not like the 2012 market, but it's the "2nd game of the doubleheader" now, and "we love newly originated mortgage credit."

Stephen Weiss, grasping for support, asked Hentemann to endorse MTG, and Hentemann did.

Hentemann stressed at least twice (but not 17 times thankfully) that home ownership is "a privilege, not a right."

Analyst doesn’t want to upgrade his ridiculously low S&P target because he thinks it’s ‘silly’ that people are chasing

Judge Wapner was slated for double duty on Tuesday, which was a good thing, because the Halftime Report's sluggish opening needed a lot of work.

Pete Najarian bellowed that financials and industrials have been carrying the market, and "I think that continues."

Joe Terranova offered one of the more blunt predictions we've heard recently, suggesting a "massive chase for performance" is the biggest risk right now and forecasting a "very sharp rise in equity prices."

Tobias Levkovich, with the benefit of hearing the early remarks, explained, "I've been listening to this conversation intensely," and apparently didn't like much of what he was hearing, insisting there is more volatility ahead.

Levkovich defended his weak 1,615 S&P target as being set in September last year (how relevant is a 10-month-old S&P 500 price target anyway?), when he claims he was ahead of the market in bullishness. Furthermore, Levkovich stressed that he doesn't change price targets on daily stock moves. However, he (fortunately for a change) ran into Stephen Weiss, who questioned why after 7 months this year it still hasn't changed. Levkovich seemed to argue that the market and not his irrelevant number is the problem; "now people are chasing the tape and I think that's a silly way to go through markets."

He added that even though he sees a 60% chance that stocks will be up 3 months from now, he won't adjust a target on that low of a probability, but meanwhile, "I can see 1,825 by mid-June next year."

Judge Wapner said they've "got bubblicious here in Manhattan," then explained he was referring to being in a bubble, in that Manhattan is not like the rest of the country.

Judge let certain segments linger, cut into advertising time

Those who couldn't believe how the New England Patriots managed the clock at the end of the first half of the AFC Championship Game were probably wondering how Judge Wapner seemed to overdo it on the interviews on Tuesday's Halftime Report and, on a day of zero breaking news whatsoever, produce a less-than-expected amount of commercial breaks.

Wapner even engineered a clumsy transition from a potash discussion into an artificial-as-saccharine ag-stock debate.

Stephen Weiss crowed that he already made $2 on MOS, which he bought with POT, and said the stocks were overreacting to what's just a negotiating ploy over China.

Mike Murphy said what matters is that the cartel breakup will affect the price of potash.

Weiss insisted the stocks reflected an "overly emotional reaction."

Mr. New World waffled. "I'll call that a statistical tie," he said.

Mike Murphy crowed, "In January I said that Facebook would trade to the IPO price," then assured he didn't mean that indefinitely; "it was for the year."

Murphy suggested people have been exiting GOOG for FB. Pete Najarian said to look at the Google-vs.-Baidu chart recently.

Jim Iuorio said he thinks gold and the 10-year will get hit by the reintroduction of taper talk, but he won't sell gold until it maybe gets below 1,317. Jeff Kilburg on the other hand is still bullish of gold because he sees an undercurrent of support, and it hasn't retraced to 1,300.

JJ Kinahan, given a rare starring role, pointed to 3 stocks making waves among options players, starting with BWLD, which he said is pegged by some for a downside surprise given the activity in August 90 puts.

He said people are buying 220 calls and 180 puts in LNKD, but it's mostly bullish in HCA.

Stephen Weiss said hospitals aren't so hot right now; "I sold my CYH today."

Pete Najarian likes other names better than JNJ. Steve Weiss likes LCC and the airline space. Joe Terranova still likes JPM (Drink), and Mike Murphy said NOV is buyable here.

Joe Terranova's Final Trade was SJM. Mike Murphy said NYCB, Stephen Weiss said BRCM and Pete Najarian said PFE.

Herg Greenberg actually claimed, quoting someone else but apparently agreeing, that "this is now an earnings per share story" in HLF.

[Monday, July 29, 2013]

Why doesn’t Carter point to some business magazine cover as signaling the top?

So we're barely a month past the market's biggest selloff of the year, which included a 40-point S&P drop in 1 day, which quite frankly in our experience is possibly the most knuckle-headed selloff in stock market history ... and Carter Worth is telling people that wasn't "healthy" enough.

Worth said on Monday's Fast Money that the market technicals are troubling; "the correction and then the quick recovery really makes it worse ... we think it's not good."

Then he invoked the most non-technical indicator we can think of, that "everyone's bullish.",br> And, Worth said, the market has to get "back to the entomology" (seriously, that's what he said). "We need a correction that keeps things healthy ... we just think it's asymmetrical."

Yeah. Sure.

Well, Simon Baker insists every time he's on that this is a "stock-picker's market," so you've got plenty of options for your favorite gaffe.

Much more realistically, Worth said the Russell 2000 is particularly extended, and "risk/reward is just not favorable."

Guy Adami, still obsessed with May 22, said Man, that sure sounds good (or something like that), but he still thinks we're going to 1,725 because the market doesn't give you this long to sell a top.

Pete Najarian gushed that financials have been strong since last year. Dan Nathan groused that only the financials have been delivering.

Adami: Trough possible in X

It came so far back in the program, with no preface, that we actually didn't know what he was talking about, but Dennis Gartman clarified the Vladimir Putin fish story on Monday's Fast Money, something his colleagues proved far more interested in than his long gold vs. copper trade.

Guy Adami said the "trough" in X "may actually be in," given its early quarterly release on Monday.

Steve Grasso told UNG watchers that he doesn't see the supply glut in nat gas fading anytime soon.

Dan Nathan said CF is a name you "probably wanna buy on pullbacks."

Herb Greenberg, seeking clouds in the HLF silver lining, stressed that the company lowered its 3rd-quarter guidance. Guy Adami asked Herb if he's actually hearing about whales (snicker) thinking about shorting HLF now that it's surging. Herb claimed, "I've heard people, uh, mention it."

We’d like to see Jared Bernstein get the job

Laurence Meyer told Monday's Fast Money that it's now become a "closer race between Yellen and Summers," and we're already tired of this subject.

Pete Najarian thundered that Larry Summers would be a "wild card" for this position. "That's why he doesn't stand a chance," opined Steve Grasso.

Extending one of his most bizarre themes, Guy Adami again bristled at Ben S. Bernanke's performance; "this guy shouldn't be allowed to leave."

Guy Adami pointed to the bizarre chart of OMC and called it an "amazingly interesting day" and also pointed to IPG and advising, "I would avoid these names."

Pete Najarian said August 40 calls in FB were hot, AAPL was running 2 to 1 calls to puts, and PRGO overpaid, but "this is really something that's intriguing."

Dan Nathan said of EXPE, "Close to 40, I think this thing's a buy." But Nathan warned against chasing SBUX; "I just don't think you get in here."

Steve Grasso argued a bull case for DECK, his Final Trade, basing it on lower sheepskin costs, which will be "reverting to the mean."

Guy Adami, the bear, could only say the quarter was an absolute disaster. Pete Najarian had prejudged the case and said the stock is on the 50-day, and the "opportunity is to the upside."

Guy Adami said you might want to buy on the SAVE offering selloff.

Scott Nations said September 90 puts in JNJ were suddenly active. Guy Adami said MAS' results "should be positive for HD." Steve Grasso said DDD and SSYS are more concept plays than anything, and if you've had gains, "I would trim."

Pete Najarian's Final Trade was VLO. Dan Nathan said ZNGA, and Guy Adami said BWA.

Somehow people suddenly think they’ve gotta agree with Simon’s bogus stock-picker’s-market thesis

Joe Terranova told viewers at the top of Monday's Halftime Report to "completely ignore the tape" and revealed, "I'm doing nothing," and sadly, Judge Wapner had to fill 59 more minutes of programming.

Stephanie Link seemed to agree; "we actually took some profits" last week, Link said, but Cramer would be interested in getting ETN if it weakens.

Jon Najarian pointed out that solar and silver were working on Monday.

Simon Baker first predicted Wednesday would be "anticlimatic" (sic) and then stuck to his narrative that "it's not just a buy and hold market."

For some reason, Mr. New World felt obligated to burnish his own it's-somehow-not-buy-and-hold credentials, insisting to Baker he wrote a book about not buying and holding (great advice for any time except the last 12 months).

Baker, obsessed with this bizarre description of the summer 2013 stock market, reaffirmed his great-to-be-a-stock-picker notion with Erin Gibbs, and succeeded in also buffaloing Gibbs, who insisted she's on board with that; "yeah same exact thing. We- there isn't one sector where we're looking at, across the board, and saying carte blanche, you know, buy the whole sector."

That's a relief.

Gibbs said her concern is "negative revenue growth" for companies, but she likes RHI, as well as DLTR and PETM.

Herb crestfallen that nobody on Halftime seemed to care about his online-only report encompassing 9 months of work

Herb Greenberg visited with Monday's Halftime Report to discuss his concerns over HLF "sales growth" but really just wanted to complain that his multi-level marketing video didn't move the stocks. (Joe Terranova assured Herb that his reporting "might be excellent" but it wouldn't move the stock in this case.)

Stephanie Link suggested that HLF could do wonders for itself if it would just "simplify" its quarter.

Joe Terranova isn't likely to get much disagreement in asserting, "I think right now that Mr. Ackman's position is clearly in a very perilous place."

Terranova told Judge Wapner it was a "mistake" that he hasn't owned HLF, because he's been talking about it. (But since we've brought books into it, how would buying HLF meet that "buy high, sell higher" criteria?)

Speaking of other notable shorts, Simon Baker claimed that, "Long term, Chanos is gonna be correct" on CAT.

Dr. New Land suggested CAT is having the same kind of "sentiment issue" as AAPL and forecast, "in the low 80s it probably holds."

Jon Najarian said he'd buy CAT around 81 and sell around 88.

Show looks like it was reaching to find an Amazon short

Joe Terranova got Fast Fired on Monday's Halftime Report for a short-AMZN call that the screen graphic said was made April 25. We don't doubt that; this page's April archive indicates Joe made the sell case in a debate on the 25th.

However, the closing price that day was $274.70. It spent the next several days trading down nearly $30, so actually a good short-term call.

The problem, according to our recap, is that on Friday the 26th, Joe made sell AMZN his Final Trade, a day it was already down and closing at $254.81.

We don't even remember this one. But Terranova indicated Monday this was indeed a losing call, "crushed on it pretty good," he said.

However, it's hard to see why Joe's getting flagged for this one, given that April 11, Tim Seymour actually said, "I think Amazon's days of dominance are certainly coming to a close."

For those who actually printed out the Cantor report ...

Steve Kernkraut told Monday's Halftime Report that the SKS deal is "more about real estate" than retail, and as far as the entire retail landscape goes, Kernkraut sees no clarity until about Labor Day.

He also said, "I would stay on the sidelines in Lululemon."

Stephanie Link said Cramer owns GPS and COST. Jon Najarian and Simon Baker both backed GPS.

Link said she finds it "very surprising" that the advertising industry is consolidating, especially when there might be antitrust concerns. Link called IPG a hold.

Simon Baker said he trimed FB on the rally and would "redeploy after the next week or 2."

But Baker said of WYNN, "I'd stay away from it this stage."

Joe Terranova scoffed at an analyst's skeptical assessment of WFM. "Take the Cantor report and throw it in the garbage," Terranova said.

Kate Kelly wasn’t expecting Steven Cohen to throw a party

In another tiresome Halftime Report debate Monday on COH — one of the staples of this feature's franchise — Stephanie Link said what she always says; "this is not a play on the quarter."

Simon Baker predicted COH earnings will be "lousy for a couple of quarters" and the old canard about this being a stock-picker's market how an aspirational brand can't be a leisure/lifestyle brand or something like that, whatever.

Jon Najarian predicted the stock "does trade down into the lower 50s," at which point he'd buy. But, "I'd much rather own Ralph Lauren."

Mr. New Land said he wants to hear the SWN earnings but then would look to "buy on the pullback."

Stephanie Link said to "look to reload in the mid-20s" in HIG. Simon Baker said of DHI, "Personally I'd avoid it." Jon Najarian said of ELN, "Finally somebody bit."

Dr. J said August 50 calls in DDD, weeklies and monthlies, were hopping.

Link's Final Trade was WEN. Baker said MAS, Terranova said RSG and Najarian said CPWR.

Kate Kelly reported that SAC was pretending like it's "situation normal," and that Steven Cohen's "party" might have been a get-together "ostensibly" with select folks from the ovarian cancer event, but nonetheless "I'm a bit surprised" he did it, Kelly said.

[Friday, July 26, 2013]

Mary Ann Bartels
hangs a 1,750 on S&P

While Guy Adami spent most of Friday's thankfully short Fast Money advising people not to buy stuff, Mary Ann Bartels was pointing to "early signs" of the Great Rotation and a financials-driven earnings breakout that will take the S&P 500 to 1,750.

Bartels said as long as we're above 1,650, "I think the market's fine." She suggested miners, not far from 2008 lows, are a good way to play a bullish call on gold.

Josh Brown argued that "you don't play this pullback" in housing, while Guy Adami, ordering Brown to let him speak, suggested in his lone buy of the day (and his Final Trade) that PHM with a 16 stop is interesting.

Brown countered that "they had a major miss," and that he expects lower highs for the sector. Steve Grasso said people are making it too complicated, just be long HD.

Meanwhile, Guy Adami advised viewers not to chase SBUX, "don't touch" JCP, be "careful" with BA, and with TRIP surging, "you can't chase this stock here."

Tim Seymour though said SBUX has room in foreign markets, which makes it a "great multinational play right here."

Josh Brown, who spent much of the program saying "I gotta tell you," said if he were long MSFT, "I would be really concerned" after what Einhorn did, and "I gotta tell you," Japan (Brown is long DXJ) figures to see wage growth, in which you want to look at Japanese automakers.

Brown called FB's surge an "eruption" and earnestly tried to make a fine point about what an enormous gain this is for such a prominent company, but the rest of the panel was in giggle mode and didn't let him finish. Brown's Final Trade was KBE.

Steve Grasso said to play TSLA, which suddenly looks like a great move on his part, "You've gotta have a steel stomach." Grasso said "I'd still be a buyer" of ETFC and made ACI his Final Trade, with a stop.

Tim Seymour said the Fed has "a lot of pressure going into this meeting." (Why? How hard is it to say "Endless QE!") Seymour said "you buy this weakness" in Japan, but BRCM is "something you stay away from." Seymour's Final Trade was BHP.

Guy Adami said he expects the 10-year to push back down toward 2.0%.

Phil LeBeau explained how Porsche has increased its sales to women. (For some reason, Friday's edition of Fast Money views itself as a destination for high-net-worth individuals.)

Jonathan Steinberg appears on CNBC just as N.Y. Post reports Maria is shopping around at rival networks

Josh Brown dialed into Friday's Halftime Report with the most enthusiasm of anyone on the show, saying he's long VGK and will be adding, because Europe is improving, "one of the cheapest markets on Earth," and you want to be buying when things have bottomed out.

Paul Richards agreed that this is the time for Europe. "I think it is," he said, stressing we can't call it "Misson Accomplished" yet and that Draghi might have to start talking down the euro if it gets to 1.35.

Jonathan Steinberg, whose primary occupation (husband of Maria Bartiromo) got the necessary mention from Judge Wapner, proved a surprisingly good guest actually, although he talked his book the entire time; ETFs are the future, they're awesome, they've got liquidity, transparency, "it really is a great experience," etc.

Stephen Weiss comes up empty when asked at what level he would buy homebuilders

Jon Najarian said on Friday's Halftime Report that NEM is buyable under 30, but he managed to avoid the drop; "luckily got called out last week," he said.

Stephen Weiss said of gold, "I think it's defined a range," while Mike Murphy bluntly stated, "I wouldn't go near it."

Murphy and Weiss took part in a tiresome debate on homebuilders that you've heard so many times, with Murphy asserting that "new home sales are at a 5-year high" while the stocks have taken a hit, and that they're in a "tradeable range."

Weiss said rates are going up, the stocks trade at substantial premiums and asserted they're not delivering on their quarters; "I'm short the IPOs this year," but he negated his own argument with his inability to declare a price that he would buy the builders at.

Pete Najarian tried to play it right down the middle, saying the higher end such as TOL has not seen headwinds from higher rates, but lower end has.

ZNGA ruins Doc’s week

Jon Najarian tried to slip in a little Brag Trade on NEM midway through Friday's Halftime Report, but anyone who wanted a little comeuppance needed only to wait till the end of the program to hear how Najarian was handling ZNGA.

"Completely out of the stock by Monday at the latest," Najarian said, explaining he didn't see the gambling announcement coming but that he was selling puts on Friday that he hoped to trade out of.

Honestly, not to pile on, but we couldn't help but wonder whether, in the wake of the selloff, Najarian's initial prediction was a good one, that in fact people on Friday and Monday should be buying the shares Najarian is unloading because it looks like a pretty steep washout.

But really, who knows. (This writer has no position in ZNGA.)

In by far the show's best line, Najarian actually told Judge Wapner at the top of the hour that "I got a Fast Fire as well, and it's, uh, it hurt on the way out as well."

Stephen Weiss said he's not touching ZNGA; "I don't see any reason to go in."

Did GOOG really go unmentioned?

Some monster moves were taking place in the Nasdaq on Friday, but the Halftime Report crew seemed to be taking everything in stride.

Pete Najarian gushed that "this is absolutely incredible" for FB, but nobody really pounded the table to start buying on Friday.

Mark May, whose price on AMZN is 340, told Judge Wapner, "our target's not really changing." Mike Murphy pointed out the difficulty in shorting AMZN; "you can't bet against this name."

Murphy however said you "can absolutely buy" SBUX, but as for EXPE, "I would stay away from this name." Jon Najarian said EXPE no longer gets follow-through clicks on TRIP, they "lost a lot of traction that they had."

Pete Najarian said ATVI has potential; "this stock could go a lot higher."

Coming soon: The Yellen Era

The opening of Friday's Halftime Report could not have been weaker, as Steve Liesman was cast in the unfortunate position of explaining for about the half-dozenth time on the Halftime Report how the market views tapering, and Stephen Weiss drew a couple moments of dead air by opining out of the blue that he's the one who looks best in striped shirts (seriously).

"I'm still not putting my trading positions back on," said Weiss, who said he is long-term bullish but doesn't think the risk/reward is good at the moment.

Mike Murphy disagreed, saying "the direction of this market is still higher" and suggesting F as a name people can add to.

Liesman said the market gets several big events next week, including ISM Thursday.

Pete Najarian's Final Trade was KFN. Stephen Weiss and Mike Murphy said C, and Jon Najarian said TTWO, and tossed in GME.

[Thursday, July 25, 2013]

No one on Fast Money asks
Sen. Charles Grassley about ethanol

SAC critic Sen. Charles Grassley joined Thursday's Fast Money to share his thoughts on the indictment, calling it a "step in the right direction" and explaining, "I don't think it's just one company."

Melissa Lee invoked the show's favorite cliche, asking Grassley, "At the end of the day," should SAC be shut down.

Grassley punted, "You know maybe I should say yes, but I'm not going to say yes."

Guy Adami said that until we know more facts, "I think it's just business as usual."

Scott Cohn moments later told Lee: "Let's be clear: If the U.S. attorney, Preet Bharara, is successful here, SAC almost certainly will be shut down."

Pressing the SAC theme that quickly grew tired, Melissa Lee failed to switch gears and ask Grassley about what could've been a potentially explosive topic, why ethanol needs the government's help.

It’s payback time for Kevin Landis (but Judge is not around for a facial)

FB long Kevin Landis said on Thursday's Fast Money that cost basis is a factor for investors, but it shouldn't be.

Landis, addressing whether FB longs will unload at 38, said there's a "psychological anchoring to what you paid for something that actually, it shouldn't really bias you."

Melissa Lee asked if Landis would be trimming on Thursday's gains. Landis wisely replied, "If we were selling of course we wouldn't telegraph it on TV."

Landis called Facebook's mobile movement "a more and more credible story every quarter," and said there's no alternative; "there is no Pepsi to this Coke."

Asked about GOOG, the Fast Money gang's favorite stock since it started going up about 6 months ago, Landis said, "If you want safety, Google, if you want upside, Facebook."

It was quite a reversal from last year, when, virtually a year ago to the day (July 26, 2012), Landis appeared on the Halftime Report, and got utterly shellacked by Judge Wapner for saying that it's OK for Mark Zuckerberg to miss the call. "If he decides that he's not the one to be on the call, and he's doing something else, that's fine with me."

"How is that possible?!" Judge exploded at Landis. "I'm mean you've gotta be kidding me."

"OK you have to be kidding me," Landis told Wapner. "The call is just, that's just optics. It's the substance that matters."

Grasso: ‘Every dip’ in AMZN gets bought

Steve Grasso opened Thursday's Fast Money pronouncing AMZN's earnings irrelevant.

For years, "Every dip you see on this chart has been bought," Grasso said. "Coming out of earnings, it doesn't matter."

Guy Adami said the afterhours price action is a buy signal. "This stock should be trading 280, and it's not," Adami said.

Josh Brown, echoing his Halftime concerns, was more cautious, saying, "I think you will get it at Guy's level, 280." Brian Kelly suggested buying it at a 305 breakout or wait for 280.

Brown called GOOG an "easier buy to make." GOOG was Steve Grasso's Final Trade, but he said (Billy) "don't be a hero" under 875.

Bob Peck indicated his 370 AMZN price target is based on an assessment of EBITDA and free cash flow and some kind of averaging of those metrics.

Steve Grasso claimed the stock is "universally hated across the Street."

Mike Khouw noted the market cap is "half the size of Wal-Mart" and said it's "hard to imagine with valuations like that why you would continue to think that they could grow indefinitely at this rate."

Brown: Stick with FSLR

We know PCLN has been a monster for years, maybe a whole decade even, but honestly we haven't been able to figure that out, and fortunately we learned from Thursday's Fast Money that Josh Brown feel the same way (albeit with his favorite cliche).

"I gotta tell ya, I don't understand any of these stocks," Brown said of EXPE. "It seems like there are 50 different competitors for the same customer," and Brown said he could name 10 of them even though he never uses them.

The best guess here is that there is still woeful pricing inefficiency in the travel/leisure industry and capacity for greater development still (see our post months ago about how movie theaters should auction prices to maximize butts in the seats; unbelievable waste of value in those empty showings), and that's what the stocks reflect, similar to Amazon and online shopping.

Guy Adami said that market reaction to EXPE indicates "shoot first, ask questions later."

Brown was Fast Fired on FSLR, not just the call but wearing the same outfit (yuk yuk yuk, the longest-running Fast Money joke #whydoweneed2hoursofthisshowdailyagain?), which Melissa Lee described as "Garanimals."

"I still think this solar trade continues to work ... I think I'm early," Brown insisted.

Guy Adami thinks FFIV, an utterly monster call from Jon Najarian in April when it plunged to the low 70s and an instant contender for Call of the Year (Dan Nathan on TSLA and Joe on DELL and Najarian's own early July gold call remain robust candidates) is a buy if it breaks out over 90.

Josh Brown said there's been a "45% dropoff in the customer base" in ZNGA and called the company a "melting iceberg."

Mike Khouw agreed; "there really is no hope."

Guy Adami sort of congratulated himself for his "diversify" call on SBUX a day ago, "seems to be exactly what's happening," but he cautioned, "Tomorrow you don't chase this."

Josh Brown said the stock works because "there is no other Starbucks ... the only game in town."

Guest John Rogers said strength in M&A is evident in that acquiring companies are rising along with their acquisitions when deals are announced. Rogers like JNS, "the bad news is out of the way," and KKR, plus "Lazard is one of our absolute favorites," all of which inspired Guy Adami to make BX his Final Trade.

Mike Khouw said August 105 calls in APD were hopping.

Khouw called BSX "a little bit rich ... I'd avoid it."

Melissa Lee said "this is a truncated version of Pops & Drops," before getting on with donkeys. (#onceagainwhydoesthisshowneed2hoursadayagain?)

Josh Brown's Final Trade was F; Brian Kelly said EWW.

Scaramucci: 2 SkyBridge funds sold publicly have no investment interest in SAC Capital

Thursday's Halftime Report was overshadowed by breaking news on SAC Capital, but the news was still "breaking" to the point that Anthony Scaramucci opted to punt.

"Let's see what Preet Bharara says today, 1 o'clock," Scaramucci told guest host Melissa Lee, revealing no intentions on investor cash other than he will "do what's prudent" in regards to fiduciary duty of safeguarding cash.

Scaramucci explained, "The 2 funds that we sell publicly do not have any, uh, investment interest in SAC Capital. Uh, I have personal money, we have some people that we advise that have money with Steve." (Translation: Public investors aren't unknowingly exposed to this; the private accounts we advise know what they're doing, and it's up to them.)

In one of those unexpected moments of comic relief, Lee asked Scaramucci, "Have you talked to Steve Cohen, Anthony?"

"How do I talk to him ... ?" Scaramucci responded, puzzled, before Lee clarified the question.

Scaramucci said he hasn't spoken to Cohen since the firm indictment, saying presumably Cohen is dealing with lawyers now. But he balked at Lee's suggestion that investors may think "I don't wanna lose my shirt."

"How are you gonna lose your shirt, Melissa?" Scaramucci wondered.

Stephen Weiss said "I don't see a run on the bank," then later noted the difference in dealing with SAC between "big firms" such as Fidelity or Wellington and their loss ratios with commissions that went a bit over our heads, and the prime brokerage firms (Kayla Tausche later said there are 7).

Bertha Coombs, reporting on the indictment, says the U.S. attorney alleged that "compliance at the firm was little more than lip service."

Josh Brown said he knows lots of "strait-laced guys" from SAC and hopes people "don't go down that road" of tarnishing everyone.

Stephanie Link said there are highly talented people at SAC and that big firms should do a "little bit of calling."

Melissa Lee once again brought in lawyer Michael Bowe (and once again failed to disclose that Bowe's Fairfax case against SAC was tossed by a judge) to discuss possible "forfeiture" regarding SAC Capital assets. Bowe said that if he was an SAC investor wondering about getting his money back, "I would be concerned."

Jon Najarian utterly botched the firm name when pointing out that SAC has 800-1,000 employees and thus is "not an Accenture (sic)" and its 25,000-28,000 employees, based in the Chicago area.

Porter Bibb is wishing he had never discussed FB’s sales staff with Doc

The skyrocketing price of FB shares on Thursday scared off the folks on the Halftime Report.

"I don't think you wanna buy it up 25% today," said Stephanie Link.

Josh Brown admitted he hasn't liked it recently but reverted to Brag Trade mode to say the line we knew since Wednesday afternoon was coming, that he and Link agreed at 23 "there were no sellers left."

Stephen Weiss said, "I'm still not buying the stock up here," saying there's still a question as to how "sticky the advertisers are."

Colin Sebastian said the runway is long for FB. "Facebook continues to invest significantly under the hood," Sebastian said, with potential for video advertising and for putting Facebook ads elsewhere on the Web.

Jon Najarian said, "I still like Google," and then asserted that Porter Bibb has upgraded his own phantom, off-camera Facebook advertising sales team assessment (see below). "He corrected it today; he said there are 50 ad sales people," Najarian said.

Josh Brown pointed out that LNKD was up on the FB news.

1,600 before 1,750?

David Bianco told Thursday's Halftime Report that earnings reports this quarter are "not inspiring enough" to get him to raise his price target, predicting the S&P 500 "goes back to 1,600 before going up to something like 1,750."

Melissa Lee asked Bianco, "did I hear you right," that he was saying 1,650 before 1,750, and so in fact no, she didn't hear him right, he actually said 1,600, which Bianco reiterated, citing soft business spending.

Stephen Weiss, who has refreshingly been on his best behavior since Joe Terranova buffaloed him into a reversal on Morgan Stanley, disagreed, saying "1,600 seems like far more of a stretch" than 1,700 or 1,750.

Bianco mentioned OII and ERJ as names he likes.

The Ilchmeister, Rich Ilczyszyn, said record plantings, improving weather and increasing global stocks have sunk many ag commodities this summer. Anthony Grisanti said it should lead to cheaper groceries and even gasoline.

Stephanie Link said that even up $10, longtime Cramer favorite OKE is appealing; "the parent company now looks really cheap."

Josh Brown said CROX's fall is "really unfortunate ... I wouldn't go near it," even though he said it has "support at 12."

Stephen Weiss said TRIP "should keep going."

Jon Najarian reaffirmed that he likes ZNGA.

Najarian argued that AMZN is going up because of Amazon Web Services and cloud potential evidenced by other names, and tablet demand.

Stephanie Link shrugged that AMZN is an "investment-cycle story."

Josh Brown actually claimed the stock has been "lagging" in July, which doesn't seem the case to us, and "I think the stock's dangerous" and must hold 280.

Jon Najarian said he likes DFS but wouldn't be surprised to see it at 48.

Stephen Weiss said he's neutral on VLO. Stephanie Link was wishy-washy on NFLX, "I think you can hold it," utterly ignoring the 240 level that has been support this week. (This writer is long NFLX.)

Josh Brown said of AMD, "Unfortunately I think the trade's over."

Sue Herera called Melissa Lee "Missy," which was kinda cute.

[Wednesday, July 24, 2013]

Instant bust: Porter Bibb says FB not going anywhere; hours later it’s up $5

Bullish FB analyst Jordan Rohan, who sounded like a kid on Christmas Day on Wednesday's Fast Money, delivered an indirect facial to Porter Bibb (courtesy of Jon Najarian, see below) in asserting that Facebook employs "several hundred ad sales executives."

Rohan took a moment to define EBITDA and gushed about FB as "one of the most underowned and underestimated" stocks, one that could be in the S&P 500 (we were surprised to learn it's not) soon.

"This is a big number," Rohan said.

But he didn't persuade Wednesday's Fast Money crew to hit the "buy" button during the show. "Take profits tomorrow," shrugged Guy Adami.

Dan Nathan claimed there's "a lot of resistance at $32."

Adami, Nathan, Jon Najarian and Mike Khouw all admitted they prefer GOOG to FB.

Karen Finerman though said, "I don't think the reaction in the stock is crazy." Dan Nathan had the audacity to suggest that folks long at 38 will sell at that level. "Why does underwater matter though?" Finerman asked, but this time we'll try to provide an answer, that people who have been holding since the IPO are going to say "won't get fooled again" at 38.

Mike Murphy said $32.50 is key resistance but thinks if it breaks through that, then 38 is next.

Mike Khouw downplayed the results. "This is 1 quarter," Khouw said.

It hurts to say it, but our favorite Halftime guest, Porter Bibb, got the ol' lunch handed to him this time.

Guy Adami said he was surprised to see QCOM lower on the day "in the wake of Apple."

Adami said it's OK if you want to sell half your AMZN stake prior to earnings, but "I still think the Amazon story's intact."

Jon Najarian actually called Google's new tablet an "iPad killer," but said he doesn't have one only because "I have no need for the tablet."

Good question: Why do airlines actually need to hedge fuel?

Back in the day, every airline exec who came on the original Fast Money (basically it was Dave Barger's predecessor at JetBlue, David Neeleman, then Barger, and one other person we can't recall) was grilled by Eric Bolling and Jeff Macke about how well they're hedging fuel costs; basically a rite of passage for appearing on the show.

Wednesday, analyst Hunter Keay turned that notion on its ear by declaring, "I think hedging is a (sic) extreme waste of capital" that only benefits trading desks.

Keay claimed that US Airways, which he said doesn't hedge, has had the lowest fuel prices of the biggies for 8 of the last 12 quarters.

Actually, to be completely honest, we never quite understood the concept either. Apparently it's to avoid a shock such as what occurred about 2006-08, but then you're just watering down present returns with future guessing that could backfire. But whatever.

Anyway, Melissa Lee, whose new hairstyle was positively goddess-like (what does it take to get Mel out on the dance floor anyhow?), said Keay's top picks are DAL, LCC and UAL.

LL yes — Guy jacked one
out of the park

Yesterday, we were actually (gulp) scoffing at Anthony Scaramucci's suggestion that CAT is the "Lucent Technology" (sic) (actually "Technologies") of 2013.

Perhaps that's about to come back and bite us in the butt, now that Karen Finerman of all people has apparently signed on after reading the SkyBridge position paper.

"Clearly there's major headwinds" in mining and construction, Finerman said on Wednesday's Fast Money, explaining she got a little bit short.

Guy Adami said he agrees with the short position, and warned that if it falls below 80, longs have to be "extraordinarily careful."

Mike Khouw said puts have been outpacing calls in the name.

Karen Finerman said V and MA shrugged off the European concerns and said of V, "it's not cheap, but it is a great story."

In a pointless bull-bear debate in which everyone liked the stock, Guy Adami said SBUX is "diversifying" with tea and food, and Dan Nathan called it a "very good company" but "priced for perfection," and so he'd prefer to get it in the low 60s. Jon Najarian questioned whether hot weather would have an impact.

David Kelly outlined to Melissa Lee his scenario of a little bit of growth bringing unemployment down, and then rates will rise, and he likes technology in this rising market/rising rates scenario.

Mostly, Kelly just said to avoid the bond substitutes.

Guy Adami pointed out that Dan Nathan's stunning wife was in the studio, and the cameraman found her, and of course it's our obligation to show a picture ... except the lighting in that portion of the studio was rather dark, and we've already done a hot picture of Melissa Lee, and (yikes) we want to avoid the possibility of Nathan charging over here to knock our block off.

Guy Adami said HBI moved a bunch in a hurry; "I don't think you buy this stock." Jon Najarian said of IRBT, "stay away for at least another session." Karen Finerman said OCR has done a "great job." Dan Nathan said PLCM is actually "gettin' kind of cheap."

Nathan's Final Trade was short BA. Jon Najarian said long SINA, Karen Finerman said ATVI and Guy Adami said to start trimming LL.

Doc says Porter Bibb claims Facebook has 5-person advertising sales team, but Bibb never said that on TV

He's scooping his own show.

Addressing Facebook, Jon Najarian on Wednesday's 5 p.m. Fast Money said that Porter Bibb questioned him earlier in the day as to how big the Facebook advertising sales team is compared with Google's advertising sales team.

Bibb told him Google has 500 ... and Facebook has 5, Najarian said. (That's correct, 5.)

But oddly enough, Bibb never actually said this on Judge's Halftime Report. In fact, Najarian told Bibb during that show that Google has a huge department, and then asked Bibb, "How big is Facebook's?" And Bibb merely said that Sir Martin Sorrell spends 2 weeks a year with Google and isn't even invited to spend time with Facebook (see below).

So, from this, we can conclude at least 1 of 3 things ... 1) Bibb doesn't really know and decided live TV has a higher standard of accuracy than off-the-cuff conversation ... 2) Bibb is more concerned about Sir Martin Sorrell getting dissed than the size of Facebook's departments ... 3) Judge got hung out to dry on this one.

Karen Finerman on Wednesday's Fast Money said she finds Bibb's 5 number "almost astounding."

Doc can’t figure out the ‘morality’ behind early realty data release

In case you thought the University of Michigan had cornered the market for early release of data, Eamon Javers reported on Wednesday's Halftime Report that the National Association of Realtors actually coughs it up 90 minutes early.

That prompted this utter head-scratcher from Jon Najarian: "I'm not against somebody doing the data and mining through it to figure out, you know, that there's a little bit of this or a little bit of that, bullish or bearish."

Say what??

But, Najarian concluded, when you schedule a release time and then actually give it out 90 minutes earlier (to whatever goofy format he described 2 paragraphs above), then "you've lost me in terms of your morality."

Pete Najarian said he didn't hear enough from CAT chief Doug Oberhelman to adequately rebut Jim Chanos. Stephanie Link said in the low 80s it's a buy. But Simon Baker said, "It's dead money in the short term."

Pete Najarian said he's been long F but is "starting to trim off some of it." Stephanie Link suggested BWA instead.

Jon Najarian said of TM, "I've been staying away from it."

Rich Ilczyszyn argued that 10-year yields are going up; "I think we've put in the low" around 2.48%, he said, explaining he is "selling the 10-year notes" and expects a "press to 2.70 again." Anthony Grisanti didn't add much except that if it gets over 2.70 or 2.75, there could be a breakout.

Pete Najarian said of BA, "Across the board, this was a kill," but said buyers "could wait for a pullback." Pete's Final Trade was SAI.

Jon Najarian said defense stocks could use another sequester, and that NOC and others are killing it.

Stephanie Link quietly said she likes KO over PEP. Simon Baker said nothing.

Sir Martin Sorrell yet to get an invitation from Mark Zuckerberg

Porter Bibb, our favorite regular guest on the Halftime Report, told Judge Wapner on Wednesday that his expectations for the FB report are quite low.

"I'm looking for a decline in, in advertising revenue, and not much else," Bibb said.

Bibb indicated the thrill is gone from the stock (assuming it ever existed). "The volume has disappeared on Facebook trading," he said.

Simon Baker took exception to Bibb's contention that Facebook hasn't won over "Madison Avenue," arguing "Madison Avenue" needs time to see that platforms work. Bibb shrugged that it's "very tough to sell advertising on mobile."

Bibb complained that Sir Martin Sorrell spends 2 weeks a year with Google brass on strategies, while Facebook has never given Sorrell an invite.

As for Facebook stock, "I don't think it's gonna go anywhere," Bibb said, but GOOG, on the other hand, has "still got room to grow."

Still no Final Trade AAPL

Yesterday we noted that the Fast Money gang, on the specific subject of AAPL, was about as enthusiastic as New York Yankee fans this summer; Wednesday that enthusiasm level was matched by the folks on the Halftime Report.

Pete "2nd half story" Najarian said we only got "part of what we wanted to see," and while iPhone numbers were strong, he found "iPad a little bit disturbing."

Jon Najarian added, "I'm waiting for that larger format iPhone."

Simon Baker opined that "this stock can go to 500," but not any higher without exciting new products.

Stephanie Link said, "I think the gross margin concerns are probably bottoming," but still called it a "trading-range stock."

Even Steve Milunovich was unimpressed. "Clearly the company's not out of the woods," Milunovich said, asserting, "I do think it's a trading stock."

For the rest of the year, he said, he expects a "mid-range phone ... 5S ... larger iPad refreshment ... mini Retina."

But no larger-screen iPhone, to the surprise of Judge Wapner.

3 of 4 tout VMW

Jon Najarian argued the bull case for ZNGA on Wednesday's Halftime Report against his brother Pete, beginning with, "no long-term debt Pete."

Pete insisted that there are "declining revenues," they haven't been able to "get this monetized properly," and the stock has "pullback potential" to $2.50.

Simon Baker backed Jon; "I think the gambling is a game-changer."

Stephanie Link had trouble saying much about EA besides expense guidance; "someone's talking in my ear," which prompted Judge to explain that it happens to him all the time. Link's Final Trade was CSCO.

Simon Baker said of PNRA, "we like it long term."

Jon Najarian said "I think you stay away" from PLCM, but he touted FFIV and VMW, "the cost-cutting is over for this space."

Indeed, Pete said of VMW, "I think this name goes a lot higher," and Simon Baker even made VMW his Final Trade.

Pete Najarian said BRCM has headwinds but because of the selloff, "It's now an opportunity." Jon Najarian pointed to BRCM and said, "I think that bodes well for Qualcomm." Jon Najarian's Final Trade was GME.

[Tuesday, July 23, 2013]

A week later, CNBC still promoting Delivering Alpha comments several times during Fast Money

He must've had Burger King for lunch, because Anthony Scaramucci served up a big-time whopper on Tuesday's Fast Money.

Responding to a clip of Jim Chanos at Delivering Alpha (lessee, which Delivering Alpha star was NOT heard on Tuesday's Fast Money ... John Paulson, OK), Scaramucci first made sure to stress that HPQ disagreement last year (hint: Anthony was right, Chanos was wrong) and then explained, "I do agree with him here on Caterpillar this year."

In fact, "They could be the Lucent Technology (sic, every time) of 2000" (sic, changed to 2013 in subsequent references), Scaramucci asserted.

"That's crazy," said Tim Seymour, after first, as usual, providing too much evidence.

Scaramucci insisted there's a "deteriorating earnings model" at CAT.

Panel is so excited about AAPL, nobody mentions it for Final Trade

Guy Adami on Tuesday's Fast Money said "I think this quarter was good enough" to justify an afterhours run in AAPL.

Equally tepidly, Karen Finerman twice pronounced the gains a "relief rally" and said guidance was "not that great," opining that "people were waiting to buy" the stock.

Tim Seymour cautioned that "a lot is expected" for Apple now in the 4th quarter.

Darren Chervitz was the show's star guest on AAPL, saying, "It's all about margins at this point."

Seymour, who insisted AAPL is "a software company," revealed, "I'm actually short Samsung here."

Julia Boorstin later said that it won't be until October that we "get any tangible news on products" (as we wonder what the definition of "tangible news" is).

Guy Adami suggested viewers warm up to BRCM which he said is likely around the low end of its range.

Guy: FB long-term ‘disaster’

Ken Sena was brought on Tuesday's Fast Money to opine on GOOG and FB, but it proved to be Guy Adami who made headlines.

Sena said Google on Wednesday would be announcing a "new flavor of Android."

Sena said FB has proved able to monetize mobile, but when it comes to estimates, "We're still a little bit nervous there."

Guy Adami played good cop/bad cop with FB, in stark terms. "Long-term, I think it's a disaster. I wouldn't be surprised to see this stock trade 28½, 29," Adami said.

Oh, and they managed to avoid re-airing the Preet Bharara clip too

Tim Seymour, chock full of "Trading Places" references, argued the bull case for MO on Tuesday's Fast Money, saying it should be helped by the menthol study, and is also diversified.

Karen Finerman, the bear, who patiently waited too long to speak (what should anyone expect when conversing with Tim Seymour other than that he won't stop talking), finally explained that she used to consider MO a "healthy" part of the portfolio, but she always worried about when smoking volume would decline, and "this might be the time."

Seymour argued that e-cigarettes, which is why he owns LO, is an expanding market.

Mike Khouw said options players have been selling tobacco puts, but "I'm gonna have to go with Karen on this," the stocks are cheap for a reason.

"They've had these headwinds for decades," Seymour rebutted.

Karen Finerman outlined what exactly Nelson Peltz might be able to accomplish at DD. Finerman said he'd need to get a 5% stake of what's a huge market cap to make a filing of his plans, but "2½ billion might be too big, even for him," and he can't replace the whole board, but she likes the stock, with the caveat that there might be a Peltz premium in it now.

Mike Khouw said the DD October 60 calls were hot.

Karen actually asks Jeremy Siegel what would make him more bullish

Seemingly eternal bull Jeremy Siegel, who has in fact nailed this current market to a T, told Tuesday's Fast Money gang that he's prepared for a "zero handle" on GDP next week, but "I'm very very bullish still" on stocks.

Tim Seymour said if you're bullish, you want to be buying cyclicals and industrials that have been beaten up.

Tim Seymour played good cop/bad cop with BTU and the coal space. "Coal supply is actually rising, and demand is not keeping pace," Seymour allowed, but "I still think coals are a buy here though ... way too beaten up."

Guy Adami said defense names such as LMT and RTN "still work."

Karen Finerman and Melissa Lee spent time yakking over Carl Icahn's Twitter account, with Lee actually lamenting that some pros won't see these picks right away because they're not allowed to use Twitter at the office (that's what high-speed algorithms are for, right?).

Anthony Scaramucci helpfully pointed out that Goldman Sachs once instituted the "YAMS," or "Yet Another Message System," which Scaramucci called a "brilliant maneuver," because "information transpired on those."

Scaramucci then wondered, as we have too, "'Verified on Twitter' — someone explain that to me."

Guy Adami said he hates to sound repetitive, but T's selloff looks like a "chance to buy it once again."

Adami said that if BA surpasses 110, then "I think this thing's off to the races." But he advised PNRA holders to exit half or all the position; "I'd get out of this name tomorrow."

Tim Seymour said that for Ford, "the chances for surprise come from Europe," but the "bar is relatively high."

Tim Seymour said his Final Trade is selling EWZ at 47.50. Anthony Scaramucci said GOOG, Karen Finerman said she'd get out of ORCL, and Guy Adami said long PSX.

Joe, Josh kick Weiss’ butt
in NFLX debate*

It wasn't the sharpest performance by either side, but thanks to a late assist from Josh Brown, Joe Terranova (bull) prevailed over Stephen Weiss (bear) on the subject of NFLX on Tuesday's Halftime Report. (Keep in mind this writer is long NFLX.)

Terranova's opening argument was curiously about fundamentals, "I see them as improving."

Weiss contended, "When this stock falls, it's gonna fall hard," which is perhaps the start of a quality bear case, but not one that ends in "Hulu" as Weiss' did.

Terranova fired back that Netflix is gaining in "mobile penetration."

Brown stepped in and correctly pointed out to Weiss that, "10 years it doesn't trade on valuation," and it's about the total subscribers.

Weiss then wondered why BBRY doesn't have the same performance, if it's about subscriber "growth." Brown pointed out that he said total number, not growth, and that Netflix is an entertainment company.

Terranova dismissed Weiss' case. "Your argument is too analytical ... too complicated ... binary."

Brown concluded, "This stock is still a long."

* The risk to Joe and Josh's case is that there wasn't a massive "whoosh" of selling on Tuesday, so the stock may be a bit away from another squeeze, but the more relevant issue is what Pete Najarian addressed a day ago, where the stock was Monday afterhours, which was low 240s, and it held that easily Tuesday, even very briefly on Tuesday topping Monday's close, bolstering the notion that Greater Fool or whatever reason, this remains a train you don't want to step in front of.

Joe: HLF to 70

If Bill Ackman's having a bad year, then according to what Joe Terranova said on Tuesday's Halftime Report, he maybe ain't seen nothin' yet.

Dr. New Land hung a 70 on HLF; "that's where I believe the stock is going."

Josh Brown, trying to sound way too professorial, called HLF a "triumph of understanding market mechanics."

Jon Najarian said Ackman should've covered when the stock plunged to the 30s, "that's a mistake ... this will be in business schools forever on how not to do a trade."

Stephen Weiss quipped that if it wasn't for Carl Icahn, "We'd probably have a half an hour show." (If only.)

Doc takes a break

Jon Najarian admitted on Tuesday's Halftime Report that he's "not trading much today," and unfortunately Judge still had to fill another 56 minutes of programming.

Stephen Weiss said companies are "more optimstic and less guarded," so he remains bullish.

Mr. New World, who botched TRV a day ago, indicated he was glad to see Tuesday's performance because he was "adding to an existing long position."

Also, "I like the REITs," Terranova said, while tech is a "yawn."

Terranova said the tax issue or whatever it was that spurred BTU is not a positive for the long term, but the issue now is Australia costs coming down.

Jay Bowen argued that work-force participation is so low as to make the Fed's unemployment rate goal difficult to achieve, but he likes GBX as a shale play, and also likes BHP and CAT, which you knew would land him in the ring with Steve Weiss, who gave a speech about China, but Bowen argued "a lot of that is priced in" and suggested there's a lot of potential in Latin America.

Kevin Dreyer, meeting the show's quota of a Gabelli guest daily, said he likes PEP for sort of that HPQ reason (either they'll do great, or if they don't the activists will step in) and said the "math is very compelling" in some of Nelson Peltz's suggestions.

Dreyer likes CAG for its Ralcorp synergies, and BEAM.

Stephen Weiss: ‘I started a position in Morgan Stanley today’

Paul Meeks, Tuesday's designated AAPL guest on the Halftime Report, said "we've seen the downside in the stock," and assuming "innovation" occurs, it "goes to 600."

Meeks said his predecessor scooped up AAPL shares at a cost basis of $8.25. (So what difference does it make if it falls another $100, it's all the house's money, right.)

Meeks also likes QCOM, while conceding this quarter could "be a bit rough."

Anthony Grisanti asserted "the worst is actually behind us" in gasoline. Jeff Kilburg disagreed, "unfortunately no," asserting "we're in for a rough summer." (Unclear if he's got stats to back up that recent assertion that a bunch of Chicagoans are changing their summer plans because of gas prices.)

Joe Terranova noted that VLO is "spinning out the logistics assets into an MLP, I like that."

Josh Brown said "we're long" DD, his Final Trade, and "we would be buying this profit-taking intraday that you're seeing."

Stephen Weiss shrugged at HSY; "it's growing slowly and it's way overvalued."

Mr. New Land said "why not 700" for MA, then made GOOG his Final Trade.

Josh Brown said HON "technically looks fantastic ... I would be long the stock."

Jon Najarian said to own PCLN, and MTW was his Final Trade. Steve Weiss said he owns GILD, and then, in a curious reversal in one of the chippiest debates in recent memory, disclosed he "started a position in Morgan Stanley today."

[Monday, July 22, 2013]

Shirley Jones’ memoir, a/k/a Why You Don’t Necessarily Want to Hang Out With Hollywood A-listers (cont’d)

We'd like to say that the only reason commentary about Shirley Jones' new book is appearing on this page is because Karen Finerman and Patty Edwards still have David (or perhaps Shaun) Cassidy Tiger Beat covers in a scrapbook somewhere, but the honest truth is that we saw the AP review and, with this individual representing a healthy slice of '70s pop culture, of course we had to check it out.

Jones regularly writes of Hollywood dinner/party/invitational/incidental encounters with some of history's most elite names, and before you start saying "Wish I could do that too!," it gradually becomes clear that nearly all of these elite individuals are intoxicated.

(Granted, a single reported incident doesn't make one a drunkard, but if one is unable to be sober during a chance moment with Shirley Jones, then you do the math.)

Some who aren't intoxicated include Brando (sitting cross-legged under a huge table of food for a couple of hours during a party to avoid encountering his own son), and Cary Grant (mentioned out of the blue to Jones and her husband, "I hope you both know that, from now on, we are going to be living in a world of plastic," and he wasn't referring to John Travolta in the bubble).

Jones also suddenly discovered that late-1960s Judy Garland wasn't the world's most pleasant individual and says that while pop-star stepson David Cassidy initially accepted her 2nd husband (she was David's ex-stepmom by that point, for those maintaining a family tree), "Marty quickly alienated him by saying 'Hi, Sh--head' to him. Marty called everyone that in those days, but David just didn't understand."

Jones, clearly sensitive to enduring "Brady Bunch" pop-culture appeal, tries to claim she could've had Carol Brady's TV job had she wanted it but that being the first purported working mom on television was a far greater honor, and spends many pages rationalizing not pursuing a "Brady" audition.

Jones thankfully waits until the end to share her tips for the most satisfying form of sex (the page background here will actually turn red if we post another word of that; you'll have to find out for (hint) yourself).

But this site, more or less, is about business. The takeaway here is that if you've ever considered starting a microbrewery/winery and are scouting locations, put Bel Air at the top of your list.

Jones, now 79, writes, "Nowadays, I have a martini every afternoon at five, but other than that, I never indulge in alcohol."

Pete sandbags at top of show

Just like a football coach before a big game, Pete Najarian on Monday's Fast Money made his opening NFLX remarks as sanitized and useless as possible.

To the point of utter embarrassment moments later, when Najarian was revealed by Melissa Lee to be saying something different in the green room and Pete himself acknowledged as much.

Najarian began by saying the stock has vast international potential that wasn't realized this quarter, and, in the most even-handed, lukewarm, patently pointless observation for a stock-picking show, said, "I don't think if you are long this stock that you necessarily wanna sell it just yet. But certainly there is pressure on the stock in the afterhours." (This writer is long NFLX.)

Taking a cue apparently, Dan Nathan said the NFLX afterhours move wasn't nearly as big as forecast and more of a "rounding error" compared with previous quarters. Then, Nathan got tripped up between "shouting" and "shooting" (gosh, our fascination with guns) distance in regard to the stock's proximity to its all-time high.

Guy Adami admitted he had been suggesting get long into earnings, and "clearly I was wrong," then suggested (with way too much caveat how they're not the same company) that the NFLX price action could be similar to GOOG, "I think it will."

Anthony Scaramucci said the stock has been working on "superpositive momentum" and "shorts."

Barton Crockett, who has a 325 price target, suggested buying the afterhours dip and said he's not surprised at the selloff because expectations were "incredibly high."

That's when Melissa Lee pointed out that Najarian apparently was saying before the show that the shares could be "flat or higher" by the time the show began.

Najarian then said he wouldn't be surprised to see the stock Tuesday morning "a lot closer to flat," and "potentially by the end of the week, higher than we closed today."

And so, if the ticker is saying 244, and you're saying you think it might be around 261 hours later or higher than 261 by week's end, how in the world are you not calling it a buy??

But Mike Murphy, Simon Baker insist it’s ‘stock-picker’s market’

For those who haven't quite figured out that virtually every stock (except a couple steel/coal names) has gone up this year, Chris Verrone pointed out on Monday's Fast Money that what's impressive about this rally is "how broad-based it is at this point," which puts 1,730 or 1,750 in play.

Verrone said he likes HAL around 43 or 44 and sees 50-52, and he thinks "HPQ looks OK," and he likes COP, XOM and CVX but not the refiners (Drink), and "I think gold's a sell here."

No one pointed out that Tim Cook (despite being a fine person) is the most boring, colorless, uninspiring Silicon Valley exec

Taking a long time to get to the 2nd-half story thing, Pete Najarian contended on Monday's Fast Money that AAPL is a buy because it's "cheap" because of its "cash position."

He eventually reaffirmed it's a "2nd-half story," but viewers once again learned that the "2nd-half story" is really the "larger screen/China Mobile" story.

Who better to be the bear than Dan Hates Everything Especially AAPL Nathan, who surprisingly conceded that Najarian had made "all great points" and then told Pete he is somehow "very much in your camp," but it's the "near-term" he worries about, as "they are flat-footed" in the screen-size thing.

Anthony Scaramucci, who gets what is happening here, pronounced AAPL a "value stock that's a little directionless on the innovation side," and even said the company's ads aren't very good, and he'd expect to see the stock "languishing" for a while.

Guy Adami though agreed with Pete and said the stock recently put in a "nice double bottom."

Scott Nations said there was a big buyer of weekly 460/470 call spreads. JJ Kinahan said the retail options player was buying the 450 calls.

But he didn’t explain if he was owning it in yen terms

Dennis Gartman told Melissa Lee on Monday's Fast Money to "buy more" gold, but this time he left out the other half of the equation, which is generally, why would anyone buy in dollars when you can buy in yen.

Gartman said that for the first time in a long time, he thinks miners can outperform spot gold, and that you're "probably gonna be better off" in the miners than the metal, but actually he said the same thing about a year ago, and he conveniently this time forgot about the problem of waking up and learning a mine is flooded overnight.

Gartman also said that he likes stocks, and that, in an argument that needed more explanation, sort of claimed that you should own stocks and gold together.

Pete Najarian conceded lukewarmly that with the miners, "there is an opportunity there," but then said, "I actually like silver" in this space. (Of course, he probably said something far more bullish in the green room before the program.)

Dan Nathan threw up his hands about Gartman's joint stocks/gold bullishness; "I don't get how you can own both." Anthony Scaramucci, who was fixated all day on America's poor, explained that "you're in a statistical recession."

Later, Scaramucci said of NEM, "it has room to go here."

Guy Adami cautioned people against plunging into PSXP; "I don't think you go rushing into this," but suggested getting long PSX at 56.50 or 57, which was his Final Trade.

Pete Najarian curiously said, "Just about anywhere in energy you can make money."

JJ Kinahan said options players were using 29 straddles in FCX.

Scaramucci: More Americans than usual are ‘cash-strapped’

Dan Nathan on Monday's Fast Money cautioned against buying the YHOO dip so soon; "I think there's a lot of risk, near-term in this story ... wait until 26."

Pete Najarian though said "I think it's a great opportunity."

Guy Adami sort of gave himself a "prescient" victory lap in MCD (it was indeed a good call) and suggested getting long in the low 90s.

Anthony Scaramucci, fixated on America's 47% this episode, said the country is "underemployed" and that people are "cash-strapped," and that's hurting McDonald's.

Pete Najarian said homebuilders could get a boost Wednesday, and he's long SKS calls.

Pete also, continuing a theme of his own for the day, started to make a point about BBY's turnaround that really arrived at nothing except a recap of 6 months' worth of headlines.

Guy Adami said to own CELG, but in TSLA, he would "sorta favor the downside."

Adami said PBI could rally and said of SAVE, you can "own it into earnings."

Dan Nathan, in something of a Brag Trade in MU, said, "I shorted it a few weeks ago" and would look to do so again at 14.

Nathan said "I'm actually long puts" in TXN and he'd like to see a washout in AMD. He called T "challenged in this environment."

Anthony Scaramucci said, "I would stay long Hewlett-Packard," and that SkyBridge is "neutral to bullish" on REITs.

Pete Najarian thinks UPS upside is intact now that the warning's out.

JJ Kinahan said the July 24 weekly puts in FB were hot, which Guy Adami said is a signal the stock might actually go up.

Pete Najarian said what he notices about RAD is "so much insider selling."

Dan Nathan said he doesn't think the VIX will get too much lower.

Pete Najarian's Final Trade was GNW. Dan Nathan said QCOM and Anthony Scaramucci said TEVA.

Joe: Gold peaks in 30 days,
plummets 25% by year-end

Jon Najarian, who made a spectacular end-of-Q2 bull call on the gold space (it didn't quite go straight up every day, but still proved a jackpot), told Judge Wapner on Monday's Halftime Report that at this point he'd be "layering in some calls" in the space.

Najarian said if you want to play NEM from here, "overwrite it with calls."

Jeff Kilburg advised viewers to buy the gold breakout.

Scott Nations asserted that "fundamentals are nothing but positive for gold."

Dr. New World was downright bearish. "I think in the next 30 days, by Labor Day, gold peaks and drops 25% from that point before the end of the year," he said.

Skeptical analyst might raise NFLX price target — to 80

Michael Pachter, who specializes in predicting before each NFLX quarter on Fast Money/Halftime Report that Netflix has front-loaded everything to have a big quarter right now and will pay the price in the future, told Judge Wapner on Monday's Halftime Report that he expects "one more quarter of, uh, big success," evidenced by the "hubris in having a sell-side analyst moderate the call."

Pachter told Joe Terranova that once he gets the new quarterly numbers, he might raise his (snicker) 65 target to 80 or 85, and contended that the Icahns are "gonna be sellers on the way down."

Meanwhile, Jon Najarian pronounced YHOO a buy on Monday's selloff, perhaps the "$25 area," because Marissa Mayer is doing the right thing, "buying all these app makers."

Mike Murphy argued "the jury has to still be out" and questioned what the current board sans Loeb has done and whether the stock's 12-month gain is strictly based on Alibaba.

Joe Terranova sided with Murphy. "I would be a seller on this news," said Terranova, questioning, "why is he getting out ahead of the IPO."

Finally, Kim Forrest said she likes MSFT actually because "I'm looking way into the future," and its potential for the "IT market" and not based on Steve Ballmer exiting, while admitting, "they missed the boat on mobile."

Mike Murphy backed the stock on its restructuring plan, saying the "selling on Friday was completely overdone."

Forrest also likes SNDK, saying it will be "at least 18 months" before an industry transition.

It’s a ‘stock-picking market,’ other than the 20% return you got in the last 12 months for just buying the S&P 500

We've been waiting for the Halftime Report to summon Barry Bannister for a possible S&P-target update in this relentless rip-roaring bull market, but on Monday it was Sam Stovall doing the honors.

"I think we're gonna head higher," Stovall said, predicting 1,740 to 1,800 before the next pullback of 5% or more.

Mike Murphy curiously claimed, "This is 100% a stock-picking market. You can't just throw a bunch of money in any 1 sector and just let it go for you."

But one sector Murphy thinks will work is the homebuilders, which he said won't be derailed by a "slight blip in the data."

Jon Najarian though said he doesn't think the builders will recover for a while as many sectors pounded in late June already have done.

Joe Terranova said, "I stay long Goldman Sachs, I stay long Morgan Stanley," and endorsed AXP and TRV.

John Dowd, in a choppy, dead-air-filled interview that might've had a worse satellite delay than we thought, said he likes U.S. E&P companies and listed EOG, COG and PXD as his top picks.

Steve Liesman said September tapering might be in jeopardy and indicated he doesn't like the Q2 GDP number.

Stephanie Link said rising rates are OK (drum roll ahead), but "I think it depends on the speed at which the yield goes higher" (Drink).

What happened to the CSCO ads with Ellen Page showing Canadian kids in school at the same time as Chinese kids?

Mike Murphy said on Monday's Halftime Report that with 3 biggies in NAV, "I think there's a lot more upside here."

Stephanie Link said EMR's quarter "bodes well for Rockwell."

Jon Najarian said investors were looking past the HAS miss.

Joe Terranova addressed JNPR but said the "better trade is Cisco."

Stephanie Link advised viewers to "let the dust settle" in MCD and buy it in the "mid-90s or below."

Mr. New Land said of HAL, "Buy it."

Jon Najarian's Final Trade, SAI, was endorsed by Joe Terranova, who said SBUX. Stephanie Link said KMT and Mike Murphy said SNE.

[Friday, July 19, 2013]

Wonder if any hedge fund managers are going to be inquiring this weekend as to what their traders are up to?

Attorney Michael Bowe was the star guest on Friday's Fast Money and left little doubt where he stands on the SEC's case against Steven Cohen.

"I think the evidence is unbelievably damning," Bowe said, calling it "low-hanging fruit" for the SEC and a "slam dunk" and the "tip of the iceberg."

Melissa Lee, who quite frankly if she did do research on Bowe's case against SAC should've told viewers what happened, tried asking Bowe what happened in Bowe's Fairfax case. Evidently, that case got tossed after SAC itself won dismissal, which Bowe didn't reveal, though he implied it laid the groundwork for the SEC's present case.

Tim Seymour said he's been very concerned about "precedents" that will change business for hedge funds.

For trading purposes, Seymour said if the case affects well-known SAC holdings it would be a great buying opportunity. "You'd love to see a selloff on these things," he said.

Guy Adami said GOOG didn't fall as far as he thought a day ago but "you've seen this before, many times," likewise, he said 31 now looks like support for MSFT.

Josh Brown asserted that "Google had a good quarter" and whatever its limitations in mobile, there is such a "sheer volume of mobile ads coming on" that "it almost doesn't matter."

Meanwhile, "Microsoft is a bomb," Brown said, suggesting this quarter is an "inflection point."

Tim Seymour grumbled about being declared the loser in an MSFT debate recently. "I was a bear on a Street Fight on Microsoft couple weeks ago and lost," he said, adding there's "nothing sexy here."

Guy Adami said of NFLX, "continue to buy this stock." Tim Seymour said he would hold it, and not short it, but "I don't really understand this valuation."

Seymour said of GE, "I would ride this."

Josh Brown said that CMG's competition is overrated; "the Chipotle customer is not trading to a Taco Bell."

Brown said he'd get long SHW if it gets more pummeled. Brian Kelly said he'd buy YHOO at 28. Guy Adami said "I still think FedEx goes higher." Tim Seymour said of AXP, "I would buy this weakness."

Guy Adami suggested getting MCD at 97, "I think they'll disappoint."

Brian Kelly said he's putting on a trade of short Nikkei and long yen, which is to short the DXJ. Josh Brown opined, "You're gonna get run over on that."

Guy Adami called HAIN a hold. Tim Seymour said EEM is taking a "pause here" and is a buy at 38.

Tim Seymour's Final Trade was TSU. Josh Brown said GOOG, Brian Kelly said EWA and Guy Adami said TLT.

Doc: GOOG 1,200 in 12 months

Stephen Weiss, given a lengthy opening statement on Friday's Halftime Report, explained that just a few days ago if you had told him about the MSFT/GOOG/Detroit/ISRG news, he'd never have thought the market would remain this resilient. "I still am bullish," Weiss said.

Pete Najarian basically echoed that, saying with a 13 VIX "this market's going higher," and that financials have been "absolutely the leg of this rally," although when you start dealing with INTC, Najarian curiously said your hands get "a little bit wrinkled."

But Najarian pronounced MSFT a buy; "this is the opportunity; it's not the time to bail."

Simon Baker insisted again that it's "definitely a stock-picking market" (so far there's no proof of that in 2013) and that GOOG is now a "great buying opportunity."

Jon Najarian was given the opportunity to slam Heather Bellini again and began with, "I like Heather," but noting she had a neutral on MSFT from 23 to 32 when he called it better, but he admitted, "I think Heather's having her revenge today," but he thinks MSFT holds 31 and can be bought next week.

Darren Chervitz said GOOG is still great long-term, "you're gonna see better monetization," but what's happening is "more of a short-term bump."

Jon Najarian called GOOG "probably a 1,200 stock this time next year."

Yes, it's 2 days in a row, but no question the show's highlight was the SNDK update.

Doc: Look at ISRG next week

Tom Digenan told Friday's Halftime Report that stock valuations are still attractive, and rattled off a host of appealing sectors.

Lewis Kaufman said that in international investing, "you really need to avoid some of the trouble spots," which he thinks are in energy and commodities. He likes Southeast Asia, including The Airports of Thailand (not one that had been on our radar screen recently), and India.

Stephen Weiss asked Kaufman to endorse his Mexico strategy. Kaufman did so mildly enthusiastically, pointing out others like it because "it's not Brazil."

Pete Najarian said he still likes C and BAC. Jon Najarian pointed out that COF had a lousy 1st quarter and ever since has been on fire. "If you buy 'em when they're down, not chasin' em when they're hot," Najarian said, you'll get beta, but he didn't explain how that works in the steel space.

Pete Najarian endorsed BX and BLK. (This writer is long BLK.) Stephen Weiss said there's a place for SCHW in portfolio, but he doesn't own it.

Simon Baker said SLB got a boost from the CEO's emerging markets commentary.

Jon Najarian suggested that ISRG is a name to "go after on the 2nd day of this drop."

Stephen Weiss said WHR guidance was great. Pete Najarian claimed MAT "is a stock that moves from September to December," even though the chart suggests it moves far more from January to May, and advised viewers to wait for 41 or 40 to get in, but nevertheless, "Look at this very closely." (This writer is long MAT.)

Hmmm, a day without AAPL

Pete Najarian argued on Friday's Halftime Report that MCD is going to "explode to the upside," largely on "innovation and renovation."

Stephen Weiss said margins are declining and also claimed "Don" has been there forever.

Simon Baker, who had prejudged the case, agreed with Weiss' call but with different rationale, that the dividend chase is over, and "who's ever eaten a McDonald's salad."

Weiss called Pete Najarian an "above-average consumer of calories."

Pete Najarian claimed SBUX is "gonna go higher."

Stephen Weiss said "costs are under control" at CMG.

Weiss said he wouldn't buy HON but would trim if he owned some. Simon Baker said to avoid JNJ, and noted a lot of folks are long GE.

Speaking of a lot of folks, Jeff Kilburg contended that rising gasoline might (snicker) hurt consumer spending; "a lot of folks here in Chicago are rethinking summer plans." (Surely he has conducted a survey.)

Stephen Weiss said Detroit's meltdown isn't rocking markets because "everybody basically saw this coming."

Steve Grasso might be on the verge of historic TSLA comeback

Simon Baker was Fast-Fired on Friday's Halftime Report for his bone-headed short-or-avoid-TSLA calls recently (avoiding isn't the problem; shorting is) and admitted, "Clearly I'm not right right now," but contended, "I think I'll be proven right in the long term."

Jon Najarian didn't mention Fisker this time but did argue that TSLA has no competition in its space, and with the short interest, "you just can't fade it."

Stephen Weiss though said you have to fade TSLA.

Jon Najarian expressed caution in playing NFLX, which he said is "nearly 3 times as volatile" as GOOG, so "be in a call spread in this stock."

Jon Najarian said of CSCO, "I like the stock here."

Jon Najarian said it's not Judge's fault but "shame on us" for not making a bigger deal recently of AMD's huge run.

Simon Baker's Final Trade was NUE. Stephen Weiss said CYH, and Pete Najarian said BX. Jon Najarian was left hanging.

[Thursday, July 18, 2013]

The latest product of the
Fast Money Bear Wing
(a/k/a so much for ‘price is truth’)

We've heard it was tapering, the May 22 reversal, China, murkiness of the Fed's mixed message, and most recently, that stocks were at 5-year highs.

Thursday on Fast Money, Brian Kelly actually said the stock market is going down because of a P.E. chart showing 2 standard deviations.

"We're in a bubble," Kelly claimed.

"The market here is overvalued," Kelly said, explaining this particular P.E. ratio matches what was last seen in 2007 and 1999, "extreme valuation scenarios."

Dan Nathan at least admitted he's been wrong and claimed that he had a "dust-up" with Karen Finerman about buying the dip sub-1,600 (actually Karen stayed well above the dust that day) and then, refusing to let it go, claimed, "There is gonna be a dip very soon people that's not the one to buy."

JC Parets came on the show and said the secular S&P 500 is fine, but "now is probably a good time to be selling, probably fading these highs."

That prompted Brian Kelly to assert, "You cannot go out there and be buying the top of this market."

Guy Adami, who tends to say "price is truth" except when he disagrees, said, "The headwinds are out there, I think the market's masked a lot of the ills that are out in the economy."

Dan Niles indicates that MSFT does not become interesting at any price

Superstar guest Dan Niles, who pays more attention to frequency of tech beats than anyone else on Fast Money, said on Thursday's show that "this is Google's 7th miss in a row on the top line," and for MSFT, it's 4 of the last 5 quarters.

Guy Adami suggested that for MSFT, "31 and a half it gets interesting again."

But Niles said for him, "It doesn't become interesting" at any level. "They're on the wrong side of the market," he added, conceding that various events could give the stock a short-term life, "Steve Ballmer getting replaced, the stock will be up the next day."

On GOOG, Adami said "850 to me is your bogey." Karen Finerman disclosed she is long and said, "I probably will look to buy more."

Dan Morgan called GOOG a "high-flier" and stressed, "It's really not appropriate for everybody." (So, question: If it's "really not appropriate for everybody," then how come most panelists on Fast Money/Halftime Report trumpet the stock daily?)

Niles said of AMD, "We're still long it; we actually sold some today," but he'd be inclined to buy it back Friday.

Adami: 370 may hold in ISRG

Diana Olick reported on Thursday's Fast Money that housing flippers are back, and they're even flipping to hedge funds.

Karen Finerman, as she always says nowadays, suggested RLGY as a housing play that works.

Dan Nathan, who otherwise spent much of the program endorsing a bear case for stocks, nevertheless warned that it's "not a great idea" to take the $150,000 you were planning to pour into the market at Brian Kelly's highs and instead buy a 2nd home to flip.

Nathan got on the bad side of Stephen Weiss got on the good side of Joe Terranova backed Mike Mayo's top pick, MS, saying, "This one's gonna probably continue to work."

Guy Adami cautioned about following Nelson Peltz straight into DD; "I would sort of stay away from this name."

We haven't gotten a "deep end of the trading pool" reference in a long time, but Guy Adami obliged with ISRG. "This is the deep end of the pool," Adami said, suggesting at lukewarm temperature that "370ish ... should be short-term support."

Mike Khouw said he's concerned about CMG valuation; "I'd fade this for sure."

Khouw said options players in SHW are indicating that "maybe the worst of this move is over."

Guy Adami said he'd fold PEP, while Dan Nathan would hold UTX.

Mike Khouw said he would "probably wanna start exiting" NFLX. Khouw's Final Trade was put spreads in XLY.

Dan Nathan, in a point that will be at loggerheads with Jon Najarian's triumphant buying-into-panic-selling in BA that we heard about earlier this week, said "I do not think you buy this dip."

Brian Kelly's Final Trade was to sell DHR. Karen Finerman said to get some SPY puts. Guy Adami said TLT.

Josh pats Judge on the back

Mike Murphy said on Thursday's Halftime Report, "I wouldn't be a buyer of Netflix here."

But Josh Brown called NFLX a "very easy trade" with a stop at 240.

Stephanie Link said Cramer is "buying on this dip" in EBAY.

Mike Murphy and Josh Brown bantered a bit over INTC, with Brown later getting the last word; "just nothing to like here."

Anthony DiClemente said there's "scarcity value in Google" and "we do think it's going to a thousand."

Mike Murphy though said he wouldn't chase it here. But Josh Brown said this is one of the world's most important companies (is there nowhere else to search the Internet?) and "I would be in this name."

Jon Najarian said he'd too play it from the long side, but with options.

Josh Brown said an HLF short right now is like a "burning house with the doors barred."

CNBC's gorjus Seema Mody was finally tapped again to handle the Market Flash (who in the world is looking at those computer screens in front?) and addressed DELL's price action.

Josh Brown congratulated Judge Wapner for his performance with Carl Icahn yesterday that, to be honest, was really more like a bust. "That was one of the best live interviews," Brown said.

‘Across the board you can own the financials,’ except other folks insist it’s a ‘stock-picker’s market’

Not surprisingly, financials got the thumbs-up on Thursday's Halftime Report.

But not before Josh Brown asserted that there are still a lot of pros underinvested in the markets, which Brown said is "kind of embarrassing at this point."

Mike Murphy said, "across the board you can own the financials," at least as long as rates are rising for good reaons (Drink) and not bad reasons. Murphy singled out C (his Final Trade) as having a "lot of potential."

Josh Brown, noting Morgan Stanley's results and Mike Mayo's great call, said that in the asset-management world, "business is very good ... just a great time right now ... I think it continues."

Stephanie Link trumpeted KEY and said you can own a "basket of all of these."

‘Everything except the refiners’

Jim Iuorio said on Thursday's Halftime Report that he doesn't think there's that much Mideast premium in crude but that it's "more of a risk-on trade."

Rich Ilczyszyn suggested 110 or 115 is resistance, but in the meantime, "we go to 110."

Josh Brown and Stephanie Link agreed they like APC and OXY. Link threw in a bunch of other names, ESV, HAL, CBI and FLR.

Brown said basically what's working is "everything except the refiners."

Stephanie Link took a Fast Fire in VALE.

Mike Murphy argued that CAT has "massive support" at 80, and "we actually bought the name today." Josh Brown countered that "valuation is not a catalyst," the company "routinely misses their estimates," and about 3 or 4 times said, "I gotta tell you" (Drink).

Stephanie Link said she agrees with Murphy but would buy in the low 80s. Jon Najarian issued a Brag Trade, saying he got long around 80.50 and got out at 87, so he's not in it now, but would be if the Chanos hit persists.

Doc: XLNX rising

Jeff Rottinghaus told Judge Wapner on Thursday's Halftime Report he likes the commercial aerospace sector, specifically BA, UTX, PCP and HON (or, the usual suspects).

Rottinghaus also is positive on JNPR, CSCO, ALTR, C and USB.

Josh Brown said that regardless of whether PEP follows Nelson Peltz's plan, "I think Pepsi works either way," and he thinks DD (Brown's Final Trade) trends higher.

Steph Link likes KO over PEP (don't tell Simon Baker) and said MDLZ hasn't had a good quarter yet and it's one to watch for improvement. Jon Najarian said "absolutely" to getting long PEP, for all those snack chips.

Mike Murphy said everyone should watch SHW closely Friday. (#exciting)

Stephanie Link tackled JCI and said, "I like the auto-parts sectors."

Jon Najarian predicted XLNX goes higher.

Stephanie Link's Final Trade was FOX. Jon Najarian said ITW.

[Wednesday, July 17, 2013]

Scott Wapner’s acknowledgment
of his Icahn-Ackman success
is apparently wearing thin

He's obviously feelin' it — maybe a little bit too much.

This page has heard that there is a belief around Englewood Cliffs that Scott Wapner's January success in hosting Bill Ackman and Carl Icahn for a joint interview — almost certainly the signature CNBC moment of 2013 thus far — has perhaps gone a bit to Wapner's head.

And, some wouldn't be unhappy seeing a certain degree of comeuppance.

Please note: This page is not declaring that success has gone to Wapner's head. This page is reporting that there is a belief around the newsroom that this has happened, to the point of annoyance for some.

But, is there public evidence that supports this belief?

For those who watched Wapner with Carl Icahn on Wednesday's Fast Money, yes.

Wapner opened the interview, at CNBC's impressive Delivering Alpha conference, with a smug (bordering on ridiculous) this-is-gonna-be-at-least-a-little-bit-about-me implication: "Well well well, we meet again, and this time we meet face to face."

Later, he said to Icahn, "Well, you told me I was bullying you before."

Wednesday's interview was nevertheless a success just by its occurrence, given that Icahn actually told Wapner on Jan. 25, "I'm never goin' on a show with you again, that's for damn sure."

(The Ackman-Icahn showdown was Jan. 25. Man, does time fly.)

Wapner is a very promising anchor. He's having a great year. He brings an edge. He challenges his panelists. He's got a sense of humor. He missed some chances on Jan. 25 and belabored a few topics with the questions he did ask. His hustle, particularly in landing Bill Ackman initially, is what made CNBC's highlight of 2013 happen. He still needs an off-speed pitch to his repertoire. And perhaps — perhaps — a dose of humility.

Questions for Icahn address nothing controversial or unexpected

Unfortunately for Scott Wapner, his interview with Carl Icahn on Wednesday's Fast Money proved far more bust than encore, as Carl clearly viewed the session as a happy hour while Wapner failed to ask any question igniting genuine passion.

The opening minutes on Dell were tedious at best. Icahn reiterated perhaps 10 times his dislike of the DELL board; "I've never seen one as bad as this" (which likely isn't true), although he did produce/repeat a good headline, saying they "scared the Dell out of shareholders."

On Herbalife, Icahn was far less colorful this time (nothing about Carl getting "dizzy" when Ackman tried to be friends with him at the Italian restaurant), repeating his strong point about the limitations of the Sullivan & Cromwell opinion and saying an expert he consulted called Ackman's case "a pile of absurdity."

His deference to TV profanity standards however didn't stop Icahn from saying at least twice that there are "goddam good boards" out there.

Guy Adami evaluated this conversation like a pro and astutely noted that Icahn sounded not "that fully committed" to DELL.

But Adami said at NFLX, "I think the story's still intact," and the stock is still a long.

Karen Finerman, who looked exceptional in new vertically striped dress, at one point said that Icahn has probably made more in NFLX in a year and a half than he made in his first 30 years of doing this.

In limited airtime, Guy Adami
puts together a tour de force

Fast Money panelists on Wednesday were skeptical of Jim Chanos' CAT short.

Pete Najarian called CAT "still a construction company" and suggested the stock is range-bound from 85 to 95.

Guy Adami expressed disbelief that CAT could crash on its own, it would need "a selloff in the broader market," otherwise Adami sees no lower than 78 or 80.

Adami said IBM is in "no-man's land."

Adami said "Pepsi is interesting here," but as for QCOM, "I like the name, but the stock action suggests otherwise."

Pete Najarian said he thinks PEP can go higher, but he hasn't seen options activity in MDLZ.

In a great analogy, Guy Adami — who made the most of his few moments Wednesday with a monster show — likened gold trading to the Citi Field All-Star crowd a day earlier; "Everybody's a gentleman going in," but when folks exit ...

Adami again suggested LL as a housing trade. Karen Finerman likewise said she likes RLGY, which she said is strictly dependent on home sales and not mortgage rates.

Pete Najarian said YHOO bulls were rolling up option strikes into the 30s. Guy Adami said "low 30s would not surprise me."

Guy Adami's Final Trade was CELG. In a curious development, Pete Najarian said buy BAC, while Karen Finerman said to sell BAC.

Anthony Scaramucci: Calif. gov race made Meg Whitman a better human being

Jim Chanos' short-CAT presentation at Delivering Alpha was delivered on Wednesday's Halftime Report ... and then it was Anthony Scaramucci who delivered Chanos an uppercut with a Brag Trade.

"I do remember saying that Hewlett-Packard, with Meg Whitman in charge, was gonna be just fine," Scaramucci said, referring to last year's Delivering Alpha big moment.

Indeed, according to this page's archives, Scaramucci said that day that he disagreed with Chanos, and, "This could catch earnings momentum, uh, and I would be betting with Meg Whitman here."

However, the Moochmeister might've gone a bit too far Wednesday in pinning the HPQ stock performance to California's 2010 governor's race that was a downright embarrassment in a massive GOP year, claiming Whitman's defeat "has changed her as a human being for the better."

Stephen Weiss wasn't convinced, pointing to the HPQ board decisions that Whitman oversaw; "those still haunt me."

Anthony Scaramucci implies CNBC’s reporting is presuming some degree of guilt

But in chiding Jim Chanos on Wednesday's Halftime Report, Anthony Scaramucci was just warming up.

It was Kate Kelly, CNBC's SAC Capital reporter, who once again pushed the Mooch's buttons in reporting on Preet Bharara's (he's probably not on the SALT 2014 guest list) Delivering Alpha "cryptology" regarding leaks and such that apparently included an "indirect warning to SAC and any other financial industry scofflaws that are- well, perceived scofflaws."

"We still have a Constitution in the United States, right," Scaramucci asserted.

"We do!" Kelly chirped.

It's "still a free country," Scaramucci said, apparently seeking clarification.

Judge Wapner told Scaramucci, "You're a supporter of Steve Cohen."

Munis are discussed, but Meredith Whitney’s name does not surface

Steve Kuhn told Judge Wapner on Wednesday's Halftime Report that he views his team as sort of like Billy Beane's "Moneyball" squad and explained, "We try to find mistakes in markets."

Kuhn and/or the screen chart indicated he likes non-agency mortgages, subprime bonds and mortgage REITs, and he suggested that MTG is trading at 80 cents on the dollar.

Also, Kuhn said, "We love municipal bonds here," suggesting the Texas Permanent School Fund actually delivers an 8% return with taxes considered.

Josh Lipton reported what some movers and shakers at Delivering Alpha are liking, including Chris Hohn (EADS, Porsche, Aurizon) and Mark Kingdon (Toyota, Fuji Heavy, Mazda).

Joe Terranova questioned the completeness of Hohn's list. "If you like Porsche, you have to like BMW," Joe said.

Stephen Weiss has his ABA/NBA franchises mixed up

Josh Lipton reported Lee Cooperman's 10 stock picks from Delivering Alpha on Wednesday's Halftime Report, a list that included ESRX, QCOM, TMO, SD, QUAL.BR, ABR, ARP, CIM, KFN and TCRD.

Joe Terranova endorsed ESRX and its presumed "$75 print at some point."

Stephen Weiss curiously said, "Lee doesn't turn the portfolio over all that much."

Even more curiously, Weiss said former SD chief Tom Ward "really used the company as his piggy bank" and as an example, indicated the Oklahoma NBA franchise was actually based in the San Francisco Bay Area, the "Oakland Thunder."

(We actually remember a few years ago, when Pete Najarian was pounding the table for SD and explaining what a great executive Ward was.)

Anthony Scaramucci indicated Cooperman likes MET and AIG, names that weren't even listed.

Scaramucci sidestepped Judge's pointed question about Mooch's previous claims of a 10% wipeout once the Fed exits and claimed Wednesday that Ben S. Bernanke "looks like Sigmund Freud Bernanke" and actually has been "more successful than I originally thought."

In fact, Bernanke is "likely right now making money on the quantitative easing," Scaramucci asserted.

Steve Weiss said September tapering is now "consensus." He said he likes BAC and C and made the former his Final Trade.

Joe Terranova, perhaps making up for yesterday's snap-fest, actually praised Stephanie Link when hailing small-caps and endorsed financials including AXP, GS, TRV and MS.

However, "I don't think that tech recovery's coming," Terranova said, arguing that for MSFT, "I think the end of the road is near."

Mr. New Land also contended "I don't think Mr. Ackman can feel very good" about HLF, which is only "3 bucks from a 52-week high." Judge Wapner cracked that his new friend, Carl Icahn (who initially said he would never talk to Judge on TV again), doesn't even have to manage his HLF stake, but just watch TV.

Anthony Scaramucci's Final Trade was BX. Joe Terranova said energy, on the prediction that WTI is over $125 in 12 months.

[Tuesday, July 16, 2013]

Why, exactly, must the Fed
stop tapering?

Much of Tuesday's Halftime Report, and a little bit of Fast Money, involved speculating as to how Ben S. Bernanke is going to attempt to handle the markets like Vito Corleone handled Nazorine the baker; "You want the S&P at 1,750, and you want the 10-year at 2.0."

John Taylor on the Halftime Report flat-out predicted failure here; "we're gonna have a taper tantrum again" in the markets for 2 days, Taylor said.

So, that begs the question ... why should the Fed stop tapering at all?

Growing national debt? Seriously?? Ronald Reagan once said it was big enough to take care of itself.

Perhaps there's even an argument for expanding, not tapering.

If you think that's loopy, consider that Josh Brown reported on Tuesday's Halftime that Merrill Lynch actually suggested in a research note (that highly educated, wealthy people were paid to write) that there's actually apparently a suspicion that "Bernanke's going rogue."

When does the S&P 500 ever stay at a certain level for more than a short period of time?

Robin Harding told Tuesday's Fast Money crew that the release of Ben Bernanke's prepared remarks isn't going to do anything; "it's the Q&A where we should be looking."

But Harding said the odds of Bernanke revealing his future are "extremely low" because if he were to say he's leaving, nobody would listen to anything he says. (But they do now, because he might be "going rogue.")

Guy Adami reached into his bag of tricks for one of those slogans that really is true 100% of the time and thus means nothing, insisting the market at 1,680 is only temporary; "it ain't stayin' here," but will move "significantly higher or lower."

Larry McDonald told the gang that big banks have feasted on mortgage refinancing for years, and "that's goin' away," that last year's comps involved Greece and so were easy pickin's, and he stressed being careful with financials for the next 30 days.

Guy Adami suggested checking out MA and V "when the dust settles."

Josh Brown said Visa's European exposure is in a different company, so "Visa will be much less affected than MA will."

Karen Finerman seemed to doubt either V or MA would take too big of a hit; "I wouldn't jump out and panic here."

Josh Brown said ZION "under 30 I think is a buy."

Tim Seymour tackled KO and said that around 41, "this stock looks very toppy."

Josh Brown said in the JNJ report there was "literally nothing not to like ... but it's very expensive." Guy Adami suggested owning F into the release but said he likes BWA better.

How Terry Semel Saved Yahoo (but gets no credit) (cont’d)

Larry Haverty told Tuesday's Fast Money that YHOO is attractive — not because of anything it's actually doing, but (sigh) as an investor in other tech properties that are actually doing well.

To the contrary, "Marissa's hall pass is very close to expiring," Haverty admitted, but the "green light's there on the Alibaba."

In fact, "Every quarter, Alibaba is gonna increase in value," Haverty contended, saying the valuation will be hiked to $70 billion, and then the "first trade will be a hundred billion."

Haverty claimed that with Alibaba gains, YHOO's share price actually "could have a 4 in front of it."

Tim Seymour stressed caution with the name. "You don't need to touch it here," Seymour said.

Josh Brown on the other hand suggested you might indeed want to touch it here, and that dips in the name such as Tuesday's get bought up quickly; "the story is the Asian assets."

Mike Khouw said he'd play it probably by buying upside calls or selling puts.

Jon Fortt said that whatever statement Marissa was making on Tuesday, she was "reading it off a prompter."

1980s gold analogy made again

Tim Seymour, who evidently volunteered, actually tried to make a bullish gold case on Tuesday's Fast Money, and came up with, "At some point we have to come back and face this genie," and in the next 12 months, expect a "very significant supply squeeze."

Josh Brown, hardly given equal time, asserted, "This is a commodity bust cycle. They take months, quarters and years to work out," and this one, Brown said, is "just getting under way."

Mike Khouw said he agrees with Brown. "When the commodities turn, it's ugly," Khouw said.

Guy Adami actually argued that gold is a currency, prompting Brown to demand to know where it's accepted as legal tender.

Karen Finerman said "no thank you" to getting long gold.

Don’t think we’ve heard the Costco-gas-pump trade yet this year

In one of the more curious trade suggestions we've heard in a while, Guy Adami suggested on Tuesday's Fast Money owning EBAY into earnings and ditching at least 50% of that into the release.

Adami said he'd prefer to own the stock in a breakout over 60.

Tim Seymour seemed lukewarm on IBM but perhaps said you can buy it under 195.

Josh Brown is not interested in INTC.

Guy Adami made an astute observation in regards to an annual bogus Fast Money topic, the notion that rising gas prices are going to sink the consumer/economy.

The "U.S. consumer spends regardless," Adami said. "I think GPS works here."

Adami said MPC's guidance was "catastrophic," and "I wouldn't go fishing into this one."

Adami's Final Trade was NSC.

Karen Finerman said DELL is in a game of chicken. Her Final Trade was OCN.

Mike Khouw said BIDU has got a "mobile footprint in China" and called the development positive.

Tim Seymour said "I would be staying away" from WHR. Seymour said "I was wrong" in being pessimistic on GOOG, would take profits around 45 in RIO, and suggested profit-taking in GM for his Final Trade.

Josh Brown said if he'd have to guess, he'd say no turnaround in ZNGA and that the stock is a "really dangerous thing," but you "can't be short." Brown's Final Trade was F.

Joe relentless in his disapproval of Stephen Weiss’ Morgan Stanley negativity

Josh Brown said on a snappy Halftime Report Tuesday that Wednesday's market doesn't hinge on what Ben Bernanke says but that the market has come to believe in the "prospects of a better economy."

Simon Baker said fixed income is still "very much in fear mode," but Brown called fixed income the "dumb money." Joe Terranova insisted fixed income is not "rioting."

Joe Terranova said viewers should put the "macro" in the "back seat." But Dr. New World saved his most strenuous argument for Stephen Weiss (who wasn't actually on the show), reasserting that Morgan Stanley is due for multiple expansion and isn't paying too much for talent in wealth management.

Steve Liesman opined that Bernanke, in choice of adequately conveying what he actually means to the market, "had it wrong at the beginning," but is figuring it out now (um ... yeah ... just say they're not tapering?), and Liesman thinks the Fed is "close to the edge of not tapering in September."

Stephanie Link said that if she had to guess, she'd say the Fed will "take away some of the bond purchases" in September.

Link, arguing that GS was taking an unfair beating, apparently had enough of Joe Terranova, who interrupted to say "so what," and snapped at Joe, "Let me finish my statement," which was, "I think you have to have dry powder."

John Taylor said a 2.75 or 2.80 10-year would make the FOMC nervous. Taylor's recommendation is to buy the dollar and buy euro/yen.

Rick Rieder predicted the Fed will "slow down the asset-purchase program starting in September." He called 3% in the 10-year "fair value" and a place to start buying, and actually pronounced the May-June bond turmoil as "healthy."

Judge blames panelists for dead air in DELL discussion

Everyone on Tuesday's Halftime Report seemed a little chippy — and at one point, it got directed back at Judge, who demanded to know how no one on the panel found DELL attractive under $13.

Because "we're not arbitrageurs," said Josh Brown, who said it doesn't make any sense to hope for a bump to $14.25 in Michael Dell's offer.

Mr. New Land, clearly the recipient of Cheerios urine (sorry that sounds kind of nasty) this week, resorted to a pointless Brag Trade, telling Wapner, "I was happy buying it at 9."

Stephanie Link made a snoozer of an argument for FB, saying valuation's good and the Q1 was good and it's down from that. Josh Brown countered with his own Brag Trade, that he said around 23 there was "no one left to sell this stock." Brown added, "Walk away now ... the forward-looking growth is just not there."

The day's TSLA slide had just begun, and Brown urged viewers to "hold off" and suggested it might find support around 100.

Dr. New Land steered clear of TSLA and said he likes the Goldman Sachs call of F over GM, and he likes TM and Tata (but didn't address his own wheels, above).

Simon Baker said of NFLX, "own it here."

Joe takes on Josh in hard-to-see-how-it’s-relevant gold semantics debate

Simon Baker cautioned on Tuesday's Halftime Report that there could be a short squeeze in gold, but that was hardly where the fireworks occurred in the show's precious metals discussion.

Josh Brown said there is little short interest in gold miners, though plenty in the ETFs.

Anthony Grisanti acknowledged that the "weak shorts" in gold can get squeezed fast.

Jeff Kilburg said Ben Bernanke has recently proved to "talk out of each side of his mouth" but Wednesday will have "duct tape," and so gold has a "potential back and fill" up to 1,355.

Joe Terranova said gold is an "investment," not a "trade." Josh Brown said gold is a "trade," not an "investment." Joe said he totally disagrees. (Brown dodged a fistfight by NOT saying that Stephen Weiss is right about Morgan Stanley.)

Steph Link said she likes RIO and VALE. (Again, good thing Steve Weiss wasn't on.)

Mr. New World said "stay away from refiners."

Josh Brown said he'd tend to be long a name like THC, and as for YHOO, "wouldn't be shocked if it got over 30."

Stephanie Link offered a sort-of Brag Trade with JNJ; "we sold it at 85" and would like a pullback into the low 80s.

Simon Baker, irritated apparently at not getting enough credit for a good KO call, said the company had a "horrible quarter" and then snapped at Stephanie, demanding to know why she was quibbling with his assessment and even mocking Judge's point that Link purportedly won the debate while Baker is merely trying to make money for clients.

Bill Nygren uncorked his usual Halftime Report refrain ("we're investing in stocks that are gonna do awesome in 5 years" or something like that) and explained, "Last quarter we added General Motors," and he likes NOV and APA. Joe Terranova interrupted Nygren at one point to determine which shale/potential activism plays he owns (DVN, NFX).

Joe Terranova's Final Trade was MS (like we said, sure was good that Stephen Weiss wasn't there). Stephanie Link said UPS, Josh Brown said VAW and Simon Baker said NTAP.

Kate Kelly, the only person besides John Taylor not snapping at anyone, said Preet Bharara has a sense of humor (translation: We're gonna get a mini-bio of every speaker at Delivering Alpha before Wednesday afternoon).

Tesla takes a U-turn
on Steve Grasso

Just a day ago, Steve Grasso revealed he got long TSLA, and even made it his Final Trade.

(Important note to those who might get the lingerie in a bunch: We always root for Fast Money trades to succeed and wish everyone well.)

Today, it's an instant front-runner for Fast Money Bust of the Year.

It should be noted that Grasso stressed on Monday that his wasn't a large position.

And, we've seen these hotshot stocks take a large tumble, maybe kick around for a short while, and then re-ignite.

In fact, Melissa Lee said on Tuesday's Fast Money that the show called Grasso for an update (prompting Tim Seymour's potential Line of the Week, "Did you get a voicemail?"), and Grasso explained that he actually bought more Tuesday and thinks big bounce-backs tend to happen in names such as this.

Guy Adami suggested the stock seems to have reversed and is "broken" and looks like it might "work better on the downside" at this point.

Karen Finerman said she bought some July out-of-the-money puts in her "P.A." (that's "personal account," translation, no client money in this one). Addressing the valuation, "Who the hell knows at this point?"

Josh Brown suggested it would bounce around 100 but said this trade is for pros only.

Tim Seymour decried that TSLA longs don't really know what they own and said "80 bucks" is the place to start looking again.

The king of this trade is once again Dan Nathan, who in the mid-80s predicted a 100 tag, and just a day ago impressively told Grasso he'd rather get in it around 100, a contender for Call of the Year. (But, that doesn't get him off the hook for the boneheaded "we're headed to 1,500" call in late June.)

More from Tuesday's Fast Money, and Halftime Report, later.

[Monday, July 15, 2013]

Karen is afraid her question will imply derision of guest’s S&P target

Savita Subramanian on Monday's Fast Money dealt with skepticism of her newly elevated market call the old-fashioned Fast Money way: with a Brag Trade.

Subramanian said she BofA hiked its S&P target to 1,750 because there's a "lot more upside" to earnings, and it's a "blended call."

Karen Finerman questioned how much the current S&P level factors into that call, "and I don't mean it at all sarcastically."

Subramanian responded that "we have a fair value model," and wasn't it "kind of ironic" when last year she was considered too overwhelmingly bullish. (But unfortunately, there is not an ounce of irony in that example.)

Steve Grasso lamented, "Whenever you talk positive on Amazon, you get hate mail."

In a staggeringly dull debate, Pete Najarian gave no credit to Terry Semel but all the YHOO credit to Marissa Mayer. "They are not a search company," Najarian insisted, but a "technology" and "media" company.

Oh, and they've got Alibaba, he finally added, tossing in his worst redundancy, "each and every day."

Steve Grasso, the YHOO bear, countered, "They still haven't driven more people to the Web site."

Dan Nathan said he'd prefer YHOO to GOOG. Scott Nations said October 25 calls in YHOO were hot.

Dan Nathan weighed C enthusiastically vs. rivals. Karen Finerman said of C, "I like it right here."

Pete Najarian predicted BA would go through 110, but Dan Nathan questioned whether another incident might ground the 787 fleet.

Karen Finerman suggested Asia slumping would offset TIF gains from gold and silver's fall, and "I wouldn't be a buyer right here." Steve Grasso also said he wouldn't buy it.

Pete Najarian said F options are trending higher.

Pete: MU is ‘screaming buy’

Melissa Lee led Monday's Fast Money with the theme of 2013's hot stocks, starting with TSLA.

Pete Najarian opened by stammering, "I think you can" still play it, before clarifying that he would "only own this through options."

Steve Grasso cheerily revealed, "I actually bought it today."

Dan Nathan said he'd like to get in around the $100 level but hopes for Grasso's sake it doesn't suddenly plunge there.

Phil LeBeau asserted that if gas prices go up, "this stock will take off," but only if gasoline hovers around $4.50 or $4.75. Meanwhile, "There's greater risk on the downside," LeBeau allowed.

Karen Finerman said she'd be neither long nor short in TSLA.

Pete Najarian said of NFLX, "I remain bullish on this name."

Dan Nathan breached protocol (sort of), saying, "They have a very crappy product, is that streaming product," prompting Mel Lee to demand he reveal if he's a Netflix customer.

Karen Finerman opined that BBY valuation is not terrible here but said with the stock's 2013 gains, it looks like the buyout angle is off the table.

Dan Nathan called MU "not a stock I would buy here." Pete Najarian however made the most bullish call of the day, saying, "I think Micron is a screaming buy right here. I think it's going to $20 a share."

Larry Lindsey actually thinks they might want ‘change’ on the Fed

We know Larry Lindsey's a smart guy, but this one really makes you scratch your head.

Lindsey joined Dennis Gartman for Federal Reserve speculation on Monday's Fast Money, saying Ben Bernanke's successor could be Janet Yellen ... or the president could try some alternate choices if he actually wants to "change" (that's correct) things.

Dennis Gartman predicted the market would be "a little bit perturbed if it were Larry Summers."

Gartman said he's staying long equities and long gold.

Steve Grasso called GOOG his "favorite trade."

Pete Najarian said SUNE and YGE have been hot; "this space has been on fire."

Dan Nathan called QCOM a "pretty good own" here.

Pete Najarian said he'd stay away from AMT. Karen Finerman "wouldn't touch" RSH. And Steve Grasso "would not be a buyer just yet" in CLF.

Finerman shrugged off her NFLX Fast Fire; "I've made way stupider calls than that." But Finerman said that while she didn't know what to make of HLF, she's surprised that this long after Ackman's presentation, "the stock is here."

Pete Najarian dismissed the gold miners, which he said "seem like they're still dead money."

Najarian's Final Trade was DECK. Steve Grasso said TSLA, which for some annoying reason cracked everyone up. Karen Finerman said C, and Dan Nathan's Final Trade was unintelligible (but sounded a bit like VIX calls).

Stephen Weiss suddenly on his best behavior regarding Morgan Stanley

The last time Mike Mayo trumpeted Morgan Stanley on the Halftime Report, in May, things didn't necessarily go over well.

On Monday's Halftime Report, Mayo returned for an encore.

"My No. 1 pick remains Morgan Stanley," Mayo said. "We think it can double again over the next 3 years."

Stephen Weiss, rather snarky during the last Mayo visit, this time politely said, "Morgan Stanley's fine; I prefer Goldman Sachs," and said the asset management arm carries huge costs.

Mayo said MS is trading below tangible book and that it doesn't need great revenue growth to improve the ROE because of improving margins. When Weiss asked the catalyst for that, Mayo said it's the "synergies from 4 years of working on this combination," in which the bank gets "60 billion of additional deposits."

Mr. New World piped up to say he likes GS but also would gladly take any MS shares that Weiss was selling. Weiss protested, "I'm not saying I'm short Morgan Stanley."

That was a far cry from Mayo's last visit, May 15, in which Weiss argued "ETFs are killing the retail investor," that Erskine Bowles (whom Mayo mentioned at the time) is "hardly the director that I'd be quoting," and questioning, "What's Gorman done?"

Back to Monday. Mayo uncorked either the biggest whopper of the day or the most optimistic media call we've heard in years, claiming Morgan Stanley is "gonna be on the cover of every magazine, in a year or two, every business magazine in a year or two."

Let's just hope there are any business magazines in a year or two.

Mayo said Monday, "If Citigroup can become boring, then I think this stock goes much higher." However, he is "not a buyer of JPMorgan."

Simon says ‘the good news’ is that a market that’s up 18% is going to revert to being a ‘stock-picker’s market’

Stephen Weiss said on Monday's Halftime Report that the stock market could go higher or lower on earnings, and "I'm betting on higher." He said he likes ETN, C and XLF.

Stephanie Link touted UTX, for air exposure.

Joe Terranova said the market has "now adjusted to a 2.5" percent yield on the 10-year, and he likes GS.

We'd actually like to see Simon Baker hit some home runs and will be happy to cheer when he does so.

But, when he makes pronouncements that frankly are more like strikeouts, we've got an obligation to point that out too, such as with the strange notion that "the good news is, this is definitely a stock-picker's market again," which either means 1) Baker does not want the stock market to go up another 15% in the 2nd half of the year, or 2) Baker thinks such a market still qualifies as one worth "stock picking."

Baker said, "Expect more volatility."

Jon Najarian said he's expecting a positive surprise out of Goldman Sachs, and pointed out that the initial selloff in BA last week was the panic. Stephen Weiss said the truth is, "The battery fires don't matter."

Steve Weiss said "I bought Mexico," said he likes MLI, SODA and EWW.

Joe Terranova touted EXR; "REITs are OK." Simon Baker touted CIEN.

Steven DeSanctis predicted 1,100 Russell but said earnings must deliver.

Why in the world did Judge flood show with 5 panelists?

Jon Najarian, once again doing the SEC's job for it (but likely not getting paid for it), said on Monday's Halftime Report he investigated call-buying in LEAP on Friday and found it spread around to cover tracks, and "I think this looks pretty suspicious."

Stephanie Link argued KO is best in breed and trading at a discount. Simon Baker faulted the bull case into earnings for volume in sales, margin and valuation.

Dr. New Land concluded, "I'm gonna go with Simon here," and made the best point of all, that money managers don't want soft drinks, but beer, and Joe recommends TAP.

Simon Baker said TIF got an upgrade. Steph Link said of UPS, "I would look to buy this under 85."

Kate Kelly stressed that the speakers for Delivering Alpha such as John Paulson really are doing great. Stephen Weiss took it a step further, saying hedge funds' job is generally being short the market, so "they should underperform most of the time."

Jon Najarian said China demand is "fabulous for these guys" at FSLR.

Stephen Weiss said DIS shares were playing "catchup to Lone Ranger and Tonto."

Joe Terranova advised taking profit in CRM and buying under 40. Simon Baker said to stay away from fairly valued YELP. Stephanie Link said of NAV, "I like this story," on takeover or turnaround value.

Something about Stephen Weiss got under Joe’s skin Tuesday

Jon Najarian said on Monday's Halftime Report that the 26.50 calls in FB were hopping. Stephanie Link admitted, "I have a $33 target."

Stephen Weiss admitted that he saw BBRY's Z steeply discounted at Best Buy.

Joe Terranova then for some reason unloaded on Weiss, saying he wasn't sure how many people at Best Buy were asking Weiss to sign an autograph, but "I'm sure you were willing to do so."

Honestly, about the last 'tude in the Halftime/Fast Money sphere this page would defend is that of Stephen Weiss, but on this particular day — just this 1 time — given that Weiss was on his best behavior with Mike Mayo, we gotta say, it's fair for Weiss to have wondered who might've peed in Joe's Cheerios.

Meanwhile, Mr. New Land said, "I love the rails, I like CSX." His Final Trade was EMC.

Simon Baker predicted COH would fail in its bid to become a "lifestyle brand." Baker's Final Trade was MGIC.

Jon Najarian said an "awful lot" of QCOM January 2015 calls, around 72.50, were being traded. Najarian's Final Trade was SWY.

Stephanie Link's Final Trade was unintelligible. Stephen Weiss said American Airlines.

[Friday, July 12, 2013]

Brown: Boeing won’t ‘crash’

On June 24, Guy Adami said on Fast Money, "I think there's a 75 to 80% chance, the high for 2013 is put in. Maybe the first half of next year as well."

Um, yeah.

Adami on Friday's Fast Money finally appeared out of here's-why-stocks-are-about-to-crater arguments, perhaps resigned to the $5,000 bottles of bourbon Mel Lee was tossing around.

(We could also mention that Adami predicted a day earlier that Friday would be "one of the most interesting days" in the stock market in the last 6-9 months when, quite frankly, it wasn't, but we'll pass.)

Adami did spy an outside reversal, but it was in BA, which he rightly called a "much different trade" at 101 than 73.

Tim Seymour asserted, "This company is not cheap."

But Josh Brown insisted this is what happens in aerospace, it's not like they're making "tuna sandwiches," and what really matters is the huge backlog of Boeing orders; "it's not all priced in."

Brown said the stock may drift lower, but "I would not be looking for a crash."

Brian Kelly actually suggested waiting to buy it in the 70s or 80s.

Alison Deans said she likes tech, industrials and regional banks, the latter being beneficiaries of rising rates "as long as it's not rapid rising rates" (Drink).

Deans suggested the Fed floated a trial balloon in late May and was shocked by the market selloff, so expect tapering and/or its rhetoric to be "more gradual and subtle."

Tim Seymour said people are waiting for MU to test 12.50.

Brian Kelly said if you've been in DHI to take profit, which is basically what he says about anything that has gone up more than a penny.

Josh Brown said of NBR, "I wouldn't jump in just yet."

Guy Adami said of NFLX, "continue to own this thing."

Jon Najarian said LEAP July 9 calls starting hopping around 2:42 in the afternoon. (Wonder if the SEC will investigate.)

Tim Seymour's Final Trade was long EEM (until 40). Josh Brown said VGK, Brian Kelly said GLNG and Guy Adami said LL (and also predicted LEAP has more to go).

So much for high in for the year

Instead of just pointing out what makes by far the most sense — that the late-June, 40-point, 1-day selloff in the S&P 500 was one of the most knuckleheaded, mindless market reactions to utterly nothing in goodness knows how long — Friday's Halftime Report crew made it sound like Wall Street investors had just made it through a near-death experience.

"It's a big exhale," said Michael Santoli, as the Fed had to make an "overclarification" as to whatever it's really doing.

Pete Najarian assured that suddenly now, the markets have confidence that Ben Bernanke is going to be there.

Jon Najarian actually reiterated that the delay of the Affordable Care Act is the biggest market news recently, a sign that there's "not just the steroid growth" from the Fed.

The Najarians argued that utilities could make a comeback, but Simon Baker said cyclicals/financials are the places to be now.

Stephen Weiss dialed in to say the great thing about this market is that there's "still a wall of worry," specifically Europe and China.

Simon: People simply getting too tired of selling gold

In an unbelievably rambling, unfocused, catalyst-less argument, Pete Najarian contended on Friday's Halftime Report that now might possibly be the time to buy ANR.

First, Pete conceded it's a falling knife, then started to say something about nat gas prices, then noted it's in met coal and steam coal.

Simon Baker pronounced it a "complete dog."

Pete then added, "It's trading almost like an option."

Mike Santoli gave Pete a boost, saying, "I like it as a contrarian long."

The best point Najarian made was that the bonds aren't trading like it's going out of business.

Jon Najarian suggested that the refiner bounce is probably a bet on a decline in WTI.

Jon Najarian said that in gold, at this point, "You play it with upside call spreads." Simon Baker said there's a "certain amount of gold exhaustion" from all the selling.

Interviewing Mark Zandi proves formidable challenge for Judge

Betsy Graseck, an elite analyst who has been on Fast Money probably a handful of times now, told Judge Wapner on Friday's Halftime that BAC is her top pick, given that her estimates are higher above the Street for that name, and in the superregional category, she likes STI, RF and PNC.

Jon Najarian chipped in, "I like USBancorp and Bank America (sic) a lot."

Pete Najarian said options players are seeking longer-term calls in C; "it's not just short-term bets."

Eamon Javers reported that Coresite is building servers close to data centers in Washington, D.C., to give its subscribers a millisecond's advantage on government data releases.

Simon Baker questioned how anyone would actually regulate this and then brought up his whole Michigan ethics thing again.

Mark Zandi, dealing with a time delay, carried on the choppiest, most confusing debate possible with Judge Wapner over whether Zandi really has changed his GDP outlook. (It sure sounded like he had, but he seemed to deny it).

Zandi said GDP might just come in "much weaker than anyone had expected."

Mahaney: EBAY for a trade

Mark Mahaney said on Friday's Halftime Report that EBAY has short-term potential; "we like it as a trade."

Mahaney damned GOOG with faint praise; "it's a safe buy," was how he put it.

Jon Najarian said at the top of the program he'd consider loading up on eBay next week depending on what happens.

Najarian said a week ago in the Wednesday half-day of trading, SPRD option volatility was hot.

Pete Najarian said of SODA, there's "40% short in this name."

Mike Santoli said people are suddenly concerned FDX is a "mature business."

Jon Najarian pointed out PCP, SPR and HXL were all falling in sympathy with BA.

Simon Baker, in the type of call that would make Karen Finerman cringe, said of WBMD, "if you own it, hold it," but if you don't, then wait to get in.

Jon Najarian said long UTX for his Final Trade. Pete Najarian said C. Simon Baker said to short ANR vs. a long in KOL. Mike Santoli said EWY.

[Thursday, July 11, 2013]

Doc indicates Tim should get that ‘everybody probably’ (bleep) outta here

Guy Adami first admitted on Thursday's Fast Money, "I thought we would fade today; I was wrong."

But in what seems a bit of a stretch, Adami predicted that Friday would be "one of the most interesting days" in the last 6-9 months.

Apparently that's because it could wipe out his recent prediction that "I thought the highs were made for the year a few weeks ago." He said if we get over 1,690 Friday, "We're gone again." (Translation: The reversal that'll be just like May 22 setting up the "next leg down" might not happen.)

Tim Seymour, who struggled to converse with guest host Brian Sullivan over calling each other crazy, said, "I'd be a buyer of the dip in the dollar."

Karen Finerman admitted, "I was really surprised" to see the market take off like it did on Ben Bernanke's comments, and "I wouldn't buy this."

Jon Najarian, gushing at the top of his lungs throughout the show about buying the June 24 dip, said all Bernanke clarified is that "he is going to be tapering at some point" while knuckleheads tried to get ahead of that.

Najarian said he bought XLU then, and builders, and "I bought homebuilders again today," as Sullivan pointed out DHI is the top performer of the week.

Tim Seymour tried to claim that on June 24th, "everybody probably" on the show was saying buying the market was a "very difficult place," but Najarian was having none of it. "I said you buy it with both hands then!" Doc bellowed.

Mike Khouw said this is "a good time" to buy put protection.

Doc says ‘pussies’ on air

Jon Najarian is occasionally (snicker) prone to the Brag Trade. Apparently not satisfied with just that, Najarian on Thursday's Fast Money introduced a colorful term we haven't heard on the show.

Najarian said he likes gold miners but in particular liked the GLD at 114.68 in late June.

"That was a gift ... from all the folks that didn't have the stomach to hold that particular ETF ... now it's 10 points higher," Najarian said, also pointing to the AGQ.

"I think gold has just gotten back to fair value," he continued, defining "fair value" for Tim Seymour as the price you get when the "weak hands" have been washed out, weak hands which Najarian was happy to buy from, "because they're quite frankly pussies ... those are the guys that I feast on."

Anyone who sold GLD the last week of June, you've been called out.

Tim Seymour stressed that coal and ore prices have been up. Jon Najarian said energy, CAT and JOY have all surged. But guest host Brian Sullivan said it looked to him like short covering in the stocks.

Guy Adami suggested LL as a better trade now than the homebuilders, in part because of "monster short interest."

Fast Money tackles an investment many viewers will surely try: Colombian bonds

David Gerstenhaber told Thursday's Fast Money "I think you have to buy the dip," but predicted Treasurys could be a "hundred basis points" higher within a year.

Gerstenhaber said he likes technology, specifically GOOG, EBAY and NFLX, though he's not interested in IBM.

Graphics indicated he's covering gold shorts, buying the front end of fixed income, and he's investing in Colombian bonds, which prompted a question from Karen Finerman about his end game. Gerstenhaber said he's in 3-year Colombian bonds at 5.5% and hopes to get a "hundred basis points" of return.

Guy Adami said GPS could reach 50 in a "benign tape." Adami called AMZN the "2nd-most emotional stock out there."

Karen Finerman called REITs "uninvestable here."

Mike Khouw said JPM July 55 calls were hot.

Colin Gillis said MSFT is reacting to the "longest decline in PC history ... that is why they are making these changes.

"I do think it's gonna fall back to my $31 price target," Gillis concluded of the stock.

Jon Najarian hailed his MSFT options strategy. "Still sellin' calls against it ... I love this one," Najarian said.

Karen Finerman called TJX a hold; Jon Najarian did the same for LMT.

Tim Seymour said he'd sell WFM but wouldn't short. Guy Adami said he'd fold WDC and STX.

Adami said he couldn't be bullish on RH and pointed out it was down. His Final Trade was BWA.

Tim Seymour said TSM is "under some pressure." But he made EWZ his Final Trade with this bold call; "Brazil has bottomed here."

Karen Finerman told a tweeter that if she had to invest $1,000 for 10 years, she'd suggest a big-cap mutual fund, some EEM, and some GOOG, her Final Trade.

Jon Najarian pointed out that gold levered ETFs reset daily. His Final Trade was TIBX.

Jim Paulsen is actually
not bullish enough

It's shocking to be to the right of St. Jim on the optimism scale.

But that's where this page finds itself after Jim Paulsen told Thursday's Halftime Report that he sees a trading range "for the rest of this year."

Josh Brown said that all Ben Bernanke's comments signified was that "it's business as usual."

Stephen Weiss first took a dig at the chairman. "Speaking without a script isn't his forte," Weiss said, contending the Fed chief "completely misspoke, mismanaged the conversation."

But nevertheless, "We're going to continue to go higher," Weiss said.

Stephanie Link first issued a Brag Trade on behalf of Cramer, telling Judge that at the end of May, "Then we were buying." But Link argued that "July is gonna be crazy," and you want to have a "little bit of dry powder" to buy the dips.

No matter how hard Judge argued that everything changed at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Jon Hilsenrath insisted that all the Fed did was reaffirm what it's long been saying, and that September is not off the table.

Paul Richards said of Bernanke, "Something's bothering this guy ... it's the bond market." But Richards contended, "This is a stock-market rally all over again ... and you fade it."

This site has to believe that the 2 best Halftime/Fast Money comments about the 2013 stock market came from ... drum roll ... Steve Weiss, who said May 14 that this is simply a "rip-roaring bull market," and Josh Brown, who sometime in May or June pointed out that tapering headlines were bound to be like Greece/downgrade/election/fiscal cliff/sequestration headlines, eventually the market gets tired of selling off and ignores them. This is one of the most relentless bull markets in decades and it wouldn't surprise this page if it hung a 40 handle on the S&P gain by year-end; it's too hard to get in front of this train.

‘Clearly China is on the mend’

In the category of "please, no," Stephanie Link and Stephen Weiss almost tangled over VALE (and ultimately did on YUM) on Thursday's Halftime Report.

Mike Murphy revealed, "We bought Freeport today," which brought an endorsement of sorts from Link, who with Murphy trumpeted VALE as having already priced in iron ore's price and purportedly is doing "company-specific things" to straighten itself out.

Murphy told Weiss he made a great call, but "You have to trade the market that's in front of you."

Weiss responded with an even more tiresome cliche although we kinda liked it whenever Patty Edwards (speaking of which, isn't everyone relieved there are no hockey games on television for 3 months?) said it; "you also gotta go where the huck's go- where the puck's gonna be."

Josh Brown claimed that what's happening in China is "orchestrated repression."

Later, Link touted YUM, claiming "clearly China is on the mend."

Weiss, though, said the stock has already recovered, "you're paying for it already."

Josh Brown said YUM always fails around 72 or 73, so for now he's with Weiss.

Mike Murphy said he'd sell any bounce in gold miners; he has "no interest."

Josh Brown said "there's not enough shorts" in gold miners to produce a squeeze.

Brown: AMD over 5

One of the most tiresome topics by far on the Halftime Report is the homebuilders (lessee ... Mike Murphy said they've still got legs, Steve Weiss and Joe Terranova say "I missed it entirely," Stephanie Link says you can try WY or LPX, Jon Najarian is now saying "Oh they took such a beating Judge" ... Zzzzzzzzzzzz), but sure enough, you can always count on Judge to deliver as he did on Thursday's show.

Mike Murphy trumpeted how much they've fallen as an indication they've got more room on the upside. But Josh Brown argued, "The easy money's been made." Stephanie Link said WY and BCC are names "you can look at."

Stephanie Link said she likes COST. Stephen Weiss said, "I like Celgene, I like Gilead." Mike Murphy said "I would sell this rally" in FDX. Josh Brown said the weekly charts for FDO show lower highs, and he "would skip this one."

Link said she wouldn't chase WAG.

Mike Murphy said something you don't often hear about Steven Ballmer; "I like his leadership here ... I stay in this name."

Josh Brown said of AMD, "I love this story ... I think it goes over 5."

CNBC's Sister Golden Hair, the Prettiest Hair on Cable Television (she's far too modest to ever claim that but this site certainly will), was given a workout on the Market Flash desk, which News Flash, aren't always considered plum assignments (but they provide on-air hits).

Anthony Grisanti said gasoline was up over that Canadian train derailment. Jim Iuorio said relief might come sooner rather than later.

Surprise — Stephanie Link mentioned KEY

Mike Murphy said on Thursday's Halftime Report that regional banks are still appealing (Drink), maybe not on a 1% setback, but a "5 or 6% pullback" in which you should add.

Josh Brown said, "We actually like the KBE" (which became his Final Trade), and ZION.

Stephanie Link revealed, "We actually trimmed a little bit" in KEY.

Mike Murphy said he likes C (Drink), JPM (Double Drink) and WFC (Triple Drink).

Stephen Weiss piled on. "JPMorgan, I like it a lot (Quadruple Drink), but I don't own it."

Josh Brown warned against picking the wrong kind of REIT. "A REIT is not a REIT ... I do not like mortgage REITs," Brown said, citing NLY.

Herb Greenberg got about 15 seconds to say OTR reported over the July 4th holiday that GMCR is losing share.

Stephanie Link's Final Trade was FXI, Stephen Weiss said GILD, and Mike Murphy, apparently requesting material from Tim Seymour, said PBR.

[Wednesday, July 10, 2013]

Fast Money Bear Camp’s Thursday strategy: Be careful for the Fed reversal

Every day, we get a new one.

Or, what comes around goes around (an expression that never made much sense).

With guest host Judge Wapner stacking the Fast Money deck Wednesday with the Bear Contingent, we expected a new thesis on why the S&P is falling off a cliff (given that the "stocks are at 5-year highs" refrain from a day earlier got no follow-through on Wednesday).

Instead, all they could meekly manage was that the afterhours bump in S&P futures quite possibly could reverse on Thursday, just like on May 22, and lead to the next leg down, according to Guy Adami.

Dan Nathan seconded that, saying you "have to be really careful."

Brian Kelly endorsed that too.

The shocker was that Guy Adami, who recently has suggested that Ben Bernanke's ZIRP has screwed up the world, now claims, "In terms of the market, he's done everything exactly right." (Either "price is truth," or we've abandoned that one.)

The outlier in Wednesday's panel was Karen Finerman, who looked fabulous, but Karen actually sort of leaned with the beleaguered bear crowd, saying she wouldn't just jump into Thursday's market and buy.

Greg Ip said the Fed looks ready to "dial back" the bond-buying.

Marc Chandler told Judge he infers a "dovish" message from Ben Bernanke and predicts no tapering until "later this year ... or more likely, early next year."

Guy Adami insisted, "I don't think the data's been getting better," and predicted a move toward 2% in the 10-year, "I'm more in the camp that we're headed back down."

Barbara Marcin, the 2nd Gabelli exec in a couple of days, argued we're in a rising-rate environment, and this is a "mediocrely valued overall market."

Guy Adami questioned if Marcin's CME pick is a wise choice if rates fall. "I would probably start a position here" and then add on a pullback, Marcin said.

Brian Kelly said he doesn't trust any strength in YUM; "for me, it's a stay-away." Guy Adami concurred, "You don't buy it here," and then curiously said of China, "they're slowing." (#somuchfor"they'rethebestcapitalistsintheworld.")

Rick Sherlund said Microsoft's announcement will be about "aligning people and organizations" and not cost-cutting. Sherlund said the company's future is in transitioning to a cloud platform.

Mike Khouw said Ben S. Bernanke's remarks won't change the opinions of the folks who rolled into the August 37.50 puts in EEM.

Mike Khouw's Final Trade was SPY puts. Brian Kelly said maybe sell the FXA. Dan Nathan said short FDX. Karen Finerman said to sell WLP, and Guy Adami said LGF.

Judge mocks Rich Greenfield’s ground-breaking Internet radio analysis

Josh Lipton reported on Wednesday's Halftime Report that P was getting hit by Rich Greenfield's test of Apple's systems.

And Judge was hardly impressed.

"I mean c'mon, so who cares, I mean, I know this guy's an influential analyst, but so what?" Wapner demanded.

Mike Murphy conceded, "His report was a little eccentric."

Steve Weiss said P has a "skittish, momentum, retail-driven shareholder base."

Pete Najarian struggled to get the words out but said Pandora has 31% short interest.

Doc evidently thinks stock priced in 140s is less exciting

Anthony Grisanti said on Wednesday's Halftime Report that oil is rising on a combination of elements and noted, "2 weeks in a row we've had these 10 million-and-plus draws," which he can't remember seeing in his 20 years.

Jim Iuorio said he's been looking for a spot to sell oil and thinks the move will get tired.

Mike Murphy not particularly enthusiastically endorsed VLO, but Pete Najarian said he prefers integrateds.

Stephen Weiss said, "I still think nat gas is the place to be" in energy and also said he likes shorting CHK against long nat gas. Jon Najarian suggested SWN or Bakken plays that "feed in" to the drillers.

Weiss said he prefers other names to NBR.

Jon Najarian, inadvertently arguing for a stock split, said EOG has been great but because it trades in the 140s now rather than the 60s of a year ago, "volumes might suffer."

Pete: ‘All the way’ to year-end

For whatever reason Judge Wapner spent the opening minutes of Wednesday's Halftime Report talking about CAT and other things before getting to the panel's usual favorite subject, banks.

Pete Najarian essentially called a June bottom in stocks. "I think it can go all the way extending to the end of the year," Pete said.

Mike Murphy basically agreed, saying the S&P is "poised" to take out 1,700.

Stephen Weiss allowed that "yes we can rally despite China," but then waffled about possibly singling out a name such as CAT as a loser from the China story.

Murphy disagreed, pointing out that CAT has "held that $80 level."

Pete Najarian said you can look to names such as WFM and SBUX to avoid that international materials exposure.

Then Judge got to the main event, with Fred Cannon doing the honors. "There's a lot of good backdrop to financials (Drink)," Cannon said, identifying ICE, AFL, JPM and CVBF as his favorites and saying he likes JPM over C.

Stephen Weiss blundered in arguing "Citi's cheaper than Citi (sic)."

Cannon said that short term, GS is probably more reliable than MS, but "over the long term, Morgan Stanley."

Jon Najarian said his top picks are PNC and USB, as well as "Bank America" (sic).

Mike Murphy said BAC "continues to be our favorite name," and he also mentioned KEY, and NYCB for its 7% dividend.

If fashion is just a ‘fad,’ why does Weiss like KORS?

Stephen Weiss couldn't wait until his scheduled COH debate with Pete Najarian halfway into Wednesday's Halftime Report, saying at the top of the program, "I'd stay away from Coach" on China concerns.

"If that's part of your argument for Coach, you're in trouble," Najarian said.

Once they finally got into it, Najarian made the bull case on the strength of it being a "very shareholder-friendly company," and international sales looking better according to Burberry.

Weiss grumbled that "they just hired a new designer," which he said is "always trouble," and pointed to Japan troubles, the stock being "massively overvalued," and fashion being a "fad."

Weiss said he prefers M and KORS.

Mike Murphy said "I agree with Pete's arguments" and hung a 70 on COH. Jon Najarian said he likes KORS and COH, arguing parents will shop there when taking the kiddies back to school.

Will Landers should’ve picked a day to appear when Stephanie Link was on

Will Landers, occasionally a sidekick of Tim Seymour on those "Trading the Globe" programs, always seems to like Brazil and upheld that reputation on Wednesday's Halftime Report in asserting "Brazil looks very attractive."

At least, Landers said, that's for the "medium term," perhaps not next week or next month.

He even thinks VALE is fine, "once the dust settles in China a little bit." Stephen Weiss pointed out that VALE is not an overweight in Landers' fund.

Landers likes ITUB, and twice said "at the end of the day" (Drink).

Landers failed to derail Jon Najarian's singleness of purpose in identifying this big winner put-buyer in the EEM; Najarian said they've rolled into August 37.50 puts.

Doc indicates HPQ is ineligible for bull-bear debates because no one on the show is bullish

Judge Wapner found few takers on Wednesday's Halftime Report for the HPQ upgrade.

"I would be selling right here today," said Mike Murphy.

"I would not chase it," said Jon Najarian.

Mike Murphy made perhaps the boldest call of the show, in FB: "I think it goes back above 30 soon."

Pete Najarian said people were selling August 34 calls in YELP so they could buy November 40 calls.

Mike Murphy said 64 is "major support" in OPEN.

Pete Najarian said of ZNGA, "I don't think you need to chase this stock."

Herb Greenberg admitted NDLS has been a "home run" so far but delivered a report apparently about how quickly some companies can go public, making it hard to get information about them, the "stealth nature of this."

He said candidates include Diamond Resorts, a "high end time share," plus WCI Properties.

He also mentioned "RetailMeNot," while the screen text listed it as "RealMeNot" (sic).

Jon Najarian said NUS raised guidance and got an upgrade and, in the understatement of the day, said, "I think people are happy they were in it."

Stephen Weiss called CLF a sell and said it's "the CEO's worst nightmare" when he announces his departure and the stock rises.

Weiss advised to "just stay away" from SLW. Pete Najarian predicted there's "still gonna be more upside" in GD.

Kate Kelly said Larry Robbins will be back at Delivering Alpha.

Mike Murphy's Final Trade was QCOM. Pete Najarian said DAL, Stephen Weiss said to sell MU and Jon Najarian said long XLNX.

[Tuesday, July 9, 2013]

Fast Money bear wing concocts a new mantra — stocks are at 5-year highs

Josh Brown opened Tuesday's Fast Money stating "breadth is fantastic" in the stock market, and "I have no idea why people are trying to call tops every 15 minutes."

Neither do we.

But that's what several folks do on Fast Money.

To the point it gets circularly ridiculous.

Let's demonstrate.

Guest Ralph Acampora, notoriously an optimistic chap, assured viewers, "We got a lot more to go on the upside ... we made the low on June 24."

Acampora further argued that U.S. stocks make far more sense than the beleaguered emerging markets; "it's gonna take months before they bottom out," and declared the March 2009 bottom similar to 1982.

And he shrugged off tapering. "I think the market's already discounted that," Acampora said.

All of which brought a protest from none other than Brian Kelly, who said he's only neutral on stocks because "They're at 5-year highs."

Sounding anything but neutral, Kelly demanded of Acampora, "How can you go out and tell everybody, hey, go buy this market at 5-year highs, that's a classic mistake! ... Buy high, sell higher?"

Ignoring the fact that Joe Terranova wrote a book called Buy High, Sell Higher, Acampora responded, "Buy high, and it's goin' higher," then told the curmudgeons, "Enjoy it, have a drink."

See, here's the deal.

In late May, the Fast Money bear camp pointed to the May 22 reversal.

And the Fed tapering.

Then it was Japan having "lost control" of its bond market.

Then it was the mixed messages of the Fed that Jon Hilsenrath needed to explain.

Then it was volatility "coming home to roost."

Then it was the 40-point S&P drop on June 20.

Now, it's because stocks are "at 5-year highs."

Which is enough to make one wonder whether these are actually carefully researched opinions ... or daily TV mumbo jumbo that barely qualifies as "guessing."

So basically, another endorsement of the job Terry Semel did at YHOO (without crediting Terry Semel)

Mark May visited with Tuesday's Fast Money crew to discuss what many consider exciting stocks, the high-flying Nasdaq components.

Yet, while delivering articulate commentary, May offered very little rationale for his rankings other than valuation.

He called OPEN "a little overdone," though he said there's nothing wrong with the company.

He's not so high on LNKD, not enough to "stick our neck out," because he thinks a lot of the initiatives are too new or too long-term to pay off soon.

Yet he thinks AMZN is much more than a retailer, with a "growing cloud business."

He called YHOO "more of a special situation," because "most of the value" is in the work-from-home and other initiatives of Marissa Mayer Asian (Drink) assets.

Meanwhile, Google is just one of the world's greatest companies.

"Netflix is our top-rated neutral stock," May explained.

He's not so high on FB, which is "going through a lot of transitions."

Mike Khouw said GOOG's had such a good rise, he might get "exhausted" on it.

Nobody challenges guest’s claim that ‘we all know’ fixed income is riskiest place for money

Anthony Scaramucci sprayed commentary around Tuesday's Fast Money the way Wee Willie Keeler used to spray bingles through the outfield.

Scaramucci said Ben Bernanke was not fired by Barack Obama during a Charlie Rose interview, but is "exhausted."

He said if the Fed starts tapering in September, it'll be a "10% correction easy."

Whatever's going on with banking and insurer rules, Scaramucci asserted, "This is the high-water mark for financial regulation," predicting "a tapering of this sort of regulation" linked to Democrats in congressional races.

Scaramucci explained that SkyBridge has access to all kinds of hedge fund information, and "We've seen a big decrease in gold."

Mike Khouw opined that stocks are not expensive given P.E. ratios and interest rates, and then Josh Brown for some reason piled on with the same point.

A CNBCer who doesn't like this site reported that WTI has become "steeply backwardated" and is no longer the "Rodney Dangerfield" of the Brent spread. (It was impressive that she didn't define what a "Rodney Dangerfield" is, and also impressive that she didn't substitute a different term.)

Josh Brown said TSLA "seems to want to keep going higher."

Mike Khouw said there was a big buyer of FDX calls, the July 105 and August 120, but that he couldn't chase it here.

Guest Janet Cowell, North Carolina's treasurer, declared, "We all know fixed income is uh the highest-risk place you can have your money these days," which she repeated and curiously found no argument.

Guest host Judge Wapner, asleep at the switch on that one, did ask Cowell which activist investors she's able to wring discounts from. Cowell punted and indicated they do business with tons of firms. Anthony Scaramucci observed, "You did a good job answering that question," which means an invite to SALT 2014 for Cowell is in order.

Julia Boorstin reported that someone dropped out of Hulu bidding we didn't know existed.

Josh Brown hailed CVX, "it looks phenomenal," and made it his Final Trade, especially if it sells off.

Brown defended his recent INTC negative call. "I said to avoid it," but not to short it, he claimed, adding, "Talk to me at 19, talk to me at 20."

Brian Kelly's Final Trade was to sell SCHW, and he "might even short it." Anthony Scaramucci said BK (that's the stock, not bearish panelist). Mike Khouw said to sell BA.

Mario Gabelli says ‘bourbon’ twice, indicates 20% down on $200,000 is $20,000

The most provocative thing that Mario Gabelli said on Tuesday's Halftime Report came in his introductory speech.

And then Judge utterly refused to go anywhere near there, not with a 10-foot pole.

Gabelli described stock-picking as a "long-term marathon" and said the market right now has 3 "B" issues, those being "Berlin" and "Bernanke."

And then he said the 3rd is "Barack," and curiously, "that has a lot of issues."

And we never heard another word about that one, from Gabelli, Judge or anyone else.

Gabelli, always a good guest, opined on a bevy of stocks, perhaps watered down a bit by constant caveats that he has only a tiny position in many of the names.

In housing, "I've got a long runway," Gabelli said, while conceding there is an interest-rate impact with some of Al Gore's fuzzy math. "If I buy a house that cost me 200 grand, I put 20% down, I'm borrowing 180, a 1% change is 1,800," Gabelli asserted.

Gabelli seemed to waffle though about buying builders, saying if he had to buy right now, "I would buy Lennar B" (LEN-B).

He claimed, "The wealth of the consumer in America hit an all-time high yesterday."

Gabelli said he likes GGG in part because managers "come to work every day."

Dr. New World cut in that Goldman Sachs changed from a sell to neutral, but "the analyst community is way behind; they don't see what you see."

"No no, the analysts see it, and the question is the time frame," Gabelli insisted.

He quoted Lee Cooperman as saying buying bonds now is grabbing nickels in front of a steam roller, which Gabelli called a "colorful adjective (sic)" when he really meant "analogy."

Gabelli asked rhetorically, "Why did Immelt go out and buy Lufkin." (We've been wondering why, if it's "all about content" as the Najarians say all the time, Immelt sold a media content prize.)

Gabelli defended WFT and admitted the Swiss tax rate move didn't make much sense. He likes Rolls Royce and PCP.

In a murky go-round about his ownership in the old News Corp, new News Corp and 21st Century Fox, he said NWSA still has "great cash flow and the stock is a bargain."

"Bourbon is hot," Gabelli said, attempting an analogy between honey bourbon attracting female drinkers and Fox Sports Channel not cannibalizing ESPN because of soccer (which he pointed out is called "football" elsewhere in the world).

In his second reference to Berlin, Gabelli said he's been studying NAV since the time the Berlin Wall fell, and the stock "is worth putting a few bets down."

He called HSH a "45 to 50-dollar stock ... buying some right here at 33."

He suggested you don't have to worry about POST's business model being transformed by technology; "cereal was around in 1890."

Steve Weiss balked at NAV, "they're reselling Cummins engines essentially." Gabelli shrugged, "you go through cycles."

Gabelli said something about how he owned ACF carburetors back in the day when Carl bought it, and "still owns it," and Judge inexplicably didn't know what to add and allowed dead air.

Gabelli said banks are appealing now because they're in a stage where "they're not gonna do anything dumb." He likes JPM (Drink) and MTB (borderline approaching Drink) but made a bigger case for LM and CNS.

Given the lone Final Trade, Gabelli said CPR.

‘Perhaps even 1,700’

The tepidly optimistic Halftime Report crew on Tuesday wasn't terribly excited about the day's 11-point S&P gain.

Mr. New Land said he's been long-mini S&P but would "sell into that," though he's "not getting short," rather he's concerned about the trade balance report from China.

Josh Brown contended again that "expectations for earnings are extremely low," but Karen Finerman wasn't on this program to disagree. Brown suggested stocks will "just kind of tread water."

Stephen Weiss was the most bullish of the bunch. "I was hoping to be able to buy some more banks" but they didn't pull back enough, Weiss said. He pointed to how Greece news barely got a mention. "I think we hit new highs," Weiss said.

Simon Baker offered the biggest head-scratcher, claiming that in a year with the entire S&P 500 up 16%, "It's a stock-picking market."

Steve Suttmeier zipped through an S&P 500 chart that, if nothing else, looked like it's steadily going from lower left to upper right, and will "perhaps even move up into the 1,700 handle once again."

"As long as we can hold around 1,600," stocks look good, Suttmeier said.

Joe makes ‘bull’ case for IBM, then says ‘I don’t know that I would own into earnings’

Joe Terranova made what proved a backwards case for IBM in Tuesday's Halftime Report edition of the bull-bear duel that should be called anything but.

Terranova asserted, "This is the exact spot that you wanna buy it," first citing Warren Buffett, then twice suggesting it is "going to be able to weather the IT spending slowdown."

We were wondering when the 2015 EPS forecast would come into play, but that took some time.

Simon Baker was far more pointed in his assessment, saying the company is too levered to struggling emerging markets, and we just heard Larry Ellison say he wasn't going to blame emerging markets until he did.

Baker said that ahead of earnings, "I'd short the stock and then maybe buy it afterwards."

That's when Dr. New World uncorked a head scratcher, after supposedly making a bull case, "I agree with that. I don't know that I would own into earnings."

So the point of this exercise again was to ... ??

But Joe eventually demanded Baker admit whether ORCL or ACN has declared $20 EPS for 2015.

Baker admitted no. Stephen Weiss said it's a $200 stock, so who cares about $20 EPS.

Weiss said IBM has "pricing pressure here" and will underperform for 6 months. Josh Brown complained the problem with IBM is, "You don't have a big enough dividend yield."

TSLA ‘playing with fire’

Herb Greenberg asserted on Tuesday's Halftime Report that "a lot of people are surprised" by the ISRG miss.

Josh Brown cautioned those who might jump in, "You only have 5% of the float short," and expect a "wave of potential downgrades."

Mr. New Land flat-out advised, "Don't go to Intuitive Surgical, look at HRC."

Josh Brown said that as an investor, with BKS at about a $1 billion market cap, he'd "probably be interested," because it's "dirt cheap," but it's still a tough one to hold, and "the Nook is an abject failure."

Steve Weiss called TSLA a no touch, "it's playing with fire ... I'm sticking with Ford."

Mario Gabelli backed off a TSLA call; "I was there when John DeLorean tried to pitch me on an IPO."

Gabelli said "I'm going to tender into the Dell pot." Joe Terranova said if you're long DELL, "You take the money and run on this one."

[Monday, July 8, 2013]

Instant bust: Dan Nathan predicts cratering market at 1,588

Evidently strapped for interesting subject matter, guest host Scott Wapner on Monday's Fast Money opened by asking his panelists what earnings report they were most interested in hearing.

Karen Finerman said (Drink) JPM.

Tim Seymour actually claimed, "I'm lookin' at GE ... to me the company that's in every part of the global economy." (Every part, except TV, cable, movies, theme parks.)

Seymour even went on to claim that Jeff Immelt watches the show (great if he does, but shouldn't he have better things to do?), a point that drew rightful chuckling from Judge.

Pete Najarian said he'll be watching C (Drink) and SBUX.

Josh Brown said the market now has a "really bullish setup." But Karen Finerman cautioned that she thinks expectations have risen above what Brown suggested.

Rick Rieder said "we've lifted our range" for the 10-year yield to 2.75%, and either this year or early next, "I think we're gonna hit 3%."

Judge Wapner suggested the market can handle it if (Drink) rates go up for the "right reason."

Rieder suggested "increasing allocations to high-yield."

But what we most wanted to hear at the top of Monday's show we didn't get — an update from Dan Nathan, who wasn't on Monday but on June 20, with an S&P close of 1,588, told viewers he was a "little annoyed" with Karen Finerman's suggestion of buying the dip, then on June 27 (S&P 1613.20) announced the the S&P will "continue to make lower lows," and "I'm shorting it here," and that it's headed to 1,500, when it would be buyable again.

‘Where are the facts?’ Judge apparently questions if analyst is actually making up his AAPL forecast

It was hardly the warmest welcome for a guest.

Brian Blair told Monday's Fast Money that he sees a 20% drop in planned iPhone production for the 2nd half of 2013, but his biggest chore was assuring ridiculously skeptical Judge Wapner ("what does 'not exactly' mean?") that such a potentially market-moving call (the stock barely budged) wasn't made willy nilly, but "coming from some of our supply-chain work."

Furthermore, Blair said Apple is likely "reacting to what they're seeing from Samsung."

Blair argued against the derivative trades. "I think you have to stay on the sidelines with Qualcomm and Broadcom," he said.

Josh Brown said QCOM, which Stephen Weiss spent about 9 months not able to recommend heartily enough, "looks really sloppy."

Obviously Michael Dell’s plan to do all the things that only a private company can do to turn around Dell must be put on hold while offers are sorted out

Josh Brown on Monday's Fast Money took on Pete Najarian on INTC, with Najarian's bull case hinging on the PC market being overly perceived as dead.

"It's not dead, it's dying," said Najarian, saying he's impressed by the "new management structure."

Brown said if the case is based on mobile, etc., the problem is that the PC side is "sliding at a faster rate."

Tim Seymour insisted, "Intel is far from dead," and cited dividend a couple times as a reason to own. Brian Stutland said there was a big seller of July 24 puts.

Karen Finerman said of BBRY, "I'd stay away right here." But Pete Najarian offered, "I still like this name."

Josh Brown bluntly told Najarian he thinks it's "game over" for the stock. But Tim Seymour reassured Najarian that its breakup value is $10, so "you really don't have a lot of downside."

Pete Najarian basically said nothing about NFLX except the share price, which was already shown on the graphic.

Brown said the question with DELL is "what's Icahn's gambit." Judge Wapner pointed out that investors might vote against the Michael Dell deal but not for the Carl deal. Brown concluded, "It's gonna be very bizarre, if that deal doesn't go through."

Tim Seymour gets a chance to mention Cemex

Pete Najarian, who had trouble on Monday's Fast Money saying anything beyond the news of certain stocks that had already been reported, said ISRG is really a "great look" into the economy because its procedures cost a lot.

Josh Brown was far more blunt, calling the revenue shortfall "a huge mess." Tim Seymour said "there's no reason to jump in" the stock, and Brown agreed.

Seymour said that, regarding the homebuilder trade, "I'm buying cement," with one of those 3 names of course Cemex.

Pete Najarian insisted that just because housing names have run "does not mean they're done," singling out Whirlpool as one of the "derivative names" he likes.

Karen Finerman said the housing names tend to "all move together," but regarding LEN, "I wouldn't jump in right here."

Josh Brown called UNH's chart "sick" and then said "sick is good" and called the stock a buy.

Karen Finerman called M "my favorite name in the space" (Drink), and said one thing that concerns her in retail is "gas prices for Wal-Mart."

Pete Najarian said of PCLN, "This stock still has upside."

Pete: Sometimes people (what about the machines?) make trades without thinking about them

Monday's Fast Money crew got a moment or two to mull the BKS news, with Karen Finerman stating, "I do think it's negative."

Pete Najarian helpfully noted that with news of this nature, "People often times will react before they think."

Tom Petrie sort of downplayed the Canadian rail disaster as a rare mishap in our expanded reliance on trains; "that multiplicity of delivery flexibility is a very, very big plus."

Petrie told Karen Finerman that increases in rail insurance are "not gonna be a big factor" in the transport costs, but the Brent/WTI difference matters.

Regarding oil, Petrie said, "I think we'll drift somewhat lower."

Tim Seymour pronounced BTU's move overdone.

Karen Finerman said WLP on UNH Barron's comments and said the "group tends to move pretty much together."

Pete Najarian said you'll want to listen to the GIS earnings call.

Tim Seymour said Tuesday export numbers for China will be important.

Pete Najarian said to wait a bit on GNRC to get it cheaper.

Najarian's Final Trade was GT. Tim Seymour said buy PBR or cover (which is his Final Trade, one direction or the other, every other day). Karen Finerman said to take profits in LYV. Josh Brown said ZION.

Funny how no one calls AAPL a ‘2nd-half story’

In the only discussion of AAPL on Monday's Halftime Report, Stephanie Link called it "totally a trading-range-bound stock," and then reaffirmed Cramer's Brag Trade, "we sold it at 431."

Joe Terranova said the next target for GOOG is some old high of 920.86; "I think that's exactly where it's going."

And Jon Najarian said of PCLN, "This is the next one to break 900."

Mike Murphy pronounced the INTC slide an opportunity; "with this pullback you can get back in."

Jon Najarian's QCOM bull case began with how, prior to this year (that caveat is important), the shares "outperformed like crazy."

Stephanie Link said what concerns her about the name are the "revenue royalty growth rates."

Mike Murphy suggested the stock is a buy around $60, with maybe a stop about $1.50 to $2 lower.

Dr. New Land interrupted Dr. J to defend the bull case, calling the stock a "true fundamental story."

Mike Murphy shrugged at whatever Carl Icahn said about DELL; "to me this is old news ... I wouldn't be in this name."

How come Killir never mentioned that we’re running out of time for dealing with the Iranian nuclear program?

Jeff Kilburg, who claimed on Monday's Halftime Report that there's a "$7 premium" for geopolitical turmoil in the price of crude, said it "wants to continue to go higher" as the "unfortunate game" plays out in Egypt.

Jim Iuorio said if oil gets to 110, it'll have to do it without him, he's "not jumping on this train." However, Iuorio said he'd be interested in buying around 100, "that should be support now."

"There's more uprising coming," Kilburg warned.

Joe Terranova first professed "I have no clue" as to where the price of crude is going, then was heard suggesting "105, 110" and admitting he was "staying long futures," but then cited energy equities as "the real story," specifically HAL, BHI and BAS.

Mike Murphy agreed with energy equities and predicted crude would hit the mid-90s. Stephanie Link suggested OXY and NOV.

OMG, market reversal May 22

Given the keynote address at the top of Monday's Halftime Report that quickly devolved into an endlessly dull when-do-ya-think-they're-gonna-taper discussion, Joe Terranova, having shrugged off the 30 days of frustration he rightly pegged a month ago, says it's time to be long stocks, "it's gonna be more cyclical assets" that take off.

Mike Murphy predicted tapering in "early 2014." Joe seized upon that, saying, "I completely disagree," suggesting "maybe September" and allowing it would "marginally lift rates."

Stephanie Link said rising rates will be OK if "we actually go up gradually" (Drink).

Jon Najarian said the concern about the 10-year recently "was the speed at which we did this move" (Double Drink).

Guest James Dunigan later asserted that the 10-year average yield for 2013 will be 2.5%, and said that for stocks in the 2nd half, people should play "more offense than defense." (But what about when CLX is your Bobby Orr/Paul Coffey, and your defense is what's playing offense?)

When is Judge ever going to demand TD Ameritrade (yes, we know they’re happy sponsors) explain exactly what the ‘Investor Movement Index’ is and how it’s calculated?

Nicole Sherrod, who had a decidedly new hairstyle, visited with Monday's Halftime Report to point out that the TD Ameritrade Investor Movement Index has apparently taken an upturn toward optimism.

Or whatever it's supposed to mean, given Judge's utter inability to even define for viewers what it is they're actually talking about in these segments, other than the 1-time-only intro in which someone said something about all accounts above $5,000.

Sherrod said, "We saw 2 consecutive months of a declining score," but now it's at "5.15," which is David Phelps' ERA "the bullish end of the range."

Sherrod claimed account holders are getting out of tech and into (Drink) financials.

The day’s net interest margin report

Kate Kelly told Monday's Halftime Report that Perry Capital (no, that is not the Texas governor's war chest) is fighting whatever unwind plan is in place for Fannie and Freddie.

Mike Murphy said the common stocks of Fannie and Freddie are a "complete gamble," so if you're gonna do anything, try the preferreds.

Kelly said these stocks can get a "cult following ... if you look at AIG."

In The Day's Cheerleading For Financial Stocks®, Joe Terranova opened things up by saying he disagrees with Goldman Sachs' pessimism on WFC, though "not in the near term," but longer-term he thinks it's great.

Mr. New World was also heard to say, "I like JPM" (Drink). His Final Trade was AXP.

Steph Link opined, "I think that Goldman and Morgan Stanley are going to be mixed at best.

Jon Najarian trumpeted HBAN again, though it was doing utterly nothing.

Why doesn’t CNBC just purchase the consumer sentiment data and have Sue Herera release it 3/5 of a second before it goes out to hedge funds, jack up ratings?

Jon Najarian on Monday's Halftime Report praised the results of Eamon Javers' impressive Thomson Reuters-data-distribution reporting and the purported suspension. "It's not a fair playing field," Najarian said, but if Thomson Reuters or regulators don't end it entirely, it will "continue to bring shame."

Stephanie Link, addressing DLPH, said auto parts "could be one of the best sectors to own." Link's Final Trade was DRI.

Jon Najarian said he's not in MU, and made OKE his Final Trade.

Mike Murphy's Final Trade was GNW. Murphy admitted that his recent bull call on LEN didn't work, "so far it's been a bad call," and he would "wanna see some sort of stabilization" before plunging back in.

Dr. New World admitted he was "stumped on the homebuilders." He said he would avoid YUM.

[Friday, July 5, 2013]

Yamada: ‘Eliminate’ 10-year longs

Louise Yamada, perhaps at odds with Jeff Gundlach, told Friday's Fast Money that the 10-year seems to be reversing a longtime trend, and "we would be eliminating long-end positions."

Yamada said there's a "fair amount of resistance around 4" in yields.

Enis Taner pointed out that the 10-year has undergone a "huge move." Josh Brown uncorked his favorite cliche to Melissa Lee, "I gotta tell you, we're not gonna know the impact of this ... drastic jump in rates ... for like 2 or 3 months."

Yamada also suggested 1,650, June's high, is important for the S&P 500, and suggested we might be in a 1,670-1,550 range. But she told Steve Grasso it's OK to do a 1,600 stop.

Yamada suggested $1,155 as the next (snicker) support for gold and agreed with someone that, breaking that, 1000 could be in play.

Steve Grasso admitted "I'm still long GDX" and then repeated his most ridiculous argument of late, the notion that the miners are "masters of their own destiny."

Enis Taner said relatively speaking, Goldcorp looks better than Barrick.

Melissa Lee called Yamada's firm "Yamana (sic) Technical Research."

Dan Greenhaus suggested the summer volatility is "likely to continue," but he likes CNO and TBBK.

Stephanie Link (sigh) said she likes HIG and AIG. Josh Brown suggested KRE.

Steve Grasso said he thought traders were "front-running" bank earnings next week.

Grasso said HD has been the simple housing trade that works. Steph Link suggested TOL, "if it gets below 30."

Rattled off more names in the oil space than we could shake a stick at, OXY, COP, SLB, ESV, NOV and even (if you want to gamble on Egypt), APA.

Steve Grasso said "I still like Ford," which was Josh Brown's Final Trade.

Enis Taner said of BBY, the "risk/reward just doesn't make sense to me here." Taner's Final Trade was UUP.

Stephanie Link called CLF "not one I would buy." Her Final Trade was MGA.

Steve Grasso's Final Trade was S.

Josh Brown suggested there could be more to go in DXJ next week. "I gotta tell you, technically speaking, this thing has recovered very nicely," Brown said ... but wasn't Guy Adami saying a couple weeks ago that Japan was sinking U.S. markets and Japan had "lost control" of its bond market and all the international volatility is "coming home to roost" any moment now?

AAPL back to being
a dividend story

We initially weren't really sure why Brian Marshall was enlisted to make the AAPL case on Friday's Halftime Report, until he summarized his opinion with the show's patented cliche: "At the end of the day we still think Apple represents a good investment opportunity."

Marshall argued that the stock has the "highest dividend yield" of the space, but admitted it's not his favorite name. He conceded "we need a new 5-inch phone," and called a cheap international phone "hugely important."

Stephen Weiss scoffed at how much impact a cheaper phone could have; "It's game over it seems like before it gets started." Weiss said the stock's in a trading range of 400 to 450.

Jon Najarian suggested buying the September options at 425 or 430 and selling the August options to buy time in the name.

Pete Najarian had the audacity to claim, of his "2nd-half story" call, "So far it's been right."

Banks, banks, regional banks, investment banks, more banks, banks ...

Stephen Weiss on Friday's Halftime Report gave the stock market a thumbs up, insisting the world is "very very much in easy rate territory."

Pete Najarian actually claimed that if we start getting a different Fed, that "could be a problem for markets." Mike Murphy said a lot of traders dumped bonds once they saw the jobs print. But Jon Najarian insisted, "This number is actually very good," then floated a 300,000 number for September.

Paul Richards, who for weeks has been asserting that tapering is just around the corner, said Friday, "They're gonna move in September."

Steve Liesman used the term "de riguer."

The panel spent the top and bottom of the show hyping their endlessly boring bank trade (when have they not recommended banks in 2013); "I'm adding to Citi," said Steve Weiss, though he's still concerned about China.

Weiss later in the program was asked to opine on bank earnings coming up and said, not a surprise, "own the banks here." Weiss and Murphy both issued KEY as a Final Trade, while Jon Najarian said HBAN and STI.

‘Careful’ with solar on fire

Jeff Kilburg admitted on Friday's Halftime Report that oil's rise was based on "solely geopolitical tension." But he thinks it will continue, unlike Jim Iuorio, who sees a pullback.

Steve Weiss said of crude, "I'd sell strength." Pete Najarian trumpeted integrateds and pipelines, including Kinder Morgan.

Weiss said APA got an upgrade, and scoffed at Suez Canal concerns.

Pete Najarian pointed to options in YGE and said, "These solar names have been on fire," but cautioned that with a smaller-cap name, "be careful."

Jon Najarian said TSLA predicts 21,000 cars and got good news from Hong Kong.

Stephen Weiss says he has used WD40, for "hinges."

Doc: $5 ZNGA, $300 AMZN

Stephen Weiss argued on Friday's Halftime Report that ZNGA has more bounce left because the MSFT exec it hired knows what he's doing.

Mike Murphy tried taunting Weiss with (sigh) "Ron Johnson" and insisted, "The move is already in there" and called 3.50 "major resistance."

Jon Najarian said "I like the move here" and predicted $5 ZNGA by Q4.

Pete Najarian said DELL warned against rejecting whatever bid it deemed best. Najarian said S is going to be in "pause" mode.

Both Najarian trumpeted YUM and Jon called it a "great read" into China.

Mike Murphy tepidly suggested MJN might be a buy.

Stephen Weiss tepidly said if you like the market, stay long KO.

Mike Murphy called F "a name you stick with." Pete Najarian called it his Final Trade.

Pete Najarian said DIS may have had a "Lone Ranger" bomb (who knew), but it's a good stock with football approaching and Iger getting a deal.

Jon Najarian predicted a timely burst for AMZN, "I think this is a $300 number perhaps in the next 2 weeks."

Doc claims ObamaCare
delay sank gold

Day after day, Jon Najarian proves to be among the steadiest, sharpest, stock-market observers on CNBC.

And day after day, we sorta figure we've heard everything that can possibly be said about gold.

But Friday's Halftime Report turned those notions upside down when Najarian actually told Judge Wapner with a straight face that "the combination of that Affordable Care Act being pushed out and these job numbers already getting better faster than I thought" is what sent the GDX hurtling back toward the low of a week ago that Najarian previously claimed was such a buying opportunity.

Judge, to his credit, snapped at this one immediately, not buying the idea that the ObamaCare bill has anything to do with gold miners; "I mean, c'mon..."

"Oh yeah, heck yeah it does," Najarian insisted, only making things worse. "People's views Scott of where job-creation is gonna be and whether it's real, or whether it's just something that's uh, steroid shot into it by the Fed, that's what the difference is."

We doubt if even Peter Schiff is going there.

More from Friday's Halftime later.

No Halftime/Fast Money Wednesday

And none on Thursday either.

Have a happy and safe 4th.

[Tuesday, July 2, 2013]

Who’ll be the first guest to hang a $500 on gold?

Admittedly, it's definitely a subject worth discussing.

But when it comes to predicting the next gold move, we've had enough.

Rick Rule got the honor on Tuesday's Fast Money, indicating there's "capitulation selling" and that $1,000 is possible.

But, Rule said, that's only "another cyclical decline in a secular bull market."

Rule made the mistake of calling miners "simply too cheap," which Tim Seymour rightly pounced on, demanding an explanation; "where are we getting our metrics."

"I think on a valuation basis," was all Rule could say, before assuring those wary of the junior miners, "the junior sector is always a mess."

Jon Najarian did not actually opine this time.

What about Brian Moynihan?

During Fast Money's fairly cautious endorsement of banks on Tuesday, Jon Najarian said the XLF has been a "pretty good surrogate" for the sector, and "they've been smashing puts ... I don't see a lot of downside for the big banks here."

Tim Seymour, in quite frankly a rambling intro, called it a "dangerous time" to endorse financials here, but at the same time, "I wouldn't be jumping out a window."

Seymour reaffirmed that DB is "my biggest short."

Stephanie Link, who did double duty Tuesday with Halftime also, pointed to KEY and MTB.

Charlie Bobrinskoy insisted that MS, a good pick of his from a year ago, "still has room to run," and he thinks investment banks are cheaper than the regionals. But he concedes it's not as cheap as it was a year ago.

Jon Najarian said he thinks MS has a lot of benefits coming from the Smith Barney deal. Stephanie Link though questioned, "I don't see how they're gonna get the ROE improvement."

Bobrinskoy claimed Jamie Dimon is the greatest banker since the original J.P. Morgan, which drew a "Wow" from Melissa Lee.

COG delivers the most enthusiasm of any stock mentioned on Tuesday’s program

Noting the unrest in Egypt on Tuesday's Fast Money, Tim Seymour opined, "oil stays high here."

Steve Grasso said that would actually be a tailwind for SWN, while Jon Najarian said it works for COG too.

Grasso went on to tout EQT and COG as his All-American trades for the 4th. And he said BRY is the name to buy in the wake of LINE's troubles.

Tim Seymour admitted EWZ has been a "disaster" but suggested, "We're getting near a pivot point."

Jon Najarian, who's been tracking the EEM put-buying like nobody's business, said the holders of the July 39s bought the August 38s instead.

Steve Grasso said, "I would still be a buyer of Ford" and, in a curious question that caught others off-guard, wondered if the number was so high because people are now buying F-150s to cruise the streets of Scarsdale. Jon Najarian revealed, "Pete did buy an F-150 pickup."

Stephanie Link said she'd pick UPS over FDX.

57 channels, and nothin’ on

We're nearly as tired of hearing about AAPL as gold, but there is some mildly interesting activity going on here. Steve Grasso admitted AAPL has a "wall of resistance" up to 450 but thinks it's "still worth a buy here."

Tim Seymour took too long to say, "440 I think it doesn't get through."

Grasso countered that "90% of us" at the desk were using Apple products.

Jon Najarian, regularly the best-prepared of all panelists in the bull-bear debates, made a bull case for MSFT (sigh, we're so tired of those too), arguing that the TWC deal gives it "300 channels" for the Xbox or whatnot.

Tim Seymour said the stock has moved for months on cloud expectations but there's not enough there to further move the needle; it's "priced in a ton of good news."

Steph Link said she favors what Najarian said but isn't sure when to start buying. Brian Stutland said he likes the notion of getting long and so do options players who are selling 33 puts.

Najarian: MAN up (sorta)

Tim Seymour said on Tuesday's Fast Money to expect "mildly weak" jobless claims. Steve Grasso explained, "Guys are just playin' it flat."

Upon hearing that the Obama administration is backing off a key health-care coverage requirement for a year, Grasso suggested HMOs will be "hit the most," but that the news is bullish for all other equities, because there will be "no more workarounds," a conversation that gained no traction.

Steph Link said of the DXJ, "I think there's more upside here."

The panel made "All-American" stock picks in honor of July 4th; Tim Seymour actually suggested LO (and made it his Final Trade) because of course there's nothing more American than smoking.

Seymour also said TSN; "I eat more chicken than Wade Boggs."

Stephanie Link said COST and HIG.

Jon Najarian said WFC and MRO.

Unrelated, Najarian said he's holding DVA. Stephanie Link said she likes GPS, JWN and PM, and, noting she's been given a lot of retailers, called KSS "interesting here."

Tim Seymour admitted, "I was very wrong" in a recent bearish call on BA.

Seymour said stick to high-quality credit; there is "enormous convexity risk."

Jon Najarian said he would buy RHI and sell MAN against it, but if he could only deal with one, he would be long MAN.

Stephanie Link's Final Trade was TRW. Jon Najarian said ANF, and "Steven P. Grasso" (enough already) said HPQ.

‘Volatility ... until Labor Day’

We're just about at July 4th, and panelists on Tuesday's Halftime Report sounded mostly ready to punt and head to the locker room and think things over.

Josh Brown said traders still want to see "a few more touches on that 1,600 line in the sand" before getting really excited.

Stephen Weiss said it's still a very promising market, it has shown for weeks that it is "willing to accept that rates can go higher." But he still sees a "lot of volatility ... until Labor Day."

Steph Link issued sort of a Cramer Brag Trade; "last week, when no one wanted to buy, we were buying."

Joe Terranova, however, was fairly enthusiastic. "Energy's going above a hundred dollars," Terranova said, explaining that for now, "you're taking the S&P 500 out on a date" and adding, "Europe is investable again."

Steve Liesman made the increasingly tiresome argument about the Fed being misunderstood and stressed "good news is good news."

Josh Brown tried to stress that rising rates shouldn't sink the market; "a tightening cycle is not a negative for stocks."

Thomas Lee invoked the 5 p.m. Fast Money's favorite cliche: "At the end of the day (Drink), good news is gonna be good news."

Joe: Go buy Berry

Joe Terranova on Tuesday's Halftime Report made perhaps the most interesting stock call, saying "Go buy Berry" (BRY) given the news on LINE, because, under 3 well-articulated scenarios, it figures to do better than $39, if nothing else for its own California assets.

Stephen Weiss grumbled that he was getting calls from friends recently wondering why LINE was declining, and now he realizes that somebody knew what was up; "insider trading is alive and well." Weiss also botched the cliche, as many do, wrongly saying the SEC "could care less" about a timetable (he meant they could NOT care less).

Stephanie Link said for LINE, "this is dead money." Josh Brown said it "makes no sense" to buy LINE here with so many other appealing oil names.

Jim Iuorio said that in the oil sphere, what's going on in Egypt is "is mildly important," but every time crude seems to get over 100, there's "talk of demand destruction," and it pulls back.

Rich Ilczyszyn said no one wants to go into this 4th of July weekend short crude.

Joe Terranova said the show has been trying to Fast Fire him for a Tesoro call that we had long forgotten about. (Basically it's hard to remember a lot of those when Simon Baker is telling people to short TSLA and short LULU.) "I wouldn't touch the refiners," Terranova said.

Stephen Weiss scoffed, "I don't wanna own crude," expected another "blowoff" here.

Terranova bristled, insisting that energy is a trade that's been working and he'd take the other side of any Weiss sell. So Weiss told him he'd sell Tesoro, which Terranova pronounced as "cute."

Kate Kelly wonders about ‘my hair’ before Fast Money hit

Not quite realizing the mike was already on, Kate Kelly mentioned a moment before she appeared on Tuesday's Halftime Report about something to do with "my hair," then reported that SAC's flagship fund is up 8.25% through the end of June.

"For the record, your hair looks great," cracked Judge Wapner.

Kelly responded with a thank you, and then, "emails totally matter," and we're not really sure what she was talking about there.

Herb Greenberg said the issue with NDLS (well, actually there was more than one) is, "Will Wall Street cut these guys some slack."

Judge Wapner said comparisons to CMG have a positive and negative connotation, the latter suggesting it could become a "runaway momentum stock."

Steve Weiss observed that NDLS has no policy on related-party transactions, for all those looking to do some heavy-duty reading over the holiday weekend.

EEM ‘deeply oversold’

Robert Sluymer told Tuesday's Halftime Report that the stock market seems to be making "lower highs, lower lows ... I think it wants to drift lower."

Sluymer said stocks might bounce, but "still think there's a correction under way."

He did, however, call EEM "deeply oversold" and said you can play it for a "trading bounce, but it's not an investment."

Suki Cooper, in her first Fast Money/Halftime appearance that we're aware of, kind of waffled on gold, first saying, "We're looking for more downside weakness" (as opposed to upside weakness) in the short term, then clarifying she sees 1,200 in Q3, before a bounce back to 1,325 in Q4.

Josh Brown said that while the gold miners seem like they've been hit so hard they must be great buys, "the worst could be yet to come," and they're for "short-term traders only."

Joe Terranova complained he wasn't able to deliver his full take on gold the other day; "we gotta lengthen these debates a little bit." Terranova said if you look at the "move in real interest rates" for the last couple of months, "that tells you the story" in gold.

Terranova said that in financials, look to regional banks (his Final Trade was TCBI); "that's where your opportunity exists."

Steve Weiss said he doesn't like ZNGA.

Stephanie Link and Steven Weiss had another argument over a boring stock that always makes people have silly arguments on Fast Money, CAT. Link said her call (um, not really a surprise) was "not a play on the quarter," and the first of her many arguments was that it's about the "recovery in the global economy."

Stephen Weiss said the company (yawn) is capable of missing "every single forecast" and this time they've even "stuffed the channel."

Weiss claimed Link, who is far better-looking than Weiss is, was making the same arguments 6 months ago; Link said she hasn't advocated the stock this year.

Josh Brown agreed with Link that Weiss' arguments are already in the stock. "Stephanie will be right," he said, and then, in one of his patented lines, added, "Pretty easy trade (Drink) to make here from the long side," given the stock bounces off $79.50.

Weiss' Final Trade was C. Link said JWN, and Josh Brown said F.

[Monday, July 1, 2013]

Tim Seymour calls out Dennis Gartman on use of ‘demonstrably’

Evidently, Dennis Gartman taking the other side of Tim Seymour's Aussie trade last week didn't go over well.

Gartman, who said a week ago that gold was "nowhere near making a low," told guest host Judge Wapner on Monday's Fast Money that technicals have changed his mind; "you had an outside reversal day. You had absolute abject panic" last week.

Judge correctly asked for a specific explanation of "watershed" turnaround. Gartman said, "I use the term watershed very rarely," Gartman said, explaining it means "probably a great good deal higher, probably several hundred dollars higher," meaning $1,600 is in the cards for year-end.

Gartman added, "I own gold in yen terms," saying that's only down 2%, and try comparing that to how much it's down in dollar terms.

Tim Seymour quoted Gartman from a week ago Monday saying "gold's going demonstrably lower ... I'm just curious what the call is," Seymour demanded.

"Tim, you did go demonstrably lower," Gartman insisted, saying from Monday it was "85, 95, 100 dollars" lower, and is up $75 since.

It was a "technical circumstance that changed demonstrably," Gartman said.

Gartman posted the scorecard on Seymour's Aussie short of last week, saying it's flat since then and the two are "dead break-even" on their dueling trade.

Jon Najarian exclaimed earlier in the program to Judge, who inexplicably asked if there's "no takers" on gold, "Oh yes I'm a taker on gold, and I've said it for weeks with you Scott," and added that he's selling puts.

Blue Nile chief Harvey Kanter said plunging gold isn't a problem, it "works really well for us when gold falls." And, he said much of his business is in weddings, and "weddings continue to happen."

Dennis Gartman affirmed to Judge, "I am very bullish on stocks."

Pete now suggests iPad Mini is centerpiece of AAPL’s 2nd-half story

Not surprisingly, Pete Najarian told Judge Wapner on Monday's Fast Money that "I continue to believe in the 2nd-half story" in AAPL, but this time said it stems from the iPad Mini and growth in China.

Tim Seymour scoffed that "Samsung owns China," meeting his Samsung quota mention early in the program, and that Monday's AAPL move was based on the iWatch. "I'd be a total seller of today's news," Seymour said.

Jon Najarian told Judge Wapner that AAPL as well as gold both "are looking cheap," and then cited AAPL's dividend and cash on the balance sheet, which was "demonstrably" the 1st-half story in the name if there ever was one (if not 2nd half of 2012).

Seymour said the stock must get through 525 before he gets excited about it, and suggested filing for patents is very early in the process. Najarian countered with an utterly irrelevant anecdote about Apple either blowing it or not blowing it by not settling with Cisco before launching a product called "iPhone."

Najarian thundered, "I think it gets through 440 easily." That was backed by brother Pete; "Now's the time you wanna get in."

Enis Taner shrugged, "I would buy at 400 and I would sell at 500."

How could anyone not know for certain how much cash Nokia has?

Jon Najarian, revisiting comments he already made on the Halftime Report (we've noticed there's a lot of that these days), said on Monday's Fast Money that NOK is attractive to private equity now that it's taken out Siemens, and "that's gonna free up value." He also said it's coming out with a "40-plus megapixel smartphone."

Formerly longtime NOK bull Tim Seymour said at a burn rate of $500 million, this company could be "net debt" fairly soon.

That brought howls from both Najarians, including Pete, who surmised, "I gotta go with Doc ... I think they have a significant amount of cash on the books."

Brian Stutland reported that "the option market was on Tim's side ... I'm a seller of this stock too."

Pete Najarian said those put option buyers were also getting long the stock.

‘Now’s the time’ for munis

Guest John Taft said on Monday's Fast Money he recommends investors be "modestly overweight" equities, and for muni investors, "now's the time to get in."

Taft said he favors "dividend aristocrats" such as ADP, JNJ and MCD.

Tim Seymour cautioned that those names are at "very serious multiples."

Pete Najarian predicted "fantastic" numbers in car sales.

Jon Najarian said STZ has the ability to raise prices, which helps the stock.

Enis Taner doubts Microsoft's purported new vision; "I don't think it's goin' anywhere from here."

Judge had a lot of trouble explaining the "reinstall" of some analyst's rating on BBY. Tim Seymour said of the stock, "I would not be a buyer on this news."

But, Seymour said, "BlackBerry's a buy mid-week," after the sellers are gone.

Enis Taner said he likes ZNGA, in part for its cash position (thankfully he didn't ask Tim Seymour to calculate it), though he bought a little early.

Jon Najarian repeated the Halftime Report theme of P having advertising upside.

Najarian called SIRI "the Netflix of satellite radio" and said, "I like this one going forward."

Enis says short the S&P

Tim Seymour said on Monday's Fast Money that in all his years of trading emerging markets, the recent EEM slam was unprecedented, "never seen that before."

But there's a limit to his optimism; "I would stay in the EEM to 40 bucks."

Barbara Ryan said health care is riding a wave of "fundamental wave of innovation." Judge Wapner pointed out that Ryan suggests Ariad, Medivation and Celldex (she also mentioned BioMarin) as takeover possibilities, something Ryan downplayed in shrugging, "Where there's smoke, there's fire," but "it's a bit of shooting fish in a barrel," which we think was actually the opposite point she was trying to make, unless she meant how so many names are easily listed as targets.

Enis Taner said he still likes health care. But Taner said to watch 230 in NFLX.

Jon Najarian explained his bad call in LPX, "had to lick my wounds and go away." But he still likes Masco, and "like a lot of the homebuilders."

Pete Najarian said he still likes builders and later said LEN goes higher. Tim Seymour said it depends on which ones; "Ryland's a buy, Pulte's a sell." Enis Taner said he prefers banks, not builders.

Pete Najarian said of CVC, "I don't think you need to chase." Jon Najarian suggested waiting another day on XLU, and then "jump back in."

Enis Taner said ABFS and YRCW have sprung from "some rumors of consolidation," and that YRCW might still benefit from "huge leverage."

Tim Seymour was cool to TCK but said if you want to average in around the 21 level, it's "not a bad place."

Enis Taner's Final Trade was short the S&P 500. Jon Najarian said long TPX, Tim Seymour said short DB and Pete Najarian said KMI.

Joe: Biotech ‘one of the biggest asset bubbles out there’

We didn't know there was more than one, or even one for sure.

But Mr. New Land said on Monday's Halftime Report that bubbles do indeed exist.

Jon Najarian had just finished grumbling about advance options trading in ONXX when Joe Terranova opined, "I actually think biotech is one of the biggest asset bubbles out there right now."

Terranova explained that it's a beta trade driven by rumors and could fall out of favor. "I don't do this often. I'm actually making a call of going out and being short something," he added.

Stephanie Link confused her own point, which was apparently agreement with Terranova, in stressing that "pharmaceuticals are really cheap."

Najarian said ALXN also was seeing "unusual activity."

Doc claims markets waiting for iWatch

Tavis McCourt, like everyone else on Fast Money/Halftime for months making little more than a guess that it's time for AAPL to go up, told Judge Wapner on Monday's Halftime Report that he's bullish on the name because "we're coming up on the iPhone 5s launch," and headlines in the next few weeks "should be more positive."

McCourt told Wapner that "the trend is up," which raised Judge's eyebrows, though McCourt asserted that it's the subscriber trends that are up and basically made the everyone's-getting-into-the-ecosystem argument that we've been hearing Pete Najarian make since 2007.

McCourt wrote off the slump of the last couple weeks as "a lot of end-of-quarter stuff going on."

Dr. New World, indirectly endorsing Pete Najarian's favorite cliche, said he'd be joining McCourt in the AAPL bull camp in the 2nd half of this year. For now, he suggests CRUS as a derivative play that would benefit from an AAPL bounce.

Jon Najarian actually argued that the iWatch is what investors want; there was "interest in the premarket on that," which left Judge rightly dumbfounded.

"That's what people would buy Apple for," Najarian insisted.

Stephanie Link issued a Cramer Brag Trade, explaining, "We sold some of our Apple position 2 weeks ago at 431."

‘Beginning of a process that is very favorable’ (translation: bullish)

Fresh off rightly predicting "30 days of frustration," Joe Terranova on Monday's Halftime Report told Judge (without saying "in essence") that Monday's trading "is the beginning of a process that is very favorable."

"Europe is healing," Terranova added, and "the number from Japan was very solid." He said he "bought some mini-S&P futures."

"I do think you see a taper before the end of the year," Terranova added.

Jon Najarian said "kudos to Joe" for last month's call, and observed that, "For a lot of customers, it was a really tough month."

Stephanie Link also sounded a bullish tone; "I'm thinking surge" to the start of the 2nd half, and suggested good stocks on pullbacks such as ACN, which she called a "better company" than IBM.

Keith Banks was more iffy. "I do think volatility will continue," Banks said, and "we're sticking with our 1,600 target," which we'll take the other side of, as people continue to underestimate the firepower of this market.

Just wait till the newspaper comeback shocks the world

Stephanie Link assured all viewers of Monday's Halftime Report who somehow might not know whether the cable-movie business is better than the newspaper business that in regard to the News Corp spinoff into FOXA, "the cable piece is what you want."

But Link said of DIS, "I have a problem with the valuation."

Jon Najarian said he's been in and out of TSLA; "this stock is truly just on fire."

Joe Terranova called BBY a "classic turnaround story" and said it's "hod" (sic) to believe it can reach $40 as an analyst says, but it has "momentum."

Jon Najarian said CVC is benefitting from the cable space and "these potentials (sic) out there for consolidations."

Najarian said the Siemens news is "very bullish for Nokia." Joe Terranova said it "looks like the trough is in place" for FCX.

Many would take a P

Jon Najarian said on Monday's Halftime Report that he wasn't originally a believer in P, but "I've become one."

Mr. New World said he's a believer in the "Netflix of radio" slogan and thinks "a 20 print, obviously warranted."

Paul Richards said of the jobs report, "This is gonna be Goldilocks ... you give me a 175 number, we get a beautiful summer rally."

Jon Najarian made the bull case for gold by arguing Friday's 115 in the GLD was a "washout."

Joe Terranova seemed to miss the point of the exercise, offering no catalyst whatsoever in either direction, stressing, "Gold is an investment, it's not a trade ... why would you own gold when you can own real estate?"

Paul Richards said gold experienced "complete capitulation," but he thinks it's a trade for "next year and not this year."

Wisdom Tree's Jeremy Schwartz said there's "not been a single month of outflows" in the DXJ.

Joe Terranova's Final Trade was SNDK. Jon Najarian said OC, and Steph Link said ACN.

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