[CNBCfix Fast Money Review Archive — July 2015]
[Friday, July 31, 2015]

Jim Lebenthal bristles at being associated with ‘hope,’ insists he was being ‘cogent’

Jim Lebenthal on Friday's Halftime Report said you can hold big oil names for the dividend, but "there's really no hope for share-price appreciation in sight."

Lebenthal even indicated that in crude, there's "pent-up supply," at least according to a guy from North Dakota whom Lebenthal was talking to recently.

Curiously, Lebenthal said XOM and CVX are investable over time, "definitively yes," because they have the scale to survive and thrive.

But Stephen Weiss agreed with Lebenthal's earlier comment that "in the short term, hope is not an investment strategy."

"For the record, I wasn't saying 'hope,' I was giving a very cogent thought process of how things are happening," Lebenthal said.

Josh Brown said the multiple among oil majors isn't low enough to buy and thus right now, it's still a "falling-knife game."

Lebenthal conceded MPC had a "crummy quarter" but said he's up about a percent since putting it in his Halftime Portfolio.

Bonnie Baha, forgetting that Rex Tillerson likes to spend big, said XOM in a couple years will be able to "sadly pick off some of these smaller, you know, lower-rated entities for a song."

Tim Seymour on the 5 p.m. Fast Money predicted XOM would hold 79 and said "over the course of 18 months, you want to own this thing."

Bonnie Baha, sorta like Peter Travers, probably found a way to get quoted in analyst reports

She actually said it with a straight face.

Josh Brown, in a long-winded dissertation, refused on Friday's Halftime Report to take a position on whether GPRO is an investable stock.

Jim Lebenthal called GPRO a "1-trick pony."

But Bonnie Baha actually claimed, "This could be the next Apple."

Apparently people sometimes bump into NYSE guys on the sidewalk, recommend stocks

Bonnie Baha, the DoubleLine guest on Friday's Halftime Report, pulled no punches in her limited opportunities for commentary.

"We do not see any move by the Fed at all for the rest of this year," Baha said at the opening.

Jim Lebenthal suggested the Fed won't make its first move in December, but Josh Brown said that would fit a recent pattern.

Things heated up when John Spallanzani told Judge from the NYSE that "if there's a bubble in bonds, there has to be a bubble in pessimism, right."

Spallanzani insisted energy earnings "are not that bad," but Judge insisted, "No, the revenues are bad. The revenues are bad."

Josh Brown questioned the pessimism bubble, stating investors' portfolio balances in equities have never been higher, while Spallanzani said it's been "outflow, outflow, outflow," in mutual funds. Brown suggested those are going into ETFs.

Jim Lebenthal suggested the panel was being too tough on Spallanzani and correctly observed, "What are the headlines that make news, is when people say there's a bubble" (sic grammar).

Spallanzani said that when he runs into people on the street, "nobody's telling me about stock tips."

Shout-out to Melissa’s mom, visits show at the Nasdaq

Apparently because Bonnie Baha was in the house, Judge on Friday's Halftime decided to give viewers a rerun of MCC's brief chat this week with Paul Volcker.

Baha said DoubleLine has had "no issues" with bond-market liquidity.

Judge hijacked Jim Lebenthal's question to Baha about taking inventory, saying he doesn't want to get bogged down in the "weeds" and "minutiae" but wonders if ETF buyers need to be concerned.

Baha courteously addressed Lebenthal's query and said taking inventory is a regulatory dictate; she added that the fear so far has been projected forward to what could "possibly" happen.

Luke Holden also paid a visit to the show and reported he has 17 Luke's Lobster shacks, including a food truck, plus 2 deals in Tokyo, and he can open a shack for under $250,000.

But Holden didn't exactly bring the enthusiasm of Kenny Dichter to the program, and Judge struggled to avoid dead air.

Steve Weiss said he's not rushing in to STX.

Jim Lebenthal suggested paring CCE gains and putting them into KO.

Josh Brown said he's been wrong to be neutral on EXPE, but he wouldn't chase it.

Bill Baruch, new to the Futures Now gang, told Jackie DeAngelis that next week's jobs data will be "huge" for the 10-year. Anthony Grisanti said if we get through 2.14, we go to 2%.

Josh Brown said GMCR might be interesting if you're looking for a "spec." Brown said FIT CEO did a "splashy profile in Fortune" and it would be odd if he did that just before a big miss.

Steve Weiss predicted a "breakout quarter" for LPLA.

Guy Adami on the 5 p.m. Fast Money predicted 225 for TSLA. Mel introduced her mother, Victoria, and some family friends.

Sue Herera during the Halftime Report described herself as a "rabid Packers fan."

[Thursday, July 30, 2015]

Pete actually convinces Judge that a 50% loss is better than a 4% loss

This one really had to be heard to believed. (Then again, CNBC sort of exists as an OptionMonster infomercial.)

Offering a "Quick Trade School," Pete Najarian on Thursday's Halftime Report revisited the hot call-buying in BUD from Monday, when he said the September 130s were popular and that he was trying to get in.

Thursday, acknowledging the stock's stumble, Pete argued that you would've been better off buying the options than the stock, using this rationale:

Pete claimed that if you bought 1,000 BUD shares, you'd be "out" $4,000 on the "about $4" price drop (actually $5).

Whereas, if you had bought 10 September 130 option contracts for $2,000, you would still have $1,000 left today as the options fell from $2 to $1.

So in Pete's world, it is worse to lose 4% on a $120,000 investment that pays a robust dividend and could certainly perform well over time ... than to lose 50% on a risky, short-term gambit that quite possibly could be a 100% loss if held for 6 weeks.

"That's why I love using options," Pete said.

Judge even called this commentary "good stuff."

Was this presentation for real?

Gee whiz, is Pete taking the athletic-wear trade a little too seriously, or what?

Judge had to spend a chunk of Thursday's Halftime Report repeatedly apologizing to Pete Najarian for lumping SKX into a segment with NKE and God Almighty UA.

None of the panelists seemed the least bit excited about SKX — even though it's had an absolutely monster year — because they don't seem to think that skateboarder gear is cool enough for themselves.

None moreso than King of Cool Pete Najarian, who scoffed that while SKX is called "sportswear," it's really a "walking brand."

Judge tried to assure that this segment isn't about "Skechers is better than Nike."

Stephen Weiss at least had the audacity to say that SKX is cheaper than UA. That prompted Pete to cut him off and thunder that SKX doesn't make the same kind of stuff.


Judge seems to be questioning the Wall Street analyst ratings tradition during WFM discussion

Normally the Halftime gang doesn't spend a great deal of time on a single stock (unless it's AAPL), but Thursday's go-round on WFM and the state of the grocery industry was a refreshing dialogue.

The featured guest was Chuck Grom, who cut his price target from 55 to 37 and rating to neutral and in response received an onslaught of pressure from Judge to declare the stock an outright "sell."

"There's just too much uncertainty" with the shares, Grom said, questioning what the stores in the "365 concept" would look like.

Stephen Weiss asked Grom if WFM could improve itself by buying some A&P stores. Grom said that would actually be a "bad strategy."

Grom said it's not "clear cut" how private equity would fix this business and doubts there will be a takeover offer.

Pete Najarian said Grom is "dead wrong" about the 365 concept, suggesting "that's the way" to go after Trader Joe's and other competitors.

Steve Weiss called Trader Joe's "lower end," but Pete said he loves the stores.

Weiss said Grom's note and ratings may reflect "emotional capitulation."

Weiss said WFM may be a "trade," but not an "investment."

Joe Terranova said WFM's problems stem from "not understanding" the need to be more dynamic and more diversified to fend off competition.

He said WFM might need a "new management team."

Josh Brown pointed out that "$36 is highly significant" for WFM, but he's not sure about buying in around that level.

Pete said it's not just competition that's a problem for WFM, but "image," and he even put WFM in the "penalty box" (Drink).

Joe claims XTO deal
is ‘gonna work out’

If Dick Costolo had bought XTO for $40 billion, he would've been tarred and feathered before being given a chance to resign.

But Rex Tillerson did it without hardly skipping a beat, and now he's on Goldman Sachs' conviction buy list.

"Yes, ExxonMobil made a very bad deal years ago," admitted Joe Terranova on Thursday's Halftime, but Joe suggested that XOM and CVX are worthy of a 5-year investment when you've somehow "gotta" put 2 energy names in your kids' college portfolio.

Joe even predicted the XTO deal is "gonna work out at some point." Give Judge credit for suggesting it might take 50 years.

Meanwhile, Jeff Kilburg told Jackie DeAngelis that the dollar will "continue to churn." Brian Stutland said the market is starting to price in the Fed hike.

WisdomTree exec Jeremy Schwartz, backing the hedge trade, contended that Japan is still the cheapest of the major markets. Josh Brown said there's a school of thought about currency's effect that "it all comes out in the wash."

Schwartz said he doesn't really understand that notion and contended that if you're not hedging, "you're betting the dollar will always decline." Joe questioned how AAPL and AMZN made the USWD weak-dollar ETF. Schwartz said the weak-dollar play looks for stocks with more than 40% of revenue abroad.

MCC should’ve asked Volcker about Pete’s preference for losing 50% on an options trade over 4% on a stock trade

Joe Terranova made a great point on Thursday's Halftime that is almost never discussed on CNBC, saying the fact that in 2015 it takes 3 days to settle a basic stock transaction is "completely ridiculous."

Joe credited Doc (who wasn't present Thursday) for one of the show's best calls in recent memory, predicting FB would fail to cross 100. Joe said he was "playing the momentum" over the last couple of weeks, and it didn't work post-earnings with this stock.

Josh Brown asserted, "I don't think the good news is priced in" to FB and said "BFD" to the current pause.

Josh hilariously said the SSYS chart "looks like an open-casket funeral" and that he'd be selling with both hands.

Pete Najarian said he sold WYNN on the big move Thursday but that he's not sure the move is all over.

Michelle Caruso-Cabrera visited Thursday's Halftime and aired a clip of Paul Volcker stating he's not worried "one bit" about liquidity in the bond markets and questioning why MCC was asking about the same topic several times.

Guy Adami says Dave DeWalt needs to rein in the ‘glibness’

Joe Terranova on Thursday's Halftime Report said PG is experiencing "possibly the final flush" and said you should own the name.

Stephen Weiss called SWK a stock "you want to be in."

Joe said he likes EXPE and added RKUS to his Halftime Portfolio. Pete said he likes AMGN.

Pete said USG August 31 calls were popular.

Weiss said if you're long FEYE, just hang on into the quarter.

During a tepid 5 p.m. Fast Money, Steve Grasso said FEYE should be bought on pullbacks but acknowledged the CFO departure was taking down the stock. Karen Finerman said that if the CFO gets a new job soon, that'll be fine, but if he ends up spending more time with his family, that's a bad sign for FEYE.

[Wednesday, July 29, 2015]

Yes, someone still thinks TWTR’s chart can be the next FB

Evan Wilson of Pacific Crest unleashed a tidal wave of TWTR optimism on the Wednesday Halftime Report, contending the company is "very focused" on what Anthony Noto and Jack Dorsey were saying Tuesday night and suggesting Wall Street will embrace a new CEO.

Judge asked Wilson if he might be "kidding yourself" with his $52 target. Wilson said "absolutely not," that the shares have reached that level twice in the last year.

Mike Block questioned why anyone needs to own TWTR now if the CEO hire is still months away. Wilson said you don't want to miss "the optionality associated with it."

Things began to get more lukewarm when Steve Weiss said he sees no reason to own TWTR but said the best thing is that the "call was so depressing," so the stock might have "bottomed out from that standpoint."

Judge asked Jim Lebenthal, rather than Wilson, whether Wilson's TWTR-buy and FB-hold are "backwards." But Lebenthal asserted, "I've gotta say, Twitter is setting up from a chart point of view to look a lot like Facebook."

Lebenthal said he would not buy the stock today, but "maybe."

Pete Najarian said the user number of 300-million-whatever isn't the issue, "it's the 500 that have logged off."

Pete said the "considerable time" that Anthony Noto mentioned on the TWTR call is not what investors wanted to hear.

"Twitter just cannot grow its user base," said Josh Brown via phone. "I think it takes out that prior low, you get a 2 handle on it, but that would be the false breakdown" and is "probably the buying opportunity."

Stephen Weiss said, "There's no other company like this, period," and said Marissa Mayer "really hasn't done anything" and that he'd rather own BIDU.

Mike Block said investors want to see 2 quarters of growth, which will take a while.

Prof Currie indicates
commodities flunking

Jeff Currie was the star guest of Wednesday's Halftime Report and wasted no time telling Kate Kelly about "the 3 D's of macro" — deflation in commodity prices, divergence in currencies and deleveraging of debt, particularly in China.

For those keeping a scorecard, he also mentioned a "trifecta of data points" in oil, those being refining margins, how lost-cost producers are responding to the environment and how U.S. producers are responding to the environment.

Currie said there's been "real no pain" in oil yet but asserted that $40 for 6 months starts to create "real default risk in the high-yield market."

He said he'd put Judge's "bloodbath in copper" in the "7th inning." He said he's keeping a $4,500-per-ton 12-month target.

While as Kelly indicated, Currie seems to want to short everything, Currie asserted that the long ends of the oil curves pose "substantial downside risk."

Currie also said there's 4 ways high yield can fall, but we can't handle more than 3 (and barely that).

Currie stands by his 1,050 gold target.

Mike Block said it "doesn't make sense" how the Fed could be tightening during a commodities meltdown.

Scott Nations told Jackie DeAngelis the gasoline-crude differential is "not great news" for drivers but is good news for refiners. Jeff Kilburg said energy-sector earnings are dragging on the S&P and haven't been offset by additional consumer spending.

‘Normal’ rates ahead

Richard Saperstein on Wednesday's Halftime Report predicted a September Fed move "because they want to normalize (yep) rates."

He said if that doesn't happen, it's "highly/hardly (sic couldn't tell which) unlikely they'll tighten in December" or Q1, so it would mean if no September, then we're looking at April-May.

Saperstein said he's avoiding EM stocks and debt and suggested a possible flight to Treasurys. He said the front end of the bond curve is "severely misunderpricing or not recognizing, uh, Fed action right now."

Saperstein said what matters about the rate hike is not the "symbolic" first raise, but whether it's "one and done" or the beginning of a tightening cycle.

Bob Kraft pretends to dislike Roger Goodell for benefit of QB and fans; Rick Horrow buys it

Rick Horrow visited with Judge at the end of Wednesday's Halftime Report to predict a "long, protracted federal court bit of litigation overprocess" (yep that's what he said) in the Tom Brady Appeal Saga.

Horrow said Bob Kraft is "genuinely upset" about the Brady-suspension process and that he and Roger Goodell won't be having Christmas dinner anytime soon.

Mike Block, who didn't don a jacket this time, not helping the show's overall spiffiness (Pete's a lost cause in that category), said he's fading banks. Pete Najarian and Stephen Weiss said they're on the other side of that.

Jim Lebenthal said to sell COP but own WFM and MAR. Najarian and Weiss questioned WFM.

Jim Lebenthal said GSK is doing fine except being "a little bit" behind the ball on oncology.

Pete Najarian said he expected GILD to burst through 120 and acknowledged disappointment over the lack of an acquisition.

Mike Block said there was "talk surfacing" that MO would re-merge with Philip Morris International.

Stephen Weiss called NOC and GDC "pretty solid companies."

[Tuesday, July 28, 2015]

Um, you don’t have to personally know business executives to comment on them

Brian Wieser (tip: He works for Pivotal) actually protested to Judge on Tuesday's Halftime that it's hard to evaluate the TWTR CEO search "unless you actually know the individuals personally."

Wieser even said it's "impossible to opine" on the subject without such insight.

He said he remains positive about TWTR's status in the advertising marketplace, calling it a "strong company."

Judge said Wall Street "doesn't think it's a strong company."

"I don't think most of the investment community understands Twitter at all," Wieser said, a comment that typically is equivalent to "lousy stock."

Joe Terranova curiously stated that "you have to focus here on what you could potentially lose on the stock, not what you're gonna make on the stock," which our Magic Decoder Ring suggests is as much of a sell call as we've heard.

Pete said options were predicting a 13-15% move in TWTR earnings. Pete said he wants to hear more about the churn.

Been a while since we’ve heard 1937 on Fast Money

Judge on Tuesday's Halftime Report brought in Eunice Yoon to set up the Tom DeMark interview, but it was Eunice delivering the day's biggest scoop, stating folks in China were calling CNBC to ask about the Steelers' Super Bowl odds how to get their money back from the Chinese stock market.

Meanwhile, DeMark's interview turned into a little media backlash over the year 1929.

DeMark said he's "pretty confident" of a Shanghai move down to 3,200, citing what the Dow did in 1987 and 2004, and indicated that a 1929-esque debacle is possible.

We quickly got lost in DeMark's comparisons (lost? that's putting it nicely) and thankfully Judge did too. "It's a lot of numbers for people to try and keep- keep track of," Judge told DeMark, "as, as you're ticking them off," presumably referring to the numbers, not viewers.

So DeMark cut to the chase. He said he got into a "quagmire" in February 2014 based on "sensationalism" that DeMark at the time was predicting a 1929-like U.S. stock collapse.

"We were not," DeMark insisted, stating he was on CNBC declaring that "certain preconditions" would have to occur first.

He said there's a signal of a "good rally" coming in U.S. stocks that will be a brief "tailwind" for China.

Joe begins the program
on a ‘granular’ basis

Leading off Tuesday's Halftime Report, Joe Terranova said that, "on a granular basis," we're actually seeing value being given a premium over growth.

Joe also said that those fearing "massive default" in the high-yield space are getting relief "for a day or so." Pete Najarian hectored Joe into admitting that it's only "for a day."

Mark Haefele called the Chinese stock market shenanigans "a non-event for U.S. investors."

"We are underweight the Australian dollar," Haefele said.

Haefele said, "We're starting to see value in the energy names," only to pause and stammer as Judge, pushing the skeptic level into overdrive throughout the program, incredulously wondered why someone would like the space.

Steve Liesman said China is just a "piece" of the conversation the Fed is having.

Liesman gave a survey of some Wall Street types (we're still not sure exactly who) who collectively indicate "September is still the odds-on call, but the conviction is down a little bit."

Judge insisted that China would become more of the conversation and suggested maybe it needs to "cut rates a lot more than, than it already has."

Steph Link said 73% of S&P 500 companies so far have beat. Killjoy Judge said an earnings beat and a revenue miss "are, are 2 entirely different things."

If you bought it higher, and sold it after it fell, and then bought it back even lower, does that guarantee a profit?

Jim Iuorio told Jackie DeAngelis on Tuesday's Halftime Report that "the technical stuff isn't voodoo" when assessing why crude hasn't plummeted.

Anthony Grisanti suggested the narrowing Brent/WTI spread indicates a weak European economy.

Jim Lebenthal dialed in to say he's dropping BP from his Halftime Portfolio in favor of MPC.

Joe Terranova gloated that he sold 4 of his Halftime Portfolio names "at higher levels, and I bought them back this morning at lower levels. ... In the business we call that profitable trading."

Pete Najarian said he likes both PFE and MRK but wishes MRK would amp it up a bit.

Pete Najarian predicted UPS goes "a lot higher" (Drink).

Joe said DHI needs to cross 30 to get excited about it.

Joe said "the ag unit is just too weak right now" at DD.

Pete Najarian said "there's a lot of reasons" to like Ford, but he was at a loss to explain when it's going to make a move.

Stephanie Link suggested staying in MAS.

Pete Najarian said someone was making a bullish options bet on MYL.

Joe called LULU "technically oversold."

Judge called Tom Mapother's lip-synching "awesome."

[Monday, July 27, 2015]

China a ‘short-term fiasco’

Judge told Brian Jacobsen on Monday's Halftime Report that Jacobsen's year-end 2,300 S&P target for the Most Boring Stock Market in History "sounds aggressive," but Jacobsen stood behind it, suggesting a possible "burst to the upside" once we get done with the "short-term fiasco" in China and the Fed hike.

Jacobsen even likes high yield, telling Joe Terranova "they actually went through their correction already."

Jacobsen said his backing of XOM and high yield may be a little contrarian, but he prefers the term "realistic."

Brown: BBY ‘uninvestable’

We didn't expect on Monday's Halftime Report to find Pete Najarian pronouncing himself at the vanguard of AAPL insight.

"I was one of the first guys out there saying, 'Temper down the Watch, anticipation of this Watch," Pete said.

Sarat Sethi said he likes the Barron's 70 call on MSFT given that the company has "turned the corner" since Steven Ballmer's "dumb" projects.

But Josh Brown said it's "a little bit early" to think $70 a share. Joe Terranova said that MSFT "unequivocally" can outperform the S&P over the next 3 years.

Sethi advised avoiding commodities in the wake of the Chinese debacle.

Joe said to skip the Macau names but suggested money could find its way into Japanese stocks.

Pete said he would not buy CAT but would be "very, very patient."

Sam Isaly conceded BIIB "just got trashed last week," and while it's less expensive, maybe that's "rightly so."

"Didn't buy any on Friday," Isaly told Judge.

Isaly predicted the Mylan-Perrigo deal happens, stating MYL is "likely" to raise its bid.

Pete Najarian said the September 130 calls in BUD were popular. He said he had a bid in that hadn't been filled.

Pete said he likes UBS and DB on "any pullback." (This writer is long DB.)

Joe likes DKS as a "2nd-half story."

Josh Brown said BBY is "uninvestable" and "going to $20."

The group seemed to be unanimous on long UPS.

[Friday, July 24, 2015]

Dan Greenhaus: If AMZN is going to 700, why shouldn’t you buy now

When the pundits start pointing to signs of a top, this is the kind of stuff they point to.

Kate Moore, cheering AMZN amid a slightly stodgy crew on Friday's Halftime Report, actually suggested some high fliers should be "completely re-rated" with a "higher normal valuation."

"Ooh, that's dangerous Kate," said Jim Lebenthal.

Moore made sure everyone knows, "We don't think ourselves as momentum investors."

Josh Brown cautioned that "it's not a good idea" to chase AMZN, even if Barclays is advising just that.

Dan Greenhaus though pointed out that Amazon "hasn't given you a chance to get in" since last winter and wondered why people shouldn't jump in if it's going to 700.

Brown said for 2 reasons (neither of which was convincing), 1) that there are 8,000 other public stocks and 2) that pros don't buy stocks that are 50% above their 200-day moving average.

Moore said if you like the stock, it doesn't really pay to sit on the sideline.

Guest host Missy Lee called it a "concept sort of" quarter (not quite sure what that means) for AMZN.

AMZN investor Kevin Kelly of Recon also likes MSFT for its cloud progress.

"Right now, value is out of favor," Jim Lebenthal grumbled.

Josh Brown said it's better to be in FB than not in FB, predicting a surge in Instagram monetization in the 2nd half of the year.

Kevin Kelly said "social media ad spend" is flowing into Facebook's news feed.

‘Serious price fatigue’
setting in among homebuyers

Diana Olick said on Friday's Halftime Report that June sales of newly built homes was a "weak" number that "doesn't bode well" for the 2nd half of the year as buyers experience "serious price fatigue" (still trying to figure out exactly what that one means).

Bill Pulte said that if you're going to invest in housing, you have to be able to stomach "the noise."

Pulte touted the home-remodeling space, including MAS.

"There is a ton of M&A activity," Pulte said. But Olick asked him about investing in single-family homes, and Pulte said, "I don't think you'll see a whole lot of that going on going forward (sic last 2 4 words redundant)."

Moments later, Caesarstone CEO Yos Shiran, who unfortunately was kind of hard to hear over a muffled phone connection, said his products go to contractors such as Pulte (the company) or Toll Brothers and also Ikea. He predicted his countertop products will catch on in the U.S. and said the company's building a factory in Georgia.

Bill Pulte called Shiran "a great CEO" and said "this is a stock to buy," though he doesn't own it himself.

Mel first called the CSTE market cap over a billion, then said it's $2.4 billion, "so I gave it a haircut."

Jim Lebenthal suggested USG, which he said is "very attractively valued."

Haven’t heard about LL for a while

Dan Greenhaus on Friday's Halftime Report said industrials have not just "poor" things to say about China, but "pretty poor" things to say about China.

Kate Moore said she has a "decent" allocation to China but has been trimming recently. She said she's more interested in "New China" names in tech and health care.

Jim Lebenthal said he's tired of the global growth story being pinned to "China's back."

Dan Greenhaus said the transports do not indicate that the U.S. economy is weaker than believed.

Jim Lebenthal suggested rails are getting to deep value level.

Josh Brown suggested not paying too much attention to the IYT.

Hard to believe, but
Pete takes a day off

CNBC biotech whiz Meg Tirrell visited with Friday's Halftime crew and noted that BIIB was having a tough day related to its M.S. therapy.

But the big mover in the space is the M&A potential of GILD. "Everybody is going to be listening on the call to what is Gilead going to buy," Tirrell said.

Josh Brown said he only has "plain vanilla index exposure" in biotech.

Dan Greenhaus said it's been great to be long health care but the stocks are starting to build in an M&A premium.

Meanwhile, Josh Brown said Starbucks is very unique in growth for its size. Dan Greenhaus said "checks are up" when Starbucks customers order digitally.

Jim Lebenthal thanked Mel for bringing up CSCO. "There's a lot to like at Cisco," Lebenthal said.

Josh Brown said of P, "Sell it if you're long."

Jim Lebenthal said "you're supposed to own AT&T."

Josh Brown said there's nothing to dislike at V.

Jim Lebenthal predicted "blowout earnings" for MPC.

[Thursday, July 23, 2015]

Jana saved QCOM
from ‘20%-plus’ tumble

Stacy Rasgon had the line of the day on Thursday's Halftime Report, revealing that QCOM's guidance last night was so alarming, "I almost fell out of my chair."

Jim Lebenthal contended that QCOM's sales force has been "arrogant" and that if they could "dial it down," they could recoup losses such as the Samsung business.

Rasgon countered that QCOM lost the Samsung business not because of arrogance but "technical issues with the product."

Rasgon indicated there's a "theoretical prospect of value creation here" keeping a floor under the stock, but, "Let's be honest, without the Jana Partners' presence in there, it would probably be down 20%-plus after last night."

Guest host Melissa Lee actually sounded excited by the additions to QCOM's board.

Stephanie Link chuckled that "over the years, I've made a lot of money next to" Jana.

Lebenthal suggested CSCO as a "Netflick" (sic) play and bemoaned that he'd have to sell either IBM, AAPL, QCOM, INTC in his 20-stock portfolio in order to put in CSCO.

Mel gives shout-out
to print media

Kate Kelly on Thursday's Halftime reported that Ray Dalio appears to be souring on China.

Jim Lebenthal brought up something we had forgotten about, when the U.S. had banned shorts of financial stocks after the 2008 crisis.

Lebenthal asserted that only 2-3% of the Chinese population is invested in the stock market.

Missy contended that even if she wasn't in the stock market, if she read a headline in "USA Today" about the Dow falling 20% in a month, it would "still spook me."

Pete: ‘I’m not a big buyer
of momentum’

While Jim Lebenthal was given countless opportunities on Thursday's Halftime Report to trumpet old-line technology stocks, Joe Terranova simply said you've got to follow the momentum Nasdaq names because they're working.

Pete Najarian actually claimed, "I'm not a big buyer of momentum," then trumpeted C, FTNT and FFIV.

"This is a stock-picker's market, Melissa," said Stephanie Link.

Lebenthal conceded that momentum is working now, but at some point it won't, and then "the rush for the exits is so painful."

Speaking of momentum, Pete gushed about UA but said it's at a level you might see some trimming, its valuation is in the "stratosphere."

Steph Link said "the value is better at Nike."

Jim Lebenthal said he doesn't own NKE, but he's "earned" (sic) it in the past.

Joe said UA has a "date with 100 bucks" and indicated it gets there soon.

Pete pounds the table every day for UA but says don’t be a ‘pig’

Hardeep Walia on Thursday's Halftime Report said millennials are fueling the "Eating Out" Motif, which has 25 stocks including CMG and MCD and DNKN.

Mel egged on Pete to say he'd drop MCD from that portfolio.

Walia said SHAK is in his IPO Motif and his "backup index" and will probably make the Eating Out Motif on the next rebalancing.

Joe Terranova said he sees "further upside potential" in Bristol-"Miles" (sic); he likes it a little more than LLY.

Jim Lebenthal said he prefers PFE.

Joe said he's "not too comfortable" with GILD because he's lost money in the space.

Joe suggested there's "a lot of upside potential" in the airlines.

Pete said "I trimmed today" in DAL and UAL and cautioned against being a "pig."

Jeff Kilburg offered 2 reasons to Jackie DeAngelis that oil would surge over 50, 1) a tiring dollar and 2) it didn't go as low as it could've.

Jim Iuorio said "the chart looks like death to me." DeAngelis said she wasn't taking sides but she's hearing more opinions like Iuorio's rather than Kilburg's.

Steph Link said the "commentary wasn't so great" with DOW.

Joe said he doesn't like LVS and its reduced buyback.

Pete Najarian predicted 19 "very, very soon" in BAC.

Jim Lebenthal said "there's a lot to like" in GM but predicted Amazon would disappoint.

Joe Terranova called SBUX a "core, long-term holding."

[Wednesday, July 22, 2015]

Fashionable bust: Karen Finerman stood by KORS at 46

Michael Kors was the subject of considerable chatter on the May 27 Fast Money and Halftime Report.

Karen Finerman admitted it was an "absolutely painful day" to be long that stock, explaining, "My least favorite thing is the- what feels the worst as a money manager is losing money for other people."

Unfortunately, in that particular category, she apparently wasn't done.

KORS closed that day at $45.93, a massive plunge from $60.59.

Yet, Karen also stated that the stock's plunge was "so excessive relative to what the news was" that, "If I owned none, I would start buying today."

Guy Adami lukewarmly chimed in, "You have to wonder out loud if this is a capitulatory bottom," and then in not the most convincing endorsement added that in terms of risk/reward, "it sets up OK here."

It's at $40.13 now.

On Wednesday's 5 p.m. Fast Money, URI long Karen Finerman was rather nonchalant about the stock's hit, smiling and suggesting if it has "one of those Guy outside/inside/whatever days tomorrow, I'll buy some more."

Sorry for not offering
$132 a share

Pete Najarian on Wednesday's Halftime Report admitted he thought AAPL earnings would be a "catalyst" for the stock, but "unfortunately" the results are another "excuse" for the stock to remain range-bound from 120-130.

Stephen Weiss said he agrees with Pete, that the stock is in "neverland."

Josh Brown said there's nothing in the report that should cause AAPL longs to lose sleep.

Jon Najarian said he took a "trading scalp" on AAPL, but "I would be a buyer."

Atul Lele said he's not owning AAPL for this quarter but for longer-term trends. He said that this incredibly dull and range-bound market is actually "an incredibly skittish market that we're in right now."

He said the "single, greatest risk" in the markets is the relationship between interest rates and P.E. multiples.

Steve Weiss said MSFT had a "throwaway quarter" but he called YHOO "compellingly cheap" (snicker) once you separate the core business.

Once is a fluke, 2’s a trend, 12’s trouble

Jon Najarian on Wednesday's Halftime Report said activity in the January 52.50 BHI puts suggests someone knew something.

We'll expect details of the SEC probe by Friday.

Josh Brown grumbled that he owns the XLE and that it's been down "12 straight weeks."

Stephen Weiss called oil "an uninvestable asset class."

Pete Najarian said XOM, added to Goldman's conviction list, has had "spectacular" margins, but Mel questioned how any oil company wouldn't be subject to the price of crude.

Doc cautioned that Iran deal "that John Kerry worked out" is no "slam dunk" for being approved by Congress.

Jeff Kilburg said there's no "rhyme or reason" why gold is sliding and suggested a relief rally is in order. Anthony Grisanti said demand for gold is lower despite lower prices.

Herb given another day off from his GOOG-compensation-menace campaign

Josh Brown on Wednesday's Halftime called BA an "unqualified" buy, stating the risk is only "boredom."

Pete Najarian merely called BA a buy on a pullback, and then just said it's a buy.

Stephen Weiss said Jim McNerney will "absolutely not" be going out on a sour note.

On the other hand, Pete Najarian said the CAT chart "looks broken" and he sees no reason to touch the stock.

Josh Brown said CAT longs need to "pray" that the March low of 77 holds. Doc said he's in the CAT puts but doesn't want to "overstay" his welcome and get hit with a dead-cat bounce.

Hard to ‘connect the dots’ between GoPro and Ambarella

Eamon Javers on Wednesday's Halftime Report held up Donald Trump's (snicker) financial disclosures for the Federal Election Commission showing 515 outside positions held.

Mel said it's "amazing" that Trump has time to tweet.

Nili Gilbert visited the set to offer a series of strong-dollar plays, including CVS, KR and AMWD, the latter called "an interesting play on the strengthening housing market" and endorsed by Pete Najarian.

She said KR "demonstrates great business efficiency."

Pete and Doc retraced the trading activity of GPRO and AMBA.

Josh Brown expressed skepticism at pet trades. But Steve Weiss said the IPO element for these names "seems to be working."

Josh Brown said AXP is worth a shot.

[Tuesday, July 21, 2015]

Pete expected 49 million iPhone estimate to be ‘beaten by a lot’

Pete Najarian thundered at the top of Tuesday's Halftime Report that August 150 AAPL calls (snicker) were hot, but "that's something you expect."

In the Bungle of the Day, Pete said that while most people have an iPhone sales number of 49-50 million, he predicted it would be "beaten by a lot" apparently based on nothing more than guesswork. (This review was posted after the earnings report.)

Jon Najarian went to great pains to point out AAPL's tepid move after the last earnings but predicted this one would be "different" and of course agreed with Pete on iPhone sales (snicker).

Doc said it's the "more affluent Chinese" who own iPhones, so he's not worried about China sales this quarter, though "in the coming quarters I would be worried."

Josh Brown said "the affluent are also the ones that got blown up in the stock market" in China.

Guest host Missy Lee, dynamite in new hairstyle, wondered if Apple hints at a "sniff of slowdown" in China whether we can "connect the dots" (Drink) to something else.

Steve Milunovich told the gang, "We think the 6+ is doing extremely well" and predicted the company would address China "to some degree" in the conference call.

Milunovich shrugged off Brown's concerns that the Chinese may wait to buy iPhones, suggesting many have had more than 1 iPhone already and consider it an "aspirational" brand.

Joe Terranova said that in stocks, "the environment has gotten better in the last couple of weeks," with consumer tech being the best place because of its "positive momentum."

Guy Adami on the 5 p.m. Fast Money suggested you could be long AAPL against the 119-and-change low recently. Karen Finerman said to get long at 115.

Relax, OptionMonster wealth-management clients; you’re still long HOG

Jon Najarian on Tuesday's Halftime Report said he booted HOG from his Halftime Portfolio because he's OK with "singles and doubles," and also suggested Harley shouldn't waste its time with electric motorcycles its customers don't want.

But Doc said they're keeping it for OptionMonster wealth-management clients.

Joe Terranova said in the month of June it's "incredibly surprising" to see both F and GM where they're at, then suggested Toyota "Motors" (sic) (Drink) as an auto play.

Josh Brown called the UBS downgrade of TSLA a "smart move."

Mel suggested the analyst just "woke up" and found the estimates "too high."

How many nights can you get at Motel 6 for an AAPL share vs. 1995?

Rick Rule made an appearance on Tuesday's Halftime Report as the obligatory occasional gold's-still-going-ballistic viewpoint.

Rule said gold has been "locked in a war with the U.S. dollar," but that gold "will lose less badly."

Guest host Melissa Lee admitted, "I don't really understand what you're saying."

Rule explained that the "hegemony" of the dollar vs. other mediums of exchange, particularly gold, "will become less pervasive."

Rule admitted, "I don't think that gold necessarily has bottomed," but he predicted a "very strong bull market" should the Federal Reserve rate hikes "fail."

He also pointed out how once a room at Motel 6 cost $6, and the price since then of a room in gold terms has appreciated considerably.

Jon Najarian, who likes occasionally buying the GDX when the call orders come in, suggested gold might be approaching a "severely oversold level."

Joe Terranova said his problem with the gold "investment" argument is that people claim it's "protection," while in 2008 and 2009 it wasn't.

Scott Nations pointed out that "last week we had a draw" in crude. Brian Stutland said the upper 40s appears to be a "support point" for oil, and with lower volatility, he'd be a buyer below 50.

IBM as a play on artificial intelligence

For some reason we can't fathom, Jim Lebenthal dialed into Tuesday's Halftime to say be long QCOM (Zzzzz).

Lebenthal said IBM's struggles feel a bit like a "personal Waterloo" (snicker).

He touted how some IBM endeavors including artificial intelligence are growing gangbusters, but Mel scoffed that these are just "tiny drops" in the overall IBM revenue story.

Josh Brown said if not for tradition, IBM wouldn't be in the Dow, and that while CNBCers seem to talk about this name all the time, the company is actually giving them "almost no reason" to do so.

A magnet, and resistance

Josh Brown on Tuesday's Halftime Report really didn't have a clue about the SHAK secondary but insisted that 50 is the pivotal level for the stock.

Joe Terranova bemoaned that many remain "so negative" on MSFT, which he thinks "wants to go to the $50 level."

Joe said he doesn't like CHK but is OK with RRC.

Pete Najarian wanted to buy the earnings playbook across the board.

Pete gushed about NKE but said he'd have to choose UA of the 2.

Doc said the read-through on VZ is that there's "a lot of cord-cutting going on."

The gang debated the level of goofiness of Bank of America elevating FB to its conviction list with a 105 target.

Doc told Mel that 100 is both a magnet and resistance for FB, predicting it would "come back hard" to 93 after it clears 100.

"He could be right; he could be wrong. None of us really know that," Joe said.

Pete Najarian said biotech is "absolutely on fire."

Pete said BAC August 18 call holders were rolling into the 18.50 calls.

Doc said he's watching HAL and SLB. Joe backed HAL.

Pete said he's "not as excited as I was in the past" about YHOO back when he was pounding the table for BABA 150.

[Monday, July 20, 2015]

Missy hears it again; this time it’s Dennis saying ‘Michelle’

She's a fox, and doesn't deserve this.

But for whatever reason, people can't resist calling Melissa Lee "Michelle."

That includes Dennis Gartman, who bungled the pleasantries on Monday's 5 p.m. Fast Money during his "always good to be seen" (Drink) refrain.

"Have another bourbon, Denny," said Guy Adami.

"I need another bourbon, absolutely," cracked Gartman, who laughed uproariously at this miscue.

Dennis had the audacity to disagree with Melissa's observation that many people can't easily buy gold in yen terms (Drink), asserting that there are ETFs for such trades.

At the end of the hit (yes, gold in yen terms was discussed (Drink)), Lee concluded, "No problem, Dennis. We go way back, so it's no problem. David."

Jordan Spieth on 17 — troubling, but not as difficult to watch as Tom Watson on the 18th a few years ago

Honestly, we kind of tuned out parts of Monday's Halftime Report only because there was this thing called the British Open going on at the same time.

That proved convenient, as guest host Mel and her late-arriving crew (Pete) delivered one of the franchise's sleepiest shows in recent memory.

"The market is trading on technicals," said Joe Terranova, before insisting on psychologically pounding himself upside the head with a 2x4 again.

"Gettting worried back in the month of (sic last 3 words redundant) June cost me a lot of money," Joe revealed, predicting a Fed move in September.

Moments later, Joe trumpeted his book again but admitted he got "obliterated in the month of (sic last 3 words redundant) (Drink) June fighting this market."

Doc, however, told Lee, "My money Mel is on December, not September," for the rate hike.

Tony Dwyer, who has a 2,340 this year on the S&P 500, said the market should probably trade at a 20 multiple, though his target's 19.

It’s nice never having losing options trades

It was so good, he had to mention it twice.

Jon Najarian on Monday's Halftime Report said he bought AMBA on the Citron selloff, from which it's now recovered.

Later in the program, Doc asserted the company is "gonna be something that's gonna be big for a while."

Doc also said he bought August 60 calls in LVLT, revealing, "I'll probably hold it for about 2 weeks." (Drink)

He said he got in Monday at 40 cents, and Mel said he's "almost at a double."

Then later in the program, he reiterated that he's taken off half of his LVLT winner, but he thinks the stock keeps running.

Doc: Short YELP, but not Z

Chris Merwin said on Monday's Halftime Report that there's a "flood of competition" in the YELP-Z local space, which is why he doesn't like the stocks.

Joe Terranova questioned why YELP and Z would not be potential M&A targets given the decline in their share prices. Merwin said he couldn't really speak to that except that YELP hasn't confirmed reports that it's for sale.

Doc said he likes the idea of a YELP short but not a Z short, explaining he uses Zillow or Trulia when looking up real estate.

Joe Terranova said, "I would not short YELP."

But Pete Najarian suggested YELP would "continue on this slide."

Merwin acknowledged big spending in Silicon Valley but pronounced it contained. "There's a bit of a bubble, but it is very much on a case-by-case basis," he said.

Pitfalls of never having a losing options trade: ‘You don’t wanna be a pig’

Bob Pisani on Monday's Halftime Report said the Big 4 of AAPL, FB, GOOG and AMZN are "distorting the indices."

"This is not a tech bubble," Pisani said, but a "growth problem."

Predicting "very strong" numbers this quarter, Joe Terranova (note: he traded poorly in the month of June) said AMZN would go "well above" 500 and FB would go "well above" 100.

Jon Najarian said there's nothing wrong with taking profits, but FB seems like it wants to go to 100.

Doc predicted MS goes "a lot higher."

Joe said HAS has been a "complete moonshot" this year but "you probably stay with it."

Pete Najarian said DIS is "gonna go higher."

Pete said he got a double in HZPN, but "you don't wanna be a pig."

Joe suggested trying AA bonds rather than the stock though the stock is "interesting too."

Pete Najarian predicted BMY goes higher because there was paper on it Friday.

Mel said the "worst trade" of the day was the food selection at the Orange County Fair. Joe said, "I go organic."

[Friday, July 17, 2015]

Happy birthday, Jackie

If only, if only, we had an invite.

Bill Griffeth on Closing Bell on Friday revealed that Saturday, July 19, is the birthday of gorjus CNBC superfox Jackie DeAngelis.

Griffeth asked DeAngelis what she planned to do upon turning 23.

"We're just gonna celebrate; a little family time," DeAngelis said.

Why would hedge funds who aren’t in GOOG yet write a great conference call to make the stock go up 90 bucks?

In a bizarre opening, Stephen Weiss kicked off Friday's Halftime Report clumsily trying to explain "what I should've said" about Google's quarter was that Ruth Porat was going to put all the bad news behind her.

Invoking a Staten Island-ism, Mike Block unleashed a good one if a bit of a reach, "The Ruth is on fire."

Block contended, "This is a Ruth Porat story now," which also seems a bit of a reach, but he said he doesn't want to buy the stock on a day like Friday.

But then Judge brought in the real star of the conversation, Google-compensation-excess critic Herb Greenberg, who sniffed that Porat is "Wall Street-trained. She knows how to say what people wanna hear on Wall Street. It's like the, the conference call was written by the 10 biggest hedge funds who wanted to either get in the stock or in the stock."

Judge insisted that Friday's move "is about a lot more" than Porat's Wall Street-approved comments.

Herb conceded YouTube seemed to have hit a "very important inflection point" but insisted this is just "1 quarter."

Pounding the table on a very tiresome theme, Josh Brown said "it makes sense" that Google buy Twitter, because people are using Twitter and Facebook for real-time search.

Mike Block disagreed. "I don't think Twitter's the answer for Google. I don't think they're gonna do it. It has eyeballs. I don't think it's monetizable; no one's figured that out," Block said.

Attempt to rebut Josh’s skepticism is upended by bungled sentence

Rebecca Corbin, who is very pretty, visited Friday's Halftime set to say the unanimous non-bearish opinion of 29 surveyed tech investors and analysts is something "I've never seen."

Corbin said the "sell side was all about large caps" in the survey.

Josh Brown said research shows that in these types of surveys, "whatever has just been the biggest winner is the thing that everyone's gonna say that they're most bullish about."

Corbin insisted "it is not herd mentality," that they "typically find" sentiment being the opposite of the way the market is going but incorrectly gave the same description twice in saying when markets are "imploding," sentiment is "bullish," but when markets are "free falling," sentiment is "bearish."

What inning are we in of the emerging-markets rally?

Andres Garcia-Amaya joined Friday's Halftime crew to point out the Ruth's on fire and stressed that he doesn't buy Chinese A shares, but the Hong Kong-listed H shares, which he thinks are an "opportunity" given the Chinese shellacking.

Unlike in the U.S., "there's not that big of a wealth effect" in China from its stock market, Garcia-Amaya asserted.

Jim Lebenthal suggested that only about 20 million Chinese have opened investment accounts and got assurances from Garcia-Amaya that we don't have our head in the sand about this situation.

Garcia-Amaya said India's a little stretched for value investors, but not for growth, as Judge took the opportunity to re-roll his Gundlach clip from Delivering Alpha.

Did the Adam Bain line move up or down on GOOG’s report?

Josh Brown on Friday's Halftime Report said EBAY will fall on the PayPal spinoff, but "history suggests that you're much better off owning both pieces," likening it to Pfizer-Zoetis and Abbott Labs-Abbvie.

Mike Block said when there's "macro noise" about Greece, the EBAY trade got "dislocated" and observed "a lot of guys remain short here." But, he said "the downward pressure may not be as great as some people think."

Josh Brown suggested "most investors" have TSLA in Charlie Munger's "too-hard pile."

Judge butted in that they don't have Netflix in the "too-hard pile."

Josh Brown called the ETSY gain "a lot of short covering."

Stephen Weiss gave the green light to HTZ.

Tyler Mathisen practices for his stint as an NFL offensive coordinator

Mike Block said on Friday's Halftime Report he's been bearish on the regional banks and "somewhat wrong."

Josh Brown said he's bullish on the sector not because of net interest margin but because lending is "gradually thawing," household formation and incomes are growing and construction is up.

Steve Weiss balked at Mike Block's assertion that bank stocks shouldn't go down on legal expenses.

Jim Lebenthal called GE "more than fairly valued" as an industrial company.

Mike Block said he doesn't like industrials but he'd make an exception for BA.

Anthony Grisanti told Jackie DeAngelis that "all the fundamentals point lower" in crude, and if it breaks 50, he'll short it to 45.

Jeff Kilburg blamed crude's drop on the ECB and suggested the Fed will reverse the move and send oil back to 58.

Jim Lebenthal touted the refiners, specifically MPC.

Josh Brown said gold's in an "epic slide."

Judge got chippy when Jim Lebenthal joked about eating up the final seconds with IBM. Weiss said he wouldn't own CAT.

[Thursday, July 16, 2015]

NFLX called inexpensive (a/k/a Reed Hastings on the verge of curing cancer)

Perhaps it even qualifies as irony.

Referring to Netflix, Stephen Weiss on Thursday's Halftime Report said, "the price of this is still ridiculous."

He meant "ridiculous" as in "cheap."

But he meant the subscription price, not the stock valuation, suggesting that a price hike on such a low base would barely inconvenience anyone.

Longtime NFLX bull Rich Greenfield asserted, "The U.S. business is actually re-accelerating," adding, "The average Netflix household in the U.S. we estimate is spending over 2 hours a day consuming Netflix."

Unfortunately, the enthusiasm for the company seemed a bit over the top.

"First and foremost this is something that you don't wanna sell," said Joe Terranova, curiously adding that "there's a template here" of some sort from AAPL to NFLX and (upcoming) FB.

Pete Najarian declared, "I think the moat right now around Netflix just continues to get that much more streng- strength behind it."

But Pete said he'll be out of NFLX options "before the end of the show."

"The model here is Amazon," said Jim Lebenthal, curiously suggesting that "if the market gets tired of it, they'll turn off the spending."

Weiss said he got into NFLX "briefly" on the Mark Cuban buy.

Jim Lebenthal says digital is a difference-maker for restaurants, then says it wouldn’t matter to him

Speaking of irony.

Jim Lebenthal on Thursday's Halftime Report praised BTIG's "really good note" for suggesting that restaurants best positioned to thrive are those that are the "best digitally connected."

But he then proceeded to downplay that point, explaining how he wouldn't pick one burger joint over another because he could order online or care if there's a tablet at his Olive Garden table.

"I don't think it's the only argument in selecting these stocks," he said.

Joe Terranova said Papa John's (PZZA) is "beginning to capture a lot of the momentum" of DPZ in recent years. Joe also suggested BLMN.

Pete Najarian said he was at a CMG last night at 9 p.m. and "as usual," the line was out the door.

Not yet time for hedge funds to summon Mariano

Bill Nygren on Thursday's Halftime Report told Judge the stock-market rally is in the "5th or 6th" inning.

He said Oakmark loves the financial-services companies, touting AXP.

He also touted Fiat Chrysler (FCAU), praising the "new CEO" Sergio Marchionne.

Nygren said he's "kindred spirits" with Jim Lebenthal in liking INTC, QCOM, ORCL and MSFT.

Joe Terranova reaffirmed his interest in Indian stocks. Pete Najarian concurred with Nygren on AXP.

If Netflix REITed itself, could it go to $200?

Jim Lebenthal on Thursday's Halftime Report decried the amount of times REITs have been pushed as a way to unlock value.

Evidence shows it's "not a valid route to go through," Lebenthal asserted, adding it seems like the "first page of the playbook of activism; throw this out there and see if it sticks." (Unfortunately Judge wasn't able to ask Carl and Fink about that yesterday.)

"I don't know if this is a fad or not," said Stephen Weiss, stating Macy's management has said it's not going to do it and Macy's management is best in brick-and-mortar retail.

Joe Terranova sounded skeptical. "Is Macy's going to unload Herald Square? I don't know necessarily that they would," Joe said.

Pete Najarian mentioned "McREIT" talk as one reason there's a "put" under MCD (snicker).

Back in the day: Fast Money gang couldn’t recommend WLT often enough

Steve Weiss on Thursday's Halftime Report said he's short BTU and CNX as the industry collapses.

"There's way too much coal" out there, Weiss declared.

Joe Terranova said to look at high yield for potential coal defaults, "you could have some contagion issues."

Jim Iuorio said "$30 seems ambitious" for oil, and that "7, 8 dollars lower seems reasonable."

Scott Nations explained how prices fall.

Stephen Weiss said he likes the HMO stocks; they're still "very cheap."

Pete Najarian said "huge" options activity makes LC a "very interesting name" right now.

Pete also said HZNP August 35 calls were hot.

Sell the rips suddenly forgotten: ‘Ya gotta stick with this rally’

Karen Finerman on Thursday's 5 p.m. Fast Money said Janet Yellen is "not dumb" and that the Fed has had a "calculated discussion" about preparing for a rate hike "without the world going nuts."

On the Halftime Report, Judge pointed out the S&P 500 is not that far from the year high (but didn't mention Joe's bungled warning that buy-the-dip sentiment seems like 2008 or 2000). "Ya gotta stick with this rally," said Jim Lebenthal.

Joe Terranova said he "absolutely, 100%" has confidence that Gary Cohn will fix the FICC business at Goldman Sachs.

Pete Najarian said he likes EBAY but thinks he'll like PayPal even more.

Pete predicted "60 before you know it" in C.

Jim Lebenthal said he owns INTC because it can raise margins thanks to its "sheer size."

Rick Horrow cautioned that "torrential" rain and high winds are predicted at St. Andrews over the next few days.

"The course is playing benign," Horrow said, adding that Tiger's +4 was "kind of embarrassing."

Guy Adami at 5 p.m. said that AMD exists "so Intel won't be a monopoly" (Historic Fast Money Drink).

[Wednesday, July 15, 2015]

Larry’s best argument: If Carl actually believes his own high-yield thesis, he should be unloading stocks

The groans began as soon as Judge held a red and yellow card for his Icahn-Fink discussion airing from Delivering Alpha during Wednesday's 5 p.m. Fast Money.

But, thanks to Carl's candor, it wasn't as weak as we expected.

Fink was given the floor to (yawn) defend his letter about activism, stating activists "play an important role in the ecosystem many of the times, and other times I believe they activate (sic) for a short-term profit."

"You can't just bunch" them all together, Fink asserted, though he did complain that there's "way too much behavior toward share repurchases."

Icahn insisted a bunch of times that he and Fink are friends and that Icahn is opposed to short-term activism but that the letter Fink wrote is clever because it's just a "sales pitch for BlackRock."

Carl asserted that BlackRock is a "very dangerous" company because it's selling liquidity in the bond ETF market that isn't really there.

Fink rebutted that "the actual ETF process enhances liquidity."

Icahn offered an intriguing critique of BlackRock that seemed to overemphasize the danger element. Fink delivered a valid defense that mostly amounted to, more or less, "it's not my job to make market calls or recommendations."

Wapner posed some excellent questions but too often inserted himself into the dialogue and reached too far into his bag of tricks.

Gundlach: Easing argument legit

Steve Liesman — unfortunately in a suit in Englewood Cliffs instead of tie-dye at Soldier Field (but you can still find that on pay-per-view, and the DVD will also be coming out) — observed on Wednesday's Halftime Report that the Yellen hearing demonstrated "the way that statistics can be used for political purposes."

But Liesman said Yellen got "relatively mild" treatment from Repubulicans this time.

CNBC's FedHead interpreted Yellen's comments as signaling a rate hike is "likely this year."

But Judge, from Delivering Alpha, brought in Jeffrey Gundlach, who said he sees the Fed expectation of growth this year more as "hope" than belief.

"I've come to believe the Fed will not raise rates this year," Gundlach asserted, saying, "I really can't remember the Fed raising rates in December, at least an initial rate rise."

Gundlach even suggested that one could examine the data and determine the Fed should actually be easing.

Later in the program, Liesman said Yellen testified off-Halftime-camera that it's not just that the country can "tolerate" higher rates, but that it "needs" higher rates.

Doc said Yellen was "jawboning" rates up, which makes him think "lower for longer still plays" and that ARCP will work.


Now that he's run afoul of Stephen Weiss, Jeffrey Gundlach (in business television circles) will constantly be looking over his shoulder.

Gundlach told Judge on Wednesday's Halftime Report that he shorted DAL because it was "the darling" of the industry and seemed like it had all the good news priced in.

Later in the program, Weiss, who invoked Bill Miller to bolster his argument, said he's "surprised that a bond guy" would be short a stock such as DAL that is producing that kind of free cash flow.

Gundlach also took a hit from the panel on his CMG short after stating, "I might take it off actually."

While noting the short worked for a time, Gundlach cited Jim Chanos as advising "never short something on valuation," and this one happens to be "kind of a darling stock."

Later, Josh Brown said you know that a name such as CMG hasn't worked to the downside when you start hearing a "morphing short thesis" from sellers.

Bond-market liquidity (cont’d)

Despite Carl Icahn's statements on Wednesday's 5 p.m. Fast Money, at least one significant individual in the bond space isn't concerned about "Y2K"-like fears related to liquidity.

"We don't see liquidity problems in the bond market," Jeffrey Gundlach told Judge during the abbreviated Wednesday Halftime Report at Delivering Alpha.

"I think people are too worried about it," Gundlach said.

Gundlach said he's viewing the bond market as a "choppy market without a lot of direction." But he actually likes high yield for 2015.

He suggested the 10-year could revisit 2% this year.

He called the Chinese market "eerie similar" to the Nasdaq circa 1999-2000.

Gundlach suggested a presidential candidate trying to gain votes in Florida might deliver some positive rhetoric about helping out Puerto Rico, though he admitted he's only hopeful about that scenario.

He said he bought NLY, calling it "really cheap," but stating the only drawback was that they "steadfastly refuse to buy back shares." He said it could offset risk of Puerto Rico.

Gundlach recapped how he pronounced AAPL a sell in the 600s, bought in the upper 300s or lower 400s and sold in the 500s.

"It's not an expensive stock," he said, but he questioned how growth can compound at that size.

He's long the Indian stock market, "probably a good one for the next generation."

Taking a cue from Dennis Gartman on the yen, Gundlach asserted, "I'd be surprised if it didn't go to 200" over a couple years.

Joe Terranova agreed with Gundlach on India and called it a "no-brainer" emerging-markets play.

Judge said Jeff Smith touted M; Joe said "I have some concerns" about retail in general and questioned the price target.

Josh Brown said ETH is "the exact type of name you want to be long in a market like this."

[Tuesday, July 14, 2015]

Who knew that there’s an abbreviation for Diet Dr Pepper

Judge and Kate Kelly on Tuesday's Halftime Report promoted the Delivering Alpha conference, with Judge stating that he'll be moderating a chat with Carl and ... Larry Fink ... and you know what the latter means, there will be a long discussion as to whether activist investors are only in it for the quick buck and lots of protestations about "The media mischaracterized what I said" and "I agree with Larry that the media mischaracterized what he was saying."

Anthony Grisanti said he's looking to short crude at 54 or 55. Brian Stutland said "oil is headed to $50 again."

Jon Najarian warned that in refiners, "a lot of the easy money there has been made," and he'd avoid TSO and VLO.

Doc couldn't say anything about GPRO except that it was up strong on Tuesday.

Pete Najarian said you can see "all kinds of growth" in AMZN though UBS' call "feels a little bit late maybe." Pete said Amazon has "monsterous gross" (sic pronunciation both words; latter corrected to "growth") in Prime.

Doc made a Brazilian joke about FOGO that bombed.

Stephanie Link called PEP a "better buy" than KO.

Mario Gabelli said he's always been a Dr Pepper guy. But he actually said he's a "DDP guy," and we weren't sure what he was talking about until he mentioned "Diet Dr Pepper."

Gabelli trumpeted Nestle and GIS on the strength of yogurt's potential. He complained that Dannon was charging analysts $1,300 to go to a meeting.

Stacy Rasgon said his shop has written two notes in a week on Intel, and while he didn't act on earlier concerns, he took his rating to underperform because of possible disappointment in the server business.

Pete Najarian had nothing to ask Rasgon except to re-comment on the INTC acquisition that Rasgon had already commented on.

Gabelli likes XYL as a water play.

For years, people have been saying that if only Adam Bain was CEO, watch the stock take off

After Judge and Dom Chu dubbed the Twitter bid report a fake on Tuesday's Halftime, Bob Peck said he doesn't think the story is "likely."

Peck also said Adam Bain is "leading the list" for Twitter CEO candidates.

Dismissing the cyberthreat of how such shenanigans can influence markets (or at least sock it to the algo writers who buy stocks based on Internet headlines), Mario Gabelli said this is just the "modern version" of people claiming they overheard something on the subway (air quotes) going from Wall Street to Midtown.

+5% for the year

Mario Gabelli on Tuesday's Halftime Report said he's probably more concerned than most people about subprime car loans. (Which in a nice crossover feature would be a good question for Marcus Lemonis as to what he's seeing/lending at AutoMatch, but whatever.)

Gabelli stuck by a "+5%" call for stocks this year.

He predicted "great earnings" for the banks in 2016 but suggested "there's no margin of safety."

Anton Schutz said JPM and WFC had "kind of a so-so quarter" and said "We're all really waiting for rates to rise."

Schutz said BAC is his top choice among the big banks.

Schutz said he likes YDKN as a pure play on North Carolina growth. He told Gabelli that tangible book is "11 and change" but by year-end, it will be "closer to 13."

He said "2½ times book is very possible here" for a takeout.

Pete Najarian reiterated that he likes C (yawn). He said BAC is a "quarter or 2 away." (He didn't say anything about 45 not being too far away for DB.)

Judge said that Gabelli has "largely" placed his bets on regionals. Gabelli protested that he's placed his bets on trust banks BK, STT and NTRS.

More from Tuesday's Halftime later.

[Monday, July 13, 2015]

Karen Finerman makes overdue reference to Dress Barn

We've been waiting, possibly literally, years to hear the carping again.

Because it's cute.

Karen Finerman on Monday's 5 p.m. Fast Money pointed out that ASNA is the parent company of Dress Barn.

"Awful name," said Melissa Lee.

"Awful name," agreed Karen.

Karen said to stay away from the stock for now.

Steve Grasso dismissed Monday's broad market gains as a "relief rally" and still predicted a weakening market.

Karen Finerman, in chic new blue outfit that almost clashed with Missy's ensemble and with a different hairstyle, warned against thinking that Greece is solved and suggested there's no more euphoria left in that move but there's still a risk to the downside.

Bob Castellini isn’t nearly as excited about Bob Castellini as Eric Chemi is

You know what they say, Ya can't beat fun at the old ballpark.

Somebody forgot to tell Cincinnati Reds owner Bob Castellini, who didn't exactly seem impressed with anything CNBC's Eric Chemi was saying on Monday's Halftime Report.

Castellini initially took issue with Chemi's description of being "maybe the best owner in baseball," stating the "only person" who would say that "would be our P.R. people."

Then he asked Chemi to repeat his question, which was about how a small-market team competes. (Easy answer that wasn't given: Get better players.)

Castellini refused to tell Chemi about the upcoming labor negotiations and any changes he wants.

"I'm not gonna talk about that. I'm just not gonna talk about it," Castellini said, as though NSA Chemi were asking about the NSA.

Judge chimed in that it was the New York Times that was saying Castellini might be the best owner in baseball. Castellini actually cracked a tiny smile. Then he indicated he couldn't hear Judge.

Doc pounces on Joe’s losing battle to defend buy-the-dip-just-like-2008-isn’t-working thesis

Well, by the end of Monday's Halftime Report, we can say we get it.

Joe Terranova is not a happy trader these days.

Loud and clear.

At least 3 times in the program, Joe took the opportunity to grumble about "the macro."

It's "more clear to me that this is going to be less about the macro" (Drink), Joe stated at the top of the program.

Then Joe said, "We have had the most down days in over 12 years. So, buy the dip (Drink) should work, right? Think about that. That really hasn't worked because the rebounds on the other side of that haven't been that strong."

Minutes later, Joe insisted, "Get away from the macro" (Double Drink).

Joe even credited Steve Weiss for saying "Don't trade the market. Trade stocks."

Eventually, Jon Najarian weighed in with a body slam, stating Joe made a good point about buying the dips (actually not true), but "he missed the part about selling rips."

"If you bought every dip this year, you're freakin' laughing right now folks," Doc said. "This is one of the best years for trading I've ever seen."

Undaunted, later in the program, Joe reiterated that he had a "horrible" month of trading in June and that "buying the dips (Double Drink) is not really working."

He said he now favors small-caps over large caps through year-end, and he wants names with "strong momentum" (Drink) (usually not put that bluntly).

Joe added IBKR to his mythical Halftime Portfolio, along with JBLU, PNFP, PANW and CXO.

In closing, Joe said to watch VLO, then stated he was already getting Twitter feedback over his Halftime Portfolio.

He said if his picks underperform the market (he clumsily took much longer to say that if they don't go up as high if the market is positive or down further than a down S&P), he'll scrap the portfolio and call it a day.

On the plus side, Joe said his book "sold very well."

What happened to Puerto Rico?

On Monday's Halftime Report, Gemma Godfrey told Judge "the key takeaway" is how "reticent" and "complacent" investors have been about Greece.

Josh Brown brought up the curious observation that Greece went to all this trouble to do a national referendum against a deal that is better than the one it's taking a week later.

Godfrey said that's a "fascinating point."

Gemma waffled and wavered on Judge's question about whether European investments are more attractive than U.S. investments.

Jon Najarian predicted volatility will be here "for a while."

Judge squeezes in the obligatory caution about the Chinese stock market

Michael Walkley on Monday's Halftime gushed that the iPhone is taking share from high-end Android phones.

Judge complained that Walkley sounded "somewhat dismissive" about the impact on Chinese consumers from the Chinese stock market.

Walkley assured, "We'll keep an eye on what happens in China."

Pete Najarian gushed about the YouTube reference in Pivotal's Google note.

Which biotech does blood tests?

Josh Brown on Monday's Halftime Report wasn't impressed by the Street's FIT recommendations, scoffing that "if you took the company public, you have to come out with a buy rec."

But Doc said Bob Peck's FIT buy is "spot-on."

Joe Trading-Equivalent-Of-Rocky-Vs.-Clubber-Part-I-Right-Now Terranova stated that all you need is a mirror and blood test to do what FIT does.

Judge asked if Joe would say the same in terms of the stock about GPRO, which prompted a justifiable scowl from Joe.

Pete Najarian actually said C can be 60 "in a heartbeat." (But he didn't say anything about $45 being "not that far away" for DB.)

Scott Nations told Jackie D that fundamentals in crude remain "absolutely terrible." Jeff Kilburg said 58 represents a "nice lid" on the price of WTI.

Martin Franklin said Waddington's products "take us into new areas, like the B-to-B market."

Franklin assured Judge he's not overdoing it; Jarden still has "plenty of capacity."

Franklin said the key for Greece is that "behaviors have to change" and that "everybody has to agree to really play by the same rules." (Translation: Austerity works.)

Pete Najarian said LVS call-holders were rolling up into the July 59s. Judge said "smoke 'em if you got 'em," which somehow made Pete chuckle.

[Friday, July 10, 2015]

Exciting trades for the top of the program: QCOM

Jon Najarian said at the top of Friday's Halftime Report — conducted at the Nasdaq for some reason — that "sell rips, buy dips" still works, revealing that those 200-point swings in the Dow have been some of his "greatest trades" of the last 2 weeks.

Speaking of great trades, Jim Lebenthal reminded viewers of his "home run trade" in the airlines, which he sold last year.

Lebenthal said the "real test" for airlines will be the next recession, but that's "so far off."

Speaking of even more great trades, Daniel Morris said that what's happening with Greece is "more or less what our game plan and our forecast was for the region."

Morris called a Grexit a "low-probability scenario."

Guest host Melissa Lee, who looked dynamite in white top, initially said Morris "runs a global markets fund," then concluded with, "Just to clarify, Daniel is a strategist with TIAA-CREF."

Meanwhile, Lebenthal said this market is going to be a rollercoaster all year, so "pick your spots." He said he bought QCOM and later called it "really cheap."

Sarat Sethi said he likes the fundamentals of QCOM, especially with an "activist, sitting there now waiting," even though Mel said the stock has been like a "falling knife practically."

Josh Brown said this has been "one of the tightest ranges in history."

Wait for a plunge to 118

Ian Winer on Friday's Halftime Report contended that everyone knows the "great story" with AAPL, but that people are underestimating Apple's China risk and the potential of hedge funds to start trimming.

Winer predicted selling going into earnings by investors "nervous about the guidance for the first time in a while" and suggested the stock will be available from ... hold your breath ... 115-118.

Doc again harped on the AAPL volume but suggested that "Carl" wasn't one of the sellers.

Sarat Sethi said he's concerned "the margins of Apple are not sustainable at these levels."

Sethi also said that buyers of NFLX now are in the "last leg of the buyer's- uh, you know, fool's theory."

Mel said NFLX seems like "exactly the kind of set-up" you don't want to have entering earnings.

Instant chippiness from Josh over Jim’s strange interpretation of his remarks

Steve Liesman, unfortunately no longer at a Grateful Dead concert but now in Frankfurt, got a copy of the Fed chairman's remarks prior to her speech and told Friday's Halftime viewers that Yellen expects conditions this year to merit a rate hike.

Josh Brown said "Greece is the reason they wanna raise rates" and that it gives the Fed an "impetus" to get off of 0.

Jim Lebenthal said he disagrees and thinks Fed members "absolutely are paying attention to events in Greece."

Brown said he didn't say they were not paying attention. Lebenthal clarified that he thinks the Fed will adjust the timing of the rate hike "if the Greece deal goes sour."

Josh Brown said he looks at currency risk just like he does weather risk. He wasn't high on airlines but said the best-looking of the bunch is JBLU.

Sarat Sethi suggested adding to airlines but only on a pullback.

Likely instant bust: Joe claiming buy-the-dip sentiment just like in 2008 and 2000

Jim Lebenthal on Friday's Halftime Report stressed that Iraqi oil production is 4.3 million barrels a day, a "huge number." Doc pointed out that rig count is up recently.

Mel said we could be looking at a "flood" of oil.

Jim Lebenthal said every time he has sold COST, it's been a mistake.

Josh Brown said he'd be long LNKD.

Doc said GPS did not have a good same-store sales number.

Sarat Sethi doesn't think this BUD's for him.

Doc said he bought CUDA Friday morning around 31 and change.

Josh Brown said he'd buy CUDA only for a day trade but he thinks Doc's trade "will work."

Doc also said there was unusual buying in ADSK July 52.50 calls, and he's in.

Doc also said BKD was also coming up big on HeatSeeker, stock Thursday and options Friday.

Josh Brown trumpeted TSO, which he called a "phenomenal" stock.

Jim Lebenthal said "several of our viewers" know ALXN.

Sethi said to buy YUM when it "kinda comes down." Jim Lebenthal curiously stated, "I'm not a big believer in that if you sell 1 more chicken sandwich to every Chinaman, that you'll have a- a great business."

Josh Brown predicted ESRX gets over 100

Sarat Sethi said he'd buy auto suppliers.

The Minion comment played by Sue Herera was unintelligible.

[Thursday, July 9, 2015]

Quick return from commercial catches Mel in hair flip

Karen Finerman on Thursday's Fast Money called the Goldman Sachs downgrade of SHAK "kind of embarrassing."

Karen also wasn't impressed by Bob Pisani's glowing report that the NYSE lost no trading volume from its Wednesday disaster because Thursday's volume was high.

"I don't buy that actually," Karen said. "I think that's bad news for the New York Stock Exchange."

Karen wasn't pounding the table for Netflix despite claiming the company is "transforming the way we consume content."

That prompted Mel, who looked great in red, to reveal, "I don't watch live TV ever. Ever."

The 70% piechart

Rich Ross and Guy Adami both said to buy AAPL on Thursday's Fast Money.

But the chart cooked up by the Fast Money graphics grew not only snubbed Canada, Australia and Mexico ... but, with 37.7% depicting a majority, didn't exactly add up to a whole lot of sense.

After Meg Tirrell's Gilead report, Karen Finerman said she's long GILD.

Incredibly, she didn't say she's also in the XBI, IBB and FBT (No Drink).

Grasso: Watch 2,044

No. 386 on Thursday's Halftime Report didn't talk much about the NYSE's glitch, but he did say 2,044 is the key level in the S&P 500.

Pete Najarian started to say what he always says, that the banks rallied off some bottom, but Judge questioned how you can trust any move in this market.

"This is the nature of markets," said Josh Brown, pointing out we could be back in "headline hell" on Friday.

"Volatility is volatile" (Drink), Pete said.

Doc again declared that Draghi will unleash the "liquidity pump" at some point.

But Doc this time didn't note Zero Hedge is "a popular website where things are posted up."

Nothing this time about Larry McDonald’s ‘trouncing of investor rights’ around the globe

Mark Haefele on Thursday's Halftime Report told Judge he doesn't think Halftime viewers have to worry about the Chinese stock market.

Haefele said that to be short this market, you're betting against central banks around the world.

Haefele also complimented Judge's show. "I watch it all the time; I'm a big fan," Haefele said.

Joe Terranova asked Haefele if a resurgence in China would be good for commodities.

Haefele didn't really answer the question, stating you have to "decouple" the Chinese stock market from the country's growth and suggested shorting the Australian dollar vs. the pound.

Joe at one point said we have "every right" to question Chinese growth.

While Pete Najarian saw silver linings in Macau-related casino names, Josh Brown said the space is in a well-defined downtrend.

Joe offered BABA as a name that has taken enough punishment since its IPO. Pete didn't hang another 150 on BABA. (This writer is long BABA.)

Atul Lele indicated that the Chinese market is sort of important but sort of not.

Lele said he's short the euro vs. the dollar and the Aussie vs. the dollar.

Guest has a stay-up-at-night list at least 2 items long (we’re guessing something about Chuck Schumer must be in the top 5)

Doug Cifu, CEO of Joe Terranova favorite VIRT, joined Thursday's Halftime to tell Judge that a day ago, "there was no disruption in what we do."

Joe asked a question about populating trading "foloors" (sic pronunciation).

Cifu told Judge that "absolutely, cyber, is you know, No. 1 and No. 2 on my, uh, stay-up-at-night list."

Joe said, "We do need more market makers out there."

Doc said Joe's point is fine, but the barrier to entry is "dollars."

Judge claims SHAK has ‘always been a valuation story’

Scott Nations told Jackie DeAngelis on Thursday's Halftime Report that the safety trade is not over "in any way." Jim Iuorio said he doubts a 3% yield in the short term and predicted 2.10%.

Judge somehow said SHAK has "always been a valuation story."

Josh Brown rightly pointed out that's the opposite of the truth.

Judge insisted "my point" was that people have always had a problem with the valuation. Brown called the stock a "much more reasonable buy" now.

Josh Brown talked about whatever Yahoo's doing but didn't mention BABA. #marissa'saddedvalue

Doc said he thinks the "great run" of WBA continues.

Joe said to get out of the CAG equity and buy "cheap" upside calls.

Pete Najarian dubbed Anthony DiClemente's 750 NFLX target a "great call."

Jane Wells actually modeled Oculus (snicker) gear.

Josh Brown's attempted jokes with Jane went nowhere but dead-air land.

Joe said he was employing "The Gloria Gaynor Strategy, 'I Will Survive.'"

[Wednesday, July 8, 2015]

‘Step back; we’re not China’

The "glitch" at the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday is at best an embarrassment, at worst a troubling breakdown of our financial system.

To Kenny Polcari, it was basically an early lunch break.

"I didn't even realize that the moment had happened until somebody called me," Polcari said during Wednesday's short-circuited Halftime Report.

"The U.S. capital markets are not in despair or distress. They are functioning without one participant ... The other 9 exchanges are working properly. The other alternative venues are working properly. You can buy and sell stock," Polcari assured.

Carl Quintanilla chimed in, "Kenny, this will not be seen as a positive."

"I think what I'm trying to say is, Step back; we're not China. This is not China. Our market is not China," Polcari clarified.

JJ Kinahan offered, "The retail trader's largely been unaffected by this," and if they're not watching CNBC, "they wouldn't even know that this was necessarily happening."

Steve Weiss told Judge there's no liquidity, so "you're sorta trading blind."

But Weiss said that seeing the averages steeply down, he's wondering if it's not a "buy opportunity" for when the NYSE is back online.

Weiss said if it turns out that the cause of the NYSE's problem was a squirrel chewing through wires, he'd be shorting the cybersecurity names such as FEYE.

Doc noted the takedown of Zero Hedge, which he described as "a popular website where things are posted up," and wondered if it's all a "denial of service attack."

Jim Cramer said "there was a time" when something like this would happen and the "president would call," but nowadays the president has different things to focus on.

[Tuesday, July 7, 2015]

Joe: Buy-the-dip mentality
‘quite similar’ to 2008 and 2000

Tuesday's Halftime Report opened with Dr. New World delivering a remarkably stark assessment of the U.S. stock market.

Joe dismissed buying the dip, actually calling current sentiment "quite similar" to 2008 and 2000 when people said "OK, let's go get this buy-the-dip moment."

"I think there's more downside to come," Joe said.

Joe also said the "interesting thing" is that if you're making Greece into a "binary" play, "I think that's the wrong strategy."

"It's not the moment yet to buy the dip," he said, calling China activity "incredibly concerning."

Larry McDonald even piled on to that commentary and added another year, stressing that "credit leads equities" and that if the "periphery" spreads between Germany and other nations continue to widen, then it's like 2008 and 2011.

Pete Najarian though said there's a "good chance" he'd be buying the JPM dip by the end of the day (but qualified it saying he might not put on a full position).

Josh Brown, not nearly as concerned as Joe or Larry, said summertime plays a role in guys being "small" right now.

Judge pointed out that buying the dip has been working "every single time."

That somehow sent McDonald off on a curious tangent of the world's "left wing" doing a "trouncing of investor rights."

Josh Brown even referred to the "zeitgeist around the world."

Joe claims they’ve been talking about coal for 6 months, but they’ve actually barely mentioned it this year

Mike Harris, who hasn't been on the Halftime Report for a while, told Judge on Tuesday that when nobody was talking about oil, "our model started increasing our short position last week," and the activity of the last few days "has supported that."


Harris thinks the crude market has "further to go" than people think, possibly even $42.

Joe said oil is the "most confusing commodity in the world to trade."

Joe took a minor victory lap of his own in referring to his comment about oil's "easy money" being over a while back, then credited Einhorn for so far being right in PXD.

Jeff Kilburg said copper is providing a "fair warning" that a global stock correction "is about to happen." Jim Iuorio said he thinks copper could drop to 2.22.

What happened to Pete’s $150 prediction for BABA?

Deirdre Bosa, Cutest Mouth on CNBC, told Judge on Tuesday's Halftime (and others throughout the day) that according to Kensho, it's possible Chinese ADRs will "claw back" some gains.

Pete and Judge pointed out that casino stocks were bouncing back despite the troubles in China's market.

Josh Brown stressed that people need to know that emerging market stock swings are more volatile than those in developed markets.

Brown suggested EWH as a way to play the dip.

Joe said BABA is your "one play" on Chinese equities. (This writer is long BABA.)

In the original Fast Money, Eric Bolling scoffed at averaging in

Judge on Tuesday's Halftime told Josh Brown that Cramer made a "pretty insightful" point about SHAK, which is that, as Morgan Stanley said, the company has to "really wow" the Street to justify a price that's even lower than where it's at.

Brown contended that SHAK holders "will not care" as long as the company keeps beating.

Mr. New Land said NFLX's "ountrée" (sic pronunciation) to the cloud has been "phenomenal."

But Joe said Raymond James' bull call makes him "nervous" because of the company's previous "mismanagement" of its NFLX price target of 585.

"I would wait," Joe said.

Stephanie Link said if you buy TIF, you should "average in."

Pete Najarian said you can get FIT cheaper, but he likes the name.

Josh Brown said he's on board with the DIS bull call by Atlantic Equities.

Pete said September 72.50 calls in CRM were popular but that buyers were selling the 82.50 calls. Pete said he's in the trade for "at least a month."

Josh Brown predicted the semis are going to get worse. Pete waffled and backpedaled while suggesting names linked to AAPL are the ones to watch but advised against plowing into the space now. But Joe called TXN a "slow money chip name" that you can look at.

[Monday, July 6, 2015]

Dennis grumbles to viewers
that he missed an oil short
last week by 10 cents

Monday's 5 p.m. Fast Money was slightly special because Pete Najarian got to say the same things about CMG he said on the Halftime Report CNBC superfox Karen Finerman returned in her first appearance since African safari.

Yes, she still thinks Mary Barra is "great," though we didn't actually hear this time that she's in the XBI, IBB and F-whatever.

Karen wore a new navy, zippered ensemble that owned the camera.

Dennis Gartman suggested someone was going to get a Nobel Prize for the pending Iranian nuclear deal but he couldn't come up with the name "John Kerry" during his soundbite.

Mel tried to make a point about GoPro sales growth that, unfortunately (just telling the truth and trying to be nice about it), made absolutely no sense.

Mel was credited, however, by Karen, for a "great question" about whether Anthem-Cigna is more or less likely given the Humana deal.

Mel deliberately put the word "corollary" in air quotes when discussing solar stocks vis a vis the price of oil.

What exactly were they voting on again? (a/k/a Wondering about Weiss’ 2-5% selloff-but-not-in-1-day prediction)

Stephen Weiss made the most cogent point at the top of Monday's Halftime Report — after uncorking a "2-5% down in the U.S. if there's a no vote, but we quickly recover, it becomes a major buying opportunity" head-scratcher last Thursday — stating the Greece situation would really be no closer to ending if the vote had been "Yes."

Josh Brown contended there's a "very good reason" that problems such as Greece's keep getting resolved in S&P terms to the upside; basically in this case that everyone's known of these problems for 5 years, and Greece isn't a huge economy.

Likewise, Rebecca Patterson noted that "it makes sense" that the euro hasn't fallen further Monday because people have been watching this story unfold for 5 years.

With the VIX at a gargantuan 17, Pete Najarian, as expected, said, "I expect the volatility to remain volatile."

MCC ran into that bloke who thinks women should retire younger than 58 even said the "tonality" of Angela Merkel would be crucial, as though we're talking about one of John Chambers' quarterly earnings calls.

It bumped Ukraine, but it hasn’t bumped The Donald

Ian Bremmer on Monday's Halftime Report said Alexis Tsipras has "won the narrative" and that Angela Merkel, the World's Most Popular Politician Among Other Western Leaders, doesn't want this falling apart on her watch.

Bremmer pointed out that Ukraine isn't even in the headlines.

Josh Brown said the lines out the banks in Greece are the "stock footage" of international news media and suggested that maybe government officials could improve perceptions if they "kinda clean that up a little bit." Bremmer indicated that's not actually a "pipe dream" and can somehow happen.

Judge told Bremmer he's not sure U.S. investors are paying enough attention to China.

Bremmer said Chinese investors are a different breed than U.S. investors in that "they get spooked very easily" about stuff Donald Trump says about Mexicans despite "overwhelming confidence" among the rank and file in their country.

Late in the program, honeymooning Ashley Rust gave Judge a "vacationer's perspective" on Greece.

Rust said "the weather's perfect," and "it's really hard to imagine what's going on in Athens right now."

Rust said she had no problem paying for her hotel with a credit card, but a bodega next door said absolutely no credit, and it didn't want American dollars, only euros.

"We're watching the news, um, every day," Rust said.

Don’t forget, AAPL is
the SHAK of technology

Pete Najarian on Monday's Halftime contended that "a lot of the negativity has been built in" to CMG, and he doesn't see 500.

Jim Lebenthal cautioned that neither Chipotle nor any other upstart is likely to be the next McDonald's.

Lebenthal said "the real rub" is that names such as CMG and SHAK would be the destination of the "millenniums" (sic corrected to "millennials").

But, "That growth story seems to have run its course," Lebenthal said.

Josh Brown likened CMG's pullback to those in AAPL and NFLX and said it's never been cheap and likely won't be.

Josh Brown said GPRO was suffering a "weird reaction" to its stock given that its tiny camera has gotten good reviews.

Nevertheless, at $400, "It's a niche thing," Brown shrugged.

Pete Najarian said he's now seeing upside call-buying in TJX. (Judge bungled the CEO, confusing Carol Meyrowitz with Manny Chirico of PVH.)

Pete had no friends in pits

Ed Yardeni dialed into Monday's Halftime and called Europe still "relatively cheaper" than the U.S., where according to Yardeni, everything has been "picked over."

Yardeni agreed that Stephen Weiss had a "really good point" that it's a mistake to focus on the averages in Europe.

Yardeni said he doesn't think Greece is "anywhere close" to a Lehman-like situation.

Jim Lebenthal advised that "you stick with" oil stocks and mentioned BP again.

Lebenthal said the New York Post "usually does a pretty good job of breaking these stories" about WTW's possible buyout, but he'd need "far more specifics" before getting long.

Pete Najarian said the Barclays TRIP upgrade feels a little late, but "ya gotta like" what the company is doing, which presumably means it's not late.

Stephen Weiss said you should be long CI amid consolidation in health care.

Weiss said the hedge fund community thinks the TEVA-MYL deal will happen, but if not, there's little downside.

Judge asked Weiss if people are too "complacent" about China. Weiss grumbled that margin rules there are too lax.

Pete Najarian stressed that any chumminess any people suspected among all those guys shouting in the old CME or CBOT trading pits is a misperception.

"Nobody down there was my friend," Pete said.

[Thursday, July 2, 2015]

‘Stay centered, stay focused,
try to do the right thing’

This page for months (check the archives) has been pushing Steve Liesman to reveal to Halftime Report viewers what the insiders have long known — what his plans are for the July 4th weekend.

Thursday, viewers got that in spades, as Liesman joined the Halftime broadcast on location from Soldier Field, on the eve of a concert by so-and-so.

Liesman brought in Fare Thee Well promoter Pete Shapiro, who would've been a great interview had Liesman only let him talk and stopped cutting him off. (That might've been Judge's fault for not allotting enough time.)

Shapiro, who said that dealing with band members previously led to him being chosen for this apparently final weekend of performances, said a Dead concert at the Rosemont Horizon in 1993 "changed my life a little bit."

Steve asked Shapiro how he has dealt with some of the ticketing criticism.

Shapiro responded with a soundbite of advice (while Liesman was trying to talk over him) that sort of pertains adequately to everyone.

"You know you just gotta stay here," Shapiro said, mimicking the John Travolta dancing move in "Pulp Fiction." "You know, when things go wron- you know, sideways, the wrong way, sideways the right way, it's important that you stay centered, stay focused and try to do the right thing."

Couldn't agree more.

Liesman said the Dead has an "opinionated group of fans."

Judge asked Liesman how many of the 3 shows he's going to.

Steve Liesman doesn’t seem to realize people on this program tend not to cheer numbers from this administration

Already in the spirit of the weekend, Steve Liesman from Soldier Field chided the Thursday Halftime Report contingent for their "depressing" commentary on the jobs report.

"Are you guys all like frowning around that table there?" Liesman asked.

Liesman oddly likened Judge to the Deadheads who have "such high expectations here" for the band to "put on a good show."

Stephen Weiss said it sounds like Liesman is "pregaming for the Deadhead concert," whatever that means.

Doc said there's Puerto Rico, there's Greece, there's China, and the jobs data is "not great enough" to prompt a September hike.

"You give me over 200, I'm happy," Liesman said.

June evidently is off the table

Jordan Waxman on Thursday's Halftime Report predicted a rate hike in September because "the Fed needs cover."

Waxman also advised Greece to take the austerity.

Waxman likes MLPs, in a bear market "for no good reason," and European large-caps and any company using oil and nat gas as an input.

Weiss: U.S. stocks down 2-5% on Greece ‘no’ vote but not all in 1 day

Live from Athens on Thursday's Halftime Report (and every other CNBC program), MCC said the wording on the Greek referendum is a little murky.

Jens Nordvig said we should "tone down" the spillover effects of whatever the Greek vote turns out to be.

Nordvig contended that Greece's plight has "ironically" scared people in Spain, Italy, et al. from the left-wing arguments.

But Judge insisted that a "no" vote would turn Sunday night futures into a "fairly ugly-looking picture." Pete Najarian agreed.

Stephen Weiss said it would be "2-5% down in the U.S." if the vote is no, but the markets "quickly recover" on a "major buying opportunity."

Mr. Modesty, Steve Weiss

Stephen Weiss on Thursday's Halftime Report suggested that airline mergers are "the best thing that's ever happened to my account probably."


Jim Lebenthal reaffirmed that "this is one of the most hated industries in the world," even more than refineries.

Lebenthal said the collusion notion is "totally off-the-charts stupid" but reflects how much regulators and others dislike this industry.

Pete Najarian was dumbstruck that the collusion argument is based on airlines being "disciplined," which Pete called "the craziest thing I've ever heard."

Meanwhile, Pete said EBAY could've paid a lot more for XOOM.

Doc said Citron "reiterated" that TSLA might be ripe for a short.

Stephen Weiss said he wouldn't own GRUB.

Jim Lebenthal said he wouldn't chase HNT.

Doc: DD critics just getting started

Scott Nations on Thursday's Halftime told Jackie DeAngelis that he agrees with Joe LaVorgna's "great point" and that you'd have to be a "sadist" to like the wage or participation-rate data in the Labor Department numbers and that September isn't really in play.

Jeff Kilburg predicted the 10-year rate would fall to 2.25%.

Jim Lebenthal took a victory lap on BP because "the uncertainty is out."

Stephen Weiss pounded the table for LPLA as a post-Greece play.

In the day's most curious comment, Doc argued that activists aren't even close to being done with DD.

Doc said someone was selling ZAYO puts and buying calls, and he got in the stock because that's not the way to control the upside the options don't have enough liquidity.

Pete said he jumped into September 12 calls in CY.

Steve Weiss said that "in all likelihood," YELP couldn't get the price it wanted.

[Wednesday, July 1, 2015]

Sara Eisen, Bill Griffeth
in matching purple

Wednesday's Halftime opened the way most CNBC shows do these days, "Live from Athens."

"I don't know that it's over in Greece," said Pete Najarian, Zzzzzzzzz.

"This thing is not anywhere near to being resolved," said Jim Lebenthal, Zzzzzzzzz.

Dan Greenhaus said he's been in "near-constant contact" with BTIG clients since Friday, and when it comes to Greece, "Most people don't care" about this situation dubbed by Greenhaus as a "passing moment in time."

"At the end of the day, for stocks, valuations are an issue," Greenhaus said.

Despite that, Greenhaus conceded that downplaying Greece because of its size is a "nonsensical argument" because people said subprime was 1% of the mortgage market.

But Greenhaus said China is a "major, major topic" among clients because it seems to be "playing games" with monetary and fiscal policy.

Doc said Alexis Tsipras with his "multiple personality disorders" is playing a "very dangerous game."

Nothing about Carl’s TV, entry into the automotive space

Given the magnitude of AAPL's extraordinary century, it seems hard to believe anyone could come up with a new narrative.

But Steve Milunovich is certainly trying, landing a television appearance on Wednesday's Halftime by dubbing Apple the "Shake Shack of Tech."

Judge called that a "nice headline" or "at least a sub-note."

Milunovich said investors worry about success of cheaper phone rivals, but "it's just not happening."

Milunovich asserted, "The Watch is getting off to a decent but not great start," which prompted Judge to question if Milunovich is being "too generous" when Judge thinks recent commentary has indicated it's off to a "disappointing start." Milunovich said it's still early.

Milunovich claimed there's "20% upside" to the stock and "limited downside."

Pete Najarian reached deep into the cliche bag to declare AAPL a "2nd-half story" (Drink) once again.

Milunovich said AAPL is becoming known more as an "annuity company." (Zzzzzzzz.)

How come Doc isn’t still knocking the MU downgrades at 24?

Eric Jackson, who possibly deserves the nickname "Grandpa" for his grumblings about Marissa Mayer (except we sorta agree), contended on Wednesday's Halftime Report that the "likeliest pick" for Twitter CEO is Adam Bain, and he'll do a "great job."

Oh joy. Adam Bain. Look at the stock take off Wednesday on that suggestion. #not

Jackson said he likes TWTR as a Q4 play rather than Q3.

Pete Najarian was heard to say something about the appeal of the Google guy getting the TWTR job because he apparently would have a great shot to monetize all the Twitter search that's happening.

Stephanie Link called TWTR "challenged" in the short term.

Jackson touted AYA and OPESY, stocks that aren't exactly household names.

Doc said he bought HIG on Wednesday.

Joe’s portfolio ‘all cash’

Jackie DeAngelis, in sharp new outfit for Wednesday's Halftime Report, told Judge that some can see a "3-handle" in crude this year.

In oil, "the fundamentals are just horrible," said Scott Nations.

Meanwhile, Stephanie Link mentioned LULU, NKE, UA, FL (Drink-Drink-Drink-Drink) and singled out LULU among those names.

Pete Najarian said "it makes a lot of sense" that FIT has a higher market cap than GPRO.

Judge devoted much of the program to updates/restart of the curious Halftime Portfolio (or whatever it's called) contest, which honestly really hasn't resonated with viewers or even the contestants themselves.

"I think what works really well is trend following," said Josh Brown, for those who didn't already know how a lot of recommendations on the show are made.

Doc said he's getting out of ETFs in his Halftime Portfolio.

Judge said Joe is sitting in "all cash."

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