[CNBCfix Fast Money Review Archive — June 2012]
[Friday, June 29, 2012]

Pete tells viewers he knows how much his stocks are worth

Pete Najarian on Friday's Fast Money Halftime Report called BX an "extremely boring stock" that's worth a look.

"The stock's about $13 over the last year. The reason I know that is, I own the stock," Najarian said.

We're fairly certain it's possible to know that without owning the stock.

Pete’s Froot Loop

Sometimes, even a TV program as excruciating as Friday's Fast Money Halftime Report can produce a borderline fall-out-of-the-chair-in-giggles moment.

Such an instance occurred when Pete Najarian apparently tried to trick himself into using certain words at least twice in the same sentence.

Najarian said energy has been the hottest sector recently in options, even "definitely some upside activity" in giant XOM.

"Now you're seeing some of the fruits of some of that option activity coming to fruit (sic) today," Najarian said.

You know you're getting ahead in the stock market when your fruits come to fruit(ion).

Brad Lamensdorf explains how a bearish ETF has to work

Somehow it took 2 tries, but Anthony Scaramucci finally succeeded on Friday's Fast Money Halftime Report in asking a manager of a bearish ETF if he'd be concerned about rising markets.

"It seems like we're setting up for a bullish environment," Scaramucci said, apparently convinced by 1 day's worth of trading.

"We've gotta be short something or we wouldn't have an ETF," was the answer from Brad Lamensdorf, who said at peak moments he has gone 23% cash.

Lamensdorf pointed out that not every month is like June; "last month was really good for us." Prime shorts include TIF, MTZ and CTCT.

Dr. J apparently was trying to say that either Scaramucci isn’t or shouldn’t be selling Friday

Viewers who stuck around beyond Judge Wapner's Novocaine-necessitating opening 10 minutes of Friday's Fast Money Halftime Report unfortunately had to come to the conclusion that it never really did get any better.

Obviously lacking any ideas for something to talk about, Judge tried to squeeze about 50 pints of blood from the European turnip, and then went back to the the dryest well this side of Molycorp again and again.

Anthony Scaramucci protested that he wouldn't call the European agreement a "game-changer," but does think it's a "big development."

Jon Najarian, asked whether you take profits here, claimed it "depends how fast a money (sic) trader you are," saying he and Pete would take profits off the table, but then went to ridiculous lengths to not appear to dis Anthony Scaramucci, "who's fast money," Dr. J assured, but "stretching that out over months and months."

Patty Edwards told Judge Wapner, "Actually we have been buying stocks over the past 2-3 weeks" (translation: Timed Friday's rally perfectly). Guest Enis Taner said the systemic risk seems to be removed in Europe now, but this summer there's "more international weakness ... you have emerging market growth concerns."

Pete Najarian offered the most precise and useful call, saying, "I would expect to see the markets pause here."

Nothing in this market is hotter than the (warmed-over) banks-are-guaranteed-winners-in-5-years argument

Pete Najarian, in one of the most dubious non-calls a Fast Money panelist can make, assured viewers of Friday's Halftime Report that "I think if you have a 5-year time horizon, you probably don't go wrong with JPMorgan, Wells Fargo, USBank or any of these."

He could've added that C is guaranteed to be higher, because they'll just do a 1-for-10 if things look bleak.

Definitely what the financial and political establishment need is further scrutiny of JPMorgan's London whale/CIO trading loss. Jon Najarian explained that the stock was slumping on a huge market day Friday because of differing estimates of the loss between the NYT and various CNBC personalities, and it's a question as to "who's gonna be right. I think Sorkin and Kate Kelly are gonna be right," Najarian said, conveniently picking the side he appears on television with.

Anthony Scaramucci described JPM's day as "window selling," while Pete Najarian suggested it might just be profit-taking after a strong recovery.

Jon Najarian suggested taking a look at STT, though he's not in it now. Najarian also predicted that gold would be "an outperformer in this next quarter."

What happened to that London Olympic pop that supposedly the market wasn’t pricing in?

This page has noted before — and some pundits occasionally say this on CNBC — that in certain controversial areas of investing, such as China, people just tend to make up their own interpretation of whatever numbers are reported as justifying their thesis.

We've wondered, though, if the same thing happens for single stocks, and basically if Friday's Fast Money Halftime Report is any indication, the answer is yes.

The stock in question was NKE, in which 2 panelists (hint: brothers) seemed floored that shares could've fallen to the mid-'80s.

"I think the stock is far too cheap," said Pete Najarian, who pronounced NKE growth and revenue "still outstanding" and said he bought a call spread with the stock at $88.

Jon Najarian said he likes NKE and TIF; "I own 'em both," because the market had done the equivalent of "throwin' the baby out with the bathwater."

Patty Edwards even jumped on the bandwagon, assuring, "I do own Nike, I still like it," before unleashing a patented "that being said" to suggest that PVH seems like a better alternative.

Tip: If you think gold is going to $2,500, buy the GLD

This is one time it would've been great to get 5 S&P levels from Steve Grasso.

Patty Edwards exemplified the scattershot nature of Friday's Fast Money Halftime Report by twice suggesting that if you think the economy's going to do better, you could 1) try a name like BKCC, or even 2) look at Fossil for a European bounce or even SBUX for a bounce on the trifecta, Europe, China and U.S.

She might well have added, if you think the Canucks are going to win the Stanley Cup, you could book your plane tickets for next June (just remember to bring riot gear).

But Edwards did acknowledge at one point that as for 2nd quarter dogs, "these losers are losers for a reason."

Money in Motion pundits don’t seem to realize that Judge only wants 15 seconds of their analysis

Jing Ulrich, frequently cited by JCP plain-pocket-jeans model Tim Seymour, told Friday's Fast Money Halftime Report that in China, "the macro economy will not have a hard landing," but sectors such as heavy industry, steel and aluminum might.

Ulrich said she's "expecting further rate cuts" and changes to the "bank reserve requirement ratio." And for growth, "our forecast is 7.7%."

Macneil Curry was so delighted to deliver his euro thesis, he talked right over an impatient Judge Wapner, who pushed to get Curry's trade of selling euro/Aussie at 1.25 with a stop of 1.26 and target of 1.21.

Knee-buckler Seema Mody said someone on Twitter called ZNGA a dog. Jon Najarian agreed but said GLUU is going gangbusters.

Guest Whitey Bluestein said that Steve Jobs said in 2007 that Apple was 5 years ahead of the smart phone community, and "I think that's about right."

Patty Edwards' Final Trade was CTL. Jon Najarian said ESV, Pete Najarian said NKE and Anthony Scaramucci said Spanish bonds.

[Thursday, June 28, 2012]

Isaly: This one’s Mitt-proof

Thursday's 5 p.m. Fast Money gang seemed to think that certain health-care names, unlike NKE, have a decent shot of rising in the near term.

Guy Adami said "I still think there's opportunity here in HMA," while Joe Terranova mentioned HCA and AGP, and he also mentioned CYH but didn't sound very enthusiastic about that one, so draw your own conclusions.

Scott Nations, while not having to reveal where he's from, told Melissa Lee that in the health-care space, "options got incredibly cheap after the announcement." Nations suggested the July at-the-money call in HCA as a way to make a bullish play.

Guest Sam Isaly said he doesn't think Thursday's ruling announcement is a 1-day thing; "I think that we're gonna see still this relief rally," Isaly said, and that the stocks will do better with uncertainty removed.

Karen Finerman asked Isaly a question. It was whether the prospect of Romney having a decent chance at the presidency would refuel the uncertainty. Isaly said he doubted it, because it's "extremely unlikely" that Republicans have enough Senate votes to "pull the whole thing apart ... this is here to stay."

Nevertheless, another guest, Ed Mills, said the court's ruling is a "great win for President Obama's legacy, but is a big negative for his re-election campaign."

Brian Kelly is staying out of managed care for now. "I would be hard-pressed to buy these tomorrow," Kelly said.

Fast Money crew oohs and aahs at the suddenly lower price of NKE without actually claiming they’re buying it

Tumbling NKE was essentially a no-touch for Thursday's 5 p.m. Fast Money crew, though most were sympathetic. Brian Kelly said a lot of times you just blame the company, but "this seems to be a global economy slowdown type of problem."

Joe Terranova said he nearly bought calls before the report, and if had, it would've been "a consecutive day of entirely losing bad trades."

"This is incredibly surprising," Terranova said.

Guy Adami said you don't have to go out and buy it right away, but the stock down $30 from it's high is suddenly "a lot closer to an entry point."

Zach Karabell chipped in a not-quite-buying-yet endorsement; "this is the kind of moment where I'm really interested in investing in this company ... this is not a RIMM story."

Scott Nations told Melissa Lee that a few poor saps sold a bunch of 90 and 95 puts in NKE, and they'll be paying on Friday; there's "somebody who's gonna be paying $92 to buy the stock no matter where it closes tomorrow," Nations said.

"Wow," said Lee.

Owning Sprint notes. Oh joy.

Guest Jim Keenan likely proved far more interesting to the Fast Money panelists than to the viewers on Thursday's 5 p.m. episode in talking about corporate debt.

Keenan was asked about Ford and said, "Equity multiples are coming down on growth expectation, but the debt stories are pretty intact."

He revealed he's got a "significant amount of the guaranteed notes" in Sprint, yielding "about 7%," but then he felt compelled to launch into a brief history of JCPenney and the retail space (it was cool when Tim Seymour was wearing plain-pocket jeans) before concluding that JCP's debt, basically because of his own opinions of its niche and strategy, is not a good risk/reward.

Larry McDonald pointed out the number of things that are not being accomplished in Brussels now, and "the EU summit's still a disappointment." But he said things are so bad that he figures the ECB will be compelled to do a rate cut. McDonald advised staying out of stocks as long as Spanish yields are over 6.75%.

Brian Kelly recommended DXJ as a Japan/currency play; "it'll follow the Nikkei up, and you won't have to worry about currencies at all."

Guy Adami said CERN has "tremendous upside going forward" (as opposed to the upside NKE has going backward). Karen Finerman said (for the umpteenth time recently) she likes M, mentioning the "entirely U.S. business."

Joe Terranova likes NXPI as an AAPL derivative.

Shaw Wu said the problem for RIMM is that "this company is, is losing money, and losing a lot of money." Karen Finerman thinks AAPL should benefit, and Brian Kelly actually claimed it's a "huge opportunity for Microsoft."

Oh joy — more details on the JPMorgan London whale trading loss

Kate Kelly said on Thursday's Fast Money Halftime Report that JPMorgan is 70% out of the London whale loss trade, and "the worst is behind them," though there's still a bit of unwind left.

Kelly said the loss will be $4-$6 billion.

Josh Brown quibbled with Kelly's assertion that the company will be "solidly profitable" and asked for clarification. Kelly said that's a "tough question" because there are lots of things the bank can do within a quarter to affect income.

Stephanie Link said the "stock is extremely cheap." Stephen Weiss said that if he actually did get into it, it would be against a C short. Steve Grasso said "I'd rather wait" because he doesn't like the financials.

Paul Richards said Europe will "keep kicking the can down the road" and recommends selling euro at 1.2650.

Josh Brown said there's no reason not to be in FDO, which remains a long-term monster. Brown's Final Trade was long XBI, Steve Grasso said long MDT with 36.50 stop, Stephen Weiss said to short the S&P against long positions, and Stephanie Link said long GIS.


Kris Jenner, on a somewhat abbreviated Fast Money Halftime Report Thursday, downplayed the lasting effects of the Supreme Court health-care ruling and in fact even called it, in time, a "yawner."

Jenner claimed that UNH — which was already beginning to rally while he was speaking — had taken a hit on simple "unwinding of expectations."

"Justice Roberts really threaded the needle here," Jenner grumbled about the intact mandate, but that markets are merely going to experience an "unwinding of substantial pessimism that the whole bill would be shot down" before anyone moves on.

Stephen Weiss said, "I wouldn't do anything today," even though a name such as WLP is tempting, because in regard to the ruling, "you still don't know what it means."

Stephanie Link basically agreed with that because of Thursday's "really pronounced" market activity but said you could put Universal Health on your "shopping list" and also look at AET.

Steve Grasso said he was "shocked" by the ruling but that it's possible to "dabble" in device makers such as MDT because their conditions are priced in.

Josh Brown again hailed XBI and said "I would be a buyer here," but said the health-care sectors most sensitive to the ruling are experiencing only temporary reactions that "won't last."

John Harwood said the president, in his remarks, was maybe trying to use this as a "teachable moment."

Earlier, Rupert Murdoch told David Faber that it's "a very good question" why News Corp. is splitting right now. "You know, I finally came to it," Murdoch said, before adding, "we'll create a lot of shareholder value."

Murdoch told Faber, "I'm in great shape," and complained that most of Europe has become an "entitlement state."

[Wednesday, June 27, 2012]

A way to get less pop on your euro moves. Whoop de do.

Guest Jerry Swank unfortunately spent the best chunk of his time on Wednesday's 5 p.m. Fast Money explaining to Melissa Lee why most MLPs aren't tied to the spot price of nat gas. "They really are toll roads," Swank assured, while later explaining he likes the buildout potential of the MLP industry.

Guy Adami asked about SXL, which Swank said is "bound now by the merger-arb business."

Stephen Weiss revealed, "I bought AMLP yesterday," and that he likes old favorite NS because a director owns a ton of shares.

Jeff Kilburg said he thinks the brand-new short-euro ETF that is single-levered, the EUFX, is a "great way to get short the euro currency," though it might take a little while to accumulate liquidity. Curiously, it sounded like Kilburg was suggesting the EUFX this week as a Europe play, while the screen text said he thinks the EUO is actually a better play for this week.

Karen Finerman, who has liked the ferts and been touting CF for a while, said, "We had to sell ... the run has been so big."

Guy Adami said, "I believe that CAT is trying to tell you something about the global growth story."

Just what the world needs: Homebuilders getting ahead of themselves again

Jon Najarian said on Wednesday's 5 p.m. Fast Money that the housing rebound is for real, and there's a "real reason to be focused on these stocks going forward." (As opposed to going backward.)

Guy Adami, though, took the other side, saying homebuilder investors are "setting themselves up for a tremendous disappointment," because "I don't think the housing market has bottomed at all."

Dan Nathan finds housing to be a "fairly ridiculous bet right here" given the global macro uncertainty, unless you think U.S. housing will decouple from that.

David Rosenberg, instead of forecasting outright gloom, took the boring middle ground, asserting, "Probably I would say the housing market is healing," but that you can't really call it a roaring recovery at "such anemic levels."

"It's Karen, let me ask you something," said Karen Finerman, who wondered if the stocks aren't indicators of better data to come. Rosenberg said there could be something to that but that the gains in builders are "overstating the extent of the recovery we're seeing in housing." Rosenberg said the stock market looks like it's in a range that should be heeded.

The last Supreme Court prediction we’ll have to hear on Fast Money for a while

Jon Najarian said on Wednesday's 5 p.m. Fast Money that all these companies with obesity drugs are in a great position, and "this is a huge deal," but right at the moment, "take the money off the table; the baby's been born."

Guy Adami actually recommended WTW, saying if it holds 49, it's good risk/reward. (And, he made it his Final Trade.)

Guest Dr. Mark Schoenebaum somehow was compelled to issue another Supreme Court if-this-than-that prediction, saying that if ObamaCare is struck down, revenue estimates based on elimination of various fees will go up for drugmakers and care providers, but he thinks that would only be a short-term pop because some of those conditions have broad bipartisan support.

Furthermore, Schoenebaum doesn't expect ObamaCare to be tossed anyway. He thinks it'll be more likely that the "mandate alone gets tossed," which "probably shouldn't impact anyone's thesis one way or another," those latter 4 words representing a nice tribute to Blondie.

The most exciting new development in the pharma space is Alzheimer's drugs, Schoenebaum said, referring to 2 tests by Lilly and Pfizer, which he said could get huge moves if successful. He also told Guy Adami that Celgene is trading right where it should on a zero-European-market of Revlimid, but Schoenebaum thinks "ultimately they're gonna get that drug approved in Europe."

Jon Najarian said there's activity in PFE September upside calls and LLY January upside calls.

‘Upside bets in health care’

There's gambling in the casino, and gambling on the Supreme Court, as Jon Najarian reported on Wednesday's 5 p.m. Fast Money that there's a "lot of upside bets in all the health-care names."

Stephen Weiss made one of the best points we've heard recently (which doesn't mean it's correct), that the Supreme Court might not be the final word on health-care stocks, and "I don't think it's over tomorrow," which if true would likely negate a lot of that closure-type enthusiasm that undoubtedly is the base of what Najarian was talking about.

"I don't think the market's OK," Weiss said.

Neither, apparently, does Guy Adami, who nevertheless got involved in numerical mumbo jumbo in mentioning 1,365 and 1,325 and saying if it beats one it might beat the other, etc. etc.

Dan Nathan said it was curious that some high-valuation names didn't do very well on a good Wednesday tape. Guy Adami noted the dollar stores were down on a "decent" (better than "benign") tape.

Nathan: Try a cheap RIMM call

If you didn't know much about the Google Nexus 7 tablet before Wednesday's 5 p.m. Fast Money (and we sure didn't), you'd have to conclude the experts on CNBC weren't terribly enthusiastic.

Jon Fortt pointed out that it's quality construction and has a camera, but given the price, "How much can Google be making on this." And, "it's cool, but is it mass-market cool?" Dan Nathan said that MSFT and GOOG are basically only angering partners such as Samsung by venturing into hardware, and "I don't get it." Jon Najarian said MSFT's venture made more sense, but he basically agreed with Nathan.

Nathan had an interesting idea in (of all things) RIMM, calling it "actually kind of a dumb trade here ... RIMM looks kind of interesting setting up into their earnings tomorrow night."

While "we already know it's lights out for this company," Nathan said he bought the June weekly 10 calls for 15 cents as a cheap way of taking a bet that might pay off big.

Guy Adami was impressed, saying, "My sense is, he's on to something here."

Nathan also recommended using next week's expected lower volatility to hedge AAPL positions with options.

If it’s Debbie Weinswig vs. Liz Dunn, we’re definitely taking Debbie Weinswig

Karen Finerman, without mentioning Debbie Weinswig by name, said on Wednesday's 5 p.m. Fast Money that "I think she's a great analyst" but that the Citi downgrade of Macy's "was a little bit, uh, harsh."

Finerman said TIF is "starting to get attractive." Jon Najarian said he's looking to pick up TIF around the $50 level.

Guy Adami said there aren't 1-day events in stocks, so ORLY is probably gonna trade lower again Thursday.

Mike Khouw said someone made a bearish options bet in FDO, buying the July 67.5 puts for $2.07.

Khouw's Final Trade was FLR. Stephen Weiss said AMTG, Dan Nathan said RIMM, Guy Adami said WTW, Karen Finerman said AAPL calls and Jon Najarian said AXL.

Fast Money guest can’t get north of $30 in FB

Gene Munster admitted on Wednesday's Fast Money Halftime Report that "I guess we wavered about the near-term" on Facebook, but "long-term, it was a no-brainer" to put an overweight $41 price target on it.

Fellow guest Brian Wieser disagreed, saying "it's hard to get north of 30," which is his hold price.

Stephen Weiss complained about Munster's call, saying Munster was confusing price with valuation, and wondered how he could recommend it now with the prospect of a "better buying opportunity" after the lockup.

Munster claimed "I think that's getting priced in right now," which we basically agree with, although Wieser insisted most people aren't aware of the total number of shares coming on the market.

Simon Baker says he knows a lot of people trapped at $38 who will unload there, so he thinks it will be "very difficult to break through 38 in the short term."

Mike Murphy said something about discussing this with Judge Wapner around midnight last night. Murphy said he prefers FB over ZNGA, and that ZNGA may work out, or "may not."

Nat gas: ‘Put in the lows for the year’

Guest Bill Featherston said on Wednesday's Fast Money Halftime Report that natural gas has bottomed.

"We think we've put in the lows for the year," he said, predicting it will trade up near $4 in 2013.

Featherston touted Devon and Apache and also made the case for Anadarko.

Jim Iuorio for some reason tried to get Featherston to disagree with a concurring opinion, opining, "To me if it's a low for the year it's gonna be a low for the decade," and so he's bullish on the sector and likes RGP.

"I completely agree with you," a confused Featherston said. "I think it's a decade low."

Mike Murphy agreed with the nat gas bull call, "I think it will break above 3," and likes COG. Featherston said he's neutral on CHK.

Iuorio long HOV

Stephen Weiss lamented on Wednesday's Fast Money Halftime Report that he didn't plow into XHB last night, but "I still think you can buy that."

Mike Murphy cautioned though that XHB contains names such as BBBY.

Jim Iuorio said "I'm long Hovnanian" (in fact that was his Final Trade) and looking at Lennar, making him the first person in a while on the show to tout HOV, curious because Ara Hovnanian no longer shows up to talk about how they've got endless financing and things are always definitely looking up.

Dennis Gartman used precious airtime (maybe it's not that precious) on the Ph.D./master's thing in basic materials and said if copper can't rally with inventories this low, we'll be using "very ugly terminology" about the global economy.

Mike Murphy said he thinks FCX has "limited downside." Simon Baker recommended Sonic Automotive because based on O'Reilly's, people aren't doing the "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" fixer-upper.

Breaking news: FDA approves
Seema Mody’s stunning fuchsia

Dazzling CNBC star Seema Mody graced Wednesday's Fast Money Halftime Report to speak about ARNA just ahead of the moment it was halted, saying it's been volatile because of an "unusually high number" of shares held by retail investors.

Stephen Weiss cautioned that "you can't guess what the FDA's gonna do," and Jim Iuorio likewise indicated this is one of those "binary outcomes."

Mike Murphy urged people to "be careful" in a name like VVUS after it spiked on the Arena news.

Stephen Weiss said of CMG and its multiple, "When it falls, there'll be no safety net." Mike Murphy agreed that it "should roll over," and when he visited one in NYC the other night at 6:15, there were "3 people in line." Jim Iuorio though said "it looks OK to me."

Iuorio wasn't so high on Brown Forman, using a tired "Godfather" reference and claiming "the story has played out." Mike Murphy said he's long NKE but beware of a possible 5-6% pullback, but if that happens, it'll be a great opportunity.

Stephen Weiss said the enthusiasm for NWS is over the Viacom model but that print media assets aren't part of Viacom, so he recommended an arbitrage play on a NWS split that seemed too complicated.

Debbie Weinswig explained that retail is in a tough spot, "across the board, I think what we're starting to see is weakness at the high end," and so her caution and lowered price target on M (37 from 49), even though it's "really been firing on all cylinders," is "much more of a macro call," based on the "rollover in the high-end consumer."

Mike Murphy insisted M isn't like SKS and is doing well online. Stephen Weiss reiterated his JCP short.

Herb Greenberg complained about ETFs GAZ and VXX, which is "just too darn complicated."

Simon Baker's Final Trade was NVDA, Mike Murphy said LNG and Stephen Weiss said ARNA below $12.

[Tuesday, June 26, 2012]

Guest says crude is going higher, while screen text says ‘Stay bearish on oil’

If you're one of those people able to actually figure out whether Ed Morse was making a bullish call on crude on Tuesday's 5 p.m. Fast Money, you should ring those gents trying to figure out where Amelia Earhart's plane went down.

Quite frankly, Morse's appearance will remain a mystery, as Melissa Lee (who referenced WTI at "$90 a share") failed to sort out exactly what the heck was going on here.

The session was billed as "Second half playbook." But while Morse plainly said that there are drivers for crude to go higher this summer, the screen descriptions indicated otherwise.

Moreover, viewers got this handy-dandy chart (above), in which Morse leaves out the latter 3 months of the second half, or half of the half, in what looks to be as much a neutral call as positive one.

Morse said he didn't expect dollar appreciation to take off like it did but that driving season will pick up and refineries will come back online. He also outlined headwinds, including a Spain debacle and (snicker) Iran giving up its nuclear program.

Morse predicted "nat gas will tank again" and be at $2 or below by November or late October. Steve Grasso said "I wouldn't touch Chesapeake," but he would play nat gas with XCO. Simon Baker affirmed that and added HES. Joe Terranova suggested UPL and SWN and said, "Get out to November, you got a $3 print in nat gas."

Is buying out public shareholders going to make more people drop Amazon to go to the big box?

If Ed Morse's discussion on oil left viewers of Tuesday's 5 p.m. Fast Money a bit confused as to whether they should buy or sell, David Strasser's WMT commentary fared little better.

Strasser conceded the stock has soared recently but stood firm against Mike Murphy's contention that it's too much too soon. Rather, Strasser said he sees "safety, and a little bit of offense there."

Murphy said, "I'm short the name, we shorted the stock today," and that he sees "more upside in a Target."

Strasser thinks BBY is a better company than the Street does, but failed to pound the deal on the report that Best Buy's founder might try to take the company private, which is advantageous ... because ... um ...

"I think it's a tough deal," Strasser said, and he doesn't think such a deal is a catalyst, but the company's profitability in fact is one.

Simon Baker’s ghost long — says he’s ‘nibbling’ at some unidentified coal name

Simon Baker said on Tuesday's 5 p.m. Fast Money that he's "nibbling" on coal, because you can get a big pop on anything with such "massive short interest."

Except while talking about a price of $7, neither Baker nor Mel Lee ever named the stock he's apparently playing in hopes of a spike, which presumably would be Arch, which unlike another name that was mentioned, ANR, actually trades under $7.

But not only was the discussion unclear, the official show disclosures at CNBC.com don't list Baker with any kind of coal position, "nibble" or otherwise, so it was all a pile of rubbish.

Guest Jon Hykawy said he has a buy on lithium play TLH, and a $6.55 price target.

Joe Terranova pronounced Rio Tinto as "Rio Tintive."

Mike Khouw cautioned that some think the GDX will catch up with the commodity, but in options, there's "a lot of bearish activity in here."

Surprisingly, no one mentioned WFC

By the end of Tuesday's 5 p.m. Fast Money, largely courtesy Joe Terranova, viewers had been given no less than 8 housing-related stocks to chew on.

"The trend is your friend," Terranova said at the top of the program while trumpeting LPX and saying, "look at Ryland, look at Meritage ... analysts have to move higher to adjust."

Later, Mike Murphy revisited his Lennar trade, saying "we think ... new housing has bottomed," but that he scaled back his LEN position because it's a good idea to lighten up into a gain, but he's still bullish on the sector.

Simon Baker agreed with that call and mentioned MAS and HD. Terranova reiterated LPX and tossed in AWI and AOS.

Steve Grasso said the name that will appeal to many viewers is HD, and "the chart still looks OK."

Baker shorts WMT

Simon Baker said at the top of Tuesday's 5 p.m. Fast Money that he's "actually short Wal-Mart," because the "easy money's been made there," and that it looks like the same stock market game plan as Q3 2011.

Steve Grasso took issue with Baker's WMT play. "I sort of disagree" that the easy money has been made, Grasso said, and don't you wish they told you what the "easy" money was before they made it.

Grasso in fact suggested sticking with what's working. "Buy the Wal-Marts, buy the dividend plays," he said.

Mike Murphy said "this is a perfect environment" for trading and that he likes "U.S.-focused companies ... we love the builders here."

He also mentioned Terex, and Hertz, "you can own that name."

Joe Terranova cautioned that we won't see the "passive money" at the beginning of the quarter. Ron Insana claimed "the S&P is actually working better this year than over the same period last year," and that maybe the market's wrong, or maybe there's "some sort of resolution in Europe," in which case the buying opportunity will be "earlier in the summer" as opposed to last year's October or late September.

When was it on the fringe? 1999?

Joe Terranova said on Tuesday's 5 p.m. Fast Money that when the analysts start issuing FB ratings, "I'm sure the price target will be north of $38 to justify where they came out with this."

Steve Grasso, who a couple months ago was using "Facebook" and "par" in the same paragraph, wasn't convinced that FB is on a permanent trajectory up, saying it's been a "momentum game both up and down," and maybe it's got a few more dollars to the upside right now.

Mike Khouw warned that options buyers favor the puts in FB. "The top 3 most active options were all puts going out to the January '13 20 puts even," Khouw said.

Mike Murphy uncorked a howler, citing a purchase by Microsoft and others in the tech space: "In the last 30 days, I think social networking in general has become more mainstream."

Whatever happened to Liz Dunn’s benefit of the doubt for JCP’s 2013 earnings?

We couldn't figure out (see, there's an emerging trend here) exactly what another guest on Tuesday's 5 p.m. Fast Money, Jim Sanderson, was specifically supposed to be talking about.

Apparently Sanderson has a whole slew of information about grocery-related channel checks, but Melissa Lee began by asking Sanderson to revisit an old call he made on Green Mountain, which then turned into a broader coffee-buyer observation of sorts, and "a lot of concern that we're gonna see further slowdowns over the summer."

Sanderson told Steve Grasso that UNFI is a top play in organic aside from WFM. Sanderson also mostly touted TFM but said it's expanding in California, where the "competitive dynamic" is likely to give it "heartburn."

Mike Khouw delivered an interesting update on one of this page's favorite stocks (in a bearish way), JCP, saying someone bought a November 21/17 1x2 put spread, which is a "very big, bearish bet."

David Bank said that (yawn/not a surprise) Disney, and Discovery, are the highest-quality names in media. But Bank said the mystery gain behind the jump in News Corp based solely on a financial shell game is not about a great new product or business plan, but "really more about the perception that the multiple of News Corp could expand pretty massively."

Joe Terranova said he totally prefers DIS over any spun off News Corp media unit, saying DIS is "hitting on all cylinders." (Except the "John Carter" one, apparently.)

Mike Murphy said, "I think you can buy HOG here." Steve Grasso again urged patience with the Supreme Court and health-care stocks; "just wait."

Simon Baker wearily claimed in the Trade of the Day that names such as APOL "might be coming back into favor here," and demonstrating his vast array of knowledge of the sector, he even pronounced DeVry as "Devery."

Mike Khouw's Final Trade was long MGM. Ron Insana said either MS or GS. Steve Grasso said F with a short leash and 9.50 stop. Simon Baker said TFM, Mike Murphy said GBX and Joe Terranova said PXD.

Ron Insana noted the gains in GCI on Tuesday and said it's about News Corp and actually about the notion of monetizing newspaper content, "that's the craze at the moment."

‘Perception of a settlement,’ i.e., kicking the can down the road = 1,575 S&P

Guest Tony Dwyer wasn't backing down a bit from either his S&P earnings forecast ($105) or multiple (15) in defending his year-end price target of 1,575.

"This sounds insane but I think I'm being very conservative in my multiple assumption," Dwyer argued, saying over time "the minimum has been 15," that he's been at this call since last year, and throwing in an "at the end of the day."

Guy Adami questioned if the energy and bond markets aren't saying something different. "The market is pricing in something more severe than a recession," Dwyer said, which he doesn't think will happen.

Judge Wapner asked Dwyer if his call requires a "settlement" in Europe. "It's the perception of a settlement," Dwyer said.

Stephen Weiss scoffed at Dwyer's target; "you and Pete have better chances of growing hair" than the market hitting that level, Weiss said.

Steve Cortes concluded that Dwyer is ignoring other markets, "all of which are at or near the risk-off lows of the year," and if he's bullish, that's what he should be buying.

Adami predicts Europe ‘solution’

Using interesting terminology, Guy Adami predicted on Tuesday's Fast Money Halftime Report that "I think Europe will figure out a solution," but the problem is that they'll take it to the "brink" first.

Pete Najarian said "I'm fairly optimistic," and revealed, "I took a short-term, weekly option in the SPYders yesterday."

Stephen Weiss, though, was more restrained, saying he was "staying out of the market for now."

Steve Cortes on the other hand wasn't impressed with the global economic scenario. "I think the cyclical stocks are getting it right … I don't believe that there is a solution," Cortes said.

Pete on JPM: ‘I don’t think 36 is the top’

Stephen Weiss, continuing his stock aversion theme of the day on Tuesday's Fast Money Halftime Report, said "I'd stay away from financials," and singled out possible "contagion" with JPM shares, not the company's balance sheet.

Pete Najarian again cited the end of the JPM buyback around 44, "that told me that was the top" in the stock, he said. "I like JPMorgan down here at these levels. I don't think 36 is the top."

Najarian further argued to Weiss that a renewed buyback, as well as the dividend, would be the catalysts for JPM continuing higher. "I'll wait to see," Weiss said.

Guy Adami pointed out that MS wasn't exactly hot stuff since joining the Goldman Sachs conviction buy list, and that (sigh) USB is the only bank to own in his opinion.

Pete sticking to his guns, 3 trading hours after making a call

Stephen Weiss had to take a Fast Fire on Research in Motion during Tuesday's Fast Money Halftime Report.

"Clearly I was wrong," Weiss said of his "short-term call" on May 1, and "let's move on."

Shaw Wu said — shock — that RIMM might not be done sinking. "There is a risk that it could actually decline further … likely gonna start burning cash," he said, suggesting a possible "5-6 dollar range."

Stephen Weiss said "I'd stay away from" APOL. Steve Cortes lamented of WMT "I love this stock," that it's hitting highs with DG, but he got out based on technicals despite it being a winner. Pointing to COH and TIF, Cortes said, "The high end is doing terribly."

Guy Adami and Pete Najarian quibbled over "swimsuit" vs. "bathing suit."

Does the multiple on print media begin with a minus sign?

Guest Alan Gould said the benefit to an NWS financial engineering game corporate splitting is the "multiple expansion" that would be gained from freeing up the more desirable entertainment arm.

"We're assuming the litigation risk will go with the publishing area," Gould said.

So, a company with no more new products or sound business plans from a day ago is suddenly worth more because it might add another ticker symbol (which hopefully won't be reliant on Bob Greifeld to get it off the ground).

Stephen Weiss, skeptical, suggested the "combined company right now is actually protecting the publishing side." Gould countered that a split would produce "less of a discount multiple than you've had in the past."

Dicker: ‘Real value’ in ECA

Dan Dicker said on Tuesday's Fast Money Halftime Report that Encana (ECA) has "some comparisons that you can make to Chesapeake," but doesn't have the "rogue" CEO of CHK.

Dicker said the shares are "entirely tied to nat gas," and that there's "real value down here."

Pete Najarian said MMR has "absolutely been on a nonstop mission," and he singled out EXXI activity, saying there's a "lot of people getting interested."

Stephen Weiss got to trumpet his book and its passage on Jim Chanos and the real estate/office space per person. Weiss said Chanos found flaws in Enron and WorldCom, so you have to listen to him.

Steve Cortes said the Chinese market hasn't rallied on the easing, and that it reminds him of 2007 U.S., where people said subprime was contained, "that certainly didn't happen here."

Prettiest Hair on Cable Television Mary Thompson said she and her producers called about 40 companies to ask about the impact of the fiscal cliff on their plans, but that "most" didn't call back. XOM did, however, and reported "no impact on its hiring and spending planning," Thompson said.

Deja vu in semiconductors?

Guest Vijay Rakesh on Tuesday's Fast Money Halftime Report made a semi-convincing call on semiconductors, saying it's the "same thing again" as the 2011/2010 spring/summer selloff. He likes QCOM and ADI.

Stephen Weiss seconded QCOM, while Steve Cortes seemed to concur with Rakesh's broader call, that "semiconductors are one of those sectors" that have already taken a price hit.

Jon Fortt reported that Ned Hooper is exiting CSCO, and whatever happened to those John Chambers-stepping-aside stories?

Fortt noted that Hooper was involved in the Flip deal. Pete Najarian said Hooper's departure has "gotta be a positive towards Cisco … many of these acquisitions have just been too grand in size." Guy Adami said you could trade it around $16.

Pete Najarian said Zynga might have some short-term momentum, but, "For the longer term I'd rather be in Facebook than Zynga."

Selloffs R Us?

George Davis, who had video-delay problems with Judge Wapner on Tuesday's Fast Money Halftime Report, said "we're still fairly skeptical" of the Euro summit and that the markets are "setting ourselves up for a little bit of disappointment," while the euro's "risks are tilted toward the downside." He recommends selling the euro and scaling into it at 1.2550.

Steve Cortes' humor on Tuesday was a bust, telling Judge Wapner, "You know I'm a part-time truck driver, right?" Cortes compared R to the S&P and said the company is in indicator of the broader market; "I added to index shorts based on the truck fall."

Guy Adami was the lone panelist to get a Final Trade and made it BX, and then CNBC moved on to better things, such as Seema Mody in awards-night navy dress.

[Monday, June 25, 2012]

We’d rather they just talk about the JPM London whale trading loss instead

Thursday can't come quickly enough.

For whatever mind-numbing reason, Monday's 5 p.m. Fast Money felt compelled to bring in Sam Isaly to speculate on what health-care-related stocks to play before/during/after the Supreme Court's ObamaCare ruling.

Isaly, while protesting that he's not a legal forecaster, had no problem saying, "I think that what we'll see is a relief rally, plus or minus on the decision."

For clarity, he explained that hospitals and insurance companies are most sensitive to the ruling, while pharma and biotech are least sensitive.

Isaly saved his sharpest commentary for an explanation of how the mandate would work — basically forcing people who don't have insurance, who tend to be younger and healthier, to buy in and fund the treatment of the less-healthy, which Isaly called a "fairly ugly transfer of, uh, of wealth."

Scott Nations said that ahead of the release of the decision, "option traders are bullish ... particularly in Merck." Guy Adami said to look at HMA, "You risk 6 to look for 8 I think."

‘In your neighborhood, go buy 2 or 3 houses’

The short-term turbulence/long-term glory trade is alive and well on Fast Money, but housing watcher Bill Procida took it to new heights (and we don't mean Yorktown Heights) on Monday's 5 p.m. Fast Money.

Procida told Melissa Lee "I think it's bottomed," and that for some reason 1999 and 1985 represent the "2 last logical periods in the housing market that made sense."

Which means, according to Procida, extending that trend line, "We're now at a logical point of housing value ... we'll probably end up in the same place 5 years from now because that's what happens," and some "sand" states are still facing headwinds, but we've "definitely bottomed in your major markets."

The "logical point" is curious enough, but it was Procida's suggestion to Lee for how to profit in the housing market that raises eyebrows: "In your neighborhood, go buy 2 or 3 houses ... hold those houses for 7 years, you're gonna be a happy person," Procida claimed.

So, spend your cash on "2 or 3" houses, fix them up once (and be prepared to fix again when it's time to sell, according to Procida), and then be a landlord, and then you'll be happy before 2020.

Procida, who devoted significant time to a curious observation that today's home sellers "can't put doughnuts on the table," made a plea that we're certain will go uanswered: "Please God, get the government out of the housing market," he said.

A fertilizer recommendation is made without the ‘people gotta eat’ refrain

Dennis Gartman unfortunately once again was prompted into a gold discussion on Monday's 5 p.m. Fast Money, but only after he delved into corn crop predictions.

Gartman said the year's corn crop would be "diminished dramatically" if there's no significant rain by the Fourth of July, but also cautioned "these weather markets can turn on a dime," such as whenever traders see it raining on La Salle Street.

Guest Charles Neivert took this theme much further, picking a bottom actually in the fertilizer names under a win-win scenario.

Neivert claims a bumper crop was already priced in, and that there is "limited downside" remaining for the fertilizer names, "it's either flat, or it's slightly up."

But, Neivert said, "If the crop gets smaller, it's gonna drive- potentially drives corn prices up, we've seen that ... where do the shares of fertilizer stocks go in a rising corn market? Up. So both scenarios lead to sort of upward movements."

"It's Karen, let me ask you something," said Karen Finerman, who wondered when the effects of additional capacity in the sector start to be felt. Neivert said we've "already begun to see some of it," and that in the near-term, the corn crop is more important than supply/demand fundamentals.

Neivert has a price target of $49 in POT and $29 in RNF.

There’s nothing Fast Money likes more than a Research in Motion discussion

Monday's 5 p.m. Fast Money gang brought up Research in Motion again, so let's hold the nose and get through this as quickly as possible.

"I think the trade is to buy an iPhone," scoffed Brian Kelly, who nevertheless asserted, "There is some value to this company." Guy Adami lamented of the RIMM story, "I thought it was intact at 13½, 14 dollars ... although I think it's worth a lot more than 9, I think it's probably worth double that, it's been impossible to trade from the long side."

Karen Finerman admitted she once thought the same thing and bought RIMM 15 calls, which basically aren't worth much if anything now.

Jim Iuorio said, "I think it's worth taking a flier on RIMM ... RIMM at this price becomes an option."

Melissa Lee balked. "Wait, wait, wait, I like when people say something is an option at this point," Lee said.

Pete Najarian said that, comparing NOK vs. RIMM, actually, "I like Nokia," basically because of its "30,000 patents."

‘Dangerous to be long and dangerous to be short’

Brian Kelly said at the top of Monday's 5 p.m. Fast Money that there's been a "huge, huge sentiment shift over the weekend" in regard to stocks.

"I'm essentially just flat the market," Kelly said.

But ever-bearish Guy Adami actually said, "If we can hold 1,292 ... I think we're in for another one of these bounces that catches everybody off-guard."

Adami cautioned to watch the weakness in C, and then offered WMT as a "really cool trade here for whatever side you're on."

Pete Najarian agreed with Adami (it's almost like they work at the same place or something), saying there's a "great opportunity" in this range-bound market, "call it 1,300 ... up to 1,350," and that he's watching JPM.

Jim Iuorio agreed there is potential, and in fact he would look at MSFT.

Karen Finerman concluded, "It's dangerous to be long and it's dangerous to be short here."

Europe: ‘Chronic problem’

Jim Paulsen told Monday's 5 p.m. Fast Money gang that traditional safe havens, of all things, might be the victims of an emerging risk-on investment scenario.

"That's gonna be our biggest theme over the next few years is a, slowly rising but steady-rising confidence," Paulsen said, describing Europe as "more of a chronic problem" like Japan than an immediate crisis.

Brian Kelly protested that Japan is a single government whereas in Europe you've got political problems.

Pete Najarian said it's a "trading environment, not an investing environment."

Bourdeau: Sell euro

Jim Iuorio sure didn't have many convincing catalysts, but he did have a provocative Trade of the Day on Monday's 5 p.m. Fast Money — sell PCLN.

"At the end of the day," Iuorio said, "this is not a business that has particularly high trade barriers ... 600 is my next target."

Melissa Lee disliked the graphic showing an X through Priceline. "It's like 'The Family Feud' Xs," Lee said.

Pete Najarian said weekly 26 calls in SLV were hot.

Amelia Bourdeau, who tends to look good on Fast Money, recommended selling the euro at 1.2440, with a 1.20 target and 1.2580 stop.

Scott Nations' Final Trade was selling put spreads in CHK. Jim Iuorio said (big surprise) sell PCLN. Brian Kelly said RJA, Karen Finerman said M, Pete Najarian said MOS, and Guy Adami congratulated a colleague on a new baby.

Steve Grasso is called
‘a very slick trader’

Guest Kris Jenner said on Monday's Fast Money Halftime Report that he shares the endlessly redundant and obnoxious predictions of the damn ruling "largely consensus" view that the Supreme Court will strike down the individual mandate of ObamaCare, but he thinks "largely the bill remains intact."

Jenner suggested the most reliable play is the "overall expansion of the Medicaid program," for which he likes AGP and CNC, while he'd recommend UNH as the best choice if you want to "sleep well" at night.

Jenner told Steve Grasso that he doesn't see a great opportunity in hospitals but that one's for "very slick traders like yourself."

Did John Rutledge really have a student claim 3 dead grandmothers in a week?

Noted China watcher John Rutledge visited again with the Fast Money gang on Monday's Halftime Report to hardly say anything different from the last time he was on, except this time he basically said he was totally out of the China plays such as FCX and RIO that last time he said you could use as a China proxy.

"So that's a headline in and of itself," said a desperate Judge Wapner hoping to actually hang a headline on this humdrum interview. Rutledge conceded that "these headlines are gonna be with us a while."

Funny thing was, last time Rutledge opened by scoffing at the every-6-months-a-new-crisis routine for China critics, while this time explaining — while insisting he doesn't consider every China headline "news" — that there are some things to be concerned about; "there's softness in Chinese capital spending."

But "I think we're still looking at 7½, 8% for the year," with "more stimulus to come," Rutledge said, adding that the real problem isn't China but the fact that China's the only place that is growing, like going 80 mph in the carpool lane while everyone else is bumper to bumper.

Judge Wapner and Michelle Caruso-Cabrera reported that Greece's finance minister isn't taking the job because of health concerns, with MCC (one person with zero physical issues) assuring it's "absolutely a physical issue." Judge explained that they had to clarify that because, you know, there are all kinds of rumors and machinations going on.

Rutledge then tried to be funny in what was an utter bust, saying it somehow reminded him of being an old professor, when "I had a student who lost 3 grandmothers in a week."

Josh Brown later addressed the concerns of TIF and COH as a high-end barometer, citing "horrible data points out of the hoi polloi" in China.

‘The iPhone 5 will be a big deal’

Toni Sacconaghi, for timeliness reasons we can't figure out, turned up on Monday's Fast Money Halftime Report to talk about a lot of distant catalysts in AAPL.

"The iPhone 5 will be a big deal," said Sacconaghi, in something of an understatement, saying there are some predictions that 45-50 million iPhone 5's could be sold in the first quarter of the phone.

Furthermore, he sees a deal with China Mobile in 6-8 months; "I think there's a lot left in China."

Sacconaghi played what's quickly returning as the Fast Money refrain, this notion that after a few months of turmoil many things such as banks, AAPL, etc., will be up, said for anyone with a 6-month horizon, "this is a great story." But he doesn't expect an Apple TV this year.

Josh Brown agreed the iPhone 5 is "huge" and predicted the company will "execute flawlessly."

Joe Terranova said he's "willing to add more at this price."

Grasso: Need to test 1,266

Monday's Fast Money Halftime Report gang was at best cautious but realistically bearish, even Joe Terranova, who refreshingly admitted, "I myself last week was adding on the highs, I was clearly wrong," and that the market is reeling from disappointment Friday in Rome.

Steve Grasso said it's not only Goldman Sachs' 1,285 but his own 1,266 level that "I do believe needs to be retested," that when he listens to people bullish of this market he finds "they really can't elaborate why they're bullish," and that the U.S. being the best-apple-in-the-bunch argument is getting "long-winded."

Josh Brown said "none of this is surprising," because we're in a market where "none of the trends are your friends," and that some people are bullish simply because they have to be. "The data is not on your side," Brown said.

Judge Wapner reported that George Soros has said Europe has 3 days to "figure this crap out."

Brian Kelly conceded that like Terranova, he tried buying at the end of last week. Meanwhile, in Europe, "the summit at the end of the week has become a binary event again." (Which means lovers of kicking the can down the road might be in for a treat.)

Jim Iuorio said he sold MS Monday morning at $13.47 and warned that reports of big bank bonuses aren't going to go over well.

Speaking of long-winded, instead of just saying he doesn't like the banks yet, Dr. J had to explain his tired old GS/JPM trade that is done and doesn't do a thing for viewers now before he got to the point, which is that he took off his bank exposure on Friday.

NFLX around a bottom?

Guest Colin Sebastian actually likes Zynga and said on Monday's Fast Money Halftime Report that social gaming remains a compelling growth driver for Facebook.

ZNGA actually has a "lot of visibility" through 2015, Sebastian said.

Josh Brown insisted that "fundamentally I don't like" Netflix, but it does seem to be forming the type of bottom it found around November. (And oh man, a year ago at this time, this thing was really on a fiscal cliff.)

Steve Grasso said "I'm staying long the GDX," while Joe Terranova said "I think silver's the trade here." But Terranova said he doesn't want people to rush in to the UNG.

Jon Najarian said STZ probably has "a little squeeze going on here."

Guest Yair Reiner said Boeing's DreamLiner "looks like it's finally kicking into gear" and is due to "start generating a lot of cash."

Reiner said it's not beholden to global macro forces but is really a "secular story" like the iPad, and represents big savings for every airline that gets one and can shelve an older, less efficient plane and that if you're one of those airlines. "You're gonna make money on that thing from day 1." Judge tried to be funny, saying that airplanes don't cost $499.

Joe Terranova said he likes PCP more than BA.

Terranova also touted CF, while Jon Najarian reported "very unusual option activity" in POT.

Steve Grasso's Final Trade was SDS. Josh Brown said XBI, Joe Terranova said CCL and Jon Najarian said DIS calls.

PAY as you go: Fast Money’s most embarrassing bandwagon trade of 2012 so far

Here's a loss you can actually put on your credit card.

Or even, expense it to Fast Money.

Just a few months ago, you couldn't go a week on Fast Money without hearing someone talk about the generational sea change in electronic payments that is so great for a name such as Verifone (PAY).

Josh Brown, in fact, on April 5 declared the company "right in the eye of the storm," and he meant that in a good way.

Verifone, if we've read the Yahoo finance data correctly, this year peaked intraday on April 19 at $55.89, and its peak 2012 close was $54.45 on April 12.

Now, this sorry, wretched, decrepit mess of a stock is not in the "eye" of anything except a grotesque portfolio loss in a year in which the S&P is slightly up.

At least 4 people on Fast Money — Brown, Simon Baker, Zach Karabell and Karen Finerman — recommended the stock up to April 19.

And, in a sign the Fast Money gang itself has trouble with Guy Adami's "price is truth" thing, Jon Najarian and Joe Terranova were each caught recommending it in late May.

Brown, the stock's biggest backer on Fast Money, made bullish calls on March 21 ($50.63 close), March 26 ($52.03) and April 5 ($52.96). Karabell suggested it on March 30 ($51.87), and Baker pretty much called the top on April 19 ($54.11).

Finerman, to her credit, recommended owning it on March 6 ($50.24) but advised selling April 50 calls.

By the end of May, a couple panelists were in falling-dagger stupor, with Joe Terranova on May 24 (close of $45.00; big afterhours plunge) calling the shares a buy around $41, and Jon Najarian the next day saying he likes it around $36.

Any of those bullish calls would be forgettable and perhaps even hailed here as accurate had anybody on the show bothered to urge a "sell" once the momentum wheels fell off in late April. By ignoring it, after constantly conveying the "transformational shift" theme, all they really did was potentially draw viewers into an extremely volatile, losing trade based on a decade-long (or more) business-model transition. (This writer never took a position in PAY (thankfully), hard to believe.)

Which brings us back to one of our favorite Fast Money criticisms: How come instead of always telling viewers that just select names such as NFLX are at the "deep end of the trading pool," that anything mentioned by the traders — even their favorite stocks — are just as capable of a shark bite?

Interestingly, the show did actually feature 1 brilliant call on PAY — it was by guest Barry Sine on April 19 — same day as the intraday high — who flagged the stock as 1 of 6 due for a big fall based on his momentum oscillators.

However, we didn't give Sine much credit at the time, and see no reason to now, especially because the only name he really trumpeted on the show was CMG, and that 3 of the 6 (SHW, FDO and MO) are robustly up since then, and SBUX hasn't been a disaster.

[Friday, June 22, 2012]

The can’t-go-wrong-with-banks-within-a-couple-years trade is definitely back

Sometimes on Fast Money, it feels like 2008 all over again (and let's hope that's the case not in stocks but in pro football, given that the yinz might be in a shrinking Super Bowl window), as on Friday's Fast Money Halftime Report, when bank watcher Chris Kotowski complained about ... the rating agencies.

"It's tragic how, uh, what lagging indicators the ratings agencies are," Kotowski said, recalling that about 15 years ago a "former comptroller of the currency said, the function of the ratings agencies is to visit the field at the end of the battle and then shoot the survivors, uh, or shoot the wounded," a joke that has not gotten any funnier in at least 14½ years (see, there's this concept of diminishing returns); also there's nothing "tragic" about the agencies.

"I can't determine any rhyme or reason in how they actually came up with these ratings," Kotowski said of Moody's apparent formula, which was too pool-deep-endish to really get into on the show.

The most notable thing Kotowski said was that if you buy Goldman Sachs now, "3 years from now, you will probably have done pretty well for yourself," which is what we used to hear from Steve Grasso up until about a year ago when BAC crumbled into the $5s and Citi did the $2 thing (we don't always officially recognize that bogus 1-for-10 chicanery).

Despite this ridiculous 3-year assurance, Kotowski admitted, "I'm recommending JPMorgan and not Goldman Sachs, in part because JPM has near-term catalysts, which include recent "unverified press reports" about already exiting the bad CIO trading/hedging position.

Patty Edwards refused to take the bank bait; "a lot of other places I would rather have my money," Edwards said.

Steve Grasso did the not-ever-particularly-convincing "gun to the head" trade, suggesting it would be USB and WFC (of course) and BBT rather than JPM. And, he thinks you get better beta now in XLI and XLF.

Jon Najarian crowed about a Brag Trade we had forgotten about, suggesting a GS short against JPM long the night of the trading-loss revelation, even though he actually spent most of that night and the next morning crowing about buying JPM in afterhours when it had a lot further to go.

‘It’s Europe till September’

In case you're a bull on the market and are afraid the Fed might've somehow turned its back on stocks, take a note of what Jan Hatzius said on Friday's Fast Money Halftime Report.

"Ultimately the Fed's going to have to do more," Hatzius said, which would involve some extension of forward guidance of the funds rate and/or an asset purchase program. "We think, you know, eventually we'll probably see both of those," he said.

Jon Najarian questioned the ongoing benefits of Fed easing and asked Hatzius if "something out of the Congress and the president would be far more impactful."

Hatzius acknowledged that "I do think that you're, you're running into decreasing returns on, on monetary stimulus," and that in many ways, what happens with the fictitious looming fiscal cliff is more important.

Steve Grasso predicted stocks will sell off if nothing is done regarding U.S. health care or tax-rate extensions and if Washington fails to produce pro-growth tax policies.

Pete Najarian said he agreed with brother Jon about the importance of getting something from the president. "It's Europe till September, then it's the elections all the way to the rest of the year," Pete said.

Patty’s back — and so is the Costco gas-pump trade

We had penciled in this weekend as likely another humdrum affair, only to realize Patty Edwards was back on the Fast Money Halftime Report and that Friday would thus be rockin'.

Edwards, it turned out, had more than just another "that being said" trick up her sleeve, in an alternate form of one of the most bogus Fast Money refrains, the notion that Costco just goes gangbusters with extra customers when gasoline spikes.

"Costco is actually going to benefit on the margin side from gas prices coming down," Edwards asserted Friday. "They turn their tanks so fast in those gas stations, sometimes 3 or 4 fill-ups a day ... so as the prices come down they're buying more gas at spot prices, and they're able to get a greater margin on that gas even providing a lower price to the consumer."

So basically, COST wins when gasoline goes up, and COST wins when gasoline goes down.

What Edwards didn't address is, what happens in the Jeff Kilburg scenario, when crude spikes back to 90 in a couple weeks because of the "coordinated" action we're going to get, and then for a few days Costco is selling gasoline purchased for 20 cents a gallon more than Manny's shop down the street, who got his week's worth of fill-ups at the lower price.

Basically for years, long oil is the same trade as long stocks, a point Josh Brown eloquently made the other day, and rather than hunting for angles to play declining RBOB, you're better off drowning yourself in Steve Grasso's S(u)DS.

Edwards singled out headwinds of consumer confidence and employment data on the retail sector, but, "That being said, if you stick with some of the more quality names, I think you're gonna be fine," specifically PVH, and "I'm also long Nike."

Undeniable MO-mentum

Steve Grasso spent a few moments on Friday's Fast Money Halftime Report talking up Altria (that would be MO), saying, "You don't get those European headwinds that you get with Philip Morris."

In an assessment that unfortunately sounds a little too good to be true, but has basically been accurate for the last year (these types of statements are always true until they're not), Grasso said MO runs with the markets when they go up and doesn't sell off as much when they crumble.

(The time to worry is when (possible) 2nd-term Barack Obama enlists the FDA to start ... lessee here, what's next ... hiking the federal tax per pack from $1.01 to the $2 range ... banning menthol ... ordering any convenience store in which children shop to remove tobacco offerings ...)

Patty Edwards was asked to explain — apparently — that she exited PM (the international version of Philip Morris) in favor of MO, because it's purportedly lower beta, better yield, better valuation, except Edwards only said "Philip Morris," so it wasn't 100% clear which one she was talking about.

Adding further to the confusion, the official disclosures at CNBC.com indicate that Patty is long PM personally but long MO for clients. (But at least they're actually disclosed.)

Dr. J about ready to nail another GLD call

Guest Michael Harris said on Friday's Fast Money Halftime Report that oil's been in a "perfect storm," which really isn't true, and that 77 may provide some support, but "75 is gonna be the real level that we have to get through in order for this downtrend to continue."

Harris said 1,525 is the big level in gold, but he sees "not a whole lot of conviction" in it right now.

Dr. J, who frankly has called the GLD masterfully around its 149 range bottom, said "I'm still short about 50% of the position here" and looking for 150 or 149.

Steve Grasso said if you want to play nat gas, you "really have to be in it for the long haul," and he would use XCO here.

Euro rally ‘over’

Steve Grasso said on Friday's Fast Money Halftime Report that 1,335 is his key level. "As long as we're below, we're probably headed to 1,300 sooner rather than later," Grasso said, except we were below when he said that, and by the end of that day we were actually above it (by .02).

Patty Edwards seemed to think the June rally has been a godsend for bears. "You know, the view out here has been, the past 2-3 weeks, they've been an absolute gift of, unless you believe that there are unicorns and rainbows coming in this market."

Edwards said she's taken the opportunity of "actually de-risking the portfolio ... bringing up the dividend yield," and focusing on U.S.-centric names.

Jon Najarian noted the newfound Goldman Sachs short level of 1,285 or 1,280 (sic, he said both but the actual number is 1,285) and said, "I think we could get down to there," but he's not that negative because "I really like the way that the banks rebounded."

Najarian at one point also noted that someone bought 80,000 out-of-the-money August 53 calls in EFA, and financed it by selling 20,000 August 45 puts.

Guest Marc Chandler said "I'm thinking that the rally in the euro is over," a refrain we've heard many times in the last couple years on Fast Money, and predicted that it's on track to "make new lows for the year." His trade is to sell at 1.26 with a 1.27 stop and (get your pencil out) a target of 1.2288.

Answering Judge Wapner's favorite question, Chandler wouldn't give a year-end target or parity date, but said he assesses this stuff quarterly and sees "below 1.20 by the end of September."

Michael Harris predicted the S&P could bounce because of the "head and shoulders" pattern, and that U.S. stocks are like a clean shirt in a college student's dirty laundry pile.

Pete cited option volumes in saying he didn't want to overread anything from Friday's activity.

Did Pete really kinda recommend solar?

In a bit of a head-scratcher, Pete Najarian on Friday's Fast Money Halftime Report said it's "finally time to start looking at some of these solar names once again," because "they really have been taken out back," but there are "some opportunities there now."

Mike Murphy said he added to his CHRW short on the Ryder news and said "We think it's gonna hit new lows and continue to go lower. Jon Najarian, on the other hand, said R might be one to buy, "Perhaps to own this thing around the 34 level, I like that a lot."

Patty Edwards said TRIP was another stock moving on a Facebook connection. Pete Najarian admitted he's still long FB but "I got in far too early."

Edwards halfheartedly said that instead of DRI, you might try DIN, in part because of its better comps, and also trumpeted the "orphan brands" of BGS, "we bought over the past couple of weeks."

Simon Hobbs says Erin Burnett went to Hooters because her boyfriend wanted to go

Seema Mody said on Friday's Fast Money Halftime Report that ARNA is "capturing a lot of social momentum," but even ARNA doesn't have the kind of social momentum of CNBC's treasure of a StockTwits reporter (no, not Herb Greenberg who doesn't do it anymore).

Jon Najarian hailed the 100% return ever since he started talking about ARNA but suggests that selling calls and using a call spread are the way to play it now (but he apparently is out of it, according to disclosures).

Patty Edwards revealed, "I've been looking at Onyx," though the disclosures indicate she hasn't touched it.

Jon Najarian said CELG might be worth a pop; "I do like it for a fast trade quite frankly."

Pete Najarian halfheartedly said of QCOM "I like this name a lot," but it sounds like he likes INTC a lot better.

Patty Edwards' Final Trade was whenever-you-hear-it-we're-near-a-market-bottom JNJ. Steve Grasso said SDS, Pete Najarian said FB and Jon Najarian said PBR while getting chided by Judge for talking too much into the show's ending.

Just before the program started, Squawk on the Street duo Simon Hobbs asked Melissa Lee if Mel has ever been to a Hooters. Mel said no, but Simon said Erin Burnett once went.

[Thursday, June 21, 2012]

Charles Bobrinskoy’s victory lap is downgraded a notch or 2 by Keith McCullough’s dis of book value

Keith McCullough said early on Thursday's 5 p.m. Fast Money that "Morgan Stanley CDS is nauseatingly high."

And that was just the beginning of what proved an interesting little donnybrook with Charles "all-the-bad-stuff's-already-priced-into-the-banks" Bobrinskoy.

Bobrinskoy, conveniently appearing on the show just before Moody's released its bank downgrades, said there's a 25% chance that Morgan Stanley would only get a 2-notch setback. "If we get a 2-notch downgrade, I think the stock trades up; if we get 3, I think it'll be down a little bit," he said.

Moments later, after that 2-notcher indeed proved to be the case, Bobrinskoy told Mel Lee, "You may have to back up the cameras because my smile is so big I may not fit on your screen." One male panelist was heard chuckling off-camera; we think it was probably McCullough.

Bobrinskoy went on to say, "There's no reason the business should be trading at 50% of book, if they can earn 9% on equity. If they're earning 9% of equity, the stock should be trading close to book, which is like 27, 28 dollars a share. So we think there is a lot of upside room in Morgan Stanley."

McCullough responded, "2 notches definitely better, congrats on the trade, but at the end of the day, going forward, you've got Volcker implementation," and the company needing to find a way to backstop derivatives, so what about the ongoing headwinds.

Bobrinskoy, a Duke '81 grad which puts him in Gminski-land, asserted, "When something is trading at 50% of tangible book, you've got a huge margin of safety ... people fought to be partners at Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley for 50 years so they'd have the right to buy stock at book."

"That's great, but they did at Lehman too," said McCullough, who won this debate convincingly hands-down. "Cheap gets cheaper. I mean if you're gonna pay .5 times book, you might as well pay .2 times book. They're worried about external issues that you sound like you're very certain are not issues."

"I'm saying, at 50% of tangible book, those risks are absolutely in the stock," Bobrinskoy said.

Tim Seymour said a lot of pessimism was driving the MS price going into the Moody's announcement, and "I think it can hold these gains."

Schork: At least another $5 lower in crude

Melissa Lee was likely happy to get a guest on Thursday's 5 p.m. Fast Money talking about oil, but Stephen Schork had to give her far more commentary than Lee bargained for.

"You can expect further pain," Schork said in remarks that went on far longer than anyone anticipated, explaining that traders "got oil prices up to a stupid level back at the end of 2011 and the beginning of 2012 on fears of supply ... too much supply, not enough demand, and we are now in a massive correction. I still think we have another 5, maybe 6 dollars to go."

Schork said not to expect much Iran premium unlike when Libya production was reduced; "Iran is starved for cash, they have to sell their oil," he said.

Guest James Lebenthal said CAT has been trading more volatile than you'd think for that kind of stock, but given its ability to beat earnings estimates, liking that stock "seems like a no-brainer."

But Lebenthal spent more time touting GBX. "We do see a lot of value in Greenbrier," he said, while indicating "railroads are a little bit stodgy." He said the reason he likes UAL is that things have changed in the airline space and empty seats are extremely rare; "management now has discipline."

What happened to Guy Adami’s if-we-break-1,292-then-it’s-1,205 call?

Fast Money viewers know how unlikely they are to get a straight answer from Tim Seymour about market direction, but now that problem seems to be spilling over to Guy Adami.

Adami continued to pound the audience senseless on Thursday's 5 p.m. Fast Money with another qualified I-think-things-are-bad-but-you-have-to-respect-the-tape routine, saying, "If you're bullish, the market stopped exactly on another fibonacci number, this 1,325 level."

He thinks 1,292 is the critical base of support, but said oil shows that the global growth story is "not really there."

See, the thing about that 1,292 level is that it held May 18, but didn't hold on June 1, but that really didn't matter because it was well above 1,300 just 3 trading days later.

So, it really doesn't mean a thing.

Keith McCullough reported being 94% in cash, and said, "I think the market could be down another 20 handles tomorrow."

Tim Seymour, as usual neither endorsing nor rejecting that notion, said, "Going to cash here at this stage of the market's move says, these are markets that, you know, on some level, are FUBAR ... I won't define FUBAR for the folks at home."

McCullough acknowledged the risk to being outright bearish; "people are scared to short the market."

Seymour suddenly decided that "This market was very overbought into this Fed."

Mike Murphy, who was going to make 2 observations but only made 1 and never got around to the 2nd, asked McCullough if the Goldman Sachs short call was actually a bottom. McCullough said that Goldman's advice often is contrarian, but "I don't look to Goldman Sachs to tell me what to do."

Karen Finerman said things are likely to be volatile in the remaining trading days of June, but "I would think that we will see some buying at the end of the quarter."

Jon Najarian saying SPYder options players were "playing exactly the levels that Goldman talked about." Najarian also said they've seen people buying one strike, and then twice as much above it; "we call that a call stupid."

Dennis Gartman is back to saying he wants to own gold in yen terms

When you're not exactly in a groove, there's always the yen to bail you out.

Dennis Gartman on Thursday's 5 p.m. Fast Money did a fine job of reporting the gold trading activity that had already occurred earlier in the day, but barely a lukewarm job (if that) of advising viewers where it's actually going next.

"Once 1,595 was given, it was over, I mean they just hit stop after stop after stop," Gartman said, explaining he'd still own the equities over the commodity, and that he wouldn't do it in dollar terms, but in euro, yen, or even Canadian dollar terms.

Gartman told Keith McCullough that "if the DXY goes to 90, gold has to go lower."

Honestly, we can't fathom why Gartman continues to trade gold at all, given that he predicts the wrong direction on CNBC just as often as he predicts the right direction. (But then the alternative would be more calls like that long GNK in February.)

Guy Adami, as always, took the approach with gold that Steve Grasso used to take with banks a year ago until he gave it up, which is that it might go lower but rest assured that in a while it'll be so much higher, contending that in this environment, "What winds up winning in the end will be the gold market."

Keith McCullough, who brought his A game Thursday (except when he spoke for a long time without his mike activated), disagreed. "It's 12 years in though. The only thing that's gone up for 12 years by the way other than gold is my weight. I mean, the reality is that gold is a bubble."

Things are so great for RHT, it’s even manhandling southern Europe

RHT chief Jim Whitehurst was so positive about his company on Thursday's 5 p.m. Fast Money, we had to think the only possible reason his shares could've traded lower Thursday was a Flash Crash.

"We feel great about the momentum," Whitehurst said, saying the bottom line was impacted by forex, and the fact they "intentionally slowed our growth of services."

Whitehurst assured Guy Adami, "We can certainly continue to keep the margins going up," while remarkably adding a couple times, "We continue to see really good strength throughout Europe, and in particular, southern Europe."

Adami said, "I think Red Hat's worth a look here, 53 bucks, for a trade."

Pay Anywhere chief Marc Gardner said "I've never seen a more meteoric rise in payment acceptance," but sidestepped Mel Lee's contention that growth in his business is bad news for Verifone. Rather, "The near-term is the cannibalization of the cash register."

Karen Finerman said she thinks Thursday's trading in M was an "overreaction," during a discussion about gasoline and retailers. Keith McCullough tried to say something about there being a "huge behavioral concept here," but his mike wasn't connected and he could barely be heard. "Maybe you should put me on mute," McCullough noted later.

Tim Seymour's Final Trade was YNDX. Guy Adami said BMY, Karen Finerman said BAC if it trades down, and Keith McCullough said long TGT.

Judge asks people having Twitter problems to tweet him

In one of the more curious tangents you'll see on Fast Money, the Thursday Halftime Report was interrupted by Julia Boorstin, who looked perhaps even better in her own white T with black trim than Mel Lee looked a day earlier and reported that Twitter had been experiencing outages.

That prompted Judge Wapner to tell viewers, "If you're having problems, uh, accessing Twitter, you can tweet me @ScottWapnercnbc."

So, lessee here ... if you're able to get on Twitter, you're supposed to tip Scott off to an outage scoop that's already happened?

Kate Kelly, who was speaking about (ugh) the JPMorgan trading loss, cracked to Wapner that by trumpeting his Twitter account, "now your viewers know what you think of 'em."

At least one viewer got a guffaw out of Judge's maneuver, prompting Judge to explain: "i said if you were able to get on twitter to reach out because at that time the reports we had were that it wasn't totally out"

N.Y. Daily News says Morgan Stanley brass is skewering CNBC over Facebook hype

Remember a month ago when Mel Lee's 5 p.m. Fast Money crew donned hoodies to celebrate the Facebook IPO pricing (and Joe Terranova couldn't take his off fast enough, not even waiting long enough for the camera to catch a pose)?

Turns out Morgan Stanley, according to this article in the Daily News, is pushing back at the corporate communications level (that's always dubious) that CNBC is as guilty as anyone in hyping the stock.

The CNBCfix.com official analysis is that the hoodies were silly and overdone, but not a journalistic or financial/ethical transgression.

On the bigger issue of the article sources' contention that CNBC "promoted" the stock, no. Network coverage promoted the IPO, not the price.

Moreover, one of this site's gripes — not to defend the network — is that there is no one individual who is "CNBC." Dozens of people appear on CNBC every day issuing stock opinions. In fact, a startling portion in the days and weeks before the IPO recommended staying away from the IPO. That is different from the near-consensus professional estimates that Facebook shares would nevertheless pop on the first day.

Of course, some (such as one of the hoodied panelists above) would've been more accurate had they not predicted FB hitting $55 on the opening day.

CNBC might want to handle any Facebook-hyping complaints from Morgan Stanley people with more than just kid gloves, given that the investment banking giant's PR Department toughies were actually accused by Charles Gasparino last September of issuing a "death threat" against him.

But Charlie vowed that "Morgan Stanley is not going to silence me," and perhaps it won't silence CNBC either.

Jeff Kilburg suggests crude run to $90 in a couple weeks; Grasso suggests long position ‘reckless’ (and by the way, we don’t have any record of a single Fast Money panelist (let alone ‘all’ of them) a couple months ago calling for $150 oil)

Jeff Kilburg on Thursday's Fast Money Halftime Report pronounced crude's fall as nothing more than an outstanding buying opportunity.

"At the end of the day Judge, when they come in with this big daisy cutter resolve in either out of China or out of Europe, you're gonna see this market rip north and oil will go with it," Kilburg told Scott Wapner.

He also said, "I think Fed policy or lack thereof is what's driving oil down as well as every commodity price in the pits behind me."

Steve Grasso said technicals are saying anything but, and that the only bullish crude call would have to be based on some geopolitical unrest. "At this point the path is much lower from here in oil, and I think getting in front of it is just a waste and a reckless- reckless use of time," Grasso said.

Kilburg fought back. "You can honestly get into this trade here," he said, and in a "week or 2 weeks, we're gonna see oil go back up to 90 bucks."

Grasso insisted, "If you tell me it's technicals, I'm gonna say it's 50, 55 dollars." Kilburg insisted, "As soon as we see a close in the next couple days above 81.39 ... it's goin' higher."

Stephanie Link quietly stayed out of this one, saying "I think we're a little overdone" on the downside in oil and that she likes CVX.

Steve Cortes said, "I think oil, like so many trades, is about China."

Brian Kelly said, "2 months ago we were all sitting around here saying 'oil's going to $150 a barrel, it's gonna ruin the U.S. economy,' now we're 25% lower and I was included in that, that chanting of saying it's gonna ruin the U.S. economy, it's 25% lower, this is great for the U.S. consumer."

Brian Kelly, Steve Cortes tangle over whether money-printing is a ‘political’ process

While many on Thursday were pinning the stock market selloff on the Fed, Brian Kelly on the Fast Money Halftime Report said he sees a buying opportunity.

"I wouldn't be so fast to say that uh, Ben Bernanke is, is, on the sidelines here," Kelly said. "I actually bought a little bit uh just before we got on set here."

Steve Cortes scoffed that Ben S. Bernanke is a "political operator" and that Romney has talked of replacing him (Mitt's got to get a new job first), and so "I think the bar for QE is very high."

Kelly argued that if Bernanke is subject to political twists in the wind, "Why wouldn't it be low then? ... he'd start printing money tomorrow."

"He does not want it to become an election issue," said Cortes.

(Once again, neither participant acknowledged what really matters, that QE is the product of a massive consensus process involving countless inputs, and that Ben S. Bernanke doesn't just wake up in the morning and say, "I think I'll do some easing today," but whatever.)

Steve Grasso said of the Fed, "They're holding the market on a strings (sic), like a puppet on a strings (sic)," and then, advising people long GDX to stay long until 45.10, referred to "Chairman Bernacki."

That pronunciation prompted Judge Wapner to ask Grasso if he would "change your address to Chicago now?"

Grasso said that no matter how he pronounces it, he hears from the "Twittiots."

Twitterer faults Judge’s choice of subjects for Yacktman

Guest Don Yacktman, on location with Tyler Mathisen, fielded a few questions on Thursday's Fas Money Halftime Report from Judge Wapner, who really tried his danged-est to get a Yacktman opinion on Research in Motion.

That's despite the fact Yacktman seemed surprised by the question, said "It's actually a very tiny position" and only seems big because it's a large number of shares.

Conceding RIMM has problems, Yacktman did assert the sum-of-the-parts argument, suggesting the stock has "probably got $20, but I admit that it may be an ice cube."

CNBCfix.com translation: It's a loser, but we're so far into this irrelevant position that we might as well hang onto it and hope for a buyout.

Once again, a Twitter critic scoffed at Judge's comments, complaining he asked about Yacktman's No. 26 position while not bringing up PEP, PG, MSFT or CSCO. Judge responded by saying CNBC is hell-bent on talking about Research in Motion all the time that Yacktman had already spoken about PG at the top of the interview with Mathisen.

In fact, all Yacktman really said about PG is that a long-term investor isn't interested in short-term hiccups in the stock, and also that he's not so concerned about the market plunge Thursday because "my son Steve" has done analysis finding that since 2009 the market has done better than people think because a lot of the shrinking came from big banks.

JNJ longs evidently have nothing to fear, except that people apparently think it will underperform

Guest William Duff Gordon told Thursday's Fast Money Halftime gang where the short interest is soaring while easing Steve Cortes' fears about JNJ, which he only owns indirectly through an ETF.

Gordon reported a "big spike in bearish sentiment in Groupon," said X is at an annual high and that GameStop as usual has a lot of shorts.

Cortes said he was surprised to see JNJ shorts climbing. Gordon responded, "I can put your mind at rest there," it's viewed as being "entirely related to the recent acquisition they did ... looks more like an arb than it is a directional view."

Grasso: 1,335 critical

Steve Grasso said on Thursday's Fast Money Halftime Report that 1,335 is "the big level you wanna watch."

His Final Trade, long MO, was qualified by noting that if the S&P falls below that 1,335 level, he'd buy nothing.

Steve Cortes said, "I happen to agree with this call by Goldman Sachs," and that markets crumbled "once we saw the disappointment of no imminent QE."

Cortes, whose Final Trade was selling the Q's, said the PMI is proof "there will be no decoupling," and that PMI is just one of many that will experience currency woes.

Todd Gordon advised selling the euro at 1.26, with a stop at 1.27 and target of 1.23. "You gotta be a seller on the bounce," Gordon said. Brian Kelly's Final Trade was UUP.

Dick Bove said last week ‘Who cares,’ and he was right

Kate Kelly, who hasn't been on Fast Money much if at all since the FB IPO (or was it the Delta Air Lines refinery?), had to talk about the dreaded JPMorgan CDX IG 9 trade and report that Tuesday, the bank "probably sold a boatload on that day alone."

It would matter, Kelly said, because instead of hanging onto this forever, maybe they're getting out of it sooner than the market expected, and thus, "I think they've actually taken us by positive surprise."

Brian Kelly said, "I'm long JPMorgan, PNC Bank, some of the regionals."

Guest Michael Binetti said he downgraded UA "mostly on valuation." Brian Kelly argued it's a good call but got tripped up by Judge Wapner, who asked how it's a good call if the story's the same. "What's changed is the growth trajectory," Kelly tried to argue.

Steve Cortes said "I am a fan" of PEET despite the selloff and would buy closer to 60.

Stephanie Link trumpeted CVS and waffled on whether people should own TJX right now. Steve Grasso advised people to "just wait" for the health-care ruling and not try to gamble on the Supreme Court.

Stephen Weiss said he got out of his steel shorts last week but is "back with MT."

"Steel has high barriers of exit. They don't get it. They keep producing more steel," Weiss said, calling those shares "the shorts that keep on giving."

[Wednesday, June 20, 2012]

Adami: Look for RHT bounce

Guy Adami, who nailed a great call this week on catching a JCP bounce, suggested on Wednesday's 5 p.m. Fast Money that RHT might do the same.

The stock's afterhours selloff is "not unlike JCPenney the other day ... Red Hat might set up extraordinarily similarly tomorrow," Adami said.

Karen Finerman said you don't have to buy BBBY, which also took a hit, on Thursday, but it's "starting to get sort of interesting."

Jon Fortt spoke about the Windows 8 phones and interviewed Greg Sullivan, who basically just said they're going to be great. Guy Adami said if MSFT can close above 32½ or 33, then it probably goes 10-15% higher.

Mike Khouw said someone put on a "substantial put spread trade" in the XLY, specifically a Sept. 42/35 put spread.

Guy Adami said he still thinks JACK looks interesting, even though "I haven't stepped foot in one."

Kelly: Risk trade still on

Amid a 5 p.m. Fast Money panel that was mostly playing it conservatively on Wednesday, Brian Kelly was declaring stocks in a go-go market.

Given what's happening with the Fed, "The risk trade is still on," Kelly said. "You wanna buy stocks again, you wanna buy cyclicals."

Tim Seymour, who finds a way to address/endorse nearly every angle of most financial issues, sort of concurred with Kelly, saying in terms of the market's Fed expectations, "I think this came in right down the fairway."

Meanwhile, Guy Adami said that in his opinion, the world "gets scarier by the day." But he thinks at least temporarily, the market has found a range, with the 1,363 high of Tuesday marking an "exact Fibonacci," and thinks that's a good reference with 1,345.

Josh Brown explained, "We're 100% short-term Treasury ETFs in tactical accounts" but said it's too hard to try to play the smaller trends. "We try to get the big trends right," Brown said.

With another Fed milestone passed, CNBC can start gearing up to pulverize viewers with 6 months of fiscal cliff analysis

We've said it before, and frankly we're tired of saying it, but CNBC overcooks the analysis of uninteresting Federal Reserve pronouncements to such an extent, it's no surprise that eventually people plunge into the kind of nonsense Brian Kelly dabbled in during Wednesday's 5 p.m. Fast Money.

Ben Bernanke, with QE, according to Kelly, is "like the dad sitting on the porch, cleaning the gun when you come to take out his daughter, he's gonna use it, it's there, it's ready."

Guest Lawrence Goodman, like countless others recently on CNBC, doubted that additional Fed easing is going to matter. "What will it do for the economy? Not much. It will help on the margin in financial markets and it will probably help stocks more than commodities," Goodman said.

Much more noteworthy was Goodman's contention that "the economy is actually starting to slow, and it's actually starting to slow pretty hard," followed later by "the economy is slowing dramatically."

Brian Kelly, who had argued that the "risk trade is still on," claimed that Goodman's commentary "supports what I'm saying."

Goodman did assert that in China, it'll be "pretty tough to get growth below 8%." Tim Seymour said, "I think China troughed."

Karen sounds unconvinced at the notion diamonds trade purely on supply and demand

Guest Peter Laib told viewers of Wednesday's 5 p.m. Fast Money that high quality diamonds have been outperforming since 2004.

It's been "double-digit price performance" since then, Laib said, explaining that viewers can get exposure in "different ways," starting with paying retail with assurance of high quality, paying discount retail without the same assurance, and other ways he wasn't quite as high on.

"It's Karen let me ask you something," said Karen Finerman, who told Laib that some people might think "somehow this market is rigged."

Laib said that's no longer the case. "The whole market changed basically in 2001 when De Beers got privatized," he said. "It's really about supply and demand of the market."

Tim Seymour basically agreed and said that in emerging markets, rich people can't get enough of this stuff. "I don't see diamond prices coming down," Seymour said.

Mel’s No. 1 outfit of 2012

Now that we've cleared another Fed announcement, CNBC is moving into fiscal-cliff land, where basically every pundit is going to say "Nothing's going to happen before the election" and "taxes are definitely going up" and "they can only keep kicking the can down the road for so long."

Michael Hanson's hook for landing an appearance on Wednesday's 5 p.m. Fast Money to discuss this topic was to assert, "We really think it's gonna start hitting the economy in the 3rd quarter of this year and really gradually build," because people don't board up windows when a hurricane has hit, but well beforehand.

Jason Brady didn't really have many specifics but said that navigating the fixed income market is very difficult right now, and "we're at the deep end of the pool here."

Karen Finerman, in not too hearty a recommendation, said she's long ag plays POT, CF and RNF. Guy Adami recommended PCG, saying "trade it against 43.09."

Tim Seymour again touted MELI, calling it "the eBay of Latin America" that's at "trough valuation ... at the end of the day ... stop yourself at 63" ... Zzzzz ... Zzzzzz ...

Mike Khouw's Final Trade was CF. Josh Brown said SDY, Guy Adami said JCP for 1 more day, Karen Finerman said WTW and Brian Kelly said GNRC.

The Weather Channel's Eric Fisher told the Fast Money gang it's hot. Melissa Lee, who turned heads Wednesday in a fetching white T-shirt, asked Fisher about his suggestion that people who have relatives without air-conditioning should invite them to stay over, an idea Guy Adami thought was great especially if the invitor was Lee.

"You can sleep on the floor, Guy," Lee said.

Fisher endorsed that idea, saying, "Who knows where that can lead."

Najarian: ‘I’m still short gold’

Jon Najarian said on Wednesday's Fast Money Halftime Report after the Fed announcement that "I was short gold, I'm still short gold," and that he's looking for GLD 150-149 and perhaps 80 in crude.

Guest David Kelly seemed puzzled at the notion there might've been fireworks. "I didn't expect any more than this ... I think they're quite wrong-headed in trying to do more monetary ease to help the economy in the first place," Kelly said.

What Insana trumpeted that what "No one has yet mentioned" is that the Fed reported that "inflation is declining."

Jon Najarian's Final Trade was CRZO, Ron Insana and Simon Baker both said JPM, and Stephen Weiss said ANF.

Simon Baker zinged Stephen Weiss during the Procter & Gamble discussion.

Ron Insana overhypes Keith McCullough’s boring sidelines trade into a ‘John Paulson type moment’

Just before the Fed announcement on Wednesday, Keith McCullough made a call.

"Heads you lose, and tails you lose," was McCullough's assessment of Ben Bernanke's options on Wednesday's Fast Money Halftime Report. "Might get a pop in commodities," he added, but being long is "a very precarious position right here," so he's all cash.

Jon Najarian predicted Bernanke was "just gonna leave the door open ... I think it'll be a lot of jawboning today."

McCullough then claimed, "The entire market has been going straight up for the last 2 weeks with the U.S. dollar going straight down."

"Dollar hasn't been going straight down!" Najarian insisted.

Stephen Weiss predicted "the market will knee-jerk down" when the Fed does nothing, but the catch is that the U.S. and Europe will get a "massive coordinated stimulus package ... and I think that lifts the market."

Ron Insana started off saying he disagrees with McCullough's Fed analysis but doesn't have time to debate it. "They're doing their job," Insana said, before trying to hang a signature call on McCullough.

"This is the John Paulson type moment for you," Insana told McCullough, so "why aren't you 200% short ... make Paulson-type money," rather than take the safe position of sitting on the sidelines.

"I think what's safer here Ron is you saying that you wouldn't tell me particularly why you disagree with me," McCullough said, to Insana's protestations that he'd be glad to do that.

Simon Baker was the lone panelist endorsing McCullough's position. "I agree, great call," Baker said, though he seemed more impressed with taking an actual position than the call itself.

Baker said he would own JPM here. Ken Sena predicted a "better entry point in 6-9 months" in FB.

[Tuesday, June 19, 2012]

Pogue to Karen Finerman: ‘You are very wise’

David Pogue reported a lot of things people don't know about the Microsoft Surface on Tuesday's 5 p.m. Fast Money.

He said there are 2 versions, one of which is like a compact PC, but the problem is, nobody knows the battery life, or when it's shipping, or what the prices will be.

"But it's cool," Pogue said, sort of seriously.

Pogue acknowledged that, in the "back of my mind ... recesses of my mind," it could be a "replay" of the Zune.

"David it's Karen let me ask you something," said Karen Finerman, who wondered if Microsoft really doesn't have those answers yet, or whether it just doesn't want to reveal them because it senses the reax from people like Pogue will be negative.

"I think you are very wise," Pogue said to Finerman without picking the either-or of her question, but saying it seems "really early" in the process and that the company might be "rushing."

"Maybe too early," said Melissa Lee.

Joe Terranova said this isn't about dethroning the iPad; "this is all about who grabs No. 2."

Dennis Gartman doesn’t explain if he has to own the miners in yen terms

Dennis Gartman said on Tuesday's 5 p.m. Fast Money that "for the first time in years, I'd much rather own the miners than I would GLD."

Guest Andy Barish said the coffee-price impact could be felt in names such as SBUX and DNKN fairly soon, but the impact is less in DNKN because it's a franchisee operation.

Barish ran through a bunch of growth targets for SBUX for a year or so and in an utterly useless opinion said that if those are met, "I think that's an attractive entry point down here."

Brian Kelly's Trade of the Day was AMAT because (ugh) "it's a solar play here," because of Japan.

Tim Seymour's Final Trade was MELI, Brian Kelly said DD, Karen Finerman said CFX and Joe Terranova said CAB.

87 points to go

Guest Larry McMillan told Tuesday's 5 p.m. Fast Money that this market is oversold.

"The equity-only put/call ratio ... recently got up as high- almost exactly as high as it did last August," McMillan said, concluding it's a "decent time to get in."

"I'm looking for a hundred-point gain from yesterday's close," he added (which is now 87 after Tuesday's 13-point climb), but stressed "the time varies," noting it took 8 days in 2008 and 6 months in 2002.

But he said the put/call ratio has "exhausted a negative contrary extreme."

"Larry it's Karen let me ask you something," said Karen Finerman, who wondered what McMillan would do after that hundred-point gain is realized, would he revisit the data or just sell.

McMillan said he'd revisit, and that he projects "1,440 as a target."

It was from 73 to 82 — analyst raises price target while issuing downgrade

Karen Finerman on Tuesday's 5 p.m. Fast Money spotted "a few red flags" regarding the questionable WAG acquisition, starting with issuing shares at this price, the "huge amount of European exposure," and the real prospects of "revenue synergies," which she described as "kind of made-up nonsense."

"The whole thing, I don't get," Finerman said.

Karen, who has perfect teeth, mocked Tim Seymour's joking contention that Alliance has "good dental floss" in Britain, cracking, "lots of inventory, on sale."

Caroline Levy called Monster Beverage a "fantastic company, fantastic growth story" but said "the stock looks very pricey."

Levy told Joe Terranova "I would probably raise the price target" if Monster declares a buyback.

However, neither Levy nor Mel Lee nor the screen text ever said what Levy's price target actually is.

Brian Kelly questioned if Levy's call of a tightening energy-drink market (at current growth rates would eclipse the total carbonated beverage market in U.S. in 4-5 years) might apply to SBUX as well. Levy ignored the good question entirely and went off on an Estee Lauder tangent.

Terranova said if you're in "MSST" (sic, doesn't exist), stay in it. Tim Seymour hailed "Brazilian beer company" BUD.

50% Twist, 30% nothing, 20% QE3

Drew Matus of UBS told Tuesday's 5 p.m. Fast Money that his view that there won't be an extension of the Fed's Twist is "30% of the market," while 50% expects a Twist extension and a disturbing 20% ("disturbing" is this page's term and not Matus') actually thinks we're going to get QE3.

"We think now's the time to get out. The time to get off the see-saw is when, uh, when someone else is sitting on it. And right now Greece is sitting on it. So, they have the perfect opportunity now to exit without driving long-term rates higher," Matus asserted.

Matus questioned the ongoing effectiveness of various Fed tools and said "there's lots of ways they can foul this up."

"It's Karen let me ask you something," said Karen Finerman, who asked Matus what other arrows besides Twist exist in the Fed quiver. Matus said it's primarily QE, but that they're likely "saving QE in case something really horrible happens in Europe."

Brian Kelly wondered if easing wouldn't actually work better now under current conditions because the dollars would stay here. Matus responded, "What do you hope to achieve, you're gonna drive 10-year yields to where?"

"Well it's a bounce, right?" Kelly said.

Matus said if the Fed does what he expects, then there is "probably nothing great in that environment" for equities.

Karen doesn’t have ‘a lot of confidence in this market’

It seemed like 3 against 1 on Tuesday's 5 p.m. Fast Money.

Brian Kelly said stocks are reacting upward to "quite a few things that are happening," and that it's been a "stealth rally," but "I think this is sustainable."

Tim Seymour said the rally came from "terribly oversold conditions," and projected, "1,409's your next level on the S&P."

Seymour said the notion had been for traders to fade the Fed, but now "I actually don't think they do."

Joe Terranova singled out several positive signs including the trannies, small caps, tech, lack of a correction from last week, and hailed the banks recovering from the most important financial/national/geopolitical development this century the JPMorgan reported trading loss while cautioning it's not yet time to go long JPM until the buyback resumes but that USB and WFC have recovered all the losses since May 10.

Jim Iuorio said "I do believe in this rally," even though he contends that a Twist extension won't "do a darn thing for the economy."

"It can do great things for asset prices," Iuorio said, saying he likes MSFT, CSCO and ORCL.

Karen Finerman, though, was the lone holdout at least in terms of enthusiasm. "I don't have a lot of confidence in this market ... I would not be fully invested," Finerman said.

Mike Khouw said bulls would like to see a drop in longer-dated volatility, but it "hasn't that much really."

Weiss buys JOY

There's nothing like a mid-week break.

Tuesday's Fast Money Halftime Report was mostly shelved in favor of Jamie Dimon's good grief when does this all end House testimony, though Guy Adami and Stephen Weiss, in the easiest money they've ever made, were asked to deliver a couple of 15-second soundbites.

Adami rehashed the old price-is-truth refrain and said the market seems to be putting recent concerns in the rear-view mirror. "I'm not nearly as optimistic," he said, but if you agree with that approach then the banks are the cheapest sector.

Adami said 1,262 S&P is a "Fibonacci level," and that "1,362 is I think the next, uh, line in the sand that we need to get through."

Weiss praised Dimon for coming across as "confident, not taking any guff from anybody." Weiss also said late, "I initiated a position in Joy Global."

[Monday, June 18, 2012]

Jeff Harte at the end of the day hangs his hat on Europe’s ability to the handle the crisis

Sometimes, it just sounds different when you hear the same thing from the Dickster.

Jeff Harte, the Will Rogers of bank analysts, uncorked a doozie at the end of his commentary on Monday's 5 p.m. Fast Money, claiming, "You go out a year or maybe even beyond that, we're gonna be looking back at, you know, Citigroup in the 20s as a very good entry point that, that uh people will wish they had bought."

Incredibly, Mike Murphy, while not explicitly endorsing that one, basically backed Harte's thesis, saying he'd be averse right now to financials, but you can "put them away for the next 6 to 12 months," a continuation of the same "banks-will-undoubtedly-be-so-much-better-months-and-years-from-now" trade we've been hearing from bank analysts on CNBC (and even Steve Grasso, for a little while) since 2009 (and how did hitting that magical $5 level that was going to bring all those institutions into C do for the stock?).

Harte, meanwhile, pronounced Europe maybe not as bad as you might think for American banks. "The macro environment really does matter," he said. "If it becomes a problem, it's less of a problem, and if it doesn't become a problem, you actually get some I think pretty big upside potential in the U.S. banks."

Harte said, in a way that was admittedly accurate given the effectiveness of kicking cans down the road but also sounded like he was giving the system way too much credit, said, "At the end of the day, I keep hanging my hat on, they have the ability to handle the crisis over there."

Guest suggests Greek bonds could be the best trade since shorting housing, but can’t explain how viewers should play it

Star guest Hans Humes, who spoke with Melissa Lee on the Fast Line during Monday's 5 p.m. Fast Money, was purportedly going to outline what might be the trade of the decade, being long Greek bonds.

Instead, he downplayed it more than Lou Holtz before a game against Purdue.

Humes admitted that the blowout prices may actually be an "indication of some people's were- what the intrinsic value is," but insisted that they've been subjected to "wholesale selling," are "frankly oversold" and reminiscent of Russia post-'98.

"There's not much risk to the downside," Humes concluded, before handling Guy Adami's question of the day, which is, how does the viewer participate in this trade.

"I'm not sure this is a retail type trade," Humes chuckled, as the camera caught the other panelists apparently checking their tablets/laptops to see if there's a vehicle (either that or they were watching ORCL afterhours, or whatever European soccer match might've been on). Humes then indulged in fantasyland, telling Lee, "If they come up with some wholesale solution, um, you could certainly see this, go up a multiple of times in price."

"Wow," Melissa said.

Fast Money guest scoops CNBC’s Silicon Valley reporter on Oracle departure

Rick Sherlund as a guest on Monday's 5 p.m. Fast Money one-upped CNBC's own Jon Fortt in reporting some background on the departure of Oracle's North American chief Keith Block.

"He's a good guy," Sherlund assured, even though he didn't get along with Mark Hurd and left a series of "very embarrassing" messages that came up at the ORCL-HPQ trial.

"We have a buy on the stock," Sherlund said cautiously, while advising buyers would have to remain "patient."

While Sherlund was still speaking, Mel Lee felt compelled to cut in with Jon Fortt, who admitted it's "not exactly news to Rick" but that Block has indeed left.

Simon Baker wasn't impressed by Block's old company. "Oracle, I'd short it," Baker said.

In a disjointed, choppy episode in which panelists tried to absorb Oracle details that were just hitting the tape while trying to predict whatever it was Microsoft was doing later, Mike Khouw suggested buying the MSFT September 31 calls for 85 cents as a "cheap way to make a bullish bet."

Simon Baker's Trade of the Day (with "Monty Python" trumpets) was GOOG, around 570, the catalyst being a mini-tablet rolled out June 27 that will be the "next hot thing."

Dan Nathan said he'd be a seller of a software/advertising company such as Google making hardware.

Searching too deeply for European catalysts (cont’d)

Anthony Scaramucci said on Monday's 5 p.m. Fast Money that according to his inside guy in Zurich, Angela Merkel is going to have a better relationship with Francois Hollande than she did with Nicolas Sarkozy.

"The way to play this would be to be long the Spanish debt," Scaramucci asserted, while admitting it got "rocked today."

Mike Murphy said he's tempted by Spanish bonds but hasn't bought yet.

Amelia Bourdeau, who always looks good on Fast Money, said she wants to be short euro vs. kiwi but to wait for a bounce to 1.5890. Guest Anne Lester, who is also good-looking, agreed with Melissa Lee that high-yield is the "most popular trade out there" and said she's been in that trade since December 2008.

Adami: Consider JCP long

Jeff Kilburg said on Monday's 5 p.m. Fast Money that the natural gas trade has legs. "I am buying into it," Kilburg said, pointing to lingering hot weather in the Midwest and Northeast. "Technically nat gas can go up to 3.20 as that demand continues," he said.

Simon Baker used a flowchart-like graphic to illustrate the merry-go-round investors play with Europe, or the "continual, vicious circle."

Guy Adami suggested looking for a JCP washout and perhaps getting long Tuesday, "just for a trade, on the long side." Joe Terranova, who pronounced the markets appealing at the top of Monday's show and then spent the rest of the hour about as quiet as the Denver Broncos in the 2nd quarter of Super Bowl XXII, assessed JCP this way: "They have to find who they are, what their niche is."

Mike Khouw's Final Trade was 2-3-month calls. Simon Baker said GOOG, Dan Nathan said to sell the ORCL pop, Guy Adami said DNKN and Mike Murphy said COG. Joe Terranova said to check out the rails and transports while the screen text said his trade was actually WFM.

Simon Baker: Microsoft is
‘in deep, deep trouble’

Monday's 5 p.m. Fast Money took up the subject of Microsoft's tablet, and Simon Baker was not the least bit impressed.

"I think Microsoft's dead in the water. I think, uh, Windows 8 is gonna be nothing. I think they're in deep, deep trouble," Baker said.

Herb Greenberg acted as sort of apologist to the JCPenney turnaround story, asking, "Are we even in the 2nd inning of the JCPenney, uh, eh, attempted turnaround?"

Mike Murphy said "We're short JCPenney" and noted there's "some kind of turmoil going on."

"The market looks good," said Joe Terranova, amid the positive report from ORCL after a morning of gloom, according to Terranova.

More from Monday's 5 p.m. Fast Money later.

History’s great 2nd Quarters:
1978 AFC Championship Game

Jon Najarian said on Monday's Fast Money Halftime Report the Spanish bank/financial/sovereign/whatever situation is "probably in the 2nd quarter right now."

Assuming Spain is behind, let's hope it doesn't turn out like the 1978 Houston Oilers.

Around here, we never miss a chance to make a reference to the Steelers' greatest moments, and one 2nd quarter that won't be forgotten is the destruction of the Luv Ya Blue in the 1978 AFC Championship Game (actually played in January 1979) at a frosty & sloshy Three Rivers Stadium.

In the last 2 minutes of the half, in a span of about 47 seconds (we should recall the exact number but can't), a 14-3 game became 31-3 as the Oilers surrendered a touchdown, then dropped a kickoff and a handoff.

It's a great example of how NFL games are often not decided on a team's capacity for methodical long drives (though that is likely the best way for measuring greatness), but on a few moments of explosiveness.

Those 31 halftime points were the most by any team in a 1970s playoff game and helped the 1978 Steelers become the first team to post 3 30-point playoff games culminating in the Super Bowl.

Interestingly enough, a year later, same teams under similar conditions, the Oilers hung tough late in the first half, dodged a missed field goal by the Steelers, went to halftime down 17-10 when it could've been much worse, and were very much in the game in the 4th quarter, a situation the Spain movers and shakers will try to replicate (though not the Renfro juggled-pass-out-of-bounds part).

Guest host Brian Sullivan on Monday's Halftime made fun of the Barcelona Dragons (we don't think Pete ever played for them) and questioned "why World League football ever existed."

Dr. J makes a not-so-eloquent case for kicking the can down the road

Guest Mark Grant, who referred to guest host Brian Sullivan as "Don" on Monday's Fast Money Halftime Report, insisted that in Europe "the solvency issues remain," and "we're just getting to recognize clearly how serious the solvency issues are."

Grant said the situation is "very serious," and Brian Sullivan asked for him to define "serious." Grant settled on, "Spain and Greece and Portugal cannot be resolved" without debt forgiveness or going bankrupt.

Ron Insana took issue with what he apparently perceived as Grant's doomsday scenario, pointing to the bull market since Mexico's default in 1982 and noting "the world doesn't come to an end" when this happens; "it doesn't have to be a catastrophe."

Grant seemed to take issue with Insana's characterization of his remarks, insisting, "I'm not calling for armageddon or end of the world."

Jon Najarian said that what they really need to do is put a "moat around the banks" and then fully endorsed what has become global governmental debt-delay policy and certainly U.S. policy regardless of whether George Bush and Dennis Hastert or Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi are in charge: "If it happens very, very quickly, that's a negative. And if it happens over time, I think it's much better," Najarian said.

Gold to $2,400 in 2012?

Chart watcher Tom Fitzpatrick told Monday's Fast Money Halftime Report gang that he expects the euro to "move an awful lot lower ... possibly as low as 110 to 115" in 2012, but perhaps even to parity within 18-24 months, and how many times have you heard that on Fast Money?

CNBC showed a chart comparing the 2005-present stock market to 1973-77, trying to put both spans of years on the same X-axis but only labeling it as the current 2005-present (#catchingontodubiousCNBCgraphics), to illustrate how Fitzpatrick thinks we can see another leg down as we did during the Carter administration based on several parallels.

Ron Insana, as he did with Mark Grant, objected to that conclusion, pointing out that in 73-77, inflation was the boogeyman.

Fitzpatrick insisted money is printing now, and "the Fed will not tighten like Volcker did ... the Fed will take risks with inflation."

But Fitzpatrick ran into a bigger buzz saw with Joe Terranova on the issue of gold, which Fitzpatrick says could hit 2,050 or even 2,400 in 2012, and in the longer term "could be pushing as high as 3,400."

"How could you make that call," Terranova demanded, with spot gold trading this quarter below its 100-day and 200-day moving averages.

"Time will tell who's right I guess," said Fitzpatrick, downplaying Terranova's adherence to the technicals because in the longer term, gold has "constantly come back to its moving averages."

In a day of disagreeing with everyone, Ron Insana balks at Josh Brown’s QE summation

Josh Brown suggested on Monday's Fast Money Halftime Report that trading based on Greece/Europe news is folly.

"I think that to try to trade political headlines is futile for 99% of market participants," Brown said.

Ron Insana claimed help is on the way, that "the Fed is more inclined now to act to stimulate the economy."

Brown scoffed, saying "all they're doing is stimulating commodity prices."

"No that's not true at all," Insana rebutted, asserting that "manufacturing's doing better for a variety of reasons."

Sounds like the Fed is about to give Obama just what he needs

Guest Rick Rieder joined Monday's Fast Money Halftime Report crew to revisit some of his thoughts from the SALT Conference in May, which unfortunately were a much more tepid pair of broadcasts in 2012 than the free-wheeling, Dan Niles/Mark Fisher-dominated Vegas programs of 2011.

Rieder said Treasurys are still the place in the short term, "everything with duration now is pretty exciting," althought "I don't" think they're attractive long-term.

Rieder said we'll probably get another Operation Twist, and agreed with Ron Insana that the Fed will want to maintain the wealth effect and not see markets fall 20% this summer; "I think you're exactly right," he said.

Rieder said "I think there is a reasonable chance" of 1.25% on the 10-year this year and that this environment is good for high-yield, though nothing is more promising than leveraged loans.

Much of Rieder's commentary involved asking himself/restating the questions, constantly beginning remarks with "Do I think ...?"

Good to know wire services still competing

Josh Brown said on Monday's Halftime that "boring is definitely the new sexy," and he still likes COP, with "all the geopolitical things swirling in the air right now."

Joe Terranova contended that "right now energy remains a no-touch."

Jon Najarian advised reloading in BP at 38, and also wait for a pullback in MMR.

Ron Insana said a Morgan Stanley report on how the "world is effectively short $2 trillion" in demand for the U.S. dollar, a report Insana said was "carried overnight on some competing wire services."

Terranova said the nat gas rally is for real, "it is going to continue" with backwardation creeping in, and he mentioned the UNG, SWN, UPL and COG.

Ron Insana praised the Pickens Plan while quipping that "Boone was calling the bottom at $13," and that nat gas "is a milk-dumping trade."

Analyst: EBAY to $50

Colin Gillis said on Monday's Fast Money Halftime Report that you don't buy MSFT for the tablet he's expecting. "It's very difficult to make money if you don't have an ecosystem built around it," he said, predicting some kind of "Xbox functionality."

But Gillis still likes the stock on enterprise upgrades, saying, "We don't need this to work" for the shares to rise.

Jon Najarian quibbled with that, arguing, "Yes, you wanna own Microsoft on this," saying it's "exactly what Apple did when they went after Sony and the music players."

Guest Sanjay Sakhrani said he likes PayPal's potential based on growth in e-commerce, and sees a $50 price target assuming there's solid "execution."

Josh Brown said of EBAY, "We've liked the name since the 30s ... technically there's no resistance until 48."

Jon Najarian said a big player who's been right recently in MS has rolled a big stock position into calls.

Brian Kelly trumpeted Quanta Services (PWR), saying it's a play on replacing "decrepit" power lines (wonder what evaluator reached that conclusion) and asserting "people are using a lot more natural gas ... tremendous growth quarter over quarter."

"I agree with Brian," said Joe Terranova.

Ron Insana went on forever when asked to deliver a soundbite about GRPN on Pops & Drops.

Superfox Seema Mody said there's Twitter talk on DSW.

Josh Brown's Final Trade was EBAY. Ron Insana said SPY long, Jon Najarian said CSCO and Joe Terranova said EMC.

[Friday, June 15, 2012]

Pete: ‘Nothing but upside’ in NOK

Rarely would this page kick off a day's report on Fast Money with a Final Trade, but Pete Najarian's call on NOK on Friday's Halftime Report deserves top billing.

There's "nothing but upside" with the stock washed out in the $2s, Najarian said.

Najarian also dismissed any risk of MSFT's purchase of Yammer; "a billion dollars to Microsoft is nothing."

Guest Kathleen Gaffney said she likes Spanish corporate debt — careful to emphasize telecoms and utilities and not the infrastructure buildout plays — because "the issues in Europe are, uh, with the sovereigns" and not with keeping the lights on.

Gaffney said Spain is "too big and too important a member" for the European Union to cast aside.

Steve Grasso said XLB might give you the best pop on the Greek elections.

Jon Najarian said he'd be writing calls against ARNA.

Pete on Gupta: ‘Just another example of going for somebody’

Pete Najarian, generally the most focused commentator on Fast Money who leaves virtually nothing to spontaneity, was sticking to the tightest possible script on Friday's Fast Money Halftime Report in characterizing the conviction of Rajat Gupta.

"This is just another example of going for somebody, seeing somebody go away like this," Najarian said.


Steve Grasso said Gupta exercised "poor judgment ... I've never seen anything like this before ... I'm extremely shocked in this day and age to see behavior like this."

Grasso: Let expected bounce from Greece ride for only ‘a couple of days’

Predictions for next week's post-Greece-vote stock market on Friday's Fast Money Halftime Report ranged from possibly only a 1-day rally to straight shot to 1,400.

Jon Najarian delved into Greek mythology, saying "hope" is one of the good things that came out of Pandora's box, and first said stocks and the VIX could both rise only to unbury the lede much later in the program in saying, "I don't see a lot stopping us Steven from 14 quite frankly as far as S&P."

Colleague Brian Kelly, who just a day or 2 ago was drawing parallels from today's global economic situation to 1937, said "if anything you wanna be biased to the long side," but cautioned all the way up to his Final Trade that S&P calls are probably the best way to play that.

Pete Najarian acknowledged there are "still a lot of jitters out there."

But it was Steve Grasso who was most skeptical of a lingering rally next week, even though stocks pushed ahead of his key 1,335 level Friday.

Grasso said "we're probably gonna see that pop happen" after the elections but suggested viewers only "let it ride maybe a couple of days" for a 2-5% move to the upside.

Guest Marko Papic said a pro-bailout result in Greece would provide a "temporary tailwind to the markets" and oil, and "the upside is that Greece is removed, it's removed from the radar for at least the next 3 months."

Grasso objected to that timeline, saying at best 40% of Greeks will be unhappy, and really, "how long are we stable for," maybe 3 or 5 days, because it's "way too fluid" a situation to expect 3 months of calm.

Papic rebutted, "The European Central Bank can keep Greece afloat for a millennium," and while the biggest fear would be Greece contagion through the rest of Europe, "thus far we're not actually seeing that."

Simon Hobbs tried to connect with a Bank of America expert who sees a more bullish upside than Grasso does, but only dead air, and not the connection, happened amid a "slight technical problem."

BP ‘doing something right’

Guest Michael Harris on Friday's Fast Money Halftime Report waffled like a Denny's cook at 8:30 a.m. on nat gas and oil, saying "We're still holding onto that short position" in natural gas but might rethink it if there's a strong follow-through to yesterday's spike and that the shift from coal to gas has been "a little bit more pronounced than people thought."

"We're still in a 1-year downtrend," he said.

Harris also said oil is "firmly in a bear, uh, downward trend."

Pete Najarian said the OIH has been the "hottest sector" for a couple weeks on his options screen. Jon Najarian said "BP's doing a lot of something right," something that hasn't been heard in a while. Jon Najarian's Final Trade was MMR.

WLT isn’t as popular outside the Fast Money sphere as inside

Guest Paul Forward said on Friday's Fast Money Halftime Report that the problem with the coal sector is that there's "too much coal."

But he likes the big, lower-cost producers of scale such as BTU and CNX to better profit as weaker mines get shut down.

Forward told Steve Grasso that Fast Money Rushmore stock WLT trades on different fundamentals based on China and met coal demand and the different visibility there is why he's not touting it with this group.

Forward told Simon Hobbs that CNX was his top pick and said within a year, if a couple things happen including something "T. Boone" thinks, he'd be "expecting something in the upper 40s."

Brian Kelly said he has "no desire" to be in the coal space. Steve Grasso cracked, "You have no desire to be in a gym either."

Pete refuses to sell SBUX, is skeptical on WFM

Guest David Palmer didn't exactly rock the boat on Friday's Fast Money Halftime Report in asserting "Starbucks stock may move sideways in the near-term," but assured Pete Najarian that there are "some things to look forward to there" in new offerings and the bakery thing, and "this is a buy-rated stock."

Pete Najarian reiterated that he's long the shares around 55 and has been selling upside calls and "I have no plans of getting rid of this position," saying execution concerns are "all Europe-related."

Jon Najarian said he likes MCD to climb on a positive reaction in Europe.

Seema Mody isn't close to enough to the camera on her recent Twitter reports; Friday she dabbled in redundancy in referring to "a new record high" in WFM.

Simon Hobbs called Pete Najarian "Jon" but Pete said of WFM, "I do think it's a little extended right now." Brian Kelly concurred, "I wouldn't be in it." Steve Grasso likes Hain Celestial instead and made that his Final Trade, with a 52 stop.

[Thursday, June 14, 2012]

Najarian: ‘Awful lot of bets that this doesn’t die out tomorrow’

Jon Najarian late in Thursday's 5 p.m. Fast Money reported that someone in HFT-land went on a bullish shopping spree with a "huge surge in the SPYder activity" in the wake of the "coordinated action"-fueled rally.

"I'm kinda ticked," Najarian said, that brother Pete was able to play it and Jon wasn't. Anyway, "There are an awful lot of bets that this doesn't die out tomorrow."

Meanwhile, Najarian conceded CS hasn't performed in the last few days but said there's light ahead for European financials. "I think this could really rock these banks to the upside still," he said.

Brian Kelly, celebrating his birthday Thursday, doesn't believe the coordinated-action story has legs. "I think the trade is done. Absolutely, the trade's done," Kelly said, explaining he saw the leak from the G-20 but "I'm not exactly sure what they said ... I wouldn't buy too much into this."

Steve Liesman said at the top of the broadcast that "I have some skepticism about this story," while Karen Finerman called it "sort of a red herring."

Larry McDonald said "I would be long volatility," and stressed that "1,340 on the S&P is a real big level."

Stephen Weiss' recommendation was to wait for a spike, and "short it on the pop ... I'm flat," he said, saying European central banks are getting "way too much credit" for their ability to pull off a rescue, and actually, "nothing's getting better over there."

Tim Seymour asked Sean Egan to differentiate between governments and private sector in Europe. Egan said, "History has shown that the bank- the credit quality of the banks and the governments are joined at the hip," and questioned the "wherewithal" of governments and bankers to pull Greece and others out of their mess.

"I do think gold will win to this," said Guy Adami.

David Lee deems himself unqualified to answer virtually any question from the Fast Money gang

In the category of "How did this happen," Thursday's 5 p.m. Fast Money featured Silicon Valley investor David Lee talking about the "next big thing."

Except Lee pointed out he's an early-stage investor who is interested in "themes" and not companies," and not somebody who evaluates maturing tech companies such as Facebook as they hit markets.

Lee likes Twitter but sidestepped market predictions, saying, "That's out of my league, in terms of valuations ... we think it's gonna be a great business."

The closest thing Lee got to a "next big thing" was the notion that people shopping online are going to do it differently than in the last 5 years by "using technology for the experience" and making it "funner."

Joe Terranova tried 3 times to ask a question about Facebook monetization but was essentially rebuffed. "It comes down to earnings, and it comes down to monetizing the product, and, tell me how are you gonna monetize it, that's where I was going with my question," Terranova concluded later.

Lee said despite the Facebook IPO debacle, it's "business as usual" for investing in Silicon Valley startups.

Things That Make Melissa Go ‘Wow’ (aside from Nasdaq guest’s age)

Guest Charles Wolf had a little trouble getting going on the gadget makers during his Nasdaq appearance on Thursday's 5 p.m. Fast Money.

Melissa Lee first asked Wolf about NOK and RIMM. Wolf clarified that he hasn't been recommending them as buys, but in "retrosprect (sic)" he should've had worse than a hold.

But he told Lee that when a stock is trading around $2 or $1.50, it's "kinda silly to put a sell on it," even though one of the stocks in question (NOK) is pretty close to that level.

"Both of 'em could, could conceivably disappear," Wolf said.

"Really," Lee said, pretending unsuccessfully to be surprised.

Wolf said "My top 3 are Apple, Apple, Apple," then took a victory lap. "I was the first analyst on the Street to raise my opinion on it back in 2003," he said.

"Wow," Mel said.

Mike Khouw suggested buying the AAPL 600 July call for $8.75, calling it a low-risk, bullish bet.

Wolf said his price target is 620 because he only changes it twice a year and another change is due in a month or so. He told Lee he's been doing this since 1985.

Adami: ‘First time’ you can buy FCX in a long time

In what sounded like one of those dreaded "I don't give recommendations, but this student/employee of mine is someone you should hire" moments, Guy Adami said on Thursday's 5 p.m. Fast Money that FCX "today for the first time" is signaling it's time you can get long.

Joe Terranova said he thinks oil will bottom around a July 1 release of the SPR and also touted natural gas capacity; "producers clearly are cutting back right now."

Terranova said he's adding to MCD and thinks it can hit 93 or 94 as the "ultimate contrarian European play."

Jon Najarian said THC was hopping with 14,000 July calls.

Tim Seymour, who on Monday questioned what any investor could do this week before the Greece elections, hailed Total, saying "this is ridiculously cheap" and suggesting "Exxon's a great hedge."

Mike Khouw's Final Trade was ratio risk reversals. Stephen Weiss said BCE, Tim Seymour said TOT, Guy Adami said JACK, Karen Finerman said M and Joe Terranova said TCBI and USB.

Simon Hobbs actually thinks a hundred-point move in 75 days is a ‘big call’

Steve Grasso, in the new goofy format they're trying on the Fast Money Halftime Report, had to tell viewers at the opening of Thursday's Halftime Report 1) his name and 2) the fact he's watching S&P 1,335.

Above that, and it's "probably a straight shot to 1,356-ish," Grasso said, before rattling off 1,370 and 1,400 and chiding guest host Simon Hobbs ("what market have you been watching??") for asking about a 75-day forecast (Grasso said 77) that is about as reliable nowadays as making a 7-year forecast.

"I think we could see 1,400 here short term," said Mike Murphy.

Flash: Someone on Fast Money is recommending USB

One of these days we'll put together a meter that will illustrate where exactly the stock market is based on Fast Money commentary.

For example, when people start recommending JNJ and spurning all banks, it's typically panic-mode and often near a bottom. When they're saying you don't have to worry about NFLX or JCP valuation, then we're in the up-10%-in-a-month mode.

When they're singling out USB, or WFC or even JPM, as well as SBUX and MCD, then we're in solid middle ground, the we're-oversold-but-don't-take-too-much-risk mode (otherwise known as Everyday Tim Seymour Commentary-land).

That was surely the case on Thursday's Halftime Report, in which Stephanie Link did the USB honors, recommending that name and STI and saying, "I even still like JPMorgan."

Pro-WFC was left in the capable hands of Simon Baker.

However, Steve Grasso was the lone panelist to advise staying away from financials.

Steve Liesman spoke near the top of the program and said "at the end of the day," Germany wants other European countries to prepare to pay the higher yields that their debt now demands.

Guest Dirk Becker, on a serious time delay, repeated Simon Hobbs' canary-coal mine question but said there's no revelation from the Swiss central bank on CS; "I don't think they know anything that we don't know." Becker predicted, "The Europeans will get their act together," but that it might take "several quarters, maybe several years."

Money in Motion personality Camilla Sutton echoed the theme of the day in suggesting "put some risk back in the portfolio" by going long Aussie vs. U.S. dollar. Mike Murphy said "I'm a buyer of the dollar here through UUP."

Kilburg: Get long USO

In a remarkably lukewarm program with little conviction, Thursday's Fast Money Halftime Report featured some long-energy calls.

Jeff Kilburg said, "I think you can grab crude here" via the USO, though Steve Grasso cautioned being careful about playing the price of oil in an election year.

Kilburg claimed OMG, what if we suddenly attack Iran, then it goes "potentially way back over a hundred dollars."

Kilburg, who referred to another commodity as "nat grass," took issue with Steve Grasso's way of playing it (that would be XCO) and suggested APC instead, while noting the price of natural gas was 100% higher a year ago.

Grasso for his part had taken a page from Patty Edwards in saying "at this point in time" he'd be more inclined to be a buyer than seller of nat gas.

Simon Baker said he likes HES at 43. Stephanie Link suggested SWN, DVN or EOG.

FB ‘may have bottomed’

Stephanie Link and Mike Murphy agreed on Thursday's Fast Money Halftime Report that Goldman Sachs' dis of big-cap tech "value" is tardy.

"I think it's a little late," Link said.

"This is a late call," Murphy said.

Murphy said "Apple's still cheap; Apple can still be bought," but more notable, he said he's long EMC and that it can reach the "low 30s quickly."

Simon Baker said he was disagreeing, but we're not sure with whom except perhaps Goldman Sachs, in that he thinks HPQ has a better chance for a 60% pop than AAPL does and that Einhorn likes Xerox. Steve Grasso called out Stephanie Link for disagreeing with herself in some head-spinning analysis of her own commentary.

Mike Murphy said it's probably the first time the show has handled FB as a "pop" in "Pops & Drops," and it "looks like the stock may have bottomed here."

Don’t confuse emerging market stocks with bonds (and don’t ask about the dollar’s impact on 3M)

2 guests on Thursday's Fast Money Halftime Report failed to set the world on fire.

Rich Peterson spoke about the rising dollar and thinks that will help U.S. acquisitions in Europe, but got tangled in a nonsensical discussion with Simon Baker over MMM. (Baker likes MMM given commodity prices.)

Stephanie Link touted MCD on a rising dollar, Steve Grasso said MO and Mike Murphy trumpeted TGT.

Mike Conelius' specialty is fixed income in emerging markets and had to spend much of his airtime insisting to skeptical panelists that emerging markets stocks of the last year are not the same risk as emerging markets bonds that are dollar-denominated.

"It's a more defensive way of playing the same companies that we do like on the equity side," Conelius said, adding, "We're very light in India at the moment."

Viewers are occasionally told how important the NYSE specialists are for avoiding FB debacles and Flash Crashes, but Thursday afternoon according to Simon Baker the specialists were just watching European soccer

Stephanie Link on Thursday's Fast Money Halftime Report wasn't too impressed with NOK, saying "it's a show-me story."

Steve Grasso said ANR was spiking on Tudor, Pickering's assessment of having 60% downside and 230% upside.

Simon Baker said, "We like gold here." Mike Murphy said a couple positives for EXPE are that it "hasn't reacted negatively to the news" and still has high short interest.

Murphy said he likes homebuilders. Stephanie Link said, "I still like the Chinese market."

Stephanie Link got the lone Final Trade and said BA. CNBC's best-dressed superfox Seema Mody said there has been Twitter chatter about MSFT and Yammer.

[Wednesday, June 13, 2012]

E. Nough. Al. Ready.

And what were you doing the moment you heard about JPMorgan's $2/$4/$5/$maybemore billion trade loss?

In the category of Most Overrated Financial Events of the 21st century, we have Jamie Dimon's endless explanations for some bad trade that, while affecting the quarterly bottom line a tiny bit, is a basically irrelevant event in the human experience.

He did a conference call, he said just because they were stupid doesn't mean others were stupid, he said they changed the VaR model, he talked to Congress, he pre-released his remarks, he answered some questions, he sat down with Prettiest Hair on Cable Television, and OMG Simon Hobbs noticed that he actually got cc'd on an e-mail about the VaR change, and there can't possibly be one more iota of potentially public information to be mined from this tree falling in a forest.

Brian Kelly on Wednesday's 5 p.m. Fast Money actually said Dimon's testimony "made for good TV."

Dan Nathan said Dimon got a "lot of softball questions."

Karen Finerman, wearing a black dress Wednesday that must've cost fifty-eight-hundred dollars, said of Dimon, "He's my boyfriend but he doesn't know it" (we have to include that because occasionally we get inquiries about the Karen Finerman-Jamie Dimon-boyfriend thing).

Finerman criticized senators. "Every time I'm surprised at how embarrassing our representatives are to us ... The first guy was just showing off because he recently learned to read, it seemed to me," she said.

Mike Murphy explained that "Jamie Dimon did a phenomenal job today, took everybody to school I thought," but nevertheless urged caution with the stock. "I don't know why you would invest in it there," he said, given that Dimon won't reveal the size of this incredibly important loss.

Mike Khouw said he's seeing "at least risk-mitigated bullish bets" on JPM shares.

Rob Cox complained about the stigma toward banks, that some people seem to think bank examiners in "JCPenney suits" (always a sure theme for hooking Tim Seymour) are going to protect everyone from another big bank failure. One result is that JPM is "sitting there with way too much money," he said.

Searching for a voice of reason, we practically got that from The Dickster, Richard X. Bove, who despite a year ago announcing he was cutting back his TV appearances paid a personal visit to the Nasdaq on Wednesday to tell the truth, which was, "And really, who cares."

The only problem was that he embedded that notion in his overall typical things-are-so-awesome-for-banks outlook (despite some of them being down 25% in 3 months, which, news flash, is not exactly the sign of a healthy industry), saying "I would think so" that the bottom is in for JPM.

Bove did allow that "I definitely believe there was proprietary trading involved in whatever happened in that office."

Tim Seymour wondered if there isn't a backlash to the perception that banks will "gouge" consumers to make the money they've been making. Bove said they're not supposed to exist as charities that grow trees in Central Park.

Seymour clarified moments later for anyone not convinced of his capitalistic credentials, "I clearly want them to make as much money as they can."

And Amelia Earhart is missing

Practically lost in CNBC's mostly-all-Dimon-all-the-time coverage Wednesday was Brian Kelly's series of startling parallels to 1937 showcased on the 5 p.m. Fast Money.

Kelly said President Roosevelt was trying to balance the budget with spending cuts, which somehow translates into the "same thing as the fiscal cliff."

Kelly likened the 1937 Fed reserve requirement to Basel III, compared gold inflow to the U.S. to the dollar reserve currency, cited more regulation then as equivalent to Dodd-Frank and ObamaCare now, and with a straight face also cited "political uncertainty in Europe."

"Solution? War," cracked Tim Seymour, before he and Mel Lee soberly suggested that if World War got us out of that one, maybe this time is unsolvable.

Kelly said "we can certainly learn from this and not make the same mistakes," but if the conditions he outlined prevail, there could be a "pretty severe economic contraction. That's what happened in '37-'38."

Maybe one of those risk managers can tap Ma Joad on the shoulder and break out "The Grapes of Wrath."

Murphy: M to $40s ‘quickly’

One of the more frustrating things about Fast Money is when, during rocky market patches, panelists implicitly express caution or even bearish tones ... but still manage to suggest various market-return stocks that make you wonder if they're actually bullish or actually bearish.

For example, Tim Seymour said on Wednesday's 5 p.m. show that markets "technically look very interesting" and said of DE "I would buy it today" and questioned if Total has been overly punished recently, despite saying just 2 days earlier that nobody can really do anything before the Greece vote and questioned jumping aboard long trades suggested by Mike Murphy and Neel Kashkari.

Brian Kelly on the one hand Wednesday was comparing today's environment to 1937 and asserting, "I think you're better off shorting the multinationals than buying the domestics right now," and on the other hand was recommending ADM because "people have to eat."

Karen Finerman recommended M on Wednesday's selloff, saying it "seemed way overdone to me." Mike Murphy, who to his credit has maintained a steadfast belief that long stock winners can be found (we're not sure if every one of his calls is a winner though), said he "bought more of this stock today" and thinks it can reach the low to mid-40s "quickly."

If nothing else, longtime CNBC viewers know that market bottoms often tend to emerge around the time people on the network recommend JNJ, which happened Wednesday courtesy of Mike Weinstein, who sees organic growth getting back to 5% as part of the rationale for raising his target from 69 to 74, but it "probably depends a bit on the tape."

Mike Khouw suggesetd buying the July 65 call in JNJ for 65 cents.

Guest fails to clarify to Karen why some dividend-paying stocks are more appealing than others

Guest Matt Hougan on Wednesday's 5 p.m. Fast Money outlined 5 popular ETFs that he said aren't as good as other ETFs.

Partly it's because of fees, but partly it's because people maybe aren't getting the "exposure" they think they're getting in the popular ETF.

The FXI, said Hougan, "only owns 25 securities," with no exposure to Chinese tech or consumers, and so he suggested GXC.

He said the IAU is a "no-brainer" over the GLD, likes the IYF over XLF because it's a broader array of banks, likes HYG over JNK for quality, HDV over DVY and VB over IWM.

Brian McMahon, who looks like he could've adequately played Dubya in the movie "W.," said he looks for investments that have the "ability and the willingness to pay us income."

"Telecom is where it's at," McMahon said, and he's in T, but not VZ, because he's long VOD and there's overlap and he "didn't want to double-down on that."

"It's Karen let me ask you something," said Karen Finerman, a perfectly good question about whether McMahon has a yield target or payout ratio he seeks. McMahon vaguely said "We like it all but you don't always get it all," which is something we say around here about certain subjects, and pointed out that some of his stocks have dividends below 3% but above 10% and that the average is around 6%.

Dan Nathan, who generally ranks near the bottom of Fast Money's word count, stressed early in the program that "the consumer is a worry among investors."

Mike Murphy suggested TOL as a 100%-U.S.-focused stock.

Mike Khouw's Final Trade was cheap options on Dow stocks. Mike Murphy said HAL, Tim Seymour said TSU, Dan Nathan said to fade JPM, Karen Finerman said M (big shocker there), and Brian Kelly said UUP.

Brown, Terranova:
Look for JPM 38

As expected, the Wednesday Fast Money Halftime Report gang was utterly blown away by how awesomely Jamie stuck it to the politicians.

"I thought he was a master ... he disarmed them very easily," said Jon Najarian.

Josh Brown said "likely the worst is over" for JPM shares, and "probably not a lot of resistance until 38."

Guest David Konrad took the opportunity to affirm his $49 price target.

Joe Terranova crowed about calling the short trade in JPM over and saying it "goes to 38 before it goes to 32" and saying he was adding to PNC and TCBI.

Dimon, who honored Chuck Noll (Super Bowl XIV halftime) by mugging for the CNBC camera on the sidewalk, issued the understatement of the day in telling Mary Thompson, "I'm spending much more time on this than Europe."

A microphone somewhere picked up Andrew Ross Sorkin saying off-camera, "looks better I don't know what he just did."

[Tuesday, June 12, 2012]

‘Did you order the CDX 9?!!!!’

We've never underestimated Keith McCullough's potential for raising a hullabaloo on Fast Money, but we might've sold him a bit short in the category of comedy.

McCullough a couple of times on Tuesday's 5 p.m. Fast Money suggested that Jamie Dimon's honesty might be too much for senators to take, and that some sort of political contagion could erupt once Dimon starts explaining how Wall Street works.

"It could be rough sledding for Tim Johnson," McCullough warned, before uncorking this howler: "I mean, this could be like 'A Few Good Men' type moment."

(Suddenly envisioning Tim Johnson telling his staffers late Tuesday, "I think he wants to say it!!" And a staffer says, "That's the plan?" Johnson says, "That's the plan!" And the staffer says, "How are you gonna get him to do it." And Johnson says, "Have no idea!")

Scott Nations' Final Trade was long JPM, for a reason we think was actually baked into the stock weeks ago: "Tomorrow is the psychological bottom."

Guest gets off on the wrong foot with Michelle Mel

UNFI boss Steve Spinner began his interview on Tuesday's 5 p.m. Fast Money as so many have done before: Saying "Thanks Michelle."

To Melissa Lee.

"No problem, I get that all the time," Lee said, before calling Spinner "Seth."

Karen Finerman asked Seth Spinner why companies particularly those as big as Whole Foods need UNFI. Spinner never really got into specifics, asserting, "either we can do it more efficiently," and that his company has "intellectual capital."

Lee followed with a too-long question acknowledging Spinner wasn't going to talk about specific companies but still requesting some details on where his most important expansion opportunities exist.

Lee had to abruptly end the interview after Spinner spoke, which was fine, because he didn't answer her question anyway.

Tim Seymour accepts the unspoken challenge of making a more specific oil call than the one Mark Fisher made

Tim Seymour and Steve Grasso both noted strength in Valero and Tesoro on Tuesday's 5 p.m. Fast Money, but it was Seymour who plunged into a crude forecast, saying, "I think 75 before it goes to 125 again."

Guest Hunter Keay said Spirit Airlines (SAVE) is actually "very revolutionary" in picking up non-ticket revenue and compelling changes in fliers' behavior that helps the airline indirectly.

Keay, who like Tim Seymour likes CPA, conceded that airlines can be a volatile sector. "You can get your face ripped off in this very easily," he said.

Scott Nations recommended selling the UAL July 22 call for $1.60 and just hope you get called away.

Steve Grasso called DELL a "wounded gazelle." (How about a gimpy turkey?)

Karen Finerman said she wouldn't short KORS, but "it's very expensive here."

Josh Brown made a tiresome recommendation for TGT based partly on its dividend goals for 2017, which of course served as his Final Trade and became Karen Finerman's too even though the screen said K-Fine likes MSFT long.

Tim Seymour said BBD, Steve Grasso said LNG and Keith McCullough said to be long gold and sell at $1,648.

Flashbacks from great moments in Fast Money history: Eric Bolling’s ‘tap on the shoulder’

In the early days of Fast Money, original RBI or Admiral or Raging Bull or whatever his nickname was Eric Bolling could be counted on to occasionally warn viewers during the few pockets of tough markets before Bolling quit the show what happens on trading desks when things get rough.

Some guy will come by and give you a "tap on the shoulder," Bolling would say, meaning it's time to exit risky positions.

Tuesday on 5 p.m. Fast Money, Tim Seymour channeled that notion, saying guys are getting "tapped on the shoulder" and told, "you're bringing your bar down, your value at risk."

Keith McCullough assured that the "tap on the shoulder ... that is real."

McCullough described the Charles Evans comments as the latest Fed ploy in this "game" of global financial markets.

Tim Seymour questioned "is it a game ... with all due respect," to chuckles all around, actually claiming with a straight face, "the Fed is trying their best to be more transparent to markets."

Grasso: JPM probably to high 20s

Karen Finerman, wearing an outfit on Tuesday's 5 p.m. Fast Money that probably cost about sixty-four-hundred dollars (Tim Seymour obviously concurs, saying at one point, "Speaking of prettiest girls, it's Karen Finerman"), scoffed at the pending congressional hearing featuring Jamie Dimon.

"It's absurd," Finerman said, denouncing it as "just a circus."

(However, this page is reluctant to gush about Karen's appearance because after we noted how foxy she looked in glasses, she never wore them again.) (The awkward expression by Mel in the photo above is not intended as a dis; it was the only broad angle we could get to illustrate Karen's ensemble including Mandy-like white watch.)

Keith McCullough agreed, saying it'll be a "certified 'Gong Show' tomorrow," but that "the issue is not, did you make money. It's how do you make money."

McCullough said the biggest risk is that Dimon actually tells Congress the truth about how Wall Street makes money.

Greg Zuckerman said the released commentary attributed to Dimon "was expected." Karen Finerman said to Zuckerman, "It's Karen let me ask you something," which was whether there will be a focus on the difference between hedging and prop trading. Zuckerman said there will be some of that, and Dimon might actually like that "so that he can lecture them" on the finer points of how banks make money.

Steve Grasso warned that JPM is subject to twist with daily or hourly headlines and predicted that the stock "probably dips back into the uh, into the high 20s," even though Karen Finerman again questioned the amount of market-cap loss in relation to the amount of the trading loss.

Charles Bobrinskoy said he still thinks Jamie Dimon is "the best manager" in big banks despite the "hiccup" this spring. He said "Morgan Stanley is the best value" in financials, while also touting MSFT and WAG.

Josh Brown said it makes him "cringe" to hear stocks described as "cheap," and declared, "bank stocks without dividends are like bicycles without seats — they're very uncomfortable to ride."

Scott Nations said that if there's more easing, the stock gains would be "pretty nice," but "if we don't get some sort of QE33, then the selloff is gonna be really dramatic."

T. Boone Pickens asks Wapner ‘What are you talkin’ about’ in regards to Chesapeake

Continuing the theme of turning Tuesday's Fast Money Halftime Report into The Most Useless Hour of Stock Market Programming of All Time, Judge Wapner welcomed T. Boone Pickens on the show to talk Pickens' book — which is basically, that oil is gonna go through the roof until we adopt Pickens' pet project of every variation of natural gas for our vehicles.

Most intriguing, though not surprising, is that Pickens apparently has no idea that there's any kind of Chesapeake controversy.

"What are you talkin' about," Pickens said to Judge Wapner, explaining that he got out of CHK because it's too tied to the natural gas price and that when it goes to $4 or $5 then Aubrey will be a big winner.

But Pickens eventually did answer his own question and conceded an "uncomfortable" CHK board situation and that he's aware of the McClendon headlines; "yes, he's taken some leeway."

Not surprisingly at all, for oil, Pickens claimed, "The supply is tighter than you think ... more likely it'll go up than down."

He disagreed with guest Nansen Saleri's (see below) estimate of Saudi spare capacity, saying "10, 10½ is max for them."

Pickens as usual complained about the lack of Washington endorsement for his business plan, saying, "these senators tell me" that "we don't wanna pick winners," even though he claims by picking no one, they're picking Saudi Arabia, which, um, "really does, uh, you know, piss me off."

Of course, "I think you've bottomed out on natural gas prices."

Pickens actually identified 2 stocks that nobody else commented on, CLR and PXD, and said BP needs to hike the dividend for the stock to go up. He said it's like "divine intervention" that America suddenly is tapping so many energy resources.

Mark Fisher, in a "question" that was really a statement, told Fisher that nat gas hasn't bottomed because of the contango. Pickens said he disagreed about the bottoming but agrees with the contango.

What’s really annoying is that CNBC continues to think Bill Clinton was speaking independently on tax rates and wasn’t just floating the subject for the White House to gauge reaction, and that the reaction was on the negative end of the White House’s expected range for giving Republicans material, and so they pretended to issue the statement that he was speaking out of turn

Something must be dragging down the Fast Money ratings, because Judge Wapner was compelled to turn Tuesday's Halftime Report into Larry Kudlow-land.

2 guests, Mark Levine and Terry Holt, conducted one of the most useless stock-market discussions of all time regarding tax-rate extensions.

"I don't think they should be extended permanently," Levine said.

The fiscal situation is "kind of like 'Thelma & Louise'," Holt said.

Judge Wapner described this highly dubious commentary as "a bit of a change of pace for us."

Mark Fisher claimed this is a "microcosm" of "why the country's paralyzed."

Expert to Mark Fisher: ‘Doesn’t surprise me ... may surprise you’

Guest Nansen Saleri argued that the price of oil ... right now ... is reflecting nothing more than the "supply and demand" issues he has been writing about for years.

Saleri sees a crude range of $80-$120.

Mark Fisher asked Saleri, "How much can Saudi Arabia actually produce?"

Saleri responded, "That's a very relevant question but not the most conspicuous question that should be asked," but answering it nonetheless, saying the Saudis could definitely escalate production to 12, 12½, or even 13-14 million barrels.

Saleri said there's a "very high certainty" that those numbers are accurate.

But Saleri stressed Iraq passed 3 million and can go maybe to 5-6 million, and that Libya despite its own unrest is rising. Mark Fisher asked Saleri if he finds it a "little bit suspicious" or "too coincidental" that the price has fallen so recently while all those things about the Bakken and Iraq have been known.

Saleri scoffed, saying, "What's happening right now doesn't surprise me. It may surprise you."

Saleri told Judge Wapner that the U.S. could reach "energy independence" within 5-10 years because he views that as equating to producing domestically 90-95% of BTU units consumed, or something like that.

But how come nobody ever talks about T-shirt independence, given that this country doesn't produce T-shirts anymore?

Najarian: Accumulate KORS on weakness

With only a couple rare exceptions from Jon Najarian and Mark Fisher, Joe Terranova basically had to carry the load in actual stock calls on Tuesday's Fast Money Halftime Report that once again was panelist-light, as Patty Edwards is apparently no longer on the Tuesday shift.

Terranova admitted he talks about USB "ad nauseam" but said he added to WFM and trumpeted SanDisk.

Najarian said he agreed with SanDisk and asserted, "I think we go higher from here in energy," on the heels of his and Pete's solid call on the OIH Monday.

Terranova said the "refiners keep working." However, he waffled on KORS, admitting to Judge Wapner "I got this one wrong with you a couple weeks ago," but while it has recovered, "however today's price action is absolutely awful." Najarian though advised viewers to "accumulate this one on weakness," although whether Tuesday's chart represents strength or weakness — particularly around lunchtime when Najarian spoke — is certainly a matter of debate.

Fish hiring traders

Todd Gordon, in probably the most useful comments of the entire Tuesday Fast Money Halftime Report though they were relegated to about 90 seconds at the end of the show, claimed the "risk trade is still a sell," that he recommends selling euro vs. dollar at 1.2550, and that the ideal trade is to concurrently find the S&P 500 around its 1,325 resistance, which in fact became the level at the end of Tuesday's activity.

Mark Fisher said what worries him is, "Are we gonna wake up and is Europe gonna implode." He asserted oil's going somewhere in a big move. "$83 is not the long-term equilibrium price of oil ... we're either going back to a hundred or going to 65," Fisher said.

Fisher said he thinks Xstrata and Glencore "kinda set the top" in base metals, and advised buying gold on gut feelings; "every time it looks bad, buy it."

Jon Najarian congratulated Judge for a "great interview" with Jim Rogers, even though Judge unlike Steve Cortes never challenged Rogers on agriculture or ever demanded to know what time frame these purported gains are going to be accomplished in.

Jon Najarian's Final Trade was SPPI. Joe Terranova said SBUX, while the best Mark Fisher could do was say he bought some WM, "don't ask me why."

Fisher is taking applications for the MBF Trading Challenge, so if you're even more of a hotshot than Whitney Tilson, ship an email to apply@mbftradingchallenge.com and see what happens.

[Monday, June 11, 2012]

Judge insists to Twitter critic that he didn’t dis Steve Cortes during host’s embarrassing non-challenge of Rogers & Rutledge

No disrespect to the many CNBCers who try it, but quite frankly, spending even a tiny portion of one's day reading anything on Twitter can be about as satisfying as a 3-hour-old Chicken McNugget.

Yet, we couldn't help but notice that Judge Wapner on Monday afternoon was hearing it from the Twitter crowd in regard to his favor-Rogers'-long-term-vagueness/Rutledge's-short-term-noncommitalness-over-my-hard-working-regulars performance on Monday's Halftime Report, and in fact issued a rebuttal in regards to his purported "smackdown" of Steve Cortes that wasn't.

We really don't need to explain what Judge wrote, because you've already read the image above the headline on this item.

But we will point out, Judge has likely used the wrong version of "peace," though a quick poll of some on the Web indicates many for some reason find "peace" the correct term.

Tim Seymour does head fake of praising Neel Kashkari’s stock call before subtly reversing and indicating he wouldn’t buy it

The most interesting thing about Neel Kashkari's appearance on Monday's 5 p.m. Fast Money was Melissa Lee's observation that "I don't think I've ever talked to anybody from Pimco about specific stocks."

So, we must be in marketing season.

Kashkari, well-acquainted with injections into the banking system, called the Spain request "not even close to being a solution."

But he sees sunny days ahead for several stocks, particularly Danone, which has 50% of its business in emerging markets, and even in Europe, "People still need to eat."

Another stock Kashkari likes is Ausdrill, for its "very healthy dividend" and "long-term play on inflation, commodity prices," which certainly must be something Jim Rogers would like.

Lee asked Kashkari if he likes Spirit Airlines (SAVE) at Monday's levels and Kashkari indicated yes but admitted, "I'm not sure if we ended up buying today or not."

Tim Seymour started out hailing Kashkari's Danone recommendation, "I think his call's a great one," but then adding, "are the valuations really worth stepping in here. We don't see tons of value just yet."

BBY’s ‘slow death’

Fast Money is usually about the long ideas, so it was refreshing to hear Brad Lamensdorf discuss his portfolio of shorts on Monday's 5 p.m. edition.

Mel Lee praised Lamensdorf at the opening for his "tremendous feat" of 19% returns for April and May, although, if you're a dedicated short, shouldn't those have been your biggest months of the year?

Regardless, Lamensdorf issued quality soundbites for several names, starting with Constant Contact (CTCT), which we'd never heard of before, but which has been cratering, "got swept up in the Facebook phenomenon," according to Lamensdorf, and now has an accounting issue to deal with.

Lamensdorf said GT has a lot of trouble with liabilities, even if the tiremaker is running at full capacity.

Melissa Lee asked about underwear maker HBI (Melissa didn't actually use the term "underwear"). Lamensdorf said they "also have a tremendous amount of pension liability," and much of the cash they make is offshore.

Tim Seymour asked about Lamensdorf's stomach for shorting DB. "We will take some pain," Lamensdorf said, contending it is "still operating in the old 2006/2007 environment" with "35/1 leverage." He also has a big position in C.

The most interesting stock in this discussion was BBY, although there was nothing particularly interesting about Lamensdorf's short rationale. It's a "slow death," he said, and thus a "core position." Guy Adami said it seems to be a "very binary" stock that some people think is going to zero while others see it "somewhere north of 30."

Mike Murphy said he would "kinda question" the GT short at $10 and would take some off here.

According to a random Google hit we inadvertently got, Lamensdorf is the lone "Brad Lamensdorf" in the entire United States.

Colin Gillis says new management is worth 30% boost to YHOO

We didn't really want to post anything about what Colin Gillis or Boy Genius had to say on Monday's 5 p.m. Fast Money about AAPL, but some things are just unavoidable.

Gillis used the half-trillion market cap against AAPL.

"Why does that matter though?" demanded Melissa Lee, who joined Pete Najarian ("that means nothing, doesn't it"?) in raising doubts about the significance of that number affecting stock performance.

"That is the valuation of the company," was about all Gillis could say, in an attempt to paint every company that hit that level as hitting a wall.

Otherwise, Gillis said, "We're worried about the June quarter ... you can't be buying now for the December quarter ... I wouldn't be jumping into it at this level."

"There was no wow factor today, that was the problem," was Pete Najarian's description of Apple's day.

Boy Genius said of Tim Cook, "I think he did a really good job."

Guy Adami said, "Nvidia's actually interesting again."

Gillis later hailed YHOO based apparently strictly on new management, saying the stock has "30% upside." Scott Nations doubts that can happen from execution and said any boost "has to be a deal."

Pete Najarian had a legg'o my egg'o on Seagate, saying it's cheap valuation, but "the problem is, are they gonna be obsolete at some point?"

This market’s a disaster (cont’d)

You'd think a show called Fast Money would revel in afternoons such as Monday's, yet Tim Seymour on the 5 p.m. Fast Money wanted to crawl under the bed.

"That's scary stuff for traders," Seymour said, of the 2% index moves, before asking, "What do you really do before this weekend?"

Mike Murphy insisted it's "still a tradeable market."

Seymour challenged, "What kind of names though."

Murphy responded with CMI and URI, which he said is intriguing "around the $30 range."

Guy Adami said of the S&P 500, "I'm still in the lower camp," and re-predicted a test of 1,292.

Pete Najarian said the VIX on Monday went "underneath 20," and then it was "off to the races."

Not a whole lot of funny/imaginative things being talked about at Tim Seymour’s shop

Pete Najarian, whose Final Trade on Monday's 5 p.m. Fast Money was long OIH, said "you may have seen a tradeable bottom" because some speculators were picking up October 38 calls, and added during the show, "I like BP," and "at $38 a share it's still a steal."

Jim Iuorio complained that "you guys" are trying to make oil a "story of its own," when it was no story Monday, only a "macro thing."

Tim Seymour at one point said, "As we say in our shop, OPEC is only Saudi Arabia."

Did Fast Money go a full hour without mentioning Greifeld and/or the Facebook IPO?

Jim Iuorio on Monday's 5 p.m. Fast Money wasn't terribly convinced he's ready to pin his hopes on Citigroup's Supreme Court health-care gamble, saying he'd "probably be a seller not a buyer" on the opinion.

Scott Nations suggested an HCA call spread, buying the July 27 call for $1.30 and selling the 30 call for 40 cents.

Guy Adami mentioned HMA and said "risk/reward is steep here," but with a risk of $6, "reward could be that 8½/9 level that Citi's looking for."

But Adami called MS a "little bit disappointing" and said, "it can't get out of its own way."

Mike Murphy said if you don't have the "gumption" to short financials, just stay away.

Scott Nations recommended NKE on the marketing prospects of LeBron James. Tim Seymour rightly questioned if that's not already priced in.

Amelia Bourdeau, who is always chipper and looks good on Fast Money, recommends shorting Aussie vs. kiwi at 1.2870.

Scott Nations' Final Trade was anniversary dinner with the wife, something not to short. Jim Iuorio admitted his pick, MO, was boring. Tim Seymour said CBD, Guy Adami said GLD and Mike Murphy said COO.

Jim Rogers challenges timing predictions of most of the Fast Money gang, but especially picks on Joe Terranova

If Judge Wapner thinks he could use some fresh ways for putting the screws to his Fast Money traders — something he's often good at — he might want to give Jim Rogers a crack at hosting.

Rogers spent the entire Monday Halftime Report questioning 2 trader routines: Calling bottoms, and buying at 52-week highs.

Joe Terranova started it off by trumpeting VZ, T, WFM, saying he likes (as always) USB, and most importantly, the 52-week high DIS.

"That's a new rule for me; I had thought it was buy low and sell high," Rogers chuckled, as Terranova explained that "we" wrote a book about buying high.

Later, in the most dubious/curious call of the program, Terranova claimed, "I think we are 20 to 30 days outside of potentially getting a 50% opportunity buy in the energy market."

Rogers correctly asked, "How low is it gonna go? I wanna mark my calendar."

Terranova said he can't say with precision, but "Maybe we take a dip under 80 bucks."

Judge tried to soften the edge, telling Terranova, "You didn't realize, Joey T., that I was gonna have a right-hand man today who was gonna put you on the spot, right."

But Terranova was hardly alone. If Steve Grasso thought he was getting a free pass Monday, he had another thing coming, in gold.

Grasso said S&P 1,335 resistance was significant to him but really focused on the gold miners, suggesting dips should be bought. "I read that blurb about Germany refusing to loan any more money unless it's actually backed in gold. I think that's huge," Grasso asserted.

"Well no of course it is," said Rogers.

"But everyone seemed to have missed it," said Grasso.

But Rogers questioned buying "all" the dips and demanded to know how low it goes, suggesting it's possible India could close down its buying program. "You're the genius," Rogers told Grasso.

By the end of the program, Rogers and Grasso got to summarizing philosophies, when Grasso said he's not interested in COH and KORS, but "I would go to Wal-Mart ... every day you see a new annual high here."

"You're gonna buy Wal-Mart because it's at the high," Rogers said.

"Yeah, because stocks making new highs usually do what, make new highs," Grasso said, contending if he'd recommended that to Rogers $4 ago, Rogers would be thanking him for the profits.

"This is a different world from my world," Rogers concluded.

"The profit's agnostic," Grasso said.

Jon Najarian came well-enough prepared to handle what he got from Rogers regarding Najarian's assessment that Goldman Sachs is "about 5 days early" in its call for a commodity bounce, saying that 5 (later changed to 6) days would produce a "pivot point for the euro."

Rogers correctly asked what will happen in 5 days. Najarian pointed out it's the Greece elections, when we'll see if there's a "communist takeover."

Rogers' biggest score was likely calling out the Supreme Court gamble of Gary Taylor, who claimed "I think we can make an educated risk/reward call" on what will happen to ObamaCare-related stocks and that they'll only go lower if the court strikes down the whole law.

So Rogers asked, "Is the court gonna uphold the law or not?"

"Well that's a great question," Taylor admitted, saying if it's intact, "These stocks have a chance of doubling" over the next year, and if it's partly struck down, those stocks could still have a "modest gain," but that there's an "80-90%" chance it won't be fully struck down.

Steve Cortes delights in combatting fresh batch of China bulls on Fast Money

While much of the Fast Money regulars found themselves playing defense on Monday's Halftime, Steve Cortes was in 1980s Denver Nuggets-esque overdrive on John Rutledge's pro-China commentary.

Rutledge quietly mocked how the concerns have shifted to easing; 6 months ago it was property bubble, etc., and said he had gotten out of FCX, RIO and BHP recently but it's time to get back in as "some of that fear will go away."

Jim Rogers then made a pro-commodities statement that Rutledge was apparently supposed to take as a question, leading to dead air.

But then Cortes got his chance, suggesting Rutledge might be doing a "cherry pick" of Chinese data when "the preponderance of China data over the last couple of months has been very foreboding," and actually reflecting a "serious slowdown in China."

Rutledge stressed the creditor status of China and that in terms of stimulus, "they got a lot of room to do it."

Cortes piled on, insisting, "China simply is not becoming the consumer power that it has long been predicted to be," and that the consumer portion of GDP is so low as to be "unprecedented."

"I think they are totally beholden to the U.S. for growth," Cortes concluded.

"No no, that is not correct," to presume growth is driven by exports, Rutledge responded. "It's the capital spending, not the exports."

Despite his mild enthusiasm for the sector, Rutledge did allow that the resource plays aren't a 100% pure play, and that investing in China is "not a place for tourists though ... you have to really know what the insiders are doing."

Judge Wapner, giving guests the benefit of the doubt over regulars, told Cortes he was on the receiving end of a "smackdown."

Jim Rogers indicated he wasn't doing any cherry-picking. "I don't pay any attention to those numbers ... they're all made up ... everybody makes 'em up," Rogers said.

Spain bailout is the ‘most insane thing I’ve ever heard’

Amid all of the talk about China on Monday's Fast Money Halftime Report, traders seemed to woefully underestimate the momentum of the sliding U.S. stock market that was just kicking into gear during their program.

All except Steve Cortes, who called the price action in Spain a "big red flag" and asserted, "That is the worst finish that I can remember since Greg Norman blew the Masters back a few years ago ... I am quite short."

(Actually it was more than "a few" years ago, but whatever.)

Cortes said Italy's portion of the Spain bailout represents "robbing Peter's broke brother to pay Paul ... simply a scheme that does not work."

(Who would Peter's broke brother be ... Greg, or Bobby?)

Jon Najarian merely complained about the details of the bailout, saying "they should've just backstopped the depositors" and let the banks twist in the wind.

Jim Rogers called the Spain bailout the "most insane thing I've ever heard."

"I'm watching the whole world. I- I'm very worried about what's happening with central banks," Rogers said, questioning what Spain accomplished. "It's nothing more than pushing the thing out into the future ... the solution to too much debt is not more debt."

"Let Greece go bankrupt," Rogers said, and then eventually the euro can regain strength.

Terranova on AAPL: ‘You don’t have to worry about Europe’

Guest Brian Blair delivered the ongoing highlights of the Apple developers conference on Monday's Fast Money Halftime Report, saying the big new thing is a high-resolution screen for MacBooks, as well as "Facebook integration I think into IOS 6."

And, "it looks like Apple's gonna introduce their own map."

But Blair predicted the stock won't run up toward $700 until results are out for the next couple iPhone quarters.

Blair agreed with Jon Najarian that it looks like Apple will make a return to NVDA chips.

Joe Terranova, who with AAPL evidently didn't see a 20-30-day potential 50% buy, said "no reason to sell it here ... you don't have to worry about Europe."

"I'd still be a buyer of Apple here," said Steve Grasso, who said FB is tradeable down to $26.25, but bail at that point.

Terranova touted UA, saying, "Stay long the name."

‘I’m focused on’ intros are a bust; Steve Cortes was skipped

Jim Rogers spent considerable time on Monday's Fast Money Halftime Report stressing the prospects of agriculture.

"We don't have any farmers," Rogers said, predicting ag will be one of the "great, great areas of the world economy."

Steve Cortes pointed out the reality of that career. "I'm a descendant of farmers," Cortes said, explaining he used to spend time on farms, and "I don't wanna go back there Jim."

Cortes continued, "Isn't your analysis a little bit simplistic," pointing out the massive productivity gains in farming that require fewer people to do the work.

"Everything you said is right," Rogers said, but he persisted with his theme of "depressed on a historic basis" in suggesting stockbrokers will be moving to Iowa and Nebraska to go where the money is.

Steve Grasso said, "With 4 kids I could use the space." Jon Najarian said he likes Agco and John Deere.

"The world needs to eat," Judge Wapner said at one point, apparently endorsing one of the most long-standing (and recently one of the most wrongest) Fast Money Favorite Calls.

Stephen Weiss dialed in to say, "I added to my short in steel," specifically X and MT, citing "8 weeks of price declines," but he didn't harangue Steve Grasso this time.

Grasso's Final Trade was SDS. Steve Cortes said Treasurys, Jon Najarian said long OIH, Joe Terranova said CYH and Jim Rogers said RJA.

The camera coordination was way off in the show's new intro featuring the traders telling the camera what they're focusing on.

[Friday, June 8, 2012]

Judge’s interview with chippy Duncan Niederauer ends cordially

Judge Wapner brought his A game to Friday's Fast Money Halftime Report with a series of rock-solid interviews that included expert handling of an agitated Duncan Niederauer.

Niederauer opened utterly defensive after Judge's innocuous intro referring to the "swift rebuke" of Nasdaq's FB remedy, insisting "Let's not make this about the 2 of us, OK, or the 2 exchanges," which Judge hadn't done.

(Translation: I don't want to get into criticizing Greifeld, because there could be moments when they might be able to do the same to me, but the Nasdaq remedy is a slick way of turning a minus into a plus.)

"This doesn't strike anybody as fair," Niederauer said ... but how is that not "making this about the 2 of us, OK, or the 2 exchanges" ... offering an analogy that it's like if BP instead of paying injured parties over the spill merely gave them vouchers for cheap gasoline only at BP pumps.

"After 3 weeks of silence, we're greeted with a contrived proposal," Niederauer added, but remember, again, let's not make this about the 2 exchanges.

Duncan remained bizarrely defensive when snapping at Judge's straightforward question about Kraft and the impact of losing a Dow listing, suggesting it will be great to eventually know what Nasdaq offered to get this. (But again, this isn't about the 2 exchanges.)

Niederauer flat-out said "I have not spoken to Mark or Sheryl, no," and indicated Facebook knows where to find him. "I think they know we're here for them, and I wouldn't speculate beyond that."

The snapping didn't end there, as Wapner went on to quite reasonably ask about the headwinds on the financial services industry. "Thanks for being so optimistic there Scott," Niederauer said, apparently expecting Judge to kiss his (bleep) for 10 minutes and talk about how unfair the Nasdaq FB remedy is (oh but wait, without making it between the 2 exchanges).

On politics, Niederauer said, "I certainly would renew the tax cuts."

Guest Rich Repetto told Judge he thinks the Nasdaq remedy probably doesn't go through, because there's been "enough market pushback," and others don't want reimbursement by trading fees. Repetto called ICE the best-in-breed exchange, another blow to Terrence A. Duffy.

Unfortunately, Repetto also somehow trumpeted one of Chuck Schumer's obvious talking points, actually claiming the exchanges might help in the economic recovery.

Patty’s investing focus at this point in time is unusually broad

Normally, Patty Edwards is someone on Fast Money who doesn't require a Magic Decoder Ring.

That may have to change, if Friday's long-awaited Halftime Report commentary from Edwards is any indication.

Starting out saying, "I would much rather be levering into plays that maybe have more international exposure but are more on the dividend-paying side," Edwards continued, "frankly I'm actually pulling back my international exposure at this point in time, for the most part."

And eventually she got to, "I wanna be much more exposed to the U.S.," such as in PKG.

Somewhere in that international-to-domestic full circle Edwards trumpeted getting long MCD, which gets probably something in the ballpark of 2/3 of its sales abroad. "I think that we've come to a bottom on it," Edwards said.

So ... from levering into more international exposure, to pulling back international exposure, to being much more exposed to the U.S., to getting long McDonald's, and then we've come full circle.

There's kind of something there for everyone.

Edwards, who despite being on the show rarely in the last few weeks was forgotten for about a 40-minute stretch Friday, was iffy on DRI. "I do not own it at this point in time," she said.

Her pick for a dubious show segment, what stocks can be triple-digit gainers, was ES, which is in the "nuclear clean-up area."

We ended up with 2 "at this point in times," 2 "for the most parts" and 1 "that being said," but we didn't detect a "be that as it may" this time.

Kelly: Spain represents ‘very big positive for risk-on’

Just a week ago Fast Money viewers were hearing about the sky falling. On this Friday's Halftime Report, as the S&P inched up toward the top of its short-term range, it was suddenly off to the races with Spanish bank recapitalizations that purportedly aren't priced in yet. Steve Grasso said traders are now starting to think, unlike in recent weeks, they've got to be long this market over weekends, though he conceded 1,333 will be a key level.

Brian Kelly was positively Ralph Acampora- or Abby Joseph Cohen-ish, saying indications of a Spanish bank recapitalization are a "very big positive for risk-on," and that he thinks a credit fix over there will help turn JPM around.

Jeff Kilburg argued that despite the level of the 10-year yield, things remain unsettled in the world, and so he thinks even 126 is a nice level to keep buying the TLT. Kelly said Kilburg has been right, but "This time, I can't agree with him," and that to agree with that play you'd "have to be incredibly bearish on the world economy."

Armstrong: ‘Fundamentals just don’t support’ the oil market

While some traders this week were hailing the all-clear/oversold indications, Addison Armstrong on Friday's Fast Money Halftime Report offered a somber outlook for oil.

Armstrong said the expectations for pace of growth in China are dragging down crude, that there's "a lot of fear" back in the market Friday, and "traders know that the fundamentals just don't support this market, until they stop kicking the can down the road."

Brian Kelly suggested the Saudis might be eyeing production cuts because "they need to pay off their people so they don't revolt like everybody else in the Middle East."

Jon Najarian trumpeted BP, a recent outperformer, as "best of breed" in the oil space right at this moment.

Kate Kelly reported from Oklahoma on the Chesapeake meeting that was "a bit raucous in nature." Steve Grasso asserted that CHK "still is uninvestable" and capable of doing an "about-face" on Monday.

Murphy on Friday takes a couple of recommendations from Thursday and buys LULU

Mike Murphy happily reported on Friday's Fast Money Halftime Report buying LULU at 63.63, saying it's a buy down 20% from highs because "These guys are like the Apple of athletic wear."

Generally speaking, this page follows that stock like nobody's business because it neatly represents the risk-on portion of the market as well as borderline high-end and specialty retail and also is a top target of valuation critics.

After playing it a bit on Friday, we've gotta disagree with the Murph this time. It's probably got more to go on the downside.

S for a 100% return

Guest Sara Senatore said on Friday's Fast Money Halftime Report that MCD might be experiencing general market/economic fatigue after having a "remarkable string" of same store sales for the last 7 years, and that we're "actually just starting to see the macro environment catch up with uh, with the company."

Steve Grasso tried to get Senatore to opine on whether DRI would be a better option given MCD's results. Senatore cautiously waffled on that one.

Jon Najarian was also rather tepid, saying he would own MCD in that space (presumably the YUM fast food space) but still "would wait for a little bit more of a washout in McDonald's" before buying right now.

However, Najarian trumpeted FRAN, saying "they're in the sweet spot" of whatever retail niche they're in, and "FRAN looks like a nice stock going forward."

Jon Najarian, holding up 5 fingers (one is the thumb, but it's a "finger" for these purposes) twice to illustrate "50/50," reported the odds of Apple unveiling iPhone 5 at the worldwide developers conference.

Najarian said they might take a cue from their iPad strategy and just call it "the New iPhone."

Steve Grasso said, "I think there is a floor, in Apple, and it's probably poised to move higher."

Judge asked Najarian about the "bizarre" VIX spike that apparently had just happened and that Najarian knew nothing about at the moment.

Steve Grasso's prediction for a possible triple-digit winner was S, it's a "long haul for Sprint," he said, and that's probably the least likely of the 4 picks to hit triple digit gains in our opinion. Brian Kelly said CLNE but with the caveat that "investing in long shots without the odds is just more like gambling than investing." Jon Najarian spoke too long for Judge's liking in recommending ARNA as a play on the diabetes explosion.

[Thursday, June 7, 2012]

Notable absences from the Chicago edition of Fast Money: Terrence A. Duffy, Sam Zell, Diane Swonk, Oprah, Hagop ‘Jack’ Bouroudjian

It's no disrespect to Jim Metcalf whatsoever.

But was the USG boss the most elite CEO guest the Fast Money crew was capable of getting in a Chicago appearance?

Metcalf mostly spun a promotional guide to the USG business, asserting, "housing has bottomed out" and it's a matter of when it comes back, not if, and that "repair and remodel" is USG's top business.

Karen Finerman, in part of a troubling trend all day, asked a humdrum question (about taking out capacity in the last few years that would provide a big bounceback for USG) that elicited an utterly headache-inducing non-answer from Metcalf in which he said repeatedly they've taken capacity out with the goal of "lower the break-even," and what in the world were we talking about again?

If nothing else, Metcalf revealed he had a "great commute here."

Guy Adami said HD is a superior stock but there's "monster short interest in USG."

Steve Cortes asserted that housing "is not bottoming," evidenced by no "material uptick" in new home demand despite low rates, and that construction-related stocks such as Fastenal, Grainger and Cemex have been "absolutely in the tank lately."

Cortes said his colorful tie elicits either "praise or absolute denigration."

Guy Adami: Gold ‘north of $2,000
... 3 months from now’

We coulda swore that Guy Adami's recent spree of $2,000-gold pronouncements were always qualified with "in a year or so."

Thursday on the 5 p.m. Fast Money Special Chicago Edition, that timetable got a fast-forward.

"Again, I'll say it again, I think 3 months from now, you come back, it's gonna be north of $2,000," Adami asserted.

We're terrible at math, but we think that means Sept. 7.

Jim Iuorio decided Thursday was as good of a time to jump into the GLD as any, explaining he bought at $155.91, while conceding "this is a lonely trade today and somewhat painful." But he thinks it will prevail, given the "disconnect" he sees between gold and stock markets.

Karen Finerman said, "The gold trade I never quite got," and then questioned what would happen to the price if some party had to unload.

Tim Seymour demanded to know how that differs from any stock.

"Because we know there are giant, giant concentrations of gold," Finerman insisted.

Seymour said he thinks that already happened in Q1. "I think that's the opportunity here actually," he said.

JJ Kinahan: News media sweeping positive stock market stories under the rug

Someone at Harpo Studios handed JJ Kinahan a little too much Red Bull on Thursday.

Kinahan told the 5 p.m. Special Chicago Fast Money Edition that the financial industry missed an opportunity with the Facebook IPO to hook some youngsters on stock-market investing (which, honestly, in mid-May of another Greek summer, we gotta say is a pretty good thing actually.)

But then Kinahan attempted to pin blame for lack of confidence in the markets on the media.

"The newspapers, magazines haven't given the good stories coverage. It's not sexy to talk about somebody who invested for years and years and ended up paying for their kids' college. It's more fun to say, 'This guy got SCREWED'," Kinahan said.

2 points to that: Notice that 1) he didn't mention business television or bloggers, and 2) there actually haven't been that many long-term success stories since 1999, unless your name's John Paulson or Kyle Bass, who aren't exactly as media-friendly as Donald Trump.

Guy Adami contended, "I think Facebook will continue to head south." Kinahan said, "I still think there are plenty of people who think it's a great stock."

Karen Finerman actually claims there’s no more room to kick the can down the road

Watching the 5 p.m. Fast Money crew in Chicago on Thursday, the question came to mind, what exactly are Karen Finerman's favorite U.S. cities?

Southern California, her hometown area? Presumably on the list. Manhattan, her home, obviously. Seattle? Maybe in the Top 5, but probably not San Francisco. Atlanta and Phoenix, unlikely. Vegas, no way. Maybe, if required to include one Southern locale, Nashville.

Chicago doesn't appear to be high on that list, given Karen's unfortunately utterly unimaginative questions for Mayor Rahm Emanuel that aired during Thursday's 5 p.m. Fast Money Special Edition.

Sticking mostly to generic government fare regarding Emanuel's own budget and the Wisconsin recall, Finerman seemed to credit Emanuel as being one individual tackling pensions and other government costs, which is ideal fodder for the CNBC audience, only to have Emanuel assert, for the benefit of generic Chicagoans who don't have an OptionMonster account and don't know Steve Cortes from Hernan Cortes, that he doesn't see his initiatives including health care so much as "cuts," but "reforms," and "I think we've made a lot of reforms."

Finerman didn't ask at all about the state and city's business hospitality, namely in the form of tax rates, given that some say Chicago's Cook County has the highest cumulative sales tax in the nation and that even one of the people on Thursday's set (that would be Jon Najarian) hinted a year ago about thinking about relocating to Vegas.

Finerman didn't ask Emanuel if Groupon is a bellwether for Chicago's tech industry or should even be taken seriously, didn't ask if Emanuel thinks Amazon should be collecting sales tax from Illinois buyers, didn't ask Emanuel what he sees as the role of unions in governments.

Nor did she bring up the Ricketts family controversy that has snagged talks with Emanuel's office over a Wrigley Field overhaul.

Afterwards live on the set, Finerman told Melissa Lee that a fiscal bargain is inevitable, because "there's no more road to kick the can down anymore."

There is always, always room to kick the can down the road.

Owner of last-place Cubs insists they’ve ‘lost a lot of very close games’

One A-list guest the Fast Money crew roped in for Thursday's 5 p.m. Chicago Edition was Chicago Cubs owner Tom Ricketts, who didn't really make much of a bond call except to say people have all kinds of different goals, but in general you want to "buy 'em, ladder 'em, hold 'em."

Ricketts helpfully said to watch credit spreads to see how the economic picture might be shifting.

Pete Najarian, who's from Minnesota, asked several good questions about the Cubs. Ricketts said they've "lost a lot of very close games," and "I think we did OK in the draft."

One of these days this page will post an abridged version of Sports Draft Theory (trust us, it will be readable and not too long); one of the conclusions is certainly that there is utterly no way of pronouncing a baseball draft "OK" or "not OK" for several years.

Guy Adami, who's from Croton-on-Hudson, said Ricketts' characterization of the Cubs' "slow start" is perhaps the understatement of the century.

Adami: More QE could ‘crater’ stocks

We had to wonder on Thursday's 5 p.m. Special Chicago Edition of Fast Money who these people were who got recruited to fill chairs and do nothing but clap.

Evidently Lincoln Financial wanted to make a sponsorship splash and decided that had to happen with a special on-location event in some city besides NYC.

What none of the honchos apparently realized is that it was just gonna be the same old show with the same old people that shockingly didn't even entertain any audience questions.

The panelists opened with an assessment of the Fed.

"What we keep getting is no clarity," said Karen Finerman.

Jon Najarian, from Minnesota, said, "Bernanke kept his powder dry," and for those longer-term investors, the "setup is very strong."

Rick Santelli, sort of a combination native Chicagoan/native Chicago suburbanite who is an obligatory voice at an event such as this, said he had no way of answering Karen Finerman's rare good question of the day, whether Bernanke was plugged into the Chinese easing, but concluded, "I think it's a diversion to talk about the Fed."

Guy Adami predicted "we're gonna test 1,290," and said if it holds then the market should soar, but he's skeptical of that. Later, he reiterated his belief that the Fed's ability to positively jolt the markets might be waning, and with the next move, "This time, the markets could actually crater."

Thankfully Tim Seymour is taking heat for his ridiculous FCX bullishness

Tim Seymour, who has said he's from Scarsdale, asserted on Thursday's 5 p.m. Special Chicago Fast Money Edition that there's an Iranian conference coming up of some kind and "I think oil's going lower ... this is very good for China, this is very good for the United States."

Guy Adami said APA is a great stock to trade and seems to be in the sweet trading spot around 81 or 82.

Seymour at one point mentioned his bizarre fascination with FCX (a "dog with fleas," Steve Cortes, who's from Chicago Heights, rightly pointed out the other day), saying, "I've been talking about Freeport for a couple months and there's more than a few people out there who've been, who've been tearing me a new one on."

Pete Najarian thundered, "How about Southern Copper," saying it's been great in the 29-35 range. Seymour cautioned that the stock traded for $4 in 2008.

Scott Nations, who's from Kansas City, suggested a way to lower your price for MCD shares by selling the July 87.50 put for $1.30, making your effective cost $86.20. Jon Najarian's Trade of the Day was S, though he didn't call the stock an option but merely said people in the options markets were buying the January 3 calls and selling the 5 calls. Pete Najarian said CHL instead.

Happy birthday, John Melloy

Jeff Kilburg on Thursday's 5 p.m. Special Chicago Edition of Fast Money said that if there is a coordinated central bank effort, 10-year Treasury rates could climb back up from 1.80 to 2.10.

Guy Adami again predicted that when interest rates finally start rising, they will do so "extraordinarily fast."

Karen Finerman said she's long JPM and BAC even though it's not the most convincing environment right now. Pete Najarian assured everyone there are "great opportunities" to just "trade" the financials.

Brian Stutland identified a big institutional buyer of August/September volatility, so the coast may not yet be clear for markets.

Tim Seymour's Final Trade was CBD. Guy Adami said GLD, Karen Finerman spoke too long in recommending CF, Pete Najarian said NSC and Jon Najarian also nearly spoke too long in recommending IMAX.

Everyone at Harpo applauded mention of the birthday of John Melloy, even though he presumably was not see-able at the studio and likely no one in the audience knew who he is before Mel Lee's announcement. Guy Adami said Melloy goes 6-3, 225.

Melissa Lee said, "Chicago's known for their hot dogs, deep-dish pizza."

Hedge funder tells Liz Dunn:
‘Feels like 2007’

Though she's neutral on her usual Fast Money request, LULU, Liz Dunn relayed a stark assessment of the high-end consumer on Thursday's Fast Money Halftime Report.

Dunn said she has a neutral rating on LULU from "valuation standpoint" and because of the "market overall," which then led her to say she spoke with "somebody from a hedge fund," who told her "It feels like 2007," and she said that's "freaking people out."

The Zekemeister, Zach Karabell, back after a recent hiatus, said he doesn't think the "stultifying sclerosis" of comparisons to past famous stock market events is any help. "I don't think LULU is a high-end" play, Karabell said, while revealing he is "kind of interested in it here," and when pressed by Judge Wapner to explain exactly how interested, said it would be in buying 70 calls, which moments later became his Final Trade.

Dunn explained the inventory rise stems from "the company has been a bit in chase mode." Josh Brown made LULU his Final Trade also. (This writer is long LULU.)

Brown: Gold, oil, stocks,
‘all the same trade’

They never got much of a chance to hash it out, but Josh Brown clearly wasn't on board with Zach Karabell's and to a lesser extent Brian Kelly's assessments of Europe on Thursday's Fast Money Halftime Report.

Karabell said the markets are in a "very binary situation," and "if there is a resolution of Europe, I think we are absolutely spring-loaded to resume the thread that we were on before."

Kelly also used the phrasing "any type of resolution" regarding Europe to the prospects of QE.

Karabell called gold the "ultimate fear barometer trade" and said if you think things are going to collapse, you wanna be in Nebraska, but otherwise you wanna be in stocks.

Moments later, Brown demanded, "What exactly is a resolution of Europe? I heard that from 2 different guests." Then Brown chided the others for talking about gold, oil and stocks as though they'll have separate outcomes when it's "all the same trade" with the same "binary outcomes" and "doesn't matter" which of those you own.

Karabell protested that "gold will lag" relative to other things if there's no collapse. "Maybe," Brown said, but suggesting, "let's not complicate it."

Hmm. Tough call. What Karabell says makes sense theoretically, but Brown's assessment sounds a bit more on-target.

Stephen Weiss said to play the gold commodity, not the miners.

Getting tired of hearing
the Facebook IPO complaints

We know it was a debacle and embarrassment, etc., but still ... 3 weeks into it ...

Knight's Tom Joyce took his Facebook IPO Gripe Tour to the Fast Money Halftime Report on Thursday, asserting, "Nasdaq created this problem ... they're not even in the ballpark with what they're proposing ... I know it's 40 million bucks, 13 of which- 13 of which is cash, which looks like they're giving back the money they made on their short, and not a whole lot else."

The real remedy would be "well over a hundred million dollars," Joyce said.

Joyce rejected the notion Knight was part of the machine. "How can anybody proprietarily trade on an IPO?" he asked.

He contended, "You can't trade blind no more than you can drive blind on the LIE ... we definitely got punched in the nose."

Joyce also suggested you should think about putting money in stocks "now."

Fed govs ‘giving rambling, random speeches wherever they show up’

Steve Liesman on Thursday's Fast Money Halftime Report summarized Ben Bernanke's comments and those of other Fed people as indicating QE3 "may not be a done deal," unlike how some people Liesman respects are seeing it.

Josh Brown said "I think Steve's a hundred percent right" and mocked that "these governors giving these rambling, random speeches wherever they show up. Half of them want to stimulate, half of them don't."

Brian Kelly said it's possible that Bernanke was doing a little "rope-a-dope here" to perhaps later give the markets something more unexpected that might have more impact. Stephen Weiss said to pay attention to what the Fed does rather than what it says.

1,430 year-end S&P

Judge Wapner got off on the wrong foot on Thursday's Halftime Report with China watcher Robert "Mr." Horrocks by insisting the China rate cut must be a big deal, when Horrocks twice insisted it's not, "it's a very small move."

Zach Karabell and Stephen Weiss disagreed on whether some new China infrastructure project was old news.

Judge Wapner hung a Men's Wearhouse suit on Josh Brown, who said you could play the stock for a pop and will like it, he guarantees it.

Karabell said of DIS, "I like this stock; I own it." Josh Brown said the Street can't catch up with SHW and that he still likes the stock but cautioned it "has become a momentum stock."

Thomas Lee said Bernanke's comments were neither an upside surprise nor a disappointment. "I don't think we're sort of slipping into recession," Lee contended, expressing a 1,430 year-end target on the S&P 500.

Willie Williams quickly, almost too quickly actually for Judge Wapner, delivered a late Money in Motion trade, which was selling the Aussie dollar at 99.75, with a target of 95.

Brian Kelly's Final Trade was "people gotta eat," ADM; Stephen Weiss said JOY.

[Wednesday, June 6, 2012]

Karen suddenly vaults into contention for Fast Money Call of the Year

To think, we scoffed.

Karen Finerman back on May 29 recommended DGIT, saying, "Today I believe is the bottom ... I think it actually will get sold."

The closing price that day was $9.05, it had been in the $7 handles a couple weeks prior ... and Wednesday, it hit 12.

Which kind of makes up for that grotesque Navios Maritime long north of $5 last summer.

Finerman on Wednesday said she's not selling out of DGIT just yet. "There's a lot of smoke here" that management needs to "clarify," Finerman said.

Adami: Another 7 points left

It'd be hard to find a group of financial pros as unenthusiastic about a 286-point Dow gain than the 5 p.m. Fast Money crew was Wednesday.

Mike Murphy said, as he did at Halftime, market rally was only "based on rumors" that can twist in the wind, and that you should "sell the rallies."

Karen Finerman agreed; "I do not think the all-clear is there."

"I'm not a believer in the rally," said Stephen Weiss.

Brian Kelly suggested buying a put spread on the SPY to protect your portfolio.

Guy Adami said he expects "another 7 points or so in the S&P to the upside" before resistance, though "at some point we will see 1,205," although he did say there's 50 points more if we do break upside resistance.

Greifeld’s interview bolsters trader’s confidence

Former SEC chief Harvey Pitt, who happened to be in office while Enron was occurring, tried to give Bob Greifeld & the Nasdaq a 50/50 split on Wednesday's 5 p.m. Fast Money after Greifeld's interview with Maria Bartiromo earlier.

Pitt primarily complained, as far as we could tell, that Nasdaq is determining all of these injustices and the value of them by itself, and that "there's no real knowledge base."

He said it's important that the exchange is recognizing the damage done, but "it's very hard to get too excited about what they've done," and too bad for American business that this globally watched deal was "wrecked by incompetence."

Mike Murphy said he's short NDAQ and "very glad I'm short after I saw that interview." Murphy said Greifeld is in a "tough position," but then in a quality observation pointed to BATS and said, "in hindsight now, maybe it doesn't look as bad."

Guy Adami once again cited GM's ad pull and said of FB, "There's nothing to stop it at this point from trading down to $20."

Adami said he still thinks BX is interesting, but "you'll see a 5 handle at some point in BAC."


Melissa: Pho. To. Gen. Ic.

This page occasionally complains about some of the shortcomings of CNBC's Fast Money.

One thing it will never ... ever ... complain about is Melissa Lee's ability to strike a pose.

Basically, people on television are good-looking, though if you choose to call Joe Kernen good-looking, well, that's up to you. Quite frankly ... uh oh, treading on shaky ground here ... Mel does not attempt to exploit her camera appeal nearly as much as some of her CNBC colleagues, which is perhaps admirable, but there's nothing wrong with doing so.

Guy Adami's Chicago Cubs zinger on Wednesday's 5 p.m. show evidently broke the ice, as Melissa owned the screen the rest of the program, including when Anthony Scaramucci revisited the gag.

She can turn it on so easily, it's almost like she's toying with viewers all the rest of the time when her expressions (think some combination impatience/skepticism) don't convey the same aura of confidence.

We've found that screen grabs, such as the ones above, don't really do it justice, because they don't convey the impact of sustained expression. If you appreciate photo imagery in the slightest, and if you're dating Melissa — and hopefully this doesn't sound too demanding — you're saying, "OK, I'm going to set up a camera, and you're going to look into it for a while."

Things That Make Melissa Go ‘Wow’ (cont’d)

Dan Greenhaus did an admirable job on Wednesday's 5 p.m. Fast Money of representing the Wall Street cottage industry of complainers about national debt, like so many have done soooooooo many times over the years (David Stockman comes to mind from The Strategy Session) insisting that we're finally past the point of no return.

"I'm pleased to say that I was probably one of the first people out there screaming about the fiscal cliff," Greenhaus claimed, not so modestly.

Greenhaus asserted, "The U.S. economy and by extension the U.S. stock market is gonna be kicked in the face at the end of the year and there is almost nothing anybody can do about it."

"Wow. Kicked in the face. And nothing can be done about it," Melissa Lee repeated.

"The CBO put out the report just the other day that said we're gonna be in a recession," Greenhaus contended.

But did it?

In fact, this article from May 22 only says the CBO has determined that "allowing Bush-era tax cuts to expire and a scheduled round of automatic spending cuts to take effect would probably throw the economy into a recession."

So even though everyone knows basically exactly what's going to happen legislatively by December, we're still indulging in doomsday fantasyland, and it's basically the Chicago Cubs World Series/Kyle Bass Japan refrain, "This is really gonna be the year that ..."

Greenhaus said not to expect anything significant from Ben S. Bernanke on Thursday, that we "probably need to wait a little bit more" for an announcement of Fed action. But he allowed that it would take "one more payroll number" to jump-start the Fed, and he also said "at the end of the day."

Managed care looks ‘pretty good’

Stephen Stagner, boss of MFRM (which we'd never previously heard of), downplayed any spillover effect from TPX into his business. "We're not seeing the kind of slowdown uh, that, that TempurPedic I guess is seeing."

He also said that for decades, his business hasn't been highly correlated to housing sales.

Guy Adami said MFRM is "interesting" for a trade.

Mike Khouw's Final Trade was to sell September strangles in TPX.

Khouw, unrelated, also recommended selling the UNH July 60 call for $1.45 and buying the September 60 for $2.30 in a mildly bullish bet. Stephen Weiss agreed that "managed-care stocks look pretty good."

‘Stocks are cheap relative to bonds’

Mike Murphy's Trade of the Day was one Steve Grasso recently spurned — long X.

Murphy cited among other things, the fact they didn't take guidance down.

Guest Craig Moffett said Sprint is a "tale of 2 tail risks" and basically dismissed whatever LTE network it has, saying, "all you can really do is play the direction of the risks."

We were waiting to see who would be the first on the panel to refer to the stock as an "option." Mike Murphy did the honors, saying, "We got long the stock yesterday ... sort of an option."

Guest Jim McDonald said, "We do think the U.S. looks better than Europe and Japan," which is reassuring, but drew the most debate for saying that "stocks are cheap relative to bonds."

"I never really understood that argument, said Guy Adami. McDonald said it applies to longer-term investors who aren't going to get value from bond yields this low.

Anthony Scaramucci said one direction hedge fund managers are finding value in distressed mortgages, late-cycle distressed companies and on the short side, sovereign debt.

Stephen Weiss' Final Trade was BCE. Brian Kelly said MON, Guy Adami said KMB, Karen Finerman said MHP and Mike Murphy said IP.

Terranova: Facebook
should pre-announce

Joe Terranova, whose signature call of 2012 is quite possibly his hoodie denouncement of Facebook on IPO night, said on Wednesday's Halftime Report, "I still would not buy Facebook here."

Terranova said "maybe Facebook should pre-announce," then recommended the company do just that after the market close Wednesday, saying it would be the "best positive step."

Steve Grasso, who (gulp) mentioned "Facebook" and "par" in the same sentence (or at least the same paragraph) just before the IPO, said if it falls through $25.75, look out below.

Stephanie Link said, "I think it's interesting at 25," but said you still have to "let the dust settle."

Terranova says Fast Money wronged Goldman Sachs, even though Fast Money was basically right

Joe Terranova on Wednesday's Fast Money Halftime Report curiously tossed the entire crew including himself under the GS bus.

"On the May 17 5 o'clock show we wrongly criticized Goldman Sachs for suggesting a short in consumer discretionary," Terranova said. "Goldman Sachs has correctly taken that off."

We're just the amateurs, but according to Yahoo finance, the XLY on May 17 was 42.33, spent a couple weeks in 43-land, and on Wednesday traded north of 43.

So, not the worst call of all time, but how a trade that didn't deliver anything can be "wrongly criticized," we're not sure.

Meanwhile, Terranova and Stephanie Link got a Fast Fire on AIG. Link said she'd continue to buy it lower (violating Dennis Gartman's Rule No. 1), while Terranova said, "I made a bad, incorrect call."

Steve Cortes nailed FCX

Steve Cortes dialed into Wednesday's Fast Money Halftime Report and could've taken a victory lap on his successful Final Trade Tuesday of FCX, but instead delivered a sobering assessment of the state of the stock.

"This is a dog with fleas," Cortes, before dissing the whole market rally as "way too much central bank hopium."

Cortes said he had some long positions going in but "took 'em all off today."

Dennis Gartman dialed in late to downplay the copper gain. "I'd be very careful about being an owner of copper down here," Gartman said, though Mike Murphy touted GDX and GDXJ, and Steve Grasso's Final Trade was GDX.

Joe Terranova again hailed TCBI, "I added to that position today." Jon Najarian said he had scooped up a bunch of European banks including Deutsche Bank and Barclays and said he was still in them, and the screen text showed he was buying July 22 calls in Credit Suisse for 45 cents.

Guest Scott Mullinix made an elaborate case for PetSmart and also touted everyone's favorite, DLTR. Stephanie Link asked if Monster Beverage can improve on its 29% share of the energy drink market, and Mullinix said it could reach the mid-30s. Mike Murphy said he likes the "ton of upside" in one of Mullinix's picks, Perrigo.

Murphy also said there's no reason to chase the mattress names.

Judge actually asks Coinstar boss about what worries him ‘at night’ in clumsy follow-up question

Coinstar boss Paul Davis on Wednesday's Fast Money Halftime Report was enthusiastic about basically everything (except Facebook, where he declined comment), including kiosk coffee, DVDs, etc, to the point Judge Wapner sensed there must be more to the story, asking what worried Davis.

Davis used that as an opportunity to say he's got a "Terrific team, great leadership bench."

Tony Crescenzi was given a lot of time to elaborate on the state of the bond market and global finances, and said what's important for the Fed is to merely "convey that idea" that it is prepared to act.

Crescenzi said if it's not QE, it could be "GE" — not Jeff Immelt easing, but "Gratuitous Easing."

Steve Grasso struggled to get a good question through to Crescenzi, asking him what he thinks of Wednesday's rally, with Crescenzi puzzled and first asserting the Treasury rally isn't Fed-based, then instead of answering the actual question merely calling Wednesday a rally on prospects of Spanish bank recapitalization.

Murphy: JPM could go ‘quite a bit lower’

Mike Murphy on Wednesday's Fast Money Halftime Report suggested taking the money and running. "You have to take some profits ... sell, reload and be ready to re-buy," Murphy said.

Stephanie Link sort of agreed but said the rally "could last a while" if the beige book and Bernanke prove favorable, though she said it wouldn't hurt to "scale out" of some names.

Steve Grasso wasn't impressed by the rally, calling the market "truly uninvestable at this point."

Joe Terranova said, "No. 1 this is a short-covering rally," and later explained he's still using the mini-S&P futures to manage risk, but this time Judge didn't give him a hard time about that.

While Terranova thinks the JPM short is done, Mike Murphy disagreed, suggesting there's "more to come" on the trading loss, and "from what I understand, the trade's still open," so he could see the stock "quite a bit lower."

Jon Najarian said JPM will trade in a 31-34 range.

Steve Grasso mocked Judge Wapner for repeating Jamie Dimon's claim at face value that the loss won't hurt the company.

Stephanie Link's Final Trade was WY, Mike Murphy said X, and Joe Terranova said GPS.

[Tuesday, June 5, 2012]

Are the odds of a meltdown in Europe or elsewhere higher because it’s a U.S. election year?

Melissa Lee hinted in the intro to Daniel Clifton's commentary on Tuesday's 5 p.m. Fast Money that Clifton was going to suggest some kind of surprise dealmaking in the federal government during an election year.

Instead, Clifton claimed this compulsive bipartisanship won't be done before November but was actually destined for 2013, because various elements will force Congress' hand.

Clifton began with a decent point, that presuming Congress just renews all the short-term expirations/fixes of 2012, it will amount to the "largest fiscal stimulus package we've ever done in the history of this country, for 1 year, uh, and we're not getting any new stimulus out of it."

But from there, Clifton ran off the rails, arguing like a Chicago Cubs fan that somehow this will be the year that Congress tells old people it can't have as much Social Security and Medicare, because it's "becoming unsustainable to keep doing this every year."

Clifton brought up Social Security and Medicare and assured the panel, "We're not even gonna have that discussion until after the election," but he should've left off the last 4 words.

Steve Grasso assured, "I respect Dan's opinion. But I think something has to be done ... before the election," apparently referring to things such as tax rates and debt ceilings, because Republicans won't want to be blamed for pushing those subjects to the brink again.

Really, Clifton's analysis would be far more relevant if he had taken a cue from Dennis Gartman's Monday comments, when Gartman said that after July it'll be too late for the Fed to act. The issue of the 2012 spring/summer is whether world governments — particularly the one in Washington, D.C. — will be more or less inclined to continue their bailout spree (and, as an offshoot of that, as Guy Adami astutely did mention Monday, whether markets will even have the same reaction) as in previous years.

We've gotta think, if Lehman Brothers had been in peril in September 2004, George W. Bush's administration probably wouldn't have been so laissez-faire.

The ‘really cool thing’ is the ‘partial fill’

The first thing that occurred here when we listened to Joseph Fox talk about Ditto Trade on Tuesday's 5 p.m. Fast Money was, "Thank God we're not the lead trader for anyone."

The second thing was, what kind of moron is doing this?

First of all, if you're a lead trader and you're actually somehow good at it, why are you giving people your winners for free?

Second, if you're a lead trader and you suck, you're going to hear about it.

Fox, who calls this contraption the "first of its kind social brokerage firm," claimed that, "If you're a doctor or a teacher, and, uh, you are not fully engaged in the market, you probably should stay out of the market."

Unless you use Ditto Trade, he said. But to use it, don't you have to be "engaged" enough in the market to know when you want to "detach" (a term he used in some form at least 6 times)?

Karen Finerman and Joe Terranova both asked great questions. Finerman wondered how everyone's order could be executed at the same price. Fox gave an explanation that was too deep in the trading pool for this page, but the impression is that it becomes 1 order, so basically the lead trader's own trade hinges partly on the whims of his followers. Terranova asked if the lead trader wouldn't fall under registration rules for advisers. The gut feeling here is that Fox never really answered that question, saying, "the lead trader is trading for himself," apparently meaning he's not advising anyone and has, like Saul Rubinek tried to argue in "Wall Street," utterly no knowledge of anyone else's trading activities.

Sounds like a bust, but then again, listening to traders on TV — particularly options behemoths with football backgrounds who like to tell you how they just made a killing earlier in the morning but the trade's over now that they're on TV — isn't always a gold mine either.

Fast Money
has got it backwards

Basically in agreement with many of the Fast Money panel, this page can't really figure out why anyone is buying "holdable" stocks right now.

So how come, instead of identifying what should be the most plausible stock purchases in this environment (i.e., "trades"), the Fast Money gang and hosts are hell-bent on directing viewers into dividend payers that, depending on when you buy them, may require months before any kind of payoff?

Mike Murphy on Tuesday's 5 p.m. program was happy to tout UNS, pointing out there's "upside in the stock price as well."

Joe Terranova said WMB is "just crushing it." Brian Kelly recommended GLNG, and Steve Grasso said MO and SCG.

Only Karen Finerman impressively was willing to call this useless exercise for what it was, a "total punt," because in this market, "buying based on the dividend yield is somewhat misguided, it's very much the tail wagging the dog."

Possibly the first time DOV has been recommended on Fast Money

Keeping up with Fast Money's newfound goal of identifying good long-term stocks in the most terrible market in which to buy those kinds of stocks, Jeff Sprague guested on Tuesday's 5 p.m. show to tout Dover, which has 16% of its business in Europe, and other infrastructure buildout plays.

According to the screen text, Sprague likes TYC, DOV, ETN and SPW. "We see really a very strong outlook for the utility-grid spend for the next 2 or 3 years," he said.

"Jeff it's Karen let me ask you something," asked Karen Finerman, who wondered about MTW. Sprague deferred a bit, saying his machinery analyst is "pretty bearish on the crane cycle right now."

Steve Grasso said industrials right now are good for only a pop on a positive statement out of Europe, then the pros will sell it, sort of a "round trip." Joe Terranova said he would take the other side, though we think he meant the other side of Sprague's commentary, saying the Dover people talked about a slowdown as far back as Q1.

‘Giveaway’ in Europe

Also keeping in line with the newfound Fast Money goal of identifying stocks for the long term during ridiculously volatile markets, Tom Russo visited the Nasdaq site on Tuesday's 5 p.m. edition to tell the Fast Money gang, "I'm about the slowest money that you'll ever find," only to proceed to sort of call a bottom in Europe.

Right now you can buy European investments at "kind of giveaway price," Russo said, arguing "Basically, Europe is on sale."

His top picks apparently are Nestle, Philip Morris and Berkshire Hathaway (apparently all those lemonade-stand-esque newspaper investments notwithstanding).

Mike Murphy declined to issue a broadside against this philosophy but told Melissa Lee twice, "I would rather stay U.S.-focused."

Plain-pocket jeans (cont’d)

Honestly — and hopefully this won't anger the JCP longs in this page's readership — one of our favorite recent features of Fast Money is listening to people bash JCPenney.

It's probably some form of schadenfreude, not that you have to be an executive to be highly skeptical of the ridiculously warm reception Ron Johnson got in his first few months on the job at a retailer that shouldn't excite anyone.

Mike Murphy, like Stephen Weiss an on-the-record JCP short (although not with quite the same enthusiasm at least on TV), did the honors on Tuesday's 5 p.m. program, saying he's been long M and short JCP, and Ron Johnson's remarks are "even worse than we anticipated ... we pressed our shorts today."

He contended the stock "can crack 20."

Karen Finerman piled on, saying, "JCPenney is priced like this plan is going to work."

So who really did leak the Eduardo chicken story in ‘The Social Network’?

We're just the amateurs, but we scarcely believed an IPO could become as much of a staple of pop culture as FB has now become.

Mike Murphy on Tuesday's 5 p.m. Fast Money indicated the fallout is far from over, with the NDAQ in his crosshairs.

"We're short the name," Murphy said, because it "just seems like there's more there." The IPO, he said, "couldn't have been run worse ... we're short, and we're gonna stay there for a while."

Joe Terranova piled on, saying, "Facebook, short trade's not over."

Steve Grasso actually was restrained in criticizing the Nasdaq and didn't quite follow Murphy's lead, saying it will take time to sort out.

The boy genius guy, Jonathan Geller said of AAPL's mobile IOS, "They're updating it and they're also upgrading it at the same time," and said he thinks that privately, Google is "definitely nervous" about Maps.

Terranova revealed, "I'm long Apple; any pullback I'm buying it."

Karen makes precisely the same comment everyone made a year ago at this time

Steve Grasso said at the top of Tuesday's 5 p.m. Fast Money that what he's hearing is that "Guys just aren't trading."

But Mike Murphy obviously isn't one of those guys, revealing, "We bought Lennar ... FAST is a name we've been short."

"Buy the dips and sell the rips," Murphy said.

Karen Finerman said the market assessments right now hinge on how badly someone believes Europe will affect U.S. companies.

Steve Grasso told a Twitterer that once LVS broke $49.50, it became "uninvestable." Brian Kelly, asked to pick between Dow and DuPont, said, "If I had to go with one, it would be Dow."

Joe Terranova's trade of the day was MCD.

Prettiest Hair on Cable Television Mary Thompson reported that Warren Buffett was seeking "confidential treatment" of Berkshire's Lee Enterprises investment.

Mike Khouw suggested buying the LMT September 75 put for $2.30.

Mel Lee, who spent too much time on Ditto Trade, said at the end of the broadcast that the Final Trades they had no time to deliver would be available on the Web Extra, but thankfully it's not in this page's contract that we have to look at the Web Extra.

Karen Finerman: Buffett buying newspapers is like patronizing a kid’s lemonade stand

Brian Kelly started to talk about a really interesting concept on Tuesday's 5 p.m. Fast Money, whether local newspapers have a future, until his skeptical colleagues drowned him out and Mel Lee cut to a commercial.

Kelly argued local papers "almost really have a monopoly on their product" while the Afghanistan news covered by the New York Times and Wall Street Journal can be found anywhere.

Kelly said the paper might be nostalgia, but the information isn't.

Steve Grasso called local papers an "archaic business" and a "touch of nostalgia" for Warren Buffett.

"Yeah," scoffed Karen Finerman, "to me it's like buying lemonade from the kid on the corner. Even if you don't want any lemonade, you know, you're gonna buy the lemonade and give 'em a nickel, whatever."

with Joe Terranova

Tuesday's 5 p.m. Fast Money opened with Steve Grasso offering to turn his seat over to Angela Merkel because she holds the keys to the market.

(He actually got funnier when he tried to restate Ron Johnson's business strategy.)

But it was Joe Terranova who succumbed to reversal-identifying with no catalyst. "I think the JPMorgan short trade is now officially over. I think financials are one of the sectors that are going to lead us back higher," Terranova asserted.

‘You could see the markets drop 25% from here’

John Stephenson on Tuesday's Fast Money Halftime Report didn't talk about $50-$60 silver this time, but merely issued a typical assessment about Europe you're hearing every 5 minutes on CNBC these days.

"The risk is to the downside," Stephenson said, while simultaneously hinting at a steep plunge coupled with some interesting stocks to buy.

"You could see the markets, uh in North America drop 25% from here," Stephenson said, which would then be a "catalyst for a great rally."

Stephenson suggested Comcast, AT&T, Verizon, Sempra, Enbridge and TransCanada as appealing stocks in this environment.

Guy Adami asked Stephenson if European central banks might try to "monetize" their gold holdings by selling or if it's off the table. "I think it is off the table," Stephenson said.

Stephen Weiss asked if Spain and Greece aren't playing a "massive game of chicken" with Germany. Stephenson agreed they are.

Pete Najarian called Stephenson "Mr. Stephenson" when asking why he likes NSC. Judge Wapner closed by also saying "Mr. Stephenson" and then referring to Stephenson's credentials by saying "management" about 3 times in 10 seconds.

25 years ago, ‘T.J. Hooker’ was no longer on television

Fast Money Halftime viewers on Tuesday got a treat with a Julia Boorstin appearance featuring a chat with Sony gaming boss Jack Tretton.

Tretton insisted, "Our business is a lot healthier than the numbers would indicate," always a curious statement but we don't know enough about video gaming to really know what he was talking about, except he praised the "ecosystem" and how Sony is on "top of the entertainment pyramid."

Judge Wapner squeezed in a question that was more damning statement about how Vita and the whole company are underperforming. "It's met our expectations," Tretton protested, saying he's not running the whole company. "The games division has been incredibly profitable."

Steve Cortes tried to claim, in mocking SNE share price, "25 years ago I was still lusting after Heather Locklear watching 'T.J.' Hooker'," but said the reason you can't buy it is because Japan is "uninvestable."

Guy Adami said if you want to be in this space you might as well try MSFT, then dropped the most controversial thought of the week, albeit halfheartedly, referring to AAPL: "And I'm not saying this is gonna happen, but I remember vividly that Sony was taking over the world 25 years ago and the chart looks eerily like, the move- you know the Apple move we've seen."

But later, Adami said, "I think Apple is still poised to go higher."

Steve Cortes said that disappointingly for traders, AAPL "has actually gotten somewhat boring lately ... just go with the Q's." Pete Najarian disagreed, saying, "As a trader, I love the way Apple's trading right now."

Weiss: JCP ‘in complete disarray,’
‘a disaster’

One thing Guy Adami accomplished on Tuesday's Fast Money Halftime Report was revisiting his recent eye-opening calls to buy GRPN around 11. "Clearly I was dead wrong," Adami admitted, before predicting, "Facebook is, is still headed lower."

Stephen Weiss said social media names are suffering from "the Facebook after-effect ... I wouldn't own any of them."

Adami did like Blackstone, saying, "BX here at 12 bucks is very interesting to me," and "I think you buy this selloff in DG." Pete Najarian trumpeted DD, and said, "As a trade, I still like Delta Airlines to the upside."

Stephen Weiss, a monster for the last couple months, stomped all over JCP again, one of the front-runners for Fast Money Call of the Year (along with Steve Grasso's flat on year S&P), explaining, "I'm still short it." He said the company is "in complete disarray ... some key vendors that I speak to say that it's a disaster," and credit default swaps are near 2008 levels.

Pete Najarian said "I've always hated the expression 'hide out'."

Cortes long euro

Steve Cortes revealed on Tuesday's Fast Money Halftime Report that "I'm actually long the euro currency right now ... the main reason in fact is that Spanish equities are actually trading OK."

Stephen Weiss acknowledged, "I did cover my euro short," but said Europe isn't going to get any stability "until Spain accepts a program," and so he has "no net long equity exposure."

Weiss predicted it would take something like a 30-year or 40-year bond from the ECB marked specifically for Spanish banks to satisfy a bailout.

Michelle Caruso-Cabrera graced the desk by pointing out that people keep using the "seek a program" terminology when in fact it's just a "bailout."

"I do not advocate any trades," Caruso-Cabrera said, but "some of the most profitably tremendous moments have been when you've white-knuckled it and bought Italy at its worst."

We're not going to advocate any trades either, but we will advocate checking out MCC's outfit in any of the clips at CNBC.com.

Guy Adami, who lollygagged through a wholly unimpressive performance Tuesday, asserted, "I believe the world is going pear-shaped ... I think it gets worse before it gets better."


Guy claims he has never been inside a Taco Bell

Pete Najarian on Tuesday's Fast Money Halftime Report defended Starbucks' bakery purchase, insisting it'll add to the bottom line, but "it'll take time."

Steve Cortes assured "this is a tiny deal" and that the best reason to buy SBUX is "falling commodity prices," as well as the must-have nature of its product.

Guy Adami, who talked over people a couple times during a silly free taco fest in which Judge Wapner in what looked like product placement 3 times hoisted one of those new tacos for the camera before a box of them was shown, admitted, "I have never stepped foot in a Taco Bell." Steve Cortes said he's not in favor of YUM shares because on Friday, "The range was absolutely massive."

Should be ‘tremendous quarter’ for LULU

Guest Roxanne Meyer, cute in the way she talks, trumpeted LULU on Tuesday's Fast Money Halftime Report and shrugged off valuation concerns.

"This is an early-stage growth story," Meyer said, projecting a "30% annual EPS growth for the next few years."

For this week's report, Meyer predicted good things. "There's a couple of things that they've done in first quarter which should make this a tremendous quarter," which included "momentum in the men's business," which surely will make Joe Terranova and Tim Seymour happy.

Meyer said the multiple should be akin to those of CMG, KORS and WFM.

Mike Murphy got into a small flap with Steve Cortes over the state of housing. "Today we added to our position in Lennar," at $24.75, Murphy said.

Cortes admitted, "I did cover my housing short today," but scoffed at growth notions. "This sector has been decimated over the last week," and rather than a sure bottom, the lack of new home buyer applications and other data suggest "it reeks instead of a mini-bubble."

Murphy insisted that a bevy of builder reports show undeniably "they have seen demand pick up."

Todd Gordon recommended selling the pound vs. dollar at 1.54. He answered the Standard Judge Scott Wapner Question this way: "If we don't hold this 1.24 level guys, we've got 116½ in play," and pressed by Judge for a time frame, said, "Let's call it a year."

Steve Cortes in his Final Trade revealed, "For the first time ever, I am long FCX." Stephen Weiss said UAL long, Guy Adami got a "way to go" from Judge for the way he recommended KMB for obvious reasons, and Pete Najarian hailed JOY under 55.

[Monday, June 4, 2012]

Dennis Gartman: ‘We’re in a bear market ... heading toward a recession’

Dennis Gartman, who recently on Fast Money outlined what will happen once Greece exits the euro and the 6 months afterward, said on Monday's 5 p.m. edition that Fed action is more a matter of when not if, and for political reasons, "You cannot go to QE3 anytime after July."

Gartman predicted an extension/expansion of Operation Twist in light of the "very, very disturbing number" on Friday in the jobs report.

Karen Finerman asked Gartman if he had read Larry Summers' op-ed (no, it wasn't about meeting the Winklevi at Harvard). Gartman admitted he hadn't seen it yet, but he would read it, after Finerman's "endorsement" of it, when in fact she didn't "endorse" it, but merely asked Gartman what he thought of it. (Unless of course he meant that she merely endorsed the value of "reading" it, in which case such an erudite fellow as Dennis should've chosen a different noun, such as suggestion.)

Guy Adami asked Gartman a question in the form of a statement, saying QE to him is like antibiotics, at first it works, then you get immune to it or whatever. "I'm of the belief that if they do do this, the markets actually are goin' lower," Adami said.

Gartman said it might not do anything for stocks but might help the economy. However, "Sadly, I think we're in a bear market. Sadly, I think we're heading toward a recession." (Which isn't particularly "sad" if you're Mitt Romney.)

Notice the people he was speaking to, unlike Whitney Tilson, didn’t reveal their May performance

In the end, Whitney Tilson's appearance on the 5 p.m. Fast Money Monday seemed little more than a recruiting pitch to clients or would-be clients scared by his May horror show.

But he was alone at the Nasdaq in actually revealing how his fund did in May.

Melissa Lee asked Tilson when to cut and run from a bad-performing stock. Tilson said he doesn't do that; "if we still have conviction in the, in the stocks we hold, uh, we, uh, selectively add to them."

From there it was mostly a pat on the back. "We had the best 1st quarter of our 14-year history this year," he said, calling Citigroup and Goldman Sachs "screaming buys here."

Karen Finerman gingerly asked how to admit to investors you had a horrible month. Tilson indicated that wasn't a problem because "We're still having a great year," including claiming he rode NFLX higher and took profits and as it fell, "we've been adding to it steadily."

Tilson said he couldn't say much about IOC because of the short costs, but "it does remain one of our favorites."

The screen text revealed Tilson's fund lost 13.6% in May.

In other words, rose more than the market when the market was hot, and plunged more than the market when the market went cold.

"Whitney is not alone in May," Tim Seymour assured, without anyone from the desk sharing details.

Tilson's most interesting comment was that stocks now seem cheap: "I'd be surprised to see any kind of major market correction," he said.

After guest signs off, Karen indicates she doubts her numbers

Nicole Miller Regan told the 5 p.m. Fast Money gang Monday that Starbucks' $100 million deal for La Boulange makes sense because "they need to be in the food business," and 1/3 of their customers buy food, and the other 2/3 would if only it were more "authentic."

Tim Seymour, in a wordy statement about SBUX, told Miller Regan, "the chart looks broken."

Miller Regan conceded valuation has been a concern with the stock but insisted, "Carve out the CPG business, and that's worth a whole lot more. That's worth a 15 to 20x EBITDA."

The screen said Miller Regan has an "overweight" rating and $70 target, which is utterly nuts in a market environment such as this is a bit more optimistic than some of even the stock's recent bulls (Joe Terranova and Pete Najarian) on Fast Money.

But that comment didn't raise nearly the hackles that Miller Regan provoked for telling the gang that as far as the accounting impact from the Bay Bread deal, "for the remainder of this fiscal year it'll be 2 cents dilutive."

After the interview was over, Karen Finerman scoffed at the 2 cents number on a $100 million deal, saying, "Mathematically it seems highly improbable."

Guy Adami's trade wasn't SBUX, but to sell a DNKN conference pop.

Herb Greenberg, with sharp haircut, unfortunately wasn't nearly as sharp with the diction, utterly bungling the introduction of the Starbucks story by barely even pronouncing Howard Schultz's name correctly and then concluding by wondering if it might hurt Panera.

Tim Seymour: This market
is ‘kicking the cripple’

Sometimes the testosterone-heavy Fast Money gang enjoys sharing inside lingo with viewers.

"We call this 'kicking the cripple'," said Tim Seymour of today's stock market, though assuring, "I don't think it's 2008."

Guy Adami reiterated he thinks we're probably headed to 1,205, but maybe not right away, and in fact bulls "might've gotten a brief respite" based on Monday's activity.

Tim Seymour ribbed Adami a couple times on his antibiotic reference, bringing up "penicillin," only to have Adami say something about "taken orally."

Seymour questioned why someone like Whitney Tilson isn't just saying sell in May and go away for June; "I think a lot of people are not playing this market." Dan Nathan said the market is capable of bouncing back sharply, "kind of like a coiled spring," but he and Seymour agreed that the question is where.

Ron Insana, who almost never misses a chance to recommend the "generational" opportunity in banks, didn't quite do that Monday, but asserted, "Almost every other central bank in the world now, Melissa, is on the cusp of another round of easing ... this is a kitchen-sink moment again." Indicating he also reads the Drudge Report, Insana said Obama's odds have fallen on InTrade, so there's also the potential for a Romney relief rally.

Actually it's not a kitchen-sink moment. It's a disastrous market that amateurs can't make money in, that many pros (witness Whitney Tilson) struggle to make money in, that is merely a way station on the world's path to some kind of deleveraging bottom marked by 4-month monster bank rallies and 8-month frightening bank pullbacks, with bogus official support lines established by every official can-kicking down the road and QEwhatever that sometimes seems like a game of Frogger.

HAL ‘sneakily’ near 52-week low

Shawn Reynolds told Monday's 5 p.m. Fast Money gang that the oil E&P names don't need booming crude prices, just flatness, to impress buyers, but the "international exploration's what's really exciting," specifically the "offshore story."

Tim Seymour got Reynolds to issue a tentative endorsement of SDRL, namely for its high yield, but Reynolds was more enthusiastic about another name.

"We love Halliburton right here," Reynolds said, because it's "sneakily become" one of the best.

Guy Adami asked what caused HAL shares to be virtually cut in half in the last 12 months. Reynolds said that without getting too technical, it's "people concerned about the fracturing business."

Adami hangs a 39 on AN

Just when you think you might go a day without someone on Fast Money recommending WLT, Guy Adami suggested on Monday's 5 p.m. show that it might be worth a flier, "still the most interesting one in the lot" of coal names that have been hammered to bits.

The hook, Adami said (and doesn't this sound like last September), is that maybe Anglo or BHP would be interested in buying it.

Adami's Trade of the Day (we've yet to figure out how it differs from a glorified Final Trade) was AutoNation, saying "risk reward may be 34, looking for a 39 handle."

Amelia Bourdeau, who always looks tremendous on television and cares about the Super Bowl but didn't get the Central Park background this time, recommends selling the Aussie dollar at 97.30.

Scott Nations revealed, "I am bearish on YUM," and suggested buying a put spread, which would be buying the October 62.50 for $4.70 and selling the October 50 for $1.40. "Really good risk/reward here," Nations said.

Nathan called PCLN

Dan Nathan on Monday's 5 p.m. Fast Money pointed to the previous times JPM flirted with $30 in recent years and noted the 30-day implied volatility was less than in 2008/09 and 2011.

In one of the classier Fast Money acceptances, Nathan refused a victory lap over totally nailing PCLN from a month ago, when Guy Adami suggested a buy. Nathan said rather than getting long at Monday's levels, he would "almost wanna step back here" and see if it keeps dropping.

Scott Nations indicated he likes the banks, but BAC was an indicator. "We should've known when it rejected that $10 level based on the specious rumor that they were gonna have to do a secondary, uh, when it rejected that level so convincingly I think that really told you that the financials had had their day," Nations said.

Nations' Final Trade was DAL. Ron Insana said SPY, Tim Seymour said CHL, Karen Finerman said to cover GRPN, and Dan Nathan said to cover GOOG shorts.

Bottom-calling with Barry Sine

Barry Sine guested on Monday's Fast Money Halftime Report and said we're now in "solid correction territory," but it looks like we're close to the end.

Steve Grasso first started out agreeing with Sine, noting flat-on-year 1,257 and that the Japan bottom is 1,249.

But then they diverged, with Grasso saying below the Japan bottom there's little if any support, and we'd probably go "straight to 1,205," so he's skeptical we can be sure we're close to the bottom of the correction.

Sine also, like so many on Fast Money have been doing for weeks, claimed JPM "has ended its falling-knife pattern."

Curiously, Sine said he expects crude to test its 2010 support level of $70. But Joe Terranova correctly pointed out that stocks and oil have been linked and that unlike Sine's initial argument, crude isn't bottoming, and "until it does that the S&P is not gonna bottom itself."

Joe recommends
mini-S&P futures

Every so often Fast Money delivers such an esoteric (however relevant) financial trade that the vast majority of viewers couldn't do themselves.

That was the case on Monday's Fast Money Halftime Report, when Joe Terranova said he doesn't care about the Fed anymore, but "I care what the Peoples Bank of China is gonna do in terms of monetary policy, and I care what the fiscal policy initiatives are going to be going forward," and so he's seeking protection for his positions by "selling mini-S&P futures."

Judge Wapner asked how the retail investor can deal with mini S&Ps.

Terranova scoffed, "These are liquid markets," it's 2012, and there's no issue trading those.

"I hear ya, but I mean, I'm asking you to speak more directly to the retail investor," Judge persisted. Terranova rebutted that the retail investor isn't hanging around, but "this market is being driven by hedge funds," before suggesting LQD for those retail investors who aren't in the market.

Steve Liesman asked Terranova, "I wanna know when you're gonna grow up enough to trade major S&P futures."

Terranova: Next QE won’t bring much of a pop

Joe Terranova disagreed with Steve Liesman on Monday's Fast Money Halftime Report as to the ramifications of more Fed easing.

"We know it's coming," the market's already expecting it, Terranova asserted.

"I think there's enough of a question" that it will deliver a pop if it happens, Liesman said.

Steve Grasso predicted a pop but said traders will sell it. Jon Najarian agreed they will sell the pop because QE "hasn't worked yet ... insanity ... this will not work," and that we're on a "ludicrous train" to think it will.

Najarian added that there's already "plenty of liquidity to get in and out" of the market.

Simon Baker said, "A lot of people are just paralyzed at this stage," and he recommended "high levels of cash."

McCullough: Look to utilities

Guest Meredith Adler on Monday's Fast Money Halftime Report trumpeted everybody's favorite, the dollar stores, specifically DG and FDO but also DLTR, saying "these guys all have growth, um, unit growth."

Simon Baker disagreed that there's a lot more to go, contending, "The easy money's been made."

Steve Grasso suggesed a different play in Adler's universe. "I would be a buyer of Kroger," Grasso said.

Keith McCullough dialed in to say utilities are the only sector you want in a slowing growth environment, and he sold fixed income because it's overbought, and he said "at the end of the day."

Jon Najarian suggested taking a look at Aetna and Cigna. Joe Terranova favored YUM while Simon Baker was skeptical. Steve Grasso suggested you could "phase into" M but "just be small on the way down."

Terranova warned that if "Morgan Stanley breaks 11.58, it potentially goes under 10."

Stephen Weiss not around to crow about Grasso’s steel bungle

Guest William Katz, who said "at this point in time" twice on Monday's Halftime Report, said he's not so high on AMTD and SCHW because of volume concerns and the "fragility of the retail investor," though he wasn't predicting a steep plunge in either.

Jeff Kilburg touted the GDXJ, saying "I like the miners here, Judge."

Kilburg also predicted oil could rally $5-$6 with anything out of Europe. "They do call me 'The Killir' for a reason," he said.

Steve Grasso took a Fast Fire that's already long obsolete for an X recommendation in late April. "You're definitely catching a falling knife" if you go after it now, Grasso said, so he recommends you "buy in the last week of November."

Kayla Tausche reported a "buyers strike" for anything below the most elite high-yield.

Jon Najarian's Final Trade was ITW. Simon Baker said GLD, and Steve Grasso and Joe Terranova both said SDS.

Jon Najarian called Marc Faber "Farber" again. The picture above of CNBC's best-dressed superfox came not from her hit on the Halftime Report but later on Street Signs with Mandy; the camera caught an even better angle on Street Signs.

Patty touches on one of the major shortcomings of today’s world

A couple days ago, NPR asked Patty Edwards about the future of Talbot's. Edwards pointed out, "The high-tech world does not dress. In fact, you're considered overdressed if you show up with a jacket on."

Cortes attends charity bash

He's a contrarian by day, and a philanthropist by night.

The Chicago society pages caught up with Steve Cortes over the weekend at a Jenny McCarthy autism fundraiser (it's part of the photo gallery) at a hipper locale than anywhere Joe Terranova goes (unless you count that 2005 nat gas celebration with Rihanna at Crobar).

We don't know how much McCarthy is into stocks, but we're doubtful she would've launched into one of those "Chinese stocks aren't really a barometer on the Chinese economy"/"Yeah but we can't trade entire economies; we trade stocks" debates.

Nevertheless, we're guessing that every CNBC personality attending such an event is bombarded with stock market questions, some of which are probably great contrarian indicators, and if McCarthy had been heard asking if the GLD's bounce was for real, it wouldn't be a surprise.

Maria pronounced
‘Trutina’ correctly

For whatever reason, viewers didn't get Patty Edwards on Fast Money last week.

But it turns out Patty was available for a soundbite on Maria Bartiromo's Closing Bell on Friday.

Overshadowing Patty's appearance, however, was the raging bullishness of one Richard Ross, who decided that because so many people are bearish this weekend, the market is going to roar higher.

Edwards sort of agreed, "The market does look like it needs to bounce," but suggested hiding out in dividend payers for now, such as KMB, PMI and KO.

[Friday, June 1, 2012]

Whitney Tilson twice claims he gets ‘paid’ to take risk in markets such as this one

It sounds like Whitney Tilson's got a great gig in this stock-market business.

When markets soar, his controversial and/or high-beta positions pay off huge.

And when markets plunge, he somehow gets "paid to take risk."

Tilson first downplayed everything, saying flat on year for stocks is "hardly a disaster" without mentioning how we've wiped out the 13% gain in about 5 weeks, then said, regarding the jobs report, there's a "lot of noise in the monthly data ... sort of within the margin of error ... we do not believe the U.S. economy is going over a cliff ... sort of a muddle-along situation."

Then, Tilson redefined "knife-catching" by parsing some typical Wall Street jingles.

In moments like these, Tilson said, when "we think we're getting paid to take risk and to assume volatility, we start to tilt our buying toward things that are much more out of favor where we're willing to stomach short-term volatility in the stock prices because we think we're getting paid for it."

Banks, he said, are "way too cheap," he's been adding to NFLX, and "we're still believers in Ron Johnson's turnaround story ... we think we're getting paid to assume the risk and the volatility there."

Tilson suggested Europe could bounce if they "at the very least kick the can down the road for a while."

Since he didn’t refer to him by name, we’re guessing Mitt doesn’t know who Carl Quintanilla is

The tail end of Friday's Patty-Edwards-less Fast Money Halftime Report featured an interview with Mitt Romney in which the term "policies" was probably heard at least a half-dozen times (we didn't count).

The governor said, "These numbers are devastating."

Romney indicated 2 things he'd do for jobs, which is to drop ObamaCare and approve energy projects.

For the latter, he got an impromptu ally in Jon Najarian, who called Barack Obama's rejection of the KeyStone pipeline "ludicrous" and a political game, and said "now he's been called out on it yet again."

Pete incredulous that the consensus was predicting so much jobs growth

Pete Najarian on Friday's Fast Money Halftime Report thundered criticism toward the cottage industry of folks who make projections on jobs reports.

"How far off could they possibly be," Najarian bellowed, before later questioning, "Where did they think these jobs were gonna actually be created? ... Maybe next time around we oughta have these numbers ratcheted down a little bit lower."

Steve Grasso rattled off 4 technical levels that seem like they can be relevant for, oh, maybe 30 minutes. It "was 1,291 ... now you look at 1,284 ... the intraday break makes me a little bit concerned here ... 1,275 ... 1,257 ..."

Jon Najarian told Steve Liesman that the jobs data will produce a more "unified voice" in the Fed, and Liesman agreed.

Euro taking down crude

Paul Sankey offered a sobering assessment for those bullish on energy (if anyone actually is at the moment), saying, "The lower the euro goes, the further oil's gonna go down."

But in one of the themes of the day, Sankey said he agreed with others on the show that the integrateds are a good place, XOM, CVX, and OXY being perhaps most "unfairly punished."

Pete Najarian mentioned CVX and XOM also and mentioned COP. Jon Najarian suggested the integrateds for yield.

Josh Brown buzzed in late to report, "I'm buying more ConocoPhillips here," which is basically now just Conoco. "The stock is ridiculously cheap ... now it's a pure play," Brown said.

Dr. J has nailed the GLD under $150

Dr. J trumpeted the big winner of Friday, gold, saying on the Fast Money Halftime Report that he's "seeing a lot of trades in the metals," and for the GLD, "this has been a heckuva run."

Najarian said GG was active, and "I loaded up on the GLD today," actually a re-load after getting out earlier.

Brian Kelly recommended playing this "just flat-out GLD." Steve Grasso said, "I'm long the GDX."

Low rates for years

Guest Bill Irving told Judge Wapner on Friday's Fast Money Halftime Report that "we're in a very low-yield environment, and I expect that to continue, uh, for the next few years."

However, Irving suggested a temporarily oversold condition might apply. "We're at the point now where the probability of another such relief rally in equities, and selloff in bonds, is pretty high."

Brian Kelly said telcos are a good place to hang out in markets such as this, and also suggested NLY for its yield, though it "will be volatile."

Steve Grasso recommended MO and D, while Pete Najarian trumpeted pharma names.

Pete Najarian said JOY might've actually been bottoming from its early Friday selloff, though he also mentioned Guy Adami's CAT call of yesterday that now seems at least a day premature.

Judge Wapner suggested WMT given "gas prices coming down," but Jon Najarian protested that it's not trading at a discount.

Back to CNBCfix home

CNBCfix.com home

Fast Money’s
great moments
of 2011

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

special report: CNBC ‘Fast Money’ trader positions often go undisclosed

♦ Daily online recaps often omit certain traders' holdings, appear voluntary, unenforced, no requirement for accuracy or timeliness, no description of the size of position or whether positions are for clients or traders' own accounts

Fast Money review

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

CNBCfix capsules:
Movie of the week

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

Movie review:
‘Wall Street’

Gordon Gekko:
The Michael Corleone
of Wall Street

CNBC/cable TV
star bios

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

CNBC guest bios

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