[CNBCfix Fast Money Review Archive — September 2015]
[Wednesday, September 30, 2015]

When you quote a colleague, make sure the quote actually makes sense

Count us among the confused.

Scott Wapner told Carl Icahn on Wednesday's Halftime Report that CNBCer Rick Santelli described Icahn's position criticizing buybacks this way: "Carl's milked the cow; now he wants to take it to sloth."

Say what?

"I don't quite understand the metaphor," Icahn refreshingly told Wapner. "Now I wanna take it to where?"

"Sloth," Wapner said. "The- the premise being that, that you've argued that companies should use low interest rates to borrow money and buy back stock and now you're sounding an alarm bell about the very process that at times you yourself (sic redundant) have advocated."

"I think that's completely untrue," Icahn responded, pointing to how some people can run marathons and some people can't. "Sometimes I advocate it; sometimes I don't."

Carl’s ‘not here to push Apple’ though he mentions it 5 or 6 times during program

It wasn't exactly a rip-roaring start.

Judge's first question to Carl Icahn on Wednesday's Halftime Report was, "Why did you make this video in the first place" (sic last 4 words redundant).

Carl's initial response was something to the effect of "I found it sort of interesting and enjoyable," and then he sort of went off on "no-brainer" tangents that didn't really make any sense and aren't even worth trying to quote here.

Then, Carl explained, "I felt that way a bit in '07 and talked about it, but uh, I, to really no avail, and I never really got it out."

Eventually, thanks to an exceptional performance by Judge in his line of questioning, viewers could probably figure out what's going on here, which is that Carl has no idea where the market's going and is just as bullish as he is bearish but, in the event of a market meltdown, wants the same acclaim accorded years ago to (take your pick) Nouriel Roubini or Meredith Whitney, and if there's no meltdown, at least it was "interesting and enjoyable."

Icahn strangely even admitted, "You know, I mean, I don't know what bear market means. I- I think the market's way overpriced."

Judge at one point asked a reader's tweeted question about what to do.

"Well, it depends on- You know I don't give advice ... I wanna make that clear," Icahn said. "But frankly, I would say keep cash."

So in other words, there's a massive crash coming. Presumably, that means unload your investments now. But what you should do "depends on" something he won't tell us.

Opening the door to the regular unanswerable CNBC money question — whether a guest's opinion on a position is more or less valid if he/she holds that position himself/herself — Judge suggested that some say Carl's just talking his book.

Carl said, "I'd be more criticized if I wasn't short the high-yield market."

Judge pinned down Icahn on several curious long positions in front of the purported big crash that's coming, most notably FCX.

"I think copper, sooner or later, will turn and come back," Icahn insisted.

Icahn called LNG "sort of a no-brainer" (Double Drink) and a "free option on the oil market."

But he conceded that he respects Jim Chanos' opinion. "We don't just buy these aimlessly; we think the contracts are, are, are golden," Icahn claimed.

So basically, he thinks the market's crashing, but he likes risky commodity plays and the world's biggest market cap.

Sounds like a plan.

Most of the time during his 45 minutes or so, however, Carl diverted the conversation to his favorite stock. Incredibly, he told Judge with presumably a straight face, "I'm not here to push Apple."

Judge turned the dialogue to politics, asking Icahn if he actually is endorsing Donald Trump.

To our surprise, Icahn said yes, explaining, "I'm sort of bein' an activist in the- in the country now" before adding his favorite term, "sort of a no-brainer" (Triple Drink).

That set us thinking for a while (uh oh) on why someone such as Trump would appeal to someone such as Icahn, and the best answer we've got is that it has something to do with age, that Trump — who'd be 70 upon election, older than Ronald Reagan — reminds Icahn (79) of a less politically correct era.

Carl, though, indicated to Judge that like many who are heard on CNBC, he's ticked at the Fed's power; "that's not limited government."

With likely lesser odds than Carl's market crash, Icahn nevertheless said of Trump's candidacy, "I think he has a good chance" given how he is "sending a message to the middle class."

Afterwards, Pete Najarian put words in Carl's mouth, stating Carl "would almost hope" FCX goes lower so he can buy more.

Doc grumbled that Carl wasn't asked about EBAY.

Josh Brown said Icahn is right to put high yield "on everyone's radar."

Pre-Carl program: Doc boasts about being a short-term trader

On Wednesday's Halftime Report, before we got into 3-toed sloths or whatever the heck they were talking about, Josh Brown said "it very well could be" a bear market and there's still "a lot of denial" about being in a "serious correction."

"Don't go after those triple-digit moves on the Dow," Brown urged.

But it was only a matter of moments before Brown conceded that a rally from October into year-end "should not be ruled out of the equation." #soundslikeCarl

So, we're in a "serious correction" but quite possibly could have a nice year-end rally.

Pete Najarian, whose job is to call the stock market on a daily basis, was asked by Judge if we're merely in a bull market correction and could only sputter, "it's really tough to tell" before urging people to buy the meal ticket put options and "use the volatility."

Jon Najarian felt compelled to explain why he can't make a long-term call.

"I don't hold anything for years Judge," said Najarian, touting AMZN and BBY into the next quarter as well as the IT space.

Citing the "Fed factor," Pete Najarian said a rate hike would give banks a boost.

Josh Brown said the WDC pop was a "gift" and urged holders to sell.

Pete Najarian said it "looks like people are buyin' in" to Starboard's case for AAP.

Doc noted the contrast between RL and GPS share moves, which would've been far more useful to know Tuesday than Wednesday.

The 5 p.m. Fast Money on Tuesday was one of the worst shows you've ever seen; on Wednesday, Guy Adami predicted "categorically" that Goldman Sachs will have a great quarter, and Bob "triumvirate" Peck suggested TWTR board members who don't tweet enough should get the boot because they apparently don't believe in the product that much (translation: they've got better things to do with their time than retweet Josh Brown). Guy Adami called "Spinal Tap" a "top 10 movie of all time."

[Tuesday, September 29, 2015]

Oh sure, Carl will undergo congressional hearings as President Donald Trump’s choice for Treasury secretary (Get Real, cont’d)

Attempting to goose his Carl Icahn inroads as much as possible even though the entire business media is flocking to Carl's video prediction of an art market bubble, Judge revealed on Tuesday's Halftime Report that Icahn says he's "sticking with" AAPL.

Judge said that overall, Carl reported being "still a little bit more long than he is short."

According to Judge, Carl also tore a page from the "Road House" playbook regarding China, stating, "Things could be worse before they get better there."

Josh Brown said the issues raised by Carl in the video are "spot on." Brown said buybacks have added about 1/5 of the earnings growth of the S&P in the ZIRP era.

Pete Najarian said Carl "basically forced upon the Apple board" some "financial engineering," and it's worked out "relatively well."

In the chuckle-out-loud moment, Pete cited FCX, X, LNG, "every one of 'em falling off a criff (sic that's the chuckle out loud part), cliff," then stressed that Carl is looking out "years" ahead.

"This is a stock-picker's market," said Stephanie Link, chiding FCX for buying energy assets "at the highs."

"I think Carl validates that active management is still alive," said Joe Terranova.

Gilead’s a buy!!!!!!!!

Jeff Jonas, sitting in with Tuesday's Halftime Report, said it's been a "rough week and a half" in biotech based on "political-driven fear."

Judge impressively pointed out that the biotech space was sliding before Hillary Clinton's tweet.

Jonas then hilariously said with a straight face, "I think there's been just a little bit of momentum leaving this sector."

Drawing everyone's favorite distinction (get your drinks ready), Jonas conceded "bubble" talk in biotech but insisted "that might've been true for some of the small- and medium-stage firms that are still not producing revenue, not producing profits (Drink), but a lot of the large-cap, uh, biotech names are actually quite cheap (Double Drink)."

Jonas actually suggested the biotech space could stabilize and grow once we have the "political uncertainty dying down."

Jonas' top pick was not CELG, but ... equally good ... GILD!

Josh Brown stressed of biotech, "This is supposed to be a volatile sector."

Joe Terranova credited Cramer for pegging biotech as a "source of funds."

Josh Brown said he agrees with Joe, earnings aren't so much a concern, but, "Your biggest risk is your fellow shareholders in these stocks."

Pete Najarian said that in the options market, with IBB 38% short, "we can see some of those big air gaps."

Pete said he sold LLY out of his personal account and bought DIS instead.

Judge called a "20-second timeout" when Stephanie Link stepped in and of course the conversation nearly got ridiculously bullish.

Thanks Hillary

Judge on Tuesday's Halftime welcomed Shibani Malhotra, who is standing by her $290 target on VRX despite the "headline noise."

Malhotra smiled as Judge read a short seller's research note calling Valeant the "ultimate abuser when it comes to, uh, to drug pricing."

Malhotra stated she's "been through that list" and found that "a lot of the products on that list are generics."

Judge suggested VRX is the type of company that could be "most impacted" by a possible meltdown in the high yield market. Malhotra said the company's core competence is not M&A, but "ability to allocate capital where- um, you know, to products that provide the most shareholder value ... It just so happens to be M&A right now."

Judge thanked Malhotra for the "good conversation." Malhotra smiled but didn't respond.

‘Definitely’ Dow 20,000 in 2016

Jeremy Siegel admitted on Tuesday's Halftime Report that "I wish the Fed had moved," but the "big picture" is that we're in an "earnings recession," which he pinned on falling energy and strengthening dollar that he asserted won't repeat next year.

Such an earnings setback "is unprecedented outside of a recession period," Siegel said.

But, "I don't see a bear market," Siegel added, citing low interest rates.

Siegel said "probably not this year" for Dow 20,000, but he "definitely" sees it in 2016.

Donald Trump: The GMCR
of the presidential race

Joe Terranova, who ditched casual day in favor of a tie, contended on Tuesday's Halftime Report, "The dollar really is going to be your guide for the remainder of the year."

Amounting to strange advice from a program spun off from "Fast Money," Josh Brown said, "If your strategy is a 5- to 10-year one, then what you're probably doing on your fall rebalance, is you're adding to the worst places in the market, and you'll probably do better than if you just chase whatever's working last week."

In a Futures Now segment that seemed rather useless, Anthony Grisanti suggested to Jackie DeAngelis that Treasurys are a safe haven during times of stock-market turmoil.

Joe's advice for Glencore is that this is a time correction and not a price correction to "go private."

Pete Najarian didn't see anything special about Sterne Agee's buy on AAPL.

Josh Brown said of GPRO, "Nobody wants this stock" and questioned why analysts keep coming out with buy recommendations.

Stephanie Link said she prefers MCD in the low 90s but it's possible some of the CEO's fixes are working.

CNBC superfox Sara Eisen wore lavender in reporting on Green Mountain's cold-drink maker.

In a bit of hyperbole, Pete Najarian claimed Starbucks has "the greatest pricing model ever." Joe Terranova and Stephanie "mobile order pay" Link also backed SBUX.

Joe again stressed China PMI (Zzzzzz). Josh Brown said there actually might be a "tradeable bottom" in the IEO.

[Monday, September 28, 2015]

Joe — right about 1 thing,
wrong about another

Joe Terranova asserted on Monday's Halftime Report, "May 21st, the correction began ... there's no reason to buy right now. We very well may take out the lows from late August. What do we do from there? Nobody knows."

Which brings us to a couple comments Joe made in early September.

On Sept. 1, Joe predicted the market gloom would linger "for the next 30 to 45 days," which seems likely to be an outstanding call.

On Sept. 10, Joe predicted the Miami Dolphins would win the Super Bowl, which seems likely to be a massive bust.

"Oil has to bottom if the market's gonna rebound," Joe said on Monday's show.

Karen Finerman on the 5 p.m. Fast Money insisted, "I feel comfortable as one can feel" about the banks.

On biotechs, Finerman said, "I don't know that the Hillary Clinton thing has any teeth to it per se (snicker), but the whole feel of that market has changed a lot."

Finerman admitted that the SUNE long trade has been "a nightmare for sure."

Steve Grasso re-asserted that "70% of all stocks trade with the overall market."

Carter Worth, who says 1) the bull market is over and 2) we're in a bear market, came up with a chart of the S&P 500 adjusted for inflation stopping at the 2000 peak. "That's not random," Worth claimed.

Dennis Gartman actually claimed, "I think the time for being short of the commodity markets is long past."

Tim Seymour said, "I'm not advocating biotech as long as the market's in this place," but Celgene — CELGENE!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Drink) — is "not terrible."

There was no word on either program as to whether Bill Fleckenstein is indeed about to solve the "logistical problems ... and stuff" and relaunch his short fund Oct. 1.

Isn’t it a stock-seller’s market?

Tony Dwyer, a nice guy who has pushed his 2,340 S&P target to Q1 2016, admitted on Monday's Halftime Report that his anticipation of a rate hike has been a "terrible call." But he insisted that we're still in a fundamentally driven bull market.

Dwyer contended that there's no recession on the horizon and that he'll be "straight up wrong" if there is one: "Our view is that until you invert the yield curve, you're not gonna go into a recession," Dwyer said.

Dwyer admitted he underestimated the impact of "cratering" oil prices.

Evidently Judge decided he didn't have enough panelists, inviting Stephanie Link (who apparently wasn't attending any conferences) in remotely to say DLTR was hurt by the integration of Family Dollar, so she'd look at DG instead.

Link also touted SBUX on the strength of "mobile online pay."

Judge asserted the market is, "moreso than it has been in a number of years, a stock-picker's market."

Pete Najarian called UAL a "pretty interesting buy."

CNBC superfox Seema Mody, in staggering white (she wore a gray sweater later in the afternoon while getting about 15 hits on the day, not a problem), reported VRX's drop on subpoena request.

Pete Najarian reported "huge put buying" in regional banks.

Say it, Pete: She can’t win

Grumbling about the biotech shellacking on Monday's Halftime Report, Pete Najarian said a lot of folks seem to think, "Look, Hillary's gonna be the president," but he's "not certain at all" that is going to be the case.


Some people have reached a far more decisive conclusion, not from any political leanings but plain old stats: 3rd place in Iowa.

Pete said there's value in a lot of the selloff, NOT (Drink) the high-P.E. speculative names if they even have earnings, but names like GILD (Double Drink) and unbelievably almighty CELG (Triple Drink).

Did you hear that???? CELGENE IS A BUY!!!!!!!

Judge tried to whip up some fear-mongering on the heels of his scoop from Carl Icahn, who is distributing a Marc Faber-style video "produced by Mr. Icahn himself" that will claim there's a bubble in the art market.

Josh Brown said the "rational person" believes that what Icahn is talking about is "absolutely true," but there's still a question about whether that bubble can bleed through to the regular economy.

But Brown said the notion that biotech will have a V-shaped recovery "quite frankly is a fantasy" and that it will take "years" to undo the psych damage.

Joe Terranova, still refusing a tie, said the bottom-pickers have been testing high yield all year, but "it's just not working."

Jim Lebenthal had barely started when Judge cut him off for Becky Quick, who unlike on Friday's program chatted with a (former) world leader of whom you can ask a question and not expect to be jailed.

More from Monday's Halftime Report later.

[Friday, September 25, 2015]

10% growth? No problem.
Taking a question? Big problem.

One of the greatest things about this country is the freedom to express an opinion about the folks in charge.

For example, you can declare that President Barack Obama (or George W. Bush or any name of your choice) does/did a lousy job, and not only will they not throw you in the stockade, the person being criticized actually cherishes your right to say it.

On Friday's Halftime Report, viewers got a healthy dose of fear of dissent in the form of the Chinese president's White House visit and press conference.

The presentation began with Michelle Caruso-Cabrera telling Judge that Xi Jinping was going to take 2 questions but pointed out that in 2011, Hu Jintao agreed to take an American question and pretended he couldn't hear it, only to have another American journalist demand he answer the question, which proved an "incredibly awkward moment."

Welcome to Superfusion.

MCC said that in Seattle, Chinese media got "incredibly different" (i.e., much better) treatment than American media from China's president.

The funny thing is, Mr. Xi should have nothing to worry about. Look at this fellow's shock of hair. Spectacular. This gentleman is 62. 22-year-olds would give their left arm for that mane. (And if you think that kind of thing doesn't matter for getting elected (or "elected"), um, we've got some coal stocks for you.)

At any rate, this is America. Not China. So this page can derisively point out that President Barack Obama said, "We will not accept North Korea as a nuclear-weapon state."

Spooky — Doc explains why he said on Wednesday that China’s important because Yellen says it is

Judge should've given some folks the day off.

Why they needed 4 panelists to deliver soundbites on Janet Yellen's remarks during a very abbreviated Halftime Report Friday, we have no clue.

One of those was Ron Insana, who told Judge he hates the "hackneyed" terminology that markets hate uncertainty ... but that it appears markets do like clarity.

Stephen Weiss said "kick the can down the road," then called Yellen's remarks "very, very forceful."

Weiss said that based on futures, the market actually was not highly prepared for a hike in September, but now we're "very prepared" for it.

Jim Lebenthal curiously said the "ultimate viewpoint" is that the impact of China's stock market crash on Chinese consumption is "very muted" but that we won't know that for sure until we see more reports beyond just Nike.

Jon Najarian said the "spooky part" of Yellen's speech a week ago was naming issues in China, which is why Doc said Wednesday that China's important because Yellen said it is.

Insana grumbled about Charles Gasparino that nothing has changed from last week to this Friday that gives the "all clear" signal.

Insana and Weiss briefly bickered over whether the Fed's dual mandate includes the impact of foreign economies.

[Thursday, September 24, 2015]

Using our Magic Decoder Ring on Ken Sena’s commentary

Judge was evidently unable to translate, so we'll have to do the honors.

Ken Sena on Thursday's Halftime Report said his NFLX sell rating is based on the notion that content owners are "gonna find it easier to get closer to their audience, measure that engagement, monetize that engagement," which will compel Netflix to produce more costly original content.

We think that's a glossy way of saying that everyone else is flooding the airwaves with programs.

The future of distribution of television and movie programming is a fascinating, dynamic subject but one Judge somehow wasn't inclined to discuss on Thursday.

Sarat Sethi, though, leaned that direction in predicting Netflix's competition would "undercut" it on price and make it much harder for NFLX to raise prices as content "becomes more and more, um, you know, prevalent."

Jon Najarian strangely suggested "Call of Duty" as another growth area for Netflix.

Guy Adami remains
offended by ZIRP

Responding to Steve Liesman's report on the prepared remarks of Janet Yellen, Karen Finerman on the 5 p.m. Fast Money called the Fed chairman's comments "a little bit puzzling" because the September decision not to raise was very "event-specific," and until late October, "a lot could happen between now and then."

Guy Adami, scoffing about the Fed chief's description of energy prices as "transitory," said, "She can say whatever she wants, but actions speak louder than words," and the window has "closed" on the Fed hiking.

Guy said that if the Fed had raised there would've been a quick selloff, and then the markets would be a "much higher" today. Seymour and Finerman agreed.

Nobody mentioned that Sully said a long time ago that lower gasoline prices wouldn’t trickle through to rest of economy

Hardeep Walia on Thursday's Halftime Report said his Used-Car Motif is up 32% while his New-Car Motif is down 10% over the last year.

Walia said the average price of a used car is $18,800.

Sarat Sethi said the opportunity today is in BWA and DLPH.

Walia told Judge that the trade isn't over, that long term, there's still "pent-up demand" (Drink).

Joe Terranova mentioned ORLY and AZO and said he also likes GT.

Jon Najarian trumpeted CMI at 52-week lows.

‘Providing clarity in places she can’t provide it’

Steve Liesman on Thursday's Halftime Report said that in a "best-case scenario," Janet Yellen would outline "where she stands on the inflation debate" (snicker).

Liesman seemed to agree with Judge that October is basically off the table even if the Fed hasn't said so.

Joe Terranova said the market has traded in a "very pristine, technical capacity since the end of August" and suggesetd more clarity is needed.

Liesman said Yellen "would be limited by providing clarity in places she can't provide it," if you can make sense of that.

Yana Barton said "increased noise and lack of clarity" have permeated the market. But she said health care and IT look to be growth areas.

Barton said there's "indiscriminate selling" occurring right now.

She did say that PANW is "really in the sweet spot."

Barton affirmed she likes CELG and GILD but acknowledged the strange market overreaction to Hillary's overmatched campaign "headwinds of the political landscape."

Jim Iuorio told Jackie DeAngelis, in new mint dress, that the day's soft dollar is based on a more dovish Fed. Jeff Kilburg said the Fed wants to continue to "deliberately confuse" the market and control the dollar.

Judge concluded that the Fed could've hiked by .25 and said "one and done," or they could've said they won't raise in 2015 because they lack global clarity, but, "they did neither."

Judge introduced Sarat Sethi as a CNBC contributor.

Pete hangs Hillary out to dry

Speaking of health care, Jon Najarian on Thursday's Halftime lamented that he hasn't taken profits quickly enough in his Halftime Portfolio and revealed he ditched BMY.

Pete Najarian said of the drugmaker pullbacks, "a lot of this you can really tie back right to Hillary quite frankly," but he still likes BMY.

Eamon Javers said there's a "50/50" chance of a government shutdown.

Judge was more concerned about a government shutdown than Sarat Sethi was. Joe said a shutdown matters in that it "accelerates a mood that's already prevalent."

What happened to the imminent TWTR ‘triumvirate’?

Every time Judge needs a grabber quote on TWTR, he has no problem summoning Bob Peck.

But now that it's been weeks since the predicted "imminent" TWTR "triumvirate," Peck is nowhere to be heard.

Except on Thursday's Halftime Report, when Pete Najarian said Peck had a "very nice article" explaining why Jack Dorsey can handle 2 CEO jobs at the same time, because Elon Musk and Steve Jobs have done it.

Pete said TWTR needs a CEO before you buy it.

Joe Terranova said BA has "fallen off a cliff" since early this year, and he doesn't recommend buying it.

Doc said KBH had some impressive numbers but margins were down.

Sarat Sethi said there's "a lot of pricing pressure" on WMT.

Joe hung a 130 on NKE over coming quarters. But Doc warned of a "Caterpillar-like report."

Doc said someone bought a bunch of 185 SPY puts but canceled some of them. Pete said November 48 puts in EWW were popular.

Joe said to "sit on your hands, do nothing and wait" for the next week.

[Wednesday, September 23, 2015]

Sully pats himself on the back for declaring no bump from lower gas prices

Courtney Reagan joined Wednesday's Halftime Report to say there are positives and negatives in the holiday shopping outlook.

Reagan cited a fellow from Deloitte who said the way consumers feel is more important than the actual economic conditions and another fellow who is characterizing this as a "ho ho hum" holiday.

Guest host Brian Sullivan scoffed that "a lot of people in this very industry, no offense to them," were saying for months, "Low gas prices are gonna turn into unlimited consumer savings and spending."

Sully added, "Not bragging, I said for months, it's not gonna matter."

Brian Stutland told Jackie DeAngelis to watch the $44.10 level on crude; if it doesn't hold, look out below. Scott Nations said not to hope China will "sop up" all the crude sloshing around in the world because it won't.

Jon Najarian pointed out the ports will be open this Christmas.

Sully enjoys presenting his own information while interviewing guests

Marjorie Hogan on Wednesday's Halftime Report didn't fully agree with Bill Gross' statement that long-term rates this low are "harmful" to the long-term bond market but conceded it's a "difficult environment" for a lot of money managers.

Hogan said today's leverage is "nothing" like the version in 2008.

Hogan told Josh Brown that Europe is one of the "real safer parts to find opportunities" but asserted "we don't use leverage in our strategy."

"There are smaller markets in the U.S. as well, but most people are in very crowded trades," Hogan said.

Sully pointed out the startling declines of recent bond issues from mid-major oil companies. Hogan said, "I think that it will be a crisis that develops more over time."

Sully said a high-yield energy trader told him "there is no liquidity," but the trader didn't want to be named.

Good way to drain your account: Long EWZ

It was a low-volume, low-excitement day in the stock market, and Wednesday's Halftime Report was commensurate with that level of activity.

Choppy, full of commercials, limited guests.

But, we'll give Sully props for basic enthusiasm in trying to make something out of virtually nothing.

Josh Brown said there's been "a lot of denial" in the market and that people are finally "coming to terms" with the notion there isn't a V-shaped recovery.

Jon Najarian said China is important "because Janet Yellen said it is."

Sully wondered if we're "overstating these concerns" with China because China doesn't buy many American goods.

Jim Lebenthal posited that Chinese consumers, even if they're pulling back, won't ease up on the status symbols such as Nike clothing.

Michelle Caruso-Cabrera reported that Brazil is getting worse every day.

Pete Najarian noted PBR and X are at 52-week lows.

Phil LeBeau, who bought his first car "for $400 and a case. Of. Beer," recapped the latest from VW; Sully did a nice job of theorizing exactly why or how this happened.

Jim Lebenthal said GM is a "net beneficiary" of VW's problems and he's not sure why it sold off. But instant gloom-monger Josh Brown said the whole auto space is in a downtrend.

Brown did allow that HRB technically is trading like a "home run."

Doc gushed that THC was up on the day.

Jim Lebenthal said he dumped SPLS and JCP from his Halftime Portfolio but hasn't named any replacements.

Stephanie Link felt compelled to dial in to say she's unloading HDS in her Halftime Portfolio.

Lebenthal backed MPC in the refiner space. Doc said put speculation in HYG was heavy. Pete Najarian said there was November call-buying in FL and also touted LULU.

In an equally tepid 5 p.m. Fast Money (aside from the Seema Mody sighting in New York (or was it EC?)), Carter Worth made a stark case against DB, which up until a few months ago was being mentioned with a "45" by Pete Najarian.

[Tuesday, September 22, 2015]

Spectator-sport bust: Halftime gang picks Colts (twice), Dolphins, Vikings to win Super Bowl

This is what happens when you leave football to the amateurs.

On Thursday, Sept. 10, the day of NBC's kickoff of the pro football season featuring the yinz and some nuisance from Boston, Judge asked his Halftime Report panelists to help viewers out with a Super Bowl champion prediction.

Pete Najarian and Stephen Weiss embarrassingly picked the Indianapolis Colts, who are 0-2.

Joe Terranova somehow came up with the Miami Dolphins, who just lost to the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Jon Najarian picked Minnesota, on the strength of Teddy Bridgewater, who was experiencing extremely heavy call-buying last week has 1 TD pass in 2 games.

Next time, stick to what you, um, know.

Mike Mayo was actually disappointed that a fellow at a bank meeting only spoke for 77 seconds

Live from Charlotte, Mike Mayo told Judge on Tuesday's Halftime Report that the BAC vote was a "wake-up call," and he'd be "shocked" if BAC doesn't make board changes before the annual meeting in May.

This "wake-up call" consisted of a meeting of less than 15 minutes, attended by 100 people.

Mayo affirmed he maintains a "sell" on BAC, because of "the lack of accountability" from the board to the management team.

Mayo stressed that some banks do fine with the same CEO and chairman, but the issue with BAC is that "the board has had bad oversight at a time the company's had bad performance."

Taking a page from Jeff Sonnenfeld's playbook (6 out of 11 companies underperform after Peltz gets a board seat but Peltz says they outperform from the time he starts buying the stock), Mayo claimed a Conference Board study showed "empirically" that companies performing badly that split the 2 roles "tend to have better performance afterwards."

Pete Najarian hung a 20-before-13 on BAC, "when you look at all of the different executions (sic) that they've been able to- to, uh, accomplish so far."

Wonder what Nick Woodman thinks about Hillary’s drug-pricing tweet

Nick Woodman told Josh Lipton on Tuesday's Halftime Report that GPRO is not a 1-product wonder.

"To say that we're a 1-trick pony is, uh, is short-sighted," Woodman said.

Judge congratulated Woodman for defending his company and said if he were in Woodman's place, he'd be doing "the same exact (sic redundant) thing." But Judge wondered why GPRO investors shouldn't be worried about Apple or others.

Woodman shrugged that Sony has tried competing for 4 years and has only helped expand the market, "has actually helped us grow."

Judge asked Woodman if he has had any conversations with Apple.

Woodman said, "We have lots of conversations with them but not about, um, acquisition," though it makes for "great headlines."

Judge asked Pete Najarian if he likes GPRO. Pete said that after hearing the interview, "I'm debating it now."

Actually we think she’s going to be saying ‘Biden!’ ‘Biden!’ ‘Biden!’

Dr. Mark Schoenebaum told Judge on Tuesday's Halftime Report that it's been a "tough week" and posed a question, "Will Hillary Clinton be using the words drug, drug and price in the same sentence in January and February?"

Schoenebaum suggested that might not be the case but said investors need to "respect this as an overhang."

Judge chimed in that for the "time being," drug-pricing stories are "gonna have some serious legs."

Schoenebaum's top picks are GILD, ABBV and PFE.

"I'm from Iowa," Schoenebaum boasted, a couple of times.

Evidently Stephanie isn’t attending any conferences this week

Joe Terranova went back to the well one more time on Tuesday's Halftime, stating, "I still believe it's a time correction" (Drink).

Josh Brown though said, "I think it started as a time correction, but I think it's gradually morphing into a price correction."

"It hasn't done that just yet," Joe interrupted.

Brown said the HEDJ being negative on the year isn't a "correction," but a "massacre."

Pete Najarian said there's a "good chance" we retest the August low. Brown said there's a retest in progress right now.

Joe said there's a "last layer of support" in the technicals before the August lows.

Stephanie Link rattled off the latest batch of companies "doing well" but conceded it might not be time to buy during this "craziness."

Ben Willis suggested Glencore stock was a bellwether for the commodity space; his trader instinct wants to buy but he's thinking there's "a little bit more out there" that keeps him from doing so.

Willis said biotechs had a "huge impact" on market psychology.

Scott Nations told Jackie DeAngelis that copper "might be a little bit" of a warning on the economy. Anthony Grisanti said, "I don't think we're near a bottom."

[Monday, September 21, 2015]

Surprising that no one pointed out that if tweets by Hillary, who doesn’t have enough votes to win, cause stocks to drop, then buy-buy-buy

Karen Finerman astutely explained Monday on 5 p.m.'s Fast Money that while biotech got slammed on "price gouging" concerns, none of the biggest purchasers of the drugs or insurers moved much at all, indicating the "knee-jerk reaction" of Monday's trading.

Mel said it doesn't matter if Hillary wins (snicker) but that it's a "great issue to latch onto from a populist standpoint."

Guy Adami said Hillary and Kyle Bass will each "amp up" their rhetoric based on what the other says about how Japan, er, make that Greece are going to sink the stock market for the last 4 years, so expect the space to remain pressured.

Steve Grasso said Hillary was a "huge proponent" of Obamacare and so people will ask "why they didn't solve this problem when they were doing all that paperwork that no one read through."

Karen advised against plunging into Volkswagen because the extent of its problems are a "total crapshoot."

You’d think CNBC would stop reporting these ridiculous and irrelevant rate remarks from Fed officials as legitimate news

If there's a bubble, it's of the Boy Who Cried Wolf variety.

Steve Liesman (he didn't wear that outfit during the program) closed out Monday's Halftime by reporting that Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart is making the case for rate hikes later this year and is "comfortable enough" with inflation.

Pete Najarian said the Fed "probably should've raised by a quarter."

Meanwhile, Chris Gutowski spent a good portion of his limited time explaining not why he's upgrading Goldman Sachs but why he'd been on the sidelines for a while.

Gutowski said the trading environment outlook for big banks has been weak but said Goldman is earning a higher return on equity than the overall banking industry.

There isn't much downside risk, Gutowski said, because the stock is at 1.1 times tangible book.

Gutowski told Joe it's "less likely" that Goldman makes an acquisition in the wealth-management field.

But Gutowski backed Stephen Weiss' suggestion that the M&A outlook is "heating up" (Drink) (snicker).

Dan Greenhaus said he wanted to ask Gutowski about impact on bank deposits from rising rates, and "what was it about Goldman" that made the stock effectively double while Gutowski was previously expressing headwinds.

Nobody is telling Dan Greenhaus that a shutdown concerns them

Judge on Monday's Halftime called this "the ultimate stock-picker's market."

"Nobody has real conviction," complained Steve Weiss, who said "cogent" several times in outlining the cases that can be made about the market.

Joe Terranova said it's been a "sea of liquidity" for years and that 50 is a key level for oil and China PMI.

Dan Greenhaus stressed that Chinese manufacturing is slowing much more rapidly than Chinese consumer spending, at least based on U.S. corporate outlook.

Russ Koesterich said guessing about the Fed is a necessary element of CNBC programming "fun parlor game," but he's more concerned about U.S. and global growth.

Pete Najarian asked Koesterich where "specifically" he's looking in the world. Koesterich suggested Europe, for ECB tailwinds and "much faster credit growth."

Dan Greenhaus contended, "No one's saying that the first rate hike is the end of the bull market," calling that "sort of a straw man argument to some degree."

Later, Greenhaus said that in dealing with clients and writing notes daily, he's gotten "zero indications that anybody cares about a government shutdown."

More M&A, Part II

Stephen Weiss on Monday's Halftime Report said that in the cable/content space, "ultimately, there's gonna be a lot of M&A there" (Double Drink), specifying VIA.

But Joe Terranova, asked the same question by Judge, called HBO the Emmys winner but, while expressing skepticism over VIA, told Judge he had to "take a pass" on picking a media stock.

Pete Najarian offered DIS, admitting he's got a position in FOXA and "I'm not very happy about that."

Pete said the GPRO product is "much differentiator (sic)" from a phone.

Uh oh — BABA’s the next TWTR

Joe Terranova on Monday's Halftime Report said BABA investors are "looking for the repeat of what happened with Facebook," but, "I just don't see that happening."

Joe also said "the good thing for sellers (sic)" is that BABA has held its Sept. 8 low.

Stephen Weiss said he added to LULU last week.

Weiss said he had a "good little trade" in DKS and looks forward to buying it again.

Joe said there are 3 names on the Goldman retail list that actually look good, HD, ORLY and TGT. Pete Najarian endorsed ORLY and DKS.

Pete said the Golf Galaxy headwind "seems to be getting behind" DKS.

Joe mocked Goldman for lowering ODP from 9.50 to 9.40.

Dan Greenhaus seemed to endorse the housing sector.

Pete Najarian said there was "incredible, unusual activity" in P calls on July 28.

Jim Iuorio reaffirmed to Jackie DeAngelis that he still thinks oil is going to 55 or 57. Jeff Kilburg said, "I think he's right," stating OPEC claims it sees oil going "hower (sic), higher."

Dan Greenhaus calls
Bernie Sanders the
Democratic ‘front-runner’

The recent flap on biotech "price gouging" delivered a treat of sorts as CNBC superfox Meg Tirrell recapped the situation on Monday's Halftime Report.

Stephen Weiss, though, was given most of the floor for an impressive assessment of the space, stating, "I'm glad Hillary Clinton is giving it a full 24 hours to come out with a major plan" and then warning "how much money companies will spend if they can't get a return."

Weiss said he's been talking to "other allocators" about making health-care allocations, and the outlook is "very mixed."

Tirrell said she's hearing from analysts that "folks aren't really worried about actual regulations coming in on drug prices unless the presidential election goes in the way in which potentially Hillary (unknown)."

Dan Greenhaus called Bernie Sanders "the Democratic front-runner."

More from Monday's Halftime later.

[Friday, September 18, 2015]

Jim Lebenthal actually says he’s worried about kicking the can down the road

Bond guy David Albrycht said on Friday's Halftime Report that the "Yellen put" tells him that "you wanna take risk."

Albrycht mistakenly said that Jeff Gundlach said that if the Fed "cut" rates, it would be disastrous for high yield. Judge interrupted with a correction, which rarely happens on air on business television, that of course the warning was over a Fed rate hike.

Albrycht said it's a "bifurcated (Drink) market" and said there are high-quality names in the bond market such as FMS, PENN, ISLE, TOL and THC.

Jim Lebenthal asked if we're "just kicking the can down the road; that's what I worry about," with high yield by not raising rates now. Albrycht said that by waiting, they'll have "some ammo to attack that default cycle" that's upcoming.

Doc tries to imply that Buffett, Gates and Dell would sell puts in NFLX

Jon Najarian on Friday's Halftime recommended selling puts in NFLX and then claimed Buffett, Gates and Dell all made a practice of selling puts.

Stephen Weiss said of Netflix, "I like the stock," suggesting European sub growth is the reason to buy.

Jim Lebenthal called NFLX "a very hard stock to buy at this level" but suggested using a stop loss down 15%.

Doc said FB is doing something "pretty cool" regarding news gathering.

Jim Lebenthal said AAPL is still a "China play."

Stephen Weiss actually praised Cramer's interview with Reed Hastings; "Charlie Rose has nothing on him."

Nobody mentions Barron’s had to issue a correction on average U.S. consumer’s online spending

Dom Chu on Friday's Halftime Report used a giant chart to say BABA went up and then down since its IPO. (This writer is long BABA unfortunately.)

Jon Najarian said you can be a "patient buyer" (rather than "aggressive buyer") in BABA.

Stephen Weiss said what concerns him about BABA is Chinese "governance" and touted FB or even JD.

Jim Lebenthal said the valuation and multiple "scream" buy for BABA, but the chart says "wait." So he suggested buying small stakes and "leg your way into it."

Judge takes out Fed frustration on Steve Liesman

Judge on a crisp Friday Halftime Report demanded Steve Liesman tell him why the Fed would leave October on the table.

"We're in a period of extreme fear over China," was Liesman's answer.

Paul Richards said the confusing thing is that Yellen was "unbelievably hawkish" in the press conference after releasing the dovish statement. Liesman agreed she sounded hawkish but not unbelievably so.

Liesman questioned Richards how the uncertainty would've been removed if the Fed had raised 25 bps. Judge butted in that it would've meant a "vote of confidence" in the U.S. economy.

Joe Davis said the Fed decision was "fairly disappointing."

Jon Najarian said that what the Fed did was "continue the volatility."

Stephen Weiss said he continues to be "selectively buying very cheap stocks."

Weiss said he's holding onto C and "not changing my asset allocation."

Jim Lebenthal said the Fed statement was "really quite negative."

Judge asked the most relevant question, will stocks be higher in 3 months. Lebenthal said that's not an "answerable question."

Judge asked Joe Davis if the late August lows are retested. Davis said "anything's possible."

Doc pointed out banks were being slammed.

Judge concluded, "The Fed has a communication problem."

Stephen Weiss shares how he’s going to make 9% into Q2 2016

Bill Baruch told Jackie DeAngelis on Friday's Halftime that gold is up because the Fed "reinvigorated the safe-haven trade."

Anthony Grisanti predicted gold bugs would "buy a little bit more."

Stephen Weiss said he can't buy LQ until he knows more about the CEO exit.

Weiss said he can make a 9% annualized return by holding CVC into the deal's closing. Weiss predicted more M&A (Drink).

Doc pointed out that someone was buying TLT 121 calls yesterday and has made $6 million on a $3 million investment.

Doc said ISIL is "perhaps in the crosshairs of Maxim."

Jim Lebenthal contended that Nike won't be hurt by a Chinese consumer slowdown. Stephen Weiss touted FINL.

Doc suggested RHT on its earnings Monday could approach either 65 or 80.

[Thursday, September 17, 2015]

Mel says the short fund is ‘poised’ to launch Oct. 1; Fleck says nothing about it

Maybe he is ... or maybe he isn't.

Bill Fleckenstein, who purportedly is restarting the short fund on Oct. 1, was actually talking about going the opposite direction on Thursday's 5 p.m. Fast Money.

"I modulated my positions ... cut a lot of them back," Fleck told Melissa Lee. (Yes, he's one of our favorite guests, but also an obvious target when the dialogue gets loopy.)

Then there was this: "I'm kinda watching to see how the market responds to the news ... I'm just looking for some confirmation before I get myself, you know, you know, too heavily short," Fleckenstein said.

Ah. Momentum trading.

Tim Seymour asked Fleckenstein to "oversimplify" his theory for viewers.

Fleck astonishingly said, "If I'm gonna be short, I'm just not gonna- I'm not gonna short the S&P; that's just a blind-stab guess."

This despite the fact he also said, "I- I- I- I think that the market is- continues to be uniquely vulnerable."

So, he's dialing back his short positions ... but apparently is "poised" to launch a short fund ... but is waiting for "confirmation" of something ... and seems to think the S&P 500 is more likely to go higher than lower.

As usual, Fleck opened with his usual refrain about the Fed. "The market is trapped, because the Fed is trapped," Fleckenstein said.

"The Fed is the problem," he added.

But then he took both sides of the rate decision, suggesting that neither move is relevant. "Largely, it's- it's not- it doesn't make any difference, the 25 basis points," Fleck said.

Mel asked for the "top couple of stocks" that Fleck was considering shorting. Fleck said "or get bigger in" and said the names are INTC, SWKS and NXPI.

Start buying the losers from the last 30 years

She couldn't nail a prediction for the next 3 hours.

But that didn't stop her from calling the next 3 decades.

Shockingly cute Savita Subramanian told Judge on Thursday's Halftime Report, "I think they're gonna hike."

She went on to say, "I almost think we're heading into kind of a paradigm shift in the equity market, and I hate to sound alarmist here ... at some level this is a signal that we are moving off of this sort of easy-monetary-policy-driven bull market into something very different."

"You don't sound alarmist. You sound bullish," Judge told Subramanian.

Further explaining her theory, Subramanian, who owned the camera, said, "What's gonna win in the next 30 years? Probably the stuff that didn't do very well over the last 30 years. So our call is to just sort of do the opposite of everything that worked in the last cycle."

She said this means it's time to dump AAPL and buy BABA stocks over bonds, cash-rich companies over debt-laden companies and large caps over small caps.

On a much more shorter-term basis, Steve 1,700 S&P Grasso said a good approach is to fade the first move on Fed decisions; he suggested selling a rally.

Joe Terranova offered that a lot of hedge fund money is "not fully allocated," which could lead to a "little bit of a melt higher."

Judge bemoaned that "we're still guessing" what the Fed's going to do an hour before the announcement.

Joe said "maybe it's good" to remove the "put" under the market.

Doc said CVC options activity a couple weeks ago was "textbook insider trade."

Joe said ORCL "guidance wasn't too good" and recommended CRM.

Josh Brown said he prefers the VGK over HEDJ.

Josh Brown said AMZN's chart "actually looks really good."

On the 5 p.m. Fast Money, Carter Worth said to stick with what's working, specifically AMZN. Dan Nathan though disagreed, and so did Tim Seymour, stating, "Now it's time to fade those moves."

David Seaburg called BAC a "layup" and said to sell utilities. He said he's a seller of ADBE.

$100 bills for 85 cents (sic)

Jeffrey Gundlach visited with Judge for nearly a half hour on Thursday's Halftime Report, opining, "I think if the Fed, uh, doesn't raise interest rates, I think you'll see a very powerful move upward in stock prices — at least initially."

"The Fed should not raise interest rates," said Gundlach, adding the bond market "has been saying that for a long time" and citing a "sickly" junk-bond market.

Stating he's long NLY because mortgage-backed REITs got cheap in the 2nd quarter, Gundlach articulated a lengthy explanation that included, "you're buying $100 bills for 85 cents (sic), which is usually a pretty good idea."

Usually it is, when someone will sell you something worth more than 100 times what you're paying.

Unfortunately, Gundlach called CNBC's July conference "Seeking (sic) Alpha."

Steve Liesman on the 5 p.m. Fast Money called this "the historic Fed meeting that wasn't."

[Wednesday, September 16, 2015]

Imagine what Judge’s show is gonna be like on Thursday

While we contemplate hoping Barack Obama preempts another half-hour taking a pass entirely on Thursday's Halftime Report — it's going to be a whole hour of, "If the Fed does this, how do you think the market reacts?" — it just so happens we stumbled upon quite a treat Wednesday night when Dakota Johnson (10,000 times yes) turned up on Jimmy Fallon's show.

And we've got pictures. (That's Johnson's hand; note ring placement.)

It's called a healthy diversion.

Humdinger of a Q&A with President Barack Obama

On Wednesday, the Halftime Report was half-wiped out by live coverage of President Barack Obama's session with the Business Roundtable in which the questions were about as sharp as the Cleveland Browns' offense.

"My tone with respect to China has been pretty consistent," the president said.

Morgan Brennan studies the script while Doc talks about drafting QB stocks

This is how the free-lance budget gets blown.

Judge brought in the cavalry for a Wednesday Halftime Report that was barely more than a few soundbites after the encroaching live coverage of President Barack Obama's chat with the Business Roundtable.

(However, he didn't actually bring in The Will Rogers of 2015 Stocks, Stephanie Link, who certainly would've told us about a conference she attended last week.)

Josh Brown said that whether the Fed hikes or not Thursday, we could be seeing a rally "just because the anticipation period is finally over."

Doc said if the Fed doesn't hike Thursday, "then they wasted all the volatility of late August."

Jim Lebenthal said that if the Fed raises, "this is probably gonna be a one-and-done."

Michael Santoli contended "the market's kinda getting into a neutral state."

Dan Chung, who thinks the Fed hikes Thursday, contended that ZIRP has "totally decoupled" from what "real" companies and consumers borrow at.

Why did Judge stock a full panel + Santoli for a less-than-half-hour show?

Judge on Wednesday's Halftime Report introduced Sara Eisen at Under Armour's investor day and called it "right place, right time."

There is never ... NEVER ... a wrong time for Sara Eisen.

Mel, in her adorable green-striped outfit, and Tim Seymour alternated air quotes over Brian Kelly's "personal friend" on the 5 p.m. Fast Money.

CNBC superfox Deirdre Bosa
is a contributor

Just a day ago, this page was gushing, rightly so (and hardly the first time), over CNBC's knee-buckling Deirdre Bosa.

That Bosa on Tuesday happened to be delivering a Kensho-related Power Lunch report made us wonder what exactly her title is.

Much to our surprise, we learned at CNBC.com that Bosa is not actually a CNBC reporter or anchor.

Rather, she is listed as "Contributor, CNBC," which is the typical classification for financial pros who make regular appearances on the channel — not the career media talent.

This distinction is a bit of a surprise given that among her credits are co-anchor gigs at Squawk Box Europe and Worldwide Exchange.

It suggests that CNBC wants Bosa on hand but hasn't figured out exactly where to deploy her. (And, it also suggests Bosa isn't yet making top dollar.)

If nothing else, she's probably got the hottest Contributor mugshot in CNBC.com history. (The image is tiny, so we can't show it any bigger or else it'll get pixillated.)

[Tuesday, September 15, 2015]

For about her 4th program in a row, Stephanie says she attended some conferences

If she's not on the Halftime Report, she's evidently spending her day in convention rooms.

Stephanie Link on Tuesday's Halftime Report again mentioned attending another conference (Drink) and said she likes NWL.

Pete Najarian and Judge brought up Microchip (Double Drink) again, and Pete said he likes the names "attached to Apple."

Josh Brown said it must've been a "tough negotiation" for TWTR to team up with Square but that it might work well enough that "people might not be so upset" about Jack Dorsey running 2 companies.

Joe Terranova said FIT is in a "pretty bad position;" he didn't like it at 50 and doesn't like it now.

Pete Najarian though said the "huge short interest" in FIT is a risk to the upside.

Stephanie sounds offended by Josh’s point about 2015 Q3 earnings

Steve Liesman, a popular guy on CNBC this week, told Judge on Tuesday's Halftime, "I think the Fed is not gonna hike," citing the fact "we're sitting here doubting it."

Liesman said Yellen would want markets to be "much more certain" about a hike if that's what's going to happen.

"Her silence is subtext to me," he said.

"My best guess is that she sets this up for an October rate hike," Liesman said.

Jim Glassman though said this is the "perfect moment" to hike a rate, predicting a "refreshing break" for the market.

Liesman told Glassman that the reasons for hiking are "all prospective" while the dangers and risks are right in front of us. But Glassman said the dangers "are being exaggerated."

Judge questioned Liesman "what it says about this Fed's ability to communicate" if his panel is still guessing days before a Fed decision what the central bank will do.

Liesman said there are "2 very good arguments" that are behind the "lack of clear communication" that reflects that uncertainty.

Josh Brown predicted a market boost from a rate hike.

Pete Najarian suggested you need to "take advantage" of the opportunity to sell volatility at roughly double of what it's been most of the year.

Stephanie Link chided Josh Brown for stating Q3 earnings are going to be worse in 2015 than in 2014; Brown shrugged it off and said "at the end of the day" (Drink), we keep having "anemic rallies."

Karen Finerman on the 5 p.m. Fast Money said she's "perplexed" as to whether, even if she knew exactly what the Fed was going to do and say, the market will go up or down on Thursday.

Guy Adami said a Fed hike on Thursday would be bullish for the market.

Guest accuses Judge’s gang of being negative on AAPL

Dan Morgan joined Tuesday's Halftime Report for one of the flattest go-rounds on big-cap tech in recent memory.

Morgan said "there's definitely 2 sides of the coin in terms of technology," then called FB a "good, solid name" and also mentioned GOOG and AAPL as his top tech names.

Josh Brown asked Morgan, why not just buy the XLK.

"We're more individual," Morgan said, stating it's just a "personal preference."

Morgan defended AAPL to Judge and uncorked this head-scratcher, "I know you guys have been negative on it on the past."

"I don't know where you're getting that from," Judge said.

Not the most convincing answer as to JWN’s Canada potential

Richard Jaffe of Stifel visited with Tuesday's Halftime Report and called JWN best in class (because of all the right buzzwords, "omnichannel" and "ecommerce").

Stephanie Link asked Jaffe why he thinks JWN is done with its investment cycle. Jaffe said the "easiest one" is Canada.

Judge said "Canada's in a recession" and wondered if Jaffe isn't putting "too many hopes" in JWN's Canadian story.

Jaffe said that based on 2 stores, Canadians' experience at Nordstrom has been "very positive."

Josh Brown asked Jaffe if the bloggers' enthusiasm for ANF is a valid early indicator.

Jaffe said he recommends the stock and said "bloggers are early, by design," though, "they're not always right."

Describing just how good-looking CNBC superfox Deirdre Bosa is requires a photo from Power Lunch

Brian Stutland told Jackie DeAngelis on Tuesday's Halftime Report that he expects volatility in oil over a couple of months despite the fact sentiment is positive now.

Jim Iuorio said if crude crosses 46.50, then he's looking for 57.

Pete Najarian said October 77 and 77.50 calls in XOM are suddenly getting popular.

Joe Terranova said he'd start reducing "significantly" his stake in refiners.

Joe said he sees another 10-15% in AOS and also likes MLM. He also said he likes TPX.

Steph Link delivered a scattershot take on liking certain housing names that have been under the radar but also liking the builders. (Translation: Is there any stocks that Stephanie a) DOESN'T like or b) DIDN'T hear great news about at a conference?)

Josh Brown called DHI "the No. 1 name in the space."

Stephanie Link likes CRM and UPS.

Joe Terranova touted MKC.

Pete Najarian said he likes MNST.

Pete said he loves GS but he's not in the name.

Joe said "Carl is the clear winner" in Chanos' LNG short because it "emboldens" what Carl can seek of management.

Karen Finerman on the 5 p.m. Fast Money said it's "so risky" to pick single biotech stocks (but didn't mention that she's long XBI and IBB (Drink)).

[Monday, September 14, 2015]

If the stock was $40, what would be the point of the article?

On Monday's Halftime Report, it took until the end of a very prolonged discussion for Josh Brown to make the strongest case against the Barron's takedown of BABA.

"They said Chipotle was a screaming sell 130 points ago. When Facebook was in the 20s, they said it's going to 12," Brown said. "They said Amazon was dot-bomb probably going bankrupt in 1999."

Brown, who said he's a "big fan" of Barron's and a paid subscriber, said he bought BABA in the 70s recently even though it was "essentially a falling knife," but he still thinks he got "a good price." (This writer is long BABA.)

He said it's "probably not smart" to compare BABA to EBAY but rather Tencent or Baidu.

Guest host Michelle Caruso-Cabrera, who had this article down pat, said the "core message" of it was that "they don't believe this company."

Brown credited Barron's for uncovering companies that have "proven to have lied." But he said it's "really easy" to make the anti-BABA case against any Chinese company traded here.

MCC questioned if it's true that the average Chinese person is spending more money online than Americans do. Brown said Chinese don't have the same brick-and-mortar stores we have here, and they've largely "leapfrogged" that concept en route to online, which is basically what the company says in the article.

Caruso-Cabrera sounded flabbergasted to report that 56 million brokerage accounts were created in China in the first 6 months of this year. Brown said "they're catching up on decades" of what U.S. and European consumers have done.

Pete Najarian merely mumbled, "Think how small that is relative to the population."

MCC was slightly off the mark in stating the "core message" is about believing the numbers. Rather, the core message is a stock-valuation call. That is the "news" here, that Barron's has discovered this is apparently a stock trading at a much higher level than it is actually worth.

This gargantuan bust of a stock has been nothing but pain in 2015. There are many great points in the article. But the first argument is merely the humdrum, "transaction volume will be lower than expected."

The article dilutes its own conclusions with critiques of almost every angle of the business, which is like citing dishwasher sales in making a case against GE in 2007. It's more important to note what's not in it. Nobody on the record, no former investors or employees, with a whistleblower revelation. Most of the corporate governance references are from situations known before the IPO.

Herb Greenberg on Monday's 5 p.m. Fast Money couldn't add a damn thing to the conversation, claiming (via Mel's intro) he called this on June 2 but couldn't be any more specific than faulting the opacity of its "investees" and concluding "they just don't disclose very important figures here."

Mel impressively asked what other companies we could liken this to. That prompted Herb to scowl and stammer and stumble, "Look, Melissa, I'm not gonna sit here and say- Look, we don't have enough information. It's the- No investor- no investor has enough information to know whether the company is, uh, engaged in circular transactions. It's the concern that there could be."

The Barron's article notes that much of the company's appeal is linked to Jack Ma. Actually, betting on the larger-than-life moguls hasn't been a bad idea. If you bought the stocks of Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, Larry Page, Howard Schultz, Ray Kroc, Warren Buffett, Carl Icahn and Larry Ellison and held them forever, you've done pretty well. From time to time, they've stumbled.

Perhaps it's all over for Ma, or perhaps he'll stage a Reed Hastings-esque rally.

Barron's is in the business of writing articles that get read. Forecasting 50% stock moves in a timely manner is far more difficult.

Pete Najarian at least admitted his beyond-sorry winter's prediction for BABA; "I thought it was goin' to 150," he said, but he questioned whether Brown should be concerned about the "slowdown in China," which, as we already noted, is the first concern cited by the article.

Brown said "there's still this trend of consumers urbanizing."

Stephanie Link said the problem is "you have a lot of the numbers going in the wrong direction" and that growth managers won't buy if the growth isn't there.

Steve Grasso said on the 5 p.m. Fast Money that BABA and AMZN are "mirror images" on the stock chart, and, "If Alibaba continues to go down, Amazon continues to go up."

Guest doesn’t answer MCC’s question about how long he shorts China

Speaking of China, Michelle Caruso-Cabrera on Monday's Halftime welcomed CresCat's Kevin Smith, who said he's been short Chinese ETFs and is also short the yuan, predicting "further downward pressure."

And that was utterly as exciting as this conversation got.

Smith said China has a "monetary imbalance" and a "balance of payments imbalance."

MCC asked Smith how long he maintains this trade. Smith ignored the question and said U.S. ETFs are the only way to short the Chinese A shares.

Joe Terranova then asked Smith about Larry Fink and others talking to Chinese leaders about keeping things under control and whether that will work. Smith said, "We think there's definitely more unraveling to, uh, to come" but that it's not an "extreme negative" for U.S. markets.

Smith told Josh Brown he doesn't have to do a "due-diligence visit" to China in order "to realize some of the imbalances."

Joe: Robert Shiller’s bubble talk is the same old, same old (translation: Marc Faber brings it up every 2 weeks for Drudge’s benefit)

Stephanie Link on Monday's Judge-less Halftime Report said "what they say" at the Fed is just as important as whether the central bank raises.

Joe Terranova offered his own question for Janet Yellen, stating she should be asked how much confidence she has that the headwinds of China and commodities and currencies will "dissipate."

Pete Najarian said he expects volatility in the mid-20s and also said "each and every day" (Drink) (middle 2 words redundant).

Josh Brown said "rallies are not to be trusted" and reaffirmed his "downtrend" thesis even though agreeing with Link that stocks might rally on a rate hike.

Andrew Burkly said if the Fed moves, "it really sets the clock in motion."

Joe Terranova said that Robert Shiller's potential "bubble" comments are "something that we've heard multiple times over the last 6 years by many, many people."

Joe said the "mind-set" of the market has changed to a "sell-the-rally mentality."

Joe calls for healing
in the high-yield market

Guest host Michelle Caruso-Cabrera on Monday's Halftime Report reported that Goldman Sachs advises avoiding JNJ, COL and CL if the Fed hikes because of impact on floating-rate debt.

Josh Brown said that may already be priced into the stocks and that it might be offset by some unmentioned benefit of a rate hike. "I think it's too soon to tell," said Brown.

Joe Terranova called it a "really fascinating note" and said financials have the highest exposure to floating-rate debt.

Pete Najarian said he likes JNJ regardless.

Joe said the issue is with energy names and that the high-yield market "really really needs time to heal, uh, no matter what happens here with rates."

MCC said, "Time heals, pain in love and finances."

Joe went on to add that in the energy space, "the opportunity first and foremost is in energy equities," and that while hedge funds might be increasing longs in oil futures, they could be selling gasoline or heating oil against it.

Andrew Burkly defended the refiners as benefiting from lower crude costs.

MCC reaffirmed her "obsession" with CVX's 6% dividend.

Joe seemed to question the Jefferies emphasis on the BHP dividend when it's about the "free cash flow yield" and what the company might do with its cash.

MCC pointed out the BHP yield is 7%.

Rebecca Jarvis, we’ve learned, is Chief Business & Economics Correspondent for ABC News

Joe Terranova, off to a roaring start for the new week, said on Monday's Halftime Report, "If you're waiting to get into Apple, the time passed at the end of August."

Joe also said NFLX has traded "absolutely horrible" and advised viewers to "stick to the sell discipline."

Andrew Burkly said AMZN has "kinda turned into an earnings-revision story this year."

Josh Brown said Morgan Stanley made a "wishy washy" downgrade of SIRO and that it's a "pretty good contrarian signal."

Stephanie Link likes Bernstein's NXPI bull call.

Pete Najarian said someone with DISH September 60 puts rolled down into October 57.50 puts. Pete said he'll probably be in the trade for "at least the next couple of weeks."

Michelle Caruso-Cabrera made what's probably the first utterance of Rebecca Jarvis on CNBC in years, pointing out Jarvis shot to fame on "The Apprentice."

MCC also uncorked a "Mr. New World" (Drink).

Mel and Mary Thompson cutely got tangled up on Fast Money.

[Friday, September 11, 2015]

‘Melt-up’ sighting

Adam Parker told Judge on Friday's Halftime Report that it's possible we'll be hearing the term "melt-up" in a few weeks on CNBC. (That would be good news for Bill Fleckenstein's short fund and its purported Oct. 1 launch.)

Parker said "the risk/reward's skewed to the positive."

Stephanie Link said it's been conference season recently, and, "What I heard this week was very encouraging."

Parker predicted we'll have a "more sanguine outlook, uh, you know, imminently."

Parker told Judge that the "house call" at Morgan Stanley for the rate hike is December.

Jim Lebenthal said, "I do think they should raise, but my conviction that they will is rather low."

Doc said if they don't raise next week, "it's a big problem."

Judge: Fed doing ‘lousy job’
of communication

Paul Richards said on Friday's Halftime Report that global financial leaders have been assured that China's under control.

"This is a time for the Fed to move, because the world's fine," Richards said.

Judge said the Fed has done a "lousy job" of signaling its moves to the market.

"I like markets next week even if they hike," Richards said.

"They should've done it over a year ago," said Jon Najarian.

Josh Brown said, "The technicals, they line up perfectly with the, the biggest theme on the Street, what's the Fed gonna do next week."

"The lows are getting higher," Brown said, "and the highs are getting lower."

Michael J. Fox mentions the most important angle of medical research; Judge lets it go without comment

CNBC's Mary Thompson, who obviously hasn't read this site often enough, took part in the Cantor Fitzgerald 9/11 event and brought in Michael J. Fox for Judge's Halftime Report and told viewers that Fox "just told us" that Karen Finerman is on the board of the Michael J. Fox Foundation.

"She's everything she appears to be on TV and more," Fox said.

Fox said Parkinson's research is in silos when it should be in pipelines.

Later, Louis C.K. told Mary, "I'm not gonna tell you where I put my money."

C.K. said he and Buscemi are helping firefighters get acupuncture.

Adam Parker wondered if Judge took a briefcase to high school because of Michael J. Fox.

Doc criticizes Yahoo for pulling in CNBC content while not doing its own

Jon Najarian on Friday's Halftime Report reaffirmed his YHOO grumble from a day earlier.

"There's no unique content there anymore," Najarian said. "They're just pullin' it in from CNBC.com, they're pullin' it in from Business Insider; there's no reason to go there. One of the top financial sites on the Net. So I just, uh, I don't understand what they're doing."

Doc said if MRVL gets a "clean bill of health," you can get back in, but he's not touching it now.

Stephanie Link said you can own CRM and ORCL both.

Josh Brown trumpeted RH and predicted a new high.

Jim Lebenthal said BAC's bull call on DHI and TOL is not late; there's "pent-up demand" (Drink).

Brown touted DHI because during the late August swoon, it only stopped around the 50-day; also he trumpeted LEN.

Ticker symbols that should
exist (cont’d): BRA

Live on location, Kate Kelly on Friday's Halftime Report said the Whiting, Ind., refinery will undergo some maintenance and suggested that a demand drop could bring "another leg down in crude prices."

Stephanie Link said CVX has had "a big problem" executing even when crude was higher and said at another conference she attended, a Barclays energy conference, "it was very downbeat, across the board."

Jim Lebenthal said he can only "half agree" with the Bernstein bull case for DOW (he disagrees with the part that oil is going higher).

Josh Brown said LB is "absolutely on fire," so he added it to its Halftime Portfolio.

Judge first claimed LB was up 40% on the year, then adjusted that to 6%.

Stephanie Link said she's willing to give LULU "a pass."

Moncler CEO Remo Ruffini told Courtney Reagan that China business has been "very good" in the summer, not as good since the summer, that Chinese shoppers are spending in Europe, but in China with 25 stores, "for sure now it's not very successful," but then he said China business is "very strong."

Josh Brown said he's not sure such a high-end retailer is an adequate barometer of China.

Jim Lebenthal said it's time to start "nibbling" on China-centric stocks such as GM.

Stephanie Link said she likes DG but not DLTR.

Stephanie Link said it's time to own airlines and rails, specifically UNP and CSX.

Doc said someone bought a bunch of PFE November 34 calls.

[Thursday, September 10, 2015]

Patriots go 3-0,
then it all falls apart

Astonishingly, the Yinz are only 7-point underdogs.

The Steelers never pull upsets such as this, and without 2 offensive stars and a big-time center, they're toast tonight. (This review is being posted minutes before game time.)

But there's enough that if the pieces are healthy at year-end, they're a reasonable Super Bowl contender even at 9-7.

The Patriots on the other hand are a sinking ship. It's virtually over, like the 1980 Steelers. A likely 3-0 start, then the league will find out they have no defense, a rapidly aging quarterback, and it's 8-8.

Enjoy the game.

Ross Levinsohn: They should build Dick Costolo a statue

This page has said previously that Ross Levinsohn is an excellent executive who should be doing more than whatever he's doing now.

This page has also pointed out that Levinsohn's stated plan months ago on the Halftime Report for TWTR to buy YHOO was one of the loopiest, most bone-headed strategies we've ever heard on the program.

It was the former, not the latter, on Thursday's Halftime Report as Levinsohn hit a home run with impressive candor on YHOO and TWTR.

It's worth adding that after that candor, Levinsohn's new-media observations sounded like the typical vague lip service that executives are prone to dispense during CNBC interviews.

Levinsohn first told Judge he was not asked to be Twitter CEO, and he does not want the job. (The first is believable; 2nd perhaps not so much.)

Then he took aim at Bob Peck's triumvirate plan. "If it's some combination, I'm not a- I don't know about that," Levinsohn said, adding, "I think you need clarity."

Judge pointed out that Peck previously hailed Levinsohn as a great choice for CEO. "I have to send him a Christmas basket for that," Levinsohn said.

Levinsohn said he's positively "biased" about Adam Bain.

Then, he impressively cut Dick Costolo a break.

"If Facebook doesn't exist, and you looked at this company, you'd say, 'Dick Costolo did a terrific job,'" Levinsohn said. "To some degree they should build him a statue."

"I think he- Dick got, you know, thrown under the bus a little bit," Levinsohn said. "We- we lived this at Yahoo."

Levinsohn said he still has "great love" for Yahoo, "and I think now all it is is a tracking stock, which is, um, kind of an insult to the people who work there."

Jon Najarian pointed to Netflix's Epix split, praising NFLX's emphasis on owning its content, and said, "Yahoo's gone the exact opposite way. They're just pullin' in content from everywhere. They don't own any of it, and they're basically helping other folks, uh, succeed whereas they're- they have no original content really anymore."

Levinsohn responded that he read the fine print of Yahoo's recent release about some acquisition and found, "They're basically saying 'Yahoo is a guide focused on informing, connecting and entertaining our users,' which feels a bit throwback to the beginning days of Yahoo."

"During my time there, we did all kinds of unique things," Levinsohn said.

Joe Terranova asked Levinsohn for the "and then what" at TWTR after the CEO is named. Levinsohn said, "I as a user would love to see more of an organization, more of a curation."

That's where things got a bit dubious, as Levinsohn stated — without any challenging from Judge as to how this would work — that "I would like to be able to see a curated experience for the New York Giants, and I'd like that delivered to my inbox tomorrow. Or today. Or by the hour."

"Curation can be done through algorithms, it can be done through editors, it can be done through my friends," Levinsohn said.

Finally, there was this on what cable companies need to do: "I don't see real aggression yet from the traditional media companies to embrace, build, invest, throw out the business model, try something new, they got plenty of cash, they got plenty of know-how, they know how to do it."

Fine. What do you think Comcast should do?

Oddly enough, Levinsohn isn't even sure if he owns TWTR or YHOO or not.

"I don't think I own Yahoo, I don't think I own Twitter ... I haven't directed anybody to do it," Levinsohn said.

Levinsohn said there won't be a "complete collapse" among unicorns, but "I think there'll be a rationalization of valuations."

Doc: Fed ‘sick’ of listening to people on CNBC speculate about timing of rate hike

Jon Najarian on Thursday's Halftime raised eyebrows in telling Judge, "Last night I had a nice conversation with Kevin O'Leary," then reported that "it's a mistake" for the Fed NOT to move next week.

Judge noted that Doc has been in the "lower for longer" cliche camp for a while.

"I really think they're sick of us talking about it," Doc said of the Fed. "They're sick of it."


Najarian said the 10-year won't be higher than 2.25% after the Fed move.

Stephen Weiss initially said the "point" of Tepper's comments was, "You cut the earnings," whatever the heck that means. But later, Weiss admitted it's a bit "convoluted," but that Tepper "basically also gave the all-clear" to long-term investors.

Joe Terranova asserted again that the correction is "more now of time vs. price" (Drink).

Pete Najarian contended, "It's a trader's market right now" (Drink).

Pete also said that if you look at his disclosures (snicker), "you will see more stocks than you've probably ever seen for me to be holding."

Hedge funds have made regional-bank trade ‘a little bit crowded’

Lori Calvasina on Thursday's Halftime Report told Judge she's advising clients to stay biased toward sectors that do better with rising volatility.

Calvasina said that with a 12-month view, she would "absolutely" buy small-caps over large caps, though short-term you're probably better off in large cap.

Calvasina also touted big banks, citing "Hedge funds have not really been invested there," but she cautioned about the regionals, stating hedge funds had "ratcheted up" exposure over the summer and thus now are "a little bit crowded."

Calvasina said "our house" is predicting December is the "most likely" time for a Fed hike, but September and October are on the table.

Box is a ‘phenomenal company’

Stephen Weiss on Thursday's Halftime Report said "insider trading is alive and well on Wall Street" because he saw LULU down Wednesday morning when the rest of the market was up.

Jon Najarian said NBIX November 55 calls were hot; "I bought stock and calls ... this is probably a month or longer trade, Judge."

Pete Najarian said he dabbled in QCOM September 55.50 calls after seeing "huge blocks" purchased Thursday morning.

Pete said it's not time to start buying STX yet; there's "a lot of time."

Stephen Weiss trumpeted GILD borrowing "20-year money at 4½% roughly."

Doc said the BOX chief said to expect expenses to come down, "he didn't say they are coming down." But Doc said it's a "phenomenal company."

Joe Terranova said "I truly believe" PANW is going above $200.

Doc actually thinks the Vikings are going to win the Super Bowl

Jeff Kilburg told Jackie DeAngelis on Thursday's Halftime Report that as long as crude holds 44, "we should see a retest of 48 and 49."

Jon Najarian said it would be "fantastic" if TIF was actually a sector perform as RBC indicates.

Stephen Weiss said he's looking to get into AMBA though he's not sure this is the right level.

Joe Terranova said he likes JPM best of the big banks.

Pete Najarian pounded the table for PFE and its pipeline.

Pete Najarian picked the Colts to win the Super Bowl. Jon Najarian said the Vikings. Joe Terranova predicted Miami. The screen graphic said Steve Weiss was picking the yinz, but Weiss actually said the Colts.

[Wednesday, September 9, 2015]

Joe indicates Donald next president will pick Larry Fink for Treasury secretary

On the subject of China during Wednesday's Halftime Report, Joe Terranova ripped a page out of "Road House" — and impressively inverted it.

"I do think that things are going to get better before they get worse again," Joe contended.

So, no need to call Wade Garrett just yet.

Judge reported "important news" that Larry Fink "traveled to China in the last part of August and met with officials then (sic last word redundant)."

Jon Najarian said China has done everything including putting stocks on can't-short lists, which is "one of the worst things they can do," and he's "sure" Fink told them that.

That prompted Joe to uncork a political prediction, stating, "I mean it sounds like the next Treasury secretary is going over to discuss what the policies are gonna be going forward (sic last 2 words redundant)."

Steve Weiss said he'd send David Tepper over to China to "get 'em, movin' in line."

Judge said he doesn't think the U.S. market "in any way, shape or form" is ready for a Fed move this month. But Pete Najarian said he thinks this market can actually accept a rate hike.

Joe chimed in, "You could see more upside than I think sentiment expects."

Stephen Weiss said, "I also don't think we're out of the woods completely yet ... we're still fair to slightly overvalued if you reduce your S&P outlook."

Weiss said he's been adding stocks at "compelling" prices, but he couldn't get a compelling price on FB.

Scott Jon Hirtle says ‘dislocated’ or ‘dislocation’ about 6-7 times

Judge on Wednesday's Halftime Report called Jonathan Hirtle "Scott Hirtle;" Hirtle said he thinks the bull market's intact because "it's a question of equities over bonds worldwide."

Singling out CHL and Chinese Hong Kong-listed shares, Hirtle said he likes emerging markets because it's a "dislocated" sector in which values can be found.

Hirtle also said there's "dislocation" in energy too, and keeping it simple, he likes XOM, CVX, COP and RDSa.

Joe Terranova questioned why Japan isn't a better option than emerging markets. Hirtle said he sees a higher return from Japan than the U.S. but even higher from emerging markets.

Day 2 of Judge’s theory that NFLX goes as the market goes not working

Jon Najarian on Wednesday's Halftime Report proclaimed, "it's show-me time for Marissa Mayer."

Joe Terranova said "I don't want to touch Alibaba right here," but he thinks YHOO is going to be "fine" and that the tax-free spin will be "grandfarthered (sic) in."

Joe called NFLX a "quality name" but said the volatility needs to "dissipate."

Stephen Weiss said that from the "many people" he talks to, there are concerns about Netflix sub growth in the U.S. this quarter, though international sub growth is supposed to offset that.

Pete Najarian said FIT is "beating all the big boys right now" and he thinks the stock crosses 40, but he's not so sure about 50.

Jon Najarian said Instagram video ads will be "big" for Facebook.

Guy Adami on the 5 p.m. Fast Money said of Netflix, "5 years from now, we probably won't be talking about it; 5 months from now, we will."

Evidently when Jim Cramer emails CEOs about business conditions, they email him right back with the details

Oh joy. Another Fast Money Halftime Report episode just an hour before release of the Fed minutes an Apple product demonstration by invitation only.

Steve Milunovich said he didn't expect Wednesday's announcements to "dramatically" move the needle.

Pete Najarian claimed the "iPad Pro" is "more important right now than the phones" and that it "really could be a game-changer."

Joe Terranova said he agrees with Pete on the iPad Pro and said of AAPL, "The balance sheet is as strong as any companal (sic) out there."

Milunovich said, "I don't think there's much downside in the stock, which is just as important as the upside."

Late in the program, Eric Chemi said ITW, FISV, HON, WFC and BA are the S&P 500's 5 stocks with the greatest correlation to AAPL.

Ticker symbols that
should exist: BRA (cont’d)

Judge on Wednesday's Halftime Report pointed out that Jim Chanos is short LNG. Joe Terranova predicted that the winner in the stock will be Carl Icahn.

On the 5 p.m. Fast Money, Karen Finerman said of Chanos' LNG short, "There are some very, very smart hands on the other side of the trade."

Karen also said Carl Icahn was "pissed" about LNG CEO's pay.

Also on the 5 p.m. show, Guy Adami said that being short volatility has worked for years but isn't working now.

Jim Iuorio told Jackie DeAngelis on Wednesday's Halftime Report said it was "so weird" a couple weeks ago during the stock slaughter not to see a rush to bonds as a safe haven and lower yields.

Now, Iuorio sees rates "much more free to go higher" if stocks stabilize, and he's looking for 2.50 "sometime within the next month."

Brian Stutland endorsed that number and predicted 2.40-2.50.

Stephen Weiss said the United-Continental integration was "one of the worst" of airlines; "nothing worked."

Joe added JBLU to his Halftime Portfolio. Doc added BMY.

Stephen Weiss said Jefferies didn't initiate a buy on GILD in its biotech coverage "because they were too successful in their Hep C launch."

Pete Najarian agreed with Weiss and said he loves CELG.

Joe said the most crowded store at a mall he was at last weekend was Victoria's Secret (LB).

Steve Weiss pointed out he lives near Newark but not in Newark.

Karen Finerman's son Jack, offering URI for a Final Trade, gave a better presentation than most longtime guests do on CNBC.

[Tuesday, September 8, 2015]

Karen: Don’t blame Marissa

Tim Seymour admitted on Tuesday's 5 p.m. Fast Money, "I don't have an answer" as to Yahoo's Friday night news release of the departure of the chief accounting officer.

Karen Finerman said, "I wouldn't step into Yahoo here."

But Karen refused to blame Marissa Mayer for the spinoff ruling; "I don't think it's her fault."

Meanwhile, Finerman opined, "I really do believe Facebook is headed to a hundred."

Mandy Drury (above), perfect hair and aqua dress, handled the Power Lunch teaser on the Halftime Report.

Judge assumes that Tim Cook was only replying to Cramer’s email

Jon Najarian on Tuesday's Halftime Report gushed about the possibility of a "monster iPad" and suggested looking at SYNA and SNDK as plays on the Apple event.

Ian Winer told Judge, "It's really all about multiple compression at this point" for AAPL and said he found it "odd" that Tim Cook happened to send an email to CNBC.

Judge scoffed, "Well I- I'm assuming that Cramer asked him in an email, uh, what the deal was, I mean ..."

Winer said "fair value" for AAPL is 100 or "maybe 95," then tacked on an "at the end of the day" (Drink).

Joe Terranova said, "If the market rolls back over, Apple's gonna roll back over with it, and it's gonna be a hundred to a hundred and five."

Judge said if AAPL reaches 95, "uh, it's gonna be a fire sale."

Futures Now host Jackie DeAngelis, who looked dynamite, brought in Jim Iuorio to say that if oil can settle above 49, then you're looking at possibly 55.

If we have to see that MSNBC commercial for ‘Morning Joe’ one more time in which Marco Rubio says he was working out in the gym and all these mopes roar with laughter, we’re throwing something at our TV set

Pete Najarian on Tuesday's Halftime Report admitted he's still holding some BEE December 15 calls, the same strike he's been touting for a month but now admits will likely go worthless because the deal's in the $14 range.

But "that's why you have to be disciplined" and trim from the initial pop, Najarian thundered.

Regarding the TE deal, Jim Lebenthal warned of regulatory issues but said "this is a good one to hold" because those companies don't have much overlap.

Pete Najarian said 35,000 TE November 22.50 calls were bought last week.

Josh Brown said analysts have started piling into FIT, but Pete Najarian said, "I'm not so sure about that price target" of 58 by Morgan Stanley.

"I'd go PNC over Wells Fargo," said Joe Terranova, who had a quiet show and evidently doesn't believe in wearing a tie to the set anymore.

Judge admitted near the end of the program that NFLX, despite a higher stock market, was trading like "garbage" on Tuesday, contrary to his thesis of a week ago.

Pete Najarian pronounced DIS' fall "way overdone."

Joe Terranova said he'd "pare back" any YUM holdings. Pete Najarian agreed.

Jim Lebenthal pounded the table for defense stocks on the strength of long-term contracts, singling out OA.

What happened to Judge’s observation that if NFLX is down, ‘chances are you’ve got a down market’?

They say that on cable TV shows, the good stuff's always in the first 15 minutes.

If that's the case, viewers of Tuesday's Halftime Report should've made a beeline to the exits after Judge's sleepy return from the holiday weekend.

Joe Terranova said the chatter on trading desks Thursday and Friday was that Tuesday's market would be "ugly," but that wasn't actually happening.

Joe pointed out, "Oil is down, but yet the market is up."

Jim Lebenthal said, "I'm not sounding a bell here that we're off to the races from here," but given the opportunities from volatility, "this is a great time to be buying."

Josh Brown was sort of glum, "Really it's just an oversold bounce," asserting we're still in a downtrend.

Tom Digenan said the market has presented "tremendous opportunities" in the last couple of months. But he said of biotech, "This is not an area to go in without adult supervision."

Uh oh — Microchip issued a forecast

Pete Najarian on Tuesday's Halftime was allowed a chance to carp about the Microchip forecast (Drink) (THE BIG COMPANIES LIKE INTEL WEREN'T SAYING THAT!!!!) from a year ago that he hated; Judge said now people are embracing Microchip's more positive outlook.

Joe Terranova curiously said that MU, "between 20 and 25 ... longer term, 6, 12, 18 months out, yes," which apparently means that it might hit 20 in a year and a half.

Ian Ing said he has an MU bull case based on 3 things, the first being getting closer to industry cost structure, the second being that it's trading closer to true book value, and the third being the new type of memory that's "not in people's numbers."

"It's still somewhat of a commodity business," Ing allowed.

Jim Lebenthal admitted a lot of his INTC long is "hoping" and asked Ing for reassurance. Ing said that "things are starting to turn around a bit on the PC front, I would say."

More from Monday's Halftime later.

[Friday, September 4, 2015]

Judge questions if Jim Lebenthal’s Chipotle-Ashley Madison comparison is ‘appropriate’

This one was outta left field.

Jim Lebenthal on Friday's Halftime Report said there was an "honesty question" about Ashley Madison deleting user profiles, and that "seems to be the heart of the issue" with the anti-Chipotle question.

Josh Brown called that "totally wrong" and said the company doesn't suggest "it's healthy to eat Chipotle every day," rather there's a conflating of "healthy" and "natural" and that the company only touts the latter.

Brown pointed out CMG didn't even break its 50-day last week.

Judge chided Lebenthal; "I don't know, you know, I know you throw out things like the Ashley Madison thing, but I don't know if that's, uh, either appropriate, accurate or even, uh, relevant to this."

Lebenthal responded, "That's a fair point. My only point — and let me be clear about this Scott ... you asked my opinion on it, and all I'm saying on this ... it's raising a question that is similar at least in my mind to the honesty issue with Ashley Madison."

Judge used air quotes (below) to say the investment community had viewed companies such as CMG and LOCO as having "healthier" food.

Jon Najarian said to wait for CMG to break 700 before buying.

Link: AAPL ‘very well overowned’

Apparently overreacting to a few days of high volatility, Judge observed on Friday's Halftime, "If Netflix is up, chances are, you've got an up market. If Netflix is down, chances are you've got a, a down market."

Josh Brown called that a "good point" but one requiring "a little bit more context" than 1 week's activity.

Judge also observed that it's rare to see the market up when AAPL is not. Stephanie Link said AAPL is "very well overowned" and is "one of the more vulnerable names."

Doc said PCLN becomes "the loan officer" in buying up hotel rooms, etc., and then finding customers, and that's why it's been so successful for a decade. Stephanie Link said she likes the stock but wants it cheaper. Josh Brown and Jim Lebenthal agreed.

"WhatsApp is now the size of 3 Twitters," said Josh Brown, even predicting Facebook would figure out a way to make money on Oculus.

The Fed: Truckin’

Steve Liesman opened Friday's Halftime Report (that's not what he looked like on the program) with some waffling every bit as good as l'eggo my egg'o.

Liesman told Judge the Fed "certainly can" raise in September.

But, he said, as long as it doesn't hike the rate, as far as the market's concerned, "it's as much as being in place as if it was, if it was not done."

"Let's get it done with," shrugged Jim Lebenthal.

Josh Brown predicted a "relief rally" in the event of a Fed hike but said the "bigger picture is that we're in a downtrend."

"The economy is outperforming the stock market, for the first time since this recovery began," Brown reiterated. Stephanie Link asserted, "This is a stock-picker's market" (Drink).

Jon Najarian said what he's "still upset" about is that "the Fed can't basically get the banks back into the lending mode."

Tobias Levkovich told Judge he's standing by his 2,200 S&P and said it's feasible when we get beyond the "more distracting" activity in the stock market.

Levkovich said his proprietary "panic/euphoria" model signals "a 96% probability of a higher market a year from now."

He also said price-to-book on emerging markets is back to 2008 crisis level.

Market’s hottest stock is ...

Jon Najarian on Friday's Halftime Report said he jumped into NBL because the September 30 calls were popular; so much so that he also put it in his Halftime Portfolio.

Najarian also said selling CAT at 73 "doesn't make much sense."

Jim Lebenthal said he's out of longtime favorite BP, that the price of oil is hovering over the stock, as is Russia exposure.

Stephanie Link likes and is long an old Joe Terranova favorite, LPX.

Doc said many bank stocks were being "washed down with the market."

Judge and Dom Chu spoke about shorts in biotech. Jim Lebenthal said "short selling on valuation is a dangerous game" and shrugged that this is simply biotech's time to get upended.

Lebenthal said the semiconductor index has been doing OK this week. Stephanie Link said airlines have held up well this week.

Jon Najarian said VIAB looks to be in "accumulation mode."

Josh Brown said BWLD is "the hottest stock in the market right now."

[Thursday, September 3, 2015]

Judge still isn’t paying attention to what Joe says about his Halftime Portfolio

On Aug. 19 (see below), we pointed out that Judge was paying so little attention to what his panelists were saying about their Halftime Portfolios that he thought Joe Terranova said he might be out of IBKR before finishing a sentence, when in fact it was CNX.

This subject remained a problem for Judge on Thursday's Halftime, as Joe said he reloaded his Halftime Portfolio with CXO, EOG, SWKS and NFLX.

Judge then said Joe has been "in and out of" CXO and EOG, but Joe asserted "you are incorrect about that."

Joe said he bought NFLX at 106, "sold it at 117-plus last week" and is now back in it at 102.10. He said he likes Josh's "strategeye (sic), uh, strategy" of a stop below its "gap-up level" of 100.

Dan Niles sold AAPL calls that should expire worthless

Dan Niles dialed into Thursday's Halftime and chuckled that he doesn't own AAPL.

Niles gloated that he sold some AAPL calls that "should expire worthless," then warned that China could be a "really big headwind."

Josh Brown said that "at the end of the day," AAPL is one of the cheapest stocks in the market and "it's OK" if the stock has a few bad months.

For the broad market, Niles said the correction "happened pretty rapidly," and he doesn't think it's over.

Niles said he's been "short a lot of the names in the semiconductor sector" and that media shorts have worked well also. On the longer side, he said he's looking for companies without China or emerging-market exposure.

Niles spent decent time endorsing WMT, saying its comp-store sales started to improve once oil started dropping and he doesn't think it's coincidence. The stock is "defensive offense," Niles said.

He said that while WMT is raising wages, it's getting a break from the Chinese devaluation.

‘No idea’ who’s in charge of Twitter

Dan Niles on Thursday's Halftime wasn't exactly pounding the table for TWTR.

"We're not involved in Twitter right now," Niles said, explaining "the valuation is still high" and that "you still have nobody- no idea even who's leading the company."

But later in the show, Bob Peck found the time to talk "triumvirate" again, asserting that once the management is confirmed, we'll get the "cadence" of new products that will "ultimately drive revenues."

Doc congratulated Peck for some "very prudent" calls, in particular for TWTR. Doc said the "customer-facing side" of Twitter is "much better" now.

Peck asserted Jack Dorsey is a "rallying point for employees" who helps create a "stir in enthusiasm."

Ticker symbols that should be BRA (cont’d)

On Thursday's Halftime, Joe Terranova said it's "popular" to talk about taking out the October lows but that upcoming data will reflect a strong U.S. economy, and that if crude "stabilizes," then a September Fed hike is "certain."

Asked if we've bottomed, Josh Brown said his "best guess is no," but perhaps we did last week.

Barry Bannister explained dropping his 2,350 S&P target to 2,200, saying he "reset the bar" for a 4th-quarter correction.

Dan Greenhaus revealed he's got the same 2,200 target for year-end.

Jon Najarian again trumpeted his Labor-Day-to-Black-Friday retail trade (Drink).

Mohamed El-Erian said "we have a massive tug of war going on" between central banks and the markets over volatility.

"Fundamentally, we were in an artificial world," El-Erian said, before taking a turn at CNBC's current favorite parlor game.

"If they hike in September, it will be the equivalent of what China did a few weeks ago with the currency — the right move but at the wrong time," El-Erian said. "And that's why I think net-net, they'll wait."

Judge pointed out that if people are afraid the markets will be rattled by a September hike, the markets won't be "unrattled" in October, November and December.

"There's still a lot of cash on the sidelines," El-Erian said, stating he likes "relative trades."

Joe Terranova said JOY wants to go back to its 17.46 low of February 2009, and you could try it for a trade.

Dan Greenhaus, who had a very quiet show, said he'd buy a TSLA car but he doesn't "take a view" on the stock, and he doesn't prefer to talk about single stocks.

Doc endorsed LB.

Jeff Kilburg said gasoline technically looks to be going lower. Jim Iuorio said he thinks the Fed won't tighten, the dollar could soften and some commodities could see a bottom.

Joe said the word for September is not "defensive," but "opportunistic;" he said it a couple of times.

[Wednesday, September 2, 2015]

Grasso: Sub-1,700 in S&P cash

Judge welcomed a pair of special guest stars to Wednesday's Halftime Report.

Ron Insana said he's "certainly not" in the bear market camp, but "we are still in a correction."

David Rosenberg said "margin calls, forced selling" were artificially knocking down some good stocks, and those with a "12-month view" will find some bargains.

Josh Brown questioned if a market decline couldn't take down the consumer and thus the economy; he said "there was no recession in, in late 1999 or early 2000."

Insana said "at the end of the day," this is still a hugely consumer economy and it just happens to be a deeper correction than we've experienced recently.

Meanwhile, Josh Brown said of the markets, "It's an ETF-kind of washout."

Judge questioned if the washout should be regarded as the market trying to determine the "appropriate multiple."

On the 5 p.m. Fast Money, Grandpa Dan Nathan predicted a failure at S&P 2,050. No. 386 predicted a test of 1,867 and then uncorked this jaw-dropper; "I think ultimately that we trade down to below 1,700 in the S&P cash."

Grandpa Dan then concluded that "the last gasp" of the bull market might've been its bounce off the October lows last year.

Still trying to figure out what Terry Duffy meant by gold not doing what he thought it should be doing

Ben Laidler told Judge on Wednesday's Halftime Report that the market is "very sensitive" to any good news in the energy space and that the sector will "reward" long-term investors.

Stephen Weiss asked Laidler if oil isn't like nat gas in the late '80s or early '90s, where once the price rose, "they started producing again."

Laidler responded that valuations are at 20-year lows and oil prices are at 10-year lows, and he sees "the glass is half-full."

Josh Brown said he agrees with Weiss more than Laidler and said he owns XLE because it's survival of the fittest, and "those are the fittest."

Jon Najarian said there was some unusual put activity in WFT.

Brian Stutland told Jackie DeAngelis he wants to see the oil VIX below 45. Jim Iuorio said he thinks oil's in a "bottoming pattern longer term."

‘Law of large numbers’ (Drink) resurfaces during AAPL conversation

Paul Meeks, citing "the law of large numbers," wasn't that excited about AAPL on Wednesday's Halftime Report; "I think I'm a buyer when it's below 100."

But Meeks does like DATA and SPLK; he also likes MSFT at "about 39" and ORCL at "about 35," and also FB around 82.

And, he likes AKAM at Wednesday's level.

Stephen Weiss said he hasn't talked to anybody who admits they "love" the Apple Watch and tell people to go buy it.

Weiss did back DATA, calling it "an incredible company in an incredible space."

Josh Brown said NFLX and others are "trading at the mercy of beta in general" and also said "vicissitudes."

Jon Najarian again pounded the table for FB, AAPL, DIS and XOM.

TWTR gets 2.3% of online ad spend

DIS bull Vasily Karasyov told Judge on Wednesday's Halftime Report that he thinks Street estimates are low, particularly in consumer products and film.

Judge questioned if Karasyov's 17 multiple might be too high. Karasyov said it's "always" traded at a premium to the S&P "unless there is a bear market," acknowledging that would be a double hit.

Pete Najarian again pounded the table for airlines and their single multiples.

Steve Weiss said "I love retail here," and he also loves FB.

Weiss said he'd rather buy AMBA than GPRO.

Doc said CLSA made a "brave call" in upgrading WYNN, a stock that only a few weeks ago Doc was talking about getting OptionMonster Wealth Management clients into in the low 100s.

Pete Najarian said he likes WFC, "$59 is not that much of a stretch" and even said Brian Sullivan "was just shaking his head" at some of the day's housing numbers in the morning.

Josh Brown said GIS was "having a decent day" but he wasn't really interested in buying it.

Stephen Weiss said the MCD breakfast menu won't move the needle "all that much."

Pete Najarian said there was a seller of PPG November 90 puts and buyer of November 95 PPG calls.

Doc mocked TWTR getting 2.3% of online ad spending and said the "glass half full" is all kinds of room to the upside.

[Tuesday, September 1, 2015]

Joe: 30-45 days of malaise.
Grasso: Hike rates, invert curve.

Joe Terranova, who once again spurned a tie, on Tuesday's Halftime Report contended that "the majority of the price damage has been done" but that this will linger "for the next 30 to 45 days."

Josh Brown said we're not getting "that traditional V bottom."

Josh Brown said "volatility is the norm in oil" and that, "at the end of the day" (Drink), it's merely 1 month's contract on a futures exchange.

Stephanie Link advised separating market action from "underlying fundamentals" in the economy. (She likes this point so much, she said it again on the 7 p.m. Eastern CNBC market-crash special, after changing clothes.)

Pete Najarian actually speculated as to the "real PMI" out of China.

Guest host Sara Eisen told No. 386 that Tuesday's selloff doesn't seem so "panicky."

Grasso agreed but added, "I do believe right now, technically we're challenged" and we need to retest last week's lows.

Nevertheless, he said if you're a "day trader," you should look to buy some names now for a bounce.

On the 5 p.m. Fast Money, Grasso went further, stating, "The Fed is boxed in. They cannot raise rates. They will invert the yield curve."

Hall and Oates bust:
No Sara smile

Jonathan Krinsky of MKM said on Tuesday's Halftime that when stocks take such a deep dive as they did last week, then a "retest" of the lows is in order even if stocks don't quite reach the lows again.

"Oversold bounces are less likely to stick," Krinsky said, pointing to the slope of the 200-day.

Also, "We're a seller of energy here," Krinsky said.

Sara Eisen, who was sullen and flat as a Denny's pancake, did have one good moment (if she were Judge, we'd probably ask "Who peed in Judge's Cheerios?," but that seems a bit much), impressively clarifying with Krinsky that last week's S&P low was 1,867.

Meanwhile, Atul Lele pounded the table for investing in the U.S., which he said is experiencing "quite a broad-based expansion."

Lele said the "single biggest risk" is contagion from emerging markets into developed markets.

Stephanie Link said 2 of Lele's picks, ETN and PH, are "pretty contrarian." Lele said they're based on an industrial production rebound.

Even Stephanie Link's bizarre eye roll before a commercial break couldn't light up Sara's gorjus smile. (omg are we actually criticizing Sara Eisen?) Maybe it was the realization she'd have to take part in the CNBC 7 p.m. Eastern special markets report with Sully and Cramer that proved to be one of the sleepiest market-crash episodes ever (but delivered a photo below).

Warren understands the
‘state of domestic oil’

Jackie DeAngelis on Tuesday's Halftime Report said the oil trade has not been for the "faint of heart" (Drink).

Anthony Grisanti told DeAngelis that oil was "definitely overdone" to the upside a day ago, and there's still too much oil in the world.

Scott Nations said volatility is "chunky" and predicted more to the downside in the oil market.

Joe Terranova said oil could "easily" go to 50 but that equities might not follow; maybe your best bet is refiners.

Josh Brown pointed out that 3% up moves tend to occur in markets such as oil that are dropping 7% a week.

Stephanie Link trumpeted SLB even if the "payback" takes 3 years.

Pete Najarian said airlines are "printing money." Joe revisited the long-awaited additional weighting of the airline sector in the S&P 500 and said JBLU is his top name and to buy dips in the sector.

Pete said ALK has been "absolutely phenomenal" (Drink).

Lessee ... Step 1 is the rumored board meeting, Step 2 is the CEO announcement, Step 3 are the new products, Step 4 is the M&A target if the new products fizzle ...

Someone on Twitter actually asked Pete Najarian on Tuesday's Halftime Report if he looks at other catalysts besides option activity. "100% yes," Pete said, claiming he goes through "all different types of metrics."

Pete defended "great potential" in ZIOP, doing a good job with rapid responses to tweets.

Joe Terranova stuck by his "time event" prognosis for the market. Stephanie Link said "you make your shopping list."

Josh Lipton sported a big-time jacket while reporting on AAPL's price.

Josh Brown joked about taking his kid out of school to start a market rally.

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