[Monday, October 31, 2016]

Mel Torme, or Marisa Tomei? Judge’s episode of Laffalympics deserves a kick in the pants

It was Halloween on Monday at Englewood Cliffs, and nothing was scarier than Judge's presentation of the Halftime Report.

This sloppy, sorry schlockfest that should've been relocated to a tavern unfortunately wasted not only 60 minutes of viewers' time (for those who actually stayed the duration) but several valiant attempts at quality trading observations.

The lowest point, which is quite a distinction, was when Jim Lebenthal struggled to talk over Jim Cramer and Pete Najarian about M, eventually making the provocative case that it needs to make an acquisition in the brick-and-mortar space and close some stores.

Stephen Weiss, off-kilter all day, struggled even harder to make a point, trying to explain that someone told him the consumer "is just not buying."

Judge didn't have the brass to tell anyone to just shut up.

Pete Najarian said there was "huge put selling" in DVA November 55 puts. Jim though warned that the government is the big buyer of DVA services. Weiss chalked up the put-selling to "maybe Macy's wants to diversify."

Joe, making stock calls based on footwear observed in SBUX (and not in Nebraska), prepares his karate moves in case Pete scoffs once more at his pro-UA call

Jim Cramer was invited to spend an entire hour with the obviously pizzazz-challenged Halftime Report on Monday.

That was a mistake.

Cramer opened things innocuously enough, stating B of A made a "huge" call to downgrade NKE because Kevin Plank is "your worst nightmare opponent."

"Nike is the Google of shoes," claimed Pete Najarian, who disagrees with the downgrade.

Joe Terranova claimed the "new trend" for women on weekends is wearing adidas sneakers. Joe predicted that when the money goes out of adidas, it should go "rightfully into Kevin's company" because of Plank's plans for 2017-18.

That crossed the line for Pete, who said that what he heard from the Plank interview last week was a lot of spending on the horizon, and "that's gonna be the problem."

Joe said he agrees, but, "He's not taking on debt! He's got the money!"

Pete scoffed that the B of A note made a big deal about Nike's lost market share, like when people would say Google is down from 90% to 88% and losing share to Yahoo.

Resuming the argument later, Joe told Pete, "You aren't (sic tense) wearing adidas I don't think a couple of years ago." Pete retorted, "A couple years ago I was wearing it," mentioning the University of Nebraska deal.

"Nebraska is different than a societal fashion trend when you walk around on the weekend and you're in Starbucks and you look down and everyone's got these adidas shoes on," Joe insisted.

"I disagree totally. You're in a different world," Pete scoffed.

Jim Lebenthal said once it gets to 48, NKE is at the "top of my buy list."

Stephen Weiss called UA "egregiously overvalued."

Jonathan Krinsky dialed in to sort of take a victory lap on last year's NKE bear call and said it's not quite time to buy yet, but he said 45 would be "the next real support level." He said UA "sets up a bit better" short term than NKE.

Stephen Weiss said he'd rather be long NKE and short UA and would even prefer FL long to both.

Judge claimed he wanted to ‘break some things’ over NFL officiating

Perhaps the reason Judge was asleep at the switch on Monday's Halftime was because he had to wake up early Sunday to watch the Skins' game.

"The zebras in our game. I wanted to break some things in the house," Judge revealed.

Seema briefly caught off guard by Judge’s hurry-up offense

Pete Najarian on Monday's disaster of a Halftime Report said the GE-BHI deal "makes a lot of sense."

Pete noted that GE has been "gettin' themselves out of financial" (8-year vintage Drink).

Jim Cramer, forgetting that CNBC's parent company is now Comcast, said it's Jeff Immelt's "finest deal." (There have been so many contenders for that honor.)

Judge tried to say that Joe "interestingly enough" exited SLB on Friday but Joe would have none of it, stating there's "multiple reasons" for him to be "paring back" in energy. "Schlumberger is a quality company," Joe insisted.

Stephen Weiss said oil goes lower, and if he were in the space, he'd choose nat gas.

Jim Cramer called Goldman's pro-CVX vs. XOM call "a very good one."

Why does Mel say they’re ‘overlooking New York City’s Times Square’? Is there some other Times Square that hosts a stock-market show?

Joe Terranova on Monday's Halftime said he thinks DE is capable of reaching 95.

Pete Najarian said to "stay away" from CTL.

Steve Weiss said there's "more to come" in TMH.

Jim Lebenthal said you can take gains in QCOM.

Jim Cramer called MRK a buy.

[Friday, October 28, 2016]

Pete Rose did the wrong thing,
still should be in Hall of Fame

Concluding a (mildly) celeb fortnight, former Yankee star Mark Teixeira visited with Friday's Halftime Report crew to help the show celebrate its 5th-year anniversary.

Impressively, he didn't shy away from a polarizing baseball topic — whether Alex Rodriguez and Pete Rose belong in the Hall of Fame.

Teixeira explained that he's friends with Rodriguez but said Rodriguez made mistakes. As for Rose, "Pete did a bad thing and lied to a lot of people for a long time. Um, I don't think he's, he should be in the Hall of Fame," Teixeira said.

We agree Pete made a big mistake. Why baseball continues this ridiculous witch-hunt against one of its greatest competitors (now 75 years old), we have no clue.

Unfortunately for the program, Teixeira said "following the stock market every day doesn't really uh float my boat." Oh well. It's not for everyone. (Including some of the people on the programs.)

Taking a page from Mike Murphy's portfolio, Teixeira said JuicePress was the best investment he's ever made; Judge threw in Wheels Up.

Teixeira said more kids need to be watching and following baseball, but one sign the sport is doing well is that "nobody's selling baseball teams right now."

In May, McCaskill’s office was 9 miles from Mallinckrodt

Someone whose boat is floated by the stock market, Andrew Left, told Judge on Friday's Halftime his MYL long is "very similar" to a position mentioned by David Einhorn a month ago, whatever that is/was. Left said it's "completely outrageous" for the Senate to make MYL the figurehead of drug-pricing outrage. "Mylan has been completely collateral damage to the real culprits in this business," he said.

Left stressed that Senator Claire McCaskill should go "2 miles from her office and go look at Mallinckrodt."

In a curious call, Left touted RH as being un-Amazonable and said he's shorting W (the stock, not Bush) against it, citing impossible furniture shipping costs.

Kourtney Gibson contended, "We're back again where it's a stock-picker's market" (Drink).

Jon Najarian said to "keep an eye on" LULU.

No one’s told us yet how much EpiPen is supposed to cost

Just a day ago, Mark Fichthorn made the case for shorting ESRX as a play against the PBM pricing system.

That proved instant cash, as Jon Najarian revealed on Friday's Halftime he bought an ESRX put spread based on what Fichthorn said.

"Didn't think it would pay off this fast," Najarian said.

Doc echoed Fichthorn's argument, stating that while there's some transparency in the space, "A bunch of 'em … are instead just gouging the heck out of the insurance companies."

Jim Lebenthal trumpeted ALXN and BMY as health-care names that can win, even though BMY has been shellacked for a while.

Josh Brown, in way too long of a windup, tried to say health care stocks look terrible technically but appealing on valuation.

Brown added, "These stocks are acting as though, uh, we're about to completely socialize drug pricing."

Has anyone ever said that it’s good to have a part-time CEO?

Normally, he doesn't make stock calls.

But Frequent Halftime Report guest Ross Levinsohn on Friday said he's calling Todd and Andy Perry, who manage his money, and telling them, "Buy as much as you can" of AMZN, because "this is a company that for the next hundred years is gonna own sectors."

A hundred-year call on a day trade. #signsofthetop

A little overly excited about a big deal that likely won't happen, Ross' most provocative comment this time was his suggestion "someone like Verizon" could buy a combined VIAB-CBS; he also said to look at SNE and sorta pronounced the whole space in play.

Reverting to an incredibly tiresome subject, Levinsohn said TWTR gets sold, suggesting Google (Drink) as the buyer. "This is a great real-time information product," he said.

He indicated the size of GOOGL will somehow monetize TWTR. "Salesforce isn't a big enough company to do that," Levinsohn said.

Invoking the cliche of the quarter on CEO being a part-time job, Levinsohn asserted, "I think Jack has to choose."

Levinsohn said FB is becoming "more and more of a content company."

Kourtney Gibson gushed about FB called it a long-term, "solid, solid" name to hold. (Not sure if that's the same 100-year horizon as AMZN.)

Judge said Levinsohn made a lot of people at the Nasdaq mad by suggesting Snapchat will "probably" IPO on the NYSE.

Quizzed about the nation's top television products, Levinsohn called the NFL "the No. 1 draft pick" for anyone picking a media entity.

Josh Brown said he bought BABA in the high 60s and sold in the upper 70s.

Kourtney Gibson said "at the end of the day," she bought T because it's a "long-term great play."

Jim Lebenthal, who had a very quiet show, contended that T-TWX has no Sherman Antitrust Act issues and that "logic" will prevail after the election. But Josh Brown predicted more than a year of "horrendous" headline risk.

[Thursday, October 27, 2016]

Kevin O’Leary bored after 20 minutes of signing bottles of wine with a felt marker in Philly

Kevin O'Leary on Thursday's Halftime said he's dabbling in health care because of a poll he took while at a Philadelphia event where he was selling his wine and signing bottles with a felt marker.

"After about 20 minutes, I get bored," O'Leary explained. "So I start asking people, 'Who you voting for?' Half of them won't tell me, but 525 of them did … Hillary won by 2 votes. That's it."

So O'Leary said he got long IHI, PJP, IBB and "GNFX" (sic actually GNRX).

John Fichthorn said "at the end of the day" (Drink) while making the case against ESRX, stating the PBMs "are not managing drug prices for the people they should be. They're managing it for themselves. … They try to keep the drug prices high."

Judge read a statement from ESRX, telling Fichthorn they released it "knowing that you were coming on today." The company said (according to the screen graphic) that "Express Scripts is a market force that uniquely puts medicine within reach by driving down cost of care and improving health outcomes." Also they said, "As always, we intend to fully cooperate."

Guest tells Judge that Elon Musk ‘fabricated’ a strong quarter

Most of the terminology except for "at the end of the day" heard on the Halftime Report is measured and cautious.

So it's rare when a guest will declare that Elon Musk "fabricated" a strong quarter.

That happened Thursday, when John Fichthorn said he's short TSLA and bemoaned, "It's a Tesla quarter, right."

"I was actually thinking the same thing," said Stephen Weiss, stating SCTY "makes no sense to me" and that Musk "needed to make sense."

Weiss said the Consumer Reports evaluation of Tesla's latest car is "just stark."

Kevin O'Leary said Amazon is different than Tesla because Tesla makes one thing, a car, while Amazon has a "tremendously diverse platform of income."

O'Leary questioned how TSLA can trade at its valuation: "I just want the truth, Judge. I just want the truth."

Fichthorn called TWTR an "interesting asset." But O'Leary wasn't impressed.

"I'm coming to the conclusion that Twitter is a feature. It's not a business," O'Leary said. "I think it's on its way to 12 bucks."

Nobody on the 5 p.m. Fast Money said they would buy AMZN in the afterhours selloff on Thursday.

In the last 2 weeks, Halftime Report has crossed the ‘scumbag’ and ‘dump’ barriers

John Fichthorn said at the top of Thursday's Halftime that being short bonds is his largest position.

"If those yields go up, you could see these equity prices get- get killed, really," Fichthorn added.

Stephen Weiss pointed out the 10-year was at 3% in 2013, and "we can get there."

Joe Terranova, who's had quiet shows all week, said "the algos" are having "a field day" by slamming the S&P when it hits 2,165 and 2,170.

Joe said he added USB because it could be the "winner" in the WFC "saga." He also said he bought RF.

Joe called P under 12 a "gift."

Not all of Fichthorn's short ideas sound great, but he provides plenty of food for thought. He said he's short PTC, one we've never heard of. "In software, there's always room for creative accounting," Fichthorn said, adding that "at the end of the day" (Drink), Wall Street pays a different multiple for a subscription business than for a licensing business.

Judge pointed out that the "wave" is pushing against Fichthorn on PTC. Fichthorn insisted, "The thesis is right."

Fichthorn said he's short RMD, citing pressure on CPAP devices.

He said he's short EXAS, a company that specializes in what he described as "take a dump in a box and send it to a tester." He said that around his office, they say, "This stock is a bag of …"

He asserted, "The test doesn't in fact, you know, give you the right answer."

Fichthorn is also negative on KMX and AN and HOG and said "at the end of the day" (Double Drink), low rates drive people to buy cars, but we're "starting to see defaults tick up."

Anthony Grisanti said there's more room for higher 10-year yields. Bob Iaccino though said he'd rather take a shot on the long side.

Judge doesn’t bother to ask Michael Ovitz about DIS succession plan (but thinks ‘big’ movie stars no longer exist)

You'd think there'd be few people in the universe with as much insight into DIS succession plans as Michael Ovitz.

Yet somehow, with this subject prominent in the news, Judge never bothered to bring it up during Ovitz's call into Thursday's Halftime Report. (Translation: Someone probably said, "OK, I'll do the show, but no questions about Disney.") (Translation 2: Nobody felt obliged to gush this time "omg, if they get Sheryl Sandberg, that'd just be sooooooo awesome," even though they've actually never met Sandberg.)

Nevertheless, Ovitz congratulated Judge on 5 years of Halftime (clarification: Judge hasn't hosted all 5 of the years) and all of his "fantastic" interviews.

Actually, Judge uncorked a head-scratcher, asking Ovitz, "What's happened to the big movie star? … It seems as though something certainly has changed from the days prior where you had 10 huge names, and now they're just hard- harder to come by."

Hmmm … "big" movie stars are now "harder to come by."

Ovitz said, "It's a different world today," stating Hollywood used to have a "controlled distribution system" with "barriers to entry."

Mostly, Ovitz gushed about smart dudes in Silicon Valley. "You run the gambit (sic meant "gamut") from one end to the other with all these brilliant young people up there," Ovitz said.

"We've seen a complete change in what the definition of 'content' is," he added.

Judge pronounced Ovitz's art collection "pretty amazing." Ovitz said, "I think at the end of the day (Drink), there's a much wider interest in art than ever before."

More from Thursday's Halftime later.

[Wednesday, October 26, 2016]

Neither Kevin Plank nor Mario Gabelli expresses opinion of Twitter charging $1 a month to drop the trolls and get $200 million in free cash flow

Pete Najarian on Wednesday's Halftime Report compared AAPL's multiple to UA's multiple. But what does UA's multiple have to do with whether you should buy Apple stock?

The panel did a go-round on how great AAPL is despite the selloff. "The people buying iPhones are clients for life," said Josh Brown.

Mario Gabelli, the star guest after Kevin Plank (but he didn't get the table to himself), made no distinction between "defense" stocks and "defensive" stocks. But he made the case for HRS and TXT and AJRD.

Gabelli also touted HRI as an infrastructure play and suggested it could be a "triple."

He also touted SNE and FIZZ and MSG.

Jon Najarian said CMG just needs "time" to turn around, and he's not buying the dip.

Scott Nations said a bunch of countries want exemptions from OPEC cuts. Brian Stutland said the oil VIX is falling, which implies people are more comfortable with the price going higher, but he still sees a range.

Mario Gabelli seemed to endorse MGM and WYNN, but it wasn't really clear how much he likes casinos in general.

Gabelli said "the good news" is that one of the two major presidential candidates will lose. "I like Time Warner on its own," Gabelli said.

Kevin Plank has rather lofty goals for Under Armour stores

Kevin Plank, star guest of Wednesday's Halftime who got the whole table to himself, shrugged off his stock's shellacking, telling Judge, "We've been in the deep end of the pool for a long time."

Then he rattled off all kinds of numbers, over and over again, as to how far UA has come in 4 years, 20 years, etc.

Plank said "sometimes" people pay too much attention to the operating margin rate. He also said his company has had a 50 P.E. since going public in 2005.

Judge noted Plank's harsh words for the competition. Plank said, "You should hear the things they call us."

Judge rightly questioned the concept of UA opening stores. Plank said the goal of the stores is to be nothing less than "the greatest retail experience of all time."

Plank said "runway" (Drink) even more than Marc Lasry says "at the end of the day" (Double Drink).

Judge asked Plank whom he's voting for. "I didn't expect that," Plank said. "I want America to win."

Jon Najarian said he bought January 32.50 UA calls. Pete Najarian though said he's still concerned about "margin pressure." Josh Brown first said he agreed with both, even though they disagreed on whether it's a buy, then said you rarely get a chance to buy a growth name such as UA on this kind of a pullback. Doc said he's also in LULU.

[Tuesday, October 25, 2016]

Caterpillar CEO is
named Doug, not Joe

Jim Chanos on Tuesday's Halftime took a minor victory lap on CAT's tumble even though the stock was barely down a dollar.

The key comment was when Chanos admitted he's been short since 2012 and been saying the same old refrain ever since.

Steph Link called CAT's flat 2017 guidance "heroic."

Judge again fails to ask Toni Sacconaghi about the loopy notion of subscribing to iPads

In an unfortunately choppy and redundant episode of Tuesday's Halftime Report, Toni Sacconaghi said that, unless there's a blowout or "unmitigated disaster," AAPL investors will focus "on what the guidance is for the December quarter."

Imagine that. Investors focusing on guidance.

Doc and Pete mentioned Apple "services" (Drink).

Sacconaghi said you can't really own AAPL long term unless you think it's got another great new thing around the corner. Doc strangely mocked that argument by stating that if you can't own AAPL, you can't own GM. Judge seemed confused and didn't pursue.

Sacconaghi didn't say anything this time about subscribing to a "services" package (and didn't ask Tim Cook about it during the conference call that was aired on the 5 p.m. Fast Money, which seems odd if this "subscription" plan is supposedly what the company should do) but said it's "unlikely" that AAPL would bid for TWX.

Early in the program, Doc was practically speechless on the T-TWX deal, noting the long-term time frame and claiming, "This isn't even a trade."

If Twitter has troll problems and is burning through cash, why doesn’t it charge $1 a month and get rid of the trolls and add $200 million in free cash flow?

In what unfortunately was mostly a Jim Chanos Greatest Hits episode, Judge asked the famed short seller on Tuesday's Halftime to once again carp about BABA.

"This is an accounting story," Chanos said.

Countering Chanos, Pete Najarian predicted we'll "wrestle with" the accounting of Chinese ADRs for a decade. But Pete said that when you look at the BABA "ecosystem," people will say it's "a lot like" Amazon, Apple and Google.

Chanos said he thinks the BABA exec, a fellow Yalie or something like that, who mentioned his name at a conference has "consolidated uh results of all your affiliates" and that there's up to $20 billion of salaries not accounted for or something like that.

Doc tried to make an analogy between BABA and TWTR and said TWTR's problem, other than "trolls," is that "they just burn through cash."

December: When the Fed finally heroically puts the brakes on the nation’s runaway growth

Tuesday's Halftime Report opened with UA's slide, and Judge immediately called on the person who most likes to talk about it.

"I have not bought it yet," said Pete Najarian.

Joe Terranova, who had another quiet show, said UA is a story of "shifting strategy."

Jon Najarian said he's "certainly looking at that 31 level" for a UA trade. Judge carped that "a dollar 47 makes that much of a difference for ya … like it at 31, I don't like it at 32.05."

Jim Chanos said he's negative on athleisure for a "variety of reasons" but refused to name any stocks in that sector.

Rick Rieder said you can "pretty much write off, write off November" for a rate hike, which makes December "almost definitive."

Chanos predicted a Democratic White House and Senate but a GOP House. He said he's "writing in" a presidential candidate.

Chanos said the metrics Bill Miller is using to analyze VRX are "really, really questionable" and asserted the company is being run for the bondholders.

Honestly, Chanos has a lot — a lot — more stock-market savvy than we do. However, we've learned to be skeptical when short sellers insist the numbers can't work or don't add up, if for no other reason than that's what Len Brecken always used to say about Netflix.

Jeff Kilburg said to buy the dips in crude. Jim Iuorio said to look for 47.30.

[Monday, October 24, 2016]

Weiss says he bought NFLX Friday afternoon on takeout speculation then dumped it Monday morning

Rich Greenfield on Monday's Halftime said the TWX deal is a "great ending" for Jeff Bewkes, then actually made an analogy to "The Facts of Life" theme song.

Actually, without harping on it, Greenfield implied that the deal might be a gift "from," rather than "to," AT&T. "I think this is literally (Drink) Time Warner going, 'Look, we have a buyer right now. In 2 years, it's going to be worse,'" Greenfield said.

"I think Jeff Bewkes will go down as one of the smartest CEOs ever in the media space for knowing when to exit stage left," Greenfield added.

Greenfield said there's nothing technically apparent to derail the T-TWX deal, but it could be something like Comcast-Time Warner Cable "where the grass-roots kinda political momentum literally (sic) (Double Drink) destroyed the chances of a deal getting approval."

Greenfield said there's a "good chance" DIS makes a purchase, and NFLX would be an ideal target.

"I don't think anyone's next," said Joe Terranova of future media deals.

"Netflix is next," countered Stephen Weiss, revealing he "bought it after close on Friday … sold it this morning, because I didn't get enough position for it to matter," whatever that means.

Weiss contended, "Apple's gotta do something, or it's doomed to be irrelevant as just a consumer product company."

Bill Miller said Greenfield's right but noted Amazon wasn't mentioned and that's a direct-to-consumer name like Netflix. Miller said AMZN is "not terribly expensive" and hailed its growth from $400 million market cap to $400 billion.

"Jeff's an authentic business genius," said Miller, without mentioning the inauthentic ones.

Ivy Zelman asks Judge personal question that has no relevance to the conversation

Ivy Zelman dialed in to Monday's Halftime Report to pronounce her sector in good shape.

"I think the housing market looks very good overall," Zelman said.

Judge asked Zelman if millennials may never buy homes like people expect.

"Scott are you married and have children?" (sic grammar), Zelman asked.

"I am" (sic grammar), Judge said.

"It's hard enough to be married; imagine living in an apartment with 900 square feet and then adding a few children," Zelman said.

Zelman, who trumpeted LEN, likes everything except multifamily apartment REITs.

Steve Weiss, who said he once employed Zelman's husband, told Zelman there's been a "crimp" in bank lending and no sign of it coming back. Zelman said, "Well, Steve, we've known each other a long time, but I have to tell you, you're wrong. You're wrong," pointing to non-banks' presence in the mortgage market.

Weiss asked if those players aren't "creating another bubble" with 3%-down mortgages. Zelman said the standards are different now and the lies are gone.

Joe Terranova, who had a quiet show, trumpeted VMC, MLM and an old favorite, LPX (Drink).

Why doesn’t TWTR charge AT&T and Comcast to access its website?

There's a reason these kinds of ideas don't work.

Bill Miller, star guest of Monday's Halftime, asserted, "If Twitter did a Netflix … if Twitter charged a dollar month to everybody who's on, who's, you know, signed up and on Twitter, if they lost a third of their subscribers, they wouldn't, that would still be, what, 200, $200 million a month of free cash flow."

Um, doubt it.

Josh Brown though seemed to agree with Miller, stating, "You would lose the worst subs arguably. You would lose the people that you most wanna lose." (Is he talking about the people who try to make a funny joke?)

Miller claimed the service has a monetary value: "I would pay a dollar a month just to get Larry Summers' stuff on Twitter," Miller said.

Which means Miller would pay for gems such as "Watch Now! My interview with Kelly Evans @CNBCClosingBell from the #InclusiveCapitalism conference"

Miller took a page from Dan Nathan's cliche book, albeit using "asset" rather than "property," stating, "I think Twitter is a unique asset" and calling it "insane" for Twitter to have a part-time CEO.

Jim Lebenthal on Friday hailed how TBS has renegotiated contracts; Rich Greenfield on Monday says TBS stinks

Bill Miller on Monday's Halftime said stocks remain in a bull market, though we've got a "benign bear market in bonds."

Miller said "secular stagnation" also could be called "excess of savings" by those with a more optimistic view.

Joe Terranova said "time is running out for that bearish argument in the near term."

Phil LeBeau reported that Buick finally made the top 3 in Consumer Reports reliability. The bottom 4 are all Fiat Chrysler brands. LeBeau said Tesla's Model X is ranked the "least reliable mid-size luxury SUV" because of the falcon-wing doors.

Miller said he loves the airlines. Miller said DAL "shunk (sic) their shares."

He said he owns VRX anywhere from 20-35. "We just bought more last week," Miller said. "We think the stock doubles in 3 years."

Miller said crude's in a 40-60 range but that "most" big-energy stocks reflect a higher price than that and thus are expensive.

Miller said he's a "big fan" of passive investing and even mentioned a term we hadn't heard in a while, "closet indexer."

Miller touted OMF as "crazy cheap."

[Friday, October 21, 2016]

People with 18, 19 Twitter accounts attack Cramer every hour (cont’d)

Jim Lebenthal on Friday's Halftime said TWX is a "very good deal for AT&T" and trumpeted TBS' renegotiated contracts, although Craig Moffett on the 5 p.m. Fast articulated several good points about how there really aren't any synergies, but just side-by-side businesses.

Stephen Weiss said PYPL had a great quarter, though it was a "tale of 2 cities" with EBAY. (However, he didn't quite use the John Edwards-esque "2 groups" of stocks in this market like Rich Pzena a day ago.)

Stephanie Link touted DOV, PH and UNP.

Joe Terranova said he's staying long SLB.

Josh Brown said it's a "very very brutal" environment for craft breweries. Doc said RAI had unusual activity before Friday's jump.

Sarat Sethi trumpeted QCOM.

On the 5 p.m. Fast Money, Dan Nathan tried to claim Marc Benioff's a wimp for letting shareholders talk him out of buying TWTR, but Karen Finerman, who looked like a multimillion bucks in new hairstyle and blue top, praised Benioff for having "good discipline."

Mel also gave some more airtime to dy-no-mite CNBC superfox Aditi Roy.

‘Passive-active’ electing

Mark Fisher, a great Halftime Report guest who hasn't been on for a long time, has figured out a good way to play the active-vs.-passive debate.

Jon Najarian on Friday's Halftime asked Fish if he's excited about Fish's 40-stock ETF that's being launched; Judge interjected to tell viewers what it's all about.

Fish said neither the Dow nor S&P nor any other indexes "represent what's essential to the way we live."

How these "essential" stocks are chosen, or why this process would take 9 months, we're not really sure, but we did learn according to the graphic that CBS is apparently "essential" (but there's no sign TWTR is too).

Fish admitted, "I could be calling the top of the ETF bubble." But then he explained a curious new approach: "What we're creating is not really just a passive index, it's more of an- it's passive-active for lack of a better word."

"Securities today, the more you trade, the more you lose," Fish said.

Meanwhile, Fisher predicted a "slow grind up" for the price of oil over the next 12-18 months, establishing a range of 55-65. "I think that every dip has to be bought," Fisher said, also predicting nat gas could reach $4 spot.

Joe Terranova actually told Fish he wouldn't ask him who's going to win the presidential election because it "really doesn't matter very much."

Fish said the big winner of a Democratic takeover of Congress would be Chuck Schumer (snicker).

‘The first 10 months are gonna be massively important’ for the next president

Not a word was mentioned about AMD $7 calls on Friday's Halftime, but Jon Najarian said "knock on wood," he bought MSFT on Monday because of "unusual activity" and bought "more" on Thursday.

Joe Terranova said, "I think Microsoft goes after Adobe in a big acquisition attempt."

Pete Najarian said, "I understand Joe's point. … They don't have to make massive acquisitions at this point in time."

Jim Lebenthal called INTC a "key buy here."

Pete called INTC "a little bit of a stumble."

Stephanie Link said she wouldn't chase MCD and prefers YUM.

Joe called MCD "fairly valued" and said it's facing a dollar headwind. Joe touted "all the pizza names."

Steve Weiss said SHAK is "not out of the woods yet." (He didn't say it's boring, overpriced food and a lackluster dining environment.)

Pete said there was activity in MT calls.

Weiss said the "general consensus" is that this is a "grind up and grind higher" market.

"It's not grinding higher," countered Jim Lebenthal.

Josh Brown said "it costs nothing" for someone to air the opinion of being "cautious" on the market.

Sir, why is your ballclub the most hated sports team of all time?

Well, when Robert Kraft appears on your program and says he's "honored to be here, to honor you, uh, and your show" … you're probably not gonna give him the Elizabeth Warren treatment.

So, Robert Kraft on Friday's Halftime got to claim his Pats are all about the "system," stating, "We have a system in place; we're all very passionate about trying to do whatever we can to put our team in the best position to win, year in, year out."

Judge, intrigued by NFL TV ratings, asked if the league isn't "oversaturated."

"We think about it all the time," Kraft said.

Judge mentioned, "We're on to Cincinnati." Kraft had to explain they play the Steelers this week. He didn't explain that the Steelers are a suck-ass outfit who deserve to lose and should be embarrassed in this game.

[Thursday, October 20, 2016]

Barry Rosenstein: Passive management is like any other Wall Street ‘bubble’

One thing that has become crystal clear during the Halftime Report's 5-year anniversary celebration:

This is a lousy market.

Guest after guest says (not the exact words) that this market sucks; they're all skeptical of something and insist the only way to get long is in special situations.

On Thursday's Halftime, Judge in an absurdly long windup asked Barry Rosenstein if active management is dead. (Wonder what the answer was going to be.) Rosenstein said that's "ridiculous" and said passive is a "bubble like ev- like every other bubble, you know, what you see on Wall Street."

Judge noted a story in the WSJ about this. Rich Pzena said, "By the time the Wall Street Journal's writing the story, you know the trend is over" and suggested a big problem for active management is that "when value doesn't work, active management doesn't work."

Steve Weiss said "correlations were at an all-time high," which was driving passive investing because there's no differentiation between the sectors.

Rosenstein said he looks for special situations and made the case for CAG.

Pzena said it's been a market of "2 groups" of stocks, the "lower for longer" plays and those not in synch with lower for longer. So he sees value in banks.

Jon Najarian told Pzena, "People look at Pete & I, and they think, 'Oh, these are wild option guys. Wild derivative guys.'" But actually, the Najarians like "share shrinkers" that buy back stock. So Doc, after another absurdly long windup, said he agrees with Pzena.

Pzena likes HLT because people are "fearful" that we're near the end of a cycle. But he said supply is still "substantially modest." Taking a cue from that Marcato guy's predicted BWLD triple, Judge suggested Barron's thinks there's 60% upside in HLT. Pzena said the spinoff can deliver 20%, but "I find it difficult to come up with that 50 or 60% number."

Rosenstein said "I don't think there's any question" that Hillary Clinton will win the election.

Not being "wild option guys," Jon Najarian said AMD October 7 calls expiring Friday were very popular and that, based on this finding, he got in for a 12-hour trade. (Unfortunately, doesn't look like they paid off, but then again, at least he measured his risk and didn't buy 100,000 shares of stock.) (This review was posted after extended-trading hours.) Pete Najarian said X October 18.50 calls were also popular.

Brian Stutland said there's a little profit-taking in crude. Jim Iuorio said crude has had trouble at 52 and predicted it gets rejected there again.

Rich Pzena said STX is in the "middle" of correcting its overcapacity from storing on devices to storing in the cloud, and it's a large holding.

Barry Rosenstein credited Judge for a "terrific show." Judge's remarkably humble graciousness in handling all of the compliments makes you want to go on there and congratulate him.

Dan Nathan on the 5 p.m. Fast Money said he's not buying MSFT at all-time highs and made some reference to 1999. "What does that have to do with anything?!?!!!!" bellowed Tim Seymour. Karen Finerman said MSFT's P.E. now vs. what it was in 1999 makes the stock a lot more attractive now than it was then.

[Wednesday, October 19, 2016]

Nelson Peltz denies Keith Meister’s suggestion that he’s apologizing for his line of work

In what will probably be one of the more provocative comments of the Halftime Report's 5-year celebration, Nelson Peltz made the interesting argument that the Fed should not hike.

"Who can afford more interest," Peltz wondered aloud, "and why make the dollar stronger Scott? I mean it doesn't make sense."

Of course, he's absolutely right. The Fed's in a phony, phantom, wishful-thinking and effect-mistaken-as-cause cycle. Prior to 2008, generally people agreed when rates should rise and should fall; for the last several years, there's no indication whatsoever the world needs rate hikes for anything except to fulfill someone's inaccurate predictions from months or years ago.

Peltz also said it "looks like" Clinton will win, though it's "not a given," and if "she" (sic) takes the House of the Representatives, the market goes down.

Nevertheless, "I hear much more negativity than I should be hearing," Peltz said.

Peltz, so far the best guest of anniversary week, said what he cares about regarding presidential politics is that whoever wins will "reach across the aisle" (snicker).

Keith Meister actually said of the new presidency, "The first 10 months are gonna be massively important."

Peltz said of GE, "If the quarter's off a bit, so what?"

At one point, Keith Meister told Judge, "I don't think Nelson needs to apologize for being an 'activist,'" saying the term has been "proliferated" by the media.

"I'm not apologizing," said Peltz, explaining that "activist has become somewhat of a dirty word."

Peltz wished Judge "mazel tov."

Keith Meister claims Twitter is ‘gonna change the world’

Keith Meister on Wednesday's Halftime Report somehow called TWTR "a great example of active investing," stating that at the potential suitors, "the managements listened" before making a foolhardy bid for this ridiculously overvalued unique property.

Jim Cramer said, "Twitter has to clean up its act. I wonder whether there are 309 million people, given that there are people with 18 and 19 accounts who attack me under different names every, every hour."

Hmmmm. Sounds like a great company with a great product.

Meister actually said, "This is a tremendously valuable asset, right. The question is, what's the business model. … It's gonna change the world."

Meanwhile, Meister likes P, but he doesn't want to "steal the thunder" from the company's presentation next week.

Meister praised the addition of independent directors to WMB (Zzzzzzz).

He said the YUM spinoff is a case of "1 + 1 equaling more than 2."

Keith Meister said stocks are "more towards a top than a bottom."

Anthony Grisanti said "there's a bunch of tops" in the crude chart. Jeff Kilburg suggested 46 in the near future.

CNBC superfox Seema Mody turned up on the 5 p.m. Fast Money in new zippered turquoise top.

Cramer showed up and delivered a nice tribute to Judge. Cramer said the Halftime Report is "fodder for thinking about where you should put your money."

Kabuki theater sighting (but not regarding the presidential debate)

Jim Chanos, from some Silicon Valley conference, got top billing on Wednesday's Halftime, but everyone had a dilly of a time with the satellite delay. (Tip: When conversing with someone on a slow satellite, don't offer interjections while he or she is talking.)

Chanos said "the whole kabuki theater" (Drink) of the Tesla reservation website was "pretty funny," but because of where he was this day, he had to "look behind my shoulder" when talking about his TSLA short.

Keith Meister said Tesla should be focusing on its business and not buying SCTY, suggesting it sounds a bit like FCX buying the oil and gas plays. Chanos called that an "apt" analogy and cited "corporate governance" (Drink).

"It just makes no sense," Chanos said of TSLA-SCTY, "other than to, uh, we believe bail out the insiders."

Judge asked Chanos why he keeps trying to short something as resilient as TSLA. Chanos pointed to Doug Oberhelman exiting CAT.

Going out on a limb, Pete Najarian called TSLA "one of the most difficult stocks to diagnose."

More from Wednesday's Halftime later.

[Tuesday, October 18, 2016]

‘Women say things about men’ (not really cont’d)

Viewers of Tuesday's sleepy Halftime Report at least got a lesson in computer science.

Marc Lasry told Judge he doesn't think "quid pro quo" or the deleting of Hillary Clinton's emails is a big issue, stating someone who sends an email has a copy and someone who receives an email has a copy.

Jamie Dinan said a Clinton win would be "positive for equities globally." (Translation: Judge isn't a "hypocrite" this time for bringing up the latest election news because women say the darnedest things too.)

Meanwhile, Dinan said there's a "90%" chance of a December hike and called the U.S. stock market "fairly valued."

Lasry said, "I don't think it's a great environment" for stocks.

Pointing to the likes of Elizabeth Warren, et al., Dinan said it's a "tricky slope" to be "demonizing" hard-working, successful people.

Lasry, who says "at the end of the day" (Drink) all the time including 5 times (that's correct) Tuesday, grumbled that every fine against banks is money they can't lend out. Josh Brown said, "It's also shareholder capital they're taking. They're not- they're not taking money from the bad actors. It's literally (sic) (Drink) taking money from shareholders."

Dinan said STJ is in "the land of merger arbitrage." He said the doubts about MON make it an attractive play, because he thinks it closes and "the downside is manageable."

Lasry said there are "huge opportunities" in the energy debt space because companies have gotten delevered. He called DYN "massively undervalued." Dinan trumpeted how unsecured debt in some names were "dead men walking" 6 months ago.

Judge asked Jamie Dinan to paint a looooonnnnnng picture about active vs. passive management.

Citing Tom Brady, Dinan said who the quarterback is makes a "huge difference" in how good a team is.

Anthony Grisanti said the dollar is forecasting a December hike. Scott Nations said the dollar index will come back to 96 absent a "meaningful" rate hike.

Judge had a sharp new tie and gave a nice shout-out to the front page of the WSJ.

[Monday, October 17, 2016]

Over/under on date Trump concedes election: Dec. 20 (2019)

Carl Icahn used his appearance on the 5th anniversary of the Halftime Report — a show that broke the "scumbag" barrier (see below) — to try to convince Judge that Judge hears guys talking like Donald Trump on soap opera buses all the time.

Carl said, "I think this whole business, that 10 years ago, he had some conversation on a bus, it- to me is sort of absurd … it's almost hypocritical to keep saying, 'Oh isn't it terrible, isn't it terrible.'"

"Women say things about men," Carl added.

After realizing that Judge wasn't interested in Carl's concerns about EPA regulations, Icahn told him, "Scott, you're not gonna tell me that you've never gone to a bachelor party and heard that kind of language. Are you gonna tell me that?"

"I have not heard that kind of language," Judge revealed.

"You don't go to bachelor parties. Or you're a hypocrite," Carl said.

Now, let's think about that one for a moment.

If Judge says he hasn't heard that language, how exactly does that make him a "hypocrite"?

If Judge was complaining about the language — he didn't complain; he suggested it's a serious problem for Trump — even that wouldn't make him a "hypocrite."

Judge would only be a "hypocrite" if he used or cheered that language while condemning it from Trump.

Nothing of the sort happened on the program.

Frankly, no disrespect to Mr. Icahn, but Judge needed to take off the kid gloves this time and tell Carl, "Get real — you're seriously saying it doesn't matter if we've got a president going around talking about grabbing women by the p----? And that anyone who questions that is a 'hypocrite' (sic) who needs to go to bachelor parties???"

Was this for real? Guess it was.

Meanwhile, Mr. Day of Reckoning contended, "A lot of S&P companies I think, uh, are way overvalued, uh, considering the risk premium."

Judge reported, "There's a story that just literally (sic) (Drink) dropped from Vanity Fair today … the headline is, 'Is Bill Ackman toast?'"

"That's what he said Herbalife was," Carl chortled.

Judge’s gift for Halftime’s 5th anniversary is having to work a double shift on 5 p.m. Fast

Jeff Gundlach, who a while back predicted a Trump victory, unfortunately only got the table scraps of air time from Monday's Halftime.

Gundlach said a "majority" of Fed funds members want to raise rates in December, so there's about a 2/3 chance of that happening. But Gundlach thinks Yellen was "kind of moving the goalpost" on the unemployment rate.

"I would just be defensive in general," Gundlach said.

All well and good, except he nearly sounded borderline loopy in contending, "I actually don't think the uh election outcome is really all that important because I think both candidates will be caught up in this trend of fiscal stimulus."

In a class comment, Gundlach — one of business TV's undeniably best guests — told Judge, "You do a great job." Judge said a big part of the long-term success of the show is guests like Gundlach.

Judge for whatever reason opted to pay a 3-man panel for about 70 seconds of sound bites. "The market is on the defensive right now," said Joe Terranova.

Steve Weiss said the 10-year goes through 2% "easily."

On show’s 5th anniversary, ‘scumbag’ is heard for likely the 1st time

David Tepper didn't seem to think his views on the stock market were worth hearing on Monday's celebratory Halftime Report.

After some clumsy exchanges at the top, Judge told Tepper he's "wondering what your view on the market is."

"You're asking me just on the stock market," Tepper said with some form of a sigh before concluding, "It's your 5th anniversary. It's your party."

Tepper explained, "It's still some of the same issues I've talked about in the past (sic last 3 words redundant)," suggesting margins being under pressure because of wages and "OK" but not "great" returns.

"We're pretty light in the stock market right now," Tepper said.

He said "it's fair to say" the market wouldn't like a Democratic sweep.

Tepper said the candidates for president include one person with "questionable judgment" and another who may be "demented, narcissistic and a scumbag."

Judge asked, "Are you shorting Treasurys? You shorting bonds?" But that one didn't go over too well, with Tepper responding, "I'm not long them. Listen to me. I'm not long them."

Though chuckling, Tepper hinted he might not be back for a while. "When you have your 10th anniversary, that'll be the next chance," he said.

Steve Weiss said Tepper was "crystal clear as usual" in that it's a difficult time to invest.

Joe Terranova said hedge funds are talking about "bonds as an equity replacement" but that you have to worry about liquidity in that scenario.

More from Monday's Halftime later.

[Friday, October 14, 2016]

Here’s a question Judge should ask Bob Kraft

In a clever approach to rounding up elite guests, the Halftime Report is trumpeting its upcoming 5-year anniversary.

By no means does this page mean any disrespect. 5 years is a lot of time in show business. But it seems like an unusual amount of hubbub for a show that merely began as a 15-minute real-markets-time version of Fast Money, then shared half of one hour with The Strategy Session of David Faber and Gary Kaminsky. Eventually, the Halftime Report swallowed the entire hour, which eliminated The Strategy Session (The Strategy Session had areas where it needed improvement but also had some successes) and watered down the previously crisp Halftime Report into the same type of diluted, hourlong program that the 5 p.m. Fast Money unfortunately became long ago.

That is not a criticism of anyone who puts together the program, only a fair assessment that an hour is generally too much for the provided material.

Anyway. (Whew.) Judge has listed an impressive slate of guests for the next couple weeks. One of those is Robert Kraft, a paper packaging mogul who owns the New England Patriots.

This page will gladly give Kraft credit for his sports success.

But there's another element.

A strange one.

This team is, um, rather disliked.

There's no statistical measurement. But you know it. You hear it at work, at parties, at taverns, when the neighbor drops by your garage.

Resentment builds arounds any successful team. The "Damn Yankees," the Duke Blue Devils, Coach Wooden's Bruins, the Montreal Canadiens, perhaps Notre Dame football or the Miami Hurricanes, even the Atlanta Braves, despite winning only one title.

Fans of other teams cursed them but respected them. These were the elite organizations. Beating them was the gold standard.

It's different with the New England Patriots. People think they cheat. The frontman of the organization is smug, curt and condescending. This is supposed to be entertainment. More often than not, it's obnoxious.

No other team has inspired such dislike.

Absolutely none.

So when Mr. Kraft appears on the Halftime Report, here's hoping Judge will ask: "Why are your New England Patriots the most hated sports team of all time?"

In an extraordinarily classy move on Friday's show, Kourtney Gibson congratulated Judge for 5 years of Halftime: "You do a great job."

Judge should elevate Kourtney Gibson to regular panelist

One thing clear from Friday's Halftime is that Kourtney Gibson belongs on the show full time.

Whether that's doable from a scheduling standpoint, we have no clue, but Gibson clearly "gets it" as though she's been regularly jabbing with the group for years.

On Friday, Gibson flatly declared it's a "melt-up" in the stock market, and, "We're going higher from here."

Stephen Weiss though wouldn't call it a melt-up but a "slow grind higher."

Weiss said that after Brexit (the new gold standard for how EVERY poll is now wrong), hedge fund managers "don't believe any of the polls out there." (Yeah, right. How much are they wagering on Trump.)

Sarat Sethi said he bought HON, CELG and ILMN.

Erin Browne said emerging markets are at an "inflection point" and will turn for the better. Jon Najarian asked Browne if there wasn't something about the China numbers that "scared you." Browne said Chinese export data is flat and pointed to healthy electricity consumption.

"We do not need to have a debate on China," Judge scoffed.

Doc said he's more inclined to be short the S&P than long, suggesting volatility is going higher.

Doc’s book club

Judge on Friday's Halftime claimed the regulatory environment around banks is "fairly prohibitive."

But Jeff Harte said banks had "pretty good earnings."

Harte suggested the "inflation picture" (snicker) could lead to higher rates.

Steve Weiss said WFC's problem is such a "small portion" of the company business that you can't "indict" the whole company for that problem. But Kourtney Gibson said it's an "ethics" problem for the company.

Weiss called NFLX a "phenomenal" target for AAPL. Kourtney Gibson said she bought more Netflix.

Weiss said he'd buy BABA because it's a "protected species" like a "pink tiger."

Doc said "somebody really big in the option market" put on a huge March 16/20 call spread in TWTR.

Judge stumbled over someone's $1,950 price target for Royal Dutch Shell. Erin Browne said, "If you don't need to buy energy, don't buy it."

Doc said Phil Knight's book is "the best book of the year."

Steve Weiss explained why a sell-side analyst would recommend UA over NKE despite UA's multiple being "egregious." (Basically, UA is somehow more exciting, probably because Sara Eisen went to China with Steph Curry to talk currencies.)

Doc said April 7 calls in RAD were popular. Doc said he's in both stock and options (even though he always says it's far more advantageous to "measure your risk" in the options rather than spend all that money on 100,000 shares of stock).

Kourtney Gibson graciously credited Doc for causing her to buy XON and make 5% since her last visit.

Doc said Merrill moved its DPZ target to 175; "great call."

Weiss said "the best days are still ahead" of ATVI, but he didn't seem that excited about buying.

Sarat Sethi likes HON.

Kourtney Gibson said KO "could be an interesting add" right now. Sarat Sethi cautioned that people will move money out of this name. Erin Browne said the market is "fearful" of the December hike, so now's the time to buy the high-dividend yielders.

Dan Nathan says Twitter
is a unique property!

On Friday's 5 p.m. Fast Money discussion about TWTR, Dan Nathan twice said "at the end of the day" (Drink), but he also said, "It is a very unique property" (Drink! Drink! Drink! Drink! Drink!)

Nathan said TWTR has a "floor in the mid-teens," and "someone's gonna get it right."

Tim Seymour actually said, "Management may get it right" (snicker).

Mel said we don't even know if Twitter is "monetizing" the NFL stream. Karen Finerman, in stunning new navy blue top, questioned the TWTR bidding process, "Everyone dropped- seemed to drop out fairly quickly … What did they see there that they didn't like."

More from Friday's Halftime and Fast Money later.

[Thursday, October 13, 2016]

Sue Herera says Dylan won the ‘2016 Nobel Peace Prize,’ then ‘Peace Prize for Literature’

Karen Finerman on Thursday's 5 p.m. Fast Money mentioned Delta's outages being a "drag" on earnings, but one thing that wasn't a drag was Karen's dazzling new black zippered top which took off an electrifying 18 years.

As for WFC, which brought a report from sizzling CNBC upstart Aditi Roy, Finerman said, "We need to hear from Warren Buffett."

Carter Worth — and we're reluctant to criticize Worth because he's a gentleman of television commentary, but it is what it is — decided the S&P 500 is going lower simply because it hasn't gone very high recently.

"Why buy," Worth said, suggesting "almost all" sectors are vulnerable. By the end, he suggested a correction was coming simply because "we're due" (even though stocks haven't really done anything for a year and a half).

In the Halftime Report CNBC News Update, Sue Herera suffered a rare stumble while noting Bob Dylan's latest accolade.

Wonder if Ian Winer will be back when there’s no 20% pullback

It's October of a presidential election year, which means the news cycle is at its most obnoxious.


Nevertheless, even the pros fall for it, including Grandpa Ian Winer, who on Thursday's Halftime Report suggested the possibility that "nobody's talking about yet," which is that "all of Congress goes Democrat."

Yeah. Sure.

Enough to make even Marc Faber blush, Winer knocked 100% of the subjects on the program, stating tech M&A is falling apart, China's fading growth is tied to "massive amounts of debt," there's no proof stocks rise in dollar bull markets, we're in the "8th inning" of yield plays, and he warned about yields in health care and "populist stuff" in Europe.

So, short the entire market and climb into your bomb shelter.

Winer acknowledged to Judge he's expecting a 15-20% pullback, which means he should've been sitting in with the 1937 dudes on the 5 p.m. Fast Money, but Judge utterly failed to call out this dubious forecast.

Wonder if Joe made as much on Russell puts and ADBE long as Doc did in WFC

Pete Najarian on Thursday's Halftime retraced the rally in semis from Brexit and suggested people should've been using a "stock replacement" strategy (Drink) with options.

Joe Terranova said he made money on his Russell puts and was able to "get out of those" and take profits in ADBE and acknowledged that Pete talks about "replacing stock" (Double Drink).

Judge tangled with Weiss over whether earnings expectations are actually high. Weiss said he added to CAVM and expects the market to "grind up."

Kevin O'Leary said he likes health care and the "correction in biotech." (Better be careful saying that around Ian Winer.)

Ian Winer said tech M&A is falling apart. Then pushed, stated, "Incrementally, it's gotten a little bit harder," Winer said.

Steve Weiss said "you can't focus on Twitter" as an M&A bellwether.

Doc said this is nowhere near a washout in tech. "But Judge, it's about China," Doc asserted, citing "horrible" data. Kevin O'Leary said not to believe Chinese GDP reports and suggested 4-5% instead.

Ian Winer said China's growth is enabled by "massive amounts of debt."

Forgetting he was in the presence of Ian Winer, Joe Terranova said BCA Research highlighted "3 instances of a dollar bull market," which would be 78-85, 95-2000 and 2011-present. "Longer term, a strong U.S. dollar highly correlates to a much higher S&P in each of those instances."

"Yeah, but that's a sample size of 3," sneered Winer.

"That's a sample size of 3 over the long term," Joe protested.

Actually, we've gotta agree with both sides here. Winer's correct to be skeptical of the sample sizes often quoted on the program. But the larger issue, which Joe noted, is that while the market doesn't like sudden currency moves, a strengthening dollar over time is no big deal.

Doc said he has lightened up "substantially" right now and has "nothing" right now in his Halftime Portfolio, a subject we hadn't heard about for weeks. That gave Pete a chance to tout why you should use options here. (Drink)

Kevin O'Leary gushed about buying more Samsung on the slide.

Joe said he'd be interested in buying financials if they show "any form of positive momentum." Joe started to mention the "navater" (sic corrected to "narrative") about financials. Ian Winer said if Democrats take Congress (snicker), "Multiples will compress across the board."

Doc said he "made a chunk of money" on WFC and "feasted on the volatility." Doc said, "I would go after the blood in the water in the IBB," but not financials.

Judge said it was all "good stuff."

Analyst detected to have open mind

Pete Najarian on Thursday's Halftime said he's long MRK and likes management and the yield.

Joe Terranova said, "I agree with Pete" and said he wouldn't sell MRK.

Stephen Weiss said the best thing about the BofA call "is that the analyst has an open mind." But Weiss said he'd rather wait for a buying opportunity. Doc touted GSK. Kevin O'Leary said to "back up the truck" on GSK because of the pound tailwind for sales to U.S.

Weiss said not to buy GILD yet, but Pete said in biotech, "there's no name better than Amgen."

Ian Winer urged caution with health-care yields, pointing to BMY. (This writer is long BMY.) Joe suggested SYK and TMO. Weiss touted NBIX though admitting it's gotten "killed" in the last week.

We’re in the 8th inning of yield plays; meanwhile haven’t heard the term ‘bond bubble’ in a while

Pete Najarian on Thursday's Halftime said October 34.50 EBAY calls were popular, the second time he has gushed about that name in a week.

Jon Najarian said to look at THC, whose 22 November calls were popular. Steve Weiss said it's most likely that THC sells some pieces.

Weiss said capacity is the problem for airlines, but he still owns AAL and calls the group "very cheap."

Joe Terranova said he likes all the rails "going forward" (sic redundant).

Pete said ULTA is looking "a little bit toppy."

Doc said "dirty laundry" between Steve and Elaine Wynn is hurting the stock, but "I think you get aggressive around the 90 level."

Ian Winer said we're in the "8th inning" of yield plays. But Weiss said, "The facts show that markets typically don't go down as the Fed hikes, except on the first one." (Winer for whatever reason didn't question the sample size of what Weiss was talking about.)

Winer said the "populist stuff" in Europe is a lot bigger than people think (snicker).

Scott Nations said copper will keep having a "really difficult time" until China demand improves. Jeff Kilburg predicted a test of $2.

Joe said he wouldn't touch FCX.

Pete said he has "already" bought DIS and would look to buy it now, although he didn't say it with the same chutzpah he always used to have when gloating about buying it below $100 and how much money he made.

[Wednesday, October 12, 2016]

Sully tells panelists, viewers
4 things about India

Brian Sullivan charged into the guest-host seat of Wednesday's Halftime Report and proceeded to talk about … the dollar. (Zzzzzzzzzzz)

Currencies are important, but despite what Sara Eisen tries to say every 15 minutes, they're a staggeringly boring subject, which is why "Money in Motion" lasted about 3 weeks (not exact time frame) before its cancellation forced CNBC's 5 p.m. Fast Money crew to resume mailing in a Friday program.

Anyway, on Wednesday's Halftime, Kate Moore said she's not looking for a "huge appreciation" in the dollar over the next year. (Zzzzzz.)

Joe Terranova said the "consensus" had been for a stronger dollar, and now everyone's getting back to that, and it could be "problematic." (Zzzzzzz.)

Jim Lebenthal said the Fed's not going on "some very massive rapid rate-hike campaign."

"We're gonna see like a 1 and done," for well into next year, Doc predicted.

Sully didn't wait long to insert himself into the panel, stating, "I've argued Pete that maybe, we've already had a rate hike."

Meanwhile, Kate Moore said she's "constructive" on emerging market equities, which she labels a "medium-term call."

Jim Lebenthal questioned when India will get going. Moore said, "We're actually seeing tax reform and corporate reform that I think will encourage international investment." That's when Sully explained that India has a higher population growth rate than China, isn't as subject "to the whims of the commodity markets" as China, has less per-capita income than China but unlike China has "Western rule of law."

Joe told Sully that people on the show have been bullish on India "for a very long time," even saying he has "heard both Pete and Jon talk about it."

Joe said "India has disappointed recently" and suggested ringing the register on Brazil and looking at India.

How a bus ride to a soap-opera set can hit biotech stocks 11 years later

No need for John Harwood — Meg Tirrell on Wednesday's Halftime reported on newfound speculation that the Democratic Party could take control of the U.S. House and (this is why Meg was dealing with this subject) the impact of that possible outcome on the health-care sector.

Jon Najarian suggested that the collapse of Theranos and setbacks to BMY and ILMN are a bigger factor. Politics? "OK. Could be," Doc said halfheartedly.

Jim Lebenthal said Donald Trump's latest problems have "definitely thrown disarray into the congressional elections."

Biotech watcher Chris Raymond dialed in to say that it's "absolutely as Meg describes" in terms of getting calls from people concerned about Congress. But as far as a Democratic government lowering the boom on the health care industry, Raymond suggested "maybe take a deep breath" and said the most "doable" policy is to extend Medicaid pricing discounts to Medicare patients. (Zzzzzz.)

Raymond said he likes ALXN and CELG and BIIB. He told Tirrell there's "a lot of smoke" to the notion of a BIIB takeover.

Jim, Joe not too impressed by Deirdre’s mention of Samsung’s cash pile

She didn't seem all that excited to be delivering a Samsung report.

But she's never looked better.

Deirdre Bosa on Wednesday's Halftime reported that Samsung "still has no idea why the Galaxy Note 7 keeps exploding" and is facing billions in lost revenue and potential litigation.

But Bosa said Samsung has $69 billion in cash and that Henry Kim calls the problem a "hiccup" and suggests buying on dips.

Sully said he wonders whether it's really a Samsung-Apple story when it might be more of a "Google story" than an "Apple story." Pete claimed to agree but didn't fully pound the table for Google (perhaps because of "the four horsemen of the search apocalypse") (snicker).

Jim Lebenthal said we're in the "circus-like phase" of the story and then, in a bit of a dis to Bosa's report, Jim and Joe Terranova both said they don't care how much cash Samsung has given the magnitude of this problem.

Doc says he senses GDP slowdown and thinks it will hurt 96-fluid-ounce containers of laundry detergent

In a fairly strange commentary during the Procter & Gamble discussion on Wednesday's Halftime Report, Jon Najarian said he's "feeling" the slowdown in GDP and added he's "exactly worried" that such a trend could hurt a seller of Tide, from which people could "downshift" to save $5 per 96 "fluid ounces" on generics.

Jim Lebenthal doesn't see enough growth to justify the PG multiple. Pete Najarian though said the Argus analyst sees a 22-25 P.E. over 3 years. Joe Terranova said "this company is making a turn," and the analyst is actually "a little bit late."

Doc said the launch of Amazon Music "just makes Amazon stronger." But Joe Terranova said to stay long P.

Leigh Drogen of Estimize said he doesn't like Philip Morris during earnings season.

Doc asked Drogen for a positive call on BBY. Drogen merely said that across the board in consumer discretionary, there have been "upward revisions."

Drogen said PYPL has "monster" momentum with Venmo. But he was down on GILD; "they really need to buy somebody."

Doc said the CIEN January 22/26 call spread was popular. Pete said he's back into NBR because someone's buying the October 13 calls. Pete bragged about unloading KR after making "about 120%."

Jim Iuorio said he'd rather be a buyer of the 10-year than a seller.

Joe said to stay in CUDA though it's difficult after the run. Doc said virtually nothing about STX. Pete said to "stay away" from ERIC. Jim Lebenthal said SWK and NWL are both ownable.

Jim predicted a pullback in nat gas. Doc touted a "better-than-expected holiday shopping season" (despite the fact people will cut back on pricier, 96-fluid-ounce detergent). Pete predicted MBLY will keep falling.

[Tuesday, October 11, 2016]

The definition of ‘refute’

Tuesday, Lee Cooperman appeared on CNBC in the morning to address the SEC's case against him.

All day long, CNBC was declaring that Cooperman had "refuted" the SEC's argument. (See above.)

It's true that a secondary definition of "refute" has come to be the denial of an accusation.

But the primary definition of "refute" is to actually prove a statement or theory to be wrong.

That wasn't exactly what happened Tuesday.

Cooperman — who has been one of the finest guests on the channel — said his funds are having a good year, said he has taken the Giving Pledge, said the government has spent a shocking amount on this case, said that a settlement would've cost him little more than peanuts, said Ken Langone really liked fighting Eliot Spitzer, and said "information is not a crime."

None of those is a disproving of the SEC's case.

Because of this lopsided ambiguity, it's a common practice in newsrooms to avoid "refute" except in opinion pieces.

CNBC likely chose the term "refute" to explain what was happening because 1) Cooperman is a popular guest and source for the channel, and/or 2) government interference in the marketplace is not exactly a popular topic in these circles.

Or 3), no one had a clue that "rebut" was the proper term.

Except it really wasn't even a rebuttal of the government's case. It was, "I'm a generous guy, and I'm getting screwed here."

This page has no clue — none whatsoever — as to the strength of the government's case, even though certain CNBCers indicated it was a decent one on the day the charge was leveled. Governments as well as individuals file frivolous lawsuits/cases. We wish Cooperman the best. We're not going to dub it a "refutation" until it's been through the wringer.

Judge goes guest-less (and is there any such thing as an ‘unsafe haven’?)

The crew on Tuesday's Halftime was chipper and game.

But they weren't particularly exciting, and without any guests (unless you count Steve Sedgwick and Susan Li, the latter of whom is gorjus), Judge oversaw a program that realistically merited about 20 minutes.

Emblematic of the day, Joe Terranova questioned whether to take profits on QCOM while admitting, "I'm not necessarily sure."

Then there was the energy discussion, in which Joe halfheartedly endorsed SLB, PSX, CXO and told viewers, "Do not get out of highly qualitative (sic) names." Judge demanded names, so Joe mentioned PXD and EOG.

One of the best observations at this time of year — we think it was maybe 2 years ago — was when Larry Altman told Judge the market tends to bottom in the 2nd week of October.

Joe said Tuesday he has bought Russell index puts and said you have to wonder if we have a "liquidity issue" in the wake of the pound's collapse.

Josh Brown said he agrees with Joe but that there are still constructive signs in the market, and the semis were providing a rare buying pullback, something he also emphasized at the end of the program.

Joe revisited his debate with Pete a couple weeks ago about whether it's too late for semis (Pete indicated it is) and without admitting Pete basically won, pointed to the sudden pullback in semis and declared, "It is dramatic!"

Pete gave the old spiel about how you should've bought puts when the VIX was lower; Pete said "guys on Twitter will light me up" for talking about it. (See, those are the "haters" that DIS probably doesn't want to have to deal with.)

Pete suggested ECA as a "beta name."

Stephanie Link said she only bought CAT months ago because of the dividend. Joe said a 112 CAT target is "a little rich." Pete bellowed that a "disciplined trader" would get out of the CAT equity at this point and play it with options.

Joe said ALB "has a very strong chart."

Joe said to sell coal "with both hands."

Panelists gave a lot of shrugs to YUM.

Anthony Grisanti said the dollar "might have some legs" to the upside. Brian Stutland predicted the dollar gets to 99 or 100 by year-end. Jackie DeAngelis, in sparkling fuchsia, announced that David Stockman, who has made a post-government career of delivering doomsday-deficit soundbites for cable television, would be on the online Futures Now.

Joe said if you're long TWLO, "sell half."

Pete still thinks there's some upside in airlines.

Pete said November 30 calls in KR were popular. Joe said he loves the trade and might put it on himself.

Pete also said there's been huge call-buying in MO. Stephanie Link said she'd be buying CAG. Joe suggested FXY as a "safe haven," then mentioned HA (Drink).

Judge had an excellent suit/tie combo, but he's worn it very recently.

In the day's most provocative comment, Joe said the election looks like a possible "Clinton landslide."

[Monday, October 10, 2016]

Maybe MYL’s $7 billion market cap loss might qualify for Bill Nygren’s 80/20 rule

Not only was Bill Nygren unimpressed by TWTR deal potential on Monday's Halftime — Scott Devitt sounded like he'd be more excited talking about C-SPAN.

Devitt, who has a $9 target, said the numbers suggest further downside on TWTR after the earnings release.

Josh Brown said he gets "a lot of utility" out of using Twitter and as a shareholder, he'd "hate" to see the company get bought at 22-23.

Brown questioned how a buyer might "sanitize" the platform. (Translation: Get rid of the haters, and you get rid of … whatever makes people want to spend all day doing it.)

Karen Finerman on Monday's 5 p.m. Fast Money said she doesn't think 18 "is the floor" in TWTR because that's where it was trading before the biggies supposedly took a look at it and declined to make an offer.

Mylan was back in the news on the Halftime Report, unfortunately not with any Heather Bresch clips, as Elliot Wilbur said the settlement relegates the EpiPen flap "to the back pages," stating the company has lost $7 billion in market value since the controversy started.

Judge questioned if the "last shoe" hasn't dropped yet for MYL. Wilbur conceded the possibility of more litigation though doubted the "private sector" has much of a case.

Pete Najarian said a MYL buyer needs to be patient, as he's not sure it's a buy yet. Jim Lebenthal said, "You've gotta worry about states here," so the stock will be in the "penalty box" (Drink) (Shout-out to Joe) for months. Stephen Weiss said to buy names like MYL and WFC when they're cheap.

Jim Lebenthal told Meg Tirrell there's a sense that the BMY cancer drug "actually works" and that the trial was simply designed poorly. Tirrell said the "jury is still out" as to whether BMY's treatment is "interchangeable" with MRK. Josh Brown said he owns BMY and would buy more. (This writer is long BMY.)

Pete Najarian said October 32 and 32.50 calls in EBAY were getting offers.

Stephanie Link said she likes the risk/reward in MAT because it's down 12% from its April high on "no fundamental reason," but more importantly, "it's a turnaround story." Josh Brown suggested "maybe you wait," because the stock has crossed its 50-day and 200-day.

Link told Pete she doesn't personally own ATVI and feels like she "missed it."

Judge trumpeted Daniel Snyder's donation to the Bahamas even more than the Skins' victory Sunday over Baltimore.

Pete said adidas and NKE look better now than UA.

Josh Brown tried to wax poetic about DE but didn't really say anything. Weiss also couldn't get his point out about NFLX other than he doesn't think DIS will buy it. Jim Lebenthal said he expects TSLA to need a capital raise.

First time we've heard in a while, Guy Adami on the 5 p.m. Fast Money mentioned Tim Seymour shopping at Chess King (Drink).

Judge tries to get Bill Nygren to opine on whether Alphabet should buy Twitter; Bill isn’t the least bit interested

Bill Nygren told Judge on Monday's Halftime that he has an 80/20 rule — when 80% of what people are worried about in a company is a division that's just 20% of the value, it apparently means the stock is a buy.

So Nygren thinks concerns about MGM's Macau operation are overdone.

Nygren, who got a hero's welcome from Judge based on his long-term performance (and got to explain how he buys stocks of companies who want to maximize long-term value that are trading below intrinsic value), said banks are earning "pretty decent returns" despite low rates.

Carl obviously no fan of Hillary; at least he didn’t get uninvited to fundraiser and check returned like Lee Cooperman

Josh Brown on Monday's Halftime Report cited a lot of stats suggesting the market is ready for another leg higher.

Judge said a story "literally" (Drink) just went up on CNBC.com in which Jeff Cox talked with Carl Icahn and Icahn said, "Let he who has not sinned cast the first stone."

Stephen Weiss said we have to hold candidates at this level "to a higher standard."

Weiss said the market is speaking "loudly" about wanting a Clinton victory.

Pete Najarian said there's a lot of "excitement" in people rotating out of utilities into sexier sectors.

Jim Lebenthal said the market might've gotten a 1-day boost from politics, but earnings will tell the story.

[Friday, October 7, 2016]

Joe seems really concerned about the mainstream media heckling Cantor over hurricane trade

Joe Kernen, guest-hosting Friday's Halftime Report, for whatever reason decided to do a loooooong windup on the Cantor Fitzgerald binary hurricane option rather than just let Shawn Matthews explain it.

Unfortunately, after Joe's Marichal-esque windup, we still hardly had any clue how this trade works (apparently you buy an "option" as to whether some hurricane during the season makes landfall within 75 miles of some location). (Nothing against Cantor, but #useless.)

Matthews called the trade, which apparently has only been around for 8 weeks, simply "supplemental insurance."

"It's going to be a much bigger product when we're done with this," Matthews claimed.

Joe decided, "It's not a future, and it's not an option really."

Stephen Weiss said it's "truly egalitarian" in that nobody's got an "inside call."

Wouldn’t he have made more money on GPS if he had bought $500,000 in stock rather than $10,000 in options?

Stephen Weiss on Friday's Halftime said that rather than election fixation impairing hamburger purchases, the burger wars are back on, and MCD seems to be losing.

Jon Najarian said that to blame sluggish burger sales on the election season is a "joke."

Jim Lebenthal said December now is a "very likely hike," though "I don't think you have to worry about November."

Stephen Weiss even suggested 2% 10-year yields.

Weiss claimed "people are running away from the yield trade in droves."

Doc took a victory lap on his GPS calls that went from 45 cents to $4. Jim Lebenthal said he wouldn't buy GPS "yet."

Doc said JNPR 24 and 24.50 calls were popular. Doc said the rationale is potential M&A, but Jim Lebenthal claimed it might be about "fundamentally some good demand in the telecom equipment space."

Conrad Saldanha of Neuberger Berman said emerging markets earnings are starting to grow. But Weiss questioned if the gains will be "short-lived" as the dollar strengthens. Saldanha said the "incremental growth" from EM will be appealing in a low-growth world.

Anthony Grisanti said he's in the sell-the-rallies camp for gold. Jim Iuorio said if gold closes at 1,255 or higher, it will have rejected the lows. Doc said he has already "scalped" some gains in the levered gold plays.

Weiss said to give PPG a couple of days. Jim Lebenthal said HON didn't deserve the shellacking on Friday given its "huge backlog" of airplane parts, citing "pent-up demand."

Doc said M&A rumors were pushing BBY, even suggesting a rumored "50-handle" for a takeover while warning that doesn't always happen.

Jim Lebenthal touted C and BAC "because they trade at a significant discount to tangible book" (snicker).

Weiss touted MENT based on Paul Singer's influence.

Sue Herera told Joe Kernen she took golf lessons over the summer.

Joe Kernen had a good one, stating GS should change the name of its "conviction buy" list.

[Thursday, October 6, 2016]

Why does Judge need a panel when Cramer is there?

Commandeering whatever tiresome TWTR discussion was about to take place on Thursday's Halftime Report, Jim Cramer said Marc Benioff got an "earful" from investors who don't want him to buy TWTR.

He also said basically every other rumored Twitter suitor has declined to make a bid, but "Verizon comes to mind."

Pete Najarian asked Cramer if Mark Zuckerberg should buy Twitter. "If he were to buy it, I think he'd probably close it," Cramer bellowed.

Pete said somebody tweeted him about buying TWTR 25 calls. Pete told him, "You know what, you oughta hedge those off."

Cramer unloaded on Jack Dorsey's multitasking with Twitter and Square. "Both companies are poorly run," said Cramer.

Judge said Bob Peck "literally" (Drink) put out a note moments ago suggesting VZ as a possible buyer with IBM, T, MSFT and ORCL. (If we're going down that road, why not Rex Tillerson, now that he's absorbed XTO?)

"Twitter is the best real-time search engine out there," Peck said.

Joe Terranova, who had a quiet show, said TWTR will trade down to 13-14 or even below without a deal.

Jim Cramer did make one good point, stating the "holy grail" of Web data is Amazon's loopy strategy of telling you that if you like such and such book, you might like such and such movie.

Steph Link said TWTR holders should make like Marv on Blue Star day and get out.

Cramer actually claimed that some people think Trump was nominated because of TWTR.

Cramer indicated Benioff only cared when TWTR's share price fell off a cliff. "Marc is intrigued by price," Cramer said.

Once again … once again … Judge utterly ignores Toni Sacconaghi’s loopy AAPL subscription idea, doesn’t ask how one subscribes to an iPad

Mick McGuire, star guest (aside from Jim Cramer, if he's considered a guest) of Thursday's Halftime, told Kate Kelly that BWLD has been "buying in franchisees" when it should be doing the opposite. But he said the company is not as responsive to that idea "as much as we would like."

McGuire said the stock should be $400-$450 over the next 4 years, which Judge found rather eye-opening. (See, Jimmy Johnson predicted Don Shula's Dolphins to win the Super Bowl, then when they missed the playoffs, Jimmy got the job.)

McGuire insisted portfolio rebalancing is the "sole reason" for selling shares back to BID. Judge said the "cynics" will say "he must be getting redemptions" if he's selling half the stake. McGuire said "40% of the position," and we're not sure whether that means they sold or kept 40%.

Later in the program, which again was short on commercials, Toni Sacconaghi said AAPL "should not buy Netflix," but there's room for a "valuable partnership for both companies going forward (sic last 2 words redundant)."

Sacconaghi repeated his loopy notion that AAPL should "assemble a bundle of services" that can be sold as monthly subscriptions, including the hardware, which is basically about as exciting as getting into the layaway business.

Jeff Kilburg told Jackie DeAngelis, enchanting in new black outfit, he doesn't expect the crude rally to extend beyond 50. Bob Iaccino agreed.

Doc said someone likes the CMA 50 calls in April (snicker). Pete said WLL November 9 calls were popular.

Jeff Harte likes GS now more than MS. No one seemed too surprised by the AXP downgrade.

[Wednesday, October 5, 2016]

Robert Frank makes a directional call on BID

Robert Frank on Wednesday's Halftime explained why BID bought back Marcato's shares, saying it was a "very efficient way to get 2 million shares at a discount."

Kate Kelly said Mick McGuire called the transaction "entirely an exercise in portfolio resizing."

Judge said Marcato was in the stock for 3 years, and it's "been almost dead money."

"The market for auction houses right now is terrible," said Frank, stating he'd be "surprised if there's a lot of upside in this stock."

Pete Najarian said there are a lot of reasons to like AVGO. He asked himself whether it has run too far too fast and decided, "I don't know."

Stephen Weiss said AVGO has been crowded, but if you're "patient," you'll do well.

Doc said there was aggressive buying in October 22.50 GPS calls. Pete said someone was rolling up into October 25 calls in COTY.

Brian Stutland said more certainty about the Fed will keep downward pressure on the VIX. He said he likes to buy around 12.

Doc said everyone's been upgrading SYMC for "good reason."

Yana Barton noted the "beat and raise" from STZ, one of the best stocks of the last several years.

Pete said the GPRO gains might be from short covering, though there are some "positive things" happening. (But Josh Brown will still say the first camera everyone bought for Christmas a couple years ago is now in a drawer somewhere.)

Doc said WFT had unusual activity; Pete said there was huge call-buying in the XLF. Yana Barton touted PF.

Guy Adami on the 5 p.m. Fast Money said Marc Benioff is not "adverse" (sic meant "averse") to making a deal.

Carter Worth said NVDA "seems crowded to me."

Sounds like The Paranoids dropped the ball

The star guest of Wednesday's not particularly ground-breaking episode of the Halftime Report was Ross Levinsohn, who thinks … TWTR will probably be sold.

In a scientific call, Levinsohn first said where there's smoke, there's fire, then added "there's way too much heat out there" to think of TWTR remaining independent.

Levinsohn said he'd like to see AAPL buy it; it would "solve a big social issue they have," but GOOG makes the most sense, something people on Fast Money have been saying for years.

He said TWTR will probably not be sold for "less than 20," which means, given Wednesday's price, there's a chance of a take-under.

"You know who it's perfect for? Facebook," opined Pete Najarian.

As far as the CEO, Levinsohn said it's "virtually impossible" to run 2 companies.

Ross said, "It's OK to fail. It's not OK to fail slowly."

Judge said, "You're basically saying that Jack has to go."

"I think Jack has to choose!" Levinsohn protested.

The strongest comments in this discussion came from Jon Najarian, who declared it would be "lunacy" for CRM to buy TWTR.

Levinsohn admitted, "I don't see it strategically."

Judge asked his panel, "What makes you guys think you're smarter than Benioff?"

"It has nothing to do with being smarter," said Pete Najarian, who never answered the question.

Doc declared, "Ellison and Hurd right now are hopin' he pulls the trigger on this thing. Because if he does, it's the end of Salesforce."

As for Yahoo, Levinsohn said it's a "great question" as to whether Verizon should renegotiate its price. Levinsohn said Yahoo has a group called "The Paranoids," perhaps the company's smartest people, who spent all day "looking for people who are trying to infiltrate the system … the idea that this happened and they didn't know about it, it just doesn't make any sense to me."

Revenue-lite program: Judge goes nearly half hour before 1st commercial

Speaking of The Paranoids, Stephen Weiss on Wednesday's Halftime declared, "I'm sitting in a lot of cash."

Weiss contended rates will go higher. But he said it "feels like" the bar isn't low enough for Q3 earnings.

He also said hedge fund exposure to stocks is "at the higher end."

Yana Barton said stocks can rise with rates; the important thing is "the move of the hikes" (Drink).

Jon Najarian said he's looking for "one and done" in December.

Weiss said it's "pure folly" to assume that Fed people (not necessarily The Paranoids) aren't talking "outside the meeting" when they're not on the record.

Doc said that at Delivering Alpha, "there wasn't an optimist in that house."

Pete Najarian gushed that just about "every aspect" of energy is moving higher.

More from Wednesday's Halftime later.

[Tuesday, October 4, 2016]

Tony Dwyer senses
a buying spree ahead

Joe Terranova on Tuesday's Halftime questioned why he would "obliterate" all of his AAPL ecosystem by going out and buying an Android phone.

Joe said sentiment for GT isn't a reason to sell. The segment gave Pete Najarian a chance to tout LLY again.

Joe said he got stopped out of his silver trade Tuesday.

As is becoming the norm, Jim Cramer got a few minutes to tout his own program.

Joe said he owns BBT and BLK and likes both. Jim Lebenthal touted refiners, especially MPC. Joe warned about hurricane effects.

Tony Dwyer said on the 5 p.m. Fast Money that he's "gettin' ready to be pretty aggressive" into year-end.

‘A little bit late’ for STX

Judge returned to the Halftime Report on Tuesday and proceeded to launch a cliche-filled gabfest on how great the FANGs are with all of their ecosystems (except they didn't talk about NFLX).

Gene Munster, the star guest, said AMZN has become a "huge infrastructure play that's almost impossible to beat," so he's got a $900 target and thinks it's a great stock for years (and where was this call in February).

"I agree with the call," said Joe Terranova, who said there's no "point of reference" to get out until $700.

Pete Najarian admitted he's always kicking himself for never being in AMZN, then spoke of how great the stock is.

Jim Lebenthal said AMZN is likely to go higher into year-end because nobody's going to sell it in calendar 2016 and take a tax hit. But he said it's entirely possible it could take a 20% hit if people decide the 75 times earnings should be only 60 times earnings.

Judge brought up Google Glass, first time we've heard that term in a year or two.

Joe said Facebook has the ability to "jump significantly" over 5 years.

Pete Najarian made a bull case for YUM starting with the China split, then the expansion of Taco Bell globally. Doc though pointed out the stock is already up 25% this year and Corvex has already been in there, and then Doc cited "health concerns."

Joe said getting above the December high of $94.88 could take YUM to 100. Jim Lebenthal called it "overvalued, period," but said it will rise through the rest of the year for reasons having nothing to do with the split.

Jim said not to stay in DRI.

Joe said to hang on to P.

Pete Najarian "it's a little bit late" for STX and WWDC.

Doc was intrigued by the 600 million people moving around China for a week.

More from Tuesday's Halftime later.

[Monday, October 3, 2016]

Pete trumpets a trade, then admits ‘it’s mostly for the professionals’

In a strange tangent on Monday's Kernen-led Halftime Report, Pete Najarian, from Minnesota satellite feed, complained that out of 40,000 people at the Ryder Cup, the focus is on a "couple bad eggs" out there.

Never know when golf hooligans are going to surface in a stock-picking program.

Pete said people were selling HAL December 44 puts. Joe Terranova questioned if that's not a "little risky." Pete said it's a "great strategy Joe under the right circumstances but it's mostly for the professionals."

Meanwhile, Steph Link said auto sales are "peaking," though she's not expecting a "massive decline."

Joe Kernen grimaced when talking about what Ford's done basically during this decade. Joe Terranova said buyers of automakers will "sit idly" for a while.

Joe Kernen asked Joe Terranova a great question, can't the big automakers make a better car than Tesla. Joe T questioned why there's "no sense of urgency" for others to compete in the space. Kernen suggested maybe Tesla isn't making money if you factor out subsidies.

Barbara Doran said TSLA is "more likely not to make it in the long run" because of a lack of "scale."

Remember, GOOGL is a sell because of ‘the four horsemen of the search apocalypse’

Brad Slingerlend of Janus joined Monday's Halftime Report to say the tech sector is a race to the cloud, and MSFT and GOOGL are gaining ground on mighty AMZN.

In the best line of the day, Joe Kernen said he might have to "blur" Slingerlend's face when asking him to criticize AAPL's lack of innovation. Slingerlend said the innovation has been "incremental."

Slingerlend said "there's a lot of runway" for NFLX.

Meanwhile, Kevin O'Leary now likes AAPL for its services business (Drink).

Joe Terranova lamented missing the recent AAPL trade, then complimented Pete Najarian for being long the name forever.

Stephanie Link took a page from Joe Terranova's book, stating she recently has acquired "Palo Alto" (Drink).

Steph Link said orders and visibility are getting better for CAT; she likes it but wouldn't buy it at this level, which doesn't make a whole lot of sense.

Joe T said that to play WFC, "you need to understand what Warren Buffett's move is going to be here." Which is …

Joe T said there was a "lot of speculation" about the CAB deal ahead of time.

Jeff Kilburg said some volatility is being priced in ahead of the election. Jim Iuorio said he'd rather be a buyer than a seller.

Steph Link said Stifel raised its comp numbers on YUM's China offshoot to a "crazy" 8%; she'd be happy with 4-5.

Joe T said to take profit on PVH. Link said to be long CAG. Barbara Doran predicted new highs for years in FB.

The capacity of parallel vs. linear thought process

Introducing a minimalist approach, CNBC installed Joe Kernen as guest host of Monday's Halftime Report meaning someone really wanted to hear about golf or the climate change debate.

Unfortunately, the show got off to kind of a sleepy start and didn't really find a groove.

Joe Terranova, regarding bonds, stated, "You have to at this point, think of the capacity of parallel vs. linear thought process." (Seriously, that's what he said.) He said investors can absorb a bigger loss in fixed income.

Barbara Doran, who with Steph Link said you can play offense in this market, is doing a great job but needs to stop looking down so much.

Kevin O'Leary said GDP growth will be below 2.5% "for a long time." O'Leary predicted financials and energy will "underperform dramatically."

Joe Terranova said the moment to own energy was "much earlier in the year."

Barbara Doran said the "heyday is over" for OPEC.

Joe Terranova complained to Joe Kernen a couple times that "Wapner ignores me."

Barbara Doran said it's a "bit soon" to buy DB, but it's not a "Lehman situation" (Drink).

More from Monday's Halftime later.


A couple weeks ago, a spirited and informative debate took place on the Halftime Report about the amount of time it took JPM to bottom in 2012 on the London Whale news. (That this conversation included mention of a pie-in-the-sky trade is irrelevant for the purposes of this post.)

We discovered that while a steep slide began in the afterhours of May 10, the bottoming occurred less than 4 weeks later, on June 4.

WFC, by coincidence, is approaching that timeline since the Sept. 8 revelation, by regulators and confirmed by company statements, that gobs of fake accounts were opened by employees facing intense sales goals.

Obviously the WFC problem is not the same as the JPM problem, and the gut here says that screwing with customer accounts is going to be viewed as a worse sin than taking a trading loss.

What has surprisingly gotten a free pass from the media is the claim of the company and apparently the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (how often were you thinking about that agency before this happened?), who both would seem to have interest in a high number, that at least 5,300 employees have been fired specifically over being "involved" in this fiasco.

The New York Times on Sept. 8 simply wrote, "The bank has fired at least 5,300 employees who were involved." It appeared to attribute the number to what federal banking regulators "said in a news conference."

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FM Viewers Guide
Fast Money cliches

CNBCfix capsules:
Movie of the week

♦ Bonnie and Clyde
♦ Rain Man
♦ The Paper Chase
♦ The Cooler
♦ Giant & There Will Be Blood
♦ Return of the Jedi
♦ Rocky II
♦ The Last Picture Show & Friday Night Lights
♦ She's Out of My League
♦ Con Air

Movie review:
‘Wall Street’

Gordon Gekko:
The Michael Corleone
of Wall Street

CNBC/cable TV
star bios

♦ Jim Cramer
♦ Charles Gasparino
♦ Maria Bartiromo
♦ Lawrence Kudlow
♦ Karen Finerman
♦ Michelle Caruso-Cabrera
♦ Jane Wells
♦ Erin Burnett
♦ David Faber
♦ Guy Adami
♦ Jeff Macke
♦ Pete Najarian
♦ Jon Najarian
♦ Tim Seymour
♦ Zachary Karabell
♦ Becky Quick
♦ Joe Kernen
♦ Nicole Lapin
♦ John Harwood
♦ Steve Liesman
♦ Margaret Brennan
♦ Bertha Coombs
♦ Mary Thompson
♦ Trish Regan
♦ Melissa Francis
♦ Dennis Kneale
♦ Rebecca Jarvis
♦ Darren Rovell
♦ Carl Quintanilla
♦ Diana Olick
♦ Dylan Ratigan
♦ Eric Bolling
♦ Anderson Cooper
♦ Neil Cavuto
♦ Liz Claman
♦ Monica Crowley
♦ Bill O'Reilly
♦ Rachel Maddow
♦ Susie Gharib
♦ Jane Skinner
♦ Kimberly Guilfoyle
♦ Martha MacCallum
♦ Courtney Friel
♦ Uma Pemmaraju
♦ Joe Scarborough
♦ Terry Keenan
♦ Chrystia Freeland
♦ Christine Romans

CNBC guest bios

♦ Bill Gross
♦ Dennis Gartman
♦ Diane Swonk
♦ Meredith Whitney
♦ Richard X. Bove
♦ Arthur Laffer
♦ Jared Bernstein
♦ Doug Kass
♦ David Malpass
♦ Donald Luskin
♦ Herb Greenberg
♦ Robert Reich
♦ Steve Moore
♦ Vince Farrell
♦ Joe LaVorgna
♦ A. Gary Shilling
♦ Joe Battipaglia
♦ Addison Armstrong
♦ Jack Bouroudjian
♦ Stefan Abrams
♦ Warren Buffett