Josh Brown: Scaramucci getting CNN reporters fired was the ‘clincher’ for Trump

Friday's Halftime Report was a blast from the past.

Panelists talked about stocks — but the main event was the breaking news that former longtime CNBC contributor and Fast Money semi-regular Anthony Scaramucci has somehow, after a considerable setback in January, ascended to a top White House position.

CNBC's hardy political reporter Eamon Javers declared, "This would be a significant political comeback for Anthony Scaramucci," except Scaramucci didn't previously have an official political stature, but nonetheless, it's an impressive rebound from a tough January and dubious experience at Davos that nearly knocked him out of the presidential circle.

Josh Brown opined that Scaramucci recently taking on CNN and "actually having 2 reporters get fired" had to have been "the clincher" for this White House.

Javers made a point of reading a note he received from a source, explaining, "This is happening with some resistance uh from people close to Spicer if not to (sic grammar) Spicer himself."

Later, Javers said his source carped, "This is a joke. Trump wanted Scaramucci on television as a surrogate for the White House and wanted to give him more of a formal title."

Judge offered, "Anthony Scaramucci's not afraid to take people on."

Judge added, "I've been trying to get in touch with uh, Anthony, haven't been able to do that. Uh, he may be a little busy at the moment."

Stephen Weiss said that in "every" Wall Street trading room right at that moment, "Thousands and thousands of dollars are being wagered as to who's going to play Anthony on 'Saturday Night Live.'"

On the 5 p.m. Fast Money, featuring Mel's sharp new hairstyle, Guy Adami called the hiring/elevation of Scaramucci a "home run," with consensus backing from the panel.

Weiss: Markets would prefer president who’s more ‘stable mentally’ than Donald Trump

Then again, does Anthony Scaramucci know what he's in for?

Steve Weiss on Friday's Halftime bluntly suggested this might not be a 4-year president, stating if Donald Trump is impeached or resigns, "the market would trade higher," because we'd have someone "who's more stable mentally in there."

Jim Lebenthal asserted that we're in a "meltup," but Weiss challenged that term, stating this is "more of an orderly progression going higher," not a "meltup," which to him is 2% in a day.

Jim Lebenthal said the market leadership is broadening out, and maybe telecom will start participating.

Mike Wilson, who resembles Peyton Manning, said "I'm feeling very good" about the stock market, citing in part interest rates remaining "pinned."

"The Europe trade is still on," said Kevin O'Leary.

Josh Brown singled out GILD as having "tons of room to the upside," and then CELG; "this just looks absolutely amazing."

Judge wanted panelists to rave about MSFT and MCD. Pete Najarian hailed Satya Nadella's leadership as driving MSFT. Pete said MCD under Steve Easterbrook "started to care more about the customer" and pointed to (yes) all-day breakfast.

Kevin O'Leary said Microsoft is the "premier license for every seat in a small company." But volunteering a different name, O'Leary said GE is "where money goes to die."

Jim Lebenthal called GE a "value trap" and said it has been for a long time.

Jim says an analyst should be applauded for making the wrong call

Stephen Weiss and Josh Brown on Friday's Halftime said BTIG & Atlantic Equities analysts did the right thing by lowering JNJ from holds to sells.

Jim Lebenthal said splitting up JNJ would put "some life into this stock."

Jim said to "applaud" the Berenberg analyst's courage for his WFC sell, which is "not just a wimpy sell" but a $35 target.

Even so, "I don't think it's the right call."

Josh Brown said he'd rather buy OXY when it's going up, and that it's going to follow the price of crude.

Stephen Weiss said TXT is in a tough space but will still participate in a growing economy.

Pete Najarian said September 92.50 PG calls were being bought.

Jim Iuorio said gold got the "green light" from Draghi on Thursday; he plans to ride it to $1,300.

[Thursday, July 20, 2017]

Mel bungles Fast Money opening (as Karen gets deeply philosophical)

She looked great — but it was a teleprompter train wreck.

Melissa Lee on Thursday's 5 p.m. Fast Money said at the opening, "First we start off with the big story of the day. After 9 years in prison, the parole board (sic misplaced modifier) (apparently not covered in Harvard English classes) voting today that O.J. Simpson will be officially released in October. Just kidding. Just kidding. Here's the real big story for us today (sic redundant word): It's Amazon's world, and we're just living in it."

1. She said "just kidding" as though the Simpson news were false. It wasn't.

2. The parole board didn't spend "9 years in prison."

Whoever writes this material needs to work on the basics.

The only thing saving this disaster of an intro was Karen Finerman appearing in stunning white. (And the hit from CNBC superfox Deirdre Bosa.) (And, to a lesser extent, Guy Adami's spectacularly hilarious expression deftly caught by the cameraman when Dan Nathan said "I know you like Dick's.")

But then there was this: "What is the ultimate end game (sic 1st of those 3 words redundant) for Amazon," asked Karen. "I doubt it's very much about money at this point. You know, how much money do you possibly need."

Seriously? Amazon doesn't care about revenue very much?

The "end game" question is an outstanding question. Not just for Amazon but … virtually every human and every entity.

For example, what is Karen's end game … the next Warren Buffett … the next Maria Bartiromo … the next Harvey Weinstein …?

We don't know. It's never really been discussed on Fast Money.

(She's the one who brought it up.)

SNAP got its daily CNBC spanking on Fast Money. (This writer is long SNAP but has emotionally written it off.) (#gofacebook #ohjoy) Because its first quarter was the most important company quarterly report in history.

A day earlier, Kayla Tausche called Melissa "Michelle" on Wednesday's 5 p.m. Fast Money.

‘Definitely upside
and downside’ in UA

On Thursday's Halftime Report, Jay Sole of Morgan Stanley predicted NKE's North American growth rate will start to improve "after this quarter." He has a 68 target.

Josh Brown said the "new normal" for sporting-goods clothing is "more of an all-day, um, situation." (So wear your track suit to breakfast.)

Judge asked if the worst is over at UA. Sole said the stock has "adjusted" to the "realities" of the company.

Then, in a phenomenally bold call, Sole said, "There's definitely upside and downside from here on Under Armour."

Joe Terranova asked if LULU bottomed at the end of May. Sole said he doesn't cover the name; Kimberly Greenberger does.

Jim doesn’t want to be ‘sanctimonious’ (but he’s no stepchild)

On Thursday's Halftime Report, Judge mentioned "Amazon" in less than a minute, then launched in to the day's excuse for bringing up the name.

Judge curiously stated, "Sears is gonna begin selling its Kenmore brand and appliances (sic redundant) on the shopping site," and of course "the shopping site" was confusing (whose shopping site?) instead of just saying "Amazon" again. (But it all wasn't as confusing as Mel's opening.)

Josh Brown said the spread between online-shopping multiples and brick-and-mortar multiples has never been wider. Citing NKE, Brown said the "reality of life" is that sometimes you have to "partner with Jeff" in order to do the online thing right.

The only thing about that, Weiss was recently trumpeting how great it is to buy things on

In the purebred portion of the show, Jim Lebenthal said it's "indisputable" that "more people are buying online than in stores." Jim said he hasn't done his research on HD.

"You've gotta do a lot of research to know if you're gonna buy Home Depot down 7 bucks or not?" Judge asked.

Jim said, "I don't wanna be sanctimonious, but, I do a lot of research before I buy a stock."

Judge said the president has thrown "fireballs" at Jeff Bezos.

Jim said, "Home Depot is a little bit immune to this."

Josh Brown pointed out HD's high multiple.

Joe Terranova said, "I wouldn't buy Amazon here."

He added, "That disruption is going to lead to someone finally saying, 'OK, we are going to go out and we are going to try and compete against Amazon.'"

Joe said HD and LOW began falling after quarterly earnings in April; he'd wait to buy until after August earnings. He didn't express interest in WHR but said "this is an opportunity in Best Buy."

Josh Brown said there's "no other retailer" with Amazon's financial/logistics capability to deliver the product.

How come Judge didn’t ask Stacy Rasgon for his ‘best superlative’ about QCOM?

Stacy Rasgon on Thursday's Halftime Report said the QCOM licensing results (Zzzzzzz) were even weaker than people thought.

Judge asked Rasgon why he didn't just rate the stock a sell rather than market perform. Rasgon didn't answer the question but only sounded like he was answering the opposite question, stating, "I never seem to be negative enough. Every time I think it's as bad as it can get, they keep surprising me."

Rasgon said AAPL could even stall the QCOM case "for the next 3 years."

"At best, I think it's probably dead money," Rasgon said.

Josh Brown said QCOM is a "dog" and noted it's down 18% in a semiconductor bull market.

Jim Lebenthal said "Historically (sic about to be redundant), this has happened before," referring to the AVGO-QCOM fight 10 years ago. "These things get settled," Jim assured (though he didn't go as far as to call QCOM a "stepchild").

Joe Terranova questioned what happens if QCOM loses "in totality" and predicted in that case, "it's a $30 stock." Jim said "for them to lose in totality, you've gotta basically throw out IP rights."

Jim admitted he's in QCOM at 62, so "I'm underwater on it."

Pete Najarian said someone's buying 14,000 MU July 33 calls.

We’re still coming to grips with James Gorman as ‘the Babe Ruth’ of banking CEOs

Josh Brown on Thursday's Halftime said he's not bullish on CMG, but, "There's probably rats falling from the ceilings at fast casual, uh, and quick-service restaurants all over the country, and, it doesn't make social media because it's not Chipotle."

Mario Gabelli touted MSG; "it's my FANG equivalent; it's live sports." Jim Lebenthal said he's in MSG.

Gabelli also outlined the BATRA situation and touted the value of "live entertainment."

He called MGM a "buy" but said WYNN is a "much better buy." He also likes ERI and FLL and GDEN. He said he likes those names better than CHDN.

Gabelli likes NAV and said CNHI "has gotta be aggressively bought."

Jim Iuorio said he thinks the dollar visits the 2016 lows of "92-ish."

Joe Terranova, who brought his A game despite not saying a whole lot, made V his final trade. Jim Lebenthal said CSCO.

Judge aired clips of young CNBC superfox Jane Wells; Wells referred to O.J. saluting the "grande dame" of L.A. court reporting, Linda Deutsch.

[Wednesday, July 19, 2017]

Jim says Goldman Sachs makes some workers feel like a ‘stepchild’

Wednesday's Halftime Report served up a purebred-y scoop of elitism during an otherwise robust discussion of Goldman Sachs.

It happened when Jim Lebenthal said, "If you wanna actually change this company and actually make it somewhat different, focus on the investment management division. I was there 15 years ago, and I can tell you, you felt like a stepchild in that division."

Whoa. How inferior. Hope Jim came through that experience OK. (Surely none of his investors is a stepchild.) (Wonder how Jeff Bezos felt.)

Moments later, the conversation heated up — not over stepchildren, but what it's really like at Goldman Sachs.

"The culture has not changed at Goldman Sachs. The culture is one of the strongest on the Street," Stephen Weiss told Jim.

"I completely disagree," Jim said. "It's not long-term greedy anymore."

Jim insisted trading is about today while investment management is about the long term. "That is fundamentally, culturally different between those 2 divisions," he said.

"That is so untrue," Weiss said.

"That's completely true," Jim said.

"How much time have you spent in an investment bank. On the sell side," Weiss demanded.

"Plenty," Jim said.

"No. Working at an investment bank," Weiss clarified.

"5 years," Jim said.

"OK, which one," Weiss wondered.

"Goldman," Jim said.

"Which position were you in?" Weiss persisted.

"I was in private wealth management," Jim said.

"OK, great," Weiss said.

"What is this, 'Ironsides' here?" Jim said.

"When you're in a trading desk, and running a trading organization, and I've had trading desks report to me, OK, you align perfectly with the investment bank," Weiss explained. "You know why? Because nobody wants to take their company public or do a secondary unless they're sure- unless they're sure" there's interest in the stock.

"That's 20 years ago. That's, that's pre the Chinese wall, that's pre-Henry Blodget," Jim said.

Dick Bove says Jim Gorman is a ‘Babe Ruth’ of banking

Dick Bove's GS conversation on Wednesday's Halftime Report was so wide-ranging, it's hard to know where to start.

"It's not, you know, a couple of quarters, it's a decade," Bove said. "If you go back to 2007, the company was making more money than it's making today. … The reason for the problem is that they made a business decision, you know, 10 years ago, which is that, 'This market is gonna come back.' Well it didn't."

"This company has simply gotten more and more insular," Bove added. "It's, it's a private company that's running under a public, uh, if you will, name."

Bove said the shares were 250 when Lloyd Blankfein began as CEO. "Which company can you find out there that has a record as consistently bad as this one where everybody loves it," Bove asked.

Judge was the first to push back. Showing a chart of 5-year ROE among banks, Judge said, "The way that Blankfein guided Goldman through the crisis; is there a better risk manager out there …"

Dick said, "You're picking your point of entry, right. You decided that you want to take a point of entry 5 years ago. Why don't you take your point of entry 10 years ago."

As a matter of fact, Steve Weiss did just that, telling Bove that GS revisited its pre-2008 high, and, "I challenge you to give me any other bank in your universe that did that over the last 10 years."

"JPMorgan was selling at a higher price than it was in 2007," Bove said.

"JPMorgan I agree with," Weiss said, insisting MS and C are not.

Judge said, "If anything, Dick, it feels like you're fixating on a couple of quarters, rather than a longer-term story."

"10 years of no earnings increase. That's 1 quarter? 6 years of not showing any revenue increases, that's 1 quarter?" Bove responded.

Things got a little loopy when Judge and Dick started drawing comparisons to ballplayers. "James Gorman, you know, is the Babe Ruth, if you will," Dick actually said with a straight face. "Jamie Dimon is a Babe Ruth, if you will. You're seeing even Brian Moynihan, at uh, you know, Bank of America, who's a Baby Ruth- Babe Ruth, if you will. These people have done something with their franchises … they changed their company in a fashion to benefit their shareholders. Goldman Sachs did not."

Judge said "some would suggest" (without naming anyone) that without Blankfein, Goldman might not be here. "I have no idea why they would suggest such a sit- such a thing," Bove scoffed. "I have no idea how this board gets away with doing what it's doing."

Weiss told Bove, "In some regards, every time you come on, it's like watching Hamas, because all you do is lob hand grenades."

CNBC struggles to correctly
spell Lloyd’s name

Jim Lebenthal opened Wednesday's Halftime stating of Goldman Sachs, "I think the question is, where are the investment bankers picking up the slack."

Josh Brown said FICC has always been a "mercurial" business. "This is like the first bull market I can think of where Wall Street wasn't absolutely just feasting," Brown said.

Dick Bove said Goldman Sachs is "not even questioned by the marketplace." Judge said the GS share price "in and of itself" (sic pointless and redundant) shows the market has questioned the stock.

As for FICC, "33% decline is outrageous," Dick said, complaining often about the "insular" nature of the company.

Dick said GS was asked Tuesday about what the buyback program looks like, and the answer was, "We're not gonna tell you."

"That board of directors cares nothing about the shareholders of this company," Dick asserted.

Judge said Goldman Sachs had no comment on Bove's opinion, but, "They are likely watching uh right now because we alerted them that you were coming on."

Jon Najarian said there will be a target on the folks running FICC at GS. "I don't think this takes down Lloyd," Doc said, but the FICC bosses are "worried right now."

Stephen Weiss stated, "You don't have some of those blowout quarters in, in fixed income, commodities and currencies that you used to have. Lloyd Blankfein is to be commended for changing, for morphing that company as well as he did without losing major profitability."

Bove noted Weiss' mention of the GS partners. "It's not a partnership. It's a, it's a shareholder-owned company. … They run it as if it's a partner-owned company," Dick said.

Weiss said that based on stock price, "I'd say that's a pretty damn good record." Dick chuckled that, "If you bought the stock when Lloyd Blankfein took over, you didn't make any money."

Bove makes some quality observations, but he'd be best off sticking to the vision angle, as in, banks have none, except buybacks (if that's even a "vision").

Doc buys CMG calls

Stephen Weiss on Wednesday's Halftime said he sold his CMG puts after a "great trade." He said the stock's still overvalued.

Jon Najarian, though, said he bought CMG calls Wednesday, calling this "way overdone" if it's just 1 store in Virginia.

Josh Brown said, "This is as oversold as a stock can get" and that Doc will have to sell the "vicious bounce" with "3 hands." Josh said it already started rolling over in June.

Kari Firestone isn't interested in CMG.

Weiss said United Airlines is "still suffering" from the "public relations problems that they've had." But he likes the space.

Jim Lebenthal called IBM a "value trap" and said to "stay away."

Josh Brown said the CSX uptrend is "still intact" and that the stock deserves the benefit of the doubt, but he'd give it a "very tight leash."

Jon Najarian said it's been a "good day" for TRIP options.

Kari Firestone said she likes PYPL and said it's growing "particularly with millenniums (sic)." (So much for that Ira Sohn short call that won an award, which this page noted yesterday (see below; good to see the show catching on).)

With a lot of intro about takeover rumors, Doc said December 65 PF calls were popular.

Doc also said VIPS calls "more than tripled" and that Pete has taken off half.

Kari Firestone said LULU's recovery is no guarantee for the longer term. Josh Brown said he'd sell LULU.

Stephen Weiss insisted LULU is "an incredibly strong brand" with "lots of room for expansion."

Judge asked if LULU is "Amazon-(43rd minute)proof." Weiss said, "I think to a certain extent it is."

Kari Firestone reiterated that SHW isn't susceptible to Amazon because "paint can't fly." Firestone is also looking at HBI and auto parts names. Weiss likes the auto parts space.

Josh Brown said of the pressure on retail, "It's not just Amazon, it's ecommerce."

Weiss brought up the pre-Amazon-Effect narrative, which this page noted recently hasn't been mentioned for months since AMZN shares went higher, stating, "Consumer spending, all the studies show, have gone more towards experiences and away from consumption." (What exactly are "all" those studies?) (And what kind of "experience" does someone get from buying Prime?)

Jeff Kilburg said the "dollar drubbing" is lifting crude. But he doubts crude can top 47.50 or 48. Scott Nations is looking at 47.40 as key resistance.

Kari Firestone said VRTX's big day "gives life to the sector." She owns BMY and RARE. Josh Brown is long AMGN.

Rod Hall of JPMorgan told Judge about iPhone supply and pricing plans and said "a lot of this is in the stock right now; in fact, we think the stock is very attractive at these prices."

Hall said "nobody really knows" what the iPhone price will be.

Jim Lebenthal's final trade was AAPL. Weiss said he bought FB calls. Kari Firestone touted FRC. Josh Brown said ALB, and Doc said ECA.

[Tuesday, July 18, 2017]

PYPL up 19% since May 9 when Ira Sohn champ called for a short on Halftime Report

Judge on Tuesday's Halftime asked Scott Devitt for the best "superlative" he could offer on NFLX.

"I'm sorry?" Devitt said.

Judge asked for the "best superlative" on the results. Devitt didn't really offer one, saying it was best 2nd quarter in Netflix history.

Doc said he had some NFLX calls and was short puts. "It is a blowout," Doc said.

Steve Weiss admitted he was worried heading into the NFLX quarter "and sold part of my position yesterday" (oops). He wanted to buy more at 170 or 173.

"It's being valued like Amazon," Weiss said.

Pete Najarian predicted there'll be a better opportunity to get into NFLX.

Judge said he doesn't know what else to say about APRN other than you can be "nothing but dour."

Incredibly, Judge said with a straight face, "It's not fun to kick something when it's down," even though his show does that every day.

Judge questioned Maxim Group's upgrade of CMG on "queso" while the Virginia restaurant debacle was occurring. Weiss said, "I've owned puts on this stock for a few weeks now, and, um, it's a good day."

"This could not have been worse timing for this analyst on this buy. I mean, literally, just an hour or so into trading," Pete said.

Doc said someone bought a bunch of August 40 calls in TRIP.

He said October 26 calls in CIEN were popular.

Pete said VIPS July 11.50 calls were popular.

Doc said we can see volatility go even lower.

Joe Terranova hailed the dollar falling 7%.

Doc said Goldman Sachs has been "absolutely wrong" on its energy calls, pointing to $60 oil.

Judge finally settled for a commercial at the 34-minute mark.

On the 5 p.m. Fast Money, Karen Finerman said the one thing about United Airlines that doesn't affect her view of the stock is the David Dao dragging incident; "I don't think that matters at all." Mel opined, "It seems very rear-view-mirror at this point."

Karen said, "I am very skeptical that we will get any kind of meaningful tax deal done."

Guy Adami finally took a cue from this page and complimented Karen's "stunning blouse."

If Jamie Dimon is bummed out, he should campaign for a different president

Kevin O'Leary, who can be tiresome at times (especially on those endless CNBC "Shark Tank" commercials) (try watching those 17 times a day along with the Marcus Lemonis commercials) but is undeniably a savvy market watcher, made the most sense of anyone during Judge's soporific discussion of big banks on Tuesday's Halftime Report.

O'Leary called the big banks "regulated utilities" and questioned why anyone would own any of them.

O'Leary even claimed GDP can't grow 3% because banks are "so highly overregulated."

(Sigh) That couldn't derail the predicted commentary on NIM — Najarian Interest Margin — as Jon and Pete somehow both were positive on the big banks.

Pete said he doesn't feel any worse about bank stocks after the BAC and GS quarters.

Pete called the GS stock reaction a "misread."

Doc said MS has appreciated 59% in the last year, and JPM is at 42% and GS is at 37% and "Apple and Amazon (9-minute mark) can't even match that."

Doc said the only big bank he owns is JPM. He suggested 2.20 might be the bottom for 10-year yields, then the outlook would improve shortly.

Judge suggested JPM goes to 80 before 100. Doc took the other side of that. (No surprise.)

Steve Weiss said he feels the same as Pete but thinks it'll take longer to work out, then observed, "Private equity has had a record raise of capital," predicting it will lead to fees for investment banks. (And then clarifying that's what he meant even though we (and presumably most viewers) got it the first time.)

Joe Terranova said he'll hold BAC and MS because they've proven to be "slightly immune." But he's surprised some banks aren't down even more than they are. Joe said he doesn't want to buy GS because of "difficulties in the management of their trading business," nor does he like regionals.

Pete curiously said if you're going to focus on trading volume for banks, then "don't be in these." (But the stock goes up or down regardless of what you're focused on.)

Wilf Frost took everyone back to GS, reporting on the CFO's comments. Pete thundered that the revenue was fine even though trading was down, so "if that improves at all …"

Joe said the problem is "the trading seems to matter so much" at GS.

Joe pointed out financials have the highest corporate tax structure (in case anything happens in Trump-land) (Snicker).

Weiss: Donald Trump is
‘considered a lame duck’

Tuesday's Halftime Report provided some impromptu stark assessments of the state of the White House.

"President Trump is weak," said John Harwood.

"He's considered a lame duck at this point," said Steve Weiss.

Weiss said the "base case" political outlook is nothing happening. Harwood said of tax reform, "It might happen, but I wouldn't bet a lot of money on it." (So why wasn't anyone saying of Trump, "You are what your record says you are"?) (See below.) (#wisdom)

Moments later, Kayla Tausche flagged down Steve Schwarzman, who used to be so unreachable that CNBC had to resort to endless clips of him walking in a door to illustrate the BX IPO but now is on TV frequently to discuss the current government.

Given a chance to ask his own question, Judge gave Schwarzman a long windup speech, then asked about Jamie Dimon's remarks. Schwarzman said, "I just saw Jamie walking in the door," and Schwarzman mentioned the remarks (bet nobody else asks Jamie about it) and told Judge there are very few Americans "who are really proud of the functioning of the U.S. political system."

Schwarzman said "nobody thinks were batting a hundred" (sic meant "thousand") but added "out of a hundred."

Schwarzman put a Q1 2018 timeline on … some kind of government agenda action.

Weiss said Schwarzman being "hopeful" of something of the Trump economic "agenda" getting done "sounds like a downgrade."

Pete Najarian wondered about Scharzman's time frame for "hopeful."

Schwarzman called the stock market "pretty fully valued."

Kevin O'Leary said separately, "This idea of revenue-neutral tax cuts is insane."

More from Tuesday's Halftime later.

[Monday, July 17, 2017]

Where and when exactly did Bill Parcells invent the ‘record’ quote?

Judge on Monday's Halftime said this could be a "kitchen sink" quarter for GE.

Leslie Picker, stunning in green, offered both sides of the Peltz-P&G standoff.

But then things really got interesting when Judge corrected Jim Cramer's bungled quotation of Bill Parcells on records.

Just out of curiosity, we tried to determine when this quote supposedly occurred. According to an online search, the first time the New York Times printed it was in October 1994, but that reference suggested the quote was already well-known: "That brings home one of Parcells's sayings: 'You are what your record says you are.'"

The quote does not appear on Parcells' Wikipedia page.

In this strange 2011 YouTube interview amid the sounds of Billy Joel's "Tell Her About It," Parcells acknowledges the quote and says he heard several such quotes from his father, but there's no indication of where the "record" quote originated.

Yes, there could be poorly labeled press-conference footage or smeared pdf'd newspaper pages somewhere. But for all practical purposes, the origin of this quote — and any proof of Parcells actually saying it or being the first to say it — does not exist in cyberspace.

Which honestly isn't much of a loss, because, under close scrutiny, it really doesn't mean anything at all.

If it were PAST tense — as in, "You were what your record says you were," that might be legit. But the fact a football team is 9-1 does not mean it will win 9 of its next 10 games, just like a stock that has risen 30% in half a year will rise 30% in the latter half.

So maybe Cramer should try again.

Doc actually claims LinkedIn is a ‘huge’ part of MSFT’s strategy

Not too far into Monday's Halftime Report, viewers' jaws were dropping as Jon Najarian spoke about MSFT.

"Don't forget about LinkedIn as part of this now," Doc said. "When this strategy plays out even moreso Judge, this is gonna be huge for them."

"Even moreso?"

This page hasn't heard anyone tout LNKD in a MSFT recommendation since the $26 billion (snicker) deal occurred.

"Huge"? (snicker)

(By the way, panelists used to talk about FB wiping out LNKD the same way they chortle about SNAP right now. Guess LNKD was actually a great "strategy" of some sort that FB hasn't wiped out.) (This writer is long SNAP.)

It’s an effect, Stephanie,
more than a cause

It took until the 22nd minute for Judge on Monday's Halftime to mention AMZN (Mel mentioned it within the first minute on the 5 p.m. show), noting the price target upgrade to $1,200 from UBS.

Stephanie Link, who has to be congratulated at least once a week for buying AMZN shares for TIAA-CREF, began a speech to viewers stating, "People who are Prime members spend 2 to 3 times as much."

Correct. Because they're the biggest shoppers on Amazon in general. Just like the folks at the casino with the players cards tend to be the ones who gamble the most money.

Jon Najarian called Amazon's WFM purchase "brilliant" (funny nobody called WFM a "brilliant" stock before Amazon bought it) but admitted "a lot of these people might already be Prime."

Jim Cramer said of Prime, "I was with someone this weekend who didn't have it. And everyone laughed at that person."




Expressing a rare bit of panel skepticism (aside from the fact no one including Link can explain what price the stock should or will reach) was Pete Najarian, who said the AWS competition is "coming more and more at them," and he doesn't necessarily think that's a good reason for the upgrade.

Judge actually asked with a straight face if AMZN is "the most bullet-proof stock in the market." Cramer said, "Wow, that's really rough."

Jon Najarian said you can put in an AMZN buy order "somewhere between the 927 that it got down to in June and 950. And, and if it gets there, you pull the trigger no matter what else is going on." (If you put in a buy order at those prices, doesn't it pull the trigger automatically?)

Doc suggested AMZN could just wipe out APRN.

Grasping for material, Judge suggested Ryan Leaf had a worse debut than APRN. (Perhaps Ryan Leaf had some memorable quotes for Judge and Cramer to share.)

Analyst who happened to be assigned to AAPL a decade ago is just. so. great.

Pete Najarian on Monday's Halftime hailed Katy Huberty; "she's been right … she hasn't been shaken out."

Jon Najarian said bulls were buying September 97.50 calls in V.

Pete Najarian said buyers of AA August 32 calls were rolling up into August 38 calls.

Pete predicted a breakout for CHD.

Doc didn't say whether to buy RH.

Stephanie Link likes EBAY under 35. She called MT a play on global growth.

Rich Greenfield said people had been expecting "big deceleration" in NFLX subscriber growth that hasn't happened this year.

Judge asked Greenfield about Einhorn's opinion. Greenfield said the amount of "heated bulls and heated bears" on the stock is what "makes it so much fun" as an analyst.

David Seaburg took a modest victory lap on the 5 p.m. Fast Money for touting NFLX but said he wouldn't necessarily chase the stock on Monday's afterhours gains.

Link's final trade was FDX. Doc said he bought AMC calls during the show. Pete touted HD, and Jim Cramer suggested XPO.

[Friday, July 14, 2017]

Tom Lee warns market’s at a level unmatched except in 1929 and 1998 (then says there’s gobs of money on the sidelines)

Tom Lee on Friday's Halftime Report admitted his S&P target is actually below Friday's level; it's "a little bit of egg on our face."

Then he tried to pull a Robert Shiller, stating the market-cap-to-GDP ratio is 91%.

"The only time in history it's been higher is 1929 or 1998," Lee said.

The odd thing about that … 1929 was pretty bad, but if you bought that 1998 market, you still had a year and a half of glory.

Nevertheless, Lee at one point said, "High-net-worth individuals haven't really owned equities in a big way until recently. So I think there's still a lot of money and liquidity on the sidelines, yes."

Kevin O'Leary advised owning AAPL, XOM, JNJ, MSFT, PG, PM and PFE in the 2nd half of the year for their "bullet-proof balance sheets" (Zzzzzzzz).

Tom Lee endorsed energy.

Brian Stutland said the dollar is driving gold; he thinks gold stays over 1,200 until the dollar really strengthens. Anthony Grisanti said if long gold, he'd stay long, though it's "tough to buy right here."

Sully lets viewers know how many patents QCOM has

Tom Lee was the first on Friday's Halftime to say "Amazon" (at the 16-minute mark), suggesting "not everybody" is going to be a victim of that company.

Well, he's right. (Unless you listen to CNBC all day.)

Guest host Brian Sullivan said, "Amazon is only a tiny percentage of overall retail sales. I mean, we've got to remind ourselves of that."

Jim Lebenthal said that in terms of time of year for buying the stocks, retail is kind of in a "dead space," with many quarters ending in July.

Sarat Sethi likes LB. Jon Najarian met the daily quota for touting PVH. Josh Brown said, "The stores that are reliant on mall traffic are in very big trouble."

Kevin O'Leary said, "I've increased my exposure to Wal-Mart." O'Leary said he's "willing to forgive" Wal-Mart for buying Jet; Josh credited O'Leary for recognizing the value of that transaction after their debate a while back.

Mel on the 5 p.m. Fast Money gushed about Jeff Bezos' body and kept wanting to show it; oh joy, now he can beat up everyone too. (Bet he had some really fascinating conversations at that conference.)

Sarat Sethi at Halftime had to answer for backing QCOM, predicting gains once it settles with AAPL. He actually said he's been in the name for 15 years. Sully said "last time I checked," QCOM had 77,000 patents.

Dick Bove correct,
banks have no vision

On Friday's Halftime Report, Sarat Sethi curiously said to "wait a little bit" to buy banks, but they're "great opportunities" to own later, "If you believe that our economy is gonna have steady, slow growth; if you believe that interest rates will slowly move up over time."

Actually, it doesn't matter what anyone believes; either they'll go up, or they won't.

Jim Lebenthal said C (Zzzzzzz) is trading at tangible book (Double Zzzzzzz), a "good" but not "great" stock.

Taking his time to deliver a narrative, Josh Brown touted how much money JPM has made.

Brown explained that there's "hard deregulation" and "soft deregulation."

Tom Lee said banks are worth buying over the next couple of years. (Zzzzzzzzzz)

Kevin O'Leary said he sees nothing happening in financials for 6 months. O'Leary said C needed "financial engineering" to make the numbers.

Anton Schutz said "we've gotten so myopic" about bank earnings, and, "I did expect the group to trade poorly today, regardless of what they produced."

"At the end of the day, I think that you, you buy pullbacks in these names," Schutz said. His favorite of the big banks is BAC. His favorite regional is PFNP.

Doc unfairly Fast Fired on FL, actually predicted a quick bounce; it did, but went lower only days afterward

Josh Brown on Friday's Halftime said SNAP will get "closer to 10 than 20." (Oh joy, Facebook copied someone's popular product and ensured the world and the stock market and the Internet can be run by 4 companies whose stocks we own.) (This writer is long SNAP.)

Jon Najarian said WYNN and MPEL "bounced pretty significantly" after a harsh morning selloff.

Sarat Sethi said FFIV will tread water for a while.

Jim Lebenthal said there are "a lot of risks" to BA. (He said it was doing too well in the upper 100s.)

Jon Najarian said someone got into the July 76 MSFT calls that expire next week. And you know what? IT WAS SOMEBODY WHO HAD LOWER-STRIKE CALLS WHO CAME BACK FOR MORE!!!

Doc said July 96 calls in WDC were popular, and he also hailed Pete's great trade in NRG, "20 times your money on this one," Doc said. (And does anyone ever lose money on options?)

Doc, who correctly touted STZ in April, said he'd stick with the name.

Doc unfairly got Fast-Fired on his "terrible" pro-FL call. "I still am long it," he said.

Josh Brown said he thinks MCD can keep going unless there's a big shift in sentiment. (Always an important qualifier.)

Jim Lebenthal said to own GOOGL, but he said the question is, is it a growth stock; he says it is, for 2 reasons that aren't worth reporting.

Sarat Sethi said things still look good for UTX.

Josh Brown no longer likes FAST.

Jim Lebenthal said he's sticking with QRVO down 2% since his bull call.

Jim's final trade was the XRT. Josh said SCHW. Sarat said to look at JPM. Doc said BAC, and Tom Lee said T.

[Thursday, July 13, 2017]


Judge opened Thursday's Halftime Report not with Amazon … but his panel's favorite punching bag.

Only this time, Judge brought in SNAP bull Scott Devitt in hopes of ensuring a fair fight. (This writer is long SNAP.)

Devitt did fine, but actually David Seaburg made a more intriguing case for the stock a couple days ago (hit PgDn a few times).

Judge said Devitt made a "gutsy call" to upgrade SNAP ahead of the … drum roll … turn on the fire-engine sirens … lockup.

Devitt said why don't you guys get real and acknowledge that the lockup is priced in investors are "more educated" about lockups and that he's more optimistic on fundamentals than the market is.

Addressing a favorite slam by the Halftime crew — Mark Zuckerberg just DESTROYED this company after he offered $3 billion for it!!!!! (And how's the monetization of Oculus working out?) (And the monetization of WhatsApp) — Devitt contended that Instagram's gains are actually "additive" to the space rather than zero-sum.

Then there's the fact that BOTH Steve Weiss and Pete Najarian mentioned — the first-quarter miss.

"Certainly there's some credibility issue," Devitt admitted, but he pointed to FB and BABA having their own stumbles early as public companies.

Devitt asserted that the next 3 quarters present a "quite good setup" for SNAP.

Josh Brown claimed Devitt wasn't addressing the "real issue" … which is … user growthadvertising revenue … an anti-shareholder structure (snicker).

Brown acknowledged Google and FB have the same thing but have "proven" themselves to operate that way.

Devitt shrugged, stating that kind of structure is fairly commonplace. Brown insisted not at the IPO level, but Devitt said it is.

Judge insisted "everybody" is talking about the lockup (why, if everything's "decelerating" and the stock's going to single digits) and questioned for the 2nd or 3rd time why Devitt would upgrade ahead of it. Devitt said the issue is so "publicized" that the stock's potential comes down to other things.

Stephen Weiss said he owns SNAP puts because he couldn't get a borrow to short, then wondered why Devitt is using DCF analysis. "I don't know how to value a company other than a discounted cash-flow analysis," Devitt said. "On a relative multiple basis, I think the valuation is quite sensible."

Jon Najarian said there was a big surge in SNAP calls as well as puts. "There's gonna be a lot easier borrow" after the lockup, Doc said, predicting the 15% short interest doubles after the lockup.

Weiss noted … this one's really good … "this company missed out of the gate." He said DCF is "not appropriate" for this company; "I just think the fundamentals are just deteriorating." (Judge forced Weiss to define "DCF.")

Pete Najarian asked, "How do you miss Q1" (snicker).

Joe Terranova, who had a quiet show, said he'd rather buy TWTR than SNAP, a totally fine point ... but he scoffed that Instagram has 200 million daily users and Snapchat has 1 million daily users (um, wouldn't SNAP have more upside then) and scoffed at anyone being a "hero" by riding SNAP from 16 to 17. (A. Fast 6% returns are apparently beneath Joe; B. So much for Mike Khouw pointing out on the 5 p.m. show that options are pricing in an 18% move in a month.)

Josh Brown said Devitt's target is 22 and questioned the "risk" in seeking 5 or 6 points.

Pete insists SNAP is going to ‘single digits,’ then says ‘towards the single digits’

On Thursday's Halftime Report SNAP discussion, Pete Najarian boasted, "I've been saying for a while now that I think you're gonna see single digits, and I think that happens after the lockup."

But on the 5 p.m. Fast Money (Pete did both shows), Pete was backpedaling like the DBs for Minnesota in that 1983 game with Nebraska, stating, "I'm still of the belief that this is a company that goes towards the single digits."

Ah. So within a few hours, we went from "single digits" to "towards the single digits."

Pete on the 5 p.m. show hilariously claimed, "The fact they're going after the behemoth and the behemoth is going right after them, I think that kills 'em, right away."

"Kills 'em right away" ... why weren't they killed right away years ago when they turned down a $3 billion offer? (And why do purportedly free-market champions cheer some behemoth, already mega-rich and too influential entity blatantly copying someone else's product simply so that said entity can ... control all of Americans' social (and fake news) media instead of just most of it ... then again, pundits occasionally sort of root for Amazon to wipe out entrepreneurs ("They should raise Prime to $99; I know I'd pay that!!!!") so that the whole stock market can consist of 7 stocks, so whatever ...)

On Halftime, Pete gave SNAP bull Scott Devitt a piece of advice: "I think Scott's call should've been, after the lockup, that will be the time to buy," Pete said … so lessee … the stock's going to single digits … or "towards the single digits" ... but buy it after the lockup … so presumably it's going to single digits during the lockup expiration … which means all the suckers are the insiders who will be racing to unload in single digits at lockup expiration only to have that really be "the time to buy."

Stephen Weiss said the stock is "far below" its offering price. A huge one dollar and 41 cents.

Josh Brown said the "worst thing" for a SNAP investor is to see it go to 19 and then roll over.

The conversation took the first 13 minutes of the program, which is actually better than even AMZN often gets.

Judge at least twice assured viewers that they know from ‘your experience’ that presidential joint press conferences are sometimes delayed

Unimpressed by Target's outlook, Pete Najarian on Thursday's Halftime Report said retail is "everybody and Amazon." (That Amazon reference came in the 14th minute of the program.)

(Amazon, see, is dubbed "essential" by Fish's ETF, because if it didn't exist, you'd have to buy stuff from …,, eBay …)

Josh Brown said TGT is merely talking about beating lowered guidance.

Stephen Weiss said people who bought M at a 5% yield are "really underwater."

Weiss though said he bought AZO; "why not step up."

Karen Finerman, turning heads with a chic black/white ensemble on the 5 p.m. Fast Money, said, "Maybe for some of these retailers, I think that bottom is in. For the, for the grocery, I- I think it hasn't played out yet."

Back on Halftime, Jon Najarian would sell the GPS "dead cat bounce" but would stay with PVH.

Weiss said probably every player has owned TEVA, but it's still a "decent story."

Pete Najarian said WDC is "absolutely" winning the battle with STX. He'd stay away from STX, but he hung a 100 on WDC.

Josh Brown said YNDX moves in "lockstep" with the Russian stock market in general. He wouldn't buy it on the "smart decision" by Uber.

Joe Terranova said TROW's did an "excellent job" of defending the active-management story; he said all asset managers are "building positive momentum."

Doc said DAL missed on the profit number and said potential buyers could "chew" on the fact it's not down much.

Sue Herera did Futures Now; Jim Iuorio said we're "somewhat at the late stages" of this dollar break and predicted support at 96. Jeff Kilburg said 94 is a "significant level." But he called 98 a "cap" and said to "play the range."

Doc endorsed PVH again.

Pete said he wouldn't be long LL anymore; Judge has completely ignored this very interesting stock story.

Josh Brown said JBLU is breaking "massive, multi-year resistance."

[Wednesday, July 12, 2017]

Yellen testimony preempts
Halftime Report

Wednesday's Halftime Report was completely (that doesn't happen often) wiped out by Janet Yellen. Missy Lee returned to helm the humdrum 5 p.m. Fast Money in which Mel labeled Scott Wren as "bearish in a world of bulls," only to have Wren protest, "I am modestly bearish, Melissa, don't put me in a big bear camp." (Translation: It's an '86 Mets market.) Wren actually said there are "4 headwinds" (snicker) but as always, we can't handle more than 3, so you'll have to look up video at to hear what they are. For once, the rip-roaring program didn't need a 4-minute commercial break at the 25-minute mark.

[Tuesday, July 11, 2017]

How come there aren’t demands for investigations when the price of oil falls? (as opposed to when it rises)

Bob Iaccino on Tuesday's Halftime Report suggested short covering was occurring in crude and predicted Wednesday's numbers will disappoint the longs.

Scott Nations said the oil trend remains lower, and he predicts a 3-handle by year-end.

Joe Terranova said Jeff Currie, the last time he was on the Halftime Report, highlighted "the need for short-dated oil vs. long-dated oil to remove the contango, to go into backwardation. You have not seen that occur."

Joe said oil is range-bound absent weather or geopolitical shock.

Jim Lebenthal said you can buy some oil names for the dividend, mentioning 7% in Royal Dutch Shell.

Pete Najarian pounced on that, stating the dividend question is "dangerous" because, "You can give up 7% in a single trading day."

Jim tried to explain himself, but Judge kept interrupting him, a common theme of the program.

Steph Link said "certain companies" such as EOG and CXO can make money at 40-45 oil. Joe endorsed XOM.

Judge has seemingly lost interest in Bob Shiller’s ‘50%’ ‘call’

Judge opened Tuesday's Halftime with Jamie Dimon's QE warning (Zzzzzzzz).

Steve Liesman said it "should be taken seriously."

Liesman said the Fed wants the market to "behave" and not be disrupted by this and will "turn it off" if there is disruption.

Rick Santelli said the Fed didn't get the growth it wanted out of QE.

Judge told Santelli and Liesman not to talk over each other, but actually Judge was talking over both, a trend that persisted through the entire program (why doesn't he do that to Tim Seymour instead). (Tim did manage to get a pat on the shoulder on the 5 p.m. show from Karen Finerman. If only that happened to all of us.)

Judge tried to cut off Joe Terranova, but Joe said (at least twice), "I think the issue and the concern is liquidity."

Jim Lebenthal asserted that even 3.5% on the 10-year "is not gonna upset this thing."

Judge told Pete Najarian it's "so overused," but don't investors need to look at "where the puck is going."

Pete said "absolutely," then mentioned the "Fred" (sic), then said the Fed has a "pretty decent handle" on what it's trying to do.

Judge noted what a story the Donald Trump Jr. meeting is "in and of itself" (sic needless and redundant).

Karen Finerman, in chic gray and new hairstyle on the 5 p.m. Fast Money, said the most interesting D.C. news was Mitch McConnell delaying the Senate recess.

Can’t believe Scott Cohn didn’t name Amazon ‘America’s top state for business’

Pete Najarian on Tuesday's Halftime reverted to one of his favorite punching bags, the nearly daily disaster called SNAP. (This writer is long SNAP.)

Pete reiterated that SNAP was already "decelerating" at the time of the IPO. "I think there's further downside," Pete said, predicting "single digits at some point."

The only thing about that, Pete and his brother touted all the big call-buying in SNAP just a couple months ago.

Now, he's calling it based on his fundamental analysis.

Pete noted during the program that someone bought 5,000 July 32 calls in YELP. Pete's fundamental call on that name was that it has "zero debt," and people who travel "use Yelp a lot."

Jim Lebenthal said SNAP doesn't have the user growth.

"They missed the quarter right out of the gate. That's all you need to know," Stephanie Link said. "I think you wait until the lockup and then you see where the dust settles, and then I think it could get interesting if it pulls back enough."

Joe Terranova said SNAP is getting "crushed by Instagram."

David Seaburg on the 5 p.m. Fast Money articulated an interesting SNAP buy call, suggesting the company can't afford to bomb Q2 and so it's taking down expectations, and he called the Morgan Stanley downgrade "a setup for a buy into earnings when they report on August 15th."

But panelists highlighted competition from Facebook (in 2012, it was all about how "kids don't care about Facebook anymore"). Guy Adami suggested that nothing really changed from Morgan Stanley being the SNAP underwriter and now issuing a downgrade (see, if this were 2001, people would be demanding to see internal emails on that subject).

Joe also said he heard a $2 target on APRN. Link said she can't believe the IPO even got done. "This has the feel of Groupon," said Jim.

Viewers get lesson during AAPL chat of basic supply-demand

Sherri Scribner dialed in to Tuesday's Halftime, saying AAPL expectations might be too high; "they're losing share in China."

Not referring to any call-buying this time, Pete Najarian said AAPL has lost share in China but suggested there's "pent-up demand" and said "unit sales actually have been on the rise."

Judge noted there's speculation the new iPhone will cost $1,200. Scribner said, "Basic supply-demand suggests that if the price is that expensive, there'll be less demand."

Jim Lebenthal said Scribner is entitled to her opinion, but he expects a big upgrade cycle.

Did we go an entire program without AMZN?

Jim Lebenthal on Tuesday's Halftime asserted that the departure of JCP's CFO is "not a big deal" and that the story misses the lede of the press release in which the company expects "significantly improved top-line results this quarter."

Pete Najarian said he's a "bit negative" on KORS even though he owns it. (Karen Finerman at 5 p.m. had to defend that one and address the horrible performance of FL.) (This writer is long FL.)

Stephanie Link said "I kinda get" the Barclays cut to homebuilders; she likes SWK.

Joe Terranova claimed FDX is actually an "AI play." Link said she's been adding to it in the last couple weeks.

Link said she prefers UNP but likes CSX. Pete said he likes the space and is in KSU.

Addressing a spectacular recent call, Jim said "I think you've got another 15%" in WGO. "I think this goes to 40."

The lone panelist to receive a Fast Fire, Joe Terranova said SYMC actually went up to 33 after he recommended it in April at 30. Joe said if you're in it, keep holding it.

Pete's final trade was WDC. Joe said CXO. Steph said DOW. Jim said GS.

[Monday, July 10, 2017]

1-2 years ago, the retail narrative was that customers are spending on ‘experiences,’ not ‘things,’ but now the narrative is the ‘Amazon Effect’

Judge on Monday's Halftime noted that BMO downgraded COST.

Pete Najarian mentioned "the Amazon Effect" (23 minutes into program) and said he's been "patient" with COST, but he hasn't seen the "commitment" to the stock in the options space.

Josh Brown said COST has a 28 multiple but a 23 RSI. Josh said to "wait for a higher low in price."

On the 5 p.m. Fast Money, superfox Karen Finerman said "it wouldn't be so, so shocking" if AMZN bought FDX or UPS; think "how accretive that would be." (1. Imagine regulators examining whether Amazon packages were getting delivery priority over packages on Dec. 23.) (2. Amazon probably would rather buy some entity in the Self. Driving. Car. space.)

Pete struggles to explain how he really knows that put buyers are bullish

Pete Najarian on Monday's Halftime said July 65 puts in ICE were being bought "very aggressively."

Of course, "I don't think that's somebody who's negative," Pete said.

Judge finally had the brass to ask Pete the question, "How can you tell whether somebody is protecting a position like you just said rather than taking a negative view."

(Answer: Options buyers NEVER think a stock is going to fall.)

"Well, uh, I'm just interpreting what we know news-wise, what we've seen happening with the stock, in the m- the move to the upside, the momentum of the year so far year to date, to the upside, that would be my opinion, would be, that would be what I would be doing (sic grammar)."

Pete said July 17 calls in NRG were popular.

Judge: ‘Trading sucks’

Pete Najarian on Monday's Halftime said there's more risk being out of the market than in and predicted (yep) great things from JPM's earnings and pinned a 26 on the XLF.

Judge insisted there's a "threat" from rising rates, which is curious, given that he has spent pockets of 2017 pointing to a sinking 10-year yield and asking (not exact words), "How can stocks keep going up when the 10-year keeps falling??!?!?!!!"

Pete gushed about the homebuilders but was unable to tell Judge why banks are going to be great, other than pointing to call-buying (which also indicated that SNAP was going to blow out its last earnings report). (This writer is long SNAP.)

"Trading sucks," Judge asserted.

"Trading does not necessarily suck by the way," Pete responded.

Josh Brown said of banks, "You will see a re-rating in this space," then touted SCHW again.

Brown also said "there really isn't any resistance overhead" in JPM.

Brown said investors should be "primarily" focused on stock prices, not "forecasts and headlines."

Erin Browne said "things are getting better," and "this is the time you wanna be invested in markets."

Jim Lebenthal said a recession is "not on the horizon."

Jonathan Krinsky said "it probably makes sense" to start buying technology.

Judge said Tony Dwyer raised his S&P target for 2017 to 2,510 and 2018 to 2,800. But Judge said the 5 p.m. Fast Money, not Halftime, landed Dwyer for an interview Monday. (#internecinebookingwars)

On that 5 p.m. Fast Money, Dwyer said, "The animal spirits are alive not because of politics. It's because that small businesses and large businesses are now convinced that you're not gonna have higher taxes and more regulation."

Dan Nathan said it seems there's a "level of complacency" in the stock market and "near-euphoria."

Josh thinks it’s a ‘joke’ for Jim to tout INTC’s presence in self-driving cars

Judge on Monday's Halftime not only took up Everyone's Favorite Subject (Amazon), but Everyone's 2nd-Favorite Subject (Self. Driving. Cars.).

Judge said Intel was downgraded by Jefferies. But Jim Lebenthal said the call misses the MBLY acquisition.

"I really don't see a reason to be anything other than long the name here," Jim said, not at all a surprise.

Mocking Intel's presence in Self. Driving. Cars., Josh Brown kept asserting that NVDA's "data-center customers have grown 8-fold in a year. What has Intel done in 20 years that could compare to that."

"Wait a second, wait a second," Jim cut in, adding "they're doing different things" in cars and telling Josh it's not true that both MBLY and NVDA can't succeed in self-driving cars.

Josh accused Jim of "changing my argument," adding Intel is "so far behind" that "to even compare the 2 in, in autonomous vehicles, is a joke."

Judge said "in and of itself" (sic completely redundant and unnecessary) when mentioning NVDA on the 5 p.m. Fast Money.

Judge finds another champion of mean reversion (cont’d)

Nili Gilbert on Monday's Halftime told Judge the 3 characteristics of "rocket stocks" (highly volatile, highly expensive, negative operating cash flow).

Judge clarified that "the FANGS" are part of that. Gilbert said NFLX is a "real rocket stock" as opposed to FB.

Gilbert said if the market goes higher, there figures to be a change in leadership. But she conceded "rocket stocks" did well in Q2, but in June, "we saw value start to turn around."

Gilbert likes VRSN and LYV because they are "asset-light" and touted the buybacks of VRSN. Judge asked her for LYV reasoning in "10 seconds," but Gilbert launched into a description of what the company does before touting the "efficiency" of LYV's capital expenditures.

The other retail refrain is that Home Depot and the auto-parts stores are safe from the Amazon Effect

Pete Najarian on Monday's Halftime said a $1,200 iPhone8 wouldn't have the negative cost impact some think.

Jim Lebenthal said $1,200 is probably not the "pain point" where sales are lost.

Jim said you can "hang on" to ADBE but if you don't own it, "I wouldn't load the boat here." (Those 2 statements are kinda contradictory.)

Erin Browne said to stick with IWM.

Pete said HD still has a lot of upside, and he plans to look at getting back in "very shortly."

Josh said the launch of the new anti-brick-and-mortar ETFs suggests maybe the space is at a bottom, but then he thinks the space might have more to go lower.

Pete's final trade was PEP. Jim trumpeted SNE. Josh mentioned ALB and Erin suggested EMB.

Guest-hosting the 5 p.m. show, Judge took less than 1 minute to bring up "Amazon."

Amazon Prime:
Cause … or effect?

Monday is supposedly another big day for The Stock Everyone Loves to Talk About, AMZN.

It's "Prime Day," which purports to be a day of great online deals. (You're going to be hearing about this on CNBC this week even more than you'll hear about "Shark Tank.")

One frequent narrative on CNBC and in other business media is that (not exact words), "omg, Prime members buy SOOO much more than other users."

Presumably, that's correct, as one article claims, "New data from the Consumer Intelligence Research shows that customers who spend $99 for an annual Prime membership go on to spend an average of $1,300 per year with the retailer, nearly double the amount spent by non-member customers."

The implication among AMZN bulls is that once people purchase Prime, they start ramping up their spending.

But what if Prime is merely an obvious choice for people who are already buying a bunch of things on Amazon?

Let's say an auto shop offers a $50 annual payment for as many oil changes as you want.

The people most likely to take advantage of this offer are those who already get 3 or more oil changes a year … not those who get 1.

And when people start getting 17 oil changes in a year, it starts to become counterproductive for the shop.

It seems the most bullish financial case for Prime would be people who buy it but then rarely use Amazon. As Jeff Macke and others used to say on the original Fast Money, selling gift cards that aren't redeemed is like "selling air."

A Prime subscription, unlike a health club membership, isn't needed to enable Amazon shopping. It's a regular cost/benefit question for each user as to whether the shipping savings and streaming options are worth $99 a year. (It used to be less, then everyone on CNBC said, "Oh, I don't know why they don't charge $99, I would SOOOO pay that, but I wouldn't go into the hundreds.")

The fact Prime members spend more in general than non-Prime members? Whoop de do.

We'll catch up with Monday's Halftime later.

[Friday, July 7, 2017]

Lots of Jim’s clients complaining that Trump White House is ‘Bizarro-land’

Judge's Halftime Report on Friday, a mild upgrade of the previous day's stumble, tackled the notion of whether the stock market's unstoppable.

Steve Liesman said the Fed has a "very chill outlook" and noted despite "full employment," wages haven't taken off.

Grandpa Kevin O'Leary grumbled about the lack of participation by mid caps and small caps and said he's bullish on that space.

Rob Sechan contended there's still "huge mistrust" about the length of the expansion and low volatility.

Jim Lebenthal agreed. "There is a fear of this market, and it actually does center on Trump," Jim said. "A lot of clients have called up and said, 'Look, I- I- it's Bizarro-land, I wanna take money out of the market."

Liesman said the one danger is "unexpected inflation."

Liesman mocked Jeff Gundlach's notion of 2.60 putting the brakes on the market; Liesman and Josh Brown agreed that 3.5% or 4.0% would be a problem but that it "depends on the speed" (ding-ding-ding).

Jon Najarian noticed people buying "a lot of puts" in TBT on Friday.

Josh said the XLF is making its "highest close on a weekly basis" since October 2007 while the XRT looks to be "hanging by a thread."

Doc said he called NFLX's recovery a week ago but that AAPL "might still be the best buy in the bunch" of FANG-esque names.

Rob Sechan said he's maintaining the "barbell" overweight on technology. Sechan contended that tech typically trades at higher premiums to the rest of the market than it is now. "You don't have excess built in tech," Sechan asserted.

Sechan's also overweight financials and energy. Sechan claimed "some of these technology companies are actually energy companies." (Other than Tesla, we're a little hard-pressed to name them.)

Sechan trumpeted Europe (and whatever happened to Greece and MCC stationed outside parliament while people flashed green lasers).

Judge mentioned "in and of itself" again.

Judge should just devote first half-hour each day to AMZN, ask panelists, ‘Should you buy it today … or wait ’til TOMORROW??!?’

The first Amazon mention of Friday's Halftime came from Jon Najarian at the 7-minute mark.

Later, Judge said AAP actually got an upgrade. Sarat Sethi said the space is the "classic Amazon." Jim Lebenthal said the only thing that will "ameliorate" the Amazon presence is that 1-day delivery won't cut it in this space, dealers and repair shops need the parts immediately.

Doc said a lot of folks who have missed TSLA are talking about taking a shot at 300. Josh Brown said he bought ALB, one of the "kings of lithium," this week.

Sarat Sethi said QCOM will jump higher than AAPL if there's a settlement.

Josh Brown said LUV is fine but he happens to own JBLU.

Doc said SNCR "in all likehood" will take the buyout offer.

Jim said WGO made a "home run" acquisition and that the economic cycle is a "perfect sweet spot" for RVs.

Doc said January 39 calls in DHI were popular.

Gorjus Leslie Picker reported newer hedge funds are outperforming older ones.

Jim Iuorio said the "Japanese thing" isn't getting enough credit as a "risk-on signal." Brian Stutland said if dollar/yen crosses 117, there'll be a "huge push" into the dollar.

Doc predicted JPM 100 next week. Jim touted IWM. Josh reiterated ALB and KSU, Sarat pointed to DAL, and Doc said he bought GOOGL during the show.

[Thursday, July 6, 2017]

Can you imagine anyone launching an index and NOT including AMZN? (a/k/a how ‘essential’ is Amazon anyway … is there no other place to buy a book …)

For Thursday's Halftime, Judge unleashed an absolute clunker.

The proceedings were so boring, even star guest Fish started checking texts.

Strangely enough, Mark Fisher, with no pushback from the panel, tried to paint as a victory one of the biggest laughers in recent stock-market history — Rex Tillerson's $40 billion for XTO.

Fish told Joe Terranova that Exxon's XTO buy was actually a "good acquisition, but it was just terrible timing."

Wonder how that would work with other debacles: "Time Warner was smart to buy AOL; they just should've done it 8 years earlier." "Carly Fiorina and Léo Apotheker made brilliant moves to snag Compaq and Autonomy but should've waited for the prices to fall."

That conversation led into GE, and more "bad-luck timing."

Pete Najarian said, "I like Jeff Immelt. I think a terrific gentleman (sic grammar). But in terms of running the company, unfortunately a lot of bad luck timing-wise."

We're sure Chuck Prince, Dick Fuld and Stan O'Neal are terrific gentlemen; unfortunately they ran into bad timing in 2008.

Pete noted that when GE got into the energy space at 100-plus oil, "that was a huge mistake obviously."

Fish begged off on talking about nearly everything select stocks but indicated the risk/reward for GE now isn't bad.

Josh Brown said the GE chart is a "Picasso … there's nothing going on here" and indicated he doesn't want to wait for a turnaround. Pete, though, is willing to wait.

Fish suggested we might be in the "7th, 8th" inning of the bull market.

Jon Najarian said utilities have been "diving" since early June highs.

Josh Brown said to look at transports; CSX's chart is so "pristine" he's afraid he'll ruin it.

Joe Terranova, gamely fighting a scratchy throat, said, "Overall, it comes down to, what is the path and trajectory here, the central bank policy."

Mark Fisher said crude's range is low 40s to high 40s (or maybe low 50s).

Fish told Josh that the crude range could last "for a long time."

Fish said he likes nat gas most in the energy space.

Doc pointed out the high short interest in the VXX.

Joe asked Fish about the impact of rising rates on shale. Fish said, "Honestly that's above my pay grade."

Doc praised Liberty Interactive for "good timing" in buying HSNI.

Josh Brown said "it's still relatively early" for YUMC.

It was 31 minutes into the program when Pete said Amazon (ding-ding-ding) is "the whole story" with PSMT's recent chart.

Moments later, Joe and Fish discussed the possibility of Amazon entering the health care business. Fish questioned why there's no health care pricing transparency. Josh Brown said, "Amazon skips industries that have real regulation."

Fish explained how he put together an ETF of 40 "essential" stocks. The second one mentioned by Judge was "Amazon." But Fish complained of being "pigeonholed" in the ETF space. Josh Brown said the reason the ETF space is so "rules-based" is because rules-based is "critical" for advisor allocations.

Doc said July 110 calls in BUD were bought "in pretty big numbers," and the September 130s were bought in even bigger numbers.

Pete said MU October 35 calls were being bought. He said 20,000 August 17 calls in AMD were being bought.

Anthony Grisanti said because of the cheaper dollar, U.S. exports are at a 2-year high. Jim Iuorio said we're headed to 94.

Doc said 300 is "the next support" in TSLA.

Joe's final trade was MNST. Doc said someone sold a ton of puts in SEAS. Pete said they (somehow) hadn't talked at all about financials. Fish said he'd be long dollar.

[Wednesday, July 5, 2017]

Karen unfortunately falls
into trader/investor trap

Jon Najarian on Wednesday's Halftime said Goldman Sachs has been missing the TSLA mark for a long time; he'd side with Guggenheim. Judge noted price targets of 430 and 180.

The 5 p.m. Fast Money spent about 20 minutes talking about Tesla, much of it from Tim Seymour, who (always) (for about 5 years running now) says the valuation isn't for him.

Karen Finerman, sizzling in turquoise top and white slacks, said the borrow for a TSLA short is "1.1%." She said if she had to pick a side on TSLA, she'd be short.

But Karen unfortunately made a common mistake of so many amateurs (and even many Fast Money/Halftime panelists), addressing whether TSLA is a no-touch: "It really depends on what kind of investor are you. (No, no, no.) … If you are in the long-term story, then it's a touch … If this momentum in the stock, which has been enormous, is what brings you to it, then I'd be more afraid."

Um ... how do we break the news and put it nicely ... 1) TSLA shares do not care if the individual purchasing them is a "long-term" investor" or "momentum" trader. 2) The shares cannot go more than 1 direction at the same time. 3) Either TSLA is going higher, or going lower, and in case of the latter, if you are a pending buyer of any persuasion, you should most certainly wait for the presumed better price.

Back on Halftime, Jim Lebenthal said (again) he's called GM a "Rodney Dangerfield" stock (note to Judge: further evidence the show should go once a week), "but it's poised for further gains at this- at this valuation."

Steph Link said ORLY was taking a hit on ecommerce concerns.

It took only 7 minutes to mention ‘Amazon’ on Halftime Report; just 5 minutes on the 5 p.m. Fast Money (and those were after reports by Bob Pisani and Phil LeBeau)

Summoned for Wednesday's Halftime Report, Ike Boruchow began by stating how bad retail has been (for those who aren't aware).

"At the end of the day though," Boruchow said, Q2 was better than the Q1 "disaster."

At the top of Boruchow's list is PVH. Judge noted PVH is up 9% for the month, and maybe Boruchow is merely making a momentum call. Boruchow conceded that in part but said PVH is only up for a couple weeks. He also likes LB and HBI.

As for off-price retailers, Boruchow called the pullback on the "Prime Wardrobe announcement" interesting for a space that's insulated. Steph Link called TJX "underowned" and said it has better risk/reward than PVH. Boruchow didn't argue but said "owning the brands is kinda becoming sexy again."

Boruchow has an underperform on FOSL, a stock no one has mentioned or would admit owning for at least a year, predicting "tough sledding."

Pete Najarian is not in TJX but still likes it. He touted BBY.

Jon Najarian said he's been "back and forth" in M; he likes it but doesn't like Wednesday's action.

Jim Lebenthal called TIF a "great name" and again mentioned TSCO.

Jim doesn't want to worry about "fashion trends" with names like RL and KORS.

Joe Terranova suggested high yield will signal when retail stocks are ready to stabilize.

Clinton got them to freeze plutonium while they secretly enriched uranium; Obama looked over the border with binoculars

CNBC's Morgan Brennan on Wednesday's Halftime said BA, RTN, OATK and AJRD are all part of the U.S. missile interceptor program. And any panelist worth his/her salt would've immediately said that buying those stocks strictly on the basis of a North Korea test is ludicrous.

In the space, Pete Najarian suggested LMT. Steph Link likes GD. Joe Terranova predicted increased international defense spending and likes NOC.

Who knew — people were buying puts, but it’s actually a bullish move

David Seaburg on the 5 p.m. Fast Money said he went to a movie Saturday night with his son, and "nobody was in the theater, empty."

Tim Seymour admitted, "My wife will not take me to a movie."

On the Halftime Report, Pete Najarian said he thinks ORCL goes higher; he's just waiting for a pullback.

Joe Terranova said MORE is a story of asset classes, though REITs aren't sexy. He likes ESS and AVB.

Jon Najarian said ETE August 18 calls were popular. Pete said 7,600 August 30 puts in TEVA were being bought, "not 'cause they think that stock's gonna pull back" (because no options buyers ever expect a stock to go down), but to protect positions.

Doc said "there's a lot of demand" for rail car space, pointing to steel stocks. Pete's final trade was railroads.

Steph Link called MT "a special situation" of a restructuring story.

Link also called EBAY a "restructuring story," stating it can buy more stock.

Doc suggested TLRD, mentioning "Joseph A. Banks (sic plural)" and citing January 15 call-buying. Jim Lebenthal likes QRVO. Steph Link likes DB. Joe Terranova's standing by COST; he also mentioned DNKN and HBI, "believe it or not, millennials, that's their favorite brand, Hanesbrand (sic not plural)."

Losing money is always better when it’s ‘defined’

Revisiting a trend he mentioned just recently, Jon Najarian on Wednesday's Halftime Report declared, "Every single time I've bought an energy stock this year and held it for more than 2 days, I've been smacked."

Doc said he's an "addict" for these types of names, but Joe Terranova explained that "people are overcomplicating energy."

Pete Najarian said Doc got his "face torn off" on energy options, "but at least he had a defined risk" (snicker).

Joe said what's going on in the Koreas is "detrimental to demand" for energy.

Scott Nations said Russia's position on OPEC cuts wasn't helping oil.

Jeff Kilburg said oil shorts targeting 42 "got their faces ripped out" or "claws plucked." He said we're in "no-man's land."

Commercials promised Fish would be on Thursday's Halftime. Dennis Gartman on the 5 p.m. Fast Money pronounced oil's prospects as "dire." Karen Finerman said, "I kinda agree with him."

Joe: Banks were Q2 story;
growth tech is Q3 story

It wasn't exactly sexy.

But it was a lot better than 8 hours of "Shark Tank." (How in the world does anyone keep watching those?)

Judge returned to the Halftime Report on Wednesday, leading off with Bob Pisani, who said, "It's early, I don't wanna make too much of it," but earnings might be better than thought.

Pete Najarian said banks "continue to be the place to be."

But Joe Terranova, refreshingly back after a break, said financials were only the "great trade" of the 2nd quarter. "OK, maybe that trade is over for Q3," Joe said, calling growth technology the "obvious" choice for this quarter.

"I think Apple is a screaming buy right now," said Jim Lebenthal, but he thinks you could wait a bit on AMZN. "The risks are geopolitical," Jim said.

Jim said it's been "sustained" for 18 months that value has outperformed growth.

Nevertheless, Stephanie Link predicted we'll see value "mean-revert."

Jon Najarian predicted a "2nd-half story" from Congress (snicker).

More from Wednesday's Halftime later.

[Friday, June 30, 2017]

Erin Browne calls Tom Lee’s
long trade a short

Tom Lee on Friday's Halftime spoke about the "CRAP" trade said investors have rightly been "pretty skeptical" of the telecom space.

But he thinks "telecom credits have held up really well," suggesting a bull case. He called the disparity with utility credit/stocks "sort of the setup here."

Whatever the top-line growth, "The companies can solve this, the cheapness of their stock by doing a huge buyback," Lee said.

Jim Lebenthal suggested there's a "heckuva lot of top-line pressure on these guys." Lee agreed and suggested consolidation would fix the "structure."

Josh Brown said it's hard for him to see real momentum in telecoms. Erin Browne bluntly called telecom a "source of funds" and looks at the sector as a "short opportunity."

Nike already was Amazon’s
most-purchased brand

NKE was the talk of Friday's Halftime, although this time at least there was a reason.

Jim Lebenthal has frequently mentioned wanting to fill the 2nd half of his NKE position under 50.

"I bought a little bit more," said Jim, who said he really wanted to "load up the boat" on the stock but wasn't going to chase.

"I've got a lot of dry powder left to go in this name," Jim assured.

Nobody was getting euphoric on the name. Josh Brown said the last 2 times NKE had a big quarter spike, "it kinda petered out around 59, 60." He added, "I don't know that I'd be buying it here."

Jay Sole of Morgan Stanley said "we continue to see sales trends decelerate" for Nike in North America.

Sole's most interesting comment was that, despite the Amazon hype, "Nike's already very big on Amazon. Nike is the, the most purchased brand on Amazon of any brand."

Erin Browne said she doesn't want to be in consumer discretionary right now.

Jon Najarian said that a day ago, people were "aggressively selling puts in Nike." He added, "I was short puts, long stock, short calls at the 55 strike, so I had to cover that today Mel."

Jim plans to buy TSCO next week

Jonathan Krinsky on Friday's Halftime predicted "a bit of a rotation out of growth into value."

Jim Lebenthal predicted the recent rotation will continue, with a "margin of safety in the valuation and yields."

Jim suggested TSCO for its "tremendous growth" opportunities. "I think next week I'll be in this name," Jim said.

Jon Najarian said he thinks DHI has upside.

Doc said someone who profited in LULU calls bought August 55s.

Doc said CBI made a 50% move in 3 days.

Josh Brown affirmed SCHW appears to be on the verge of a "major breakout." The only thing is, he keeps saying that, and we keep wondering, what's the growth in online (admittedly redundant) stock trading?

Stocks fail to celebrate
Judge’s ‘FANG Week’

Guest host Missy Lee only briefly took up the week's purported Halftime topic, FANG, and its disappointing week on Friday.

Erin Browne said she'd "probably be a buyer" if FANG is down another 5%.

Jon Najarian likes NFLX and AAPL.

Adding fuel to the notion that the Halftime Report could be/should be only a weekly program, Jim Lebenthal again said he's been "pretty specific" that FANG stocks actually have different PEG ratios.

Jim said this is a "good opportunity" to buy GOOGL.

Nobody on the panel owns TSLA; Josh Brown said "civilians" shouldn't be in the name.

Doc buys NVO calls

Jim Lebenthal on Friday's Halftime Report said the market thinks Coach "is gonna outperform on a fashion basis."

Josh Brown said MU found buyers at the 50-day.

Jon Najarian said the steel names are making "another slower grind to the upside" than the post-election spike.

Josh Brown said he's in KSU; "above 105, there are no sellers."

Erin Browne said she likes industrials, energy and banks and suggested a "barbell" (cliche) approach with tech when there's a selloff.

Browne predicted higher rates and a lower dollar and suggested energy.

Karen Finerman on the 5 p.m. Fast Money said she's staying in banks. (Zzzzzzzzzz)

Josh Brown reaffirmed his call for overseas stocks.

Doc said he bought NVO calls.

[Thursday, June 29, 2017]

O’Leary: Massive buybacks show banks don’t have anything to do

A day ago (hit PgDn), we pointed out how someone on the Halftime Report made, or walked into, the same point this page already made a day earlier.

Imitation is a wonderful form of flattery, so we were smiling when we heard Kevin O'Leary declare on Thursday's Halftime in terms more blunt than what this page used a day ago (PgDn), "These massive stock buybacks from money-center banks is (sic singular) basically telling every investor that they don't have anything better to do with their capital than buy their own stock back."

Exxxxxxxactly. (Despite how Karen Finerman portrayed it Wednesday.)

"I'm sorry, that sucks," O'Leary said.

Jon Najarian bought more JPM calls Thursday even though he said a day earlier he plays the XLF because "I've been burned trying to pick individual stocks in this space."

Doc: 2% FANG haircut possible

Kari Firestone on Thursday's Halftime Report curiously said that "part of the reason the market keeps going higher [is] because we haven't been able to substitute stocks for bonds."

Oftentimes Sometimes we have our own mental bungles here. But we have a hard time figuring out how the "market" (presumably stocks) is going higher because people are still buying bonds instead.

Jon Najarian said, "I think people just decided to take a little off at the end of the quarter" and that the U.S. market experienced some spillover from Europe.

Doc said he wouldn't be surprised if the FANG stocks get a "haircut" of about 2%.

Josh Brown said we're "seeing money rotating to some of the cheaper areas (snicker) of the market, and it's a good thing."

Kevin O'Leary said tech isn't going to correct, then he said it does correct every once in a while, but those are buying opportunities.

Mike Farr said the "key" is that the consumer has "cheap money."

Josh Brown got a round of applause (rare on the program) for an Investopedia honor.

Ackman presumably has found more worthwhile things to do than spend his time focusing on VRX going to 17

Guest host Brian Sullivan asked Thursday's Halftime panel about TTWO and ATVI, stocks that none of the panelists care about in the slightest because the panelists don't play video games.

Kari Firestone said, "If Activision was down 25%, I think we'd all find a reason to buy it." We doubt that.

Kari Firestone pounded the table for STZ, an undeniably spectacular stock of the last several years.

Jon Najarian said there was unusual activity 3 days ago in FOXA.

Josh Brown said EBAY is "just fine."

Kevin O'Leary said every player in the APRN space is losing money but that consolidation would help.

"Beer is a, is a zero-growth story around the world," O'Leary said, adding BUD is the best way to play it because of cost-cutting.

Kari Firestone: Government’s RAD position gives AMZN advantage

Kari Firestone made a bold statement on Thursday's Halftime, saying of RAD, "Oh, gosh. This is really tough for these guys. The government isn't helping them; they're helping Amazon. It's another case where the digital Internet players get the advantage, and these guys have a long way down to go still."

(And we thought we might go an entire program without a mention of "Amazon.") (We did actually go a whole program without NKE.)

Mike Farr will continue to hold GOOGL.

Sully called the SPLS deal a "head-scratcher." Jon Najarian said it puts "a lot of pressure on ODP."

Gene Todd said he thinks technology has a lot more room to run. "Most of the run is based on corporate earnings," rather than government potential (snicker), Todd said.

Kevin O'Leary took the opportunity to tout ETFs.

Doc said someone bought 13,000 July 30 calls in NFX (that's correct, NFX not NFLX).

Jeff Kilburg addressed a raging issue in the markets — the price of wheat — and explained there are 3 kinds of wheat with different levels of protein. He said there's a "kind of a double whammy here," but we don't know what the double whammy means. Jim Iuorio predicted higher short-term prices, "5 and a quarter."

Doc likes CHTR. Josh Brown said SCHW is "what a breakout looks like." Kari Firestone touted COST, Mike Farr said LOW, and Kevin O'Leary mentioned one of his ETFs.

[Wednesday, June 28, 2017]

After 5 minutes of conversation, still not really sure what Adam Jonas was talking about

Adam Jonas, who has an overweight on GM, told guest host Melissa Lee on Wednesday's Halftime Report that "the race to autonomous driving Melissa is a race for miles, quantity of miles and quality of miles."

Hmmmm, OK. So there's a "race" to acquire autonomous driving miles … and not just the highest "quantity" of those miles but "quality" of those miles.

Jonas (picture above is not from Wednesday) said Tesla does 5 million miles per day, Uber does 100 million miles per day, and GM cars collectively do 2.5 billion miles per day. (Um, if our reader-comprehension skills aren't too rusty, we'd point out that Uber doesn't actually manufacture automobiles to our knowledge, so part of the Uber total overlaps with GM.)

Jonas curiously said the challenge/opportunity for GM is to "harvest" those miles and "monetize" them.

OK. Any chance that's another way to say GM needs more market share?

How does an automaker "monetize" a mile? Charge you a subscription toll rather than a purchase price?

Jonas went on to categorize into a part called "GM Revolution" (snicker, that's what he actually said) and "GM Evolution" (double snicker, that's what he actually said) and then said it's about how to create "transparency" to get "paid for that."

He said that might involve tough decisions about getting rid of things.

Then he said "it's more creating structures, and, um, currency."

Say what? GM's creating currency now?

Jim Lebenthal praised Jonas for having an "edge to what you're putting out there" but noted Jonas' lower GM estimates for 2018. Jonas admitted, "If they don't do anything, this is not a buy." (Ah. Now we're getting somewhere.)

Pete Najarian said F and GM have been "value traps" and that it's about "execution." Stephen Weiss said he would "probability-weight that," and he'd rather be short those names than long.

Well, it's really as simple as this. People don't give a hoot about GM or Ford or Chrysler building self-driving cars. They only care about Tesla, Google, Apple and maybe Uber or Amazon building self-driving cars.

If AMZN or FB were doing ‘enormous’ buybacks, would that be a reason to buy the stocks?

Karen Finerman, outstanding in blue/white combo on Wednesday's 5 p.m. Fast Money, gushed about the "magnitude" of the "huge" or "enormous" C buyback. "That's really positive," Finerman said.

Prior to the stress test, guest host Melissa Lee reverted on Wednesday to the most tiresome cliche of the Halftime Report, the notion that virtually all the big banks are buys.

Steve Weiss said he owns C, BAC and LUK (Zzzzzzzzz). But, "I'm not adding to them."

Jim Lebenthal cautioned that good news is already built into CCAR. But he likes C and BX.

Jon Najarian said he's been only in the XLF, because "I've been burned trying to pick individual stocks in this space."

Nobody expressed any interest in buying XLE. But Kourtney Gibson said if you're in it for the long term, this is "absolutely" the time to buy, which really doesn't make any sense if you think it's going down in the short term. Pete Najarian said "everybody's trying to buy the bottom" in energy options.

Jim Lebenthal said the performance of gasoline vs. crude makes him believe refiners are cooking, such as MPC and VLO.

Doc had a great shirt & tie combo; Weiss had no reason to knock it.

This page: (Way) ahead
of the news

Guest Michael Lippert on Wednesday's Halftime Report told Kourtney Gibson, "I'm asked all the time now about, you know, quote-unquote whether we're in a bubble today like we were, you know, in 2000. But technology is SO different today."

This page called out that kind of nonsense (not Lippert's answer, but the question he gets, which cements the conclusion most people don't have a clue) a day ago (just PgDn).

Wednesday was Kourtney Gibson's day to say, "Absolutely, if Amazon drops, I'm in it all day long."

Steve Weiss mocked the Trump-Washington Post controversy, stating, "I'm sure Jeff Bezos approves every article, every byline and every picture" in the Washington Post.

Lippert declared the Trump-WaPost controversy "just noise."

Jim Lebenthal questioned if "legislative and judicial bodies" might find a "monopolistic issue" with Amazon. Lippert shrugged that it didn't change Microsoft; that company stalled because "they didn't understand how the Internet and mobile was changing," not because of DOJ fines, and he doesn't think government overhang will have "any effect" on these companies.

We're hard-pressed to identify "monopolistic" behavior by Amazon; nothing's stopping anyone from creating the same thing.

Pete Najarian told Lippert he's been calling the acronym FANGMAN. Lippert said BABA is like "the Amazon and Google of China." (Funny how nobody was really saying that $80 ago in the share price when the story was all about opaque accounting and faked goods.)

Jim touts MSG, suggests it’s bound to go private

Anthony Grisanti on Wednesday's Halftime Report said it's "hard to explain," but the reason gasoline is cheaper in June than January (this year and last year) is because of fracking.

Jim Iuorio predicted RBOB has broken the short-term downtrend and heads toward 152/153.

In the most interestingly effusive call of the show, Jim Lebenthal said MSG is "severely undervalued" and doesn't need the Knicks to move the stock. "I love it at this price," Jim said.

Jon Najarian said he's long GIS calls, "knock on wood." But, "I'm out of it here though" because it was $2 higher in premarket and not so high during the day.

Steve Weiss said KBH and PHM are doing well, but he's missed that trade.

Pete Najarian said WDC could be worth $120.

Kourtney Gibson said Loop Capital has had a buy on V and MA "for a while at this point" (sic redundant).

Jim Lebenthal said he doesn't worry about the FDX news. Weiss said "if it drops a lot, you buy it for a trade." Later, Jim even scoffed that the news would affect the stock at all; no one's fooled.

Jon Najarian said he's in CELG and BMY. Weiss likes XBI but not the PBMs.

Doc said August 65 calls in XPO were being bought and 70 XPO calls were being sold.

Pete said July 24 calls were the 8th time this month that X calls experienced unusual activity. But Pete suggested those buyers are "trading" rather than "investing." (Too bad, Weiss bailed when he thought it was oversold, presumably with a 20 handle.)

Doc said the notion that the delayed health care vote sank Monday's stock market was "complete crap."

Weiss touted AKAM, stating it's been "left for dead." Kourtney Gibson said the Loop analyst upgraded DLTR. Doc mentioned CBI and Pete said the XLF.

[Tuesday, June 27, 2017]

Really. It’s not 1999.

Pete Najarian on Tuesday's Halftime Report issued one of the show's multitude of cliches, stressing that this isn't like 1999; "it's not even close."

Some cliches are understandable. That one's idiotic. There's never going to be a "1999" market again … because it already happened.

Nobody's ever going to pay $5,000 for a tulip again. Nobody's ever again going to buy a bundle of mortgages rated AAA in which people are lent $500,000 and put no money down and lie about their income.

And nobody's ever again going to pay a 175 P.E. for the Nasdaq.

Judge promised FANG Week on Monday, hardly mentioned it on Tuesday

In a program chock-full of almost every cliche under the sun, Judge on Tuesday's Halftime actually refreshingly did something he rarely does — correct someone's on-air mistake.

Pete Najarian said someone bought 20,000 July 36 calls in AA. Judge noted the screen said July 37. Pete clarified it's actually 36.

Meanwhile, Pete called the financials a "2nd-half story" (cliche), even though that was the case last year.

Pete suggested picking a bottom in energy might not work (cliche).

Judge said "it's clear to me that people expect rates to go up" (cliche).

Jon Najarian agrees with the survey of 23 "of the Street's top strategists" that found 86% consensus that stocks will be higher by year-end.

According to CNBC's on-screen disclosures, Doc is both long SNAP calls and short SNAP calls. (This writer is long SNAP.)

Stephanie Link said you can "barbell" (cliche) technology as well as growth vs. value.

Sarat Sethi talked to a producer while Judge was trying to announce the SunTrust 110 call on CRM. Sarat would buy on a pullback. Stephanie Link apparently thinks it should be owned but said not to "chase" it now (which are basically contradictory statements). Pete said he's waiting for a "catalyst" in the stock. Doc said it has "at least 110" in it.

Josh Spencer of T. Rowe Price said of CRM, "They've just put up the numbers for so long," adding it's the biggest position in his fund. Spencer also touted BABA, but Judge said he's "very surprised, to be honest" that FB isn't on Spencer's list of largest holdings. Spencer said he hasn't owned it for the past couple of years, and it's just one he missed.

Spencer said NVDA is maybe a bit ahead of itself but touted WDAY. He thinks NFLX is "still very attractive."

Pete said if Congress could "focus" on tax reform more and get away from health care, then tax reform might happen (cliche).

Link said expectations for health care reform are "completely nonexistent" (cliche).

And we also got the obligatory, once-a-show-where-Stephanie's-present quota of "Omigod Stephanie was SO SMART to buy Amazon!!!!!!" (Because she hasn't bought any losers for TIAA).

Sarat Sethi said he owns Nestle and praised management; he said if Loeb can work with them, great, but he doesn't want a "clash."

Doc said people aggressively sold TMUS July 59 puts. He called it a "Buffett"-like trade. Pete Najarian said volatility's really low right now (cliche).

Scott Nations said Q1 GDP is the "only hope" for dollar bulls. Brian Stutland said he's looking for a bounce of a couple percent, but year-end, maybe even 90.

Doc's final trade was KO. Pete said XLF (cliche), Steph Link said SWK and Sarat Sethi said LOW.

[Monday, June 26, 2017]

Pete credits Zuck for beating SNAP … into a $20 billion company

Judge on Monday promised this will be "FANG (sic just one 'A') Week" on the Halftime Report. (As opposed to all the other weeks.)

Pete Najarian wondered if it's FANG or FANGMAN.

Stephen Weiss curiously hailed Mark Zuckerberg as "one of those unique individuals" such as Steve Jobs who's creating "an entire new asset class." (Really. Liking a photo is apparently a new asset class.)

Then Pete Najarian chimed in with a very strange assessment: "Look at what he has done to SNAP. Since the day he tried to buy them for $3 billion, and they gave him the Heisman, look at what he's done. He went after them, he's aggressive, and he's beaten them the entire way along as he's gone through this (sic grammar)."

OK. So he tried to buy at $3 billion. Now it's worth $20 billion. Really beat them good. (This writer is long SNAP.)

"Facebook has plenty of room to still grow," Pete said.

Jim Lebenthal said at 1.28, FB has "a very low PEG ratio." (In other words, plow into the shares whole hog right now. Oops, wait a minute — no one actually said that.)

Tony Dwyer admitted he's been "market neutral" on the FANGs.

Judge characterized Dwyer as "looking for a pullback." Dwyer said, "No, I got about a month, month and a half ago, I actually, I, I upgraded our view of the market." (He later clarified "it was actually April 27th.")

Lew Piantedosi of Eaton Vance said he views "all 3 of those stocks" (sic not clear which 3) as "today's blue chips." He said he owns a little AAPL; "it's hard to really get your arms around what- where- you know, what their growth rate truly is. … At the end of every cycle, there's a cliff."

Piantedosi said the new iPhone is being priced "at a huge premium to their competitors."

Tony Dwyer sorta says inverted yield curve should be feared and sorta says it shouldn’t

Employing rather stark terminology, Tony Dwyer said there's one thing he'd like viewers of Monday's Halftime to know.

Dwyer said at the top of the show you "never, ever" (it was actually stronger than that) get negative in this kind of market without an inverted yield curve.

But actually, it's deeper than that. Dwyer said people on TV talking about a flattening yield curve being a negative was "making me want to gouge my eyes out," rather, "the opposite is true."

Jim Lebenthal said "let's not get too scared here," noting the inverted yield curve has predicted "15 of the last 10 recessions." Dwyer said "I love Jim," but there's only one time (1966) the curve inverted and it didn't lead to a recession since 1954.

Dwyer said of his S&P-up-300 by year-end 2018, "I think that's way too conservative." Judge demanded the "right number." Dwyer said, "It depends on what the earnings are."

Perhaps Nestle can start working on self-driving cars

It's apparently FANG Week on the Halftime Report. But barely 11 minutes into Monday's show, Judge had moved on to Third Point's Nestle position.

Judge said he's told by sources that Loeb views European valuations as "more attractive."

Leslie Picker, wowing Englewood Cliffs with new hairstyle, said a lot of Loeb's ideas apparently are part of what the Nestle CEO is thinking anyway.

Picker said it's not like Loeb owns 50%, but "if the proposals are solid enough," then "it should be easy to get other activist investors- or other investors on board."

Steve Weiss started to stress that it's not a U.S. company; Judge butted in to say he had already reported that. Weiss said there's been "no results" from the Sony campaign.

Pete says COST fell too far but actually not enough

Pete Najarian on Monday's Halftime mentioned that options buyers somehow … somehow … are actually expecting a stock to FALL.

In this case, Pete said, it's someone buying July 75.5 puts in LOW.

But Jim Lebenthal said there won't be any housing data for 3 weeks, and no earnings for 3 weeks, so now LOW is in a quiet phase where "the trend is your friend."

Pete grumbled that Goldman Sachs has had a sell on AMD "forever" and that Goldman even had a sell on the name under $2 and that he follows analysts who succeed such as Katy Huberty and Mark Mahaney (except when Mark likes SNAP, which Pete thinks is going to single digits). Stephen Weiss said AMD has "never been a quality company" and said there are "easier ways to make money."

Tony Dwyer told Judge the most attractive sector is banks (snicker).

Kari Firestone touted MTSI as the "one-stop shop for data center chips." (Guessing that probably involves self-driving cars.) (Wonder if Pete thinks it's done its part to wipe out SNAP.)

Stephen Weiss agreed with Telsey's upgrade of PLCE.

Jim Lebenthal said CAR made a "really good move" to make an agreement with GOOGL on … yep … Self. Driving. Cars.

Pete said COST has fallen too much based on the Amazon-WFM news, but he thinks it's still a bit pricey and would be better on a pullback, if that all makes sense.

Pete said it's a "very difficult time" for DRI.

Pete's final trade was the financials (Zzzzzz). Jim said DVA continues down. Weiss likes XBI.

[Friday, June 23, 2017]

Jim crushes one
out of the park

This page has groaned recently at Jim Lebenthal's unending GM/QCOM/JCP/NKE calls on the Halftime Report.

But let's give major credit where it's due.

June 6, Jim touted WGO on the back of Thor's earnings. WGO closed that day at 28.50; it's solidly over 34 now — a gargantuan call and instant contender for Trade of the Year.

Judge actually thanks Tom Lee for skipping part of a meeting

Friday's Halftime opened the way Grandpa Judge always likes — someone suggesting the market's about to flop.

But even Judge had trouble making sense of "CRAP"-trade impresario Tom Lee's split decision … kinda claiming the whole market's under pressure but a bunch of sectors (including FAANG) look good.

Lee said, "Well, I think part of it has to do with a lot of folks recently talking about how low inflation is good for stocks because it's helping the multiple." But he said labor costs pose a threat to margins.

The S&P is at 2,438. Judge noted Lee has "the lowest S&P target on the Street," 2,275.

"I think it may be too low," Lee admitted.


Then Judge noted that Lee recommends FAANG, materials, technology, industrials, financials and energy.

"I just don't get it," Judge said, suggesting that to go higher, financials would probably need a higher yield curve that Lee doesn't see, and if FAANG rises, how does the overall market not go up.

Lee said FAANG is actually "less than 5% of total market cap" and said he's looking at "select stocks" within the sectors he likes and said that in the whole market, "the median P.E. is now 19.4."

Lee contended there's a "general problem with 50% of the market."

Trying to offer a cogent point to this dubious conversation, Jim Lebenthal said "we've been waiting for wage pressure to pick up for years, and it hasn't."

Somehow, Judge sneered, "Let's just stick to the, to the point we're discussing though."

"I thought it was the point we were discussing," Jim rightly said.

"I don't wanna get into a deep economic weeds question, I mean, answer. Or discussion," Judge said. "Is the market overvalued or not?"

"It's not," Jim said, though Lee "makes a very good point about the median P.E. being 19."

Rob Sechan somehow agrees with Lee's "barbell" approach.

As Lee exited, Judge actually said, "Tom, I know you jumped out of a meeting, um, to jump on with us, and I sincerely appreciate that," but if that's the case, Lee should be thanking Judge; "Scott, many thanks for giving me an excuse to sit that one out."

Jim gaining fund flows

Josh Brown on Friday's Halftime contended that Wall Street pros aren't getting euphoric about stocks because they're scared of losing their jobs to quants; "If you can't get the pros excited, it's tough to get euphoria amongst the amateur."

Jim Lebenthal explained that "all of our careers" are "enhanced" by rising markets.

"I'm actually getting fund flows because I'm doing well and markets are going up," Jim said (and we'll say that if he makes a few more calls like WGO, the cash will be raining in).

Kate Moore said there's not a growth stock bubble; "the earnings are coming through."

Moore said earnings could get upward revisions if there's actually "some sort of bipartisan agreement" (snicker).

Rob Sechan said the Trump agenda "is in slight jeopardy."

Josh Brown said that since Dec. 9, "the Russell 2000 has delivered exactly zero. But now that's starting to change."

Pete Najarian hailed the low VIX as a great opportunity to protect portfolios. Pete cautioned viewers not to write off a stock just because it's gone up recently; he touted WDC.

Judge called the Citi note suggesting a growth bubble "almost Greenspan-esque."

No one mentions Chanos
in CAT discussion

Jim Lebenthal on Friday's Halftime agreed with the Deutsche Bank downgrade of CAT.

But Pete Najarian pointed to the Goldman Sachs analyst who made it a conviction buy in April. Pete said it's a "smart" downgrade but he's not sure about lowering the price target.

Josh Brown said if you want to be long CAT, put a stop at 97/98, where the gap comes from. Rob Sechan said to own it, you have to have a positive view on a slew of infrastructure angles.

Pete Najarian said June 21.50 calls in MT expiring next week were being bought.

Josh Brown said X looks like it wants to make a "stand" at 20.

Doc bungle: Said just last week that back to school is ‘like Christmas’ for BBBY while touting July 38 calls

Pete Najarian on Friday's Halftime said BBBY is "getting Amazoned" and admitted the call buyers (that would be his brother last week who said he'd "probably" be in the July 38s for 2 weeks) "got it wrong, but at least the risk/reward's not quite as bad."

"At least the risk/reward's not quite as bad." Not quite as bad … as what?

Jim Lebenthal said "honestly" he's surprised FINL is up as much as it is; "I wouldn't own it."

Judge asked why FINL didn't get the FL treatment recently. Jim said expectations were sooo low. (This writer is long FL, partly because gorrrjus Karen Finerman pounded the table for it 10 bucks ago because it was then trading in "integers.")

Kate Moore likes specific health-care names over the ETFs.

Rob Sechan said Argentina's ability to issue 100-year debt shows the "epic demand" for yield.

Josh Brown questioned the short interest in RH and said the stock "probably" goes even higher.

Jim Lebenthal mentioned his "half position" (sigh) in NKE but revealed, "I'm not gonna be a hero in front of this quarter. … If I get a drop after the earnings report, I'm gonna be in with both feet."

Josh said 49, 50 has been "pretty substantial support" in NKE, but if it breaks that on a bad report, watch out.

Kate Moore is "still excited about the banks" (snicker). Rob Sechan likes XLK and IBB into the end of the quarter. Jim said he's thinking about getting back into BA, which he famously talked about trimming a while back.

Jim said JCP's exit from the S&P 500 is merely a "technical issue" and that the Amazonization "is already in there."

Josh Brown bought more SCHW.

Judge congratulated Jim for Jim's firm's inclusion in the FT list.

[Wednesday, November 4, 2009]

We only mention this to be nice,
to pay a compliment

We've never seen a birthday celebration as muted as the one for Mel Lee on Wednesday.

No cake, no singing, no cheering, etc.

Guy Adami broached the subject fairly early. "We won't give you a number, because you haven't told me the number. I'm sure you could look it up out there folks," Adami said.

"Google," said Tim Seymour.

"She doesn't look a day past 47, she looks great," Adami said.

Actually, we have Googled before ... she is obviously either 36 or 37 ... but one reason Lee hasn't yet made our "CNBC Star Profiles" page where she clearly belongs is because there is little information to be found about her in cyberspace. (Note to searchers; there are a couple other famous Melissa Lees worldwide, we think maybe Australia and South Korea, so careful.) Even Lee's Wikipedia page, which apparently has been the subject of fierce editing battles this year and just today added the Nov. 4 birthdate, is pretty light on details.

However, we did stumble upon this December 2008 interview in, and were floored by the final question and answer.

It went like this:

ASIANCE: Do you have a boyfriend? Are you married?
Melissa: ha-ha. No and no.

We knew she wasn't married. Granted, this interview was from 2008, and for all we know, things might've changed.

But, "No and no"?

And what's with the "ha-ha"?

Melissa Lee didn't (perhaps doesn't?) have a boyfriend??

Here's the deal ... hard work and career success are great. Lee probably gets up at 5 a.m. or even 4 a.m. and probably sometimes is at the office 12 hours a day.

Socializing is a big part of life too. We've always kind of imagined Lee getting whisked away to Campagnola after every show by some proud guy and yukking it up for hours about Lloyd Blankfein or Jimmy Cayne or Keith Olbermann or whoever with Charles Gasparino or whoever else happens to be there.

The idea that might not be happening is disheartening.

A female CNBC star evidently didn't have a boyfriend.


Guys, it just goes to show, sometimes you never know if she's spoken for until you ask.

CNBCfix, by the way, exclusively broke the scoop on Karen Finerman's birthdate many months ago.

Melissa Lee gave the camera one of those mesmerizing little looks again during the RIMM portion of "Pops & Drops."

Back to CNBCfix home home

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