[CNBCfix Fast Money Review Archive &mdsah; October 2013]
[Thursday, October 31, 2013]

Melissa’s birthday is Monday

At the end of the day, you've got a weekend to find the perfect gift. Gotta leave it there.

Question unasked: If WTW is crumbling, does that mean people are getting skinnier, or fatter?

Karen Finerman, in a top-notch performance Thursday, gave viewers a grasp of 4 developing situations on Fast Money.

Finerman revealed she just started a WTW short and is still that way after 24 hours. "Suspending the dividend — that is gigantic actually," Finerman said, explaining it makes you wonder why they'd do that when they can apparently still pay it; "what are they seeing in their business."

Finerman said WTW earnings are highly leveraged to each customer, which can provide outsized moves.

Unfortunately, Karen at one point said "suspension of that short," and it wasn't corrected.

Invoking her favorite name botch, Finerman said the letter from "Joseph Banks" is designed to incite MW shareholders to demand action, but "Men's Wearhouse doesn't seem to want to play," so she's getting out, though she concedes it's possible there could still be a deal.

Karen said AVP's report was "awful," but the stock was awful too, to the point it's "probably worth taking a look" on the long side.

Courtney Reagan, who was stunning, experienced a bit of dead air as the TCS IPO price was announced, then pointed out "its customer is the very affluent female." Finerman said "I might" take a look at that one.

Guy Adami said there's a "reasonable chance" WTW could see the mid-20s.

If recovery is in the 5th inning, has it scored 6 runs, or only 1?

We always like it when people talk baseball on Fast Money (unless it's the day after the Red Sox win the World Series, which quite frankly wasn't really as close as a 6-game competition implies), so of course we liked John Rogers' assessment that the country is in the "5th inning of this recovery."

"I think we're fairly valued" in stocks, Rogers said, and the "biggest risk is missing out on a big upside rally."

Guy Adami asked if bonds might rally again. Rogers indicated that short term, who knows, but longer term, Burton Malkiel thinks rates are going higher.

Rogers told Missy Lee that Tony James' BX sales are irrelevant. "It doesn't concern us," Rogers said, calling the shares a "great long-term holding."

Steve Grasso said BX "definitely has more room to the upside," assuming the market in general goes up. Guy Adami declared BX "still has further room to go."

Rogers thinks "performance is starting to come back" at JNS.

Adami: ‘Chance’ of 1,740 Friday

We totally understand that Fast Money is (purportedly) a show about instant trading calls.

Which is why certain commentary is utterly useless.

For example, Steve Grasso explained on Thursday — rightly in our opinion — that "it was Syria and taper that really knocked the S&P off."

He's right. But who cares?

Are you going to sell NFLX because Israel sent a message to Iran?

Are you going to buy TBF or whatever it is Steve Weiss owns because of 1 day's PMI?

Doubt it.

Guy Adami, grasping for a big winner in commentary-land, reiterated that he thinks the S&P could actually reach 1,740 this week; "still think there's a chance we test it tomorrow."

Mike Khouw declared, "Bonds are clearly overpriced."

Grasso: Buy the V dip

Steve Grasso's less-than-impressive HSY bull case on Thursday's Fast Money centered on the notion that cocoa isn't the headwind everyone thought it was.

"It's crazy, the valuation," argued Guy Adami, whose HSY bear thesis was backed by Mike Khouw, who said "it's fully valued at best."

Brian Kelly predicts "more room to go" in FSLR despite possibly falling oil.

Steve Grasso said he's "2/3" out of his TSLA position, "disappointed" about it as it's "definitely not acting well."

Guy Adami noted EXPE's surge and said he hates "chasing stocks typically," but in this case, "I think it can still go higher."

Steve Grasso said V always gets bought on the dip; "I'd still be a buyer."

Guy: Keep riding MCHP

Aegerion chief Marc Beer, who seems like a fine chap, wore the cheerleading a little bit thin on Thursday's Fast Money, saying the Boston Red Sox remind him of the Aegerion staff.

Beer indicated it may not be a smooth ride with the stock; "I think we'll see volatility between 80 and a hundred." And, he told Melissa Lee that they won't actually be profitable next quarter.

Karen Finerman repeated what she said a day earlier, that "the easy money had been made" in AIG, so she was selling calls. "It's fine, it's fine," she said of the stock, while Mike Khouw said that 55 calls were active as others maybe had the same idea.

Khouw said there was a big seller of NBL November 75 puts.

Brian Kelly endorsed gold miners.

Guy Adami said MCHP, a great call of his, still has "a lot of room on the upside," and made it his Final Trade again.

Steve Grasso said if OSK holds the 100-day for 2 more days, then it's "buyable."

In the show's most provocative comment, Mike Khouw suggested that the door is open to hospitals actually paying the ObamaCare premiums of uninsured emergency room users. (Which sounds kinda like McDonald's buying hungry people meals and getting reimbursed by the World Bank.)

Khouw should've had some of Flavien Desoblin's inventory before being given a chance to make a speech explaining that people buy AMZN for the growth, not the valuation, but that he just can't do it.

Steve Grasso's Final Trade was HSY. Brian Kelly said sell TLT. Karen Finerman said LINTA.

Panel not adequately drilled on plans for HLF discussion

Judge Wapner opened the HLF conversation on Thursday's Halftime Report with an overdone speech, but the way the dialogue ended, like Wile E. Coyote holding up an anvil, was even worse.

Mike Murphy noted the stock was down 1.8% on the announcement of Bill Ackman's new presentation.

Josh Brown made the interesting observation that "you have a double-top in this chart," but honestly anyone who thinks this stock moves on chart technicalities probably has been listening to John McAfee for too long.

As Judge quickly ran out of material, Murphy opined that Ackman may be trying to goose the stock on the last day of the month; "this could really help his return to investors if he had a major impact on the stock with this announcement."

Judge chuckled, "Taking a pretty good shot there Murph."

Murphy stated, "It's true," as everyone enjoyed a moment of dead air.

Wonder when Judge is gonna give Murph a Fast Fire for that ‘major damage could be done’ to EXPE at 48

Bruno Del Ama told Thursday's Halftime Report that FB is doing well and he likes the stock, and in fact it can be considered "the ultimate monopoly."

Nevertheless, he's concerned about valuation and thinks it's about fairly valued.

Mike Murphy gushed that he sold calls and sold puts in the name and is excited about it and thinks the comments about teen users on the call were simply "management trying to manage our expectations."

Stephanie Link re-used her Brag Trade about trimming FB; "we were up 92% into the quarter" (why does that make the stock a sell?).

Del Ama said Chinese Internet/social media names have come from further back and might have more upside; "we like the Chinese names maybe better."

Josh Brown and Joe Terranova each said they'd stay long GOOG.

Mike Murphy suggested that SIRI is not only not a zombie, but after all it's been through, "I kind of like this name."

Judge didn't ask Mike Murphy about EXPE, but Dr. New World offered a crip explanation that it had been the short people were using against TRIP, but now the tide's turned and he expects "further appreciation in Expedia ... stay with this story."

Josh Brown claims ‘you should be nervous’ about the stock market

One of the things the bulls keep saying is that the wall of worry hasn't been climbed.

Nowhere was that more evident than on Thursday's Halftime Report, in which Josh Brown explained, "You should be nervous after the market's just had the year that it's had."

Brown said the market frankly never really "deserved" the gains it had in September and October, and threw in an "at the end of the day" while observing the same leaders keep leading and there's no need to cash out and move to Guam.

Mr. New Land, who put together a low-key, rock-solid show, said you can be nervous at 1,700 or nervous at 700 (which many were); "all you really do is manage your risk."

Joe said if the S&P should break 1,729, the taper-day high, then "take some action." Until then, "I say you stay in equities."

Mike Murphy said the "quarters are good enough" from many companies to justify the gains.

Steph serves up a stale
CMG argument

It was Mike Murphy recently who balked at hearing his C bull case described as a "stale thesis," but Stephanie Link's characterization of CMG on Thursday's Halftime Report couldn't be described as anything but.

Link's bull case is that CMG is an "industry leader" with store growth ahead.

Joe Terranova said there's no big international plan around the corner, there are headwinds from big-city rents, and saturation "has to be expected."

Joe even claimed the company is "most exposed to the Affordable Care Act."

Josh Brown said that Joe's concerns are valid in the shorter term, but longer term, "This company's gonna keep growing like crazy."

Mike Murphy said people keep waiting for an SBUX pullback, but he's not sure it'll happen.

‘Buying any dip right now’

Heather Loomis, who is cute, said on Thursday's Halftime Report that Treasurys look overvalued, but she sees "value in parts of the risk-asset space."

Loomis said if she were backed into a corner, she'd predict tapering in 2014. She said if you've got rate-sensitive munis, it's a good time to "reallocate now."

Meanwhile, Bryant VanCronkhite revealed that in the stock market, "We're buying any dip right now," specifically PTEN.

VanCronkhite also likes LEA; "they're using their balance sheet very wisely."

Judge bust: Ridiculous million-dollar-home contest that even panelists couldn’t care less about

Please, please tell us it wasn't Judge's idea.

But Thursday's Halftime Report was forced to take part in CNBC's head-scratching, downright bizarre, invented home competition which accomplishes nothing except to give Dolly Lenz airtime.

Lenz said the home in Savannah, Ga., was "Amazing," while admitting she never actually read Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.

Forced to predict a winner, Mike Murphy guessed, "I think the one in Savannah loses." Josh Brown admitted he was looking at the notes on the table.

$1,305 called ‘gift’ in gold

Anthony Grisanti said on Thursday's Halftime Report that it's not a "bloodbath" in gold, but a "blood-letting," as the "weak longs" fold.

"It is about dollar strength today," Grisanti said.

Jeff Kilburg, who has been trying to push the boulder that is gold uphill for a while now, actually claimed that $1,305 is a "gift for the bulls."

Joe Terranova said to "take some profits" in VLO and said CLF is getting a lift but maybe not fundamental support.

Stephanie Link a couple times claimed, "Nuance is interesting."

Josh Brown said "I'm long First Solar; I would stick with it," and said SPWR took a hit recently and "that's the one to buy."

Mr. New World cast doubts on GMCR; "that stock to me is in trouble."

Mike Murphy said the notion of 2 struggling businesses, MW and JOSB, combining to become an appealing company doesn't make sense; "I wanna be far away from this story."

Joe Terranova said to avoid JCP equity and debt. Mike Murphy said AA has been up 17% in October and "could be headed back to the low double digits very soon."

Stephanie Link said she's "not really crazy about" the sum of the parts at SHLD.

Final Trades were issued in terms of scariness, and we're not sure whether that means buy or sell or neither. Joe Terranova said fixed income long, Stephanie Link said JOY, Mike Murphy said NBG and Josh Brown said small caps.

[Wednesday, October 30, 2013]

Brian Kelly found a stat to prove the autumn 2013 market is just like 2000 and 2007

Tom Lee, the smooth S&P 500 forecaster whose bullishness has been rewarded for a while, told Wednesday's Fast Money, "At the end of the day, investors just need to watch the 10-year" and make sure it keeps behaving.

Karen Finerman asked what behaving means. Lee suggested it's "anything below 3."

Melissa Lee pointed out that Thomas Lee's stock screener apparently likes NFLX and FB, which are sort of the "poster children of momentum." Tom Lee said that in this quarter, stocks with positive earnings revisions tend to do very well.

Tom Lee questioned Bill Gross' description of this market as "bubbly," asserting that everyone who calls this market "bubbly" is citing the all-time highs, but "if we're at an all-time high, why is the P.E. only under 15 times forward?"

Brian Kelly said he does, in fact, think we're "bubbly," and came up with a market-cap-to-GDP chart to liken this market to 2000 and 2007. (This is what people spend their time on, instead of trading the market they've got.)

Stephanie Link dials in to report a Cramer Brag Trade

Julia (Mount Rushmore of CNBC Hair) Boorstin opened Wednesday's Fast Money by reporting that Facebook posted an "upside surprise really across the board."

But, by the end of the hour, with the stock roughly flat, Bob Peck said the shares had "pulled back on the question of ad exposures."

Boorstin handled the press release items, pointing out how 49% of the ad revenue is now from mobile, and then reported that Zuck thinks there's "a lot of potential in search," which sounds like the same refrain from that TechCrunch interview a year ago.

Wednesday's Fast Money panel was unanmious in not chasing FB in the mid-50s, with the exception perhaps of Stephanie Link, who felt the need to call in and say "we were trimming ahead of the quarter just because we were- we were up 92%," but "I would hold on here."

Bob Peck says he has 3 things, then adds a 4th thing

Tim Seymour essentially congratulated FB at the top of Wednesday's Fast Money, and you wonder how effusive the congratulations would've been had he waited about 55 minutes.

"This is very positive for these guys ... I didn't think they could do it," said Seymour, who indicated he'd like to buy around 49 (that was when the stock was in the mid-50s).

Brian Kelly advised, "You don't jump into this tomorrow," and Dan Nathan complained that "comparisons were really easy" for this quarter.

Bob Peck, at the Nasdaq for the whole show, said he was going to bring up 3 things (which is our limit) from the report, those being, "ad revenues accelerated," mobile, and operating margins, but then he brought up the declaration that every region of the world accelerated.

"It's Karen, let me ask you something," said Karen Finerman, who wondered if Peck would keep his $55 price taret. Peck argued that if you put a 15 multiple on 2015 earnings, you can get higher than that, but concluded, "We'll play with our model" as they go through the numbers.

Even Mike Khouw, who said he's not really into this kind of valuation, allowed that "it's still just 50 times next 12 months' earnings."

Tim Seymour, asked for his top social media play, said, "I'm gonna go with LinkedIn." Brian Kelly said TWTR, Karen Finerman said GOOG, and Dan Nathan apparently backs TWTR, though he spent time talking about SOCL.

Nathan said not to expect an FB washout by people to create room for TWTR; "there's not enough Twitter out there for people to sell their Facebook."

Nathan also supplied anecdotal evidence against the FB fundamental case, explaining that his daughters, ages 8 and 10, "have no interest in having a Facebook account." Then he suggested, "Instagram is maybe that Trojan Horse."

Judge is going to give Murph a Fast Fire on EXPE on Thursday

World's hippest business reporter Jane Wells told Wednesday's Fast Money that Starbucks is looking to expand in tea, though it takes longer to brew, and carbonated drinks.

Melissa Lee bragged about knowing what "PSL" means, when we thought it was just "personal seat license."

Tim Seymour said to buy SBUX on weakness. Dan Nathan scoffed, saying it's too close to its 52-week high.

Karen Finerman said someone at her office listening to WTW management reported "this call is going terribly," and that the dividend suspension is "horrific," and made a "big but" joke that she finds "kinda ironic."

Tim Seymour gave mixed messages on NEM, saying "this would not be the miner I stay with," but on the other hand, "I think the worst is over."

Karen Finerman said that in AIG, "The easy money has been made here already."

Brian Kelly said of V, "This is a stock I wouldn't buy at the year highs."

Mike Khouw said there was a big buyer of the BA December 135/140 call spread.

While EXPE was roaring ahead nearly 20%, and not pulling back as was FB, the best Melissa Lee could do was get Dan Nathan to offer a soundbite, which of course was, "I'd be careful here" (as opposed to being reckless on all of your other stock transactions).

Stunning conversation

Taser chief Rick Smith spent a few moments with Wednesday's Fast Money crew, explaining that at his company, "What's really interesting is the evidence.com cloud business."

Mel Lee questioned if TASR doesn't have a razor/razor blade-type of revenue stream. Smith said it's more like iPods and iTunes, which sounds sexier.

Viewers at least got what they wanted from Mel out of this conversation: "Rick, gotta leave it there."

Tim Seymour said of TASR, "I would be neutral."

Mike Khouw's Final Trade was EBAY. Tim Seymour said CMI. Brian Kelly said APA. Karen Finerman, who looked stunning in new gray ensemble and new hairstyle (sorry we couldn't get a screen grab with an actual smile), said NATDF. Dan Nathan said XCO.

A little hard on Kathleen

Never, ever accept a Cabinet position.

You never know what misfits and jokers you might somehow have to apologize for.

Part of Wednesday's Halftime Report was devoted to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius' testimony to a House committee that, um, isn't exactly impressed by ObamaCare.

Neither is this site. We can't figure out 1) how it's legal for the government to force people to buy something, but John Roberts, who couldn't even get the oath of office right, says it is, or 2) how this is going to lower everyone's health-care cost, which seems to be about the only major gripe with the pre-ObamaCare system.

As this page pointed out a few days ago, ObamaCare seems far more an Internet play than a health-care transformation, and sure enough, the Internet part of it doesn't even work properly.

All of which makes Republican outrage legitimate. Unfortunately, on Wednesday, in the clips we saw, that outrage involved talking over Sebelius to the point of humiliating a woman who is presumably a decent person, whose responsibility in this fiasco is likely just to give some speeches and pat a few people on the back.

CNBC is now relentlessly chiding Congress with a "WinUSBack" campaign. The Republican House should let ObamaCare speak for itself, and not fumble a 1st-and-goal by embarrassing the woman being made a scapegoat by this administration.

Murph, eat your heart out

It was just on Oct. 14 (hit PgDn a couple times) that this page offered Mike Murphy a wager: "EXPE sees 55 before C does*"

(*The asterisk referred to C, on that day, actually having a head start. C closed that day at 49.60, whereas EXPE closed 48.51.)

This offer came about because Murphy on that day's Halftime Report had touted C, nothing wrong with that, but happened to say of EXPE, "I wouldn't jump in here ... major damage could be done." (And this writer was long EXPE.)

This page reiterated the challenge on Oct. 17.

(In case the suits at CNBC are worried, Murph never responded (snicker).)

Now, it's the afterhours of Oct. 30.

And lookie here: EXPE has surged past $59.

C, we can report, is trading with a 49 handle afterhours.

Shoots. Scores.

Note to SEC: Just luck here, no reason to get excited; we rode this one down too.

Usual disclaimer: If you follow this page's trading advice, expect your account to hit $0.

But if you enjoy outdueling Fast Money pros, give us an imaginary high-five.

Murph: ‘Here’s your opportunity’ for LNKD

Mike Murphy said on Wednesday's Halftime Report that, like Gene Munster a day earlier, "here's your opportunity" in LNKD, and also said it's a "great opportunity" for FB.

Judge suggested that LNKD's day is evidence that people now are looking for an "excuse to sell" the momentum names.

Pete Najarian warned that if LNKD's quarterly outlook becomes a trend, "This stock has a lot further to fall."

Jon Najarian argued that YELP had rebounded after its quarterly numbers, until it announced the new stock offering at a 25% dilution, and "that's terrible" (except the bull case is that they should be selling stock when it's high).

Mark Freeman likes ABT, because its management has "pretty good confidence," and then he first said "lastly," there is margin improvement, and then "lastly ... in 2014 they're gonna be in a net-cash position."

Freeman likes OXY, "same thing there." Judge closed and perhaps in a dis added that Freeman also likes GE, "for whatever that's worth."

Anthony Grisanti said gold traders actually want more Fed stimulus. Jim Iuorio said if gold can close above 1,362, it has another 25 bucks.

Bertha Coombs said, "Welcome back to the fast time, uh, Halftime Report."

Pete agrees with ‘bubble’ notion

Judge tried to get Wednesday's Halftime Report crew on the record on Larry Fink's bubble-territory call.

Pete Najarian took the bait and actually claimed, "I absolutely agree with him."

Brother Jon, though, had it right, and even hung Bill Gurley out to dry, saying Gurley was saying the same thing "100 points ago" about the market being "frothy."

"I don't know why you wanna fight this tape," Najarian said.

Mike Murphy said, "I don't see a bubble."

Guest Mark Freeman said he wasn't really on board with Larry Fink's bubble; "I guess I would be a little bit more specific ... there are clearly parts of the market, uh, that are in a bubble," so he's looking for companies not dependent on the Fed that "can stand on their own."

Steve Liesman said that while the Fed has been there, "It's not like the market is floating on total air." Steve Weiss referred to Liesman as "comrade."

Weiss said he'd take a bit off stocks right now and pointed out that health-care stocks were flat during Kathleen Sebelius' testimony.

Weiss sold FB before earnings

Rich Greenfield switched gears on FB on Wednesday's Halftime Report.

"Our mistake was sticking with that negative view for too long," Greenfield told Judge Wapner. "We were wrong, we admitted it."

But, Greenfield insisted his calls around and after the IPO saved investors money. Now he likes the ads he's seeing, and "it's Instagram" for next year.

Stephen Weiss said he sold his FB, "I had about a 20% gain, why take the earnings risk."

Mike Murphy said you can sell FB 45 puts for a premium.

Michael Pachter defended his lunk-headed NFLX bearish call, saying it's different from other tech high-fliers. "For Netflix they're actually charging the consumer," Pachter pointed out, and thus deserves a "10 or 15 multiple ... stock's gonna get cut in half."

Steve Weiss chuckled, "He may be right, but from what level," perhaps 400 or 500. It's a "true franchise name," Weiss said.

Pete Najarian is still bullish on NFLX.

Weiss said of SODA, "I've sold most of the stock over the last few days."

Mike Murphy said to buy TSLA because of Elon Musk's "halo" effect. Steve Weiss called TSLA "much too expensive still."

Pete Najarian's Final Trade was GE. Stephen Weiss said American Airlines. Mike Murphy said XOM. Jon Najarian said HNT.

[Tuesday, October 29, 2013]

5048.62 — the end game?

Melissa Lee opened Tuesday's Fast Money discussing the S&P 500 at 1,771.95.

That's the number people talk about.

If you type "5048.62" (with or without a comma) into Google, you won't actually get a whole lot of fresh news hits.

You'll get even fewer if you type "5132.52."

We suspect that, over the next 6 months, that's going to change.

It seems like the Nasdaq's dot-com highs, 5,048.62 (closing, March 10, 2000 — we'd love to say it was March 9, but just a day later) and 5,132.52 (intraday, same day), have long been written off this century as untouchable, a ridiculous shrine to irrational exuberance.

But now that the S&P 500 and Dow and crude and gold have all, in some form in recent years, burst through old highs, it only makes sense that the Nasdaq do the same.

The reason it's worth discussing now is that it's within striking distance.

Closing at 3,952.34 on Tuesday, the Nasdaq needs 27.7% from here for a new high.

Which is, realistically, reachable by May.

(You know how Tom Cruise in "A Few Good Men" stresses that great lenient sentence he just procured for Harold, "In. Just. 6. Months.") (Or something like that.)

While the Fast Money pros talk about the technicals almost exclusively to the S&P 500, it's the Nasdaq Composite that has totally kicked butt this year, up 31% through Tuesday as opposed to the S&P's 24%, and that's in a year of AAPL being a dog.

We have no idea about the fundamentals of the macro economic situation or what the next 6 months may or may not bring in terms of Silicon Valley excitement.

Twitter is launching an IPO, and Alibaba will be doing the same in the near future.

Tapering, everyone seems to agree, is on hold for basically this school year.

It seems the relevant question is whether people believe that other investors are going to continue to buy toward a test of the 5,000 level ... in which case such "momentum" becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Please note: You should never take trading advice from this page, unless you want your account to go directly to $0.

But the gut here is, whether double top or new support, if your 2014 model doesn't have a 5,000 in it, you might be like Mike Pachter's NFLX target. #kindalow

How does something at ‘50/50’
‘go the other way?’

In the category of logic, ObamaCare watcher Sam Isaly on Tuesday's Fast Money gave us the kind of trip that neither Lou Reed nor David Bowie could ever dream of.

Rather than assess various stocks, as Melissa Lee requested, Isaly focused on what he sees as the socialism involved, or the "transfer of wealth from the healthy people to the ill."

Which, he apparently seems to think, is going to become less popular.

Except this is how he put it: "Pretty much has been a coin flip, uh, as it is, uh, you know, 50/50, people support it, don't support, and I, I suspect it goes the other way."

OK ...

From half ... to half ...

Guy Adami said ZMH and SYK are names to exit, not buy.

Chinese expansion plan:
Force users to learn English

Julia (Mount Rushmore of CNBC Hair) Boorstin on Tuesday's Fast Money reported on the LinkedIn conference call and said the magic word a couple times, "mobile."

Gene Munster gave the all-clear to buy the shares, asserting, "If you're looking for the opportunity tomorrow morning, I think it's buy LinkedIn."

Josh Brown egged on Munster, suggesting that LNKD is so important that if you're a new college grad and for whatever reason you were forced to choose, "you would probably give up all other social networks before you'd give up LinkedIn."

Munster agreed, and overstated things, claiming, "White collar is on there, and you basically are irrelevant if you're not on LinkedIn." (Well of course, how else would anyone know that Stephen Weiss is out there and possibly hirable for a job if we didn't have his LinkedIn profile?)

Brown later seemed to bolster that, revealing, "We're hiring," and that Ritholtz Wealth Management just wrote a check to LinkedIn, because "we're not calling the New York Post." (What, Barry's not in the market for gossip?)

Guy Adami asked Munster if LNKD's valuation isn't "pretty ridiculous."

Munster responded, "I think you look past it."

Adami said he agrees that the company has an edge, but "I think you get worried below 220."

Boorstin later in the program mentioned another magic word, "China," saying LinkedIn is being "thoughtful" and trying to "really think through" its Chinese expansion, given that "right now their presence is only in English."

Missy Lee told Munster, "Gene gotta leave it there."

What in the world
is a ‘cautious’ rating

Guest Ben Kallo said on Tuesday's Fast Money that mighty TSLA is "acting like it's broken."

Kallo said the whispers about delivery numbers are "much too high," and that his own 187 price target "underlined perfect execution" for a couple years that he thinks may not actually happen.

Dan Nathan actually posited that the stock is due to test 180.

Nathan, not surprisingly, advised, "I think you stay away from a name like Yelp."

Jon Najarian credited Mike Murphy for outdueling him on YELP on the Halftime Report and admitted that with the revelation of the stock-issue news, "I'd get to the sidelines."

Josh Brown said he'd avoid ANGI.

Brian Marshall said 2 or 3 times he has a "cautious" rating on IBM, claiming "it's simply too big to grow," while saying "at the end of the day" twice.

Marshall said that, in a sideways market, he could see $16 operating earnings and a 9 multiple, or "something south of $150 a share."

Josh Brown too said "at the end of the day," before suggesting AAPL would test the 480s.

Jon Najarian reasserted that this "should be a blowout Christmas" for AAPL.

Dan Nathan said of YHOO, "I think it's a buy at 30," but then he basically called Jack Ma duplicitous, saying 4 years ago he "tried to pull a huge one on Yahoo" about separating the payment system into another company or something like that (and that's one early Fast Money moment we sort of recall but don't really recall the specifics).

Still waiting for Hillary’s public congratulations of Yellen’s Fed nomination

Jon Hilsenrath told Tuesday's Fast Money that the Fed would like to taper ASAP, but "the data just isn't cooperating."

The problem is, we're "stuck in this 2% growth range" of forecasts, he said.

Hilsenrath claimed the Fed is focused on jobs, and shockingly, "They're not aiming, you know, to push the stock market to record highs every day. That's not the ultimate, uh, goal of what they're trying to do."

Really? Who knew.

"The absence of QE could have some negative effects," Hilsenrath added.

‘Gotta leave it there,’ ‘I gotta tell you,’ ‘Connect the dots,’ ‘at the end of the day ...’

Guy Adami posited on Tuesday's Fast Money that 1,740 is a key level for the S&P 500; "I think we'll see that at some point later this week."

Josh Brown claimed that IBM matters because it's in the Dow, and "Main Street speaks Dow." (Tip: Be sure to note that on your Ritholtz Wealth Management application filed via LinkedIn.)

Dan Nathan lamented that it takes a buyback announcement to move IBM; "isn't that so pathetic though." Guy Adami said he expects a fade in IBM's Tuesday gain.

Melissa Lee suggested that "if we connect the dots," there somehow could be a link between IBM's day and the Twitter IPO and more money coming off the sidelines into stocks.

Josh Brown, who like many on the panel thinks some momentum stocks are overvalued and others are awesome, said of DDD, "I gotta tell you ... I like almost everything about this name," including the 30% short interest.

Guy Adami called DDD "this month's Tesla."

Mel's attempt to get Doc to report on DDD options was a bust, as Doc — in an impressive recovery that didn't embarrass Lee (unlike Tim Seymour goofy "allocation" gripe yesterday) after a question he clearly wasn't expecting — explained, "there aren't a lot of big bettors."

Najarian did say of BWLD, "They are killin' it."

Guy Adami suggested 35 for DWA; "still think it's going higher."

Scott Nations saw a "really interesting put sale" in UAL involving the November 32 strikes.

Jon Najarian's Final Trade was MFC. Josh Brown said DDD, Dan Nathan said CSCO and Guy Adami said MCHP.

Once again, no mention
of Tim Cook

Toni Sacconaghi brought the same kind of even-handed analysis of AAPL on Tuesday's Halftime Reoprt that Guy Adami offered up Monday evening.

"Investors are very sensitive to Apple's gross margins," Sacconaghi said, pointing out the stock improved in Monday's afterhours when the company explained that "we're deferring more revenue" and that it's higher-margin revenue.

"It was a good quarter, but it was not a great quarter, Sacconaghi concluded, saying that in the "near-term," it's a "relatively inexpensive stock," and so he has a $600 target.

Sacconaghi agreed with the premise of a question that is only about 30 years old, whether Apple can sustain margins and sales with elite pricing as rivals gradually build similar stuff and sell it a lot cheaper. It's a "premium company," Sacconaghi said, that faces the "challenge of whether those premium margins can be sustained."

Jon Najarian, who toned things down for a change, said AAPL has a low P.E. and has the hardware and software "unified into one platform."

Stephen Weiss revealed, "I actually nibbled on Apple this morning" and claimed the iPad Mini will be a "blowout product."

Dr. New World, who struggled all show to find a rhythm and should've brought up the question of whether Tim Cook is a plus or minus for Apple's P.E., pointed to a "100-basis-point accounting change" affecting Apple's margins and likened AAPL to IBM (his favorite stock on the day) based on the potential offered by cash on the balance sheet and interest from Carl Icahn.

Weiss said he disagrees with Joe that Carl will have much impact at AAPL. Joe insisted, "That conversation is gonna be entertained."

Joe makes IBM
sound like Amazon

Jon Najarian tread on Tuesday's Halftime Report where few dare to go, expressing "kudos to Marissa Mayer," but admitting "an awful lot of this performance is this one stock that they have nothing to do about."

Mr. New Land sounded as though IBM was up 100% this year; "you can't bet against this company ... the story is not over for IBM," he said, mentioning a couple of times "weapons at their disposal" (which is basically a buyback) involving cash which is exactly why Carl Icahn is drawn to AAPL.

Mike Murphy said he can't buy SHLD on fundamentals (snicker). (But what if they announce a buyback?)

Jon Najarian reiterated that he likes KORS and COH, but "I do like Coach better at this valuation," so he might actually do a pairs trade.

Joe Terranova said to "absolutely buy the dip today" in CMI.

Stephen Weiss scoffed at CAT, "that stock should be in the 50s," and griped that CMI is a lot higher than he thinks it should be too.

Mike Murphy defended CMI, saying, "We have a truck replacement cycle that has to take place."

Jon Najarian suggested looking at JCI.

Don’t tell Dan Nathan, but Doc is gushing about YELP

Jon Najarian, who has been far more realistic about the tech high-fliers in 2014 than many of his colleagues, pounded the table for YELP on Tuesday's Halftime Report, asserting "these guys have revenue growth like crazy."

Najarian said he also likes the high short interest and the amount of reviews coming from mobile, so it's "my No. 1 pick in the space for mobile."

That's quite an endorsement.

Mike Murphy had a feeble at best bear case, saying the stock is "setting up for a big pullback if this company misses."

Najarian said the competition argument against it is similar to what people said about NFLX, in fact it has a "big wall, and a wide moat."

Stephen Weiss grumbled, "I would not be an owner of this stock," but he wouldn't short it either, because "it's air." He added, "It's nothing like Netflix ... they get their content for free."

Weiss claimed short interest is 7%, but Najarian assured it's much higher, saying it "doubled since June."

On the one hand, it's another depressing free-labor trade. On the other, you trade the market you've got, not the one you want.

Paul Richards is not asked if he still sees a Washington meltdown in December

Jeff Kilburg said on Tuesday's Halftime Report that 2.42, which had been resistance in 10-year yields, is now support. "I think there's gonna be an earlier taper than most," Kilburg said, advising viewers to "sell Treasurys here."

Todd Gordon claimed that Treasurys and the euro have been directly linked to the dollar and sees a yield-dollar rally ahead; "I think we reverse into this meeting."

Paul Richards advised selling the euro with a target of 135.50. "At 1.38 Scott, I think it's very toppish," Richards said.

Gemma’s implication: Chase girls only that you’re certain are attractive

We thought it was a 1-day thing.

But Judge brought back Generic Queen Gemma Godfrey on Tuesday's Halftime Report and explained she "got a little shortchanged yesterday" with the SAC breaking news.

Godfrey said, "We like biotech," because it's "underowned," and indicated that instead of owning 1 name, she'd be "definitely diversified."

Gemma claimed investors have been playing the "thrill of the chase," but "what's gonna happen when they catch a girl, and realize she ain't that attractive."

Godfrey thus claimed there's been "indiscriminate buying" in ETFs, the "most volatile period that we've seen."

Jon Najarian said it comes back to the Fed, "They're not takin' that foot off the gas."

Joe Terranova asked Godfrey about bonds. Gemma acknowledged, "There is a significant risk in bonds," and she prefers equities.

Joe: Japan over 6 months

In a dubious, flat opening on Tuesday's Halftime Report as to what regions the traders like best, Stephen Weiss contended, "European markets just aren't that cheap," and U.S. is best.

Jon Najarian agreed he'd "much rather be with United States."

Mr. New World, in a slightly contrarian attempt, asserted the "ultimate opportunity over the next 6 months is in Japan," mentioning big exporters such as Komatsu, and also asserted, "Europe's problems are fixable."

Mike Murphy sort of half-heartedly said, "I think emerging markets have a big rally coming up."

Murphy said the "easy money" has been made in materials, and there are better places.

Stephen Weiss revealed, "I still love health care," and airlines.

Guest is so down on hospitals, doesn’t even want to nibble down 15%

Jeff Jonas, one of the Jonas Brothers (maybe), said on Tuesday's Halftime Report to "look through the noise" of ObamaCare and consider insurers such as UNH, AET and CI.

Stephen Weiss asked about hospitals such as THC and CYH. Jonas said he's concerned about their prospects in 2014. Jon Najarian wondered if those aren't worth buying if there's a 10-15% correction. Jonas said he wants to see where they "set the bar for 2014."

Weiss persisted, "Why wouldn't you look through the noise," because these names have "no bad debt essentially." Jonas said he doesn't think that latter statement is going to be accurate.

Joe said he doesn't like the biotech sector but does like ACT. Weiss said, "I stay away from the binary names."

Mike Murphy's Final Trade was GNW. Joe Terranova said EXPD. Jon Najarian said FE, and Stephen Weiss said LCC.

[Monday, October 28, 2013]

Fast Money omits perhaps the most important element of AAPL discussion

It was all about margins, products, earnings.

But how come Monday's Fast Money spent no time on Tim Cook?

Here's the truth: Many high-flier tech stocks are driven by charismatic leaders. Does Amazon, for example, get a 300 multiple (or whatever it is) if Alan Mulally, not Jeff Bezos, is in charge?

Probably not.

There are Elon Musk, Reed Hastings, Larry Ellison, the Google guys, Zuck, Marissa Mayer, Sheryl Sandberg; there was Mark Hurd, there used to be Michael Dell (oops there still is) and Bill Gates and Steve Case.

And of course, there was Steve Jobs.

Here's the problem. Tim Cook's a nice guy, a super guy. He's also the most boring CEO among Silicon Valley's elite and likely would not be a CEO anywhere right now were Steve Jobs alive and healthy. There has been nothing yet to indicate that this person is a game-changer with a revolutionary idea or concept.

So here's the relevant question: Is Tim Cook a permanent headwind on AAPL's multiple?

Maybe someone on Tuesday's Fast Money/Halftime will bring it up.


Maybe it was glee over TradeMonster's 5-year anniversary.

But someone obviously sent Jon Najarian a couple packages of Red Bull — probably via the iTunes store — in preparation for Monday's Fast Money; more importantly, it seems as though it was all consumed.

Much of Monday's show centered on the (ZZzzzzzzz) boring AAPL quarterly report and the newfound feud between Najarian and Tim Seymour as to whether it's Apple, or Samsung, going in the right/wrong direction.

Seymour started off pointing to Samsung's greatness and noting that Apple seems to be defending its margins by refusing lower-cost phones, and "I get a little concerned as an investor."

But Najarian predicted that iPhone sales are just "tremendous" and that they'll knock the cover off the ball with iPad Mini retina, etc.

Najarian came back to Seymour's Samsung argument. "Samsung's paying the NBA a hundred million dollars for exposure. Now that's, people pay people all the time," Najarian explained, claiming there's a reason American Airlines buys iPads for pilots, the whole ecosystem is just better than Samsung and whatever ice cream or whatever system you're using.

"But for every American Airlines there's a United Airlines that uses Samsung," chirped up Melissa Lee.

Seymour, unfazed, claimed Samsung is the one with all-time great earnings, and for Apple, "it's a decelerating trend."

This dialogue spread through the program with every tiresome update, Najarian predicting the stock would be "a lot closer to 570 by year-end than 500."

Seymour countered that the stock would go higher if the company allowed margins to slip to better capture the lower-end market.

Doc at one point got what we think was a dig in over Seymour's knuckle-headed Oct. 10 bear call on NFLX, pointing out NFLX was around 308 that day (which, by the way, despite experiencing a $32 one-day drop recently, is STILL ahead of its level that day) and suggested, "look for it to test there again."


Tough crowd: Tim Seymour
halts conversation over Missy’s grammar glitch

Guest Brian Wieser told Monday's Fast Money that he's made a "very subjective valuation call here" on TWTR in which he arrives at 29.

"There's a lot of room to go" internationally, he said, explaining he's comfortable with $4 billion revenue in the near future.

Mel Lee pointed out that the Facebook value per user differs from country. Wieser said, "Consumers do not buy advertising on Twitter" or FB, those are the "wrong metrics."

Perhaps chippy over his AAPL showdown with Doc, Tim Seymour curiously balked at Mel's minor grammar glitch when she asked, "If you got an allocation, would you buy it."

"Well. If I got an allocation, would I buy it. I'd have already gotten an allocation," Seymour said.

"I'm sorry. If you were offered an allocation," Lee clarified.

Honestly, we think anyone could've/should've figured out that Lee was asking about being offered an allocation, but some folks have high standards.

Seymour said if flippers take over as with Facebook, "that's a problem," then said he's hearing that "bankers are gonna leave a lot on the table" to prevent another FB disaster, and if this was his company, "I'm firing those bankers."

Jon Najarian though countered that the TWTR offer is a "relatively limited amount," and argued "there are gonna be people scrambling to get into this one." He said he'll buy more if it's not up more than 25% on the first day, so if it's up 23%, he'll buy more.

Pete Najarian said TWTR options will be started in a "very short time frame."

Mel asks analyst if iPads for kiddies is AAPL’s next growth catalyst

It wasn't just Tim Seymour who didn't sound terribly impressed by Apple's report on Monday's Fast Money.

Guest Van Baker said the company is focused on a "very narrow range of products," and shrugged off Mel's suggestion that parents want a cheap tablet for the kiddies; "that's just another variation on a theme in the tablet category."

Furthermore, Baker said that "Tim was a little bit cagey on the call today when he said he was gonna bring new products," as opposed to a new "category."

Guy Adami said there was something for everyone in the report and he figures the stock could be over 530 or below 510 on Tuesday, but at 515, it's just "sort of no-man's land."

Guest Ryan Jacob said AAPL had a "solid quarter" but that the gross margin discussion is something that's "around the edges."

Tim Seymour, despite his concerns, declared that "505 is now support."

Pete Najarian called the initial afterhours drop of $10-$12 an "overreaction ... I'd probably be buying into this dip."

Jon Najarian said he likes ARMH. Pete Najarian predicted INTC goes "a lot higher."

Mel served up one "gonna leave it there," to Van Baker, but merely told Jacob, "Ryan, great to speak with you, thanks for your time."

2 ‘gonna leave it there’

QCOM watcher Mark McKechnie delivered a run-of-the-mill recommendation on Monday's Fast Money, saying he has a 75 target, and "we think it's a hold into the print."

Melissa Lee concluded the call with, "Mark we're gonna leave it there."

Pete Najarian said he "finally sold my stock position" in FB, but he's still "very bullish" and playing it through options.

Guy Adami said that going into FB earnings, "I think you hold on."

Dennis Gartman has been long gold in yen terms since before TradeMonster was even a thought

Guy Adami asserted on Monday's Fast Money that "now's not the time to be getting long KORS."

But Pete Najarian wasn't so sure, claiming KORS is in the "sweet spot, for all of the wealth that's out there."

Jon Najarian backed both KORS and COH as "affordable luxuries" and explained, "Coach I think is the cheaper of the two here."

Tim Seymour said use of aluminum in cars and aerospace is "very exciting."

Pete Najarian likes BMY, LLY and PFE better than MRK.

Guy Adami said JCP has had a "lot of false bottoms ... I'd stay away."

Scott Nations said December 43 XLP calls were hot.

Dennis Gartman predicted the "most boring FOMC meeting in a year," then reassured everyone, "I've been long of gold in yen terms for a very long period of time," and now he's "interested" in gold in euro terms but hasn't taken the plunge.

Guy Adami said of CBI, "I think you stay with this" and predicted it gets "close to 80 bucks post-earnings."

Pete Najarian's Final Trade was AGO. Tim Seymour said PBR, Jon Najarian said GT and Guy Adami said GRMN.

TradeMonster was offering $5 commissions.

If we had to guess, we’d say Anthony thinks insider-trading infractions are relatively minor events that should be treated like speeding tickets or underage drinking

According to CNBC's Kate Kelly on Monday's Halftime Report, SAC Capital is nearing some kind of guilty plea.

Which, according to Anthony Scaramucci, is bogus.

"When they paint you into the corner and they have unlimited resources OK and you're trying to get on with your life, it's sort of one of the only things you can do on the Venn diagram," Scaramucci said, asserting the government has "gone crazy in these matters."

"I hope that this is the cycle of the witch-hunting ending," Scaramucci said.

What was most intriguing about Scaramucci's defense of SAC is whether he thinks 1) there probably were some infractions but they don't justify this kind of prosecution, or 2) he thinks SAC did utterly nothing wrong.

A couple of times, Scaramucci stressed, "None of us sanction insider trading ... they've gotta scapegoat a few people," but the way he said it makes us think Point 1 above is more relevant than Point 2.

If that's true, then Judge needs to get Michelle Caruso-Cabrera on board, perhaps with Gasparino (oops wrong network), to explain why insider trading should just be legal.

Scaramucci, though, indicated on the program he and the panel believe otherwise.

Jon Najarian jumped in on Scaramucci's side, saying there are things the SEC could be doing to improve things but instead "it's been about personal vendettas."

Scaramucci flat-out taunted the feds for a major bungle. "I know you guys didn't get the Madoff thing right," he said.

Kelly impressively more than held her own, pointing out that the deal in progress "comes after years of convictions of former SAC traders" who have acknowledged insider trading.

Kelly also said that a survey of hedge fund employees found an "astonishing number ... had seen bad activity" or believed it existed.

Scaramucci said that when people respond to those surveys, "I think they have an inclination to create fires."

At one point the music started as Scaramucci was responding to Kelly. "Stop the music," Scott Wapner demanded, as Scaramucci, struggling to counter Kelly's points, opined, "it makes for really good live television" (um, maybe, sorta), and then claimed that in whatever profession, including doctors, "there are bad actors, etc."

Scaramucci eventually invoked the 99%/everyman argument. "Many blue-collar workers are inside hedge funds, including SkyBridge, OK, where we do a phenomenal job of taking care of them and guiding them towards great actuarial numbers for their retirement," he said, reinforcing the notion that even if SAC had a little chicanery, the good outweighs the bad.

Kelly observed, "There's no doubt the government's going for a deterrent effect here."

Doc says he agrees with Anthony (but presumably not everything Anthony said)

Stephen Weiss said on Monday's Halftime Report that TWTR is a buy if pricing is conservative.

"I think the deal works if it prices near the range," Weiss said. "The best thing that happened to this IPO was what happened to Facebook's IPO."

Anthony Scaramucci said the hedge fund community is "decidedly bifurcated" on this subject, with some seeing it as a flip and others a long-term juggernaut.

Then Scaramucci added, "I anticipate people are selling some of their Facebook to get long Twitter."

Jon Najarian claimed he agrees with both Weiss and Scaramucci, even though he said last Tuesday that it's "ludicrous" to think people are unloading other social media stocks to buy TWTR because the TWTR float is so small.

Anyway, Najarian said if it prices at $20, it'll pop "up to 25%," at which point many will likely unload, but "I will buy more at that level."

Josh Brown bluntly declared, "I'm buying on the first day."

Anthony Scaramucci observed that Twitter gets massive free advertising from media types such as Scott Wapner; "you're dying to get more followers," Scaramucci said.

Milunovich: AAPL should
tell Carl, no thanks

Steve Milunovich said he's hoping to get a sense of the "sell-through" of Apple. He said AAPL could be a "relatively safe place" in big-cap tech.

Judge asked Milunovich if he agrees with Carl's buyback idea. "For now, they should not do it," Milunovich said.

Jon Najarian said he's a buyer and is long AAPL and predicted a blockbuster 4th quarter in Apple sales.

Stephen Weiss said "the Mini is a great product" and predicted the stock is higher than now at year-end. Anthony Scaramucci said "Apple is still the coolest" in the device space and it "could be a home run stock" in 2014.

Jon Najarian suggested ARMH as a derivative, while Steve Weiss trumpeted QCOM.

Even in the house, Gemma Godfrey is too boring for Judge to get excited

Even Judge sensed a bust.

Gemma Godfrey, She of the Perfect Teeth (And Most Generic Market Calls), paid a visit to Englewood Cliffs for Monday's Halftime Report, and barely got a couple moments at the end of Monday's show to issue another watered-down analysis before Judge quickly transitioned to better things.

Godfrey observed that this is a "very momentum-driven market" in which people are trying to play catch-up, and some are hoping that emerging markets will provide a big pop into year-end, but EM has greater risks than developed markets in terms of deficits, and some of the debt could get downgraded, but meanwhile, "there are fantastic opportunities" that were never explored on the show.

Josh Brown said it's all about current account deficit, and that India and Turkey might be vulnerable.

Josh argues for one company, then claims he’d really rather argue for a different company

Anthony Grisanti declared on Monday's Halftime Report that we're "probably seeing the low for the next 3 or 4 months" in natural gas, and "I only see prices up from here."

Jim Iuorio said nat gas is "coming right into trend-line support," then grumbled that unseasonably warm weather recently has put Al Roker commentary in play; "we trade with this global-warming cloud over our head ... it is what it is." But he expects the trend will be higher.

Meanwhile, Jon Najarian made a tiresome bull case for MCD starting with some joke about "take the bun off" burgers before eating to cut down on carbs. Josh Brown argued for BKW instead, saying, "they are refranchising every single corporate store" and have become a "much more profitable company ... the international story has barely scratched the surface."

Stephen Weiss said "I'd stay away" from each. Brown said, "I gotta tell you," his favorite name would actually be DNKN. Weiss agreed.

Josh hearing from ‘bearish circles’

Josh Brown on Monday's Halftime Report said the stock market looks OK. "So far, the uptrend is still healthy," Brown said.

Stephen Weiss opined, "The market's a little tired right here."

Weiss said that in Q4, "I think the money's gonna be made in big-cap biotech."

Brown suggested a "melt-up in emerging markets."

Anthony Scaramucci said he likes banks into year-end, and expects the market to be higher also because of the "positive signals from the Fed."

Guest Milton Ezrati asserted that there's a "boatload of money sitting in cash. The great rotation out of bonds has barely begun."

Brown told Ezrati that some make the case that "P.E. ratios are fairly high," a point Brown said is "fairly ubiquitous in bearish circles (snicker) (double snicker) on the Street." Ezrati said that people are looking at stocks and dividends for the best returns; "it's really your only option."

Anthony Scaramucci said the big risk to stocks is an "unpredicted rise in interest rates."

Jon Najarian said AAPL will post "perhaps their biggest quarter ever in terms of revenue."

Stephen Weiss said he's still short JCP and that Mike Ullman's refrain sounds old; "he'll say the same thing at 5 bucks too."

Weiss wasn't high on F. "I think the auto trade is a tired trade," he said.

Jon Najarian's Final Trade was PEP. Steve Weiss said AIG. Josh Brown said F. Anthony Scaramucci said MS.

Gemma Godfrey in NYC

How we stumbled upon this, we have no clue.

But Gemma Godfrey tweeted Sunday that she'll be in New York for Monday's Halftime Report.

She probably likes tech, or industrials, or maybe cyclicals, or perhaps financials.

Maybe she doesn't think Europe is totally out of the woods yet.

Maybe this means Weiss, Stephanie, Joe or Doc will get the day off.

[Friday, October 25, 2013]

Poor Steve, only 10% (tip: Doc says holding it longer is a ‘rookie mistake’ and says you must take money off the table ‘every day’ you make it)

Guy Adami on Friday's Fast Money cleared Reed Hastings of any serious transgressions over that stock-price comment this week; "I don't think he did anything wrong."

Steve Grasso complained that Hastings was trying to demonstrate an "air of humility" about his stock valuation, but he shouldn't do it.

Tim Seymour called JCP "a neutral stock at this point." (Stephen Weiss will probably take the other side of that.)

Seymour called COH "a lifestyle brand," in the middle of "I think a difficult transition."

In a rarity, Brian Kelly said of WHR, "actually still like this name here."

Guy Adami balked at CAT's report; "Doug Oberhelman should be in trouble."

Adami assured people who want FFIV, "you can own this against 80 bucks."

Steve Grasso bemoaned unloading DECK at a 10% profit; "I sold way too soon ... left a lot on the table."

Steve Grasso said VLO already reflects a lot of positives and the next catalyst is the KeyStone Pipeline, which is dicey, so "I would hold off."

Grasso said he wouldn't buy FB into earnings because there's a "wall of resistance here."

Guy Adami likewise said of AAPL, "I would rather take profits into earnings."

He also said to sell GILD before earnings.

Brian Kelly said he'd "rather own the gold miners" than gold.

Mel actually asks Brian hold-or-fold questions, pretending not to notice he always says to ‘sell’ virtually every stock mentioned on the show

Tim Seymour near the top of Friday's Fast Money uttered one of those statements that's actually kinda bogus but which of course was challenged by no one.

Seymour described himself as a "folder" of AMZN, in part because "this is a stock that can hurt you badly."

Actually, the 5-year chart is one of the most impressive you'll see, and the beta is below 1.0.

Which doesn't mean you CAN'T get hurt badly, only that, over several years, it hasn't hurt anyone worse than any other stock mentioned on Friday's show, at least anyone who has held it long enough to give it a chance, say 6 months or more.

Guy Adami reiterated his 3-day-old refrain, that "the Street gave them a lot of slack" but one of these times it won't, and so you can't chase it, but "fold 'em."

Steve Grasso was the lone "hold" on AMZN.

Tim Seymour claimed FDX has been rising for 6 months on the same economic data, prompting Brian Kelly to argue, "this is not the same economic data ... absolutely not." Seymour insisted the stock "can trade at a higher multiple."

Seymour claimed that DIS too can trade at a higher multiple.

Seymour rattled off all the companies that are not worth as much as CMG and declared, "I don't believe this company is worth that."

Guy Adami conceded CMG has been working, but "when it stops, it's not gonna be pretty."

Tim Seymour's Final Trade was ARCO. Brian Kelly said UUP, Steve Grasso said F and Guy Adami said ROP.

Expert: Amazon’s stature
untouchable for next 50 years

No matter how feisty the skeptics, there is always a metric supporting AMZN's price.

Jordan Rohan told Friday's Halftime Report that AMZN is only "trading 1.4 times sales" and is "perhaps the most durable franchise" in retail.

Then this shocker: "20 or 50 years from now, do you really think Amazon's gonna be supplanted by anybody else?"

That'll be something for Fleck to keep in mind when he finally revs up the short fund.

Rohan struggled to answer a question about Amazon's competition. "It somewhat competes with Google, somewhat competes with Apple ... at the end of the day, Amazon's in a great position to compete against traditional retailers," he said.

Josh Brown said a $400 target is like giving a $36 stock a $40 target, and he sees many better opportunities in that lower range than Amazon.

‘Great time’ to buy NFLX

It came as somewhat of a surprise on Friday's Halftime Report, guest-hosted by Mel in place of Judge, that Dan Nathan of all people was pronouncing a healthy environment for the high-flying tech names.

This is just "consolidation," which is good for stocks that have recently been parabolic, Nathan said, adding they figure to remain popular because "who wants to buy IBM, EMC." (Actually Pete wanted to buy EMC on Monday and Paul Meeks liked it days earlier, but it hasn't done anything this week.)

Nathan, however, did call FDX and BA "frothy."

Mike Murphy offered a 2-pronged recommendation, saying it's a "great time to get in" Netflix, and if you like TSLA, "you can start to buy here," but just realize that you may be adding at 130.

Josh Brown said "more time probably needs to go by" until NFLX is out of the woods, though he acknowledged the impressive rebound from the afterhours Carl-sale news this week. Brown grumbled about Amazon's "3rd straight quarterly loss in a row."

Mike Santoli observed, "The market's a little tired," apparently a "tired" market is one in which the S&P 500 is only up 15 points in a week.

Santoli was skeptical of MSFT, saying, "People are looking for growth that has not yet been reflected." Brown said the MSFT "price action" was "not great" on Friday.

Dan Nathan predicted MSFT down 5% if it hires an internal candidate, and if it's Alan Mulally, "I think that would be a disaster."

‘A long way from 1999’

Byron Wien visited Friday's Halftime Report to deliver a mixed bag on the great run of Nasdaq stocks.

"This is a long way from 1999 or 2007," Wien assured, before adding, "I have a hard time getting around technology as a whole, as a sector."

However, he indicated interest in social-media names is legitimate; "think of 'em as human-behavior stocks."

Wien stated, "I think Europe is turning," and "I like Japan."

But, he contended, "Junk bonds are kind of expensive here."

Wien explained what he thinks QE is doing. "According to my analysis, three-quarters of all that monetary easing goes into financial assets, keeping interest rates low and pushing stock prices higher," he said.

‘Active-like experience’

Mr. Maria (that would be Jonathan Steinberg) paid another visit to Friday's Halftime Report and was asked by Mike Murphy what's going to be the next DXJ-like breakout hit.

"It's hard to predict," Steinberg admitted.

When Josh Brown asked Steinberg to explain why it might be advantageous to choose the DEM over individual countries, Steinberg tried even less to provide an answer, offering that the DEM provides an "active-like experience."

Steinberg reported "a lot of flow into Europe." He posited, "With a, an accommodating Fed, there's some support to these markets at these levels."

Melissa Otto is watching, waiting

You can't say Melissa Otto isn't paying attention to Japanese economics.

Otto, in a curious visit at the tail end of Friday's Halftime Report, indicated that Japan is poised to keep going, but for now, she's "waiting to see if they push forward all of these policies."

Regarding Loeb and Sony, Otto said she's "kind of keeping a watchful eye there."

Regading Abenomics in general, "We're watching carefully."


Otto does like Softbank, which we think is SFTBF, saying it's got 37% of Alibaba.

Brown: 60 safe for DD, ESRX

In a debate that was hardly a debate on Friday's Halftime Report, Mike Murphy said to buy V, largely on international growth, "that's where the huge growth is."

Dan Nathan tried to make a bear case but admitted he agreed with much of what Murphy said, however Nathan compared it to MA and pointed out a "little bit of a discount here."

Josh Brown backed Murphy; "this name is going much higher."

Murphy said "on pullbacks, you can own Wynn."

He said of WDC, "I wouldn't chase it up here," but would buy on a pullback.

Josh Brown said "60 is now the floor" in DD, and to hold both pieces of a spinoff.

Dan Nathan said he had been in ZNGA, and "I think you probably can buy it at 3," dubbing it an "option on a stock."

Mike Santoli grumbled that ELY has been a "takeover target for 15 years."

Mike Murphy said to let COG reach 37.50, 38 before buying.

Dan Nathan said DECK is a "tough one to be short right now."

Josh Brown said there's a "lot of support here at 60, 61" for ESRX.

Santoli predicted AAPL will experience a "little bit of a sell-on-the-news response." Mike Murphy backed the shares, saying the upside is a "lot greater" than the downside.

In a rare reporter endorsement, Bob Pisani said that if you want small-cap exposure, buy the IJR.

Mike Santoli's Final Trade was GLW. Mike Murphy said UA, Dan Nathan said EBAY, and Josh Brown said DNKN.

[Thursday, October 24, 2013]

He could’ve established a modicum of believability just by saying ‘Washington gridlock,’ but apparently even that’s off the table

Tobias Levkovich is convinced that the S&P 500 is going to drop 100 points before year-end because ... well ... because September was good, and it's usually bad.

Levkovich thus said on Thursday's Fast Money that "seasonal trading patterns" aren't relevant, and that "we've had part of the rally already."

Karen Finerman smartly pressed Levkovich on what, exactly, with earnings mostly out, is the catalyst for this drop that he sees coming.

"I think 2014 earnings estimates," Levkovich finally said, predicting 2014 earnings growth of 6%.

Utterly unconvincing. We'll help him out. A Yellen rejection would do it. (We're not predicting that, one way or the other.)

Believe it or not, Fast Money can be a little tone-deaf

Fast Money's 1% united against a common foe Thursday:

Bill Gross.

Who had the audacity to say Carl should quit pestering AAPL and give some money away.

Tim Seymour called that suggestion "absurd" and a "non-sequitir," explaining, "Gross is just upset that Carl's getting more media time than him," which Seymour said is odd because Gross "spends so much time out there talking about his business."

"I don't get it at all," said Karen Finerman.

"I'm actually shocked that he would say something like that," said Guy Adami.

Mike Khouw said investors benefit from Icahn's activism. "This is helping people," decrying Gross' statements as "the most absurd thing I've ever heard."

OK, here's the deal ... first of all the Fast Money crew is defending their profession, which is fine.

They are right that Gross is out of line in knocking Icahn's charity tendencies.

But they are missing the forest through the trees, which is that this enormously rich guy, who has been chortling all week about his spectacular gain in one stock, is now accelerating his efforts to (bleep) with an unfathomably popular company by accusing it of being ... too conservative.

To some people, that sounds like "greed."

Karen Finerman and others indicated that Icahn's own publicly traded vehicle has limitations; "you're not getting the activism in a pure play if you buy IEP," Finerman said.

Closest thing to can’t miss: Getting aboard first big tech IPO since Facebook

Sam Hamadeh declared on Thursday's Fast Money that TWTR's stated 17-20 IPO pricing is "actually far below a fair valuation," which he thinks is more like 30-33.

Hamadeh indicated it's virtually certain that after the road show, the price will rise to maybe 20-23, but upping it a lot more requires new forms, which he thinks is unlikely.

He said Twitter is following the LinkedIn playbook, of a small float and "very conservative price."

Karen Finerman acknowledged, "I actually would buy it."

Tim Seymour groused that the valuation is still a mystery, and the stock has been at a premium privately because there's little available in a "very illiquid market," and "no way" it prices at 17-20.

Mike Khouw said he'd buy it if he could.

Karen: AMZN is ‘Greater Fool’

Guy Adami acknowledged on Thursday's Fast Money that Amazon has apparently done it again in terms of price appreciation, but "at a certain point, it'll catch up with them."

Tim Seymour said he won't chase; "this valuation is absurd."

Karen Finerman was the strongest critic, proclaiming, "Owning it is the Greater Fool Theory" and likening it to Microsoft in the '90s and pointing out it finally did grow into the valuation, whereas with today's AMZN, that's "almost mathematically impossible."

Courtney Reagan reported that Jeff Bezos wasn't on the AMZN call. (He's probably spending his time NOT interfering with WaPost editorial policy.)

Colin Gillis said AMZN is "the deep end of the pool."

That rightly prompted Melissa Lee to say, "Colin, gotta leave it there."

Karen: TKR could be worse

In one of the more interesting Fast Money revelations recently, Karen Finerman said Thursday, "We actually have some Outerwall."

Guy Adami pointed out the name still has a lot of shorts.

Adami pointed out the same thing with DECK, "huge short interest, not a big valuation," and gave "kudos" to Steve Grasso for being long this name.

Colin Gillis dismissed MSFT's afterhours gains because of all the quarters, "this one has the lowest bar." Guy Adami said not to be long the stock.

Gillis touted Lawrence Summers Stephen Elop for Microsoft CEO.

Tim Seymour said he's not jumping in to DD.

Guy Adami predicted CERN will quickly recoup its Thursday afterhours losses and declared, "Every single time, it's been an opportunity to get long," making it his Final Trade.

Karen Finerman explained how and why 2 activists are digging into BID and said, "You have some catalysts here."

Mike Khouw predicted SYMC will keep suffering from the PC decline.

Tim Seymour said he'd stay in both TCK and WLT.

Brian Kelly said to "wait for a pullback" in PHM.

Karen Finerman said "the forecast was horrible" from TKR and down 12% isn't bad considering.

Guy Adami said MCK "still has room to the upside."

Mike Khouw said TGT 63.50 weekly puts were active.

Khouw's Final Trade was FFIV. Tim Seymour said CAT, Brian Kelly said short EWZ and Karen Finerman said LINTA.

Melissa Lee told Julia Boorstin, "Gotta leave it there."

Tyler has a handle
on younger viewers

They say there's no such thing as a free lunch, but that's what Thursday's Halftime crew got with a strange extended invite from Tyler Mathisen to revive on CNBC's Power Lunch the Carl Icahn discussion they had just completed 20 minutes earlier.

Mathisen asked 2 good questions, when to sell, and what the viewer at home can gain, if anything, from "following" Carl Icahn; unfortunately the panel spent 8 minutes answering when about 1 or 2 sentences would've sufficed.

Josh Brown eventually nailed things down, pointing out the 13-Fs are "45 days late," and that whale activity should be nothing more than a starting point if that.

Joe Terranova explained that he sells when "fundamental fulfillment" has been reached.

Stephanie Link said it's all about "valuation," which may occur in different metrics.

The session in essence gave Mr. New Land a second chance at "you have to understand," as in, "you have to understand the actual investment that you own." He said NFLX has an "incredibly rich valuation" and has business momentum, but the takeover premium when it was in the 50s has faded.

Tyler Mathisen, a hipster, told Judge Wapner that Judge interviewing Icahn is like "your Mel Brooks to his Carl Reiner."

Carl’s bored, wants to use his money on more exciting endeavors

It's hard to believe that making $800 million could possibly be uninteresting.

When you thrive on big-dollar showdowns with big-business folks, it's possible.

Probably the biggest reason Carl Icahn unloaded a bunch of his Netflix stake is so that he could apply it somewhere he really wants to apply it — up some company's, um, derriere.

Already megarich, Carl prefers making a point to making money, but neatly, given his line of work, the two actually go hand in hand, evidenced by Icahn's Halftime Report chat Thursday with Scott Wapner.

"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," Icahn insisted, an assertion that's maybe 50% believable.

He explained his Netflix sale this way: "I'm a battle-hardened veteran of, uh, 7 bear markets, and it's possible that another one is coming," though he said he's not predicting any timetable, and, "When you make 5 times your money, you uh, you take the chips off the table."

What he'd actually consider an even bigger score than his NFLX haul — even if it only cleared, say, $600-$700 million — is bending mighty AAPL into a monstrous buyback and showing its elite board how it's done.

"We would like to see a buyback," Icahn told Wapner, saying it's a "no-brainer."

The longer the conversation went, the more pointed Icahn's criticisms of the board became, first saying there is not a financial guru among them, then asserting, "They're very derelict in not doing a buyback."

Carl said he doesn't want to sit on the board himself, and observed that AAPL has a stature as "sort of a cult company ... but the stock did go down from 700 to 420 or 430" (sic) (actually lower).

Wapner's best question was whether Icahn would be making such demands of Steve Jobs. The predictable answer: "I absolutely would be doing the same thing."

Addressing criticism from Bill Gross and John Sculley and perhaps indirectly, Warren Buffett, Carl celebrated his renegade stature. "A lot of people hated Washington and, and Adams for going after the English ... that doesn't mean that they're right."

Furthermore, "The nature of man I think is to accept things, and just go along and not, uh, and not wanting a change," Icahn said. "Changes have been made by certain individuals," including "Galileo," he added.

In the end, it's television. Carl's a fascinating guy. He's feelin' it. This works.

"I think Herbalife is still very undervalued," Icahn said.

Doc: White hot

In the abbreviated regular portion of Thursday's Halftime Report, Josh Brown pointed out that as long as AAPL is going up, Carl Icahn is profiting even if there's no big buyback; "it's almost like Carl wins either way."

Dr. New World asserted, "You have to understand that there apparently is an attraction to the product refresh. The Street likes it." He thinks it "continues to go toward $600."

Meanwhile, the panel was a bust on AMZN (this item was posted after trading Thursday), with Stephanie Link only saying the report was "probably gonna be OK."

Josh Brown flat-out stated, "I would not play Amazon into the earnings ... I gotta tell you."

Jon Najarian astutely said of MSFT, "I think this one's one you hold."

On fire Thursday, Najarian also touted ZNGA into earnings. "They can't quit gaming twice," he said, calling it a "$5 stock by the end of the year."

But Josh Brown called it "essentially a company that's collapsing right before our eyes."

Stephanie Link blundered, agreeing with Brown.

Joe Terranova suggested MMM "probably pulls back a little bit."

Josh Brown said of PHM, "The stock looks good ... I wouldn't bet against it.

Stephanie Link actually claimed "Tech is a land mine; it's absolutely impossible to pick good stocks," but she actually likes SYMC, just "let it settle."

Jon Najarian agreed; "I would be buying this."

Mr. New Land said he's tired of hearing about F being "in the midst" of a transformation, because "Mulally has done the transformation." He predicted a surprise from GM next week.

Morgan Stanley's Vince Reinhart said "chances are, yes," that stocks and bonds can both go up. He indicated that taper is probably on the back burner; "might as well cancel next week's meeting." Joe Terranova, citing multiple data, asked what metrics people should be paying attention to. Reinhart said, "The forward-looking variables."

Steve Liesman revealed that someone actually took a survey of whether people like Google more than Facebook and found the answer is yes, 66-50, and that FB was hurt by the male vote and the Northeast. Target beat Wal-Mart 65-57, and Coca-Cola beat Pepsi 64-60 thanks to a "huge advantage for Coca-Cola in the South."

Joe Terranova's Final Trade was EVR. Stephanie Link said WLP, Josh Brown said DNKN and Jon Najarian said JIVE, which notably ran after his comment.

[Wednesday, October 23, 2013]

Folks on trading desks need more useful reading material

Craig Johnson, who has an 1,850 tag on the year-end S&P, said on Wednesday's Fast Money that "the market is sending us a pretty solid message" to remain bullish.

Johnson said stocks are rising on bad news, stocks have begun outperforming gold (that one didn't seem very convincing), and that when stocks actually do well in September as occurred this year, they generally do really well into year-end.

Brian Kelly, who loves the 1937 stock market chart, claimed that the charts of 1937 and 1946 "have been going around trading desks the last couple weeks" and that in each case, 6 to 18 months afterwards, there was a "tremendous drop in the market," and asked Johnson what he thought. Johnson said next year might not be as hot as this one but he still likes this one.

Guy Adami questioned whether shorting OPEN, as Johnson advises, would put someone in face-ripped-off land. Johnson said the stock is "stumbling" at the 50-day and the next support is the 200-day, which is much lower.

Johnson also advises selling GRPN, but the panel didn't get to that one.

Mel told Johnson, "Great to see you."

Still waiting for Hillary’s first public statement endorsing Yellen

Joe LaVorgna, who frankly looked like he had some kind of indigestion but persevered, told Wednesday's Fast Money that Janet Yellen might end up being a little more hawkish than thought, because "there are just fewer doves" on the Fed now.

And so, LaVorgna predicted, Yellen's dovishness will be "neutered in some sense," as this becomes "very much a consensus-building exercise." (So, people actually do catch on to some of the things posted on this page.)

LaVorgna claimed the Fed "made a monumental mistake" by not tapering in September.

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

Guy: S&P to test 1,710

It sure wasn't the most explosive Fast Money of all time.

But at least the crew on Wednesday didn't stumble over the Halftime mess and declare 1) momentum dead (except for A) the momentum names they like and B) NFLX which was up but that apparently doesn't count because it was down a day earlier) and 2) Carl's strategy a Trade School while implying at the same time he should've unloaded months ago.

(Brian Kelly did call for a short of PXD, "this story looks broken," which Guy Adami seemed to damn with faint praise, so we're not gonna go overboard with congrats.)

Guy Adami did claim that it's a "really good opportunity to take some profits here" as he expects the S&P to revisit 1,710; in particular he advises selling WDC.

Karen Finerman protested that "I am certain that I am a horrific market timer," but said she'd sell NM, only because of a "portfolio management issue," that it's now twice its original size in her fund, which is really helpful to everybody else.

Stephanie Link said she/Cramer would sell MU.

Brian Kelly said he took a "small short position in the S&P 500," and then advised selling PCLN (when you're not selling PXD or the S&P 500), saying it's reached an "extreme level."

Karen wears chic new outfit

Karen Finerman said on Wednesday's Fast Money that there's "somewhat of a floor here" under MSFT based on anticipation of a new CEO.

Finerman predicted that when the new CEO arrives, you'll get the "kitchen-sink quarter."

Not surprisingly, Brian Kelly said to sell the stock. Guy Adami called it a hold, and Stephanie Link curiously said, "dead money in tech at this point is not so bad."

Guy Adami predicted that despite the selloff in AKAM, "I think this stock will be higher a week from now."

Later, when FIO's stumble was discussed and Melissa Lee pointed out that WDC is a derivative play or something like that, Adami scoffed, "You wanna connect the dots, be my guest."

Adami predicted that ANGI "might finally get that capitulation day."

Steve Liesman overdone on the downside for that goofy off-the-cuff comment (we all say goofy things occasionally), but his ‘apology’ was ridiculous

Bob Wetenhall took a seat with the Fast Money crew on Wednesday at the Nasdaq to suggest that OC might be a private equity target.

"We think there's a floor on the stock around 35, 36," Wetenhall said, sort of complaining that he wasn't talking about FBHS, which he likes better.

Melissa Lee, for the 2nd time Wednesday, closed with, "Great to see you."

Guy Adami said, "I like MHK," as does Wetenhall.

Karen Finerman aired 2 gripes about CAT, saying it guided at the beginning of the year to 8.75 earnings and is now down to 5.50 but the stock isn't down nearly that big a percentage, which shows how hard it is to short this market (that didn't stop Brian Kelly from trying with every single stock mentioned Wednesday), and that execs strike it rich by only meeting a 3.50 threshold; "that's kind of irritating."

Steph Link almost veered off (with Guy Adami nearby) into another mind-numbing analysis of buying and selling CAT in the 80s but ultimately said she likes JOY better.

Link is bullish on AMZN because of "secular growth trends in technology." Guy Adami said he agrees with all those things but one of these times they're gonna pull the rug out and "this might be the quarter they do it." Brian Kelly called himself a "huge user of 'Amerzon' (sic)" and then (surprise surprise) called the stock "overextended here."

Stephanie Link disagreed with HSBC's negative move on MS, saying, "The earnings were actually pretty good."

Link said "I would welcome a selloff" in WY.

Link also said she likes F and JCI in the auto space.

Brian Stutland identified a big trade in the Jan 2015 32 puts in XLB.

The Final Trade moment was devoted to Tim Seymour and the fine charity concert for A Leg to Stand On, which you should check out; Seymour mentioned that Steve Liesman would be performing (sorry, we just have to do this) but thankfully didn't say that Liesman would be playing "Mexican music" (because when you think of Texas music, you often think of "Mexican music," not, say, country/western).

ObamaCare: A Web 2.0 bust?

Here's a question, as the Affordable Care Act remains dogged by Web site glitches:

Would the Affordable Care Act have been considered by its supporters feasible 20 years ago, when the Internet barely existed and people would've had to buy magazines or visit salesmen and make lengthy phone calls just to get 1 price quote?

After all these shares are dumped, where does the money go? Utilities? Staples? Treasurys? (Ah, no one’s figured that out yet)

One of the recently sorry refrains on Fast Money is the anti-"momentum" trade.

You know, on a risk-off day (or any day stocks aren't at all-time highs), when a bunch of the panelists generally led by Dan Nathan carp about how so many of these names are way overvalued.

On Wednesday's Halftime, Pete Najarian was targeting TSLA in particular, saying that "the drops can be severe" and that these types of names have "plenty of room to fall."

Moments later, Pete warned TSLA could go "a lot further down ... I think Tesla's seen its best days."

Josh Brown picked on YELP, "that's the one I would sell ... it's already breaking down."

Mike Murphy scoffed at P, "this isn't one I'd be buying." (This writer is long P.)

Judge was so shockingly hell-bent on pursuing this crackpot dialogue, he wouldn't even entertain a mention of the blatant fact that NFLX was up Wednesday and sneered "that doesn't count" (and in fact Steve Grasso might've been spectacularly on the money Tuesday night with the Icahn overhang possibly lifted).

Josh Brown implied the general momentum plunge could be massive, because the same people own all of these same momentum names (and surely Ritholtz Wealth Management has research to back that up that's more convincing than the Tesla fan who did the electric-car survey).

Fair enough.

And then PgDn a few times and see what these people have said mainly just in the last week or 10 days and you realize what's really overvalued is this commentary, as here's a sampling of some of the favorites:

Jon Najarian: "Feasted" on selling 170 TSLA puts, as hard as it is to keep owning sometimes you just have to, etc.

Pete: I think Micron's going to 20.

Murph: Buying MU at 18, issuing 75 target on FB.

Mike Khouw: Big buyers of November FB 65 calls.

Josh Brown: FU is a "really interesting story ... I hear it everywhere."

Doc: Groupon's got great new management.

Pete: Netflix has got all this international potential.

Joe, Guy: LinkedIn is one with real strength and support.

Weiss: Buying FB because it's a momentum name with support.

Doc: Likes Zillow and Trulia as housing plays with no tapering for a while.

And then there was Mark Mahaney on Oct. 9 listing YELP as one of 5 names he wouldn't be buying, only to list in the Oct. 22 disclosures that he actually owns it.

So basically, a lot of these people claim "momentum" names have "plenty of room to fall" ... except for the ones that they like.

Get. Real.

Doc: Buffett is a greenmailer

Sometimes, fighting the battles with Fast Money/Halftime logic is a multi-day process.

A day ago this page (see below) noted that Jon Najarian's praise of Carl Icahn not making a "rookie mistake" and taking money off the table made no sense.

Yet on Wednesday's Halftime, Doc was right back at it, after Judge set the table by saying "hopefully people can learn from" what Carl did. (But we thought they're not supposed to buy the high-flying momentum names because they fall so fast.)

Doc advised, "Don't violate the Pig Principle," then explained that, "Warren Buffett goes in there, this is not a criticism of him, but he goes in and basically greenmails a company, like Bank America (sic)," which are "things you and I can't do."

But Doc implied anybody could've bought Netflix in the 50s and sold here — which apparently would not make you a "hog" — just like Carl did. "This was Trade School, what he did here," Najarian said.

And so we'll ask yet again: Was he supposed to sell his $58 shares at $70, or $370?

Actually we’re barely past halfway between Labor Day and Thanksgiving

Steve Parker told Wednesday's Halftime that people like U.S. stocks, but he sees "better opportunities elsewhere," particularly Europe.

Jon Najarian said if you're in BBY, "I would be getting out right around now," partly because he thinks these are names to be bought around Labor Day and sold on Black Friday, and, "we're approaching Thanksgiving."

Pete Najarian, predicting gloom for momentum, nevertheless gushed about 130 calls in BA being active.

Mike Murphy said of CAT, "I wouldn't buy this stock here ... lost faith in management."

Mike Murphy called SWY a "very interesting setup." Josh Brown joked of PNRA, "you can make more bread elsewhere."

Jon Najarian claimed APOL was "a Final Trade, uh, from just last week," when in fact it was a Final Trade on Oct. 9 (that's 2 weeks ago).

Note to hackers: AAPL has over 550 million names in its credit-card files

John Sculley, one of those fallback AAPL guests when a show can't get Carl Icahn or Tim Cook or Jony Ive or Ron Johnson, sounded on Wednesday's Halftime Report like he wouldn't mind running his old company.

"What if they went out and bought eBay," Sculley speculated, suggesting that would "shift the balance of power" toward the world's No. 1 market-cap stock, and in the process "connect the dots" (Mel, eat your heart out) in the Apple ecosystem.

Sculley gushed about Apple's "incredible processor," the A7, and alarmingly (that didn't prompt Judge to question it, in a lapse) stated, "They have over 550 million names in their files for credit card users."

Hope it's password-protected.

Mike Murphy said, "We're buying the January 475 calls," and selling front-month calls, and predicted the (non-momentum) stock reaches the 560-590 range.

Sculley said Google is establishing "big data analytics in the cloud ... I see Google as being a play for the long term."

Jon Najarian balked at Colin Gillis' notion that Google has a mobile problem. "I disagree with Colin on that point," Najarian said, invoking YouTube and its "amazing jump" in views, and claims "they can monetize that."

Josh Brown wondered, "I don't understand what the bear case is on Google."

Years into the show, Judge defines what it is Doc’s actually doing

On Wednesday's Halftime Report, Jon Najarian said there was a big buyer of February 135 calls of MHK who financed it by selling February 110 puts in the name.

Sounds simple, straightforward.

Evidently, Judge felt the need for clarification.

"You're looking at options activity around various names and determining what the momentum of that particular moment is, or the day is, around a particular stock," Wapner asked Najarian, who acknowledged that's indeed what he's doing.

What happened to John Kilduff’s $125 over Syria?

Oh, that Syria-destabilized-region-Iran/Israeli-tension thing is so yesterday.

Paul Sankey on Wednesday's Halftime Report said "I think everyone's pretty bearish right now" in crude, and for WTI, "we see too much supply over the next year."

Jim Iuorio acknowledged crude's troubles but predicted "the next move is probably a bit of a bounce." The Ilchmeister said he's got a "downside projection" and thinks crude could test 90-92.

Sankey said he likes refiners, specifically HFC and HES.

Comcast is more aggressive about cross-promoting its programs than GE was

Jon Najarian made a bull case on Wednesday's Halftime Report for FSLR, citing "5 consecutive quarters these guys have made profit."

Mike Murphy disagreed, asserting, "The stock has failed in the mid-50s several times."

Josh Brown said both could be right, though he thinks we're in the "2nd or 3rd inning for solar."

Mike Murphy said if you're playing PHM (or even if you're not), "The risk is that Pulte moves higher."

Murphy said Reed Hastings' comments (to the extent Judge allowed a comment about Netflix) were merely "a CEO trying to talk down expectations."

Murphy was also heard to say, "This is a stock-picker's market."

Part of Wednesday's Halftime Report was preempted by CNBC reality star Marcus Lemonis, whose show is indeed very good, helming a bizarre interruption of an entrepreneurial showdown (as if an informed investor would pick such a winner based on 2 arguments of 30 seconds apiece) in which the woman (Kathryn Minshew, a brunette Susan Dey; that's not a photo from the show but a glamour shot) was declared the winner; Lemonis telling her that she's "really trying to promote jobs, and you're a woman in business," presumably one who has read Finerman's Rules.

Mike Murphy's Final Trade was GNW. Jon Najarian said MHK. Pete Najarian said WLL, and Josh Brown said DD.

[Tuesday, October 22, 2013]

Ignored on Fast Money: S&P up 10

It was one of the best shows of the year, even for those with no position in NFLX. (This writer has no position in NFLX.)

But lost in the shuffle of Carl's NFLX stake and Dan Nathan's "garbage" Internet stocks on Tuesday's Fast Money was the still meteoric rise of the S&P 500.

Doc attempts a Trade School
but makes no sense

He wore a sharp shirt.

But the advice wasn't quite so savvy.

Jon Najarian on Tuesday's Fast Money inadvertently illustrated the difficulties of the stock market while struggling like Josh Freeman on Monday night to find the answer on NFLX.

Melissa Lee reported that Icahn's cost basis was $58, and that "the bulk of the sale actually came today."

Najarian assessed Icahn's trade this way: "Carl didn't make a rookie mistake. Carl took money off the table folks. That's what you should do, every day when you make money."


Except Carl did NOT take money off the table on all of those previous 365 days when NFLX was (generally though not every day) making him a fortune.

If Najarian is correct, Carl should've unloaded in December.

In fact, if NFLX touches $500 this year (we have no clue), Carl will look short-sighted.

Karen Finerman has lamented for the last year selling KORS in the 40s (or perhaps 30s).

How in the world does Najarian's point make an ounce of sense.

Nor did anyone address Karen's excellent point a day ago, whether Carl merely had been waiting to meet the magic 12-month-plus-1-day holding period.

Doc further stated that stocks are expendable, "they're not your kids," a point we agree with. But then he chided Ackman for not covering at HLF 26 ... even though the whole thrust of Ackman's presentation (and the reason the stock fell that much to begin with) was that he would ride this short all the way to $0.

Dan Nathan made an equally useless point about Carl's stake. "At the end of the day, he's playing with the house's money." (Tip to readers: No, at the end of the day he is playing with his own money, not the house's.) Nathan also said something about "The Princess Bride."

Wonder if Josh wants a takeback on his engulfing-candle theory

It was sort of 2 variations of the same show: Pre-Carl, and Post-Carl.

Tuesday's Fast Money panel seemed split 50/50 on NFLX, albeit with caveats on the bull side.

As the group initially speculated as to whether Carl Icahn had sold, Steve Grasso suggested that would actually be a buy signal. "As soon as you get that weight off of a stock like this, people wanna rush in and grab it," Grasso said.

Jon Najarian pointed out that just a day ago, people were "wishing they could get in at these levels," which at the time of the comment were in the 320s.

The early discussion involved Josh Brown at a chart identifying a "bearish engulfing candle" in NFLX indicating a "selling frenzy."

"Typically what follows is a change in trend, and everyone is aware of that," Brown claimed. "This is the kind of thing you don't want to go anywhere near."

Dan Nathan suggested a "bear run" in the stock to 300.

Mike Khouw said that a day earlier, "it looked like some desperation buying" in the stock, which Khouw said is "the first inkling" that the short play on this stock will work.

But Dr. J opined that, based on options activity, "this was not typical" of shorts piling into the name, but a big fish getting out.

Which makes us think that Brown's entire "engulfing" chart was linked to a unique event, and therefore is a bogus thesis.

Furthermore, it occurs to us, if Brown upon hearing the Icahn news truly did agree with Grasso that Carl's sale does in fact lift some kind of overhang, he couldn't really say so or he'd undermine his engulfing theory, it's not like, "You know what, Steve's right, now that there's a Carl sale, there could be a bounce off of this, so ignore what I was just presenting about a permanent downtrend."

As Carl's tweet surfaced, Melissa Lee asked the crew if they're buying or selling.

Jon Najarian said, "At 316 I'm not a buyer," but under 300, he is.

Josh Brown said no, "only in a fantasy league."

Dan Nathan merely predicted we'll "probably see the lows from October 9th again."

Steve Grasso said he'd rather buy than sell but wants to see it hold 290.

Michael Pachter chides Carl for making such a big profit in NFLX

Mark Mahaney, who once again spoke with Fast Money and once again managed to not bring up YouTube, told Tuesday's crew that regarding Netflix, "We still like this stock," while acknowledging "it's rare to see this kind of reversal."

Mahaney still called it a "very attractive valuation" and added, "on these kinds of corrections, as a stock-picker, I step in, I buy."

Dr. J, grasping for someone to confirm some notion Doc had about the day's option activity, pressed Mahaney on whether Icahn would be buying OTC puts. Mahaney begged off, saying Najarian is "so much savvier" on that subject.

Michael Pachter, who has been downright embarrassing on this name for years (and he's heading that way on BBY also), actually complained that Carl played this so smartly; "I don't know what he saw at $60 that uh you know didn't look like a bargain to him to sell at 200."

Then Pachter insisted that cash flows are still the issue for NFLX, "that's gonna hit the income statement."

Finally, demonstrating why he doesn't get it, Pachter actually claimed, "The share price is, is merely the discounted present value of future cash flows."


The share price is the demand for the stock.

Which may be for its discounted cash flows ... or for its concept. Or something else.

Kevin Landis chuckled that he wished "Reed" would defend the stock, but said, "It's a little bit early to be jumping in I think."

How soon till those NFLX 380 buyers are made whole?

In an intriguing session of varying viewpoints that could've lasted another 30 minutes, Tuesday's Fast Money crew tackled the preeminent stock market subject of 2013 that may well be at an inflection point:

Momentum stocks.

Dan Nathan initially called NFLX's day a "pretty isolated situation," pointing out that money was exiting tech momentum names for FDX, which he sees as "kinda healthy."

Steve Grasso observed that "guys are chasing performance" but said it's short-term in nature. "I think they wind up right back into those momentum plays right after those other ones fade," Grasso said.

Jon Najarian, addressing a recent Grasso point without naming him, said the notion that people would sell tech names to make room for TWTR is "ludicrous" because the TWTR float is so small.

Meanwhile, Najarian said of Tuesday's action, "I didn't see Google breakin' down ... they should've been hammering Tesla today, it was down a buck."

Nathan then thundered, "You know, Zillow, Pandora, all that garbage, I'd be worried the heck about those things."

Mel Lee was heard to tell Nathan that those names are "in your crap bucket." (This writer is long P, which hopefully will urinate on Nathan's opinion. (The stock urinating, not the writer.) (Artistic license/metaphor/pun.))

Kevin Landis, most famous in the Fast Money/Halftime sphere for arguing with Judge about "getting real" over Landis' nonchalance as to whether Zuck was on the FB conference call, really didn't bring the firepower for addressing Tuesday's momentum action, saying "established tech companies" have hit a "sort of stale plateau" in which the only way they can get growth is to buy it.

Landis asserted that TWTR is "not this ephemeral thing."

Nathan: AAPL should buy YHOO

Meanwhile, there wasn't just NFLX happening Tuesday, but AAPL.

Jon Najarian explained on Tuesday's Fast Money that he likes GOOG and AAPL, to the point "I'm wearing my Tim Cook shirt tonight."

Josh Brown said he thinks it's a good move that AAPL is "giving away productivity apps."

Dan Nathan balked at that, claiming, "The services company for Apple has been an absolute disaster."

Rather, "I think they should go in and buy Yahoo," Nathan suggested, saying Yahoo's is doing a "better job" in e-mail service.

Gene Munster said, not surprisingly, of the product rollout, "this is very positive for Apple."

Steve Grasso said GOOG is still good over $1,000. Grasso said AAPL needs a new product, but as for TSLA, "buy it around 170."

Nathan: I’m not short, I just bought at-the-money puts of a stock I don’t own

Dan Nathan, putting together a controversial performance on Tuesday's Fast Money, admitted being wrong on WFM and said "this is probably a good entry," then qualified his blunder the way options guys unfortunately tend to do, explaining, "this is why you define your risk," or put another way, when the trade wins, they get all the upside of owning 1,000 shares without having to buy 1,000 shares, but when the trade loses, all they did was measure risk and not get killed.

Nathan also revealed he bought CMG at-the-money puts for November.

Josh Brown said he wouldn't short CMG.

Even though the screen text said in a couple places that Nathan is shorting CMG, Nathan protested, "I'm not short, I define risk with puts."

Mike Khouw, after a hair flip by Melissa Lee, said PCLN, AMZN and GRPN had high call volumes, but in fact Khouw saw "more bearish bets" this time, including someone selling the PCLN 1,115/1,125 call spread.

Khouw's Final Trade was selling out of the money call spreads in FB. Jon Najarian said buy IYR. Josh Brown said buy FCX, Dan Nathan said CMG puts, and Steve Grasso said GOOG, if it holds 1,000.

Why Paul Richards is off-base

One problem with nailing a great thesis is that people tend to overextend it, presumably for the purpose of maintaining "ownership" of the thesis.

(See: Meredith Whitney, Nouriel Roubini, Kyle Bass, David Rosenberg (more on that below), anyone bearish in 2007 who was saying in 2009, "the big shoe is still yet to drop.")

Paul Richards told Judge Wapner on Tuesday's Halftime Report that "I'm bullish bonds because I think the Fed is on hold until at least March."

All well and good.

But then Richards, who brilliantly predicted a worse shutdown situation than most expected before it started, botched the analysis, suggesting that October is "potentially the dress rehearsal" for Washington turmoil this winter.

Stephen Weiss questioned if stocks do take a Washington hit in December, wouldn't that be another buying opportunity. Richards said he sees the "start of something a lot bigger in January and February in Washington."

We're not the experts in the slightest. But we'll just say, "Get that *@#!$#@ outta here." We just ain't feelin' it. Next year's an election year, they all want the pork.

Nevertheless, if you're worried, you've got a month or 2 to figure out a strategy.

Guy nailed NFLX Monday

Jon Najarian suggested on Tuesday's Halftime Report that NFLX may have gotten "a little frothy" but said there's nothing wrong with the stock, and that the people saying sell in Monday's afterhours at 390 (that would be Guy Adami) made a "very prescient call."

Joe Terranova assured that a NFLX stumble isn't going to sink the market; "what would take down the market is seeing a reversal in the sea of liquidity that we're seeing right now."

Stephen Weiss shrugged that "Netflix has no valuation support whatsoever" but added, "To me the market is still inexpensive."

Simon Baker called it "definitely a buyer's market out there" and predicted a return to the momentum names, though "I think you can buy 'em lower."

"Momentum is a type of investing," Baker assured viewers who think it's just "trading."

Joe Terranova said MA is a likable momentum name.

Apple’s yet-unreleased TV called
‘game-changer for society’

Just as he did hours later on Fast Money, Jon Najarian gushed on Tuesday's Halftime Report about AAPL.

"The iPad mini is gonna rock," Najarian said, thanks to the "retina" and "pent-up demand."

Mr. New World observed that "the consumer wants the electronics" for holiday season, and that Carl's presence is a put in AAPL.

Larry Balter asserted, "Apple's got its mojo back" and claimed "the 5S is a knockout."

Balter also said, "At the end of the day," he thinks Apple TV will take the stock to the next level, and in fact be a "game-changer for society."

And people think there's NFLX euphoria. Sounds like AAPL is in September 2012 mode.

Joe Terranova said the Apple TV is coming sooner or later. Steve Weiss called the 5C a "mistake." Simon Baker said AAPL has got some "mojo."

Unfortunately in disagreeing with the question posed, David Rosenberg admits it took him way too long to figure this out

David Rosenberg on Tuesday's Halftime Report was the recipient of one of the best questions ever asked by Scott Wapner.

Rosenberg said he's bullish, but "we're not buying the overall market," only "certain slices," and he sees "increasingly less value in the bond market."

He said the country appears to have survived the "fiscal restraint" of Washington.

Judge then asked if Rosenberg's reputation as a staunch bear prevented him from shifting to bullish earlier, when he might've begun to start seeing a change. Rosenberg gave the answer he had to give, "I don't think that's really the case."

Rosenberg concluded, "I'm of the view we're fully priced right now," and that this is "classically a real stock-picker's market."

Weiss’ TBF is a bust

Jeff Kilburg said on Tuesday's Halftime Report that tapering seems to have a "similar timeline" to the Cubs winning the World Series, but gold caught a break, because "there could be some shorts getting caught offsides."

Rich Ilczyszyn predicted gold could "perhaps go another $50," but he doesn't see it at $1,400.

Dr. New Land said in the commodity space he likes silver, copper and refiners, but "I would fade the gold component of it."

He said to "be long against 35" in FCX.

Jon Najarian said taper will wait until "at least March, maybe April."

Stephen Weiss said he sold his TBF holdings in the morning, though "rates are unsustainably low," and "I'll be back."

We noticed he'd been advocating that one for a while and that it's ultimately a bust, though it did have some success in patches of September and October, so not the worst goof he's made.

Joe’s losing streak (in terms of TV) is evidently noticed by Doc

Jon Najarian didn't have much of a bull case on Tuesday's Halftime for COH, though we probably agree with him anyway, on the grounds that it's taken a beating a couple times in the last year and ultimately comes back.

"80% of their sales do indeed come from North America ... it's an affordable luxury," Najarian feebly said.

Stephen Weiss, on the other hand, made the same tiresome non-catalytic argument he's made in the stock, claiming, "Coach fashion's old ... the world's moved on."

This is where Simon Baker points out that it's impossible to become a "lifestyle brand," only RL managed to do it. But that wasn't heard Tuesday.

Joe Terranova said "clearly" Weiss won the argument. Doc cracked, "If Joe's with you, you're really in trouble."

In a great line, Judge dissed both Weiss and Najarian's white collar/blue shirt ensemble, saying that "went out in the '80s."

Panel merciful on Simon’s
historic Delta bungle

Steve Weiss said on Tuesday's Halftime Report that Dan Loeb created a floor in NOK, but "it's still in the speculative camp."

Jon Najarian said QEP and shareholders got a boost from Jana even if Deutsche Bank probably didn't like it.

Weiss likes C and BAC rather than ZION.

Mr. New World said NOV and CAM are a "much better play" than RIG.

Jon Najarian still likes VMW, and Simon Baker owns WHR and sees HD and LOW as derivative plays.

Stephen Weiss said "I'm staying short" JCP.

Weiss reaffirmed he owns several airlines, LCC, American and UAL and thinks the merger goes through, but "I'm most concerned about United." Simon Baker, without acknowledging the spectacular 1st-class-California-airfare-offer debacle regarding his DAL call, said to buy both HTZ and CAR as derivative plays.

Jon Najarian likes UA. Simon Baker said "buy, and buy more" LVS. Stephen Weiss said he doesn't believe in MO's product and "it's a cash-flow story ... I'd stay away from it."

Mr. New World said of DIS, "I think it's a $70-plus stock."

Simon Baker's Final Trade was SSD. Jon Najarian said CSCO. Steve Weiss said QCOM, and Joe Terranova said TJX.

[Monday, October 21, 2013]

Tim Seymour rewrites history,
implies surging stock is trouble for Reed Hastings

It's the most bumbling, stumbling, fumbling, head-scratching stock thesis of the year, and an instant rival to Simon Baker's 1st-class-airfare-to-California offer for Bust of the Year.

Having just recently produced a bogus NFLX bear case on television that 1) made no sense and 2) involved no research and 3) was blown out of the water last week and this week, Tim Seymour on Monday's Fast Money attempted a do-over.

"I've been dead-wrong on this," Seymour said. "My point was that at 325, the risk/reward going into the earnings — 'cause the old high was 330 — I didn't want to touch this stock."

Except that day, Oct. 10, the stock actually closed at $303.99, or $30 below the high.

And, on that day, Seymour claimed the "chart is broken," which is hard to believe if it were really just $5 from its all-time.

But let's, for some strange reason, give Seymour the kid-gloves treatment; it's a high-beta stock and he wasn't comfortable with it then and not comfortable with it now.

His new angle Monday was that Reed Hastings is going to somehow talk the stock back down.

Julia (Mount Rushmore of CNBC Hair) Boorstin reported that Hastings said on the conference call that the stock's massive S&P 500 leadership unfortunately reminds him of 2003.

Seymour seized on that, explaining, "Talking about your share price is not something CEOs are supposed to do," (too late, Herb already said he's going to rewrite his story about how Hastings is actually one of the best CEOs) even though the Fast Money crew asks CEO guests about their share prices all the time.

Then, in his most bizarre comment of the show, Seymour implied that Hastings is necessarily talking the stock down because it's harmful to him to have it going up so fast: "It's a great time to jawbone some sanity back into the stock price because he's only setting himself up for trouble," Seymour observed.

So lessee, according to Seymour, Hastings was supposed to be saying, "You know what everybody, sell this stock, because it's at a level Tim's uncomfortable with and if I say anything to make it go up then I'm in trouble."

Pete Najarian first argued, "But why shouldn't we listen to his opinion," then suddenly argued against himself in saying CEOs shouldn't be talking about the price at either end of the spectrum.

Karen Finerman joked about Hastings' remark: "It's actually up a little since he said that."

Trade School: Buying puts ends holding period of a stock, according to Karen

Among the things we didn't know — (snicker) OK, let's admit, and re-emphasize, we don't know anything about anything around here — about options is that buying puts (for whatever expiration) apparently stops the holding period in its tracks.

But, we were glad to discover on Monday's Fast Money that we're not alone; evidently Pete Najarian is fuzzy on this subject as well.

Karen Finerman said that if Carl Icahn can just hold onto his NFLX stake for a while before unloading, it'll be "so much better from a tax standpoint for him to wait a year and a day."

That time must be fast approaching, as Icahn's stake was revealed in news articles Oct. 31, 2012.

Pete interjected, "I'd buy some puts."

But Finerman insisted, "That would end his holding period."

Whatever the technicalities, gotta hand it to the government for this rule, that owning a stock for 12 months and a day is much more noble than owning it for 11 months.

Mark Mahaney manages to get through an interview without mentioning YouTube

Guy Adami, grim as the announcers of the astoundingly incompetent Monday Night Football game, seemed notably glum about Netflix's autopilot-to-the-moon ride, predicting "some meaningful pullback over the next week or so."

Adami admitted that from 330-350, he thought the stock was in the "deep end of the pool."

Pete Najarian differed 180 degrees, insisting the international growth is just beginning, and "that's only the tip of the iceberg."

"There is a moat around this right now," said Najarian. "I think this stock still goes higher."

Mark Mahaney didn't bring up his favorite still-unmonetized Web resource (the one where you play all kinds of bootlegged music and TV shows) but did say "I think you can continue to be bullish" on Netflix, with 4 catalysts that we quickly lost track of. (Remember, our rule here is that 3 is pushing it; we ain't doing 4.)

Mahaney observed that "The churn rates have really come down."

Tim Seymour, still fighting the losing battle, wondered what's up with analysts having a Street average of 220 price target, and but said "congratulations" to Mahaney for being bullish on these shares.

Mahaney told Karen Finerman that he used to think Amazon could possibly buy Netflix, but at Netflix's price, it now would be much "harder to put together." Melissa Lee impressively told Mahaney they had to "let you go" rather than "gotta leave it there."

We didn’t hear Karen say ‘boyfriend,’ but gotta be prepared

We can't fathom why Monday's Fast Money felt compelled to discuss JPM — oh wait a minute, gotta air that Kate Kelly interview during every program — but of course, Karen Finerman had something to say.

But first, Karen had to clarify that "Dirty Dancing" clip which likened "nobody puts Baby in a corner" to something about "nobody puts Jamie in a corner" from a recent conference call (or something like that).

"It didn't translate at all when we ran the clip because we didn't explain it," Finerman admitted.

However, Finerman suggested the $13 billion that's going to be paid, despite Eric Holder's insistence that probes are continuing, will be enough. "I think it already reflects the penalty and maybe more to come," Finerman said, claiming this is in the "rear-view mirror."

Melissa Lee said that people like to single out JPM among the banks, but if you look at the 5-year charts on all of them plus JPM, "it's not like it's done any better."

But Finerman said that "doesn't show how they weathered the storm," and someone suggested that the counterargument is that without Dimon, they'd be a lot worse.

Please note, every time Karen talks about Jamie Dimon, this site gets queries about whether Karen is married to Dimon or dating Dimon, or whether he's really her "boyfriend," etc.

Please note, Karen is married to someone else who clearly doesn't mind the joke, and simply enjoys complimenting Dimon in this long-running gag. (Finerman's Rules has a chapter on how married men are allowed to do the same thing, compliment attractive women and call them "girlfriends.")

Melissa seriously noted of Dimon, "Karen thinks he's very good-looking," then added, "He is, I'm not denying that," and that was cute — for Melissa.

Logic, Wharton-style

Just as with NFLX, Tim Seymour and Pete Najarian on Monday's Fast Money differed on AAPL.

Seymour said it seems to him that Apple is "chasing Samsung yet again."

Najarian crowed about his 2nd-half story refrain (he's been right, we conceded that, though Monday he said "1st-half"); "it was 396 at the end of June," he said, adding that 520 and 525 October calls were active.

Pete then delved into Zen, saying he learned from the book that Steve Jobs was "not very likable at times," but also about "the erosion factor. And he'd rather erode himself than let somebody else do it."

Barbara Marcin cited as one AAPL catalyst the idea that "more colors are to be expected" at whatever product rollout this is. #gundlach'stuttifruttibackinplay

Tim Seymour said "I'm not a buyer" of BIDU. Pete Najarian waffled on buying FB at the earnings; "depends on the news."

In a further example of Zen, apparently the Wharton variety, Karen Finerman told a Twitterer that he won't get TWTR IPO shares, but "the only good news would be, if you were to get shares of Twitter, you wouldn't want 'em."

Unlike Friday, Fast Money
fills 4th panelist chair

Josh Brown, celebrating the booming solar sector, dialed into Monday's Fast Money and said he most recommends TAN, "that's the one ... you minimize single-stock risk."

But he said that's for "investors," and that traders can still try the solo stocks.

Tim Seymour cautioned, "This has been a 2-month trade." But Brown argued, "I think it's a decade-long story," basically what Ralph Acampora thinks of the market in general.

Guy Adami, skeptical as usual Monday, called solar "extraordinarily volatile" and said Brown's image on the screen was a "horrendous picture."

Stephen Anderson for some reason was brought in to observe that he thinks CMG should trade at 29 times 2015 earnings and in fact it's trading at 30 times 2015 earnings and so is "probably due for at least a modest pullback" as he has a 490 hold target.

Melissa Lee pushed as to why the stock wasn't down more on a downgrade. Anderson said it's "typically" been a momentum stock.

Guy Adami said he thinks you can get long PNRA "against that 155 level."

Barbara Marcin likes Xylem (XYL) but spoke about it for longer than Melissa preferred in calling it a "longer-term macro story" with too many things going for it for us to list.

Lee did tell Marcin, "Gotta leave it there," Lee's only mishap of the show.

Dennis Gartman predicted we'll be finding out how much $85 crude is out there, and "I think crude oil looks weak."

Mike Khouw said on the one hand that there was lower than usual call activity in go-go tech names, but big buyers of FB November 65 calls.

Guy Adami advised a viewer on TSLA, "This is a casino stock," and he wouldn't get in.

Pete Najarian's Final Trade, on the heels of the VMW report, was EMC. Tim Seymour said TSO at 45. Karen Finerman said CMLS, and Guy Adami said PH.

What Judge should’ve done is congratulate Doc for kicking Tim’s butt

It was one of the saddest, sorriest, most decrepit bull-bear debates ever seen.

Tim Seymour on Oct. 11 made a bear case for NFLX around $300, insisting on the one hand "the chart is broken," but that the stock was only "$5" from all-time highs. (We still can't figure out that correlation, aside from neither element being true.)

Almost as bad, Seymour actually got Dan Nathan to side with him and predict the stock will touch $225 before it goes "50" or "70" bucks higher.

Anyway ... if you watched CNBC at all on Monday you know the rest of the story ... Rich Greenfield joined Monday's Halftime Report crew to explain that while "the bar has definitely moved up pretty notably," it used to be that everyone in the business was a "foe" of the company, and now, "Everybody wants Netflix to work."

Herb Greenberg, who's on CNBC more than ever after supposedly leaving the network, visited the set basically for the purposes of apologizing to Reed Hastings for Herb's 2011 trigger-happy condemnation.

"I've come around, I've been thinking about writing about this," Greenberg said, performing the U-turn; "He now goes down possibly as one of the great CEOs."

Yet, Herb still bemoaned how much potential is priced into the stock.

Greenfield said Hastings' strength is "the ability to admit a mistake," but observed that NFLX is still trying for the breakout hit; it doesn't have a "Sex and the City" or "Sopranos."

Herb resorted to his unbelievably tired refrain of how these stocks "walk on water" until something bad happens. Judge had had enough, telling Herb you can say that about "so many of these momentum stocks."

Stephen Weiss said if you're a disciplined high-growth investor you should own it, but it's not his own discipline, and he can't do it because "it's just expensive."

Jon Najarian said he talked to potential NFLX rivals who said it would cost a fortune to get the same kind of presence as Netflix now, so "the moat is getting deeper."

Cameraman doesn’t get particularly close to Jamie Dimon

Kate Kelly spent a diligent Monday pursuing Jamie Dimon, but was kind of running out of material by Monday's Halftime Report.

It "looks to be lunchtime," Kelly observed, before explaining that JPMorgan is "sort of a tale of 2 companies."

Whoever's in charge of PR at JPMorgan should get the bum's rush, as the blockage of the CNBC cameraman made Kelly's brief chat with Dimon look like some sort of cross between an Ally Bank commercial and a "60 Minutes" investigation.

Bill Nygren summed up the JPM settlement this way: "Our opinion is, life isn't always fair."

Nygren said he likes BAC better than JPM because it's cheaper.

Nygren also likes QCOM, which is "aggressively repurchasing shares," and NSRGY, which has an "exceptionally good emerging market profile."

Ralph Acampora also likes BAC. "B of A hasn't broken out yet," Acampora said, adding, "I think you'll at least see the $20 fairly soon."

Uh-oh: Joe’s making another
tapering prediction

Joe Terranova, grasping for a hit since a month of a bungled Fed prediction and ill-advised "war on momentum" (that he wisely abandoned before it was too late), explained on Monday's Halftime Report that he thought the Fed would taper in September, then December, but now, "You're not gonna get tapering until March."

Steve Weiss: Kathleen Sebelius
is ‘the Ron Johnson of health care’

President Obama's speech, which barely cut into the opening of Monday's Halftime Report, gave (um, generally right-of-center) traders an opportunity to take a dig.

Jon Najarian said that the ObamaCare online exchanges were "started at the absolute 11th hour" and not tested adequately like companies would do; "it's an embarrassment."

Still, "I'm not hanging all of that on the president," Najarian said, stressing the word "only" in saying that it's "his only program" (as if Doc wants to see several more).

Stephen Weiss said what was more relevant over the weekend was seeing the GOP distance itself from Ted Cruz.

But Weiss leveled a broadside at Health and Human Services figurehead Secretary Kathleen Sebelius: "She's the Ron Johnson of health care."

Judge thought that was over the top. "Come on, man," Wapner said.

Stephanie Link said to look at AET and WLP.

Jon Najarian said that rather than being reluctant to buy at these levels, "Believe it or not, it's getting tougher to be short stocks here Judge."

Joe Terranova said the "11th hour" for the next debt-ceiling impasse isn't Feb. 7, but actually "deeper into April," and he thinks the Nikkei might outperform.

Ralph Acampora: ‘At least
another 10, 15 years to run’

Ralph Acampora, known by many as a permabull, said on Monday's Halftime Report that this rally has legs.

A decade's worth of them, in fact.

We're in a "secular bull that's, uh, has at least another 10, 15 years to run," Acampora claimed.

Acampora said markets implode on "total greed and complacency, and we're not even close to that."

Stephen Weiss pointed to Acampora's year-end forecast and wondered, "Why is your target 1,800?"

"I could very easily put 1,850 on top of that," Acampora admitted. "I'm being a little conservative."

Doc’s MCD bull case out to lunch with Kate’s backdrop of JPM workers

Jon Najarian on Monday's Halftime Report for some reason opted to make a MCD bull case based on people buying burgers, not salads, and the company putting cash in buybacks and dividends.

"I'm a buyer at 94," Najarian said.

Stephen Weiss correctly observed that in everything Najarian said, "There is no bull case," and if MCD's was dinged by the shutdown as Najarian implies, how come CMG did fine.

Stephanie Link agreed with Weiss and called MCD "probably dead money for a while."

Joe Terranova said he'd avoid CMG at Monday's level. "Go buy Jack in the Box, go buy a Wendy's," Terranova said.

But Terranova said if you're in DNKN, "Stay with it."

Stephen Weiss, cleverly introducing a poisonous term while claiming he's not, reiterated his JCP short and said, "Bankruptcy is not part of my investment case."

Brian Sullivan warns against getting carried away with Permian Basin stocks because of the motel shortage

Pete Najarian wasn't on the show, but Jon Najarian revived Pete's 2013 AAPL theme as a "2nd-half story" and predicted "540 by year-end."

Amid concerns of another sell-the-news event, Najarian insisted there is "pent-up demand" for the hi-res iPad mini.

Mr. New World agreed with Doc, predicting a "huge move to the upside" in the shares.

Joe Terranova said, "I think you wanna own Freeport McMoRan," and rattled off PXD and CXO as Permian Basin vehicles (after Brian Sullivan delivered a refreshingly non-snarky report if a little dubious in his stock caution rationale) but made his Final Trade a lesser-known player in the space, AREX.

Jon Najarian observed that despite crude's stumble, "These solar stocks are on fire ... something's going on in this space."

Stephanie Link cautioned that ODP is "a speculation story ... but I like it here." Stephen Weiss said he continues to own GILD (since, about, oh, Friday). Jon Najarian said he would "definitely" hold S.

Najarian said "Carl left a little money on the table" in WBMD.

Najarian's Final Trade was DGX. Stephen Weiss said BTU and Stephanie Link said WY.

Judge twice referred to Melissa Lee as "Missy."

[Friday, October 18, 2013]

Non-sellout: Friday’s Fast Money
unable/unwilling to fill 5th chair

It's like the missing-man formation, but nobody died.

Either in recognition that a half-hour program largely consisting of a recap of CNBC highlights and alcoholic product placement wasn't worth summoning all hands on deck — or that simply not enough hands volunteered — Friday's Fast Money limped through with a 3-person panel to support host Melissa Lee.

Guy Adami said GOOG had an excellent quarter, but "I don't think this-magnitude excellent quarter," and suggested the stock could even pull back to the "low 900s."

Josh Brown, invoking mumbo jumbo we recall hearing in 2007, asserted that it's basic investing knowledge that "stocks breaking a hundred typically continue to move," so that should apply to those breaking $1,000 also.

Melissa Lee rightly pointed out that GOOG, at its market cap, might have a bigger risk from the "law of large numbers" than PCLN.

In a goofy go-round that seemed a tired afterthought on Judge's GOOG-PCLN question at Halftime, the panel revealed what they'd do with $1,000. Josh Brown said he'd put it in solar, Guy Adami said some mix of CELG, APA and COP, and Brian Kelly said nat gas.

Kate Moore, who has looooovely red hair (but of course, following Sister Golden Hair from a day ago is a tough act to follow), showed up despite the 25% drop in personnel and revealed that "frankly," she likes equities "broadly," though she singled out financials, tech and health care.

Moore predicted that even though Congress still seems at loggerheads, there won't be the "same kind of brinkmanship" next time.

Unfortunately, Moore added, "We're moving much more we feel into a stock-picking market."

As stocks hit new all-time highs, here’s an idea: Invest in a running back’s earning potential on the down side of his career

What this instrument is, or how it came about, we can't fathom.

Buck French, chief of Fantex, visited with Friday's Fast Money crew to explain that you can now invest in the marketability of Arian Foster's "brand" in the form of some kind of tracking stock.

French seems like a nice enough guy, but didn't come close to addressing Guy Adami's question about what kind of earnings value Foster has as his NFL career declines.

Nor did French have a quality answer for Josh Brown's question about what kind of investor should be dabbling in this.

However, before you scoff at how dubious this was, consider that last Friday we got Fleck revealing that at some point he's going to re-establish a fund and start shorting stocks again sometime while he continues to be long gold.

Guy Adami called the player Arian "Forster" (sic). Mel was on a first-name basis with "Arian's."

Most impressive on Friday's Fast Money was Melissa's cliché-free day. Kate Moore got, "Kate, great to see you, thanks for coming by," and Buck French got, "Great to have you with us, hope you come back."

Guy: Long NFLX
‘somewhat suicidal’

Guy Adami, urging caution throughout the day on Friday's 3-Man-Crew Fast Money, said he thinks buying NFLX ahead of earnings is "somewhat suicidal."

Adami also said "Monday is not the day to get in" to FDX.

And, Guy called JCP "a no-touch right here."

But he does think CAT "might see a surprise to the upside this quarter." His Final Trade was ... he couldn't remember.

Josh Brown observed that in EBAY, "the buyers came back at 50."

Brown cautioned that AMZN "had $40 ripped out of it" after the last earnings. He said SVU has a "huge red candle on the chart" and he'd avoid; his goofy Final Trade was to hold GOOG if you've got it but don't start a new position.

Brian Kelly said "I'd wait for a down day" in AXP. He said he wouldn't be in the AKS space, and made nat gas his Final Trade.

BRK-A up $114 Friday

Mark Mahaney, available 24/7 to tout YouTube, stuck to the GOOG script on Friday's Halftime Report, assuring Judge that "valuation's not stretched on this name," and "you can make money buying the stock here."

Mahaney said cost of mobile ads vs. desktop is more opportunity than concern because the gap is narrowing.

However, pressed by Judge whether he'd put his next $1,000 in GOOG or PCLN, Mahaney admitted he'd pick PCLN, adding that AMZN is his No. 1 choice.

Stephen Weiss pointed out to viewers that it doesn't matter whether you own 20 shares at $50 or 1 share at $1,000, the return's the same, and called PCLN the "better stock" than GOOG.

Pete Najarian said he likes YHOO better than GOOG, and made YHOO his Final Trade.

Judge Wapner, evidently oblivious to Warren Buffett's company, asked Mike Santoli, "When was the last time you saw a stock move a hundred bucks in a single day, 'cause I honestly can't think of one since I've been around here."

Santoli agreed. "No I haven't seen it," he said.

Judge says Mike Mayo should feel ‘like the Colts drafting Andrew Luck’

One of the things that rankles this page is NFL socialism.

You know, this notion that the worse you perform, the greater your chance of getting the best players.

It couldn't have worked out any neater for the Indianapolis Colts, who had about a dozen great years with one can't-miss No. 1 pick ... and then happened to tank it all, including refusing to use that one-time No. 1 pick late in the season, just before another can't-miss pick coincidentally came available.

Judge Wapner evidently sees no issues with these shenanigans, praising Mike Mayo on Friday's Halftime Report for rightly making MS his No. 1 pick but declaring it's "like the Colts drafting Andrew Luck."

Which implies that Mayo deliberately had a disastrous 2012 for the right to say "Morgan Stanley Morgan Stanley Morgan Stanley" on the Halftime Report.

At least on Wall Street, that's not how it really works.

Mayo said MS is "really getting it all together," including "synergies" from the Smith Barney acquisition, and now according to Mayo looks its best in 16 years, making Gary Kaminsky's transition from CNBC look even better than Pete Carroll's leap from USC to the Seahawks.

Mayo said "Goldman will be fine," but as for JPM, "I see it as dead money at best."

Pete Najarian took issue with the latter. "Totally disagree. Completely disagree," Najarian said.

His brother Jon went further, asserting, "When they finally sign that deal ... then it's Katie bar the door."

Steve Weiss said he was long MS going into the quarter and that he bought GS on Friday. Simon Baker added, "I think Goldman's a screaming buy here."

90 in the bank, more to go

In what is surely the question of the weekend, Jon Najarian offered probably the only reason to get out of the stock market on Friday.

"We're up 90 points since Paul Richards made that great call," Najarian observed.

Stephen Weiss, who suggested S&P 1,900 and 2,000 might be coming down the pike, asserted that the only way you're not in this market is "if you're a fund manager looking for a career change."

Indeed, we'd figured the most bone-headed, knuckle-headed trading day of the year was June 20, when the S&P fell about 40 points for no reason, or perhaps June 24 when it dropped an extra 19 before coming back like a cannon shot. But it's possible the bludgeoning of the "momentum" names on Oct. 8-9 because some folks thought Rudy might be barred by Dan Devine from getting into a Notre Dame game at the end of the movie was even dumber.

Simon Baker rightly pointed out that he was talking about (Oct. 8) buying until his hands bleed, a day that Doc also endorsed buying at the 1,650 level.

Unfortunately on Friday, Baker said it's "back to stock picking," which, news flash, hasn't really been necessary to have a good year.

Even so, Judge actually agreed; "That's what it really is about, right. Stock picking."

Pete sells SBUX

Pete Najarian explained on Friday's Halftime Report that Michael Kors has exploited the niche of "affordable luxury."

"They own this world," Najarian said, and there's a "whole lot of growth internationally."

Brother Jon, though, was bearish on the name, saying "they've raised the bar on themselves," and that he has begun seeing KORS products at discounters.

Simon Baker said, "I agree with Pete ... I'd be long."

Stephen Weiss said Doc should've picked up a suit for Simon at one of those discounters, and defended KORS; "I like it."

Pete Najarian praised Sterne Agee for upgrading CMG before the spike and said "I think it goes higher." However, Pete also revealed, "Today, I'm taking off my Starbucks position."

Another expert thinks
this is Janet’s show

Rick Rieder opined on Friday's Halftime Report that it's not so much the Fed carrying stocks, but "companies have changed their capital structure."

Still, he thinks liquidity will push the markets higher.

However, "There's nothing cheap in the fixed-income markets," Rieder said, but he likes the "2-5-year part of the curve."

Unfortunately, Rieder has bought into the nonexistent personality notion of the Fed chief, calling Yellen vs. Summers a "pretty significant difference," and asserting that having Yellen in place "brings risk premium down."

"I think Janet Yellen is extraordinarily pragmatic," Rieder added, saying the characterization that she's a "permanent dove" is "not accurate."

Baker: Get long JCP
(‘as a short-term trade’)

Jon Najarian, who correctly assessed a bounce in ISRG, said on Friday's Halftime Report that the stock was already "$14 off the lows" of Thursday.

Judge conducted a bumbling, confusing two-part interview with a pair of analysts named Michael who really have no correlation to what the other was saying (Binetti likes NKE and VFC, Lasser HD and FIVE).

Although Michael Binetti said mall traffic is "fairly sluggish," Stephen Weiss said "I still like Macy's" (Drink) and predicted that mall traffic would surprise to the upside.

Weiss said he's short JCP. Simon Baker took the other side and called JCP a buy, "as a short-term trade."

Jon Najarian said AMGN has "great upside." Stephen Weiss said GILD is "still one of my biggest positions." Simon Baker indicated he likes WFM but was skeptical of NOC, "I'd be selling that stock."

Baker admitted he bungled his bearish X call a couple months ago, and that's what he gets for heeding a "stock-pick idea from Weiss."

Pete Najarian's Final Trade was YHOO. Steve Weiss said American Airlines (whatever that goofy ticker) is. Simon Baker said MPC, and Jon Najarian said CAT.

[Thursday, October 17, 2013]


Sister Golden Hair
puts on a show

Black has always been her best color.

Evidently it was Mary Thompson's turn to deliver the afternoon market flash alerts on Thursday's Fast Money, and producers, astutely realizing what a big success they had brewing here, went back for more twice.

Spectacularly, on the 3rd hit, there was even a hair flip.

Look. At. That.

Is Doc actually calling for
NFL Thursday doubleheaders?

We were taken aback slightly when Jon Najarian announced on Thursday's Fast Money that Chromecast might become a player in a possible NFL Thursday night doubleheader.

Please, no.

One problem with the current schedule is that most of the country doesn't even see the Thursday games because they don't get or don't watch the NFL Network.

We're among the last who should complain about too much football ... but quite honestly, an extra Thursday night game is just too much football.


The WSJ report that Doc was referencing has actually been debunked, so apparently it ain't happenin'.

One plan this page will definitely endorse: On that opening week, playing a Wednesday AND Thursday game, and then just doing a single game the following Monday.

Karen quiet Thursday

In a quiet performance, it was a feel-good moment for Karen Finerman on Thursday's Fast Money, reiterating how she's been a longtime GOOG bull but has recently suffered "fair amounts of Facebook envy."

Steve Grasso, saying he bought GOOG recently, first trumpeted the stock based on products; "who wants to buy a MacBook when you can buy a Chrome Book."

But then Grasso cautioned that TWTR will siphon dollars from other tech giants such as Google.

Josh Brown sort of challenged that notion, saying other names did fine after FB. Grasso insisted he only means this effect will be a "quick turnaround" and thanked Brown for giving him a chance to clarify before the hate mail comes in.

Brown said of GOOG, "I think the stock breaks a thousand," and then upped that moments later; "I think it could roll into like 1,100."

Mark Mahaney said one of the 2 most impressive elements of Google's quarter is the 75% year-over-year growth in YouTube ads (just what you want, more 30-second ads before your content), and also stressed with a straight face that the company looks great in "wearable devices."

Jon Najarian said he's seeing a lot of "big upside bets" in FB. Steve Grasso said he's "admitting" that he's been wrong on the name for a while, but "I still wouldn't buy into it now."

It’s Karen who brings up
‘pent-up demand’

In a transition from recent "absolutely" sell-the-rally talk heard on Fast Money, Thursday's crew seemed to think this surge is for real.

None moreso than guest Thomas Lee, who argued that expectations might be too low; "maybe it's that the market does a lot better than anyone expects," he said, suggesting 1,775 is well within the cards.

Steve Grasso agreed; "I do think we can make it to 1,775."

Josh Brown said hedge funds are still going to be chasing returns.

Citing Larry Fink's comments on June tapering and the ongoing low-rate environment, Jon Najarian revealed he has bought TOL, DHI, Z, TRLA and XLU, and thinks that "over the next 6 months people are just gonna be chasing these names."

Unfortunately it sounds like John Brynjolfsson was taking Fleck too seriously

His name wasn't mentioned, but his effect was felt.

Fleck's loopy long-gold (and create a fund to short some stocks at some undetermined point in the future) thesis from last Friday was indirectly endorsed on Thursday's Fast Money by John Brynjolfsson, who said he is "trading it definitely from the long side."

Brynjolfsson further added that he's long the 10-year, but doesn't plan to stay that way forever; "we wanna find a good time to sell that," he said.

But he seems to view gold with a bit more permanency, saying the 10-year and gold are in a "complex tango."

Fair enough; the bungle came when Brynjolfsson asserted that rates will be low "with Yellen in place," while in fact the appointment of Yellen has nothing to do with an endorsement of ZIRP but 1) there's nobody better available who's confirmable and 2) an appeasement of a few select constituencies.

Josh Brown claimed that being long FCX is such a "no-brainer" that it's a "lay-down." Jon Najarian countered that the time to buy was the end of June, and that central banks are no longer in love with gold.

Doc: Buy ISRG on the dip

Mike Khouw, who for the last couple of weeks has been claiming the stock market has "all these headwinds" and advising folks to "absolutely" sell the news on the Washington deal, managed to sidestep that recent debris on Thursday's Fast Money and observe that AXP's results are good for AXP and "good for the market too."

Steve Grasso said LVS has legs, "still a win-win" in the international arena.

Grasso said "I would probably stay clear" of UNH, and while URI has been a winner, it's facing a "seasonality" headwind, so "I would be a seller into this strength."

Jon Najarian, noting ISRG's tumble, explained, "I did cover shorts in this name," and then said, "Down around these levels Melissa I think you do wanna own it."

Najarian said he's interested in IBM, "not today, but by Monday."

Najarian called EBAY a "slow grower," but "I like it around 50."

Karen Finerman said to "stay away" from SFXE and called Goldman Sachs' fixed-income disappointing, but still said, "I'd probably be a buyer."

Melissa’s scorecard:
1 ‘gonna leave it there,’
2 ‘gotta leave it there’

Mike Khouw on Thursday's Fast Money said there was heavy call-buying in TSO, VLO and particularly PSX, where the 72.50 call activity is bullish whether they were buying or selling.

Steve Grasso said to avoid HFC and MPC because those refiners have headwinds.

Jon Najarian said "I would hold off" on RHT. Josh Brown said it's OK to own TAN but he prefers FSLR and SPWR.

Mike Khouw called SWK "just about fair value here," but "not a compelling buy."

Karen Finerman said she likes CB's service and stock, but it is "a little bit pricey."

Steve Grasso said "I think you have a lot more upside" in SD.

Grasso, who reiterated that he bought more TSLA recently, called it a "tech company" and suggested that's what Gundlach doesn't realize. Mike Khouw, the guy saying just days ago that there's all these headwinds in the market and to sell the deal news, chided Grasso, saying it's an automaker, and "let's keep our eye on the ball a little bit."

Jon Najarian's Final Trade was COLE. Josh Brown said VAW. Karen Finerman said BAC, and Steve Grasso said YHOO.

Mel stuck to the tried and true cliché playbook Thursday, but her new purple top was bound to be a conversation-starter.

Instant bust: Tim Seymour’s ‘indigestion’

Talk about a few timely days off.

Just a day ago, Tim Seymour, who has specialized in predicting bullishness and bearishness this week in the wake of a D.C. deal, forecast "indigestion" in the stock market through the rest of this week.

Brian Kelly actually said on Tuesday, "The U.S. market is untouchable until this is resolved and even after that, I think you fade it," and made buying puts his Final Trade.

Guy Adami has made a career this fall of predicting that we keep falling to 1,670.

On the Halftime Report, Stephen Weiss, who perhaps thought Roy Hobbs might strike out at the end of "The Natural," has been sitting on his hands all week over the Washington situation.

None made an appearance on Thursday.

Congress does irreparable harm (to something); stocks surge to all-time high

Most people scoff about Washington politics. Steve Liesman actually sounds offended.

Liesman said on Thursday's Halftime Report that nothing was solved this week, and "I'm deeply disappointed that all we got out of this was a 2-month extension," ignoring that career politicians deftly created another bargaining session for themselves and their pet projects.

Paul Richards agreed with Liesman on the outcome. "That's not a deal in my view," Richards said, asserting foreign investors are disgusted; "they've had enough."

Jon Najarian claimed that there's a "90% chance that they go back to fighting again," then upped it to 95%.

Mike Murphy rightly shrugged, "People are used to dealing with this."

Mr. New Land said the real debt limit has basically been pushed to mid-March, and "I think that's good."

Tony Dwyer thinks he’s been underestimating this market

Tony Dwyer has a 1,760 target on the S&P for year-end.

And he thinks that's not enough.

"We got 1,760 this year, it's probably gonna be too low, and I think I'm too conservative with 1,955 for next year," Dwyer said on Thursday's Halftime Report.

Dwyer said stock valuations have been rising since October 2011, and he's "pretty hard-pressed to say it's gonna get negative." He thinks financials, industrials and health care will benefit most.

We actually did the math (er, let a calculator do it). 1,760 is a 23% gain. We agree with Dwyer. That's low.

Even an infrequent guest like Paul Richards gets hate mail over Halftime Report comments

We figured, with dread, that once Congress got out of the way, some on Fast Money/Halftime would revert to the old "stock-picker's market."

Sure enough, Mike Murphy did just that on Thursday's Halftime Report.

Murphy advised viewers to just "look at the market in front of you," which in fact is high-quality advice, and then pointed to UNH. "That's a name you wanna buy, so this is a stock-picking market right now," Murphy said, on a day in which the broad S&P reached an all-time high and tipped the scales up 21% in less than 10 months on the year.

Joe Terranova, still subdued from the aftereffects of the Sept.-18-taper declaration, could only declare at the top of Thursday's show that people should "focus on earnings," and that "earnings collectively look good right now."

Jon Najarian made some head-scratching, incomprehensible analogy about a glass half-full that even his colleagues wouldn't bail him out of.

Paul Richards indicated to Judge Wapner that he was reluctant to tout Europe again, because "the last time I made the case for Europe was back in May, and I got so many disparaging emails I almost don't wanna do this again." But Richards explained, "I like Europe because it's not the U.S.," and said his trade would be "long European stocks over U.S. stocks after Thanksgiving."

Stephanie Link chirped when Steve Liesman said that she suggested we get "gangbusters" numbers overseas; Liesman said he was "exaggerating" for effect and that Link knows that.

Instant bust: Todd Gordon’s
gold-inverse-of-S&P thesis

Anthony Grisanti on Thursday's Halftime Report invoked everyone's favorite cliché (actually it's one of the rare ones that has grown on us), saying gold was rising because Congress was able to "kick the can down the road."

Todd Gordon said gold is just the inverse of the S&P 500 now, and so it makes sense that it rallies on an "overbought S&P," which didn't make an ounce's worth of sense by the end of the day when the S&P closed at an all-time high.

Joe Terranova cautioned that commodity investors will "re-allocate" gold at the beginning of the year, and that crude is unexpectedly about to break through $100, so commodities aren't as much in demand now.

Jon Najarian said 1,280 is a good place to buy gold, and it was going up Thursday because "there is no certainty."

How come they said nothing about Ginny’s lack of offer from Augusta? (Every previous IBM CEO has gotten one)

It wasn't just the can that got kicked down the road Wednesday/Thursday.

Steve Milunovich on Thursday's Halftime Report explained he has dropped IBM to a neutral, because the last quarter was weak and was about "all kinds of machinations with tax rates."

"We see it as dead money for, say, the next 6 months," Milunovich said.

Stephanie Link, who loves to cite all the financials she has been researching, carped about a short-term call, asking Milunovich if there aren't longer-term headwinds in this name. Milunovich conceded the company has legacy businesses that it has to get out from under.

Mr. New Land, in a practical stupor since the botched taper-in-September and "war-on-momentum" joint busts, said he has traded the stock often but admitted, "I don't know what to do with IBM here."

Jon Najarian insisted that for Ginny Rometty, "That honeymoon is over now."

In a stark assessment, Mike Murphy said of the stock, "I'd wait for the 160 level." Judge Wapner observed, "That's ugly, if it gets down there."

Joe flirts with new taper target

It was nearly Fast Money's Bust of the Summer (if not for Simon's first-class-airfare-to-California-based-on-DAL-above-19.32 trade).

But Dr. New World, who conceded on Thursday's Halftime Report that he bungled the September-tapering call, is apparently thinking about giving it another try.

"I thought you'd get tapering in December," Terranova said, but, seemingly indecisive, added, "You really do have to call into question the effect of tapering."

Jon Najarian declared, "I don't think we taper till June now."

Joe regains momentum,
makes good GOOG call

The trend might now be his friend.

Mr. New World on Thursday's Halftime Report made a (fairly tepid actually) bull case for Google, calling it a "classic example of bad news and good price action," even while conceding that "fundamentals are clearly decelerating."

Mike Murphy, the bear, credited Joe for making one of his points, and asserted, "Growth is slowing enough" to thwart the stock.

Obviously by late afternoon, that was the wrong call. (This item was posted after market close on Thursday.)

Stephanie Link backed Joe; "I think you wanna be buying the weakness."

Doc: Avoid HLF now

Nasdaq partisans, take note: Jon Najarian declared on Thursday's Halftime Report that TWTR's choice of NYX was obvious; "Only a fool thought they were gonna list on the Nasdaq."

Joe Terranova said "it is ugly" Thursday in GS and he's not buying, but "if Morgan does get hit tomorrow, I will buy more."

Joe said, "I like eBay here."

Mike Murphy reiterated he likes C and BAC. (And he presumably still dislikes EXPE, which will see 55 before C does.) (This writer is long EXPE.)

Jon Najarian said GNW has had the type of year that's "just sick," and he likes KEY and PRU.

Najarian said that in UNH you can make a "reasonable accumulation right around the 70 level."

Steph Link said of AXP, "I like this on a pullback."

In the new "Halftime Playbook" segment announced by Judge that 1) launched with very little fanfare and 2) didn't seem any different than any other of the show's long-standing features, Peter Hayes of BlackRock acknowledged the summer selloff in munis might've been overdone but said "people are afraid of rising rates."

Hayes' advice is to "barbell your portfolio," and then look for the health care and transportation sectors.

Jon Najarian said XOP just "screamed to a new high," and someone bought 69 puts and sold 63s.

Mr. New Land struggled at the top of the show to explain that KO and YUM had good China outlooks while IBM didn't.

Stephanie Link said of MAS, "I would wait for a pullback" (there's a shocker).

Jon Najarian said of HLF, "I'd hold off on it here."

Joe Terranova said, regarding HAS, he prefers online gaming vs. toys.

Mike Murphy said "I would stay away" from URBN.

Murphy's Final Trade was UNH. Link said HTZ, Terranova said AGU and Najarian said HUN.

[Wednesday, October 16, 2013]

McDonald: Bonds could rally
5-7% in 4th quarter

Larry McDonald visited the Nasdaq for Wednesday's Fast Money and first assured that the February deadline is really just a wink, that Jack Lew is maintaining the same defensive measures he has right now.

McDonald made it sound like the taper runway is only getting longer. "I'm hearing late next year," he said, asserting that if we're back to QE-infinity, then the long end of the bond curve is cheap.

In fact, McDonald suggested that bonds could outperform stocks in the rest of 2013. "If you're up 20% on your equities, going to the 4th quarter, I think it makes sense for the rest of the year, move some of your asset allocation into bonds" and get 5-7% this quarter, McDonald said.

1,725 is evidently a big number

Dave Rovelli joined Wednesday's Fast Money and said there's "no way" the U.S. will default.

But something else Rovelli said was far more curious.

"1,725 is the big number," he said, pointing to S&P 500 strength at the 100-day, and asserted, "If we don't go through 1,725, you know, you buy as you gradually come in."

However, as of Wednesday's close, we're below 1,725.


Which means, "if we don't go through 1,725," we're probably going lower.

But there's a ways to go before we hit the 100-day.

So if we fail at 1,725, under this thesis, shouldn't we wait to buy until we toe the 100-day again?


Rovelli likes QCOM, and GPOR, which he calls "the next Pioneer" (PXD).

Steve Grasso said QCOM "seems like it's stuck in the mud," and in energy, "I like PXD better," presumably, than GPOR.

Not ‘disingenuous,’
just wrong

Josh Brown said at the top of Wednesday's Fast Money that it's "really tough" to decide whether stocks are going up or down from here.

But if he really had to choose, he'd side with the "market finishing strong."

Steve Grasso said the market has sidestepped the land mines of this fall, and it's best to "err on the side of higher markets."

Grasso said that people in general aren't that excited about government; "now, they'll just go back to ignoring Congress."

Tim Seymour, who a day earlier said "you sell this news," decided on Wednesday that, "I think that there's more room to go."

However, he added, "I see indigestion this week."

Seymour said he likes miners, metals and the airline trade.

Guy Adami brought up IBM, which brought a Tim Seymour interruption on revenue misses, and said, "I think you could easily test 1,670 again."

Josh Brown said that IBM hasn't participated much in the rally all year, and "to use it as a reason to say the rally's over ... is a little bit disingenuous," even though there wasn't really anything disingenuous about what Seymour or Adami said. (At least Brown didn't tell them, "gotta leave it there.")

Adami rebutted that "StanleyWorks was a disaster," and later tossed in SCSS and MAS; "you wonder if this housing recovery that everybody talks about is as robust as the market has led you to believe." (#thenwegetQEforever,that'sthewin-win)

Brown scoffed that consumer confidence represents little except what the Dow did a week before the survey was taken.

Brown drew some wonderment when he claimed that if we get the U.S., Europe and China all recovering over the next 2 years, then cyclicals and industrials are "screamingly cheap."

Melissa Lee said hedge funds are at their highest net-short level since January.

Adami: Consider TDC at 41

One stock taking a hit Wednesday afternoon was EBAY, with Guy Adami on Wednesday's Fast Money predicting possible 46 or 47 and calling the shares a "no-touch" until 47½ or 48.

Adami observed that "this was a disaster" of a week for TDC, but suggested getting long if it holds 41.

Admitting a big-time Z bungle, Adami credited Dan Nathan for being correct on the bearish case; "I literally top-ticked that one."

Tim Seymour said of FB, "I think they're gonna beat."

Mike Khouw said PEP, WFM and GMCR all had unusually high call volume, but in the case of GMCR, it might be bearish, as they were selling December 80s.

Guy Adami said those with "temerity" can short GMCR.

Mel said ‘Gotta leave it there’ twice, to Dave Rovelli and Mike Weinstein

Guest Mike Weinstein told Wednesday's Fast Money that the ObamaCare medical device tax has already been felt by the device makers, and that he likes BCR, STJ and HTWR.

Steve Grasso said BAC is linked to the housing play and he thinks certain headwinds are clearing. Guy Adami touted BX but conceded it's a slightly different space.

Josh Brown said MAT is a good company, but the "chart's not terrific," so "I would hang out" until it maybe gets going. (This writer is long MAT.)

Steve Grasso said he'd "wait 2-3 days" on AAP.

Josh Brown called AXP a little too high-end for drawing conclusions about the economy.

CNBC is showing a Robert Frank wealth program at night featuring some guy concerned about the welfare of supermodels. Tim Seymour asked, "Was that a girl."

The panelists got a final shot at D.C. Josh Brown said the Dow "essentially gained 2%" during the shutdown, and what matters is "BernankeCare."

Tim Seymour bemoaned Washington. "You can't assume we can continue to do this," Seymour warned, adding, "The shenanigans in Washington are a big problem."

Steve Grasso actually called for "term limits." (That's correct, he said that, seriously.)

Melissa Lee confirmed, "I went to Great Neck South High School," and said that in Cambridge, it's "in the Yard at Harvard," not "quad."

Tim Seymour's Final Trade was VIP (that one's been a while). Josh Brown said TUP. Steve Grasso said LVS, and Guy Adami said COP.

‘Washington is hopefully
out of the way’

It was more a sigh of relief than a cheer.

Wednesday's Halftime Report crew was unusually subdued in the wake of the government deal.

Jon Najarian pronounced the stock market a buy and not a fade, but without typical enthusiasm; "I continue to own it through today."

Najarian later pointed out that he wants a "lot of beta," but he's only really seeing it in EEM, "that's what I'm adding to here."

Najarian also said there was a "collapse in the VIX," and that companies will have a "lot of excuses" from the shutdown.

Brother Pete Najarian observed that options have been trading in "extremely short duration," which honestly doesn't really mean anything, and that there's strength in names such as AIG and MTG.

Stephen Weiss quietly said "it's all good," and revealed he's been buying FB, GILD, NXST, SBGI and CMCSA. "So yes, I think you buy," Weiss said.

Simon Baker said this has been a story of "buy the dips ... these hedge funds are dying to get some performance."

Paul Hickey noted the market has only been flat since a month ago, and now, "Washington is hopefully out of the way."

Pete Najarian asked Hickey why financials aren't high on his list. It's because the "regulatory environment is just not attractive," said Hickey, who said that while Warren Buffett thinks banks are in great shape, you can say that about utilities too.

Hickey said he thinks the EEM might be OK short term, but longer-term he advises a U.S.-centric portfolio.

Hickey called IBM a "good tell" for how the broad market will react the rest of the year. Stephen Weiss scoffed at IBM's continuing relevance to the broader economy and suggested Hickey "get a different indicator."

Jim Iuorio opined that a week from now, everything we've been observing in D.C. "is all gonna be a distant memory." Jeff Kilburg said to "be a buyer of Treasurys here."

Weiss: Yesterday’s TSLA report is the kind that ‘call a top’

Efraim Levy told Wednesday's Halftime Report he put a sell on TSLA (only to 150) because "we're pricing in a lot of good news that has to come through."

Jon Najarian, inventing a distinction that really isn't relevant, bungled Aswath Damodaran's name and said it depends whether you're an investor or trader, and that if you're a trader, you own TSLA here, and if you're an investor, you don't.

Stephen Weiss used the moment to bash Craig Irwin's "meaningless" upgrade from a day ago, suggesting that's the way to "call a top, that kind of report."

Simon Baker for some head-scratching reason chose to liken TSLA to his knuckleheaded ongoing bear case in LULU.

Stephen Weiss said that instead of BLK, "I'd rather play Goldman or Morgan Stanley." (This writer is long BLK.)

Simon Baker said girls are playing more with iPads than Barbies and otherwise didn't say much about Mattel. (This writer is long MAT.)

Pete Najarian called STJ "priced almost to perfection."

Stephen Weiss warned against chasing TWTR's IPO, saying the "losses are very very big. This is more like venture."

Paul Meeks has concerns about Nasdaq stocks; "I'm a little worried about I.T. spending." He likes CSCO, EMC and IBM, and told Pete Najarian he likes EMC over STX and WDC because EMC is an "important enabler" of the private-public cloud infrastructure and STX and WDC aren't.

Stephen Weiss said he owns BAC, a "great story," and thinks the market will be higher over the next few weeks.

Jon Najarian argued bullishly for GMCR based on "product innovation." Brother Pete disagreed, citing "too much competition."

Incredibly, on the Squawk on the Street lead-in before Halftime, Steve Grasso got things rolling with, "At the end of the day."

[Tuesday, October 15, 2013]

Is this Hillary Clinton’s
biggest 2016 problem?

Sometimes, it's what you don't see or hear.

Given the glass-ceiling ramifications, we figured that one person who certainly would be cheering Janet Yellen's Fed nomination would be Hillary Rodham Clinton.

As a matter of fact, we haven't found one public word from Clinton on the subject.

Not a news article, and nothing on hillaryclinton.com, nor on her Twitter feed.

The closest we've come is a CNN interview with Bill Clinton in September, in which Bill apparently said Yellen would be a "great" choice while mostly defending what a good choice Larry Summers would've been. (CNN has video excerpts on its website, but we couldn't find a clip with the Yellen comment.)

Which makes one wonder if, in fact, the Clintons were Larry Summers' biggest supporters.

And whether Barack Obama, in circulating Summers' name, also was enamored with that idea, or was merely doing his frenemies a favor.

It has clearly been inferred, given the statements, introduction, and length of time before announcing the appointment, that Barack Obama has not been especially eager to hand this position to Janet Yellen.

So he and the Clintons might've been on the same page on this from the beginning.

But why, beyond possible friendship, would the Clintons prefer Summers to Yellen?

One angle of the Yellen appointment (if confirmed) is that we've got a goofy trend going of lame-duck presidents appointing the next president's Fed chief.

And, it might be especially difficult for the successor to Barack Obama to attempt a quick hook of the first female Fed boss, given that Ben Bernanke and Alan Greenspan got multiple terms.

But that may be getting ahead of things.

One wonders if the Clintons have been considering how Wall Street executives might feel at fund-raisers in 2015 when complaining to one late-60s female about another late-60s female.

Oh, to be a fly on the wall when the Clintons are having a private chat.

It just may be, in some people's eyes, that one graying glass-ceiling-smasher is enough.

Tim Seymour’s shutdown-deal strategy: ‘You sell this news’ while there’s ‘room to rally’

In the category of What to Do About the Washington Negotiations, Tim Seymour, like any good Fast Money panelist, has a plan.

Or 2.

"You sell this news," Seymour said on Tuesday's Fast Money, before explaining, "You have a room to rally into, uh, into November and Thanksgiving."

Perhaps he can show us how to do both.

Whew — John Harwood spares us from an Aquanet moment

Melissa Lee said at the top of Tuesday's Fast Money that from Washington, there have been a "lot of developments in the past hour or so."

All of them useless.

Guy Adami predicted, on the one hand, a 20-25-point rally in the S&P on a deal announcement, even though the screen chart said he's actually predicting a rally to 1,729.

After that, Adami said, the market is facing weak earnings.

Mike Khouw said to "absolutely" sell the news on a deal, then claimed that in the stock market, "We have all these headwinds."

Such as?

Steve Grasso had the most interesting shutdown observation, predicting that the Keystone Pipeline will get done, which he said is a lift for VLO but a negative for MPC, CP and UNP.

Melissa Lee challenged guest Ed Mills as to whether Mills' previous call was accurate, that the shutdown would help the debt-ceiling debate.

"I think it did," Mills said, arguing the market is flat since then, and now, "People are resigned to the fact that we're coming to a deal."

Mills contended that, "If the House vote fails tonight, we will have a deal tomorrow morning."

Lee, who wore possibly our No. 1 favorite dress on Tuesday, said it sounds like Mills is implicitly recommending that people should buy every dip. Mills agreed.

Brian Kelly, who probably thought Rocky might lose the 2nd bout with Clubber Lang, said at the end of the show, "The U.S. market is untouchable until this is resolved and even after that, I think you fade it."

Mel’s scorecard: 1 ‘gotta leave it there,’ dodged repeat with Dennis Gartman; 0 ‘at the end of the day’

Honestly, Fleck's chat with Fast Money last Friday was so ridiculous (um, he wants to buy gold and perhaps sell stocks at some undetermined point in the future), we figured it would quickly be forgotten.

Instead, Melissa Lee actually plunged right into it on Tuesday's Fast Money, asking Dennis Gartman what he thinks of that gold call.

"I think on (sic) this instance he's wrong," Gartman said, while admitting he has bungled it too but congratulating himself for picking the right channel; "thank goodness I've owned it in terms of yen."

Except Gartman left off a more complete version of his dazzling gold-in-yen-terms trade, such as the fact that on Aug. 26 he declared on Fast Money, "It is a bull market in gold." (This is what archives are good for.)

To be frank, Gartman on Tuesday called gold a "crappy" trade.

Once again, Gartman refused to endorse a specific steel stock, claiming "the SEC doesn't like it," and then backpedaled from a buy recommendation, saying you should jump on "any correction."

Guy Adami too seemed to claim that X was on fire, only to advise looking for a better entry point.

Gartman did observe that Fleck has "got much better hair than I do," which led to likely the day's best line, from Melissa Lee: "Fleck's got better hair than I do."

(By rights, Mel should be on our Mount Rushmore of CNBC Hair. She's not, because of a long story, but will be in the first update.)

Lee dodged cliché-dom in ending this conversation; "we're gonna let you go."

Adami: Double-top in EBAY

Few things in the stock market are more boring to discuss than Intel, but the Fast Money crew talked up that stock twice Tuesday.

Guy Adami said it feels like it wants to trade to 21½ or 22. Tim Seymour said the dividend is a factor and that he's "neutral" on the name.

Mike Khouw reported that there was unusually heavy put activity in INTC, QCOM and AMD, even though the graphics crew showed yesterday's or Friday's chart with the pharma names.

Guy Adami said, "I think IBM topped out yesterday."

Tim Seymour said of CSX, "I think it's goin' higher."

Mike Khouw scoffed at GMCR and how it used to report both coffee and machine sales and now it's just machines, and "they don't make any money on the machines," so he "absolutely wouldn't buy it" and in fact would probably short it.

Brian Kelly argued EBAY is a buy for "international growth." Guy Adami said that means "Korea" (hint: not North) and Germany, and "their e-commerce trends have been decelerating ... I say a double-top is in place."

Steve Grasso agreed with Adami that the stock "could be in trouble here." Tim Seymour, amid another Laffalympics involving (for probably the 3rd time) Mike Khouw's vest, said the "stock seems dead to me."

Market ‘untouchable,’
but buy puts anyway

Kayla Tausche reported late on Tuesday's Fast Money that TWTR apparently is planning to price the IPO after market close on Nov. 14, and start trading the next day.

Guy Adami said he sees no trade in either NYX or NDAQ over Twitter's decision to list with the NYSE.

Brian Kelly, on the other hand, thinks you can short NDAQ, with 34 as your stop.

Steve Grasso, as you knew he would, claimed this is "huge" for NYSE, because of the "perception."

Guest Eric Jackson said he thinks NYX has an "inside shot at the Alibaba IPO," and in fact thinks Alibaba might actually be worth $140 billion.

Melissa Lee eventually told Jackson, "Gotta leave it there."

Guy Adami said, "Yahoo on this pullback is still interesting."

Tim Seymour's Final Trade was AVP. Brian Kelly said to buy puts. Steve Grasso said YHOO, and Guy Adami said HON.

Dick Bove won’t even say goodbye to Judge after panel criticizes Washington thesis

Dick Bove is one of our favorites, but this is just plain goofy.

Bove on Tuesday's Halftime Report pushed his theory that some in Congress apparently want stocks to tank so that others in Congress will do something.

Bove pointed to the TARP votes and explained, "It seems to me that the market does send a signal to Congress," and in fact the markets have been saying they don't really want Congress to do anything, and so "it's gonna take a violent move."

Judge said, with all due respect, the notion that Wall Street wants Congress to act is one thing, but Congress wanting Wall Street to trigger something in Congress sounds "discombobulated."

The Dickster insisted that's the "reality," and that to prevent a member of Congress from just doing nothing, "he has to have a reason ... the markets have not given him a reason."

We were initially concerned that folks on the panel Tuesday might somehow be buying this, but thankfully Judge indicated heads were shaking, and Mr. New Land even told Bove that this notion is "disingenuous," and that this "type of speculation" is not what investors should hear.

Bove went off on a tangent, saying if this economy is improving, the banks are "not seeing it," and in fact earnings are "very poor," which suggests that Bove is really saying that Congress needs to provide more stimulus (rather than, say, entitlement and debt action) but that Wall Street is not allowing them cover.

Judge then told Bove thanks. Dick just stared, barely nodded, and said nothing.

Gundlach’s ‘tutti-frutti’
doesn’t sound so crazy

Judge Wapner on Tuesday's Halftime Report asked Jon Fortt what the new Apple invite means, and the best Fortt could suggest was, "More colorful covers for the iPad."

As expected, the panel split down typical Apple lines in evaluating the hire of Angela Ahrendts.

Stephen Weiss matter-of-factly said that both Burberry and Apple are high-end, so it "makes sense," but the Apple stock story "comes back down to products."

Jon Najarian of course would be gushing with enthusiasm if Apple rehired Ron Johnson; he said at Burberry, Ahrendts "really helped re-invent it," and both brands are built on the "aspirational purchase."

Dr. New World said he's thinking maybe he should be in Apple; "technically it's breaking out," and analysts tend to move in cycles and seem to be in the "beginning stages" of raising estimates.

Josh Brown revealed, "I own this stock," and said his cost basis is "all over the place," 50, 500, etc.

Judge apparently correctly pronounced "Yves Saint Laurent."

Josh & Barry unwilling to spring for the Office suite

In what continues to be an incredibly boring stock-debate subject, Jon Najarian pushed MSFT on Tuesday's Halftime while Josh Brown pushed back.

Najarian began with, "Revenue growth is 10% a year."

Brown said 8% is actually the most optimistic assessment and too optimistic in his opinion, and that the stock has "already gotten part of" the CEO pop, and starting a firm, he didn't need Microsoft products, so overall, "there's really nothing to be excited about."

Najarian pushed back that the July quarter revenue was up 10%. Brown said that's just one data point.

But, Brown conceded, "You probably don't get killed in the stock."

Stephen Weiss called it a "widows and orphans stock" and startlingly called Alan Mulally a "horrendous" choice if he gets the job, because "you need a tech guy at Microsoft."

Joe Terranova called it a "very spirited debate" over a stock that's "kinda boring," but he said that as long as the financial engineering continues, "the stock's not going down."

Doc fails to clarify who exactly are the jokes

John Harwood reported on Tuesday's Fast Money that Harry Reid's mad.

Joe Terranova indicated he's shrugging off the D.C. noise, saying his stock focus is "solely on earnings," and energy is the opportunity, such as PXD.

Josh Brown stressed that "every global government" (sic) is concerned about Washington right now, but meanwhile, we've had "new all-time record highs in the Russell 2000 ... I gotta tell you ... market breadth right now is absolutely fantastic."

Steve Weiss said he's "bearish on Treasurys" and meekly reiterated, citing risk/reward, "I remain light in equities" (probably because he thought Drago might knock out Rocky Balboa too).

Jon Najarian said the U.S. CDS trade is "pretty much right where we should be" despite the shutdown showdown, even though the "folks in Washington are jokes."

Steve Liesman indicated he was trying to provide a cold reality check, saying there's now "concern about the situation beyond the fall," which is probably an updated talking point from a disgruntled senator or House member somewhere.

Mr. New World said that months ago, the trade was "sell Treasurys in May and go away," and "that's the strategy looking forward."

Judge’s network cheerleading
duly noted

Jim Iuorio said on Tuesday's Halftime that gold is "far from being the safety trade."

Jeff Kilburg balked, telling Iuorio, "That was a bunch of malarkey you just said," and that if there's a meltdown in D.C., we'll see a grab for gold.

Stephen Weiss made a big deal about the Tesla engine fire.

Guest Craig Irwin explained how he gets to a 240 Tesla target, saying he took a survey of people as to whether they'd buy an electric car, and he was "pleasantly surprised" at the enthusiasm.

Weiss scoffed that Irwin's battery expertise is not the "expertise" needed to properly evaluate this company. Irwin pushed back that it's a question of "can they get the cost down."

Josh Brown started a debate saying it was "not appropriate" for Lee Cooperman to study PBPB, "it is a leap of faith" for an investor based on how many stores they can open. Stephen Weiss was incredulous that it wouldn't be "appropriate" for Coop; Brown weakly claimed they were agreeing on the same point.

Joe Terranova, quiet as the New York Giants, insisted his bungled Z call was predicated on "it has not technically broken down," and now it has, so he's neutral.

Steve DeSanctis, given a soundbite or two at the end of the show, admitted small caps are "pretty extended." He particularly likes small caps in the "globe-trotting thought process" (that's correct, that's what he said).

Judge Wapner hailed CNBC's production team Tuesday. "It's not often that you get Tepper and Cooperman on the same day on the same show on the same network," which means Matt Quayle will buy him a beer.

Jon Najarian's Final Trade was INFI. Josh Brown said long TUP, Stephen Weiss said long Comcast, and Joe Terranova said to sell FDX.

[Monday, October 14, 2013]

Andy Busch: ‘I think
they’ll fail on October 17th’

It's been a while since Andy Busch has appeared on Fast Money or the Halftime Report, but he made the most of his headline opportunities at the Nasdaq on Thursday afternoon.

"I think they'll fail on October 17th," Busch predicted.

Busch also predicted that the D.C. gridlock would provide a smokescreen to slumping companies and thinks there will be "bad earnings numbers like kinda thrown out there quickly."

Busch said 1,711 is key to the S&P because it marks the "right shoulder" of the chart, and if that fails, he'd be bearish. (Sounds impressive, except if that fails, from Monday's close, you couldn't be anything but bearish.)

Guy Adami contended that the S&P 500 just had a "very bullish week last week" and is "impervious" to government gridlock and everything else, and he sees 1,725-1,730 in the near future.

Karen Finerman said it's "scary" to try and time the markets based on congressional headlines, but in the future this will all be regarded as "somewhat of a non-event."

Deborah Cunningham, going to the most extreme measures to demonstrate to regulators somewhere that she's not delivering any exclusive information on Fast Money and that her Federated fund holdings are disclosed somewhere, told Melissa Lee that her Treasury asset list "includes the next 2 weeks."

"We don't feel there is a likely default in the making," Cunningham said, or that there's a "specific target date."

Why not have Vladimir Putin broker a deal — another VIP guest claims he’s disgusted by Washington (without admitting which side disgusts him)

Dick Kovacevich on Monday's Fast Money was the latest CNBC guest to try to be the adult in the room, claiming there seems to be not enough "political will" to solve the government standoff.

Kovacevich said the public is thought to be taking sides, but he doesn't see it that way; "the whole place is messed up."

Karen Finerman asked what kind of effect the shutdown has on confidence. An "incredible" one, Kovacevich claimed.

Andy Busch claimed the housing market is "bifurcated." Dan Nathan said he has done research, and it's taking months for people even with good credit to refinance.

Guy Adami finds not 1 but 2 trades in the deep end of the pool; Dan Nathan indicates he’d like one in shallow water

Guy Adami admitted on Monday's Fast Money that trading YHOO is getting "towards the deep end of the pool."

But he said analysts still aren't on board, with 15 having holds, so there's room to run.

Dan Nathan, after first reciting Dan Loeb's background in the stock that seemed to have no relevance to the discussion, scoffed that Alibaba is "the only reason why anybody owns the stock," and while he doesn't like it here, he'd buy in the high 20s.

Karen Finerman backed Nathan. "I just think you don't buy it right here," Finerman said.

Melissa Lee said the word "arthroscopic" while talking about ISRG. Guy Adami said "this is the deep end of the pool here" for stock trading.

Mel used to say ‘connect the dots’ all the time in her early Fast Money days, now just says ‘at the end of the day’ and ‘gotta leave it there’

One high-flying stock that Guy Adami doesn't think is in the deep end of the pool is LNKD, as Adami said on Monday's Fast Money that it had an "outside day today to the upside."

Adami said it's "not that much of a reach" to "connect the dots" from TDC to IBM and praised Dan Nathan for Nathan's bullish IBM call.

Dan Nathan invoked his own favorite cliche, calling WDC a "no-touch."

Karen Finerman called ATVI "actually pretty interesting," so interesting she made it her Final Trade.

JJ Kinahan said October/November 57.50 and 60 calls were active, as were 23 puts in INTC. Kinahan said the options market is pricing in a $31 move in GOOG (so how come no one said, "If the stock were $80, it wouldn't seem like that big of a deal").

Karen Finerman declared of GOOG, "I'm long, I like it."

Andy Busch’s rare appearance
not totally bungle-free

He made some statements that were provocative and profound.

And a couple that were just a little loopy.

Andy Busch on Monday's Fast Money indicated he's not sold on FCX yet, but "when Janet Yellen takes over at the Fed, then this trade starts to get really interesting to me."

Good grief.

Busch claimed he took a look at what Burger King was doing and noticed the Satisfries and just didn't "get it," hence he's shorting BKW vs. WEN, what he calls a "classic hedge trade" (if not a Classic Meal No. 4).

Guy Adami noted that WEN has "big short interest," which doesn't actually sound like a great endorsement for Busch's trade.

Dan Nathan actually claimed, "The consumer seems really really tapped here."

Even gooder grief.

Melissa Lee revealed she's been "been known to go to McDonald's occasionally."

Busch calmed jittery viewers afraid that China is serious about some other kind of reserve currency by saying that to be the reserve currency, you have to have a "current account deficit" like we've got.

Karen talks about C, doesn’t mention any ‘stale thesis’

Dan Nathan on Monday's Fast Money indicated that soon the market will be playing catch-up as underperforming portfolio managers "really sprint towards the end of the year." (Tip: They won't get there any faster than anyone else.)

Guy Adami said he thinks XOM technically looks good.

Karen Finerman observed that retail stocks have been pounded since July, and she thinks that's "overdone to the downside."

Melissa Lee pointed out that Carter Worth, who couldn't make the show apparently, is recommending selling consumer discretionary. Karen Finerman bristled at one of those sell names, FL; "this business is not broken," Finerman said.

Brian Stutland said the put/call ratio in PFE and MRK was rising, and that 97% of all trades in XLV were puts, including the December 51.

Guy Adami said to buy JNJ if they miss. Dan Nathan said there's been advance put-buying in WMT.

Karen Finerman said she'll be interested in Citi Holdings data, as well as C expenses, but took no position as to whether Mike Murphy's C bull case is a "stale thesis" (see below) (nor did she opine whether C or EXPE gets to 55 first, see below).

A quick camera caught Melissa Lee in a hair flip near the end. (#gottaleaveitthere)

Dan Nathan's Final Trade was sell GLD. Andy Busch said sell ADM. Guy Adami said buy GPC.

Mike Murphy doesn’t want to see a headline that says he’s got a ‘stale thesis’ on C

2 words on Monday's Halftime Report really rankled Mike Murphy.

"Stale thesis."

Murphy argued that a 48 handle is a "great place" to buy C, and that a sum-of-the-parts assessment gives the shares "at least high 60s" valuation.

It was Josh Brown who scoffed "stale thesis," saying it amounts to "hope that something might happen on the restructuring side."

Murphy bristled at that terminology, insisting that the stock having solid tech support and the company moving into China is not a stale thesis.

Murphy in fact declared, "That's a good headline-grabber, but it's just not factually (sic redundant) true."

1. Actually, it's not really much of a headline-grabber.

2. Is there any entity — anywhere — besides this page that would make a headline out of Josh Brown's Citigroup comments?


Steve Weiss said he bought C at 48.80.

Tim’s actually right — Netflix IS within $5-$10 of all-time high*

Mark Mahaney, trumpeting on Monday's Halftime Report what looks like utter domination in the NFLX battle between Jon Najarian and Tim Seymour last week, said a Comcast set-top deal with Netflix would be "one of the biggest stock catalysts you can come up with."

Mike Murphy called Mahaney "Scott," was corrected and apologized (as Mahaney thought, "Whew, glad he didn't call me 'Stephen'"), then asked a good question, whether such a deal would be the "end of the massive growth story."

Mahaney indicated no, that the bull-bear debate is whether subs will get to 35 million or 50 million, and said he thinks his $330 price target is "relatively safe."

Pressed by Judge with a good question about the stock's reaction to an Icahn sale, Mahaney said it would "probably correct 5-7% on the day."

Stephen Weiss said it could be "a significant negative" for satellite providers like DISH if NFLX partners with cable companies.

(* after 8% Monday)

Here’s our friendly wager
for Mike Murphy: EXPE sees
55 before C does*

Mike Murphy admitted on Monday's Halftime Report that "we were too early" in buying MU ahead of earnings and said he hasn't added more yet, but "I think it goes higher still."

Josh Brown said energy and basic materials have been down for a while, and "those stocks could scream higher."

Guest David Zier, a high-ranking Barron's financial advisor, agreed that the energy and natural resource space is undervalued. But Zier got a skeptical question from Stephen Weiss about why invest in Brazil after so many rate hikes.

Zier said you have to buy things when they're at their lows. Weiss though contended, "They're not actually at the worst."

Zier took a pass on commenting on VALE, explaining, "We don't buy individual stocks."

Josh Brown pointed out that you can get long Brazilian consumer plays without the iron ore stuff or whatever by using the BRF.

Brown claims his XONE bull call was done in because "the company dropped a huge secondary" and said he's long the space in DDD and SSYS.

Stephanie Link said the 13%-in-2-weeks pullback in WHR is "kind of interesting."

Josh Brown kind of waffled on LINTA but said if you're into those value-creation plays, it's a "really interesting one." Stephen Weiss said a name like DHI is hostage to rising yields.

Mike Murphy said of EXPE, curiously about the same price as ("stale thesis") C, "I wouldn't jump in here ... major damage could be done." (This writer is long EXPE.)

Stephanie Link said COH, in the low 50s, is "very interesting."

Josh Brown said clearly there is an expectation of big things on the part of CMG investors, and the stock still has an 8% short float.

Stephen Weiss complained about the AMD upgrade; "I've heard this same story in AMD for the last 20 years and each time at lower levels."

Josh Brown said he'd avoid INTC.

Jing Ulrich wasn't asked the greatest questions about China's interest in U.S. Treasurys (Really? They own those?) but did say Chinese consumers snap up gold below $1,300, and there's "potential" for the Chinese central bank to buy more.

Mike Murphy was heard to say, "It's definitely not over for utility-paying (sic) stocks."

CNBC reporter Kayla Tausche said the IPO market really isn't bad, but "no one wants to be pricing Thursday aftermarket on Oct. 17."

Mike Murphy's Final Trade was buy IP. Stephanie Link said DFS, Josh Brown said FCX and Stephen Weiss said TBF.

(* and C actually has a head start)

Doc already kicking
Tim’s butt on NFLX

Looks like an instant rout, like the Notre Dame-Alabama BCS title game.

Jon Najarian on Thursday called NFLX a buy, telling viewers it's going to 340, while Tim Seymour bumbled and stumbled through a non-argument other than he just doesn't like the stock, actually suggesting the all-time high was 305, and even getting sympathetic Dan Nathan to make the same argument he always does, which is that "this stock is already up XXX% for the year, how much higher can it go?!?!!!!"

Except it was Nathan's other observation, that it "may" go back to previous highs, that Seymour should've been listening to.

Steve Weiss still sitting on his hands, apparently afraid House Republicans are going to re-rally and sink the government before Thursday (or perhaps wondering if Fleck will talk him into the new short fund that looks like it’s happening but maybe we don’t know if/when it’s really happening...)

Josh Brown on Monday's Halftime Report lamented that it's too difficult to play this market given the headlines that affect the S&P 500 practically every hour.

Stephen Weiss, who keeps indicating he's bullish on the market but he's not buying right now (apparently because he actually thinks the government standoff could still result in catastrophe) (he probably thought Rocky might lose the fight against Ivan Drago too), meekly told Judge, "My activities were muted."

Mike Murphy said it's time to buy likable names on pullbacks, such as IP, FB and MU.

More from Monday's Halftime and Fast Money later.

[Friday, October 11, 2013]

Fleck restarting a short fund, not sure when it’ll work or when he’ll start shorting

In the category of Goofy Business Plans, it's jaw-dropping that Fleck of all people has suddenly rocketed near the top of the list.

Bill Fleckenstein, one of Fast Money's legendary guests, told the show on Friday that he thinks he's planning to get back into the short-fund business.

But, he indicated, it's a long-term process.

"You have to plan to do it," Fleckenstein said, and then be "moving parts forward," with the goal to "restart my fund, early next year."

But right now, "I wouldn't be short a share of anything," he said.

Fleck claimed "the Fed is starting to lose the bond market." But when pressed by Melissa Lee as to whether he's waiting on a 10-year mark to signal that it's short time, he waffled, explaining, "It's somewhat subjective."

He told Guy Adami that "yes," we could have something similar to 2008, but then explained that it wouldn't be exactly the same thing with the banks and all.

Fleck capped off this tour de farce by touting gold. Admitting "it's insanely volatile," he thinks it'll "protect you against money-printing."

Tim Seymour concluded, "Gold doesn't work in this environment."

And, if this page had to conclude anything, we'd conclude that Fleck doesn't believe we're at the market top, and that this is the equivalent of a politician's "exploratory committee" to see how much cash the idea can land before having to make a decision about markets.

They mentioned the glasses, but they should’ve said that chic, V-neck black top was even sharper (and she did well with short sleeves Friday)

Josh Brown basically declared the stock market all systems go on Friday's dubious (aren't they always dubious on Friday) Fast Money, calling October a traditional "pivot month" from bearishness to bullishness.

Tim Seymour tried to reserve judgment, saying "I think it pays to have a little powder."

Guy Adami declared "the action today was startling" and pointed out that the S&P 500 experienced an "outside week to the upside."

Dan Nathan contended that if there's a deal, "it's definitely a sell-the-news," before admitting, "we've seen this playbook before."

Actually, we've all seen this movie before, which is why the knuckleheads who unloaded on Monday and Tuesday were about as dumb as the knuckleheads who unloaded on June 20.

Nevertheless, Nathan claimed, "The U.S. consumer is kinda tapped right here."

Guy Adami suggested getting long COP, or XOM at 85 or 85.50.

Josh Brown said if you like CHK, "Give it time on the long side." Tim Seymour said "stay long" VALE.

Brown stammered and stumbled through an analysis of bank prospects next week, adopting Guy Adami's bungled JPM theory in regard to BAC; "I wouldn't be shocked if they surprise the Street to the upside."

Adami admitted he actually thought this would be the quarter that JPM would smoke earnings (Drink), "and they didn't."

Dan Nathan called CTXS a "no touch." Brown said in the restaurant space, DRI "appears to be in the winners camp." Guy Adami said he thinks HPQ has some near-term upside but he remains in the Chanos camp. (And what happened to the daily prediction of CAT between 80 and 88 that Guy and Stephanie Link liked to do daily up through last week?)

Tim Seymour reiterated his arguments from a day ago against NFLX without admitting he had no idea what the all-time high is or what the chart really looks like.

Seymour's Final Trade was TSO. Josh Brown said VAW. Guy Adami said APH. Dan Nathan said he'd have a humdinger on Options Action involving HD and JNJ.

Doc actually claims people stopped shopping for clothes in September because they feared the shutdown

How Judge kept a straight face, we have no clue.

How Mike Murphy fell for it, we also have no clue.

Jon Najarian on Friday's Halftime Report blamed Gap's quarterly sales results on shutdown fears.

"I'm telling you because they were worried, Scott, that something bad was gonna be happening in October," Najarian claimed.

Stephen Weiss sounded like he couldn't believe what we was hearing but played good cop, saying Najarian was putting "too much faith" in people's knowledge of current events.

But then Mike Murphy joined the fray, actually saying, "I disagree, I'm with Doc."

As Judge persisted with skepticism, Najarian further dug a hole, saying it wasn't teens choosing against buying jeans, it was that moms and dads weren't giving them money.

As for the gist of the trade, Najarian said, "I would not abandon Gap here," and later said "I would buy it," though he hasn't yet and would wait under his 2-day rule.

Someone gave Fred Cannon a crash course on Fast Money clichés

Good grief, Fred Cannon is buying into the program way too much.

Cannon on Friday's Halftime Report began his commentary with "at the end of the day" and ended it with the same phrase twice.

In between, he said it looks like the outcome of the D.C. gridlock doesn't seem so bad, and that there's "opportunity" in JPM, but he likes C better, and "as a short-term trade, we like Goldman Sachs."

Jon Najarian said he doesn't see tapering until March 2014. Mike Murphy said he'd pick C and JPM over MS.

Eamon Javers violates Theory of Relativity, report from D.C. reaches NYSE in less than 7 milliseconds

Stephen Weiss, evidently blown away by the Thursday-Friday rally, said on Friday's Halftime Report that "I'm still waiting to see an actual deal be announced."

Paul Richards, who humbly practically nailed the entire shutdown trade (although, in fairness, he was a bit early this summer in suggesting a possible July 2013 taper), said Friday that even though there's not a deal yet, "I think we'll have one by Monday evening," although "we may need 6 more weeks" to get a comprehensive agreement.

Richards predicted we'll see the "dollar start to rally again."

Jon Najarian gave the odds of a deal at 80/20 and said if they work out a long-term debt ceiling-shutdown arrangement then it's "Katie bar the door."

Najarian said he likes all the gambling names, MGM, BYD, WYNN and LVS, and reiterated WYNN later.

Guest Jim Keenan decided that "the worst-case scenario's not gonna happen" but indicated stock and bond buyers must still be selective, and he likes CZR's management.

Pete Najarian thinks deal hopes are "still safe through the weekend," and he likes V and BX.

Anthony Scaramucci and Harold Ford, who said if they were in charge they would've worked out a deal a while ago (sure, because neither is in the Tea Party), accentuated the positives with Judge, with Scaramucci saying, "I predict this will end by the end of the weekend."

Scaramucci also touted what he sees as a "liquidity-driven bull market," (wrongly) claiming that the appointment of Janet Yellen is based on QE preferences.

Steve Weiss said the "consumer's not necessarily weak," but that they're buying iPhones and iPads instead of jeans. Weiss indicated one area he'd avoid; "I would not go into energy."

Jon Najarian crowed about what he thinks will be another bottom-call in gold. "I sold puts in the GLD," Najarian said, claiming "some big person was exiting the market ... probably a liquidation hit ... I love feasting on that fear."

For the rest of the good stuff, you’ll have to read the book

Judge introduced on Friday's Halftime Report the new how-to options book by Jon and Pete Najarian, and asked them to address some basics.

Which is a great idea, because even people who sorta already get it don't mind hearing a refresher course from the elite pros.

Which makes it all the more curious what Jon Najarian was telling viewers about buying upside calls.

Najarian claimed that buying 1,000 shares of NFLX would cost you $300,000, but that you could buy an upside call for $6 and pay $6,000 total "to have the same upside."

Except, it's not the same upside.

By any stretch.

First of all, there's nothing in the Ten Commandments that says you must purchase NFLX in 1,000-share blocs. Trust us, Charles Schwab will let you purchase 17 shares if that's what you want.

Second, those options, unlike the stock, have an expiration date. So if, for example, you paid $6 for the November 360 calls, and the stock tumbles on earnings this month (as it did after the last quarter), there's a good chance you'll be permanently out 6 grand, while the equity holder can simply wait until December to claim victory when Carl buys the weakness and the momentum players roll back in and push it back toward 340.

Of course, as the Najarians point out often, there is a valuable art to using options for hedging and for risk-taking.

But if you needed Jon Najarian to explain what an upside call is, you probably shouldn't be dabbling in $6 NFLX calls, unless you feel like playing 21 at a casino without knowing the rules.

Pete described how a "protective put" can safeguard your NKE long.

Mike Murphy implies that MU Friday selling was carried out by knuckleheads

Mike Murphy on Friday's Halftime Report tried to preempt a Fast Fire on his too-quick MU trade of a day earlier, saying it "looks like fast money coming out of the quarter."

Judge impressively pointed out that Murphy said a day earlier he was buying ahead of earnings and that he normally doesn't do that, and "it appears you got burned."

Murphy conceded as much and said he's not adding to it yet, but he would in the mid-16s.

Pete Najarian said SCTY is going higher, and OUTR is moving on Jana's presence and short interest.

Stephen Weiss said he likes Whole Foods in the grocery space and is looking for a way to accommodate the valuation.

Weiss called V a "very popular hedge fund trade," for good reason.

Pete Najarian argued bullishly for JNJ on the strength of the pipeline and OTC sales up 8%. Weiss said it's a low-beta stock, which isn't what he wants given that he's bullish on the market, and also it's overvalued.

Jon Najarian admitted he bungled CSCO but said others did too (we had long since forgotten) and said if you've still got it, "I would switch out of the stock." Najarian said he likes Sprint and T-Mobile. Mike Murphy said of F, "still think there's tons of upside here." Pete Najarian predicted MCD goes higher. Stephen Weiss said he'd rather own the services names than FCX.

Once again Judge went too long for the Final Trades, cutting into Power Lunch with Pete Najarian offering BX, Mike Murphy offering HTZ, Stephen Weiss said GILD and Jon Najarian said VLO.

[Thursday, October 10, 2013]

Tim Seymour embarrassingly demonstrates he hasn’t actually studied NFLX for a few months

Tim Seymour on Thursday's Fast Money said "the chart is broken" in NFLX.

Only problem was, he apparently hasn't looked at it.

Seymour (bear) took on Jon Najarian (bull), who stressed that Netflix now being a part of Liberty Media, it's a "buy, not sell, at 300."

Seymour pointed to U.S. streaming subs and said "that's called saturation ... U.S. comps are very high," before predicting 225 before the stock reaches new highs.

Najarian fought back; "I think this goes to 340."

Seymour's thesis was semi-believable until others were asked to opine, beginning with Dan Nathan, who said he likes Seymour's arguments but acknowledged, "You may get a move back to those previous highs."

"Which are $5 away dude," said Seymour, following that with "$10 away to the highs."


Nathan, a friend to the end, tried to bail Seymour out, oddly saying it'll touch 225 before it goes "50" or "70" bucks higher.

Karen’s (book) explanation is that women always look at the risks instead of the rewards

One of the more curious topics on Fast Money recently concerned Thursday's discussion with Renée Haugerud about the "behavioral differences between men and women in trading."

"Women trade less but don't have any less leverage," Haugerud said, maintaining that "on a risk-adjusted basis, women do statistically outperform males."

Tim Seymour called that "very interesting stuff," but sounded like he wasn't really that interested, insisting that trading less "does not presume that they're trading better ... it just means that they're trading less."

However, Seymour conceded, "Overtrading in volatile markets, I think is certainly a major mistake, and, and men may do that."

Meanwhile, Haugerud, whose name was spelled "Renne" by the Fast Money graphics crew, predicted farmers are "probably gonna put away a good share of their corn crop and look to sell next year or on any price rallies," but she's not buying right here, she thinks it'll "go down a bit further" to perhaps the "harvest lows."

Haugerud said nat gas has "a little further to go on the upside" and said Janet Yellen's performance might surprise some people; "she might be a little bit more centrist."

Steve Grasso, in the wake of Haugerud's assessments and Jane Wells' report on the USDA being closed (making some happy because they're sick of bad data), said he likes POT, not as a play on ag movements, but in restoration of the cartel.

Seymour: ‘8th inning’ of AAPL

On the subject of AAPL, Jon Najarian on Thursday's Fast Money got feisty.

Apple is the "No. 1 retailer in the world ... this is the play going into the holiday season," Najarian gushed.

Tim Seymour had the audacity to call the 5C only $5 from its high "way overpriced."

Dan Nathan said the whales who don't know the difference between an iPad and a 5C are only in it because "it's a financial engineering trade."

Steve Grasso chortled that Chanos is hardly ahead in the name; "it's been wrong for him."

Seymour further insisted "this stock cannot break 505" and said it's only $5 from its high we're in the "8th inning on this trade," but then got tangled with Doc over how much the stock is up over the last quarter or 2.

Grasso said there's $50 of downside and $40 of upside in the stock, and that if Carl gets "frustrated" with it, "this thing is around $425."

The Ambassador should’ve had some champagne before the show started

Stocks soared 36 S&P points on Thursday, more than Guy Adami's projected 20-25-point deal pop, but the Fast Money crew was not impressed.

"Save the champagne," said Tim Seymour; "where are we gonna be in a month."

This "could be a great selling opportunity," said Dan Nathan.

Mike Khouw said the day's gains are a "gift" for those who want to hedge or take profits.

Jon Najarian was more measured, praising the "adults" in Washington but observing the market is now practically flat on the week. "I added to EEM today," Najarian said, explaining he identified a "breakout to me in the charts."

Steve Grasso was the lone enthusiast. "The risk is to the upside," Grasso said, revealing that this week, "I added to my Bank (that's BAC), I added to my Tesla," but saying he wasn't chasing Thursday.

Nathan admitted, "The VIX never really got going." Seymour called gold the "biggest sucker trade."

Jens Nordvig said that even a short-term deal on the debt ceiling is "massively helpful to the market" for pushing default off. He said the markets will be "less concerned" when the next deadline rolls around, and that he is long emerging markets currency baskets and short yen.

Guest makes it sound like banks need another bailout

Joining the pessimism of Thursday's Fast Money was guest Charles Peabody, who said the fact insurers are outperforming financials is a sign of a "weak economy," and as for the rally, "I'd be selling into it."

Peabody, completely unlike Mike Mayo, thinks banks are overvalued. "There's no revenue growth," he said contending that "4 quarters of declining earnings" are ahead.

Peabody even said he would short C, "absolutely."

Tim Seymour said he likes C, for emerging markets reasons, and suggested JPM could have continuing litigation trouble.

Mike Khouw said calls were unusually heavy in AIG, HIG and GNW, and that he was most interested in someone selling HIG January 33 calls.

Steve Grasso reiterated he's long BAC.

Why did Fast Money play the JFK funeral dirge during a chuckler on Norwegian television?

Steve Grasso on Thursday's Fast Money said that even though MU has rocketed this year, the holders he knows of are still hanging onto the stock.

Dan Nathan, referring to Mike Murphy's purchase of MU, said "I love Murph," but after the run it's had, he's "trying to squeeze, you know, a little water out of the stone."

Mike Khouw curiously stated that he'd sell "all" the high-fliers. "I think Facebook is off the charts," and TSLA and NFLX too.

Khouw said he "certainly wouldn't buy" RT.

Steve Grasso said BBRY has "maybe $5 to the upside."

Jon Najarian said of CTXS, "Wait till after tomorrow to buy it."

Tim Seymour said of GILD, "This stock probably goes higher."

Dan Nathan actually put BA in a "Tesla-kind of category" and deemed it "kind of a no-touch."

Nathan also called GPS a "no-touch" and thinks it's possible "you can see 35 in this stock."

Melissa Lee, distributing a Pops & Drops joke, said Norway is going to televise 5 straight hours of knitting (Hey, we've got "Barney Miller" reruns in this country), but for some reason producers chose international mourning material for the accompanying music.

Mike Khouw's Final Trade was SPY puts. Tim Seymour said IBN. Steve Grasso said WYNN. Dan Nathan said to short GLD. Jon Najarian told Khouw that NFLX is going higher, and made ABFS his Final Trade.

2% 10-year ‘by the end of the year’

John Brynjolfsson, a quality Halftime Report guest, told Thursday's crew that he's a bit skeptical of the purported Washington breakthrough; they're "still just posturing really for that October 31st date."

Brynjolfsson contended that "gold is a risk-off type of asset," which brought no debate.

But it was his 10-year comment that raised the most eyebrows: "I think it's going down towards 2% by the end of the year," Brynjolfsson said, citing (who else) Yellen.

Jeremy Zirin predicted a "slow grind higher" in rates, no tapering in December, and said telecom and utilities would be most vulnerable.

Kate Kelly reported that Jes Staley thinks a government default could be "calamitous" for the repo market. Stephen Weiss described Fidelity's T-bill move as a "message to Washington" and said "I understand completely."

Yellen Mythology (cont’d)

Jeremy Zirin said on Thursday's Halftime Report that "the appointment of Janet Yellen says that we're gonna be, have a dovish Fed for probably longer than prior, uh, what we were priorly (sic) anticipating."


Later, Jon Najarian said, "Janet Yellen means, you know, Q-Infinity and beyond."

Wrong again.

Near the end of the program, Najarian endorsed WFC in part because of Yellen, "who's about to do refi 2.0."

Yellen's appointment "says" or "means" nothing except Barack Obama wanted someone he found more impressive, and couldn't find it.

Q-Infinity or ZIRP or easy money or whatever you prefer to call it is only around for as long as the massive consensus that steers Fed decisions deems it appropriate.

And, she still has to be confirmed, which is not a slam dunk.

Judge plays Marathon Man, asks Joe ‘is it safe’ to get into stocks

Stephen Weiss said on Thursday's Halftime Report that we knew a deal bounce was coming, "we just didn't know when."

Weiss said he'd rather wait for more certainty and get in at higher levels.

But moments later, Weiss said Fed minutes were overshadowed this week, and "I think you can buy today."

Joe Terranova, asked by Judge Wapner if it's safe to buy stocks now, answered, "a little bit."

Terranova thinks financials will benefit most from D.C. certainty. But he cautioned, "This is going to be a 6-week debate."

Jon Najarian credited Paul Richards' S&P predictions for the shutdown standoff; "He nailed it."

Jim Iuorio cautioned against stock euphoria. "I don't think we're out of the woods on worry yet." Anthony Grisanti conceded the market could get to 1,730, "in that area," but he thinks we're "getting way ahead of ourselves."

‘Horrific’ holiday season
for department stores

Retail watcher Steve Kernkraut issued a stark outlook on Thursday's Halftime Report.

"The holiday season is gonna be horrific for the department stores, for the apparel retailers," Kernkraut said, but he likes KORS and UA.

Stephanie Link suggested taking a look at ADBE.

Stephen Weiss said he's long TBF, as well as LCC, and he thinks airlines are a "great sector to be in still."

Joe Terranova reiterated his focused view on airlines, that another one is going to get picked for the S&P, perhaps UAL.

Panelist points out that nominal PCLN moves are large because stock is 4 digits (cont’d)

Joe Terranova on Thursday's Halftime called FB the best of the momentum plays.

Stephen Weiss said he's most intrigued by PCLN, because "that suffered the least," then clarified that the dollar drop was so high because it's a thousand-dollar stock (Drink Drink Drink).

Weiss said that what happened this week is, "All these people got short and saying, 'This is it, it's over,' and now they're scrambling to cover."

Mike Murphy said he bought MU on Thursday, which isn't really his style, but he thinks with the big fire in China in the rear-view mirror, MU can gain market share and reach the "mid-20s."

Jon Najarian reported a "huge trade in the EEM yesterday," someone who had been loading up on January 41 calls is now buying December 41s.

Joe Terranova explained, "My ego and confidence needs (sic) a high degree of lift this week," and apparently indicated that the EEM short play may be over.

Perhaps bull-vs.-bear debates are going to become stock-vs.-stock debates

Lennar chief Stuart Miller gave an interview to Diana Olick on Thursday's Halftime Report, explaining the benefits of building solar panels into new homes.

In some cases with a sale-lease-back, Miller said, "We will own the solar panels for years to come."

As far as the basic housing market, Miller cited the "political confusion" in causing home buyers to have a "slowing process in the decision-making."

But, he thinks we're "in the midst of a strong recovery."

Stephen Weiss claimed that Miller's comments were the "first official word" that Washington will be used by CEOs as a potential excuse. Weiss said he likes the banks as a housing play.

Joe Terranova said he likes TOL. Jon Najarian likes TRLA and Z.

Mr. New World argued against Jon Najarian that JPM is better than WFC, which perhaps is a more refreshing idea than these tiresome bull-bear debates but honestly doesn't offer much to viewers because stock-buying isn't really about comparison-shopping, in part because it's going to get a "lift on the legal clarity."

Doc claimed WFC will get a boost from Janet (unconfirmed) Yellen's "refi 2.0" and said Wachovia is a jewel asset that JPM wanted and didn't get.

Najarian's Final Trade was AKAM. Joe Terranova said HBAN, Stephen Weiss said PCLN and Stephanie Link said AFSI.

[Wednesday, October 9, 2013]

Unfortunately, lackluster

When President Barack Obama settles in to read this page today (welcome back sir; as always, g'day), he's probably not gonna be happy. (We get it; it goes with the territory.)

This page honestly wishes the best for Janet Yellen's Fed, and hopes she succeeds.

A good start would be making sure the speechwriters aren't asleep at the switch.

The remarks delivered by Barack Obama (teleprompter) and Yellen (paper notes) at Wednesday's announcement were downright embarrassing, neither individual having the slightest bit of comfort with the incredibly shoddy prose put in front of him/her.

Even worse, the White House A/V crew forgot that Yellen is considerably shorter than the president, and with her face obscured by the microphone, she read her remarks at about the same high-school-stand-up-in-the-classroom-and-deliver-a-report caliber as Zuck's first conference call with FB as a public company.

Putting it kindly, Tim Seymour remarked on Wednesday's Fast Money that Yellen has a "slightly different style than, than Big Ben, behind the podium."

She's a Fed veteran, but this is a 67-year-old person with basically zero experience in this type of pressure cooker.

It seems fairly clear — there is no disrespect intended here — that Yellen was not deemed the most ideal candidate for the job by Barack Obama, who like most people making a big hire, wanted either someone of great stature or a diamond in the rough he could discover, and frustratingly learned that neither of those options figured to work with this Congress. So he stalled, looking for alternatives, and none happened.

The stock market's weighting of Yellen being somehow worth a couple hundred more Dow points than Larry Summers is not only bizarre; we're guessing that 6 months from now, the whole "Fed continuity" jingle will be about as popular as "Achy Breaky Heart."

The notion that Yellen's advocacy of the current easy money policy bolsters her candidacy for this job is like saying Stephen Weiss should be running Macy's because he shorts JCP.

Fed decisions may be conceptualized (how's that for a term) by 1 person, but this entity is driven by the most massive of consensus that includes the White House, Congress, Wall Street and foreign banking interests.

Yellen's tenure will not be judged by easy money, but how impressively she stands up to, and works with, these constituencies, and articulates monetary necessities to Main Street.

Most times, promoting the assistant coach isn't very exciting.

Sometimes you get Bill Parcells.

Other times, you get Ray Handley.

Meredith’s advisory firm folds; Kyle Bass’ Japan bust: Maybe we’re only allotted one good call in our careers

One thing that the 2008 financial crisis brought was celebrity status for a select few who had publicly (in some form) nailed some angle of the meltdown in advance.

Nouriel Roubini, cashing in on the speaker circuit, tried to keep the gloom-and-doom shtick going for a few years afterward (the even bigger recession is coming in 2011 2012 2013), but finally threw in the towel and got bullish last year.

John Paulson decided gold was the next great frontier, and presumably did well for a while, and now is giving that all back.

Maybe the most famous was Meredith Whitney, whose C dividend-cut call enabled her to not only launch her own advisory firm, which according to the articles on our home page apparently hasn't had much in the way of either clients or analysis in recent months/years, and also author some bizarre under-wraps report about a muni crash and the general public all moving to the Plains states because those states are more business-friendly.

Another prognosticator, Kyle Bass, has flown slightly under the radar. But not this page's radar, as Bass, elevated to prominence by David Faber's excellent "House of Cards" documentary, was a key guest on CNBC's "The Strategy Session," where in 2010 and 2011 he expressed gloom toward U.S. equity markets and toward Europe and Japan in particular, as well as hitting up these subjects on the speaker circuit.

On the same day we learned of the demise of Whitney's firm, Bass spoke to David Faber on location from the Barefoot Economic Summit, where Faber made barely a token reference to Bass' bungled Japan call and instead spent most of the time on Puerto Rico and JCPenney.

Bass clearly did exceptional homework, put his money on the line, and earned rightful acclaim for his subprime call.

He also clearly has been monstrously off on Japan, and to this point has vastly overstated the Greece-Italy-Spain bailouts that he said back in 2011 Germany wouldn't pay for.

In the business of identifying financial calamities, encores are tough to pull off.

‘Great level to be buying’

Perhaps The Big Bounce is back on.

Amid 2 days of some kind of risk-off shellacking, Roberto Friedlander visited the Fast Money set Wednesday and declared the market "kinda oversold here" and got more enthusiastic the more he talked, calling 1,655 a "great level to be buying ... a week or 2 from now, you're gonna see some really good gains."

Friedlander also credited an associate for recommending HPQ, and said even at Wednesday's levels, he'd "hold onto it absolutely."

Stephanie Link sort of opined about HPQ but, apparently addressing Friedlander, said "my bigger question" is whether he's interested in tech as a whole, or specific stocks. Friedlander ignored the comment.

Legendary Fast Money clichés we haven’t heard for a while: ‘Tap on the shoulder’

Meanwhile on Wednesday's Fast Money, Guy Adami was clinging to his 1,620 threshold, first predicting a 20-25-point pop in the S&P once a deal is struck, then a selloff to 1,620, and then a bounce back from that (get the flowcharts out).

Tim Seymour proclaimed the "dollar is to be bought here."

Stephanie Link's hair looked great but her mike failed her at the opening of a semi-clumsy performance, saying Cramer has been buying LRCX.

Larry McDonald said foreigners have been on a "buyers strike" in Treasurys for a while, and right now, they're "just sending a message to Washington."

McDonald reported that "somebody got the tap on the shoulder at Fidelity;" we think in general they just use e-mail now.

Guy Adami said "CYA," prompting Tim Seymour to ask what it stands for.

Karen Finerman asked a great question of Steve Liesman, whether there's a grace period on T-bills. Liesman said there is, but didn't answer Karen's follow-up, which is, what is it.

We expected a ‘Joseph Banks’ reference from Karen, weren’t disappointed

The offer is evidently a win-win, even if CNBC's horrendously overdone "didn't like the way the offer looked" punch line is not.

JOSB investor/management critic Ed Bosek told Wednesday's Fast Money that the proposal from JOSB "makes a tremendous amount of sense," and while he doesn't expect it to happen as proposed because of the size issue (it would take "real, substantive discussions"), he's relieved that JOSB management appears to be going in the right direction, and that any combination of JOSB and MW would bring a lot of synergies.

Karen Finerman brought up "Pac-Man defense," but unfortunately neither Finerman nor anyone else credited the late Bruce Wasserstein for inventing the term. Finerman said she's long JOSB and would prefer that name get the premium but agreed that a combination of any kind works; "you would be creating value either way."

Karen's Final Trade was "Joseph Banks" (sic).

Stephanie Link thinks certain Nasdaq biggies could drop ‘another 20% in a heartbeat’

Mark Mahaney, addressing this week's curious risk-off smackdown of many high-flying Nasdaq names, said on Wednesday's Fast Money to "beware of" GRPN, LNKD, YELP, Z and TRLA; he would "not be buyers of any of those 5."

But Mahaney touted 3 stalwarts, AMZN, GOOG and NFLX, and said 2 in particular, GOOG and PCLN, have a lot of support.

Stephanie Link demanded to know what could catalyze those stocks right now, because they're capable of losing "another 20% in a heartbeat." The best Mahaney could do was say FB and PCLN look to be the "safest stocks" of that group right here.

Guy Adami endorsed buying FB before earnings around 48 and selling it into earnings.

Karen Finerman said GOOG is intriguing after such a selloff.

Tim Seymour mocked Mahaney's inclusion of NFLX as a "utility" stock and said it has "incredible competition," and "this stock is not cheap ... should be at the top of the list of your sells." (Problem was, that's just what Joe thought a couple weeks ago.)

Stephanie Link touted AOL. Seymour asked, "Are they still in business?"

Day-trader’s delight: XOM

Guy Adami, grim for the entire hour of Wednesday's Fast Money, totally dissed RT. "Don't be trying to buy this on the dip tomorrow," Adami warned, explaining, "I think the consumer is strapped," after tripping over "pizza bun" or "pretzel bun" or whatever the heck it is.

Tim Seymour said 65 is where you can "start to nibble" in YUM. Karen Finerman said an investor had an interesting suggestion for DRI, which brought the Olive Garden cracks.

Mike Khouw said of MUR, "wouldn't buy it here."

Guy Adami said of FAST, "I think it can trade all the way down to 40 bucks."

Khouw said APA, CVX and XOM all had heavy call volume, in particular the XOM Nov. 87.50s. Guy Adami said he likes APA the best of that group for the longer term. Tim Seymour though called XOM "way oversold at these levels" and even claimed the XTO deal "looks genius now."

Regis Philbin called MU north of 20 and likes HPQ and IBM. He also claimed a "Halloween Effect," saying that's the time to buy and that right now is the time to get pummeled; "every year, we take a beating there."

Mike Khouw's Final Trade was selling TSO puts. Tim Seymour said long TSO. Stephanie Link said DG (a place no one on this set is EVER going), and Guy Adami said COST.

Evidently HPQ employees didn’t know until now that they’re out of the Dow

Judge Wapner launched Pete Najarian (bull) and Mike Murphy (bear) into an HPQ debate on Wednesday's Halftime by revealing that Meg Whitman just told staffers in an "internal letter" that the company got booted from the Dow.

Pete's buying into the "5-year plan" hype (curious that after proposing a 4-year plan for California that didn't quite gain traction, Meg came up with a 5-year plan for HPQ), calling valuation and cash flows "incredible."

Murphy said the stock has "already doubled off its lows," but his big thesis is, "they're cutting R&D spending."

Jon Najarian credited Murphy for a "fabulous job" but said he agrees with Pete. Josh Brown backed Murphy; "it's a melting iceberg."

Judge seems a lot more concerned than his panel on the guide to a negative comp from Family Dollar

Normally it's Mr. New Land who leads the Halftime Report cheers for KORS, but without his presence on Wednesday, guest Erinn Murphy did the honors, saying the brand is "continuing to gain share with the U.S. teen."

Josh Brown gushed about the name, "I gotta tell you," he said, there's a "lot of room for expansion," even likening the name to LULU.

Mike Murphy though warned, "I think there's a misstep coming from them."

Judge asked Murphy (Errin) why she downgraded RL. Murphy called that a "very fair question" and said it's because the stock is in a "kinda holding area here."

She said her top pick is DECK, using the term "pent-up" in regard to boot-replenishment demand, and said the stock has "a lot of room to go on the margin."

Judge tried to claim that TIF and KORS "are in the same category" and seemed irked when Doc wavered on that one, so Judge pushed Josh Brown to say that they have the same customer.

Doc said AAPL and TIF are his 2 favorite retailers. He also said he likes TJX, which "feasts" when retailers struggle.

Bad case of heartburn?

Just a day ago, Jon Najarian was gloating on the Halftime Report that he "feasted" on last week's TSLA plunge by selling puts after that "stupid" video made the rounds.

But Wednesday, TSLA plunged even lower than last week, so wouldn't the buyers of those puts as of mid-week be doing most of the dining?

Apparently, buy the ‘amelioration’

Josh Brown opened Wednesday's Halftime Report with some high-falutin' words, citing an "amelioration beneath the surface" as evidence you shouldn't run from this market.

Mike Murphy advised viewers "buy the dip on the offensive names."

Pete Najarian said he likes JPM at 50 but it hasn't pulled back enough (talk about hair-splitting), but one name that intrigues him is V, after a "pretty nice pulloff."

Najarian said he owns WMB, MRK and PFE.

Guest Sarat Sethi said he likes autos and airlines and HTZ in particular, telling Mike Murphy that because of airline streamlining there are actually fewer fliers, which hurts HTZ, but that it's still the beneficiary of an oligopoly.

Josh Brown questioned Sethi's endorsement of EQIX, saying the co-location, recurring revenue notion was also supposed to work for RAX. Sethi said RAX was more digital, and "Equinix has more of a secret sauce."

Sethi said that overall, you "don't wanna get defensive here."

Murphy: FB worth in the ‘$75 range’ based on fundamentals

Wednesday brought another day of Mr. New World's (belated) war on momentum, but only Mike Murphy of the Halftime panel seemed eager to buy the dip.

Murphy initially claimed that FB is really worth something in the "$75 range," then later revealed he's been buying the name and his "cost basis is in the $47 range."

Pete Najarian said that one thing FB has going for it is that despite the fact investors have been selling it, "they're buying upside call spreads."

Pete Najarian said GMCR has "very high short interest" but it's starting to look interesting. Josh Brown said T is up on some UVerse offering.

Mike Murphy said of LEN, the "whole sector is due for a bounce," but he prefers TOL.

Jon Najarian admitted he was "dead wrong" a day earlier on YUM and that Simon was right. (Unfortunately Simon's still in the penalty box over that first-class Delta airfare to California.)

Jon Najarian suggested, as sort of a Yellen play, Z and TRLA; "these are plays on real estate," because it's clear that the 2.6% 10-year "isn't going away."

Reverse TARP

Anthony Grisanti on Wednesday's Halftime Report described gold's slide as, "It's Yellen and they're sellin'," but said he "bought it this morning."

Rich Ilczyszyn said 1,271 is support, and if that fails, look out for 1,180.

Jon Najarian said he couldn't joke about ARIA's slide; "pretty close to slammin' the door shut on this one."

Mike Murphy said he'd own AA at 9 or 9.25.

Judge brought back Perfect-Teeth-And-The-Most-Generic-Market-Calls Gemma Godfrey, who actually called Janet Yellen a "clear communicator."

Godfrey said she likes "branded consumer names" (sounds like she should've been available for the KORS discussion).

Pete Najarian admitted he was "catching the falling knife" recently in his RH buy call. Jon Najarian said if you envision a risk-off environment, "stay the heck away from" WYNN.

Pete Najarian said to buy NOC on "any pullback."

Mike Murphy thinks you can buy APA. Josh Brown said with JOY, he would "probably hold it or buy it."

Kayla Tausche interestingly reported that with the debt ceiling looming, ATM distributors are loading up 50% more cash in some locations.

Tausche also said that, "Ironically the banks are now joking that they could bail out the government."

Pete Najarian said SBUX is doing a "pay it forward" promotion to encourage friendship in government (we'll take a pass on that one), and he and Josh Brown made SBUX their Final Trade. Mike Murphy said UNH, and Jon Najarian said January calls in APOL.

[Tuesday, October 8, 2013]

4 worse than ‘We Built This City’

The other day on Fast Money, Guy Adami claimed that "We Built This City" was the worst song of all time. (And some of you thought, "NOW they're finally talking about something interesting.")

Honestly, we kinda agree with him. If nothing else, it's close.

Here's the deal: What Adami really means is not that it's the worst song of all time, it's the worst song that ever got traction (which gets Kevin Federline off the hook), forcing people to actually hear it when casually listening to the radio or watching MTV.

We'd rank "City" 5th.

4. "Why Can't We Be Friends" — We have absolutely nothing against friendship, only people vying to be president so they can tell you how the money's spent.

3. "All Right Now" — Hey baby, whatever it is we're talking about, it's all right now.

2. "Billy Don't Be a Hero" — Could not even hope to petition its way onto Patty Edwards' iCloud.

1. "Joy to the World" (Three Dog Night, not the holiday classic) — Joy to the fishes in the deep blue sea ... somehow, adults can still be heard singing this aloud (though generally only while intoxicated).

Actually Herb only mentioned Glutino numbers, not Udi’s numbers

Boulder Brands chief Stephen Hughes got the kid-gloves treatment on Tuesday's Fast Money, able to completely avoid answering Karen Finerman's question about competition and demonstrating he didn't really read Herb Greenberg's article, or at least correctly recall it.

Melissa Lee asked Hughes about Greenberg's claim that the sales growth rate for both Glutino and Udi's has tumbled in the last 2 quarters.

"His math and his numbers were wrong. He was transposing Glutino and Udi's numbers," Hughes complained, challenged by no one.

Aside from the fact Greenberg only claimed to be reporting Glutino numbers, we question how his "math," as well as his numbers, was wrong. (In other words, we gotta know if Herb was pulling one of those Eamon-Javers-according-to-the-theory-of-relativity-light-can't-get-from-Washington,D.C.-to-Chicago-in-7-milliseconds moments.)

Guy Adami called BDBD a "very volatile stock" but suggested someone (perhaps GIS) might want to buy it some time. Karen Finerman described the stock as "expensive."

Dan Nathan said YUM seems to have trouble guiding the Street on Chinese data, but he thinks the stock has support in the low 60s; "wait and let this thing shake out."

Notice how the Fast gang refuses to take sides in the D.C. standoff

In a reversal from last week, Tuesday's Fast Money found the crew talking much more about a flush than a deal pop.

Brian Kelly said he'd short S&P futures to 1,620. Guy Adami predicted a "test" of 1,620 and said "1,670 now becomes resistance," and that the presumed deal rally that's coming may only be worth "20-25" S&P points.

Dan Nathan predicted the market will be 3-5% down in the "next week or so."

J.C. Parets, who never liked that Sept. 18 non-taper spike, on Tuesday called it a "monster failed breakout" and complained that there has been "less participation" in the rally the longer the year goes.

Mike Khouw said he's no more concerned Tuesday than he was Monday, but that a lot of people have been hoping to catch the year's big winners into year-end as kind of a beta trade, but Tuesday indicates they're "giving up hope."

Karen Finerman complained that she watches coverage of John Boehner and Barack Obama's dueling press conferences, and she keeps "waiting for the grown-up to come in," only to realize, "They are allegedly the grown-ups."

Finerman said at this stage, she likes stocks without "market sensitivity" (if that's possible), her choice being LYV. Finerman also mentioned HTZ and that she's examining the possibility of curtailed business travel, but wasn't at all clear whether she was talking about getting long the name or getting short; presumably she means a short, but it took such a haircut recently that maybe she means a long.

Adami: Look for LNKD at 200

The term "garbage" came up a lot early on Tuesday's Fast Money and no, they weren't talking about the 4 games the yinz have put together this season, in which "garbage" would be an upgrade. Do NOT get us started on that one...

Dan Nathan led the charge, basically against his favorites, Z and P, but then admitted that within a few months, these "garbage" names will probably "see new highs."

Nathan pointed out that most of those names, Tesla excepted, have seen short interest fall since the beginning of the year; "they've destroyed the shorts here."

However, Nathan clarified, "Netflix is not a garbage stock."

Brian Kelly declared, "I would certainly short the garbage names" and said that if LNKD goes back to 240, he'd short it again there.

Guy Adami suggested LNKD will find support around 200, but J.C. Parets said LNKD has had "terrible" performance.

Mike Khouw pointed out that YELP and LNKD experienced 3 times the put volume of a normal day and FB experienced 1.5 times that amount. Khouw in particular pointed to people buying LNKD October 220 weekly puts that expire Friday.

Karen Finerman had the best punch line of the day: "I gotta think Twitter traded off a lot today," Karen said.

Hopefully on Wednesday, Karen will bring up Gibraltar and Taiwan

Karen Finerman unleashed one of the finest questions in Fast Money history on Tuesday, asking Alexandra Lebenthal what, exactly, Puerto Rico is.

"Puerto Rico is a commonwealth," Lebenthal explained, which "could conceivably get a federal bailout."

Honestly, this is one of those fascinating subjects that never gets enough ink, the territorities, principalities, Special Administrative Regions, etc.

Michelle Caruso-Cabrera, who in standing against the wall didn't have her notes handy, pointed out that Puerto Rican debt has a triple tax benefit.

Donald Carty, a TLM board member, assured everyone, "I have a great amount of respect for Carl's intellect." But Karen Finerman said NUAN investors might've been disappointed that Carl isn't doing enough.

Brian Kelly said to "stay away" from KSU, which we thought would raise hackles from Guy Adami, but even Guy agreed; "I think you can wait on this one."

Kelly predicted AMZN will go "another 10, 15 bucks lower."

Adami said TRIP and even PCLN are a "no-touch" right now. Mike Khouw said MAS could fall below 18. Dan Nathan said he's long IBM calls and made that his Final Trade. Karen Finerman said she's "hangin' on" to her biotech basket.

Mike Khouw's Final Trade was MCK calls. Brian Kelly said VLO, Guy Adami said CHD, and Karen Finerman said she'd sell SPY puts.

Guy Adami suggested Melissa Lee would play some pai gow. Lee claimed, "I don't gamble," and said after Adami pointed to a late night at the SALT Conference, "You and your JCPenney pants, lying." (If she listened closer to Tim Seymour, she'd get the joke right, it should be "You and your JCPenney plain-pocket jeans.")

Lee also said it's "pretty ironic" that John Boehner spoke in front of a wall with "#letstalk," even though that doesn't pass the test of irony.

Harold Ford refers to
‘pedestrian Americans’

He's a smart guy, and in fact a likable (ex-)politician.

So we have to wonder what the heck Harold Ford was talking about on Tuesday's Halftime Report when he referred to "pedestrian Americans," along with "members of Congress," as watching the Dow as a "barometer" for the progress in Washington.

And here we thought the debate was over how "exceptional" we are.

Most would probably say that Congress has the market cornered on "pedestrian."

Here’s the plan: Wall Street sells stocks, to provoke a deal which will cause stocks to go back to where they were selling them

Pleasantries ruled the day on Tuesday's Halftime, as Mr. New Land politely urged viewers not to believe the "buy the dip" hype, saying he was being "very respectful to my, you know, the, those that are on the show with me over the last couple of weeks, but many people keep saying, buy the dip ... this is becoming a more significant correction."

"You have to be concerned," Terranova said, later adding, "They need a resolution by Friday in my estimation. You're gonna lose the market here."

Simon Baker said he has "respect" for Joe's position and would avoid consumer staples and high-end retail, but otherwise he thinks we're entering an opportunity where he wants to buy "until my hands bleed."

Stephen Weiss sort of waffled with each side. "I'm actually anxious to put money to work, but I'm unwilling to do it now," Weiss said.

Paul Richards, who smartly said a week ago that the shutdown may be in progress a week later, opined, "We're in danger in my opinion of overreacting ... come Monday you could have a brilliant buying opportunity."

And, he even threw in an "at the end of the day."

"I like dollar/yen a lot," Richards said.

Jon Najarian said he's waiting for a flush that could happen Tuesday afternoon after Obama speaks; "that 1650'll be a good buying opportunity."

Harold Ford said he's "encouraged" that the Washington debate is shifting from ObamaCare, and he thinks the stock market reaction "awakens those in Washington."

‘The shutdown could
go till Halloween’

While some on Tuesday's Halftime Report were talking (perhaps wishfully) about a Friday settlement, Kate Kelly visited the set to actually suggest "the shutdown could go till Halloween."

That brought perhaps the show's only reference to "pent-up demand," from Judge.

Kelly, who pointed out that this year has been tough for hedge funds, suggested that Washington "paralysis" is actually baked into the market, and contrary to what Mr. New World said earlier, "it's not gonna cause the market to break."

Mr. New World practically scoffed, saying if he were getting back into the market it would be because of good macro fundamentals, not because underperforming hedge funds may view the next 2 months as their "last home run shot."

Steve Weiss made a curious point, that if you're a bearish or cautious hedge fund manager, you can't violate your own thesis and buy the rallies, but you can get in at times like this because it's OK if you lose a little money with a bearish thesis (or something like that).

Jon Najarian noted the VIX's spike and said "22 was roughly the high last December," and there could be a "vacuum" to 22 this month.

Simon Baker suggested that previous volatility spikes have led to big rallies, so we're in an "interesting spot."

Jim Iuorio contended that Tuesday was the first day that default is being considered in short-term Treasurys, but he said if the Washington situation deteriorates, the "knee-jerk reaction will be to buy the long end." Rich Ilczyszyn said if there's a deal, expect 10-year yields to top 2.65%, and if no deal, look for the "2.50 area."

Bob Peck continues to garner publicity for being first with a TWTR target

Aswath Damodaran, one of our favorite Halftime Report guests, on Tuesday expressed a little skepticism over Twitter's expenditures and possible valuation.

"My estimate of value is about 10 billion," Damodaran said, explaining that under his model, the company would need to reach $12 billion in revenue by 2013 to justify that market-cap.

To get to a $20 billion market-cap, Damodaran said, "an awful lot has to go right."

He said what most caught his attention in the S-1 is "how much they were spending" to achieve growth, and told Steve Weiss that while the spending might pay off, it might also be true that they have to constantly spend at such levels just to keep the growth going.

Judge asked Damodaran to opine on Bob Peck's $50 price. "Bob's very good at playing the pricing game," Damodaran said.

Jon Najarian pointed to the lack of stock that figures to be available, saying the stock will be a "huge buy" if they're only bringing 1/12 of the float public.

If Joe had only started the war on momentum on Friday, he’d have a quick winner

He's a stand-up guy.

Refreshingly addressing his "war on momentum" on Tuesday's Halftime Report, Dr. New Land admitted to Judge Wapner, "I completely screwed up that trade," and even a 2nd time, hit with a tardy Fast Fire on his sell-NFLX argument, conceded, "I've really screwed this trade up, big-time."

However, Terranova said that even though he covered NFLX and PCLN, which unfortunately stumbled back to roughly Joe's short level on Tuesday, he would "absolutely not" buy the momentum names on Tuesday.

Simon Baker, on the other hand, said he was buying more FB Monday.

Jon Najarian gloated that when TSLA went down on that "stupid" car-fire video, "I sold puts and I feasted on that," and that he would indeed be back in the momentum names as soon as there's a "flush," either later Tuesday or perhaps Wednesday.

After stumbling over same-store sales, Simon fails to explain where he got his double-digit labor costs for YUM

Jon Najarian (bull) battled Simon Baker (bear) over YUM on Tuesday's Halftime, and at one point we started to wonder if Simon was pulling statistics out of, um, his ...

Najarian argued that YUM is an overseas play (not exactly new) and that its avian flu and chicken issues in China are in the past, so it's a "no-brainer" at 71.

Baker countered that "same-store, same-sale, store comps are gonna be very difficult this quarter," and also that the company has suffered "double-digit, uh, labor costs."

"Where are they seeing double-digit labor costs up??" Najarian demanded to know.

Baker didn't address that. We could look it up to see who's right, but frankly we just don't have the time.

Joe Terranova backed Najarian. However, based on afterhours performance, Simon kicked butt in this one. (This review was posted after the close of trading Tuesday.)

Judge indulges Weiss’ JCP presentation, costs show moments of usable time

Judge welcomed No. 1 analyst Meredith Adler onto Tuesday's Halftime Report to tout GNC and CVS, the latter prompting a bogus question from Stephen Weiss, who claimed the bear case revolves around Obamacare's insistence on mail-order prescriptions.

Adler looked surprised to hear that thesis and concluded, "Mail order has been losing market share."

Adler said GNC is a story of new products and a loyalty program, not so much about new stores. Jon Najarian said he likes GNC because of the "link on Amazon's home page."

Jon Najarian said the AAPL 485 straddle plunged $7 because of the date of the earnings announcement.

Joe Terranova addressed the sell-gold "slam dunk" from GS but said he thinks it's in a "trading range."

Stephen Weiss wasted time clumsily reading JCP corporate statements and finally said, "I am short."

Joe Terranova said that with Carl in TLM, "I think you follow him in." Jon Najarian said of TLM and another Icahn name, NUAN, "I am long both."

Jon Najarian's Final Trade was HD puts. Simon Baker said RVBD, Stephen Weiss said TBF and Joe Terranova said PANW calls.

[Tuesday, October 7, 2013]

John Melloy’s abrupt exit

It was just Friday that Judge was telling Michael Pachter that Twitter is "a pretty significant part of what we do."

For Fast Money executive producer John Melloy, it got a lot more significant over the weekend, as Melloy revealed or confirmed Monday he is leaving CNBC to be CEO of StockTwits.

This site has put together a report on Melloy's departure, which apparently included no interest in a counteroffer; you can read it all right here.

[Monday, October 7, 2013]

Pete makes TLM his Final Trade at Halftime, watches it soar afterhours

Viewers of Monday's Halftime Report who didn't heed Pete Najarian's Final Trade cost themselves some serious cash.

Najarian said TLM, then during Monday's 5 p.m. Fast Money observed that, after a strong day, the shares were rising another 8% on Carl Icahn's tweet.

Najarian had also recommended the shares for his Final Trade last Wednesday (not sure Doc is going to call for an SEC probe this time). On Monday's Fast Money, Pete said there had been "monster buyers over the last couple of weeks." Karen Finerman suggested Icahn could've been one of those call buyers recently.

Guy Adami suggested viewers look at COP. In a not-so-great endorsement, Adami said TOL "is sort of interesting here."

Karen Finerman, making no mention of Josh Brown's "ugly" chart reference of Halftime, said "I like Realogy" and that she also owns Re/MAX, but she has a "bigger position in Realogy."

Karen: Buy M (Drink)

The shocker was hardly that Karen Finerman touted M on Monday's Fast Money, only that the show actually found a taker to compete against her.

Finerman's No. 1 reason for buying the stock is because it's "the premier operator in the business." (Drink.)

Guy Adami argued that the company's fine, but "the consumer here is a little bit strapped," and even said that if the stock falls through 40, it "gets a little ugly."

Adami conceded that the stock has bounced back before. Finerman scoffed that Adami's argument amounts to, "This time's different."

Pete Najarian backed the stock, but Steve Grasso said, "I'd probably stay away from apparel."

Guy says for some reason this time JPM is going to knock the cover off the ball

Perhaps reeling from the departure of longtime Fast Money producer John Melloy, Monday's crew 1) notably said nothing about Melloy, and 2) could only come up with a wait-for-banks-to-pull-back strategy.

Pete Najarian said he likes banks, particularly JPM under 50, but "I don't think they've pulled back enough."

Najarian also owns BX, which Guy Adami endorsed as well.

Karen Finerman also likes JPM; "I am optimistic on things."

Guy Adami said — and if we only had a dollar for every time someone on CNBC has said that some bank that has been under Washington heat is really going to shock the world in the next quarter — that it's entirely possible "this is that quarter" in which JPM really knocks the cover off the ball. (Drink.)

Steve Grasso said he likes BAC and is long. But he questioned how many more lawsuits remain to be filed; "we're gettin' long in the tooth with all the settlements."

‘You have to do your homework’ on NBG, but it sounds like Pete has already done it for you

Andres Garcia-Amaya visited Monday's Fast Money to express optimism toward a rising-rate environment, saying "earnings power could increase."

He said that while Europe is only going from "really ugly to just ugly," there is a trade to be made there to the upside.

Pete Najarian wondered if names such as NBG were a little out of control. Garcia-Amaya stressed that with names like that, "You have to do your homework."

Pete said the options market has been going crazy in this name, so he thinks "this thing's got some legs."

Karen Finerman revealed, "I am a believer in the nascent European recovery."

Guy makes fun of Dennis’ reluctance to identify a stock

Dennis Gartman told Monday's Fast Money crew that he thinks the lows are in for WTI "for a while" at least between 102 and par.

Gartman also claimed that global economies are better than people have been thinking.

All of which was well and good, until Dennis was asked to identify some shipping stocks he likes.

In fact, Gartman said, when he does that, he gets a "hard time" from the SEC (you'd think they'd be spending their time on those TLM options buyers).

So, Gartman said, "I like the shipping area completely," including ETFs, just "across the board."

Steve Grasso joked that Gartman wanted to say a name that "rhymes with iships." Mel Lee called that "totally not funny."

Gartman pointed out that when you drop a ship on your foot, it hurts.

He also pointed out that when he used to talk about the drybulk index, people would laugh.

Guest mentions ‘NFL replacement players’

In a curious flashback, Melissa Lee on Monday's Fast Money aired clips from nearly 2 years ago of Karen Finerman's picks in the mobile-payment space.

"I am still long Gemalto," Finerman said Monday, as Lee mentioned that the lone loser in the since-January-2012 chart was PAY while Finerman assured she has actually shorted PAY since then.

Guy Adami said the Pentagon's rehiring of civilians might be the "first salvo" of a settlement and that defense names such as NOC are "still buys."

Pete Najarian said of ISRG, "I like this name down at these levels."

Karen said FNP management has "done a great job turning this around."

Steve Grasso called ANF "uninvestable at these levels" and said he's not hearing any takeout talk that you might expect with the stock at this level.

Guy Adami asked Melissa Lee about jewelry at Jared, but Melissa didn't answer.

Steve Grasso issued a Brag Trade on DECK; "I bought it in the low 50s."

Paul Hickey reported that NFLX is a volatile name.

Guest Ethan Harris said if the government shutdown affects the debt ceiling, the "market's gonna take a real hit."

Harris said short term, the shutdown might be nothing, but the "longer-term concern" is that if the budget and debt ceiling continue to be used as partisan political negotiating tools.

Steve Grasso pointed out that you could've said the same thing in August 2011, and look at the market since then.

Harris even included a reference to the "NFL replacement players," odd because we just put up a post on Pete Najarian's 1987 season (below).

Brian Stutland said options were hot in IP, PEP and CAG, in particular the PEP April 80 calls for $3.15.

Guy Adami likes PEP over KO. Steve Grasso agreed; "Pepsi definitely looks a lot better." Pete Najarian referred to the CEO as "Indra."

Steve Grasso said his GDX stake is getting "smaller every day."

Karen Finerman said she hasn't bought AAPL since unloading it a few weeks ago, but she thinks there's "some sort of floor" in MSFT.

Pete Najarian said options won't trade immediately in TWTR.

Pete's Final Trade was SLCA. Steve Grasso said GOOG, Karen Finerman said M (you knew that was coming), and Guy Adami said COST.

Judge grills an analyst over TWTR conflicts but never says he’s only interviewing Jerry Rice because Rice is on a new Comcast TV show

Bob Peck, demonstrating on Monday's Halftime Report that he's got the Fast Money lingo down pat, pinned a $50 target on TWTR because "at the end of the day," he wanted to be first on the subject and thus garner headlines before rival analysts do it establish a "framework" for potential upside in the stock.

Judge Wapner questioned if this type of report, before even basic details of the IPO are available, might be a little irresponsible, maybe it "just feeds the hype machine."

Peck's response was a bit curious, indicating that people like Josh Brown write blogs opining on stocks, the unspoken message being, why shouldn't an analyst be able to opine too?

Joe Terranova questioned what Twitter's competition is. Peck claimed, oddly using the term "graph" (which should make you wonder), that it's not FB or LNKD, but in Twitter's case, "I do think they own this interest graph," in which people can seek information on anything they want, including "Tampa Bay Bucs" (that's correct, he actually said that).

Steve Weiss suggests Judge’s questions of irresponsibility to Peck were clueless

Stephen Weiss on Monday's Halftime mocked Judge's line of questioning for TWTR analyst Bob Peck. "Anybody who's saying it's irresponsible actually doesn't know what they're talking about," Weiss said, before adding that he read Peck's report and found it a "good piece of work," with the only problem being the converts, "he doesn't account for all the stock."

Wapner gently pushed back on the early analyst report. "I think it's a fair question though," Wapner said.

Josh Brown said it's better than "people making up stuff on Twitter," a comment that may validate or invalidate what Peck was saying.

Wapner stressed that while it's from an analyst, it "is speculation."

Pete Najarian further defended Peck. "He has been dead-on in the social media world."

Mr. New World predicted, "If it comes out at 28, I think it goes up."

Incredibly, Pete’s team beat Jerry Rice’s team in epic playoff upset

Nobody respects Jerry Rice more than this page, but Monday's Halftime Report interview with the NFL great as a promotion for a Comcast program from which this site has already received certain promotional materials (even though we're not exactly on Comcast/NBC Universal's mailing list) was hardly about respectability.

When the subject inevitably switched to football, Rice speculated as to how many hundreds of touchdowns he would have under today's more protective rules enforced by the NFL.

"It doesn't have the physicality like it used to," Rice complained.

Right. And if Rice was getting clotheslined by George Atkinson and Skip Thomas (who weren't even penalized, let alone fined) in the 1970s, he probably wouldn't have broken nearly every receiving record in the book.

It's all relative.

What's amusing about Rice's presence on the program is that Pete Najarian, who played — several times — for the 1987 Minnesota Vikings, was sitting at the table.

In fact, Najarian's Vikings actually beat the mighty 49ers, who by record and other factors should've won the Super Bowl that season, in San Francisco in the playoffs, one of football's most unthinkable upsets.

Our indications are that Pete was not actually on the roster for that playoff game.

But for all practical purposes, one can basically say that Pete's team beat Jerry's team.

Perhaps someday Jerry can identify a big institutional buyer of a December call spread that OptionMonster hasn't detected, and pay back Pete on his own turf.

Rice told the group he invests "very wisely. Very conservative," with stocks and real estate.

Pete: Waived 4 times in 1 season

We gotta point out here that, to avoid a situation of Pete Najarian coming around here looking to knock our block off, this post is not in any way mocking Pete's football career, and in fact is a celebration of it.

While researching Pete's 1987 history with the Vikings (who defeated Jerry Rice in a biggie), we happened to notice news articles reporting that Pete was somehow cut by the Vikings 4 times during that season.

The clip from above is from Dec. 2, 1987 ... and in a deep Google query we happened to discover that a week later, Dec. 9, Pete got another visit from the Turk, for the 4th time that year. (Unfortunately those articles are locked behind $2.95 pay walls, and our budget here is extremely small.)

It's hard to make an NFL roster at all, and to be regularly invited back is an accomplishment.

NFL role players get cut and re-signed frequently.

4 times in one season is impressive.

Analyst finds it ‘shocking’ that suppliers want AAPL business

If you're ever looking to upgrade AAPL, there's always an excuse available.

Peter Misek told Monday's Halftime Report that he upgraded AAPL to 600 because he just attended some supplier meetings in Asia, and "those meetings were shocking to us."

A while ago they didn't care about AAPL, now they're "scrambling" to be in the products, Misek said.

That, and the iPhone 6 due next September were enough for Misek to make the move.

Pete Najarian gushed, "I think Apple goes higher regardless ... there's nothing but upside for me at this level."

Stephen Weiss cautioned that margins are coming in.

‘You can be one of the richest people in the country over time’

David Winters gushed about 3 stocks on Monday's Halftime Report — but hardly the same way he gushed about the average mope's net worth.

If you focus on "what's knowable," Winters claimed, "you can be one of the richest people in the country over time."


Sign us up.

Winters likes Richemont, because "people fall in love every day," and also because, "people want to look good since the beginning of time."

He likes KO, because, "people are thirsty every day Josh."

Winters also called WYNMY "a cheap stock" he likes, and thinks the government gridlock will not derail markets unless there's "a complete meltdown."

Joe apparently waves white flag on ‘war on momentum’

Well, government may be gridlocked, but at least there's good news: Dr. New World covered.

Joe Terranova explained on Monday's Halftime Report that "there's not much to do with the market," and after taking out shorts in PCLN and NFLX (he didn't mention the names Monday), "I have since covered that."

But Terranova said if there's a "grand bargain" in D.C., it'll be a "good thing."

Stephen Weiss said that in this environment, you keep your core positions and stay light in trading positions, but be ready; "this will be solved at some point."

Josh Brown said, "I gotta tell you," the market is growing tired of D.C. gridlock; "they don't think it's cute anymore."

Pete Najarian rattled off solar, energy and MU, advising "stick with what's working," and adding, "I love Boeing." Joe Terranova endorsed UTX.

When in the world has TSLA been underperforming?

And now, a word from their sponsor.

Judge Wapner on Monday's Halftime Report welcomed Nicole Sherrod for another go-round on the TD Ameritrade Investor Movement Index, and, for the umpteenth time, Judge failed to explain what it is this index measures and what it means.

Sherrod said the indicator shows more strength in the "high end," and "they're back into Apple."

But she said account-holders were taking profits in TSLA.

Josh Brown curiously observed that, "Flows follow performance. As soon as Tesla gave up that ghost, started to underperform, you had to expect retail money would come out of it."


When did Tesla ever "give up that ghost"??


Stephen Weiss said he owns GT, and "I wouldn't get involved" in CTB.

Pete Najarian hung a 21 on MU.

Mr. New Land did not back ANF; "back to school is absolutely horrible."

Josh Brown called TSLA RLGY "one of the ugliest charts I could find," something sure to make Karen Finerman unhappy, but the shares went up on a Goldman Sachs upgrade.

Brown suggested BBRY is getting a "kitchen sink" of news and rumors.

Pete Najarian suggested it's a "good opportunity" for getting long OUTR.

Joe Terranova said LAZ is the "right place to be" if M&A picks up.

Joe argued a bull case for TOL, assuming you believe in the housing recovery, which he does.

Josh Brown said the company is fine, but "you don't wanna be in this sector," calling it a "hostage situation" of interest rates and headlines.

Stephen Weiss said he agrees with Brown and if he actually were long TOL, "I'd be short against it" with KBH or PHM.

But Pete Najarian backed Joe; "I love Toll Brothers."

As Judge Wapner went over the show's time allotment, cutting into Power Lunch, Josh Brown's Final Trade was RYT, Steve Weiss said TBF, Joe Terranova said VZ and Pete Najarian said TLM.

CNBC’s Twitter initiative:
Not always smooth sailing

Viewers of Friday's Halftime Report (see below) heard Judge defend CNBC's decision to do something — again, we're not sure exactly what — on Twitter as having been company policy "for a while."

At least one staffer wasn't a fan, as Dennis Kneale made a special point of saying on television in 2009 while he still worked at Englewood Cliffs that in the world of tweeting, he quickly found more enemies than friends.

We really don't have much opinion as to what CNBC should be doing, if anything, on this platform.

Whether Kneale was truly offended, or simply sensing a good stunt, we don't know.

But as you can see from the screen text, he doesn't sound terribly impressed.

Hopefully, others are having happier experiences.

[Friday, October 4, 2013]

Seymour: 33% upside in CAM

The crew on Friday's Fast Money, once again an afterthought of a production, seemed to wearily give the momentum names a continuing stamp of approval.

Steve Grasso said he bought more TSLA. J.C. Parets endorsed YY, "an absolute monster."

Tim Seymour ambiguously said the RSI in SINA is scary but that it's still a stock to own for the long run.

Guy Adami ambiguously said DAL got "ahead of itself here" but that he thinks it's going higher.

Adami said LNKD remains a buy if it holds a key level; "240 is your bogey."

Parets said he thinks THC can continue to make 52-week highs.

However, Parets said he's a better seller than buyer of MU, Seymour said "do not chase" HTZ, and Grasso said AMZN is "a little toppy" if the market comes in.

Taking a crack at the Goldman Sachs most undervalued list (that was the best theme they could come up with), Tim Seymour said he likes CAM and that there's "probably 32, 33% upside on this stock."

Steve Grasso predicted a rotation from oil service to refiners and likes MPC. J.C. Parets likes FSLR, and Guy Adami endorsed ANF, which he said had "sort of a kitchen-sink-type of quarter" and could be "back up to 40 bucks pretty easily."

Russ Koesterich predicted that during earnings season, revenue would still be a challenge, but he said "the market is not that worried" about D.C.; "they've seen the movie before."

Tim Seymour said BID is a trophy property in part because "barriers to entry are extremely high."

Steve Grasso said of JCP, "I would not short the name here."

J.C. Parets said that while stocks have hung tough, it's the "internals of the market ... that really worries me."

Tim Seymour's Final Trade was EPP. Steve Grasso said DECK. J.C. Parets said NBG and Guy Adami said AYI.

Michael Pachter: ‘The guys who do the ad spend for CNBC just figured out that Twitter’s a good place to advertise’

Judge Wapner invited Michael Pachter onto Friday's Halftime Report to talk Twitter's IPO, but an earful over Englewood Cliffs' social-media strategy likely wasn't supposed to be part of the bargain.

"CNBC just discovered Twitter. I literally have had, uh, just about every personality on CNBC promoted to me in the last 2 weeks," Pachter claimed.

"We've been on Twitter for a while ... it's become a pretty significant part of what we do," Wapner said.

But Pachter insisted, "You started paying for squatting ... the guys who do the ad spend for CNBC just figured out that Twitter's a good place to advertise."

Judge seemed alternately surprised and amused by Pachter's claims. After Sam Hamadeh squeezed in a point about Twitter costs, Wapner, with a neutral expression, might've given Pachter a quick hook, concluding, "Michael, I'm gonna let you go, um, but you should get your facts straight on what we're doing with Twitter."

Pachter was heard to chuckle, "My pleasure."

One of the last things this page can do is speak to the goals at Englewood Cliffs. However, we can say, with a certain amount of dread, that Wapner is certainly correct, CNBC has been promoting Twitter accounts for a couple of years.

It's something to play around with and have fun with and occasionally mention on the air. The unknown is whether for CNBC it's a distraction, and is even remotely helpful in selling advertising during TV programming, which is, in fact, CNBC's business model.

Apparently there’s a revolution in Iran that we didn’t know about

Watching CNBC, we've long been aware of the goals of "monetizing mobile."

What we didn't know until Friday was that someone's evidently trying to monetize the overthrow of the shah.

Sam Hamadeh on Friday's Halftime Report continued expressing pessimism toward the data released by the Twitter folks a day earlier, saying that what he's most struck by in the S-1 is "how rapidly Twitter's revenues are starting to slow."

Judge balked at that, saying it's a "company in its infancy. Sam."

Hamadeh rebutted, "It's not a little toddler anymore," and has actually become a big acquirer.

Michael Pachter though dismissed those concerns. "They're definitely still pre-adolescent," with "a model that's impossible to replicate," Pachter said.

Hamadeh questioned, "How do you monetize an Iranian revolution," asserting Starbucks is not going to want to target those hashtags for advertising.

And, Hamadeh claims that mobile expansion is "actually a negative to their revenue generation."

Josh Brown made the most enthusiastic endorsement: "I would probably buy it on Day 1," he said, adding he "wouldn't be shocked to open at a double."

We're gonna hold back on this one, if only because this page basically agreed with Steve Grasso in May 2012 that it wouldn't take FB too long to get to "par."

Julia Boorstin, beautiful hair flowing in the wind, reported that Bob Greifeld was seen at Twitter HQ.

Harwood: White House has
‘some vulnerability’

Josh Brown on Friday's Halftime Report echoed what we've sensed all week about the current relationship between the stock market and the government gridlock.

"People are more afraid of being out on any kind of resolution of anything ... you can't afford to be 40, 50% cash" if there's a deal, Brown said.

Mike Santoli begged off, saying "it's so hard to handicap."

Mike Murphy said people are watching the 1,680 level.

Stephen Weiss indicated it's too hard to guess the outcome but that people should "focus on individual stocks," gloating that he sold C higher recently because it was an "outsized position for me."

Steve Wood said if we get a pullback of 3, 4, 5, 6, 7%, it's a "valuation opportunity." Wood addressed Josh Brown's questions of being a passive shop in a potential stock-picking environment, saying, "We're not a passive shop only," and that he likes equity valuations (namely big cap) vs. fixed income.

John Harwood noted that the White House blasted the piecemeal measures floated by Republicans on the debt ceiling and reopening government and that "they didn't say that they would veto those bills," so there is "some vulnerability" on the part of the White House in this mess.

Simon’s massive bust:
DAL hits 52-week high

Josh Brown on Friday's Halftime Report called PCLN a buy and told viewers, "I'll make this very simple."

The simplicity was that the stock is up 2000% since 2009, according to Brown, and it never breaches the key technicals, because the institutions "buy every single dip."

Mike Santoli argued "it's an overloved story right now" and he sees it as a profit-taking candidate.

Stephen Weiss backed Brown; "I think this can continue." Mike Murphy backed Santoli; "It's priced to perfection."

Nobody used Guy Adami's standard line, which is, "If this stock were a hundred instead of a thousand, no one would have any qualms about it..."

Meanwhile, CNBC's Sister Golden Hair reported that DAL hit a 52-week high, which should've unleashed a torrent of guffaws over Simon Baker's first-class-airfare-to-California offer as long as DAL is higher than 19.32 by year-end, but didn't.

Stephen Weiss said he's in American and LCC. Mike Murphy said he's "coming around" to the airlines. Mike Santoli was more skeptical; "I'm not convinced that there's a lot more to be done."

‘A poison pill has never ever mattered’

CNBC's Sister Golden Hair, in another hit on Friday's Halftime Report, reported the huge 1st-day gain of PBPB, which found no takers on Scott Wapner's panel.

Josh Brown opined that the success of PotBelly and Noodles indicates that "McDonald's is gonna keep giving up ground." But Stephen Weiss called NDLS "egregiously overvalued."

Mike Murphy said, as a sign of strength, UNP had little pullback over its report.

Stephen Weiss scoffed again at coal; "they're not cheap stocks."

Josh Brown said he's not tempted by the banks right now.

Stephen Weiss scoffed at Sotheby's countermeasures. "A poison pill has never ever mattered," Weiss said, asserting the BID activity is "business as usual for an activist like Loeb."

Weiss crowed about his JCP short and said his target had been 7, now he's going to "adjust that to a much-smaller hat size."

Weiss admitted he lost money in his PHM short, and KBH short, but he's not in PHM.

Mike Santoli said F better get a Plan B if Alan Mulally is no longer there, until then the stock is "kind of a wait and see."

Mike Murphy said to "stay away" from WY. Steve Weiss called OXY "very crowded." Josh Brown said SCTY is in the right space but he likes the TAN.

Mike Murphy's Final Trade was IP. Brown said F, Weiss said C and Santoli said INDY.

Stephen Weiss noticed the footage of President Barack Obama taking a walk and observed, "I take such comfort in the fact that he doesn't seem to have a care in the world."

[Thursday, October 3, 2013]

Could too much of a deal rally be priced in?

Apparently, there actually ARE a lot of folks who haven't seen this movie before.

The S&P 500 dipped all the way to the magic 1,670 Guy Adami level on Thursday, touching its lows of the day during the Halftime Report, earning Adami something of a rightful victory lap on Thursday's 5 p.m. Fast Money.

Adami predicted Friday would be "sideways to slightly lower," and suggested the president is indeed trying to "spook people" into a bad market that will trigger a deal.

But, he indicated the market is also poised for a face-ripped-off type of move to the upside.

The show's giddiness toward any pullback continued, as Steve Grasso said it's "all buyable at this point" and Karen Finerman concurred; "I'm doing nothing different."

Brian Kelly said the president is using stocks as a "negotiating tool," but as long as we're above 1,650, we're OK.

Steven Rees said "we're not expecting a major pullback," but did allow that he thinks telecoms and utilities are "suspectible to rising rates."

Grasso said near the end of the show, "This is one big buying opportunity."

Grasso said he likes GOOG, TSLA and BAC. Adami said he was wrong to suggest lightening up on CELG; "my bad on that one," but he suggested names such as CELG or CERN now that are "impervious" to D.C.

Melissa soars at crunch time

One of the best observations of Thursday's crisp and action-packed Fast Money was Guy Adami's acknowledgment of Melissa's handling of the breaking Twitter IPO news.

In fact it was a masterful performance, complete with new red dress and new hairstyle.

The facts, from equally impressive Julia Boorstin and johnny-on-the-spot Sam Hamadeh, came furious:

Twitter has "more than a hundred million" daily active users, Boorstin said.

But Hamadeh pointed out, "The average Twitter user visits only 2.2 times a month. That's very weak actually," and suggests the service is populated by the "casual user."

Hamadeh said the company defines "active user" as one following at least 30 people, with at least a third of those people following back.

Hamadeh said the numbers are "really what we expected," the company is a "cash cow, substantial gross margin."

Later, he said, "Some of these numbers are disappointing."

Boorstin said that "over 65%" of the revenue is from mobile, and that there's been a "dramatic increase" in people who have seen ads.

She addressed Hamadeh's concern over the declining price per ad, suggesting "experimentation" is responsible, and "maybe they're doing a better job targeting them."

Hamadeh said a key metric is, "What is the net present value of a follower."

It was a little while before Boorstin got to one of our favorite subjects, the old free-labor concept that powers Web 2.0 stocks.

"If the users do not continue to contribute content, then they may experience a decline in the number of users accessing the products," Boorstin said, reading the company's declaration of risks.

Kayla Tausche said, "The filing's missing a lot of things," but reported that Twitter is going to have a "staggered board" that will prevent someone from buying it before the IPO.

Karen Finerman downplayed that notion; "I don't think that's really on the radar."

Certainly the biggest takeaway for any skeptic is going to be Hamadeh's contention, a couple of times, that this is a "rush job."

Grasso said the lack of a letter "makes me a little bit nervous," though Melissa Lee indicated there was indeed a short note.

But Hamadeh concurred, "There's no question this is a rushed IPO ... you should be a little bit concerned."

However, Grasso pointed out that the rush is really to get the IPO dollars before Alibaba; "kind of want to beat them to market."

Guy Adami said he'd pick TWTR over FB, but for the time being, "still own Facebook here."

Brian Kelly said, "I'd much rather be in Twitter" than FB, and in fact, "I would be worried about LinkedIn," calling it a short below 240.

Grasso opined that GOOG will be OK, but "the real target is going to be Facebook."

Dan Primack's phone connection was so bad he sounded like Mushmouth on Fat Albert; all we got was something about "placeholder."

It took until late for Steve Grasso to uncork the show's first 140 characters joke.

Mike Khouw said November 60 EBAY calls were hot.

Khouw's Final Trade was sell November 44 puts in THC.

Steve Grasso's Final Trade was BAC. Brian Kelly said USO, Karen Finerman said "Citibank" (sic), and Guy Adami said MYL.

‘Start buying into the selloff’

As the S&P 500 hit the lows of the day during the Halftime Report on Thursday, Judge's panel unanimously advised viewers to get ready to pounce.

Josh Brown cautioned that the Sept. 18 high could be out of reach in October, but we've had all these shutdowns before, and "every single one of them was a great buying opportunity."

You've "gotta start buying into the selloff," advised Simon Baker.

Stephen Weiss observed that, "As long as the acrimony continues in D.C. you're going to see the market trade down ... there's no give on either side," and said he's "not ready to buy just yet." But Weiss admitted that once the D.C. theatrics are over, "You will hit new highs before the year's out. Without a doubt."

Tony Dwyer told Judge Wapner that he would be "pretty aggressive into the weakness." Judge protested that "the risk certainly seems to be the downside," but Dwyer astutely observed, "You can fix this with a news item."

Josh Brown said hedge funds are trailing all the indexes, and once there's a deal in Washington, we'll see a "bonanza of buying."

Simon reveals: ‘I’m not gonna walk into Coach, and buy a shirt or pair of pants’

Allegra Perry, who is very good-looking and should be brought back to the Halftime Report regularly, painted a bull case for COH on Thursday as "a turnaround/restructuring story" in which "they've set the bar pretty low."

Stephen Weiss, a curmudgeon on this subject for years, grumbled that the brand's cachet is gone and asked Perry, "Haven't they seen their best days?"

But Perry unfortunately didn't really address that opinion, instead extending her thesis about how COH made a good hire from Louis Vuitton and is a "global luxury brand."

Josh Brown said COH has been trying to become a brand for men for a decade, and it hasn't worked. Simon Baker declared, "I'm not gonna walk into Coach, and buy a shirt or pair of pants."

But Stephanie Link argued that with the stock in the low 50s, it's "not gonna take much" to get it going.

Weiss said Link and Perry's vision of the company is a "wish."

However, Weiss claimed TIF is rock-solid; "you can't bet against it." Baker touted KORS.

Maybe Carl finally revealed the menu, or the guest list

Milking his signature interview until the cows come home, Judge Wapner couldn't resist mentioning on Thursday's Halftime Report that he spoke with Carl again Wednesday night, and Carl thinks HLF is "meaningfully undervalued."

Stephen Weiss described Bill Ackman's Herbalife thesis as "an irresponsible short position."

Making not a whole lot of sense, Judge suggested things might've been worse for the HLF shorts because the audit report was delayed; "maybe Ackman at the end of the day has PriceWaterhouse to thank." (Huh?)

Josh Brown equally curiously argued that if you actually want to short HLF (snicker), "you have your window," suggesting that the stock's meteoric gain is based on one dubious short and how a rival was "looking to end his life," but now the stock "might be starting to break down."

Killir: ‘We’re running out of things to buy,’ so buy gold

Jeff Kilburg on Thursday's Halftime Report blamed the "high-frequency traders" for pushing gold to 1,280, then said he wants to own it when it tops 1,305.

Todd Gordon suggested gold is falling apart, and "I'm actually short right now."

Kilburg dubiously rebutted, "We're running out of things to buy."

Simon Baker contended that this is "exactly the type of situation" to be long gold. Stephen Weiss insisted "there's no inflation."

Simon hates ANGI commercials
(but says nothing about MagicJack)

Judge asked panelists on Thursday's Halftime Report to explain what they're shorting or want to short, and Stephen Weiss was happy to oblige, saying he's "back to a full short position" in JCP and that he thinks you can be short iron ore and coal.

Simon Baker said his pick would be Angie's List, not only does he "hate the commercials," but "that whole model is just dreadful."

Stephanie Link suggested MDLZ.

While he didn't call it a short, Josh Brown said he wasn't impressed by reports of Cerberus looking at BBRY; "What you really have here is a melting iceberg."

Stephen Weiss said "I'd be a seller" of Tesla.

Judge rightly questioned if too much wasn't being made of a car fire on video. But Josh Brown pointed out, "The problem is, it's a momentum stock."

Stephanie Link said she "wouldn't chase" PVH.

Stephen Weiss said the paradigm (our word, not his) changed for THC and the hospitals; "the government is backstopping all bad debt essentially."

Unclear why it matters whether Twitter insiders can sell; Judge never followed up on that one

CNBC Wealth Editor Robert Frank visited Thursday's Halftime Report to sort of expound on Karen Finerman's unanswered questions about what Dan Loeb is hoping to accomplish at BID.

"He just wants a turnaround," Frank said.

Stephen Weiss mumbled that the company has room to expand, and that this isn't a "hobby" for Loeb.

Bob Pisani suggested that the gridlock in D.C. means probably no tapering.

Stephanie Link argued that LOW is going higher because of continued consumer strength in home goods. Steve Weiss, however, said the homebuilding cycle is "coming to an end," and it's been a "very, very crowded trade."

Josh Brown said Link made a good case but he agreed with Weiss on LOW, at this price, "probably more downside than upside."

Kayla Tausche said one difference between Twitter and Facebook is that with Twitter, "no insiders are allowed to sell their shares into the IPO."

Stephanie Link's Final Trade was NOW. Stephen Weiss said CYH, and Josh Brown said VGK.

Simon Baker actually said "EUFF," but we think he meant "EUFN," unless he really meant "EUFX" (which is the short version).

[Wednesday, October 2, 2013]

‘Momentum guys’ manhandled:
Fast Money talks up FU over $10

First, it's important to note that Josh Brown on the Sept. 25 Fast Money did NOT tell viewers to buy FU.

But it's fair to note that Brown implied that others were doing just that, calling it a "really interesting story" and saying "the momentum guys are all over this stock. I hear it everywhere."

What he was undoubtedly hearing Wednesday was a far less interesting story, and a bunch of dudes taking it in the shorts (that's a technical term Judge, according to Doc) as the stock plunged from a north-of-$10 price as the show aired on the 25th (it actually trickled up after that graphic was shown) ... to a meager $6.05 close a week later.

Brown said on the 25th that he doesn't know how long the stock's run continues (it could've accurately been stated in hours), but if you're "very nimble," you can at least put it on your radar screen.

Melissa Lee tried to stress that the stock could be volatile. "When we say small, we mean small," Lee explained.

Basically, anyone who bought this garbage got a big F. U.

Carl Levin for Fed?

Wednesday's Fast Money crew, plus Steve Liesman, took some cracks at John Harwood's sit-down with Barack Obama.

Guy Adami observed that stocks are driving the debate. "As the market stays here, there's no urgency," said Adami, who nevertheless said the president had "strong words" for Wall Street.

Chris Krueger speculated that the shutdown "probably lasts through the weekend," and maybe all the way to Oct. 17.

Mel Lee grilled Krueger over his apparent contention that there's a 40% chance we blow the debt ceiling, but Krueger indicated that it would be a gradually escalating crisis.

Tim Seymour said that, for those interested in buying government vendors who have been hit this week, "This is an opportunity," and also, "The dollar is going higher."

Steve Liesman questioned how the president described Ben S. Bernanke's job as "fine" but said "I would doubt" that Larry Summers is back in the running.

John Woods claimed it sounds like the next Fed chief is "almost gonna be anti-Wall Street, just from what I'm reading from his vibe."

Rich Saperstein, whose time was curiously abruptly cut short, said the shutdown is just a game of D.C. "intramurals" while Fed policy is far more important. Saperstein said he likes small caps, banks, and "We're underweight emerging markets."

‘Perhaps we are entering that bust phase again’

In case you were concerned about the shutdown — and haven't yet figured out that the stock market has deemed it irrelevant or even a positive — you have Wilbur Ross on Wednesday's Fast Money for comfort.

"This is not a big event in the overall scheme of things," said Ross, who advises avoiding long-term fixed income.

Melissa Lee had the audacity to ask Ross, a shipping bull, what metrics are out there that might indicate that "perhaps we are entering that bust phase again."

"Oh, we're far from the bust phase," Ross protested. (Well, some people aren't.)

Lee pressed Ross for an opinion on Carl/Bill Miller's "biggest no-brainer in the history of the earth" notion. "I'm not so sure that no-brainer trades exist," Ross said, explaining there's always someone on the other side.

Ross' top picks include shale gas plays and European banks.

Excited as she was about this news, Karen unable to explain what Dan Loeb is doing

Karen Finerman on Wednesday's Fast Money reported on Dan Loeb's campaign at Sotheby's, stressing a couple times "he's not looking for a sale here" and that this is a "very toned-down Dan Loeb."

BID, we learned, has a "non-staggered board," but Finerman had to admit she doesn't really know Loeb's end game here, except he is an art collector; "what else can they be doing..."

"I'm long," Finerman said.

Guy Adami endorsed the stock; "how many trophy properties are out there." Mike Khouw said someone was buying the October 50 calls.

Guy Adami pointed to the slump in M since July, which he said is probably the biggest in the name since "this time last year."

Mike Khouw said M figures to benefit (Drink) from JCP's troubles, that these troubles won't hurt JWN, and that his Final Trade is M longer-dated calls.

Karen sounds as annoyed with Steve Grasso’s loopy Tesla pronunciation as the rest of us

Melissa Lee on Wednesday's Fast Money reported on the Tesla fire, prompting Tim Seymour to suggest full valuation and advise, "I wouldn't touch it."

Yet Lee informed viewers that Steve Grasso dialed in saying he bought the dip.

John Woods predicted crude would bounce to 105, then fall off. (What happened to John Kilduff's 125?)

Woods seemed to gush about MSFT, admitting, "my cost average, I, I don't know," but "it's a long-term stock for me."

Mike Khouw said there was a buyer of 50,000 January 34 MSFT calls and seller of 50,000 January 30 puts.

Woods, though, saved his most effusive commentary for TSO, which he said is "probably" getting to 65 or 70; "this stock has a lot of room to grow."

Guy Adami said, "I like THC," and predicted (after annoying yakking) that LULU "is gonna break out here."

Tim Seymour tried to couch his PBR Fast Fire as not being a bad result for a Brazil call, and added, "I would still say stay away."

Seymour said of BIDU, "You have to fade this."

Tim also came through with "plain-pocket jeans" and "Garanimals."

Karen Finerman said that owning the financials as she does is like buying them at the end of the day, and she particularly likes C.

Tim Seymour's Final Trade was PG. John Woods said BP, Karen Finerman said FL and Guy Adami said UTX.

No menu, and no guest list

Some media folks have a different standard of quality than other media folks.

Henry Blodget told Judge Wapner on Wednesday's Halftime Report, "First I wanna compliment you on your interview with Carl Icahn yesterday about Apple which was great."

Really? Judge never asked who was at the meal, how many people in total (this page's completely uneducated guess is approximately 15), whether it's actually possible to accomplish anything in a gathering of (whatever) size this was, whether there was any discussion about the government shutdown, or anything about Bill Ackman and Herbalife.

But he did ask twice about the menu, which evidently was such a humdrum performance from damn-well-paid chef Tim that Carl was either unwilling or unable to recall it on television a day later.

Anyway, Blodget was purportedly going to discuss what could cause a market crash, but instead told Judge, "I hope Apple tells Carl Icahn to stuff it," because the products will carry the stock and all Carl is wishing for is the biggest no-brainer in the history of the earth "more short-term financial engineering."

Mario Gabelli indicated he's not big on AAPL because it's not like Grape Nuts cereal.

Mario Gabelli is mulling how to participate in the adult-diaper trade

It was bad enough when Kyle Bass, at the 2011 SALT Conference and during other stops on his speaking tour, mentioned that one reason Japan is in trouble is because they go through more adult diapers than kiddie ones.

Mario Gabelli, a guest for the hour on Wednesday's Halftime Report and a likable chap, explained that there's a huge market for infant diapers, but now with the aging of the population there's a huge market for the other kind, and "how do you participate in that."


He did cite HAIN as a more appetizing trade on the "aging of the population," and called BDBD "kind of an intriguing company."

Gabelli sent TG up sharply midday with a mention of a "proxy fight," but then it floated back down to even by the end of the day. #facialtothealgorithms

He said he likes "bourbon plays around the world," including BEAM, which he expects someone to grab. He likes Mandarin hotels, and was prompted to discuss FUL, even though "I don't know where that came from." He owns Davide Campari Milano and has owned DE forever. "We like to buy the dull and boring," Gabelli said.

Pete: 4% selloff in TSLA is ‘just the beginning’

Pete Najarian said on Wednesday's Halftime Report that we still haven't gotten the pullback he was sort of hoping for, but in the meantime, he likes JPM, MU and SNDK.

Mike Murphy agreed that "you need to be getting ready to buy on dips," and recommeded C.

Pete advised against buying BBRY; "I see no reason to jump in front of this bus."

Tackling the IPOs, Murphy said, "I like Re/MAX," but the performance of BURL "kind of surprised me."

Pete said BURL's performance was no surprise to him; it's in the "sweet spot" of discount retail, and "I tend to like that name."

Murphy argued a bull case for TSLA starting with a concession that the valuation is high; "you're betting on their CEO."

Pete contended that Elon Musk admitted on CNBC that the valuation is "a bit rich," and in terms of the day's selloff, "I think this 4% is just the beginning," which proved accurate by day's end.

Mario Gabelli said he likes AZO and ORLY in the auto trade.

‘One of the wild cards
is Slovenia’

Judge got caught up in a bungle on Wednesday's Fast Money, first declaring that Reuters had reported that MSFT's "top 20 investors" are "urging" Bill Gates to step aside, then issuing a retraction that it's only 3 investors.

Mike Murphy said if he were a shareholder, "I wouldn't want Bill Gates to be gone."

Jon Najarian thinks GPN just hit an all-time high.

Gemma Godfrey, whom Judge likes to turn to for watered-down European analysis, said "a prolonged shutdown could derail the rally," and that the Europe crisis is not totally over; "one of the wild cards is Slovenia."

Mario Gabelli said he likes Vivendi.

Anthony Grisanti predicted, "We're gonna see lower gas prices." Yet Jim Iuorio contended, "I think gas prices are going higher."

Mike Murphy's Final Trade was VLO. Pete Najarian said TLM, and Jon Najarian said SE.

[Tuesday, October 1, 2013]

(Drink-Drink-Drink-Drink-Drink) Guy’s talking about how he thinks PCLN’s 4-digit price spooks people (without explaining how all those people if they’re so spooked keep buying it)

Way back in the early days of Fast Money, generally when Jeff Macke was on, viewers heard the quality advice: "Trade the market you've got, not the one you want."

Dan Nathan never got the memo, questioning on Tuesday's Fast Money if Carl Icahn's NFLX stance represents the "hubris" that Adam Parker was talking about (see below), and then launching into a tirade about Internet stocks.

"There is a virus spreading in these Web 2.0 stocks," Nathan said, predicting that "in the next year or so," holders of this "garbage" are "gonna get destroyed."

Nathan claimed that Icahn, despite telling Judge Wapner he hasn't sold a share of NFLX, also said he's hedged with everything, so "that is not, uh, that forthcoming."

Guy Adami cautioned that if you're long NFLX, "ya have to do something ahead of earnings," apparently meaning buying puts or perhaps putting in a stop, except the way this thing can gap, a stop ain't a whole heckuva lot of good.

Speaking of recent Dr. New World shorts, Mike Khouw contended that the PCLN growth story has shown "no sign of stopping."

Guy Adami repeated, for probably about the dozenth time on Fast Money, his phony claim that investors are skittish about PCLN's nominal share price (why do they keep buying it then), "If this was a hundred, instead of a thousand ..." (Drink-Drink-Drink-etc.)


‘Biggest no-brainer in the history of the earth’

One thing CNBC viewers learned on Tuesday is that the meal prepared by Carl's well-paid chef, Tim, for the Tim Cook contingent was apparently so lackluster that Carl either wouldn't or couldn't recall it for on-air mention.

Another thing we learned, courtesy of Bill Miller wisdom-dispensing, is that buying shares of AAPL in October 2013 is actually the "biggest no-brainer in the history of the earth."

(Hmmmm ... Now that's one to ponder. What is, really, the "biggest no-brainer in the history of the earth." We settled on 4 finalists; Christie Brinkley's SI cover (the white suit above trumps the "Flights of Fancy in Florida" cover); of course there is Bo on the beach in cornrows; there is Julia Roberts' makeover in "Pretty Woman" (oh man, that film had the college prof going ga-ga), and there is Elizabeth Taylor as the rebellious Pennsylvania debutante in "Giant." (Yes, we wanted to localize this feature, but Seema Mody hasn't quite paid her dues yet in terms of time.))

(There are, of course, utterly, absolutely no incorrect answers here; it just depends on your state of mind ...)

Shockingly, Dan Nathan said on Tuesday's Fast Money that this type of hubris hyperbole should be viewed with a "grain of salt" because Miller has been in the stock forever.

Guy Adami claimed, "I think Mr. Miller's being extraordinarily glib," which was what Tom Cruise accused Matt Lauer of being once.

Jim Lebenthal suggested to Brian Kelly that Kelly's pro-gold-in-shutdown thesis maybe doesn't work because when the government is shut down, "These guys can't spend anymore." Yet, Kelly, who seems to spend a fair amount of his time guessing the moves in gold, asserted, "A grand bargain is probably the worst thing for gold, and the worst thing for the market."

‘All it meant was people took some vacation days’

Continuing a theme from Monday, Tuesday's Fast Money crew seemingly looked upon the government shutdown with as much glee as The Silver Platters sang "It's a Sunshine Day."

Jim Lebenthal explained, "I've seen this before, and I've gotta tell ya, all of these talks about how GDP is gonna go down, I just don't buy it. Because it really- all it meant was people took some vacation days, they were paid later, it's a lot ado about nothing."

Guy Adami predicted "another push" to 1,710 or 1,715. Dan Nathan admitted, "We have complacency here."

Adam Parker agreed that the shutdown will affect GDP by only a "very small amount" and agreed this "probably is a buy-the-dip mentality."

Parker refreshingly admitted (again) that his caution in 2012 was unfounded and explained his conversion. "9 months ago, we got bullish," based on the purported lack of a bear case, Parker said, asserting there are 2 things that mark the top of a cycle, one being "hubris," and the other debt, but the debt that's now in the system doesn't have to be repaid for a few years, so "nobody can really go bankrupt."

Jim Lebenthal, desperate to find a taker for the metals and mining bull case (snicker), asked Parker twice whether now's a good time to buy, and even asked, once Parker doubted that, "stock picker to stock picker," if anyone does call the turn in mining capex ahead of time. Parker indicated basically no, but that he thinks it's maybe an early 2014 story.

Nobody was rushing out to buy LGF on news of that Kevin James deal

Dr. Yaron Werber invoked the Josh Brown Cliche Book on Tuesday's Fast Money in explaining that the shutdown isn't a big fear of the biotech industry.

"I gotta tell you, this has not been a huge issue for the biotech industry," Werber said, though he conceded that FDA rulings will be pushed back, which may delay revenues.

Guy Adami sought guidance on AGMN. Werber indicated the growth in the stock was warranted but didn't offer much in the way of a conclusion except that the stock is "sort of like the biotech pharma."

Dan Nathan scoffed that MRK announced a bunch of cuts. Mike Khouw decreed this a "good opportunity to take some profits" in MCK. Guy Adami said he still likes CBI, and Jim Lebenthal said to "ride" WAG.

Brian Kelly said he likes HRB and advised, "use 26 as your stop."

Lebenthal touted F, under the theory that "the world is recovering economically." Brian Kelly, in an awkward, choppy debate that couldn't even fill its allotted time, said inventory is still at highs.

Mike Khouw said the options market seems to back Lebenthal in F, with November 17 calls active, "kind of a beta-chase trade."

Dan Nathan and Brian Kelly tried to straighten each other out over the difference (if any) between FDO and WMT.

Dave Barger Irwin Simon Regis Philbin Michael Burns spoke with the gang Tuesday, calling the new "Hunger Games" film "spectacular" and asserting, "We're in a highly confident place," and noting LGF even has a new deal with Kevin James (can't wait to see the Oscar material that emerges from that.)

Guy Adami, of course, calls it a buy, but Dan Nathan, using Simon's Halftime logic (below), said the stock is up 60-70% on the year, so "I don't think you buy into it here."

Mike Khouw's Final Trade was selling LGF calls. Dan Nathan's Final Trade was long XOM against 86 support. Brian Kelly said long EEM, Jim Lebenthal said long GLW and Guy Adami said long MYL.

Judge asks Carl about the menu but nothing about what’s cooking at HLF (a/k/a Carl seems to be wondering if he’s overpaying his chef)

In the category of Things You Can Spend $2 Billion To Get But Aren't Actually Worth $2 billion, we have Carl's Sept. 30 dinner with Tim Cook, who according to Judge Wapner (months ago) enjoyed his signature moment as CEO during an appearance with the U.S. Senate. (Remember that? Didn't think so.)

On Tuesday's Halftime Report, Carl got off on the wrong foot, telling Judge, "Thank you Tim."

After squaring away the conversation about Tim Cook, Carl revealed, "He was very cordial ... basically the conversation revolved around the buyback."

But, Carl admitted, things got "a little bit testy" when he was told the board had ruled on the buyback.

Carl said he told Cook, "I don't give a damn what the board decided," then walked that back, telling Judge he didn't actually convey that and, "I think they do respect me," without Carl having to provide a resume.

Judge first asked about the menu, only to have Carl digress into a tangent about how his chef, Tim, questioned why Carl doesn't put on Twitter when Carl and "Tim" have dinner together, and by the way Tim "makes a damn good income."

But when Judge persisted about what the menu was, Carl said, "Come on, will ya," which sounds kinda like, "It was so unremarkable that I honestly don't remember."

Judge twice said "at the end of the day" while wondering if Tim Cook is actually going to accept Carl's buyback demands.

Carl said, "Haven't sold a share" in Netflix.

Simon says too much of a 12-month gain (DAL) is bad and too little of a 12-month gain (MRK) is bad

We thought for a moment on Tuesday's Halftime Report that Simon Baker would provide an update of that first-class California airfare he's on the hook for in regard to DAL being above roughly $19.32. (Pssst ... at the rate it's going, we might be looking at a double.)

That didn't happen, as Simon instead uncorked a curious new form of technical analysis.

It started when Dominic Chu reported that Bill Miller is long DAL, and Joe Terranova said he too likes DAL.

Simon groused, "I think the easy money's been made in airlines," then complained that something — either DAL or the airlines in general — is up "160%," and therefore, "I mean, how does it go higher from here."

Later, the subject was MRK, in which Josh Brown said premier health care names are in a "secular bull market," and contended, "At the end of the day ... I think it breaks 50 and never looks back."

Simon, as the bear, claimed, "The Schering-Plough acquisition was probably the biggest mega-flop in pharmaceutical ever," and said MRK is cutting R&D.

Fair enough, until Baker chose to stress twice (once clarifying that he was referring to the last 12 months) that MRK is up 5% and the "big pharma S&P" is up 15%.

Neither number appears to be correct, based on a cursory look at the 1-year charts.

Stephen Weiss suggested, "Simon obviously is wearing a tighter pair of briefs today," because he's whiny.

In fairness, Simon was misquoted by Tobias Levkovich, who is hanging a 1,900 target on year-end 2014 and thinks the rest of 2013 will be rocky.

Simon rightly questioned that, saying, "I don't think anyone really expects" Fed tightening before Ben Bernanke retires, so why wouldn't it be an "easy run to the end of this year."

Levkovich carped, "I don't know what everyone thinks. So, you made a statement, 'Everyone believes the Fed'...."

Which isn't what Simon said, and doesn't address the question about the end of 2013.

Joe is spared questions
about ‘war on momentum’

Good thing Judge landed Carl for nearly half of Tuesday's Halftime Report, or else Dr. New Land might've undergone a barrage of questions about his head-scratching, mind-numbing shorts of PCLN and NFLX.

Steve Liesman reported why, in fact, the Monday Fast Money crew might've been so happy about a shutdown, explaining that doing the shutdown right now might make it more likely that a debt-ceiling breakthrough is reached before it's too late.

Anthony Grisanti said gold took a hit on the Japanese statement. Rich Ilczyszyn said gold looks very bearish short-term, and if it closes below 1,290, look out.

Joe Terranova said he's not surprised about gold's dive; "why own gold when you can own real estate." Josh Brown, though, revealed, "I'm very surprised by the move in gold."

Stephen Weiss balked at Bill Miller's PHM position, saying that when it comes to builders, "I wouldn't be there."

Josh Brown said he'd find something besides GIS to invest in. Brown's Final Trade was MRK.

Simon Baker said to "stay away" from ZNGA, and made CREE his Final Trade, which wasn't a bad move intraday.

Stephen Weiss, like Brown and GIS, said he'd find "other places" to put money than EMC. Weiss' Final Trade was TBF.

Mr. New World said, "I like MolsonCoors here," predicting flows out of SAM, and that to work, that trade just needs "modest recovery" in the economy.

Joe's Final Trade was COF.

Steve Weiss said of the shutdown, "I think it plays out, like everybody expects." How exactly is "everybody" expecting it to turn out?

Gotta wonder why Judge thought he needed 4 panelists for roughly a half-hour program.

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