[CNBCfix Fast Money Review Archive — November 2013]
[Friday, November 29, 2013]

Kelly Evans — Queen of Dead Air

Imagine if you were a talented, capable freshman college quarterback enjoying some good games — and were told that next week you're starting for the Dallas Cowboys.

That's basically the life of Kelly Evans.

Evans is not so much CNBC's Designated Heir, but CNBC's There's Gotta Be SOME Youngster Here Who Rises To Some Level Of Stature.

Starting with a brief go-round in Englewood Cliffs, then shipped off to London, then shipped back to Squawk on the Street, and now plugged into Closing Bell, all in barely a year and a half, Evans is struggling mightily in two areas, neither of which is her fault: She lacks long-term camaraderie with her colleagues, and she is still raw around the camera.

The Black Friday edition of Closing Bell was a dreadful exhibition, a train wreck of satellite delay while Evans relied on Bill Griffeth to actually call on the guests as the dead air crystallized. (See, this is one reason why confidence like Maria's is admirable, she doesn't waste time with that (bleep) and makes sure someone (generally herself) is always talking.)

The magic word is chemistry. Someone as new, and as young, as Evans, can't possibly be expected to have it with any CNBC anchor.

Longtime colleagues know how to push each other's buttons to bring life to the daily grind. Evans is doing the basics. The value-added is nonexistent. It'll be years, if ever, before she's got 2/3 of the chutzpah Maria has.

Perhaps worse, Evans has what might be called a too-professional relationship with the camera. A supermodel and a "Today" show host have a different camera persona. Each works, mightily. Evans feels a bit like she's leaning Paulina Porizkova when she really needs Katie Couric or Oprah Winfrey.

Consider that Evans regularly overdoes her smile while colleagues are talking. Unfortunately it feels posed, whereas Michelle Caruso-Cabrera, who owns this category, does the same thing, but with devastating impact.

Evans looks great. (No one's disputing that.)

The bios of many CNBC stars suggest they came up the same way Evans did. Someone notices them in print media or the financial industry and says "You look good, you know your stuff, you should give TV a try." There's no denying her brains. She seems to be having a good time. Yet there's still something that feels like Kelly doesn't get a charge about announcing to people for the next 50 years (if not more) that she was the first reporter "allowed" on the floor of the NYSE, a trait both positive and negative in this situation.

Given a fair amount of time, Evans could be great. An ah-ha moment is possible. The problem is, CNBC is desperate. So instead of just letting it happen naturally, and figuring out over time where Evans stands, they're installing her under center in a business environment that suddenly feels like 3rd and 18. We wish her luck.

Patty’s back!
(Hint: If we had to guess, we’d say she was talking about AMZN, UPS and FDX)

It wasn't, unfortunately, the Halftime Report.

Nor, unfortunately, did she sport the Jackie Brown "badass" suit.

But Halftime veteran "Patricia" Edwards, for whom the entire city of Bellevue gives thanks, resurfaced on noon CNBC programming as part of the channel's Black Friday coverage (an annual favorite generally highlighted by CNBC's Sister Golden Hair chaperoning those cute kids at the NYSE).

Patty started off impressively enough, pointing out (the key here is singular vs. plural) "Black Friday is dead, but long live Black Fridays ... I saw deals starting in October," and she expects some to run beyond Christmas.

Yet, asked by Bill Griffeth what she likes, Patty could only tout "electronics" and point out "that goes to online and it also goes to the folks who are gonna be delivering those packages."

Then again, knowing that her remarks were going to be met by 5 seconds of dead air, we can't imagine getting particularly stoked about it either.

[Wednesday, November 27, 2013]

Happy Thanksgivukkah

We don't have Flavien Desoblin around with a bottle.

But this page offers an online toast to the regulars who keep coming back, as well as the first-time readers who somehow are directed to this site.

We're here because you are. Talking about the stock market. Reviewing television. Keeping it real; having fun. Observing the standards of journalism established by print media for generations. Some days are better than others. But somehow, we're still here.

Like the Baltimore Ravens in Super Bowl 47, it seems like an extended break might be what stock market bulls don't need, as the S&P and Dow have been on cruise control. On the other hand, there's always the possibility that the "pent-up demand" will actually intensify. No Fast Money/Halftime is scheduled for Friday. Over the long weekend, this page will be catching up on a few past-due topics.

Best wishes for a Happy Thanksgiving, and a Happy Hanukkah, and happy year-end trading once we all roll up our sleeves again on Monday.

Cameraman needs to do better job of framing Mel’s air quotes

Bitcoin wunderkind Jon Holmquist joined Wednesday's Fast Money to tout "Bitcoin Black Friday," for which Holmquist, who said he is 20, argued both that people should spend bitcoins at bitcoin vendors to encourage the currency usage and also that the value of the currency is going higher.

His argument for spending, which didn't answer Josh Brown's question about contradictory goals, is that you don't have to pay V or MA international transaction fees.

Melissa Lee closed with, "Jon, we're gonna leave it there," and called Holmquist's position — whatever it was — an "interesting premise."

But then Mel went to her favorite visual aid, only partly caught by the camera, and questioned, "Why would you want to so-called 'cash out'" if the value is skyrocketing.

Josh Brown said that bitcoin is simply, for Silicon Valley 1%ers, the "preferred instrument of choice to express their dislike of government."

Somehow introducing a Tory Burch Zoe Coat into the dialogue, Lee asked panelists where they'd like to put $1,000 (as though they couldn't just buy 5 shares of V). Guy Adami said PCLN, Josh Brown and Tim Seymour said GOOG (we're running out of options here), and Brian Kelly said bitcoin.

Josh Brown appears on both Halftime and Fast Money; guess Barry is minding the store at Ritholtz Wealth Management

In sort of a combination Fast Fire/Quicker Than the Ticker, Wednesday's Fast Money purported to offer traders' best picks of the year as well as the worst.

Tim Seymour was credited for SBUX ("I'm happy staying long") but burned on GFI, a laughably long-term, gargantuan mistake often punctuated with "these stocks are trading as if these companies are going out of business." Seymour couched that by claiming emerging markets are getting hammered.

Guy Adami was cheered for YHOO. Guy said Wednesday, "I love Katie Couric" and added he thinks it's a $40 stock. Adami admitted he was wrong on BBY long ago and credited Tim Seymour, who a couple times recently urged people not to buy NFLX, with a good call on BBY; "I thought Best Buy was a sell at $18."

Brian Kelly was given props for a July short in DXJ. "Now you wanna be long DXJ," Kelly said Wednesday, admitting he bungled gold all year long.

Josh Brown seemed really pleased with his VGK work; "we're still long this trade," Brown said, conceding he bungled EEM.

Radical ideas for CNBC: Maybe with Maria gone, Fast Money should take over the 3-5 p.m. Eastern window

Kelly Evans, attempting to smooth the remarkably clumsy intros she's been handing to Melissa Lee from Closing Bell to Fast Money, came up with "Fast Bitcoin" on Wednesday.

OK. Whatever.

As CNBC re-evaluates its programming in the wake of 1) horrible ratings and 2) Maria Bartiromo's departure, it might consider that Closing Bell as a (snicker) concept really serves no purpose without Maria, elite execs aren't lining up (yet) for a crack at Kelly Evans, so why not recombine Halftime/Fast Money into 1 program that straddles the market close.

Lee began Wednesday's show pointing out AAPL had hit "new highs for 2013." Brian Kelly suggested the stock will become a first half of 2014 story and there's no reason it can't go "at least a hundred points higher." Guy Adami said not to pile in Monday morning. Josh Brown again suggested the stock could go places with just a "market multiple."

Liz Dunn, whose appearances are regularly given more prominence than they deserve on Fast Money, told the panel, "I don't think apparel's going to be a great place" this holiday season, but she's "still recommending" RL and JWN.

Tim Seymour called JCP "very interesting" but called COH "saturated" and stressed, as if regular viewers didn't know, "I've said this many times." (But he didn't mention "transition to lifestyle brand" (Drink) (Double Drink).)

No one makes more useless, irrelevant predictions of consumer spending based on gasoline prices than the Fast Money crew, with Seymour doing the honors Wednesday, suggesting that this is a "much better environment" this year for shoppers who drive cars.

Brian Kelly said he likes COH but that 60 is tough.

Brian Kelly suggested, in a segment he inspired apparently, watching ANF, ARO, CROX and DECK as possible LBO candidates. Josh Brown suggested WU. (This writer is long WU.)

Mel acts like airlines would
never charge for a restroom

Let's roll the dice and play a little Monopoly, Miss Harvard grad.

What square is Larry Wildman gonna land on in an airplane restroom?

Tim Seymour on Wednesday's Fast Money backed airlines; "there's more to this trade." Melissa Lee said, without air quotes, "Hyperloop, Hello" to Guy Adami, who said he's kind of bearish on BA, at least to the low 120s.

In the critical point of the conversation that was unfortunately lost on everyone, Lee joked that airlines will start charging for toilets.

See, that's actually an intriguing idea.

They could keep the regular toilets as is.

And for those people who want a "premium" experience, they can pay $20.

Now what, you might ask, would constitute a "premium" restroom? A toilet similar to what you'd find in, oh, lessee, Jim Cramer's house. The finest toilet paper. Facilities that are sprayed down after every usage. Entry that is monitored, so no knocking from impatient fliers.

It would require assigning a staff member, which might be the biggest obstacle.

Probably not happening anytime soon. But might work.

Guy Adami said he's a little bearish on BA and thinks it might reach the low 120s.

Josh Brown cautioned against jumping into TSLA. "I don't think this one's done taking pain," Brown said.

Fast Money/Halftime so hard up for usable tweets, it uses the same one twice

Tim Seymour said on Wedneday's Fast Money that HPQ impressed investors with its "reaffirmation for next year," but "I would not buy this tomorrow."

Brian Kelly still likes TTS, but Guy Adami thinks TIVO would be interesting at 12.

Mike Khouw said someone bought 8,000 March 16 puts in MGM for 30 cents.

Tim Seymour warned that the dollar had an impact on commodities on Wednesday; "you should be scared."

Seymour munched on Wendy's burgers and so did Josh Brown; "my trainer is gonna have a conniption," Brown said.

Guy Adami endorsed JACK. Tim Seymour suggested MCD. Josh Brown called YUM a "better buy."

Guy said he thinks IMAX "pushes up towards 40 bucks."

Tim Seymour endorsed BIDU. Josh Brown said IBM is a tough short, so lock in the gain.

Guy Adami was given the same question from the same Twitterer as Simon Baker received at Halftime (see below), and curiously the answers were different as each suggested 3 things; Guy said the advance/decline line, IPO boom and increased volume on extremes of moves, whereas Simon merely said macro, fundamentals and technicals. (But the CNBC graphics crew cleaned up the grammar by 5 p.m.)

Tim Seymour's Final Trade was VCO. Brian Kelly said PPC, Josh Brown said STZ and Guy Adami said LLL.

Tim Seymour suggested that a "tidal wave" could hit stock buyers at any point. But Josh Brown made the best observation of the show; "In 1983 we were at all-time highs."

Simon uses the same knuckleheaded anti-airline rationale he used in August

We're basically tired of talking about it, but Stephen Weiss brought it up on Wednesday's Halftime Report.

That being, the bone-headed, lunk-headed, jaw-dropping bad call on DAL made by Simon Baker a few months ago in which he promised first-class airfare to California to his colleagues if the shares traded higher than the $19.32 they were seen printing on the CNBC ticker during the show.

Weiss told viewers that airlines are so promising now, "it's not a trade anymore, it's an investment."

Baker incredibly scoffed at that, questioning how anyone could buy them now after such a "massive run."

That's when Weiss (inaccurately) pointed out that Baker owes him a "first-class ticket anywhere in the country" as long as DAL is above.

The actual quote — we sort of have it memorized, but this is why archiving matters — was, "If Delta is higher than this price today by the end of the year, I'll give you a first-class ticket to California and back."

So if Weiss thinks he's going to Lake Okoboji (another topic that particular day) on Simon's bitcoin, he's sorely mistaken.

Baker told Weiss, "I'm just glad that you don't travel."

Baker a couple times touted EXPE, funny that this page did too when it was at 47 and Mike Murphy warned of "major damage" to come in the stock (with obviously no research or supporting evidence whatsoever) but has yet to get a Fast Fire on it. Baker curiously said of EXPE "it's time for this one to move" ... which is sort of what it's been doing for more than a month.

Still waiting for John Kilduff’s
Syria-related 125

In a remarkably flat Halftime Report on Wednesday, oil produced a little buzz.

Jeff Kilburg opined, "Crude feels like it's going lower."

Brian Stutland said the crack spread is "on fire" but he thinks crude is "probably headed lower."

Told that oil prices are in the 90s, Josh Brown said, "I can't believe they're not a hundred," but he was glad to pay $3.59 to fill up his tank.

Stephen Weiss said crude's in a range, "85 to 95 as far as the eye can see," and he'd play the "service side" rather than big oil.

Given that the segment is called "Trader Triple Play," Judge figured to get 3 opinions about commodities and stocks, but for some reason Todd Colvin was introduced but not asked to speak; Jeff Grossman said crude "continues to be a sale" while Peter Costa said the market is factoring out tapering.

Jon Najarian said the refiners were hot in the options market, and he likes HFC, "still 10 bucks off the 52-week high."

Dominic Chu revealed, "I'm no Jackie DeAngelis."

McDonald: Buy the dogs

There could be holiday excuses, but Wednesday's Halftime Report was about as tepid as they get.

Nonetheless, Judge did pursue a tired show with impressive vigor, another example of how it's not always about hitting home runs but sometimes just producing an infield hit from a weak plate appearance.

Traders were curiously asked at the top of the show to present their best "bargain" stocks, which, if you think about it for all of 2 seconds, is nothing more than asking for their favorite stocks.

Josh Brown said BAC and ILF. Stephen Weiss balked at Brown's description of BAC as the cheapest financial, arguing "the cheapest large-cap financial is actually AIG," and then submitted GILD.

Simon Baker was heard to tout "D.H. Norton" (sic) in trumpeting the homebuilders as a 2014 story. Jon Najarian offered AMX, "down 2% year to date," and NIHD.

Larry McDonald made a very interesting point — regardless of whether he's right — about looking to the "stressed sectors toward year-end," because "people in December have to sell their losers," and this year the big targets are "the gold miners and the coal stocks," McDonald said.

Steve Weiss pointed out that there are differences between the coal names. It seems the biggest issue regarding McDonald's theory is that these things don't necessarily bounce according to a calendar year; U.S. Steel for example being hot for 6 months; coal hasn't, but it actually might've bottomed in the summer.

McDonald noted that there are only "40 names in the S&P that are negative this year."

Brown: AAPL to $600

Virtually nothing on Wednesday's Halftime Report was heated, but Simon Baker and Josh Brown managed to microwave a little extension of this week's HPQ debates.

Baker insisted, "It's a turnaround story." But Brown contended "the turnaround is not happening."

At one point Baker accused Brown of liking CSCO. Brown said he doesn't.

Then, Stephen Weiss took issue with Doc's dubious (that's putting it kindly) claim that Dell going private is somehow good for HPQ.

Doc implied that Michael Dell will run the company to make a profit, whereas Weiss contended that Dell will actually try to regain market share by cutting prices. "Having a private company is never a good thing in terms of competitive pricing," Weiss said.

Meanwhile, in a refreshing admission, Stephen Weiss said he's probably the only person to lose money on AAPL in the last 3 weeks, having grown "impatient" with the shares, and by the way, the 5S, "I don't really like."

Josh Brown hung a $600 on AAPL based on a 15 multiple. Jon Najarian downplayed his own expectations for AAPL; "I don't think it doubles in 2014," that's why he listed the other names at the top of the show as his best bargains.

Simon Baker said there's "Apple fatigue" in the stock market.

Weiss: Hedge funds would pile into TWTR at $20

Judge Wapner, without the benefit of Anthony Scaramucci, usually a stickler for these conversations, asked the Wednesday Halftime gang what they thought of hedge funds' favorite stocks, which include AIG, AAPL and FB, and whether the traders think TWTR will join that list.

Steve Weiss said no, unless TWTR gets to 20.

Weiss said he was surprised GILD was in the short column, and asserted that 3 to 6 months ago, V and MA would've been on the long list and it's curious that they're not now.

Simon Baker said he was surprised to see CRM in the short column as well.

Josh Brown said, "I like General Motors."

Stephen Weiss said TXN is in a business where it's "very difficult to get continual traction."

Josh Brown called GMCR a "tough name to be short."

Jon Najarian said to take profits in CROX through 15.

David Cassese said the consumer's "income statement is under pressure," and thus his team is "a little more cautious than we normally are." But he likes HD, "we prefer Home Depot over Lowe's," and he also likes VFC for the outdoor fitness exposure.

Jon Najarian said he'll be getting out of retailers next week.

Josh Brown called DXJ a "a hot trade" that works into year-end.

Stephen Weiss insisted JCP is a junky stock, but "you can't be short here 'cause it's got momentum."

In a strange 2-vs.-2 debate involving FDX vs. UPS, Simon Baker asserted "game over already" in favor of FDX, while teammate Stephen Weiss said the foreign growth is what works for FDX. But Josh Brown and Jon Najarian argued it's UPS' arrangement with AMZN that makes it a better stock.

Normally when Simon says "game over," we rush to the "buy" button, but in this case he was talking affirmatively about one stock and not so much making a negative call on another stock, so hold your horses on that one.

Jon Najarian picked CNK as his movie play. Stephen Weiss said "I still like IMAX." Simon Baker said, "I like Viacom."

Simon Baker's Final Trade was TIF. Stephen Weiss said AMZN, Josh Brown said XLF and Jon Najarian said BYD.

Responding to a tweeted question, Simon Baker complained that it's hard to answer within a 2-second soundbite whether there are signs of toppiness in the stock market.

[Tuesday, November 26, 2013]

Has the Dell Turnaround Plan Only Accomplishable By Being Private® started yet?

Tim Seymour reported at the top of Tuesday's Fast Money that Dell's LBO has somehow given strength to ... HPQ.

"They beat, they reinforced, and in fact the stock's off to the races," Seymour said.

Karen Finerman allowed that she might think about buying the stock, perhaps with 7-8 valuation.

Anthony Scaramucci called hismelf the "lone buyer of this stock" and offered 3 (that's our max) reasons: Great management, huge cash flow, and, like Seymour said, curiously, the Dell situation.

But Brian Kelly said to sell, and guest Paul Meeks, after first uncorking a Brag Trade about how he played the stock a year ago in the low teens, said at most it's "worth a trade or rental" under $20 and is no core holding. "The stock finds serious resistance at 27½," Meeks said, asserting CSCO has better products, and then tossing in an "at the end of the day" (Drink).

Sensing a pattern, Melissa Lee concluded, "We're gonna leave it there."

Mel should’ve shipped some booze to Kelly Evans to loosen up their cringingly awkward transitions

Retail great Tom Stemberg on Tuesday's Fast Money explained the Tile Shop proprietors this way:

"These are nice Midwestern folks. They're too naive to be dishonest."

"Naive" businesspeople. What a great investment.

Stemberg said the Tile Shop specializes in decorative tiles and great margins. Echoing the theme of the day, he said, "at the end of the day," he expects the holiday season to be up a couple percent.

Further echoing the theme, Melissa Lee said, "Tom we're gonna leave it there."

Flavien Desoblin returned to promote his expensive drinks courtesy of the panel (funny they weren't sipping on cue at "gonna leave it there"), including a $1,600 Japanese whiskey.

Mel’s air quotes (cont’d)

Phil LeBeau made a rare appearance on Fast Money Tuesday, questioning whether Tesla is getting a bum rap when Ford's had a bunch of recalls.

But, LeBeau — who claimed in those CNBC personal ads a few years ago that he bought his first car "for $400 and. A. Case. Of. Beer." — stressed that Ford has 22 models, whereas Tesla only has 1, and that Elon Musk is a lightning rod.

The Moochmeister defended Elon Musk, prompting Melissa Lee to invoke her newfound visual to ask whether TSLA needs "an adult to run the company." (Interesting how Harvard folks think billionaire self-made CEOs aren't "adults.")

Scaramucci said Musk has earned a cult following with his approach, which Tim Seymour suggested might be a problem.

Seymour claimed "Fiat is the best global play" thanks to the "extreme value" of Chrysler.

Karen Finerman said she's holding GM. Anthony Scaramucci said he's a little concerned about Alan Mulally leaving Ford, which is only in the "5th or 6th inning of that turnaround."

Tim Seymour actually avoids saying ‘Joe Banks’

Brian Kelly examined the Russell at the top of Tuesday's Fast Money and proclaimed, "I think we're within 3 months- 3 to 6 months of a major top."


Karen Finerman said she's got a trade on that's long S&P, short Russell, because she doesn't have the "cojones" to just short the market.

Tim Seymour said Apple's China potential is understated; "any China Mobile iPhone is not in anybody's estimates."

Karen Finerman, who recently had suggested "Joseph Banks" would walk away, invoked everyone's favorite cliche (Drink — $1,600 Japanese whiskey) on Tuesday: "This set up perfectly for Men's Wearhouse. I think at the end of the day these two will come to some sort of agreement." Finerman said she's long JOSB. "I sold some, and I kept some," Finerman said.

Finerman also balked at the ADT/Corvex arrangement. "I thought that deal smelled ... seems somewhat self-dealing to me," Finerman said, and a "bad precedent" for an activist investor.

But she didn't think TTWO's Carl purchase was as bad.

Brian Kelly claimed RYL and DHI "look fantastic."

Mike Khouw said NUAN December 13 puts were hot, but it wasn't just buyers; "there was quite a lot of selling."

Moments later, curiously, Anthony Scaramucci was asked to opine on NUAN and said "I would stay away."

Karen Finerman said "we're staying short" GMCR. Brian Kelly said "I'd be a buyer" of TWTR. Tim Seymour said "I think you can ride" HRL.

Tim Seymour addressed VIP. "At these levels, yes I own it" (sic redundancy), Seymour said.

Anthony Scaramucci said he likes OWW, it's where the consumer's gonna be in 2014.

Tim Seymour's Final Trade was BIDU. Anthony Scaramucci said COST. Karen Finerman advised selling CVS, and Brian Kelly said to sell KRE.

$2 was for Maria’s salary,
now recouped

Cable-TV-stock watcher Craig Moffett twice said "at the end of the day" during the middle of the day on Tuesday's Halftime Report and concluded that in the (potential) battle for TWC, "I think Charter is still the front-runner here ... at the end of the day Comcast decides not to get involved," because it's not worth the regulatory effort.

Moffett said the cable companies aren't just serving up CNBC and other programs, "at the end of the day, they provide the infrastructure," and there hasn't been a "tsunami" of cord-cutting, but "the rate of cord-cutting is still a steady drip-drip-drip."

Moffett further argued that in an $80 cable bill, $40 is for content, and the other $40 has generally been chalked up to margin, but is actually "transport."

Josh Brown said the process of cord-cutting "could be glacial," but nevertheless, "I don't love the cable stocks at all."

Joe: AAPL will
take out old high

Josh Brown contended on Tuesday's Halftime Report that the "numbers are probably too low" for AAPL, and Mike Murphy agreed, stating, "This looks like a technical breakout through the 530 level."

Joe Terranova advised not trying to trade around the name, but "just hold it," and then in another bold 2014 prediction asserted, "The old high is gonna be taken out."

Jon Najarian resorted to Brag Trade land on AAPL. "Knock on wood, I'm long it," Doc said.

However, Doc's call for HPQ bullishness based on plunging into 3-D printing by early next year was met with derision, as Josh Brown clarified, "Jon I love you. This is maybe the worst thesis on a tech stock I've ever heard in 15 years." Mike Murphy added, "I love you Doc," but he backs Josh.

Flash: AMZN seen as one
of the ‘Big 3’ of mobile retail

Business Insider scribe Marcello Ballve joined Tuesday's Halftime Report to point out that AMZN, EBAY and WMT are the Big 3 of mobile retailers, but included with that fairly predictable nugget was the stat that AMZN has more mobile-only users than FB.

"On mobile, people really love to shop," Ballve said, adding that WMT has sort of been pioneering the hybrid model while BBY and TGT are late, and that Sephora and Starbucks are also doing it well.

Mr. New Land shrugged, "It all goes back to Mastercard." Josh Brown said UPS is "absolutely ripping." Mike Murphy contended that "I think Facebook could be a stealth winner."

Josh Brown predicted that weather won't have much impact on retail sales because people will just sit at home and buy, and they'll even used unspent travel dollars on other things. Joe Terranova didn't say "I like Dick's" this time asserted, "This season is going to be one of the best we've had in years and said, "I like here the Dick's Sporting Goods names" which apparently include CAB and HIBB, as well as "Limited Brands" (sic).

Mike Murphy said he needs more of a pullback to buy airlines but does like HTZ. Dr. J agreed that he would "need more of a dip" than 50 cents to buy airline shares.

The panel took turns saying that months ago everyone was afraid of sequester, etc.

1,000 yen to the dollar

Jeff Kilburg stated on Tuesday's Halftime Report/Futures Now that we haven't seen the peak for natural gas, and he likes it with cold weather bearing down.

Jim Iuorio though said it tends to be a sell when the news is out, such as late Monday, "So I think it's goin' down."

In Judge's trader go-round, Trey Knippa said to "sell any and all rallies" in the yen and even bellowed 1,000 to the dollar eventually.

Steve Grasso said BAC "is overbought right now" and "could see a precipitous drop." Josh Brown said you can try playing the BAC drop but best to just stay the course long the name. Grasso cautioned it could drop below $14.

Jon Najarian said "kudos to Carl again" on TTWO. Mike Murphy said NUAN is "not hitting on any cylinders" right now, as Doc said put interest had jumped from 6,000 to 60,000.

Thankfully without saying "Joe Banks," Josh Brown called the JOSB/MW action "very rare" and said that rather than putting money into this, "maybe look for something else."

Joe Terranova said he's been talking about PANW "ad nauseam" and likes the name but considers it more of a buy and hold; "I think this is a name that you don't trade though."

Jon Najarian said SYY was hot in the options market.

Lose $1,000 in stocks and it’s gone; lose $1,000 in options and all you did was ‘define your risk’

Lewis Kaufman told Tuesday's Halftime that he likes FCFS as an emerging markets play because of its exposure to Mexico, which he said is hard to get elsewhere.

Jon Najarian took a Fast Fire on YELP but repeated the jingle that his risk was measured.

Mike Murphy said you can own MRK here. Josh Brown said 17½ looks like "pretty solid support" for DHI but that it's "not cheap." Jon Najarian likes SIRI. Joe Terranova challenged, "Tell me who's not walking around the malls holding a Starbucks cup. Buy it."

Mr. New World curiously claimed that FCX's oil investments of "years ago" will bear fruit and he thinks copper's not so bad. Jon Najarian said "I am a fader of JCPenney ... I'm short it through puts." Mike Murphy said HRL "looks like it's breaking out." Josh Brown called TCS "expensive."

Joe Terranova's Final Trade was DDS. Jon Najarian said PAYX, Josh Brown said BAC and Mike Murphy said LPX.

[Monday, November 25, 2013]

32A, 34C, etc.

It's rare, perhaps unprecedented, for this page to quote CNBC's Kelly Evans.

So her lead-in to Monday's Fast Money was quite a doozy.

"I'm gonna leave the Triple-D joke on the table Melissa and hand it over to you," Evans said.

Now that's no joke.

DDD boss Avi Reichental told the Fast gang that his product is in about 400 Staples and Office Depot stores for Black Friday (and you thought big box was toast), and then he showed off a few devices that allow users to "scan themselves in under $400" and determine "how scanogenic you are."

Missy Lee suggested people might use 3-D printing to copy patented products. Reichental conceded there's a possibility of "Napsterization," a term we hadn't heard.

Grasso: Marissa got bad advice

Melissa Lee on Monday's Fast Money was asking the question many in the media world were asking, which is, "Does getting Katie Couric really move the needle at Yahoo?"

Steve Grasso decided the answer is no. "What were they thinking?" Grasso bellowed, adding, "I don't know who's guiding Marissa but this is a terrible decision."

Josh Brown made a great joke about YHOO capturing the "59-89-year-old demo."

Jon Najarian said there's no competition for SIRI, so you've "gotta like this one."

Steve Grasso borrows
Mark Mahaney’s line

Guy Adami and Melissa Lee on Monday's Fast Money proclaimed biotech the real winner of 2013, and Adami said that as far as his top tech play, "It still remains Celgene."

Josh Brown pointed to solar, the "underappreciated segment of the Nasdaq." Adami said he agrees it's a name you can "start to chip away" at around 59-60 though he thinks it could find support a bit lower.

Jon Najarian advised, "I wouldn't fade those biotechs yet," and then trumpeted Chinese Internet, namely Tencent, Sina and Baidu.

Steve Grasso hailed GOOG, "The monetization of YouTube is just beginning."

Guy Adami suggested TWTR must still test 34½, 35.

Jon Najarian said NUAN has clearly broken down but it's worth taking a shot at 15.

Josh Brown said AAPL has recently underperformed a bit, but, "Above 530, this thing could really get going."

Thought Doc just recently was hailing Carl for taking profit right away (even though Carl didn’t); why did Doc hang on past $200?

In a clumsy exchange, Melissa Lee asked QCOM watcher James Faucette on Monday's Fast Money if China's putting the squeeze to the company based on some CHL payback or something like that.

"How can we understand this," Lee asked at one point, as Faucette indicated this stuff is regularly bargained, and that QCOM has the highest exposure among related names, which explains why that's the stock they were discussing from the beginning.

"We're gonna leave it there," Lee thankfully said.

Guy Adami repeated himself (snicker) by stating that people wrongly played QCOM as an AAPL proxy but that's no longer the case. Josh Brown said China's nowhere near QCOM's elite products and only competes on the lower end, and gushed, "Technically speaking, you can buy this stock here with impunity."

Jon Najarian had the audacity to blame Lee Cooperman for putting the idea of QCOM and COF into his head this year, but he thinks QCOM is in "catchup phase here."

Doc had to brag about bitcoins, saying he was buying them for his daughters the "first of this month" under $100, and then they got to $500 so he had to sell, now they're $800 and "off like a prom dress."

Guy: Let the storm pass

Guy Adami and Melissa Lee agreed on Monday's Fast Money that Tractor Supply is not a hot Black Friday destination.

Guy said that trading this week's storm is a "fool's errand" but noted that EBAY is breaking down.

Steve Grasso said "the obvious trade has to be Amazon." But Josh Brown thinks V and MA are even more obvious.

Grasso floated CMP as a play on ice-melting salt that people overlook.

Grasso said that if he had to buy a homebuilder, "it would be KB Homes."

Jon Najarian said he'd pick Ford over GM and Chrysler. Josh Brown scoffed "that Chrysler deal's not gonna happen by the way; it's a bluff" to gain the unions holding Chrysler equity more leverage.

‘Gob,’ ‘beasting’ delight panel

Dennis Gartman dialed into Monday's Fast Money to declare the market "rightfully expects" Iranian crude to be back on the market by year-end.

Gartman claimed there's a "gob of $110 crude oil out there," not so much at 80, and he thinks gas pump prices will eventually fall below $2.75 a gallon.

Guy Adami credited himself for a "great job" on XOM and now advises, "You should be taking profits here."

Scott Nations said big sellers of June 24 GDX calls are likely throwing in the towel.

Jon Najarian said "people hit the exits hard" in LGF and that he'd get in around 29½. Josh Brown said of BKW, "They seem to be killing it." Guy Adami still likes JBLU. Steve Grasso said to wait for AA to hold $10 for a couple of days.

Josh Brown questioned why anyone would fool around with ADT; there are "easier places to make money." Steve Grasso said "I'm staying long" BAC, while Guy Adami suggested BA would reach the low 120s.

Jon Najarian's Final Trade was FNSR. Josh Brown said GOOG, Steve Grasso said MON and Guy Adami said TIF.

Jeff Sonnenfeld obviously went to too much effort to deliver the interview he delivered on CNBC

Courtney Reagan said on Monday's Halftime Report that "I'm not entirely surprised to be honest" about the Wal-Mart transition, and that investors are hoping Bill Simon will stay on.

Judge said he spoke with "somebody very familiar with Wal-Mart's way of thinking on this" who called Doug McMillon "perfect" and "calm."

Jeff Sonnenfeld then came aboard the show and said everything he had heard on CNBC about this move is "pretty close to being right on target ... all the indications were that this was going to be the choice," but he cautioned that the company has a "shadow" of still being entwined in "international scandals."

Sonnenfeld said Mike Duke and Lee Scott might have some taint over that, so "they want somebody really pure in there."

The more Sonnenfeld talked, the more his points clashed, as he first claimed that McMillon was clearly the choice over Bill Simon despite reports, and then claimed, "But don't let's fall for the public relations line that this was somehow preordained."

That even got him into a scrap with Judge, who said his own source was saying the timing here is exactly how Wal-Mart does things and should be no surprise, while Sonnenfeld rebutted that "Whoever has said that to you knows less about Wal-Mart than they purport."

Courtney Reagan backed Judge, pointing out the dates of the announcement are almost exactly the same as when Mike Duke was promoted. Judge celebrated at the end, "I think Mr. Sonnenfeld is underestimating the credibility of the person I talked to."

Sonnenfeld said that as a result of the Yale scare, he was "climbing out of a window, climbing into another window, and driving over some curbs" just to reach the studio for this particular interview, which means either 1) those appearance fees paid by CNBC are excellent, or 2) a producer should've checked in with Sonnenfeld in advance and after hearing his analysis advised him, "Jeff why not take the day off" before the window-scrambling.

Sonnenfeld said there are "soft targets" at places like universities, which is a "tragedy of our contemporary life."

Joe evidently visits Wal-Marts, suggests employees slacking, and that shoppers affected by higher taxes

In the most curious commentary about WMT on Monday's Halftime Report, Dr. New Land opined that "clearly the Wal-Mart customer is affected by higher taxes, it's affected by unemployment, you walk into the stores, there's a problem in the stores, you know, whether it's the workers, or it doesn't appear to give the presentation that it did in years prior."

This comment is significant in that generally the Fast Money folks who recommend Wal-Mart will admit they've never been in one.

This comment is also significant in that we're wondering which Wal-Mart shoppers have been socked with higher taxes recently.

Jon Najarian gave Joe a rebuttal but with a verbal hug. "I'll switch up and take the other side of that, uh, not because I don't love Joe, because I do, but, I just love Wal-Mart here vs. Target."

Stephanie Link as usual tried to impress everyone with her knowledge of WMT's last report, citing a "negative .03 comp."

Stephen Weiss said, "I like Target better."

Joe sure of 10% drop in 2014

Joe Terranova was enlisted to kick off Monday's Halftime Report.

But Joe's boot went feebly to about the 17-yard line, as he merely sputtered that the stock market looks like a story that will play well into Q1, and he likes financials.

Steve Weiss was more pointed, asserting, "This'll be another year of underperformance in commodities," and advising, "Stay away from housing," before engaging in another iron ore scrap with Stephanie Link.

Judge then brought in Chris Hyzy, who diplomatically proclaimed, "I agree with every single point that's made here," then explained, "We're underweight commodities because of the taper effect" and also underweight emerging markets, because this a scenario of "non-inflationary growth."

Hyzy claimed that markets move in phases, and this is "Phase II" in which multiples expand. "We can get to 18, 19 multiples before we even start to worry for real," and in fact, by the end of 2013, "You could literally see another 5-7% in this marketplace."

Mr. New World, regaining some footing, assured there will be a "10% correction ... at some point next year" and asked Hyzy what he thinks of that. Hyzy said he could only see that if tapering were accelerated, or if things suddenly got worse and they had to increase QE.

Hyzy likes financials, industrials and "U.S. across the board."

Still waiting for John Kilduff’s
Syria-related 125

Jeff Kilburg, with an "at the end of the day," told Monday's Futures Now/Halftime Report that he expects "more price deterioration" in oil assuming Iran meets the minimum obligations for 6 months.

Jim Iuorio said if the agreement holds, oil can fall "into the 80s for certain," and then curiously suggested, "our oil dependence might fall by the wayside," whatever that means related to incentives of U.S. production, "but I do think oil's gonna go lower."

Joe Terranova trumpeted PXD, "it's pulling back, you wanna own it" and is a "huge opportunity" in the 170s. (This writer is long PXD.) Joe also trumpeted EOG and HAL.

Joe said AREX despite getting "obliterated" recently is still a buy. Stephen Weiss said to "buy the airlines."

Mr. New Land actually credited Goldman Sachs for making a trading call, long U.S. stocks against the Australian dollar, which is like crediting C.C. Sabathia for pitching an inning, and suggested FOXA.

Has Katie Couric actually made any money for anyone in 10 years?

Bob Peck told Judge Wapner on Monday's Halftime that he sees a "natural support level in the mid-30s" for TWTR and thinks the stock will improve when we "finally get out of this information void."

Stephen Weiss actually said of TWTR, "I shorted a little bit today," and would cover at 35.

Weiss said that YHOO based on the Couric hire (snicker) is moving into content, which is expensive, and "I'm out of this one."

Mike Murphy admitted that even he and Einhorn both like MU, "I'm not as positive as he is," but he thinks $3 in earnings is possible.

Stephanie Link is bearish on MU for the weakest reasons, "largely it's valuation" and the fact it's up "220% year to date." (Right. So stocks up 190% are buys, and those up 220% are toppy.)

Steve Weiss chided Murphy's suggestion that MU can trade at 12 times earnings. Murphy said even at 10 times, if it posts $3.50 in earnings, that's $35. Weiss said he agrees with Murphy on one thing (that Link is clueless about), the previous gain in the stock is irrelevant, "It doesn't matter where it came from."

Regarding AA, Joe Terranova said, "You wanna go downstream, look at some of those parts suppliers." Stephanie Link said "I'd rather own Cummins over CAT any day." Stephen Weiss said CAT has been bad but "it's crying out for a management change," and would be a buy with a new CEO.

Brian Battle reported that the VIX is showing there "seems like a lot of complacency." Gordon Charlop said "I think the commander in chief maybe showed some weakness" on the Iran deal. Sexy Sheila Dharmaran reported that the Nasdaq composite crossed 4,000.

Chuck Grom said Amazon continues to benefit from a greater shift to online shopping over the holidays, and "We like Macy's" (Drink) as well as FIVE and COST (which is supposed to be a play on higher gasoline because more people sign up for membership to get cheap gas but we don't hear the other side of that now).

Jon Najarian's Final Trade was PWE, "bought that this morning." Stephanie Link said AXP, Steve Weiss said BA and Joe Terranova said MJN.

[Friday, November 22, 2013]

Ron Johnson’s strategy: Stop selling stuff that’s ‘enormously profitable’

Mall expert Bill Taubman told Friday's Fast Money that the low end, represented by WMT, TGT and BBY, is weak, but "the mid-price is showing strength," evidenced by M and DDS.

But it was his assessment of JCP that was most provocative, saying Ron Johnson stopped selling drapes and luggage for no clear reason; "there's whole categories they went out of that were enormously profitable for them."

Taubman asserted that there's a "little bit of a bifurcation" in the big box space as many want to get smaller but some want to get a little bigger.

Tim Seymour suggested TGT is an interesting nibble around 63.

Guy Adami admits going long the market in 2009 and just sitting on the shares has worked

Guy Adami, called to account on Friday's Fast Money for his bungled S&P 1,760 prediction, admitted he was "shocked" at the surge while still somehow contending, "I do think it's a stock-picker's market," even though nobody has really had to pick for 4-5 years.

Steve Grasso, not really called to account for his atrocious claim this week that a 4-6% selloff was imminent, mentioned 1,730 and 1,698 and insisted, "I still think it's coming."

Tim Seymour claimed tapering is "priced in on some level."

Seymour's top trade (also his Final Trade) is CHL. Brian Kelly said VLO, Steve Grasso said YHOO ("because of Alibaba," of course) and Guy Adami said MA.

Tim Seymour said he loved playing Xbox and it's an intriguing part of MSFT's new strategy (somehow he said this with a straight face, as if anyone is buying the stock for its video games). Guy Adami said you can get long GME against 48.50.

Observing Stan Druckenmiller's short IBM call, Brian Kelly warned of broader ramifications: "If you're seeing weakness here, you could see weakness in the rest of the market." Tim Seymour said not to play IBM in either direction; "I wouldn't touch this one."

Brian Kelly's Final Trade was HFC. Steve Grasso said LVS if it holds 68; Guy Adami said MU and really tacked on a lot of nonchalant hyperbole.

Jim Regan visited the set to discuss the Lead the Way Fund for Army Rangers.

An 11 on a 10-point scale

The notion of hanging a higher and higher valuation on Alibaba — we've been wondering if it will reach $400 billion — has been a winner for a couple years now in the analyst community, so much so that elite investor Alex Sacerdote evidently figured he'd give it a shot too.

"My best idea is Softbank," Sacerdote said on Friday's Halftime Report, explaining it owns 37% of Alibaba, and in his scoring method with a "3-part framework" finds that "Softbank scores 11 out of 10" and thus is his best discovery since AAPL of 2007.

As for Alibaba, "We think it's worth 250 billion," Sacerdote said.

That's "the highest I think I've heard," said Judge, but just wait.

Sacerdote claimed that "China e-commerce is the mother of all S-curves," hence he not only loves Softbank, but QIHU as well.

Meanwhile, Sacerdote took a moment to gush about Amazon, which he said has "already won the war" in the cloud space.

He used similar terminology with P, explaining, "They pretty much won the war of Internet radio," and while he said it has 10% of radio listening, it has just a "very tiny sliver" of radio ad dollars that Sacerdote figures will change.

Sacerdote said he sold his AAPL stake in 2012, because after reaching 50% penetration, "your growth slows."

The only thing about the POST trade is that it sounds like Stephen Weiss and the Floyd Trade (‘He’s made me rich 4 times now and this’ll be the 5th’) and look at how HK is doing these days

Nehal Chopra offered a few stock picks on Friday's Halftime, but Judge seemed most interested in Chopra's curriculum vitae — a master's at age 21 from Wharton.

"We focus on corporate change," was how Chopra described her strategy, and she indicated POST is her top pick, explaining the "most exciting part about it is the CEO," who she thinks will make it a "Ralston 2.0."

Chopra likes CHTR and appreciates David Faber's report on the cable space Friday, and in a chuckler that nobody chuckled at, said CHTR has plenty of upside stemming from "subscribers that are underpenetrated in everything."

Chopra articulated how Valeant (VRX) chief J. Michael Pearson is not chasing the next big drug but buying up all the steady productive ones that he can; "he's wearing a private equity hat in the world of small pharma."

Jon Najarian saluted the POST pick; "it's a great one." Mike Murphy indicated in a strange way that the VRX pick might've been luck but nevertheless offered, "great job by her." Jon Najarian indicated there was "fast activity" in DISH but it didn't have anything to do with David Faber's cable report.

Tony Dwyer suggests S&P could hit 2,155 in 2014

Tony Dwyer, feelin' it over his correctly bullish market calls in 2013, told Judge Wapner on Friday's Halftime that "Next year I'm still the biggest bull," and that he thinks his 1,955 target might be a "couple hundred points too low."

"This thing is just getting going," Dwyer contended.

Dwyer asserted that "rates have a limited amount that they can go up," and he sees 3.5% on the 10-year as the maximum though he's not necessarily calling for that much.

Mike Murphy got Dwyer to somehow agree that it's a "stock-picker's market within the industrial space" (translation: anything but CAT and VALE).

Murph suggested Ackman's in a losing HLF pickle; "it seems to me that he's kind of boxed-in here" and that if the overhang on the company lifts, then there's a "lot of upside in this name."

David Faber spoke briefly about his Comcast/TWC report. Jon Najarian cited a "lot of upside call speculation" in TWC. Mike Murphy pointed to CVC and said "I think there's more upside there."

Murphy said he'd buy WFM on the TFM related weakness.

Murph actually made a bull call on DDD because a deal with Motorola is essentially a deal with Google, and "I think the stock goes higher."

Stephanie Link scoffed that GPS' beat was "all expense control" and advised, as she always does, "Wait for a pullback."

Jon Najarian said P had been up and down since its earnings report but after a nice breakout, "we'll probably go through some consolidation."

Jim Iuorio said "at the end of the day," gold is hampered by the 10-year, but if it reaches 1,200 then "maybe it's different." Rich Ilczyszyn suggested the support line could drop 1,200 and to reverse the decline it would take a "currency shift or close above that trend line."

Jon Najarian's Final Trade was QLIK. Mike Murphy said COG and Stephanie Link said C.

[Thursday, November 21, 2013]

Doc predicts: AAPL ‘north of 560 at the end of the year’

Dan Nathan argued on Thursday's Fast Money that China Mobile would have to be the next catalyst for AAPL, which he complained "just doesn't go anywhere" and "cannot get above 530 right here."

Tim Seymour grumbled again that just opining that the stock will go sideways brings out the hecklers.

But Jon Najarian reiterated his October theme, that AAPL will do great over the holidays and be "north of 560 at the end of the year."

Seymour said that of the momentum space, "I like Google," the "safest of the picks." He also mentioned BITA and YNDX and said those are names "people should be looking" at globally.

Jon Najarian said an "awful lot" of people are chasing stocks right now, which is fueling SINA, YOKU and FXI, which he said are "great places to be."

Seymour endorsed MU, saying "margins are actually getting better." But Dan Nathan cautioned "it's not a layup here," and in his favorite argument noted it's "up 200% ... I think you have to buy it on a pullback." Jon Najarian also suggested the run may be a little toppy in MU; "I don't know that you put fresh money to work here."

Dan Nathan surprisingly said of a stock he previously called "garbage," P, "I think you buy it on a pullback ... People don't like iRadio ... Pandora is in a sweet spot right now," but he wants to buy it in the "mid-20s." (This writer is long P.)

Haven’t heard the old ‘buy retail around Labor Day and sell on Black Friday’ routine for a while

Mary Epner on Thursday's program mentioned one of those magic Fast Money words — KORS — but spent most of her emphasis on TJX and ROST.

Epner said she likes the discounters given the "economic climate" while maintaining "luxury's still quite good.

Epner said the important space is jewelry, athletic apparel and shoes and said those with a toehold there will succeed, and she singled out KORS and RL.

Mel Lee questioned what's different about the retailers; "everybody seems to sell everything."

Epner also spoke positively of GPS and LULU.

Karen Finerman said, in the first of 3 references, she likes FL.

Jon Najarian said his favorites in the discount space are BURL and TJX, which he thinks are better than ROST.

Tim Seymour reiterated that he doesn't see Marc Faber's high-end bubble.


Questions for Coach Rick are fine, but his answers are even better

We're not really sure why Rick Pitino showed up on Thursday's Fast Money — possible recruiting trip (not the Fast Money gang, but high school basketball players in the area) — but whatever the reason, Melissa Lee said Pitino is a fan of the show, a realization she called "shocking."

Lee pointed out how the University of Louisville is ranked No. 1 in college basketball's money rankings; Pitino explained how the stadium's sold out and how there's a seat-license premium.

Lee then pointed out what Pitino's total compensation might be over the length of his contract and said some people have a problem with a university employee receiving that kind of money. Coach's response was that a portion of it doesn't come from the university, but through sponsorships, and depends on incentives such as reaching the Final Four.

Tim Seymour then asked if the players should get paid. Pitino said if that happens, "Where does women's soccer come in," and added, "Title IX comes into play."

Great observations. Nobody addressed the overriding issue, which is that when the NCAA was founded (apparently under the Theodore Roosevelt administration in 1906, to deal with eligibility and football-safety issues), nobody figured the whole world would care so much about these games that only students and a few alumni were supposed to care about.

In other words, it's nobody's fault that a university coach might make $40 million; this is what the public wants.

The wide camera caught Dr. J snapping a picture of Rick mid-interview. You can see both that image and the image Doc apparently took and posted above.

Pitino actually endorsed KORS. Karen Finerman, for the 2nd time in the program, endorsed FL. Tim Seymour said NKE.

Dow at new high, but it’s ‘very much a stock-picker’s market’

In a curious intro, Karen Finerman said at the top of Thursday's Fast Money that fundamentals have re-emerged as the driver of stocks, which she likes; "the stock trades depending on how the company is doing."

Unless, of course, Carl says we're capable of a "big drop."

(Sigh) Dan Nathan mistakenly said it's "very much a stock-picker's market."

In a rather goofy interview, Mel and the gang had fun with SurveyMonkey chief David Goldberg, who insisted a lot of pros are using his service "to make great investment calls."

Goldberg said the barriers to entry are OK because his company has a "huge user base," and because of a cash-raise, "there's no particular need to go public."

Karen Finerman admitted that "today's not delightful" for shorting GMCR, and her least favorite element of that short is the "big short interest." Nevertheless, Finerman revealed, "we shorted a little more."

Dan Nathan pounded the table for the XLF, saying it's one you "probably wanna ride into the new year" and predicting it goes "north of 22."

Karen Finerman endorsed banks again but said her favorite is still C. Tim Seymour said he likes BAC best, they "stole" Merrill Lynch. Jon Najarian agreed that BAC did "indeed steal Merrill Lynch," and told Nathan, "I'll go with you to 22 Dan" in the XLF, given that the weekly options in banks have been a "gold mine."

Tim Seymour contended that "China I think has turned a corner," but he'd still be "taking profits" in CLF and WLT, which turned out to be his Final Trade. Dan Nathan said he's shorting GLD around the 120 level and expects it to hit 115, at which point it may become a buy.

Karen: Fade ‘The Hunger Games’

Dan Nathan said on Thursday's Fast Money that he'd actually possibly buy DDD, "maybe below $60."

Tim Seymour said "I would be a little cautious here" on YUM.

Karen Finerman said Treasury is on the way out of GM. Dan Nathan said GOGO has 55% short interest.

Jon Najarian said GME would've been a great buy a few months ago, and that people were exiting Thursday.

Mike Khouw said calls were heavy in CAT, NAV and DE, in particular the CAT December 82.50s.

Karen Finerman said, "We're long URI ... I still don't like CAT."

Melissa Lee called TFM the "so-called higher-end grocery trade," but didn't use air quotes. Dan Nathan, noting TFM's slide, said "these guys might've hit a wall."

Karen Finerman noted the AMTD chief's comments about the long-term investors still not coming back; Karen said she wants more investors in the game. Tim Seymour said the AMTD chart belies those comments, the stock's had a great year.

Karen said she wouldn't chase LGF ahead of a blockbuster movie; "fading the trade is probably the way to go."

Dan Nathan said he'd want to buy FFIV "somewhere around $70." Tim Seymour said to stay in X. Jon Najarian revealed of SPLK, "I do like it."

Jon Najarian's Final Trade was DG. Karen Finerman said (for the 3rd time) FL. Dan Nathan said he's long puts in IBM.

Judge hits home run,
Einhorn interview top-notch

Too bad it wasn't longer, but Judge Wapner, despite a glitch here or there, got the most from his chat with David Einhorn on Thursday's Halftime Report/Robin Hood coverage.

The most intriguing portion was Einhorn's assessment of St. Joe (JOE).

"It's not actually a business," Einhorn contended, but a "pool of land that's being liquidated over time."

Einhorn explained that he was telling his 7th-grade son, in "pre-algebra," that about 2/3 of the JOE land had been sold for about $5 worth of share value, and he asked his son (this is where it gets really tricky for us) what that makes "all of St. Joe worth?"

Einhorn said his son figured out $7.50 a share, which was "absolutely right."

Then Einhorn had to tell his son that the stock trades for 18, explaining, "You don't learn that in math; you learn that in philosophy."

In a rare glitch, Judge then referred to the "7-year-old" Mr. Einhorn, when it's the "7th-grade Mr. Einhorn." (Although, to be honest, it wouldn't surprise us if David Einhorn's son was already in 7th grade at age 7.)

Einhorn said the company's really worth "about $10 a share," but Bruce Berkowitz won't even confer with him; "he doesn't wanna talk to me or really anybody else." (Actually, Berkowitz did talk to The Strategy Session, twice, once while sick, but that was a while back.)

Einhorn ‘not convinced’
that ‘they’ll ever taper’

We couldn't help but pump the fist during Thursday's Halftime Report when David Einhorn revealed, "I'm not convinced when, or if, they'll ever taper."

We figure someday there will be a "when," but we can't really figure out the newfound 2013 urgency, assuming the beef is that it's affecting the national debt (as if anyone has been serious about that since the 1970s).

Yet, Einhorn contended, "The Fed policy is actually a headwind to the economy," and he knows a whole lot more about this stuff than we do.

On the other hand, the Moochmeister said afterward that his hedge fund friends don't grasp that monetary policy is "definitely helping the economy as it relates to interest expenses at the governmental level."

In another slight glitch, Judge spent too much time on MU, although Einhorn articulately explained that a while back, he shorted, but "it's become such an awful industry that most people have left it," and the consolidation has changed everything; now they "just need a non-ugly multiple."

Josh Brown assured viewers that MU isn't a 3-D printing company; "this is still trading 9 times earnings." Judge Wapner agreed, saying it's not a high-momentum name.

Judge also was a bit sappy on AAPL, confirming both he and Einhorn like their new 5S, then questioning why people such as Einhorn and Carl get such a hard time when trying to instigate change at AAPL. Einhorn didn't say the obvious answer — people are rightly suspicious/skeptical/disenchanted with super-rich 1%ers trying to make even more money by (bleeping) with an enormously popular company — but did say he merely tried to point out that "more could be done" with the company's cash hoard, but at least they've gone from a D- to a C+ in capital allocation.

Einhorn, who said his Apple case was the first time he's made a "constructive suggestion" to a company in years, said people are afraid that because it makes phones, it might be the next Motorola or BlackBerry (that's only part of it; the other part is that people fear that phones will be ubiquitous and cost $19.99 in the near future), but Apple's different because it has a "software component."

Anthony Scaramucci pointed out that Einhorn's interest in Apple's fingerprint technology centers around the possibility of Apple entering the mobile-payment space.

Einhorn told Judge he owns gold in case the system goes "really really haywire" (point: It did in 2008, and gold went down too), and "it's very underowned" (unless your name is Paulson/Schiff).

Wapner pointed out Einhorn is in TPX; "we like consolidating industries," Einhorn said.

Einhorn: CMG books aren’t
cooked, but the stock is

Shorting anything in 2013 isn't easy, as David Einhorn acknowledged on Thursday's Halftime Report.

His concern about GMCR, he said, as the screen ticker showed the stock roaring ahead, is "whether they're selling as many K-Cups and brewers as they actually report."

He argued that with patent expiration on K-Cups, everyone is making them now, and so the "monopoly-type margin is gone."

Admitting "we've had a tough year in shorts," Einhorn assured that his GMCR case is playing out over time just as he expected, claiming they're actually trying to introduce a new proprietary brewer that will only use their own patented products.

CMG, Einhorn contended, is "not like a Green Mountain-kinda story," but he thinks it has "reached its level of pricing power," and explained that management has been predicting price increases in late 2013, then early 2014, now mid-2014, and so "the price increase gets pushed off."

Josh Brown later said that the problem with the CMG short thesis is that people think Taco Bell will eat share, but in fact it's "2 different consumers." The Moochmeister said he and Brown have "frequent eater cards at Chipotle."

Barry Sternlicht warns that people might start fleeing blue states

Judge also welcomed Barry Sternlicht, briefly, onto Thursday's Halftime; Sternlicht said he does see some "irrational exuberance" in the IPO space (note Dr. J's TWTR report below), and regarding some hedge fund investors he knows, "they have the panic button ready."

Sternlicht curiously predicted that it's possible "people will leave" certain blue states that are struggling with finances and have an influx of immigrants; this would figure to have ramifications in the real estate market and beyond.

He also suggested Christmas could be better than people think.

Josh Brown said YUM has struggled mightily with the 72-75 level and it's "only a matter of time" until it breaks out.

Anthony Scaramucci said GM "could easily trade into the 60s."

Jon Najarian said Carl's HOLX move is "typical Carl Icahn ... I bought this one today."

Josh Brown, taking a cue from John Edwards, said the high end is fine; "there really are 2 different consumers right now."

Jon Najarian said he likes BA. Doc said he's also tracking TWTR options, and Thursday was the "first time I've seen calls outtrading puts by 2 to 1," so he thinks it may hold 40.

Najarian's Final Trade was KBR, based on "unusual call activity." Josh Brown said XLF, and Anthony Scaramucci said COST.

[Wednesday, November 20, 2013]

Melissa Lee uses air quotes
4 times in a half-hour

Melissa Lee, delivering a speech about ONVO during Wednesday's Fast Money, couldn't help but use air quotes to emphasize the company's insistence that a Seeking Alpha blogger had "significant factual errors" in a blog post.

But that was only the beginning, as Lee invoked the visual aid 3 times for the term "asset" or "asset class" during a bitcoin conversation later in the program.

Bitcoin exchange chief Bobby Lee (evidently no relation; that wasn't addressed) told Lee that "asset class is the best way to describe it."

(Bobby) Lee further said that while anyone could do a "MelissaCoin" (quotes ours) or "CNBCCoin" (quotes ours), bitcoin is sound because "it's already way in the lead."

He suggested the skyrocketing purported value of bitcoin is not a big deal because it started at 0, and anything divided by zero is infinite. In which case, we can say that TWTR since September has run to infinity.

(Bobby) Lee particularly irked Guy Adami with his suggestion of a "future utopian society," which Adami called "scary stuff."

But Melissa had her own stumbles, air quotes aside, in both the bitcoin and ONVO conversations, telling Bobby Lee "we're literally out of time" when literally, they kept talking for a couple more minutes.

Lee also noted of the ONVO tempest, "None of this is fact-checked; it's a blog post," as though all blog posts are not fact-checked (and as though everything on TV is, such as how the Superman movie was going to deflate DIS stock if 2 out of 3 scenarios happened, it either grossed 1) exactly $115 million, or 2) less than $115 million, until TV fact-checked and discovered it was actually a Warner Bros. film), and then referred to "Internet bloggers" (sic redundancy).

Steve Grasso suggested HPQ, which he's long, can get in the 3-D space if it wants, so those stocks represent "tremendous risk for the retail investor."

Guy Adami said you can trade DDD "against the 65 level."

Karen Finerman curiously credited ONVO management for claiming it's not going to debate this post, "they shouldn't be engaging with the short sellers," when it seems like they already are engaging.

As for the air quotes, we'll let it go once Mel explains what she meant in telling that mag that the Fast Money gang believes QE "will shortly easy" (sic). (Wonder if it's safe to say "None of this is fact-checked (such as Melissa taking the subway "all the time," being offered a "full ride" for an MBA and having a "fantasy" of covering City Hall politics); it's a 1-source magazine article.")

If Guy honestly believes people perceive PCLN as overvalued because of its nominal share price, why hasn’t he called for a split?

You know the line in "Road House" where Emmet says of Brad Wesley, "I swear he does that just to p--- me off."

Well, the same thing occurs on CNBC's Fast Money in the form of Guy Adami regularly inventing/resurrecting a jaw-droppingly bogus point about PCLN.

See, Guy likes to claim that the Street finds PCLN overvalued, because its nominal share price is 4 digits.

In other words, he thinks they can't figure out a P.E. ratio.

"People confuse the absolute price, this $1,100 level, as an expensive stock," Adami claimed on Wednesday's Fast Money (yes, that's him saying it in the photo above; no, as you can see by his hands, he didn't use air quotes on "expensive").

But if people are so "confused" by this valuation, 1) why does this stock keep going up, and 2) why doesn't every company split itself down to nominal single-digit share prices so that everyone will mistakenly believe those stocks are "cheap"?

Laughable Dept.: Steve Grasso says of the S&P 500, ‘You almost have to treat this like Tesla’

He's been predicting a 4-6% selloff.

On Wednesday's Fast Money, he sounded downright intoxicated with the idea.

Steve Grasso warned again that "the selloff is coming, any day," but stressed that the question for traders is, "Can you time it appropriately."

While Guy Adami said he expects to see 1,760, Grasso said if that doesn't hold, we'll see 1,730, and incredibly added, "You almost have to treat this like Tesla."

Grasso insisted there's not going to be another government shutdown, but Karen Finerman indicated that Dec. 13 is a big date for her (no, it's not her wedding anniversary; that was last week).

Melissa Lee quoted Adam Parker (without air quotes) as telling clients, "We are Bob Marley. Don't worry about a thing."

Guy Adami warned, "That could come back and haunt him."

Steve Grasso defines ‘par’

Meanwhile, on the subject of Tesla, Brian Kelly on Wednesday's Fast Money was once again in the "buy" camp, suggesting viewers use 120 as a stop.

Guy Adami warned the shares are quite possibly headed to the "108 level."

Steve Grasso concurred, stating, "I think it is going to 108, or even par, $100, so I would wait until it stabilizes first."

Yet, if both Grasso and Adami believe there is 10% to be made quickly on the short side of this name, why didn't either one suggest it as his No. 1 short during another segment in which Adami chose WDC and Grasso chose IBM?

Guy Adami said JCI is "really not that expensive," but he wouldn't chase it, but he does like the auto suppliers. However, Guy got tangled up in trying to figure out whether Karen Finerman likes Ford or GM.

Notice nobody mentioned YELP, Z, P, LNKD, NFLX, etc.

Anthony Scaramucci delivered a little anti-shorting presentation on Wednesday's Fast Money, and quite honestly we couldn't disagree with any of it.

"They're not gonna taper anytime soon," Scaramucci said, and in general, the market goes up 8 out of every 10 years (that wouldn't be our strongest argument), and "I think this would be a disaster to get short a market like this."

Something will eventually put an end to this bull market (we keep thinking inflation, but there's still no sign of it yet), but it's obviously not going to be Greece, or a congressional stalemate, or a Ben Bernanke press conference, or Carl Icahn's Twitter feed.

Melissa Lee enlisted the top short ideas of her panel. Guy Adami suggested WDC, conceding Jim Chanos announced it months ago and since then entered face-ripped-off land, so "even he gets it wrong," but Guy thinks the shares are setting up for a plunge.

Karen Finerman offered CAT, for "management credibility ... every quarter they seem to be guiding down ... something is off at CAT."

Steve Grasso curiously said IBM, because it has "less of an opportunity to increase EPS."

Brian Kelly, who actually made a good call a couple weeks ago, went to the well too often on PXD (to the point this writer got long the name Wednesday), first with a Brag Trade ("my average price on short's around 205 on this") and then asserting as the catalyst, "There is a bubble in oil," in which case he should be shorting USO instead.

Karen Finerman revealed she's short a little GMCR and it scares her a bit to be short a name like this. Mike Khouw said November 50 weekly puts were actually hopping, but he thinks those people are going to be disappointed. Finerman said she's short through equity, not options, which won't make Pete Najarian happy.

Ticker Symbols That Should
Exist (Cont’d): BRA

Karen Finerman gave grudging acknowledgment of a bit of stabilization at JCP on Wednesday's Fast Money, saying of the recent results, "It was OK, it wasn't horrible ... I just think there's so much better value elsewhere," which of course led to letter M (Drink); "Macy's is much better."

Guy Adami said he'd look to short JCP around 10½ or 11.

Steve Grasso reiterated he likes ANF with a 30 stop but said he no longer models for the company; "the clothes got a little tight-fitting."

Melissa Lee cracked "What a suprise" to Grasso's joke, but then assured viewers it's only an "observation."

Lee thought she'd conduct a discussion of L Brands, and rolled the tape (we always like how Karen totally gets how those clips are catnip for males), but nobody was prepared for this one. (Still wouldn't consider it a bust though.)

Guy Adami said he'd rather own HD than LOW.

Mike Khouw said of SPLS, "Although it's cheap I wouldn't buy it."

Steve Grasso said he bought more YHOO and expects it to reach 42 or 43.

Karen Finerman said DE's results support the appeal of URI.

Guest Tom Flexner said there's still opportunity in multifamily REITs, although as home values increase, the returns lessen except in cases where rents can rise proportionally.

"Tom, we gotta/gonna (we're not totally sure which) leave it there," was how Melissa Lee concluded the interview.

Brian Kelly said he'd "take some profits" in TSL.

Karen Finerman said she was intrigued by the Stiritz argument against the HLF short. "I have never seen that as a strategy in a 13-D before from a real guy who owns a lot of stock," said Finerman, who at one point defined "real" as someone who's not just a trader.

Guy Adami said Melissa has a "Louis Vuitton bag."

Mike Khouw's Final Trade was to sell HD. Steve Grasso said QCOM, the only buy of the group. Brian Kelly said to sell GDX, Karen Finerman said sell WLP and Guy Adami said to short WDC.

Guest claims shorting environment just as good as 2000, then says viewers shouldn’t ‘put on a bunch of short positions this afternoon’

It was just a day ago that several folks adept with in-demand TV soundbites paraded through Fast Money.

On Wednesday's Halftime Report, short seller John Fichthorn — a guy who's willing to say "bubble" on TV — proved more than up to that assignment.

In the loopiest comment we've heard in ages, Fichthorn claimed, "We think the opportunity with any kind of reasonable time frame now is, really the best we've seen since starting our firm 10 years ago" (evidently missing that Lehman Brothers/Citigroup/Fannie/Freddie thing a while back).

That was followed up by noting he's been doing this since 1995 and endured the Internet bubble, and "in many ways this is more compelling because it makes even less sense uh that we're here today."

Sure. An economy perceived as (slowly) improving. With a Fed backstop. Short away.

It's a "crazy bifurcated market," Fichthorn said, even though it's not, rattling off giant sectors 3-D printing, SAAS and solar, whose relevant names have about the TSLA market cap, as frothy; "the ship is starting to waver."

"I am short 3-D," Fichthorn said, noting, "This isn't the first time you've seen a 3-D printing bubble."

As for that software sector, "This is the 2000 bubble over again ... the same companies, but they're in a cloud ... I never thought in my lifetime I would see the Internet bubble opportunity again, and here it is."

Fine. Once he puts on bets for 75% drops in MSFT, CSCO and AMZN, we'll believe him.

Stephen Weiss correctly noted one could've made the "same thesis a year ago," and wouldn't it be smarter to wait until the stocks actually begin to crack before guessing that they will; "why take that risk."

Weiss described the short space in hedge funds as "crowded," but Fichthorn said that even though more funds may be into it, "There isn't necessarily more money in short selling."

But, eventually getting to the only relevant thing he said, Fichthorn concluded, "I wouldn't go out and tell your average viewer to, you know, put on a bunch of short positions this afternoon."

On a related matter, Fichthorn said the real focus of the HLF debate should be that it's an "endless chain business model," but failed to back up his argument as to what it is people are missing or whether he thinks it's legit or not.

Steve Weiss said he does agree that the 3-D space is overcooked but that the market can stay irrational for a long time. Pete Najarian noted that Fichthorn only denounced some of the solar space and not all.

Pete shorting JCP

Mike Murphy said on Wednesday's Halftime Report that he has gotten long JCP this week.

But that wasn't as curious as Stephen Weiss revealing, "I did go long a little this morning," explaining he can do that because, like Gekko (until the BlueStar thing), "I'm not emotional about stocks."

Murphy said he got long via 9.5 and 10 calls on Monday and Tuesday, because there was "so much negativity out there." He thinks this is "only the beginning of the move" upwards.

Weiss vowed that he will short the shares again.

Pete Najarian thundered, "I'm shorting now! ... Right now they're doing it all through promotions," and then said he hopes Murph gets out of the options he just bought; "they're losing money on these sales."

Meanwhile, Jon Najarian endorsed KORS, stating, "They're eating Coach's lunch." Stephen Weiss agreed, saying in department stores Coach handbags are collecting more dust than Mike Murphy's wallet.

Weiss said PVH is fine and "Macy's I own, I still like it" (Drink), though he sold 1/3 of his position. Pete Najarian trumpeted WSM for "international" reasons.

Doc hates K-Cup java

Mike Murphy argued on Wednesday's Halftime Report that GMCR is a buy because the stock has been knocked down. Pete Najarian countered that K-Cup sales aren't great anymore and that GMCR is gradually taking a hit in grocery store shelf space.

Jon Najarian not surprisingly backed Pete, saying, "I just can't stand the way the K-Cup coffee tastes."

Guest Tom Digenan argued that stock investors shouldn't fear the Fed, because stocks have done great this year while the 10-year yield has also climbed.

Digenan said he expects financials and insurance to be the big winners. He also said he agrees with Jon Najarian on K-Cup coffee.

Stephen Weiss claimed "we've got basically disinflation right now." Digenan, who said he thinks broker stocks have already had their run, simply cheerily agreed that there's no inflation on the horizon.

Digenan hilariously noted that Judge had a "short guy" on the show earlier, but not a guy who was short physically. Digenan said he doesn't see a bubble even though Judge is hell-bent on arranging a group discussion on Barron's cover all week.

‘Fed’s in a world of hurt’

Wednesday's Halftime crew took up (the usual program hook) a bunch of momentum names and discussed whether they're buys or sells.

Pete Najarian basically called everything a buy, specifically NFLX, for its "international" growth.

Stephen Weiss observed that GME's momentum keeps going even though he thinks it'll be out of business in years. Mike Murphy said he actually thinks GME is interesting now, even though he agrees with Weiss longer-term, but what concerns him more now is BBY; "I think there's more downside there."

Jon Najarian likes GME but suggested, curiously, to watch AMZN, now that tax collections are kicking in.

Weiss, according to the chart, said to exit NFLX and BBY, hold MU, and buy DAL.

Regardin MU, Weiss said, invoking cliche heaven, "The end of the day, it's a commodity business."

Mike Murphy said PM "missed the boat a little bit with the e-cig" and if you're buying it, you're "buying it for the yield."

Pete Najarian said his preferred sin stock is LVS. Jon Najarian touted BEAM but cautioned there are "rumors swirling about the name."

Jeff Kilburg explained, "I'm bearish on bonds," and said if yields get above 3% with this extra dovishness, the "Fed's in a world of hurt."

Jim Iuorio conceded, "It looks like yields are goin' higher," and pronounced the chairman as "Bernocki."

Kilburg, who has been calling for a gold spike for months, concluded, "The Fed is losing control."

In the "Trader Triple Play," viewers heard of negatives for European banks and how gold watchers need to wait for Fed minutes. Steve Grasso said refiners are running into chart resistance and that Iran negotiations could ding margins, so he'd take profits.

Pete Najarian said BAC options are trading 4-to-1 calls vs. puts.

Mike Murphy said CSCO is interesting but you don't have to jump in yet. Steve Weiss said to hold SWK but don't buy. Jon Najarian said he'd buy BIDU. Pete Najarian called ACI a hold.

Pete Najarian's Final Trade was GNW. Jon Najarian said YOKU. Mike Murphy said FB, and Steve Weiss said BA.

[Tuesday, November 19, 2013]

Missy should’ve used air quotes to help Craig nail down what ‘it’ is

Craig Irwin has quickly shown how to master the cottage industry of stock analyst.

Irwin has parlayed his 205 TSLA target into multiple appearances recently on CNBC, easily out-appearing the humdrum Ben Kallo.

Adhering to this winning script, Irwin insisted that the NHTSA probe "is a really good thing."

Melissa Lee struggled to get Irwin to concede he's underestimating the potential for repair trouble but unfortunately muddled her question with too many possibilities (basically does Tesla have the resources to cover higher warranty costs or a recall), which allowed Irwin to answer too simply, "I think it's low-probability," and then, conceding he hasn't done those calculations, reiterated, "I don't think it's gonna happen," without specifying what "it" is.

Irwin told the panel, "It's not an auto stock; it's a technology stock, and we cover it from a technology standpoint."

"That's the problem," Tim Seymour was heard to grumble.

Herb Greenberg, who normally questions reported brewer sales at GMCR, stopped by to pile on Irwin (see, we already pointed out how he's made himself desirable in TV terms) and suggested Tesla's reserve rates are too low for warranty costs.

Irwin countered that they're "pretty fair" for a car company. That prompted Herb to balk that now we're judging Tesla as a car company.

Lee, who a couple times asked those assembled whether Tesla has had its BP moment, decided to get Irwin off the air before the final go-round; "Craig we're gonna leave it there."

Tim Seymour scoffed, who says there's no competition in this space. Guy Adami said his impression is that Melissa's question was about whether the stock will rebound like BP in June 2010 (probably around the time Matthew Simmons predicted it would be out of business by October of that year), and he asked himself, "Is today the day? Very hard to say that."

Dan Nathan bluntly declared, "I think you're gonna see lower lows" in Tesla and that the bounce was "tepid." Brian Kelly on the other hand said, "For a trade, I would buy it right here," using a 119 stop.

Be honest — when was the last time you put on a trade based on Marc Faber’s commentary?

Just as with Craig Irwin, Marc Faber has mastered the art of crafting the soundbites that TV wants to hear, except he's been doing it for oh so long.

Faber told Tuesday's Fast Money that he wouldn't buy stocks "indiscriminately at the present time," as though you should be buying indiscriminately other times.

"In general I like selected European companies," Faber said.

Eventually he got to the money quote, explaining, "We are the bubble," that the bubble's in bonds, stocks, "we have a huge tech bubble," and when you see "pink diamonds," that's when you know the high end is contaminated.

Tim Seymour questioned the high-end bubble given that emerging markets are the fastest-growing part of it, and shouldn't a China watcher like Faber realize that. Faber acknowledged there is a new growing high-end in China, but insisted, "There's also something called competition."

Dealing another card from his impressive soundbite deck, Faber contended that "under Yellen," Fed purchases actually "could be increased" rather than reduced. Which would've been a great time for Melissa to clarify what she apparently told the mag she's been promoting all month, "On Fast Money we believe that Quantitative Easing will shortly easy" (sic) (sic), but with Faber she had to leave it there.

If Alan takes the MSFT job, could Elon take the F job?

Rick Sherlund, countering Dan Nathan's recent MSFT thesis, told Tuesday's Fast Money, "You probably get another 10% upside in the stock, um, if Mulally's named."

Sherlund said the major stockholders don't think the insiders are ready for this job, and if Mulally isn't interested, why has this speculation persisted.

Sherlund then outlined several strategies that sound simple enough for anyone not named Ballmer or Mulally to execute, which is that the company could prevent costs from rising and add to the buyback.

Dan Nathan questioned, "Why is he the guy to fix this company. I just don't get it." Sherlund indicated that Mulally would be shareholder-friendly and noted he's from Seattle, which is like saying the Knicks should draft guys from Brooklyn.

"Rick, we're gonna leave it there," said Melissa Lee.

Guy Adami questioned why Mulally would leave a place where he's a rock star for a very difficult job. "I think you gotta be careful here," Adami said of MSFT.

Tim Seymour cautioned that MSFT "needs to unwind and divest," and that's a big job and no one's talking about that.

How come nobody was heard to say, ‘Content is king’ (Drink)?

We knew, given that this would be another "Hunger Games" week, that Michael Burns would be due for a Fast Money appearance (see, it's not just Craig Irwin and Marc Faber who have this thing figured out); this time we didn't hear, as we expected to, that Jennifer Lawrence is the world's No. 1 movie star, but we did hear that Burns doesn't want to spike the ball at the 5-yard line, but the numbers (basically from Brazil) and buzz are great so far, and "we're not just a 1-trick pony."

Melissa Lee ended the chat stating, "Gotta leave it there."

Guy Adami mentioned that recently there occurred the "first meaningful selloff we've seen in a while" in LGF, and so he'd "sort of take a pause here."

Can’t believe Mel didn’t use air quotes for ‘selfie’

He didn't try an "inherently," but Dan Nathan on Tuesday's Fast Money did produce an "in and of itself" regarding Best Buy.

"I don't think the drop, in and of itself, is a big problem here," Nathan said, but you might want to be thinking about exiting the stock in January.

Tim Seymour said he wouldn't be in BBY or WMT.

Guy Adami predicted YHOO will have a "$40 print." Tim Seymour endorsed the name, stating, "Yes, I think you can still own it." Dan Nathan said by "sum of the parts," it's a no-brainer, but Nathan questioned how such a big IPO can occur with so little transparency, a point that found him at odds with Tim Seymour, who bungled his microphone handling at the beginning of the show.

World's Hippest Business Reporter/Permanent CNBC Fox Jane Wells spoke with California U.S. Attorney Ben Wagner about the JPM case and why the JPM bank and not the garbage brands it bought is taking the brunt of the settlement. Wagner said it's the "totality of it ... they took a lot of shortcuts."

Guy Adami said JPM "needs to trade above $57, that'll take its next leg higher."

Mike Khouw, who had a quiet show, reported heavy put buying in CPB, GIS and TSN, particularly January 29 puts in TSN.

Brian Kelly actually set the table nicely for Tim Seymour on buying Subway sandwiches with bitcoins and questioning if Seymour is long roast beef subs in bitcoin terms; Seymour impressively took it to the next (that would be Gartman-roast-caliber) level of saying he's long the subs in yen terms.

Dan Nathan said someone bought 100,000 March 23 calls in VIX.

Mike Khouw's Final Trade was to sell HYG. Tim Seymour said to sell EEM and buy it back at 41. Dan Nathan said to sell YELP; he sees it breaking through 60. Brian Kelly said to buy GLNG. Guy Adami said to buy UBNT.



Why wasn’t Steve Grasso’s prediction of imminent 4% selloff discussed at the top of the show?

In the 55th minute of Tuesday's Halftime Report, Steve Grasso reported that the stock market is "setting up literally in the next couple of days for possibly a 4 to a 6% drop ... you can get down to 1,698."

Heightening the drama of this crackpot theory, Grasso invoked the healthy-correction narrative; "we have to start selling off almost immediately in the next couple of days to finish the year higher than we are now," otherwise, expect "50 handles lower."

You would think a call so provocative would be the first topic of discussion. Judge not only shuffled it to the back end, but at the top of the show entertained mostly typical bullishness.

Pete Najarian started it off by thundering, "I've been pounding the table on a run" into year-end.

Josh Brown said the question is, "How much of 2014's performance are we gonna pull forward."

Stephen Weiss offered that a lot of hedge funds "have taken off risk," but he expects stocks to ramp up "a lot higher into next year."

Guest Kate Moore, with delightful red hair, told the crew, "We don't think the market's particularly expensive ... we like being long, and we're overweight U.S.," but she finds Asia "very cheap."

Dominic Chu, who unfortunately didn't get to debate Seema Mody (above) this time, said momentum names took a fall, and when FB moves as much as it did Monday, "that's a big sign."

Josh Brown shrugged that the market has shown "strength across all 10 S&P sectors."

Judge congratulated Chu for a "great report." Stephen Weiss said if he had big gains in the momentum names, "I'd book the profits."

Screen says Pete advises buying the calls, but Pete says he advises buying the puts

Pete Najarian on Tuesday's Halftime Report said that TSLA options (he didn't say which ones) spiked from 40 cents to $4, and, unimpressed by the bounce, Najarian asserted "I think we sell back off" in the stock.

Guest Ben Kallo essentially agreed, saying, "I still wanna avoid it," as there's a "question mark" around the technology.

Stephen Weiss argued that there's no context in Musk's complaint that other car fires aren't reported, and that in Tesla's case, we know that all 3 were the result of a "weak undercarriage."

Kallo only partly acknowledged that, saying 2 of the 3 were known to be caused that way.

Steve Grasso, though, had a different take. "Today it was oversold," Grasso said, and "the last time it was oversold was January of 2012, then it rallied HUGELY from there."

Pete Najarian offered a Netflix strategy at the end of the program.

The problem was that the screen graphic said Pete's idea is to buy the Jan 340 calls, and sell the January 400 calls for $5.

But Pete said the trade is to buy the January 345 puts for $20, and sell the January 400 calls for $5.

Got it.

Guest is asked if MHK is a buy after already calling it a buy

Bob Wetenhall told Tuesday's Halftime Report that he likes the suppliers to Home Depot, specifically Fortune Brands (FBHS), Masco (MAS) and Mohawk (MHK).

Wetenhall asserted the suppliers are better-positioned than the builders and told Josh Brown that MAS has a "ton of operating leverage" and could trade at "10 times EBITDA rather than 9 times."

Pete Najarian wondered if you can still get into MHK at these levels. Yes, said Wetenhall, saying it's made "transformative acquisitions."

Stephanie Link said, "I like Stanley Black & Decker a lot," as well as WHR.

Stephanie credits herself for asking guest about margin reduction

Pete Najarian on Tuesday's Halftime Report was bullish on BBY because of management, how it's better handling its floor space, and getting better online.

Josh Brown said "I agree with most of what Pete said," but the problem is that all of that is priced in, and with shares up 285%, "this is not the right time to buy this stock."

Stephen Weiss asserted that "earnings guidance will come down more." Stephanie Link said she has trouble with any retailer with margins coming down and noted she had asked Bob Wetenhall about that subject.

Josh Brown blames global warming for soup stocks’ slide

Stephen Weiss said on Tuesday's Halftime Report that JPM has a reserve already built in for the settlement that was announced, so that's a tailwind in the stock.

Pete Najarian called the stock a buy but said its potential is "not even close" to C or BAC potential.

Stephanie Link called CRM a buy on weakness. Stephen Weiss hailed airlines, saying "I actually bought more" of American and "I think you gotta be long."

Josh Brown curiously claimed, "There's a bear market in soup, um, and I, and I blame global warming," and made CPB his Final Trade.

Anthony Grisanti said it's unclear whether China's boosting copper or just moving it around, and said it's "hard to tell where copper price will go from here." Brian Stutland said "copper's lagging a little bit," and then pointing to VALE and FCX opined, "I think stocks here are telling you that copper is a buy."

Anthony Scaramucci said hedge funds step in to instruments such as muni bonds when there are "panic sellers," and there are "attractive risk-adjusted returns."

Stephen Weiss' Final Trade was TBF. Pete Najarian said C and BAC. Steph Link said FI.

[Monday, November 18, 2013]

A guest actually asks the Fast Money panel if they’ve visited the stores of a company they’re opining on

It was a landmark moment.

On Monday's Fast Money, guest Brian Tunick got more than he bargained for, over BURL of all names, from Karen Finerman of all people.

But Tunick counterpunched in a way few guests ever have on the program.

Tunick argued that there has been a "secular shift going on" favoring ROST, TJX and now BURL, which has ample ground to gain.

Karen Finerman declared she'd take the other side of that, pointing out BURL has been around a while and questioning whether the big private equity holder tried to sell BURL first.

Tunick adequately responded that the stores look much better now than a few years ago, that there are 500 and could be 1,000, and also ... in a classic moment ... asked the panel if any of them had visited the stores.

He didn't wait for an answer, nor did he get one, from 4 pros who have utterly no clue what the inside of a Burlington Coat Factory actually looks like.

(Surprised someone didn't say, "Yeah, but, the 200-day is near a golden cross, and Carl Icahn says the market's gonna sell off, and there's a potential for an outside reversal...")

Guy Adami said URBN is "smack in the middle of the range," but that's "no-man's land (Drink) here."

But Brian Tunick said he's got a 43 target, and while "the teen market's struggling," Anthropologie and Free People are working.

"Brian we're gonna leave it there," said Melissa Lee.

Josh Brown said his top pick (not exactly in the BURL space) is KORS. Steve Grasso said ANF bounces at 30, and "you could see a big pop in Abercrombie."

Fleck is still thinking about that short fund, but ‘not tempted at all yet’

In the craziest money-management story we've heard this autumn, Bill Fleckenstein was quoted on Monday's Fast Money as suggesting the bull market remains intact.

Melissa Lee said Fleck told her that "I'm not tempted at all yet" to plunge into a short fund, and that "any shorts here would need to be just attempted scalps."

Wait — doesn't he know Ackman is presenting on Herbalife?

We were surprised/impressed that Carl Icahn didn't get a longer mention. Steve Grasso said Carl has complained he could've made more in this market if he wasn't hedged, so "he does have a vested interest in seeing a selloff."

Guy Adami first insisted there's no way Carl's calling the top, it doesn't work that neatly, but Guy did seee "a number of reversals," and now thinks we're going to see 1,760, while admitting he thought we were going to see 1,740, which would've been "healthier for the market."

Karen Finerman revealed (not much), "I'm not selling things into the rally."

Josh Brown said it's nice to see some global participation after the "massive bifurcation" in markets, but he questioned who really needs to make a 3% return every month, "unless you're a total pig."

Brown later unveiled a chart showing "more participation each time the market goes higher," meaning buyers are getting "more emboldened, not less."

Mel tries to sneak in air quotes, gets a pass based on sleek new ensemble

This time it wasn't about the "meat," but "super bubble target."

Guy Adami on Monday's Fast Money performed actually an entertaining Leno-like stint with man on the street bitcoin questions (no, it wasn't a live event), a feature that served primarily as a launching board for more of Mel's air quotes.

"You think any our (sic) audience knows what bitcoin is," Adami bellowed, and the answer is basically no, reinforced by the fact neither Melissa Lee nor anyone else on the program could adequately explain it (and we're done reading articles about the Winklevi).

Josh Brown said you can have fun with bitcoin. "This can continue for a long time." But then he admitted, "This is like the outward extremity of the bubble chatter."

Steve Grasso still unwilling to say the Tesla story is over

As if viewers hadn't heard enough about this trade already, Steve Grasso explained on Monday's Fast Money how he cut his TSLA position by 2/3 (Drink) around 170, and then jettisoned the rest around 140.

Now, "116 is the next line of defense," Grasso said, and then 109 and 105.

Josh Brown said if he knows when Elon Musk is going to be on TV, he'd know where the stock is going. "This is a news-driven situation," Brown said.

But Grasso's heard enough from Musk. "I don't wanna see him out there," said Grasso, who told the panel he would "guarantee" that there are at least a "couple" traders (somewhere in Times Square apparently given where he was leaning) who don't know Elon is behind SCTY.

Dennis Gartman likes coal

GOGO chief Michael Small said on Monday's Fast Money that the FAA's new airplane-device guidelines are "certainly a nice tailwind," but the stock has gained from "innovative new product announcements we made."

Melissa Lee asked the "stronger hands" question.

Josh Brown asked about competition, and proceeded to have a much better dialogue on the subject with Steve Grasso than he had with Small, as Grasso questioned, "Why can't the airlines do it themselves," while Brown answered that 1) airlines can't do anything by themselves, and 2) Gogo has spent a lot of cash, which airlines won't do on something like this.

Guy Adami said if you're long GOGO, it's for the short squeeze, but he prefers JBLU.

Dennis Gartman told viewers, "I like coal ... everybody hates coal," and in fact he likes copper and steel as well.

Guy Adami said he'd take profits in X and look for 23.5 or 24 to get back in.

Guy said he sees a pullback in CBI to 72 or 73.

Steve Grasso said, "I'm long POT ... 30 has been support; I'm still long."

BAC in the New York groove

Karen Finerman on Monday's Fast Money rattled off the banks she owns and declared, "I think Citi has the most upside (Drink)."

Steve Grasso, who made a great call in BAC recently around 13.70, predicted it goes up. Finerman asked if he doesn't love it when the technicals and fundamentals merge.

That's when Grasso said, "I love you, Karen; can I have some music."

(Now THAT'S aggressive.)

Josh Brown said CRM suffered a "really nasty red candle." After the chuckles Melissa Lee suggested viewers could look it up in the "urban dictionary."

Brian Stutland said MRK, DNDN and DVA had heavy call volume, especially MRK 48.50s.

Guy Adami said owning TWTR now is "Greater Fools Theory." Josh Brown said it was an "ugly day for the group."

Karen Finerman likes CMLS and said Loeb won't dump FDX in 1 day. Finerman's Final Trade was LYV.

Guy Adami said it's "time to sort of pull the ripcord" in BA. He made short WDC his Final Trade.

Steve Grasso said NVDA has "limited upside," but "I would still be a buyer" of ETFC.

Josh Brown said CREE "looks like death ... I would avoid it for now." He backed DDD but allowed, "You almost want them to cool off a little bit."

Steve Grasso's Final Trade was BAC but after it closes above 15. Brown also said BAC.

Herb’s pitch likely not enough to get anyone to look up his article

If that's the best he can do, you might want to go long TWTR.

Herb Greenberg, who spends more time at Englewood Cliffs now than he did while actually under employment there, visited Judge's Halftime Report Monday to explain his article, "Why a shellacking would be good for Twitter."

The reason, Herb said, is "You wanna reset the stock market clock to real-world time."

(Sigh) The short answer, readers of this page know, is that what Herb said makes no logical sense.

If you own a stock, you are owning it on the expectation it will rise.

That's the goal. The only goal.

Wanting it to fall makes no sense.

Herb — and everyone else such as Carter Worth who brings up this cockamamie notion about selloffs — are confusing at least 2 points here.

One is the notion (often mentioned in the NFL) that winning streaks can't last forever and so if you take a breather here and there, it will somehow reduce the chance of a massive fall; hence a team that is 14-0 "needs to lose a game" and will be more relaxed for the playoffs than a team that is 16-0.

That may or may not be true, but more importantly, football has an endpoint/goal — the Super Bowl. Stocks don't.

Second, Herb's point is great — if you're NOT in the stock and WANT to buy it.

What's he's really saying (without actually saying it) is that it probably will in the near future be a powerhouse, so any "shellacking" (such as what happened with FB) will be a gift. Except that will only be a gift to those who buy the pullback based on what they know right now and not whatever happens in the interim to trigger the pullback.

"Reset the stock market clock" is mumbo jumbo. Herb thinks it's a good long-term stock and thus a pullback would be very lucrative for those who buy it.

Not particularly scientific.

Joe Terranova shrugged off this theory. "The passive money's not gonna buy it," Joe said, but Herb balked. "The passive money did buy it going into it," Greenberg countered.

Judge asked Joe bluntly whether TWTR is higher a year from now. "I don't know the answer to that," Joe said, but he offered, "I will buy Twitter at around 35."

Simon Baker does indeed know the answer to that question, telling Judge the shares will be "lower a year from now ... you're gonna see a correction in the market."

Pete Najarian said something about FB trading with 300,000 options when they debuted but TWTR being much smaller with "80 million total" so we didn't really know what he was talking about, except he said it was 80/40 (that's 2-1) in favor of puts.

Judge claims some hangovers
are incurable

If nothing else, to prepare for Monday's Halftime Report, we can be sure that Judge Wapner read this weekend's Barron's.

Simon Baker contended that while there might be frothiness in some stocks, "Everyone's still getting drunk at the party right now."

That prompted Judge to warn, "You don't wanna get drunk to the point where you have a massive hangover, the kind you can't recover from," which remarkably is kind of like Herb's unspoken thesis on TWTR (see above), the notion that stocks permanently trade merely based on the chart that has previously occurred and not on future expectations, an empty argument somewhat akin to the dog chasing its own tail.

Mr. New Land, who contended, "I don't think this is a secular peak" and that what matters is 1st quarter earnings, said the names Barron's listed as in bubble territory are being chased by people looking for outsized returns into year-end.

Pete Najarian for some reason is adamant about declaring on every program how he's doing everything with options now instead of stocks.

"I have very few stock positions remaining at all," Najarian said, then explaining that he's tagging along with the options bets — not hedging, bets, he emphasized — and in a Brag Trade, revealed, "That's been a great trade so far."

Pete doesn't like PBPB. "It's absolutely not worth the valuation," he said.

If Karen were on the panel, she’d say, ‘I can’t get aboard this valuation’

Boy, was this a blast from the past.

Guest Brian Nowak visited Monday's Halftime Report to extol Amazon Prime.

"Prime is a big piece of the Amazon story," Nowak asserted, stating that when a customer signs up for it, "they purchase, 2, 3, 4, 5 times the amount" as before they signed up.

That's called hedging, as it just so happens there were dueling panelists/analysts on Fast Money a couple years ago who constantly offered different multiples for how much more stuff the Prime customer buys.

And, sadly, we can't even find it in the archives because we sure as heck aren't going to read every month going back to 2008.

Anyway, given that Prime customers buy anything from 2 to 5 times more than when they were pre-Prime, Nowak said it's a way for Amazon to "get their hooks in you."

Nowak said "there is room for EBAY" but made clear he wasn't that interested.

Pete Najarian, reiterating his goofy options-vs.-stocks slogan for November, said "I love PayPal" and would play EBAY with stock but use options for AMZN.

If Simon had only said it’s ‘game over,’ we’d call it a buy

Pete Najarian's top argument on Monday's Halftime Report for MSFT was "80 billion in cash."

Simon Baker conceded the stock is "cheap" but contended, "There's a reason it's cheap, because it stinks," pointing to the 3-year chart, and asking, "what happened to bing?"

Pete said the stock is going to 40; Simon said it's going to 30.

Joe Terranova, seeking to curry favor, said Judge made the best point in observing that MSFT is up 40% for the year. "I think the stock's going to 40," Joe said. Stephanie Link said the stock's going to mid-30s and is a buy there.

No interviews with the buyers of Doc’s TSLA puts that Doc was initially ‘feasting on’

Just last week, Josh Brown was warning that DDD had been skyrocketing "out of control."

But on Monday's Halftime Report, Brown claimed "this group is melting up," and it's "too early to say that they're toppy."

Mr. New Land said he likes both CRM and ORCL, and ADSK.

But Simon Baker asserted that "SalesForce is the only game in town" in cloud.

Mr. New Land suggested GME and EA in the video game space, a space we can't stand to see profiled on CNBC because it always involves a bunch of late-20s doofuses lined up outside Best Buy in track suits. #notexactlyCNBC'sregulardemographic (Note: There are plenty of fine, regular people who own these games who aren't on television talking about them.) But Pete Najarian said EA has gotten ahead of itself. Simon Baker recommended AMD.

Pete Najarian crowed about being short TSLA, his Final Trade. Noting Elon Musk's valuation comments, Najarian said, "He rang the bell for everybody," and Pete predicted the stock reaches "double-digits ... I continue to be short this name."

Later, Pete said of the FXI, "I've already started to trim." Brother Jon, who was crowing about selling TSLA puts in the last month, gushed that some people are up 150% in FXI options and that they're rolling from the 40s to 42s.

Evidently exchange personalities aren’t being pushed enough to get scoops

Guest Nigel Hart didn't exactly get a grand stage on Monday's Halftime Report, telling Judge Wapner, "I think Europe is still relatively attractive," in large part because of the "industry consolidation" that's occurred.

Joe Terranova said he likes Europe and Germany specifically.

Simon Baker asserted that the ECB rate cut is bad news. Joe was so confident that Simon is wrong that he grinned while taking the other side.

Judge asked the panel for their "value" plays and got (Drink) JPM from Stephanie Link, as well as RHT. Pete Najarian said TRN, because of "5,600 new orders for these tank cars." Simon Baker offered homebuilders, for the (Drink) "pent-up demand." Joe Terranova stated, "I think 2014 potentially could be a really big year for Apple," which he predicted would "advance the conversation surrounding ITV."

In another clumsy, goofy go-round at the exchanges with multiple faces, 2 of whom aren't accustomed to appearing on the Halftime Report, Judge elicited from Holly Liss that she's watching volatility in the 10-year decline, and heard protests from Jeff Grossman that he can't speak for everyone at the exchange, but "I'm keeping a very close eye on gasoline."

Steve Grasso, a Halftime regular, was actually the 3rd individual, stating, "It's all about China today," and traders are debating whether to jump in or out of XOM, and Grasso thinks the "wise thing" is to jump out.

Joe Terranova said he disagrees with selling XOM. But Grasso said "I'd much rather buy a PXD" or other Permian Basin name.

Joe said the downside is already in UNH and to "stay with this name." Steph Link said there's a double backlog of 777 orders for BA.

Simon Baker's Final Trade was XHB. Stephanie Link said PRU and Joe Terranova predicted MS goes to 35.

50 years after JFK (cont’d):
Stocks roared after funeral

Studying newspapers of late November, 1963, one particular headline caught our attention.

You see it above the masthead in the image above (neatly taken off someone's living-room carpet, thank you eBay): "Stocks Skyrocket, Reflect Confidence in LBJ."

The article explains that the New York Stock Exchange closed mid-session on Nov. 22 — indeed, this is acknowledged on the NYSE's Web site; and according to the chart below from Yahoo finance, the S&P 500 on that tragic Friday plunged 2.8%.

This newspaper, dated Wednesday, Nov. 27, 1963, refers to trading of Tuesday, Nov. 26. You can see from the statistics above that the S&P 500 on Nov. 26 actually more than recouped its losses of Nov. 22.

Astonishingly — incredibly, actually — the sellers on Nov. 22 were making a massive mistake. One week later, the S&P 500 was up a robust 5.2%, and it closed the year up 7.8% just from the afternoon of Nov. 22.

It would take a historian to explain why. Here are 3 guesses: 1) Initial fears of Soviet/Cuban/international involvement proved unfounded, hence a "relief rally"; 2) By Nov. 26, Americans were eager to go back to work and affirm their faith in the country, and 3) There might well have been a sense of bipartisanship in Congress perceived as opening the door to spending/stimulus initiatives.

The last leg of this news article — too small to read on this page — says, "The assassination of the President had given stocks their worst setback since the panic selling of May 28, 1962 — 'Black Monday' on Wall Street."

We had no idea May 28, 1962, was known as "Black Monday." In fact, this day is noted at this Web site of '60s history.

No single picture illustrated the traumatic and landmark 2 hours in Dallas that day. The earliest newspaper editions of Friday afternoon, Friday evening and Saturday morning favored 3 photos: An official portrait of John F. Kennedy, Secret Service agent Clint Hill climbing onto the limousine, and Lyndon Johnson and Jacqueline Kennedy on Air Force One, which based on a survey of front pages seems to be the preferred choice.

You can see the Chicago Sun-Times below initially chose Johnson's oath, then a more poignant picture of Johnson and Jacqueline Kennedy with news of Oswald's arrest. The New York Daily News had the same idea.


Some chose to advance the story; others stuck with more official presentations cementing the date in history. Many papers chose an exclamation point on the main headline to convey the shock of the day.


[Friday, November 15, 2013]

2 votes for XOM

The most enthusiastic endorsement on Friday's Fast Money was for XOM, from both Guy Adami and Tim Seymour.

And, as it turned out moments later, each backed GE.

Steve Grasso, though, complained that "ExxonMobil is way too diversified," and that he'd be more specific. "Refiners have just been off the charts," Grasso explained, and if crude keeps sliding, that's "still a tailwind for refiners," even though they're in "extremely nosebleed territory."

Guy Adami shrugged off the notion that declining oil is helping the stock market; "I don't think it has anything to do with it," said Adami, who instead posited that it might be a sign of a demand problem.

Tim Seymour said EM has been hot but has a "couple more days for this to run."

Steve Grasso said that every dip in P has been "rightfully so bought," and he advised viewers to "continue to buy it," but put in a stop at 3% downside because (in a script likely written by Dan Nathan) Grasso said the barriers to entry are probably lower than you think. (This writer is long P.)

Guy Adami said GME has gone "quasi-parabolic" and thinks that if it fails to crack 60½ or 61, it would actually be an appealing short.

We had trouble deducing the news peg behind the appearance of SAP co-chief Bill McDermott, who rattled off a series of company talking points about the "China cloud to serve China," and how "we're a pure play business software company" that produces "innovation without disruption."

Tim Seymour was impressed enough to declare, "This is exactly the place you wanna be."

Steve Grasso said X is "way overdone to the upside" and he "would not be a buyer," but he wouldn't short.

Guy Adami said "I don't think there's any compelling reason whatsoever" to buy ZU, but he called it a "no-touch."

Tim Seymour said the MW board is taking heat over the "Joe Banks" (Drink) overture.

Tim Seymour's Final Trade was CLNE. Brian Kelly said EWW, Steve Grasso said DIS and Guy Adami actually said Crisco CSCO.

Melissa Lee made it through a half-hour show without air quotes. Mel wore a chic new black top to complement her new hairstyle and looked cute.

Dom Chu actually referred to Maria Bartiromo as "Melissa" heading into the program.

CNBC’s Outfit of the Day: Zipper

Everyone else is playing for 2nd.

Brown: Sell HPQ ‘with 3 hands’

Pete Najarian, purportedly the bull, said on Friday's Halftime Report that CSCO just delivered "one of the worst reports I've ever seen," but buyback and valuation make it a buy.

Josh Brown though said cash flow is in decline, and the buybacks go to pay for executive stock options, so "the float never shrinks."

Brown called the company "probably the worst-managed of the large-cap techs."

Simon Baker though backed Pete. "This reminds me a lot of Oracle," Baker said.

Anthony Scaramucci predicted, "At some point they're gonna unleash the value."

Also in the old tech sector, Brown took a Fast Fire on HPQ but declared, "I'm not backin' away from this call ... I would sell the stock with 3 hands."

It's "the bad news bears of tech stocks," Brown said.

Simon Baker agreed; "I'd be avoiding it."

Anthony Scaramucci actually called INTC "a name that you sock away ... heirloom sort of name."

Pete Najarian backed PAY. "I think it's buyable down at these levels," Najarian said.

Pete questions when YELP is going to make money (but if the options had been red hot, he wouldn’t be questioning that at all)

Representing the theme of the day for Friday's Halftime, Jordan Rohan touted a couple of social media names, saving his biggest praise for YELP.

"There isn't a 2nd-best brand name," Rohan said, arguing that "mobile really is the glue" for that name and LNKD, and that people don't want that many apps and thus will stick with those.

Yet, Rohan argued of LNKD, "they're platform agnostic."

Pete Najarian said to run from YELP. "Plenty of room to the downside," Najarian said, so "stay away."

Josh Brown echoed that; "I would totally avoid this stock."

Simon Baker was the contrarian. "This story's got a long way to go," Baker said of YELP.

Anthony Scaramucci said he disagrees with Rohan that people only want a few apps; saying that may be true for oldsters but not youngsters.

Scaramucci: TWTR ‘going higher’

Most of the Halftime/Fast Money chatter regarding TWTR has focused on the "30 handle," which guest Scott Kessler seemed to endorse on Friday's Halftime.

"Calling it stretched is probably an understatement," Kessler said, arguing it's not as useful as other social media. "People simply don't understand Twitter as well. They don't know how to use it as well," Kessler said.

Josh Brown said "it's too early to say" what Kessler is concluding, and that he could've said the same thing about FB a while ago.

Pete Najarian said the issue with TWTR is whether international growth is there. But Anthony Scaramucci declared, "The stock is going higher," because it's a "worldwide messaging system."

Jon Najarian noted the beginning of TWTR options but also noted the smaller float of shares, so "we're not seeing the same sort of volumes" as FB had. However, "They're buying puts 2 to 1 on the offer," Najarian said.

Mike Santoli credited TWTR's IPO pricing; "they kinda pegged it pretty well."

Santoli said there's a "pent-up supply" of IPOs.

Brown: Beware 7th straight week

Josh Brown addressed Judge's 1st question of Friday's Halftime Report — whether a global rally into year end is "inevitable" — by declaring "nothing's inevitable."

Brown said "we're now up 6 straight weeks," and "the odds do not favor 7 straight weeks," without clarifying whether this is week 6 (which seems the case) or week 7.

Pete Najarian, though, told Judge, "I think you're right, I think it is inevitable," citing BAC calls.

Najarian further asserted, "You wanna be with options, some of the best trading I've seen in multiple years in the last couple weeks."

Anthony Scaramucci predicted "a rotation towards the end of the year" into defensives. But Simon Baker predicted the run in higher beta will continue; Baker said he'd buy YELP and LNKD and would trim GE and HON.

Tom Lee, who seems to turn up about twice a week, raised his 2013 (i.e. 6-week) target to 1,825. "We don't see the market stalling here," Lee said, acknowledging "there's been some bifurcation."

‘Start of tapering’ in January

Paul Richards on Friday's Halftime Report predicted a "whole new leg" in dollar/yen to 107.50, but most intriguingly, the Happy Taperer predicted, "I think that we could see Ms. Yellen's first meeting in January represent the start of tapering."

Judge did a round-robin with some faces not seen on Halftime, including Chris Gersch, who said traders were having a hangover from last night's yen excitement, and Tom Reilly, who said crude should be even lower, and Joe Greco, who said futures were getting into refiners and that PBI was drawing interest.

Pete Najarian said that in the FXI, "over 3 to 1 calls were trading," and he sees a "little bit more upside to come."

Anthony Scaramucci said he was right last year about predicting China stimulus from the new regime, and he thinks the China story continues to work.

Josh Brown said he has traded SLW before, but it "will get sold on every rally." Pete Najarian said if there is a "blowoff top" in stocks, then SLW has an "incredible amount of upside."

Brown: Buy FCX

Pete Najarian on Friday's Halftime Report warned that when you reach for a bottom in a name such as JCP, "you get something you don't always want," and he prefers M (Drink).

Simon Baker doubts JWN; "I just stay away from this space."

Baker however in FDX sees "a lot of upside in this stock going forward."

Josh Brown called FCX "still cheap" and an "absolute wildebeest."

Anthony Scaramucci said hedge funds like Fannie and Freddie and they are returning to a more normal scene, but "there is political risk here though."

Pete Najarian said of EA to "wait on this, and buy it much cheaper."

Josh Brown said that rather than SCTY, "I prefer TAN."

Pete Najarian backed Buffett's XOM investment; "I think this name's going higher," and endorsed the energy space in general. Anthony Scaramucci said the XOM move looks like an early part of his 2014 rotation. But Josh Brown shrugged, "Chevron is better."

Simon Baker said BTU has been a "disaster, " but "I'd be buying a little bit going into 2014."

Josh Brown's Final Trade was FCX. Simon Baker said XHB, Pete Najarian said C and Anthony Scaramucci said WFC.

[Thursday, November 14, 2013]

Having it both ways: Steve Grasso says ‘you have to trim’ YHOO and then says ‘I actually got longer today’

It's one of the more confounding stock calls we've heard in months.

Steve Grasso on Thursday's Fast Money reflected on Yahoo's ride and asserted, "You have to trim some of this to be responsible."

Seconds later, he added, "I actually got longer today," and thinks it "approaches $40."

So, lessee ... we sell some shares with one hand, and buy some shares with the other hand.

Grasso asked Mark Mahaney to endorse a YHOO breakout. In fact, Mahaney said its core business is a laggard, it continues to "fundamentally underperform," and while people are successfully playing it for the Alibaba trade, "I don't think there's that much upside left."

Guy Adami backed Grasso on the name, predicting it "prints 40."

Melissa pouring it on
with the air quotes

Sensing a (dreadful) newfound tool for entertaining Fast Money viewers while sticking it to the critics, Melissa Lee on Thursday's Fast Money picked up where she left off twice already this week in visually illustrating the "meat" of the McRib.

They also showed an Uggs boot, prompting Steve Grasso to say "I exited way too early" from DECK (but Doc says you gotta get out of trades immediately like Carl did with NFLX even though Carl actually held it a year).

Lee showed Owens Corning insulation, which everyone should've realized.

Steve Grasso said the ghastly look of a frozen McRib is no big deal; "do you know what sausage looks like."

Guy Adami suggested, "Maybe the McDonald's trade is running out of steam."

Mel liked the air quotes so much, she used them again for "meat" at the end of the discussion. (Perhaps she could use them to better explain the "meat" of what she told the mag that she's trumpeting on her Twitter account, which is that "On Fast Money we believe that Quantitative Easing will shortly easy" (sic) (sic).)

Guest endorses CSCO while calling it ‘overbought’ below $21

Guest Ronnie Moas told Thursday's Fast Money crew he spent 5 years working on a 155-variable computer model, which he said singles out certain stocks that he then tackles fundamentally so it "generates ideas for me" ... and he found that "Cisco came up as being overbought (sic) when it broke below $21 this morning."

No one corrected him, sadly, although Melissa Lee did use the term "oversold" deliberately in emphasizing Moas' point.

Moas claimed that if you don't like CSCO here, "you probably don't want to be in the market altogether."

He added that "the same thing happened to Oracle" in June, and just as with CSCO Thursday, "smart people were the ones buying."

Guy Adami suggests Janet Yellen doesn’t know what she’s doing

Guy Adami, who has (momentarily at least) stopped talking about 1,670/1,720/1,740, questioned on Thursday's Fast Money the day's remarks by Janet Yellen on QE.

"If you don't know what the risks are, how do you know what the benefit- if the benefits can outweigh it," Adami grumbled.

But then he cut himself off and said he likes MHK in the housing space.

That prompted a go-round on housing, as Adami called DHI "sort of interesting" with an 18.75 backstop, Brian Kelly claimed "stocks are the only place to be" and said he likes Z for a trade, Karen Finerman endorsed BAC and RLGY, and Steve Grasso said LPX is due to start rallying and that BAC has a "huge gap right up to $20."

Guy, who reaffirmed, "I don't see any taper on the horizon," turned to guest Ed Yardeni for backup alarm over the central bank's balance sheet. But Yardeni took a different approach, saying, "So far there really hasn't been any cost."

Melissa Lee got Yardeni, who explained, "I'm getting a little tired of tapering," to affirm for Thursday's Fast what he told Barron's last week, that "2,014 in 2014 is your motto."

Yardeni said that's true, and "my biggest fear is we get to over 2,000 in the next couple of months."

Karen: KSS oversold

One of the most impressive moments of Thursday's Fast Money was when both Dominic Chu and Melissa Lee correctly pronounced "Nordstrom."

(Lee also got "Chipotle" right, but she did nearly call her colleague "Dom True.")

Karen Finerman said "I actually like Kohl's," given the selloff.

Guy Adami, who had previously endorsed the name, suggested that inventories came in low which shouldn't be a bad thing, but he refused to call it a buy on the dip. "When you're that wrong, it's hard to get back in the pool," Adami said.

Finerman said she thinks management was "sandbagging a little bit," that the stock's oversold, and then was caught in a rare hair flip.

Brian Kelly's suggested trade is buying WMT and shorting WFM.

Steve Grasso bungled "Nordstroms" (sic), as we knew someone would, but said it's "breaking out longer term," and added that this is "a great time to trim up on Macy's."

Melissa Lee, unusually chipper and having a good day and wearing a new top, was all smiles as Karen Finerman hilariously struck a British accent and made a BBC-sale joke after hearing the commentary on Executive Edge. "Every single, I mean, yeah," Finerman said, meaning everyone quoted had a British/Australian accent.

Dominic Chu referred to "Aaron Ross Sorkin," the Dealbook guy wrote "A Few Good Men."

You knew that Mark Mahaney wouldn’t get through another visit without mentioning YouTube

Mark Mahaney seemed momentarily off-guard for Melissa Lee's first question on Thursday's Fast Money, which was whether Twitter's gain is good for the sector.

Mahaney said that shouldn't be the case, as TWTR has unique advantages including mobile strength and growth in "triple digits."

As always, Mahaney took a moment to identify his No. 1 ranking, which is Amazon, followed by PCLN and NFLX.

But he took issue with the folks at Snapchat who rejected Facebook. "I'm shocked that somebody would turn that kind of offer down," Mahaney said, explaining that Instagram draws older teens, so trying to land Snapchat "makes sense to me actually." He said FB would've traded up if the deal had been announced.

Viewers had to be waiting for Mahaney to deliver his signature line, that YouTube is such a monumentally undervalued asset that hasn't been monetized yet, and they just barely got it when Karen Finerman, who enjoys pinning others down on AMZN and TSLA valuation but apparently thinks GOOG can just go and go and go and isn't Greater Fool, asked Mahaney what he thinks of the shares. Mahaney indicated there's another "10, 15% upside in the stock."

Mike Khouw said TWTR options are coming out, and "I expect the options in Twitter to be quite expensive," and if you bought the stock after the open last week, he recommends selling upside calls.

Coop exits AAPL

Guy Adami on Thursday's Fast Money spoke for Bill Ackman regarding PG.

Adami insisted Ackman trimmed for a "source of funds," explaining, "He probably still likes the story."

Melissa Lee said Lee Cooperman is out of AAPL.

Karen Finerman said the thing about the 13-F's, "there's a lot of things that you don't see."

Steve Grasso said Berkshire's stake in XOM is "very Warren Buffett-esque," because it's "boring ... it's worked for him, it doesn't work for me."

Guy Adami thinks XOM has a "real chance" to reach 96½ or 97.

Pete Flint told Melissa Lee, "Trulia is not for sale," but the company will be "very active" regarding "potential M&A."

Guy Adami said there's "still room to the upside" in FDX.

Brian Kelly said "I'm short copper," and you should be short FCX if you think copper will break $3.

Mike Khouw reported heavy call buying in VIAB, FOXA and TWX, in particular the VIAB December 92.50 calls.

Guy Adami said JBLU "needs to hold 8 bucks," and he expects a "push towards $10."

Karen Finerman said "I do think it's possible" that C can reach 60 or 65.

Mike Khouw's Final Trade was longer-dated EBAY calls. Steve Grasso said LPX with a 15.50 exit plan. Brian Kelly said UNG, Karen Finerman said LINTA and Guy Adami said APA.

Lisa Villalobos named
Fast Money executive producer

In the wake of John Melloy's abrupt departure for StockTwits, CNBC has hired a new executive producer for 5 p.m. Fast Money: Lisa Villalobos.

Let's see what happens with a new sheriff in town.

The president knows
Fast Money’s No. 1 cliché

We caught a break — President Barack Obama's press conference wiped out Thursday's Halftime Report.

The one thing we wondered about is whether the panel Judge must've rounded up actually got paid for sitting around.

Mr. President had a carrot for Halftime viewers, referring to "at the end of the day."

[Wednesday, November 13, 2013]

‘Facebook looks desperate’

Dan Nathan on Wednesday's Fast Money started to articulate a good point about Amazon's impact on Citrix Systems (he wasn't helped by the wrong chart being shown for the wrong Citrix symbol) ... except by the end it wasn't clear which one he was talking about when referring to one being way down and then saying, "Whoosh, I'm out."

And Mel Lee didn't pursue/clarify the matter.

Lee did wrongly call it "ironic" that Guy Adami would endorse Facebook's interest in Snapchat when Lee says Adami doesn't know what Snapchat is.

Nathan took the other side, saying "Facebook looks desperate here ... Snapchat is a piece of junk ... this is crazy."

Nathan quietly backed XONE. "Low 50s, I think it's a buy," he said.

Guy Adami said you can play TSLA long and hope it holds 140, but "if this thing breaks 135, you gotta be quick and pull the ripcord."

Guy: No tapering in March

Wednesday's Fast Money crew took up tapering, with Guy Adami offering the most "outlier" of the views.

Adami said he didn't expect it this fall, and "I don't think you're gonna see it in March either," grumbling that "real unemployment" is more like 16-17%.

Dan Nathan noted rates have risen since taper talk began, so "in effect they have tapered."

Karen Finerman offered, "I think they will be tapering ... I'm not sure that it matters though."

Tim Seymour declared, "They should be most concerned about falling inflation."

Seymour explained that productivity has eliminated the need for some positions. "Look what's going on in technology. Why do you need half of these workers they used to have," Seymour said.

Jon Hilsenrath said Janet Yellen is "trying to be as low-key as possible," and "is not there to deliver a policy signal tomorrow."

Mel wears cute new outfit

It's one of the world's Most Boring Stocks, and the conversation about it on Wednesday's Fast Money was just as boring.

Guy Adami said you can still get long CSCO but it must hold 21½ or 22.

Dan Nathan said, "I think it's a buy."

Karen Finerman questioned Nathan over "that revenue" miss, which Karen called "gigantic."

Brian Marshall later declared, "This was an ugly quarter ... guidance is, uh pretty atrocious." But he said they're "preserving their margins pretty well," and threw in his favorite punch line/No. 1 Fast Money cliche, "at the end of the day," the company needs to go out and get revenue growth because it doesn't have it.

Asked a 2nd time, Nathan softened his CSCO buy recommendation, suggesting viewers follow Guy Adami's "1-day rule" (sic) or whatever it is (actually 3-day rule) and that there's "plenty of time to buy it." However, Nathan made February CSCO calls his Final Trade.

Stemberg: Department stores
are a ‘declining vehicle’

Tom Stemberg, an occasional guest on Fast Money or the Halftime Report, delivered on Wednesday's Fast Money a scathing indictment of the department store space in low-key fashion.

That industry is in a "secular downturn," Stemberg said, and is a "declining vehicle" for the American consumer.

This was after the panel gushed about the results of M (Drink), which Stemberg brushed aside as "not representative of the retail sector as a whole" and asserting, "the consumer does not have confidence."

Meanwhile, CLNE boss Andrew Littlefair said Tesla's no threat to big garbage trucks that can't run on batteries and said his clean-energy engines are already a big part of the market for big trucks. "Tesla's great, I congratulate them," he said, nevertheless.

Tim Seymour said of CLNE, "This stock has plenty of room to run."

Gordon Johnson, whose once-great calls on the solar sector now look like guessing, now says (in contrast to a couple days ago) that the Chinese government isn't supporting solar players like he thought, and this will "negatively impact" certain names, such as TSL and JASO; "we'd actually be shorting those now into earnings."

Karen Finerman asked Johnson about the importance of Brent. Johnson said nat gas is more important, and interest rates also important.

Johnson said he does like CSIQ.

Dan Nathan said to avoid CHGG. Mike Khouw asked for Karen's opinion on DF (he didn't get it) and said it's "probably about fairly valued." Karen said GM had a "nice day." Tim Seymour called MDLZ "still worth owning."

Mike Khouw said there was higher call volume in NVDA, MU and MRVL, and in particular pointed to the MU November 19 calls.

Guy Adami said he liked X months ago, but now we're "a lot later in the trade."

Mike Khouw's Final Trade was BAX. Tim Seymour said EEM, Karen Finerman said URI and Guy Adami said HNI.

Brian Kelly actually was right

It was last week, with the stock in the robust 210s, that Brian Kelly called PXD a short.

We scoffed. Turns out, it was a great call.

Now, HOW he got there doesn't make much sense, based on some analysis of the hedges running out in 2015.

It's not like he said, "Wait for it to hit $182 in a week, then jump back in."

But however it happened, it actually worked.

Guy Adami said on Wednesday's Fast Money that Cramer correctly called a bounce in the name; "I actually think it makes sense" from here.

S&P ‘tired tape’
up 14 points in 1 day

Josh Brown told Wednesday's Halftime Report that we've got a "tired tape."

Stephanie Link even said we're in a "stalling pattern" this week.

Pete Najarian reported that he's primarily using options now and in fact has the "lowest actual stock holdings than I've been, in an extremely long period of time."

Even guest Paul Hickey revealed, "We have more cash than we normally have."

Hickey, though, ultimately presented contradictory information to viewers, first saying that there's a positive market lag effect from a 10% drop in gasoline prices for 3-6 months afterward, and so, "we should rally going forward."

But then Hickey said that in general, when markets are up 15-20% in the first 10 months, "the last 2 months have been strong" ... only to add that this market most resembles 1995 and 1954 (that's a giant sample size of 2), and those 2 years, the last 2 months of the year was down 4% and 7%, concluding "these strong markets continue being strong."

OK ... unless it's like 1995 and 1954 ... which this year supposedly is ...

Pete Najarian predicted financials will be the next leg up. Stephanie Link said she/Cramer sold AIG and bought HIG.

Gemma Godfrey said it's not a "taper tantrum" we're getting but a "taper tease," saying she likes tech and biotech but is a little concerned about financials.

Judge kept asking about "taper tantrum" without explaining what Mel meant when she told that mag that the people on Fast Money think QE "will shortly easy" (sic). (See below.)

Hickey indicated there's a "thawing of tensions" with Iran.

Housing CEO blames government shutdown for apparently preventing people from buying homes

Interviewed by Diana Olick on Wednesday's Halftime Report, Pulte CEO Richard Dugas mentioned the government shutdown as one of 3 factors in housing's slump.

But, he said his company has had margin expansion for 11 quarters in a row.

Mike Murphy gloated that he's out of homebuilder stocks but still in HD, and when he gets back into the builders it'll be TOL, likely under 30.

Stephanie Link shrugged that it's a binary trade: "Interest rates go up; these stocks go down," Link said.

Courtney Reagan combines 2 of Halftime/Fast Money’s favorite terms

Wednesday's Halftime Report brought another go-round on what has emerged as one of the most controversial stocks of the year, COH.

Stephanie Link backed the management and opined, "The spring line looks fantastic."

Then Judge brought in gorgeous Courtney Reagan, who reported that Coach's men's accessories look great, but that she's not as impressed with the offerings for women.

Pete Najarian said he likes WSM, then grumbled that "Restoration Hardware's a nightmare" and that its insiders have sold and that it has "monster short interest."

Courtney said RH is trying to be a "lifestyle luxury brand," apparently unaware the Fast Money keywords are "lifestyle brand" and "affordable luxury."

Josh Brown said KORS is the name in the space; "this thing is a machine."

Stephanie Link backed M. "We started buying it on Monday," Link said, assuring Judge it's still OK at 50; "the stock is not expensive."

Pete Najarian said M was the beneficiary of management-specific results in a tough space, like TJX. Mike Murphy added, "You can buy Macy's here."

But Murphy said his top pick was UA.

Josh Brown said JWN is capable of a potential "Macy's-like move." But Link said JWN has been investing a lot and not getting a leveraged return on it yet.

‘5th inning’ for FDX

Stephanie Link backed FDX on Wednesday's Halftime Report, saying it's a restructuring story that's only in the "5th inning."

Mike Murphy, the bear, grumbled that FDX is up a lot recently, mostly on cost-cutting, and "so much of this story is already priced in."

Pete Najarian concluded, "UPS has got more upside."

Rich Ilczyszyn said "we're right at trend-line support" in crude, and he sees any pop as a sell opportunity in a "bear-market rally." Ilczyszyn said he's expecting a draw of 800,000, and "anything less, market goes up."

Pete would take GM ‘every day of the week’ over TM

Jim McCormick on Wednesday's Halftime Report pronounced Japan still a buy, "there's still a lot of interest."

McCormick allowed that it might require markets to prompt more government action, and it's possible that dollar/yen goes lower or we get a lower Nikkei, but then he expects a pop.

Stephanie Link indicated Cramer likes DXJ, selling at 48-49 and buying at 44.

Mike Murphy called SNE a "great way to play it."

Pete Najarian scoffed, "I'll take GM every day of the week over Toyota," and later said GM 39 calls were hot.

Paul Hickey had trouble with "miraculously" in regard to the U.S. Congress while suggesting emerging markets are a place to avoid. Josh Brown bickered over that, saying there are "a lot of different emerging markets."

But they agreed on avoiding the EEM.

Judge said, "We've seen this movie before."

Gemma Godfrey spoke about the "Fragile 5's," which is 2 numbers too many for us, in regards to how a 3% 10-year might affect the equity landscape, said it's about "being much more particular on country to country."

Prompter forgot the ‘SOT’

CNBC's Robert Frank, quickly becoming the most important person on CNBC's daytime programming, reported on Wednesday's Halftime Report that there's an iBillionaire Index that you can use to track whale holdings as soon as they come out 45 days after the position existed.

Pete Najarian wearily endorsed CSCO; "the stock's still too cheap."

Steph Link played both sides of CSCO as she always does in her Brag Trades; "We own it; we sold some yesterday."

Mike Murphy, who had a quiet show, said if you're long CROX, "take profits," and buy DECK or UA instead.

Josh Brown said he likes the PBPB story (we'll probably be hearing that for the rest of the week).

Judge asked Stephanie if YUM is safe to buy. "Who knows. We don't know," Link admitted.

Trying to get the panel to opine on "Heby's," Judge elicited from Mike Murphy that there's a "lot of upside" in the stock, but Josh Brown was more cautious, dubbing it an "ultra-bull market kinda stock."

Pete Najarian's Final Trade was KFN. Link said RHT, Murphy said WFM and Brown said PFE.

[Tuesday, November 12, 2013]

We’re still trying to figure out what Mel meant by telling that (money-making) mag (over a drink at B&Co), ‘We believe that quantitative easing will shortly easy’ (sic sic)

In an interview that promised far more than it delivered, Andrew Huszar told Tuesday's Fast Money that he's dissatisfied with QE.

Yet, he never outlined what exactly the consequences are.

Simply, it "wasn't working in the way that it was supposed to," Huszar said, which is providing "access to credit," amid a lot of "uh, uh."

Huszar explained that the Fed was sort of relying on "trickle-down monetary policy."

"Andrew, gotta leave it there," said Melissa Lee.

Tim Seymour observed, "Ultimately the Fed has a tough job," but it's perhaps made the mistake of trying to be "too transparent."

Guy Adami said he's flummoxed by the end game; "I don't know how it ends well." (We do. They stop doing it.)

Adami claimed that if it works, it means, "There'll never be another downturn ever." False. (Please note this writer is neutral on QE. We have no idea if it "worked" or not. Mr. Bernanke, in his daily review of this page, will surely clue us in.) They used it to REACT to a crisis. What it means is that there's now a precedent for the government stepping in to stabilize businesses perceived as posing a risk to the broader economy. It is also a precedent for indirect deficit spending. "It ends well" the same way every government program does — enough new bodies/productivity surfacing to pay tomorrow the country's credit card bills of today.

One Yelp (that's a controversial stock by the way) review of Melissa's preferred mag-interview locale, B&Co, explains, "There was 1 harried bartender that was actually reading the ingredients to all the drinks as he was desperately trying to make them. In the 15 minutes I was there, he didn't acknowledge ANY of us at the bar. ... Drinks are like $19 and you can't even get one which was fine as I have zero confidence in the bartenders (sic) ability. ... This place will never last."

Sounds like just the place for a QE conversation.

TV’s reality: Ray Borelli out

If you've checked out our home page, you've learned — exclusively at cnbcfix.com (translation: the folks who get paid to report these things haven't picked up on it yet) — that CNBC Senior VP Ray Borelli is leaving, to (this is key terminology) "pursue his next challenge."

Borelli had been, at least in title, overseer of what typically was an impressive stream of CNBC prime-time documentaries. Many of these excellent productions have been reviewed on this site and have aired for years.

In the endless struggle for ratings — and surely with an eye on costs — CNBC has turned in recent years to alternate prime-time programming including "60 Minutes" reruns, celebrated business-related movies, "American Greed," and most recently, the darling of this century, reality TV.

The truth is, whether it's Borelli's documentaries, "60 minutes" reruns, "Greed," or "The Profit," there is generally good stuff on CNBC at night that many folks are missing.

Borelli's exit looks like the effect of a downsized department. For various reasons that go far beyond one individual's ability, it would seem that CNBC brought in some hotshots to try new reality shows ("The Profit" is a winner; not sure about the others), re-upped the "Greed," and in the process, gradually marginalized a quality department that for whatever reason was unable to provide the magical/mystical "oomph."

Best wishes to Borelli, his (former) staff, and those who keep us clued in around Englewood Cliffs.

Melissa uses air quotes
2 days in a row

Whaddaya know — it seems like people's issue with TSLA is "valuation."

"The valuation ... is really the big problem here," stated Mike Khouw, on Tuesday's Fast Money.

"It's the valuation that's of concern for me," said Efraim Levy.

Tim Seymour, protesting that he has no problems with Elon Musk as an innovator/engineering great, noted much the same but complained that the stock isn't in enough "strong hands" (Drink, among the Fast Money Top 10 Favorite Terms) ... "this stock is now in the hands of retail players."

Steve Grasso, who spent months telling viewers that "when this story is over, you'll know it," once again indicated he's not really sure about that, opining that "it's out of momentum and there's too many other distractions," indicating the next support level is 125, then 105.

Guy Adami agreed the "momentum is broken" given that it didn't hold 140, so "it's dicey here."

Guy likened the battery fires to "Jaws" and how if you say "barracuda" at the beach, no one cares, but in this case, "if it happens again they're gonna bury the stock."

Efraim Levy asserted, "I don't think they need to do a recall now."

Melissa Lee asked Levy a good question, at what price is TSLA a buy. Levy answered, "We can never give you a telegraph of that" (translation: We're not sure right now), but noted he has a 140 target.

Carter Braxton Worth, evidently too important to show up for Fast Money, was quoted by Lee, who used a visual aid for the 2nd day in a row (sorry the expressions aren't so great in those pictures but her hands weren't up for very long and it's the best we could do), as predicting that TSLA will bounce "with vigor" from 130 to "175-plus."

‘All-time ... post-crisis’

Mike Khouw on Tuesday's Fast Money spotted heavier-than-usual put volume in JWN, M and KSS, specifically big buyers of the November 57.50 puts in KSS.

But Khouw said he was intrigued by that over the others, because KSS is the one at "all-time post-crisis highs."

OK, something's wrong there.

Either it's an "all-time" high, in which case "post-crisis" is unnecessary/redundant.

Or, it's only a "post-crisis" high ... in which case "all-time" is inaccurate.

The latter option appears to be the case.

Guest congratulates himself for calling a bottom in February/March 2009

Jim O'Shaughnessy joined the set of Tuesday's Fast Money purportedly to discuss a "generational" buying opportunity and a "generational" selling opportunity.

But first, he offered "one trading tip," explaining he does a "Value Composite" index that goes back to 1963 and has delivered a 17½% return since, and that tip is: "Tesla is one of the worst valued companies in the Value Composite."

Instantly pressed by Steve Grasso as to whether Amazon lands in the Value Composite index, O'Shaughnessy admitted it's "up among the worst."

Anyway, O'Shaughnessy spent much of his limited and valuable airtime saying that people yawned about his February 2009 report that said that after a terrible "inflection point" going back a century, stocks for the next 3, 5, 7 and 10 years have returned "all positive, and very strongly positive," which means we've still got a few years left, and meanwhile, look out for bonds (but he said he correctly waited to see how QE might work first).

O'Shaughnessy said he has to "amalgamate" criteria to pick stocks, but he likes STX for a host of reasons; the screen text also listed DTV, LLL, MPC and FLS.

O'Shaughnessy mentioned his Irish nature; good call, people like that, go Dublin, County Cork and Notre Dame. But his commentary was more Brag Trade than feisty, and he talked so long, Melissa Lee was compelled to say, "Jim gotta leave it there."

Guy Adami said he called for a short of WDC, which shows it takes 2 to make a market.

Tim thinks he’s cool,
calls JOSB ‘Joe Banks’

Tim Seymour, whose shining moment on Tuesday's Fast Money was his friendly jab at Jim O'Shaughnessy being left out in the sun, said he bought YHOO for 11/11, and while he regrets chasing it at this level, "I like Yahoo here."

Brian Kelly actually said he likes INTC, and Steve Grasso actually believes 3-D purchases will carry HPQ higher.

Guy Adami, in the program's least exciting moment, asked himself questions about whether CSCO could go from 23 to 25. (He said the answer is yes, but it won't be very exciting.)

Steve Grasso said of TWTR, "You're gonna get a shot in the middle 30s."

Guy Adami called JBLU the "best trade in that space," which would be airlines. (But he still doesn't know how QE ends well.)

Tim Seymour, trying to sound cool (and (tick) a bunch of people off), said "Joe Banks" about 3 times and said of MW, without admitting he gets his own suits at Chess King, "These guys have issues that don't make this thing a slam dunk even for Joe Banks," but nevertheless, "I think this deal gets done."

Guy Adami probably has no clue who Ali MacGraw is

Tuesday's Fast Money, an uninspired, inside-joke-filled exhaustion of an hour of TV programming, hit bottom during "Love Story" bickering, as Guy Adami, who put together a D- performance on the day, called the film a "wishy-washy movie" and mocked Melissa Lee, "thank God you went to that school."

Guy questioned whether it was "Pocahontas or Sacagawea" on the Lewis & Clark trip.

(Say, anyone else realize that if the share price of PCLN was moved one decimal to the left, then nobody would think of it as expensive or richly valued?)

Adami said FDX "still makes sense." But Mike Khouw said he'd be "hesitant" to jump in.

Brian Kelly endorsed the DXJ. Tim Seymour advised, "Buy the dollar and sell the yen."

Josh Brown said, "gotta tell you," the PBPB report is "green light to growth investors."

Mike Khouw said NWSA's results are proof "print is not the place to be."

Steve Grasso said "a lot of guys covered" in WNR, and "I'd be very careful."

Brian Kelly said it's "time to get out" of BID.

Guy Adami said of XRX, "I think it can trade up to 12."

Tim Seymour still likes FSLR; "stay in the name."

Mike Khouw's Final Trade was FFIV. (That was Guy Adami's too.) Tim Seymour said VIP (big surprise there; it was due in the rotation), Brian Kelly said to sell GLD (big surprise there, it was due in the rotation), and Steve Grasso said YHOO.

Ron Sloan says ‘nominal’ 6 times

In case you think this is a "real" world, you better have a chat with Ron Sloan.

Sloan stressed (repeatedly) to Tuesday's Halftime Report crew that "it's not a real world, it's a nominal world," and that, rather curiously, "the Fed is always gonna be successful" in pushing the stimulus from paper assets to the real economy.

Forecasting a correction, Sloan likes companies with "larger customers ... where the customer is, is uh, indifferent to, to price."

"Indifferent" to price. That's one we haven't heard.

Sloan likes CAM and HCA, as well as PH, which he called the "penultimate, uh, company."

"The key word here is nominal," Sloan emphasized.

Weiss gets chippy after Josh questions 1 element of what Weiss said

Josh Brown opened Tuesday's Halftime Report by making another one of his bifurcated recommendations on TWTR — he owns it, but thinks it's going "somewhere in the low to mid-30s," where he thinks it would be a great buy.

Stephen Weiss said he wouldn't call Twitter a "fad," but the valuation doesn't make sense and there are so many other stocks where valuation does make sense, so "life's just too short and the game's too hard to mess around with Twitter."

Brown, though, told Weiss that history's great growth stocks were never cheap, and by the time you waited for a better valuation, it was too late.

Weiss scoffed, "Instead of giving me a history lesson, go out and buy it."

"I own it," Brown reaffirmed.

Then the brawl spilled over into NFLX, with Brown claiming "Netflix was never justifiable at any valuation" while Weiss asserted it has a "mature operating history" and "customer base" while Brown fired back that in 2003, that wasn't the case.

"Maybe I'm just not smart enough or enough of a historian," Weiss whined.

"I think you made a very valid point," Brown said.

Weiss got a late jab in, claiming Brown had said "I'm gonna keep buying till my hands bleed."

"I don't remember saying that," Brown said.

Guest zings Barry Diller because stock trades at a ‘really cheap multiple’

Meanwhile, Aswath Damodaran on Tuesday's Halftime initially backed Stephen Weiss on TWTR, "There can be no way that you can tell me from a valuation perspective that it's worth what it's trading for," only to say he disagrees with the notion that "growth stocks can never be good investments," that at some point it will make sense after a couple bad quarters when the weak hands exit.

Damodaran, referring to FB, said, "I feel like Bill Murray in 'Groundhog Day'," and said in 6 months we'll be having the same conversation about Pinterest and Snapchat.

Bull Victor Anthony, who has a 54 TWTR target and said he's "not surprised" Barry Diller would question the valuation, said Twitter has "growing revenues in the triple digits" and a "strong ecosystem developing."

Simon Baker reiterated he thinks it's a buy around 35, but it's "definitely" overvalued in the mid-40s, and "purely on valuation, avoid it."

Joe Terranova stated that it's a trader's stock for now, and "in 2014 it might become an investor stock," but there's "no need to chase it on either direction."

Mr. New Land tried to unite the panel. "I think we can all agree that the success of a lot of stocks are having the marginal buyer of last resort," the "mutual fund community," step in and start buying as it did with FB, he said.

2014 returns, in 2013

Barry Knapp, who has a 1,900 target on the 2014 S&P 500, told Tuesday's Halftime Report quite a mouthful about his previous game plan.

"We expected that there would be a Fed policy-normalization-related correction that would occur most likely in the 4th quarter," Knapp said.

Then he reached into the Lee Cooperman playbook, saying we "pulled some of the returns from 2014 into 2013."

Knapp also reached into Dr. New World's playbook, saying "in essence," he doesn't get into single stocks, but likes the "big multi-line industrials," and in the banking space, perhaps the "smaller regionals."

Anytime you want to talk munis, you summon someone with the last name of "Lebenthal." Tuesday it was Jim Lebenthal who got the call, saying you can "divide the municipal world into 2 categories" although realistically it's maybe more; one of those is the speculative Harrisburg stuff and the other is basic investment grade that Lebenthal specializes in, in which he does see some rate pressure and recommends 3-4-year duration on the short end.

Lebenthal stressed that the Harrisburg type deep-value cases are best left to hedge funds, who have the "legal expertise" and "time to wait out the liquidity."

Joe Terranova congratulated Judge for asking Lebenthal if this muni selloff may not be a good time to buy, that this time it's different with rising rates. "You are asking excellent questions throughout the show," Joe said.

‘Further upside’ in YELP

Simon Baker on Tuesday's Halftime Report made a bull case for DHI, arguing "year on year orders were up" and the old standby, "pent-up demand."

His opponent was Mr. New Land, who asserted, "You cannot dismiss the move in rates ... the margins are going to contract."

Josh Brown declared, "Joe wins, this is last year's trade."

Yet Brown and Terranova were not on the same page with the YELP upgrade.

"I think Yell (sic no 'p')" with an 80 target is "a little bit aggressive," Terranova said, "but I do think there's further upside."

Brown scoffed that "nothing they've built has a moat," and, in the argument they always used against 1) Netflix (AMZN) and 2) LinkedIn (FB), claimed there's no reason FB can't "absolutely siphon away" YELP traffic. (This writer is long LNKD.)

Mr. New World seemed to be saving his closer for emerging markets, pointing out, "They've been down 9 consecutive days in a row (sic redundancy)," suggesting "the taper is coming sooner than we expect ... the market right now is vulnerable."

"This is why you stay away from emerging markets," said Stephen Weiss.

‘Most exciting stock
in the world’

Simon Baker said on Tuesday's Halftime Report that he likes FDX, because of hedge fund appeal and buybacks it's a "big winner."

Josh Brown said, "I like FedEx, but I like UPS better."

Stephen Weiss said Wall Street still hasn't fully realized the airline story and AAMRQ; "I'd still be a buyer."

Josh Brown actually called YHOO the "most exciting stock in the world" and said it "could absolutely get hot again" if it breaks 34.

Joe Terranova said of CLF, "I don't think you buy it here." But Josh Brown observed that "ore stocks are hot again."

Anthony Grisanti said the only thing that would lift gold is "if inflation starts ramping up."

Jim Iuorio said gold may fall "down to maybe 1,270" and predicted, "eventually we'll settle below that trend line."

Kate Kelly said Dan Loeb honestly was interested in HLF to the point he cut off a winter holiday break in Mexico to meet HLF management.

Kelly suggested Loeb and George Clooney could "hug it out" over Clooney's Tesla car SNE.

Judge had trouble connecting with Dominic Chu but seemed to overrate the difficulty.

Dr. New World said refiners are "OK to own" and his favorite is DK.

Stephen Weiss said it's been tough to short this year (translation: Penney is trickier lately) but now you have to wonder given the "crescendo" in the markets "if now is not the time to start shorting again."

Simon Baker's Final Trade was CME. Joe Terranova said RIG, Simon Baker said PFE and Steve Weiss said TBF.

[Monday, November 11, 2013]


Melissa’s mag article


We didn't want to say anything ...

... And weren't going to say anything ...

... But given that Monday's Fast Money promoted the heck out of Mel's mag profile, which was already circulated from Lee's Twitter handle a week ago, it's our obligation to be a media critic.

Yes, the pictures are wonderful, and the mag has a nifty way of turning the pages online.

But, this article might as well have been written by the CNBC PR Dept.

This article, incredibly blatantly, is a 1-source story.

Not a single other human being was asked to describe Melissa.

For a mag titled "Resident," there is no indication in the slightest where Melissa lives (Note: NO ONE here is asking for exact address), what kind of building/neighborhood, etc.

And there is no reference to Melissa's age and/or significant others.

There are no questions/discussions of the TV business and whether it, like print media, may feel the encroachment of the Internet (um, see "John Melloy" for details).

There are no questions about Lee's colleagues or competitors. (Yes, we know the answers would be, "Guy Adami is so funny, Karen Finerman and I stick together as the women of the program, I think Scott Wapner does an excellent job," etc.; that's why it needs to be asked in a way that produces useful commentary.)

Talk about unfamiliarity with subject matter. The writer quotes Lee as saying this: "On Fast Money we believe that Quantitative Easing (QE) will shortly easy."

Yeah. Uh huh.

Not only that, "Fast Money" is described in the article as "one of the most successful programs on the award-winning CNBC." Not to downplay anything in terms of awards ... but every semi-major cable channel has won an award of some kind.

And, as numerous outlets have reported but this article didn't catch, Fast Money ratings (and those of many other CNBC shows) just hit an all-time low.

"Ironically" is (depending on your standards) either blatantly wrong here, or unneeded, a sign of a grasping writer.

At the end, Melissa is thanked for her time (at a bar) and wished the best by mag staff.

And as we leaf through the pages of this publication, (grimace) we see advertisement after advertisement.

Monetization. For this kind of coverage.

(Yep. The Hamms 30-pack is looking necessary now. #ormaybetheIronCity6-packtonight #whicheverhitsthehardest #crownroyaltooexpensive)


Enjoy the article. And for the most real reports/images of Melissa's career, performance, quotations, appearance, hobbies, clichés, etc., keep clicking "refresh" right where you're at. We're here because you are. Talking about the stock market and TV coverage of the stock market. Fighting for every ad click we get, dedicated to representing the highest standards of journalism, flooding this site with whatever we've got time for — even if we're never offered a drink with/profile of the host of "Fast Money."

Dennis Gartman predicts 10-year could get to 6% sometime within the next 10 years (and 4% sometime within 2)

On the one hand he made it sound like a cataclysmic event; on the other hand, he made it sound like it won't even happen until the Chicago Cubs will win the World Series.

Dennis Gartman told Monday's Fast Money, "We're probably entering a bear market" in bonds.

"We've seen a massive top taking place here," Gartman said, reporting that people have been saying, "If it's Yellen, you should be sellin'," as if that actually has anything to do with it.

But even though the "massive top" is in place, Gartman hedged like the dudes at a presidential debate, saying we could get a massive 3 percentage points — within a whole decade. I grew up when the 10-year was at 8%; "I think you can see 6% yields in the course of the next 10 years without any difficulty," Gartman explained.

Tim Seymour tried to challenge Gartman, asserting, "I don't think we get much past 4% by- by the end of next year."

But then Dennis, demonstrating how difficult it is to pin him down on this sort of thing, assured Melissa Lee that we can reach 4% within 2 years, a longer time frame than Seymour (we're not good with math, but that one we figured out).

Guy Adami pushed back, explaining, "I'm sort of in the deflation camp." Gartman advised, "Guy, you need to get out of New York" and perhaps try Akron or Sioux City instead ... "outside of New York, things are doing quite well."

Carl says ‘The greatest thing I could do in my life is to try to change some of the laws and some of the rules relating to corporate governance’

It looks like, if you believe the headline above, Carl Icahn fell short of his ultimate goal in his agitation with RIG.

But Karen Finerman declared on Monday's Fast Money that if you're Transocean, "If you can't beat 'em, just join 'em," and noted that Irwin Simon did well with an Icahn board member, and that Carl "absolutely should declare victory here."

Tim Seymour, asked to comment on this one but with nothing to say, reached into the Account History portion of his bag of tricks and noted of RIG, "I was in it 6 months ago," and right now, "I like the pop."

Karen Finerman said her favorite in the space is North Atlantic Offshore Drilling, which we think is NATDF.

Evidently Steve Grasso didn’t buy it back, or else he would’ve called into the show

Josh Brown on Monday's Halftime Report dismissed George Clooney's wretched film "Intolerable Cruelty" Esquire mag complaint about his Tesla car, explaining, "This is not a Model S ... he's probably in the Gen 1."

Tim Seymour vowed, "There will be major competition for Tesla," but Guy Adami merely advised, "Let it sit for a couple days."

Brown said "the chart looks abysmal" and he's not in TSLA.

Melissa Lee told Guy Adami, "You say 'cats' all the time."

It’s awesome that Mel is trumpeting print media, however, it’s hard to read the stories on the TV screen; even Tim can’t see from his chair

Tackling the program's favorite term since about, oh, 3 weeks ago, Tim Seymour decreed at the top of Monday's Fast Money that "we are not terribly bubblicious," even though "the IPO schedule worries me the most."

Josh Brown assured that it's not like we went from a regular environment to hyper-charged; "we're really just getting back to normal."

Brown argued that what's actually around bubble-land are the defensives, there's "definitely room for some pain there."

Seymour said PG "got its butt kicked last month," and then, in a nice little service actually, greatly boosted the show's item count, saying he likes PEP and MDLZ, but "General Mills to me, that's a sell," and so is DPS (his Final Trade), but he does like TAP.

Guy Adami said, "I don't think valuation is a bubble," though he'd be wary of biotechs because people have been buying with "impunity" for so long, but he thinks V and MA remain a great story.

Guest who endorsed Ron Johnson’s turnaround for months likes JCP

Liz Dunn, who has had a dicey Fast Money experience between making calls on JCP and LULU, backed the former on Monday's Fast Money, stating, "I don't think it's the all-clear, but I do think that the stock will continue to perform through year-end."

Karen Finerman wondered if margin concerns aren't getting worse. Dunn indicated that's a concern, but not the primary one, which is "just driving for sales right now."

Dunn was more skeptical on KSS (even though it was Guy Adami's Final Trade), which she said doesn't seem to have the "needle-moving" strategy that she'd like to see.

And she described ANF's analyst meeting as "pretty abysmal."

Melissa Lee finally asked Dunn what she does like. Dunn said RL and COH, things with "some sort of global story" and "luxury angle," also JWN.

Karen Finerman agreed with COH, but Tim Seymour scoffed, "I actually hate Coach." (We were wondering if we'd get the "lifestyle brand" comment, which ranks about, oh, No. 6 or 7 on the Fast Money Favorite Terms List, but it didn't happen.)

Josh Brown said the problem with ANF is that teens want cheaper stuff without logos.

Edward Snowden, catalyst

With essentially no catalyst, Josh Brown on Monday's Fast Money feebly mounted a GOOG bull call apparently as the anti-Morgan Stanley report that was so popular at Halftime; Brown said he "didn't see much meat on the bones."

Meanwhile, "Google is the gentleman's momentum stock," Brown said.

Missy Lee suggested Brown was using "gentleman's" as a "euphemism."

Guy Adami, meanwhile, as the bear, shrugged that GOOG is "cavalier in the way they spend money," and actually with a straight face warned about "this NSA stuff that's goin' out there."

Karen Finerman agreed with Brown (who made GOOG his Final Trade) and declared that if you're looking for an overvalued momentum stock, Google isn't the first place you'd look, but the "last."

Guy Adami predicted RAX would fall to 40 while Melissa Lee chipped in her 2nd-favorite cliche, "This is a commodity business at the end of the day."

Guy Adami admitted he's been "surprised" by the "pretty dramatic selloff" in FB, and advised, "Pull the ripcord if it breaks 45."

Josh Brown admits DDD’s move is ‘out of control’

Just a month ago, basically on Momentum-Selloff Day, you could've had DDD at 50.

And, you could've had it in the 50s had you jumped aboard Josh Brown's bull call in the space on Oct. 14 and Oct. 29, an instant contender for Call of the Year.

But even Brown admitted on Monday's Fast Money that DDD is in nosebleed territory; "I gotta tell you ... it's just hitting ludicrous speed ... out of control," Brown said, though he still likes the concept.

Brown said GOGO (that's correct, not "GOOG") is "the kind of stock that squeezes people for a long time," and he thinks it might be a good trading vehicle; "lot of interesting days ahead."

Guy Adami said of FFIV, "Through 80, you get out."

Tim Seymour buckled down on AAPL for a Twitter/e-mail battle with the haters, asserting, "You trade this thing when it gets back down to 440. I'm gonna- the hate mail will start coming tonight."

Seymour said that "somewhere around $65" is "fair value" for EXPE (but we're still wondering when Mike Murphy gets the Fast Fire for warning of "major damage" in the name at 47).

Seymour said DANG is trying to temper enthusiasm over its results.

Likely setting himself up for more pain, Seymour took a Fast Fire on NFLX, first expressing sympathy for knuckleheads who bought the October afterhours pop, "this stock on earnings day went up to 395 and then torched people all the way down to 325," and then predicting a plateau; "at 337, you know, this is a stock that probably goes sideways."

Karen: Sell calls in M

Guest Jim Leech was a little devoid of specifics during his visit to Monday's Fast Money, saying (like oh, so many guests) that he has a "much longer-term horizon" than the traders, and that he thinks "most asset classes are pretty richly valued these days."

Karen Finerman asked if there's a return rate that Leech's pension fund needs to handle disbursements. Leech said yes, a real return of 2.75% that amounts to 4.85%.

Leech said "we're much more idiosyncratic" than just picking broad sectors, but he allowed that his EM exposure is up from 15% to 20%.

Melissa Lee brought up OGX's crumble under Eike Batista, a story we had kinda tuned out a week or two ago, and asked Leech how that happened. Leech insisted he got out a while ago and after getting in early made a "great return," and said he sold when the "strategy" changed.

Karen Finerman said Jefferies hung a $100 on DECK.

Guy Adami said AMTD "probably wants to push higher."

Scott Nations reported high put/call ratios in CNX, XOP and SU, and spotlighted the XOP December 60/67 put spread.

"I think XOM still works here," said Guy Adami.

Josh Brown said that while "they could grow for years and years ... I would probably lay off" of PotBelly (PBPB) for now.

Guy Adami said of DHI, "Below 17½ this stock gets ugly tomorrow."

Adami said DIS had one of those "glitchy quarters" and said to avoid NWSA, which he thinks trades to probably the low 16s.

Karen Finerman sort of mocked a tweet question about nat gas names, acknowledging those companies are into nat gas, and then said if they played a tape from 2 years ago, she was wrong about nat gas, but suggests maybe trying CLNE if it comes to fruition, which she kinda thinks it will.

Karen's Final Trade was to sell M calls.

Stephanie thinks stocks move based on Cramer’s returns, as Halftime crew equivocates just as badly as Morgan Stanley analysts

They bashed the analyst(s) ... and then proceeded to say the same thing.

Judge Wapner opened Monday's Halftime Report with a discussion on Morgan Stanley's Internet downgrade (Scott Devitt is evidently the lead analyst), which got scoffing from Judge's panelists, who nevertheless mostly expressed the same views.

Steve Weiss said, "I didn't get it. To me the analysts are just sittin' on the fence ... I have no idea what the analyst is talking about."

But the other panelists seemed to know exactly what Morgan Stanley was talking about, because they're talking about the same thing.

Pete Najarian started off mentioning YELP, saying, "They have done everything right ... but ... I wouldn't stick with a name like that," and then adding, "I still think there's downside for Facebook," something he wouldn't buy until the "very low 40s."

Which sounds like basically what the analysts said.

But moments later, Najarian scoffed that it's "the same analyst who hated the stock at 21."

So he agrees ... with someone he thinks makes bad calls.

Furthermore, try to ascertain what Pete is saying about TSLA's direction in this comment: "Took off half of the put spread that I had on. I still think that there's downside, but I'm glad that at this point in time, that we're seeing a little bit of a lift out of this stock."

Stephanie Link was embarrassingly congratulatory, bragging, "We too sold some Facebook at 52 and change," and then tried to claim Cramer's still bullish by holding on; "we were up 92% into the quarter; there's no way I was not gonna take some money off the table but we held onto quite a bit of it."

Interesting. We didn't know future stock performance was driven by Action Alerts Plus cost basis.

Mike Murphy sort of tried to disagree with the MS call, saying he likes FB, but he conceded he's been hedging through options and short term might be dicey, even though he thinks "long-term the stock gets through 60 quite easily."

And, Murphy dislikes GRPN and P; "I wouldn't be jumping in on 'em here." (This writer is long P.)

Pete Najarian bragged that he got out of TWTR (too bad it rose later Monday). "Sold that thing on Friday," Pete said, around "44, 44½, somewhere in that range," but he wouldn't buy back until the "low 30s."

Judge defended the Morgan Stanley report. "What's the big hurt with calling out some froth," Wapner said.

CNBCer suggests people think PCLN overvalued because nominal stock price is $1,000 (Drink) (cont’d)

It's one of the most bizarre theories constantly heard on CNBC.

Stephen Weiss implied on Monday's Halftime Report that people tend to think PCLN has gotten out of control because the stock has moved up to 4 digits.

First of all, if this were actually true, wouldn't it be underperforming peers/sector that have nominal 2-digit share prices?


Anyway, Weiss said it's not where the stock has been, "it's where they're going to," and "Priceline is a cheap stock."

Mike Murphy argued that "when a stock is up 75% and they guide lower for next quarter, that my friend is a red flag," suggesting he'd like it at $800.

"You're not gonna get it at 800," Weiss insisted.

Pete Najarian backed Weiss, "this stock still trades cheap," and so did Stephanie Link. (Wonder if Cramer on the one hand sold at the top up 92% but still has "quite a bit of it.")

Mike Murphy said he thinks the Alibaba IPO is going to be "as big if not bigger" than people think. Pete Najarian credited Marissa Mayer for monetizing and said YHOO is going higher. Stephen Weiss said he's intrigued by Chinese Internet names because they have a government moat.

Jon Fortt said, "I think Tim Cook's playing chess" with Carl Icahn.

Stephen Weiss said that before buying ISRG, "I'd rather wait and see if they're on level footing."

Mike Murphy said his DRYS bull case close to $4 in September was a "terrible call," but he said the stock has support around 2.80, and "I think you can own more of it here." (But Judge when are we gonna get Murph's Fast Fire over EXPE at 47?)

Carter Worth’s bear call is so important, he can’t even drop by the show and explain it for himself

Evidently, Carter Braxton Worth is moving up in the world.

What else would explain why he gets the Dominator, CNBC's Dominic Chu, to actually deliver a news report on his JC Parets-cloned market selloff call based on financials lagging and breadth dwindling after each new market high (which, we think, essentially occurred ... on Monday).

"That's not a good sign," Chu said, regarding the breadth.

Pete Najarian on the other hand gushed about financials; "they just needed to take a breather."

Guest Gregg Fisher told the panel that the U.S. is OK, but he finds the rest of the world perhaps more "fairly valued."

Mike Murphy tried to get Fisher to endorse Brazil and Europe. Fisher didn't really go that far, explaining that the U.S. accounts for "50% of the world's capital markets" and so having no more than 50% of your portfolio U.S.-centric "makes good sense."

Stephen Weiss pointed out that when the U.S. shutdown occurred, the emerging markets got slammed.

Murphy defended Brazil; "a lot of negatives are out there in Brazil," Murphy said, but the World Cup is coming their way.

Stephen Roach demonstrates he doesn’t watch the Halftime Report daily

Stephen Roach told Monday's Halftime crew that China has a "lot of low-hanging fruit" as far as creating jobs and boosting the consumer sector.

Roach even told Judge Wapner that he would advise panelists and viewers to avoid the "day-to-day fear-mongering that you get on, on your program," a point Judge didn't challenge even though there's no actual "day-to-day fear-mongering" about China on the Halftime Report.

Even more startling, Roach's advice about what to pay attention to regarding China included this: "If you question the accuracy of the data, you'll miss the whole story."

Kate Kelly reported a CNBC daylong story, that banks are reviewing whether traders should participate in chat rooms (thank goodness we're not allowed in any of those). Steve Weiss suggested the chat rooms aren't the problem; "My advice would be, hire more honest people.'

Mike Murphy said he agrees with the Goldman downgrade of LLY. But Pete Najarian disagreed. "I bought Lilly on this downgrade today," Najarian said.

Stephanie Link prefers ESV to RIG but likes what RIG is doing.

Jon Najarian said TIF December 80 calls were hot, and that someone was buying BBY 44 calls and selling 49 calls.

Mike Murphy credited optionMonster for generally being right but said no way to TIF at 80, and also predicted BBY would trickle "back down through 40."

Stephen Weiss revealed, "I bought a little KORS last week," for those wondering where he got that new handbag.

Weiss called GT a "reasonable buy." Mike Murphy pegged MOS in "no-man's land."

Stephanie Link bragged that she/Cramer didn't like IBM at 210 and "sold a lot of our position there," but around 180, "I like it here," which ought to please Joe Terranova, who suddenly seems to think the stock is Netflix II.

Pete Najarian called NOC "still cheap."

Najarian's Final Trade was BAC. Weiss said TBF, Murphy said UNH and Link said M (Drink).

[Friday, November 8, 2013]

Is it pronounced ‘kah-STOW-low,’
or ‘COST-a-low’?

We don't want to be too harsh on Josh Brown, whose Pops was at the studio Friday, but Josh said on Friday's Fast Money that "I took about half my position off" in TWTR, and "I would love to see this thing get killed like Facebook" and get a "3-handle."

Brown added, "I gotta tell you," if the momentum names crater, TWTR will go right with it.

Guy Adami, who repeated his strong terminology of a day earlier, chipped in that he can see "low 30s," explaining, "I think it's going lower as well ... this is a Greater Fools (sic plural) Theory."

Steve Grasso opined, "Everyone's waiting for the same thing that happened with Facebook to happen with Twitter. I don't think that's gonna happen. I think Goldman Sachs is gonna make sure that this succeeds," revealing, "I bought a 20% position today."

Rich Ilczyszyn on fire

Guy Adami, who just a day earlier suggested that "maybe the turn is coming" to the downside, admitted on Friday's Fast Money that he "really thought" the S&P would test 1,740, and that next week should be "as important a week technically as we've seen in a while."

Adami said he expects "lumpy" data from jobs reports and sees "cross-currents in sort of some of the data."

Steve Grasso said people had been worried about tapering, but "they just don't care right now."

Josh Brown said that while the jobs number was happier than thought, "it's still not a great number," but there was "relative strength in the financials."

Brown, invoking an original Eric Bolling/Tim Strazzini Fast Money cliche, said that Yellen might've been thinking taper in September, but "she had gotten the tap on the shoulder."

Guy Adami, proving he wasn't watching Wednesday's Halftime Report and failing to acknowledge the Ilchmeister's spectacular call/caution, wrongly said of the ECB move, "I don't think anybody saw it coming." Adami said, "The move in the bond market you gotta fade."

Guy Adami implies stock traders can’t do multiplication, says PCLN wouldn’t seem so expensive if you divided all the stats by 10 (Drink-Drink-Drink)

By Friday's Fast Money standards, it was bizarre to say the least: Mandy Drury guest-hosting for Mel, who was summoned for an interview mid-show with DRYS boss George Economou at the NYSE.

Economou said shippers have been undervalued, and as to the notion rates have peaked, "definitely not."

Mandy actually said, "We've gotta leave it there."

Steve Grasso admitted TSLA didn't hold 140 enough for him. "I was using 140 as a support ... I'm out of the name completely now," Grasso said, indicating 125 and 104 are the next support levels.

Grasso said that to play Alibaba, "I bought Yahoo ... could see this thing make a run at $40."

Josh Brown suggested CQQQ and KWEB for playing the Chinese Web space.

Guy Adami called PCLN the "gold standard in that space," and then, reaching barely to the top of the commentary bag of tricks, actually demonstrated he still believes that people consider it overvalued because of nominal share price; "everybody thinks it's a thousand dollars, it must be expensive ... if you move the decimal point one thing over to the left ... valuation doesn't look nearly as rich as people think it is now."

But Adami said KORS is in "sort of nosebleed territory" and likes it better in the "low to mid-70s."

Adami said this is the time to sell steel.

Josh Brown said he wouldn't chase the rally in GPS.

Steve Grasso warned about ANF; "I would not be buying this." Brian Kelly predicted "sideways action here" in WFM. Josh Brown, forced by a shaky cameraman to hold a pose forever after speaking, said of Z, "I would stay away from this."

Grasso's Final Trade was YHOO. Brian Kelly said DXJ, Guy Adami said KAR and Josh Brown said ECL.

Doc may get smoked
on TSLA 134 put sale

Of all people it was Stephen Weiss who had the punch line of the day on Friday's Halftime Report.

"Now the buyers of Tesla have to decide if they want the fire extinguisher to match the interior or the exterior," said Weiss, before adding, "This should be an issue that the government focuses on."

He predicted the shares go to $100.

Jon Najarian, in a refreshing admission that we suspected was likely the case (but only after the 3rd or 4th version of the congratulatory Brag Trade about Pete getting him out of his TSLA long around the highs), admitted that the stock was getting nervously close to that 134 level he was "feasting" at with his put sales and that he's taken "a third of the position in pain."

Anthony Scaramucci said he visited a Tesla shop in Massachusetts because "my son's actually working there" and found they make a "phenomenal product."

Weiss said the BMW I8 will be the next hot thing. Judge asked, in what was NOT the punch line of the day, "Is this Halftime or is this Motor Trend magazine illustrated (sic)?"

Barbers asking about TWTR
as stock gets a haircut

Admit it, you're sick of hearing about Twitter, and Dick Costolo.

Jon Najarian on Friday's Halftime Report claimed the stock is "likely to trade into the mid-30s, uh, before it goes significantly higher."

Najarian said if you want to short, it's only 40 cents but there's a "tight" borrow.

Perhaps it'll be mighty GS performing a bailout (and wishing it wasn't involved in this issuance) for the longs, as Anthony Scaramucci predicted that "Goldman Sachs will step into the marketplace here and support this name ... at least for the next week or so," but nevertheless, "I caution all retail investors out there to be wharry (sic pronunciation)."

Mike Santoli said that on Day 1, "I think Twitter got valued for about 5 years of flawless execution," and though the "guy who cut my hair" was asking about it, Santoli is nonetheless "encouraged" by the skepticism he was hearing.

Santoli did acknowledge that it could conceivably encroach on Facebook and YouTube; "there's actually kinda broad potential."

Michael Pachter said some think TWTR can "double in size in about 5 years," which puts him "optimistically at about $37."

Pachter said one sign of Twitter's presence is that "NPR guys" on Thursday just started giving out their Twitter handles.

Stephen Weiss revealed, "I bought Facebook" on Thursday and Friday, believing it "goes through 50 again."

Pete Najarian, who had until a week or two ago pounded the table for FB, disagreed. "I don't like it at 48 though. I think there's plenty of room below still," Najarian said.

Don’t get ‘schmeistered’ in bonds

Stephen Weiss offered a curious endorsement of quantitative easing on Friday's Halftime Report, asserting that for all those who think it hasn't worked, "There's no empirical evidence to show that it hasn't."

Weiss advised, "Just get into the market. If you're in bonds you're going to get schmeistered."

Pete Najarian was heartened by the "financials right out of the gate," later pointing out that C February 52.50 calls and BAC November 14 calls were hot.

Anthony Scaramucci said he sees "better than expected growth" in the 1st and 2nd quarter.

Steve Liesman said job growth is "actually accelerating."

Jon Najarian said no tapering "until at least March," and said AIG's gain was telegraphed yesterday in the options markets, and he thinks homebuilders are a buy on the selloff.

Keith Banks told Judge, "There's more room to go" in equities, and that despite the screen graphic, he actually moved his target from 1,800 to 1,870, and even 2,000 in 2015.

Banks, who told Anthony Scaramucci he can be "agnostic" about stock direction, said his crew "most recently upgraded" energy, and he likes financials and tech, and if we had a dollar for every time we've heard that, oh man...

Stephen Weiss trumpeted airlines; "my favorite remains American, and USAir."

Pete Najarian endorsed both PCLN and EXPE (still waiting for Mike Murphy's Fast Fire), saying "both have room to the upside."

BTU to ‘mid- to high 20s’

George Iwanicki on Friday's Halftime Report endorsed emerging markets; "valuations are still reasonably cheap."

Stephen Weiss questioned if Russia isn't a dog with fleas. Iwanicki called it not just cheap compared with other emerging markets, but "cheap relative to its own history."

Iwanicki said that with Mexico, he's "actually been fading it a bit."

Pete Najarian and Jon Najarian staged a b.s. MCD-WEN debate, with Pete (bull) citing the innovative menu and Doc citing the "pretzel bacon cheeseburger."

Stephen Weiss said he prefers MCD; "Wendy's has much more beta."

Jon Najarian said it was "all good news" in NVDA. Stephen Weiss said he thinks BTU can reach the "mid- to high 20s."

Pete Najarian said of PHM, "I actually like it down here." Anthony Scaramucci said JPM headlines are built in; "I expect this name to go higher."

Pete Najarian admitted he bungled SPLS a while back, another one we'd forgotten; "that's totally on me."

Steve Weiss called MU and SNDK "kind of toppy" and said "I'd sell a little."

Jon Najarian said he didn't get a CUDA allocation but advised, "I would wait till it goes sub-20."

Pete Najarian said of FFIV, "I think it can go a lot higher." Anthony Scaramucci said, "I like Ford, I like the autos in general," but given Mulally's status, he "would be more cautious on the name."

Doc's Final Trade was NBL. Pete said to trim TSLA puts. Steve Weiss said TBF. Anthony Scaramucci said to be long GS.

[Thursday, November 7, 2013]



It looked like "Saturday Night Fever" on Thursday's Fast Money as both Jon Najarian and Rick Heitzmann showed off the 2001 duds.

Heitzmann, an early investor in Pinterest, said an IPO is coming "no time soon," although it's "obviously part of the plan."

Heitzmann's primary goal seemed to be to validate the pricing of these businesses, saying TWTR and FB are trading at "$100 per monthly active user."

Dan Nathan questioned why Pinterest won't just sell itself to a hopelessly mobile-less behemoth such as MSFT or YHOO before any IPO momentum takes flight. Heitzmann's answer was to suggest Nathan look at footage of Twitter HQ on Thursday.

Nathan groused, "We could be at a top here" in these names.

Stephen Weiss might have
been spectacularly right

Thursday's Fast Money got a visit from Craig Irwin — the same Craig Irwin who told the Halftime Report on Oct. 15 about how he got to 240 on TSLA because of a survey showing more people want to buy electric cars.

Thursday, Irwin downplayed all 3 Tesla fires and particularly the latest one; "The driver hit a trailer hitch ... realistically the biggest problem people are having with these cars is they're burning the tires out too quickly."

Irwin claimed the "valuation is like a typical growth stock," which he said could "easily be something like BMW."

Gordon Johnson balked about whatever tax credits the company benefits from. Irwin suggested Johnson take his beef to the California Air Resource Board.

Missy Lee closed it with, "Craig we're gonna leave it there," and then in an unintentional dis, referred to him as "Craig Hallam." (Speaking of which it's been a long time since someone has called Melissa "Michelle.")

Incredibly, back on Oct. 16, a day after Irwin's Halftime Report presentation, with the stock robustly holding its own in the 180s, Stephen Weiss scoffed at Irwin's research and said it's the type of report that could "call a top" in the stock.

Gordon Johnson overdid it to the downside Thursday, claiming, "I think Tesla's a $50 stock" and that "the correction is not anywhere near done."

Dan Nathan fought back, saying 135 and 120 are the next support levels, and declaring, "It's not going back to $50."

SCTY ‘a ticking time bomb’

Gordon Johnson, taking what we think was his first stint on the Fast Money desk Thursday (unless he did it once before; we can't really recall), was of course asked to opine on solar, where he made a spectacular call a year or two ago but has only watched helplessly in 2013 while bungling a continued bearish stance on a skyrocketing sector.

In the U.S. names, Johnson sees a "lot of risk there." But, while he basically considers Chinese solar names "huge sells" on fundamentals, they have government support, so he's actually calling them a buy. (That's called hedging what's been a disastrous trade/viewpoint.)

Johnson bluntly called SCTY "a ticking time bomb" based on accounting tactics and curiously dubbed it "a valuation play," and he said if you're trading this it's like playing "musical chairs with your money ... very risky."

Jon Najarian said he doesn't like SCTY, but "I would be a buyer of First Solar for a trade."


Doc as unsure about shirt presentation as traders are about market direction

Finding itself in a logical quagmire, Thursday's Fast Money tried to argue 1) market exuberance based on TWTR concurrently with 2) bubbles bursting with every other momentum name.

Of course this was not unexpected, as Fast Money has only 3 reactions to each day; when it's bad, then "omg we're about to crater through some deep support levels," when it's good, then "I think we're in a bubble in a lot of these names," and when it's in-between, then it's always "no-man's land" until some of these levels are confirmed, etc. At the end of the day. Before they gotta leave it there.

Gordon Johnson, overdoing it on every bit of commentary Thursday, revealed, "I'm extremely concerned about the momentum names ... the market is a little frothy here ... the market is due for a correction."

Mike Khouw actually claimed, "Even the last and biggest and arguably foolish optimists in the markets are starting to lose a little bit of hope here" and noted that "yesterday the VIX was exceptionally low."

Dan Nathan grumbled about the usual suspects, TSLA, YELP, Z, and claimed, "Tomorrow morning's gonna be a really important morning for a lot of these stocks," saying longs "need to see a flush-out."

Guy Adami waffled. "I don't know if it's over in momentum names," and then spotlighted LNKD and his own magic 220 level, saying because it didn't hold, "that trade is over for now."

But moments later, Adami revisited The Boy Who Cried Bear Market mode, citing NYSE debt margin ... Russell reverse ... "lot of things out there lead you to believe that maybe the turn is coming."

Sure. Short the Nasdaq. Enjoy face-ripped-off land.

Jon Najarian was the most reliable voice of reason, arguing, "I don't think the momentum names are done," though even he questioned that they "may or may not be done for the year," but if so, "many of these stocks will go back to work."

Guy Adami finally said that 1,740 just needs to hold. (Um, we're practically there.)

Dan Nathan attempted group hedging, saying, "We sound a little dire here," and suggested the market needs a bounce off of 1,700; "that would feel really healthy."

Whether he got orders from a producer or just decided to update his look from 1975, Jon Najarian buttoned up after the opening segment.

Doc suggests a Twitterer has the option of waiting for Nov. 15 to occur

Meanwhile, as expected, someone on Thursday's Fast Money would find a way to denounce the TWTR gain as irrelevant to the rest of the market's slide.

That individual was Guy Adami, who said Twitter was merely a "supply and demand story today" that had "absolutely nothing to do with fundamentals."

In fact, Adami even cited the "Greater Fool Theory ... that's it in a nutshell today in terms of what's going on with Twitter."

But Sam Hamadeh, a regular these days, argued, "I think it was priced very well frankly ... I think Twitter will grow into its valuation."

Hamadeh advised not pushing too much cash after TWTR this week, but "I still would fill out the position after May 15."

Told by Melissa Lee that a lot of heralded tech IPOs traded below the offer price months later, Hamadeh asserted that TWTR will be "closer to LinkedIn than those other companies."

"Sam we're gonna leave it there," said Melissa Lee.

Jon Najarian told a frustrated tweeter that it's nobody's fault, including Najarian's, that TWTR options won't be tradeable for another week. Doc suggested that the tweeter could just "wait for November 15th."

Najarian reaffirmed his TWTR allocation and claimed this one's for the children; "that particular stock I hope to put away for my kids Melissa," declaring that $1,000 in the AMZN IPO is now worth $237,000.

Doc said he also bought on the open, at "45.60 or 80," and "sold it up around 48." (That gain presumably doesn't go to the kiddies.)

Dan Nathan's TWTR advice was "buy it, anywhere in the low 30s," which might take a decent amount of time.

Najarian and Nathan scrapped a bit on GRPN. Najarian, typically bullish, suggested, "He's been right, I've been right," but admitted the stock's in a slump this week. However, Najarian contended, "I believe that they are doing things right," and then cited "Mr. Lefkrosky" (sic).

Ticker symbols that should
exist (cont’d): BRA

Exemplifying Thursday Fast Money's Doom Report was the contention by Melissa Lee of all people, on the heels of a report by foxy Sheila Dharmarajan, that PCLN "appears to be cracking."

Jon Najarian again was the voice of reason, saying, "I like this one."

Julia (Mount Rushmore of CNBC Hair) Boorstin reported that "Star Wars: Episode VII" will be released Dec. 18, 2015, and we'd be a lot more excited if we hadn't actually seen "Attack of the Clones."

More importantly, Melissa Lee noted content names all got slammed (so lessee, Michael Burns is in a bubble, so is Les Moonves, etc.). Guy Adami proclaimed of DIS, "At the end of the day it's a cable company," and that if you're long, you "might wanna take a powder for a while," he calls it a "no-touch right now."

Mike Khouw pointed to heavy put volume in FOXA, CBS and DIS and said there was a big buyer of December 33 puts in FOXA for $1.

Guy Adami likes GPS; "you still wanna buy this stock."

Gordon Johnson asserted that "China needs money from foreign economies," and because of that, he thinks "commodity stocks are gonna rally." Guy Adami said he still thinks X trades to 23-24.

Adami shrugged off his PSUN Fast Fire that we don't even recall.

Adami said AA is in "back and fill" and suggested getting long at 8.75. Dan Nathan called QCOM a buy at 65.

Mike Khouw said LTD's drop was another sign higher valuations are at risk.

Jon Najarian said AEO had "nice volume." Gordon Johnson actually said he'd be buying RIG.

Mike Khouw's Final Trade was to "sell call spreads in some of these growth stocks." JOn Najarian said buy CYH, Gordon Johnson said MU, Dan Nathan said EBAY with a 50 stop, and Guy Adami said WDC.

Murph, Steph obviously
didn’t get any

And, you wonder how much sleep Duncan got Wednesday night.

Bob Pisani explained at the top of Thursday's Halftime Report, as people were explaining all day on CNBC, that there was a "palpable sense of relief" at the NYSE over the TWTR debut.

But whoever was talking about the "strong hands" yesterday wasn't accounting for Dr. J, who told Judge Wapner Thursday what he did with his allocation.

"If you're a trader, this is manna from heaven," said Najarian, revealing, "I've been in and out half a dozen times," hoping to buy at 46 and sell at 48.

Josh Brown wasn't so fortunate and didn't get a $26. "I bought it just after it opened with a limit order," Brown said, "but I did not buy an entire position."

On the other side of the coin were Mike Murphy, who noted 45 "as a support area" but cautioned viewers not to buy at that level and questioned where the next support would be if that cracks.

Murphy said he would buy "a lot closer to the IPO price."

Stephanie Link bluntly stated (twice on the program), "I just wouldn't buy it here."

Guest Bob Peck expressed validation that the shares were near his $50 notion and said generally people buy on the hopes of a double within 3 years, and that TWTR could get there with $4 billion revenue in a couple years and a 15-times revenue multiple.

Peck said the "2 biggest risks" (thankfully he didn't list more than 3, which we can't handle) for Twitter are, "can you get bigger" (he said maybe the "amplifier TV product" will help), and "the profitability ... they monetize at half the rate of Facebook in the U.S."

In exchange for basically no opinion on TWTR and congrats for the panel, Judge has to allot Roger McNamee a Reverb commercial

Thursday's Halftime Report got a blast of Hurricane Roger.

Whenever Roger McNamee shows up for the Halftime Report or even The Strategy Session, you can be sure there's a new initiative from or involving Elevation Partners in the works.

McNamee hailed the excitement of a hot IPO on a day "the market totally sucks," which was actually a great call because hours later, it was a lot suckier.

Judge tried to seriously question, "Are we too drunk with exuberance."

"Who cares," Roger said; all that matters with TWTR is "we have more buyers than sellers."

It quickly became clear that Roger, despite mentioning the brand's omnipresence, is not a Twitter insider, asserting that "the product is not a user-friendly product" and declaring, "me personally, I wouldn't buy here, but then again I would never buy on the day of an IPO."

But McNamee did call the Halftime crew "spectacular."

McNamee reaffirmed that FB is "by far my biggest personal investment position," and even gave a shout-out to hated YELP: "Yelp and, and Facebook in my opinion have the best fundamental opportunity of anybody in the sort of younger companies," McNamee said.

Unfortunately, Judge relapsed into yesterday's mistake, giving McNamee, like Tom Barrack, several minutes of unchallenged floor time to tout a business strategy, although at least McNamee's demonstration of Reverb came with an amusing visual aid; "imagine applying the notion of Pandora to all the news that's out there," McNamee said.

Jon Najarian reiterated for the 4th or 5th time that he doesn't think other momentum names were an ATM for TWTR, but he allowed that people might've sold those names out of fears that a Twitter bubble would rock the markets; "what if this is a frothy event."

Paul Richards claims there’s a 25% chance of December tapering

Undaunted by the momentum selloff Thursday, Sam Stovall on the Halftime Report hung a 12-month, 1,895 target on the S&P that actually seems a bit conservative (as in, doable by February, although this page certainly isn't making prognostications on full-year 2014).

Stovall insisted to Judge that it's an expectation of a below-historical return, and that "a lot of the headwinds I think have already been factored in."

Mike Murphy, finally getting the reversal on JCP he's been awaiting for months, asserted, "If they are not going under," and can put together a couple decent quarters of comps, the "stock will be back in the mid-teens."

Stephanie Link wasn't impressed, saying she'd "kinda wanna stick with some of the winners here" instead.

Josh Brown said Tesla's car problem is one of the better ones to have, "They can't make 'em fast enough."

Jon Najarian gloated that he was selling puts in the name without revealing what those puts were. "I'm taking advantage of it today ... I feast on things like this," Najarian said, something he also said when the stock traded to 170 a couple months ago.

Stephanie Link said that with QCOM she sees "margin pressure going forward, limited upside."

In the battle of non-TWTR holders, Link made one of the weakest bull cases for WFM ever made, sensing a "great opportunity" with the selloff because it's "positioned very well."

Mike Murphy countered that WFM lowered guidance for next year.

Jon Najarian reiterated that a day ago he was prepared to make Murphy's arguments, but he can't agree now after the selloff; "I'm gonna go with Steph on this," he said, because it's the "big dog" in an appealing space.

Paul Richards hailed Mario Draghi; "the market underestimates this guy; he's a man of action."

Richards warned that the jobs report could affect the taper schedule. "175 to me would feel like 200 ... a strong number brings a December tapering back as a possibility," Richards said, citing a "25% chance."

Stephanie Link's Final Trade was JPM. Jon Najarian said TDC, Mike Murphy said FB and Josh Brown said F.

[Wednesday, November 6, 2013]

Karen bests Grasso, who is too flustered about TSLA’s slide to handle a simple question

Steve Grasso, who seemed beleaguered a day earlier as to whether the TSLA story is done, didn't sound so beleaguered on Wednesday's Fast Money.

"I do wanna buy more," Grasso said. "They're selling it as if it was a bust. It wasn't a bust."

Grasso got an unexpected boost from Dan Nathan, who claimed, "China's gonna be a big market."

Jon Najarian scoffed "no way," but Nathan, unfazed, advised viewers to "buy this thing when it's oversold," perhaps around 140.

Grasso said a key level for Thursday will be Wednesday's low, which was 146.35.

Karen Finerman tried to ask Grasso about his point that Tesla sales expectations are on track and what kind of valuation that implies.

Grasso cut her off, insisting, "I don't wanna talk about valuation," because, he says, it's a growth company.

A much better, less defensive answer would've been, "People are buying it for the concept now, and nothing about the numbers indicates the concept is over, and I still think it's about the most exciting growth company out there."

So we have 1 person rightly speaking French (the pre-earnings price must've reflected some valuation expectations that must've changed post-earnings to some quantifiable degree), and 1 person rightly speaking Chinese (the financials mean nothing; it only matters whether the chart has been going up or down), and effectively no conversation.

You know Channing Smith would snap up shares if he could at 23

Steve Grasso said on Wednesday's Fast Money that advisors aren't recommending TWTR to clients because they all got burned doing that with FB.

But Dan Nathan said they don't have much to worry about this time because, "No one's getting anything ... there is no supply."

Karen Finerman revealed, "I'm gonna get zero here for sure," but then questioned if there's a chance of TWTR "debuting with a thud."

Mike Khouw speculated that TWTR might well "trade up significantly" on the first day, but he thinks it would be "very foolish to, to chase it here."

But Jon Najarian warned that retail knuckleheads will try anyway; "you know what we say about amateur hour."

Guest Channing Smith complained that TWTR has a "price to sales ratio of over 30," which he said is a "25% premium to where Facebook came out, and it's probably the most expensive IPO on a price to sales basis we've ever seen."

He said to buy it, he'd be "hoping to see it around 20."

"Channing, we're gonna leave it there," said Melissa Lee.

Steve Grasso declares he has the right to buy a stock

It was like the star not showing up for his own show.

Wednesday's Fast Money, initially promising a Twitter IPO price during the program, spent the hour able to go no further on the stock than it had on Monday or Tuesday.

So, reaching into the bullpen for the same old bag of tricks, Mel Lee asked the panel if people are selling over social media names to make room for TWTR.

"I don't buy it at all," said Jon Najarian, reiterating a point he's made for weeks; "nobody out there with all the cash that there is, needs to raise money to buy this one."

Karen Finerman noted, "I'm long Google, I wouldn't sell it in the face of this," and pointed out that there won't be any TWTR company news for 2 months.

Steve Grasso, though ignoring BRK-A obviously, claimed that GOOG recently experienced "actually the biggest pop in history" in terms of dollar amount, but then, "it became overbought ... when it ran out of momentum," so he sold his stake.

"I reserve the right to, if this stock comes in ... buy it back," Grasso said.

The interesting thing about Lee's question is that late in the program, in fact, a couple people did sort of answer affirmatively, that people were selling other social media. Mike Khouw said the top options trades in GRPN, YELP and LNKD were all puts, and someone was playing a November 9/10 weekly put spread in GRPN.

Sam Hamadeh did cite a "Twitter ATM effect" and explained, "Privco values this company at 30 to 33," so 27 is a "great valuation ... it should pop easily on the first day."

Hamadeh said Feb. 15 is a lockup expiration, and then there is one on May 15.

Mel got a little chippy at one point about people answering her question as to whether these social media names that sold off in the last couple weeks should be bought once Twitter IPO launches. Jon Najarian said he'd buy BIDU, but for reasons of GOOG not being in China, so not really a good answer there.

Steve Grasso opined that TWTR figures to have a backstop in that a lot of people with allocations really want to curry favor with underwriters for Alibaba shares, so "they don't wanna dump it," putting the stock in "stronger hands."

Jon Najarian later described what the "green shoe" is (not Mel's Manolo Blahniks), basically an "oversell" of the IPO."

Nathan: Give MSFT an F
if it hires Mulally

Dan Nathan has an idea for those just as skeptical about Alan Mulally as he is.

If Mulally is hired by MSFT, then try this "great pairs trade; buy Ford on the dip and sell Microsoft. This is not the guy for this job," Nathan said on Wednesday's Fast Money.

Jon Najarian said he "would not be surprised" if MSFT pops on news of a Mulally hire.

Steve Grasso said if that happens, he'd sell the news.

Mike Khouw said it's not so much Mulally, but that MSFT is linked to PCs, and it's not just Mulally who might have trouble turning that around, "I'm not sure that anybody can."

Panel whiffs on whether QCOM report has implications for AAPL

Jon Fortt reported on QCOM's results during Wednesday's Fast Money and made this curious remark:

"The slowing high end of the smartphone market seems to have caught them by surprise."

Melissa Lee brought up what this might mean for Apple, but that conversation never gained any traction.

Dan Nathan said of QCOM, "I would be a buyer at 65 for a trade."

Doc claims Brag Trade on WFM discussion that didn’t happen

Mike Khouw, unfortunately like Stephen Weiss, thinks Z should trade like JNJ, pointing to Z's ride on Wednesday's Fast Money and lamenting, "What does valuation have to do with it." #it'sdemandforthestocknotdemandforamultiple(sigh)

Jane Wells, World's Hippest Business Reporter, said WFM management was "really blaming 4 things," and as we always say on this page, we can't handle more than 3 (if that).

Wells later reported that WFM management actually claimed, "Food is not going to be disremediated like other things."

Jon Najarian boasted that he was prepared to say at Halftime in a bull-bear debate that WFM shares were expensive, but the segment didn't happen because of breaking news, when in fact (see below) that show was mostly dominated by way-too-long congratulatory statements about broad real estate and financial trends that Judge didn't have the stones to cut off.

Kate Kelly said on Fast Money that viewers were watching "not-before-seen video footage" of Stevie Cohen, except someone had to have seen it before; what she really meant was "not previously publicly released" footage.

Jon Najarian said there was "strong buying" all day in TPX options (think anyone knew something?).

Dan Nathan said he wouldn't chase RL. Steve Grasso said he didn't like the way CHK closed. Karen Finerman said she'd buy more LYV if it sells off (and Steve Grasso questioned the valuation). Jon Najarian predicted of HUM, "I believe it'll break through a hundred in the next week."

No one on the panel discussed Mel's new haircut, leather skirt and new top, at least on-air.

Mike Khouw's Final Trade was selling January out-of-the-money puts in FCX. Steve Grasso said POT, Dan Nathan said GLW and Jon Najarian said PBR.

Karen Finerman said the best trade she ever made was marrying Lawrence Golub on Nov. 6, and suggested a short SPY vs. IWM.

Judge lets a guy talk ... and talk ... and talk ... and gets 7½ mentions of ‘Blackstone’

You’d think Steve Schwarzman was one of the Halftime Report guests.

Tom Barrack, who according to Wikipedia runs the 3rd-largest private equity real estate fund in the world, evidently is a big fan of No. 1.

Perhaps "fan" isn't the right word, but "spokesman."

Barrack actually said the word "Blackstone" 7½ times on Wednesday's Halftime Report (one instance was just a "Black") as Judge Scott Wapner, asleep at the soundbite switch, unfortunately allowed Barrack a 3-plus-minute speech about the deep basics of how Blackstone makes "25 to 30% ad infinitum" renting houses, amid an avalanche of numbers:

"$2½ billion ... 20,000 units ... 20 trillion ... 14 million ... 115 over Libor ... 2% cost of money ... 11 or 12% gross-yielding business ... 6% net ... 25-30% ... 5-year piece of paper, at 2.75% on 6%-yielding asset ... 69% ... 62% ... 35 or under ... 1.5 billion ... 70% ... 4 years ... 14 million ... 200,000 ... 50% loan to value ... a trillion dollars of financeable bonds ... 85 billion a year ..."

Barrack called rental bonds a "game-changer" and asserted, "the risk is really de minimis" (which sent us scrambling to the dictionary).

This all came after Diana Olick reported, curiously, that the new hot thing in real estate is the "rental-backed bond. Not MBS, but you could call it RBS."

"RBS" ... Royal Bank of Scotland?

Olick, who unfortunately had the job of playing skeptic during this segment, said that Colony has interests in Phoenix, a market that bounced rapidly from 2008 but "now suddenly it's falling back again."

Barrack said properties have been bought below the lot's replacement value, and said something about Blackstone having a built-in 40% margin of comfort in the properties it has bought.

Honestly, a Strategy Session-style, in-depth conversation on investing topics is refreshing and rare, but only when addressing relevant issues, and not when it's a congratulatory, inside-baseball, number-drowning background on how the business works so well as to have "de minimis" risk.

Barrack said that, as for the sustainability of the housing market, we're in the "2nd inning."

A couple times he referred to "residual value" vs. "yield."

How about this metric?
Demand for the shares

Stephen Weiss on Wednesday's Halftime Report got in an elbow at McKinsey, saying if he worked there he'd be a consultant, but he's a stock analyst ... then proceeded to make a clueless comment about stocks, in regard to TSLA.

"At the end of the day I can't find any metric that supports this valuation. Period."

How about the metric that someone was willing to pay $150 for it Wednesday.


Jon Najarian, who up until a month or two ago was regularly urging people to keep hanging onto TSLA shares, now after exiting the name finds nothing but negatives, including the notion of China being the catalyst. "We're talking internal combustion engines for China ... they don't want a plug-in vehicle," Najarian said.

Brother Pete, not surprisingly, concurred; "I still don't like it at 150."

Rob Sechan was asked by Judge about Tesla, but didn't address that (a common theme Wednesday), but did suggest fixed income might be in a bubble, but "I think markets are fairly valued."

Speaking of things without metrics to support the valuation, Jackie DeAngelis (who looked dynamite) helmed another Futures Now segment on gold, with Jeff Kilburg revealing, "We are buyers again ... against that 1,305 level ... it feels coiled."

The Ilchmeister, Rich Ilczyszyn, explained, "We're in a trading range, or trader's paradise if you will," saying with a close below 1,305, "bears take control," but cautioning, "The ECB rate decision is your wild card trade for the week," and if there's a cut, "Gold's gonna drop 50 bucks."

Judge tries to convince Weiss that Cramer made a valid point

Judge Wapner on Wednesday's Halftime said he thought Jim Cramer made a good point about how IPOs for FB and P were "sucker plays" given that the stocks were available much cheaper shortly after.

Stephen Weiss sounded puzzled, telling Wapner, "I don't know why he says that, it depends how quick you were..."

"What do you mean? I mean it's a good point," Wapner said, before sensing the different wavelengths occuring here and asking Weiss for his comfort level with TWTR.

Weiss said 30 would be OK with him.

Jon Najarian bluntly advised, "I would not chase it here." Pete Najarian said you can own it maybe from 30-33, but "don't chase it."

Guest Rett Wallace refused to hang a valuation opinion on TWTR as Judge asked but indicated that if you like P at current price, you should like TWTR even more. (This writer is long P.)

‘Froth in the market
is a good thing’

Jon Najarian said on Wednesday's Halftime Report that RL is doing "just about everything right."

Pete Najarian said of ANF, "I look at it as a value trap."

Stephen Weiss said CHK has responded to its new CEO, but "it's tougher going here." (And we're still wondering who's got the map collection now.)

Rob Sechan said the question for the bull market is how long the markets are OK with high debt, and the answer is, "they are until they're not."

Tom Barrack at one point said, "Froth in the market is a good thing."

Stephen Weiss' Final Trade was TEX. Jon Najarian said XCO, Pete Najarian said MSFT, Rob Sechan said European stocks, and Tom Barrack suggested SPG and VNO with their "irreplicable" holdings.

Doc exited TSLA

With the presence of Tom Barrack and Rob Sechan, Wednesday's Halftime Report was almost like a revival of The Strategy Session (except David Faber and Gary Kaminsky weren't there).

In a quality 15-minute intro that did well on the macro but was light on stocks, the consensus was no significant bubble, and U.S. is No. 1.

Sechan said the "markets probably pause," and bubbles are marked by "fear, greed and excessive optimism," and he only sees the first and not the latter two.

But, Sechan said there are "isolated pockets of bubbles."

Jon Najarian suggested one of those is/was an automaker. "Tesla did feel like a bubble," Najarian said, before crediting skeptical brother Pete, who "finally got me out of it, thank God." Najarian said he wouldn't buy TSLA right now but would sell puts.

Stephen Weiss observed, "Last bubble we had, '99-2000. The P.E. on the S&P was over 120 times." Weiss then bungled, but caught himself, on stock-market philosophy; "To me, it's never where stocks or markets are going- or where they've come from, it's where they're going."

Tom Barrack told a great joke about an economist investment banker (correction from initial post) en route to damnation seeing another an economist talking to a beautiful woman and wondering how that happened and being told, "Who are you to question her punishment" (we gotta remember that one), then declared, "This is a 5-year, upward-only adjustment."

Sechan said he's "most overweight the U.S." and that for now, stocks are "a developed-market story."

Sechan said a key has been "marriage of monetary policy with fiscal policy."

Pete Najarian concurred. "I do not like the global story nearly as much as I like the U.S.," said Pete, who predicted "the next leg of the market is the financials, the industrials."

Barrack said he's got Japan exposure and that "Japan is a long-term investable place if you understand currencies."

Steve Weiss essentially congratulated TWTR or its bankers; "this is a just a textbook, hot IPO pricing."

Sechan said TWTR isn't indicative of IPO craziness. "From a dollar deal-value basis, we are still 50% below peak in that market," Sechan said.

More from Wednesday's Halftime, and the 5 p.m. Fast Money and Melissa's new haircut, later.

[Tuesday, November 5, 2013]

Steve Grasso used to say you’ll know it when the TSLA run is over; Tuesday he didn’t have the faintest idea

Much of Tuesday's Fast Money was devoted to TSLA, but quite frankly the action, despite the magnitude of it, didn't seem that interesting.

Phil LeBeau said the whisper numbers were 17 cents and 6,000 deliveries.

Steve Grasso observed that "people are getting a little bit nervous about deliveries."

Ben Kallo said that last time, he warned about the 7,000 whisper number and shrugged, "People got over their skis."

Despite having a 187 price target, Kallo said "I wanna wait and see" how the stock trades, especially after he listened to the Fast Money gang at the top of the show, and "all I heard was bearishness."

Mel Lee told Kallo, "We're gonna leave it there."

Guy Adami, who made a bull case for the stock on Monday, credited (catalyst-less) Tim Seymour for a "spot-on" bear call (even though Seymour cited no knowledge whatsoever of the quarter) and admitted, had he seen the numbers in advance, "I would've stayed with my bull case ... nothing surprised me except the reaction of the stock."

Seymour mentioned one of Fast Money's Magic Words, "margins," and said "who cares," then returned to his useless refrain, "The valuation of the stock is absurd."

Mike Khouw, unfortunately, backed Seymour's irrelevant fascination with multiple as though this is JNJ when in fact stocks move not on multiples but on demand for the shares, arguing that to justify the multiple, Tesla would have to "demonstrably grow by orders of magnitude."

Steve Grasso, beleaguered with the name, said he's still holding 1/3 of his stake and thinks it "could trade down to 140," at which point he'd buy, and "I do believe I'm gonna be buying it back."

Grasso later clarified that it can't just touch 140, "it has to hold 140."

Guy Adami agreed that 158 is the "middle of no-man's land" and said we'll just have to see if it trades to 140.

Tim Seymour claimed that at 80-85, the stock would "start to get a semblance of sanity." (#it'saboutdemandforthestocktimnotdemandforamultiple)

Grasso eventually decreed that TSLA will be done "when it rips through every support level that's out there."

Mel Lee got tripped up on terminology early, saying Phil LeBeau was going to provide the "down low (sic) on the numbers." Moments later, the camera caught Mel in a hair flip.

Not taking any sides — none whatsoever — as to whether Karen or Melissa had the cuter outfit

It was basically Couples Night on Tuesday's Fast Money.

Robert Frank followed Money in Motion fox Rebecca Patterson (just paying a compliment here), not to talk about emerging markets as Patterson did (or anything Dolly Lenz is up to), but $2.5 million chessboards and other highlights of the Christie's warm-up auction.

Frank suggested some of the busts of the show that failed to sell might just be a "one-off," and we'll know for sure next week.

Karen Finerman agreed that we won't know for sure until next week. "I'm long Sotheby's; I don't think this is the end of the art market," Finerman said.

Success — Karen didn’t say
‘Joseph Banks’

Karen Finerman on Tuesday's Fast Money described HTZ's call as "sort of a disaster" and said what's "really disconcerting" is that they had previously guided to $3 for 2015, and now, "they really backed off that."

Karen said she had been thinking about adding to her HTZ stake if it fell, but this call was "bad enough" that "I'm not really sure what to do."

Finerman said of ANF, "They just seem to have lost their way," then invoked one of our favorite Fast Money legacy cliches, "I don't think anyone needs to be a hero and step in."

Dana Telsey said $3.25 seems to be the level of gasoline that has the "most impact" for retailers/consumers and so prices below that could help the dollar stores, etc.

Telsey said KORS still has value at 80.

Tim Seymour said there are "6 fewer days this holiday season," and ANF is hurt by "a lot of unemployed youth."

Steve Grasso claimed "Deckers probably has another 10% to the upside here."

Mike Khouw spotted heavy call activity in FOSL, RL and KORS and said KORS November 80 calls are a particularly bullish bet.

Guy Adami said "the trade's intact" in HAIN.

Guy Adami said there's "probably still more room in this rally" in AOL. But Steve Grasso said, "I would wait until it stabilizes at this level," and to use today's low as a benchmark.

Tim Seymour said he would've asked David Ortiz, "Did you ever take performance-enhancing drugs."

Rebecca Patterson said if we get a "dovish signal" from Yellen, then EM will be an appealing trade, but if we get something more hawkish about tapering, etc., then that's trouble. Patterson said that in the bullish scenario, she'd pick the "leveraged plays on the U.S." within EM.

Tim Seymour said of MELI, "I would stay in this name but I would not stay too much."

Mike Khouw said if you want the OWW space, he'd pick PCLN.

Karen Finerman said "nice job, CVS." Guy Adami said to get long THC at 40. Tim Seymour said that if Europe is "cracking," then "go short" RBS.

Guy Adami said he doesn't think FB is an ATM for Twitter buyers. Steve Grasso though, addressing LNKD, said "I sort of do believe in the concept" of the Twitter ATM. (This writer is long LNKD.) Tim Seymour said there has been an ATM factor in BIDU too.

Guy Adami said initially he was "shocked" that Z wasn't moving, but then later it was, so it was his Final Trade.

Mike Khouw's Final Trade was calendar put spreads in GMCR. Tim Seymour said MPEL, an early Eric Bolling favorite; Steve Grasso said BAC and Karen Finerman said do NOT buy HTZ (at least not yet).

Stephen Weiss claims some shoppers will be too scared to go to malls

Not only did Joe Terranova on Tuesday's Halftime Report battle Dan Nathan on GRPN, he got tangled up with Josh Brown in a KORS/COH discussion.

Brown conceded that "the pace of growth is slowing down" at KORS, but buyers "caught a tiger by the tail."

Then he punctuated such effusive praise with (what else) a Brag Trade, explaining, "I'm long the stock from very low levels, and I'm not selling any of it."

Mr. New World said that if KORS is so strong, it probably means good things for FOSL too.

"I don't know if that's the same customer though," Brown stressed.

Joe insisted he agrees with Brown on KORS but that he just thinks one can "extrapolate" those results.

Brown observed a couple of times that KORS is up and COH is down long-term. But Judge argued that based on KORS' numbers, COH should've been down Tuesday, you'd think "the pain trade would be seen today."

Dan Nathan argued that Apple devices actually will siphon money people might've used to buy KORS handbags.

Steve Kernkraut pounded the table for KORS almost as much as Josh Brown, calling the name "the gorilla out there" and predicting it will look even better when compared with other companies' reports.

That's when Stephen Weiss uncorked The Goofiest Line of the Program, which was that the yo-yo in the Jersey mall and the monsters in Kenya are going to scare people from shopping publicly this holiday season; "that's an issue," Weiss said, but unfortunately no one had the stones this time to challenge that nonsense.

Sounding just like a retail executive, Weiss also cited the "compressed number of shopping days between Thanksgiving and Christmas."

Mr. New Land trumpeted V, MA and AMZN and showed off his iPad Air, explaining, "This was ordered Thursday" and arrived Tuesday.

Dan Nathan suggested EBAY as a "contrarian play."

Here’s something we didn’t expect: S&P 500 is already above Barry Bannister’s 2014 target

He's gone from Unabashed Bull Market Monster to Goofy Theory Purveyor.

Barry Bannister visited with the Halftime Report once again on Tuesday, and the most interesting part of the conversation was the screen chart showing Barry's 2013 forecast is S&P 1,713 and his 2014 forecast is only 1,750.

Bannister said he sees the market "leveling out well into 2014," at which time the best play will be a "global GDP bet," and given that those cyclical-type names tend to rise in advance of that, according to Bannister, now's a good time for them, as we're "probably a good year away from that."

Bannister said he favors metals mining, coal mining and energy E&Ps, and did remind Judge that he'd been talking about 1,600 and 1,700 in his previous appearances on the show.

Fair enough, and nobody (at least on this page) is saying the S&P is going up 40% next year, but the notion of predicting flatness 6 months from now is a reach; too much thinking.

Judge wondered if tapering wouldn't spook the markets again; Bannister said the market's gotten over that, like "approaching a kid with a needle at the doctor's office."

Bannister said Europe is looking better to him, with "a little less austerity."

Dan Nathan suggested Europe could be better than the U.S. Josh Brown chimed in that even Spain now has growth, though he was using that term "charitably."

Which means: Entity for trading stocks, entity for listing an IPO, and TV studio

Duncan Niederauer on Tuesday's Halftime Report described the NYSE this way:

"It's a technology platform, it's a branding platform, it's a media platform," Niederauer said.

Translation: He didn't really want to answer Judge's question about those remaining people on the floor still being there in 5 years.

Niederauer in fact told Judge that one of his predecessors (it might've been Dylan Ratigan) asked the same "5 years" question about 5 years ago, and, "This place looks nothing like it did 5 years ago," which Niederauer apparently views as a strength.

Duncan called the TWTR score the "latest in a series of wins we've had in the tech sector" and said he actually thinks the company's IPO can "re-democratize the equity market."

But he told Judge he's not interested in packing the floor on Thursday; "I'm discouraging too many observers."

Quoting Ronnie Milsap, Niederauer said the ICE combination should happen "any day now."

As for the bull market, "I'm not nervous about it at all right now," he said.

Judge Wapner managed to squeeze in an "at the end of the day."

Sounds like Fleck might find some takers for that short fund that will be created at some point

In what can only be described, unfortunately, as a bust, CNBC newcomer Lawrence Delevingne, who writes hedge fund-related material at CNBC.com, left Judge Wapner slightly hanging with dead air on Tuesday's Halftime, leaving Stephen Weiss to kindly clean things up.

Delevingne reported that Axial Capital, a firm with a "short bias" (snicker), is calling it quits.

Weiss declared that "shorting is just ridiculously tough." But as Delevingne went on to say that hedge funds are nonetheless getting more interested in shorting, Weiss stated that the actual money flows are going to long-only.

CNBC's Phil LeBeau, meanwhile, said Tesla's report will be watched for the Model S deliveries and indicated some folks see big upsides; "if they blow those numbers out of the water, expect this stock to go dramatically higher."

Nathan: Like ‘mid- to late 1998’

Even regular curmudgeon Dan Nathan admitted on Tuesday's Halftime Report that this stock market isn't really bubble-like.

"It doesn't feel that way," Nathan said, and maybe is more like "mid- to late 1998."

Nathan said to use "1,700 on the downside" as your guide.

Josh Brown said "breadth" is the "shorthand" for this market's ongoing strength.

Joe Terranova said the market is being driven by a "continuance of favorable economic news" and what you should do is "manage your downside ... use 1,729 as a point of reference."

Mr. New Land said he thinks there's still "plenty of upside opportunity there" in AAPL, as well as the stock that Joe suddenly seems to think is the NFLX of 2013, IBM: "I would be building a position here."

Stephen Weiss explained the resilience of stocks this way: "What keeps it going is the bond market, and the economy," and the fact stocks are the "only game in town." Weiss allowed things might slow late, but that we'll get the "early January Effect again" and new highs.

Weiss said that if Draghi has to do it, "He'll Bernanketize the market."

Amazon competes with everyone, has no trouble making a multiple but considerable trouble making money

Dr. New World curiously made a bull case for GRPN on Tuesday's Halftime Report, saying the CEO is turning it around, then citing 2 big Fast Money/Halftime keywords (they would be Nos. 3 and 2), "margin" and "mobile."

Dan Nathan, who once again argued against a stock he finds kind of interesting, said the CEO, Eric Lefkosky, has "110 million reasons" (those would be shares, according to Nathan) to want this stock to go higher ... which sounds like a bullish argument actually ... but then Nathan said the stock is priced for high sales growth.

Then, Nathan got around to cliche-land, invoking the Amazon-is-always-someone's-competition argument and mentioning COST too (but not Hulu).

Dr. New World said Groupon can do acquisitions now.

Nathan admitted it's worth taking a shot if the stock sells down to $8.

Josh Brown decided, "I would have to side with Dan," because he thinks the turnaround is priced in, and he'd "probably wait."

Stephen Weiss said, "They're trying to copy Amazon's model," and he's not a buyer.

Weiss burned on THC

Katrina Dudley, who is good-looking, told Judge at the end of Tuesday's Halftime Report that European stocks are entering a "consolidation phase," but "we are actually fairly bullish on European companies," such as A.P. Moller-Maersk.

Stephen Weiss claimed he made it "pretty clear" he was expecting a weak quarter from THC, but "I'm sticking with the position ... I would own it going forward." (As opposed to owning it going backward.)

Josh Brown likewise fought the tide on HTZ. (That's another one Mike Murphy loves; he didn't love EXPE too much though at 47. #where'stheFastFireJudge?) "I think the market is dead wrong here and I think this stock is a buy. I have no idea why it's taking this level of abuse," Brown said.

But Weiss tried to clue him in on that, explaining, "It's a very crowded hedge fund trade," but Weiss added, "I think it works."

Joe Terranova said if you're in CVS, "You stay with the stock," with 59.50 as your line.

Brown said OWW is in a "brutally competitive business" and he'd "prefer to stay away." Weiss said he'd rather buy HTZ or THC than OWW.

Anthony Grisanti said "Demand is very low; inventory is very high" for crude, he's short and looking for more, and he could see 4-5% downside. Rich Ilczyszyn said, "Short term it's actually gonna be negative for stocks," but he can see a 92 floor for a couple of weeks.

Dan Nathan's Final Trade was long CSCO. Josh Brown said ECL, Stephen Weiss said TBF and Joe Terranova said SBUX.

[Monday, November 4, 2013]

Karen’s provocative point about manufacturing goes unaddressed

While Monday's Fast Money crew spent considerable time on crude, they spent no time on Karen Finerman's curious point that, if the United States begins producing cheaper energy, it might prompt some of the manufacturing base to return.

Honestly, we don't see that in the slightest. A decade ago when WTI was roughly what, $30-$40 a barrel, Larry Kudlow pounded the table for "drill, baby, drill," and we've been fracking, baby, fracking like there's no tomorrow ... and WTI is in the 90s.

And there are far more profound realities than energy regarding outsourcing.

But maybe Karen knows something we don't. #certainlypossible #100%probable

Meanwhile, Tim Seymour said you can stay in WLT. Guy Adami warned not to chase X, which he thinks can test 23½ or 24.

Seymour said that in solar, "You have a rally that can stay on." And he touted AA; "This is a chart you should look at."

Surprised that Tim didn’t use in his argument Pete Najarian’s Oct. 23 declaration that TSLA has ‘seen its best days’

Guy Adami, who on Monday's Fast Money didn't mention 1,670 for a change, did actually suggest a possible 200-handle on TSLA.

The company is going to report $500 million in sales, Adami said, and is revving up European expansion.

Tim Seymour, who flopped like Dick Fosbury the last time he tried this with NFLX (well above the 307 level that Seymour called a sell), proved himself an instant loser with his first comment, that the stock trades "297 times earnings," as if that matters, and then moved on to, "DCF is throwing darts."

Moments later, Seymour even admitted he "would never short this stock."

But he's bearish on it.

Brian Kelly offered, "I'd be a seller right here" of TSLA. (Perhaps based on his loopy PXD-hedged-into-2014-but-not-2015 theory.)

Karen Finerman dubiously argued no one has to play this stock from either side, "It's like 'War Games'." (Correct. No one has to be in stocks at all. Why do the show?)

Adami concluded that while the stock is capable of a quick fall, there's "also that chance" that "this sucker prints north of 200 tomorrow."

What in the world do we have to do to please ... please ... get Karen to stop saying ‘Joseph Banks’?

Evidently, when you get to be a big shot trader on Fast Money, you can call companies whatever you want.

"I think Apples can get to 600 ... Glad I bought Googler under a thousand ..."

Such is the case with Karen Finerman's relentless "Joseph Banks," which she revisited Monday as being in perhaps a sort of minor win-win situation.

JOSB, Finerman said, appears to be "laying out a path to drop" its pursuit of MW, and assuming that happens, may just buy back shares instead.

Tim Seymour didn't reveal where his shirt/tie/plain-pocket jeans combo came from.

Guy implies that Karen was the only person who thought BBRY was in a death spiral

Guy Adami on Monday's Fast Money issued "kudos to Karen" for being bearish on BBRY and essentially told viewers to forget it, except for possibly a tiny trade on Monday's volume; "you flushed out just about everything."

Finerman said the company has basically admitted, "We have no one who wants to buy us at any price."

Tim Seymour said seeing BBRY's performance makes him want to be long NOK. But it didn't make him want to compare it to YHOO, as Pete Najarian did at Halftime.

Adami said TRIP and related names keep surging; "you can't short the space right now."

Adami thinks you can be long Z against 80.

Brian Stutland said the XLK had heavy call volume, and so did NUAN and QCOM.

17,000 in 2013 is a bit much even for Jeremy Siegel

Deflecting Mel's suggestion we could see Dow 17,000 in December, Jeremy Siegel predicted on Monday's Fast Money that the Dow would finish between 16,000 and 17,000 by year-end and said he doesn't think stocks need QE to rally. "Where are people gonna put their money," Siegel asked himself.

Karen Finerman asked Siegel what parts of the world he likes. Siegel mentioned emerging markets taking a double Fed hit over the summer, and "Europe I like, except I'm worried about the euro.

Melissa Lee told Siegel, "Professor, gonna leave it there."

Tim Seymour said emerging markets look "fantastic" in terms of being cheap.

Brian Kelly’s oil-play suggestion is to be long WMT and short banks exposed to Texas

Scraping for subject matter and apparently growing weary of "frothy" dialogue, Monday's Fast Money settled on oil analysis, and somehow didn't invite John (125 because of Syria) Kilduff.

Guy Adami suggested crude's fall "might be a demand thing," then half-heartedly mentioned XOM might've had a double bottom and that he sees "further room on the upside" in NFX against 30.

Karen Finerman said oil's slide "can't be bad" for WMT. Yet, nobody asked if that's not a headwind for COST, which a couple times a year is celebrated on Fast Money/Halftime for being the cheap-gas destination and a beneficiary of rising prices because it brings all these new shoppers in to sign up for membership cards.

Tim Seymour revealed, "I like Sempra Energy" (SRE).

Brian Kelly actually admitted, "I'm still short PXD," one of those we're certain will end up in the Bust of the Year rankings; Kelly even made a PXD sell his Final Trade.

Guy Adami said JBLU seems to be "finally getting out of its own way."

Dennis Gartman told the crew he thinks WTI can get to 85 eventually and said, apparently afraid he would go over viewers' heads, that Brent is about to face a serious contango; "I hate to get too, too esoteric here."

"I'm short crude in my notes in Canada," Gartman said.

Gartman also claimed he hates the term, but he sees a "paradigm shift" in U.S. energy.

Brian Kelly wrapped up the conversation by suggesting, as a way to play crude's new paradigm instead of just selling, oh, USO, to maybe be long WMT and short banks with exposure in Texas.

Mel gets a birthday pat
from Karen

We thought he was going to say "Stephen Weiss."

Tim Seymour revealed on Monday's Fast Money, "Of all the people I listen to on Wall Street, Tom DeMark is certainly at the top of the list."

Host Melissa Lee, who wore brand-new royal blue with sweetheart neckline on her birthday, reported that Seymour trades e-mail with DeMark (see, and you thought the Fast Money traders were NOT big shots); Seymour said the takeaway is that, "At a minimum, you're gonna see underperformance here with the S&P," but Mr. DeMark is not saying the rally's finished.

Brian Kelly claimed he's been identifying Russell 2000 weakness for weeks; Guy Adami smashed that one like Goran Ivanisevic on a lob, pointing out that "every selloff has been a huge reason to buy it."

Karen Finerman said RLGY is experiencing "everything going right."

Tim Seymour said things are positive with AGU and the fertilizer space; "I don't mind staying long," unlike TSLA, which he does mind staying long, but will "never" short.

William Lauder, demonstrating his knowledge of some of Fast Money's most important catchwords, said his company sees cosmetics as one of those "affordable luxuries" (Drink) and is re-emphasizing fragrances.

Lauder told Karen Finerman that they're trying to get mass-market cosmetics shoppers into the elite Lauder sphere.

Finerman lamented that she got out of HAIN; "I sold this one way too early ... wouldn't be a buyer here."

Brian Kelly said, "I think the odds of a taper are a lot higher than what the market is pricing in right now."

Guy Adami said to "stay away" from GMCR until it reports. Karen Finerman said there's "more upside" in C than JPM. Brian Kelly said of VALE, "I don't think it goes anywhere." Tim Seymour assured, "There's no EM rally without China ... I would be long."

Seymour's Final Trade was DAL. Karen Finerman said FL, and Guy Adami said KAR.

Weiss: TWTR capable of ‘4 handle’

Stephen Weiss on Monday's Halftime Report explained what a foregone conclusion the TWTR price-range-hike was, because if they hadn't, then the IPO would've "failed."

Dr. New Land said if it's below the mid-30s (which is another way of saying low 30s), "I think you buy it," and unlike FB, "This has the potential to be a target in M&A."

Simon Baker indicated it would be worth buying at 35. Pete Najarian, though, grumbled that in the low or mid-30s, "I don't wanna touch this stock. I actually think there is some downside you gotta worry about."

Stephen Weiss predicted we actually "could see the stock with a 4 handle on it."

Kayla Tausche reported that the organizers of this IPO, "at the end of the day," want to make sure that the holders of this stock "are in a perfect world, long-term investors." (Translation: People that won't actually sell shares.)

Pete tries to claim that BBRY is like YHOO as everyone misses the only realistic reason to buy

Generally rock-steady, Pete Najarian on Monday's Halftime Report was sounding like Danny Noonan explaining his interest in noise statutes while actually advocating for BBRY with a history lesson.

"Everybody was giving up on Yahoo," Najarian explained, and with BBRY, "I think this is a sum-of-the-parts" situation that can be played through options.

Stephen Weiss rightly decreed "this is nothing like Yahoo," and found himself debating Pete over the existence of "measured value" in the name.

"I love the phone ... but I don't like the stock," Weiss said.

Simon Baker bluntly declared, "Let it fail."

Joe Terranova dismissed BBRY as "a bad company with bad products now."

Given another crack, Najarian actually argued that the notion of JCPenney as a real estate play is what really can't be valued and implied BBRY is in better shape, "completely different than JCPenney."

Sadly they're all missing the forest through the trees, which is that this company is/was Canada's crown jewel, its demise is a bit of an embarrassment, and when the government's on your side, good things can possibly happen.

Joe predicts in November that back-to-school will be a big winner

One of the more spirited and useful stock debates recently occurred on Monday's Halftime Report, when Joe Terranova (bull) battled Pete Najarian (BBRY bull bear) on GPS.

Mr. New World strangely harped on back-to-school (which we thought was about 3-4 months ago) as a catalyst, "that's what you should be excited about" because Goldman Sachs was excited about it months ago.

Terranova also mentioned the "the online e-commerce (sic redundancy) strategy," as opposed to the brick-and-mortar e-commerce strategy.

Najarian denounced the trade as "Value trap. All the way," and touted TJX, ROST and FRED.

Mr. New World, ignoring that "value trap" is generally used for slumping stocks and not with ones surging to peaks, said it would make sense to have called GPS a value trap at 46, and reiterated that August was more important than September and it's about "focusing on the back to school season."

Stephen Weiss opined that Najarian's case was stronger, but all the same, "I don't think there's a lot of downside."

Simon Baker declared it's not a value trap, and in fact "I think it's a screaming buy."

Judge suggests retail investors late to TSLA as it flashes up $9 on ticker while he talks

TD Ameritrade's Nicole Sherrod visited Monday with the Halftime Report chums who once again never bothered to ask her what the Investor Movement Index (or whatever the heck it's called) actually measures.

But, Sherrod didn't bother with bringing up that stat, so perhaps they're off the hook.

Sherrod explained that FB was "the No. 1 top-traded stock for the TD Ameritrade customer base in October."

Judge questioned if the retail investor isn't finding NFLX and TSLA a little late and, grasping for backup, had to summon his panel to bail him out.

Sherrod said JCP was an active name, but "more of a trader play," and added, "For 3 consecutive months we've had net selling in the financial names."

Stephen Weiss at one point revealed of his JCP short, "I covered half the position last week" and put in an order in to cover the rest Monday, but "I will short this stock again."

Pete Najarian said GE has had a "steady path to the upside."

Thomas Lee: More than
a year to go

Thomas Lee has regularly been summoned to the Halftime Report, Fast Money and even The Strategy Session to essentially pronounce whatever bull market he's referring to in good shape.

That's been the right call for years, and Lee indicated on Monday's Halftime that there's still plenty to go.

"I don't think the market's gonna peak, you know, in 2014," Lee declared, saying we're "still mid-cycle into a secular bull market."

Lee got Judge's/Melissa's Favorite Question of November, are we suddenly in a bubble, and answered in the negative. "I don't think the stock market's anywhere close to a bubble," Lee said, citing a "lot of pent-up demand" and predicting the S&P will plow through his 1,775 year-end target with a "tilt" toward cyclicals and basic materials.

Exemplifying the game within the game, Lee said mutual funds, like Dean Smith's 4-corner offense, are basically going to stop trying to score, and instead try to "protect their gains by, by either hugging the benchmark or actually moving towards defensive stocks."

Lee further said that high-net-worth folks have "huge cash positions."

Steve Weiss said there is a lot of skepticism still, and "that limits your downside."

‘They might be still trying to target some other hedge funds’

If big shots in the world of high finance think the worst is over now that the SAC storm cloud has passed, Simon Baker had a warning on Monday's Halftime Report.

"They might be still trying to target some other hedge funds," Baker said.

CNBC's Kate Kelly, dubbed "ace reporter" by Scott Wapner, said SAC will get the dreaded "compliance monitor" (we're thinking Ken Feinberg), but for 3rd parties that do business with SAC, "it's business as usual."

Stephen Weiss pronounced the matter "somewhat of a hiccup to the Street, but not a lot."

Joe Terranova explained, "It is not going to have significant flow impact on hedge funds at all."

So have there been more IPOs, or not as many IPOs?

It's not often that GE is the first stock mentioned on Halftime/Fast Money, but that's what Pete Najarian accomplished on Monday's Halftime Report.

Mostly though, Najarian pounded the table for WLL and the "mid-tier" energy space including KOG and DNR.

Pete said that if you look at a WLL chart, "You will be absolutely amazed," and, in fact, he's right. (But Judge and Mel are convinced that the solar space with relevant market caps collectively the size of TSLA is the place to find bubbles.)

Najarian said he also owns BTU and CLF, though not X.

Joe Terranova said the stock-market rally is unloved because "so many have missed it," and momentum names remain hot because "they're looking for those outsized type of games (sic)."

Terranova endorsed financials and energy and said "the economic data points look strong."

Simon Baker observed there's "definitely a bubble brewing but you have to be long this market," and mentioned RIO as a name he likes.

Stephen Weiss said bonds have been hanging on and so stocks aren't in bubble-land yet but at some point "you will see the generational move into equities," at which point we'll see the "market go into hyperdrive."

Simon Baker tried to caution that there are signs of a bubble forming, particularly the "exuberance" in the IPO market, where "I'm talking about more IPOs."

Weiss insisted the IPO cycle is "far below" previous years, and "We're nowhere near where we've been."

‘Women should wear
less makeup’

Stephen Weiss actually made a good point about HLF on Monday's Halftime Report as Judge and Dominic Chu tried to pound the table for Ackman-presentation drama. "It's an old trade, it's a tired trade," Weiss said.

Pete Najarian said LULU was actually getting a "very very minuscule number" of complaints.

Simon Baker grimaced that K is up on its "cost-cutting program," which is not a good reason to buy.

Stephen Weiss said he bought BTU and WLT as an "intermediate trade."

Joe Terranova said to "Look at Steel Dynamics" as the "best-positioned" in the steel space. But Simon Baker advised the SLX basket.

Baker noted VMC had an impressive day. Stephen Weiss cheered what he sees as the LCC merger happening. Pete Najarian said RLGY gave "huge" projections through year-end. Joe Terranova said of AVP, "I would avoid the stock," and advised, "Women should wear less makeup."

Mr. New Land shrugged off his bearish misfire on MU from September; "I don't want it." Pete Najarian claimed he and Joe went back and forth then, and Pete thinks right now the stock goes higher.

Simon Baker said to own HES. Pete Najarian claimed CMG "goes higher. Stephen Weiss said LVS "looks great," and Joe Terranova said to stay with MAR.

Pete Najarian's Final Trade was DNR. Stephen Weiss said AMGN, Joe Terranova said MUR and Simon Baker said HTZ.

Weiss revealed he bought EZU as Judge had ended the pre-Final Trade segment too soon.

The Bernie Madoff case,
and the New York Islanders

Anthony Scaramucci made an interesting observation about the feds on Monday's Halftime Report.

"I know you guys didn't get the Madoff thing right," Scaramucci scoffed.

Problem is, sometimes the private sector doesn't get it right either.

That's one conclusion from "Big Shot," the recent entry from Kevin Connolly in ESPN's "30 for 30" series exploring John Spano's "purchase" of the New York Islanders in 1996-'97.

Spano was, basically, a jamoke from N.Y./Pittsburgh/Texas who implied that he was rich.

And important people actually believed it.

Including Gary Bettman and John Pickett and (perhaps most importantly) Fleet Bank, who all figured to have the most to lose if, in fact, Spano's story was bogus.

Basically, Spano forged a few simple documents implying great wealth abroad and showed them to professional acquaintances who vouched for them, which then prompted others to vouch for them.

And bingo — we've got a "buyer" for the New York Islanders.

Not only did existing Islanders ownership and NHL brass assume each other was taking care of the vetting process (if any), Fleet Bank proved wholly unaware that its $80 million loan for "half" of the deal was actually the sole investment in this crackpot scheme.

Oddly enough, it's surprising that serious pros such as private equity didn't attempt — legally — to make this purchase themselves, given that Spano correctly identified that cable TV and a new arena would potentially make the deal work at Pickett's sale price.

Spano tells Connolly there was a risk that his various associates would start talking to each other and figure out something wasn't right, but with his series of forgeries, "It was not, surprisingly it was not as difficult as you might think."

Connolly agreed, declaring, "Well it's really more about just having the confidence" to try it.

Which brings us back to Scaramucci's observation about the SEC and Madoff.

As well as numerous episodes of CNBC's "American Greed."

Conclusion? It's not that hard to fake having money and (practically) get away with it.

One might infer from "Big Shot" and Madoff a few things: Authorities are likely reluctant to risk overdoing an investigation of someone's finances because if suspicions are untrue, that person's reputation/business may be irreparably wrongly harmed; the act of investigating someone's finances might be extremely difficult and time-consuming regardless, perhaps requiring subpoenas, warrants, sworn testimony, high-priced experts and international cooperation; people desperate to sell something are probably the last ones interested in a thorough background check of the buyer; if someone late with a payment insists he's got the money, he probably really doesn't.

Quick PSA: Those realities aside, NEVER attempt this. It's wrong. It's illegal. You'll end up hurting a bunch of people, in jail, broke, and a character on "American Greed."

Neither the SEC nor bank examiners figured it out in these 2 wretched cases.

Who unmasked Spano? Journalists. Specifically, Newsday's John Valenti.

You can thank them by picking up a newspaper sometime. The print version.

Judge delivers cold-shoulder
stiff-arm to socialist guest

Sometimes, like the sensory perception of a stegosaurus, it takes relevant news articles a long time to snake their way through cyberspace into CNBCfix.com awareness.

Such is the case with a Sept. 30 essay by one Alex Pareene, who describes himself as "an ill-kempt socialist of no great renown" summoned to Closing Bell with Maria Bartiromo and Scott Wapner one afternoon to argue for Jamie Dimon's firing.

Now why, you ask, does this essay merit a mention on this page? Because Pareene indicates that, while fighting an uphill battle philosophically, his biggest beef is that Judge gave him the silent treatment.

Pareene, who dubs Wapner the "Other Guy" in this episode, explains, "The silliest part of the entire experience ... was sitting there, a foot away from Other Guy, after the segment ... (Other Guy did not say one single word to me, or acknowledge my presence in any way, when the cameras weren’t on.) ..."

So basically, the takeaway from that appears to be, if you're invited onto Judge's show to perhaps share a contrarian view, don't expect to be pumping handshakes and talking golf.

Pareene writes that the CNBC crew was "helpful and highly competent," and that the NYSE is "essentially a heavily guarded television studio and occasional film set."

[Friday, November 1, 2013]

Word of the month for
November: ‘frothy’

Yes, it's fine and necessary to explore the possibilities of a stock-market selloff.

What's bizarre is that CNBC's Fast Money/Halftime has been relentlessly pushing this notion for 2 weeks, as if they were TV hurricane reporters standing in ponchos along the coastline while the sun is shining and people are playing golf.

Guy Adami cautioned on Friday's Fast Money, "I think there are warning signs," specifically "historic margin debt on the New York Stock Exchange."

But Guy was forced to admit his 1,740-this-week prediction was a bungle, and that it might've happened as Friday "looked really bad at a certain point today," but, "the last 2 days to me have been extraordinarily confusing."

Tim Seymour carped that S&P 500 "valuation" is up 20% in a month but also said, "Europe and Japan are actually more crowded trades than the U.S."

Then, Seymour said bearish sentiment levels are at their lowest since 2005.

Brian Kelly claimed that this is 1937 this is 2000 this is 2007 in the Russell 2000 chart, "we are 2 standard deviations above a long-term trend line; that's a bubble in most people's book."

Guy Adami insisted this market feels like it's "sort of in nosebleed territory" and that "we need a meaningful selloff," to 1,670, to apparently feel good about things again.

So, let's get this straight: To get to a notably higher level, say Laszlo Birinyi's 1,820, we need to touch 1,670 first.

Got it.

Final warning: Mel’s birthday Monday

Tackling a sector whose relevant names total about the same market cap as TSLA alone, Fast Money explored Friday whether solar is indicative of a "bubble."

Ben Kallo said it's "not a bubble," that the industry had a long way to go off the bottom and is different now, though he thinks there is a "lot of gunslingin' money" still chasing these names.

But, he thinks we're only in the "3rd inning maybe."

Tim Seymour even said he's long TSL and SPWR and that "valuations are not stretched."

"Ben we're gonna go," Mel said, neatly avoiding a "gotta leave it there."

Seymour said of CLF, "continue to stay in this trade." Brian Kelly said "I'd stay away" from DHI. Guy Adami called LULU "interesting" at 65 and possibly able to get back to 80.

Guy Adami said his advice not to chase KORS at 79 was "somewhat prescient." He now says to let KORS report first before getting long.

Steve Grasso said to pay attention to TSLA's margins in regard to carbon-credit sales.

Brian Kelly said of GRPN, "Sell it, take some profits."

INVN chief Behrooz Abdi said gaming consoles aren't selling that well. He told Melissa Lee that it "might be true" that everyone besides Apple and Samsung is losing handset marketshare, but that Android is a "very vibrant" platform.

Tim Seymour called INVN "not terribly priced." Guy Adami pointed to "double bottoms, double tops" in INVN and said 15 is "where it gets interesting."

Steve Grasso actually suggested, "If we can get an agreement out of D.C., we can see 1,850, 1,900 in the S&P cash."

Brian Kelly said "I would be careful here" in the gold miners, as opposed to all those times you went out and recklessly bought them.

Melissa donned an exquisite new blue top.

Steve Grasso's Final Trade was HPQ, "there's something going on." Tim Seymour said to sell GGB and SID. Brian Kelly said one of his 3 favorites, TBT APA S&P 500 puts. Guy Adami said LM around 37½.

Cut to the chase

Laszlo Birinyi said on Friday's Halftime Report that people should look at the stock market as a movie, "not a series of photographs," which sounds like good advice.

Except moments later, he said it'll be "individual names" that take the S&P to his 1,820 target.

Laszlo Birinyi suggests stock split as actual catalyst for PCLN

While this page basically agrees with Laszlo Birinyi's stock-market outlook — and loves the fact his crew reads newspapers and magazines — we gotta think he's reaching a bit for the proper metrics.

"We keep track of what people say, we keep track of newspaper headlines, we keep track of magazines ... we can go back to '09," Birinyi said on Friday's Halftime, explaining how there's still a lot of bearish sentiment.

When the indexes set new highs, "The New York Times carries a wire story, they don't even assign a reporter on a day-to-day basis," Birinyi noted.

Fair enough, but seems hard to quantify that observation into a measurable thesis.

Dan Nathan grumbled that "there's no earnings growth." But Birinyi singled out GOOG and CMG as a couple of the stocks that will lift the S&P to 1,820.

"These are cult favorites," scoffed Nathan, who added, "I think you have bubbles forming in individual names" such as WFM and SBUX.

Birinyi said he rolled SPY December 170 calls into January 180s. Pete Najarian marveled at learning the identity of that trade, after noting, "the transportations (sic) have been on fire."

Birinyi explained he likes PCLN because "we have done very well with it," and because, in a point Karen Finerman won't like, the potential of a split is a "big boost."

Birinyi called CMI "oversold" on earnings. Stephen Weiss, who hates the stock's performance in relation to company results, tried to offer up some mumbo jumbo about "That's karma" that made no sense and Birinyi likely had no idea what he was talking about.

Judge asked for some declaration about why there's no bubble. "The one thing we're really missing is animal spirits," Birinyi said.

Without any catalyst or evidence, Dan Nathan’s tiresome bubble case sounds like sour grapes

It was 3 (realistic traders) vs. 1 (hopeless nonconformist) on one of the better Friday episodes of the Halftime Report since Patty Edwards laced up her skates for CNBC.

Steve Weiss insisted "The market still has plenty of juice."

Pete Najarian claimed that although the market's a "bit frothy," there's a "chase for performance right now" and in fact a lot of folks are using options to play it like he is.

Simon Baker noted that with the Fed, "it's like feeding a dog trying to make it roll ... you have to continue to be in the market."

Dan Nathan, as expected, was the malcontent, claiming there are "clearly pockets" of bubbleness such as solar and "Web 2-dot-oh," and urged, "look at margin debt at all-time highs," predicting "real potential for a blowoff top sometime very soon."

Stephen Weiss said that as much as it's possible that we get a big correction, no one knows when it might happen (if it does), and so "you can't play for that."

Weiss said people in September 2001 said they wouldn't go back into the market because there'd be other terrorist attacks, and if so, "you're still waiting." (Except there have been other terrorist attacks, just not any that have closed or derailed the U.S. stock market.)

Dan Nathan thinks
it’s November — 2007

Dan Nathan suggested at the top of Friday's Halftime that SBUX is one of those bubble stocks.

And so when Pete Najarian made a bull case starting with international growth, it was natural that Nathan would be the one to press back.

Except Nathan admitted, "The story is pretty good," and that it was prudent for management to "guide the Street down," and that his only real disagreement with Pete is that "a better entry would be $70."

So basically, Nathan thinks something is in a bubble, except if it falls a grand 12%, he'd advocate buying it.

Pete cautioned that everyone keeps looking for "better entry" and it hasn't happened.

Simon Baker shruggled, "You've gotta be in the high-momentum names."

Stephen Weiss said he's going to get Nathan some prescription Zoloft.

25 NFLX analysts do not
recommend the stock

Will Power identified 2 reasons (we generally can't handle more than 3) on Friday's Halftime Report why he likes NFLX, and neatly labeled them "A" and "B" for a change.

First was "greater conviction in its original content strategy," and second was "significant international growth opportunity."

He said he gets to 420 with a "sum-of-the-parts approach" but then made his most interesting argument, that only 4 or 5 of 30 analysts following the stock actually recommend it.

Pete Najarian allowed that there are "bubbles" inside the solar space but not with FSLR, "this stock is not a bubble."

Simon Baker called FSLR "very much a secular story, it's got higher to go."

Dan Nathan, as expected, was skeptical, suggesting solar gains in 2013 are indicative of trouble; "I would call those animal spirits ... there is price action that's bubbly."

Stephen Weiss shrugged, "Momentum's a class of investor."

Simon Baker spends first 40 minutes urging people to be in this ‘momentum’ market, spends last 5 warning about being in certain sector ‘when the bubble pops’

Steve Weiss reported on Friday's Halftime Report that he unloaded his remaining FB shares during the earnings report afterhours this week in the 53-55 range; "the trading gods gave me a gift."

Weiss said he likes the chance to get back in lower but suggested, "I think momentum's died for a little bit."

Pete Najarian said the "smart trade" in FB is to use options, not stock.

Paul Richards joined Judge at the NYSE to follow-up on Richards' excellent sell-euro-1.38 call, allowing, "I think for this year I probably called the top."

Richards said U.S. stocks are a "little bit toppish," but not bubbly or "frothy."

Richards indicated his top trade is to fade the euro and be long dollar.

Simon Baker said he wouldn't own TCS at Friday's levels.

Stephen Weiss gushed about biotech, saying he "actually bought a little more" GILD and predicted an ongoing "explosion here" in earnings.

Pete Najarian equally gushed that biotech has become like big pharma (that's apparently a good thing) and, "These are not bubble."

Simon Baker cautioned biotech holders that "when the bubble pops, this is the first one that's gonna go down."

Adam Jonas, who has an "overweight" on TSLA, actually said "we think we're seeing some early signs of a bubble" in GM/automakers based on the "3 C's" (see, we can generally handle no more than that), which are, credit, currency, capacity.

Jonas mentioned "subprime" once or twice, the first time we've heard that term on Fast Money/Halftime in ages.

Jonas even suggested that subprime car lending could keep going to the point it makes the previous peak "look small."

Roughly the last 10-12 minutes of the program were preempted by the LAX incident.

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