[CNBCfix Fast Money Review Archive, November 2012]
[Friday, November 30, 2012]

Pete notes that Research in Motion in October was the real generational buy

Joe Terranova asked himself 3 questions about AAPL on Friday's Halftime Report, then concluded by saying China is the next catalyst.

Pete Najarian revealed, "I have owned Apple forever," but said "I'm not so sure about generational buy" as Terranova keeps saying, specifically because it's not delivering the beta and asking Terranova if he'd rather pursue 12% or 50%.

"Would I rather get 12% or 50%? I'd rather get 12% with less risk," Terranova said.

Pete shrugged, "This show is called Fast Money for a reason," even though it's actually called the "Halftime Report," for a reason.

Joe unable to talk Pete into almost anything

Stephen Weiss on Friday's Halftime Report offered a refreshing twist on the tiresome Fast Money/Halftime feature of special dividends, questioning, "What I don't understand is people coming in and buying the stocks afterward," given that they immediately price in the dividend.

Actually — and we hate to belabor this subject — there is a reasonable explanation that makes a small amount of sense, assuming the stock does revert ex-div to its previous price, you've still gotten paid right now and theoretically could take a short-term capital loss, but that's beyond the scope of our math capacities.

Pete Najarian lamented that we're not seeing many of these dividends from the tech companies. Jon Najarian reiterated that MSFT and GOOG are strong candidates. Stephen Weiss suggested GS possibly. Joe Terranova argued for DELL, likening it to YHOO. Pete Najarian wasn't so convinced about that but did call DELL "solid."

Halftime unable to get through YUM discussion without Joe pronouncing CMG as ‘Chipulte’

Pete Najarian and Stephen Weiss differed on the YUM selloff on Friday's Halftime Report, with Najarian asserting, "I think it's an opportunity," and Weiss contending that "it's not a little miss in China ... wanna see what else is goin' on here."

Pete said that YUM is actually taking back business from CMG, but Joe Terranova insisted, "I think it's a rebranding strategy ... If you think that the Chinese economy has seen a trough, then you've gotta buy Yum here."

Jon Najarian said the stock has done a round-trip to 67 from October, and ideally he'd like to buy it around "more like 62," then concluded, "I'd buy it below 66."

Pachter apparently never opined on HPQ

Michael Pachter had nothing new to say about FB but that didn't stop him from getting invited to Friday's Halftime Report. "The fundamentals are unchanged," Pachter said, outlining as the lone catalyst the expectation that it "has to go in the S&P 500 at some time in the next several months."

It's a "fundamentally good company," Pachter said, but he refused to hike his price target, saying "35's plenty."

Pachter conceded ZNGA is "the worst call I've ever made in my life," but "today's news is good for Zynga." He said "LinkedIn really is a neutral" if you believe as he does that it makes $8 a share "5 years from now."

Jon Najarian said GRPN could do better than Andrew Mason, but that's what you get; "I think it probably eases back down below 4."

Kick The Can described as ‘baby grand bargain’ and ‘pause button’

Keith Banks sort of was like a guest host on Friday's Halftime Report but mostly delivered generic advice, saying he recently went to overweight in equities, and "we're more worried about fixed income right now," and he would "underweight developed market equities."

Banks predicted a "baby grand bargain" in Washington, in which lawmakers will "press the pause button and do the real work next year."

He told Stephen Weiss, "the real catalyst Steve is gonna be the grand bargain."

Pete: Few dollars lower on TIF

Pete Najarian on Friday's Halftime Report said TIF is getting to a buyable level, but "I don't think it's time yet," but would wait for a "few dollars lower."

Jon Najarian said the ANF run isn't over; "I still like the upside in the name." He said he likes FDO.

Stephen Weiss said JCP is on a "1-way street down" and he expects it to "base around 10 bucks a share."

Joe Terranova said you can get long TRIP, and "36.50's your stop." Terranova also said CREE is dabble-able; "you can take a small position from the long side here."

Judge handled the post-Boehner-remarks time grilling Douglas Holtz Eakin about where the Republican plan is.

Keith Banks' "Final Trade" (that's putting it loosely) is technology, diversified chemicals, diversified metals. Pete Najarian said FB and Stephen Weiss said M.

[Thursday, November 29, 2012]

Kick The Can now being described as ‘a multi-stage fix’

Guest Savita Subramanian, who is cute, visited Thursday's Fast Money to opine on S&P levels, but like many, actually sounded a bit in the dark as to how these debt talks are resolved.

Subramanian suggested the parties will find a "reasonable solution, maybe a messy, kind of a multi-stage fix."

It might be multiple stages, but surely nothing is getting "fixed."

Subramanian, whose year-end S&P target is 1,450, said, "For the rest of the year, I actually think there might be a little bit more downside risk than upside risk at this point," and she likes consumer staples, but is sticking with her 1,600 target for 2013.

Karen Finerman said it's interesting that the VIX is "surprisingly low."

Meanwhile, Chris Verrone, who got a little tongue-tied on "1-month highs," said, "I really see 2 problems" with the market, those being momentum and trend, pointing out that with only 25% of companies reaching new 1-month highs, we're far below the results after June 2012 and October 2011 in which "60, 70, 80%" hit that level.

Plus, only 55% of stocks are above the 200-day, Verrone said. "I think that puts a cap on us in that 1,430, 1,450 range," he said, advising viewers to focus on stocks with "extraordinary charts."

One of those apparently is VMC, which Verrone said has experienced a "massive bearish to bullish reversal." Steve Grasso said the potential for an MLM deal is also a factor there.

Eamon Javers actually seemed surprised that politicians in debt-reduction talks want new spending

One thing you can count on whenever lawmakers get together even under the most dire circumstances is that there will be goodies in the mix, something Eamon Javers apparently wasn't considering on Thursday's Fast Money when he reported the WSJ's report that Democrats want "$50 billion in new spending."

"This is the biggest poker game in the history of the world Melissa," said Javers.

No, actually that was in "The Cincinnati Kid."

Javers said negotiators are trying to avoid "World War I trench-warfare-style" but noted that it's not just the politicians with a lot on the line, but "some of these staffers have pretty big egos too," and if you didn't already think some of them were insufferable enough, well ...

Tim Seymour said it sounds to him not like horse-trading but "donkey-trading" and condemned the leakage; "It's almost like Blue Horseshoe," except those tips were given to the Wall Street "Chronicle."

"One would think that we sort of sell off tomorrow," concluded Guy Adami.

YUM bull calls by Tim Seymour, Guy Adami prove busts

Ya gotta give Tim Seymour points for honesty.

Seymour said back on Nov. 7, "I think Yum Brands has been revalidated," and in fact if you bought then you might've already flipped out for a small little profit, but Seymour admitted on Thrusday's Fast Money that he actually "added a position a couple of days ago" in YUM, and the company's China results are a "surprise."

Much worse than that was Guy Adami saying just 2 days ago, when it closed at $73.80, "stay with this momentum name."

Seymour did say that another China-centric name, FCX, "has a lot of resistance ... and you're just about there."

Seymour noted the impact of silver on TIF's results and said, "I think these guys are trapped in the middle of their own success." Guy Adami said "you have to be concerned" about the operating margins at Tiffany.

Given some Good, Bad & Ugly treatment, Adami said "I think Cerner is still a hold," and rightly defended his Oct. 26 recommendation on EXPE to "short it against 60," which might've been flat (you could've gotten a 54 handle within a couple of weeks), but "it was not a bad call," Adami said.

Brian Stutland somehow thinks all stocks are going up because of Research in Motion

Julia Boorstin reported breaking news on Facebook and Zynga during Thursday's Fast Money, essentially that "Facebook does not want to be tied to Zynga."

"Facebook still looks like the play," said Steve Grasso, and Guy Adami indicated ZNGA is a no-touch, warning, "don't dive into this pool yet."

After some clarification, it was revealed Karen Finerman is neither interested in Zynga stock NOR actually playing the games, but she did question whether FB might actually buy ZNGA.

Guy Adami said RIMM has experienced a "50% retracement" of its range and hit "12½ to the penny ... I'm in the camp that this is probably headed lower again." Brian Stutland said people were "buying puts on the 9 strike," but if nothing else RIMM's performance is "at least a good sign for the broader market."

Stutland later observed that Piper thinks FB can make gobs of money from a "want" button.

Thursday refreshingly brought a Patty Edwards sighting, not on Judge's Halftime Report or Mel's Fast Money but on Maria & Bill's Closing Bell (we can't believe Bill didn't ask Patty about whether U2, Talking Heads and the Bay City Rollers can co-exist in an iCloud), in which Patty said even Microsoft engineers own iPhones, the Windows 8 reviews aren't that great, and "I don't think you're gonna get a lift out of this" in MSFT shares, but she does like the setup for GOOG.

Fast Money has time to show someone putting on and taking off suspenders

Brian Stutland said on Thursday's Fast Money that there was a big buyer of December 52.50 calls in DG for 60 cents. "I bought calls today for myself and clients as well," Stutland revealed.

Steve Grasso said he likes M and JWN (the latter being his Final Trade); "I think you buy these things on weakness."

Grasso said he likes HD a little more than LOW, but "both will continue to climb that ladder." Apparently impressed by frequent CEO guests, Grasso said "I would play Hain Celestial" over KR but said KR is still ownable.

Karen Finerman tackled SVU and said, "I'm wondering if the debt markets are tightening up a little bit ... I would not play this one." But Finerman continues to own MA and predicted there is "more to come" in RLGY.

Guy Adami said he was refraining from the jokes but that BKS "continues to trade lower from here." But he said you can "continue to hold" RGR.

Steve Grasso opined that "every rally starts with a short-covering rally." Guy Adami followed, "Every gift begins with Kay," a sign of advertising success.

Fast Money gang parses over what constitutes a ‘computer’ vs. a ‘tablet’

Karen Finerman on Thursday's Fast Money praised Ralph Whitworth's Relational as a quality value investor that sees a good thing and isn't in for a flip, which makes TKR "very attractive."

Finerman scoffed at the company's rejection of the notion of selling a steel division because it's supposedly good synergies; "that's what they always say." She suggested Relational might not be done, "I don't know if they're buying more."

Jane Wells, after first sticking out her tongue pre-commercial, questioned the notion of "$1,000 for a tablet," only to find the Fast gang debating what constitutes a computer vs. a tablet. "I am long Microsoft shares though sadly," said Karen Finerman, in that 6-mugshot screen that is the best part of Wells' features.

Finerman questioned the footage of the dockworkers' strike. "That's it, 6 guys in a windbreaker?" Finerman said, before suggesting FDX as a last resort while Wells said the shippers can always go to Mexico.

Jane also revisited her Lindsay Lohan call and suggested maybe she should've tried to "ride it all the way down."

Kate Kelly said she thinks investors are "walled off" from SAC's legal issues.

Tim Seymour's Final Trade was short EWZ. Guy Adami said RTN and Karen Finerman said M.

Harry Reid says something that is not going to be true

Judge Wapner frittered away the opening of Thursday's Halftime Report on the willy-nilly "news-making" out of Washington.

Harry Reid was actually heard to say, "We're not going to kick the can down the road."

Joe Terranova rightly observed, "I think we're making way too much out of this," and pointed out that last year's payroll tax-cut resolution occurred Dec. 23 and the extension of the Bush tax rates in 2010 occurred Dec. 17.

Josh Brown said D.C. headlines are having a "diminishing impact."

Meanwhile, Tony Dwyer said "I really try not to guess" what's going to happen, but is focused on, "Don't fight the Fed and don't fight the tape."

Dwyer conceded to Judge Wapner that his 1,575 S&P target "might be a little bit tough at this point" but called his 1,650 level for 2103 "conservative."

Judge thinks there’s no difference between paying 44 for a stock, or 42

Steve Kernkraut, continuing the retail trade that we're going to hear for about 3 more weeks along with the special dividend trade, told Thursday's Halftime Report that "November was ugly for a lot of the department stores, a lot of the big-box retailers" but that some specialty shops did well.

Kernkraut said the "best in class" in the specialty names are Chico's and American Eagle, and he also likes TJX as a JCP beneficiary (Ron Johnson's gift to the retail industry).

A name like Tiffany may be held hostage by the D.C. negotiations, but "The American Eagle customers think fiscal cliff is really a rock-climbing event," Kernkraut said.

Mike Murphy said, "We added to our position in Target this morning," and he also trumpeted M.

Joe Terranova said he missed the trade but AMZN and EBAY are winners, and he likes TJX and LTD.

Jon Najarian said he likes TJX though it hasn't dipped far enough for him yet, which would be around 42. Judge Wapner actually scoffed at the "$2 difference .. If you like it at 44, don't you like it at 42."

Josh Brown said V and MA are winners regardless of whether people are buying online or bricks and mortar. Joe Terranova said MA remains a special dividend candidate, while Mike Murphy suggested HD.

Stocks that Joe can’t say have been in the penalty box

Mike Murphy, who hasn't been on for a while, said on Thursday's Halftime that he's not jumping aboard the RIMM bandwagon, "don't like it here at all," and he sees a $12.30 "near-term top."

Josh Brown, though, argued that "right now this is the hot momentum trade" and that the salvation for RIMM is in "Indonesia, Thailand, Africa."

Mike Murphy was skeptical about continued gains in EXPE. "I think it looks extended here," Murphy said.

Joe Terranova said it's about pizza and tacos for YUM and that Pizza Hut is scoring with the "19.99 dinner box," and then he pronounced CMG as "Chipulte" again.

Jon Najarian zipped through the great returns of various sin stocks since the Great Recession; "smoke 'em if you got 'em folks, these are outstanding performances," although one sector included travel companies, and we didn't know traveling was sinning. Mike Murphy said to be careful with travel names, but "I think there could be more room there" in the gun stocks.

Najarian also said "Google's on my list" for the special dividend play, but Josh Brown said that after companies have announced this, it's "not necessarily a great short-term trade."

Ilczyszyn: Oil range top at 89.80

Following the news, Herb Greenberg on Thursday's Halftime Report heartily endorsed the WSJ's coverage of 10b5-1 plans and the "mockery" that they make of disclosure, suggesting "it's like dollar-cost averaging the other way."

Jon Najarian said insider selling details are the kinds of things that tip off the options markets, using an example what would happen if Joe Terranova started selling Virtus shares.

Greenberg pointed out the cancellation factor; "they're not preordained."

Back with full sound this time, the Ilchmeister, Rich Ilczyszyn, said "I'm a seller of the rips" in crude, specifically the 89.80 level, and it's a "great trading range" but not for stocks and ETFs, rather, "this is a future play."

Dennis Gartman claimed the fiscal cliff headlines are not driving gold, but "I'm very bullish of gold in yen terms." He said he has ruled out the fat finger theory on gold yesterday; "It does appear to me that somebody was liquidating a large trade that they put on last week." Gartman said Joe Terranova's suggestion that people not try to trade gold but just own a little is "very, very wise counsel."

Cute Kathy Lien said to sell the dollar/yen at 82.

Josh Brown's Final Trade was XLV. Joe Terranova said FCX, Jon Najarian said GT and Mike Murphy said F.

[Wednesday, November 28, 2012]

Andrew Mason proves that when public figures are nice to the media, the media is nice to them

Henry Blodget, fresh off a chat with beleaguered Groupon CEO Andrew Mason, reflected on the discussion on Wednesday's Fast Money and said "kudos to him for showing up," and then claimed that at Groupon, "Things are not as bad as the stock would have you believe."

"The real problem in the business right now is Europe. It's imploding," Blodget explained, "but the U.S. is doing OK."

It's "really a turnaround situation," Blodget said, shrugging off Tim Seymour's accurate concern about low barriers to competition by stressing Groupon was first and it's profitable.

Taking buy-and-hold to the max, Blodget said he is long YHOO. "I own the stock and have since the '90s ... Yahoo has a huge asset ... they should be able to build a good business out of that."

Blodget said at FB, "the new mobile ads seem to be working," and "I still think the stock's expensive," proving that even if one is banned from the securities industry, one can still opine about stock valuations on television.

Steve Grasso said to watch the $19.15 level very carefully with YHOO.

Gee, ORCL is a strong candidate for special dividend ... ya think?

Continuing the Subject That Gets 5 Minutes Every Episode, Wednesday's Fast Money crew had to once again talk about companies that might be inclined to issue a special dividend.

Tim Seymour ended up running roughshod on Dan Nathan in a discussion over borrowing for these dividends; "I think the idea of taking out debt to pay back shareholders is ridiculous," Nathan said.

But Seymour countered that rates are low, it's a capital strategy, and "This is CFOs earning their money. I think this makes a ton of sense," adding that the 2007 leverage concerns cited by Nathan are bogus because the problem now is on a sovereign level, not corporate level.

Brian Kelly suggested (surprise) ORCL, and also WMT. Scott Nations said there was a big seller of March 28 puts in ORCL for 49 cents. Steve Grasso called YHOO an "interesting play."

Tim Seymour and Mike Harris sound like critics analyzing ‘Mulholland Dr.’

Mike Harris visited Wednesday's Fast Money set to report, "It's my short-term models that are leading me to be long."

Harris indicated that key levels include 1,381 and 1,405 but was more interested in what he sees as a redo from last year's debt ceiling, "I've seen this movie before."

Tim Seymour carped at that characterization. "Yeah but seeing this movie before means there would be no resolution, so I'm not sure exactly what your point is," Seymour said.

Actually (Flash to Seymour), there was a resolution — it's called Kick The Can, and it's exactly what the stock market bulls want to hear right now.

Harris insisted "there's more bond-buying on the horizon," and Mel Lee added that he likes gold and silver.

Another person with big stake in real estate says the market’s great

Barbara Corcoran visited Wednesday's Fast Money to basically say all real estate is a spring-loaded gold mine tout the virtues of real estate and dismiss fiscal-cliff concerns about losing mortgage deductions.

"I don't think the impact is gonna be very big" on people's tax returns, Corcoran said.

Corcoran said the apartment builders aren't getting extended and in fact could be doing more, but "financial people are still frightened" to lend to them, arguing to Tim Seymour that there's a "shortage of inventory" in housing.

Corcoran said that if she was sitting on a pile of money, she'd "buy a beachfront property," and said people trading up to a bigger home now are making a "smart move."

"The housing market is stronger than people think it is," Corcoran said.

Most of the panel though seemed to think the stocks have already reflected that. If you're in apartment REITs, said Brian Kelly, "I'd certainly be taking some off the table." Dan Nathan called the homebuilders "a little extended." Tim Seymour did tout Cemex, "it's a balance-sheet cleanup," and Steve Grasso observed that "Home Depot continues to outperform." Scott Nations suggested people "buy some at-the-money calls in housing."

Steve Grasso asked Corcoran who the "biggest schmuck" on the show is, and we don't even know what Corcoran's show is or what they were talking about.

Kick The Can, kick it now

John Harwood claimed at the top of Wednesday's Fast Money that soaking the rich to conquer the fiscal cliff is "very popular with the public."

Tim Seymour scoffed, though, at the inflows into money market funds, saying, "They may be costing you money." Steve Grasso said it's a sign of "how desperate people are to hold onto their cash."

Brian Kelly made a rambling, not particularly connected point apparently noting that money in bonds hasn't flooded into stocks, and so, "This to me is gonna be tough sledding for stocks."

Joe wasn’t around to say the steel names have been in the penalty box

Steve Grasso on Wednesday's Fast Money parlayed his CLF position into a semi-Brag Trade. "I was long Cliff, I sold it for a profit but I held onto a small piece, so I'm still a hoper here," Grasso said. "Iron ore has definitely bottomed ... I'm playing with the house's money."

However, Grasso didn't crow about one he could've, AKS, which he mentioned previously as owning into the Goldman Sachs conference and mentioned Wednesday as his Powerball trade. (This writer is long AKS.)

Grasso said he'd now be a buyer of ANF and seller of AEO.

Nathan: JCP tops at $20

Dan Nathan accepted congrats on Wednesday's Fast Money for calling a JCP bounce, but predicted "20 will probably be the near-term top."

Nathan said he doesn't buy stocks like EXPE that are up more than 100%, but it is a buy on pullbacks. He called ANF "a bit extended here."

Nathan curiously said that if he won Powerball, he'd "short the heck out of Amazon" and buy "tons of put premium."

Scott Nations said the TKR spinoff call "makes a lot of sense." Nations curiously said if he won Powerball, he'd buy TiVO and give it a "kickstart."

Brian Kelly said he likes silver over gold and "I'm long SLV." His "Powerball Trade" (which he already is long) was DXJ.

Tim Seymour said GMCR is "not for the faint of heart" but "I think you can ride it." He said he'd stay in MSFT, and if he wins Powerball, "I'm buying MSG."

Kayla Tausche unfortunately referred to a "tale of 2 retailers."

Ross Levinsohn seems like such a good guy, how could YHOO (or anyone else) not hire him?

Many CEOs are classy guys/gals, but few are going to match the display of former interim Yahoo chief Ross Levinsohn on Wednesday's Halftime Report.

Levinsohn told Judge Wapner that Yahoo has 3 things going for it, a "dynamic" CEO in Marissa Mayer, a buyback, and the ever-popular Alibaba stake.

Furthermore, "mobile is obviously gonna be a, a tremendous catalyst in the future if Yahoo can get it right," Levinsohn said.

Levinsohn conceded, "I'm sorry that I didn't get the job," but mentioned the current projects he's involved in and even added, "Premium content like CNBC is, is not replicable very easily."

With all the companies out there with unimpressive or (even in some select cases) Jagov CEOs, it's astonishing this person isn't running a company somewhere.

It's all even sort of winning us over to YHOO, which Pete Najarian called "still too cheap ... plenty of upside."

YHOO note: JCP went up for 5 months after Ron Johnson’s hiring

Stephen Weiss revealed on Wednesday's Halftime Report that "I shorted some more" JCP after Jim Cramer spoke in the morning about Izod's impact and was "misinterpreted" by the markets.

Weiss claimed he went through the JCPenney holiday circulars and compared prices with Macy's and found JCP was undercutting M up to 10%. "You can't discount your way to profitability," Weiss said, adding the company is "gonna have to raise capital next year unquestionably."

Jon Najarian disagreed and said one of the CNBC producer's moms was impressed by a JCP store. People wanted the discounts, Najarian said, and "JCPenney actually listened to that," and he doubts they dropped prices all the way below money-making level.

Stephen Weiss said he wanted to be sure the SEC doesn't "crucify" GMCR, and he thinks the CEO wouldn't take the job if there was an issue with that, so "the upside's pretty good ... I'm takin' a look." Pete Najarian said you can get long on a pullback.

Long Boehner, short Reid

Pete Najarian assessed the day's fiscal cliff news on Wednesday's Halftime Report by concluding, "This is now a trader's market."

But Stephen Weiss argued that it's actually a "low-exposure market" and an "investing market," in which you want to go short when Harry Reid speaks and go long when John Boehner speaks.

Weiss said it's good to hear more pundits asserting we're going over the cliff, because it "sensitizes the market to that possibility." (Translation: Keeps S&P in a cautious range that allows people of other mind-sets a chance to get a pop.)

Stephanie Link-Cramer said she's looking to get back into a housing name like WY, and also mentioned EMR and ETN.

Jared Bernstein said, as President Obama did, that Congress should ice the non-rich tax brackets right now because they all agree. Tony Fratto asked the most realistic political question, mostly rhetorically, which is that the lower brackets are the GOP's trump card, and "why give that up now."

Jon Najarian pointed to Costco's special dividend as a sign of corporate fear. "They are not waitin' around. They are saying loud and clear, they think we're goin' off the cliff," Najarian said.

YHOO-GRPN maybe not a perfect analogy

Anthony Grisanti a couple of times on Wednesday's Halftime Report mentioned that there was "one customer selling 15,000 contracts" of gold, but the price held 1,703 so Grisanti remains bullish.

Stephanie Link-Cramer said she still likes ESV and in the "low 50s I think I'd be more of a buyer."

Toyota exec Jim Lentz gave Phil LeBeau a quick soundbite, saying, "We're gonna continue to push hybrids." Stephanie Link-Cramer said she likes BWA in the low 60s. Stephen Weiss said when he gets back to a larger stock exposure he's "gonna buy Ford ... see credit easing up ... I think you gotta like the autos."

Jon Najarian pointed to Yahoo getting rid of Jerry Yang (um, after they brought him back) and said the same applies to Groupon; "I don't think Andrew Mason's the right guy."

Pete Najarian's Final Trade was VMW. Jon Najarian said CHK, Stephanie Link said GD and Stephen Weiss said BAC.

[Tuesday, November 27, 2012]

Someone named Melissa writes about how she somehow made it to Harvard in the ’90s, but it’s not Melissa Lee

Most of the people on CNBC come from exceptional homes and have high-achieving parents.

But that isn't always the case, evidenced by the memoir of recently departed Melissa Francis, who now calls The Gasparino Network home.

While this book, Diary of a Stage Mother's Daughter, is a notable departure from, say, Steve Cortes' Against the Herd, this site took a crack at reviewing it regardless, and decided among many other things, go long residuals (if at all possible).

Francis almost certainly was at Harvard with Melissa Lee, though neither attended the same time as Cramer or even Whitney Tilson.

While some of Francis' media friends/associates (no need to name names) have praised the book, it's actually a mixed bag (note for testosterone-fueled readers, it's mostly a mom-daughter tale) and likely aimed at "Little House on the Prairie" fans. A lot of people who make a living asking questions aren't so comfortable answering questions themselves, and in fact Francis sputtered to make an adequate case for the book to Don Imus.

Religion apparently isn’t one of the banned subjects on Fast Money

Nothing stimulated a moribund episode of Fast Money on Tuesday like the subject of ... religion.

Jane Wells delivered an update on, of all things, Angus T. Jones' "Two and a Half Men" commentary that immediately brought scorn from none other than Melissa Lee.

It "just sounds so stupid, what a stupid move," Lee declared.

Guy Adami countered, "Any publicity's good publicity."

"He's not gonna get paid!" Lee blurted.

Wells said Jones didn't say it for publicity, but for religious reasons.

That evidently got some of the panties in a bunch, with one person heard to say, "Short religion, that's, for the masses," however, we're not going to say who because the first part of the quote is inaudible, and it's unclear if the person was suggesting this trade or, based on hand gestures, was merely characterizing the tone of the conversation.

Every now and then we've noted how certain subjects get mentioned on Fast Money that you wouldn't expect (at least in such a frivolous way), odd when you consider how one CNBC staffer got run out of the room simply by mentioning that Barack Obama had been a community organizer.

Whatever Louise Yamada’s charts were supposed to be illustrating, we’re not sure

Last thing we want to do around here is pick on Louise Yamada, but quite frankly, we didn't have the foggiest idea what all those squiggles on her S&P 500 chart mean.

Yamada said it's about "sell signals in the momentum study," and something about the S&P recently rising without a corresponding lift in momentum, and so "the negative divergence could carry a little bit lower."

In short, Yamada told Guy Adami that 1,350 and 1,300 are support levels, without much conviction at all as to which one is more important.

Louise also tackled AAPL, "maybe it's becoming a new bellwether" (um, yeah), detecting "the first negative divergence" since 2008 and after it's done with its recent rise, maybe up to 630, "there is a possibility that it could come under the recent, uh, the recent low ... best-case scenario, it goes sideways."

Keith McCullough said volume and the low VIX are signs of trouble.

The good, the bad, and the really good (above)

Brad Rencher told Tuesday's Fast Money, rather earnestly in fact, that cyber-shopping over the weekend proved a "watershed moment for retailers," which we could swear we've been hearing every week-after-Thanksgiving since 1999, but Rencher said it's "really driven by mobile."

Brian Kelly asked a good question about social media referrals leading to purchases. Rencher said it's only 2% of the share, but up 100% over last year, and that the vast majority come from Facebook and Twitter, and he also mentioned Pinterest as a player.

Keith McCullough said GLW actually guided up, a rarity in this market.

McCullough was subjected to The Good, The Bad & The Ugly feature, first on his short ANR call (the good), then short AMZN (bad), and quite frankly, that's probably the 2nd or 3rd time this year that McCullough has spoken about an AMZN short, and we can't fathom why he likes that trade, at best it's like scooping nickels off the tracks before the train arrives.

"I had to fall on my sword and cover Amazon," McCullough admitted.

Guy Adami questioned the lack of an "ugly" element, though Mel Lee suggested his tie, but we figured, why not harken back to yesterday's show and study something that's definitely not ugly.

What other kind of progress would Harry Reid be talking about?

In the category of Stories That Don't Need To Be Covered, CNBC dispatched Eamon Javers to issue a little analysis of Sen. Harry Reid's fiscal saber-rattling.

The market heard "little progress," Javers opined on Tuesday's Fast Money, when what Reid actually meant was "little progress with the Republicans."

Then Harvard-educated Melissa Lee used a hilariously wrong noun to describe the situation, telling Javers it "sort of gives the markets a picture of, sort of, just, juggernaut."

Keith McCullough and Guy Adami seemed to think the D.C. material is good for a headline but is hardly the whole story; rather it's "multiple factors at work," McCullough said.

Brian Kelly, who thinks the biggest risk to Wall Street/and/or banks/and/or something else is an improving economy, this time wisely said, "I don't think you should overreact to this."

Adami: Stay long YHOO

We kinda hate to admit it, probably because we hate the stock (actually, it's not one of the many that has scorched the account) or perhaps hate the countless Fast Money discussions on this name since the show's inception, but several Fast Money panelists in the last few months — particularly Guy Adami but there are others — have nailed a great long call on YHOO.

Adami said on Tuesday's Fast Money that "I still think the trade sets up on the long side" and that YHOO gets a "20-handle," in any tape, even "benign tapes."

Brian Kelly was more cautious, saying, "I think the floor is a lot closer to 15 than it is 19," and if long, "I'd definitely be taking profit," not all the position but most.

Brian Stutland said if you want to play RIMM long, use options; "I'd be leery of owning the stock right here." Guy Adami predicted that RIMM continues lower.

Larry McDonald has hit the movie theaters recently

Larry McDonald, who recently enjoyed a wonderful dinner at Campagnola with Mr. C. Gasparino and several CNBC stars including Mandy Drury, Gary Kaminsky, Jackie DeAngelis and Gina Sanchez, visited the set of Tuesday's Fast Money to take part in one of the recent subsets of the program, predicting which company will be next to issue a special dividend in 2012.

McDonald suggestd AAPL, DELL and ORCL, but cautioned, "I think you fade this," as the stocks revert to pre-announcement levels.

McDonald predicted pain in fiscal cliff talks involving "means-testing" for a lot of things. "I don't think the GOP caucus is gonna really think they have a deal, a good deal, until December 20th," he said, pointing out that "Lincoln" shows that getting votes is a "painful process."

Karen Finerman said AAPL should definitely be a special-dividend contender and it would be "reckless that they don't" do something like that, the company should be "No. 1 on the list."

"Lincoln" is interesting but more re-creation than drama. "Flight" is the best movie running right now, a bit long perhaps but a performance by Denzel that — if you've ever known anyone remotely in that situation — nearly brings tears.

There actually are people playing BBY for the buyout?

Guy Adami characterized the afterhours spike in GMCR, as it got out of Joe Terranova's penalty box that he said it wouldn't, as a "classic short squeeze," and said "this can continue for a couple more days."

Given a chance to try to debunk the report and gains, GMCR critic Herb Greenberg pushed the rebate issue, then set the bar high, saying the company had to have a good quarter.

Adami said JACK is better than CMG and said of YUM, you can "stay with this momentum name."

Brian Stutland labeled himself a "biomedical engineer" while discussing the MNST stigma with Taurine, then explained he's got a "master's from University of Michigan ... I wanted to be a genetic engineer at some point but hey, the markets took over, I love making money."

Stutland said there was a put seller in the January 31 AIG strike for 41 cents. "I put on a bull spread myself, I like the stock right here," he said.

Brian Kelly said if you're playing BBY for the buyout, "take some off the table." But he said CAG "actually has some more room to run."

Karen Finerman said EQR is interesting only because Sam Zell now appears to be a "buyer" in the real estate market.

Finerman predicted Jamie Dimon "will not be the secretary of the Treasury."

Stutland's Final Trade was long CRUS. Keith McCullough said long nat gas, Guy Adami said long APA, Karen Finerman said long TGT and Brian Kelly said long JJG.

Stephen Weiss says he hears RIMM takeover may be under ‘consideration’ at AAPL

Stephen Weiss on Tuesday's Halftime Report debate with Joe Terranova didn't even bother to offer the most curious reason for owning RIMM.

That came later in the program, when Weiss actually said Apple doesn't have likely acquisition targets, "although I'm starting to hear RIMM may be into consideration."

(Now that's called "talking your book.")

Inexplicably, neither asleep-at-the-switch Judge nor anyone else on the panel questioned this, and Joe Terranova even said he was "ecstatic" about something else Weiss said in the same commentary, that AAPL could declare a special dividend and make people "happly" (sic).

Jon Najarian said "I'd look at Microsoft and Apple" as special dividend candidates, while JJ Kinahan said to think about NKE, owned by "20% insiders right now."

Terranova hailed MUR, "I say you own it on the capital allocation strategy."

Dr. J rewrites history to give himself a push on bungled RIMM trade

Some things on Fast Money/Halftime Report tend to get your attention more than others.

Such as, Jon Najarian saying on Tuesday's Halftime Report that last year, regarding RIMM, he predicted "this stock to go up to 20" but it only got to 18, so he was "part right, and part wrong."

How about, "not" right and "all" wrong.

Because it was back on Dec. 29, 2011, when Najarian said, "I think it gets bought ... I think the price is gonna be north of 22, on a takeover."

On Jan. 12, 2012, Najarian said a RIMM takeover in the mid-$20s is one of his top 5 predictions for 2012.

And on Jan. 18, 2012, Najarian predicted a buyout price of $24, prompting Josh Brown to counter, "I'll take the under on that."

Joe apparently thinks he gets a commission for every time he says ‘penalty box’

Joe Terranova launched into Tuesday's Halftime Report asserting that HPQ is "gonna stay in the penalty box for a year," even getting Jon Najarian to utter that term.

Stephen Weiss said HPQ needs some kind of shorthanded goal, "You've gotta get rid of the entire board," but he said it's reached the point of "too many CEOs" and diminishing returns. "I'd rather own Microsoft," Weiss said.

Terranova said the estimates are "too high," but Jon Najarian gushed about being long the shares around $12.60, then by selling January 13 calls, "you're making 8% a month," or 2 months."

Terranova also said GMCR is in the "penalty box," and "it's not coming out anytime soon." (But actually, it sure did Tuesday afterhours.)

GMCR critic Herb Greenberg said "I don't believe the company can afford to have a bad quarter" and that given the timing of the report it's apparent that the auditors had a "thorough scrub." Jon Najarian said options players are "pricing in a 23% move," and "I would fade the side of the fear" by selling puts to the downside, specifically 22s and 23s.

Surprising he didn’t mention the most likely reason, that Lee Cooperman had a stake

Stephen Weiss made a curiously bullish fundamental case for RIMM on Tuesday's Halftime Report, and Joe Terranova made an even more curious rebuttal suggesting Weiss is doing a flip trade (which Terranova thinks is OK) when Weiss really sounded like he wasn't.

Weiss said the he thinks the BlackBerry 10 is "gonna do well ... I'm gettin' one" and that the company still has "80 million users worldwide ... I think there's good value here."

Asked to rebut, Terranova started with, "I think he needs a trading check vs. an investing check," then asked Weiss when he bought (last week), predicting Weiss would be out this week, and "that's all well and good," but explaining (once Judge let him talk) "I don't like the fundamental story," and the buy-Monday/sell-Friday idea can work, "may be right 3 out of 4 times," but Terranova doesn't want to risk the 1 time it's not right.

Weiss insisted "expectations couldn't be lower," and told Terranova if he was a portfolio manager he would own RIMM, but not a "substantial" amount.

Joe forgot to say that FB has been in the penalty box

Stephen Weiss on Tuesday's Halftime Report said he's not chasing the gain in FB, which he said has "outpaced the fundamental improvement ... I would not be a buyer on this breakout."

Joe Terranova on the other hand argued that FB is "a name that the institutions want to own, so you play this from the long side."

Jon Najarian said the key to him is that "insiders were not selling," not even the "grunts."

JJ Kinahan revealed "I do own" the shares, and "maybe you go out and write some calls against it."

As long as Ron Insana doesn’t actually believe they will do the hard work in 2013, he’ OK

It was good to see Ron Insana on Tuesday's Halftime Report, even if he did just state the obvious in that "we are being held hostage by headlines" regarding the fiscal cliff.

"I do think they strike some sort of accord," Insana predicted, "with the hard work to be done in 2013."

David Rosenberg said the GDP upgrade from Goldman Sachs still amounts to "quite anemic growth" and questioned the positives from the durable goods report, which is a "notoriously volatile indicator."

Insana though contended, "I think we're gonna get a 3, or maybe 4 handle" on 2013 GDP.

Stephen Weiss said the markets will get a break once they "remove the uncertainty" in D.C.

Joe didn’t say that SAC is in the penalty box

Anthony Grisanti said on Tuesday's Halftime that gold goes higher if there's no deal in Washington based on uncertainty et al., and higher if there is a deal because of the QE factor, a classic win-win (and different from Karen Finerman's favorite win-win, higher in an inflationary environment and higher in a deflationary environment).

The Ilchmeister, Rich Ilczyszyn, said gold had a "stealth breakout on Friday" and he sees 1,754 as the key level; topping that, "I think we retest the highs just below 1,800 bucks in that February contract."

JJ Kinahan wasn't so sure, suggesting there "may be some selling pressure" in gold into year-end.

Andy Busch said to buy euro/dollar "around 1.2850," in what is a "medium-term trade" based on the 200-day.

Kate Kelly said SAC is going to conduct a call on Wednesday with investors, and "it's unclear whether or not there will be questions taken." Joe Terranova offered, "I think that it's good," and made a good point, that there's an "ulterior motive" about attracting talent that may be harder to do given today's headlines.

Terranova said MMR is experiencing a "game of stock market" and "don't trade it." Stephen Weiss said IGT is up on insider buying and "may be worth taking a look at." Jon Najarian touted CROX, "Goldman likes 'em here, I like 'em as well ... big gap to fill."

JJ Kinahan's sound-challenged Final Trade was WFC. Jon Najarian said SYMC, Joe Terranova said GLW and Stephen Weiss said BAC.

[Monday, November 26, 2012]

Irwin Simon argues Americans are eating too much junk and not that much junk in the same interview

Here's a shocker: Irwin Simon agreed to appear on CNBC on Monday's Fast Money.

Initially, in an effort to trumpet his business prospects, Simon claimed Americans' health has been pulverized by their "self-inflicted lifestyle."

"Obesity today, 40% of all men and women today are obese," Simon spouted.

Except moments later, Simon said Hostess is going out of business because it "didn't fit today's consumer health trends."

So let's figure this out — Americans' junk-food binge has just peaked ... ABSOLUTELY RIGHT NOW ... which is the only way we can get 1) a 40% obesity rate plus 2) Hostess going out of business and 3) sunny skies for HAIN all occurring at the moment of this interview.

Yes, and Congress and the president are solving long-term deficits RIGHT NOW.

Simon initially wished the Fast Money gang "Happy Thanksgiving," even though it was 4 days ago, and then tried to assure everyone the Barron's concerns are bogus; "there is no trouble in Tea Land ... tea is a big growth category."

Not only was he providing utterly contradictory arguments, Simon also wasn't bothering to answer certain questions, such as the excellent query from Karen Finerman as to whether HAIN is more deserving of a WFM multiple or WMT multiple given that it sells to both.

Whole Foods is really growing fast, and "the consumer is looking for more and more healthier products," was all Simon said.

Steve Grasso was similarly stymied in asking how big the online market is for HAIN, as Simon pointed out that moms are buying HAIN baby products now.

Nobody bothered to ask Simon about his Sunday punch, however obvious it may be, which is, what's the median income of a Hain-product buyer, given that his stock is like a handful (see, AAPL and AMZN are a couple others) with outsized results largely because it caters to the well-heeled consumer.

Pete Najarian pounded the table for HAIN. "I think at $60 a share, this is actually cheap," Najarian said. Steve Grasso made long HAIN his Final Trade.

Dennis Gartman ‘can’t imagine’
we’re gonna kick the can

Sometimes human beings get a little too idealistic for their own good — to the point they become utterly detached from reality.

Dennis Gartman tried to assure Steve Grasso on Monday's Fast Money that entitlements are being addressed right now, actually telling Grasso, "I can't imagine that we're gonna go ahead and continue to kick it down the road."

Grasso had asked if there's "any reasonable chance" entitlements are going to be tackled, but Gartman claimed that's the only place they "can cut ... must cut ... will cut."

Yes. And we're all gonna follow Irwin Simon's lede and not be obese.

Rattling off several Republicans who are backpedaling from Grover Norquist, Gartman suggested there is growing consensus that "taxes probably have to be raised on the 1%."

Fast Money — you know, "this isn't a political show" — could actually spend a provocative 10 minutes asking if it's not actually in the Republican Party's best interests to see some tax brackets and capital gains/dividend rates hiked, given that this tends to be the party's bread and butter and it's had little to push for since George Bush went whole hog in the early 2000s. Rather, had they not extended rates in 2010, they could've made the argument in 2012 that we raised taxes, and got little to nothing out of it except more pain.

Gartman said if stocks can hold around this level, they probably go higher, though he's reluctant to call for a bond short because he has tried it before, and it's "probably a bad trade."

If only Tim Seymour paid Web sites $5 for noting every one of his clichés

Unfortunately repeating what had already become a tiresome topic on the Halftime Report, Monday's Fast Money delved into FB, YHOO and RIMM (you know, RIMM's just a trade, yada yada yada).

Pete Najarian was enthusiastic about FB. "I still think there's plenty of upside here," pointing out activity in the 26 calls and saying YHOO was experiencing call-buying also.

Steve Grasso said 19 is resistance for YHOO but said you've gotta hand it to Marissa Mayer; "was it 6 hours after having a baby" that she came back (to give some more tired Google veterans a raise to change jobs).

Michael Santoli, whose presence is one way for CNBC to actually report some benefits of this curious Yahoo partnership of putting articles and video on each other's Web sites, admitted that the snapbacks in FB, YHOO and RIMM have resulted from "too much lopsided sentiment" and said FB has had these kinds of rallies twice before and "not to chase it too hard."

Scott Nations grumbled that RIMM's next phone doesn't have the popular keyboard but said he really wanted Santoli to opine on GRPN in terms of sentiment. Santoli said "people piled on too much."

Tim Seymour said "Cyber Monday" then said he's going to have to pay a $5 fine for saying that.

Karen ‘absolutely would not be short’ DECK

Karen Finerman said on Monday's Fast Money that the one thing you don't want to do is be short DECK.

"I don't think it's in play at the moment, however I absolutely would not be short this thing," Finerman said.

Pete Najarian pointed out that the market was disappointed in guidance and there's a 46% short interest, which makes it possibly tempting to play on the long side with a call spread.

Scott Nations said "the option market is really dubious" in this name.

Finerman said LVS is a "very interesting" play on the specialty dividend and suggested ORCL might become equally interesting. Steve Grasso touted WYNN and said he's "still in the name," then raised the 70% factor again, saying "the market got slammed" with the stock.

Some guy spent 4 days in line at Best Buy just to get a TV for $179

Thom Blischok said on Monday's Fast Money that he thinks WMT and TGT look good this season and AMZN can do "exceptionally well" but that the real winning theme is going to be "retailers who have a strong integrated online presence and in-store presence."

Blischok, using 1 anecdote of a hapless pre-Black Friday shopper, said, "Best Buy I think did a pretty good job on price-matching this year."

Tim Seymour questioned AMZN's valuation and said "this is not a stock I need to buy." Scott Nations said there was a big buyer of January 250 calls in AMZN.

Seymour also questioned the run-up in AAPL. "I think you have to fade this," he said.

Pete Najarian said the "best trade, best valuation, eBay ... I think this goes a lot higher," and later said "this is the Super Bowl for them" and they're doing it right because "this is what they understand, online" (you would hope an online marketplace company would understand online as opposed to bricks and mortar).

Steve Grasso said DDD is very interesting, but "I'd be careful ... extremely volatile name." Karen Finerman said MMR had a "gigantic drop," and "I think there might be some more disappointment tomorrow." Scott Nations said Lazard gave MCD a neutral, and "neutral is really a sell."

Cleavage on Fast Money

Amelia Bourdeau, who always looks good on television (but isn't the person in the photo above), told Monday's Fast Money that it's time to look to unload the euro/dollar, "I would be looking at 1.30" to sell with a target of 1.2850.

Tim Seymour got hit somewhat off-balance, before Dennis Gartman had probably even signed off, with a Good, Bad & Ugly routine, and gamely explained his MS call that we didn't even remember as the camera focused on Steve Grasso, and then confirmed he was wrong on CSX for coal reasons. This time, it was guest host Mandy Drury who wondered where the "Ugly" is.

Scott Nations' Final Trade was long YHOO, Tim Seymour said to sell DE, Karen Finerman said to buy M calls and Pete Najarian said long NOK.

Monday's program was notable for something you don't normally see on Fast Money, but if we say any more we'll start to blush.

Wow! 3 analysts at same company are watching AAPL!

In one of the saddest, sorriest Fast Money/Halftime Report exclusives, Judge Wapner on Monday's Halftime Report managed to corral Citi's Glen Yeung, Jim Suva and Walter Pritchard for a joint discussion about AAPL.

Suva said it's a "true team approach to covering Apple," and that they see 20% upside.

Yeung at least admitted "the reason the stock moves higher is because it's pulled back so much frankly."

Halftime panelists didn't know who should get their questions, so Yeung did most of the talking, saying AAPL is not likely to start doing QCOM's work by itself and likely doesn't have big acquisitions coming.

"I like the menage a trois approach," said Simon Baker, who said he would "absolutely" buy the stock here. Baker also still likes GOOG, "I think you buy it here."

FB approaching James Gorman’s Maria-interview level

Josh Brown argued, convincingly, on Monday's Halftime Report, that FB, YHOO and RIMM are moving not really because of any fundamentals, but because of a "massive shift in sentiment."

Even Herb Greenberg more or less said the same thing, that the analyst upgrades were "price calls."

Joe Terranova sought to differentiate between these "penalty box trades," suggesting that YHOO is the one to focus on, while "RIMM is nothing more than a short-interest squeeze" and in fact has "unlimited downside risk."

Stephanie Link actually said, "Facebook for an investment right here makes a lot of sense."

Simon Baker said FB has "a lot of resistance around 27," and "I'd be careful" with YHOO.

Josh Brown said RIMM is only outperforming AAPL recently because "there were no sellers left at 6, 7 bucks a share."

Josh Brown credits lower gas prices for preserving what exists of shopping cash

Peter Dixon, dubbed "retail's road warrior" by Judge Wapner on Monday's Halftime, said, "I saw a lot of good things this weekend," but he also advised stock traders to be "really careful about taking stock-specific conclusions from the Black Friday or the Thanksgiving weekend."

Dixon said he likes LTD, TJX, AMZN and HD, which is probably what he would've said 1 month or 6 months ago.

Josh Brown cautioned that the XRT has been in a downtrend since the first week of September, and asserted that the "consumer's running on fumes" and has only made this much of a dent in the holiday season because "gas prices have been down enough."

Joe Terranova said TJX should've performed better, but it didn't, so he "got out of half the position today. He does like QCOM and GLW and suggested URBN is a buy at $38.

Simon Baker called AMZN the "big winner" of the season.

Brad Lamensdorf said his top shorts are TIF, COH, FOSL, for inventory problems and margin compression. He thinks there's "another leg to drop" in GMCR, and he told Josh Brown that when short interest in a name is at 8-10%, he only gets short if he has extremely high conviction.

Rebranding success: Manatees used to be known as ‘sea cows’

Stephanie Link, mostly quiet on Monday's Halftime Report, reiterated that she thinks MCD is "probably gonna be dead money" for a little while.

Link said if you want to buy EXC to wait until there actually is a dividend cut.

Simon Baker said McGraw Hill's sale of education division is a "good deal." Joe Terranova shrugged off the Barron's-related HAIN selloff, insisting, "They are clearly an acquisition target," but suggested SMBL and BNNY could be the ones getting hit.

Terranova said "I don't like the coal names" until China bounces back.

Josh Brown said if you want to own BSX, the "downside is limited," to about $5.

Jim Iuorio asked himself, regarding nat gas, "Is the high in for the year? I don't think so ... probably an opportunity to buy it." Anthony Grisanti said "3.50 is the big number," but that 4.04 represents a triple top that, if smashed, could produce a big upside gain.

Kate Kelly reported on Getco and Virtu's interest in Knight Capital and said the "initial stories" about selling just the "market-making unit ... doesn't make a whole lot of sense." Josh Brown assured viewers who may not care, "This stuff matters."

Stephanie Link's Final Trade was GE. Simon Baker said FL. Joe Terranova said EBAY, and Josh Brown said LOW.

Joe Terranova commented on a woman's weight by asking, "Which is the manatee?"

[Friday, November 23, 2012]

Halftime Report not scheduled

In what could be an early Christmas present, CNBC apparently is not scheduling the Halftime Report (or Options Action or Money in Motion) on Black Friday, but opting for an extended Closing Bell and a series of Crime Inc. episodes.

Which figures to be a nice long weekend break, except we're aware that 12-minute versions of these programs can sneak into Closing Bell on shortened days like this, so we'll keep the eyes open and pencils sharp just in case.

[Wednesday, November 21, 2012]

Happy Thanksgiving

Every so often around here we're compelled to ask, just why in the world do we actually write about this bifurcated business TV-show franchise so much?

Unfortunately, there's a longer answer probably requiring some analysis. Fortunately, we can also say, because people actually read it (sometimes).

And you're one of them. Thanks for giving this page a chance to inform, and, in instances probably smaller than the stop-losses on Amelia Bourdeau's Aussie/kiwi trades, possibly even entertain. Doing so requires a good-natured (at least no one's sent Moose & Rocco after us yet) cast of subjects, not just the current Fast Money crop of panelists but several greats who will hopefully be heard from again soon in more than just the Twittersphere. If nothing else, we like flooding the Web with original content about our 2nd or 3rd-favorite subject, the stock market. We're here because you are, fighting for every click we get.

Be safe this holiday, and come back here when you get a chance.

Steve Grasso remains the only Fast Money panelist concerned about the CBO ‘scoring’ the can-kick

Brian Kelly wasn't putting much stock in the Gaza cease-fire on Wednesday's Fast Money, saying, "The oil market does not believe that this is over" and indicating Iran is really the nation to watch here; "that's what you have to worry about."

"I don't believe this is a real cease-fire," said Tim Seymour, who then managed to call this both "an oversold market" and one that has just posted "45-50 somewhat artificial S&P points."

Guy Adami said, "I think you can trade from the long side using 1,379 as your level."

Steve Grasso again pointed out the timeframe for reaching a fiscal cliff deal, prompting Melissa Lee, who wore an exquisite cream-colored sweater Wednesday to smiles galore, to theorize that we're only going to get a "mini-bargain" right now.

Grasso protested that markets tanked during the S&P downgrade of 2011, but Brian Kelly said essentially that downgrades are water under the bridge now, and that if someone actually thinks U.S. credit is going under, there are plenty of other candidates around the globe that will take the plunge first.


Lessee ... Karen Finerman as Marcia, Stephanie Link as Jan, Beccy Meehan as Cindy

Jane Wells brought her West Coast thing to Wednesday's Fast Money and had serious trouble finding people who understand the fiscal cliff (#somuchforpenetrationofriseabovecampaign), but apparently not so much trouble finding folks in Chicago Bears' garb a little riled up over Monday's game.

However, producers did put together an appealing "Brady Bunch" package of 6 mugshots.

Responding to Wells' report about online gambling hopes in Nevada, Steve Grasso said such legislation would be "extremely beneficial" to CZR.

Guy Adami called DIS "very interesting" if you believe in the tape. Tim Seymour suggested some of the people Wells interviewed need to hang out in Haight Ashbury.

What could be more intriguing for a private equity shop than a chance to buy JCP at a premium

So where's David Faber when you really need him?

The crew on Wednesday's pre-holiday Fast Money performed a little zig-zagging throughout the show on JCP and BBY, making points that quite frankly were not allowed to intersect.

Specifically, people saying at one point that JCP is a take-private candidate, and people saying at another point that BBY is a take-private candidate ... and vice versa.

Steve Grasso said the notion of JCP going private is "always a possibility," and added that at this point, "I think I would dabble in the stock just a bit."

Brian Kelly pointed out that recently they were talking about the possibility of going-concern issues in JCP in a couple years, so it's hard to know what cash flow the buyer would tap, but Kelly did allow that a buyout would "take out the public pressure."

Sure. Because JCP management has obviously had its hands tied by its ownership base and been unable to implement any kind of visionary plan, and nothing propels people into JCPenney stores faster than a removal of the "public pressure" of shares on Wall Street.

Guy Adami said he'd rather be in JCP than Best Buy.

Later on, retail guru Jan Kniffen said "I actually like right now both Best Buy and Penney," JCP because the price reflects almost a going-broke forecast that Kniffen doesn't believe, and BBY because of the possibility of a buyout or turnaround.

Yet, Steve Grasso later said of BBY, "I don't know if this stock is ever gonna be taken private."

Kniffen touted ARO as playing catch-up with AEO, and unleashed effusive praise on Terry Lundgren's M. "They're running a department store as well as anybody's ever won- run one right at the moment," Kniffen said.

Guy Adami offered GPS as a top retail trade, then complained to Mel Lee about "the way you said 'Oh'."

Double-dip is so passé

David Rosenberg, who in the last few years generally used to come on Fast Money and warn of the recession that was always just around the corner, nowadays is actually issuing fairly enthusiastic buy opinions.

Rosenberg likes dividend payors and said on Wednesday's Fast Money that "corporate bonds in general will remain very good places to be."

He likes gold and gold miners, and called "long-short credit arbitrage strategies within the fixed-income market," something many viewers would love to try, "hidden gems."

Mel Lee said Rosenberg also likes farmland, prompting Tim Seymour to do his Mr. Peabody routine and argue why it's up and why it might bounce around.

TGT: Home of ingrown toenail solutions

Guy Adami went to a Target parking lot to ask people if they prefer brick-and-mortar or online shopping and got some curious answers; once we saw that clip we knew the UPS footage (which even predates this site) couldn't be far behind.

Mel Lee admitted that the "results were skewed" given that people were "polled" in a brick-and-mortar parking lot.

Adami said V and MA are your winners.

Brian Kelly said Amazon is his holiday-shopping pick, the "dominant player," even if there's a tax-collection issue. Steve Grasso bristled at that angle, saying, "people have shown that they don't care about it."

David Carnoy didn't put the Surface on his CNET list of recommended computer purchases because it's a "little expensive" and because they actually recommend touchscreen laptops with Windows 8 instead.

Normally they say, ‘Glad I’m not wearing the same shirt I wore that day’

On Wednesday it was Brian Kelly who got "The Good, The Bad" honors on Fast Money, with yet another panelist demanding to know what the ugly was after Kelly addressed both YHOO and WHR.

"I still think there's a floor under Yahoo here," Kelly said, adding that viewers will "still be all right buying this stock."

Kelly insisted actually he was right about both names, saying of WHR, "I still think this one goes lower," and humorously referring to the WHR clip of October pointed out, "My hair also looked like it was about to blow off the top."

Fast Money gang doesn’t know that Grinnell’s slogan is ‘Where in the hell is Grinnell?’

Mike Khouw noted on Wednesday's Fast Money that some options traders (which Jon Najarian noticed early in the day) were betting that HPQ was trying to "kitchen-sink it," taking part in speculative call-buying. Steve Grasso though said he would "definitely not" be in the stock.

Khouw also reported a big buyer of December 17.50 puts in DWA, apparently as a play on the fortunes of "Rise of the Guardians," which sounds like a fun movie to take Mel to.

Brian Kelly said if you're long STJ, "you need to get out." Guy Adami the "valuation's probably still stretched" in CMG and that he'd "rather own JACK."

Steve Grasso revealed, "I bought Steel, letter X, AK Steel and MT today" ahead of that Goldman Sachs conference (this writer is long AKS). Mike Khouw said it looks like a sell opportunity in CRM given the lofty multiple.

Tim Seymour wasn't totally clear where he stands on MOS, saying, "I think potash prices can go down further." Later, Seymour said, "I'm a little worried about the resource trade" and with DE as a bellwether, "we took a little off the table."

Seymour tried to crack a joke about Grinnell College, where there was (perhaps still is, don't ask how we know) a tradition of returning from dinner at the mess hall and watching "M*A*S*H" reruns.

Guy Adami said he still thinks you can own THC.

Mel Lee, like Judge Wapner earlier, gave the panel a go-round of trades to be "thankful" for, in other words, a Brag Trade fest. Mike Khouw said thank goodness he played a sell strangle on HLF before the Ira Sohn conference. Brian Kelly praised USG, Steve Grasso was thrilled to recall that he suggested ACI before the first presidential debate, Guy Adami said he's thankful he got NFLX in the right direction recently, and Tim Seymour said he's thankful for being long TUR.

Acquaintances of Steve Cohen balk at CNBC’s coverage

CNBC's Kate Kelly has been busy the last couple days covering the government's case against the ... lessee, want to be perfectly down-the-middle here ... guy who worked for an "affiliate" (WSJ terminology) of SAC Capital.

And, evidently hasn't impressed Anthony Scaramucci with the focus of her coverage.

Kelly said on Wednesday's Halftime Report that one fund-of-funds investor "decided they would redeem capital last night," stressing the investor didn't want to do it but was hearing concerns from clients amid the news stories.

"I think the entire thing's overblown" and "very unfair," Scaramucci opined, likening it to a "Teamsters employee driving drunk" and then taking down the president of the Teamsters union.

Kelly said the reason there are ramifications for Stevie Cohen is that it's the "5th former SAC employee" to be caught in this type of inquiry. Scaramucci used the term "rogue" several times.

"We have a zero-compliance, you know, non-compliance tolerance policy at SkyBridge, you can ask my chief compliance officer," Scaramucci said. "There's no fooling around in our industry."

Judge Wapner jumped in to defend Kelly, "We're simply stating the facts."

Scaramucci told Judge he's done a "good job" of reporting, "but we also owe the viewers some analysis of those facts."

"To be fair Anthony I'm trying to be straight down the middle here," Kelly protested.

Scaramucci then ripped Kelly's fund-of-funds source as someone "not doing his homework" and said this person doesn't understand the compliance procedures, and, "maybe you gotta hire some more research people to look into this stuff more carefully."

Stephanie Link said the case sounds like "kind of a one-off."

Stephen Weiss said the notion that Stevie Cohen would commit a billion dollars to a trade based on inside information would be "absolutely ludicrous."

Judge chided Weiss, insisting, "None of us know what if anything Mr. Cohen knew, when he knew it, or what he did or what he didn't do."

HPQ actually was a buy yesterday, for a show calling itself Fast Money

Jon Najarian said on Wednesday's Halftime Report that TJX is his holiday retail play; "I think at 43 bucks this thing is cheap."

Brian Kelly said he got "athletic gear for less than 10 bucks" at TJX, but "I still think the best retail out there is Apple ... Apple is a great buy here."

Stephen Weiss hailed M, and Stephanie Link suggested BBBY and NKE.

Jon Najarian made some fast money in HPQ, telling Judge Wapner "I'm just in the weeklies ... 12-strike calls," which aren't going for a blockbuster price, but "if you can quadruple your money that fast."

Anthony Grisanti said gold has support immediately at 1,710 and possible upside at 1,735, but "the longs might liquidate a little bit." Jim Iuorio said "I would stay long" crude right now, but that "$84.45-ish" is your level to watch if the Gaza cease-fire is "more than just a fleeting thing."

At least SAC Capital is a more interesting subject than Hostess brands

Byron Wien told Judge on Wednesday's Halftime Report that he's compiling a list of surprises for 2013 but, first of all, hasn't finished the list yet, but second, sees "quite a few cross-currents" for the economy; "there's plenty to worry about."

Wien suggested at most GDP could hit a nominal 4% but that housing is the 1 favorable sector.

Brian Kelly didn't say anything this time about the biggest risk to Wall Street/banks/money managers/etc. purportedly being an improving economy.

Stephen Weiss said consumers will shrug off the fiscal cliff for now; "I think the consumer's actually OK."

SodaStream boss Dan Birnbaum said it's "business as usual" amid the Israel-Gaza situation. Birnbaum said "I can't say I'm offended" at comparisons of his stock to Green Mountain. Stephen Weiss said he owns the stock, for the "tremendous growth ahead."

Boris Schlossberg advised being long euro against the pound at .8075 but first said "8171."

The Halftime gang expressed "thankful trades" for JCP shorts (Stephen Weiss), ARNA's pop (Jon Najarian), WY (Stephanie Link) and USG (Brian Kelly).

Stephen Weiss' Final Trade was SNDK, Brian Kelly said UNG, Jon Najarian said STX weekly calls and Stephanie Link said PWR.

[Tuesday, November 20, 2012]

Dan Niles is actually a bit late to the HPQ value-trap realization

Karen Finerman, who a long time ago used to trumpet the seemingly incredible valuation of HPQ, said on Tuesday's Fast Money there is not "any certainty" about the numbers, and "I can't imagine we've seen the end of this."

The debacle "certainly puts the Apotheker administration in the pantheon of value destroyers ... I think they're in disarray over there," Finerman said.

Finerman said it was "shocking to me" that Mike Lynch was arguing the Autonomy case on television; he should've had a "lawyer all over him."

Dan Nathan suggested, as Steve Milunovich did a month ago, that the value is in the breakup of the company, "that's what Apotheker wanted to do." Finerman countered, "You can't step in, with this sort of uncertainty."

Dan Niles asked the crew, apparently rhetorically, "How many guests have you had on the show who've been telling you to buy HP because it's a good value."

Actually, since June, just 1.

We did a quick run-through (June is about as far as we're going for this) and found that the vast majority of HPQ commentary on the show was bearish. On Oct. 5, Paul Meeks (he was also on Tuesday's Halftime) did claim, "I think 14 is a screaming buy." Jon Najarian said he bought it that day on washout volume, but in fairness, Najarian is a short-term trader, and the stock lingered in the upper $14s for 3 weeks for him to break in.

In fact, a week earlier on Sept. 27, Najarian called it a "value trap.

Brian Kelly did say on Aug. 7 it's "not a bad place to be in." Guy Adami on July 18 for some reason warned viewers not to follow Jim Chanos' short, calling it the "deep end of the trading pool," the same day Brian Marshall admitted that long HPQ was probably his worst trade of the year, though at that point (in the $19 range) he still thought it had "limited downside."

Simon Baker said on June 14 that he thought HPQ (closed $21.59) had a better chance for a 60% pop than AAPL ($571 that day).

So other than Meeks, no notable "buy" recommendations. (But why let facts get in the way of a good thesis?)

Anyway, Niles said any suggestions of HPQ having great value is the same thing people could've said about NOK and RIMM a while back, and the key is "the PC industry is in secular decline."

Karen Finerman asked a tremendous question, whether HPQ is initiating a big writedown now as a way to possibly boost earnings later. "I don't think so," Niles said, explaining the purchase "made no sense even then."

Mel Lee scoffed at previous comments by Meg Whitman that HPQ is eyeing the tablet as a growth platform for the next 5 years. "They're really chasing, aren't they," agreed Mike Khouw.

Karen has a curious opinion about the age of the typical Fast Money viewer

While Dan Niles was mostly arguing against the PC on Tuesday's Fast Money, Dan Nathan squeezed in a question about finding real value in technology, "where do you get growth at a reasonable price in technology right now."

Niles suggested it's names such as AAPL, QCOM, maybe AVGO which "sells into a lot of these fast growers," and CSCO.

Melissa Lee wondered how many viewers remembered the days when Niles was at Lehman Brothers and the leading analyst on Intel, and what do they think about him now shorting the stock? Karen Finerman questioned how many Fast Money viewers remember Lehman Brothers, and we'd have to guess, about 100%.

But Karen wore a striking red-and-white ensemble for the first time, so she gets a pass.

Dr. J not on the same page as the others in the value-trap conversation

Mel Lee on Tuesday's Fast Money kicked off a discussion of non-HPQ value traps that got off on the wrong foot when Jon Najarian seemed to be calling CLF a buy.

"I like this one," Najarian said, and then, prompted that the segment was about value traps, insisted he hadn't gotten in, "I would, but I have not yet," he said, preferring to see a "bigger flush."

Karen Finerman merely named DELL, "wouldn't touch it," prompting Mel Lee to say about traditional PCs, "no one's buying these things."

Keith McCullough's pick was CAT but even McCullough felt compelled to cite a backstory to this feature, "Valuation to be clear is not a catalyst," and he predicted CAT would start falling when people realize they've got the "wrong numbers" for estimates.

Dan Nathan bluntly fingered Microsoft. "This is also a company that destroys shareholder value," Nathan said. "There's no innovation here ... I don't know why you own the stock here. I think this thing goes probably to 20 bucks over the next couple years."

AAPL: 600, or 500

About the only thing we could conclude from the impromptu AAPL debate that erupted on Tuesday's Fast Money is that 700 is apparently a ways off on the horizon.

"Whatever bottom people are looking at in tech, I'm not seeing the same bottom," said Keith McCullough. "Apple is still in crash mode."

Dan Nathan though said the stock's performance on Tuesday, given the Monday run-up, was "pretty darn good," and that there figures to be more to come. "I think 600's the top though," Nathan cautioned.

Dr. J, going a bit over the top in Trade School, started rattling off (God's gift to moneymaking) AAPL weekly options lingo, telling Nathan people were "selling the straddle in the near-term," but then, "by the next week I'll straddle against it," to get the "time decay working in your favor ... I think it will continue to move up," Najarian concluded.

McCullough insisted, "I think the stock's going closer to 500" and that it's a "binary" situation now. "When something's crashing I just let it keep crashing," McCullough said.

Do hedge funds, collectively, ever actually beat the S&P 500?

Mel Lee pointed out on Tuesday's Fast Money that only 13% of hedge funds are beating the S&P 500 this year, and asked Keith McCullough for reasons why.

McCullough claimed, "Hedge funds are too long ... hedge funds are really bad at hedging," and, there are "too many hedge funds."

McCullough illustrated an example of one problem, when a fund decides to unwind and become a family operation, people start looking up the lists of holdings and try to preempt the unwind.

But Karen Finerman protested that any fund owner in that situation with half a brain "would sell first before they announce that," and that doing what McCullough described is a "very dangerous game."

Ron Johnson’s root canal

Dan Hurwitz told Tuesday's Fast Money he's a bit "surprised" to see people lining up at Black Friday retailers before issuing this endorsement of brick-and-mortar.

"It's not hard to have higher, higher margins than Amazon, because they have none," Hurwitz said.

Karen Finerman said she's always wanted to know if the typical shopper makes a price list and sticks to it, or whether he/she is "induced" to spend more than he/she planned because of retail promotions.

Hurwitz wasn't prepared with an answer, but suggested people are "induced," with this interesting assessment of the American standard of living.

"In the United States we really don't need anything. Right, our closets are full," we build great kitchens and go out to restaurants, Hurwitz said.

"JCPenney's a sad story," Hurwitz said, explaining the company is "trying to re-educate the American consumer, and failing," and then, proving to be one of the more quotable guests, said the company only needed a face lift or perhaps a "bypass," but "it didn't need a heart transplant."

Hurwitz said if Best Buy, which has gotten below-market real estate rates, were to, um, no longer need the space, there's a "tremendous opportunity" with new tenants.

Wall Street spared the December Romney announcement, ‘I’ve taken another look at the Fed and decided the chairman should probably stay on’

Keith McCullough's assessment of the Federal Reserve on Tuesday's Fast Money ought to make debt critics cringe.

"For Bernanke to actually move the dial, he needs to double and triple the monthly bond-buying program," McCullough said.

Joe LaVorgna, long time no see on Fast Money, asserted, "They're gonna replace Twist with outright Treasury purchases," as sort of of an "insurance policy," but "none of this really is going to work."

So much for the (snicker) confidence in Washington.

LaVorgna said, "To me it's not a rate story ... it's just a lack of confidence."

Karen watched the Bond flick

Fast Money spent considerable time Tuesday assessing the stuff people drink, starting with Mike Khouw pointing out the big buyer of December 15 puts in TEA and stating, "Makes you wonder about the tea you're drinking."

Later, SK Energy chieftain Chris Clarke advocated his product, which we were first led to believe is an energy "drink," but based on Clarke's later distinction between his own company and rivals, we discovered it's actually an energy "shot."

Clarke said unlike the competition, his product left out taurine, and, stressing the product isn't for sale to kids under 16, "we welcome the FDA's guidance."

Clarke said SK uses "natural coffee beans to get our caffeine" and said it's less than in a cup of coffee from Starbucks.

Karen Finerman, noting Clarke's Steve Cortes-like appearance, cracked, "Love you in 'Skyfall' by the way," and asked how big this category can be. Clarke said it can be as big as energy drinks (there's that distinction again), perhaps $7 billion.

Clarke told Melissa Lee it's "too early in the stage" for his company to think about being for sale.

Nathan: Buy JCP

Jon Najarian said on Tuesday's Fast Money he was concerned about RGR being down recently because the gunmakers are never down, but the special dividend makes it a "fiscal cliff play."

Mike Khouw said EXPE is "pretty close to fairly valued."

Dan Nathan said someday CRM and its valuation will face its "day of reckoning" and be "careful" with the deferred revenue and such.

Khouw's Final Trade was sell LXK. Dan Nathan said to go long JCP for a trade. Keith McCullough said to sell AMZN. Karen Finerman warned kids, "Don't fall into the HP value trap and stay in school." Jon Najarian said he's buying March calls in JDSU.

New term added to lexicon
of Fast Money: ‘encourager’

In a Halftime Report best described as a muddled mess Tuesday, Judge Wapner delivered head-fake after head-fake regarding Ben Bernanke's remarks and the insider-trading probe and looked about as focused as the Chicago Bears' offense Monday night.

Stephen Weiss questioned from the get-go the notion of caring too much about what Bernanke said, "I don't think Bernanke is going to affect the rally one way or another." Later, Weiss added, "I don't think he's influencing the market at all." But Weiss said he remains "somewhat long" in preparation for the "massive rally" if there's a fiscal cliff agreement.

Erin Gibbs coined a new one for the Bernanke speech. "At this point the most he can do is really be an encourager to the regulators and to the banks," Gibbs said, shrugging off Judge's suggestion (based on Steve Liesman's pre-speech assessment of the remarks that hadn't yet been publicly made) that the cliffs have been hurting GDP "potential," saying she was already looking for 1-2% and that weaker-than-Fed forecasts have that "fairly priced in." Gibbs said she's "waiting on the sidelines."

Joe Terranova said the message from Bernanke will be that "it's a bond-friendly world," and also said that institutional money managers are finding they are "slowly having to be in the market."

Stephen Weiss actually is buying RIMM this week

Bland show that it was, we were nonetheless startled to hear Stephen Weiss announce on Tuesday's Halftime Report that he's happily long RIMM.

"I bought it last week, added to it yesterday," said Weiss, apparently the company's new chief "encourager," explaining that, "As Apple's stock's come down, BlackBerry stock has moved higher."

Weiss suggested RIMM's newest phone due in January, whatever it is, can compete with the iPhone, to which Weiss said, "I hate it for email."

Weiss said his RIMM target is 11. But he stressed he's not opposed to AAPL stock. "I don't own it, I like it," he said.

Joe Terranova shrugged off the tepid day in AAPL, explaining, "It's healthy to have a modest correction." Jon Najarian was tepid himself, saying he "wouldn't be surprised if it pulled back into the 50s, uh, the 550s."

Weiss makes an interesting call, and it's actually the type of commentary/analysis that Fast Money should be known for. But we've heard a lot of folks call a short-term bottom in RIMM.

Doc tempted to buy HPQ

Paul Meeks said on Tuesday's Halftime that the HPQ claims against Autonomy are "very troubling" accusations.

"I was expecting a sizable write-off," Meeks said, but the fact remains that for HPQ, "they still have to get in the software space."

Meeks argued against an HPQ breakup. "I still think that these businesses can do OK together," he claimed.

Jon Najarian, perhaps entering "encourager" mode, admitted he is "so tempted" to get into the stock; "I can't believe that the company's just going away," which sounded great, until he added that a person who really wishes she had taken a long post-political vacation instead of jumping back into a nightmare is going to pull out a W; "I think Meg's gonna turn that around."

500-person firms deemed too large for top management to have their fingers on the pulse

Joe Terranova, no longer an "encourager" for BBY, admitted his own suggestion of playing it long calls was "terrible" and said "the only hope for this company" is a Richard Schulze buyout (which oughta drop the price to Bear Stearns (pre-$10 markup) level).

Jon Najarian said "I think you still stay away" from BBY.

Najarian, however, did say that Sandy gave a boost to WHR, and said WHR, XHB and MAS "are the names that I think you continue to watch."

Kate Kelly called it "a very tough day for SAC Capital." Financial-crime reporter Scott Cohn spoke briefly with Judge and Kelly about recent insider trading cases, dubiously (quite possibly wrongly) suggesting they are easier to prove than, say, mortgage-derivative fraud because there are e-mails and trade confirmations, but said SAC has long been of interest; "that's sort of the, the big dog here."

Stephen Weiss said "SAC has 500 people there" and "incredibly tough compliance procedures in place" and said he doubted that Stevie Cohen would risk a $6-$8 billion fortune to make a couple hundred million on an underhanded trade. Kelly said SAC has done "incredibly well in the last couple of years."

[Monday, November 19, 2012]

Fast Money panelist suggests having no Friday 5 p.m. show is a disservice to viewers (and indirectly illustrates that the Friday Halftime Report doesn’t mean anything)

Almost no one seems to lament the absence of malice a Friday afternoon edition of Fast Money — that is, apparently no one, with the possible exception of Guy Adami.

Adami on Monday's Fast Money twice noted that there's no program at 5 p.m. Friday to make Monday market predictions, and while it may sound "disingenuous," Adami said, "If we had had a show Friday evening, a 5 o'clock show, which we no longer have, I think we could've really discussed what was gonna happen today."

Later, in an AAPL discussion, Adami said, "Unfortunately, again, we're here Monday; we missed Friday," and pointed out the shares that day hit 505 intraday and then recovered.

This is part of the overall sprawl of the Fast Money franchise (more on this in the next few days) but specifically points to the usefulness — um, er, or lack thereof — of the Halftime Report, which (this just in) airs during the middle of the trading day, with the prospects of intraday reversals and bottoms unknown or incomplete, implying the advice that's conveyed to be of minimal use at best.

Guy Adami actually thinks
Paul Newman plays a Boston lawyer in ‘Absence of Malice’

Like they say on Fast Money, the traders aren't always right.

Sometimes, they're embarrassingly wrong, as Guy Adami proved on Monday's show in a name-the-Paul-Newman-movie digression.

Mel Lee started it, curiously claiming "we just had an absence of malice" in the markets that propelled stocks higher.

"'Absence of Malice' was a fantastic movie, Paul Newman," said Guy Adami. "He plays a lawyer, Boston."

To even dignify that remark with a comment is sorta beneath even this page, but for those who don't know what Adami is talking about, it's a bungled reference to Sidney Lumet's "The Verdict," as opposed to Sydney Pollack's "Absence of Malice."

It was said that Sydney Pollack made "mainstream" films. That adjective in some quarters is a slur. Not for that person, whose sense of crisp drama matched his appreciation of authentic Western visuals.

Unclear if Karen was saying AAPL was wagging the market, or vice versa

Fast Money was really pushing the edge on vernacular Monday, with Guy Adami and Melissa Lee adding "hooey" to the lexicon.

"I think there was some hooey" to the market rally, Adami said, explaining that Jim Cramer either on Thursday or Friday morning saw this coming.

Assuming the S&P can maintain 1,375, "I think you have 3-, 4-day rally left in ya," Adami said.

Anthony Scaramucci, rather stoic the entire hour for a gentleman who, like the Republican presidential candidate, should be thrilled he can take a nice year-end vacation instead of having to put Mahmoud Abbas, Benjamin Netanyahu, Harry Reid and John Boehner and Chris Christie on speed dial, shrugged off the previous plunge as a "tax-adjustment selloff last week."

Pete Najarian observed that "volume has come back into the options markets."

Karen Finerman said "Apple is just proxy for the market now," that she sold BMW, and "I think we could see a few more days of this, but I'm not jumping in with 2 feet to buy into this rally."

Guest credits CNBC for
‘good voice’ in ‘advising’
policymakers on fiscal cliff

Ed Groshans issued the understatement of the day on Monday's Fast Money when he described fiscal cliff outcomes this way: "At the present time, we're looking for a short-term fix."

That "short-term fix" is a euphemism for 3 words, the first one being "Kick."

Groshans suggested a 23.8% tax rate on capital gains and dividends could become an instant reality. He said he likes banks including MTB and WFC not so much because of the cliff but because they were down 4-6% when they shouldn't have been, and he told Guy Adami MTB was his top choice for viewers out of a pool including USB.

Anthony Scaramucci — perhaps inadvertently, depending on what he expected the answer to be — asked Groshans the question of the day if not week, how "helpful" does Groshans think CNBC's "Rise Above" campaign has been.

Groshans stammered, "I think it's interesting, right, to have, some, well, you have, you all have a good voice, and you're putting it out there, and advising that we need to come together and get this done."

(Important note: The altered graphic above is not a jab at the CNBC campaign, but an expression of what this site believes is the true reality of the situation.)

Someday the price for this phantom deal will reach $10

In the category of curious terminology, Melissa Lee on Monday's Fast Money credited the Minneapolis Star-Tribune for having "ignited these talks" on Best Buy, because it "reported" pending discussion by Richard Schulze and "2 of his buyout henchmen."

"Henchmen." Ouch.

Karen Finerman twice knocked the prospects of this particular buyout happening. "I don't see that much leverage out there in the market for this kind of deal," Finerman said, later adding that something this size would involve a lot of parties, and there are somehow no leaks about it, and the stock was unch'd.

"Here to me it's unshortable," said Guy Adami, but "still a no-touch."

Pete Najarian reported, "The shorts have not exactly been running to cover" in BBY.

Long time since CNBC
personalities have raised doubts
about Brian Moynihan

Karen Finerman enjoyed a busy day on Monday's Fast Money, and, proving that CNBC's Sister Golden Hair isn't the only on-air personality who stops traffic in a black turtleneck, more than dressed for the occasion for her perennial (or is it quarterly) tout of BAC.

"I think we'll see it north of 10 next year," Finerman said.

But things got fun in the poorly named "The Good, The Bad & The Ugly" feature, in which Karen was praised for recently hailing CMI, although now, "I own less" because the risk/reward is different.

Pressed on MHP, Finerman assured, "I am definitely still long," then wondered why producers couldn't find anything crummier. "I've made way worse calls than that," Finerman said, then referring to the title of the feature, added, (way too modestly of course), "Just in terms of ugly, if we have my high school yearbook picture, I think that would satisfy."

Finerman also opined on pre-Black Friday hours for big retailers. "Thursday night, soon to be Thursday day, I hope not," Finerman said.

Flash: MSFT executives are said to want the stock to go up next year

Alexandra Lebenthal, impeccably dressed as always and with chic new hairstyle Monday, referred to "Hurricane Sandy" on Fast Money and said it actually brought "less of a likelihood" that high earners will lose the tax exemption on muni interest.

"That's the magic number," 28%, Lebenthal said of the top bracket that would keep the exemption. But, in almost suggesting some sort of tax arbitrage, Lebenthal said that rising taxes seems certain, whereas a loss of a partial muni exemption is not.

Asked for a "cliffhanger" trade, Anthony Scaramucci curiously tagged MSFT as though he were a spokesman for the company. "I do believe that they want this stock to go up next year," Scaramucci said, and it 's "very, very cheap."

In another benign tape sighting, Guy Adami said his cliffhanger trade was defense, RTN and LLL, "I like defense regardless ... benign tape, good tape."

Scott Nations said someone bought 1,500 of the Jan 2014 HCA 42.5 calls for $1.80.

Lebenthal, Karen Finerman and Seema Mody on Monday's Fast Money, but Mel Lee, who's on a clothing tear, more than held her own in gray short-sleeved dress with U-neck.

The Dow doubles in 1 day what Dennis Gartman would’ve thought it could do

Dennis Gartman told viewers on Monday's Fast Money that the sudden risk-on move is "probably a flirtation," but will last a bit; "they wanna go higher for a while."

"I think you have to be a buyer of a 50-point decline," said Gartman, who said he would've thought at most the Dow could be up 50 or 100 points. "This probably has some distance to carry."

Gartman said he would believe there's a fiscal cliff solution in the works if he were to see that "we're really putting Simpson-Bowles on the table." (Snicker.)

Gartman said sometimes the best trades are the ones you get out of, and in oil, "I covered shorts."

Adami: PSX through 51

Venturing just a bit down the Jeff Gundlach path, Anthony Scaramucci asserted on Monday's Fast Money that "Apple has not moved the innovation curve in the last year ... I think you're gonna see smarter money trimming positions here."

Guy Adami flat-out admitted that with AAPL, "honestly, I'm not really sure" what to do now.

Adami said that for whatever reason in the last 6 months, down days in the S&P 500 tend to lead "to down moves in gold." But Adami thinks there's a bigger bang for the buck in silver. Pete Najarian said the SLV strikes at 32, 32½ were "extremely active today."

Pete Najarian said that in energy, "you wanna be in beta names," specifically PSX. Guy Adami said of PSX, "I think the next leg up pushes us through 51."

Willie Williams said, "We could see some stop-loss selling on the euro," and said he's "selling euro/yen at 104."

Jane Wells' West Coast Wrap unfortunately — despite cracking up Mel Lee during the commercial — was a bust Monday, with a mention of Black Friday/Thursday lines at Best Buy, Intel's role in "Silicon" Valley and the Woman We Can't Believe Is An Elite Actress, Kristen Stewart. Pete Najarian said he'll be at the Mall of America on Friday.

Scott Nations' Final Trade was to not marry or even date this rally. Anthony Scaramucci wearily reiterated MSFT. Guy Adami said BMY. Karen Finerman said MHP as the screen said CVS. Pete Najarian said BAC and added, "I think this thing's going higher," which is like picking the Steelers (yuck) and saying, "I think they're going to win."

Superfox Seema Mody's Twicker report barely drew more than a halfhearted LLY gag from Pete Najarian, but how in the world could anyone at that table concentrate on anything besides that purple dress.

Looks like Joe was right on his early AAPL victory lap

Colin Gillis wasted no time in attempting to rain on the AAPL parade on Monday's Halftime Report.

"Apple still has some limitations to the gains that it can get," insisted Gillis, who has a $600 price target.

Joe Terranova, who famously just said Friday he's "all in" in AAPL, questioned where else portfolio managers would be putting their money, and stressed that there's nothing wrong with the 5-year AAPL chart.

"I think it's reminiscent of March 2009," Terranova said.

Josh Brown called the recent selling in AAPL "a major capital gains harvest story" and said people buying the name "will look very intelligent" in a year or 2.

Jon Najarian predicted, "I think this stock gets back into 600, uh, just after Christmas of this year or early in the 1st quarter of next year."

Stephanie Link-Cramer resorted to Brag Trade; "we own Apple; we sold it a little bit higher."

Gillis actually claimed, "I actually think that Microsoft is better-positioned than Apple."

Here comes the can-kick

Larry McDonald painted a nearly excellent picture on Monday's Halftime Report for a market rally, saying there had been a "lot of capitulation on high-volume" last week, only to caution that if it's really risk-on, "Treasurys should be selling off more."

And, he also said Spain's 10-year is underperforming Italy.

McDonald predicted there will be "3 or 4 moments" before year-end when we think there's a fiscal cliff deal, and "3 or 4 moments" when we think there won't be a deal.

McDonald said not to expect a resolution before Dec. 20; "you're not gonna get a grand bargain."

He did call housing a sell, forecasting headwinds "until you get real securitization back" and citing "real anti-capitalist mentality" from Jerry Brown and Deval Patrick.

Judge enjoys Stephanie’s Fast-Fire

Jon Najarian said on Monday's Halftime Report that BBY's best hope is to get some relief from governments regarding forcing Amazon to collect taxes.

Josh Brown dismissed the notion that BBY is saveable; "this is an endless downtrend," he said, and it's a question of "how slowly does the deconstruction take."

Jon Najarian said the spike in JCP "needs to be sold."

Joe Terranova trumpeted TJX as his fiscal cliff trade. Stephanie Link-Cramer, Fast-Fired for her call on ROST, heard Judge chortle while repeating her assertion, "low 60s interesting. How do mid-50s look to you?"

Undaunted, Link-Cramer said, "very interesting," and might get in.

Joe Terranova defended Link. "This isn't Little League baseball. We don't bat .800," Terranova said.

Link-Cramer wasn't high on DMND. "I just don't think you wanna buy it right here," she said.

Josh Brown made quite a bullish call on LOW. "There are no sellers. There is no roof on where this thing could go," Brown said.

Another key S&P level that probably will prove irrelevant

Josh Brown said on Monday's Halftime Report that the key to Monday's Dow surge is whether there's "follow-through in small-caps and emerging markets." Joe Terranova pointed to 1,382 as resistance.

Stephanie Link said that based on comments from Washington over the weekend, it "sounds like these guys get it" and thinks markets "can rally further from here," providing there's "some sort of certainty" even if it means kicking the can.

Link then rattled off a host of stocks; BRCM, SLB, NWS, VALE, ABT, MDLZ, and emerging markets in general. (This writer is long ABT, which hasn't exactly been on fire.)

Link's fiscal cliff trade was BA. Jon Najarian said to sell the VIX.

CVX is ‘the one’

Kate Kelly visited Monday's Halftime Report to spend a couple minutes discussing Gary Cohn's future at Goldman Sachs, only to have Judge Wapner conclude, "Blankfein hasn't said he's going anywhere."

Josh Brown said the problem with INTC is, "You can't be short it because it's perennially quote-unquote cheap, and there's a really good dividend yield. But there's absolutely been no reason to be long."

Brown said he likes BRK-B over BAC, called CVX "this is the one" in the oil patch, and backed DF, "I think you can hold this thing."

Stephanie Link-Cramer said she likes PM and VZ more than MO. L-C also wasn't excited about HPQ, saying "Dell is ahead of them in this race."

Todd Gordon said he'd short the dollar vs. Norwegian krone at 5.71 5.74.

Joe Terranova mentioned 4 oil-related names, PSX, TSO, SU and HOS, but called BP a "no touch." Terranova's Final Trade was FCX.

Jon Najarian touted WNR and VLO and made SN his Final Trade.

[Friday, November 16, 2012]

Joe already taking victory laps on AAPL, monitoring Twitter reax during show

Judge Wapner and the Halftime gang managed to bring up AAPL at least 3 times during Friday's broadcast, none more ebullient than Joe Terranova at the top of the program.

"I think Apple has experienced a March 2009 moment. What that means is it's a generational buy," Terranova crowed. "I am all in on Apple, I think it's going significantly higher."

Of course, AAPL shares have been purchasable since your father's generation, and it's hard to believe they could be a bigger "generational buy" than they were 3-4 years ago, but we don't want to rain on Joe's parade.

Bolstering Joe's view was Brian White, who pronounced himself very shocked.

"This selloff to me is completely unwarranted and very shocking ... I think this is absolutely insane," White said.

Doug Kass concurred. "I bought more today, yes," Kass said, calling it "kind of a leveraged capital play on, on the, on the equity market" and, like Terranova but not that far (note the "close to"), citing "close to a generational opportunity in the stock."

Kass is so eager to produce a gain, he suggested AAPL might "accelerate the buyback, and there has been a rumor of that in the last 24 hours so I wouldn't be surprised if they are."

Terranova later indicated that Keith McCullough is monitoring Twitter, and "the amount of negative feedback that I am receiving for saying that I bought Apple indicates to me there's a lot of folks that were betting on a $500 print."

Steve Grasso suggested that AAPL, which had just conveniently bounced from 505 while the show was airing, and FB were moves to fade, citing the "2- or 3-day rule ... I would not be buying Apple ... nor would I be buying Facebook at this point," Grasso said.

Judge doesn’t answer Grasso’s question as to whether he has ever been audited

Steve Liesman is not a stock-picker, but he more or less suggested viewers hit the buy button on Friday's Halftime Report.

"What has been the history here of the apocalypse trade?" Liesman asked, pointing to how it paid to bet against the apocalypse in 2009, and during the debt-ceiling debacle.

Steve Grasso said it has paid off "leading up to the apocalypse" though and so the question is whether this is the apocalypse or whether S&P 1,000 is the apocalypse.

Judge Wapner said it's dangerous to be on either side. Jon Najarian, who said "nothing focuses the mind like the gallows," said it's "awfully" nice to hear the sides conciliatory, and that it's a negotiation and not threats.

Steve Grasso pointed to a pivot at 1,340 and said the "bounce levels" are 1,370, 1,395, but "everyone is a little suspect" that we'll get there, and "I'd still be a seller of any of these bounces."

Judge then reported the statement by congressional leaders and hailed, "Quite a dramatic reversal, the Dow industrials up 48 points."

Simon Baker said he'd still be "selling the pops," though he likes HCN.

Joe Terranova, undaunted, insisted, "I think this is a gift to buy the quality names." Steve Grasso countered that "70% of the market trades with the overall market."

Grasso said time is limited and scoffed at Judge's contention that announcement of a "credible deal" could provide a year-end lift. "I don't know if you've ever been audited but I, I'm sure they wouldn't take 'I've got a credible deal' as a black-and-white answer to the, uh, to the IRS," Grasso said.

Terranova concluded, "The trading slogan for years, when they are yelling, you are selling; when they are crying, you are buying."

Basically Steve Grasso spent Friday’s Halftime questioning everything Joe said

John Kilduff took a rare turn with the Halftime Report on Friday, explaining there's a "real push/pull going on right now" in oil but that he expects the Gaza ramifications to be "fleeting."

Kilduff said that after taking a hit, oil stocks look "particularly attractive ... I like OXY."

Boris Schlossberg said fiscal cliff talks mean we're "going down austerity politics," and he'd sell dollar/yen at 80.50.

Will Duff Gordon said there has been a "special-dividend bonanza basically since Obama won the election," with 74 companies announcing in the 4th quarter, and he's "predicting another 30 companies to pay special dividends." A pair that he mentioned were SEB (we think that's what he said) and ALX.

Joe Terranova said, "I think dividend-payors will continue to work." Steve Grasso argued that the "empirical data" shows that dividend payors, after a tax change, "3-6 months they underperform non-dividend payors by 50%."

At least John Stoltzfus doesn’t have to defend Barry Bannister’s 1,600

Joe Terranova said on Friday's Halftime Report he thinks you could get long BBY here, "they're going to be able to orchestrate something," but he stressed doing it in options, something Pete Najarian convinced him of a couple weeks ago.

Terranova also recommended SJM holders use a 79.70 stop.

Jon Najarian said ADSK's reaction to the report means "I think you wanna own it." Steve Grasso said if you own THC, "I'd look out."

John Stoltzfus told Judge Wapner "the word 'conciliatory' I think is, is key to all of this" talk about the fiscal cliff. Stoltzfus, asked about his 1,450 year-end S&P prediction, said "I think we can" get there, actually claiming "we're moving in the right direction."

Stoltzfus said investors want to have "cyclical exposure," and he likes technology, consumer discretionary and financials.

Simon Baker agreed with financials and technology. But not discretionary so much; "middle class is gonna suffer."

Steve Grasso warned that the market "is either gonna move sideways or lower," and he likes YHOO, his Final Trade. Baker's Final Trade was LOW, Terranova said TJX and Jon Najarian said BHI.

[Thursday, November 15, 2012]

Karen way above
the Gundlach Line®

Karen Finerman, in typical self-deprecating fashion that belies her business success, revealed on Thursday's Fast Money that she bought $500 AAPL puts, "which means it will close at 501."

Guy Adami questioned again, "When Apple loses its cool factor and these products become ubiquitous ... what happens to the company, what happens to the stock."

But Jon Najarian and Karen Finerman didn't think the stock's descent is based on Adami's Sony Theory, but rather, according to Najarian, that all kinds of funds have huge AAPL positions, and it just so happens "people are heading for the exits."

Finerman said she concurred with Najarian, that the selling is "something so different from the fundamentals of the company."

That prompted Adami to conclude the stock is "overowned."

Pop culture great moments:
Ernie Hays, late St. Louis organist, famed for ‘Here Comes the King’

Superfox Seema Mody (holy moly where did she get that aqua dress) visited Thursday's Nasdaq to pepper the Fast Money gang about beer stocks, but barely got an "I like Budweiser" from Jon Najarian and a TAP "might be worth a look" from Steve Grasso.

The brewery discussion was a reminder of a slight lapse by this site, which tries to post as many headlines as possible of obituaries of people you should know at least a little bit about.

One such person is Ernie Hays, longtime organist for St. Louis sports franchises.

Hays, who passed away on Halloween, is locally famous largely for seizing on a clever hit — the Budweiser "jingle" — and somehow converting it into a ballpark rallying cry.

The tune was already a holiday staple of the '70s, sung gently in those sweet Clydesdale Christmas wagon commercials that warm hearts to this day, and also played more vigorously by a cheery band in certain Budweiser outdoor-sports-themed ads.

Obviously knowing where his bread was buttered, Hays, playing for the St. Louis Steamers of the MISL (that's soccer) in the late '70s, evidently came up with the idea of featuring the tune as a stadium rally, landing a 15-year contract from the very happy chieftains at Anheuser-Busch and providing endless annoyance to fans of opposing teams.

The notion of a corporate giant having its own theme song is curious enough; as you might expect it was a simple advertising creation, written by Steve Karmen and copyrighted in 1971 according to a Wikipedia reference to Karmen's book, that proved far more resilient than a single commercial buy.

Instead of performing "Da da da da da da, CHARGE!!!!" at Busch Stadium, Hays, providing a mode of entertainment best regarded even in the 1970s as "quaint," somehow compelled fans — even the littlest ones — into what amounts to rousing cheers for the ownership and alcohol as much as the ballplayers. A frequent routine was waiting for the P.A. announcer to declare, "Batting 2nd, the shortstop, Oz-ZEEEEEEEEEEEEEE Smith," and then unleashing "Here Comes the King" at fastest speed (think Eric Clapton — who did Michelob commercials by the way — and the variations of "After Midnight"), which brought a torrent of clapping for quite possibly the most popular ballplayer in baseball history (that's correct, Derek Jeter might be 1A or 1B and Cal Ripken's right there, maybe Joe DiMaggio, but that's pretty much your Rushmore).

Honestly, the song literally conveys very little except that Budweiser is purportedly the biggest brand in beer, that proves it's the best; that one should associate with "the King." We were surprised to learn after Hays' death that "King" is not repeated in the opening stanza, but "Big" is the term, as in, "Here comes the King, here comes the Big Number One..." The song concludes by building upon perhaps an even more important slogan from earlier ads, "When you say Bud, you've said it all."

Insignificant? Perhaps. Here we have a ballpark organist, ordinarily considered a relic of much simpler forms of entertainment, seizing upon a low-key advertising gem to create not just enormous value for a beer company, sports teams and a big city, but a pop culture stalwart.

A modest 1-minute clip of Hays playing "Here Comes the King" is on YouTube right here.

No, the market needs the can kicked down the road

Steve Grasso had great advice (not) Thursday for those Fast Money viewers actually interested in making money quickly.

"Wait another month, month and a half or so, and see how it all plays out," Grasso said.

Grasso said "it'll be a short-term fix," and wrongly added (see Dick Gephardt below), "the market needs a long-term fix."

Guy Adami said he was surprised at the lack of bounce at S&P 1,379 and said now "1,323 comes into play." Grasso said he couldn't figure out "why are we bouncing" at all given the political environment. Jon Najarian said you have to sell the rallies.

Karen Finerman admitted, "I don't know what's gonna happen," but said she's still looking for things to buy such as AAPL puts.

Michael Santoli, guesting again as CNBC milks its Yahoo partnership, sought to downplay his own downplaying of the fiscal-cliff effects by insisting he didn't predict certain things were NOT going to happen, said he considered what it is that people actually fear and concluded, "It's actually not as bad as the immediate disaster scenario makes it seem."

Steve Grasso argued that "Republicans have no incentive to even want to deal" because hiking taxes on the wealthiest would cost a quarter-point in GDP. Santoli said the market was having problems before this; "It's an old bull market and an old profit cycle."

Nobody except Karen seems to think C breakup realistic

Guy Adami said on Thursday's Fast Money that Citigroup is a "pretty interesting play," but "I don't happen to believe that" a breakup is going to happen.

Steve Grasso seconded that, saying, "It's too hard to take this ... apart again ... think it's sort of just pie in the sky."

Karen Finerman, however, pointed out there's been "a lot of turnover in the board," and "I think it's not crazy, the idea that they split this up."

Flash: Michael Burns agrees to appear on television

Whenever Lions Gate could use a little movie promotion, Michael Burns tends to end up on Fast Money (to talk "business" of course), and such was the case on Thursday as the latest installment of "Twilight" or whatever it is was set to hit theaters.

"It's the No. 1 movie of the year in both France and Italy ... highly confident the movie's gonna do quite well," Burns assured the panel.

But things got curious when Guy Adami zinged Burns for not sharing enough last time; "you had an opportunity to pre-announce this quarter on our show a few weeks ago."

Burns questioned the "selective disclosure ... what'd you call it, 'pre-announce earnings'?"

"Yeah. To the upside," Adami said.

"I guess I'd be talking to you from a jail cell right now," Burns said, clearly not understanding the legal intricacies of corporate information releases.

"No, it's not selective if you do it on TV. Truly," contributed Karen Finerman.

Eventually, Adami noted the stock tends to rise and backfill, and "this is a name I think you wanna continue to own folks" as his Final Trade. Jon Najarian pointed out that Carl Icahn tried to get it a lot cheaper, and if you followed Icahn in, you "doubled your money this year." (Actually you doubled it in March and kind of treaded water since.)

CEO appears on Fast Money despite not having a movie out

George Friedman told Thursday's Fast Money that the game-changer in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is that Hamas has a missile in Gaza that can reach Tel Aviv, and "that's a red line for Israel.

But Friedman said this isn't Iran's scene; "they're not worried about this."

Qualcomm boss Paul Jacobs, who had earpiece trouble, said in parts of the world companies are "pushing toward a $50 kind of phone," but he's not sure that's Apple's style, it's "very hard to tell" if Apple would go downmarket to that level.

Guy Adami said of QCOM, "I think a lot of folks shorted Qualcomm as Apple was going lower ... clearly they're much more diversified than that ... valuations are reasonable, I think the stock is fine."

Jane Wells aired clips of chats with Michael Milken and Peter Ueberroth and said Milken "does not think the fiscal cliff is gonna happen," also that Gavin Newsom is not losing sleep over it. But Steve Grasso took issue with Ueberroth's contention that people aren't leaving, saying California has lost a half-million people to Texas in 10 years; "this is about taxes."

The good, & the bugly

Karen Finerman said on Thursday's Fast Money that JCP is a "situation in flux" and that the cash problem could loom large in 18 months.

Finerman mocked NKE's split, "as a value investor I love a split, as value-creating catalyst," but said she's long FINL and FL and made FL her Final Trade.

Guy Adami was given a roasting over VLO in "The Good, The Bad & The Ugly" segment that also included praise for NFLX, but no other stocks. Adami cracked that he and Steve Grasso were the "inverse ETF for good-looking," a quip that elicited chuckles from the women on the panel so it's one we'll have to remember.

Mike Khouw said there was a big buyer of Jan 85 puts in MCD for $2.95, though he thinks the stock might be a buy on a rebound. Jon Najarian offered, as did Stephanie Link at Halftime, "The comps are gonna be exceedingly difficult ... I think at 82 to 80, I'm in."

Khouw's Final Trade was call spread risk reversals in AAPL. Steve Grasso said YHOO, and Jon Najarian said VOD.

Dick Gephardt discreetly, probably inadvertently, points out what really happens if we actually ‘rise above’

Former Congressman Dick Gephardt, in a quality interview actually, told Judge Wapner at the end of Thursday's Halftime Report that, while he's not an expert on stock-market gyrations like the panelists on the show (as if), he expects trouble for the financial markets if we get really near the cliff, based on the reaction to the TARP defeat and the debt-ceiling talks.

Gephardt happened to say 2 important sentences: "They'll kick the can down the alley in some way," and, "Deficit reduction in the end is political poison for the people that have to vote for it," stressing the public needs to be made aware that this is "short-term pain, to get long-term gain."

It's not just poison for politicians. It's poison for the Dow. A serious "resolution," as Gephardt suggested, would amount to "austerity" on some level.

And there goes the Dow, as economists and analysts begin to reduce growth forecasts and consumer-spending expectations take a nosedive.

There is no question the debt expansion of this country must be curbed. What they're debating right now is whether we tiptoe into that cold swimming pool inch by inch, or plunge off the diving board and get it all over with ASAP.

Most of the people, on both sides actually, will be seeking some kind of middle ground; very few will take the diving-board option (going off the cliff, or a "grand bargain") at this point, though some would.

As those talks continue to likely stall, what eventually will enter the conversation is whether even to get into the pool at all right now, or just make like Mandy Drury and get a tan for a while until hopefully the water is warmer months down the road.

That's precisely what stocks want. And based on years of observing how governments deal with deficits, we're pretty sure that's what they're gonna get.

Honestly, it really sounded like no one is actually recommending buying MCD in the $80s

Mike Murphy and Josh Brown were mostly in agreement on Thursday's Halftime Report on buying MCD, but Stephanie Link wasn't quite sharing the Happy Meal.

Murphy said "You can start building a position here," though he's not long himself; the stock is "on sale right here at these levels."

Brown said that "mid-70s technically is major support" but he thinks you can get long, "you have to put on a tranche" and not go whole hog right here.

Link, who persevered despite what seemed like a scratchy voice (if anything she talked kinda fast), warned that the company faces "very tough comparisons over the next 5 months" and said buyers should be "price-selective."

Dr. J: ‘Snapper rally’ possible

Gina Martin Adams told Thursday's Halftime Report that the country already is in an "investment recession" thanks to the fiscal cliff, and that her firm has taken an "increasing progression of defensiveness" that favors health care, consumer discretionary and consumer staples.

Earnings-estimate revisions are bound to get worse, Martin Adams predicted, saying we're "only about halfway there."

Jon Najarian though explained why he wouldn't want to be short now, because a lot of people were long puts into the election and have made money on those, and it's entirely possible "we could see one of those snapper rallies."

Bribes in Mexico, long forgotten

Judge Wapner opened discussion of TGT and WMT with the dreadful "tale of 2 retailers" headline, then proceeded to get an apparent blunder from Josh Brown, who said he's long TGT and WMT and that TGT is the one that has "got some protection at the $67½ level."

In any case, he prefers TGT to WMT and made TGT his Final Trade.

Mike Murphy backed TGT, saying, "The Canadian segment we think isn't getting enough credit."

Stephanie Link-Cramer said WMT got "very over-owned," and "they did actually kinda juice up their story a little bit" in October, but the name "we've" been in is DG, which would still be her pick.

Mike Murphy outdoes Dr. J
on AAPL purchase point

Mike Murphy on Thursday's Halftime Report told Judge Wapner that recently he got long AAPL around 600 but recently decided to buy more, and "529 is what we paid this morning."

"There's no place I'd rather be" in terms of risk/reward, Murphy said.

Jon Najarian tried to claim the upper hand in bottom-fishing but could only produce, "I bought it last week at about 537."

Josh Brown said "I'd probably fade" NTAP.

Stephanie Link-Cramer said the AIG report "definitely was disappointing," but "this is a turnaround story." Link also recommended KO, VZ and SBUX and made CVX her Final Trade.

Anthony Grisanti pointed out that "demand for natural gas has increased over the last 12 months every single month." The Ilchmeister asserted, "I think we get a $4 tick," but assuming we do, "it's gonna be relatively short-lived."

Josh Brown said the oil exit is about people not wanting the short-dollar trades.

Willie Williams said "I like selling euro/yen" at 104.

S&P down 100-plus points; how come nobody blames HFT?

On the heels of Bob Pisani's interview with Dave Cummings, Jon Najarian complained about "quote-stuffing" and "trading ahead of people for a hundredth or a thousandth of a cent, all of that stuff is b.s., it's gotta stop."

Josh Brown scoffed at the HFT liquidity argument. "It's fake liquidity ... it's conditional liquidity," Brown said, apparently unwilling to pick between the 2.

Judge actually cut into the show to give Phil LeBeau a shot at an on-location interview with Sergio Marchionne, who could barely be heard saying anything other than the fiscal cliff carries a "variety of possible outcomes."

Mike Murphy's Final Trade was VZ. Jon Najarian said LRCX puts.

Kick the can! Kick the can!

On Thursday's Halftime Report, at least a couple of individuals, inadvertently it seems, seized on what the stock market is really looking for in these Washington discussions.

Stephanie Link initially indicated to Judge Wapner that hopes of a year-end rally are toast, except, "If we get a can-kick, I actually think- I do think we can rally," Link said.

Even Democratic pundit Julian Epstein suggested there will be "can-kicking down the road," and Republican counterpart Sara Fagen, in not quite the same lingo, suggested, "I think that we will get a mini-deal."

Judge Wapner said the fiscal cliff is the "sole reason" stocks are lower. Steve Grasso said, "There's no reason to rush in and buy stocks." Josh Brown stressed, "The bears are in control at the moment."

More from Thursday's Halftime and Fast Money later.

[Wednesday, November 14, 2012]

Mel implies past heartbreak

Guy Adami scolded any viewers of Wednesday's Fast Money who've tried to own AMD recently, citing years of what he claimed were warnings on the show to stay away.

"Truth hurts sometimes," Adami said.

"Like love," prompted Melissa Lee, and you wonder what backstory — if any — that might entail.

(See, we don't care about 13F filings. We do care about Mel's romance philosophies.)

Lee noted that the Big Lebowski (ugh — it didn't work for everyone) was into bowling; "Even I knew that."

That "makes you even more attractive than you already are," Adami said.

Jon Najarian: ‘We could shave 2 or 3,000 points off the Dow’

Wednesday's Fast Money presentation on is-it-the-fiscal-cliff-or-isn't-it produced a stark warning from Jon Najarian.

"By the time we finally get to the fiscal cliff, we could shave 2 or 3,000 points off the Dow," said Najarian, who asserted that like bad banks, "sentiment has a contagion effect too."

Guy "Christopher" Adami, who seemed to think Wednesday was the first day Nouriel Roubini predicted trouble in Europe, called the notion of the markets falling on the president's remarks a "great explanation .. easy explanation," but in fact it's a lot of things including a "slowdown in earnings," a "deteriorating situation" in Europe, and "obviously China's slowing."

Tim Seymour though did seem to put a lot of stock in the press-conference-as-horror-show theory, saying, "I have to underscore that today's press conference tells people this is the same old movie with the same old actors and- and people are scared to death."

Brian "Christopher" Kelly, apparently not realizing he was making a contrarian argument for buying, said he agrees with Adami that it's more than just Barack Obama, but "people have thrown the towel in."

Karen "Christopher" (that one was a joke) Finerman suggested the primary culprit Wednesday was the Middle East, but nevertheless, "I'm lookin' to buy stuff," such as Realogy, and by the way, "next on my list and close is JPMorgan."

Brian Kelly, who seemed to think it's a big deal that Egypt recalled its ambassador from Israel (wonder how many times that's happened in 35 years), revealed, "I bought oil on this; I bought Brent oil."

Dan O'Keefe, who got off to a slow start with his Fast Money synch-up from the Schwab "Impact 2012" conference, choppily told Mel Lee, "we started to buy securities again," and he likes DEO and PH. Guy Adami said PH is likely to be buyable in the low $70s.

Throw in a bizarre KO analogy, and Toni Sacconaghi’s insipid AAPL-is-slowing theory somehow has TV traction

As promised earlier in the day, Toni Sacconaghi visited with Wednesday's Fast Money gang to explain his AAPL-like-KO theory.

(But, Jon Najarian wasn't around to question Sacconaghi and salute his ongoing caution on the stock, as promised at Halftime.)

Sacconaghi said that after posting 45% growth for the last 10 quarters, "it's impossible to continue growing at that rate."

Karen Finerman asked Sacconaghi if turning into KO might make AAPL more receptive to shareholder-friendly capital allocation, given that management seems to think that focusing on the stock is "almost beneath them."

Sacconaghi seemed to think there is improvement in that area; "the company's taken a big step in the last 12 months."

Mel Lee called Sacconaghi's report "fascinating analysis."

Who better to predict the trajectory of FB stock than Henry Blodget?

Wednesday's Fast Money twice explored the day that FB had (and, like the Halftime Report, tossed around all kinds of compliments to people who saw it coming), and by far the less-sexier version was provided by Henry Blodget.

Blodget claimed the stock is "in the middle of a multi-year sort of trading-sideways multiple-compression process."

2 all beef patties special sauce lettuce cheese pickles onions...

Blodget asserted, "The fundamentals are turning; they are at least bottoming."

Much later, superfox Seema Mody, who utterly owned the camera again, turned the verbal explosions of the Twicker feature over to the tweeter Kid Dynamite, who posits that FB went up because everyone thought it would go down.

Tim Seymour turned that around, saying that using Kid Dynamite's logic, the stock goes down on Thursday.

Seymour also deftly turned a reference to John Carney into Art Carney, notable if for nothing else bagging a best actor Oscar the same year Al Pacino turned up in "The Godfather: Part II" and Jack Nicholson performed every scene in "Chinatown." An unthinkable honor perhaps, until you've forced yourself to catch "Harry and Tonto" on cable some night and realized, "OK, not bad."

It would seem that by placing JJ at the top of this item it would preempt a Seema Mody photo, but there's plenty of room below.

Howard Schultz uses Fast Money as a conference call

If nothing else, Howard Schultz certainly came prepared.

Anticipating the first question from Melissa Lee about his Teavana purchase on Wednesday's Fast Money, Schultz insisted it's not about the premium, but "long-term opportunity." (Translation: We probably paid too much, but it doesn't matter.)

Brian Kelly delivered an odd bit of praise, saying of Teavana, "if he was running this company, it would probably be trading at this already."

Karen Finerman said the acquisition price is still "very small" for SBUX.

Meanwhile, Finerman tackled ANF on Wednesday and said "it was like it was bought out, but it wasn't."

Brian Kelly said of PHM, "the sector's a bit extended here." But Tim Seymour said you can start to nibble on MOS; "I think this is overdone."

Brian Kelly touted DXJ and made it his Final Trade. Tim Seymour pronounced it "Jap-pan."

There’s gotta be another Oct. 3, 2011, just around the corner

Jane Wells brought another day of her West Coast Wrap to Wednesday's Fast Money, beginning by asking the Fast gang if, based on CSCO's results, boring is back.

Maybe, maybe not, but "I'd much rather be in Cisco than Juniper," said Brian "Christopher" Kelly.

Karen Finerman said you can't really play Square, but she's been short PAY.

Wells said to go long Channing Tatum, then made a Kevin Bacon 6-degrees joke that didn't work and was at best a reach.

Scott Nations said there was a big buyer of the Jan 20 calls in YHOO for 21 cents.

Nations' Final Trade was sell NFLX. Tim Seymour said sell EWZ, Guy Adami said long PCP, and Karen Finerman said long JPM while the screen said long BAC.

Dr. J tries to pin his skepticism of Toni Sacconaghi’s AAPL call on Doug Kass

Judge Wapner asked the Wednesday Halftime Report gang to assess Toni Sacconaghi's comparison of AAPL to KO.

Stephen Weiss said he disagreed on AAPL, "I don't think their hypergrowth phase is over," but said being a Coca-Cola-like blue chip isn't a bad thing.

Jon Najarian began his own commentary by stating he was getting pinged by Doug Kass, as they all do during the day (lessee, evaluate stocks or e-mail people on television), and "He's asking, where was this call when the stock was 700."

Judge defended Sacconaghi. "Toni Sacconaghi has been one of the few big-name analysts on the Street who's actually been a bit cautious," Wapner said.

Najarian finally offered, "I think overall this is a little late to the party."

Mike Murphy called the pullback in AAPL a buying opportunity. Pete Najarian said AAPL isn't falling to a 10-20% growth rate, but more like 25-35%.

Dennis Gartman: ‘I speak about the same thing far too often’

Dennis Gartman, who said little on Wednesday's Halftime Report except to doubt crude's gains on multiple occasions, told viewers to "sell into it," as the market has "definitive contango."

Later, Gartman played down the impact of the Israeli strike on Hamas' Gaza military chieftain, noting the rally was 85 cents and this isn't like a conflict in oil territory.

"I speak about the same thing far too often," Gartman admitted in what has to be the day's top understatement. "There's plenty of crude around; it's bidding for storage."

Anthony Grisanti though, responded to Jackie DeAngelis' sharp green outfit question about petro-geopolitical concerns, acknowledged there's concern that the conflict could (stop if you've heard this one before) "spread outside the region."

Rich Ilczyszyn stressed WTI isn't the global benchmark but pointed to 86.68; "if we close out above that, that's a pivot," he said, but regarding Gaza, "do not trade the news here."

Pete Najarian said, "I continue to like the refining space."

Dr. J: FB ‘goes higher’

Mark Hawtin told Judge Wapner on Wednesday's Halftime Report that "I am slightly surprised" at the big jump in FB, but he cautioned that some people affected by the lockup have experienced "some trouble with the paperwork; it's been pretty complex apparently," and so there could be more pent-up selling over the next few weeks.

But, Hawtin said, FB is "finally getting the message as far as mobile is concerned," and has "enormous growth potential from social advertising" as well as "potential for generating fee income," evidenced by what it does for Trip Advisor.

Jon Najarian credited Enis Taner, Steve Grasso, John Carney and "Dan Nathan too" for predicting an FB breakout and added, "I think this one goes higher."

Stephen Weiss said the fact FB was climbing on the lockup proves "sometimes the most obvious trades don't work."

Actually, why do they have those buttons on?

Judge Wapner welcomed Jared Bernstein to Wednesday's Halftime Report to face a panel not exactly convinced the president is doing the right thing by meeting with the base before the banking CEOs.

"Clearly this is payback for support during the election," said Stephen Weiss, who told Bernstein that in the "best case," it's "extremely poor judgment."

Pete Najarian also scoffed at Bernstein's explanation. "Are we really saying that, you know, you need to get in front of your base first? If that's the case then why do we even have these pins on, this 'Rise Above'?"

Later, Tom Michaud of KBW said the lack of banking CEOs at the meeting isn't such a big deal because Ken Chenault is there, but what troubles Michaud is that "there are no mid- or small-cap-company CEOs there."

Murphy: HD ‘peaked yesterday’

Pete Najarian said on Wednesday's Halftime Report that ANF is tapping online potential; "they're getting that mojo going." Stephen Weiss though said "I'd be careful; I'd actually take some profits here."

Weiss wasn't high on SPLS; "I think there are other plays in retail."

Jon Najarian said there was "unusual activity" in URBN.

Mike Murphy praised TYC. "It's a long for us and I think it can go a lot higher," Murphy said.

Jon Najarian said Cisco's performance "does bode well for technology," and Pete Najarian offered, "they are well-capitalized to do well."

Bill Nygren did little more than tout big-cap tech with traditional arguments, pointing to AAPL, INTC and TXN as "selling at less than 10 times earnings ... they don't need to have very good growth rates to justify the prices they're selling at."

Nygren also said he's into BAC, COF and JPM and said, "Bank America has a book value that's a little bit over $20 a share."

Stephen Weiss' Final Trade was C. Jon Najarian said VOD. Pete Najarian curiously said HPQ was up as "just a reaction to the selloff everywhere else," then said his Final Trade was RHAT. Mike Murphy said of HD, "I think the stock peaked yesterday," and his Final Trade was long HTZ." Dennis Gartman said his Final Trade is to sell yen and buy gold.

Jon Najarian joked that he wanted to congratulate "all 70 of those partners" at Goldman Sachs.

[Tuesday, November 13, 2012]

Paula should be so lucky

Jane Wells broached the subject of Fast Money appearances on Tuesday.

"Anyone notice Karen Finerman kinda looks like Paula Broadwell?" Wells asked the Fast gang.

"And she's got the guns too," Melissa Lee chipped in.

OK (sigh), here's the deal.

1. When males bring this type of comparison up, it's nothing but trouble. But whatever.

2. Karen Finerman does not resemble Paula Broadwell. That's a reach.

Please note — this site did not bring up this subject; it was started by someone on television. This page is obligated to comment on things said on television by other people.

Up above, take a look at that natural look. Stunning.

Then, consider Broadwell, certainly in shape, fine bod, not naturally photogenic.

One is brilliant. The other, um, perhaps a bit eccentric.

It's not even close.

(Again please note — this discussion was NOT this page's idea. About all it did was preempt an opportunity to run a photo of Mel's latest dazzling outfit, gray jacket over white top, plus the new thing she's done with her hair.)

Wells, the hippest reporter in business television, cracked up the panel with her suggestion of casting Tilda Swinton as John Allen.

It sure isn’t run for Morgan Stanley’s institutional clients

It took some time, but Michael Santoli (this is CNBC cashing in on its YHOO partnership, aside from all the Fast Money traders recommending the turnaround story) on Tuesday's Fast Money finally got to the nut graf of the Facebook story. "The company seems run for the employees," Santoli said, and until it gets beyond that, is "probably a trap stock."

Santoli predicted the shares are "gonna be trapped in this range," but he said the fact people are suggesting they'd like to own it around 15 means it probably won't get there, but that can be the level to shoot for; "I do think that's kind of the zone where people say, I would take a shot."

Dan Nathan indicated FB is on the verge of being a buy; "the selling that you see tomorrow is likely a buy." Steve Grasso concurred that there's a "technical setup to buy this."

But then Grasso argued that maybe FB is nothing more than Sirius radio, something people like and use but can't really produce mega-revenue. Santoli responded, "Facebook is much more integral to people's lives than Sirius ever was," to a smattering of disagreement.

Nathan: ‘Massive short squeeze very soon’ in JCP

Steve Grasso defined the concept of business turnaround on Tuesday's Fast Money in a way that surely must've scared fans of Meg Whitman.

"I think turnaround stories are probably always at risk of putting the company out of business, right, isn't that, in essence what a turnaround story is?" Grasso asked his colleagues, without awaiting an answer (and apparently no one was inclined to give one).

But the subject was JCP, not HPQ, and Grasso indicated that because Ron Johnson's revamping has increased sales per square foot past Macy's level, "I think we're being a little bit too hard on him," but the problem is, "he's got 90% revamping to do."

Retail great Tom Stemberg said "it takes a long time to get traction" for the type of changes JCP is trying and added, "This high-low kind of game, uh, is a crazy game," before getting to the nut graf and real and only problem with JCP — a "product line being relatively homogeneous and very similar to others."

Brian Kelly shrugged, "I would not be buying this stock at all."

Plain-pocket jeans king (or is that Chess King) Tim Seymour joked about Dan Nathan's plain pockets. Nathan said he expects in JCP a "massive short squeeze at some time very soon ... if this thing has one more down day on big volume, I think you get in there and buy it."

Stemberg cautioned that while CNBC discusses the fiscal cliff and Washington is locked into it, "I don't think the American populace as a whole has focused on it yet." Mel Lee said they talk about the cliff on CNBC "every 5 seconds."

When did MSFT make the playoffs?

Dan Nathan said on Tuesday's Fast Money that a lot of businesses never upgraded to the last Windows cycle, and so the notion of a Windows 8 upgrade cycle boost is bogus.

"To me there is a lot, a lot of false hope here," Nathan said.

Tim Seymour said the personnel turnover is like "changing quarterbacks in the middle of the playoffs."

Mike Khouw said that while the option activity in FB has been bearish, in MSFT, it's actually been "pretty bullish."

Tim Seymour’s Trade of the Day looks like a great way to lose money

Nothing gets us more excited than Seema Mody on location, but her presentation on the Diwali impact on global financial markets produced only muted opinions on gold from Tuesday's Fast Money crew.

Brian Kelly said "India is less important" to gold consumption now. Tim Seymour said he's long gold, but "I am buying it for the central bank diversification."

Tim Seymour trumpeted TROX and made it his Final Trade but admitted, "This is not for the faint of heart," given its chart, but it's "ridiculously cheap to its history."

Brian Kelly was tagged with having made "off the wall" picks in the past such as MCP.

Jane Wells in her West Coast Wrap brought up TSLA. Steve Grasso opined, "I'd rather be buying Ford here." Tim Seymour tried to joke, "I'd buy the band, Tesla," but TM for an auto stock. Mike Khouw's Final Trade was selling calls in TSLA.

Oh JOY — a ‘major bottom’?

Steve Grasso did a joint Quicker-than-the-ticker (they don't call it that anymore)/Fast Fire on Tuesday's Fast Money (they called it "The Good, The Bad & The Ugly," a legendary film certainly bolstered by its clever title) regarding his recent calls on AAPL (bear) and GOOG (bull), stressing he'd "still be a buyer of Google vs. buying Apple at this point."

Grasso also tried to claim, regarding GOOG, that the market as a whole is down for the last month, asking Mel Lee, "you wanna help a brother out here."

Brian Kelly said he had been short BIG and advised people to "stay away from buying it," though he wouldn't short it now either.

"I would stay away from Chesapeake," said Steve Grasso.

Grasso suggested BEN and OZM as possible special dividend plays but said of INTC, "I still wouldn't be buying it." Grasso's Final Trade was a cautionary long PXD, stressing he thinks the market's still going lower.

Brian Kelly said that in the category of special dividends, "I still like Western Refining." Kelly also said CSCO chief John Chambers "turned the company around," unlike Steven Ballmer at MSFT. Kelly said WY has "decent support around 26" and made XLE his Final Trade.

Tim Seymour said he thinks HD "goes higher," that "a lot of this has been priced in" for utilities regarding dividend-tax concerns, and likewise, at JOY, "bad news is priced in here," and we could see a "major bottom in the stock."

Mike Khouw said "I think Home Depot is overdone here, and Masco is even worse," and later said he's "not too optimistic" on the name because its buybacks have goosed the EPS. Khouw also said there was a big buyer in January 45 JPM calls.

Dan Nathan said NFLX is trading on rumors, which will be constant. His Final Trade was buying HD put spreads.

The screen text said Gerard Depardieu is "feeling France."

Liz Dunn hasn’t been on for a while to defend the JCP ‘turnaround’

Chuck Grom told Tuesday's Halftime Report that he doesn't really have any confidence in JCP "at this point" and predicted that "next year we will see negative comps," something he said the Street isn't anticipating.

Stephen Weiss said "I am short yet again" in JCP, and as for the "startup" notion espoused by Bill Ackman, "here's why it's crap" (essentially that startups aren't blowing good cash on legacy businesses).

Weiss said the most successful thing JCP has done is free haircuts, so they should "hand out cans of Rogaine" to double their customer base.

"My target now is 10," said Weiss, who we're pretty sure mentioned single digits earlier in the year.

Enis Taner agreed the fundamental story with JCP is horrible but asserted, "Sentiment here is completely washed out," and it might be due for a pop. Josh Brown, evidently forgetting that the show is called Fast Money, scoffed that only day traders or very short-term traders could gain on a stock like this; "it's not due for a technical pop." Taner noted that he's the only one on Tuesday's panel suggesting the stock isn't grim death.

Joe Terranova said, "I bought TJX."

Grom's picks were M, KSS, JWN, COST, and according to screen text he rates TGT a buy, JCP and SKS and WMT holds.

Almost an entire episode without mention of AAPL

Dan Niles, always an A-list CNBC guest, had little explosive to offer in the way of PC (that's "personal computer," not "politically correct") commentary on Tuesday's Halftime Report.

The Microsoft report is merely "another data point," Niles said, but most significant, he said, is that "PC units this year will be down year-over-year for the first time since the tech bubble burst in 2000."

Niles pointed to the network infrastructure and he is invested in ERIC, JNPR, CIEN and JDSU and is looking at CSCO.

Stephen Weiss called the departure of Windows 8 "architect" Steven Sinofsky "disastrous" and said the stocks to watch are QCOM and SWKS. Joe Terranova mentioned CRUS, "a name I bought today."

Enis Taner said it had been the case where the "tide" (not Alabama football) was lifting everything in tech, but now buyers must be "much more discriminating about value."

Josh Brown first claimed that in tech, "the larger the names, the less attractive they are," but then endorsed Weiss' QCOM, admitting it's a larger market cap than INTC.

Joe Terranova said he disagreed with Brown, that AAPL and IBM are large names you want to own, "unless you believe this is '08 all over again."

Can’t avoid another HD discussion, but at least avoided the generator discussion

Josh Brown said a couple times on Tuesday's Halftime Report that HD has done well, but "I think Lowe's is a more compelling opportunity ... retesting that breakout around 32."

Stephen Weiss complained that HD is trading at 21 times forward earnings; "you're getting to uncharted territory." Enis Taner agreed; "I think Home Depot's priced for perfection."

Brown added that LOW is a "more contractor-skewed business" than HD; his Final Trade was, "this stock should catch up to Home Depot."

Stephen Weiss, asked to opine about Carl Icahn's interest in railcar maker GBX, instead spoke about the railroads, specifically UNP (yes) and CSX (yes) and NSC (no), calling them "basically a monopoly ... I like the group, the question is where do you get in."

Josh Brown pointed out that GBX and the railroads are "2 very different stories" and said he agreed on UNP but that CSX is a "more difficult" story.

Anthony Grisanti plans to time 10-year trade to the second

Sweet Jackie DeAngelis and her futures duo of Anthony Grisanti and Rich Ilczyszyn tackled Treasurys on Tuesday's Halftime Report.

"The day the deal is done, the day, the hour, the second that deal is done, I'm selling bond futures," Grisanti said.

Ilczyszyn said that when it comes to 10-year rates shifting on government talks, "We've seen this movie before," specifically the debt ceiling, when it fell to 1.4%.

Geoffrey Dennis said he thinks global equities can rise next year maybe 10-15% from where they are now, and most significantly called China an "extremely cheap market ... good long-term play from here."

Enis Taner cautioned that emerging markets from 1950 to 2000 underperformed.

Somehow Joe, and not Josh, gets the Fast Fire on CVX

Josh Brown on Tuesday's Halftime Report said of FB, "Right now I'm not buying." Enis Taner, though, was in contrarian mode, saying, "I'm actually potentially gonna buy a call spread on this."

But Taner also said "I like Yahoo," admitting that the favorable sentiment toward that name makes him a "little nervous."

Speaking of negative sentiment, Stephen Weiss said "I'm short AK Steel," calling it a "bad story gettin' worse." Joe Terranova mentioned SWN.

Terranova also suffered a Fast Fire on CVX; telling Judge Wapner, "I am still holding it; it was not an absolute call, it was more in the context of oil itself and the overall market."

The odd thing about that is that Terranova was nowhere near as effusive on that name as Josh Brown (also on Tuesday's show) was on Aug. 17, price at $112, saying, "This is one of the most obvious layup breakouts I've seen in a long time ... there's nothing in this thing's way."

Stephen Weiss was also hung out to dry on the Floyd Trade, long HK, admitting "My point of entry was horrendous," but insisting holders will eventually make money; "only the price has changed, not the story," and made that his Final Trade.

Brown said "I would avoid" MNST. Joe Terranova didn't say "I like Dick's" as Stephen Weiss once did but did reveal, "I bought that today."

Terranova's Final Trade was CP. Enis Taner said LLY.

[Monday, November 12, 2012]

JCP is so bad, Karen actually had to buy some shares

In what has proved to be perhaps the best occasional Fast Money feature of the year — various panelists opining on JCPenney news — Karen Finerman dubbed the most recent argument of Ron Johnson "salesmany."

The notion of valuing the company like a specialty mall REIT "seemed very desperate to me. The plan isn't working," Finerman said.

Yet, being short, and seeing such a stock collapse Monday, Finerman revealed, "We had to cover some today."

Dennis Gartman, with a little too much hyperbole, claimed, "It reminds me of the Republican Party. It doesn't know who it is anymore and it's appealing to a group that it doesn't- is anybody 18 to 25 gonna go into that, to that company and buy anything, of course not."

Mel Lee, in her striking white top with narrowing collar, suggested Gartman was only bringing up the political analogy because Anthony Scaramucci was sitting nearby. No, "I'm a good Republican," Gartman claimed.

We don't want to get too political here except to say that despite weak returns last week, the Republican Party still has a lot more juice than does JCP, and that presidential elections are a lot like NFL playoff wins — often contrarian indicators as to what happens next.

The difference, if any, between megacaps and big tech

Stephen Suttmeier told Monday's Fast Money crew that successful investing these days is about "keeping it simple," and then proceeded to make it anything but.

First Suttmeier claimed the 200-day is around 1,280, before correcting himself into some apparent prediction of the S&P 500 falling 1,370 to 1,340 before gaining into year-end; "seasonally we should be getting that rally right about now."

Those clear on that — we should be around 1,380, it could fall another 40 points, then we're getting a rally that already should be starting right now — then had to digest Suttmeier's curious distinction between megacaps ("this could be an oversold area") and big tech ("they may be at a good level to buy") after Suttmeier clumsily insisted to Karen Finerman's good question that megacaps across all sectors are the thing to buy.

Suttmeier told Tim Seymour that the commodities index is demonstrating a "head-and-shoulders bottom here" and seems poised to pop in its "secular bull market."

Frack away!

Sharon Epperson is rarely on Fast Money; perhaps that explains why Monday's Nasdaq cameraman looked like he could've used some practice reps.

Epperson discussed the recently developing thesis that the United States is going to energy independence by 2035 and might even be churning out more oil than Saudi Arabia by 2020.

Dennis Gartman finds those timelines bogus. "I'm not buying it because they're way too- they're far out in the future. We're gonna be energy-independent far faster than they- than the IEA thinks it's gonna happen," Gartman said, suggesting North America will achieve that by 2020, and asserting that in North Dakota, "they're only getting started."

Gartman said that in fact, if we don't have enough refining capacity, "We could be an exporter of crude and natural gas."

Karen Finerman, in a tour de force afternoon, asked the best question of the discussion, whether Gartman's belief is based on a "major shift into natural gas usage." Gartman indicated yes, "It's gonna be a combination of crude oil and nat gas."

"It's liquids though ... this is absolutely fact," Tim Seymour butted in.

Gartman a couple times got overly complicated in mentioning contango but said he could see natural gas under $4 for a long time.

Finerman concluded, "All of that together should be wildly bullish for the U.S. economy. Wildly."

Gartman said every car replacement people make requires less fuel; "My 1966 Plymouth Valiant got 12" mpg. Tim Seymour said the play on that is TS (he's not referring to his own initials).

Steve Grasso decided it "sounds like you continue to sell coal." Dennis Gartman later insisted, "China's still the question in coal ... I think coal's probably cheap."

Whew — another day without generator talk

Anthony Scaramucci, evidently done with politics for a while, said on Monday's Fast Money that he's been "noticing a lot of beta adjustments going on in most hedge-fund portfolios where more risk is being taken right now," people "migrating into equities."

Bryan Gildenberg said that in the aftermath of Sandy, look to HD, which he said does an "extraordinarily good job" in these situations. Gildenberg said to be wary of retailers with NYC exposure, but he touted 3 of the usual subjects, TJX, ROST and JWN, and said JCP's struggles are helpful to KSS and M.

Karen Finerman said, "Still like Macy's. M."

Tim Seymour said the issue surrounding the drop in LUK on its JEF deal is that "maybe they had no choice."

Karen Finerman said pops such as that in GILD are great but it's hard to pick the 1 big winner; "I'd much rather be in the XBI or the IBB."

Steve Grasso said that even though SHW was up, he expects to see a "little more on the sell side."

Scott Nations said that curiously on Monday the puts in FB got a lot more expensive and so the notion it was up on short covering "makes a lot of sense." Nations also said someone sold 3,500 February 95 calls in CAT for a break-even of $96.40.

Jane Wells totally unprepared for Tim Seymour’s question on repatriating cash

Monday's Fast Money brought a treat for viewers in the form of CNBC's California Sensation, Jane Wells, delivering a "West Coast Wrap" of news that quite frankly didn't seem that germane to the West Coast (but whatever).

Wells mentioned that foreign governments are on the warpath about collecting perceived owed taxes by multinational corporations, making a joke about fiddling and prompting Karen Finerman to note that they know how to "fiddle" over there.

Tim Seymour interrupted the gags to (too-)seriously ask Wells if it's not a good thing to have foreign governments targeting corporations, who then might be more inclined to repatriate their cash to the U.S. Wells, caught off-guard, hesitantly said "maybe," and eventually said it would just mean less money for the companies and more for the governments, then rushed too quickly into the next feature and triggered some dead air.

Amelia Bourdeau, who looks very. Good. On. Television, suggested shorting euro/Aussie at 1.2185.

Steve Grasso proclaimed, "Stocks that break out to new highs tend to make higher highs," and said that seems to be the case with YHOO, advising people to "buy 20%" now and the rest later. "I'd be a buyer of the CEO," Grasso said.

Scott Nations' Final Trade was long YHOO, for its "great CEO."

Karen Finerman wasn't buying AVP. "The turnaround story hasn't worked yet ... the stock is not cheap here ... wouldn't be a buyer," Finerman said.

Tim Seymour's Final Trade differed curiously from the screen text, with Seymour saying long EEM/short SPY, while the screen said buy JOYG (it's actually JOY now). Dennis Gartman said to short the yen and buy the Aussie. Karen Finerman reiterated covering JCP and Steve Grasso said to buy GOOG and watch the 655 level.

Apparently annoyed by AAPL-demise scuttlebutt, Dennis Gartman inserts the word ‘disappear’

Dennis Gartman, in a rare appearance at the Nasdaq, defended Apple's place in the business world on Monday's Fast Money, only to tangle with Mel Lee over the word "disappear."

"To say that it's the end of the Apple age is like saying that General Motors was at the end of its age in 1929 or 1942," Gartman said, adding that "to think that GM was gonna disappear" soon after 1945 was "ludicrous."

Lee insisted, in instigating this discussion, that "I don't think anybody's saying that it'll disappear," but maybe the stock run is in "jeopardy."

Tim Seymour said AAPL has been "one of the most crowded trades we've ever seen."

Karen Finerman said there's a difference between the stock and the underlying business, then admitted, "at the end of the day," she has to care about the stock.

Finerman stressed, "I have not sold stock. Uh, you know, we are absolutely still long," but then Tim Seymour asked the question of the day, whether she's buying. "I'm not at the moment," Finerman admitted.

Lee said she wasn't trying to make fun of Gannett, but ABC is questioning AAPL's slide too, but maybe Michael Wolff's article is a sign "everybody's caught on" and it's a "contrarian time to buy the stock."

Steve Grasso took the opposite approach. "I'm tired of it ... The iPhone, not good enough. Sentiment terrible, I'd be a seller," Grasso said. "I'd rather be a buyer of Google than Apple here."

Tim Seymour was more iffy than Chris Christie on the presidential election, cautioning that a lot of people are still up on AAPL for the year and might still sell, but asserting, "This is a great place to buy a great company."

Mel's new white show-stopping top is more than enough to carry this page Monday, but then the camera countered with Karen's dazzling navy-white ensemble, so we'll have to show both and leave it at that.

More from Monday's Fast Money later.

Doug Kass: Buy AAPL

Joe Terranova began Monday's Halftime Report discussion of Michael Wolff's Apple article questioning if Wolff identifies the competition.

"I don't think he does," Terranova said, adding, "I wanna buy Apple down here."

That brought in newfound AAPL buyer Doug Kass, who spent several minutes making nothing more than a valuation call.

At $700, "the stock was priced to perfection," Kass said. "I'm not as concerned about global economic growth as I was in September," he added, and, conceding Guy Adami's suggestion that the "cool factor" of AAPL products suddenly might be wearing off, stressed, "I'm assuming that there's no improving in margins."

Pete Najarian said he'd buy the stock. "Yes. Absolutely. No hesitation," he said.

Herb Greenberg scoffed at the gains in RIMM; "why would anybody buy the stock on this news." Jon Najarian indicated the competition is fierce; "there's a lot of great devices," and that it's "ludicrous" for Research in Motion to be pushing its latest to January.

Judge fails to convince Dr. J that fiscal cliff stalemate isn’t the president’s fault

Guy Adami said on Monday's Halftime Report that he actually sees "some reason for optimism" given the S&P holding around 1,380 and the VIX sluggish.

There's "real opportunity here," Adami said.

Jon Najarian though faulted the occupant of the White House, urging him to "step up and be a leader," and complaining that "nobody's trading" until that happens.

"It's not only on the president Doc," protested Judge Wapner, who didn't find a pushover this time, as Najarian insisted, "It is! It is! It is Judge! ... You have to make a deal Judge."

Pete Najarian said there are "always opportunities out there," which he said right now includes big pharma, "oversold last week," and money-center banks."

Joe Terranova said, "I think you stay cautious."

IBM somehow mentioned as a way to avoid Europe recession

Chad Morganlander twice said "at this point in time" on Monday's Halftime Report in stressing a U.S.-centric portfolio of 43% equities, 7% gold and 50% high-grade bonds, and warned viewers to avoid high-beta as we prepare for "recession in Europe in 2013."

Morganlander said AAPL represents "very good opportunity," and so does WMT.

But he got tripped up by Guy Adami's excellent question as to how U.S. names such as YUM and IBM are really immune to overseas trouble. Morganlander conceded it's "impossible ... to make that distinction," but the point is, "you don't want to be exposed to currency fluctuation."

Later, Pete Najarian took a Fast Fire of sorts for his pro-IBM call around $200. "I still like the name ... yes, I like the name," Najarian said.

Guy Adami concurred. "189 and change is pretty interesting," Adami said. Jon Najarian added, "188, 190, I think it's a good buy there."

Todd Gordon said to take profits on his long-euro call at 1.27, and now it's time to "go short euro through the 1.27 level."

Pete tells Judge it’s a ‘bit early’ to think JCP will be gone in a couple years

Jon Najarian stated the obvious about JCP on Monday's Halftime Report, explaining, "This one's going the wrong direction ... the vultures are circling."

Najarian said the February 15 puts were heavy, making him think that might be a decent level. Judge Wapner bluntly asked Pete Najarian if JCPenney's existence in a "couple years" is something to consider.

It's "probably a little bit early for that," Pete said, before adding, "23% of their revenue's coming from clearance items."

Joe Terranova suggested 3 retailers to watch; URBN, GPS and of course LTD, "Can't go wrong there." Terranova also said to "stay long" SHW, with a 140 stop.

Judge Wapner said he didn't go shopping on Black Friday or the Thursday before and doesn't plan to.

Pete Najarian, who just announced a program Saturday (see below) on Disney-owned ESPN, said of DIS, "I like this name a lot ... great opportunity."

Pete takes profits on winners

Joe Terranova said on Monday's Halftime Report that dividend stocks are OK as long as the tax rate ranges from 20-25%.

Pete Najarian said the other argument made by some, getting out of dividend stocks in advance of the cliff, is "ludicrous," though Pete admitted that in his stock portfolio, "I've sold off some of the names where I've actually done fairly well."

Joe Terranova said MSFT is now "an income story" and also suggested CRUS and SWKS. Guy Adami said, "I do like Microsoft here." Pete Najarian said Windows 8 will be better than people think.

Terranoa said "I like the management change" at C and said of MS, "that's a name I'd own."

Adami: Buy CAT, eye today’s low

Jon Najarian said on Monday's Halftime Report that GILD options are hot; "they're betting this move continues." Guy Adami said GILD and CELG are both great, but "Celgene still has more upside."

Pete Najarian said there was "a lot of option activity" in LLY, and made that his Final Trade.

Jon Najarian said the JEF now is a "great story really."

Guy Adami said CAT looks like a buy; "use today's low ... to be long the stock." Adami also said TIE is "worth a look."

Judge Wapner got chuckles when he said the latest James Bond movie sold "tickets galore." Pete Najarian said Simon Hobbs attended high school (not sure what they call it in the U.K.) with Daniel Craig. Guy Adami suggested they could put Simon in a Bond movie and call him "R."

Jon Najarian's Final Trade was CCL; the screen text said to buy, but in referencing puts, Najarian sounded like he was calling it a sell. Joe Terranova said GS and Guy Adami said COST.

Ex-N.Y. Giant Phil McConkey and Chance Mims, of Academy Securities, urged employers to hire veterans. McConkey added, "At 55, I think I can go out and get open in the NFL today."

Pete absolutely knocks one out of the park in Army-Rutgers broadcast

Thanks to the promo from Jon Najarian on Friday's Halftime Report, we happened to catch Pete Najarian's color commentary of the Army-Rutgers game Saturday on ESPNU.

Demonstrating typical impeccable diction and a remarkable degree of preparation, Pete called this game like a 10-year veteran of the booth.

Prior to Saturday, this site couldn't have reported a single fact about either team, other than the fact Army is generally regarded as a "W" on most teams' schedules. Most of the audience for this game was likely the Rutgers community that wasn't already in attendance. Najarian and play-by-play man Joe Beninati successfully "sold" the matchup to channel-surfers with an enthusiastic and fair description throughout of what Army was capable of doing.

Pete even bailed out Beninati on a rare bungle, when, moments after Najarian had already likened Rutgers' Jawan Jamison to former Rutgers great Ray Rice, Beninati for some reason asked Pete to compare Jamison to a present college running back; Pete deftly revisited that subject after a score and suggested Pitt's Ray Graham.

Yes, Pete did overdo it on the "absolutely," there were 5 in the first 9 minutes and 7 in the first half-hour. ("Outstanding" got a little run into the ground also, but who's counting.)

Calling Army's Trent Steelman "one of the best you'll ever see" at running the option was probably a stretch. Pete whiffed on first overly diagnosing the twisted ankle of Army's Larry Dixon ("gonna be very difficult to come back from") and then failing to question if Dixon should've indeed returned to the game after Dixon fumbled in the 3rd quarter.

Pete did suggest too early (start of 2nd quarter) that Rutgers, down 7-0, was starting to wear down the Army defense before quickly adding it was only the 2nd drive of the day. Najarian at halftime trumpeted Army's "unbelievable" execution when he should've been questioning how it only got 7 points (and the drawbacks of such minimal production) out of so many yards. And neither Pete nor Beninati adequately offered a theory through 3 quarters why Rutgers was having so much trouble scoring against a 2-7 team. Najarian also was a step slow in criticizing (actually it was more like barely mentioning the difficulty of gaining 8 yards vs. 3) a delay-of-game lapse by Army on a key 3rd down.

Only in the 3rd quarter was there a hint of Pete's financial background, in a curious segment titled "Stock Up, Stock Down" when in fact Pete's specialty, like Army's, is the option; non-CNBC viewers had to be wondering what the heck Pete does in his day job.

Viewers did learn Army actually has a player named after Marcus Dupree.

Fast Money seems excellent training for sports broadcasting, forcing commentators to be prepared for live television and speak clearly in soundbites. If there's a criticism of Pete on Fast Money it's that his commentary is not always particularly "colorful." Though not shy about expressing disagreement, this is someone who, more than anyone else on the show, sticks tightly to the remarks for which he's well-prepared and engages in miminal (at most) ad-libbing or impromptu debates. That goes a long way to avoiding trouble but also limits the "edge" broadcasters must express to stand out from the pack. Effective television requires rapport. Rock-solid on Saturday, Najarian and Beninati are highly capable of calling bigger games with a flourish that should emerge if they gain a little more familiarity with each other's shtick.

Rutgers won, 28-7.

[Friday, November 9, 2012]

Ralph Acampora seems to barely notice that there was an election this week

You know Fast Money's transition to generic stock-picking show is in high gear when veterans of Louis Rukeyser's "Wall $treet Week" such as Ralph Acampora are brought on to make market calls, as was the case on Friday's Halftime Report.

Acampora said he appreciated that it's (purportedly) a fast-money type of show, but "I'm long-term in my outlook," and "I am a secular bull."

Acampora said March 2009 was a "generational bottom," and he thinks the present market will experience a "washout" that might be "painful," but "short-lived," and then the upward march will resume.

He said this correction is "actually healthy long-term."

Somehow, Acampora didn't understand Judge Wapner's question about whether his market outlook has changed with Obama's victory; "not sure what you mean by that," but after Judge rephrased, admitted it's a "good question" and said it's refreshing that the "kicking sand in each other's face" for months is now over.

Acampora said "the fixed-income market looks like a bubble to me" but stressed that bubbles can expand for a long time.

He said financials "look fabulous long-term."

Jeff Kilburg said the 10-year's in a range from 1.60-1.85 but for the first time in a long time, "I am short," though he expects yields under 2% the rest of the year.

JCP might actually be underperforming AAPL for the last 6 weeks

Jon Najarian noted on Friday's Halftime that at JCP, "they've basically gone all in with Ron Johnson," and then in a bit of understatement added, "Thus far it's not paying off."

Joe Terranova noted that "short interest is incredibly high" but stressed, "there's no reason to believe in a fundamental bullish turn here."

Brian Kelly made a fair point, that maybe sellers at this level have it wrong. "If anything around 20 it seems to be getting support ... I would not be a seller at these levels," Kelly said.

Jon Najarian said DDS, KSS and TGT are names that will benefit from JCP's struggles.

Mitt win worth 50 points

Heartened by Friday morning's gains, Joe Terranova suggested on the Halftime Report that stocks were "finding a trough ... Tuesday if we're still here, I think you've got a bottom."

JJ Kinahan said (snicker) "we're seeing people step up to the plate" in Washington, evidenced by John Boehner's "olive branch," and that there was a "buying opportunity" in AAPL.

Jon Najarian said that "sector rotation" is going on.

David Bianco said he's hopeful of a deal and that P.E. expansion next year is possible, provided there's a dividend tax policy "that goes no higher than 25%." Bianco said he moved his year-end S&P target down 25 points from 1,475, rather than up 25, because Barack won instead of Mitt.

Button, button, who’s got the button

Apparently designed to promote bipartisanship, Friday's Halftime Report brought together Anthony Scaramucci and Whitney Tilson to see if they could agree on some fiscal cliff scenarios.

Scaramucci said John Boehner is looking at a 3-to-1 spending cut vs. revenue hike. Tilson suggested the final plan could be increased taxes, closing of deductions such as high-end mortgage interest, and possibly some movement on entitlements.

Tilson claimed, "I love the fiscal cliff," because it's a "forcing mechanism."

Once again, nobody on CNBC asked Tilson about education reform.

Scaramucci likened the fiscal cliff to the trash compactor in "Star Wars" and said one possible good outcome would be the "death of sacred cows." (And this is the episode the castaways manage to get off the island.)

Terranova: QCOM toward 70

In a day of understatements, Brian Kelly said on Friday's Halftime Report that if you're interested in AAPL, you might start with 1/3 of your position today; "the company isn't going out of business."

Joe Terranova said "Qualcomm's headed toward 70," then hammered GRPN estimates and the "lousy job by the analysts on calling this one." Terranova also mentioned WFM but admitted, "I am not in it right now."

Jon Najarian said of NFLX, "I don't think you chase it here."

JJ Kinahan said it "seems incredible" to think there wouldn't be a fiscal cliff compromise, and suggested the XHB rather than a name like PHM.

Brian Kelly said "at 14, I'd probably get out" of IGT.

Money in Motion fox Rebecca Patterson recommended buying euro/yen at 100.60 with a target 104.50.

Who knows why Harold Ford has been making the rounds on stock-picking shows this week, but Ford said John Boehner "left the door open for new revenue."

Brian Kelly's Final Trade was GLD. Joe Terranova said CVBF, JJ Kinahan said HD and Jon Najarian said VRA, as well as mentioning Pete's announcing gig Saturday for the Rutgers-Army game.

Courtney Reagan unfortunately suggested Sandy could be the "Grinch" this Christmas. Jon Najarian was heard uttering after one commercial break, "It's a family show."

[Thursday, November 8, 2012]

Guy Adami: Possible 20-point spike in S&P on Friday

Ever the trader, Guy Adami told Thursday's Fast Money it "would not surprise me at all if you got some piece of data that took the S&P up 15 to 20 handles, and it left everybody leaving on a Friday with not really knowing where to go."

"We should bounce off this support tomorrow," Adami declared.

Keith McCullough didn't disagree with that assessment, saying stocks looked to be oversold while the VIX was overbought. But, McCullough stressed, "there is no catalyst," and while he thinks 1,419 is doable, "eventually, in the next couple weeks, we test 1,362."

Karen Finerman singled out the "weakness in consumer discretionary" and concluded, "I thought it was way overdone," predicting a "decent" holiday season despite what happened in retailers Thursday. "We bought some more Macy's today," Finerman said.

Jon Najarian said coal and financials got an election hammering that "I think has been severe," and that it's not a 1-day event.

Which OSK employees were able to call Carl Icahn?

Carl Icahn on Thursday once again used Fast Money as a way to 1) dodge questions about his ultimate goal while 2) complaining about corporate boards, this time with NFLX and OSK.

The Netflix poison pill, Icahn said, "makes a travesty of corporate governance," and then he took it further, saying the "trouble with our country ... we're not competitive" because of our corporate boards.

Icahn said of Netflix, "I think it is sort of in play," and if put up for sale would be the "mother of all auctions," at least, "I think it was, uh, Tilson that said it."

Pressed repeatedly by Melissa Lee as to what price he thinks it should get and whether he'd attempt a hostile, Icahn repeatedly begged off. "I don't have anything definite at this point ... I think the company's worth a lot more than what it sells for."

Lee, to her credit, didn't give up, asking about a hostile, to which Icahn admitted, "The thought has certainly entered my mind ... we haven't made that decision yet ... it certainly is one alternative," before conceding, "I wouldn't be able to pay what a synergistic buyer would pay ... I think it's worth a great deal more."

But he refused to give a number or comment on Lee's suggestion of $100 a share.

Icahn downplayed the presence of Amazon in this market. "I'm not sure that you can build the business that easily," he said, twice mentioning "27 million subscribers," and, in rather clumsy commentary about Netflix's strengths throughout, suggested it's assured prime "placement on those smart TVs."

It's a different story with OSK, Icahn said, claiming, "I got calls from several employees saying I'm right on."

He said, "I don't think it's the same thing as Netflix ... it's got very poor management."

Icahn made a macro Brag Trade, saying he's been "negative for the last month or 2 ... the fiscal cliff is not a binary thing."

‘I think we have a long way to go on the downside’

Elliott Wave guy Steve Hochberg, like most of the Fast Money panel on Thursday, indicated relief bounces are likely on the way. But unlike most of the others (with the possible exception of Guy Adami), Hochberg asserted that the Wednesday-Thursday meltdown is just the beginning of something fierce.

"We think the market is rolling over," Hochberg said, mentioning 1,266, but stressing a couple times it won't be a straight shot down, but rather we'll "stairstep and work our way lower."

Guy Adami said Hochberg didn't have to put his own reputation on the line but just wanted to know what the Wave's lower bound is for the S&P 500. Hochberg didn't specifically answer except to say, "Longer-term it's going way down ... I think we have a long way to go on the downside."

But there's hope for GOOG holders. "The larger trend for Google is down," Hochberg said, explaining, "We're in the 5th wave of this decline," which should culminate in a "pretty good countertrend rebound ... once this 5th wave ends, you're gonna have an ABC rally."

A lot of people sure think AAPL looks great, but aren’t buying

Jon Najarian, like everyone on the Halftime Report, said on Thursday's Fast Money that AAPL is "getting very, very tempting here," and he's particularly intrigued by the 540 level.

Guy Adami claimed 575 was actually AAPL support for about a (grand total of a) day, and that he thinks the 530 level from May 18 will be the "next sort of line in the sand."

Karen Finerman said she's sticking with the stock and isn't sure about the selloff; "I just think it's a lot of noise."

Mike Khouw said 540 AAPL weekly puts were the most active for a change, but "30 to 60 days from now, could be poised for a rebound I think."

Keith McCullough said you can own a name like QCOM, that is beating, "all day long."

Karen Finerman and Melissa Lee got a chance to check out each other's sizzling dress; Karen also did something new with her hair.

Looks like 4 more years of those wonderful resources going untapped

Guest John Richels of Devon Energy, whose stock is around a 52-week low, began his Fast Money appearance Thursday by rehashing the 2nd presidential debate.

"Over the last 4 years we really haven't seen the president and the administration do the kind of things that would allow us as an industry really to, uh, take advantage of those wonderful resources that we're sitting on here in, in the U.S.," Richels said.

Guy Adami, noting the stock performance and allowing for its link to nat gas, asked a great question, whether Devon needs to better communicate its story to the Street. Richels took a pass, only saying the company has "just gotta stick to our strategy ... oil growth has actually been very, very good."

Mike Khouw sounded convinced by Richels' presentation, saying he was short and "covered that short today," and, "actually I'm thinking about buying it here."

Melissa Lee said natural gas is "one of the wealths" of this country.

Guest actually suggests solar as a play on the Obama victory

Tom Lydon outlined 3 Obama Trades on Thursday's Fast Money (other than, apparently based on the last 2 days, selling the whole market) and came up with IYH and GEX, or health care and alternative energy.

Mel Lee said the prospect of owning solar stocks is "a little frightening." Lydon stressed that there are risky names in the sector.

Lydon's 3rd pick was GLD, which didn't get any discussion.

Marc Dreier's lawyer, Ross Kramer, found himself an instant celeb on length of prison sentences for financial crimes as CNBC promotes the heck out of its Dreier documentary Thursday night.

Jon Najarian said CMG was falling mostly because of the pops it had experienced recently. Karen Finerman said KSS was caught up in the bad day of the market. Guy Adami suggested looking for WFM around its July lows of "around 85 bucks." Mike Khouw said rumors that WLL would get a takeover from Statoil were dismissed, and if you own the stock, "I'd be selling those calls."

Keith McCullough's Final Trade was long FDX. Guy Adami said ESRX, Karen Finerman said PACD and Jon Najarian said SLV.

China — Too big to fail!

Michelle Caruso-Cabrera on Thursday's Halftime Report delivered an excellent, concise report for all of us China novices as to the succession situation and personalities involved, saying Xi Jinping is "said to be a good friend of Hank Paulson."

Uh oh.

On the other hand, MCC said Li Keqiang is "far more interested in social welfare."

China watcher John Rutledge explained, "This is tightly organized theater," and that the real decisions as to Chinese leaders was made by a group in the "hundreds, not in the single digits."

"There are 3 factions in play," Rutledge said, referring to Jiang Zemin, who supposedly was on his deathbed but "he's made a resurgence," and figureheads the "intensely business-oriented group," and we can remember actually when Jiang was supposedly going to secretly pull strings on the military after Hu officially took over.

Rutledge said Chinese "growth news" is "better than it was, say, 6 months ago."

Given a teed-up football by Judge Wapner, Stephen Weiss delighted in mocking Rutledge's ongoing opinion. "We weren't expecting him to have his own once-in-a-decade change, so, he's remaining bullish. He's been bullish for a long time," Weiss said. But Weiss, who said he doesn't care about hard or soft landings, said he expects leaders to grease some of the moving parts with a "little bit of stimulus" in the short term, but the bigger picture is, "it's continuing to slow."

Stephanie Link asserted that "a lot of stocks were priced for a hard landing." Joe Terranova suggested HOT and FCX as China plays.

1,363 — or 1,319

Robert Pavlik, not normally on Fast Money/Halftime, told Thursday's Halftime Report gang that, like everyone else, he sees a dip to 1,380, but then, "I think eventually that number probably gets blown through," to the extent of a "correction in the neighborhood of 7-10%."

Which brings us to 1,363, or in the worse-case, 1,319.

However, in a bit of an ambiguous call, Pavlik indicated November would be rough but that he expects a year-end rally on presumed "headway" on the fiscal cliff.

Furthermore, in tech, "I think by this time next year you're gonna see these stocks substantially higher," Pavlik said.

Josh Brown said, "I'm not a huge fan of the tech story right now," but endorsed the notion of a 10% drop, which Brown said would be great for many buyers. "I think Bob's got the right idea ... gift for a lot of stocks."

Josh Brown says he likes Stephanie’s idea but actually endorses Joe’s idea

The Halftime Report gang never seemed to realize on Thursday that what they were really debating is the extent that individual stocks are getting caught up in the overall selloff.

Stephen Weiss indicated the broader market rules, "I'm really doin' nothing."

Joe Terranova said, "I wanna look at Apple. Obviously Apple is very compelling to me down around 530, 540 ... should be rebounding. It's not. That's problematic." Terranova then added, as everyone else did, that "1,380, I think that's the next stop."

Josh Brown declared to Judge Wapner, "I don't hide," but at the same time, "I don't see a lot of risk/reward that I like."

Stephanie Link-Cramer issued a rare Brag Trade, saying "we sold into that" rally on Tuesday, specifically WY and HD, and now would "love to buy those back," and also would be "buying the FXI" as well as EMR.

Arguing that some companies have had good earnings, Link-Cramer ran into a rightly skeptical Terranova, tangling over whether those good companies can keep selling off.

Josh Brown, who doesn't hide, said, "I like Stephanie's idea," but wait until there's a "better entry point."

Stephen Weiss, who first said "I'm really doin' nothing," then admitted "I did add to BofA," and that he owns C, JPM and AIG, because "the financial story has not changed."

Porter Bibb: Gundlach ‘could not be more incorrect’

Yesterday Jeff Gundlach was trumpeting his AAPL short like either the New York Giants or Chicago Bears could've trumpeted 3rd quarter scores last week (take your pick for the ultimate outcome), but on Thursday's Halftime, Porter Bibb, the Reaganesque pundit of CNBC, called Gundlach's assessment of AAPL "crazy."

"I think he could not be more incorrect," Bibb said, saying "it's just the beginning" of a smartphone world, and the iPad is "just going through the roof."

Bibb said the shares are down as a "reflection of the overall macro economic situation," but, pointing to Apple TV, the notion that the company isn't innovative is "crazy."

Likewise, Paul Meeks — who honestly was 1 too many guests for this segment — said, "I like the fact that the company's innovating," and he thinks the selloff has been "really exaggerated" and that there "should be a nice recovery in the name."

Rather naively, Meeks said you "can't really worry about what's gonna happen in the short term."

"You can if the stock goes down to 425 bucks," fired back Judge Wapner.

Bibb chimed in, "There's no question that they know what they're doing."

Stephanie Link-Cramer, in her 2nd Brag Trade of the day, said, "We sold some on Monday, and we're already up on that trade," and cautioned that the guidance might be conservative, or it might be the "new normal."

Joe Terranova hemmed and hawed as he did all day on this subject, declaring, "4 and a quarter's not gonna happen" and that he will buy, but he's "waiting."

Stephen Weiss said QCOM is "agnostic" to AAPL and Samsung and is "just a phenomenal story." Stephanie Link-Cramer said she likes BRCM in part because it trades at a discount to QCOM, which Weiss said should be the case.

Joe Terranova made an interesting observation, that "Qualcomm now has a higher valuation marketcap than Intel," though we think at least by day's end it's a dead heat.

Herb says GMCR brewer presentation is only half-full

Josh Brown on Thursday's Halftime Report said LEG "is a really good stock" that flies under the radar because of its low-key furniture parts business.

That prompted Herb Greenberg to utter a term we weren't familiar with, "dividend aristocrat," referring to LEG or any other company with a 30-year-plus record of dividend hikes.

Greenberg predicted, regarding LEG's move-up of a December payout, "You're gonna see other companies stand in line and do the same thing."

But Herb was really on board Thursday to talk about another GMCR brewer and whether SBUX is a friend or foe, and in the end we weren't really sure what he was advocating.

Stephen Weiss said that in GMCR, the "risk/reward is too, is too balanced for me," and that the SBUX-GMCR situation is like AAPL and DELL.

Joe Terranova said GMCR is lacking the "passive marginal buyer."

It’s about time to start hearing about the Costco Gas-Pump Trade

Jackie DeAngelis — whose brunette locks should've made this site's Mount Rushmore of CNBC Hair® but somehow didn't — introduced a gasoline go-round on Thursday's Halftime, with Anthony Grisanti saying lower gasoline had its chance, but "I'm afraid that window is closing rapidly."

Rich Ilczyszyn said you can put it in the bank on the 3-year chart, "ya buy it in November, sell it in May ... seasonal guys are starting to buy now."

Stephanie Link-Cramer said the JPM news "actually kind of puts the London whale situation to bed," and then cited her favorite no longer relevant metric, "trading at 1.1 times tangible book, it's very attractive," which, strictly on that metric, means Jackie DeAngelis must be trading at about 0.18 times tangible book.

Joe Terranova said he's not quite interested in WFM because he "just did not like the guidance." Josh Brown said the gun stocks "keep working," and that "Sturm Ruger would appear to be the cheaper one," but for SWHC, "above 11 is where the magic happens."

Kathy Lien, who is cute, said "Greece made a deal with the devil," and taking the other side of Todd Gordon's trade of a day ago, said to sell euro at 1.2715, with a stop at 1.29 and a pair of targets, 1.26 and 1.24.

Josh Brown's Final Trade curiously was AAPL, "might be a good time" to buy. Stephanie Link-Cramer said NWSA, Joe Terranova said DFS and Stephen Weiss said sell MCD.

[Wednesday, November 7, 2012]

Kick that can down to
President Biden Rubio

Tenneco chief Gregg Sherrill got off on the wrong foot on Wednesday's Fast Money by telling Mel Lee, "Good afternoon, Michelle."

"It's Melissa, Greg, that's OK," Lee said.

Sherrill said he wasn't going to stake his reputation on a fiscal cliff prediction, but, "The United States is fundamentally one solid budget deal away from establishing economic pre-eminence again."

Most significantly, Sherrill suggested one (you know it's inevitable) outcome could be a "temporary situation ... hopefully with some deadline in place."

Deadline? Don't count on that.

Election-mageddon: ‘We don’t have the Federal Reserve anymore’

A day after what was quite frankly an uneventful Election Day, Fast Money featured some long faces.

Brian Kelly headlined the overreactions in observing, "We don't have the Federal Reserve anymore ... nobody even cares that they're around anymore."

Steve Grasso claimed, to nods, "You know that taxes are going up," and Tim Seymour, wearing open collar for a change, postulated that "Liz Warren is gonna be on a warpath."

Guy Adami, rather coolly, pointed out that technicals still matter, particularly in the S&P, where "they've actually stood up extraordinarily well," and that 1,379 and 1,425 remain the boundaries of this "pretty defined range" that he expects will touch the bottom end.

Grasso said that coal names had been rising "based on a Romney victory ... they just turned 'em on their heels and sold the hell out of 'em today." Adami said that just because BAC fell doesn't mean it can't fall more, given previous times it has failed around the $10 mark.

Neel Kashkari said the day revolved around 2 factors, the "giant magnifying glass on the dysfunction in Washington," and Europe. Kashkari predicted that Washington could settle for a "mini-bargain," and (get ready to hear this 17 trillion times on CNBC in the next 2 months), "kick the can down the road," with GDP expectations not year probably not more than 1½ or 2%.

Kashkari said "we like Honda," because it's a "high-quality company," and then stressed that most importantly, it has "a lot of exposure to emerging markets." Then Tim Seymour felt compelled to chat him up on OHL, a Brazilian stock that very few Americans can probably even trade.

Mike Khouw said the options market on Wednesday featured "a lot bigger volume than we have been seeing."

Guy Adami says Apple ‘has no recurring revenue stream’

Steve Grasso on Wednesday's Fast Money was actually linking AAPL, of all stocks, to Meg Whitman-type-land.

"I'm more excited about Samsung than I am about Apple right now, and dare I say, 'value trap' is gonna be uttered in this name," Grasso said.

Grasso said the company claimed not to be concerned about margins but now is thinking about taking over those Intel chips, meaning they're either "concerned about it or not concerned about it."

Guy Adami made a controversial claim, "Apple has no recurring revenue stream," and then reiterated his favorite gadget argument; "when I was a kid in 1980, Sony was taking over the world."

"iTunes I would say is recurring," protested Tim Seymour, who seemed to think the stock's plunge was not the end of the world, and that when it comes to falling knife opportunities, there have only been "about 2 in the last 5 years ... this is about a crowded trade."

Guy Adami pointed out the hazards of shorting QCOM as an AAPL derivative; "it's not an Apple-specific story."

Khouw: Consider UNH

Steve Grasso pointed out on Wednesday's Fast Money that THC had suffered a headwind in "Romtober" that immediately started to undo itself on Wednesday.

But Grasso said of the hospital trade, "I would be locking in some sales here ... I think this is way too long in the tooth."

Mike Khouw said UNH seems like a "decent opportunity" and a "potential buy."

Brian Kelly said to "stay short" the XLF.

Todd Gordon said you would "expect to see the dollar on an absolute tear, you did not see it," and so he recommends going long euro at 1.27.

Mel Lee, who one-upped even Michelle Caruso-Cabrera with a fabulous red frock Wednesday, noted the terminology you're going to get for 2 months on CNBC; "cliff is for everything now."

Wednesday gives Stephen Weiss’ argument with Judge over which presidential party better for stocks new life

Jing Ulrich told Wednesday's Fast Money that China's growth is going to be much closer to 7.5% than the gaudy results of previous years, but that the Chinese economy is "beginning to find a floor."

Beijing, Ulrich said, is "not really launching a large-scale fiscal stimulus as we saw in 2009," adding that there's no longer a strongman and that the nation requires consensus among the new leaders.

Tim Seymour, never one to shy away from an emerging markets trade, said "I think Yum Brands has been revalidated," and mentioned CAT and CHL.

Brian Kelly suggested EWT.

Steve Grasso said 50% of all special dividends are announced in the 4th quarter and that he remains long WYNN, and while he wasn't sure if SYK is in that camp, he said to watch LVS (given that Sheldon Adelson no longer has to fund any SuperPACs).

"I like General Dynamics," said Tim Seymour, who cautioned "I'd stay away here" from AGU (this writer is long AGU).

Guy Adami said you can actually be long BBY provided you have a tight stop around 15.

Mike Khouw said that if you own TIF, "definitely look at selling calls." Khouw said someone bought a bunch of November 87.50 puts in XOM that expire in barely more than a week.

Khouw's Final Trade was CAT; Tim Seymour said WLT, Guy Adami said CSX, Steve Grasso said LVS and Brian Kelly said TLT.

Guy Adami claimed the tune "Sugar, Sugar" by "the Archies" was a smackdown of the Monkees for getting a big head, though the Wikipedia page indicates that not the case, and it sounds like another urban legend like what Tim Seymour said about the Mikey on Life cereal.

Gundlach: AAPL to $425

Wednesday's Halftime Report scored another coup with Jeff Gundlach, one of CNBC's best guests, who feels as emboldened by his AAPL-bear call right now as the Steelers' defense in the 4th quarter vs. the Giants.

Gundlach thinks the stock could slide to "about 425 I think ... I actually started shorting Apple back in April actually, about 610, so it's, sort of been right, sort of been wrong."

While this page doesn't doubt that there's a crest coming somewhere in the AAPL chart (phenomenal company, still primarily a phonemaker for stock purposes), Gundlach's rationale for continued plunge has been thin since he outlined his anecdotal-sentiment argument to Gary Kaminsky in September, a theme he reiterated Wednesday.

"It just seems to me that Apple," Gundlach said, "is just an over-believed stock. It’s one of these things where everywhere you go there’s an obsession with it and it seems like every meeting I have, everybody owns it. And the, the product innovator, as I’ve said over and over again, isn’t there anymore. And I’m really struck by this mini iPad thing. As if that’s any kind of a product innovation. You know, once you start just changing the size of your products, I really think you’re not exactly innovating. I wonder if they’re going to start coming out with the tutti-frutti mini iPad, where it comes out in different colors, as if that would be some sort of innovation..."

Gundlach isn't expecting a grand bargain in Washington. "I really don't think you're gonna get a compromise," he said, and in the understatement of the day, added, "I do think that it's possible this thing just gets punted down the road."

Gundlach said he sees "higher volatility in the market as a general theme."


The Greeks might have to turn some of those water cannons on Michelle’s scorching red dress

Joe Terranova, who totally gets what makes good television, flattered guest host Michelle Caruso-Cabrera on Wednesday's Halftime Report with a dress observation.

"You are wearing red in honor of Apple obviously," Terranova said, before tackling AAPL and suggesting that it's "between 530 and 555 where there's going to be a lot of pent-up demand," then concluding, "it is very appealing to me" (he was referring to the stock, not the dress, but could've meant both).

Later in the show, as MCC aired clips of Greece protests, Terranova said it goes back to when they were shining those "red laser pointers," only to have Michelle correct him and point out they were green.

"You wearing red is making me think of the red," Terranova explained.

Darren Chervitz, meanwhile, called the AAPL slide "not a pleasant experience," but claimed "we have sold the position all the way up ... I don't think you see much support until 530 or 500." Chervitz said he really won't be adding because at 7%, it's a "too large position."

Joe actually thought that Barack Obama and John Boehner might’ve stood together today and declared fiscal cliff accord

Joe Terranova indicated at the top of Wednesday's Halftime Report that perhaps he's been watching a few too many showings of "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington."

Mr. New World declared the reason for Wednesday's plunge "doesn't matter," then explained, "What should matter is what should've happened today. This country is deficient in common sense. At some point this morning, the speaker of the House, the president, should walked (sic) into a room and said the fiscal cliff that the- everyone's worried about, we're gonna get it done, walk out of the room if they did that, the S&P is unchanged on the day."

"Am I surprised? Yes, I am a bit surprised," Pete Najarian quizzed himself on the selloff.

Josh Brown, though, said, "We weren't surprised ... in late October we took exposure off ... the news we heard out of Germany was pretty bad."

Enis Taner asserted, "This is a focus shift ... those hard problems are still here."

Terranova said you can buy Treasurys; "the market's obviously telling you that."

Pete likes a Cliff, but not the fiscal cliff

Dennis Gartman said on Wednesday's Halftime Report that the selling in gold was more phony than anything else.

In fact, it's "margin clerks are out there in full force ... forced liquidation going on," Gartman said.

Gartman said oil seems to "continuously give you bearish implications," and added, "the euro's gonna get hit through the rest of the day."

Anthony Grisanti told Jackie DeAngelis, "I think crude oil does go lower from here." The Ilchmeister said he put a sell-at-89 trade out on Twitter, and "if we close below the magic line of 84.50, I think we press lower."

Michelle Caruso-Cabrera asked her lovely colleague, "Jackie D, are you related to Bobby D." DeAngelis said "No."

Joe Terranova said, "End of the year, keep in mind that commodity index funds will significantly reduce their weightings to WTI." Enis Taner predicted oil "leads on the downside."

Josh Brown reiterated that he doesn't like the coal sector but that timber-related names, such as WOOD and CUT, are on the "verge of a possible breakout." Pete Najarian seemed to disagree on coal, saying, "I actually jumped into Cliffs today."

‘Bungee-jump the cliff’ — how about CNBC taking a week-long moratorium on politics?

Thomas Lee, generally bullish whenever he's on CNBC, said the market was showing Wednesday that "it was a lot more disappointed than, than we realized" about a Barack Obama 2nd term.

But Lee said a couple times that corporate bonds are not "reflecting concerns about the fiscal cliff," which either means they're going to go off their own cliff, or stocks will recover.

Michelle Caruso-Cabrera pointed out that Lee had said if Romney wins, then small caps, domestic cyclicals and financials would be winners, and whether those are now sells.

"They're not as attractive right now ... that's a sell," Lee admitted.

Enis Taner said he's been hearing from his brother for a while how independent doctors stand to "lose business to the hospitals." Taner said there are "much better areas" than defense, such as health care.

Josh Brown said he can't embrace SWHC because "they're not gonna grow earnings between 2013-2014." Joe Terranova claimed that Guy Adami has "basically given you 100% upside on this call," which we'll try to verify (likely not quite accurate) at some point.

Ed Mills said the country "might have to bungee-jump the cliff," and that John Boehner will find it difficult to make a deal that might anger conservatives because of his speaker election in January. So, through the year end, "Any of the risk-on names are going to take it in the chin," Mills suggested.

Pete Najarian's Final Trade was SBUX, "still works," and Joe Terranova said he was adding that name. Enis Taner said to short BA, and Josh Brown said "trim your low-conviction positions."

[Tuesday, November 6, 2012]

Stephen Weiss was too formal & polite in scoffing at Craig Johnson’s absurd 1982 comparison

Craig Johnson has a series of bullish S&P 500 targets in nice progression — 1,550 in 6 months, 1,700 in 12 months, 2,000 in 24 months — and posited on Tuesday's Halftime Report that things are looking a lot like they did when "Chariots of Fire" (not a Wendy Finerman production) was scooping up golden statuettes.

It was Josh Brown who asked why the economy would avoid a recession when earnings are suggesting otherwise. Johnson said that 1982 "was when we saw a relative strength rollover in our work in the energy sector and also in the basic materials sector. That's exactly what we're seeing again."

Desperate to jump in, Stephen Weiss protested, "You just can't look at what the market did in 1982," then wasted time in rattling off macro differences before asking, "don't you sort of have to throw those things out," when he should've just said, "What the heck are you talking about."

Johnson insisted that history may not repeat but it does "rhyme."

Pete’s Goldilocks regulation scenario

Pete Najarian on Tuesday's Halftime Report offered an interesting take on the amount of regulation in the banking industry, reflected in the outcome of the presidential race.

"I think there is some confidence going into this," Najarian said, because "one way or another, there's gonna be less regulation."

Pete said we're not going back to where we were before the crisis, when there was "not enough" regulation, but nowadays, "we've overregulated, we've gone too far."

Thus, "financials are probably the best spot to be in," Pete said.

"I trade the stock market but I live in the economy," said Jon Najarian.

Jackie surely has something more to talk about than redirecting trading-level questions at traders via satellite

Jackie DeAngelis looks really good in her Futures Now hits, but unfortunately even that isn't enough to avoid the dead air that occasionally creeps into these segments, as it did on Tuesday's Halftime Report.

Anthony Grisanti claimed, "I think Obama's definitely better for gold," prompting the Ilchmeister to admit, "Absolutely I agree with Anthony ... I missed the boat here," while nobody seemed to realize there was no trade or further commentary forthcoming.

Anthony Scaramucci suggested that the present government is inclined to keep "kickin' the can down the road," where business needs an environment where it can be "propitiously allocating their capital."

Jon Najarian pointed to big gains in coal since the first debate, but Josh Brown wasn't so enthusiastic, saying it's a "rally in a bear market" and is really just tied to natural gas.

Brown did trumpet MRO, MUR and CVX, because "names like this are rare." He was cautious on X, saying $23.25 is "actually a really important level" and that the stock is a buy if that level holds.

Dr. J fails to answer Judge’s CMG question so he can give a Brag Trade instead

Judge Wapner asked Tuesday's Halftime Report gang about more wretched political-related tax plays, getting Stephen Weiss to cough up T, which Weiss said is a "quality play" but a name he has mostly sold out of.

Mike Murphy cautioned about mortgage REITs given the "potential change for taxes," and suggested buying puts for them.

Murphy downplayed the linkage of best stocks of the last 4 years to who the president is, saying no president had a hand in the iPhone, prompting Judge to note, "You're not gonna give the sitting president any credit for any of the market move at all, are ya."

Stephen Weiss said AAPL's glory days (since the national media has declared this Bruce Springsteen Week) are over; "I don't see a catalyst to get you much higher through the end of the year," and once it climbs again, it's "not gonna be the leader that it was in the past."

Jon Najarian said the market priced in CSC's heightened guidance, and that HAS was moving on rumors of a DIS takeover. Mike Murphy said Z's guidance was not what people were looking for. Stephen Weiss said "the multiple's going to contract" at ESRX and not to step in just yet. Pete Najarian said AOL is "doing things all right" now, but don't buy the stock until maybe a pullback to 35. Josh Brown said WTW looks like a "classic relief rally" and then got ribbed by Jon Najarian for suggesting viewers "digest its huge move."

Judge asked Jon Najarian if CMG is a buy. Najarian didn't answer the question but did manage to say, "I bought when it held that support Scott," which was around 240.

Jon Najarian's Final Trade Tuesday was TC. Josh Brown said RAX, Mike Murphy said F, Pete Najarian said LYB and Stephen Weiss said QCOM into earnings Wednesday.

Mike Murphy: Obama has more
of a ‘socialist’ reputation than Romney

Election Day version of the Halftime Report, and Judge failed to (groan) disappoint, badgering his panel as to which candidate is better for stocks.

Stephen Weiss first quibbled with Judge's statement about stock returns under Democratic presidents, prompting Judge to snap, "I'm just layin' out the facts," and demanding Weiss answer why the Dow's up 150, which Weiss chalked up to emerging political certainty.

It was Mike Murphy who ventured into land not broached since a certain Fox Business reporter irked Mel Lee with the "borderline" description of the "s" word in referring to a president (the one who happened to be a "community organizer"), telling Judge that the "prevailing wisdom" among the investor class is that Obama is "not good for business," but tends to be more "for the uh, people who are not working, for the unemployed ... more of a socialist" sentiment.

Judge let that go.

More from the Halftime Report later.

[Monday, November 5, 2012]

Fast Money preempted Tuesday

Fears of this page are unfounded; in fact CNBC viewers on Tuesday will not have to watch another hour of Fast Money panelists debating which candidate is better for which stock market sector, as CNBC is waking up the Squawk Box crew to launch its election coverage at 5 p.m. Eastern.

However, viewers will still have to endure the Halftime Report and probably hear Stephen Weiss discuss the HMOs and Stephanie Link-Cramer say "tech, banks, energy, resources, housing, dividend-payors ..." and Josh Brown say it really doesn't matter who wins.

Guy Adami credits Tim Seymour for (botching) the AAPL trade

There's been a lot of rewritten history during this presidential campaign, but Fast Money is not immune to this phenomenon either, evidenced by Guy Adami's comments Monday on AAPL.

"Against 575, you have a very well-defined stop," Adami said, adding "the risk/reward here at 585 ... is extraordinarily good."

All well and good. Adami then credited Dan Nathan for nailing this trade, and then bungled his way into an embarrassing mistake, "Tim I think on September 7th, when Apple was uh, 680-ish, was also very cautious on the stock."


1. Tim wasn't on Fast Money on Sept. 7 because it was Friday and that's the day Fast Money doesn't air, nor was Tim on the Halftime Report.

2. In fact, Tim on Aug. 27 called a "significant top" in AAPL at $675 ... only to declare on Sept. 17, with the shares at $699, that "I was wrong."

Although at least on 9/17, Seymour insisted it was a "crowded trade" with so much good news priced in.

It would've been far more accurate for Adami to state that Seymour has been regularly skeptical of AAPL (on Samsung grounds) for the longest time, and he's just happened to be "right" for about 6 weeks.

Dan Nathan scoffed at the reports of 3 million iPads sold in a weekend, "that's pretty great," but said "the law of large numbers is gonna take hold at some point" in regard to margins, and he'd look to buy somewhere around 550 or a little lower.

Guest actually claims ‘we’re gonna go through a period of austerity’

With still 1 more day's worth of shows to go, Monday's Fast Money insisted on (sigh) trying to determine what happens to financial markets if Barack wins vs. what happens if Mitt wins.

And it was guest Rick Rieder who unleashed the Howler of the Day, explaining rates are bound to stay low for a while regardless, a fair point, but because, "Part of the policy is gonna be to cut spending, and part of it is, so you think about it, we're gonna go through a period of austerity."

In that scenario, it'll be "pretty hard to raise rates," and we can expect "low rates for a long time."

Another guest, Avery Shenfeld, claimed, "I don't believe that QE3 is some magic bullet here," but also posited that the Fed will have to keep rates low for a while.

Tim Seymour told Shenfeld that it looks like the bond market is "lining up" for an Obama victory while the dollar trade is "lining up" for Romney. Shenfeld didn't exactly concur, calling the dollar a "confusing trade lately."

We have no clue who is going to win the election Tuesday and can barely figure out things like how many eggs are in a dozen, but one thing we know for absolute certain is that there is no way austerity is coming to America.

‘Benign tape’ sighting

Quicken Loans chief Bill Emerson said on Monday's Fast Money that at some point, interest rates "will go up, they will go up quickly."

Karen Finerman asked Emerson how much market share he's gained in 4 months, and whether there's a larger pie growing.

"We've actually been taking share," Emerson said, while adding that the pie is growing, or a way of having his pie and eating it too.

Scott Nations said there was a big buyer in the HOV May 4.50 calls for 95 cents.

Nations also recommended BAC via options, saying he paid just over 50 cents for the Jan $10 calls.

Guy Adami said, "Benign tape, bad tape, good tape, HD works."

Tim Seymour said "Cemex has more to go" but it has had a good ride.

This page missed Mel’s birthday

Bertha Coombs handled the market alerts during Monday's Fast Money and, noting the gains in WTW, explained, "I ate a lot during that storm."

Melissa Lee then clumsily added, "I heard the same thing, uh, Bertha, in terms of wanting comfort food," which raised hackles of Guy Adami as to whether Mel was hearing that about Bertha.

Mel then clarified, "In general I heard that people were craving things like mac 'n' cheese and meatloaf," or a typical postgame meal at CNBCfix HQ (and let's not forget the Fudge Stripes).

If it's OK to say it, neither Bertha nor Mel has a thing to worry about regarding WTW, to which Karen Finerman, utterly perfect on the scale, added, "I hear the Jessica Simpson campaign is going very, very well ... that is a good thing."

Guy Adami pointed out that Mel's birthday — normally an absolute-must mention on this page, several days in advance — came and went over the weekend; honestly last year when we clamored for an on-air birthday party, even willing to ship the party favors to the Nasdaq, Mel evidently didn't even let anyone mention it and shot the look at Joe Terranova when he alone brought it up, so we figured more subtle recognition was in order this year.

Vikram: Yesterday’s news

Only 1 more episode of hearing Fast Money panelists explain that coal is better if Romney wins and maybe banks while certain health care is better under Barack; Monday the show spent the first 15 minutes discussing the trade you only have 1 day to try with half the market before the whole market's on to it.

Guy Adami suggested, "Look at some of these defense stocks ... since the spring, they've done really well."

Tim Seymour said an Obama win means little more than a "recurrence of a rally that's already a little long in the tooth."

Dan Nathan found an opponent in Karen Finerman in declaring, "I think the bank stocks could really set up for some failure" regardless of who wins, while Finerman countered that the banks should do well under either candidate; "I am long Bank America (sic) for either outcome."

Scott Nations offered more of a weather/China play, CAT. "God knows the Northeast is gonna need plenty of infrastructure spending over the next couple of years," Nations said.

Adami: $7 more in NFLX

Karen Finerman, noting the tough day in WAG and ESRX on Monday's Fast Money, reaffirmed, "I like CVS."

Finerman noted that ESRX is just one of a small number of players in this space, and "maybe they're losing some share."

Guy Adami said ESRX "should bottom out around 51½, 52, probably gonna have a monster volume day tomorrow," and then will set up for a long trade.

Adami said ETFC presents a selling opportunity on Tuesday, but that PSX is "at least goin' to 50."

Finerman reaffirmed her interest in RLGY; "we still like it here." But of ARO, Finerman said, "The stock's cheap here but after today's move I wouldn't chase it."

Finerman downplayed the impact of the NFLX poison pill on Carl Icahn; "he's not looking to buy it," but if someone else wants to, "I don't think this prevents anybody from doing that."

Guy Adami claimed of the NFLX trade, "we've smoked this one" (hopefully he wasn't referring to Joe Terranova's 75-before-50 or 80-before-64 routine) and added, "I think it's got another 7 bucks to the upside."

Guest Gretchen McClain said Xylem has "over 200" pumps deployed in Lower Manhattan with another 100 on the way, as Mel Lee stressed that Xylem is exposed to Europe and municipal budgets. McClain said her pumps can unfill a backyard pool in 2 minutes, though she didn't specify the size of the pool.

Tim Seymour suggested SBS as a trade on that theme.

Seymour was enthusiastic about TM, saying, "the Prius is kickin' it."

Josh Brown fails to identify what that ‘knee-jerk reaction’ to a Romney win would be

The Halftime Report gang on Monday was split over whether there will be a thank-goodness-Tuesday-is-over rally.

Stephanie Link said, "Once we get the results I think the markets will have a relief rally," and suggested people could "buy banks under either scenario," and she/Cramer (who predicts an Obama landslide) likes energy.

Stephen Weiss said he agrees with Link, "we're going to have a relief rally," and he trumpeted banks. But Weiss contended, "I don't think there is going to be a fiscal cliff," before getting into a debate about easy money (that's Fed policy, not the Rodney Dangerfield movie) with guest host Michelle Caruso-Cabrera.

Josh Brown said the market is saying a Romney victory "probably won't happen" and started to say the "knee-jerk reaction" to a Romney win would ... but never finished, pointing to presumed pro-Romney and pro-Obama portfolios that Brown said would move in the "same direction."

Joe Terranova said an Obama win means "more of a bond-friendly environment."

John Harwood told the gang that the notion of dividend taxation rising to the level of ordinary income was merely a "placeholder in the president's budget."

Pretty much like the
Payden & Rygel commercial

Guest Rob Arnott took a turn as Tim Seymour on Monday's Halftime Report, saying whoever wins the presidency has to deal with the country's "addiction to debt-financed consumption."

So, Arnott likes "broadly diversified" emerging markets stocks and bonds, as well as high-yield bonds, which he called a "stealth inflation hedge."

Josh Brown told Arnott he's a big fan and wondered if he's expecting a deflationary environment by being net short equities. No, "We're looking at an inflationary environment," Arnott said, saying the net short equity position is to hedge the other positions.

Joe Terranova demanded a call from Arnott on the dollar. "Short term, I think the U.S. dollar is just fine ... long term, the dollar's toast," Arnott said.

Guest: ‘Hardening your assets.’
Michelle: ‘What does that mean?’

Josh Brown said early on Monday's Halftime Report that he doesn't expect dividend-paying stocks to get hammered if Obama wins.

"I don't see that knee-jerk happening and if it does, I think it pays to go the other way," Brown said.

Yet, later in the program, discussing the power grid, Brown wasn't so high on utilities (which tend to pay dividends), saying they trade at a 25-28% premium, "because of the yields," to what they historically should trade; "completely absurd."

Christine Tezak praised the power company response so far, to get "so many customers back online ... credit to the utilities."

Later she mentioned the "Norwalk to, um ... Norwalk line."

Stephen Weiss noted the overtime being paid out by utilities now and wondered if it's not a buying opportunity. Tezak said that depends on one's "intestinal fortitude."

John Hofmeister discussed the power grid too and mentioned "hardening your assets."

CEO refuses to tell CNBC host of next unreported acquisition

In a big shocker, Stifel's Ronald Kruszewski and KBW's Thomas Michaud told Monday's Halftime Report that their combination is a great move.

Kruszewski called KBW the "premier financial services specialist" and indicated as far as M&A, "we're not done by any stretch of the imagination."

Michaud, like Kruszewski in gray suit and red tie, said the move is a way to "supersize our effort," and suggested that "investors have been spooked out of equities," and perhaps things will turn around quickly once investors re-embrace equities.

Josh Brown cracked, "They're wearing the same outfit, I love that ... so I think this is gonna be a winner of a deal."

Stephen Weiss grumbled that "the sell-side brokerage model is probably one of the worst business models I've ever seen," and that a lot of smaller players won't get bought, and that KBW stock was in the $20s a year ago.

"It's a Hail Mary for them," Weiss said.

"I agree with Steve," said Stephanie Link.

Weiss: AAPL ‘dead money through the end of the year’

Joe Terranova said on Monday's Halftime that you have to wait for January results to know for sure, but with AAPL, "It all comes down to January, I think you potentially line up for a repeat performance" of early 2012.

Stephen Weiss said AAPL is spending a lot on R&D but he thinks it's "dead money through the end of the year."

Sister Golden Hair Mary Thompson reported that Colm Kelleher is getting sole control of institutional securities at MS he had shared with Paul Taubman; "apparently Kelleher and Taubman didn't get along."

Weiss advised viewers to "stay on the sidelines" with MS.

Andy Busch advised selling euro at 1.2830.

Josh Brown said TSLA had "great forward guidance." Stephen Weiss said to hold off on TWC; "I'd wait for it to drop down a little more, then I'd get involved" (this writer is long TWC). Stephanie Link said RIG is in a good spot in deepwater. Joe Terranova on TSO flat out said "buy it."

Josh Brown's Final Trade was XLV. Joe Terranova said EPB, Stephanie Link said SLB, and Stephen Weiss said "my wife's grandmother," who is 104.

[Friday, November 2, 2012]

‘Running into situations where people can label the situation’

Pete Najarian suggested on Friday's Halftime Report that the market was in somewhat of a funk because of profit-taking, while brother Jon told Judge Wapner that, given the jobs report, "Quite frankly I'm surprised we're not down more, Judge."

Mike Murphy concurred that "it's not a great number."

Steve Liesman said he doesn't think the "Katrina-like pictures" are going to make anyone want to buy stocks. Liesman said that with Sandy occurring early in the quarter, it's possible there will be enough rebuilding later in the quarter to offset the economic drop, but it would be "lucky for it to be even," and growth isn't gained by tearing things down and rebuilding them.

Mike Murphy after saying it wasn't a "great number," later said the jobs data was "definitely a decent report," but there's "still the uncertainty of the fiscal cliff."

Pete Najarian added, "A lot of this was priced in."

Another representative of the gas-station-type-store industry, John Eichberger (not to be confused with Juan Eichelberger), came up with a creative way of dodging Judge's question as to whether we've got a gasoline "crisis" at hand; "you start running into situations where people can label the situation."

Eichberger said it's not just an electricity issue; gas stations filled up before the storm, but when they reopen they could have "lower-than-normal inventories."

Weather forecaster Tom Niziol told Judge an annoyingly cold storm is on the way, but "it's not even in the same league as Sandy."

Casinos now seen as places to ‘get away from negativity’

Pete Najarian said on Friday's Halftime Report that AAPL "probably got in front of itself," and with the stock resting on the 200-day, "it's a bit concerning right now."

Jon Najarian said AAPL hasn't closed below its 200-day "since November 25th of last year ... it popped over 3½% the next day."

Pete Najarian suggested the only problem with LNKD is the "forward P.E.," and, echoing Patty Edwards' favorite redundant cliche (on another Friday, which Patty used to own and should be getting a callback for), said "at this point in time" people might turn to FB instead.

Jon Najarian noted the pops in PCLN, EXPE and TRIP and said, "I really like these stocks." Mike Murphy said investors bidding up SBUX were "focusing on the China news."

Pete Najarian said CHK has experienced a "perfect storm of headaches," but it "might be a great opportunity."

Jon Najarian uttered something far worse than Patty Edwards' "at this point in time," doing the "I'll drink to that" routine on the BEAM results. "I like this stock," Najarian said.

Mike Murphy said FLR is interesting; "I think you can look at this as a buy." But regarding HES, Murphy said, "I think it sells off some more."

Paul Richards was more than quick enough to meet Judge's speed threshold for the Friday Money in Motion trade, saying, "I'd sell the euro around 1.2870," targeting 1.2650 and with a 1.2940 stop.

Pete Najarian's Final Trade was XLV. Jon Najarian suggested Salvation Army or citymeals.org.

Jon Najarian said the New Jersey casino reopenings is a rare bit of recent "good news" for CZR, not just for the employees, but for all the people who want to "get away from some of the negativity."

A non-gold trade

Jackie DeAngelis — suddenly rising up the ranks of Prettiest Hair at CNBC — introduced a gold discussion on Friday's Halftime but couldn't introduce the Ilchmeister into actually making a trade until perhaps Sunday night.

Rich Ilczyszyn repeatedly pointed to the dollar and proclaimed, "Gold here is not a safe haven." But then, asking himself the questions, Ilczyszyn said, "Would I sell it here down 33 bucks? No," but then he suggested he might want to "digest" the activity and make a "better decision" on Sunday night or Monday.

Anthony Grisanti said 2 things propelled gold; "QE kept it higher, and also the uncertainty," but then he actually claimed, "The QE could stop."

Yeah, sure.

Grisanti said if that happens, gold could go $100 lower, with a chance at $1,525.

Ilczyszyn seemed to indicate there's greater support than that; "1,671 is gonna be a line in the sand."

Ed Koch: People want marathon

In a tepid Halftime Report, who would've thought that Judge Wapner would get the most blistering commentary from Ed Koch.

Judge pressed Koch on the perception of doubts as to whether a 26.2-mile road race through NYC is appropriate right now.

"I think the media is creating a fuss that doesn't exist and that the people of New York City want this marathon," Koch scoffed, declaring it's not an issue of shifting power resources; "I have heard of no cases where anybody wants to rent a generator that they can't do it."

Judge failed to get Koch to bend but in fact got a scolding; "the media should be denounced."

Jeff Sonnenfeld moments later told Wapner he was glad not to have to go toe-to-toe with the mayors, and fortunately for Sonnenfeld, "Ed Koch called you ridiculous instead of me," although Koch just said the argument Judge was stating was "ridiculous."

Mike Murphy also turned against Judge. "I'm gonna side with the mayors here," Murphy said.

More from Friday's Halftime later.

[Thursday, November 1, 2012]

A day without a generator conversation

Bill Keogh, who represents a "catastrophe modeling firm" according to Melissa Lee, said on Thursday's Fast Money his estimates on the Sandy damage jumped because of a few surprises, such as, "Storm surge was higher than we expected," also there's the edict that "hurricane deductibles not apply," and the possible "several weeks" of power restoration.

Karen Finerman asked about the impact of "business interruption insurance" and whether continued lack of power would cause a spike. "I don't have a daily number for you," Keogh said, but he affirmed it would be "billions of dollars," and that's why there's a $20 billion variation in his total damage estimate.

Guy Adami said he likes ALL among the P&C insurers; "it's been a monster stock for a long time now." Simon Baker said insurers are experiencing "very much a buyable dip." Enis Taner, who experienced a rather rocky show, reiterated that he likes CB but admitted, "I haven't bought it yet but I'm, I'm probably gonna buy it pretty soon."

We continue to wonder whether Chesapeake ever took custody of that map collection

Guy Adami predicted on Thursday's Fast Money that CHK isn't done; "I think it continues to go lower from here," and then tossed the baton to Karen Finerman in saying that Aubrey McClendon still has to "prove himself."

"Prove himself as what?" Finerman asked. "I think he's done a fine job of proving exactly what he is ... there's nobody like him in terms of sort of self-dealing and that sort of thing."

Simon Baker cited CHK's debt load and said he'd "stay away." Enis Taner said he prefers APA, the first time that name has come up on Fast Money in a long time.

Paul Sankey said the Sandy effects on oil and gasoline are "clearly a demand impact primarily" which should prove "negative for prices and margins," though in a bit of a roller-coaster point, he indicated how it could suddenly go up and then down.

Sankey told PSX fan Guy Adami, "We love it."

This time Guy Adami didn’t scrap with anyone over AAPL’s guidance or whether heaven forbid the panel ‘carefully’ looked at the report

Simon Baker said on Thursday's Fast Money he's "adding on Microsoft" because it's "really underestimated here," while staples remain "overpriced."

Karen Finerman told Melissa Lee "yes," it is possible to like MSFT while acknowledging PCs in a secular decline, although Karen called the notion of a $44 price "just pie in the sky" and said she'd be "delighted" just to get "halfway" there, perhaps if they do "something not stupid" with their cash.

Mike Khouw's Final Trade was "risk reversal in MSFT."

Simon Baker said AAPL is at an "interesting point." Enis Taner though suggested it's become a "potpourri company," and "I think it's concerning to shareholders."

Guy Adami said he'd recommend trying to get long at 575, but to use "610 as a pivot."

Enis Taner's Final Trade was long INTC, while Guy Adami said YHOO.

Melissa Twitterless

In the Department of Redundancy Department, Enis Taner told the gang on Thursday's Fast Money that LNKD is the "best social media name to own within the social media space."

Guy Adami even called the LNKD valuation "relatively fair."

Simon Baker questioned, as many of us have, why Melissa Lee won't be his LinkedIn friend. Mel claimed, "I haven't done any social media for years ... it's not because I'm snubbing you."

Baker, though, drew more reaction in hailing AMZN as his retail play. Mike Khouw grumbled, "The Amazon valuation doesn't make any sense to me," and Mel and Karen Finerman had a good chuckle over the P.E. ratio.

Enis Taner said that in the wake of PCLN's surge, "I wouldn't touch the stock here, but on a selloff back to 600." Guy Adami said he too thinks it could pull back, but "above 650, I believe this stock breaks out."

Finerman 1, Taner 0

Simon Baker on Thursday's Fast Money made an observation about SBUX that's just about as stale as the AMZN valuation argument: It's too "saturated."

"I'm not a big fan of it," Baker said, saying he likes DNKN.

Karen Finerman noted there are Starbucks locations a corner in either direction from the Nasdaq site, but that people have long thought MCD was too saturated too.

Guy Adami said he likes V and MA still in the retail space. Karen Finerman said she likes MA a bit better than V. Finerman also said she'd be a buyer of M below 40, and regarding OCR, "I like it here still."

Finerman made GM her Trade of the Day largely because analyst Joe Amaturo of Buckingham was constantly neutral until "about a month ago" and reiterated bullishness Thursday, in part because of the "new line coming out" and the "K2XX" (and we'll see how many of those are scooped up). Finerman also mocked the notion that she had to produce a Final Trade moments later, figuring GM is as good as it was 3 minutes earlier.

Enis Taner, fresh off one of the most embarrassing Trades of the Day yesterday (that would be CMI), admitted, "I'm gonna eat my crow," saying he's still short, but "certainly more nervous than I was yesterday."

Guy Adami said to buy ROST around 55, and if you're in ANF, it's "a move that needs to be faded."

Enis Taner said EXC took a hit on dividend concerns. Mike Khouw said in TSO, it "might be a good opportunity to sell some covered puts," and that if China is healed, CAT and many others look like bargains. Simon Baker said MAS "looks good." Baker's Final Trade was NSP.

Adami: Fade the 1,425

Guy Adami at the top of Thursday's Fast Money pointed again to that magic 1,425 level and told viewers, "my inclination is to fade this move."

Guest Shawn Matthews of Cantor said that short-term volatility "collapsed" Thursday, which is "telling you probably the market's gonna go higher at this point in time ... certainly it's a buying opportunity here."

Matthews told Mel Lee that telecommuting is ideal in times like these. "Today we probably had about 65, 70% of staff ... some people are working from home and that's perfectly fine," Matthews said.

Drew Matus said he expects a "relatively mediocre report" on Friday, something like 120,000 jobs and a 7.9% unemployment rate. (And look out for Hurricane Welch if that number is 7.5%.)

Guy Adami said Michael Bloomberg "can't win either way" in his decision on the marathon.

Media going to the top
to fill up the tanks

As stock trading takes a back seat to just getting people's lives back to normal, Judge Wapner spent much of Thursday's Halftime procuring rather hazy guesses as to when the power and gasoline is gonna be back.

Gasoline industry frontman Sal Risalvato quibbled a bit with gasoline-situation terminology ("I'm not sure that we can call it a real crisis") and predicted it "should be eased, uh, by the weekend," or early next week.

Most notably, Risalvato suggested to Judge that media folks are angling for a break: "News outlets such as yours, although you weren't one of them, uh, call and sayin', how can we get gas for our vehicles," Risalvato said.

Brian Kelly suggested hopping on the turnpike; "there's plenty of gas here in Connecticut."

Judge later told PSE&G chief Ralph Izzo that "a certain boss of mine" wants to know when the power's coming back. Izzo said, "On a global basis, virtually all customers will be restored from between 7 and 10 days from the storm's effect, which would've been Monday night ... since the storm began we've restored more customers than we ever had out in a single event in the history of our company."

At the end of the program, former Shell honcho John Hofmeister had little to add other than that gas timetables depend on "what is the condition on the ground," and a politial point, that "instant generators is not a fix."

Steve Grasso reassured Judge that NYSE brass such as himself have an "alternate site ...if we have issues." Judge said the important thing is that things are safe for "all your brothers and sisters down on the floor."

Link, Murphy: Go AIG

Salutin' Rich Ilczyszyn said "unfortunately" twice on Thursday's Halftime in referring to what's happening with gas prices, starting with "they probably go higher" and adding, "unfortunately if the price gets above 3.70, shorts are gonna run for the hills, the market probably goes higher."

Mike Murphy said "I think the upside in coal continues" and that you can be long both coal and natural gas names.

Stephanie Link said AIG stands out among insurers because "they can quickly raise prices" whereas ALL, CB and TRV can't do so "as aggressively," and Link recommends, "use the weakness to buy."

Mike Murphy agreed, "AIG is the way to play this," and said an insurer pullback on any singular event has historically been a good buy. "I couldn't disagree more" with the Morgan Stanley call, Murphy said.

Brian Kelly though wasn't gung-ho on insurers. "You know I'm staying away from all of these right now ... it's impossible to even come up with an estimate for the costs ... the insurers are a no-touch here," Kelly said.

Careful with X

Kimberly Greenberger told Thursday's Halftime Report that Saks, Ann Taylor, Macy's, Teavana and Express are retailers most exposed percentage-wise to Sandy territory, but said "retailers have generally seen a surge in sales when everyone's life, uh, gets back to normal."

Brian Kelly asked if online sales aren't picking up for some of these retailers this week. Greenberger didn't actually specifically answer for this week but said there's been a "very nice acceleration" of e-commerce sales.

Stephanie Link trumpeted the beaten-down dollar stores and especially DG. Mike Murphy said, "Macy's looks great today."

Murphy though told X holders "be careful with the stock here after this pop." Brian Kelly's Final Trade was first responders, Murphy said buy F and Stephanie Link said ETN.

Back to CNBCfix home

CNBCfix.com home

Fast Money’s
great moments
of 2011

K-Fine bailed too early on year's most spectacular call

special report: CNBC ‘Fast Money’ trader positions often go undisclosed

♦ Daily online recaps often omit certain traders' holdings, appear voluntary, unenforced, no requirement for accuracy or timeliness, no description of the size of position or whether positions are for clients or traders' own accounts

Fast Money review

FM archive: 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