[CNBCfix Fast Money Review Archive — March 2014]

Pete Najarian appears on
18 of 21 Halftime Report
episodes in March

He's either a workaholic — or he's doing a lot more talking than trading.

Pete Najarian led the Fast Money/Halftime Report pack in March attendance, racking up 18 appearances on Scott Wapner's Halftime Report and 7 more on Melissa Lee's Fast Money.

That's 25 total.

No one else even comes close.

(See, they figured no one was checking. But we were.)

The runner-up was Josh Brown, who managed 15 trips to the Halftime Report, and 2 more to Fast Money in March.

The Fast Money lineup was neatly distributed, with 3 panelists tying for most appearances with 15: Tim Seymour, Guy Adami and Brian Kelly. None appeared on the Halftime Report.

Here's the ledger. There were 21 trading days in March. Twice, the Halftime Report employed a 3-person panel. It should be noted that Steve Grasso delivered soundbites on the Halftime Report when not a panelist, and that Stephen Weiss and Mike Murphy both appeared on the March 31st Halftime as guests to discuss the Playbook competition.

Halftime Report:

Pete Najarian: 18
Josh Brown: 15
Mike Murphy: 11
Jon Najarian: 9
Stephanie Link: 9
Joe Terranova: 8
Stephen Weiss: 5
Anthony Scaramucci: 4
Steve Grasso: 3
Simon Baker: 0

Fast Money:

Tim Seymour: 15
Guy Adami: 15
Brian Kelly: 15
Steve Grasso: 11
Karen Finerman: 10
Pete Najarian: 7
Dan Nathan: 5
Jon Najarian: 4
Josh Brown: 2

It's important to note that most of these panelists deliver occasional soundbites on other CNBC programs. This page does not know how the panelists are paid. We have heard recently that many now receive a per-show fee rather than a fixed compensation, and that this fee could be $500 or as much as $1,000.

Whatever the amount, it's highly possible that for many panelists, just talkin' about it is actually more lucrative than the real thing.

[Monday, March 31, 2014]

Tim Seymour complains he can’t talk about preferential treatment for women like Karen Finerman can

Karen Finerman said on Monday's Fast Money that there's been a "drumbeat of recall news" from General Motors and "I can't really keep track of 'em," but the shareholders, in Finerman's opinion, are "somewhat inoculated" as Mary Barra prepares to testify.

Then came the whopper, and we don't mean Brian Kelly's lunch at BK.

"Because she's a woman, they will be not as hard on her as they would be on a man. Not that she NEEDS that, I don't think she does. I think she's fantastic, but-" Karen said.

She was cut off by Tim Seymour, who observed, "If I had said that by the way, that would not have gone over well on this show."

Finerman conceded that, but unlike the Halftime group, asserted, "I think this is gonna be dead money for a while."

Guy Adami agreed and said 34 is still the stop, but "Time works against the GM long I think."

Tim Seymour decided to see how often he could say "same," telling viewers all the automakers have the "same chart. All look the same."

Seema Mody actually suggests YHOO is buying NDN to compete with YouTube

She's gorgeous — but not infallible.

Seema Mody reported on Monday's Fast Money that Yahoo just acquired NDN video service for $300 million.

And Seema claimed it "could serve as a competitive threat to Google's YouTube."

Even Brian Kelly got this one right. "There's zero chance they compete with YouTube," Kelly said.

Tim Seymour said, "35 to me is a bottom" in YHOO.

At the end of the day, analyst actually argues that not enough people own AAPL

He knows the cliches so well, he can do them with his eyes closed.

It only took 3 words before Brian Marshall launched into Fast Money's Favorite Slogan.

Marshall was asked by Melissa Lee whether Apple could start suing lots of companies if it's successful against Samsung.

"It could. But at the end of the day," Marshall doesn't think that's going to happen, despite the "corporate ethos" of Steve Jobs/Apple that refuses to get screwed.

By the end of that comment, we had another "at the end of the day."

Marshall claimed "Apple is clearly underinvested," which doesn't make much sense, except Marshall also claimed "everybody's underweight Apple." Mel at least asked for a clarification of "underweight" and got this answer: "well, yeah, relative to the percent, uh, in the, I think it's the Nasdaq actually when you calculate it, or the NDX, uh, uh ..."

Karen Finerman rationalized AAPL's non-participation in the day's big rally as, "It seems to be counter to everything broad ... the story is so specific to Apple."

Tim Seymour claimed Qualcomm would be hurt by lower-priced phones in emerging markets.

Brian Kelly doesn’t know where MSFT is going but will sell based on his cost basis

One wonders why Karen was so silent.

Brian Kelly on Monday's Fast Money said of his MSFT stake, "I might actually sell at 42½. ... Where I got into the stock to where it is right now, no reason I shouldn't take profits at 42½."

So, everyone should sell it at 42½?

Who knows.

Guy Adami said MSFT must beat numbers "in a meaningful way" to keep moving.

Brent Thill told Mel that "I used to be a Microsoft developer," but he doesn't see the developers conference as a stock catalyst, rather, that's coming from the "change in the upper management," another endorsement for Steven Ballmer.

Thill, who has a $46 target, said Microsoft needed to start getting its products on Apple devices, and now it is.

The cash repatriation tax holiday enters its 8th year as a Fast Money theme

It didn't take long for anti-government skepticism to surface on Monday's Fast Money, as Karen Finerman immediately bristled at John Harwood's report that Congress is probing Caterpillar's overseas tax activity, questioning if it's any different than "many many multinationals that use this legitimate strategy."

Karen used the occasion to call for "more universal corporate tax reform" (snicker).

Tim Seymour pointed to cash on balance sheets and actually claimed that "this is something that should get you very excited if you're an equity holder."

Mel mentioned "connecting the dots" (Drink).

Brian Kelly told viewers, "I think you can short Caterpillar. Use 101 as your stop."

But then things kicked into high gear when Mel Fast-Fired White House spokesman Jay Carney for his recent short-Russia call and found a ready taker in Tim Seymour.

"It's so dangerous ... I mean, I- I don't know where they get the you know what to get out there and tell people how to be investing especially when this guy wouldn't know the Russian market if it hit him in the head," Seymour crowed.

"There didn't seem to be any hint of sarcasm in his voice," was Guy Adami's beef.

"When people like that are saying sell a market, that's usually when people in markets say, 'I'm buying that'," Seymour concluded.

Someone in the anti-HFT lobby actually tried to buy phony review from Irene Aldridge

We pointed out in the Halftime Report log (see below) that Mark Cuban appears to be the most prominent HFT critic CNBC can find.

Evidently, Irene Aldridge is the most prominent proponent.

Aldridge told Mel and the gang on Monday's Fast Money that "I think Michael Lewis has been a stay-at-home dad for quite some time and is completely out of the industry and has absolutely no idea what's going on."

(See, if Michael Lewis were a woman, only Karen Finerman would've been able to say the "stay-at-home" thing.)

Anyway, Aldridge seemed to be basing her opinion on 2nd-hand information. "I have not read his book; I only read the New York Times op-ed about his book," Aldridge said.

She said she and others in the industry, when hearing about the book, asked who was being consulted, and they all found, "He hasn't spoken with anybody who touches high-frequency trading, who is connected in any way to high-frequency trading," and she concludes "he was just paid to write this really anti-high-frequency novel."

Pressed as to who paid him, Aldridge shrugged that there's a "big lobby" against HFT and claimed, "I've been offered money personally to write basically crap about high-frequency traders."

Aldridge argued that humans need computers to process trading info for them, citing 24 frames per second in a movie.

Tim Seymour pointed out that "preferential treatment is a crime," but being faster is not.

Aldridge argued that HFT/computers in general have lowered transaction costs and told Karen Finerman, who asked about the person buying 1,000 shares of MSFT (probably at 42.50 when Brian Kelly sells because his cost basis demands it), that "investors have nothing to worry at all."

Guy Adami opined that the retail investor is "clearly scared of something."

Mel had a sexy little minor wardrobe malfunction during the Options Action segment (but we’re too modest to show it)

Guy Adami said on Monday's Fast Money that news flow in TSLA has been "decidedly negative," but that the next batch of news will be "anything but."

"The worm will turn for these guys," predicted Adami, who admitted he thought 225 would hold.

Brian Kelly and Tim Seymour did the Tesla "Chinatown" honors this episode, with Kelly telling Seymour "it's a battery company, it's a solar play."

Dennis Gartman chided Japanese policy, stating, "The increase in the consumption tax is just silliness of the 1st order," and claiming there's not "any choice" but to continue weakening the yen.

Gartman said he recalls trading yen at 285 (sic usually the story is "265") to the dollar and predicted 110 yen/dollar in the "very near future."

Guy Adami said Oracle has gotten to the "next level" and feels like it wants to go higher.

Adami called IBM the "outlier" that viewers should consider selling.

Mike Khouw said the April 57.50/62.50 call spread in EBAY was hot Monday. Tim Seymour called EBAY "very interesting at these levels."

Doug Bowers of Square 1 said, "We had a great year of growth in 2013," then got cut off by breaking HFT news really before he had the chance to say anything interesting.

Brian Kelly incredibly defended bitcoin at 420; "I think it has legs. I think it goes further."

That photo above is not from Mel's sexy wardrobe malfunction, but a behind-the-back angle showing Mel's trash can.

Tim Seymour's Final Trade was to take profits in EWZ. Brian Kelly said CTRL, Karen Finerman said to cover SFXE and Guy Adami said SNA.

No fun in 1st — Joe grouchy
during Playbook ceremony

Apparently, he thought everyone was gathering to kiss his (bleep).

Dr. New World, given the 1st chair at quarter end on Monday's Halftime Report to discuss his so-far winning formula in the 2014 Playbook Playoffs, told Judge it's been about "identifying themes; consistent themes" in stocks.

Judge observed that so far, Joe has been the "most active manager" in the competition.

That brought a howler from Josh Brown, who suggested Joe's trading is "practically HFT at this point."

"I practically take offense to that," Joe sneered, as if he were just accused of acquiring his trades from Steve Stevens on CNBC's hot new show "Money Talks" (snicker) (Hey, Joe's the one who said Feb. 28 that (gak) "Part of being a good investor is listening to the comments of others"), before admonishing Brown, "Let the individual that's in the lead speak; I know that's not usually how you do things."

We would probably pile on a bit. But the truth is, Joe's on fire.

He's hit on virtually everything, despite making 1 big mistake (AAPL) that hasn't really hurt him, and 1 smaller mistake (unloading KORS too soon).

While AAPL is a bust, and we don't know what else we can do but mention it every time this subject comes up, it really hasn't hurt Joe's portfolio in the way other people's busts have.

Joe on Monday conceded AAPL is a "conundrum" (actually that's putting it nicely; "useless" would've been better). He noted the strength in POT (we kind of underestimated that) and suggested that a lot of hedge funds are expecting a lower yen, and if not, then FXY will be a great trade.

A little bit above average

We were wondering recently what a statistician would say.

About this: Given 8 people trying to deliver the best portfolio return, what kind of performances should we expect after Q1?

5 of the 8 Halftime Report panelists are ahead of the S&P 500 (not counting dividends), and 6 of the 8 are in positive territory.

The 2 biggest moves have both been to the downside, which makes sense to us (that whole "stairs up, elevator down" thing that Guy Adami always talks about when he's not talking about people thinking Priceline is overvalued because it has a nominal 4-digit share price).

The top performance, Joe Terranova, is up 9.39%, whereas the benchmark S&P 500 is up 1.3%.

Out of 8 contestants, that seems probably within a standard deviation or so. (But don't look to this page for math tips.)

Pete Najarian first complained to Judge on Monday's Halftime that the 2014 Playbook Playoffs contest is "very unreal to what I really do in my daily life" and then bemoaned how UAL shrank his initial early lead.

Pete also lamented BZH and said he might have to get out, but incredibly, he's going to stick with AAPL, "I still think that's worth the wait."

Josh Brown explained, "I took a lot of flak for the ETFs" that he chose, mostly from Simon Baker, but "at the end of the day," he was picking what he thought would be strong secular trends, and in the case of solar, wanted a basket.

Brown and Stephen Weiss both picked Softbank, but Monday, Weiss grumbled that the Alibaba IPO is the "most widely known story out there" and so he finds the stock "a little overplayed."

Brown, though, said "I'm sticking with it."

In the best line of the day, Weiss when called upon by Judge said it was the first time he thought during a Halftime show that "I hope he doesn't come to me," given his -10.67% Playbook return thus far.

Weiss, conceding a TBT bust (a trade this page liked (grimace)), suggested the 10-year would be "comfortably over 3% by the end of the year." We were totally on board with that at the beginning of the year, but not any more.

Judge for some reason pestered Weiss and Stephanie Link about C. Weiss admitted, "Something's gotta be done" about the CFO who made the same mistake twice. Link defended the stock, explaining, "Why I like it is the emerging markets exposure" (snicker sic that's what she said) and predicting a robust "back half of the year."

Link said she subbed out WFT for MRO.

Mike Murphy said he wishes he sold FB 2 weeks ago (don't we all) (this writer is long FB) but still likes the stock and sees 75 in its future.

Murphy also re-endorsed PBR, saying it's "still just the beginning."

Joe Terranova, perhaps overcompensating for that report of a "miss" he was hearing about prior to the last earnings, observed that no one was buying NFLX for their Playbook Portfolio with it down $100 now.

Judge chided the group, "Most of you guys missed the boat on, on biotech." Stephen Weiss said he hasn't sold his GILD.

Josh Brown reaffirmed his recent bust-in-the-making, "I'm double-short the biotechs ... I might be buying them later on this summer."

CNBC on Monday should’ve just called itself ‘60 Minutes’

One of the things we've wondered about regarding CNBC for a while why isn't Sara Eisen on every program why isn't Seema Mody on 24/7 is how Mark Cuban came to be an expert on high-frequency trading.

Basically, whenever this issue flares (about 2 or 3 times a year), CNBC and other broadcasters are in search of someone prominent who will denounce the practice ... and this apparently is the most elite get.

So, keep in mind that Carl Icahn did not dial in to discuss this, that Lloyd Blankfein was not on to discuss this, that Tim Cook did not come on the program to discuss this, that Larry Fink did not make an appearance to discuss this, that Sheila Bair did not come on the network to discuss this, and that Sen. Edward Markey did not come on the network to discuss this.

Which tells us that this is really nothing.

(Please note: We have no clue about this operation, and we don't know anything about anything in general, so nobody's taking any sides here.)

Anyway, the Cubemeister is always a good interview, even when staring into a camera that must've been taller than a basketball hoop Monday, and on the Halftime Report, he told Judge that there were no surprises from Michael Lewis' book; "the faster trader wins."

"Something's rigged, and something's not right," Cuban said.

But then Cuban said the biggest risk isn't the little fractions of pennies being made, but the fact "there's no such thing as bug-free software," and with all these guys "trying to trick each other," there's no telling what would happen to market-making if the programming goes berserk.

Curiously, most of the Halftime panel indicated HFT is not a big deal, at least to the retail investor.

Josh Brown asserted that total profits in the HFT space have fallen from $5 billion to $1 billion.

Cuban said, "It's 10 times worse because they're more desperate."

Rob Sechan had the audacity to state that Michael Lewis "overstates the issue," and Sechan argued HFT provides "improved liquidity" for the small investor.

"Oh come on, that's nonsense. That is nonsense," Cuban scoffed.

"No it's not," said Sechan, pointing to how people use different services from LNKD and how they can do the same with financial exchanges.

Then, curiously inventing a problem we're not aware of, Sechan said regulators should "bring back Rule 10a-1" that allows traders to "only short on an uptick."

That floored Cuban's fellow HFT critic Eric Hunsader, who insisted "that is naive" to think that shorts wouldn't just buy options or sell futures instead.

Mr. New Land said that maybe HFT is "just the reason" that retail investors should use mutual funds and ETFs and that HFT is just an "internal war between these algorithmic electronic models that have just replaced the specialists on the floor."

"No. No, no, no," said Cuban, who claimed specialists "had an obligation, and they had their own capital on the line."

Judge suggested to Cuban and Hunsader that it's not the little guy who's getting the shaft, but big investors like Einhorn and Ackman who have to move large amounts of shares and are "the ones who are really paying the price at the end of the day" (Drink).

Hunsader merely shrugged that the little guy will ask why the regulators aren't doing their job and how can the little guy trust anything. Cuban changed the subject and said it was "structural issues" that were known but not addressed that sank the markets in 2008.

Hunsader, of Nanex, said the "jaw-dropping thing" about Lewis' book is that the SEC purportedly says it's there for the HFT community.

"I don't know what the solution is," Cuban said, asserting, "High-frequency trading does nothing to stimulate or support capital formation in markets." (Well, then again, neither does the Fast Money Halftime Report, but is anyone saying it should be banned?)

Demonstrating top-notch knowledge of show cliches, Cuban concluded, "At the end of the day, owning a share of stock is supposed to be about owning equity in a company."

Dr. New Land observed there was "not one mention here about the exchanges." Cuban said, "There's a sense of desperation and it's obvious." Josh Brown added, "It's 80% of their revenue."

‘From bullish to constructive’

Rob Sechan told Judge early on Monday's Halftime Report, "I would change from bullish to constructive," seeing an "ideal backdrop for risk assets" but calling stocks vulnerable because of the "magnitude of the move," which we didn't really get, except to guess that Sechan probably means the S&P's gain over 15 months.

Sechan said he likes financials, technology and industrials and predicted a "rotation into quality cyclicals," but notably omitted energy.

He grudgingly suggested emerging markets and commodities could get a "short-term bounce" but no more, and said he particularly likes Europe.

He also said, "I think Japan could be one of the big surprises this year," in a "positive way."

Citing Yellen, Sechan predicted "rates will grind higher" and create a currency tailwind for Japan.

Dr. New World reaffirmed he thinks the market will peak on good news in April, which Joe called "counterintuitive," and said to expect "a lot of commentary where CEOs blame the weather."

Stephanie Link forecast, "Over the next couple of quarters, it's going to get better."

Josh Brown said, "We're not making any huge changes," and tried to convince Sechan that there's glorious opportunity in Russia, India and commodities.

Pete warns: $170 TSLA possible

Just a couple weeks ago (March 17 to be exact), with the stock around $3.75, Dr. New Land was advising viewers to "ring the register" on FNMA.

(Hit PgDn a few times and you'll see this page's response: "Buy-Buy-Buy." But, like Michael Burns, we don't want to spike the ball too early.) (This writer recently had a long FNMA position but at the moment does not.)

Apparently Joe has been won over, as he told Judge on Monday's Halftime Report "I like what they're doing" as the government's purported plan to eliminate the shares runs into Bill Ackman.

As always, multiple panelists called GM a buy, with Dr. New Land leading the charge, "I've been waiting to buy it back," pointing to when Jamie Dimon and Lloyd Blankfein testified to Congress and then afterwards, "they rallied," so "this might be the moment where you buy GM."

Stephanie Link needed no convincing. "This is where you buy it, right here ... all the news is out."

What about the great new products. Are those out too?

Josh Brown said MU gained on a Stifel report.

Stephanie Link hailed CMI. "The truck cycle, I've been a big theme- a big- a big fan of the theme" and said she's sticking with ETN and CMI.

Pete Najarian said to "look at that moving average" in TSLA and warned that if it didn't hold, look out for 170.

Stephanie Link's Final Trade was CI. Pete Najarian said COP. Josh Brown said DFE and Joe Terranova said RKUS, while pointing out "my hair is much darker" in the Playbook Playoffs graphic than on live TV.

Maria seems to think CNBCers are/were lazy — and claims that Hoffman once said so

This one's obviously going over well.

Anyone who is plugged into business media probably discovered this weekend that Maria Bartiromo evidently was not that impressed by the work habits of her now-former colleagues in Englewood Cliffs.

"Six or seven years ago, my boss (that would be Mark Hoffman) came and said, 'Maria, you're the only one who's working, the only one who's picking up the phone and getting big hitters on the air, and I need to make other people do that,'" Bartiromo told the Daily Beast, which was noticed by the New York Post, which apparently didn't notice she was saying the same thing a month ago to TVNewser (see our home page).

But hang on — there's a (snicker) element here.

Bartiromo says, a couple passages later, that she had to prevent CNBC producers from co-opting her own guests. "Unfortunately, it was being in an environment where I was competing with my own company all the time,” Bartiromo said.

She further adds that so many guests were forced upon her shows and others that "everybody gets, like, 30 seconds."

So on the one hand, nobody else was working to book anyone … and on the other hand, everyone was constantly working — against her — to book too many people.

Declaring this was the situation "6 or 7" years ago, Bartiromo is including in this not-working environment not only many current CNBC hosts but several of her new CNBC ex-pat colleagues: Melissa Francis, Liz Claman (borderline, left in 2007) and … yes … Gasparino.

Let's hope they're all aware that there's apparently a new sheriff in town.

[Friday, March 28, 2014]

Tim Seymour accuses Brian Kelly of buying at the peak

Why Guy Adami even showed up for Friday's Fast Money is a mystery.

The Negotiator was practically shut out, except to call GM a trade that's "easy against 34" (Drink).

That came just before guest host Mandy played "Chinatown" with Tesla, wondering if it's an auto stock and hearing Pete Najarian say "this is a technology stock" (Drink).

Brian Kelly offered, "Tesla's probably one of my favorite names," only to be taunted by Tim Seymour, who told Kelly, "You've added a lot of stuff at the top of the market," and then gloated that while he's been wrong on Tesla since $80, "I still feel right about the valuation."

Seymour said rough week for the Nasdaq and momentum names was "not a big deal" as there's a rotation in the works, and the old reliable, China PMI, is coming out.

Pete Najarian said, "I still think there's upside," specifically in chips and financials, and of course the old reliables QCOM and MSFT.

Pete said June 40 calls in YHOO were hot. Tim Seymour said he's hearing that Alibaba will price at $150-$155 billion.

Colin Gillis said BBRY chief John Chen is "acting fast" and "telling a rational story," but "the nose of the plane is still pointing down."

Brian Kelly feebly protested to Gillis that there are "so many places that they can monetize now."

Kelly called FB a "mini-Google" and added, "I'm in the stock; I like the stock." (This writer is long FB.)

Dominic Chu spoke with impressive teen trader Connor Storck, who touted NFLX as no more a fad but "becoming more of a staple with my generation."

Storck, whose LinkedIn page is impressive (needs to correct the typos in the summary though), not only advised viewers, "Right now you should buy more," but asserted that "if they were even to raise their price $3 ... they'd still be making a lot more money."

Storck also said he likes CSCO because it "cares about its shareholders." But when Chu asked for stocks he doesn't like, Storck paused just long enough to have Mandy commandeer the segment with breaking news from Hampton Pearson on Vladimir Putin calling Barack Obama.

There were no Final Trades.

Gemma Godfrey must’ve
had the day off

Josh Brown said on Friday's Halftime Report that the pullback in momentum stocks "shouldn't be that alarming," but unfortunately we're starting to see signs of a "rounding top."

Mike Murphy, unfazed, insisted "there are pockets of strength in this market," and cited FB and WFM as being "on sale right here." (This writer is long FB.)

Pete Najarian again opined that "big cap seems to be where people wanna park their money."

Dr. New World predicted that in April we'll see a "tremendous amount of good news, and markets like to peak on good news," citing as evidence the April 2010 jobs report and the May 2011 termination of Osama bin Laden.

But Joe suggested the pain isn't over yet; "this can go wrong for another 2-3 weeks and I think that it will."

Brown said the XLE is a "phenomenal-looking group," and claimed "commodities are decoupling from stocks" as well as each other.

It's been a while since a Pimco person was on the program, and on Friday, Virginie Maisonneuve did the honors from the U.K., pointing to 10-15% gains in the S&P 500. "I'm quite positive about the dollar," Maisonneuve said, while endorsing Indonesia, Brazil, Thailand and Mexico.

Joe Terranova wasn't sold on the EEM. "I wouldn't step in and buy it," Joe said. But Mike Murphy likes EWZ.

Brown: Next 10 LULU points higher

Pete Najarian told Friday's Halftime Report that LULU's strong trading day Thursday was "the sign of things to come" in the stock, which has the potential of European expansion.

Joe Terranova disagreed, stating the new CEO has to lift margins, and he can't do that because he'll have to be "taking out the wallet, and spending."

Asked to pick a winner, Josh Brown told Judge, "For the first time ever, my mind has been changed by a debate," explaining that Pete convinced him that "the next 10 points are more likely to be up than down," and he wouldn't sell it.

Mike Murphy predicted a "gap to 58" in the shares.

Joe: FB phone coming

Jon Fortt on Friday's Halftime Report defended Zuck's spending spree as necessary for a young company to add brainpower.

"They've got to acquire that kind of talent," Fortt said, later adding that the concern would be if Facebook got into apparel or something like that, but "all this stuff makes sense."

Mike Murphy agreed. "He's spending money to build the company for the future," Murphy said, advising that if there's "more of a pullback, you buy more."

Mr. New Land said of Zuck, "He's differentiating himself" with "good initiatives," but opined, "He's getting into hardware now ... I still think you'll see a Facebook phone."

Pete Najarian backed the stock but cautioned, "I don't know that we've seen the bottom yet though ... I think it's back below 60."

Ava 500 as a housing trade

Diana Olick told Friday's Halftime crew that Ivy Zelman is still bullish on housing fundamentals (except maybe in Phoenix), and that DHI and PHM are down about 24% from their 52-week highs.

Mike Murphy said he doesn't own the homebuilders right now, but "10-15% off, that's when you wanna be buying," not when everything looks awesome.

Josh Brown warned against plunging in. "I really don't think that these stocks are buys just yet ... most of the metrics have been trending down since rates started to go higher."

Mr. New World said the inventory of homes is at its lowest since 2001, and then curiously suggested viewers play the XHB to get exposure to IRBT.

Still waiting for Rachel Fox’s stock-trading app due in August

Dominic Chu brought in a couple of college students to show Friday's lackluster Halftime Report crew how it's done.

Unfortunately, no disrespect to the youngsters, but their arguments weren't any more convincing than Tim Seymour's opening monologue most nights on Fast Money.

Ruth Ortiz hailed WFM because it's a health-food grocer, and "the economy will continue to recover."

Anton Mekhael said he likes CELG because the 200-day moving average was broken, and there's a lot of potential in Africa.

Chu decided, "They're schooling us here."

Mike Murphy of course backed WFM. "There's massive upside ... by far, best in breed," Murphy said.

Pete Najarian said he likes the CELG pipeline.

Shocker: Book titled Flash Boys is critical of HFT

Bob Pisani pointed out on Friday's Halftime Report that a lot of IPOs this week were less than stellar.

Pisani said Energous did well but actually got tripped up by a circuit-breaker because of the activity, a policy he agrees with, but, "in the case of an IPO, I'm not sure it's necessary."

Josh Brown said he bought TNET "close to 20," explaining that it offers a "phenomenal solution" to the HR situation of his and Barry's wealth-management firm from which he's gone for a couple hours a day while he does television. "The valuation's reasonable," Brown said.

Eamon Javers told Judge "I can't tell you exactly" how he got a look at some pages of Michael Lewis' Flash Boys book, but it's a "very critical look at high-frequency trading."

Pete Najarian said, "I have my opinion, which is, I'm not a big fan of this."

SMU vs. Temple, excitement

Mike Murphy said on Friday's Halftime Report that he didn't like BBRY in the morning, but by midday, "I think you can buy BlackBerry."

Pete Najarian said there are "better names" than RHT, such as MSFT.

Mr. New Land said RH is going to 75 because of a short squeeze.

Josh Brown said "I would still avoid" AMZN.

Jeff Kilburg predicted crude won't hang above 100 much longer and said "demand is waning."

Anthony Grisanti said at most we'll see 10-20 cents higher at the pump, and "there is no demand for oil right now," so he could see oil $1-$2 lower next week.

Mr. New World opined, "You have to worry about oil spiking in the 2nd quarter."

In a strange choice for interview guest, Judge brought in AAC boss Michael Aresco, who conceded his conference "may have" hurt Louisville's seeding (what difference does it make ... either they can beat the other teams, or they can't), but after Louisville's gone, SMU and Tulsa and Temple will fill the void.

Aresco seemed doubtful of a college football union at Northwestern. "I'm not sure this decision's gonna stand," he said.

Judge mismanaged the time at the end, so no Final Trades. (But if there were, Pete Najarian would've said MSFT, Mike Murphy would've said FB, Josh Brown would've said LULU and Dr. New World would've said EOG.)

[Thursday, March 27, 2014]

Satya Nadella has been ‘reading books on shareholder value’

It sounds like Satya could just call Carl and get the Cliffs Notes in a single conversation.

Star tech analyst Rick Sherlund joined Thursday's Fast Money and said "I love the job that Satya did today" and predicted Microsoft's new CEO will be good at the maximizing-value angle.

"If you bought back 10% of the stock, and if you cut costs 10% ... you get the stock up 10 bucks," Sherlund asserted. "I think he gets it. I hear he's been reading books on shareholder value."

Hmmm. That's a curious subject to be asking about at the Seattle Public Library.

Sherlund stressed that "it's not about Windows, Windows, Windows" as it was during the Steven Ballmer tenure; "it's all gonna be about the cloud," at least in the enterprise or whatever divisions.

Sherlund suggested that much of the Nokia hit has been priced in to estimates, at least his own, and hailed CFO Amy Hood as someone who "really gets it" and will be "really tough on costs."

Hood is kinda cute, too, as we discovered (above).

Karen Finerman asked if MSFT might just "shut down" some weaker divisions. Sherlund said that's a possibility, for example, Xbox, "why are you there," and "Bing, they could shut that down as well," but he indicated he doesn't see either one as moving the needle much.

He affirmed he has a $45 target and a buy rating.

Pete Najarian thundered, "Absolutely love this name ... I think this is going to $45 a share."

Guy once again thinks investors are incapable of looking up PCLN’s P.E. ratio

He says it so often, it's laughable.

Guy Adami really really thinks that people think PCLN is overvalued because of its nominal share price, despite the fact 1) most serious investors can do basic math, and 2) he never says the same thing about GOOG.

"I think Priceline gets interesting," Adami said on Thursday's Fast Money. "It's not expensive valuation-wise. We talk about this all the time. The problem with Priceline, it's a $1,200 stock. If you just move the decimal point over, I think people would look at it much differently."

Really. People wrongly think it's overvalued. That's why it's up 70% in a year?

It's amusing that Adami reaffirmed this point prior to Mike Khouw saying he likes PCLN better than EXPE (May 75 calls were hot) based on "valuation."

Brian Kelly twice said in the program that top Nasdaq momentum names "bounced off of some very important support," and Pete Najarian said big-cap names were working, and singled out QCOM in particular.

Karen Finerman again questioned what several momentum names have to do with each other and sort of set aside the whole space from what she cares about; "that I view as a totally separate market."

If Netflix’s core business is so awful (according to Pachter), then why should AAPL or AMZN buy it?

Brian Kelly, who likes to be a contrarian every day, suggested on Thursday's Fast Money that a lot of high-fliers look buyable, such as Netflix in the wake of the purported Amazon invasion.

"A lot of this is probably priced into Netflix," Kelly said, citing 350 as an "important level."

Guest host Mandy Drury bluntly questioned "whether or not Apple should just buy Netflix," then added, "Maybe Amazon should just buy Netflix."

Guy Adami said AMZN has been staggered enough recently that "it's a no-touch."

Karen never gets an answer as to whether C’s capital-plan ruling is ‘binary’

We knew it wouldn't take long for someone on Thursday's Fast Money to defend C, and Karen Finerman quickly obliged.

Finerman waffled like l'eggo my egg'o on whether John Gerspach should stay or go in the wake of Mike Mayo's Halftime call. "I think, it's, it's, he's gotta feel under a lot of pressure. I think that Mike Mayo is the single most respected bank analyst out there ... I could see this pressure starting to build," Finerman said.

OK. Gerspach feels pressure. Got it.

Karen said she wants someone to tell her about the rules for the Fed's verdict on C's capital plan, "is it a binary," or can parts of it be salvaged.

She added, "I think the long-term story is still there."

Pete Najarian wavered without endorsing. "I think this is one of those big banks that might need to spin something off," Najarian said.

Heaven, on Thursday afternoon

In a brilliant move, producers of Thursday's Fast Money enlisted Seema Mody, in striking new chalk-striped black dress, to present a discussion on FB, TWTR and YELP and the courses each has taken since its IPO.

(You can't always get a perfect picture, and the screen grab above is not perfect, but it is perhaps our best regarding the eyes of this particular individual.)

Brian Kelly advised being long YELP vs. 75.

Karen Finerman, long the funniest person on Fast Money but who often keeps it in check, cracked the line of the day, "I've been surprised that Yelp is the flight-to-quality trade around the world."

Pete Najarian defended Zuck. "He's doing things I think the right way ... Oculus I think has got multiple uses (snicker)." (This writer is long FB.)

John Jannarone mega-bust:
ARO in free fall

CNBC's newfound retail ace John Jannarone, back on March 13 (see below), suggested ARO was "so hated" that the stock might be spring-loaded to move up on any not-so-terrible news.

That was a day the stock closed in the $7s.

It was in the $4s on Thursday.

But everyone deserves a 2nd chance, so Jannarone was invited back to Fast Money Thursday to describe what's happening at Coca-Cola.

"Diet Coke has fallen off in a big way," Jannarone said, citing "negative press around aspartame and diet- diet stuff."

Jannarone said price hikes aren't enough to stem the sales decline. Karen Finerman wondered if they shouldn't actually cut the price to get people back into it. Jannarone said that doesn't make up for enough of the loss, and lowering prices is "just not a good business model."

Mandy & Karen quiz each other over who’s wearing LULU

Pete Najarian, inexplicably summoned to Thursday's Fast Money after doing the Halftime routine, suggested LULU still has an international expansion trump card to play.

Karen Finerman told Mandy that it makes sense to her for the new CEO to be "kitchen-sinking the 1st quarter," and said the stock had relief because it could've been worse. (Just wait till it gets to 55 before C, as this page predicted in the face of Fast Money/Halftime genius.)

Guy Adami said TNET to him suggests taking a look at ADP.

Brian Kelly said he'd short V at 225 because the V/MA space is under attack.

Pete Najarian said CZR is OK but there are better names in gaming.

Pete said ARCC April 18 calls were hot.

GME has had the ‘washout day’ about 3 or 4 times already in 2014

Dr. John Knopf, the polite and enthusiastic chief of Acceleron (XLRN), said the higher fliers in the biotech space are "often times a bit more targeted than others," but insisted "everything's looking good" for some recent drug-test results, and the "clinical folks" are happy.

Knopf perhaps got a little too much into inside baseball in referring to "calcification" problems with chronic kidney disease.

If Melissa Lee had been hosting, Knopf would've been asked if he plans to remain an independent company, and Knopf would've said, "We're focused on creating value for our shareholders and have no plans to do anything but," and Lee would've said "So that's not a no, you're open to a takeover," and Knopf would've said, "We're not pursuing any deals at this time."

Pete Najarian said he likes AMGN because it's got drugs in the works that could be "huge."

Karen Finerman suggested XBI and IBB as taking the "easy way out" in this space while admitting "that has been painful" the last couple weeks.

Pete Najarian suggested that it "may have been a bit of a washout day" in GME.

Guy Adami said activists are potentially getting into SYMC.

Brian Kelly said of CLF, "I'm in this name."

Karen Finerman opined, "I think though Kohl's (KSS) may have bottomed."

Pete Najarian said of RHT, "I do like it at these levels," but he thinks there are better names.

Guy gets to flirt with Mandy

Karen Finerman didn't say "bar none" (see below), but she did declare on Thursday's Fast Money that SFXE chief Robert Sillerman put together "THE (sic all caps for emphasis) worst conference call I have ever heard ... I could not understand what he was saying," pointing to a "very raspy voice."

Finerman said Sillerman is "probably a great promoter and really smart," but for a "public CEO" to deliver a performance like this, "it's astounding."

Brian Kelly said he'll be looking at gold at 1,280.

Guy Adami, beleaguered recently by longtime favorite LGF's slide, told viewers, "I think it should hold here ... if it bounces off this 26 level, it's interesting." (Careful though — you don't want to spike the ball before scoring the touchdown.)

Karen Finerman said "it's no-man's land here" in AAPL.

Pete Najarian's Final Trade was TEVA. Brian Kelly said BBRY. Karen Finerman said GOOG, and Guy Adami said GRMN.

Guy Adami told Mandy Drury, "You're a tiny little thing," with a "metabolism like a 9-year-old boy."

Mike Mayo: Fire Citi’s CFO

Steve Grasso said on Thursday's Halftime Report, "I'm more interested in what the banks are doing."

Well, he sure got plenty to chew on from Mike Mayo, who brought up a guy who, prior to Thursday, we'd never heard of.

"Citigroup needs to change the CFO," Mayo contended, citing a 3-strikes-you're-out limit for John Gerspach.

Furthermore, Mayo lambasted the company for its non-response and avoidance to Wednesday's news. "Why isn't Citigroup having a conference call today," Mayo wondered, pointing out the annual meeting is going to be in St. Louis, with no webcast.

And he's going. "Meet me in St. Louie," Mayo said.

Stephen Weiss asserted, "This is like failing an extra-credit test," and then sided with Mayo on accountability. "I agree: The CFO should go," Weiss said.

But Judge pointed out, Mayo has a buy on the stock probably because it keeps him in the good graces of the Fast Money gang. "They have some nice businesses," Mayo said citing the "sum of the parts" refrain.

Josh Brown said he keeps hearing that C is lacking in wealth management, where others are ripping.

Mayo suggested, "Citi needs to restructure more aggressively" and said everyone he talks to agrees about this; it could start by retreating in certain overseas markets, selling Banamex, and overall selling the bottom 1/4 of its businesses.

Mayo added, "Morgan Stanley is still my No. 1 pick ... they've shrunk the fixed-income trading business at just the right time."

Like Dick Bove a day earlier, Mayo gushed about banks' strength, having the highest capital ratios in 8 decades. But he said they've also got the lowest revenue growth in 8 decades.

Mayo called BAC "fully priced" and a sell because of limited upside, maybe to 20.

Josh Brown countered that "I think it doubles over the next 3 years."

Mayo said for that to happen, it would have to hit targets "far above" management forecasts.

Facebook: ‘My favorite
stock bar none’

Dan Niles visited with Thursday's Halftime Report primarily to talk about MSFT.

But it was his FB commentary that got our attention, largely because of 2 words. (This writer is long FB.)

"People are gonna look back and view this as, you know, we shouldn't have sold this, it's going down with everything else," Niles contended, pointing to "another billion-dollar business in video advertising."

Fair enough. But it's the way he closed: "That's my favorite stock bar none right now."

We would put it a different way: The guy running the place is (bleeping) smart. He's also a bit eccentric and a non-conformist. The former outweighs the latter. What first seemed like a fluke now makes all kinds of sense. He's got the most autonomy of any of the tech-giant CEOs, like Gates in the '80s.

But, when the stock lands in the 40s, we'll probably have to retract all that. #don'ttaketradingtipsfromthissite

Nevertheless, you don't get a "bar none" very often.

Meanwhile, Niles said MSFT is "better-positioned now" than it's been in a long time, given that it can sell to 100% of the tablet market.

But Niles hasn't yet pulled the trigger, though he "thought long and hard about buying it over the last couple of weeks."

Niles said he's cautious because "they're buying Nokia ... and I think that business is going to be an absolute train wreck," pointing to Google recently getting out of the space.

Niles said Steve Weiss asked a good question as to whether old tech is back in vogue. "I'm actually shorting some IBM today," Niles said, explaining, "this is gonna come out wrong, to some degree. But there's really nothing wrong with IBM. The biggest problem with IBM is IBM's so huge."

Judge at first suggested Warren Buffett indicated displeasure with the company, then moments later clarified that Buffett said no such thing, it was his lack of supportive statements about Ginny Rometty (we're within a week or two of hearing about how Ginny doesn't have a green jacket).

‘Micron insiders bailing like there’s no tomorrow’

Herb Greenberg joined Thursday's Halftime Report to discuss the WSJ report on leaks by activist investors to their friends.

"None of this appears to be illegal," Herb said, citing Muddy Waters but adding that there are many more who could do it.

Stephen Weiss agreed it's not illegal and not from the companies themselves, so caveat emptor, but "what I disagree with is going through a research service that's going to publish it."

Josh Brown shrugged off-camera, "I don't know that you can outlaw influence."

The panel could've been more specific about what they were talking about (for those of us who hadn't read the actual article yet), but it was still an interesting discussion, albeit rather short.

Herb also said there are "indications" that MU prices are falling, and claimed he's seeing "Micron insiders bailing like there's no tomorrow."

Brown: ‘Worst is not over’

Pete Najarian observed on Thursday's Halftime that high-multiple stocks are getting sold, but some pockets are still strong.

Josh Brown suggested people look at MTUM to get a backward view of what's already happened and asserted that even though it's momentum names taking the big hits, the S&P 500 needs those names to reach new highs.

Brown said LULU got a pop from short covering, but "I would take the money and run ... the worst is not over."

Stephen Weiss said that when a company such as BAX does a spinoff, there's a dislocation as holders may not be interested in the separate unit, so he advises waiting a few days afterward and buying the spinoff.

Mike Murphy contended that "the tide has changed in Petrobras ... still a lot more upside."

Pete Najarian called YUM a buy.

Najarian said May 70 calls in CL were hot, and told Judge, "I will be in this for at least a couple of weeks."

Former SAC trader Nick Tiller, who's now entered the sustainability space, told Kate Kelly, "The oil market right now is probably as dicey as I've seen it in my career."

Tiller said he drives a Tesla, but "I actually would not buy the stock."

He likes ADM and TSN, the latter in particular for exposure to chicken, beef and pork prices.

Tiller said the SAC in the headlines isn't the one he knew. "That's not the culture of SAC as I know it," he said.

Mike Murphy's Final Trade was MU PBR. Stephen Weiss said C, Pete Najarian said MGM and Josh Brown said DBA.

[Wednesday, March 26, 2014]

Dick Bove should know better than to argue against mighty Citigroup on Fast Money

It's the most embarrassing long-running bull call on Fast Money, going back to the days when Pete and Joe declared that once it crossed $5, all those institutional buyers would jump aboard.

On Wednesday's program, the Dickster, Dick Bove, waded in head-first with an impressive bear call on C that should've merited congratulations.

Instead, all Bove got was scorn, from Citi's usual Fast Money cheerleading squad. (Oops, careful, N.Y. Post might write a headline with that term and then we won't be allowed on Larry Kudlow's show.)

Bove patiently explained, "We have a sell on Citigroup because we do think that the company, uh, is facing a pretty tough, uh, time, with all of this international upset, and particularly as a result of what went on in Mexico where they let $400 million out the door."

Bove, however, went on to praise the state of U.S. banks in general, inciting Tim Seymour, one of C's preeminent apologists/cheerleaders, to jump in.

"It sounds to me like then you're saying that Citi's a buy here. Because ultimately what- what they got their wrist slapped for was stuff that the Fed is supposed to be doing," Seymour mysteriously claimed, also arguing that C is the cheapest of the big banks at 0.75 times.

Bove stood his ground most impressively.

"No. Sell, sell, sell, sell sell," Dick said.

"Explain that," Seymour demanded, of a stock just walloped by 5% afterhours.

Bove then cited "2 very disturbing signals" in the 4th quarter earnings report, the earnings leverage and that it's the only bank with an increase in loan losses in North America.

"Why would this bank have an increase in loan losses in North America?" Bove asked. "They're not controlling costs the way they promised they would," he said, dubbing the Mexico situation a "horror show."

"This company is not a buy," Bove bluntly concluded.

Seymour, who evidently hasn't spent all his cash on Mobile Telesystems or Gazprom, didn't care. "I love the global franchise ... I think they're being made example of."

Finally, fellow C apologist Karen Finerman entered the fray, affirming "I'm long C" and that she doesn't like to see it down $3 afterhours.

But, Finerman added, "It is by far the cheapest." And, in the typical Fast Money assurance that sounds a lot like Steve Stevens' guarantee that he won't miss 3 games in a row on CNBC's new reality show, "Money Talks" (gross yourself out with that one sometime), Finerman assured viewers (if not herself), "They will get it together."

Also, Finerman said when Bove was gone, "I gotta push back on Dick Bove. He was right, he had a sell, but it looked to me like they had a 49.60 target. So, I mean, that's where it was yesterday."

Guy Adami also rationalized C's slide; "they needed to pick somebody out," he said, before advising, "trade it from the long side against 46." (Of course. Does anyone except Bove ever expect it to go down?)

Steve Grasso claimed, "Net-net, they said just as much, that Bank America (sic) has to be a buy off of this." (Yes, but it's a buy every day, according to Fast Money, so that's a redundant comment.)

Bove said his favorites have been MS and BAC, and it's "disappointing" they have to give $9 billion to FNMA, but he recommends that stock too (this writer is long FNMA, since Joe & Josh advised ringing the register around $3.75).

Guy Adami warned that USB had a "bit of an outside day."

Mandy learns first-hand that Karen spends a lot of the program looking at her computer

Karen Finerman on Wednesday's Fast Money offered "kudos" to Guy Adami's recent TWTR calls, which Guy shrugged off.

"Collectively we've done a nice job," Guy said, before adding, "I think it's getting really sort of compelling."

Tim Seymour pointed to the RSI (but what does the RSI say for Mobile Telesystems?) for Twitter and claimed "this has bombed out," then he predicted it "follows the path of Facebook."

Steve Grasso said TWTR's slide isn't so much about the lockup but has "more to do with the lousy quarter."

Guest sexy Mandy Drury explained in a good chart actually that GOOG is going to temporarily trade under 3 symbols: GOOG, GOOCV and GOOAV. (You'll have to look up on the Web what each means.)

Steve Grasso explained, "It's in effect a stock split, without voting rights."

Karen Finerman insisted that this really does not mean "a thing" for investors.

It was dumbfounding to hear Tim Seymour say, "If anything, a stock split would be a big deal in terms of inefficiencies in the market and be positive." (Kinda hard to believe that Karen would let that pass.)

Larry Altman’s March 2000-esque comparison on Halftime suddenly looking more impressive

Josh Lipton was summoned to Wednesday's Fast Money to further advance the Facebook-Oculus story.

However, aside from standing on a street corner in Menlo Park, Lipton advanced little, other than stating Zuck's analyst comments about virtual reality becoming "the next new social platform" (snicker). (This writer is long FB.)

Steve Grasso first defended Zuck's track record with Instagram and then claimed "everyone" thinks Facebook's core business is "dead," and opined that "this is gonna be a big event for him" but said it's too early to say what this means.

Karen Finerman said the question is now, "is he a visionary, or is he getting distracted." Finerman said it's "really not a lot of money, but it does make you wonder."

But then she said she gives Zuck the "benefit of the doubt," citing her own initial thought that YouTube was a bust.

Tim Seymour called the FB selloff "probably an opportunity" and, flirting with a Fast Fire, told viewers that Q1 looks good, "everything we're hearing is that it's decent."

FB as a stock has had a horrible couple of weeks. So have P, TWTR and NFLX, so it has virtually (like that pun) nothing to do with Oculus. It's still the market's premier stock. That doesn't mean it goes straight up all the time. Oculus as a $2 billion acquisition is a joke. FB is worth owning because its (1-man) leadership is (bleeping) smart. He's a bit of a character too. This is like Bill Belichick calling a gadget play that doesn't work. It's not always going to be pretty. But it will see Steve Grasso's favorite word (that would be "par").

Mike Khouw reported that someone made a massive buy of SPX May 1,995 puts. Khouw said a position in the money that large represents a "very direct bet to the downside," and he suggested it might've played a role in the market's shellacking Wednesday. (What everyone wants to know: Was it Larry Altman?)

The new Atkins Diet

Lark founder Julia Hu is cute, but she had trouble saying anything besides "Samsung S5" on Wednesday's Fast Money.

Hu said Lark's technology, which sounds like little more than just another diet fad, comes "pre-installed" on that phone, from which you can get the same wellness data without using wearables.

Pressed by guest sexy Mandy as to how Lark makes money, Hu eventually said people pay $2.99 a month, but if you get it in that particular phone she mentioned, it's free for a year.

Hu said her company works with "behavior-change experts from Harvard." (Those are the smart folks who taught Mel how to say "Gotta leave it there.")

Karen Finerman said that if you own AAPL, you get wearable technology somewhere.

Tim Seymour touted NKE as a "great relative value trade" to adidas.

Guy Adami trumpeted GRMN.

Steve Grasso questioned why they're trying to pick winners in wearables when they can "pick the Qualcomm chip; pick Intel." (Oh joy. Pick Intel.)

"Good point," Mandy said.

The only stock the Fast Money bailout heroes like more than C is GM

GM's chief spokesman Phil LeBeau reported on Wednesday's Fast Money that Nissan is recalling "more than a million" cars — but don't be alarmed.

"I've done some research on this," LeBeau said, explaining that 400 million cars have been recalled since 1985, and most were really not a big deal.

Tim Seymour said you don't sell Toyota or Nissan, but "you buy GM" (Drink).

Steve Grasso wasn't so sure, saying, "It just seems like there's a lot more to come."

Karen Finerman said "I like GM" (Drink) and that the stock seems to be hit by fears that the bankruptcy could be unwound over the recalls, which Finerman called "such a long shot."

Dominic Chu said ESS is replacing CLF in the S&P 500. If Josh Brown were on, he'd probably say something like, "Over time, the name getting booted out actually does better."

Kayla Tausche said at the top of the program regarding banking news, "There was good, bad and ugly." (Wonder where she got that line?)

CNBC enlists pair of blonde
superfoxes to usher in Fast

Tim Seymour claimed on Wednesday's Fast Money, like he always does (Steve Stevens' no-way-I-miss-3-straight, anyone?), that emerging markets may be on the upswing.

"I think the worm may be starting to turn," Seymour said, but he recommends selling EEM at 40 or 41.

Guest Nili Gilbert, in a quietly smooth presentation, said investors tend to get infatuated with high-growth names when they can get better returns from "stable, consistent growth," such as DTV.

Demonstrating command of Fast Money buzzwords, Gilbert added an "at the end of the day" while citing NFLX as one of those high-growth names she thinks become overrated.

However, she called NFLX "expensive" but said it's not a short.

Tim Seymour called DTV a "great relative value trade."

Bob Pisani actually visited the Nasdaq to whine about how pros fear KING is a sign of a crashing IPO market.

"I don't think it's time to hit the panic button," Pisani insisted, but it's time to be "concerned."

Tim Seymour wondered, "Isn't this a sign of some sanity though." Pisani acknowledged that but said the concern is a bad market for everything and that, despite the 1-trick-pony element of KING, it's a "good representation of the IPO market."

Karen Finerman mocked the SFX chief whose stock she shorts for the middle finger image caught on Instagram (congrats, Zuck). "It's just ridiculous behavior," Finerman said, allowing that the stock's potential rests in "44% short interest."

Finerman said PVH's quarter wasn't as bad as feared.

Tim Seymour said to get out of the gold miners; they're not working.

Steve Grasso said he was hearing "sum of the parts" in regard to AOL and predicted it goes higher; it was also his Final Trade.

Guy Adami said PNRA "absolutely has to hold 165." His Final Trade was TLT.

Tim Seymour and Karen Finerman's Final Trade was (SURPRISE!) C.

Arguing about
what the ‘blank’ is

Trying to recapture lightning in a bottle of financial titans fighting each other — except this time neither one was on his show — Judge Wapner put viewers to sleep on Wednesday's Halftime Report with a roundtable chat on Larry Fink's anti-activism letter.

Mr. New Land told Judge that he found Fink's point of view "obviously interesting, like you thought it was interesting," but then defended buybacks; "it's a good thing."

Stephen Weiss said Fink's point is true in some cases and not others. "I think it's too general," Weiss said.

Steve Liesman called this "debate" purportedly between Fink and Carl Icahn a "hugely healthy development ... they're both blank or get off the pot, with the argument about what the blank is."

Anthony Scaramucci said SkyBridge has put $4 billion of its $10 billion with activist investors, and "frankly if Mr. Icahn was open, we'd put money with him." (Can't they just buy shares of IEP?)

Anyway, Scaramucci predicted, "Someone's gonna write a story, a historical story 20 years from now, that this was the LBO-like movement of the mid-'10s."

Scaramucci dubbed Fink a "respected elder statesman."

Mr. New Land haggled with Steve Liesman over Liesman's take about demand for investment dollars, stating that for a few years, "The right strategy in the C suite was to build up cash."

Judge fails to ask Mark Teixeira what he thinks about Larry Fink’s opinion of activist investing

Yankees slugger Mark Teixeira was the star guest of Wednesday's Halftime Report.

Tex touted SportsYapper.

And after he touted it, we still had no idea what he was talking about.

Tex noted he has several investments and assured viewers that while people are constantly trying to get athletes to invest in things, he sets aside money in safe stocks and bonds, and then takes a little bit and has fun with it, basically his strategy is "use common sense and follow smart people."

One of those is apparently Mike Murphy, who invests in JuicePress with Tex and praised the ballplayer for his interest: "You're not just a jock who's throwing some money around at different companies."

Tex said JuicePress only had 2 stores in 2011 and has 15 now. "It's definitely not a fad," he said.

And, in the type of comment baseball owners love to hear before the next contract negotiations, Tex added, "The revenue in our, our sport is just exploding."

Judge was heard to say "in and of itself" regarding the Yankees. #howsmart

How come Weiss doesn’t invoke Pachter’s wait-till-Verizon-gets-through-with-them thesis?

Mike Murphy, who didn't ask Mark Teixeira about NFLX, made the bull case for the stock on Wednesday's Halftime Report, starting off by claiming it's been down for 15 of the last 16 sessions.

Actually, based on what we looked up, that's not quite correct, it's either something like 15 out of 17 or 13 out of 14 (or something like that).

Still, a decent point.

So, Murphy finds the slide "absolutely a buying opportunity," but then ran off the rails in suggesting a subscriber price increase of $1, then "the bottom line will explode."

We'll give him credit for a specific theory, but that's not a catalyst for the stock.

Stephen Weiss, treating the entire show like an annoyance, groused that his family has gone from 2 subscriptions to 1 (as if that's a further catalyst) and then claimed, "They're in the fad business also," and in content, "I think it's a very crowded space."

Anthony Scaramucci called the stock "priced to overperfection" and subscribed to the market's flavor of the month, "fundamentals," in declaring, "I'm gonna side with Steve."

Judge’s FB discussion isn’t nearly as good as what Fast Money put together on the fly the night before

With so much to talk about regarding JuicePress on Wednesday's Halftime Report, Judge practically gave a cold shoulder to the biggest business news, which was the Oculus deal. (This writer is long FB.)

FB long Mike Murphy keenly observed, "I think there's more sellers out there than buyers today," but asserted, "I'm still in the name, and I think this could potentially be a phenomenal move long term."

It won't be phenomenal, but it's small potatoes.

Murphy also cited someone with Facebook ties as likening this deal to Google and Android. "If that's the case, this is a steal," Murphy said.

Anthony Scaramucci, rather surprisingly, stated, "I think it's a brilliant strategy," explaining that Zuck was using lofty stock to diversify.

John McDuling told Judge, "It's obviously a lot of money," but that "Oculus is a real moon shot" compared to the more conventional acquisition of WhatsApp.

Judge then turned to the KING IPO and Sister Golden Hair, who said this would be "only the 13th IPO this year" to have a "weaker" (sic, obviously meant a below-offer-price result) debut.

Steve Weiss said of KING, "I would not touch it."

John McDuling conceded the 1-trick pony nature of KING but said it "still has a compelling story."

Joe’s qualification for being long PLUG makes little sense

Jeff Kilburg told Wednesday's Halftime Report that the spot VIX may indicate complacency, but the futures 1 month out priced at a 12½% premium are showing fear.

Rich Ilczyszyn downplayed this premium. "I think it's a relatively low bet that the stock market's gonna go down," the Ilchmeister said, pointing to 1,913 as a target for the S&P 500 at which point the fear might come in. "I think the market's a little bit underpriced; you'll probably see the VIX go up," Ilczyszyn said.

Stephen Weiss said, "I'm with Loeb; Sotheby's management has to go."

Dr. New World advised people watching PLUG to "stay to the sidelines, unless you have the ability to sit at your computer, not go to the bathroom and not take your finger off the keyboard."

Say what?

Joe further claimed that the market is "gonna peak" in April, and curiously the Nasdaq will have its "bin Laden moment."

Mike Murphy said PVH's chief Chirico "hit the nail on the head" and was "very candid" about winter woes.

Anthony Scaramucci said he'd stay away from PNRA because it's an "overly competitive" space.

Judge chided Stephen Weiss for sounding like a politician on JCP and insisting he wasn't calling for a short recently; "I was short it before I was long it."

Stephen Weiss said the market is adjusting to Yellen's transition from dove to hawk (snicker).

Stephen Weiss' Final Trade was GILD. Mike Murphy said PBR, Joe Terranova said LNKD and Anthony Scaramucci said BRKa.

[Tuesday, March 25, 2014]

Writer’s remorse?

Just last weekend, we noticed that Mark Zuckerberg has suddenly made the Barron's "World's Best CEOs" list.

The rationale, according to the magazine, was: "Facebook is his baby, and he nurtures it with enormous care."

The real rationale: This guy is (bleeping) smart.

Now, before FB longs (this writer is long FB) start congratulating themselves, being (bleeping) smart isn't a guarantee of anything. Steve Jobs managed to get fired from Apple. If Bill Gates had started his charity-is-everything push a bit earlier, he might've avoided a Justice Department onslaught that permanently sank the stock.

And, in fact, based on what we heard on Tuesday's Fast Money and read in the blogosphere overnight, Zuck's Oculus deal feels like a gratuitous bust, and one has to wonder if Barron's would now like a couple more months to think about this one.

But the truth is, this deal costs Facebook virtually nothing.

It's like tossing up a half-court shot with 1 second left in the quarter. The only risk is a fraction off your shooting percentage; the upside unlikely but decent.

In all likelihood, Oculus will prove irrelevant to Facebook.

What's not irrelevant is the market's perception of tech giants who make moves.

Google's made a lot of humdrum acquisitions, but it got YouTube, and it did Android, so there's $500 on the stock price.

Amazon barely makes money, but there's a Kindle, and a cloud, and a 600 multiple.

Oculus doesn't really have to do anything. This deal, as well as WhatsApp and Instagram, reinforces for tech up-and-comers that Facebook is the platform of choice, and Zuck is the acquirer of choice, a single individual with which to deal who leaves creative rich guys alone.

Guy Adami said on Tuesday's Fast Money that the most intriguing angle to him was, "They continue to use their stock as currency."

Tim Seymour initially agreed. "They're actually converting overpriced currency into underpriced assets," Seymour said.

But moments later, true to form, Seymour claimed the deal "concerns me at least ... that price is something, it's tard (sic) to justify."

But he just said they were converting overpriced currency into underpriced assets.

Steve Grasso singled out Instagram as a good Facebook move, that Instagram is sort of the company's brand now.

Brian Kelly said FB is becoming "a mini-Google if you will."

Pete Pachal, who happened to be on the set to talk about Google Glass, delivered an excellent off-the-cuff summary of Oculus, calling it "the opposite of the WhatsApp play" because it's a long-term concept, "probably at least 3 years" from anything significant.

"It's barely available yet," Pachal said.

Josh Lipton suggested Oculus' device could allow users to take a virtual tour of a hotel room they might choose.

Melissa Lee, preoccupied with the concept of whether Facebook is suddenly plunging into hardware (as if they're going to spend $10 billion manufacturing this stuff in fiscal year 2014), asked Jon Fortt if it's now a hardware company.

Fortt explained that "Oculus isn't really quite in any business yet."

Yet Jon Steinberg, who combined with Fortt, Lipton and Pachal to deliver an excellent impromptu analysis, told Lee, "They're in the hardware business with this thing."

But Steinberg conceded this is little more than a pricey concept. "The future could be radically different ... this is a bet on a totally different way of, of being in the world almost," Steinberg said.

The gut feeling here, and maybe it's just the recent social-media smackdown, is that this deal won't help FB shares this week, and will quickly be forgotten, and the next few earnings calls will center on Instagram and WhatsApp results.

Steve Grasso offered GOOG as his Final Trade but acknowledged that Facebook would be the talk of the airwaves Wednesday, and thus the stock is "tempting."

FB traded at half IPO price; TWTR still above

Meanwhile on Tuesday's Fast Money, there was talk of Twitter.

"I bought some in the low 50s," Brian Kelly reaffirmed, explaining he'd be looking to get out on a pop.

Tim Seymour said TWTR has had "slower and slower volume" of trading, and then claimed, totally inaccurately, "This is exactly the same thing that went into- (sic) went on in Facebook."

Steve Grasso explained TWTR's slump this way: "I think it traded down because you had your engaged users falling off a cliff," Grasso said.

Guy: IBM ‘extraordinarily shortable’

Thankfully Zuck was there with a deal to bail out a staggeringly weak episode of Fast Money on Tuesday.

It started with a discussion of IBM (the HTC phone 2nd go-round comes later), with Guy Adami, who used to constantly tell us about the guaranteed $20 EPS in 2015 and attaching a 12 multiple to it, declaring, "I think their business is floundering right now ... I think you sell it with both hands here."

Guy clarified that he finds IBM "extroardinarily shortable."

Steve Grasso said of HPQ, "They're starting to think about 3-D printing."

Tim Seymour had this exciting assessment of QCOM: "I'd be neutral ... I would not call this old tech."

Brian Kelly hailed CSCO and added, "I would also look to Juniper."

Guy Adami said CSCO, if it clears 23, could be like HPQ.

Steve Grasso revealed, "I'm long Qualcomm," in part for wearable technology potential.

HTC: Hardware company

Good grief.

Evidently a visit from HTC head phone cheerleader Jason MacKenzie 2 weeks ago wasn't enough.

Tuesday on Fast Money, MacKenzie roared back to tell Mel and the gang that "we're buildin' a foundation on a rock."

Curiously, MacKenzie claimed, "We're not trying to sell the most phones," but then gushed that they just had "over 5 million people log on to htc.com," which prompted Lee to ask how many bought a phone and MacKenzie to answer that they don't know yet.

Tim Seymour suggested to MacKenzie that "you're, you're, you're late to the party." But MacKenzie insisted HTC was doing smartphones before they were called smartphones, and then quoted LL Cool J, "don't call it a comeback."

Guy Adami said that at 525, AAPL "probably still has some upward room."

How come Mel didn’t ask Tom Werner 3-4 times if he’s in the hardware business?

SPWR chief Tom Werner paid a visit to the Nasdaq for Tuesday's Fast Money and was accorded as many pleasantries as Michael Burns or Dave Barger and given equally if not more opportunity to speak to how great his company and sector are.

"The difference this time is the fundamentals are solid ... we're diversified without the downside risk," Werner said.

"I love this stuff long-term," gushed Tim Seymour.

Brian Kelly said TSCO earnings growth may be slowing.

Guy Adami said of X, "I think it's still goin' higher."

Tim Seymour said WAG's Alliance Boots deal is working. (Bet they wish they'd spent the money instead on Oculus.)

Steve Grasso said of JOY, "I would use this as a selling opportunity."

Grasso said, "I'm still long Bank America (sic)."

Guy Adami said FIVE has 40% short interest.

Tim Seymour called King game company a "1-trick pony."

Seymour's Final Trade was POT. Brian Kelly said VXX, and Guy Adami said SYMC.

The Moochmeister accuses Judge of misstating his SEC point

Dominic Chu on Tuesday's Halftime Report delivered CNBC's coverage of the WSJ story about the SEC probing complex bond deals.

Anthony Scaramucci immediately pounced, suggesting the SEC doesn't really know what's going on, and what "they need to do is an 'Undercover Boss' move."

Judge at one point suggested it's "fair to bring up" this situation because of the "short memory" and "long memory" (that's correct, he said both) that people have of the financial crisis (apparently he was trying to justify why these types of deals should be hyper-scrutinized and inadvertently said "short memory" first even though some of the purveyors may indeed have short memories about the previous damage caused).

Anyway, Wapner told Scaramucci, "Sometimes more regulation is needed."

Scaramucci bristled, "I didn't say that. I, you know, you- you asked me if I was worried about it, I said I was, then you asked me about the regulatory dynamic, and I- what I'm telling you is there's a lot of misinformation, and a lack of understanding, and candidly, there's a lot of inexperienced regulators."

Scaramucci concluded, "The average person in our industry, the average professional, doesn't understand what a CLO is, or a CDO. What are the difference (sic) between the two."

Pete Najarian referred to the "financial crifis- (sic) crisis."

‘A lot of pent-up demand’ for IPOs of money-losing companies

Tuesday's Halftime crew was nonplussed by lingering stock-market sluggishness.

Pete Najarian pointed out that the "volatility index remains relatively low."

Stephanie Link cautioned that momentum names are great for going up, but "when they turn, they turn quickly." Nevertheless, she re-endorsed CELG, FB and PCLN. (This writer is long FB.)

Paul Hickey sat in briefly and opined that "overall the market is slightly overvalued," but seemed to stress that there's no bubble.

Anthony Scaramucci observed that demand for Box-like IPOs, where the company's got no profitability, are a sign of the "beginning stages of the end of the bull market." Scaramucci identified GOOG and FB as lofty names with real staying power.

Mike Murphy suggested the IPO interest merely reflects "a lot of pent-up demand."

Pete Najarian suggested everyone in the market is looking short-term now, citing "long-term value investors now who are becoming more and more traders ... almost each and every (sic redundancy) day."

Stephanie Link said "speed of the yield curve" (Drink) will be a big factor in the markets.

If we had a dollar for every mention of CELG or GILD in the last 7 days ...

Dr. Mark Schoenebaum, the fastest talker of Fast Money/Halftime guests, told Tuesday's Halftime Report that Josh Brown made a huge blunder with BIS the pain in the biotech sector won't last forever.

"I shouldn't do this because I'm gonna get, uh, I'm gonna get e-mails on this, but I think we're within 5% of the bottom or so," Schoenebaum said.

Schoenebaum insisted, "We need to put the pain in some kind of perspective," pointing out how big the gains have been in the last couple years, and then suggesting rotation from growth to value and sustainability of drug pricing (which he thinks is solid) as causes of the selloff.

He affirmed ETF activity "definitely had a role in it."

He said he likes GILD, but admitted, "I don't know where this biotech macro selloff is gonna end."

Schoenebaum also trumpeted CELG's management, specifically CFO Jackie Fouse. "She's one of the few people that thinks like investors," Schoenebaum said.

He said his top pharma picks are PFE and MRK.

Pete Najarian said he likes CELG, BIIB and AMGN.

Anthony Scaramucci said, "As a retail investor, I'd be very cautious" of the biotech space and recommended AMGN, MRK and PFE.

Scaramucci proved
a bit chippy

This time on the Halftime Report, Anthony Grisanti did not forget the last of the 3 reasons (further taper, higher rates, and uh-oh) he had for gold's "triple whammy."

Rather, on Tuesday, Grisanti argued that "it's not a kumbaya moment" in Crimea, and so gold has a catalyst, "I'd still want to get long right here."

Brian Stutland said the upside momentum in gold has slowed.

Mike Murphy added, "I'm looking for gold to go lower."

Anthony Scaramucci was most blunt, declaring, "This will be a bad year for gold." (And, he presumably thinks the SEC doesn't understand the gold trade as much as an undercover boss would.)

Anthony Scaramucci also lambasted the notion of mutual funds offering hedge fund strategies to regular investors, likening the combination of short-term liquidity and long-term alpha generation to ice cream and vinegar and predicting a "disaster" along the lines of 130-30.

Mike Murphy said he agrees "conceptually" with Scaramucci 100%, then added there are similar products he's used that he likes.

Incredibly, CNBC reduced Jane Wells (world's hippest business reporter) and Mary Thompson (Sister Golden Hair) to real estate hucksters, but that's the norm these days. (Actually we like Dolly Lenz, but can't figure out how this fits into serious business television.)

‘Maybe the Google Glass
wasn’t working’

Stephanie Link, who basically refuses to admit defeat in any Fast Fire, told Judge on Tuesday's Halftime Report that AEO plunged since January because the CEO stepped down, but now the chairman is doing some of the right things. "This is not a quick fix, but I think your downside is limited," Link said.

Link backed CSX; "I think it can still work."

Pete Najarian hailed DIS' deal; "I actually think they're getting this cheap right now."

Mike Murphy, opining on LUX, said "maybe the Google Glass wasn't working," but he'd wait for a bigger pullback in GOOG to get in.

Anthony Scaramucci found something he at least deemed moderately acceptable, WAG. "I like this name but I'd be in a hold," Scaramucci said.

Pete Najarian argued bullishly for TIF, conceding currency risk, but declaring global sales strong.

"On this selloff, I think now's the time to buy," Pete said.

Mike Murphy countered that the stock has gotten ahead of itself, and they lowered guidance.

Stephanie Link claimed, "They have fixed North America," and she backed Pete's argument, but urged viewers to let it "stabilize" in the mid-80s first.

Pete Najarian said May 105 calls in ASH were hot. "I am in," he said, and would "probably hold 2-3 weeks." Pete made ASH his Final Trade.

Anthony Scaramucci said CSCO. Mike Murphy said COG, and Steph Link said COST.

[Monday, March 24, 2014]

On the one hand it’s a lousy business; on the other hand the greatest companies are going to jump into it and take it over — Pachter

NFLX bull Mark Mahaney visited with Monday's Fast Money and painted a refreshingly different picture of the NFLX landscape than Michael Pachter's crybaby routine of Friday. (This writer has no position in NFLX.)

Mahaney said the cable TV streaming fees are just a "de minimis part of the cost structure," and the greater threat to Netflix would be a better "solution" to speed and packaging.

He listed AAPL, GOOG and AMZN as the 3 potential competitors, suggesting AMZN poses the most realistic threat, which is "unlikely to come from Apple."

Mel, who doesn't have her act together on this subject, never even asked Mahaney about Pachter's "Chinatown"-esque arguments (perhaps that's a sign of how seriously anyone takes them).

Guy Adami gets it, pointing out, "I don't think you can replicate what Netflix has put together," calling the stock the "most interesting it's been all year."

Mahaney said Netflix satisfaction levels are at 2½-year highs.

Tim Seymour ambiguously offered this trade: "I wouldn't bet against Netflix. I would bet on Apple."

Tim Seymour: People thought the iPod was going ‘nowhere’

We had always thought that the iPod is what returned Apple to prominence.

Not so, according to Tim Seymour, who told Mark Mahaney on Monday's Fast Money, "People thought that the iPod was, was, you know, a growth model that was- you know, trajectory nowhere."

What happened to S&P 1,600s?

Carter Worth revealed on Monday's Fast Money that he sees the Nasdaq tumbling, because of "how far above trend we are."

It's been a chart lacking an 8-10% correction for 18 months, no "defect," just "too much of a good thing."

Worth said the Nasdaq is home to much of the "euphoria" in stocks, and thinks/suggests it could trade to the middle of its long-term channel around 3,800.

Karen Finerman questioned what happens if it trades to the bottom of the channel. Worth said that would be a drop of 18% but not at all bad for these "overpriced tech names and biotech names" because it would build a stronger long-term base.

Karen’s back! And twice
delving into Options Action

Dennis Gartman told Monday's Fast Money that "China's moving towards freer markets," and as a result, "you've got me interested," at least in using ETFs for Chinese shares.

Gartman indicated there's sort of a "put" under Chinese stocks. Karen Finerman asked if that was an "at-the-money" put. Gartman said yes, at Monday's levels.

He predicted Chinese growth "north of 7%" and said China is "doing all of the right things at this point."

Dennis quite frankly seemed far happier about this market than perhaps he should've been, calling copper's resiliency "very impressive" and stating he'd rather be a buyer than seller.

And as for the broader market, "I think we're gonna break out to the upside again," Gartman said.

However, Dennis was content to let Tim Seymour, garrulous as ever, sift through the emerging market debris. "As my friend Don Cox says, emerging markets are markets that you cannot emerge from in an emergency," Gartman chuckled.

Brian Kelly suggested SCCO, X and AKS. Guy Adami chortled that Pete Najarian made fun of the steel in spring trade, but look at X.

Karen ‘getting close’ to buying

It's one of the more bizarre selloffs we've seen.

"What does Tesla have to do with biotech have to do with Chipotle," was Karen Finerman's question on Monday's Fast Money, and we don't have the foggiest answer.

Nobody seemed too worried. Tim Seymour told viewers there's no need to "run for the hills."

Brian Kelly asserted that bonds and copper didn't "confirm the weakness."

Guy Adami suggested the tail of the IBB is wagging the biotech dog; "it's been the ETF driving the weakness in the stocks."

Guy defended CELG. "I think the selloff is overdone," he said.

Finerman told Mel that biotech is "getting close" to a buying opportunity, and that she's been long IBB and XBI, painfully as that's been recently.

Finerman usurped Scott Nations' authority, pointing to someone buying out of the money IBB calls and selling put spreads (and/or vice versa).

Tim Seymour said he'd buy SCTY; "$60 is the level to hold."

Brian Kelly said he bought TSLA and TWTR.

Recall argument against Tesla direct sales fizzles (haven’t heard about an engine fire recently)

Jim Appleton, a spokesman for New Jersey car dealers, tried his luck at spinning the anti-Tesla case on Monday's Fast Money.

"The law is in place to protect consumers," Appleton explained, adding, "All you gotta do is look at General Motors."

At least a couple times, Appleton used the term "fox and chicken coop," implying that manufacturers have no incentive to issue and honor recalls, whereas the dealers do because the dealers get paid.

"The dealer is a consumer advocate," Appleton explained. (Boy, try convincing someone who's just been sold Tru-Coat finish when trying to close a sale.)

We're hardly experts in the car department, but it seems like, if any manufacturer issues a recall, there must be authorized shops for doing the repairs.

But whatever. Guy Adami said TSLA is a "very difficult stock to play from either side."

Brian Kelly admitted, "I thought it was gonna hold 225." It didn't, so he said he bought at 215, sensing "a little bit of upside here."


Evidently Ed Markey’s staff never gave him the memo about NUS

Josh Lipton reported on Monday's Fast Money that, surely to Steve Grasso's chagrin, Meg Whitman bungled whatever announcement is supposed to happen about HPQ and the 3-D space.

Guy Adami still predicted HPQ is due for the "next 8-10% move higher."

(Somewhere, Josh Brown was heard telling Judge that HPQ is actually the best-looking name in the 3-D space.)

Tim Seymour said SSYS must hold 107, or you have to get out.

Guy Adami called "Divergent" "like all these angst movies," before admitting he hasn't seen it, drawing a "lie" allegation from Melissa Lee. Adami noted LGF hasn't traded well for a while but asserted, "Once again you have a tradeable bottom here," and he thinks it can go from 27½ to the low 30s.

Karen Finerman said HLF got a boost from NUS getting only a "tiny fine." (Does anyone think Ed Markey's FTC probe is going to deliver anything worse?)

Brian Kelly said "I would stay away" from TIF.

Guy Adami said NBR "feels like it's breaking out to the upside."

Tim Seymour refreshingly admitted "I've been underwater for the last 6 months" in CHL but he thinks it's "still oversold."

Jon Fortt reported that Box filed a "really interesting S-1" and opined that this is the type of IPO you get in this market; "there's no sign of profits anywhere."

Seema Mody was twice called upon by Mel to deliver breaking news, on DIS' YouTube whatever deal and on SONC (Tim Seymour said he likes MCD). Mody wore her outstanding purple zipper dress; that picture above is a better angle from a different day.

Wonder if Doug Kass will write an e-mail accusing Mel of hyping brains

At first we thought Scott Phoenix of Vicarious would talk about some loopy type of technology on Monday's Fast Money similar to the robot project last week.

Instead, Phoenix delivered a very impressive summary of what Vicarious does, which is evidently "fundamental research on the way the neocortex functions" (some days around here, we only wish it did), and suggested a practical near-term use might be in handwriting recognition.

Tim Seymour suggested Vicarious might help traders with getting "emotional."

Mel said it will "be interesting to follow this company in the future." (Almost as bad as, "It'll be interesting to see ...")

Karen Finerman was asked whether JPM is better than BAC and gently upbraided the Twitterer. "The question is which is the better stock," Karen explained, stating BAC has both more upside and downside (which doesn't really answer the question she reframed for everyone).

Guy Adami said "I don't think anybody's gobbling up Twitter" (besides Brian Kelly), and now, "you have a level to trade against."

Tim Seymour said BX remains a buy on pullbacks.

Brian Kelly advised taking profits on VLO and said he likes ANDE again, which got Mel excited.

Guy Adami said he would expect a stock market drop in the 10-12% range, unlike Carter Worth's 8-10%.

By the end of the show, Karen had come around on IBB. "I would buy some call spreads right around here," Finerman said.

Tim Seymour's Final Trade was EWZ, "if it falls." Brian Kelly said CSCO. Karen Finerman said GOOG. Guy Adami said NFX.

Tim Seymour felt compelled during the sheep discussion to tell everyone that the song playing is "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For."

Why wasn’t a California senator calling for the HLF probe?

Carl Icahn on Monday's Halftime Report sounded up to speed on exactly why the Federal Trade Commission is suddenly launching an investigation of Herbalife at the urging of Sen. Edward Markey.

It's "based on what, uh, Ackman told 'em, or, whatever about certain- uh, certain, uh, people, that claimed that they were getting- uh, getting the (sic) hurt. And then you find out that that wasn't really accurate," Carl said.

Using perhaps not the most delicate terminology, Carl insisted on irony, stating that Herbalife actually creates jobs for the unemployed, "you talk about the Spanish, whatever."

Carl even insisted that while Ackman "took advantage of me in a deal ... I have no animosity anymore."

However, the rest of Carl's routine was the same-old/same-old, reaffirming to Judge that the one thing he wants to bequeath to this world is better corporate governance.

Especially at eBay, where management isn't doing what Icahn wants.

"Donahoe's a nice guy; that's the trouble in this country," Carl said, then faulting the board with "so many internecine things" going on.

Icahn also told Judge he thinks he has sold about half of his NFLX stake, but he wasn't sure.

Tim Cook thinks book critical of himself is ‘off the mark’

Steve Milunovich employed one of the magic words on Monday's Halftime Report as a catalyst for AAPL.

"Pent-up demand" (Drink), for the iPhone 6.

Milunovich did allow that March-June "could be a bit on the soft side" for Apple, which prompted a rightly frustrated Stephanie Link to wonder, when are you supposed to buy?

But Pete Najarian, thinking probably what the Baltimore Ravens were thinking a year ago at this time, suggested a repeat is in the works; "that tells me 2nd-half story again." But for now, even Pete conceded that the "stock's in a very tight range."

Josh Brown mumbled, "At the end of the day, there's nothing happening here."

Milunovich said there's a book out critical of Tim Cook's management. (Seriously? Someone actually wrote a book about that?) Milunovich said Cook calls the book "off the mark," and Milunovich said he agrees with that comment.

Grasso: S&P rebalancing
caused ‘exacerbation’ of selling

Josh Brown told Judge at the top of Monday's Halftime Report that there's been a "clear shift in sentiment" and that people are "de-risking."

But Pete Najarian indicated the VIX is still range-bound.

Steve Grasso suggested Monday's Nasdaq shellacking could be "follow through" from Friday's S&P rebalance and thus is an "exacerbation" of real sentiment.

Grasso shrugged off the hit to momentum names and asserted, "I'm more worried Scott about financials."

Stephanie Link claimed that it's a "healthy rotation" and said Cramer is not "plowing into" the beaten-down stocks just yet, but they like CELG and FB. (This writer is long FB.)

Link indicated a couple times her eagerness to buy soon, stating "you're washing out the weaker hands."

Josh’s playbook is toast

Dr. New World can forget about another challenger. (Simon is already hopeless, and Weiss more or less threw in the towel with his TWTR-to-cash move last week.)

Josh Brown, with as much chance as anyone to win Judge's 2014 Playbook Playoffs, on Monday's Halftime Report inexplicably announced "I went long the BIS" with a thesis that made not an ounce of sense.

It's our understanding that the panelists are allowed 5 sells and 5 buys during the year.

(That's correct, this type of contest and its strange restrictions have no relationship to actual stock-investing tactics. Because traders can only make a handful of moves all year, viewers are not getting their best portfolios. But it's still a mildly interesting scorecard of what the panelists like.)

Brown explained that he "got rid of Huntsman Chemical (sic)" (we never could figure out how that one made the cut in the first place) in order to add the BIS. The problem was, he predicted that biotechs would experience some sort of rebound — he's not sure when — and ultimately fail.

That doesn't make any sense for a contest such as this, in which 1) the instrument has just had a monster week, and 2) a double-levered instrument such as this is equally capable of experiencing a horrid couple days, which would prompt a quick loss and a short-term wasted trade.

Even if it works, Brown admits "this is not buyin' and holdin'," so he expects this one to be a quickie.

Nevertheless, "I gotta tell you," these stocks trading at 33 times seem pricey, Brown said.

With such a tiny amount of trades, short-term guessing is a terrible idea. They'll want to have a couple trades available to start buying retailers before Labor Day and steel stocks in early November.

Ever a good sport, Dr. New Land was detected tweeting praise for Brown's move. (It's a bungle, but nothing wrong with being nice.)

Pete Najarian said "the problem" with Brown's trade is that, like many ETFs, "it has to recalculate every day," so over time, there's a carrying cost. (And if Pete had included the UNG, we could've done a (Drink).)

Rather, Pete said the biotech crash is prompting him to "make a list" of stocks to buy, including BIIB.

Brown and Stephanie got a little snappy over GILD's valuation.

Brown tried to rationalize his BIS call, should it fail, with the greater social good. "If we're gonna have a bubble, I would rather have a bubble in biotech than in stupid social media stocks," Brown said. Which makes no sense.

Andrew Left seems to be winning the 3-D printing battle

Josh Brown argued against LGF on Monday's Halftime Report, declaring (we're not sure what the source is) that blockbuster movies experience on average a 60% dropoff in new viewers the 2nd weekend, and that "Divergent" is baked in; "the market is selling this news."

Stephanie Link sounded surprised that CSCO is discovering the cloud and said she would "stay away" from the stock.

Pete Najarian pointed to SSYS as being in "one of these toxic areas." That prompted Josh Brown to issue another head-scratcher/rewritten history on the 3-D space (which is still in the early innings), stating, "Stratasys has slowly emerged to be actually the best name in the group, better than 3-D."

"You thought 3-D was the best," snapped Judge, correctly so.

Brown's Final Trade was DBA. Stephanie Link said CSX, and Pete Najarian said JPM.

So, who might’ve leaked
Doug Kass’ e-mail to Judge?

It's the story heard round the business blogosphere.

Doug Kass penned a 5-page plea to CNBC at TheStreet.com on Monday in hopes of getting an invite for Larry Kudlow's farewell show.

And also, to purportedly set the record straight about the N.Y. Post article of Sunday, Aug. 18, that landed Kass on the CNBC banned list.

Kass has a fair gripe about the headline, "CNBC cheerleaders." His extended complaint, that Post writer Claire Atkinson failed to note that his gripe was with all business media and not just CNBC is disingenuous, given that the first quote in the article is, "My criticism is of the entire media business..."

That probably wouldn't have landed Doug more than a gentle e-mailed rebuke from Nik Deogun, except that Atkinson also got her hands on a Kass e-mail to Judge that stated: "Lee purchased only 31,000 shares of APPLE! ... I think your emphasis on Apple/Omega is hyperbolic and in the interests of good reporting you should quantify the importance of his Apple buy.”

Honestly, that was a silly gripe. Cooperman wasn't even on the show in question. In fact, here's what Judge actually said:

"I spoke with Lee Cooperman just a short time ago, sort of after we learned that Carl Icahn had taken this big new position. We learned in a filing that Lee Cooperman had gotten back into Apple albeit with a small position, but he told me he agrees with Carl Icahn that Apple is cheap, he said he got in, back in in the low 400s, and he thinks this new iPhone is gonna create some buzz."

While it's unclear when Kass' e-mail was sent, presumably it went out the day of that program, which was Wednesday, Aug. 14. Kass writes Monday: "Apparently (before the story was published), someone on the CNBC staff forwarded a personal email (without my permission) that I had sent specifically to 'Fast Money: Halftime Report's' Scott Wapner (which was CC'd to the other panelists) to the reporter at the New York Post ..."

So, who were the other "panelists"? You see them in the photo above. It's also important to note that Kevin Landis was the featured guest of the Apple discussion. Maybe Landis also got the cc; maybe not.

It's important to note that Kass' statement here is ambiguous. He states that the e-mail was forwarded by "someone on the CNBC staff," which strongly implies a staffer who is not on the air, but then he makes a point of noting the e-mail was cc'd to other panelists. (Notice he does not say if anyone else beyond that group received it.)

So it's anyone's guess who shipped the e-mail to the Post. It figures to be either 1) someone who dislikes Wapner or Kass, or 2) someone who agrees with Kass that CNBC's coverage is poor.

Late Monday, we've suddenly heard that CNBC brass is ... we'll say "alarmed," but that's not the exact term ... that Kass has taken this grievance public.

More from Monday's Halftime and Fast Money later.

What’s wrong with this picture?

It's come to our attention that we've heard almost nothing about Maria Bartiromo's daily Fox Business show.

We did a search of Bartiromo in recent news headlines and discovered, surely to no one's surprise, that basically no articles have been written about Bartiromo's "Opening Bell."

The L.A. Times and Media Bistro wrote profiles in late February about the show's debut.

The New York Times, New York Post and New York Daily News all took a pass.

A brand new TV show, and utterly no one is talking about it.

Presumably because, no one is actually watching it.

What — besides nothing — is going on here?

We decided to watch Friday's installment and see for ourselves.

That image above is from the opening. Note the 2 instant problems. Ghastly graphics (what's that thing behind the right side of Maria's head), and a studio more sterile than the O.R. at Sloan-Kettering. (Say what you will for Englewood Cliffs, but that's the Playboy Mansion compared to the Fox Business HQ.)

Maria unfortunately also looks chalky. Either the lights are wrong, or makeup blew it.

The 2-hour program featured one guest we'd actually heard of, Ian Bremmer (and if someone had asked us beforehand for Bremmer's job description, we wouldn't have had a clue), who did a fine job and, unlike Bartiromo's typical CNBC guests, actually got to do the majority of the talking.

As Bartiromo promised in February, the interviews were longer (Bremmer got about 9 minutes, not including a commercial in between) and devoid of the 5-mugshot format of CNBC; it's Maria and guest alone. Fair enough, but given the soundproof nature of this studio, these conversations feel timeless and more like talk-show material, and this program feels inescapably like Katie Couric doing the CBS evening news (except a lot of people actually saw that).

And, if you somehow watched Friday (as if) and actually thought Bartiromo seemed enthusiastic, then you probably thought Peyton Manning was gung-ho about the second half of the Super Bowl. ("Do you know where your money is?!?!!" has been replaced by "Happy Friday. This is the 'Opening Bell'.")

When Maria's not on camera, Fox Business clearly aims to score points with a pretty woman around every corner delivering market updates.

This can't possibly be destination television. (Admit it, you haven't watched this show yet, and have no plans to do so.)

We're well aware that business television appears to be a shrinking pie as audiences fragment into multiple channels and Web alternatives. Nevertheless, Fox Business has upside if it would just upgrade its ticker; no one channel-surfing is going to stop there. Honestly, we shouldn't be helping them out (ought to be billing here for the free advice), but probably the quickest way to get a spike is to put stock-pickers on there every 5 minutes, spend a lot of time on gold and Treasurys also.

Fox Business is a strange amalgamation of CNN-style interviews and Fox News assertiveness helmed by former (but now higher-paid) CNBC personalities.

Given that, Kelly Evans, Carl Quintanilla, Cramer and the Squawk team never looked so good.

At least viewers of Bartiromo's show Friday did not come up emptyhanded. We learned the stunning NYSE reporter is Nicole Petallides (below), who gets a couple hits an hour. (Her first, believe it or not, reported on a note from Art Cashin.)

[Friday, March 21, 2014]

Bawling like a baby:
Michael Pachter

It's borderline pathetic.

Michael Pachter hates Netflix. And he takes that personally. Apparently not (based on what he has said) because the company has wronged him in some way ... but because stock market players have bought more of the stock than Pachter predicted they would.

So, we have here what psychologists call "projection." (Possibly. Don't be a knucklehead and start rendering medical opinions.)

Pachter spoke with Friday's Fast Money to both gloat about Netflix's bad day and then complain that it wasn't worse because of "apologists" for the stock.

Sounding like the kid who picks on another kid on the block, then when that doesn't work starts seeking help from bigger kids, Pachter first claimed that Verizon and then Amazon would set Netflix's stock price back to where Pachter thinks it should trade.

Pachter even exulted that if Reed Hastings is crying now, "He's gonna be bawling like a baby" when Verizon gets through with him.

Oh boy.

Bet Reed's scared.

Is this guy for real?

Pachter's anti-Netflix thesis (aside from, it's GOT to go down because I've been saying for years that it's worth about $50) on Friday was expressed as, "I'm certain that every Internet service provider ultimately is going to charge because they can," and that rather than Comcast being the worst of it, "if anything they were probably more charitable" because Comcast is trying not to rock the boat with its TWC deal under review.

Except moments later, we found out that the Net Neutrality argument really is NOT Pachter's thesis after all.

Rather, "The worm is gonna turn when Amazon decides to, to spin off Prime Instant Video as a stand-alone video service and charge half as much as Netflix charges," Pachter said, suggesting the Prime price hike (funny how neither Pachter nor anyone else is saying what Prime SHOULD cost) is 1) not just a smokescreen and 2) is going to launch Amazon's REAL end game, which is streaming movies. (And 3, it sounds like Pachter is running Amazon now.)

Oh really.

And when do Hulu and Google (and Apple according to Jon Najarian) knock off Netflix as well?

Here's a question for Pachter that the brass-less Fast Money crew failed to ask: If this is such a lousy business, with these massively rising costs for content and massively rising Internet-streaming fees that will make Reed "bawl" ... why is Amazon going to spin off Prime and charge users only half as much?

(See, Pachter's price target for AMZN is nearly double his target for NFLX.)

Pachter tried to explain why NFLX has gone up, and didn't crash further Friday, despite his genius analysis: "Most of my competitors are apologists for anything bad that happens to Netflix." So that's the bear case? That "apologist" analysts have made the stock worth more than twice what it should be worth?

Get real. Get a life. Grow up. It's amazing anyone would pay for this b.s.

(This writer has no position in NFLX.)

Pete Najarian said he'd be "inclined to be a little bit short right now" in NFLX (see, that's because the stock fell Friday).

Steve Grasso bought some
BAC shares for $16.33

Steve Grasso said on Friday's Fast Money that higher interest rates are used "as an excuse to sell," and said there was an S&P reweighting Friday, so "a lot of moves today were exacerbated."

Brian Kelly said people were trading out of high fliers into steel, MSFT and CSCO.

Guy Adami said something's clearly been going on with CELG, though "I don't think the story's broken."

Pete Najarian slickly claimed that he was sort of adding to BAC without really expressly stating such, explaining that during the banks' recent run you should've been "repositioning yourself for more" (translation: Those lucky enough to be measuring their risk in the options market and not being among the 95% losing money should've been smart enough to transition from the shorter-term calls into the longer-term ones when the shorter-term price was high and the longer-term was lower) and conceding that in doing so, he intends to make more money, even though "today I clearly didn't on the Bank of America position."

Guy Adami questioned if it's "more of an ETF driving the individual names," at least in biotech.

Steve Grasso said "I wanna buy more Bank of America" but claimed he hasn't because the selloff hasn't been big enough, while adding a Brag Trade; "I bought my 2nd leg at 16.33."

Pete did claim he added to his GS position.

Brian Kelly feebly said that TWTR and FEYE held key levels (probably because he has endorsed them recently).

The 2014 bull market is reminding us a bit of Super Bowl 40 (that's the second "1" in Seattle's 1-1 Super Bowl record); it should be a romp, but it's determined to make it as rough as possible on its fans.

Pete racks up another appearance

Steve Grasso said on Friday's Fast Money that the dust is far from settled on Tesla's bid to sell cars without dealers.

"I don't think this fight is near over," Grasso said, before launching into the "Chinatown" routine (it's a battery company/it's a tech company) and suggesting it's a buy once it holds 225 for a couple days.

Brian Kelly added to that conversation that "I think 225 holds."

Pete Najarian said he bought TIF.

BIIB chief George Scangos, whose interview promoted by CNBC promised far more than what was delivered, first told Mel that he thinks GILD "acted responsibly," so who knows what the government's irked about.

Scangos said much of BIIB's profits come from MS treatment, but they're hopeful about contributing in the hemophilia space.

Guy Adami said that, given what's happened with the sector, you have to give BIIB a couple days to possibly fall further, but insisted "it's not that expensive."

Pete Najarian concurred with the "low 20s" forward P.E. and said he likes the BIIB pipeline.

John Harwood said NSA spying has been "embarrassing" to both the White House and Silicon Valley. (But not as embarrassing as the Duke game.)

Steve Grasso got to make the Spring Break trade, a feature that has been an absolute bust and will continue to be until we see Mel, who wore a smokin' dress Friday (see below), in a bikini (Stop that now, it's your 2nd warning), recommended CCL, because "historically April is a great month for cruise lines."

Grasso also mentioned LVS, and then made WYNN his Final Trade on that theme.

Pete Najarian said KO weekly 39.50 calls were hot, so that was his Final Trade.

Brian Kelly's Final Trade was supposed to be SCCO, but he changed it to nat gas long, to spite Grasso for suggesting shorting nat gas in a seasonal trade vs. CCL.

Guy Adami's Final Trade was MON.

Brian Sullivan: ‘There’s a big
debate internally about the better Fast Money show’

After Judge's tech glitch became too much to bear, the reins of Friday's Halftime were handed over to the impromptu pairing of Brian Sullivan and Mel.

Sullivan, who knocked one out of the park in this pinch-hitting role, began noting the "live bump-in of the CNBC newsroom," gave Mel a hard time about Harvard, and then really got her dander up with a joke about NCAA-bracket lying.

Mel didn't have much ready in the repertoire, repeating Thursday's line about whether the banks can now meet dividend-increase expectations.

Sullivan then launched a broadside into sensitive territory, telling viewers, "There's a big debate internally about the better Fast Money show, the noon show, the 5- I, I'm agnostic."

Lee seemed to be somewhat expecting this and said, "You fill me in ... I think you're getting in deep water here."

"There's no scripts, I love it," said Sullivan.

John Harwood actually crowed about Duke hitting a couple of early 3-pointers (snicker).

Brian Sullivan cautioned that biotech tends to have "very binary outcomes."

Mel said consolidation has been a theme for a while in the TV space.

Rick Santelli said the key for bonds is "which side of 2.75 the 10s close on, and maybe more important, which side of 1.90 the 5-years close on." (Count us in the below-2.75 camp.)

Santelli was asked if 3.5% on the 10-year by year-end is feasible. "I personally find it very difficult to think," Santelli said.

Judge short-circuited
by the NYSE gaffers

We kept hearing the clicking and buzzing, and wondering if it was the CNBCfix HQ TV set (again).

But no. Judge reported early on Friday's Halftime, "We're having some technical issues."

Before Judge got preempted by Englewood Cliffs, Pete Najarian (yep, he was on again) crowed that things are great in big-cap tech and also crowed, "Look at those regional banks."

Jon Najarian chided Judge for addressing market fears. "If we worried all the time we wouldn't invest," Doc said, while predicting BAC north of 20 "perhaps" by July.

Mike Murphy called MSFT "the really interesting one" but said AAPL is not working.

Pete Najarian agreed and said the key for AAPL is "whether or not (sic redundancy) they're gonna use the money in the right way to get that growth."

Paul Richards defended Yellen like you wouldn't believe, stating, "I think the market is jealous of the fact that the Fed is reading the economy better than your average commentator on Wall Street."

Pete Najarian grilled Richards on what stocks will do if the 10-year surges over 3% (snicker). "I think stocks can go up and yields can go up," Richards said, adding that if stocks only go up 10% in 2014 and not 25%, "I don't have a problem."

Mike Murphy said CELG (sic) would be great at 70. (Undoubtedly he meant GILD.)

Pete Najarian said "there's an opportunity here" in NKE but he does see a "little more room to the downside," so he thinks "75 is where you get in" and even get more upside than in UA.

Jon Najarian lambasted SYMC's brass, stating, "You can't just be flipping people in and out of these roles ... I blame the board a lot for this latest fiasco."

Mike Murphy said he's not that high on CAT but it seems to reflect the global growth story.

Doc said July 120 calls in MON were hot, and that "ethanol futures are up 41% in the last 3 months." Thus, MON became Pete's Final Trade while Jon picked PEIX.

Paul Richards said, "The euro's going down, 1.35."

Rates 19% ‘20 years ago’

Once Judge's crew got re-plugged in for Friday's Halftime, Diana Olick finally got her close-up in the "heart of D.C.," where there's "still a lot of rental demand" as there is seemingly everywhere.

Judge welcomed not Dolly Lenz, but Dottie Herman, who said there's limited supply and low rates nationwide in housing, and in 20-30 of the nation's biggest cities, it's "cheaper to buy than rent."

Herman also stated, inaccurately we're pretty sure, "about 20 (sic) years ago, the rates were 17% — or 19."

Jon Najarian said he likes WY, RDN and MTG.

Mike Murphy suggested IR and ALLE.

Judge tried to get everyone to endorse builders. Pete Najarian said the builders may not have "oomph" right now, but he likes WHR, SHW and MHK.

Bill Pulte cautioned that "interest rates will have a big impact on housing ... I am a little bit worried."

He also suggested most housing plays are going sideways; "I don't really know where you make money right now."

Bob Wetenhall said, "We would be buyers today on Lennar below 40," and touted Pulte (PHM, not Bill Pulte), and said "KBHome at $18 is an excellent entry point."

Mike Murphy's Final Trade was PBR.

[Thursday, March 20, 2014]


This site has always said careful now we're dying to see Missy in a bikini.

That didn't happen on Thursday's Fast Money, but here's what they gave viewers instead. (Hey, it's their show, and this is what they decided to put on the air; we just report it.)

That "teaser" ushered in a round of "wild" spring break picks, starting with Guy Adami choosing X for "any incremental strength" in steel, in which case "this is a $30 stock."

Brian Kelly said BBRY, Pete Najarian said HD and Jon Najarian said DECK.

Meanwhile, Jon Najarian railed against coal, stating he caught a falling knife. "I beg you, stay away from these stocks," Najarian said, but Brian Kelly, always trying to play contrarian whether he actually believes it (snicker) or not, said he bought CLF and might buy KOL.

Mike Khouw repeated the VLO options smash of the 57.50/65 call spread that Pete Najarian already discussed at Halftime. #whenOptionsActioncollideswiththeNajarians'CNBCschedule

Doc ‘aggressive’ in MS

Thursday's Fast Money crew tripped all over itself in the rush to make the next bank-stock endorsement.

Jon Najarian said the banks are one trade where "I would be willing to hold it for a long time," in his case, a week, and pointed out the difficult in predicting interest rate moves, faulting Pimco for "some of the worst timing in history" in that endeavor.

Doc said he was "very aggressive buying in Morgan Stanley today."

Guy Adami said he would "absolutely add" to C, which has a "lot more room on the upside."

Brian Kelly waffled, saying he doesn't think Thursday was a sell-the-news day on the stress tests, but that he'd prefer a pullback.

Pete Najarian thundered that he's doubtful there will be a bank pullback.

Pete referred to Guy Adami as "Italian-Armenian." (At least he didn't call him "Yardelli" (see below).) Guy predicted the "trajectory" of ZION will probably be higher, and even made it his Final Trade.

A bit frustrated, Kelly started shouting that he'd enthusiastically buy banks "if somebody can tell me what the next catalyst is."

Jon Najarian, without identifying one, assured, "There's a lot of catalysts here for the banks."

Nobody brings up the possibility of a sub-2.0% 10-year

There's no better stress-test guest than The Dickster.

Dick Bove, who now hangs his hat at Rafferty Capital, told Thursday's Fast Money that banks are at "all-time record earnings" and have a "significant opportunity" to double in time.

Bove mentioned BAC, "I still think the stock is gonna go to 30."

Guy Adami was the voice of caution here, pointing out the "new world that we're in" regarding Volcker Rules, etc., which Bove acknowledged while nevertheless taking a page from Joe's textbook predicting a capex boom in 2014 as well as an "M&A explosion this year."

Bove also asserted that M2 supply is on the rise, so expect a "staggering amount of money" being transferred to financial instruments.

Evidently Alibaba doesn’t own any copper used as collateral in the shadow-banking system

Aswath Damodaran, one of our favorite Halftime Report guests, took his Sunday punch to Fast Money on Thursday and suggested Alibaba's valuation is a hype machine.

"I'm just amazed," said Damodaran, that people can value the company with so little data, and in fact he sees the same keywords popping up in reports: "Every one of them was constructed around 1 word: China ... there's nothing more to the story right now."

Damodaran further grumbled that the projected Alibaba valuation seems based on "premiums on top of premiums," and that he's regularly seeing the words "China," "disruption" and "strategic considerations" in the analyses.

But he wouldn't be surprised if the shares "popped to 200 billion."

Pete Najarian added, "I still think there's upside to Yahoo," and speculated Alibaba will reach "probably 150 billion or more on the open."

Guy Adami said that if Yahoo holds 35½ or 36, it's going higher, and will hit 40 if Alibaba reaches $200 billion.

Mel changes hairstyle, caught doing hair flip again, but looks great

Hibbett sporting goods chief Jeffry Rosenthal proved himself not the most glib person in the universe on Thursday's Fast Money, to the point Mel sort of got bored just talking with him.

Rosenthal stressed that Hibbett prefers more rural-type areas (if that's a reasonable term), those with county populations of 25,000-75,000, and is into the team uniform space.

Lee complained that Hibbett's ecommerce platform seems "nascent."

Rosenthal didn't really disagree but stressed that they "still have so much growth ahead of us just in stores," implying the ecommerce angle doesn't really count for much, which is sort of our opinion on sporting goods at least in terms of margin.

Guy Adami suggested that you can play HIBB from the long side against 56½.

Goldman Sachs = Heather Bellini

Guy Adami admitted on Thursday's Fast Money he's been wrong about Symantec (obviously REALLY wrong), conceding the stock "can't get out of its own way" as Steve Bennett exits.

Jon Najarian opined, "Something is really rotten here" and introduced the possibility that for SYMC, there could be "complete buffoons on this board."

Brian Kelly endorsed MSFT, stating, "I still think it has room to run."

Pete Najarian said MSFT has "44 in our sights."

Guy Adami chimed in that there are "many catalysts right now for Microsoft."

Jon Najarian made it unanimous by mocking Goldman Sachs (but not the name he really wanted to say) for dubbing MSFT a "sell sell sell since the 20s folks."

Amit Daryanani haggled with Mel over whether the 3-D industrial printing space is really $10 billion or $10 trillion or even just $14 million. Daryanani apparently has just a market perform 33 target on HPQ.

Sam Poser explained that NKE's problem is "really about the emerging markets."

Brian Kelly got Fast-Fired over FEYE and like every good Fast-Fire denier reported, "I actually bought a little bit more today."

Pete Najarian trumpeted FFIV in that space.

Pete's Final Trade was UA. Brian Kelly said ELX (just "buy" this time). Jon Najarian said MS.

This is why this page always says we can’t handle more than 3, but perhaps we should lower it it to 2

Anthony Grisanti started to tell Judge and sizzling Jackie DeAngelis on Thursday's Halftime Report that he thinks the gold rally is not over, and that it just experienced a "triple whammy of bad news."

That triple whammy, per Grisanti, was "further taper, the prospect of higher interest rates, and uh, what was the 3rd one, out there, uh, what was going on- I'm sorry, I'm lost there."

He could've done like Natali Morris this week and reported a "brain fart," but he didn't.

Jim Iuorio, on the other hand, said "I think you wanna be short gold," and rather than get in trouble with 3 original thoughts stuck to the tried-and-true no-brainer of Fast Money/Halftime Report, "at the end of the day."

Jon Najarian practically scoffed at gold, stating it "has given up March already," and along with silver, "I think both go lower from here."

Josh Brown suggested gold pops when global trouble happens, then can't sustain it, so "why don't you sell calls" when that happens?

Doc gloated about how great GDXJ was for the first 2½ months of the year but says "it was time to hit the exits."

Judge figured he had to mention Rick Perry, but did it in a clumsy, weak, unimpressive and unfunny way.

Judge actually flags one of his panelists for bogusness

Let's hope this is more like the real Sheriff Judge we're going to see from now on.

Jon Najarian on Thursday's Halftime Report tried to claim that XONE is a 3-D printing name you shouldn't buy, and that the long-awaited HPQ entry in the space is "bad for everybody perhaps but 3-D Systems."

Judge, to his credit, immediately questioned why DDD would get special treatment, but first Josh Brown interrupted to say XONE has specific problems beyond HPQ, namely that it's not in the same space but that the management's "terrible."

Eventually, Najarian's argument seemed to be that DDD has already taken a "$40 haircut" and thus is presumably more immune (somehow) to HPQ wading into the sector.

Suddenly the most famous
60 bips of all time

Josh Brown, intentionally or not, picked up on Thursday's Halftime where Paul Hickey left off on Wednesday's Fast Money.

Brown shrugged off Wednesday's selloff as "really only 60 basis points."

Once again, that got Steve Grasso going, to the point of an inaccurate use of "irony."

Referring to his brief Halftime appearance a day earlier, Grasso told Judge, "The irony (sic) of it was, we were exactly where we're at right now," which apparently is a bearish sign, because "I don't see any new highs."

Grasso said bulls "have to make a great case" for an extended rally.

Pete Najarian wasn't looking in the rear-view mirror at all, telling Judge, "Look at those financials just take off today."

Pete added that "cheap names still have plenty of upside to go."

Seema Mody demonstrates why she (virtually) made our Mount Rushmore of CNBC Hair

Rick Rieder told Judge on Thursday's Halftime that Janet Yellen actually did it right, stressing the markets not focus on "the dots per se."

Rieder also knocked the reaction to the clumsy "6 months" comment. "I don't think there was a lot of, uh, of meaning to the 6 months quite frankly," he said.

Rather, it makes sense that the Fed is weighing multiple criteria, and "I think interest rates in the front end of the curve are too low ... Long TIPS we actually think are attractive."

Jon Najarian at one point said global pressures could keep U.S. rates low for a while. Josh Brown came through in the drinking game, stating, "The key is how quickly are they going up, and for what reason." (Double drink)

2,014 in 2014 still a go

Ed Yardeni, who we think was the first to say 2,014 in 2014 last year, told Judge on Thursday's Halftime, "I think it's still a bull market," and reaffirmed "2,014 by the end of 2014."

Like Rick Rieder, Yardeni defended Yellen, suggesting she was "somewhat, uh, misunderstood."

Josh Brown said that while the Dow has been rising, the "strangest inefficiency" in the market is financials trading at 7-8 times forward earnings with rates expected to rise. (And then again, maybe rates really aren't expected to rise much.)

Stephanie Link said it's been "years" since financials led the market.

Pete Najarian referred to "Yardelli (sic) and I" and gushed about tech. Josh Brown offered EMC, stating that if it breaks through 28-29, "there are no sellers."

Still wondering why Michael Burns didn’t mention the SEC disclosure case; perhaps he didn’t want to spike the ball before the touchdown

Jon Najarian made a bull case for LGF on Thursday's Halftime apparently "because of "Ender's Game'," as well as, incredibly, "Expendables 3." (Hey, we liked the Rocky marathon last week on AMC too, but let's not get over our skis.)

Josh Brown, on the other hand, claimed "Technically it's almost broken," and if you're long, you "better pray it holds on" to that 28 support.

"'Divergent' is not the next 'Hunger Games,'" Brown claimed.

In a shocker, Pete Najarian said, "I gotta go with John, and here's why: It's all about content," but then Pete, who had obviously prejudged the case, said no one mentioned that "they reduced the debt."

Judge reminded viewers to vote and "use eye-ther (sic) the hashtag bull or the hashtag bear." And when done, they could use another pot of Starbucks House Blend in the EC cafeteria.

Josh Brown said he likes IMAX over DIS; "this is the one you buy."

The curious thing about the article is all the names that aren’t mentioned

Judge on Thursday's Halftime Report said he saw an article in "the (sic) USA Today" citing one online research firm as identifying 4 stocks with CNBC-size market cap that are doomed to plunge: DNKN, LNKD, AOL and EA.

Josh Brown said, "I think they're right about AOL," but he disagrees that DNKN should be on the list.

Jon Najarian said he too disagrees with DNKN, but disagrees even more on LNKD, citing Japan and China potential. "Have at it folks, but I don't wanna bet against that," Doc said.

Stephanie Link wasn't buying LEN; "I would actually fade these stocks."

But Pete Najarian later contended that "many of these names still have plenty of upside."

Josh Brown wasn't sold on KBH; "there's no follow-through here." Link said that in "May to August ... these stocks underperform."

Pete Najarian said someone was buying VLO September 57.50 calls and selling September 65 calls and revealed, "I am in this; I love this name."

Stephanie Link said Cramer just bought CVX and added APC.

Judge takes the whole panel outdoors to look at a golf towel

Out on Wall Street, Judge alerted viewers of Thursday's Halftime Report that "we have literally (sic unnecessary) gone outside," as if they couldn't figure that out on their own.

The purpose was for Judge to sift through a box of golf-shop tokens courtesy of Keith Bolognese, who described his "Birdiebox" notion as a "monthly subscription" program in which you get $100 worth of stuff for $44.95 (according to the Web site, it's $500 for a whole year).

Of course, nobody on the panel nor Judge asked how they arrive at the $100 value (translation: We're probably talking infomercial standards here).

Honestly, the last thing we want to do is dissuade folks from golf, but the notion that 1) anyone needs $100 of golf stuff every month (other than greens fees) and 2) especially when it's stuff you don't specifically request seems a bit as likely as a double-eagle.

Bolognese said he's got "a little over 500 subscribers" but admitted people were a "little skeptical at first."

Josh Brown's Final Trade was to avoid LGF. Stephanie Link said DFS. Jon Najarian said FTK.

[Wednesday, March 19, 2014]

Fast Money crew sounds like they don’t want their viewers getting IPO allocations

Mel seemed skeptical on Wednesday's Fast Money that Barry Schneider's Loyal3 offering IPO access to non-rich guys does anything to advance society.

Lee questioned if those shares really end up in "strong hands," but Schneider asserted that "98% have held on Day 1, and 90% are holding after Day 30."

Lee, who's still trying to get Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to explain why he picked Amazon over eBay (wouldn't you?), pushed back, "That doesn't seem to be superior saying it's just as good."

Schneider said it's not typical retail investors; rather, "our retail is more sticky."

Dan Nathan pointed to FB as "Exhibit A" for what happens when IPOs are overdistributed; "retail got too much of it."

But Schneider said those tend to be rich guys who want to flip and his platform is different; "we're talking about everyday Americans."

Josh Brown wondered if those people with $100 to spend shouldn't just be in index funds. Schneider started to answer but a couple other panelists interrupted with good questions, eventually Schneider simply had to say Loyal3 was proud to get the deals it's had and has "a lot more stocks coming."

Mel spent most of the program mugging for the camera with her new straight haircut, which looked good.

Dan Nathan seems offended at guest’s dismissal of a 60-bip drop

Paul Hickey introduced an intriguing finding (assuming it's true) to Wednesday's Fast Money, explaining that his staff is constantly looking up seasonal stock trends as one element in the approach, and has found that for this week and next, 2 stocks have outperformed 100% of the time over the last 10 years.

Those 2 are NFLX and DLTR.

Hickey said GME, THC and PRGO are close, having outperformed 90% of the time.

Guy Adami called GME the "most interesting" of the list.

That launched Josh Brown into a segue that had nothing to do with seasonal trends, arguing that WMT already tried the used-video-game idea in 2009, and that Toys R Us and Best Buy also tried and failed.

Dan Nathan seemed to think Hickey was underrating Janet Yellen's performance. "She took some big gulps" before mentioning 6 months, Nathan said, and "that did not instill confidence."

Nathan even scoffed, "It's almost complacent to be complacent about the 60-bip move."

Josh Brown basically backed Hickey, stating that if you've made a practice of shorting the market every time the Dow falls 100 points on a Fed day, "You have been carried out of this market feet-first already so many times."

Brown called DLTR the most interesting of Hickey's list.

Josh Brown’s tech-giant analogy makes no sense

Colin Gillis visited Wednesday's Fast Money not to talk about Research in Motion for a change to declare the End of the Apple Empire.

Gillis asserted the growth is gone, and in devices, "The price gap continues to widen while the functionality gap continues to narrow."

Josh Brown said, absurdly, that what Gillis was saying could've been said about MSFT 2 years ago, which it couldn't have, because MSFT has sucked pretty much the entire century while AAPL has basically owned the entire century until recently.

Tim Seymour chimed in that AAPL is "interesting on the charts."

Gillis said it's not the worst stock of all time, but he'd need a pullback to "get more excited."

Melissa Lee suggested Gillis views the stock as "essentially dead money," which Gillis affirmed.

Reaching for contrarian-ness, Dan Nathan claimed Samsung phones are "hunks of junk" and insisted "there's gotta be something" AAPL can do to exploit that, perhaps, as Nathan suggested, using the Amazon model with iTunes, and "I would lower the prices." (Except Amazon just raised Prime, for which no one on Fast Money/Halftime will declare the correct price.)

Tim Seymour noted that Steve Grasso just a day ago called AAPL done, and "I don't get it."

Seymour called Apple's Chinese prospects "a lottery ticket" (is he sure it's not pegged to copper supplies?) and insisted, "China's not in this valuation."

Josh Brown agreed with Seymour, calling AAPL "more of a buy than a sell."

S&P would be subtracting far more than 11 if Janet was speeding up rate hikes

Melissa Lee claimed at the top of Wednesday's Fast Money that Janet Yellen sent "shock waves" through the stock market with her reference to 6 months and "that type of thing."

Tim Seymour piled on, stating, "It's more confusing than ever," and it sounds like the Fed is "just kind of going with the flow," but that doesn't stop him from calling FDX, CMI and R a buy.

Guy Adami suggested Seymour was being a bit kind in his description, and "I think the Fed is absolutely winging it."

But Adami saw a silver lining, an old favorite of the Fast Money/Halftime crew (going back to the days a couple years ago when Joe and Pete insisted that once it crossed $5 it would start getting bought by all the institutional buyers with strong hands), explaining, "I think the risk/reward for Citi for the first time in a long time sets up really well."

Josh Brown observed that "the yield curve flattened," and there was a "rip" in the dollar/yen.

Dan Nathan said "XLU got nailed" and opined, "You can press EEM here."

Tim Seymour said, "I think you sell gold, I think you sell the miners," but unlike Nathan predicted that EEM would trade in the 37½-40 range.

Let’s try to take the West Wing to court over an RSX rip, that will go far

Tim Seymour, making no sense but showing his age, claimed on Wednesday's Fast Money that Jay Carney "sounded a little bit like Art Carney to me" in calling Russian stocks a short.

"I think it's absurd," said Seymour, who questioned, "Is the government a registered investment adviser here?"

Seymour also suggested the reaction in Russia to such comments. "They're laughing at this," Seymour said.

Josh Brown said the announced sanctions are nothing, "They really don't care."

Guy Adami returned to the denouncing-of-Carney trade, pointing into the camera and stating, "If you're short Russia on the back of that, and it rips in your face, you should sue Carney and the entire- and the White House staff," adding Carney's comments were "R-O-N-G" (sic).

Tim Seymour claimed, "This is emblematic of how the U.S. does not know how to handle this situation and has been totally overmatched."

Now, let's think about that for a moment.

Here we have a Soviet satellite state that for a decade or more has wrestled with "do we really wanna be with Russia, or can we be like Poland?"

In what seems like the permanent outcome, it's gonna be Poland, minus the Crimea.

It's kinda like complaining that we rode AAPL all the way from $8 and then sold at $650 instead of $700.

Guy likes fruit on the bottom

Tim Seymour said on Wednesday's Fast Money that China is scarier than what Yellen said, in fact it's "absurd" to put too much stock into Yellen's waffling.

Guy Adami grudgingly admitted, "China I think is scarier," but couldn't resist a swipe at the central bank, which he called "one of the most destructive groups in the history of the United States."

Josh Brown suggested that if China would just stop clinging to the 8% notion and maybe reset to 6%, "the market will exhale."

Meanwhile, Dannon yogurt chief Mariano Lozano tinkered with the standard lexicon, claiming "We treat America as an emerging market" which still has "huge potential," and noted that yogurt just got included in the WIC program.

Josh Brown wasted everyone's time with one of those "clowngrade" explanations, carping that Goldman Sachs had been good with FSLR but missed the fact recently that First Solar has been aggressive in the home market.

"I'm sticking with it," Brown said.

Tim Seymour questioned the knock on GS. "I don't really get why we're going after the analysts too much ... analysts are wrong all the time," Seymour said.

Mel spent much of the program mugging for the camera and giggling, and while her sleeveless top was foxy and her new cut looked good, she did have to do some hair flips to keep it out of the eyes.

Howard Schultz tanned up
for Cramer’s visit

Fast Money, like every other CNBC program on Wednesday, spent an obligatory moment or two hyping Cramer's trip to Seattle.

Tim Seymour said not to sell SBUX, though Dan Nathan offered, "80 bucks, I'd be a little cautious."

Guy Adami, forgetting that Brian Kelly a day ago called GES a buy, said there's "no such thing as a triple bottom" and predicted the stock wouldn't hold 27 but would fall to 24½ or 25.

Phil LeBeau reported that Toyota got a "whopper of a fine" for its acceleration problems. That allowed Dan Nathan to trumpet how awesome GM is and how much Mary Barra empathizes with everyone angry about the recall because she's a mother herself, stating "I think it's gonna blow over."

Nathan said of NUS, "I would avoid this one at all costs."

Guy Adami said of HPQ, "I think you stay with this thing."

Josh Brown said OWW is in a "really competitive space."

Tim Seymour called FCX "interesting" but said it's not a name he needs to own.

Dan Nathan said some biggie sold January 50 puts in TWTR. Guy Adami reaffirmed he thinks it'll see 47½ or 48 (and if it doesn't, you can lump him in with your West Wing lawsuit).

Tim Seymour's Final Trade was EWZ. Dan Nathan said EEM puts. Guy Adami said THC, and Josh Brown said "fruit on the bottom."

Judge tries to put a fixed-income manager on the hook

Mistaken or not, it was still some impressive straightforward questioning.

Bill Eigen got tripped up a bit on Wednesday's Halftime Report when Judge outlined what Judge believed to be Eigen's fixed-income strategy.

"You still think short Treasurys is the best way to make money in this space," Judge said.

"Well no- No I don't," Eigen stammered, explaining that if you do that and Treasurys strengthen, your fixed-income holders lose money, and "they don't like that," which drew off-camera snickers from at least one of Judge's panelists.

Rather, Eigen revealed that his strategy "benefits in more of an option-based way from rising rates" and gives him "more of an opportunity to take the other side" if rates fall.

We can't imagine what this strategy is, but it sounds like a win-win.

Eigen stated that it's almost hard to remember a non-dovish Fed, a good observation, but that they're in the "process of changing that."

He also uttered one of the magic phrases, that as long as "rates are going up for the right reasons," it would be bad for fixed income but good for risk.

Fixed income, he said, has "got a lot of headwinds."

Steve Grasso said we could still have an "age-old thing of rotation coming out of equities," not because money managers want to, but "because they have to."

Bob Pisani suggested that Yellen could go down the path of replacing forward guidance benchmarks with a "mishmosh of other statistics," but that could "confuse the markets."

‘Later innings’ of EM correction

Lewis Kaufman told Judge on Wednesday's Halftime that the taper is already "in motion" for emerging markets, and they're "in the middle or the later innings of a cyclical correction."

He singled out Korea and Philippines as places he likes.

Jeff Kilburg said Chinese shadow-banking problems could "exacerbate the movement down" in copper. Anthony Grisanti chimed in, "If copper settles below that 2.90 area, we're headed to 2.73."

Jon Najarian said that if copper climbs above 3, it's a "completely different picture."

Pete Najarian said he likes P but stressed the valuation is in the "stratosphere."

Jon Najarian said FSLR was moving on huge volume.

Mike Murphy said KBH indicated not one area in the country is weak in housing.

Pseudo-GM spokesman Phil LeBeau reported that Boeing finished its review of the 787 and came up with 4 recommendations, 3 of which have been implemented.

We couldn't really figure out why Cramer went to Seattle, but Pete Najarian loves SBUX. Cramer mentioned "Nordstroms" (sic).

‘Kitchen-sinkish sort of move’

You'd almost think GM is AAPL.

Anthony Scaramucci on Wednesday's Halftime continued the Fast Money/Halftime raining of praise on a company that 1) never produces a product that anyone actually talks about and 2) ineptly mishandled (that's putting it nicely) a critical recall that should put it in serious hot water, telling Judge that "this is an economic recovery option" in which recent news has "flushed out a lot of the weak holders."

Judge, taking a page from Karen Finerman's repertoire, said, "You would expect a kitchen-sinkish, uh, sort of a move," and then told Scaramucci his "hair looks in peak form."

Jon Najarian bluntly declared he's "not interested" in GM or F, but "I would buy BMW."

Mike Murphy said you "can own GM for a long-term trade," but offered HTZ as an alternative.

Pete Najarian thinks Mary Barra's actually doing it right; "I still think it's GM," Pete said.

Steve Grasso suggests Yellen
is capable of sinking stocks

Pete Najarian on Wednesday's Halftime Report predicted no Yellen surprise "whatsoever."

Steve Grasso, adamant that the S&P is going to crater one of these days, said that in Yellen's communications, "If something does stick out, it's by mistake."

Grasso suggested there's a knee-jerk move during Fed chief remarks, and the 2nd reaction is the one to play. "If there's a risk, there's a risk to the downside," Grasso said.

Jon Najarian issued a Brag Trade on Crimea, reminding viewers "I pushed back against Michelle Caruso-Cabrera" last week, but Doc's claim that MCC was expecting a move Monday wasn't quite right, she said the U.S. and EU were going to wait for Putin's response to the vote to decide how to react, which was sort of true, while Doc claimed the whole thing was "telegraphed," which it basically was.

Pete loves the hybrid cloud

Mike Murphy argued a bull case for ORCL on Wednesday's Halftime, pointing out that after a rocky reaction to its report it did "nothing but rally the entire day."

And, Murphy said, 39 calls were hot. (See, that way you can "measure risk.")

Pete Najarian, the bear, said ORCL only rose on HPQ and MSFT coattails, and in terms of the cloud is "not even close to Microsoft."

Jon Najarian said he's bullish on ORCL "primarily because of currency."

Pete again trumpeted the HPQ "hybrid cloud" and made it his Final Trade.

Judge told viewers to "use eye-ther the hashtag bull or the hashtag bear," and when you're done with that, they could use a new pot of coffee in the Englewood Cliffs cafeteria.

Pete: GT surging

Super-hot Sheila Dharmarajan told Wednesday's Halftime Report that RENN was struggling, which prompted a curious chortle from Doc.

Saying he was "not gonna dance on the grave here" of Josh Brown's KWEB call, Najarian asserted, "I don't know that it stops right here. I think it keeps going to the downside, these Chinese Internets ... the Renren numbers were just horrific."

Pete Najarian said someone sold April 26 GT calls and bought the July 28s. He said he's in this trade and will hold it "a few weeks."

Jon Najarian said he owns GT stock as well as calls.

In an excruciatingly mistimed ending that forced Judge to fill time with useless NYSE floor commentary, Doc said he's hoping for MSFT to get to 40 and build a base from there. Pete gushed that MSFT is "just off to the races" because of what Nadella has already done in the cloud.

Jon Najarian's Final Trade was RDC. Mike Murphy said WEN.

[Tuesday, March 18, 2014]

Mel reverts to air quotes

iRobot tech chief Paolo Pirjanian visited with Tueday's Fast Money to tell Melissa Lee, with a guy's face staring over his shoulder, that the $65,000 iRobot-Cisco Ava 500 robot is targeted at Fortune 2000 companies and allows users to "just teleport" into meetings remotely.

Pirjanian said doctors can use it to save lives during strokes, and claimed that they "already have a few orders on the books" (of course without going into specifics; gotta think those are going to be "borrowed" on a "trial basis").

Steve Grasso questioned "how much" does anyone really need this technology.

Guy Adami was at least impressed by IRBT and its "20%" short interest. "The stock is insane ... I think it goes higher from here," Adami said.

Grasso suggested old tech names INTC and QCOM. (And if he wants to do the full monty Pete Najarian, he could add that he wants to "measure his risk" in options and how he's got the fewest stocks of his career right now because he's doing everything in options.)

79, 78, 92 — UCLA’s score in 3 straight Alcindor title wins, no shot clock, no 3-pointer

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the greatest recruit in college basketball history and the greatest ambassador for Coach Wooden's program and a total class act, visited with Tuesday's Fast Money to promote his new verified-memorabilia outfit, Starguard collectibles, which he explained ensures the merchandise being sold is as legitimate as that 47-game winning streak.

Jabbar said he got the idea from seeing "a lot of counterfeit things being sold," especially purported Michael Jordan autographs.

He told the panel that his company ensures authenticity because "we film everybody."

Melissa Lee, like Coach Wooden's zone press, demanded to know why Jabbar picked Amazon as a partner rather than eBay. Jabbar said Amazon wanted to get into this market, and it was a "great opportunity" for the investors.

Unfortunately we can't agree with Jabbar's suggestion for improving college basketball roster longevity: "Give the college players a stipend of some type." This genie is long since out of the bottle, and in fact the reverse should happen, the end of this silly rule mandating one year of college ball for guys who have no interest in being there.

275 target on TSLA

Brian Kelly mumbled and bumbled through telling viewers of Tuesday's Fast Money that "I bought more" TSLA.

Tim Seymour demanded again to know what the endgame is in that stock, asking Kelly "is this a market proxy" for Twitter (he actually meant Tesla, which derailed the conversation) (see how confusing this gets).

Speaking of TWTR, Guy Adami predicted a "high 40 print," such as 47½ or 48.

Seymour said volume in TWTR has tailed off considerably in 2 months.

But speaking of Elon Musk plays, Ben Kallo, one of the show's 2 go-to guys on TSLA, actually joined the program Tuesday to discuss SCTY and its release and noted it's the "3rd conference call we've had on the subject" but said the delays are "pretty much a non-event ... I think the stock's fairly valued here," but he prefers SPWR.

Tim Seymour tried to ask Kallo how SCTY differs from competition as a consumer play, but all Kallo did was basically agree with Seymour's premise.

Back to Musk, Kallo said TSLA qualifies as an "energy storage play," and said he moved his price target to 275.

Steve Grasso said GM has to hold 34.50, but "I got long this morning." Guy Adami backed that; "I think you can buy the strength in it, yeah."

Oh joy — Excel on an iPad

Credit Tim Seymour for best summarizing the supposed Microsoft iPad news on Tuesday's Fast Money.

"I don't even know that this is that big of a deal," Seymour said.

Star analyst Rick Sherlund was sort of compelled to agree, admitting at best that "it may mean you can leave the notebook at home almost all the time."

Sherlund nevertheless suggested "directionally it's a good move" for Microsoft to get Office licensing for iPads and said it might be most useful to people who already have a license on a work computer and also have an iPad.

Mel suggested this is a "nail in the coffin," possibly the last one, for laptops.

Sherlund shrugged off Oracle's report, stating, "This was not a miss of biblical proportions ... it's a little light."

Steve Grasso mocked Cisco's apparent emphasis on its lower-margin services arm, which he called "running towards the light in train tunnel."

Guy Adami said he thinks IBM has been facing the "same sort of obstacles" as ORCL, so he wants to see how IBM trades Wednesday (oh joy).

Much later in the program, Adami predicted a "back and fill" for ORCL and said to buy in at 36.50. Tim Seymour was blunt; "buy this weakness."

Pachter will have to appear on show to discuss WMT wrinkle in GME

Guy Adami asserted on Tuesday's Fast Money that "Wal-Mart's tryin' to kill GameStop," and urged GME longs to be careful; "this empowers the shorts," and it's "critical" to hold 35.

Steve Grasso said other predictions of GameStop's demise were just "nonsense," but "this is the only thing that I'm worried about about killing GameStop."

Tim Seymour agreed with Adami that 35 is a "very key level."

Kayla Tausche reported that Alibaba's S-1 is likely in April and the IPO in Q3, and that (here's a shocker) Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan are the lead U.S. banks.

Tim Seymour indicated he'd be playing this trade through Tencent and BIDU, not YHOO.

Brian Kelly first said he "probably would" and then "absolutely would" sell YHOO ahead of the Alibaba IPO, like selling pumpkin futures ahead of Halloween.

Seymour: Unload the RSX

Mike Khouw told viewers of Tuesday's Fast Money that EWZ April 39 puts were hot, which he sees as a "cautionary bet that we might see an increase in volatility."

Khouw also reported seeing unusual call-buying in the TLT.

Brian Kelly said he'd be long GES on the heels of FOSL's move. Mel Lee scoffed at the wearable tech; "the watches look like Casios."

Guy Adami said taking profits was the right thing to do in ADBE.

Guy endorsed CZR, stating, "I think you can buy it here" and on a breakout over 27.

Tim Seymour rather paradoxically said of YNDX, "It's goin' higher, but I'm getting out of some now."

Seymour said the RSX was due for a bounce, but, "I think things get a little rockier here ... I'm waiting for a washout," and he made selling RSX his Final Trade.

Steve Grasso advised following the "3-day rule" with DSW; "I wouldn't be a buyer just yet."

Brian Kelly shrugged off TOL; "I don't like it at all."

Kelly endorsed NBG as his emerging markets trade.

Kelly's Final trade was "buy or sell" (sic) ELX. Steve Grasso said HPQ, and Guy Adami said NBR.

Hard to figure what Albert Wiggin has to do with HFT (but then again, what does Mary Barra’s motherhood have to do with GM’s recall?)

Judge's stumbling and useless HFT interview with Eric Schneiderman on Tuesday's Halftime Report got off on the wrong foot when Judge brought up "references to Gordon Gekko," which Schneiderman quickly insisted were just a characterization of what is NOT happening in high-frequency trading.

Just to make sure, we did a Google search for "Eric Schneiderman Gordon Gekko" and discovered this terminology actually occurred in September and included this sentence in a Schneiderman speech: "Small but powerful groups within the market are able to use soon to be public information combined with high frequency trading in a way that distorts our markets far more than Albert Wiggin or Ivan Bosky (sic spelling per official NY A.G. press release) or even Gordon Gekko could ever have imagined."

But, like an excellent politician, Schneiderman managed to keep it totally vague Tuesday as to whether he's saying HFT exploiters are better or worse than Gekko, telling Judge, "The reference to Gordon Gekko was saying, this is not like Gordon Gekko."

Schneider told Judge that HFT creates "liquidity" and creates "instability." #chinatownalert #isitpossibletocreateinstabilityatthesametimeascreatingliquidity?

(So why doesn't the White House send THIS gentleman over to Kiev, instead of Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt who was on at Halftime, to give our nation's speech about how "Crimea is a part of Ukraine" and "We understand Russia's long ties to Crimea.")

Schneiderman said he won't push for an HFT tax but suggested "frequent batch auctions." Apparently and only incidentally expressing an actual goal, Schneiderman told Judge that he apparently wants to be "capping the race for speed."

Judge claimed "it's ironic that we're sitting here in the New York Stock Exchange" discussing an HFT crackdown, when it's really maybe at most 25% ironic.

Judge asked one great question, whether pension funds or retail brokers such as Schwab and Ameritrade are also exploiting HFT for the benefit of their customers. Schneiderman admitted "there are firms that provide those services" but insisted "it doesn't make any sense" to give it to anyone besides the big institutional investors.

Josh Brown's advice was, "I think retail people should not be trying to outpace a machine that's located 10 seconds away from where the trade takes place anyway."

Stephanie Link actually claimed, "The volatility has gotten so out of control."

Mr. New Land stressed he's never heard of anyone entering orders with the demand to be executed as fast as possible, so as far as speed, "Let's, let's rule out- out right away as a need in terms of investing," and acknowledge "a certain amount of culpability on the part of the exchanges."

Schneiderman, who was still sitting there, said he was "fascinated" by the group's commentary.

Josh wrong in opening milliseconds

Josh Brown hardly took any time at all to issue a mistake on Tuesday's Halftime Report.

"The Dow's up like 400 points in 48 hours," Brown claimed. #firstofallthatincludesSundayafternoon/evening #actuallynotevenquite300

Mr. New World, in a bizarre advice mix of sort of calling a near-top and sort of saying the momentum trade is on, told viewers that you can get in, but "You're gonna have to do so with a lot of risk protection because we are at rich valuations," then added, "If you have a name today that's not working, then yes ... you sell it."

Stephanie Link said Cramer was selling JNJ and HON and buying CELG and ESRX.

Becky Quick: $129 sounds like
too much for Amazon Prime

They're not just TV pros, but marketing experts.

This page has been noticing for weeks that several folks on Halftime/Fast Money were gushing about how it's a no-brainer for Amazon to raise the price of Prime because everyone will keep paying it — except no one has the guts to say exactly what that price should be. (Just higher.)

That's still the case — but we're getting warmer.

Listening to Becky Quick on Tuesday's Squawk Box (our newfound morning resource), we heard a strong implication that in fact $99 is the perfect price:

"I think keeping it below $100 too was also a stroke of genius, because 99 doesn't sound like all that much, if they had jumped up to 129, or 139, that would've been a much bigger deal, but keeping it below, uh, still sticks there," Quick said.

If we assume that premise is true, then shouldn't we be lobbying for $99.99, squeezing an extra 99 cents of margin from each consumer?

Oh well. The alternative would’ve been having Pete Najarian do it.

Dr. New World clearly didn't have all the ducks in a row before engaging Stephanie Link in an HPQ bull-bear debate on Tuesday's Halftime Report.

Joe called the stock a buy based on "free cash flow," and the notion "the restructuring strategy is clearly in place."

"Growth is evident," Joe claimed, suggesting a 9 multiple puts the stock in the "upper 30s."

Link started off, "I don't think growth is evident" and pointed to "3 straight years of declining sales growth and declining revenue growth."

Joe suddenly backpedaled, "Let me tell you where I just lost the debate — I used the word evident," but insisted, "The opportunity is there."

Josh Brown asked Joe, "Are you shaving points," but then backed Stephanie regardless, stating "It just seems like the trade's already been made."

Judge told viewers to "use eye-ther (sic) the hashtag bull or the hashtag bear," and then shovel the snow out of the Englewood Cliffs lot if they feel like it.

‘Stock-picker’s market’:
Translation: This market sucks

Japan investor Melissa Otto pulled up a chair on Tuesday's Halftime to discuss the investment landscape in the Land of the Rising Sun.

"It's very much a stock-picker's market right now," said Otto in a not-very-convincing opener, explaining, "This year, I'm not as focused on the macro."

In other words, don't expect much.

"The names where we have conviction, (pause), we like those names, and, and we, uh, we're very focused on those," Otto said, and it's always good to be focused on names in which we have conviction.

The key question in our mind centers on the consumption-tax hike that Dr. New World thinks is the most important stock market factor in the next 30 days. But it was Josh Brown, not Joe Terranova, who brought it up, and got nowhere.

"I'm trying to step away a little bit from the consumption tax," said Otto, who asserted it's "very uncertain how it's gonna play out."

And, the fact she didn't bring it up herself in her opening comments sort of tells you something.

Otto did finally tout Softbank; "What's not to love."

Josh Brown, who has touted the stock himself all year, suddenly played skeptic, asking Otto, "What is the catalyst." Otto shrugged and told him there are "so many different catalysts that could get it moving."

Judge concluded by saying, "the always-modest Melissa Otto."

How come Doc hasn’t provided a Heather Bellini update for a while?

Jon Fortt, who's no longer CNBC's Silicon Valley chief but seems to talk about Silicon Valley a lot at the NYSE, said on Tuesday's Halftime that Microsoft can gain "some traction here" in issuing a new Office suite for iPad.

Judge wondered whether it's not just the "same old Microsoft with a new leader."

Josh Brown endorsed the stock, saying it has "still a 13 multiple."

Joe Terranova likened MSFT to newfound favorite HPQ and said those 2 are going to be rewarded for trying to change, then pointed to his 2014 Playbook Playoffs portfolio dog that we've been flagging all year to no avail, AAPL, and lamented, "I only wish that they would go to some new places."

Stephanie Link got chippy with Brown in touting RHT, ADBE, CRM and WDAY as better cloud plays than MSFT, "They've got the growth," while "no way" MSFT has the equivalent.

Brown insisted, "People are buying Amazon and Microsoft because of the cloud, and cloud services."

So far Joe, Josh right about FNMA (but it’s early)

The Ilchmeister, Rich Ilczyszyn, told Tuesday's Halftime Report that "right here, I'm buyin' the dip" in gold.

Jim Iuorio said that 1,350 is support, but "I'm not however a dip buyer."

Stephanie Link was asked to step away from the Post 9 desk into an empty NYSE specialist stall to explain why she likes COH, partly because it has started to "get rid of that plastic look if you will, get back to leather."

Link thinks that "under 50, it's an attractive risk/reward," suggesting KORS is getting toppy.

Josh Brown agreed with Link on COH, "I actually think it's a smart move," but said he also likes KORS, stating there's "room for both."

Joe asked the most relevant question, which is whether Link is putting COH in her 2014 Playbook Playoffs portfolio, and Link indicated no, with a waffle.

Joe said, "If there is a bubble out there, I think it's biotech."

Simon Hobbs called Judge "Steve."

Stephanie Link's Final Trade was MTB. Dr. New Land said YELP, and Josh Brown said MA.

[Monday, March 17, 2014]

First ‘brain fart’ on CNBC
— and it’s cute

Readers of our home page were the first to know on the Web on Monday that CNBC commentator Natali Morris admitted a "brain fart" on the air.

(Simon Baker never actually says it, but ...)

Which is actually, refreshingly, telling it like it is.

Even more refreshing is that Morris is cute.

Mel apparently thinks 233,625 is ‘about half’ of 2 million

Talk about lack of a follow-up.

CNBC's Melissa Lee welcomed GTAT boss Tom Gutierrez to Monday's Fast Money, and closed the interview this way:

"I have to ask you this," Lee said (translation: Thanks for being a friend of the show and sorry if you think I'm a jerk for asking this), pointing out Gutierrez's stock sale of 233,000 shares, which Lee said is "about half" what Gutierrez owns.

"The entirety of my stake in the company is not immediately visible," Gutierrez claimed, explaining, "I have approximately 2 million shares of, uh, equity, that's on the line for me."

That was good enough for Lee, who didn't bother explaining to viewers how 233,625 is "about half" of 2 million, or how "on the line" equates to "own" (if at all).

Gutierrez also claimed his sales are "mostly governed by a 10b5-1," note the keyword "mostly" and that Mel didn't follow up on that either.

Otherwise, Gutierrez said his sapphire glass operation with/for AAPL is a "rather sizable operation ... we're spending a lot of time ramping the facility up."

Gutierrez also claimed that we're "on the verge of some, uh, self-sustaining solar industry."

Brian Kelly said you can be long the stock, but use 16 as a trailing stop.

‘It’s over for Apple’

Brian Marshall, whose "strong buy" on AAPL is as enduring as Regis Philbin's brown-colored hair, told Monday's Fast Money that he expects "huge, pent-up demand" for a bigger-screen iPhone; "we think it's gonna be a very big deal."

Marshall said he expects both a 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch model.

Marshall added, "We'd like to see prices come in a little bit," but still thinks Apple "can maintain gross margins in the 30s."

Affirming his 600 target, Marshall conceded it gets cloudy beyond that; "what happens after this," he asked himself, pointing to the "law of large numbers."

Guy Adami mumbled and bumbled about the stock without saying anything other than "there's a reason" the stock isn't trading very well.

Steve Grasso cautioned Marshall that once a buyer moves on to Samsung, "I think you're lost."

Later, Grasso dropped a bombshell that actually really isn't much of a bombshell. "I think it's over for Apple, how about that. It's a sell right here."

Phil LeBeau sounds like
a GM ambassador

Phil LeBeau showed a clip on Monday's Fast Money of Mary Barra's recall video to the good folks at GM, letting Barra's reference to being a mom (see our Halftime mention of this below) go unchecked.

Not only that, LeBeau told the Fast gang that several GM analyst notes suggest "these selloffs tend to be overdone" when involving a recall.

OK ... so what blockbuster product is GM making that should get people interested in the stock (rather than reminding taxpayers that they bailed out a company that didn't bother to tell anyone about a massive recall but, like Col. Jessep, preferred it be handled within the unit).

Didn't think so.

LeBeau also stiff-armed Guy Adami's question about unsold vehicles, claiming "almost all of the automakers had high inventory."

Steve Grasso, who made buy GM his Final Trade, said it's been selling off since the 11th, and Monday was the first day of ticking higher, for those somehow keeping score at home.

Brian Kelly offered the obligatory answer to the question that surprisingly wasn't asked, stating, "I'd buy Ford over GM."

Guy clueless

Steve Grasso, unimpressed by Monday's rally, told the Fast Money audience, "You sell into this."

Yet, Brian Kelly said, "I would buy on the pullback," whatever that means.

Guy Adami, fearful of another S&P-direction-prediction bungle, stayed away from a call but declared this a "pretty critical week" as to whether the S&P 500 rises or drops 75 points.

Dan Nathan said momentum names got hit last week, but "they all bounced pretty healthily (sic) today."

Grasso said the China-decline play is unfolding, and China is "sort of on borrowed time."

Guy Adami trumpted old favorites BX, USB and FFIV, which sounds a lot like Pete Najarian's repertoire (minus INTC) these days.

Melissa Lee said maybe there's "pent-up demand" (Drink).

Dennis Gartman, lagging indicator (cont’d)

Dennis Gartman told Melissa Lee on Monday's Fast Money that "I've been net bullish of stocks for a long period of time" and at this point would be "still pleasantly long," while advising, "don't go out and buy it today."

Gartman added, "I think crude oil's got a lot farther to go on the downside," and suggesting that an SPR release might appeal to Barack Obama because it's "the only weapon that he has against Mr. Putin."

Gartman assured that his trade of selling the long bond and being long the 10-year is not incompatible with a rising stock market (or, presumably, a rising bitcoin).

Kelly said, "I think you can buy EEM right now." Dan Nathan said he's short Germany, long Russia.

No Jimmy Caynes in Shanghai

Michael Werner, a rare bowtie-wearing guest on Fast Money, delivered an impressive assessment (whether you believe it or not) of the state of China's banks on Monday's Fast Money.

"The banks actually look pretty good right now," Werner said, adding he doesn't see a Bear Stearns lurking in Beijing because China only has a "very simple financial system."

Werner said the difference between his view and that of Jim Chanos is that Chanos sees a spillover into the mainstream banks while Werner thinks "the linkages aren't that strong."

He said defaults will offer a good entry point, and mentioned CCB and ICBC.

He also delivered one of our favorite CNBC punch lines, "We've seen China kicking the can down the road," so how can anyone dislike China?

Guy Adami, who refused to make a call on practically anything on wishy-washy Monday, revealed, "The whole thing does scare me," but he didn't mention anything about being scared of Joe's Japan consumption-tax-hike in 30 days.

QCOM could ‘break out’

Dan Nathan told Monday's Fast Money "I think you sell the news here" in YHOO, because "I think 40 could be some pretty significant, uh, resistance."

Guy Adami questioned if Alibaba's choice of New York for an IPO listing represented lack of confidence in Asian markets. No one else seemed to think so.

Steve Grasso stated, "I would not be a buyer of Under Armour," and he really wasn't on board with NKE either; "both charts look toppy to me."

Brian Kelly said to take profits in JASO and wait for a pullback.

Guy Adami reiterated he thinks there's a "really good chance" Ackman is right. (We don't, but we're not endorsing the company.)

Dan Nathan said QCOM "could break out."

Steve Grasso said he's not a buyer of VRSN just yet, let the dust settle.

Mel dynamite in new dress

Brian Kelly said on Monday's Fast Money he likes MSFT because "people are virtually forced to buy their product."

Dan Nathan agreed for other reasons; "no technical resistance to the high 40s," and made MSFT his Final Trade.

Nathan said someone put on a "massive bullish roll" in FB by purchasing June 70 calls. (This writer is long FB.)

Brian Kelly's Final Trade was AMD. Guy Adami saix HXL.

Was Josh born yesterday?

Some of the things on the Halftime Report must be heard to be believed.

Judge Wapner discussed with Monday's crew the trading action in FNMA, in the wake of last week's interviews with Sen. Mark Warner and non-Sen. Ralph Nader. (This writer is long FNMA.)

Dr. New World, rather short-sighted unfortunately, offered a reasonable if dubious opinion, stating "the money has been made already ... this is a name where you ring the register."

It was Josh Brown who (before possible lunch at Burger King) indulged in the Whopper, actually claiming this:

"What are the odds of Congress kowtowing to the demands of hedge funds ... how does anyone think that that's even possible?"

Seriously? Did he seriously say that?

Rallying above $4 last week, we might be more cautious, but given Monday's action, we say Buy-Buy-Buy.

Steve Weiss finds real momentum trader to manage his 2014 Playbook Playoffs portfolio

This was a real head-scratcher.

Stephen Weiss dialed into Monday's Halftime Report to tell Judge that in his 2014 Playbook Playoffs portfolio, "I am getting out of Twitter."

Fair enough; all well and good.

Weiss said he "overstayed my welcome," and cited 2 reasons for unloading, the first being the lockup expiration (as if that were new), the 2nd being that "sentiment appears to have changed."

Translation: He bought it when it bounced from 50 just figuring it would keep bouncing, it barely did and then it didn't, now he's tired of it and getting out. Oh and by the way he's really a "fundamental" value investor.

But the dubious part of this conversation occurred when Weiss told Judge he has no plan for the TWTR proceeds, rather he is "just gonna sit in cash." (We didn't even know that was allowable.)

Dr. New World seized on that with a frown; "that's interesting to me, cash."

Weiss also said, "I've pared back Facebook quite a bit." (This writer is long FB.)

Josh Brown seemed to sympathize with Weiss, calling TWTR a "tough stock ... very erratic."

Stephanie Link said she/Cramer would be an "aggressive buyer below 65" in FB.

Joe reiterates 30-day alert
(for lack of a better term)

We didn't get it Friday ... and we really didn't get it Monday either.

(Then again, our clocks are still an hour behind, if you need a sense of our mathematical acumen around here.)

Dr. New Land tried to deliver a dissertation to Judge at the top of Monday's Halftime Report, stating, "I think the real correlation that you have to look at right now, goes back, I said this on Friday, goes back to the carry trade, and with the way- within 30 days of a really big event, the consumption tax being put forth in Japan, and remember the world is incredibly levered right now to a lower yen. That is a big deal."

Once is a fluke, 2's a trend, 3's- oops, we're only at 2 mentions of this so far, so we had to look up exactly what the heck Joe was talking about.

As we learned from our "partners" (that's a joke) at the WSJ, it's not so much a consumption tax "being put forth" ... but rather rising from 5% to 8%.

In other words, who's ever buying what Bill Murray is selling in Sofia Coppola's "Lost in Translation" is paying 60% extra in the consumption tax.

But here's the money fragment from the story, which Joe did not mention on Judge's show: "If initial data suggested the downturn was deeper than anticipated, the Bank of Japan would move quickly."

See, that's what's going on here, central banks bailing low-growth economies like Robert Redford (in the first hour) on that boat in "All is Lost."

So, we doubt this is actually going to be a "really big event," and if in fact there's a selloff because of it, we say buy the dip.

Meanwhile, Josh Brown told Judge that the stock market — a grand 1 week from an all-time high (see what our expectations have become?) — may be "pausing," and then suggested "a lot of the fuel has already been spent."

Stephanie Link, semi-contrarian, said "the U.S. data's getting better," though she thinks volatility is "here to stay."

Even so, Link said in the spring the market could rally "pretty big-time" thanks to (Drink Drink) "pent-up demand" in some kind of "catch-up trade."

Kenny Polcari also seemed more bullish than (snicker) he was last week, stating, "I think that China story might be a little overdone," and he'd be much more a buyer than seller of China.

Judge Wapner brought up Larry Altman's provocative 1,575 call from last week (Judge wrongly said Monday, 1,500), and Josh Brown was asked to bite.

"The market is betting against that still," Brown said, which is kind of obvious, given that the market is nearly 300 points ahead of Altman's target.

Sadly, Judge mishandled on Friday the questioning for Altman (there was barely any), which should've started with the observation that Altman's call seems to be in a vacuum of Fed activity (Altman conceded he's not into fundamentals) and would seem to imply either the multiples are crashing down, or the Fed's backing off. Steve Liesman indicated on "Squawk Box" that Yellen will attempt nothing more than language "tweaking," and former "Strategy Session" co-host Gary Kaminsky, spotted on "Squawk Box" Monday, cut to the chase in affirming a "huge belief out there that anything that's bad is good for the U.S. capital markets because the easy-money policy stays around longer."

Flash: Pete Najarian and
Josh Brown are on TV!

Pete Najarian spearheaded a boring bull-bear debate on Monday's Halftime Report by stating LO has "great earnings growth" and "great yield" and "they own the e-cig market right now."

Josh Brown took a rather stark view in the opposite direction, saying, "I would be selling this stock with 3 hands," and downplaying the e-cig factor; "we all know that this is just an also-ran part of the business."

Pete wasn't impressed, borrowing a line we often use in regard to Tim Seymour (like we always say, this page's lines — even the good ones (snicker) — are always available free for Fast Money/Halftime panelists on the air), scoffed, "Thank God he's paid by the word," then insisted that e-cigs enjoy 38½% year-over-year growth, and closed with a "holy crap" (sic tacky despite attempt at a suit).

Mr. New Land backed Pete for the "best in breed" choice. Stephanie Link agreed and called LO "very attractive." That prompted Joe to quietly say "good answer," and all Steph did for some reason was grimace.

Wilbur Ross says IPO shelved because ‘We did not actually need the money’

Just like baseball teams are in business to score runs, you kind of get the impression businesses exist to make money.

Yet, Wilbur Ross told Judge on Monday's Halftime with a straight face that the Diamond S IPO didn't happen because "We did not actually need the money."

Now, before snickering about that one, let's chalk it up to one of those TV (sic) type of statements, where a person makes a point that everyone sort of gets though he doesn't make it literally correct; in other words, what Ross meant was that Diamond S sellers are convinced they can get more money at a different time.

"It's not that we want to be public at any price," Ross said.

Ross downplayed the notion that the purported commodities "supercycle" is in crash mode, stating "prices will be somewhat constrained" because of China, but the "physical volume" of usage is not much of a problem, and though 6% growth might be "a little bumpy," it's "not exactly tragic."

Had it with Pete and INTC

Pete Najarian told Judge at the top of Monday's Halftime that it may be time to take some of the "mojo stocks" off before dishing out a spree of tiresome tech names like backyard fertilizer: TXN, INTC, WDC, STX, VMW, EMC.

We're sick of hearing about most of them, particular INTC, and waiting for Judge to have the brass to tell Pete in one of his seemingly 3-times-a-day appearances that more and more seem like promotions for the options business that viewers are not tuning into Fast Money for daily INTC-direction calls.

If he mentioned it a couple times a year, fine. Every other show, not fine.

Mr. New Land called GMCR a name he was "clearly wrong on months ago" and sees it trading in a 100-125 range.

Stephanie Link said UA is getting pricey; "LULU is the better buy."

Josh Brown said "today is a happy ending" for the hedge fund hotel of HTZ, which he said is "gonna do exactly what these activists want." Brown said you should hold both the parent and the spinoff company in such a situation.

Pete Najarian warned that the GTAT CEO has been exercising options. Judge said that CEO would be on Fast Money.

Stephanie looks good in black dress while entire panel looks a bit stiff

Stephanie Link on Monday's Halftime Report claimed that YHOO will use the cash from Alibaba's IPO to make acquisitions, buy stock, and maybe most importantly, "fund growth."

"Mid-30s I think it's interesting," Link said.

Joe Terranova endorsed YHOO this way: "You're seeing the turn in particular at monetizing the (sic) mobile," and suggesting the company has "finally figured out how to take advantage of mobile right now."

Josh Brown said the FB IPO briefly sucked the air out of other social media, and Judge noted that "history has a habit of repeating itself." Really? It does?

Brown said he likes SFTBY and KWEB.

Pete Najarian endorsed YHOO, stating "I think it's going to 44." Pete insisted that important acquisitions for YHOO are indeed feasible; "They could buy AOL like THAT!"

Joe doesn't mention his GM car

Phil LeBeau told Monday's Halftime Report that GM boss Mary Barra "sent out a video newsletter, if you will, emailed to, uh, members of the company" explaining among other things that because she's a mom, these recalls bother her too.

That's called a red herring, Phil, and slick PR; nice if you would notice.

Judge welcomed DISH boss Joe Clayton, who said "we love advertising," and downplayed Leslie Moonves' comments about the DISH-DIS deal, stating, "in the media business there's always battles."

"I still love Disney," said Pete Najarian.

Joe Terranova said the M&A premium in the DIS space is "warranted."

Josh Brown's Final Trade was KWEB. Pete Najarian said YHOO. Stephanie Link said POST, and Joe Terranova said UNP.

[Friday, March 14, 2014]

Guy: Look for 1,816

Tim Seymour gave a whirlwind view of the global financial situation on Friday's Fast Money, starting with XLB ("you fade that"), mentioning IWM (apparently something he doesn't like), and then sort of warming up to Russia but "it's not, get long Russia with 2 feet," and then claiming, "You're seeing breakouts in Indonesia and India" (snicker).

Guy Adami suggested a technical retracement would take us to 1,816 or 1,817 (like there's a difference) and added, "Maybe deflation is the enemy," which seems like a massive overhyping of a Crimean situation (not taking sides here and all for pro-Western focus/resolution and God Bless Ukrainians for standing up against corruption and for Western ties and no, Vladimir really can't do whatever he wants without some degree of shunning by people he wants to impress and for whatever perhaps naive reason we think he'll end up doing the right thing to some extent ... but would you recognize as your leader some 30-something guy who just got appointed a few days ago?).

Brian Kelly, who always likes to play contrarian (that generally means (snicker) "I'm short this and short that" while the market soars), told guest host Mandy Drury that "I covered a lot of the risk-off positions that I had," then invoked the lamest of the Fast Money cliches, "Wayne Gretzky's always said, skate to where the peck- (sic) where the puck is going to be."

We were less concerned about that than publicly disagreeing with Larry Altman (see below), but honestly — and yes, he's a supersmart guy worth gobs more money than we are (but can't quote as many lines from "Road House") — we're definitely not seeing 1,575, not with the precedents set in 2008 about government/Fed stock-market policy.

Steve Grasso said Friday that "China is, to a large extent, factored into the marketplace."

Tim Seymour demands to know the TSLA endgame; Steve Grasso suggests 350

Steve Grasso said on Friday's Fast Money that if you're interested in TSLA, "you have to wait here," but he spoke previously about 225, and said if it bounces, you can be in the name.

Brian Kelly agreed; "I'm watching 225."

Tim Seymour was right to question those two, "So what are you watching on the upside," in other words, where to do they actually think this stock is going.

Kelly said that if the market does have a "melt-up," this is the right space, "these are gonna outpace the market."

Grasso suggested some bank, he wasn't sure exactly which, has "350 as a price target," and it's possible that with the "Chinatown" angle (it's a car company/it's a battery company/it's a tech company), we could see "the doors are blown off."

Gordon Johnson’s potential FSLR bankruptcy call went bust, now he’s fiddling with other things

Gordon Johnson told Friday's Fast Money that the commodities playbook is "similar to the playbook" in 2012 and 2011, so "we'd be shorting Joy Global, Cliffs Natural Resources, U.S. Steel."

Johnson further claimed, "At today's prices, Cliffs is effectively at risk of bankruptcy, they're far in violation of their debt covenant."

Maybe so, but we also recall hearing Johnson more than a year ago brilliantly ride FSLR down, only to enter face-ripped-off land (that's one of our favorite Fast Money expressions, seriously, just because it's kind of funny and sort of suggests a bull market) when it suddenly reversed higher, and perhaps now he's doing the same thing with different beleaguered names.

Guy Adami told Johnson, "I think Caterpillar's a great short," which is a great thing to tell Jim Chanos but not sure why Johnson would care, but then Guy took Jon Najarian's side from early in the day on JOY, "Joy Global gets taken over, it's a $75 stock and you get your face ripped off," something Johnson knows all too well.

Johnson responded that Komatsu is mentioned as a possible JOY buyer, but in fact Komatsu 'does not have the money to acquire Joy Global."

‘Screaming bearish’ for AAPL

Dominic Chu reported on Friday's Fast Money that TGT is incredibly acknowledging that "the news could be worse" about its data breach.

Brian Kelly said of the stock, "Stay away from it."

Steve Grasso suggested PAY and NXPI as retail-security plays.

Guest host Mandy Drury chirped, "There's always one beneficiary isn't there from other people's woes."

After a couple traders made a Britney Spears song reference, Drury actually said, "You think of girls in, like, school outfits," which seemed a little overdoing it.

Matt Jacob of ITG told the panel that COH represents "short-term opportunity," because "trends simply aren't as bad as the negative expectations."

Tim Seymour said he would own SINA "somewhere around 60" and likes it now.

Mandy Drury said the Samsung CEO thinks the technology market is "in turmoil."

Steve Grasso interpreted that as a comment that's "screaming bearish, more, more for Apple than the rest of the space."

Brian Kelly said "I bought EEM today," which he said is loaded with Samsung.

Kelly called GMCR a buy in the 110 area. Steve Grasso said studies show that companies bounced from the S&P (in this case WPX) do better than those added (that would be GMCR).

Mandy somehow ran out of time for Final Trades. #whewnoPLUGdisasteragain

Larry Altman: S&P to 1,575

Judge on Friday's Halftime Report welcomed for the first time celebrated "professional day trader" Larry Altman — who may have been appearing in March 2014 but was practically sounding like it's March 2000.

"I think we're on the verge of a substantial correction," said Altman, who predicted, "I think the S&P's gonna go back and test where (sic) its old high around 1,575."

And that's not a Fleck-style "sometime in the future" moment. Rather, Altman said "it seems like it's starting to play itself out at the moment."

He outlined the downfall this way: "I think the market's gonna sell off 7-10%, people are gonna buy it." Then, he said, "They're gonna lose another 10%," as we find ourselves at 1,600 or 1,575, when stocks will be appealing again.

"I think the market's showing signs of being tired," he said.

Altman also asserted that "the trading patterns have changed from last year dramatically," and "in the last 24 months we've had 5 down months. In 2013 we had 2 down months," though it was unclear whether that trend is getting better or worse in his opinion.

Altman decried an "enormous amount of complacency" but conceded, "I wouldn't even pretend to know any fundamentals."

He said in 2000, BRCM fell from 250 to 100, people bought it thinking they got a discount, only to find it at 15.

Josh Brown argued that the Nasdaq P.E. in 2000 was enormous. Altman conceded that but insisted the bull market has become like trading natural gas in 1994, where every day you go in and make a profit.

Altman further chipped in that after the February bottom, "the S&P should've kept going," but here we are flat/down on the year.

Well, disagreeing with Larry Altman is probably not the most profitable idea.

And, you shouldn't take trading tips from this page unless you want your account to decline in value.

But we're not seeing Altman's prophecy at all. It would make sense with 5.5% GDP and a 4% 10-year. Despite his outlook, he indicated his expertise is in identifying short-term or daytime trends, not months-long moves. Rather, we're seeing a Nasdaq Composite hell-bent on testing the March 2000 high that Altman points to, and a government committed to extraordinary pro-market measures until people start whispering about "inflation."


JOY, DE shorts mocked

CNBC's devastatingly gorgeous Seema Mody made an appearance on Friday's Halftime Report in a devastating burgundy dress, explaining why CLF, GME and CVC are favored among shorts.

Joe Terranova explained that those names lack growth, and "It's gonna be a frustrating year when you look at the headline index ... where do you actually see the growth?"

Jon Najarian questioned why people are shorting JOY; "that's been a fool's folly."

Pete Najarian took the baton from that and said implied volatility is cheap enough that you can just buy puts.

Josh Brown wondered about DE shorts; "what are these guys thinking?"

Rather curiously, Dr. New Land said "the best thing that can happen for those names is if the market goes down a lot," because shorts will be scrambling to cover risk.

Fast Money cliché of 2014: Traders going home Friday anything but long

Dr. New World, fresh after taking the rest of the week off, told Friday's Halftime Report that the market's "ah-ha moment" (no, they're not going to play "Take on Me") will occur in 30 days when the short-yen trade deals with the consumption tax.

And as soon as we figure out what the heck that means, we'll post an update.

Josh Brown said we're simply flat on the year and "less than 2% away" from the record high, and it's just a case of nobody buying this week.

Ben Willis told Judge that "the United States is still the safe haven" but then issued one of those bogus refrains that people actually do practice, "most traders I talk to would rather go home short tonight than long." (Yes. Because statistically, the market does worse when there's 2 days before the next trade vs. 0 days.)

Pete Najarian crowed that he's been owning EEM puts against long positions in stocks. The screen text curiously said "Jon" is long EEM puts, but the CNBC.com disclosures (snicker) indicate both are long EEM puts (but that only Jon and not Pete is long AMX calls even though Pete's gonna be in the trade a couple months).

Paul Richards opined, "You either hit 7½% GDP in China this year, or this market's got a serious problem."

Paul Richards: ‘I’d be long risk over the weekend’

Judge brought in Michelle Caruso-Cabrera, CNBC's Chief International Correspondent, to point out Ukraine scenarios this weekend, and MCC stated we've "just gotta wait and see" what Putin does.

Jon Najarian said there's "quite frankly no" big catalyst either way in the markets but he urged those detecting panic to "be real, folks," pointing to Yandex and the RSX.

Then Doc said, "I push back against Michelle Caruso-Cabrera, uh, because, I don't think it's what Russia does, I think it's the lack of response from the EU and from our country on Monday."

MCC was given a chance to respond and said, "I don't think the G-7's gonna do anything until they see what Putin does," but then she claimed "the most likely" situation is that "Putin doesn't say anything," which she could've said the first time around.

Paul Richards, a bit of a contrarian Friday, said, "I'd be long risk over the weekend."

Bob Pisani told the group, "Everybody's expecting the G-7 to make some kind of a comment by Monday."

‘A lot of people scratching their heads today’

Rick Santelli told Judge on Friday's Halftime that a bond bubble should be feared but it would be similarly bad for stocks; "they're both very related."

Josh Brown suggested that corporations have repaired their balance sheets so well that there shouldn't be a bubble in corporate bonds, and with record numbers of people retiring, that too should drive continued demand for bonds.

Santelli acknowledged those tailwinds but then cited opinions from the 1940s as to how things work.

Pete Najarian pointed to utilities as a "perfect example" of why there's strength in fixed income, "They're buying upside."

Mr. New Land said, "There's still as Josh said good reason to hold corporate bonds."

Anthony Grisanti said gold is benefiting from safe-haven buying and Ukraine. Brian Stutland said, "I think gold is probably headed to 1,400," but "I'd rather buy 10-year Treasurys right now."

Judge wrongly pronounced the hot IPO as "Castlelight," then corrected himself. Bertha Coombs, reporting on Castlight, said there's "a lot of people scratching their heads today."

Judge scoffed, "Their valuation is nothing but ridiculous."

But Jon Najarian said there's a "very limited number of shares."

Josh Brown said health care has been on fire and concluded, "When the ducks are quacking, feed them," and hilariously added, "Just about anyone with a clean suit can go public."

Jon Najarian's Final Trade was DB. Dr. New World said JACK, Pete Najarian said TEVA and Josh Brown said FCX.

[Thursday, March 13, 2014]

Fast Money segment producer
Leanne needs a date

Sean Rad told Fast Money viewers Thursday that "Tinder emulates the real world," but hopefully the real world isn't always like CNBC's segment producer Leanne's Blue Moon trip to Tim Seymour's W-whatever bar (wonder if Tim grills the customers over China PMI and Mobile Telesystems and how watchable Embraer and CZZ are).

The good news is that, based on the segment, Leanne's free for a date.

It appears she could use some Twitter followers, but that's Gasparino's Dept.

She's cute. We'd gladly oblige.

Within 5 hours, Rick Santelli reduces Crimea factor
from 70% to 50%

Speaking of Tinder dreams, Karen Finerman was on Thursday's Fast Money ... stop that; stop that right now

Steve Grasso tackled guest host Judge's favorite topic of the day, the sinking 10-year yield.

"China wouldn't have done that," Grasso asserted, so "that would be Ukraine," which Grasso thinks is merely a "passing blip ... I don't think it's gonna be there next week ... look for a bounce next week."

Pete Najarian said the VIX had a "pretty major spike" but that he agrees with Grasso, "I think that's gonna subside."

Karen Finerman chimed in, "I sort of agree with both Pete and Steve," and said the selloff "seemed rather orderly," and though she didn't say she was selling puts like she did on Feb. 3 when she marvelously called the bottom, did say Thursday, "I'm looking to buy things," such as URI.

Guy Adami said a 10-year yield below 2.60 would be a tell on the broader market; "either bond yields are wrong, or the S&P is wrong."

Steve Grasso sounded unconvinced about a bond rally, saying utilities aren't moving.

But it was Rick Santelli, hours after telling Judge at Halftime that 70% of the 10-year yield drop was attributable to Ukraine, who got our attention on the 5 p.m. show by downgrading that number, telling Judge the 2nd time around that "half of today's basis-point drop had to do with Crimea."

Michelle Caruso-Cabrera spoke about cash "withdrarals" (sic) in the Crimea.

Guy Adami predicted that the Crimean situation "gets resolved at some point" but that China growth is "probably trending closer to 6% than 7½%."

Judge fumbles, fails to ask Munster or his panel if AMZN should’ve raised the Prime price to $149

It's become our favorite little cottage industry of commentary — the Fast Money gang pounding the table for Amazon to raise the price of Prime, because they're all so sure it's just free money.

And as we point out every time, even though they're so convinced that this is a good idea, they're never convinced enough as to tell us exactly what the price should be.

And evidently, according to what we heard on Thursday's Fast Money, Gene Munster feels the same way.

Munster told Judge that with the price hike to $99, Amazon has boosted the bottom line $150 million and "bought themselves a fulfillment center" (oh joy, 60% of the Washington Post), but the bigger tell is that they're "flexing their pricing muscle for the first time."

Munster also knocked Piper's own survey findings that 2/3 of Prime customers would refuse the higher price, stating, "At the end of the day, we think there is some (sic) just inherently wrong with the question," that people are trained to say they won't pay more, but "at the end of the day they actually do."

Munster said he put a "15% guess out there" as to how many will cancel.

Surprised he didn't throw in another "at the end of the day" to make it really sound grand and intelligent.

Where does Judge rank on Fortune’s most powerful list?

Evidently believing that 1) no Fast Money viewers had heard of Jing Ulrich and 2) Ulrich is the greatest thing since sliced bread, guest host Judge Wapner welcomed JPMorgan's Asia ace for a chat about China's shadow banking system.

"Lending has really skyrocketed," said Ulrich, extremely careful not to make a single headline during this appearance, adding that "China indeed has a debt problem," so we might expect "some tapering of China's credit growth."

Ulrich never answered the question as to what 6% China growth would mean for U.S. stocks, saying only she doesn't see 5%, but that 6% would be "very important" to U.S. and global markets.

Speaking of JPMorgan hotshots, Kate Kelly reported that the same day Thomas Lee paid a visit to Squawk Box, he's suddenly leaving JPM with no plans.

The activism story
nobody cares about

In another boring Nelson Peltz discussion, Thursday's Fast Money panel tackled the latest whatever-move-it-is at Pepsi.

Karen Finerman suggested that even Peltz will find it difficult to force a split-up; "it's very hard to make the board do that," and furthermore, "I'd be surprised if they got a lot of the board to meet with shareholders without management."

Pete Najarian was at least sympathetic. "I own the stock, and I actually kind of like the idea that he's in there trying to shake things up," Pete said, adding "I agree with him."

Guy Adami questioned why PEP is a target given its performance vs. KO. "What does he see in Pepsi?" Adami wondered.

Karen Finerman, who delivered a side profile Thursday so we could show off that snappy butterscotch-black dress, wondered "is this a referendum on Nooyi's tenure there."

Judge explained, "He's clearly not happy with her performance."

Steve Grasso even said investors have been picking PEP over KO.

Phil LeBeau, find the Boeing jet

Guest host Judge questioned on Thursday's Fast Money that maybe it's already "too little, too late for GM?"

Phil LeBeau, who's getting a workout this week, said the belief in Detroit is (Ding! Ding! Ding! Haven't gotten one of these in a long time) the same as Dalton's first impression of the Double Deuce (above), that "things are gonna get worse before they get better."

Phil said we won't hear from Mary Barra because this is a federal investigation, but in terms of bad stock news, "They're in the process of purging it all."

Karen Finerman repeated yesterday's commentary, stating Barra "has a chance to sort of get in front of it ... I think this too shall pass ... I don't think the stock gets that much worse."

Pete Najarian also restated something he must've said on probably 3 CNBC shows in the last couple of days, "I think it's a great opportunity ... I'm not saying this is the bottom," but a "great entry point."

But Steve Grasso wasn't convinced. "It does look technically like it's gonna check the $30 level," Grasso said.

Funny that Michael Burns picked Wednesday and not Thursday to show up

PANW chief Mark McLaughlin congratulated Joe for playing his stock in the 2014 Playbook Playoffs and then chided Joe for unloading it way too early instead of AAPL visited with Thursday's Fast Money to basically say 2 or 3 times that "we don't think we infringed the technology" that Juniper thinks they infringed.

McLaughlin sidestepped Judge's "bubble" questions by suggesting there's good stuff in the space and "investors are realizing that."

Guy Adami pointed to Intel's McAfee buy and said "they probably got it on the cheap."

But Steve Grasso questioned the worth of the space in light of suggestions Target may have failed to heed FireEye's warning of a breach, suggesting there's a "false sense of security" and wondering, "Are the corporations able to override these indications?" (Goodness knows why they'd want to, but whatever.)

Pete Najarian pounded the table for FFIV.

Steve Grasso meanwhile suggested LGF doesn't have the same problem as GM. "It's a negative headline, but you know what, it's not an open-ended negative headline," and the stock is "still a buyable name."

Karen Finerman, not just stunning but off-the-charts funny, informed Judge that Michael Burns a day earlier went on the show "trying to tamper down expectations of 'Divergence,' which I think- or 'Divergent,' which I think they're gonna be huge anyway."

More DIY advice from
Fast Money pros

Guy Adami said on Thursday's Fast Money that "66 to me is critical support" in FB, and if it holds, the stock will see 75. (This writer is long FB.)

Pete Najarian said that if you're playing PLUG, "You've gotta read about it and understand it very- very, very (sic 3 "very") well." (Thanks. But isn't that your job, given that you're paid to deliver stock-market advice on about 5 TV programs a day?)

Steve Grasso called HLF "too headline-driven for me."

Guy Adami impressively asked Judge for an opinion on the possibility Ackman's right. It's "anybody's guess," Judge shrugged. But Adami suggested there's a "really good chance that he's been right all along."

Pete Najarian said NCR January 40 calls were hot, someone buying those and selling the 45s. Pete said he tried to get long, but "I just couldn't get in for the price I wanted." (Curiously, this writer is long NCR.)

Scott Nations said NG January 4 calls were hot for $1. That was fine. Then, echoing the bone-headed Najarian option refrain, trumpeted that "they're only risking that dollar rather than the $4.30 they'd be risking if they went out and they bought the stock." Actually 1) they're risking the full dollar amount of the purchase, whether they bought stock or options, 2) if you can't afford a share of stock at $4, you shouldn't be in the stock market, and 3) the stock doesn't expire in January.

Judge was forced to skip Final Trades because of late breaking news from Dom Chu. #sparedanotherPLUGdebacle

John Jannarone bust:
ARO shellacked

John Jannarone, Fast Money's new retail miner who resembles William H. Macy, suggested on Wednesday's Fast Money that Aeropostale, which is "so hated" and has so much short interest, could get a post-earnings bounce Thursday if anything in the report just indicates things aren't so bad.

That didn't happen in Thursday's afterhours.

Fear-mongering Judge accused of overhyping Thursday’s swoon

By late in the program, Mike Murphy on Thursday's Halftime Report seemed to think Judge was getting a little carried away with the S&P's fall.

"We're 2% off our highs," Murphy pointed out.

Stopping short of bristling, Judge insisted, "My goal here is not to alert people to a problem when we're 10% off the highs. It's to call attention to the problem before it happens."

Right. And on Halftime and Fast Money, most people (generally Brian Kelly and Carter Worth) tend to call attention to 10 problems for every 1 that actually happens. #selling'sforsuckers

Murphy lamely conceded, "Attention, agreed," but added, "I don't believe the market's about to roll over."

"I agree," said Jon Najarian, suggesting his risk on Thursday was "measured" the markets aren't focusing enough on the benefits of cheaper copper.

Judge in the latter half of the show failed to elicit as much concern as he wanted over the 10-year yield decline.

Mike Murphy did offer that the drop in yields is bullish for builders.

Rick Santelli told Judge that the belief is that "70-75%" of the drop in 10-year yield is attributable to Crimea, and "the remaining 30% is due to China."

Josh Brown told Judge that maybe China's shadow banking system needs some defaults to better correct itself, but it might not be a "pretty process" and in fact "deflate in slow motion."

Flash: Pete Najarian and Josh Brown are on TV

At the beginning of Thursday's Fast Money, nobody seemed particularly concerned about the 7-point S&P drop, and Pete Najarian was seeing bright spots in the bull market.

"It's both raging and it's aging," Pete said, predicting "plenty of moves to the upside yet for energy," as well as similar strength in QCOM, INTC and "various names" in chips.

Josh Brown told Judge that "at the end of the day," there's no "leadership" stock now like AAPL (actually it's FB) (this writer is long FB), and that names linked to froth are "$8 stocks that have gone to 13" and are "irrelevant."

"Yeah well Tesla's not an $8 stock that's gone to 13 Josh," Judge snarled. "There are select pockets of this market that are no doubt stretched."

"Agreed. But there always are," Brown said.

Jon Najarian said the Crimea looms as a "fairly large issue this weekend ... I expected a little more, uh, fear into something like this."

Judge twice mentions Marc Faber

You'd think at some point they'd give it up.

Judge Wapner on Thursday's Halftime Report twice brought up Marc Faber's useless remarks as triggering/not triggering a market tailspin. #selling'sforsuckers

Jon Najarian demanded, "When doesn't he" sound negative.

Josh Brown said the notion of 7% China growth "is being rethought all over the world."

Mike Murphy stated, "U.S. fundamentals are improving ... I wanna be long this market if it holds its key levels."

But Murphy moments later cautioned that if the S&P can't hold 1,850, "I think it could start to heat up to the downside."

Jon Najarian pointed out that VIX calls were outpacing puts as Judge, apparently wanting more Marc Faber, grumbled that everyone is "unwaveringly bullish."

Steve Suttmeier told Judge, "I don't see any major divergences in this market" and said the thinks it's "more jittery than toppy."

"Semiconductors look fantastic ... refiners look fantastic," Suttmeier said.

Suttmeier said, "I'm more tactically bullish on financials," and mentioned ACWI. Judge demanded a definition, saying he's "never heard ACWI on the show before."

How to win favor from the Najarians and stick it to Ackman at the same time

HLF long/Ackman critic Robert Chapman told Judge on Thursday's Halftime Report that he suspects the FTC will find it "very difficult to prove that" consumers were harmed by HLF given that they can return the stuff for 12 months.

He said this is investigation is proof of "how cheaply consumer advocate groups and politicians can probably be bought," mentioning "Senator Markey."

Honestly we have no idea whether it's a good company or not, but the first person we ever heard outraged about it was Bill Ackman.

Chapman told Judge that his HLF long position is mostly in options (see, he's measuring risk) and is "28% of my portfolio" and that he "actually added to my position today."

He predicted "Herbalife will not be shut down," but that there might be a "clamp-down," and that the stock would trade $200-$300 within 5-7 years.

Jon Najarian reiterated a grumble involving options activity around the Markey speech; "just ahead of that there was massive put-buying."

Pete Najarian said it "makes sense" that Chapman is using options to play HLF; "the capital is far less." (But let's not forget that Chapman is measuring his risk too.)

Pete absolutely plays the question-myself game

Pete Najarian asked himself on Thursday's Halftime Report about Mary Barra's role in the GM investigation, "Was this under the present CEO? Absolutely not. Is she doing absolutely everything that needs to be done, and making this Priority 1? Absolutely."

So, now you can relax.

Pete said the GM bear case had been "just waiting for a catalyst," but it's here, and Pete implied it'll fade away soon; "she's addressing this; she's in front of it."

Then, Pete asserted, it'll become a China story, "the growth that they've got." (But what if Marc Faber warns about China?)

Mike Murphy, the bear, said "there's no reason to jump in ... we don't know where this story ends," and recommended viewers "buy Ford on this ... no need to be a hero on this."

Neither one mentioned any new GM product.

Josh Brown backed Murphy, saying if you like the stock, you'll "probably be able to buy it at 30 ... Ford is the better buy."

Judge Wapner asked people to vote and "use eye-ther (sic) the hashtag bull or the hashtag bear."

‘Crude is probably a buy’

Jim Iuorio said on Thursday's Halftime Report that crude and copper have both been hit on EM fears, but he thinks it's priced in and "crude is probably a buy here." Jeff Kilburg said the "routine test" of SPR sales could help take WTI down to 93.

Josh Brown said Softbank has been trading with the Nikkei and called it a "combination of Verizon and Berkshire Hathaway."

An admitted bungle by himself and Weiss in the Playbook Playoffs, Brown was adamant, "I wish I could buy it for the contest twice."

Robert Frank reported that the U.S. has a record high in millionaires. (But surely Dolly Lenz must have some homes to show?)

Josh Brown's Final Trade was Softbank. Pete Najarian said MRK, Mike Murphy said IR and Jon Najarian said NCR.

[Wednesday, March 12, 2014]

*Basically government (which certainly has better things to expend resources on) not really interested, but enough noise made by 2 people, so here’s your CYA probe

"Judge" Scott Wapner delivered an HLF report on Wednesday's Fast Money, stating the company apparently was "blindsided" by the FTC investigation but then claimed it welcomes the probe to set everything straight.

The money quote was Judge's comment that the investigation "is not an indictment, uh, in any way, shape or form, that Herbalife has done anything wrong." (Translation: See headline of this item*) (This writer has no position in HLF.)

Dan Nathan said "I think 50's an interesting level" in the name.

Guy Adami said the outcome of this showdown has to be "binary."

Karen Finerman wondered aloud what kind of short trade in HLF would be left if the FTC clears the company.

Zuck: Not the next Jobs, perhaps the next Gates

Anthony DiClemente said on Wednesday's Fast Money that there are 3 elements to the FB story, user growth, monetization and pricing growth (and thankfully that's it, because we can't handle any more), and all are working. (This writer is long FB.)

"We think it still keeps going," DiClemente said, and then, answering yet another clumsy, confusing, overdone question from Tim Seymour apparently wondering what the upside and/or ceiling might be, suggested it's "when the pricing of Facebook's standardized mobile ads comes somewhere even close to TV ads."

This was the most intriguing angle of the discussion, as DiClemente said Facebook ads net $3-$4 per thousand viewers, whereas prime-time TV spots bring $25 on the same metric.

DiClemente told Guy Adami that for YHOO to see 42-43, the Alibaba valuation will have to be "200 billion or more," and DiClemente is neutral on Yahoo.

Meanwhile, Datalogix chief Eric Roza came on moments later and started to put folks to sleep with his description that "we create an integration with these digital ad companies." But his commentary suddenly got interesting when he said Facebook ads in particular provide a "meaningful sales lift that justifies- easily justifies the investment."

However, things got a bit confusing when Melissa Lee asked Roza if Twitter ads pack the same punch. Roza first said they don't know yet, then lumped in FB and TWTR as ones whose ads pay off.

Got it.

Dan Nathan said someone put on a call spread risk-reversal in P, selling September 29 puts and buying the September 36/46 call spread, a "very bullish trade."

Nathan said P is a "good buy" around 30.

Mobli chief Moshe Hogeg said his company is a "social photo and video-sharing platform ... focusing on the emerging markets."

The interview stuck to the basics, but Hogeg sounded locked in, saying outside the U.S. there are tons of customers and "not a lot of competition," and that the Nasdaq private market offers "liquidity" for a company such as his.

Notice none of the GM bulls ever mentions one of its products

Dan Nathan told Wednesday's Fast Money that GM is actually appealing against a 35 support level.

"These headlines calming down," Nathan said, April 1 auto sales reports "could see the stock back up at 38."

Tim Seymour chimed in, "I love it at 35."

Guy Adami even claimed that GM risk/reward is the best in a long time.

Karen Finerman reaffirmed she's long and would "probably be inclined to buy more."

Missy Lee never bothers to ask any of the GM recommenders 1) what's the last GM car they drove (Joe is the only one professing such) and 2) what's the next big thing the company is doing.

She DOES generally ask them whether GM or F is better, but not on Wednesday. (At the end of the day, she had to leave it there.)

Speaking of geopolitical risk, whatever happened to that thing about not allowing Tehran a nuclear weapon?

Guy Adami, who got the bickering-married-couple routine with Mel out of the way at the beginning of Wednesday's Fast Money, admitted, "The last 40, 50 S&P points have me scratching my head," but said "the gold trade is really interesting."

Tim Seymour explained to viewers, "Geopolitical risk-off is different than financial markets risk-off," and asserted, "I would not be selling copper here."

Karen Finerman said she did "not a whole lot" in Wednesday's market and questioned the dire assessments for emerging markets. "I don't know how we could know that this would be the top, this is the end." Rather, Finerman said data provides "some sort of floor for the U.S. market."

Dan Nathan chipped in an "at the end of the day" regarding China's importance.

First we’ve heard
of Bethany Mota

John Jannarone served up a new beleaguered retailer to Wednesday's Fast Money gang, this one being ARO.

"Retail is really hated right now," Jannarone said, but ARO has a bit of a hit from the presence of one Bethany Mota.

"Girls are showing up in malls and it's like, you know, Beatlemania," Jannarone claimed in probably an overstatement, but he said the stock has 30% short interest that could cause a pop.

Karen Finerman suggested Aeropostale still needs "something more" than that.

But Jannarone stressed that the name is "so hated."

Dan Nathan claimed that ANF "had shopped themselves." But Karen Finerman balked, "They didn't shop themselves I don't think ... people wanted them to but they didn't."

Nathan suggested maybe it could be called a "back-channel shop" and wondered if that was OK to say. Finerman said to just try saying "asinine" on TV.

Apparently Dan Nathan likes CRM until it stops going up

Tim Seymour said on Wednesday's Fast Money that it's time to exit AA; "I would be fading Alcoa here."

Dan Nathan said CRM benefits from a "good old-fashioned short squeeze," and that he likes the stock until it misses.

Guy Adami said wearable tech, not cars, is the catalyst for GRMN, and "we could easily take out the 60 level."

Guy Adami said "I don't think you can chase" WSM.

Tim Seymour said Solar City's Best Buy deal isn't actually the reason to buy the stock, rather it's "execution in 2014."

Karen Finerman said she's long ATVI and is "actually bullish on games coming out."

Tim Seymour said there are "a lot of unknowns here" with PFE.

Guy Adami said PHM is worth owning "as long as it holds 19."

Tim Seymour stammered that he likes MCD over KKD on valuation.

OK. Settled. No biotech ‘bubble.’

Generally when Dr. Yaron Werber visits Fast Money, you start seeing Clovis Oncology hopping on the afterhours ticker, but Wednesday produced no such mention/activity during a mostly useless discussion involving one of Melissa's favorite words.

"Are we seeing the popping of a bubble here" in biotech, Lee asked Werber.

Werber indicated no, that "you're seeing typical consolidation," but "the fundamentals remain good."

Guy Adami balked at the premise, wondering, "is the question flawed," and answering it for himself, "I don't see a bubble."

Werber said the big caps look OK, mid-cap maybe a bit dicey, and "small-cap looks a little stretched to me."

Karen Finerman said that while these small drugmakers all have varying products, the group tends to trade together, so she asked Werber how much sentiment and fund flow matter, which was basically like answering her own question/point.

Werber credited her for that observation and said, "To be honest, the data is good."

He said one name he's "cautious" on is SRPT. Lee said he has a "sell" on the stock.

Seymour: Buy RSX March 25 calls

Karen Finerman on Wednesday's Fast Money called Mike Mayo "THEE best bank analyst out there" and noted Mayo's top pick is MS but said she hasn't studied MS well enough herself.

Dan Nathan said if you're King and want to go public on the strength of Candy Crush, you "better have a pipeline ... the kids are on 'em for 3 months, and then they're gone."

Nathan, invoking the Dr. J lingo, said people using options are playing CHL with "defined risk," which Nathan says "makes a lot of sense."

Tim Seymour said "I'd stay in" VOD.

Guy Adami called IRBT "extraordinary (sic) volatile" and said to be long against $40.

Tim Seymour's Final Trade was RSX March 25 calls. Dan Nathan said XLE, Karen Finerman said GNC and Guy Adami said NEM.

Math The Najarian Way

We'd been wondering in the last 24 hours if Pete Najarian's Halftime Report Final Trade Monday of PLUG could get much worse.

Somehow, it did, with Doc's feel-good approach to this disaster on Wednesday.

Pete first explained to Judge "I'm still in the trade," that he apparently unloaded some or most of his March calls on Tuesday morning around the peak, but is still holding some that will presumably be worthless, making the trade roughly even.

Fair enough. But brother Doc decided to jump in and somehow twist this episode into an endorsement for the family business, options.

"If you invest with options, you've got a limited amount of risk," Jon Najarian explained. "It's limited to whatever you bought. In other words, that dollar-10 or dollar-40 that Pete's talking about, that's a much better investment uh to own a call or a put like that than a 10- or 11-dollar stock that goes to 6 as this one did."

Say ... what?

Taken literally, Doc is implying that options losses are "limited," while equity losses are apparently unlimited or less limited.

And, he apparently thinks an instrument that falls from $1.40 to $0 permanently is a "much better" trade than one that falls from $11 to $6 with unlimited time.

Not only that, he's referring to a 10-day option on a volatile stock as an "investment."

Last we checked, even if you're buying stock instead of options, your risk is "limited to whatever you bought."

You CAN, of course, buy puts in order to minimize the risk of your stock loss. But there's nothing "limited" about the potential of those puts to be worth zero.

What Doc is really stating is a risk/reward case, which is that you can buy calls with a much smaller commitment than buying the stock ($1.40 vs. $11 or whatever the prices were) but gain much more leverage in a move up. The downside is, they can also go to zero.

Doc added a comment about Ackman's HLF bungle that had nothing to do with anything except to obscure Pete's PLUG disaster.

Pete insisted the stock was still running Tuesday morning, nearly 24 hours after his recommendation. "I had a bunch of guys flagging me too Scott, just saying, 'Oh you're awful for even bringing this up,' well, there was opportunity there still," Pete said.

Pete though denied Judge's suggestion that PLUG is a sign of a market top that will spill into other high-P.E. names. PLUG is "just a different category altogether," Najarian said, before doing his patented ask-myself-a-question. "You wanna talk about froth? This is the area of froth," he said.

Viewers told supply and demand is ‘not an ongoing thing’

Judge kicked off Wednesday's Halftime Report with a notably dull conversation about copper.

"The volatility index itself has been very volatile," said Pete Najarian, before pointing to $3 copper being the "mind-set area."

Stephen Weiss said copper is sort of a financial instrument in China, and he would just "stay away from commodities."

Jon Najarian shrugged that "people have been inventorying copper for years."

Mike Murphy said "I am a buyer" of FCX under 31, though "I'm not calling a bottom in copper."

Murphy was most bullish on stocks. "Right now the market is in rally mode," he said.

Sarat Sethi, joining the gang for the first 10 minutes, opined, "I think it's a good thing that commodities are going down, before uncorking a head-scratcher: "This is what commodities are: They are supply and demand. It's not an ongoing thing."

Sethi focused in on oil/refining plays, saying he likes VLO and MRO, plus DAL, UAL and AAL.

He suggested infrastructure companies such as CAT face headwinds in China.

Pete’s phantom AMX
position, Day 2

Judge happened to ask Pete Najarian late into Wednesday's Halftime Report how Pete's trade in AMX calls is doing, a fine question given that this page pointed out a day ago (see below) that there was some confusion between TV and online as to what Pete's position actually was.

As you can see from the top image above Wednesday, Pete's apparently long AMX calls.

And, as you can see from the lower image, the official CNBC.com disclosures Wednesday (which, we'll point out, are only on the "Fast Money" page and not the "Halftime Report" page) (snicker) (they don't actually want anyone to see them or read them) indicate that Jon Najarian, not Pete Najarian, is actually the one with an AMX position.

Nevertheless, Pete told Judge Wednesday that he'll exit "at some point in time."

In addition, Pete said he's into those hot APD January 135 calls, and "if the options double, I'm out," but otherwise he expects to hang on a couple months.

CNBC informs viewers that
Neil Young is a ‘musician’

We always like to see Kate Kelly's reports at Halftime; Wednesday she clued in Judge's viewers as to the setbacks in Fannie and Freddie.

Kelly listed several longs, specifically Pershing Square and also Fairholme and Perry and Ralph Nader, but noting which ones were mostly in the preferreds, which weren't hit that hard.

Virginia Sen. Mark Warner then explained to Judge that this bipartisan Senate plan to create an alternative has been deemed an "8 to 9" on a scale of 10 by those who have seen it.

"This is common sense," Warner said, referring multiple times to the perceived system of Fannie and Freddie investors being on the hook for the gains and taxpayers on the hook for the losses.

Warner said the early investors after the meltdown have claimed "massive profits," and said of the proposal, "I think it will" pass Congress.

Ralph Nader then joined the show (unlike Carl/Ackman, he wasn't on the same time as Warner) with a likely more realistic outlook, stating "we haven't seen the real bill" that Warner claims everyone should read, asserting "a lot of reforms can be done with existing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac structure," and predicting Warner's measure is "going nowhere in the Congress."

Steve Weiss tells how to avoid handing your money to the next Madoff

Brian Stutland said on Wednesday's Halftime that the Crimea maybe has affected gold, but "I don't think that's the whole story," and pointed to the VIX being up this year along with stocks representing "fear overall" that's pushing gold.

Jim Iuorio was quite optimistic on gold, telling Jackie DeAngelis, "I think it's getting close to being a safe haven again."

Stephen Weiss shrugged off New Jersey's blow to Tesla. "I don't think it means anything; it's an antiquated law," Weiss said.

Mike Murphy dubiously said, "You wanna be in a name like that if you're playing it from the momentum side," not explaining what other side there is to play it from.

Murphy also dubiously said homebuilders such as PHM and TOL are "setting up to an area" where you can get in (that sounds like Tim Seymour's standing "very near" a trade).

Pete Najarian said "I think there's plenty of upside" in AIG.

Stephen Weiss said of AEO and URBN, "I'd stay away from both of 'em."

Jon Najarian, as he tends to do during the "Trader Blitz," minimized the commentary on RAD, pointing out Goldman Sachs upgraded it to $8, which according to Doc, "In other words they think it's got more upside."

Ya think?

Just make sure you "limit" your loss by buying options instead of stock.

Mike Murphy made a bullish biotech argument for XBI, stating it's "the best way to play this space" and in fact a big holding is Intercept Pharmaceuticals.

Pete Najarian cast doubt on that, affirming the problem is that the "big portion of the fund is Intercept" and not missing the bigger names he likes in favor of highly shorted speculative ones.

Judge asked viewers to vote using "eye-ther (sic) the hashtag bull or the hashtag bear." (And when you're done with that, if you want to clean the johns at Englewood Cliffs, you can do that too.)

Scott Cohn was given the final moments (Judge skipped Final Trades, which will help avoid another PLUG disaster) to lay out a clumsy pop quiz about spotting an investment scam.

Stephen Weiss' advice for avoiding the next Madoff is, when reviewing the reported performance, "compare it to the S&P, compare it to the Nasdaq, because, if the returns are so far apart from, or consistency is so much better, then you gotta ask those questions, and you'll probably stay away."

Pete Najarian agreed. "The consistency — that's a red flag," Pete said.

But Cohn said a lot of the stated returns were similar to market returns.

[Tuesday, March 11, 2014]

Grasso: Sell AAPL
Doc: Don’t buy it

Destined for an angry Twitter/e-mail backlash, Steve Grasso declared on Tuesday's Fast Money that "Apple is probably a sell at this level."

Downplaying reports of possible exclusive deals with music labels, Grasso explained, "Every time everyone goes against Pandora on a granular level, Pandora always wins."

Melissa Lee then got cute, issuing an "at the end of the day" and asking Grasso what this means (and, seemingly, almost using air quotes).

"At the end of the day you buy Pandora, you sell Apple, because I think Apple's margins are definitely in question," Grasso declared.

Doc waded into that, seemingly claiming that Apple's awesome because of the iTunes ecosystem, and stating (inaccurately), "When they decide to, they can be the Netflix killer, they can be the Pandora killer, they can be all these things. They've just got a bunch of stodgy old whatevers on the board that are not recognizing this."

(It's too late to kill Netflix. They should've bought Instagram.)

Brian Kelly delivered a dis, telling Najarian, "It sounds like you're describing a utility company," and why not just buy a steady utility for lower risk.

Najarian admitted, "I'm not encouraging you to buy it here."

Melissa Lee tried to impress upon Karen Finerman that the new iPhone is going to bring in $36 more revenue. "I don't know what that- what that translates into," Finerman said, accounting for the price of the plan and the phone and the discount terms, etc.

Grasso: Buy TSLA at 225

Phil LeBeau proved the star guest of an automotive-heavy Fast Money on Tuesday.

LeBeau allowed that New Jersey's ban on dealerless Tesla sales "is not going to be a killer," but if you're Tesla, "you don't wanna lose New Jersey," and this is "one more impediment to slowing down sales."

Ben Kallo, one of Fast Money's 2 go-to guys on the brand, told Melissa Lee that "Phil brought up some good points" and that "it does create an impediment in New Jersey."

But Kallo said that worldwide there are no such restrictions, that it's still an innovative sales model, and "I would recommend buying on these dips" because he sees the Gigafactory as the longer-term catalyst; "you should see some state subsidies."

Brian Kelly sputtered that he owns the stock but did nothing Tuesday; "I wouldn't buy more if — beca- just because portfilo (sic) management-wise" (snicker), Kelly said.

But Kelly said if he didn't own it, he would be buying it.

Steve Grasso advised viewers, "I would wait for an entry point around 225."

Jon Najarian agreed that 225 seemed to be the mark for options players.

Melissa Lee asked CNBC's Bertha Coombs, on location at the New Jersey mall with a Tesla store that Lee visited pre-holidays, if that Tesla showroom will close. "That is an interesting question," Coombs decided, not knowing the answer.

But how come Mel didn’t ask anyone if they’d rather buy F?

Karen Finerman issued an understatement for GM investors after the recall-investigation reports at the top of Tuesday's Fast Money.

"I am long, I don't love to see this," Finerman explained.

Finerman suggested that Mary Barra, who now gets paid more than the previous guy, needs to get ahead of the story; "she's gotta do more," and it shouldn't cost her that much because it wasn't on her watch; "she wouldn't step down over this."

Jon Najarian said GM investors "were nervous" and buying 30-strike puts, though "I don't know if we get there."

Steve Grasso said the slide in GM should be a "buyable event" at some point, but "I would use a 33 stop."

Brian Kelly said if you're long GM to sell if it hits 37.

5 out of 1,000 (otherwise known as the less-than-1%)

Control4 chief Martin Plaehn, whose company installs home automation and now has a deal with Toll Brothers, told Melissa Lee on Tuesday's Fast Money (without directly addressing the question) that he's not afraid of Toll customers rejecting his service as optional; he's "fairly confident that we will get uh, a tax rate for new homes."

And whatever that means, we have no clue.

"This is the 21st century," Plaehn informed Lee and viewers.

Apparently Control4 has some kind of potential frenemy relationship with CSCO, and "we're still working on that," Plaehn said, and he told Karen Finerman that his service is more appealing than perhaps ADT because Control4 is selling an open architecture style allowing add-ons whereas ADT is selling a package.

In a long-winded way, Plaehn said Control4 is not for sale.

Brian Kelly said of the stock, "Love it right here; it is the future of homes."

Steve Grasso though was skeptical, asking, "What are the barriers to entry."

Karen Finerman pointed out that Mel featured SmartThings (or whatever it is) in her machines-taking-over program, and then Finerman, like Pete Najarian on Halftime, opted to question herself: "It does seem to be the wave of the future. Who gets there first? I don't know."

Steve Grasso suggested, "I think it's- it's taken out."

Finerman agreed that at its size, it's a "bite-size acquisition for somebody."

Plaehn at one point referred to people buying "from Tolls (sic)." And after that, they probably shop at "Nordstroms" and "Joseph Banks."

How come Doc wasn’t clamoring this time for a Treasury Dept. statement on bitcoin?

Bitcoin backer and tech investor Jeremy Liew visited with Tuesday's Fast Money gang and claimed the demise of Mt. Gox was needed to pave the way for "regulated U.S.-based, New York-based bitcoin exchanges" so that trades will occur that "we all can feel more comfortable with."

Liew also touted Snapchat and Whisper and several other names and praised Whisper as a place where people can "bare their souls" with anonymity.

Jon Najarian though said Whisper complaints from SXSW were making people wonder, "Is it really secretive," or does the "contact list" trip up everyone.

China’s apparently crashing;
take appropriate measures

Brian Kelly claimed on Tuesday's Fast Money that it just so happens "we could be witnessing the beginning of the unwinding of the shadow-banking system" in China.

But, in spite of that suggestion, Kelly said he "actually covered today" his copper short, because there's the risk the government could step in and then it rockets up, and if the government doesn't, there are other ways to short a bigger calamity.

Got it. Sure.

Steve Grasso pointed to the notion of "copper as collateral" and questioned, "How would it be a poppable event?"

Karen Finerman butted in and questioned how much of the copper is essentially paper copper not used for actual building, etc. Kelly said that's the key question and "nobody can get a handle on it" but suggested it's like margin debt and needing to pay up.

Not a word about Crimea

Steve Grasso told viewers of Fast Money on Tuesday that he's in PAY and "I'm going to continue to hold this position," but "I wouldn't establish a position tomorrow."

Melissa Lee claimed "I'm still reeling" that Brian Kelly bought TWTR (omg). Kelly uncorked a Patty Edwards favorite, "At this point in time (sic redundancy)," and said social media is appealing because he sees "money allocated to this area."

Steve Grasso bellowed, "YouTube is a JEWEL inside Google" (Drink), and that it's great for a name like TWTR to get any of that "type of cerebral capacity."

Jon Najarian said of ZNGA, "I am in this name ... looking for more of a pop."

Najarian said RH players were selling the March 55 calls to buy the March 65s and that weather hasn't been a problem for this stock.

Brian Kelly said "I would stay away from" DD.

Jon Najarian really had nothing to say about FCEL.

Karen Finerman was asked to opine on FNMA and said, "That's not a drop; that's kind of a big disaster."

Steve Grasso said TMUS "could go higher."

Courtney Reagan said S&P is going to recognize Google's 2nd class of shares, which means it will have 501 issues and 500 companies.

"I don't think it means anything for the stock," said Brian Kelly.

Mike Khouw said buyers of the April 40 calls in COG found a "cheap way" to make a bullish bet.

Karen Finerman said she doesn't know "the exact time or date" that C will break 50 (remember when Pete and Joe a couple years ago insisted that would bring in all the institutional holders with strong hands?), but it's bound to happen again just like it did last week; meanwhile, "I still like Citi, Bank America (sic) and JPMorgan" (Drink), Finerman said.

Flash: Michael Burns agrees to talk upcoming movies on Fast Money

Michael Burns found time in his day ahead of another big Lions Gate movie launch to tell Fast Money how great the franchise is and will be even though we're definitely not going to be "spiking the football early."

Melissa Lee reported that "advance ticket sales are off the charts" for "Divergent."

The toothless panel featured questions such as Karen Finerman actually wondering if "Divergent" and "Hunger Games" will cannibalize each other (the latter apparently comes out in November, so "we're gonna have enough space between them"), and Jon Najarian hailing how many foreigners are interested in the movie which just happens to be filmed in Chicago.

Brian Kelly said of LGF, "I think you buy it, into this release."

Steve Grasso's Final Trade was GOOG. Brian Kelly said BBRY, Karen Finerman said ULTA and Jon Najarian said RH.

For Pitt’s sake — More disclosure fun at CNBC.com; which Najarian is actually long AMX calls?

Judge welcomed former SEC boss Harvey Pitt to Tuesday's Halftime Report.

Perhaps he should've asked Harvey to review the trader disclosures at CNBC.com.

Pete Najarian spent a moment on the show gushing about the April 20 calls in AMX.

"I'm in this name; I'm not taking anything off the table yet," Pete told Judge Wapner, stating that he'd probably get out if it approaches 20½, but he figures to be in it "at least a couple of weeks."

The screen text, as you can see above, seemed to verify this position.

But the funny thing about that, we discovered that according to the official show disclosures at CNBC.com, it's apparently Jon Najarian who owns AMX calls ... and not Pete Najarian.

Which means either 1) Pete was spreading the b.s. on TV like backyard fertilizer,


2) Whoever's compiling this material at CNBC.com is making (bleep) up out of thin air and passing it off as legitimate information.

Let's hope there's a 3), that some overworked folks are just asleep at the switch.

Best point in the HLF saga was Carl stressing that Sullivan & Cromwell didn’t declare HLF a pyramid scheme

Former SEC boss Harvey Pitt, star guest of Tuesday's Halftime Report, was asked by Judge if Ackman has nothing to offer about HLF's consumer impact but everything to offer in needing the stock to go down to bolster his fund return and is thus "crossing the line."

"It certainly is looking that way," Pitt said, shrugging off "almost meaningless letters" with nothing new that Ackman is pushing.

Josh Brown asked a great question of Pitt, wondering what would stop some short investor of tobacco plays from demanding regulators look at some tobacco angle and insist, "Take a look at this, take a look at that."

"Excellent question, and it points up some problems with Ackman's campaign. He made his allegations a long, long time ago," Pitt said, and here's the money quote, pointing out Ackman has given "no real indication of victims or violations."

Pete Najarian, who spent the program asking himself questions and only sort of answering them, said "the bigger question" (even though it was the same as Judge's first question) is whether Ackman really is spreading truth or trying to profit, and given what Pitt was discussing, "sure sounds like it oughta be looked into."

Josh Brown, in his only lapse of the day, said, "At the end of the day," Ackman could be right that the company is lousy to work for, but that may not help the short trade.

Jon Najarian said of Ackman, "He's really hurting his reputation here," and then 2 or 3 more times said that Ackman "risks his reputation here."

Judge repeated his tiresome story from a day ago that some Ackman investor is actually a True Believer of this stuff.

‘Bubble’ revisited

Even though stocks are hardly having a parabolic year, Judge Wapner on Tuesday's Halftime Report decided the time is right (again) for one of CNBC's favorite buzzwords.

"Are we in a bubble in tech," Judge asked his panel.

"Absolutely not," said Pete Najarian, pointing to QCOM, INTC, MU and VMW.

But Pete did ask himself, "Tesla. Is that in a bubble? Certainly it's in a bubble of some sort."

Josh Brown used one of our favorite terms you don't hear much nowadays when he said money managers are paying up for high-growth names and there's "nothing inherently wrong with that."

Joe Greco honestly didn't make a point at all when he said we don't really know it's a bubble until it's popped (that part's OK) and then suggested that if some stocks get taken over apparently before they go skyrocketing then "maybe the bubble never popped" (that's what was loopy and made no sense).

Mike Murphy asserted, "The overall market, the S&P 500 or the Nasdaq, is 100% not in a bubble."

Judge a couple times reported purported fears of Rich Pzena and Doug Silverman regarding high-P.E. stocks. Josh Brown, who had a great show actually, correctly told Judge, "You're quoting value managers. They wouldn't buy them anyway."

Mike Murphy concluded that the market is "climbing a wall of worry."

Brown: 10 possible in JCP

JCP has not only gained some momentum as a stock, but as a positive (yes) subject on the Halftime Report.

Mike Murphy made the bull case Tuesday, saying the previous fears of never getting customers back are unfounded, and the company has cash now.

Jon Najarian, the bear, said "I wouldn't touch this stock right here," and introduced a Grinch clip that unfortunately involved dead air and thus lacked any punch (the reference was a bit odd anyway), and suggested the short-covering is ending because short interest has dropped during this rise, and that the company will possibly have to unload real estate.

Josh Brown thinks the stock is "gonna run right into the December high of 10" and then sell off, which Brown characterized as Najarian being right but actually that seems like Murphy would be right, but in any case, Brown said if it doesn't go bankrupt, "in the longer term Murphy might be right."

Judge even concluded with this thought: "Just wonder, if, you know, we're gonna look back, and, and have the same conversation we were having about Best Buy."

Pete apparently buys AEO

Mike Murphy on Tuesday's Halftime Report touted M (Drink), stating, "I think it can continue to move higher."

Josh Brown said of URBN, "I wouldn't be betting against it," but at the same time there's "no reason to buy it."

Jon Najarian said DKS was strengthened by JPM reiterating an overweight.

Pete Najarian said there are "a lot of real issues right now going on" at AEO, but "I think it's actually a buy down here." (And in fact, according to disclosures, he's actually long.)

Jon Najarian said ,"I would continue to hold Wal-Mart." Josh Brown said he wouldn't be surprised if people get a "head start on spring shopping."

Ilchmeister: Copper
could fall another 6-7%

Jon Najarian said on Tuesday's Halftime that his gambling favorites are the South Asian plays LVS and WYNN, but also "I like Boyd Gaming."

Najarian conceded that if Elliott's taking a BYD stake, and it wants a REIT and doesn't get it, the stock likely would fall.

Mike Murphy said one BYD analyst thinks there's a "snowball's chance in hell they convert to a REIT."

Anthony Grisanti said "There are cracks in China" affecting copper's price, and given that, "demand for copper should go lower."

Rich Ilczyszyn said "the trend is your friend" in copper, and "we could potentially see that 2010 low, which is about 6-7% lower." And, he thinks copper could be a stock-market tell.

Pete denied a Final Trade

Jon Najarian said on Tuesday's Halftime Report that Apple usually gets a "$75 pop" when the new phone comes out, but he's not sure whether that'll be from $500 or a lot higher.

Jon Fortt said that "digital album sales, uh, are outpacing physical CD sales," as Judge questioned the timing of Apple's music announcement in the wake of Spotify's possible IPO.

Superfox Sara Eisen said McDonald's on its Dollar Menu has cut the patties in the burger from 2 to 1 as food-price inflation encroaches on companies and consumers.

Mike Murphy said food inflation "could be a real problem" but probably not at his favorite, WFM.

Josh Brown said ag stocks have done nothing for a long time, but "MOO looks like it's on the verge of a breakout."

Wine expert Jennifer Williams-Bulkeley, whose pretty hair partly covered one eye, told the panel "we are at a 5-year cyclical low" in wine-buying, and Bordeaux peaked in 2009-10, so this is a "wonderful opportunity ... a nice relative value play" to typical financial investments.

Mike Murphy's Final Trade was COG, saying in fact he sold GENW in his 2014 Playbook Playoffs portfolio (try saying that 5 times fast) and replaced it with COG. Jon Najarian said LVLT. Josh Brown said SPWR. Hopefully Joe and Pete ditched AAPL and replaced with FB, but probably not. (This writer is long FB.)

[Monday, March 10, 2014]

Fleck ramping up fund so he
can ‘be ready for when it’s
actually time to get short’

Bill Fleckenstein, one of our favorite Fast Money guests who famously last autumn told Melissa Lee he wasn't shorting the market but was really seriously starting to think about putting together a fund for eventually doing so, placed a call to Monday's Fast Money.

Fleck told Lee on Monday that he will get his purported short fund established "probably in the 2nd quarter" — but he's not going to short stuff right away, rather, "I'm gonna be ready for when it's actually time to get short."

Missy asked when that would be.

"When the bond markets finally take the printing press away from the lunatics at the Fed," Fleck said cautioning that it won't be a "black and white" moment, but "it'll be a gray area."

"I've waited 5 years for this," said Fleck, who apparently will wait a bit longer.

Despite this clear assessment, Missy persisted in getting an answer as to what exactly Bill will short when he deems the time is right to be short. "I don't really have that many candidates," Fleck admitted, adding, "I don't see a compelling case to be short right now."

Tim Seymour questioned why anyone now needs to "reach" for the "highest momentum names."

As was apparently mandatory on every CNBC show Monday, Seth Klarman's name was mentioned.

Train wreck: Brian Kelly
says he owns TSLA, and why

Brian Kelly revealed on Monday's Fast Money, "I'm buying things like FireEye," and then happened to mention, "I bought Tesla just before the close today."

Hmmmm. Did he?

According to the so-called "official" disclosures at CNBC.com, Kelly has no position in TSLA.

So, one of 3 things is correct: 1) Panelist positions are submitted before the end of trading, or 2) Kelly just forgot it, or 3) Kelly never actually bought TSLA.

We would always give more credence to a person's commentary rather than what's proved to be a laughable list (note one person's name is "Time (sic) Seymour"), so we'll assume it's No. 1.

Which, if true, makes the list all the more laughable. (Don't worry, SEC doesn't care in the slightest. They're probably investigating some of that suspicious options activity that Doc is always flagging.)

But the collective hoodwinking was only just beginning.

Moments later, during a discussion of the spark in the battery names, Kelly explained, "This is exactly why I bought Tesla. ... It's down 20% over the last 2 days, roughly 20% over the last 2 days."

Seriously? We can't figure out a bowling score to save our life, but according to Yahoo finance, TSLA is down 5.6% in 2 days, and from its peak — set 2 weeks ago at 265 — it's down just a shade under 10%.

Perhaps Kelly bought a different stock that actually is down 20% in 2 days and just happens to think it's Tesla but it's really another name on the "official" disclosure list.

Kelly also said, "I bought Twitter today." (That one is up there.) Steve Grasso asked himself, "Isn't Instagram becoming the Alibaba of Yahoo," and then answered himself, "totally." Except it's not that simple thankfully; Facebook and Google, unlike Yahoo, are actually trying (and able) to buy new and exciting things and not worrying about overpaying via stock (or even having to unload Motorola Mobility) for the chance to hit home runs, which seems to account for their Wall Street favor. (This writer is long FB.)

Fast Money Trade School:
‘Stay near’ = ‘Don’t buy’

Tim Seymour's propensity to say things on Fast Money that are, shall we say, kinda mumbo-jumbo-ish caught up with him on Monday.

Seymour's advice to viewers on YOKU was, "Stay out of the way for a while," but "you stay near this trade."

"What does that mean, stay near the trade?" Melissa Lee rightly asked.

"I'm saying you don't buy it today," Seymour sputtered, amid an expected overly long explanation.

Steve Grasso said his favorite in the casino space is always LVS.

Tim Seymour indicated he would be "staying near" an MPEL short, because the disclosures (snicker) make no mention of him having a position, but he said he'd been riding it long, but now it's shortable, "not a major, major short," but one that can be shorted 15-20%.

Tim Seymour turns up on Monday’s program after ‘long weekend’

There's nothing Tim Seymour likes to talk about on Fast Money more than China data, and so Monday was sort of an early Christmas present.

"The numbers out of China were absolutely awful," Seymour explained before cautioning that Crimea could get a lot worse; "That creates all kinds of geopolitics (sic)."

Yes. Barack Obama golfed in Florida last weekend with Alonzo Mourning. Sounds like we're on the brink of another Cold War.

Steve Grasso cautioned bears that if you think the data and/or Crimean mess should necessitate selling, know that the market has "shirked off every negative headline."

"I think you should not be complacent in this market," said Tim Seymour.

Brian Kelly sounded the most bullish of the group, suggesting that the S&P holding steady on a day like Monday suggests a "blowoff top" is coming.

Dan Nathan insisted that the Nasdaq 100 "is gonna go one way or the other."

Dennis Gartman on crude:
‘Egregiously bearish’

He's not a guy prone to Brag Trades. But Dennis Gartman indulged a bit on Monday's Fast Money, saying he was fortunate enough to get into a long gold/short copper trade recently, but as soon as he saw a 2-handle in copper, "that was enough for me" to unwind, so "right now I've gone to the sidelines."

Gartman told Melissa Lee he is "egregiously bearish on crude oil ... I am short."

And he told the panel to expect, over time, "enormous trade deficits" in China.

Tim Seymour told viewers, "I'd stay short the Canadian dollar."

But Seymour said FCX is no longer a pure gold mining play, and close to 30, "I think it's an opportunity," Seymour said.

And, Seymour said, he'd "start to nibble" on CLF.

Dan Nathan said FCX April 33 calls and April 31 puts were active, suggesting people expect a breakout in either direction.

The Meredith Whitney of sports business: Tim Seymour claims Shaq is ‘a guy that people actually listen to’

Melissa Lee welcomed CNBC's Cadie Thompson onto Monday's Fast Money to deliver a report from the conference we were already sick of 2 days ago, SXSW.

The "session's been great," Thompson explained, before airing a clip of Shaquille O'Neal talking about wearables or something like that.

Tim Seymour, who last week asserted that we're in the "early days" of Twitter in which people are "more vulnerable" than usual to stock hyping, was impressed, declaring that Shaq has "straddled the, the role between sports athlete (sic redundancy) and pop icon and a guy that people actually listen to."

Mel figures if she asks Jason MacKenzie 3 times about the video no one cares about, maybe he’ll admit it’s an HTC phone

This was basically a bust.

Melissa Lee ran into a bit of a wall on Monday's Fast Money with HTC exec Jason MacKenzie, who wouldn't reveal what's up with the next phone but insisted, "The best is about to get better" and that the current HTC1 or whatever it is was chosen "smartphone of the year."

MacKenzie gets it, uttering "at the end of the day" (Triple Drink) at one point.

Tim Seymour explained to viewers, "The phone for the world is probably not the phone for the United States ... I would rather own Samsung" (Double Drink).

Dan Nathan was not impressed by whatever HTC's cooking up. "That thing's DOA in America," Nathan said.

Tim Seymour recently claimed Rachel Fox’s stock-market app game due in 5 months is ‘the stuff we did in my training program coming out of business school’

Dan Nathan admitted on Monday's Fast Money that when it comes to 3-D printing, "I just haven't gotten it."

Steve Grasso stressed that Stratasys is really the hot name in this space, but there's no reason HPQ won't be a factor in it.

Tim Seymour warned viewers about DD; "You should be very cautious on materials here."

Dan Nathan said, "Boeing had a bad weekend," and he would wait for the stock to "continue to consolidate before you get back in."

"I wouldn't go near it," said Tim Seymour.

Brian Kelly said "I would take my profits" in URI, and he didn't mean Uri Geller.

Tim Seymour, in yet another example of "staying near" a trade, said of VIPS, "I'd be buying weakness, not in this one, but in others."

Steve Grasso said to wait for CQB to hold 12 for a couple days.

Brian Kelly said you can own VALE for a pop, but then you need to sell it.

Steve Grasso, in another one of those useless bits of advice, said that APA is not a buy if you think oil is falling. "Energy across the board, I wouldn't be loading up on here," Grasso said.

Tim Seymour said of URBN, "I don't think you need to jump into the stock here." (Translation: Stay "near" the trade.)

Dan Nathan said his mom likes TJX, so "hold on" to the shares.

Tim Seymour's Final Trade was to sell XLB. Brian Kelly said buy FEYE, Steve Grasso said buy BAC and Dan Nathan said XLF puts.

Coop points out that Carl’s RIG presence was a bust

Surprisingly, it was a dud.

Monday's Halftime Report boasted the presence of 2 greats, Lee Cooperman and Carl Icahn, only to get the most lukewarm chats from either one in recent memory. (It didn't help that Judge never asked Coop about the New York regulation guy who's sending letters to the mortgage handlers who ended up with a lot of business because of Basel.)

Lee first explained that recession "sows the seeds" of recovery and vice-versa, but the S&P seems right around Lee's projected year-end multiple, so there's "no really (sic) reason for it to rage." But, he allowed, it "does not look like a recession is in the cards anytime soon."

Cooperman said he sees GDP "somewhere in the range of 2-3%."

But, he actually took a page from the Occupy playbook, stating, "The income disparity is reaching extremes" and semi-complaining that the QE measures have mostly helped the wealthy; "I guess you guys like to call 'em the 1% people," while conceding also that "everyone's house price is up to a degree."

Coop's top picks include AIG, where he expects "at least a 10% return on equity," which he says would bring "1 times book value minimum."

He said he likes "Citicorp (sic)," plus JPM and SLM.

But he sounded most excited about energy and his now-long-standing pick, SD, explaining that one of his associates was at analyst day and heard management say, "They thought their NAV was somewhere between 10 and 15 dollars a share."

Cooperman rattled off ATLS, APL and ARP, and then HAL. "If everything you own is on the new high list, you're a momentum player, and everything you own is new (sic) low list, you're out of business," Coop said, adding he also likes RIG.

Pete Najarian said his favorite of Lee's stable is QCOM, "way undervalued" based on China growth potential.

Josh Brown said, "I like the RIG call," and called $40 a "decent floor."

Anthony Scaramucci observed that Lee was his former boss, but Anthony tends to think multiples will expand perhaps more than Lee does.

Coop said he's not vocally into the EBAY trade, but "I give Carl a lot of credit ... we happen to agree with him." But Lee even suggested that Carl give it up with EBAY and focus on RIG.

Carl: Ackman’s HLF ploy
‘bordered on the insane’

Perhaps the well is running dry.

Or, perhaps he's bored, and realized he bolted NFLX way too soon.

Carl Icahn dialed into Monday's Halftime Report to plead a weak, redundant case against EBAY, the latest "quintessential example of what's wrong with, uh, governance in corporate America."

Viewers got the usual, "Some of the board members are actually good guys but nobody wants to stand up," and Carl a couple times complained about the "collegial" board.

Carl disputed the enormous returns, claimed by the company, since John Donahoe took over, saying he'd have to verify that himself but then asserting in fact they are "very mediocre results ... much, much, much worse than his peer group."

Judge brought up Peter Thiel's remarks, which Carl insisted "I didn't even read," but added that founders of these businesses often aren't the right guys to be CEO.

Finally, the money quote: Carl claimed that in Silicon Valley, they're a "band of brothers" who will "band together" and say, "Well, Icahn's a bad guy for coming in here."

In fact, it sounds more like Carl's out of intriguing ideas, is bored, knows he exited NFLX too soon, and is merely picking on a company that, like AAPL, doesn't really deserve it, so why shouldn't they get annoyed at whatever he's doing?

Much more realistically, Carl rightly scoffed at Ackman's latest HLF gambit, saying it "almost bordered on the insane."

Josh Brown hardly made any sense in apparently calling whatever Ackman's doing "obviously a gray area."

Judge said he spoke to an Ackman investor who is absolutely "unwavering." But Anthony Scaramucci said he wonders if Ackman in HLF is a situation where "brilliance doesn't get blinded by pride."


She’s done it again

It was a shocker:

Pete Najarian and Josh Brown were on television Monday.

Josh Brown, who had a lousy show, opened Monday's Halftime Report with a muddled, nonsensical if/then analysis that purported to claim the market is whatever you want it to be, "if you believe it's this, then this," etc.

Ben Willis declared, "You're gonna need to pick individual stocks" and perhaps enter the derivatives realm for an alpha return, maybe selling volatility or writing calls or puts, because, "It's a stock-picker's market." (Drink)

Even Judge declared, "This is a stock-picker's market." (Double Drink)

But Pete Najarian said he likes energy, technology and financials, which sounds like a bit more than just "stock-picking," and in particular likes WDC and VMW.

Anthony Scaramucci tacked on consumer brands, banks and health care and called this a "long-term secular bull market."

Stephen Weiss backed what Scaramucci said and added, "health care's gonna do very well."

So, maybe you don't have to pick as much as Judge says.

Like every other program on CNBC Monday, Judge was forced to synch up with Cramer for an utterly useless hit from Louisiana. (Maybe the others are OK, but this was a bust.)

Cramer joked that he was getting "sun poisoning," and that HAL is hiring.

Josh Brown said there are "2 different prongs" of looking at the energy space, and he likes IEO and solar.

Cramer said Action Alerts bought CVX because it was down so much.

Pete Najarian's Final Trade was PLUG. That evidently was it, except according to CNBC.com, Josh Brown submitted DNKN, Steve Weiss offered HON and Anthony Scaramucci said PG.

Regarding Seema Mody pictures, 1) yes, it's getting a bit ridiculous; 2) we're not getting carried away; she's crushing it recently (when was the last time you saw that particular outfit on CNBC) and what else are we supposed to do?

Happy 50th, David Faber

It's been noted throughout the last several months that several CNBCers have hit the magic 5-0 mark.

As of today, that list includes one of our Mount Rushmore, David Faber.

He's got a great life going. Most of us would just be thrilled to have the hair.

[Friday, March 7, 2014]

Tim Seymour curiously claims we’re ‘going into a long weekend’

What comes around, keeps coming around ...

Just a week ago, we heard the skittish Brian Kelly and recently skittish Steve Grasso declare on Fast Money that the Ukrainian crisis was putting the market in risk-off mode.

Which lasted a grand total of, oh, about 2 hours.

Yet, this Friday, it sounded like the same old/same old, as Tim Seymour began to dispense wisdom as if his mind were on holiday even though the stock markets, contrary to what he said, are not.

"We actually have a naval bomber, uh, in the- in the Bosporus Fee- (sic) Sea," Seymour reported, and then suggesting this "could be a very similar script" to last week ... which of course, if actually true, would mean you start backing up the truck around 10:30 a.m. Monday.

Steve Grasso said, "I don't mind people taking some off the table right here."

Neither do we.

Pete Najarian conceded that now there's talk of sanctions, and "that becomes a bit of an issue," but look at those regional banks go as financials gain traction.

Jon Najarian spent precious moments revisiting his irrelevant-jobs-number thesis of a day ago ... getting 175,000, "who cares ... big deal ... the big deal is financials," which of course this week means STT and BK, as well as KEY.

Jon Najarian said he bought VIX 15 calls and sold the 18s in case something happens in the Crimea.

DNKN chief Nigel Travis is unfazed by the potential of spiking coffee prices and told the gang that "we feel we're on track for the year" in terms of guidance.

Travis, a fine guest, said he's probably looked at 30 brands the last couple years but hasn't been compelled to make an acquisition, but when they do, it'll be someone with the right brands and approach.

Tim Seymour said he thinks DNKN has gotten pricey, and "this is a classic pair trade," long SBUX and short DNKN.

Pete Najarian disagreed and backed DNKN; "I like their growth strategy."

Seymour said BA has shrugged off every maintenance issue but it might fall a bit more; "at 120 you reload."

Steve Grasso said of BA, "The only level you have to look at is 118.77," but "I am a little nervous" about its struggle with moving averages recently.

Pete Najarian backed the DIS-Shanghai deal and said "the stock's going higher."

Tim Seymour claims people are ‘more vulnerable’ to Twitter hype because this is the ‘early days’

Dominic Chu, stealing a classic on Friday's Fast Money from Dr. New Land's vocabulary, said "in essence," Carl Icahn now wants people to follow him on Twitter and like him on Facebook and also look up his goofily titled Web site.

Oh, joy.

"I'm not surprised," said Jon Najarian, who with his colleagues took this report a bit too seriously (um, nothing would actually stop Carl from shipping a letter/email to CNBC) and said Carl leads the league in using the media.

Melissa Lee snarled, "He takes advantage of the media; yes he does."

Tim Seymour, with almost laughable seriousness, suggested there's a "bigger issue" regarding Twitter information and this is the "early days, and therefore I think people are more vulnerable."

Doc said he'd been in WWE calls, but Friday he "took off July 40s."

He said FEYE was stung by a secondary, but "I'm thinking about getting in here."

Pete Najarian said FL is "going higher."

Tim Seymour said ANR and "a lot of coal names were hit."

Steve Grasso said he bought some PAY on Friday for himself.

Jon Najarian's daughter Tristen, a TV natural, dazzled in the finale of the "Confessions of a teenage trader" segment, even more comfortable than the other highly impressive guests of the week. Tristen said her first trade was AAPL, which she thinks is now "past its prime" a bit, and likes DIS and LULU, and revealed that profits go to "spending, saving and charity."

Mel declared herself "angelic" and inserted ego into the broadcast in revisiting the Kaity Tong photo from episodes past without even identifying Tong this time (what it had to do with teen trading, we have no clue).

Tristen Najarian's Final Trade was DIS. Jon Najarian said SMG. Steve Grasso said PAY. Pete Najarian simply repeated his Halftime call (see, we keep saying, Pete and Josh Brown are on 4 out of every 5 shows). Tim Seymour said "you have to play" SINA.

America ‘overstored’

One of this page's frenemies (not our choice), Stacey Widlitz, was seen on Kelly Evans' Closing Bell Friday unleashing a potential addition to the lexicon.

Widlitz said brick and mortar is not at all dead, but "we are just overstored."

(So, RadioShack is taking one for the team.)

Widlitz offered another angle for winter's apparent economic slump. "People had their food stamps taken away, so the dollar stores are suffering, Wal-Mart's suffering, so I don't think it's all weather," Widlitz said.

Mark Haines credited
for top-notch trading

Mike Holland praised the "all-star panel" on Judge's Friday Halftime Report, and then uncorked a doozy.

Mark Haines, said Holland, was not only a legendary TV anchor, but "also a very good investor. Before CNBC changed its policy of, uh, uh, letting people trade in their own accounts, I used to listen to him, because he usually made some money."

That one caught us off guard, because while we don't doubt it, we could swear we've been hearing the "mutual-funds-only" refrain since the days of FNN even. (There's always been contributors, Cramer-pre-"Kudlow & Cramer" etc., so honestly, the notion of Mandy Drury day-trading shouldn't rile up ethics watchdogs; it's the producers who probably are most attuned to information that could somehow be market-moving and even that has to be very limited in the big picture.)

Anyway, Holland delivered an excellent tribute to Jon Najarian for Doc's pounding-of-the-table on bank stocks in the first week of March 2009, just before the bottom, a call in fact that became this page's first "Fast Money Call of the Year."

"Thank you very much for remembering," Najarian told Holland.

Holland said the stock market looks "fairly valued to somewhat attractive," but he doesn't see a top just yet, it'll be "much more overvalued before this is over."

Holland disagreed with Mike Mayo and endorsed Najarian favorites STT and BK. "I actually love both names," Holland said, but STT better.

Doc struggles to re-create in a single soundbite the S&P moves on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday

The clever (snicker) hook for Friday's Halftime Report was "raging bull, or aging bull."

(No, CNBC wasn't showing De Niro in prime-time hours in place of "American Greed.")

Ben Willis opined, "The bull definitely has some room to run."

Anthony Scaramucci declared, "I think it's raging," and the fact some apparently see it as "aging" is a "good sign," Scaramucci said, pointing to "the Fed balance sheet" as favoring stock investors.

Pete Najarian said he sees the S&P hitting 1,900 before pullbacks happen.

Jon Najarian insisted that the market isn't so much "raging" and said a bunch of times during a clumsy recap of weekly averages that it's just been "backing and filling."

Kate Moore quietly said rates figure to be low for a while, but this year we'll get a "more normal market ... maybe a low-double-digit year."

Moore noted the "energy renaissance theme" but thinks it might be "range-bound."

Stephanie Link said everything's OK if "rates go higher for the right reasons" (Drink).

Facebook evidently picked
WhatsApp over Spotify

John McDuling told Friday's Halftime Report that Spotify just made a "significant acquisition" involving ad expansion and figures to be in a sweet spot of tech IPO-land.

McDuling indicated Spotify would be an attractive target for Facebook and perhaps not reach IPO status, except that Facebook just bought WhatsApp. (This writer is long FB.)

McDuling said he likes Spotify's subscription model but added that not everyone agrees with him.

He also touted King and said it's leaner than ZNGA. Jon Najarian called Candy Crush "amazing."

Pete Najarian said he wanted to ask McDuling before McDuling signed off as to whether Spotify will even make it to IPO.

Stephanie Link said her Spotify trade would be "if Pandora were to weaken on the news ... I think that's the one you actually wanna be buying." (This writer is long P.)

Pete hangs a 40 on HPQ

Dominic Chu refreshed memories on Friday's Halftime Report by pointing out that since the 2009 bottom, HPQ is only up 13% and BBY is only up 4%.

Much worse, NEM is down 38% and FSLR is down 47%, Chu said.

Pete Najarian, unfazed, predicted "36 or 40" in HPQ this year.

Stephanie Link cautiously endorsed BBY, saying someone needs to "get them away from the boxes" and evidently sell everything for little to no profit online like AMZN does.

Anthony Scaramucci agreed with Link on BBY, calling the Amazon fear story "overblown" and suggesting this "could be a mean reversion back up."

Pete Najarian even called BBY's store within a store "genius."

Jon Najarian tepidly called FSLR a "reasonable accumulate at these levels."

Judge made a good joke about the discarded BlackBerry and the pizza order.

Doc buys WLT

Jon Najarian scoffed on Friday's Halftime Report that the float in the day's IPO king, COUP, "is like microscopic."

But Anthony Scaramucci said the bid for the name is a sign of a robust bull market.

Pete Najarian thinks GPS "is near the bottom."

Jon Najarian said he bought WLT, because it was "too cheap."

Anthony Scaramucci blessed the SWY takeout. "We like this deal a lot, and there's more to come," Scaramucci said.

Stephanie Link sort of did an "I told you so" with PRU.

Link said Cramer has "been buying USB," then said that name was supposed to be her Final Trade and mistakenly claimed she would have to change it. (She settled on both USB and MTB.)

Simon blown out in
2014 Playbook Playoffs

In a teaser promising far more than it delivered, Pete Najarian started to indicate on Friday's Fast Money that he was dropping UAL from his Playbook Playoffs portfolio in favor of a different airline, but then indicated this won't happen until "probably next week."

Judge had the audacity to tell Pete that AAPL is "4th-worst performer in the playbooks" and even an "anvil" on performance.

Pete sort of concurred and asserted, "I want them to buy something."

Stephanie Link tried to claim she chose a conservative portfolio "on purpose" and is now looking at P.

Pete said NOK calls, even the 9 strikes, were trading in "massive numbers .. it's been a day, and then another day, and another day."

Pete then claimed that KRE is an ETF that's "well-broad (sic), uh, put out there (double sic)," and the April 43 calls were hot and he's in them, "probably at least a few weeks."

Jon Najarian was Fast-Fired on GOGO but said "I still like it here."

Pete Najarian's Final Trade was FL. Anthony Scaramucci said COST and Jon Najarian said BK.



She's done it again.

Seema Mody, whose stunning bi-color dress was a fixture throughout CNBC Friday, paid a lengthy visit to Judge's Halftime Report for a 5-year update on consumer discretionary.

Mody explained that resort names and broadcast media names have had a great 5-year run, and, in a fairly incomplete examination of whether there's more to go, said that only WYNN of her selections is higher than the "average price target on the Street."

Pete Najarian marveled about DIS. "This stock is going higher," Pete said.

Jon Najarian said PCLN has been killing it in Europe. Pete agreed and tossed in EXPE and asserted, "These names are not overvalued."

Doc then battled Pete in a lukewarm LVS-vs.-WYNN debate, with Doc backing LVS and its "23 forward P.E." vs. WYNN's 30, and LVS' abundance of Macau rooms.

Pete agreed with those stats but said "it's all about quality vs. quantity," and he thinks WYNN is superior in the former, but "I don't think you lose either way."

Anthony Scaramucci, squeezing in a plug for SALT Singapore, said that's why LVS is better.

Stephanie Link tepidly said, "I lean towards (sic unneeded "s") LVS but they're both gonna win" (or is that "Wynn").

Judge urged viewers to vote and "use eye-ther the hashtag ...," and when you're done, you're welcome to clean eye-ther the restrooms or cafeterias at Englewood Cliffs.

Michael Holland, perhaps taking a cue from this page's inaugural Fast Money Call of the Year (for 2009), credited Jon Najarian (as this page did years ago) for pounding the table for banks in early March 2009, before the bottom. More on that, and more from Friday's Halftime Report and Fast Money later.

[Thursday, March 6, 2014]

Karen wonders if there could be more ‘Ukraine potential stuff’

With basically no rationale to support it, Tim Seymour declared on Thursday's Fast Money that "I think April will be rocky."

He presumably wasn't talking about Balboa. (But we did enjoy the AMC marathon this week, probably the 79th time we've seen "III.")

Seymour was claiming that a bad jobs number is baked in. Jon Najarian started parsing from the get-go, assuring viewers, "We're both saying the same thing," and that Doc thinks the market will trade on other data, "Not about the jobs number."

Karen Finerman said, "I'm wondering if there's still some Ukraine potential stuff."

Dan Nathan pointed out, "Russian equities have not come back."

Jon Najarian mocked either Barack Obama's or John Kerry's concerns about a Crimean vote and issued some law-school advice in the process. "He's citing constitutional law and international law, and I bet you can't cite me anything except just perception that this is a break from the law," Doc said.

"I love the miners here," said Tim Seymour.

What’s Karen’s worst trade?

The Fast Money panel has been rightly entertained this week by a series of teen traders, and Thursday was Max Ganik's turn to outline his SPY May call calendar.

Ganik said he is long the May 190 call and selling weeklies against it.

He also likes a 375/385 call spread in AMZN, as well as FAS outright because the options on a vehicle like that are too expensive.

Finally, Ganik said he likes a 70/80/90 call butterfly in FB expiring in April. (This writer is long FB.)

Ganik told the group he started out using "videos" and other instructional tools, but eventually it became trial and error.

"So speaking of the error part, what is the worst trade you ever made," asked Karen Finerman.

Ganik said it was the "Apple earning call," for 2012, when he just assumed another beat.

Given there was no quid pro quo, that made us wonder what Karen has described, if anything, as her worst trade, at least since the show began in late 2006 or 2007.

She might've mentioned it in September, the 5-year anniversary of the Lehman fall, but we couldn't find it.

Jon Najarian gushed about Ganik's approach and of course used the obligatory terminology. "I love that he's defining risk," Doc said.

Ganik said he got a charge out of "Wall Street." Doc mentioned, "Melissa Lee was in 'Wall Street 2.'"

And what we'd like to know from that is what kind of royalties, if any, Mel gets.

Nobody asked her. (Guess money is a private matter even on a "trading" show called "Fast Money.")

Ganik said his newest trade is BIDU calls.

Worth: ‘Very limited upside, if any’
in the S&P 500

Carter Worth showed up on Thursday's Fast Money, not to revisit that theory about markets tanking when a movie about Wall Street gains traction (except when it's "Too Big to Fail," or "Margin Call," or the documentary that won the Oscar, etc.), but rather to make bull cases for OXY, MS and KSS.

OXY previously matched the S&P but recently the S&P outperformance has become "fairly epic," so for now, Worth thinks, "This is a better bet than the S&P."

Worth also said MS is "finally getting out of this range," and he expects a "fairly major breakout" by KSS.

The money quote came when Worth told Karen Finerman, "We think the market has very limited upside, if any at all," which is one we'll be glad to revisit in upcoming months.

Tim Seymour endorsed OXY, calling it "very interesting" with a corporate catalyst.

James Gorman, ‘brilliant’

Mike Mayo visited with Thursday's Fast Money crew and reaffirmed, "Morgan Stanley's still my No. 1 pick."

Mayo gushed that a "large investor ... used 'brilliant' and 'James Gorman' in the same sentence."

He repeated his earlier assessments of the synergies and creating the type of bank that works in the modern environment; "they're shrinking fixed-income trading."

"Banks are still 40% below their all-time highs," Mayo said, but cautioned that there's more stock out there now, and the notion of, say, C to 500, "that's not part of my thesis."

He did tell Karen Finerman, who asked if efficiencies can help banks achieve pre-2008 returns, that "Banks can achieve ROAs back over 1%," but ROE remains a challenge.

Finerman congratulated Mayo for making bank management "bristle" when he asks questions.

Tim Seymour said, "Money-center banks make a ton of sense."

AMD chief likes using the term ‘commercial’

Dan Nathan evidently got paid per AMD reference on Thursday's Fast Money.

Nathan first quietly noted that the July 4 puts were hot, but it could just be a long hedging, so don't panic.

It soon became clear why he was stressing that. AMD chief Rory Read visited the Nasdaq and delivered an impressively spirited case for the company's venture into gaming/non-PC chips.

The goal is to "create these long-term strategic relations," Read said.

Melissa Lee read Read (that's correct) some notes from Bernstein claiming the "PC market appears to be collapsing."

Read seemed to acknowledge that and said his company is in a "3-step turnaround" that will eventually lead to 50% of business in PCs, complained it used to be "overindexed to consumer-entry notebook," for example, but now is getting more "commercial" focused with 24-36-month horizons.

When the interview was over, Read said, "Thanks Melisha (sic)."

It was then that Dan Nathan revealed, "I bought a little stock today" in AMD, and of course made it his Final Trade.

How soon until Sara Eisen’s CNBC bio says ‘anchor’ instead of ‘correspondent’?

Karen Finerman said on Thursday's Fast Money GPS results are alarming because "the magnitude of the miss is actually so enormous."

However, in regard to PLCE, which she owns, "In the places that were warmer, they did fine," Finerman said, so the weather excuse seems real.

Melissa Lee questioned if the "pent-up demand notion" is for real. Finerman said a lot of the sales lost this winter are probably lost forever.

Finerman said of SWY, "I wouldn't get involved here," and that arbs get impatient.

Dan Nathan warned that "valuation's really tricky here" in P, so "buyer beware." (This writer is long P.)

Tim Seymour endorsed P's service. "I pay 3 bucks a month or something," he said.

Nathan pointed out how badly RIG has done and said there was a big buyer of the May 41 puts, but it might be time to look for a bounce and perhaps buy calls.

Jon Najarian said Buffett exited HRB because "it did nothing but lose money for the guy," back in the era of "almost like payday loans that they were making." Doc said he prefers Intuit.

Doc said July 40 calls in WWE were hot, so that became his Final Trade.

Karen Finerman said "I would hold onto" longtime shipping favorite NM.

Tim Seymour said "stay in these names" in Chinese Internet such as SINA.

Dan Nathan said if you like LO, "You may wanna play with options."

Jon Najarian seemed to be reading up on JOY just before saying the guidance helped push it up and he likes the move.

Sara Eisen, whose blue outfit we featured at Halftime, visited for a glamorous re-introduction of her NKE interview (which, we hate to say it, but ... was boring), and — strictly in terms of dress colors — managed to mildly clash with Karen Finerman.

However, bigger picture for Karen is that we're not sure that particular pair of glasses works. The ones she wore back in the day packed a greater punch.

Tim Seymour's Final Trade was a Korean ETF. Karen Finerman said PLCE.


Day made.

Judge demanded to know at the top of Thursday's Halftime Report whether cheap stocks exist.

"There are cheap stocks," assured Josh Brown, who like Pete Najarian is on 4 out of every 5 shows, pointing to "European equities."

Pete Najarian declared the banks, starting with everyone's favorite. "Take a look at Citi ... I think Citi's gonna hit 55," Pete said, but which decade was he talking about?

Pete also trumpeted BAC, as did Steve Grasso.

Stephanie Link said she too likes financials but doesn't want the whole sector. "You really wanna be stock-specific," Link said, revealing Cramer sold MS and bought GS on Thursday.

Link also rattled off HIG, AIG, HON and EMR.

Dominic Chu, rattling off the top performers in the 5 years since the Haines bottom, said DDS is up 2,500%, DDD is up 5,000% (and Josh Brown probably got most of that), LVS up 6,000% (Doc sort of claimed he did get most of that after he "pounded the table" in 2009), CAR up 12,900% and PCYC up 17,600%.

Doc also pointed to FAS' recovery.

Rick Santelli said the 10-year in 2009 yielded 2.86%. He said a weak jobs number won't hurt the market, but you'll see "turbo thrusters" if it's strong.

Bob Pisani reported that this has been "one of the biggest weeks ever in secondaries," with offerings from ASC, RNG, C, AET, VIA, KO and PSTI, and then Pisani hailed the momentum-stock ETF MTUM, "this has been a real darling."

Seema Mody reported that this year, it's "Facebook up, Twitter lower." (This writer is long FB.)

How come Josh didn’t say ‘clowngrade’ (or does that term only apply to downgrades?)

Oliver Chen was rather chipper in explaining his TIF upgrade on Thursday's Halftime Report, suggesting he likes "comp store sales ... lower diamond costs ... nice global story," and that the company is "innovating to drive self-purchasing."

Judge Wapner unexpectedly stuck it to Chen, pointing to the lackluster TIF performance Thursday and questioning if that's not because it's a "half-hearted call" with a price target hike only from $100 to $110.

Chen never responded to that directly, saying Citigroup is having Diamond Day coming up soon and he's excited to own TIF into the quarter even though he also said "I think that you have a cautious consumer environment."

Stephanie Link shrugged, "I don't see a near-term catalyst."

Pete Najarian said KORS has "far more upside."

Judge gets tough assignments

A day after Morgan Brennan and Courtney Reagan did the Texas Two-Step on the Halftime Report in dueling blue, Judge got to team with smoldering, skyrocketing Sara Eisen in her own powder variation.

That outfit was far more exciting than Eisen's clip of NKE boss Mark Parker stating, "I feel good about turning the corner in China."

Josh Brown asked Eisen about knockoffs. Eisen said, "You're supposed to admire my outfit, not ask questions like that" "We didn't get into the specifics of some of the challenges in China."

Stephanie Link said of NKE, "Mid- to low 70s it's more compelling to buy."

Expert claims now is a ‘good time’ to build emerging markets position

Judge loves talking about Barron's as much as any subject, so it's no surprise he was virtually giddy to land Top 100 advisor Gregg Fisher on Thursday's Halftime Report.

Fisher suggested, without a whole lot of evidence, that REITs are simply due because they were weak last year, and already in 2014 are up "roughly 10% for the year."

However, Fisher seemed to like opportunities abroad the best. "We look at REITs, but we diversify globally," Fisher said.

Josh Brown questioned the 3% yield for instruments generally bought for yield. Fisher countered, "You really wanna look at the total return" and not just yield, stating that over time, price appreciation is a big component of the total gain.

Stephanie Link said "JLL is one that I like a lot."

Fisher said there's a "75% difference" favoring U.S. vs. emerging markets "in the last 4 years," so a catchup is due; "now would be a good time to have your positions built in emerging markets."

Sheila Dharmarajan looks dynamite in her signature style of dress wrapped under the shoulder.

Floor specialist crashes
Halftime Report Final Trades

Brian Stutland noted on Thursday's Halftime Report that "the gold trade's definitely had a bid," but he wonders if the "top is kind of nearing" if the unemployment level is better. Jeff Kilburg is bullish and said "shorts are on the run."

Pete Najarian batted aside Judge's question about AAPL's prospects, mumbling, "Everybody's still waiting on that" decision on the cash pile, but in the meantime, Pete finds MU, SNDK and GOOG "still cheap" and also said JNPR and FFIV are the same way compared to the late 90s, especially with "huge IT spending into 2014."

Josh Brown noted LNKD has struggled, but "This is the type of momentum name that you could do very well with."

Stephanie Link said "growth tech" is appealing; "the Facebooks of the world," plus AKAM, CRM, WDAY and NOW.

Josh Brown said CMCSA won't get "a cakewalk to approval" even though overly sympathetic Judge seemed to imply they wouldn't have done the deal without it.

Jon Najarian, clumsily asked a couple times to verify that he's in silver (he said he is long SLV), said April 37 calls in POT were hot, which ought to help Joe's Playbook Playoffs portfolio (if only he'd put POT in for AAPL instead of KORS).

Stephanie Link touted LUV in the airline space and practically got booed out of the NYSE by Pete Najarian.

Josh Brown's Final Trade was XLF. Jon Najarian said STT, Stephanie Linke said PRU and Pete Najarian said AIG.

[Wednesday, March 5, 2014]

Tim Seymour thinks 17-year-old’s stock-market app due 5 months from now is ‘really important,’ may match his business school training

Yes, Rachel Fox — who's only 17, let's remember — is shockingly, astoundingly, unfathomably cute.

That can be the only explanation for the Kool-aid that Tim Seymour was apparently drinking on Wednesday's Fast Money.

Fox first told the panel she really likes trading FB, TWTR and LNKD in particular, and evaluates stocks based on "whatever technical indicators I see." (This writer is long FB.)

Seymour actually questioned if Fox cares about growth or value. Fox cited her "MyGenLoves Index," which she said is "really just focused on kind of hype."

"We're the ADD generation," Fox explained.

Seymour was actually heard to say, "Makes sense."

Fox said she was inspired to try stocks by her mother. "When I was 15, she mentioned day-trading, and I thought it was the coolest thing," Fox said.

She told the panel, "My app is gonna come out in August ... It's like game-ified learning, kind of."

Bouncing all over the screen with giddiness, Fox had zero problems winning over a pushover panel. "I love that though, when we're getting, early on, having that desire, and wanting to learn," gushed Karen Finerman, who didn't ask Fox (at least on camera) if she's read Finerman's Rules.

Tim Seymour was positively loopy, saying, "I think the game simulation is really important though. 'Cause in other words, if (sic) this is the stuff we did in my training program coming out of business school..."

Apparently no trader disclosures available on CNBC.com from Wednesday’s show; a smattering of video clips only

Melissa Lee turned to her sometimes mistakenly namesake, Michelle Caruso-Cabrera, to provide headline punch to Wednesday's Fast Money.

MCC spoke about some Chinese bond problem and said one observer sees this as possibly "China's Bear Stearns moment" that could lead to a cascade of bad stuff, etc., a subject that wasn't even considered during the rest of the program.

"I think this is a lot of fear-mongering," said Tim Seymour.

Karen Finerman tried to ask MCC about the credit rating of this debt, but her mike either wasn't on or was obscured.

Brian Kelly said "I'm short copper" in part because of some fear of the "shadow-banking system."

Steve Grasso said the whole conversation feels like "almost an afterthought" and that maybe the fear is already overdone and "the trade right now is being bullish on China."

Karen shows off hot sleeveless white top to Dendreon CEO

Dendreon chief John Johnson, apparently noticing the Rachel Fox interview, chose CNBC's Fast Money as the best place to find a sympathetic ear to his European drug trials of Provenge without a big partner.

Melissa Lee though pressed Johnson impressively with the critics' concerns. Johnson said that in Europe they're doing contract manufacturing, so it won't require the costs of U.S. production, and he said the pre-market demand is there.

Steve Grasso decided to seize the opportunity to tell everyone he bought CLVS after the one analyst showed up on a Friday touting it, and the stock got whipped around, but now it's back up.

Mel spurns recycling bin

We say it every day ... and obviously must keep saying it every day.

Nothing's more head-scratching (not to mention "useless") than the daily examinations Fast Money/Halftime Report give their traders over whether they should own GM or F "at this point in time" (sic popular redundancy).

Tim Seymour called 35 "very good support" in GM, which he predicted will "challenge the 40 level," at which point you "trade" it (that means start selling).

Karen Finerman reminded everyone she owns GM but that there are things "dogging the stock."

Steve Grasso observed that "Ford and GM have been bouncing around," but at this point, it "seems like guys are rotating" out of F and TM into the laggard, GM.

Steve Grasso said it's good whenever Elon Musk is on camera; "everything he touches makes a whole lot of sense" — whatever that means.

Suddenly, the crisis that on Friday was going to derail markets a long time is barely mentioned 3 (trading) days later

Steve Grasso said on Wednesday's Halftime Report that, given what happened Monday and Tuesday in the XLE and XLF, "headline risk" is the only reason to own energy, something Mr. New World is not going to appreciate.

Grasso crowed about being long BAC and said it'll be a long-term position.

Grasso further suggested that longer-term oil forecasts are bearish, predicting sub-80.

That prompted Brian Kelly to re-issue his claim that all the new wells in the basins quickly become "useless" and "tapped out." (But he didn't mention a PXD short this time. Which we can't verify/not verify, because there were no trader disclosures Wednesday at CNBC.com.)

Grasso rebutted that there's also future "demand destruction" based on everyone buying a Tesla efficiencies.

Tim Seymour actually touted Rex Tillerson in declaring XOM "will never get thrown out of Russia."

Greifeld no longer does Fast Money, might get asked about Facebook IPO or Flash Crashes

Bruce Aust, who touted the Nasdaq's new private market enterprise, was not quite the star guest (that would be Rachel Fox) of Wednesday's Fast Money, which used to cheer visits from the "landlord" crew.

Tim Seymour got Karen Finerman to admit, "I do care" about liquidity.

Steve Grasso advised not plunging into HOV; "I would still let this one breathe a little bit."

Tim Seymour said it's worthy to ask of AAPL, "Are they at their Microsoft moment."

Karen Finerman said there's a potential floor in NAV.

Steve Grasso likes SWHC over RGR.

Brian Kelly suggested taking profits in FEYE.

Tim Seymour didn't know what to say about GME, so he settled on, "Wait for software to recover."

Mike Khouw said GOGO May 20 calls were hopping, and it happened to be May because the "stock is really bouncing around."

Brian Kelly touted SWC as a play on palladium, but unclear how that would be affected by China's shadow-banking system.

Karen interested in ‘future sales’

Karen Finerman revealed on Wednesday's Fast Money that if she were able to ask NKE chief Mark Parker a question, it would be, what are "future sales" gonna be, and it's hard to think of a better stock predictor than that.

Finerman said she thinks BAC could reach 20 by year end.

Tim Seymour called ZNGA "not something I would touch."

Brian Kelly dubbed FSLR a buy.

Steve Grasso said that to be a buy, DWA "must hold the October lows" of about 26, and he'd rather buy it over 30, and instead prefers DIS. (This writer is long DWA.)

Brian Kelly said, "I would buy Lions Gate right here." (Whether he actually did or not remains a mystery, as CNBC.com Fast Money disclosures were actually undisclosed on Wednesday.)

Tim Seymour said DIS trades at a worthy premium as part of a "new paradigm."

Melissa Lee reported that MXWL declared "no relationship with Tesla."

Tim Seymour's Final Trade was CZZ. Brian Kelly said TLT. Karen Finerman said FL, and Steve Grasso said BAC.

Flash: Uncertainty in Ukraine

John Dowd, the choppiest. Speaker. In. Recent. Memory, told Judge on Wednesday's Halftime Report that the world's energy infusion is coming from only "3 or 4 basins," and so "EOG is my favorite pick right now," because of its "unconventional oil and gas development in the U.S."

Dowd said he also likes APC and NBL.

Josh Brown questioned why there isn't more consolidation in the space and wondered if the "incremental cost of drilling" isn't going to bite the sector.

Dowd acknowledged those issues and said that's why he likes EOG, because its production growth is up while others' is down.

Brown said something about "at the end of the day," there's uncertainty in Russia.

Mike Murphy said COG "looks like it's a value play," while Stephen Weiss pointed to steam coal and said, "I'd still be selling the coal stocks."

Anthony Grisanti said "commodities do not like uncertainty" and hence, fears of a cutoff in the Crimea have affected the ag space. Rich Ilczyszyn noted wheat was popping but said in general "they've been deeply oversold" before the Ukrainian situation happened, and that food companies tend to be hedged.

Josh says it’s ‘a really easy discussion’ (but he wasn’t talking about Morgan vs. Courtney) (which would not be an easy choice)

There's a lot of uncertainty right now — and not just in Eastern Europe.

No one seemed to know who's supposed to walk in front of whom during the clumsily scripted, obviously unrehearsed segment featuring blondes Morgan Brennan and Courtney Reagan on Wednesday's Halftime Report.

Brennan got things rolling by talking about the robust health-care space before noting that Carl Icahn had a hand in pushing FRX.

Then there was dead air, as Judge seemed disconnected.

Judge then called on Reagan, who looped around Brennan to point out that energy has been lagging.

Josh Brown said it's "a really easy discussion" and then performed one of our favorite Fast Money/Halftime pastimes, parsing irrelevant semantics, stating that shorter-term traders should be more interested in health care stocks, while for longer-term investors, "clearly energy" makes the most sense.

So, Brown said all you need to do is "figure out your orientation." (No, not THAT kind of orientation, though it'd be smart to get a handle on that also.)

Mike Murphy suggested transitioning from health care into energy, because, "I think energy's a great story for the rest of this year."

Stephen Weiss said "mature" biotech is cheap. Jon Najarian, who had a quiet show, said solar rises when the hydrocarbon plays get going.

Is there a rule that Josh and Pete have to be on 3 out of every 4 shows?

Twisting Judge's opening question into supporting evidence, Mike Murphy said on Wednesday's Halftime Report that he likes the stock market because there's "still a lot of doubters."

Josh Brown again said the market can't be toppy with such "broad participation."

Ben Willis said the Russell 2000 is essentially the "canary in the coal mine."

Stephen Weiss said he doesn't know what'll happen Friday, but in "ensuing" weeks, "the market's going to go higher," in part because of "pent-up demand" in the economy.

Weiss scoffed at Judge's warnings that ADP portends a bad number while mentioning "Mark Zandi, good friend of CNBC."

Jon Najarian said he's not scared of Friday's numbers because of the weather.

Brian Belski offered, "I think we're a little toppy here" and came up with one we haven't heard yet, "The Fed is priced to perfection."

"They can only have a misstep from here," Belski said.

Weiss insisted, "The global economy is taking over" from the Fed.

Bob Pisani told Judge that Wednesday's trading was "a lot quieter" than Tuesday's.

Doc dusts Murph in
WFM showdown

It was a joke of a "debate."

Mike Murphy's bull case for WFM on Wednesday's Halftime Report wasn't nearly as fresh as the grocer's produce section, calling it "a growth story," saying it's planning "up to 1,200 stores," and that there's a "secular shift into their space."

And what is this, 2006?

"Long-term this stock could double," Murphy said, dubbing it "best in class, best in breed."

Dr. J got to take the other side, pointing out the stock is "flat for the last 6 months" and in snapping up some Dominick's locations in Chicago is taking on "additional spending that they hadn't counted on."

Also, there has been "big insider selling," Najarian said.

Stephen Weiss said "I like the story" before making a dumb joke about Doc's watch.

Judge reminded viewers to "use eye-ther the hashtag bull or hashtag bear." And when you're done with that, the johns at Englewood Cliffs could use a fresh scrub.

Wondering: Could Facebook
buy PayPal too?

Josh Brown said on Wednesday's Halftime Report that "I wouldn't invest in EBAY right now," but he would be interested in PayPal as a standalone, along with 99% of the rest of the investing world.

Jon Najarian agreed. "I think Josh is exactly right about that ... PayPal would be a monster separate from eBay," Doc said.

Stephen Weiss compared Carl Icahn's push like a jockey with a horse, and maybe eBay's not the best horse, but "I think there's a place for it in a speculative portfolio."

Josh Brown said "clarity" is what HON investors like, and it "should continue" (either the gains, or the clarity, we're not sure).

Stephen Weiss said he wouldn't go against Marcato and Loeb and the people in BID.

Mike Murphy called GME's dividend action a "good move for them" and said there could be takeover discussions with the stock.

Jon Najarian said he thinks BFB can make a run at its 2012 high.

Jane Wells is a fox, but her attendance in the interview with Miguel Martin of ecig maker Logic Technology proved clumsy choreography again as Judge got caught in the middle. Martin downplayed being a small player in this sector as well as municipal ordinances against his product, saying he wants the FDA "to give a federal framework" and use a "science-based process" for making decisions.

Mike Murphy's Final Trade was WFM. Steve Weiss said to sell GMCR. Jon Najarian said AIG. Josh Brown said BBT.

What is this, Russia? Bitcoin champion targets companies for purportedly not having enough staffing

There are frivolous lawsuits, and then there are ... well, it's not a lawsuit yet, apparently.

New York Superintendent of the Department of Financial Services Benjamin Lawsky paid an ambulance-chasing visit to Wednesday's Halftime Report to explain why he sent a letter to NationStar Mortgage.

We figured, "Gosh, what did these guys do?"

Lawsky explained: "We're concerned they don't have the capacity to service their loans the way they're supposed to be."


"Since when is size a red flag," asked Judge, whose level of outrage barely registered a pulse.

But Lawsky insisted, "It's a fair question for regulators to be asking, do you have the human capacity to deal with all the other people."

OK. Do Amazon and UPS have enough capacity to deal with everyone's Christmas present?

Didn't think so. #notontheradarscreen

Judge did point out that Lee Cooperman claimed, "Lawsky should be ashamed of himself."

Lawsky shrugged that "everyone's entitled to their opinions" and suggested Lee is "heavily invested in these companies." (This writer has no position in NSM or OCN.)

Judge tossed back an "at the end of the day" while feebly suggesting it's a person's responsibility to pay the mortgage.

Lawsky further tried to explain that the real issue evidently is call-center staffing, that many people with mortgages are "trying to get back on their feets (sic), feet ... if they can't get someone on the other end of the phone ... it's a huge problem."

So where are the aggrieved parties who were unable to reach NationStar by phone?

Stephen Weiss took a different angle, saying forcing the servicers to hire more people will ultimately restrict the amount of mortgages available for people who need them.

Lawsky actually agreed, saying banks had to unload all these mortgages because of Basel, and there are unintended consequences.

Judge at least came at Lawsky for his advocacy of bitcoin. "I wouldn't call it safe right now," Lawsky admitted, even though he thinks it's "really a change agent sort of technology" that "could be a very, very great platform."


More from Wednesday's Halftime Report and Fast Money later.

[Tuesday, March 4, 2014]

Tim Seymour actually says Jeff Immelt has a ‘great track record’

Earth to Tim Seymour: GE no longer owns CNBC.

Seymour on Tuesday's Fast Money treated Jeff Immelt's insignificant company stock purchase as though Immelt just cured cancer, stating, "He's got his skin in the game" and calling the purchase a "fantastic endorsement" of the stock.

Melissa Lee said Immelt's track record at buying company stock at low prices is not great.

Seymour then claimed, "He's got a great track record at the helm."

"Yeah. No doubt about that," Lee agreed. (Note to Mel: You might've looked out-of-this-world this week, but let's make like Sandra Bullock and return to Earth.)

As has been said here before, we don't doubt Immelt's a nice guy with his heart in the right place. His stock performance — we're more than a decade into this now — is atrocious, and compared to this person, Steven Ballmer is Peter Lynch.

Wonder if Crimeans
know who Kim Novak is

Stock buyers demonstrated voracious appetite Tuesday, basically validating about a half-day late Tim Seymour's prediction on Friday of a Ukrainian-related "bounce."

The only problem was, it was hard to tell which end was up during Tim's commentary on Tuesday's Fast Money, during which he somehow identified "a reaction in both directions" on a day virtually nothing was down before insisting, "this thing has gone and died, no," and then opined that "people gotten way aheld (sic) of themselves" as far as rising rates.

Seymour at one point scoffed at Jane Wells' report that MTW and DE and CAT execs are concerned about the Ukraine crisis' impact on Russian orders. "I think that's ludicrous ... the world's not shutting down over there," Seymour said.

Josh Brown said the Ukrainian crisis was a "really great excuse" for sellers to unload Monday, but "at the end of the day," the impressive thing about Tuesday was "how broad this rally truly was."

Pete Najarian said the same thing he said at Halftime, that people were selling VIX calls and EEM puts and RSX puts.

The intro jumped the shark when Brian Kelly claimed China is buying gold like there's no tomorrow, and Josh Brown claimed they were doing that last year too when the price fell, so Kelly claimed that because of the weakening yuan, "they're buying it even more."

Where was the obligatory
‘I wouldn’t short it, but...’

Phil LeBeau was summoned to Tuesday's Fast Money for a quality report about Tesla's European expansion (hopefully they're not building charging stations in Sevastopol) and said eventually the power grid will allow drivers to go all across the continent.

Pete Najarian said there are several reasons, including the "Gigafactory," that explain the "activity at the 300s and on up" in TSLA.

Josh Brown scoffed at the 2020 "gigafactory" and said people are "losing touch with reality" and, in a weak rebuttal to Melissa Lee's point that he liked DDD, implied DDD has a more measurable catalyst.

Tim Seymour said TSLA shorts have been blown out and he thinks it'll be "very difficult" for it to get to 300.

Who’s worse: Tobacco giants,
or subprime-mortgage bundlers?

Occasional Fast Money reporter John Jannarone told Tuesday's crew that "cost savings would be massive" if tobacco mergers get the green light, but that there are regulatory obstacles and also a dilution factor for British American if RAI goes after LO.

Tim Seymour tossed in an "at the end of the day."

Josh Brown shrugged that "these are not cheap stocks" unless there's some kind of "transformational deal," and they remind him of telecom.

Pete Najarian said the options market was buzzing for both RAI and LO, meaning traders see upside to both if there's a combination.

Brian Kelly has
the line of the week

The Fast Money crew on Tuesday still seemed amazed that there are teenagers with a clue, but regardless, Will Hassell delivered an excellent performance in the show's latest installment of young traders.

Hassell said he likes KORS, because he thinks it's one of the few names of strength that will attract retail-stock buyers, and also UA, because the brand is undersaturated and "almost like a midcap of the consumer names."

Meanwhile, Daniel Ives was summoned for Mel's Favorite Most Boring Topic, cyber security (hint: FEYE is the pick EVERY time now, and Pete doesn't even bother to mention INTC anymore), and said he likes FEYE because "they are the only pure end-to-end next-gen security player out there."

Ives doesn't like CSCO, SYMC or JNPR, which he sees as old and stodgy in the space.

Mike Isaac of Re/Code said Facebook wants Titan Aerospace to fulfill Zuck's "Grand Plan" called Internet.org in which drones supply Web access to underserved parts of the world.

It only costs 60 million, so nobody's taking it very seriously. Pete Najarian said he still likes the stock. (This writer is long FB.)

Pete Najarian said deal-making works for DIS, and "I think it goes higher."

Pete said April 36 calls in DAL were hot.

Pete predicted QCOM is "gonna go higher."

Brian Kelly said he wouldn't be in CLF, but "I don't think you get hurt in this name."

Tim Seymour, in one of those sorry excuses for a trade recommendation, spoke about VIPS like it was the next big thing before stopping short of a buy call and advising viewers to "do your homework" (um, thought was the traders' job and that's why they're on the show). (Unless viewers are not only supposed to help CNBC out by voting on bull-bear debate winners but also doing bottoms-up stock research for the TV panelists to quote.)

Josh Brown said ISRG got "a little bit of a clowngrade."

Mike Khouw said the catalyst for YHOO weekly 40 calls could be the speech by an Alibaba exec in which he's going to credit Jerry Yang and Terry Semel for actually giving the company the valuation it's got now.

Brian Kelly advised that if you've got some bitcoins, "do not keep them online."

Kelly nearly forced Mel Lee to the sidelines with giggles when, referring to SWHC's report, observed that "Dick's had a good pop today."

Tim Seymour's Final Trade was POT. Brian Kelly said MON, Josh Brown said BAC and Pete Najarian said HA.

Bob Pisani: Speed of detente
surprised traders

Kenny Polcari on Tuesday's Halftime Report invoked the weapon of the stock market skeptic:

"Very light volumes today," Polcari observed, adding that the whipsaw action from Monday to Tuesday reflects "the anxiety level that exists in the market."

Josh Brown credited Polcari for suggesting that it's the short-term traders who were taking risk off on Monday and then buying it back, while long-term investors have been staying the course.

Paul Richards said "medium-term people" are the ones to watch.

Bob Pisani observed, "A lot of people assumed that this would go on longer," which is fine, we guess, except what exactly did they think was going to last longer … guys with guns standing indefinitely around an airport that they've sort of previously claimed anyway? Ambassadors being recalled? Trading summits being postponed?

Pisani said, as a result, we've got a "classic relief rally … it doesn't matter what it is, it's all up," though he allowed that transports are "not confirming a new high."

Dr. New Land, who had a quiet show, said the focus is on the "potholes that are the economic data," and that Monday's currency moves didn't validate the selloff occurring in stocks.

Pete Najarian said tech names were "killin' it again today" and that on Tuesday, people were selling VIX calls and EEM puts.

Mike Murphy opined that there was "plenty of reason" to sell on Monday, but here we are, so it's clear the market has a "bid under it, and it wants to go higher."

If you don’t like the book,
there’s always the board game

Former Oakland Raider (and former-4-other-teams) Phillip Buchanon visited with Tuesday's Halftime crew to advertise his book The New Money Millionaire, which apparently tackles/intercepts the "financial molesters." (Ouch.)

Buchanon also said he's got a "New Money" board game that is "very similar" to Monopoly.

Judge put Wheels Up boss Kenny Dichter on the spot, asking him to opine on whatever Buchanon was talking about. Dichter said getting ahead involves "who you know" and being able to "connect dots."

Dichter, who's a friend of the show since he gave Mike Murphy a lift during one of the Polar Vortexes this year, said Wheels Up has a new partner in Jet Aviation, a "tremendous validation" of his business model.

Dichter isn't worried about another pre-Bear Stearns peak. "We're right to 2007, 2008 flying levels," he said, predicting private air travel, which is filling the gaps in the majors' consolidation, is poised to "explode off the bottom."

If stocks don't cooperate, "We're a great bear market trade," Dichter added.

If it’s really about the 4G LTE, how come that’s not the 1st argument he made?

It's long been one of the most boring stocks mentioned on the Halftime Report, though generally it's Steve Weiss doing the honors.

Yet, Pete Najarian declared QCOM exciting on Tuesday's Halftime Report, stating "the stock's on an absolute breakout," it's got a dividend and buyout, "record revenues last quarter," but it's "really about the 4G LTE."

Mike Murphy indicated the stock seems toppy, suggesting 77 is "the time to buy" and that while Pete thinks it's on fire, "the stock is up 10.5% in the last 12 months."

Pete shrugged, "I just look at the last 2 months," and predicted 85 "won't take too long."

Josh Brown gave the nod to Pete. Murphy insisted he'd "rather be in Micron." Pete asserted that Matt McLennan would back QCOM.

Judge concluded, "That was a great debate."

So if you’re not actually in TSLA, sounds like a buy

Anthony Grisanti told Jackie DeAngelis on Tuesday's Halftime Report that crude's jump on Monday was maybe a bit bogus.

"I thought it was a little overdone on the upside," Grisanti said, calling it "a little overpriced right now" and seeing 101 or 100.

Jim Iuorio shrugged that there's not much difference between 103 and 98; "we've grown accustomed to these levels," and it's not just supply concerns, but "real-live economic expansion" factoring into it.

Joe Terranova pointed to slides in MRO, PSX, HFC and VLO and said, "I don't think it's warranted."

Speaking of oil, or sort of speaking of oil, Mike Murphy tackled his bum negative call on TSLA and conceded it's a "very hard one to short, which I would never dream of doing," and "if you're in the name, I'd ride with it here," which, as Karen Finerman likes to point out, doesn't make a whole lot of sense; it's either going up or down regardless of whether you already own it.

Pete Najarian said the selloff in AZO "doesn't make a whole lot of sense."

But he wasn’t asked whether bitcoin is a currency

Judge's star guest for Tuesday's Halftime, Matthew McLennan (sorry Phillip Buchanon), wasn't exactly riding the day's euphoria.

"We would characterize this is as a complacent, more forward-looking market," McLennan said, adding, "We see problems in the United States, Europe, China and Japan."

Hmmm. Not much left.

Mike Murphy asked if emphasizing old tech's stodgy dividend players might cause McLennan to miss the rally. McLennan insisted his "goal is to preserve capital."

McLennan said he's 20% in cash right now, and "We think gold is nature's currency."

Where were the C, BAC recommendations?

Pete Najarian on Tuesday's Halftime Report, like Vladimir Putin and the Crimea, seized an opportunity and gushed to Judge that financials "are really starting to move to the upside."

Mike Murphy cautioned, "Today's rally may be a little bit overdone." (Surely, though, Citigroup MUST be a buy.)

Josh Brown said that when you bring up EEM at a meeting, "You get laughed out of the room for even uttering the name," and then with incredible hyperbole that went unchallenged, indicated you might have to get in soon or else; "history suggests, when they start going, it's too late."

Seema Mody, who is sooooooooo good-looking, reported that Goldman Sachs was cutting Gazprom estimates, but that Gene Munster is maintaining a buy on YNDX.

Mody also said PEP, AA and GD break out Russian-specific revenue.

Josh Brown scoffed, "Skip the Russian tech stocks" and advised viewers "look at the Chinese Internet stocks instead of the Russian Internet stocks," which of course means KWEB.

Sara Eisen looked dynamite
on Power Lunch

Pete Najarian said on Tuesday's Halftime Report that he's not in ANF and prefers UA (of course), LULU or NKE.

Joe Terranova wasn't terribly impressed by ANF's gains; "the sales are soft; this is financial engineering."

Mike Murphy said ANF needs a hot product, and he'd stay away.

Josh Brown suggested JCP will ultimately be saved by bondholders and (in a not-so-subtle suggestion) less public market pressure (translation: Banks are gonna lend some knucklehead a bunch of money to take it private).

Pete Najarian said HPQ weeklies were hot but "I took some of those off today." Pete also said LO March 57.50 calls were active, and "I think these e-cig stocks are goin' higher."

Mike Murphy said of FB, "Through 72, I think it goes a lot higher." (This writer is long FB.)

Pete Najarian said the DISH-DIS whatever is a "win-win."

Joe Terranova said he can't recommend CLF, "too many fundamental challenges."

Josh Brown said PFE has had a "huge breakout."

Mike Murphy's Final Trade was WFM. Josh Brown said SPWR, Pete Najarian said JPM and Joe Terranova said SBUX.

[Monday, March 3, 2014]

Oh, for the 2011 days when Fast Money delivered an entire hour of breaking news from Athens

Tim Seymour, fresh off an exceptional summary Friday of the Ukraine situation, stumbled a bit on Monday's Fast Money to make a call.

(Then again, at least he didn't say "Gravity" would "almost certainly" win best picture (who was in charge again of that item??)

Conceding he was wrong about a bounce Monday, Seymour said, "I don't think this is the time to buy," but, as he struggled to convey an hour earlier on Closing Bell with Michelle Caruso-Cabrera (Kelly Evans took the day off despite the Eastern European maelstrom), offered mixed signals as to whether this will get any worse and if so, in which markets.

But he did say, "At the end of the day."

Seymour at one point insisted "This has zero impact in terms of global growth," but hinted that, rather than obsessed with Ukraine on Monday, the markets might've been reacting to Janet Yellen becoming more concerned about emerging markets.

Seymour also noted, "Commodities are up 16 of 20 days."

Karen Finerman, who called the bottom in early February, shrugged, "I actually think the market reacted very well" and said that in previous times with this kind of news, the market would be "300 points down," whereas this seems "fairly contained."

Guy Adami agreed, "This should've been a lot worse."

Adami suggested viewers should take a look at LMT and APC, actual trade suggestions being very rare in this program.

Karen Finerman seemed to recommend GLNG, pointing out how options rallied over the weekend because "day rates are gonna absolutely spike," only to reveal she was selling those options on Monday.

What’s the shortest movie to win best picture Oscar?

Things like Oscar voting are scrutinized and analyzed like never before.

So not surprisingly, Sunday's revelations were a clean sweep in predictability.

The Oscars have barely been around 80 years, so there isn't an iron-clad guide — despite certain well-known inclinations — to predicting a best-picture vote.

If "Lincoln," "The Social Network" and "Brokeback Mountain" had all won, nobody would've been very surprised, and it all would've made a lot of sense on some level.

Perhaps before this page handed the statue to "Gravity," we would've been well-advised to check out the history of space movies at the Oscars.

"Star Wars" couldn't even beat "Annie Hall." "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" got a bunch of nominations but not one for best picture. "Apollo 13" couldn't beat "Braveheart." "2001" and "Planet of the Apes" were deemed no match for mighty "Oliver!"

A more important headwind was likely this: "Gravity" is only 91 minutes. That's not exactly Oscar bait. Only one Oscar winner in history was shorter. Perhaps there's a belief among old-school voters that such a length is not rewarding enough for the greatest prize.

Whatever. Another year until we have to watch Harvey Weinstein pay $200 for $50 worth of pizza.

Austin Schwab outduels Larry McDonald, gets Mel’s name correct

We were thinkin' we had a decent childhood.

Until we heard Austin Schwab discussing Abenomics on Monday's Fast Money.

Before we maybe go overboard, let's concede that Austin did kind of overly crank up the wisdom-dispensing machine, offering a lengthy rationale starting with "a global recovery remains intact" to get to the point that he likes Europe and the U.S. best.

And, we did hear "the Federal Reserve seems rather altimistic (sic)."

However, there seems to be no reason Austin couldn't jump into Judge's 2014 Playbook Playoffs and at least finish in the middle of the pack.

Fellow young investor Julian Marchese told Melissa Lee, "Right now I really like long S&Ps."

Schwab assured Karen Finerman, who smartly called on one of the guests by name and didn't make the mistake of floating a question to either one and having them talk over each other and then have to sort it out (which happens because of lapses by CNBC pro hosts by the way ... all the time ...), that "I'm very big on risk-management," and Marchese said his risk per trade is "1-2%."

Schwab said his "dream" is to become a "hedge fund manager," which, OK, we get that, but we did roll the eyes a bit when he revealed, "I started value investing at age 9," meaning he's got the labeling part of the business down pat (however, he never said anything about "at the end of the day," "monetizing mobile," "lifestyle brand," "affordable luxury" or "it's not rising rates, but the rapidity with which they rise").

Marchese said he wants to own "my own asset management firm."

No one asked Schwab or Marchese how many times they've seen "Wall Street."

Nor, in a serious lapse, did the males on the panel ask 1) Melissa Lee and 2) Karen Finerman, given the choice between these young gentlemen and the captains of the football and basketball teams, which would you prefer to attend prom with?

It’s been a while since we’ve heard the paper-gold-vs.-physical-gold grumbling

The stock market turned around Monday from some serious, Ukraine-related lows.

Which of course was all it took for lagging indicator Dennis Gartman to pronounce the coast as clear.

"You don't be short of the market, it is still a bull market," Gartman said on Monday's Fast Money, which wasn't what he was stating a month ago, but whatever.

"You need to hold the grain market," Gartman asserted, adding, "Gold's breaking out in all currency terms," and "gold is very strong in terms of copper prices."

Tim Seymour declared, "You're in a bear market in gold."

Guy Adami did some parsing that generally is done by 1) gold critics, when the price is soaring, and 2) gold bugs, when the price is falling, which was to say that "paper" machinations were artifically doctoring gold's price, and that demand for actual physical gold looks to be strengthening.

Gartman asserted that with all the Ukraine hoopla, nobody's paying attention to Nigeria, where a bunch more people were killed.

Larry’s theory didn’t sound that convincing, but at least he didn’t claim that stocks in which the CEO engages in trash-talking outperform

Larry McDonald's thesis on Monday's Fast Money that developed markets are going to be most affected by Chinese contagion was sort of undone from the beginning when he said "Hey Michelle" to Melissa Lee.

We actually haven't heard one of those for a while.

McDonald asserted that if China is unable to land its gigantic airplane of an economy/currency on a small runway, "you could see an unwind" of Chinese positions.

And in such a scenario, "the biggest air bubble will be in the developed markets," McDonald contended, because emerging markets have already taken a huge hit, especially the RSX, which he seems to like.

McDonald suggested 6.20 as a "level of pain" for the yuan.

Brian calls Buffett ‘Warren’

There's almost nothing Brian Kelly won't say on Fast Money about bitcoin (it will probably cure cancer through Clovis Oncology in the near future), and the repertoire expanded on Monday after Melissa Lee aired a clip of Warren Buffett stating bitcoin is not a currency and maybe won't be around in 10 years.

"To Warren's point ... I actually think it is a currency," Kelly said, arguing its use as a medium of exchange.

Karen Finerman asked if any currency in the world is even close to as volatile as this (purported) one. Kelly admitted no.

Tim Seymour seemed to take Kelly's side in the definition battle, stating, "There's very low liquidity in this currency," but then noting, "Gold isn't backed by anything either." (Yes. But now we're seeing the "physical" demand outweigh the "paper" selling.)

Kelly claimed bitcoin's valuation will become less volatile, and whatever it's actually doing, "it'll eventually grow into it," which sounds like the Amazon/Tesla bull case. (Should we do the 1999 Time Person of the Year cover or pose the question about the best price for Prime? Nah, not when it's our own reference.)

Kelly concluded that bitcoin "is AOL and CompuServe back in the '80s."

Guy: Bail Caesar below 25

Tim Seymour said on Monday's Fast Money that AAPL's car play is "not moving the needle," but that its CHL partnership might, because they're "gonna have 342 cities" in China.

"Somewhere around 520 is the level you watch, and you hold," Seymour advised.

Brian Kelly said, "At 10.37 I still think you can own BlackBerry."

Tim Seymour said BBRY has headwinds at $11, but "I think long term, I am in this name."

In a sleepy interview, John Bichelmeyer said he likes SSYS over other 3-D printing stocks because "their product portfolio is superior" and it has "very strong consumable revenue growth."

Brian Kelly suggested valuations for these names are too high and getting long SSYS "maybe at 120."

Guy Adami said "$25 is an interesting level" for CZR, and if it breaks that, "has a long way to go," like the high teens.

Karen Finerman (we wanted to get a great screen grab showing that sleek black and necklace, but the cameraman didn't allow it) questioned how SCTY is able to "gauge" when they're getting their act together to put out an earnings report.

Guy Adami said, "I think PRU's really interesting here."

Dina Gusovsky, CNBC's go-to gal on Russian TV interpretation all day, said the term "Nazis" came up a lot, and it's a case of "the broadcasters really not holding much back."

Brian Kelly said of DRI, "Stay away from this name."

Guy Adami said DNDN is a "binary" situation.

Karen Finerman said the HTZ disclosure delay seems "really not that big of a deal."

Mike Khouw said LO calls were hot, but if you want to play it that way, go further out on the curve for cheaper ones. Tim Seymour called LO "overdone on the regulatory risk" and said, "If anything it's a range play."

Tim Seymour mentioned Air Supply.

Seymour's Final Trade was SBUX with a 65 stop. Brian Kelly said GLD. (That sounds like the paper version not the physical.) Karen Finerman said to sell S&P puts if the market sells again Tuesday. Guy Adami said FUN.

Gemma Godfrey claims Ukraine crisis could affect Fed’s taper schedule

On Day 1, it looks like Steve Grasso and Brian Kelly's predictions of risk-off Monday were correct.

Though, given the comeback from the day's lows, whether you regard the stock market as going in the right direction or wrong direction is a matter of opinion.

Even Grasso conceded at the top of Monday's Halftime Report that "all of these events have always been a buying opportunity."

Dan Greenhaus, asked if Ukraine is a headwind on the bull market, declared "unequivocally no," and rightly shrugged off what's going to happen there (a bunch of guys with guns standing around an airport while nothing occurs for days) as extremely short-term; "this might go on for a couple days."

Greenhaus also said "the Ukraine."

Josh Brown questioned if sentiment won't be a problem. Greenhaus downplayed that, stating, "Russia's obviously an important company (sic), that's- country."

Dr. New Land bluntly declared, "I don't know if this is a single-day opportunity, and quite frankly, I don't care," rather, it's the "fundamental lift" in energy that he sees as the story. (God Bless Joe, by the way.)

The most concerned of the bunch was none other than Gemma Godfrey (that picture above is not from Monday's show), who asserted, "Global markets are at risk" and that it's similar to "turmoil in Turkey" (how'd that work out) and that VIX calls were being bought.

Then, Gemma outlined "3 issues (that's our maximum for understanding) that a lot of people are actually missing," which are the potential for Ukraine bankruptcy, a hit to Russian growth (is anyone really underestimating that?) and finally, (snicker), "significant change" to the Fed's tapering plans. (And doesn't less tapering generally make stocks go up?)

Tim Seymour struggled to clarify at the top of Monday's Closing Bell whether he was against buying the dip and whether he was referring to Russia's dip or the U.S. market dip. Eventually he seemed to say he wouldn't buy Russia's dip, but that U.S. investors are getting lists ready (for whatever that's worth).

Pete implies each Twitter user was corresponding individually with Ellen

Kevin Delaney was supposed to be the TWTR answer man on Monday's Halftime Report, but ended up asking or rephrasing Judge's questions.

Delaney acknowledged tons of people used Twitter during the Oscars but said the question is, "Can they actually get new users out of it."

Stephanie Link, skeptical, said it's not just about new users, but "how do they stem the declines." Delaney rebutted that "there is small growth globally."

Joe Terranova asked Delaney, "Where does the growth come from."

"That's a really good question," Delaney said.

Pete Najarian somehow claimed that retweeting movie stars' silly messages amounts to interacting with them as opposed to lack of Super Bowl dialogue with coaches and QBs, "you're actually going back and forth."

Stephanie Link decried TWTR's valuation; "it's hard to pay that kind of a multiple."

Joe rejects Josh’s contention that F makes better cars than GM

It's the head-scratching, daily drivel:

The Halftime/Fast Money discussions about GM and F stock.

On Monday's Halftime, Judge actually felt compelled to stage a GM/F debate, which ultimately turned personal.

Mr. New World took the GM bull case, calling it a "perfect opps- tunity (sic)" to get into the stock.

"This is a turnaround that's first gonna happen on the credit side," Joe said, ultimately predicting "at least 3.95 a share" in earnings.

Josh Brown asserted, "I just know that Ford is poised to do better," based on his assessment (seemingly according to recalls) that "Ford makes better products than GM ... I think the stock can go much higher."

Joe said that's fine, but F sentiment is "elevated."

Pete Najarian, waffling like he tends to do as a judge, allowed, "I'd have to go with Josh on this one."

Things got a tiny bit chippy when Joe disagreed that Josh has any basis for claiming Ford's products are better. "That's a personal choice. I'm walking out of here, I'm getting into a GM," Joe said.

"A recall is not a personal choice," Brown shot back.

"No, you're talking about Ford making better products. That's a personal choice," Joe said.

"Quantitatively, the Ford product right now is considered to be better," Brown said.

Judge dropped the ball here, not even asking the most relevant question, which is, does either make a better product than Toyota, Honda, Hyundai, Chrysler, Fiat, BMW, Volkswagen or Tesla.

John Rogers says he does not have an e-mail address

John Rogers on Monday's Halftime Report was unfazed by the Ukraine crisis, stating, "I think this is just a temporary blip ... we're still very, very bullish."

Rogers touted LAZ, which he said will benefit from "a lot more transactions."

He also likes SJM, because of valuation and that it hasn't participated while being "extraordinarily well-managed by the Smuckers brothers."

Finally, Rogers said BYI is fine but "just got a little bit ahead of itself."

Josh Brown questioned if sentiment that moved markets last year won't take a hit from Ukraine. Joe Terranova suggested looking at PEP and MCD for eastern Europe exposure.

Regarding another recent problem, weather, Pete Najarian pointed to the airline selloff and suggested, "Those are the opportunities ... some of these transportations (sic)."

Judge finally calls out
Pete’s hyperbole

It took him a moment or two, but Joe Terranova on Monday's Halftime Report endorsed the gold miners.

Josh Brown made it sound like ag stocks were a newfound discovery, while Pete Najarian butted in that "it started months ago."

Brown said SSYS had a "lot of good things to talk about." Pete Najarian sees "a shift from the top" at MSFT.

Whaddaya know, mighty C had another setback, and the Halftime Report excuse-makers were all ready for it, with Stephanie Link describing the issues as "somewhat of a one-off." (How can something be "somewhat" of a one-off?)

Mr. New Land restated the story that there was thinking PEP might buy SODA, but "I'm not willing at this point to buy it though."

Pete Najarian said HPQ 29.5 calls that expire Friday were hot, and he added to his holdings.

Stephanie Link was not impressed, saying, "I have a problem buying really big value tech."

Pete pressed back with one of his favorite new terms, that HPQ has got the "hybrid cloud," then, going in reverse, said, "First of all Meg Whitman has completely turned this company around."

That finally woke up Judge. "Has she- I mean, c'mon, has she really ... I think it's a little early to say she's completely turned the company around," Judge told Pete.

"She has completely changed around the fundamental story behind the books," Pete said, whatever the heck that means.

Maybe she's gearing up for a rematch with Jerry Brown.

Josh Brown's Final Trade was IEO. Stephanie Link said DBD, Pete Najarian said HPQ and Joe Terranova said PXD, a favorite of this page that has been blowing away Brian Kelly's loopy short.

Back to CNBCfix home

CNBCfix.com home

Fast Money’s
Call of 2013

Pete Najarian's 2nd-half story

Fast Money’s
Call of 2012

Steve Grasso's (dash) to the finish line

Fast Money’s
great moments
of 2011

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

special report: CNBC ‘Fast Money’ trader positions often go undisclosed

♦ Daily online recaps often omit certain traders' holdings, appear voluntary, unenforced, no requirement for accuracy or timeliness, no description of the size of position or whether positions are for clients or traders' own accounts

Fast Money review

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

CNBCfix capsules:
Movie of the week

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

Movie review:
‘Wall Street’

Gordon Gekko:
The Michael Corleone
of Wall Street

CNBC/cable TV
star bios

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

CNBC guest bios

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