Rob Sechan seems to think it wouldn’t be a bad idea to roll student loan debt into mortgages


Homebuilders have been one of those great sectors that no one seems to talk about much (nor is the minimal amount of conversation particularly exciting).

But a comment from Rob Sechan on Friday's Halftime Report certainly got our attention.

Sechan revealed, "The mortgage industry too is working on a solution in terms of how to figure out how they deal with student loans, and student loans potentially rolling into mortgages."

OK, the word that really gets our attention in that sentence is "solution."

Solution … to what?

Jim Lebenthal opined, "This sounds awful."

"It does not sound awful," Sechan said. "It will completely change the pace of household formation."

"I admire your optimism, but that sounds a lot like what happened 10 years ago," Jim said. "That's a bad idea."

Jon Najarian astutely noted that student loans can't be discharged in bankruptcy, but you can "walk away" from a mortgage. "So if you could roll student loans into a mortgage and then walk away, I think you'd accelerate the walkaways."

"The devil is in the details," Sechan said.

Indeed. We're trying to figure out how in the world this would work.

We can see the concerns of the mortgage industry. Someone graduates, gets a decent job, but with $75,000 in student debt, it's a long time before he or she can buy a home.

But that's life. "Rolling" debt together doesn't make it go away.

There's a bigger question, which is whether a college education should necessitate borrowing gobs of money and whether loans should be easy to get as politicians demand every 4 years.

Anyway, Jim Lebenthal said the only thing that would worry him about the homebuilders is if rates started to "meaningfully" rise. But he thinks, rather than the Citi call of buying LEN and selling PHM, the sector will move in unison.

Jon Najarian said he disagrees with the call, "and it's not just because I do have a personal relationship with the folks at Pulte," which he said has 24% margins.

Josh Brown said you can just own the ITB.

Rob Sechan said there are a "lot of tailwinds" with homebuilders, including "potential impact of tax reform (snicker) on the marginal tax rate."



GE analyst on Bill Nygren:
‘I don’t know the guy’


First, let's not annoy anyone. #goodstrategy

There's probably an unfortunate level of schadenfreude in stock-market conversations.

Analyzing some notable, falling stock that you don't own is a blast. If you do own it and have ridden it down, of course, just thinking about it can be grim death. As always, this page hopes everyone makes a profit in every stock he or she owns.

Anyway, on Friday's Halftime, Judge had several great discussions about GE, including a chat with JPMorgan's Steve Tusa.

Tusa said he respects John Flannery but that Flannery has a "very high hill to climb." Tusa explained that the $7 billion in cash flow that Flannery mentioned is from operations, and after capex, it's $3 billion, and then after pension obligations, it's "basically" just $1 billion, while the dividend commitment is $8 billion.

"On a true GAAP basis, you're looking at 65 cents of industrial earnings," Tusa added.

He said there's "no way" GE can maintain the dividend unless it sells assets, which would be dilutive.

Tusa said if he were in the boardroom, he'd try to "engineer a soft landing."

Addressing the term of the day on CNBC, Tusa stated, "This is not a kitchen sink," instead calling it an "indication" of "severe secular pressures" in certain segments.

He said every indication is that the power division is bad, "and I believe it's getting worse."

Judge noted that Bill Nygren likes GE and thinks it's still a company with great assets. Tusa said, "I'm just a kid from Connecticut trying to do a bit of analysis here. I'm not sure- I'm not Warren Buffett or anything like that."

Tusa said it could've been called a great company under Jack Welch, "but I believe the game has changed here."

As for Nygren, Tusa said, "I don't know the guy, but, uh, you know, we can discuss my model. My model says it's going lower."

Judge chuckled, as always, that this is how they make a market.

Tusa was earnest and delivered chipper, quality commentary, but the way he looked around at things besides the camera hinted he might be on the verge of snark, but it never did happen really.

Kevin O'Leary credited Tusa for "well-done" analysis and asserted that the dividend cut will be Nov. 13. Tusa said it's "definitely" going to happen before Nov. 13.

O'Leary asserted that the $1-$2 billion in cash flow is "reflected in the stock." But Tusa said he "completely" disagrees that's the case.

Nygren lacks a catalyst. The valid bull case is that this name is still so big that enough minds are going to come together to straighten it out. But in terms of a bottom, it's got a lot of currently unsexy businesses, and turning over the keys to longtime insider Mr. Flannery isn't exactly like hiring Elon Musk.

So both Nygren and Tusa may well be right, but Nygren will have to wait.

Tusa closed by saying, "Hey guys, by the way, uh, I know your former guest said he was No. 1 since 2010, but we crushed him this year, so we're No. 1 this year, just wanted to clarify that." We had no idea what he was talking about.




Humdrum panelist commentary on GE obliterated by Cramer’s ‘disgrace’ assessment


Meanwhile on Friday's Halftime, Josh Brown said "maybe we've seen the worst of the news" in GE, though "I don't feel like there's any rush" to get in.

"They kitchen-sinked it," Brown said.

"There is this problem of the dividend," said Jim Lebenthal, who called that an "overhang" through the end of the year with the tax-loss selling.

Jon Najarian said 18 million shares changed hands in premarket, "a fair amount of it below $22 a share."

Kevin O'Leary said "I'm a buyer today" in GE, not just stock but 2019 25 calls.

O'Leary predicted a dividend cut of either 50% or (gulp) 100%. "I don't care if they pay a dividend or not," said O'Leary, the guy who always champions dividends. "I see a good 20, 25% upside on this story," O'Leary said.

Judge questioned why "Mr. Dividend himself" O'Leary would buy this name and that if they announce a cut, the stock might drop lower than where O'Leary bought it at.

"No no no no, if they cut the dividend, the stock's going up," O'Leary said.

We tackled that one a day or two ago. The gut feeling here is that, if it's viewed as one of the final pieces of the puzzle, the stock would go up … but it's more like the first piece, not the last.

The panelist remarks on GE were watered-down enough that Judge was compelled to air Jim Cramer's comments (OK, he would've aired them anyway) of GE being like a country club and buying oil at the high and selling financials at the low and being a "disgrace."

Jim Lebenthal said there are "indisputable truths" in Cramer's commentary.

Josh Brown said "don't be surprised" if GE is flat on the day. Judge said it made "one helluva comeback."



We couldn’t help but wonder how much Angela Ahrendts makes; turns out she’s the company’s top-paid exec


Josh Lipton on Friday's Halftime Report did his hourly hit from Apple's new Chicago store.

Jon Najarian reiterated his AAPL call of mid-160s to 170 by year-end. Jim Lebenthal said he's waiting for the day AAPL goes up in response to a rumor, which will "open the floodgates."

Jim said the negativity about AAPL ordering/supply issues is "sequentially getting shrugged off earlier and quicker and quicker and quicker. That means the stock is going higher."

Kevin O'Leary said he's going to "step aside" from AAPL for a while and will "look at it again in March."

Josh Brown took a potshot at Weiss' grumbling about AAPL innovation. (Weiss wasn't there.)




Kevin O’Leary thinks Brexit might not actually happen


Judge on Friday's Halftime noted Third Point is in DOV.

Leslie Picker reported that Loeb is bullish on stocks. Josh Brown said Loeb "totally gets it," that there's a global recovery.

Kevin O'Leary said a lot of European stocks have "the wind at their back."

O'Leary also brought up Brexit, stating, "I'm beginning to think that these London guys aren't gonna exit."

Josh Brown observed, "This week might be the first perfect week since 1998. 5 days in a row of the S&P going up. … There have only been 17 occasions of a perfect week in 90 years, and 94% of the time, we've resolved higher after."

Jon Najarian said CTL call buyers were buying November 20 calls as well as 21 and 22 strikes out to January. (The Najarians have been trumpeting call-buying in this name for months, but it hasn't gone anywhere.)

Doc also said November 29 calls in X were popular.

Josh Brown said he has no CMG position, though it "seems to have found a bottom." But he thinks it's still a "battleground" stock, and he's not sure the permanent bottom is in, suggesting a 2-handle if the report is anything but queso being a stunning success.

Jim Lebenthal said GM will go higher if it holds gains that he expects in the early morning Tuesday.

Doc predicted a "fabulous" quarter for MSFT.

Doc said he likes TXN. Josh Brown's final trade was NVDA. Jim Lebenthal said CSCO. Rob Sechan said KRE.

Karen Finerman (above) stunned in new lavender ensemble on Thursday's 5 p.m. Fast Money while decrying how bad the United Airlines conference call was.



[Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017]

Who woulda thunk — world’s biggest market cap will be one of the last companies standing in its space


Desperate to drum up drama, Judge spent the key opening minutes of Thursday's Halftime hoping to hear a headline-making comment about AAPL.

His scare tactics didn't produce one, though he accused the panel of being "dismissive" of the Apple Watch issue in China.

Josh Brown said that if the Watch sales are part of the "fulcrum" of your AAPL analysis, then, "Find a new profession."

Brown shrugged that after previous iPhone launches, there have always been cautionary research notes in the weeks and months following.

Stephen Weiss said, "I don't think it's a surprise to anybody on this desk" that iPhone 8 orders aren't particularly robust. He said he'd like the stock 5% lower.

Joe Terranova said he's not in AAPL, and, "I think you wait."

Weiss said this AAPL quarter will be "another freebie."

Judge then brought in Brian White from the NYSE and asked White why he's "dismissive" of the Rogers Communications CEO saying iPhone 8 sales are "anemic."

White said it's because the story isn't the 8, but the X. "No one is buying iPhone 8. But there are a lot of people waiting on the iPhone 10. And I will tell you, there are also a lot of people buying the iPhone 7," White said.

Judge twice harangued White for not being concerned about Watch sales in China (snicker) and for basically saying the quarter "doesn't matter."

White said, "I think the quarter will be fine."

Judge persisted, stating, "You're basically telling me, and you're telling our viewers, the quarter doesn't matter."

White said, "I think the September quarter will be fine."

Judge said, "You're essentially saying, 'Who cares.'"

White agreed, "Who cares. Doesn't matter."

White told Josh Brown his price target is 208. He told Judge that number includes "some type of repatriation."

In the strangest comment of the program, White said of AAPL, "They're gonna be one of the last companies standing in this industry. One of the last."

Brown credited White for being bullish "the entirety of the last decade." (But what about Katy Huberty?)

Once again, time was wasted on whether Apple is innovative. Weiss insisted it's not. "Name one thing that's on the X that's not been on other phones already," Weiss challenged colleagues.

Brown said, "Facial recognition."

Weiss said, "It's on other phones, you're wrong. Facial recognition is on Samsung."

Joe Terranova said, "You have to admit they have pricing power." Weiss said he's not disagreeing with that.

Jon Najarian said White is "too aggressive" with a 208 target. Doc said it might get to low 170s after shopping season.



When was the last time anyone talked about the assignment of ESPN football announcer Robert Lee?


Steve Liesman on Thursday's Halftime said he thinks the Fed favorite is Kevin Warsh.

Liesman put odds on Yellen "below 50%," partly because of GOP resistance and because Yellen has been neutral about tax cuts.

Liesman mentioned all the people who "have a say" in the Fed selection — but didn't mention Ivanka or Jared Kushner.

Judge asked if Yellen would accept the job if offered. "I think she would take it," Liesman said.



CNBC’s 20-year coverage of the 1987 meltdown probably didn’t include chatter about ‘By the way, Bear and Lehman are toast’


Doing the obligatory hourly mention for CNBC, Michael Santoli on Thursday's Halftime said there are "more differences than similarities" between now and Oct. 19, 1987.

He said the markets globally were "under a lot of stress" in months leading up to the crash.

Judge said it's "unthinkable for many" that an equivalent one-day drop in today's Dow would be 5,000 points.

Jon Najarian pointed out the difference in AAPL valuation and volume between October 1987 and October 2017.

Doc said he was a market maker in IBM on Oct. 19, 1987.

Stephen Weiss made a good quip about having access to the Playboy Mansion.



Brown: Closets in general getting emptier (a/k/a Jim would’ve said he’s waiting to fill the other half of his position at 49)


Judge on Thursday's Halftime said NKE got a downgrade from Goldman though the price target remains 54. (Zzzzzzzzz)

Joe Terranova said he doesn't see "anything actionable" in what Goldman did.

Joe said adidas has been "way stronger than everyone expected," and he doesn't think the rally is ending.

But Josh Brown shrugged that adidas merely "caught a fad" at the right time and that he doesn't want to own any of the names.

Steve Weiss agreed with Brown that it's a "fashion business." Weiss said he'll get back in NKE when the global inventory from all the brick and mortar stores is "bled out."

Judge said there was a story going around on "one of the online (sic redundant) blogs" about NKE offering "unprecdented" website discounts up to 40%.

Jon Najarian said he gets an email every week about adidas sales.

Brown said each generation is "accumulating less apparel" every year.

"This whole sector is atroche (sic pronunciation)," Brown said, predicting a breakthrough below 50 for NKE at some point.

Weiss said, "Nike's good for an activist to come into," because "I think their products are inefficiently run."



Whew — a day without debating whether tax reform is priced in (though Brian White just barely went there)


Phil LeBeau on Thursday's Halftime said Cadillac came in dead last in auto reliability rankings.

LeBeau also said Tesla people didn't like the Consumer Reports prediction.

Jon Najarian said LC November 6 calls were getting bought. He said January 16 calls in FCX were aggressively getting bought. But he said he's buying the 14s and will be selling the 16s.

Brian Stutland thinks it's time to take profits in crude, it'll fall below 50, though he likes it longer term. Jim Iuorio said the uptrend is still intact.

Doc's final trade was BHF. Joe Terranova mentioned ADBE and said it bodes well for MSFT, SAP, RHT. Steve Weiss said UAL; "you gotta buy it here." Josh Brown said AAPL.



[Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2017]

Desperate to manufacture drama, Judge turns to Kyle Bass


At the top of Wednesday's Halftime Report, Steve Weiss said 1) we shouldn't pass a tax bill just to support the stock market, and 2) Mnuchin made an "irresponsible" comment, and 3) the U.S. is lagging other markets.

Obviously, Mnuchin is merely warning Congress — however weakly — that 401(k)s will fall if they don't vote for tax cuts.

Jim Lebenthal said Mnuchin is "choosing his words carefully."

Jim said "there's not a lot of volatility" to be driven by the tax cut.

Kari Firestone said tax cut numbers aren't in the market's economic models.

Jon Najarian said he disagrees with Mnuchin and doesn't think tax reform is baked in.

For the first time in a while, Judge invoked Kyle Bass (when's the Greece/Japan meltdown coming by the way), stating that Bass said, "If you see the equity market crack 4 or 5 points, buckle up, because I think we're going to see a pretty interesting air pocket, and I don't think investors are ready for that."

So if the market suddenly tumbles 5%, then it's going to fall more, and then investors won't be "ready" for that, so it'll presumably fall still more.

So he's predicted about 7 of the last 1 meltdowns.

What about the classroom survey when he was dismayed that students didn't know enough about Greek debt?

Got it.

Jim Lebenthal said he doesn't see a 4-5% drop before year-end.

John Harwood said, "They've got a lot to overcome" in terms of passing tax reform.

Mike Farr, who resembles former Gov. Gray Davis, spent the hour with the panel.



How come there wasn’t all kinds of bullish options activity in IBM prior to the earnings report?


Jon Najarian on Wednesday's Halftime Report said IBM results are a "turn" but still could be a "tease."

Surely his opinion was influenced by what Pete Najarian reported later, which was (after invoking Katy Huberty's 192 (snicker) target) that IBM November 160 calls were getting bought.

Jim Lebenthal said the IBM turnaround is "just one quarter," and there could be a short squeeze driving the stock.

Kari Firestone was shaking her head about IBM's gains. "I don't see where the catalyst really is," Firestone said.

Pete Najarian said Warren Buffett might've "made a mistake" by selling IBM too soon.



Mike Farr says people will start to feel like a ‘moron’ if they buy CMG


Stephen Weiss on Wednesday's Halftime Report said he loves the Bank of America downgrade of CMG and wonders why he's not short it, given the "egregious" valuation.

Jon Najarian noted that CMG could "pop significantly" if tax reform gets done. He said it gets interesting around "roughly" 300.

Kari Firestone said, "Malls are becoming just food courts," pinching the restaurant space.

Mike Farr said "emotional momentum" is going to work against CMG; people will be considered a "moron" if they try picking a bottom in this name.



Day 2 of (supposedly) Donald Trump tweets sinking the drug space


Kari Firestone on Wednesday's Halftime Report said she owned AGN for "quite a while" but got out for a few reasons, one of them being the prospect of botox alternatives.

Jon Najarian said ESPN's NFL numbers "may be troughing."

Pete Najarian said XLF November 26.50 calls were getting scooped out.

Doc said PG October 93.50 calls were popular. He also said November 94 ABBV calls were popular. Doc also noted that GWW took off.

Jim Lebenthal said "Abbott is going higher from here (sic last 2 words redundant)." Jim made ABBV his final trade.

Steve Weiss said EA actually looks attractive on the selloff.

Mike Farr said he owns CVS and will buy more.

Doc said ANTM has done great over 5 years.

Jeff Kilburg said the flattening curve suggests a "credit event on the horizon." Scott Nations said the Fed should be unloading the longer-term bonds first, but, "They're not."

Weiss said he likes UAL. Doc noted Warren Buffett didn't sell after the passenger was dragged off the plane and that the calls are getting bought.

Jim Lebenthal again touted WGO after Thor earnings.

Weiss' final trade was MU. Kari Firestone said SHW, and Doc said WYNN. Mike Farr actually said XOM.



[Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017]


Not sure what numbers Doc is talking about regarding Colin Kaepernick


Judge on Tuesday's Halftime Report said a "well-respected executive" told him he's seen "bomb-sniffing dogs" at the NFL owners meeting.

Pete Najarian said unfortunately, "The NFL is being reactive," and he faulted Commissioner Roger Goodell.

"$44 million a year this guy gets paid, Scott," Pete said.

Jon Najarian curiously stated, "Kaepernick has no future because you know, he blew himself up in San Francisco. The numbers were among the worst ever in league history in his final year there."

Seriously?? Did Doc ever notice what Stoudt, Kordell, Kent Graham, Tommy Maddox and Dennis Dixon put up for Pittsburgh??

Oh well. "I don't think there's collusion on the owners' parts," Doc stated.

Judge told Doc there are "many people out there who would disagree" as to whether Kaepernick is good enough to play in the league.



Judge tries to tell Bill Nygren what Bill knows


Judge opened Tuesday's Halftime with Bill Nygren, who called GE "a very different company looking forward than looking back." (Translation: Immelt blew it.)

Nygren conceded, "You have to think there's some risk in that, uh, in that dividend," which proved a contentious subject.

Judge told Nygren that if GE cuts the dividend, the stock will "get hit hard," and, "You know that."

"I don't know that," Nygren responded.

Actually, Nygren's right. Remember when the Najarians used to mention every other day that Kinder Morgan took off after announcing the dividend cut? GE isn't the same type of situation, but still, clarity on that subject could bring in buyers.

A cut indeed might hit the stock. But it also might not.

Regardless, Judge claimed the panelists "visibly (sic redundant) almost jumped out of their seats" at Nygren's comment.

In an excellent point, Josh Brown questioned why Nygren thinks GE is "out of favor," citing average analyst price target of 28.

Nygren admitted to Judge, "We started buying it almost 2 years ago, when it was about this same price. And clearly made a mistake not selling it 6 months later when it was in the 30s."

Also long NFLX, Nygren said P.E. doesn't reflect the value of the business. "If Netflix charged $15 a sub, the P.E. would be about a market multiple right now," he said.

Jim Lebenthal asked Nygren if he fears a contracting multiple and competition for NFLX. Nygren said unfortunately, he worried "a lot" about competition a few years ago when the stock was a lot lower.

Joe Terranova said he doesn't think GE has "financial flexibility" right now; "the dividend cut totally makes sense." Joe also mentioned the burden of pension liabilities.

Josh Brown said of Nygren's GE bullishness, "I don't know why he thinks it's gonna get a market multiple, let alone a premium."

Pete Najarian predicted "heavy pressure on the sell side" if there's a dividend cut.



Famous Hillary tweets (revisited)


Judge on Tuesday's Halftime bickered with Josh Brown over whether the stock market cares about Donald Trump's comments/tweets on drug pricing.

"The stocks dropped like a stone yesterday," Judge said.

"Talk to me next week," Brown shrugged.

Pete Najarian said Stifel's target hike to 415 on BIIB really stands out about the call.

Jim Lebenthal said ALXN is very attractively priced.

Jon Najarian said XBI calls were popular but said CELG is his favorite. Doc said BIIB isn't a stock that gets traded because of the high bid/ask. Joe Terranova said his top pick in the space is XLV. Pete said there was "large buying" in November 84 XLV calls.



Doc practically does cartwheels just because someone bought calls in FB


In a curious comment, Josh Brown on Tuesday's Halftime said there are "massive bubbles being blown," perhaps in crypto or private equity, but "not necessarily in the S&P 500."

Jon Najarian pointed out how well Japan is doing right next to North Korea.

Jim Lebenthal said he's "comfortable" that QCOM will settle with AAPL (sigh).

Josh Brown predicted "another leg higher" for INTC.

Jon Najarian said HOG was trading almost $2 higher since the open.

Jim Lebenthal said "just be careful" with BA because it's hard to see how much better things can get.

Josh Brown said SONC, bigger picture, is still in a downtrend, and he likes pizza names and SHAK better.

Joe Terranova said he likes CNC better than UNH.

Pete said SAVE has "absolutely lagged the rest of the sector."

Doc said he likes that FB November 180 calls were getting bought. He also said November 190 GWW calls were popular and were already making money in the morning.

Pete said someone in the FAST November 46 calls was (yep) rolling up into the 48s.

Scott Nations said gold was down on hints of the Taylor Rule. Anthony Grisanti suggested 1,254.

Doc's final trade was IRBT. Pete said AMAT and hung a 60 on the name. Josh Brown said ALB. (This writer is long ALB.) Joe said LRCX and hung a 200 on the name. Jim Lebenthal said C.



[Monday, Oct. 16, 2017]


Fast Money/Halftime ignores the word that really sank Netflix in 2011 (a/k/a ‘FANG stocks only work in odd years’)


On Monday's 5 p.m. Fast Money, viewers were treated twice to the now-incomplete-but-regularly-heard-on-CNBC history of Reed Hastings' (limited) mistakes.

Guy Adami repeated the narrative (and referred to it twice actually) about "the only misstep that Mr. Hastings has taken in the last decade or so was 6 or 7 years ago when they raised prices under the cloak of darkness one night, and the stock got obliterated."

It wasn't that simple.

See, here's the deal … words can be really lucrative. "Google" is a great and funny term for the Internet Age; that's the reason people used/use the search engine. And how much "Spanx" would anyone buy if it was called "Gurdle." (We don't know and aren't going to opine on that one.)

What Mr. Hastings did in 2011 was announce a split of his company into a streaming service and a DVD service. The split would result in price increases. The hook was that the DVD service would be called "Qwikster." People on CNBC laughed.

That's why the stock was "obliterated."

The price increase was dubious only because NFLX was very much a "battleground" stock then with legit concerns (that still exist) about spending obligations; streaming didn't have the presence it has now. That would've just dinged the stock. Announcing it with a name that sounded kind of manufactured hip made people think "what are these chuckleheads doing."

NFLX earnings just came out Monday night, so we expect to be hearing more of the incomplete story Tuesday.



He mentioned DuPont (but not the ‘Joan of Arc’ thing)


Taking up what has to be one of the biggest wastes of recent investor/corporate time in recent years, Judge on Monday's Halftime brought in Jeff Sonnenfeld to address the PG fight.

We didn't know or couldn't remember Sonnenfeld's position on this subject but got a crash course quickly when he stated that the battle is "inspiring a number of boards" to stand up to activists.

Judge, who bungled his own recap of Donald Trump's remarks earlier in the show (see below), quoted Sonnenfeld as saying that Peltz has "tantrums" over defeats such as this. "This sounds especially personal," Judge told Sonnenfeld.

Sonnenfeld insisted that when challenged "on rational grounds," Peltz gets "quite personal."

Judge said "the average holding time" is 44 months for Trian funds and then rattled off a bunch of impressive returns compiled by an objective source as Sonnenfeld tried to get a word in.

Sonnenfeld at one point referred to "your superb collar (sic meant 'colleague'), Andrew Ross Sorkin," who apparently reported in the New York Times that Trian interests TIF, LM, IR, LAZ underperformed over 2 years.

Sonnenfeld twice mentioned Mondelez and said of Chemtura, "They loaded it up with so much debt, they drove it into bankruptcy."

Judge cut off Sonnenfeld, insisting, "We've got to go," but instead of going to a commercial, he just let the panel shoot the breeze for the remaining 4 minutes.

Joe Terranova said "I just don't understand" why there's a conversation about Nelson Peltz's track record.

Jim Cramer said he's known Sonnenfeld since age 5.



‘It’s eerily reminiscent of ’99’


Once again inserting his opinion into the dialogue (even though he's not exactly a pro stock-picker), Judge on Monday's Halftime said the Soc Gen cut of C to sell/65 "seems like a very peculiar call to me" because it's "so against the grain, the crowd, this desk."

Stephanie Link said she's been buying because even though C is not JPM, "I don't think the story has changed."

Jim Cramer likes it for the "capital return story."

Judge said the show wanted to land the Soc Gen analyst but wasn't able to do it, but, "This analyst has been on the wrong side, offsides on this one … for a while."

Pete Najarian said he's not sure he gives the analyst credit for upgrading it a while back to a hold.

Joe Terranova (trading) and Steph Link (NIM) briefly bickered over what was most disappointing about C's report.

Meanwhile, Jeffrey Sherman of DoubleLine said the market reflects a "growing global economy" but cautioned about moving in the direction of "global coordinated tightening."

Cramer said people in Europe don't care about rates but the "immigration problem." But Cramer assured this won't be like the 1930s.

Judge noted the Jets got robbed by a pathetic call and that Colin Kaepernick filed a grievance.

Mike Francesa, who was rushed into this abbreviated program for some reason at the expense of commercial revenue, said Kaepernick's collusion argument will be "very difficult to prove."

Francesa said Kaepernick's NFL career is over. "They might pay him to go away, but he is not gonna get another job," Francesa asserted.

Pete's final trade was RTN. Jim Cramer said JPM. Stephanie Link said EMR. Joe said FMC.

Karen Finerman, who looked great in hunter green on the 5 p.m. Fast Money, said the selloff in PCG "does seem overdone to me."




Out to lunch: Judge misses Trump’s comments on California fires, conducts an entire 60-minute show without a commercial #lostrevenue


In an extraordinary episode of the Halftime Report — extraordinary because it went commercial-free despite only losing about 20 minutes to breaking news — Judge apparently took a lunch break during the 17-minute clip of Donald Trump's remarks from the White House.

Trump at one point mentioned the "devastating wildfires like we've never seen. And we mourn the terrible loss of life. We have FEMA, first responders there. We have our military helping. It's, uh, very sad to watch how fast, how rapidly they move and how people are caught in their houses. It's an incredible thing, caught in their houses."

Afterwards, Judge said, "You've got 41 people, uh, now dead in California. Uh, businesses that have been burned to the ground. And no mention at all, uh, by this administration, the president, about what's taking place there." (Gulp — that's how some come up with the "fake news" thing.)

Eamon Javers though explained, "We did hear the president talk about it, Scott."

Javers actually said the president, "to my eyes, seemed a little bit in awe of the power of nature."

Judge offered "my apologies" for "mishearing" what was said. (Translation: He didn't "mishear" anything; he obviously wasn't listening to the whole thing.)

Otherwise, Trump said the Vegas monster "was a demented, sick individual; the wires were crossed pretty badly in his brain, extremely badly in his brain."

Trump said "some people are really taking advantage" of America's welfare system.

He also complained about prescription drug prices that have "gone through the roof," explaining, "The drug companies, frankly, are getting away with murder."

Jim Cramer said Trump's "Nielsens" are the stock market.

John Harwood said Trump's remarks about the Senate are "not an auspicious political sign" for getting tax reform.

Steph Link said, "Most of the HMOs have gotten out of the exchanges."

Meanwhile, Joe Terranova said he feels good about the market. Joe trumpeted his software plays, MSFT, RHT and SAP.

Judge (picture above not from Monday), who called Mike Wilson a "Halftime regular" even though he's been on the show by our estimation 2 or 3 times this year, said Wilson is seeing a greater risk for a correction (snicker) than he's seen in a while.

Jim Cramer called this a "Cleveland" market. He said ITW and LRCX tumbled but shouldn't have.

Joe observed, "No one has energy right now."

Pete Najarian showed up late.

More from Monday's Halftime later, including the panel vs. Jeff Sonnenfeld on Nelson Peltz's track record.



[Friday, Oct. 13, 2017]


Admittedly, we had to look up ‘mishegas’ (a/k/a Weiss buries the lede, but at least he had the brass to bring it up)


Judge on Friday's Halftime gave Josh Brown a platform to talk about an essay Brown wrote on single-stock positions in wealth management.

(Actually, the article is rather disjointed, distorting its quality points.)

Brown (picture above not from Friday) contends that it's downright impossible to fully analyze all kinds of single stocks for various clients and deal with the emotions involved.

The basic argument, and it's a fine one, is that if you buy a stock for 100 clients and the stock does well, and you're inclined to trim, then you get a new client, do you actually buy it for the new client while selling it for others.

Sarat Sethi observed, "Where you get into trouble … is when clients dictate what to do in your portfolio."

Brown gave Jim Lebenthal another example. If someone has 100 clients, and he bought them all GM, the stock goes up, the advisor sells, then 6 months later, 3 clients say, "GM just went up another 10% since you sold it. Why did you sell my GM? Put it back."

But that seems like an age-old problem that has nothing to do with increased use of ETFs.

Jim Lebenthal, who initially sparred with Brown over whether they were defining asset management or wealth management, explained, "You have to have rules … You have to be willing to fire a client. OK, If you've got one client who's taking up half of your day …"

Steve Weiss said he agrees with Brown but also thinks it's true on the institutional side.

Then it was Weiss who finally got to the point and asked Brown the million-dollar question: "Why would somebody need somebody like you if you can just buy the ETF, reduce your costs, what do you charge, 1% of assets, I don't know, because markets go up 80% of the time, and that's been a great trade."

Brown's roundabout answer was that the "real value to clients" is the "financial planning aspect."

Judge promised a link to Brown's article at CNBC.com. That was kind of nonexistent, though you can find the Twitter link at the Halftime Report portal.




Tom Lee actually says ‘FANG stocks only work in odd years’ (after admitting, ‘We basically
got steamrolled’)


Tom Lee, who called a 4-5% selloff in September, dialed in to Friday's Halftime and admitted he took his cues early this year from the credit markets suggesting caution, and, "We basically got steamrolled."

But he said this week, "high yield finally confirmed the rally in equities." So that's why he's shifted from cautious (snicker) to neutral (snicker). Lee's new target is 2,475 (snicker).

Judge noted that's lower than today's S&P. "How does that square up?" Judge asked.

Lee said there's "positives and negatives" but didn't answer the question, pointing to extremely low yields in Europe.

Judge asked Lee if the market is "ready" for what the Fed's going to do in the next year (snicker). Lee said there's a "recognition" at central banks that unemployment may not justify such low rates.

Judge asked Lee about Lee's recent notion that FANG will do great while the market stalls. Lee actually said, seriously, "FANG stocks only work in odd years … FANG for whatever reason works in alternate years."



The NFLX trade was to buy when Carl plunged in, but even Carl got out way too early (Day of Reckoning etc.)


Judge opened Friday's Halftime saying NFLX hit a "new (sic redundant) record high."

The thing is, nobody on Friday's panel was rushing in to buy the stock.

Josh Brown admitted that he never really believed NFLX would get this big in terms of market cap.

But Brown said, "They're making native content shows all over the world in a way that HBO couldn't even dream of right now."

Jim Lebenthal contended the price increase "is already in the stock."

Steve Weiss said he sold NFLX in the 170s but "made some really good money on it." Weiss said NFLX still has pricing power. "I hope they miss bad, so I can get in," Weiss said.

Sarat Sethi doesn't own NFLX either. But he does own YELP, which he says has "a lot more room to grow" (snicker) than NFLX does.

Nobody on the panel owns CRM either. Judge asked why not. Jim hilariously told Judge, "I don't think you're gonna go through all 500 stocks."

"I'm trying to make a point," Judge protested, though we're not sure what that point is.

Judge quibbled with Brown's contention that investing in high-P.E. names involves an educated "guess." Brown insisted, "At the end of the day, it- you're making a guess. You have to be."



Weiss: ‘It’s eerily
reminiscent of ’99’


Josh Brown on Friday's Halftime said he bought NVDA at 50 when trading at 50 times earnings.

Extending the "guess" argument, Judge said, "You're not guessing, you feel like you're making an educated decision based on-"

"I think this one was easy," Brown said.

Judge said he's wondering "if things are starting to get a little hyperbolic" in the momo-stock space.

Stephen Weiss admitted he sold NVDA below 100 after his calls doubled.

Jim Lebenthal said value can work as well as growth and pointed out that INTC is "making good money for me."

"It's eerily reminiscent of '99," Weiss said.



Remember when it was news every 8 minutes on CNBC who was controlling the National Amusements shares ...


Erin Browne on Friday's Halftime said the bank space is "a little bit more of a stock-picker's market."

Stephen Weiss is sticking with BAC and C. Sarat Sethi said he likes BAC and C and JPM and MS and SCHW.

Josh Brown said the payment stock space is "so much hotter" than the banks. But Sarat Sethi said V and MA are trading at "peak P.E. right now."

Weiss cautioned that iron ore stocks can go south in a hurry.

Josh Brown said AMBA is still an ugly chart, he doesn't want anything to do with it.

Erin Browne said transports are "well positioned."

Jim Lebenthal said VIAB is "very cheap," and the reason to own it is that it might get taken out.

Sarat Sethi said it's time to take profits in HPQ.

Jim Lebenthal predicted WGO would knock one out of the park in its earnings report.



[Thursday, Oct. 12, 2017]


‘Scott, Scott: Let’s be serious here’ — when smart people really aren’t able to showcase that smartness


Sara Eisen during Thursday's Halftime Report sat down with Larry Summers.

Interviewing Summers is not that big of a deal — he gives a lot of interviews.

But this is an extremely intelligent, plugged-in fellow (even though he probably knows little about "Road House.")

And his interviews are actually something of a small tragedy.

He obviously can't speak 100% freely (very few humans can on cable television) because of his political and professional associations.

Let's put it this way: We'd give a left arm for a completely candid conversation with this fellow. Questions would include: "Was Hillary Clinton electable." "What does Trump do well." "Does active management really outperform indexes over time." "Then again, aren't indexes just active management?" "Is it smart to use your best pitchers only once every 5 days." "Do hormones affect intelligence?" "Why aren't diseases being fought like World War II?" "What is the difference between a country … nation … state … commonwealth … territory … What is the difference — really — between Guam and Alaska …"

You get the idea.

Surely he has a thought on those subjects.

This fellow once headed perhaps the most preeminent institution of learning in the whole world.

Thus, he should be a champion of furthering people's … (here's another good definition question for him) … brainpower/intelligence/knowledge of things that are relevant.

Imagine if Sara Eisen had asked Summers any of those above questions.

Yep.

Instead, all he can do in limited time is carp about tax cuts.

OK. Whatever.

Eisen told Summers he's been "trash-talking" the Trump administration. Summers said there's been an "unprecedented level of, uh, factual error and, uh, statements that aren't supported by any economic analysis from the administration on a range of questions."

Summers scoffed at repatriation, stating it happened in 2003-05, and a "huge amount of money came home, and it all went into share repurchases and dividends."

Judge then got a chance, asking Summers if Summers thinks Jamie Dimon is "lying" about the idea that tax cuts would boost jobs and wages.

Summers said, "Jamie's, uh, my friend. And, I do not mean at all to be attacking him personally." Then he offered an example/calculation and said Judge "could get your researchers to do it for your viewers."

The example is, if the corporate tax rate were cut from 35% to 20%, and JPM's profits are about $25 billion a year, the cut would save $3.75 billion: "How many people will Jamie Dimon increase his payroll by. Will it be any substantial fraction of $3.75 billion?"

Judge protested that Dimon "is speaking for the greater corporate community."

Larry said, "Scott, Scott: Let's be serious here. You're the one who introduced Jamie Dimon and Jamie Dimon hiring as evidence in this calculation."

Sara said Larry Lindsey has offered a $30,000 bet that the economy's better under Trump than Obama, inequality declines and incomes rise. Summers grimaced and waved off Eisen; "It's not specified in a clear way."



Been a long time since Herb has been on complaining about BABA transparency and the exec who lives near him


Judge opened Thursday's Halftime with a funereal tone about the "Retail Wreck."

Judge claimed "it's a fool's game" to pick a winner among retail stocks.

Pete Najarian suggested HD, and also touted BBY and WMT, although not with the same type of vigor he saves for Micron and the big banks and MSFT and Katy Huberty's AAPL analysis.

Joe Terranova said "the scary part" is that retail had a bounce in late August, "and everyone believed the bounce."

Joe said PVH is fine, great, but "it's just a matter of time" before a couple retailers "end up on the pink sheets."

Jim Lebenthal stressed, for the umpteenth time, "The debt is where we should be looking," while Pete Najarian did neck-stretching exercises.

Jim pointed to ominous debt-market signals about SHLD, only about the 175th time such a point has been made on this program and others. (Probably costs a million bucks to short it.)

Josh Brown balked at Jim's assessment and asserted, "The corporate bond market is asleep," mentioning Toys R Us.

Jim told Brown, "You also know that the XRT rallies in November. You know that."

Jim explained that retail's a small part of his portfolio and he's doing great despite JCP. Judge stated, "We're happy for you … we truly are." But Judge wondered, "Why the hell then are you still holding this stock."

Jim said, "Because frankly I think it's undervalued" (Zzzzzzzzzzz.)

Brown said malls "are literally (sic) propping up stores themselves," stating 500 Aeropostale stores are "being operated by the mall owners."

Joe tried to tell Judge that JILL's shellacking was more company-specific than a bellwether.

Joe said of LB, "I've been talking about it; I haven't owned it … I like the company."



We are definitely not experts on this subject … but women are buying ‘gym’ apparel for work now?


After airing his own views on the subject, Judge on Thursday's Halftime asked Dana Telsey about having "hold" ratings on DDS, JCP, M and JWN.

"Why?" Judge asked Telsey.

Telsey said she agreed with the show's "dialogue" that contraction is needed. But, "The balance sheets of some of these companies happen to be very good," Telsey said.

In the day's most eye-opening comment, Telsey told Josh Brown that women used to buy apparel for 4 reasons: "Work, weekend, gym and party." But today, Telsey said, there are only 2 reasons, given the more casual society: "Work, weekend, gym as one collective, and then party."

Josh Brown asked Telsey, what if suppliers stop shipping product to JCP. Telsey said, "Haven't heard anything like that."



Brown: Good luck getting
TWTR over 20


Pete Najarian on Thursday's Halftime Report suggested low volatility was a bit of a headwind for the big banks.

There was other talk about the big banks, but 1) it's a boring space, 2) it's nevertheless discussed on the show constantly, so 3) we don't need to bring it up here. (By contrast, TWTR and (former) YHOO have apparently become so boring that not even the Halftime crew talks about them anymore.) By the way, Karen Finerman on the 5 p.m. Fast Money said the only problem with the banks was that the stocks had run up a lot before earnings.

Joe Terranova said the place where he got his "wonderful haircut" accepts SQ. Pete said TWTR was up Thursday because of "rumors, rumors, rumors," which basically happens in the stock about every 2 weeks. Josh Brown said TWTR should experience resistance at 20.

Pete said October 55 calls in AMAT were getting bought.



Brown: Equifax facing ‘potentially existential’ concerns


Josh Brown on Thursday's Halftime Report said EFX had a "very, very strong bounce" off of 90, but now it's rolling over again, and, "I don't think it holds 90 this time," though there are "no shorts in this stock."

Brown said he "kinda" thinks this is a "potentially existential" problem for the company. Judge shrugged and moved on to Futures Now.

We're not sure about holding 90, but we don't see how Equifax goes away so easily.

Jeff Kilburg said 50 should be support in crude. Jim Iuorio said the "pretty decent uptrend" remains intact.

Jim Lebenthal said he's added recently to GOOGL and QCOM.

Joe Terranova offered a curious and time-consuming (in the final seconds) take on "quant models" before just saying to buy MAR.

Pete Najarian's final trade was LULU. Jim Lebenthal said AAPL. Josh Brown predicted a "major breakout" in GOOGL. Joe Terranova said RHT.



[Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2017]

Judge notes he’ll ‘never forget’ the day COST stuck it to AXP


The opening of Wednesday's Halftime was basically a lengthy pep rally for V.

Joe Terranova said V is gaining momentum with the turnaround specific to Europe and later said he expects conservative guidance.

Kari Firestone still likes V but thinks MA is "more expensive."

Pete Najarian said he agrees MA is more expensive and said V's growth projections are "absolutely astounding."

Jon Najarian said PYPL is "just hitting high after high after high" and touted it a 2nd time in the first 10 minutes.

Judge seemed surprised nobody was touting MA. Pete said if he were to do something besides V, he'd pick AXP.

That prompted Judge to bring in Don Fandetti on the phone; Fandetti called AXP "the one to own" because it's "regained some momentum."

But Fandetti also said he likes V or MA because of Europe and being cheaper.

Fandetti conceded the possibility of disintermediation risk or regulatory surprise. (Years ago there was something about Sen. Durbin that temporarily sank these stocks.)

Judge aired a clip of Cramer calling V and MA "2 of the greatest stocks of our time."

It took 8 minutes for Judge to bring up AXP's performance since "the Costco day," adding "I'll never forget that." (As if there were any risk.) Pete said AXP was in "purgatory" for a year afterward before its stunning climb.

Joe said there are 3 others in the space, COF, DFS and SYF, and COF might be most likely to ride a bit like AXP, but he doesn't think any is as good as V or MA.



Joe implies people might believe dubious things just because someone like Larry Fink is saying them


Wednesday's Halftime gave viewers a dose of Larry Fink talking about all the cash on the sidelines. (As opposed to Howard Marks talking about how it's time to be more cautious because he heard someone on the Halftime Report talking about "sell point" and didn't like it.)

Joe Terranova grimaced, stating, "Conceptually, there's a tremendous amount of cash on the sidelines. And then, I've heard from so many people over the last 5 years, well there's nowhere else to put your money except- except in the equity market because the return environment is so low, it's the only place to be. So is there really that much cash on the sidelines? I think that kinda conflicts with each other."

That's an excellent point.

Judge noted that Larry Fink is saying it, which makes it seem like a "real issue."

Joe said, "It sounds good because Larry's saying it. Uh, if I said it, you'd laugh at me."

Kari Firestone said Q4 should have 12% earnings growth for the S&P.

Jon Najarian said of big banks, "Many of these are still a deal."

Kari Firestone said there has "literally been a massive move" into financials already.

Judge pushed Joe over whether the Fed matters because it's "normalizing" now.

Pete Najarian hung a 100 on JPM by Friday. Pete said C will get there in "7 or 8 months."

Joe said he doesn't think the lifting of financial regulation is priced in. Kari Firestone said "some of it's priced in."

This time, Judge took a break at the 18-minute mark, a step up from a day ago. #revenue



Ackman hasn’t texted lately to share what he thinks of the CMG queso sauce


In what can only be described as a light moment on Wednesday's Halftime (while Harvey Weinstein runs amok in private meetings but Judge won't even bring it up), Judge visibly snickered at Coach's name change to "Tapestry."

Judge admitted he laughed at "Alphabet" and mentioned Tronc and Altaba as other questionable monikers. "Interesting, to say the least," Judge said.

Later he mentioned Tegna, Altria and Mondelez.

Kari Firestone said the name Tapestry "doesn't tell you anything."



Toni Sacconaghi is the No. 1 so-and-so of the top-ranked whatchamacallit in the latest Barron’s whatever list (etc.)


Jon Najarian on Wednesday's Halftime said he's exited almost all of his big airline pops of this week.

Doc said ARNC October 28 calls were getting scooped up. In rare evidence of bearishness, Doc said November 20 puts in IPG were getting bought up.

Pete Najarian said someone was buying September 2018 42 calls in INTC. He said he's in the name.

Pete said JNJ has 3 pieces all working; he thinks it goes a lot higher.

Joe Terranova predicted a "very strong upcoming quarter" for FDX.

Kari Firestone noted KR has been going the opposite direction of the S&P 500 and if you want to make money in it, you'll have to be "very very patient."

Anthony Grisanti said 92.70 is support for the dollar; if it holds, it can go higher; if not, it's looking at 92. Jim Iuorio said he'd bolt below 92.45, but he thinks 94 is coming.

Joe hung a 500 on BLK. Kari's final trade was PSX. Doc said NXPI. Pete said BABA and MSFT.



Judge tripped up over whether there was an AAPL analyst call Wednesday


Judge on Wednesday's Halftime noted Credit Suisse put a 1,350 on AMZN, 235 on FB and 1350 on GOOGL.

Pete Najarian trumpeted FB for having a P.E. under 30. (Honestly, why Facebook's P.E. is so important to this program, we have no clue.)

Judge said FB is "under fire" politically. But Pete said all it took was a "shallow dip" on the congressional stuff.

Kari Firestone called the 1,350 AMZN target a "very risky call," noting it has recently underperformed tech.

Joe Terranova said the most interesting name of the 3 to him is GOOGL. He said it seems to have the most momentum near term.

In other names, Jon Najarian said NFLX has been good at picking "big winners" in programming, and he likes the Morgan Stanley 225 call. Judge said sentiment on the name "could not be more positive." Pete said for the 2nd time in a few days that Netflix can get away with raising prices now.

Judge said there was "no call today for Apple," but Pete said Katy Huberty raised the target from 194 to 199 and bumped up North America unit projections.



Judge says potential of GE dividend cut is a ‘scare’ to Cramer, possibly others


Jeffrey Immelt was always treated like royalty on CNBC (that's ownership privilege regardless of a lousy CEO record), but now, it seems, the chickens are kinda coming home to roost.

Judge on Wednesday's Halftime brought in Stephen Tusa by phone to discuss the "higher risk" of a GE dividend cut.

Tusa said paying out all the free cash flow to shareholders doesn't allow much room for turnaround spending.

Judge said GE told CNBC that the dividend remains a "top priority." Judge asked Tusa if that language happens to "scare" him like it does Cramer.

Tusa said, "I'm not really scared of that language," explaining that the signal is that if there's a "material" portfolio move, there's likely to be a dividend adjustment.

Judge conceded, "Maybe scared is a poor choice of words on, on my, my behalf."

Tusa, who knocked GE bulls throughout the chat, insisted observations and expectations about what management can do are "totally off the map" because the earnings are so low.

Judge noted Tusa sees the CFO change as nothing but negative. Tusa said Jeff Bornstein's exit is "absolutely a surprise" after he was trumped up recently as part of the turnaround.

Judge asked Tusa when the shares would be a buy. Tusa said there's a "way to go."

As for the dividend cut, Kari Firestone said she can't believe John Flannery "is going to do this as one of his first moves" or that the board would support it.

Firestone insisted GE isn't "forced" to cut the dividend; "they can certainly borrow the money."

Joe Terranova shrugged that HON is the alternative to GE. Doc said GE is "a show-me situation."

More from Wednesday's Halftime later.



[Tuesday, October 10, 2017]


Procter & Gamble CEO blames media for apparently making company, Peltz seem like enemies, then says Sara is misquoting him


Part of Tuesday's Halftime was devoted to Sara Eisen in Cincinnati, who said Nelson Peltz is claiming the PG vote is "too close to call."

Eisen recapped interviews with PG CEO David Taylor and Peltz. Taylor told Eisen, "I think the media got it more messy than it did between the two of us (sic grammar)."

Sara told Taylor, "You did call him dangerous."

"Not him. I said some ideas I think would be very harmful to the company … I'm not calling Nelson Peltz 'dangerous,'" Taylor said.

For his part, Peltz crowed about being a "pioneer" (Zzzzzzzzz) in taking on such a big company.

That picture of Sara is from a different program during the day, but you know it belongs up there.



Unreal: Judge goes 33 minutes before 1st commercial despite no breaking news


Judge on Tuesday's Halftime turned to Josh Brown at the top of the show to discuss Brown's tremendous instant call on WMT from a day ago.

Steph Link said of the stock, "I think it just keeps going."

Brown noted some were skeptical of the Jet acquisition and asked, "How much market cap has Wal-Mart added since Jet.com."

Pointing to $3 billion acquisitions, Jon Najarian said, "I think Jet is making a much bigger impact for Wal-Mart than Beats is."

Joe Terranova made a too-long point about WMT highlighting the staples space and said something about diversifying and momentum. Judge suggested WMT was enjoying a bit of a "relief rally" because retailers aren't reaffirming anything.



Eamon Javers says there’s a ‘moron flap’ in the White House; panelists snicker


Judge quickly interrupted Tuesday's Halftime with video of Donald Trump that froze after a couple words.

Panelists were heard cracking up and whispering when Eamon Javers mentioned that there's a "moron flap" in the White House.

Javers said it's unknown whether the NFL forcing employees to stand for the national anthem would stand up to "constitutional scrutiny."



CAT at all-time high. Seriously.


Joe Terranova on Tuesday's Halftime called Goldman Sachs' price upgrade for CAT a "great call."

Jon Najarian said 4 times (that's correct) that CAT hit an "all-time high." Joe said "part of the story" is CAT's oil and gas business, because it's not "near apocalyptic."

Doc said March 60 calls in DISH were popular.

Joe said of PANW, "I don't wanna go there." He prefers SAP.

Stephanie Link agrees with the LLY downgrade.

Doc said he likes RF, which he owns, and STI also: "I wouldn't sell either of these banks."

Josh Brown said he'd avoid JBL.



Judge doesn’t mention that this is an ‘Albemarle market’


Judge on Tuesday's Halftime gave Dubravko Lakos a rousing intro even though Lakos has been on the show a bunch of times before.

Lakos admitted his S&P target right now is still 2,550 (snicker). But he has 2,700 "incorporating a tax scenario."

Lakos said, contrary to David Kostin, he thinks "a lot less" than 65% of tax reform is in the market.

Lakos suggested a possible big rotation from growth to value (snicker) (meeting the show's quota of that prediction at least once a week).

Judge asked Lakos what happens if the Fed tightens "too quickly" before tax reform happens. Lakos said the question is whether, if we get tax reform, would it "invite" more aggressive central bank policy.



Whatever happened to the subscribe-to-an-iPad business model plan?


After Dubravko Lakos, Judge on Tuesday's Halftime brought in Toni Sacconaghi and introduced Toni with more resume filler that viewers have heard dozens of times already while precious seconds ticked by (and obviously not filled by commercials #lostrevenue).

Sacconaghi said he's still "very constructive" on AAPL though the stock's had a pause. He told Doc the X is a "big step forward … more screen and less real estate."

Toni verified he thinks HPE has 20% upside, mentioning "4 activists" in the name. He said he could "certainly" see the stock at 18.

Joe Terranova said of HPE, "I think it's going higher because no one owns it," a curious prediction. Josh Brown scoffed that the stock is "dead" with "multiple gaps down."

Brown was unimpressed by Sacconaghi's stature, which Judge likes to trumpet every 10 seconds. "Whatever he thinks, no offense, it's in the stock," Brown said.

Steph Link called HPE "very tempting" but mentioned CSCO, ORCL and even MSFT in the "value tech" space.

Toni called TSLA a "really polarized stock." He predicted that if the company can't show a path to profitability with the Model 3, you'll start to see investor "anxiety."



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


Judge on Tuesday's Halftime brought in Matt Boss to discuss WMT. Boss said WMT is "reiterating top- and bottom-line guidance" as well as "outlining a credible strategy" (snicker) to fight off AMZN.

Boss likes TJX, BURL and ROST.

Boss said he wouldn't buy FL or NKE or UA and that they "remain pressured in the near term." He said his favorite in the space is LULU before stressing the difference between "retailer" and "brand."

He also said he "wouldn't be stepping in" to any department stores, including KSS.

Josh Brown downplayed the notion of something being a great brand, stating, "Great brands disappear all the time."

Joe Terranova asked Boss about LB. Boss actually said he remains neutral in part because of "the move towards bralettes."

Judge said "Goldman" was hitting a 2-week high when he meant "gold."

Scott Nations said gold should be up a lot higher than $8 on a day like this.

Doc's final trade was OXY. Josh Brown said INTC. Stephanie Link said EBAY. Joe said HON.



[Monday, Oct. 9, 2017]


Nobody identifies a GM product that people are clamoring to buy


Josh Brown on Monday's Halftime Report bluntly dubbed GE "uninvestable."

Jim Lebenthal said GE "unfortunately placed a large bet on oil and gas," and the recovery — if it happens — won't come until 2018. "There's no buyers here; there's only sellers," Jim said.

Doc said Warren Buffett "threw in the towel on this one."

On the other hand, Judge said Citigroup actually thinks there's "a path to $134" (snicker) for GM.

Jim Lebenthal said "perception and sentiment" were keeping a lid on GM, but he still sees the risk being "asymmetrically to the upside."

Josh Brown said GM represents "the difference between investing and trading" (snicker), that being, while it was trapped in a range, there was no reason to buy it, but after the "most crystal-clear, obvious technical breakout," it was time to buy. (Sigh … why should anyone buy it before the breakout regardless of whether he dubs himself a "trader" or "investor.")

Stephen Weiss said he hasn't liked GM for a while; "the most money I ever made on it was being short it into '08." Hard to beat that kind of short; it went bankrupt.

Jim Lebenthal conceded that GM was helped by the hurricane(s); which "by the way I'm not happy about, for the Houston viewers."

Grasping for a catalyst in the name, Jim said, "They're getting into autonomous vehicles."

Weiss scoffed, "So is everybody! So is everybody."

Weiss added, "'You get paid to wait' is such a ridiculous statement," explaining you get so much more by waiting on M.

On the 5 p.m. Fast Money, Karen Finerman said GE is "intriguing, because there is change in the works."



Ralph Nader says Carl, other bigwigs buffaloed Tim Cook into big buybacks


Judge on Monday's Halftime Report brought in Ralph Nader, who complained that stock buybacks are done by executives "basically for their own pay increase."

Nader contends that buybacks done near a stock high are a "sign of unimaginative or incompetent or avaricious management."

Judge quoted the Harvard Business Review as stating buybacks "actually create value" and cited AAPL and JNJ and HD as those flourishing with buybacks.

Nader said those companies "have other reasons for having their stock go up." Nader also said Tim Cook didn't want to commit that much money to buybacks, but Carl "Icann" (sic pronunciation) and a "few giant shareholders" pushed him to do it.

Steve Weiss told Nader his "generalization" is "not appropriate," and that buybacks are for all shareholders, not just hedge funds. Weiss said a company can go out and blow money on acquisitions, such as HP and Autonomy.

Weiss concluded that Nader's argument doesn't make sense "on any level whatsoever."

Nader complained that drug companies and banks have spent hundreds of billions on buybacks while crying for R&D (drug companies) and not paying much interest (banks).

Weiss said, "You don't have to own stock in those companies. Go somewhere else."

Josh Brown told Nader that buybacks are "tax preferenced" vs. dividends. Nader said something about getting CSCO to declare a dividend. CSCO was Jim Lebenthal's final trade.



Weiss says Trump has ‘done nothing’ to boost market but is merely ‘along for the ride’


Eamon Javers on Monday's Halftime said Donald Trump really "bristles" at criticism from Republicans.

Stephen Weiss declared, "The single biggest risk in the market as I see, is Trump. In my view, he's done nothing to bring the market up; that he's goin' along for the ride. He's not gotten anything done."

Jon Najarian said he likes the Credit Suisse outperform on MS.

Jim Lebenthal said it's a "safe" call. Judge questioned if any bank upgrade is a "safe" call because of the big recent run. Weiss said yes, because they're still "in front of a major tightening cycle."

Doc said he'd pick MS over GS "10 times out of 10."

Jim said it's "way too early" to pick a bottom in WFC.



Brown calls WMT best in Dow, but Karen says Jet sucks


Josh Brown on Monday's Halftime called WMT "the best stock in the Dow right now" and said he'd be a buyer.

But on the 5 p.m. Fast Money, Karen Finerman said, "I have reservations about Jet as a great acquisition. I don't think it's great … things always come in 8 different boxes, half of 'em are wrong, they're broken, they go back."

Back on Halftime, Jim Lebenthal thinks RBC is early on its DIS bull call.

Jon Najarian likes Telsey's upgrade on KSS.

Stephen Weiss called VIAB a "definitive loser" in media. (Remember when we were getting daily stories of Manuela Herzer, etc., oh joy.)

Jon Najarian said ETE April 20 and June 20 calls were getting bought.

Josh Brown's final trade was INTC. Weiss said ATVI. Jim Lebenthal said CSCO; "you can be early." Doc said MAC.



[Friday, Oct. 8, 2017]


Judge suggests the stock market, up 14% YTD, is ‘getting a little ridiculous’


Judge on Friday's Halftime brought up Goldman Sachs' negative call on ALB, Josh Brown's recent white-hot call, and noted that after a morning selloff, the stock had regained some ground.

That prompted Judge to state, "This is an Albemarle market in many ways." (First we've heard of that one.) (This writer is long ALB.)

Judge questioned if Albemarle's "unabated" rise is a cause for concern. Josh Brown responded, "I don't know why that's a reason to worry," noting Goldman's downgrade is "a valuation call" (exactly; it sounds like that Nomura $90 NVDA call in February that Fast Money talked about like a Howard Marks warning).

As for the stock, "Probably it shrugs the downgrade off," Brown said.

Jim Lebenthal said, "Whether it's Albemarle, or the markets, they are going higher."

Judge at the top of the show (picture above not from Friday) tried to float the notion that the stock market is somehow "getting a little ridiculous."

"It's a bull market; this is what bull markets do," Josh Brown shrugged.

Erin Browne said, "There hasn't been multiple expansion this year in the S&P 500," that stock gains have been driven by earnings.

Jim Lebenthal bluntly questioned, "Why on earth would you sell right now?"

Pete Najarian said Jim Cramer shouldn't be worried; Pete delivered the old saw about how there might not be volume in equity markets but there is volume in options.

Pete said XLF calls were getting rolled up.

Jim said in July there were "notable guests" declaring we're due for a correction. (How's Carl's "Day of Reckoning" working out? And why won't Judge bring on Marc Faber or David Stockman or Kyle Bass if he wants someone to say the market is "getting a little ridiculous"?)

Mike Santoli said the maximum S&P pullback this year was in March, about 3%.

Erin Browne contended that "very little" or maybe 20% in the market is being driven by tax reform. Josh Brown protested that there's a global rally going on and it's not because every country is pricing in 21% of a tax cut.

Jim Lebenthal mistakenly said the market will be "140 times earnings next year"; others corrected it to "dollars" rather than "times."



Pete: Netflix ‘finally got away with’ a price increase


Jim Lebenthal on Friday's Halftime pronounced NFLX a winner.

"It's really incredible, but it's still going to continue," Jim said.

Pete Najarian said the price increase is something Netflix has tried before, and this time, they "finally got away with it."

Steph Link said NFLX has a strong lineup in content, but it's "hard to chase it."



Josh gives Steph a trading tip on COST; hopefully it’s as good as the advice Pete gave Karen on her hubris-y EFX short


Pete Najarian on Friday's Halftime gushed again about bank call-buying then said it's "extremely unusual" to see November 100 calls being bought in NTRS. (We're kinda getting the impression that some people buy bank calls just to get Pete Najarian to mention it on CNBC.)

Given her own wing of the program to trumpet favorite stocks, Stephanie Link touted COF and BMY.

Josh Brown said BMY is back in the trading "gap" that is usually bullish price action.

Link said the last time she bought COST after a setback in the low 150s, it went higher; she's planning to buy again when the dust settles and hope for the same, but she admitted the conference call was "horrible."

Josh Brown asked Link to put in a stop below 150, because if buyers don't come in this time, it could mark a serious sentiment shift.

Jim Lebenthal said he doesn't "particularly like the multiple" on NAV, but with tailwinds, it's probably going higher.

Josh Brown said he thinks KSU buyers will come in at 100.



L’eggo my egg’o: Pete sorta fails to take a stand on whether Peltz is right or not


Erin Browne, gradually gaining some mojo on the Halftime Report, on Friday said "firstly," the strengthening dollar has been a headwind on XLE, and that when oil tops 50, it brings in new supply to the space. She doesn't think energy stocks are going "anywhere fast."

Pete Najarian said the PG battle has been "fun to watch," but the stock has performed well regardless, but he thinks Peltz "always can make a change" if he's on the board.

Josh Brown said he'd stay with VMW, a recent great call of his, based on technical factors.

Jim Lebenthal said to stay with FEYE, another good call (even if Dave DeWalt hasn't been on the program since he tried to regain Brian Kelly's trust).

Jim got Fast Fired on a very minor stumble on AVGO. He said it's "fine to own."

Josh Brown was Fast Fired on JBLU. He claimed it did rise from 21 to 24 but then "fell apart."

Erin Browne's final trade was XLF. Pete Najarian hung a 177 on FB. Jim said the XLE is going lower. Steph Link said LITE. Josh Brown said to buy the ALB dip.



[Thursday, Oct. 5, 2017]

Mike Mayo’s wife obviously gets the better end of the bargain


Joe Terranova on Thursday's Halftime Report from Post 9 said he started subscribing to Netflix "3 or 4 months ago" for $11.99 a month and has found "it's an unbelievable value."

Steve Weiss lamented unloading NFLX around 170 and missing the latest 10%.

Richard Davis of Canaccord agreed with Judge that MSFT's lack of pullback sort of "forces your hand" to upgrade the shares but said he expects revenue to grow 12% in 5 years.

Weiss said it seems to him "not a good sign" that Davis has to talk about 5-year growth to "justify" calling MSFT a buy at the highs. Davis said that's a "good question" but that the existing valuation is "not bad."

Sarat Sethi said if MSFT doesn't beat and raise, expect a pullback, because expectations are "so high" for the cloud and other businesses.

Speaking of 5-year outlooks, Mike Mayo said he's hoping for an era of "Goldilocks-type of regulation" (snicker) for banks; in any case, he predicts 140 (snicker) for C in 5 years.

Mayo said his wife's a doctor, and she tells him, "Don't ask me, get your own doctor." In exchange, he won't give her financial advice.

Quite an arrangement.

Pete Najarian talked up FCX at the top of the show. Weiss said of the market, "I'd like to see a little more volatility."



Judge thinks, or thought, we’re not in the ‘Stone Ages’ anymore


Joe Terranova on Thursday's Halftime said maybe "we're being too dismissive" of Amazon possibly stiff-arming FDX and UPS.

Pete Najarian said CHRW October 77.50 calls were getting scooped up.

Pete said SHW is going higher.

Judge at one point said "bliss" instead of "blitz" but corrected himself.

Weiss said he thinks WDC still works despite the cut to hold by Deutsche Bank.

Sarat Sethi said you can still own STZ "for a while."

Sue Herera clued in viewers about Cam Newton's comments. Pete Najarian tried to explain, "It's a sensitive society we live in." But Judge, who oversees dudes who talk about feeling like stepchildren, scoffed, "We're not in the Stone Ages anymore. At least, I thought we weren't."

Meanwhile, Jeff Kilburg said "the global growth picture is intact." But he said if stocks falter, "copper may have a hard time holding this $3 level." Anthony Grisanti said there's resistance at 3.05 "and nothing after that till around 3.15."

Weiss said he bought November 44 calls in MU.

Pete said he thinks adidas still has upside.

Sarat Sethi said there's "a lot of tailwind" for IAC.

Joe Terranova said he's staying with half his RRC (Zzzzzzz) position. (That's the Pierre lobby chat with Lee Cooperman thing.)

Judge brought up "good, bad and ugly" (sic one of the preeminent CNBC earnings cliches) regarding Weiss' pro-airlines call. Weiss is sticking with the call. Pete said CHD didn't break out like he wanted but he still likes it. Sarat Sethi said to keep owning LB.

Joe got Fast Fired on HTZ but grumbled that it was "bailed out by the hurricanes."

Joe's final trade was SAP and RHT. Weiss said BABA.

We'll catch up a bit with some of the midweek highlights we missed.



Back in a bit


They call it "the pause that refreshes." We're in the middle of one of those here, so we'll catch up with the Halftime Report in short order.



[Monday, Oct. 2, 2017]

Judge says market is about ‘rebalancing’ rather than being ‘diversified’


In a program understandably focused on the tragedy in Las Vegas, Judge and Joe Terranova tangled over the term "diversified."

Joe reaffirmed he likes MSFT and SAP and said he also bought RHT and also mentioned TRMB before stating, "Let's be diversified."

That caught Judge's ear, who said "we always sort of suggest" people be "diversified."

Judge wondered if this is about a re-allocation in the market, asking, "Aren't you always diversified, Joe?"

Joe said, "I think that's a goal." Judge added, "This sounds more like a rebalancing than being diversified."

But Joe indicated there are stocks in all kinds of sectors that are attractive, including names such as MKC and NRG and GM as a staple and utility and industrial that you can own.

The notion of "diversified" is one we could spend a day on (but don't have the time); in some ways, it's important, but the way some people talk, it tends to become the goal rather than a means to a goal.

Jon Najarian mentioned tech and banks.

Jim Lebenthal said the Russell 1000 growth has outperformed Russell 1000 value by 13 percentage points, a "huge, huge, margin," so now's an interesting time for value.

Josh Brown said small caps have done "nothing" for 10 months, until recently, and touted the "global rally." He said if people tweet him about currencies, it's "tedious," and he won't respond.

Barry Bannister, who hasn't been on the show in a long time, upgraded his S&P target by 100 points to 2,600 and said we should be good into next summer. He said he's positive on the "reflation trade."

Bannister conceded that "China has tightened pretty meaningfully" and said "too much" Fed tightening is "anything around 2%."

Josh Brown shrugged that he's not "dismissive" of Bannister but doesn't believe anyone can know what headwinds will exist next summer.

Brown said the Fed-watching narrative is that Kevin Warsh is hawkish now "because he's from the outside, throwin' rocks at the current Fed," but once you're on the inside, it doesn't work that way."



Question over whether there is loan growth left basically unanswered


David George on Monday's Halftime Report conceded there's been "a lot of optimism" in regional banks, but now he thinks investors should "curb their enthusiasm."

Josh Brown asked George about banks showing interest in crypto and whether there should be concern about those that aren't. George said he thinks traditional banking "will serve the test of time."

Judge questioned George as to whether bank fundamentals really are improving. George said the stocks are where they were in March when the 10-year was 2.7 and that loans are growing at only 1.5% year-over-year.

Jim Lebenthal suggested the possibility of infrastructure legislation in D.C., and if that happens, "There will be loan growth. Period. Stop."

Judge said people like Jamie Dimon say that the narrative that loan growth isn't good is "a fairy tale in and of itself (sic last 4 words redundant)." Josh Brown said lending is a "regional phenomenon."

Jon Najarian said he sees the yield curve "steepening out," not flattening, but he agrees with George in terms of a trading call on regionals.

Jim Lebenthal said he thinks INTC set a post-tech-boom high on Monday. Josh Brown said INTC is in a breakout "essentially almost 3 years in the making."

Doc gushed about GILD and said January 87.50 calls were getting bought. He said DE November 125 calls were getting bought. Doc also noted TRN took off after a favorable court ruling that's supposed to be sealed.

Doc said there were more upside calls in MU.

Ed Morse said the crude comeback is "for real" and shrugged off the day's "profit-taking." He told Joe he wouldn't be surprised to see nat gas at 3.70 by the end of winter.

Jim Lebenthal predicted continuing momentum in WGO.

Joe mentioned HON, AMG, C for final trades.



[Friday, Sept. 29, 2017]


Byron Wien: 2 years or more left in the bull market


The beginning of Friday's Halftime Report was interrupted by the conclusion of Donald Trump's speech. (And then Judge barely attempted any commercials.)

The big highlight of the program was Judge unveiling CNBC's exclusive survey of "all of the equity strategists on Wall Street."

Judge said 87% predict the S&P will rise in Q4, and 13% think it will fall.

But Judge said "0%" thinks stocks are cheap.

Steve Weiss said there are "trite" sayings, such as "nothing's ever new," but he would "carefully" say, "it is different this time," because of where rates are around the world while inflation is not a factor.

Weiss said, "I think you'll continue to see an up market," predicting leadership from technology and financials.

Kate Moore told Judge she was "struck by" the fact no one in CNBC's survey thinks equities are cheap.

"My favorite sector calls have been tech and financials," Moore said.

Josh Brown emphasized the international expansion and said when that happens, it's not for weeks or months, but years. He said VGK is up 6% this quarter.

Erin Browne said value started to do well in September.

Jim Lebenthal said Donald Trump's speech was "very good, he's on target, he's on script." Jim said there is cash on money managers' sidelines that is going to come into the market by year-end.

Jim said "we're only 1% higher than we were 2 months ago," which tells him we haven't reached the "blowoff top."

Judge said Byron Wien thinks the bull market has "2 years or more to go."

The panel easily agreed that tax reform isn't happening this year. Weiss said, "It's dead on arrival if you read in the Journal today." But Jim said, "They always say that when something like this comes out."

Erin Browne predicted "a lot of pressure" to get tax reform done in Q1 2018.

Browne said the KRE is a "great place" right now.

Kate Moore said she's actually "more constructive" on stocks outside the U.S. than U.S. stocks, but that doesn't mean she's negative on U.S. stocks.



Josh Brown apparently not as excited about homebuilders as Cramer is


Judge on Friday's Halftime said the Call of the Day was Mizuho upgrading KBH to neutral with a 21 target — only because Cramer said in the morning "it's the best bull market for home builders that I can remember."

Josh Brown sort of chuckled and said he doesn't see any reason to be "hyperbolically bullish" on KBH, but if it can stay above the resistance from early June, he'd want to be long the name.

Moments later, Brown indicated he wasn't making fun of Cramer's call, only evaluating KBH.

Steve Weiss said there's a "scarcity" of new homes, but he's missed the entire move. "I'm not getting in here," Weiss said, citing a rising-rate environment.

Later in the program, Pete Najarian gushed about DHI, saying the January 40 calls were getting bought.




It always catches us by surprise — this page missed Doc’s birthday again


Meg Tirrell on Friday's Halftime Report explained how the FDA is making side effects searchable in a database and how companies are concerned that people who read it aren't interpreting it correctly.

Steve Weiss opined, "This information in the hands of some tourist investors is a dangerous thing," adding he thinks it's "positive to own biotech."

Jim Lebenthal actually said he completely agrees with Weiss. "None of this is new, it's just in one place," Jim said.

Jon Najarian said ABBV October 91 calls "have more than doubled." He said he has taken profits but still loves the stock.

"Facebook is about to break out yet again," Doc said, stating 170 calls that expire next Friday were getting bought.

Pete Najarian said October 145 calls in WYNN were surging; he said he owns the stock and the calls.

Pete said MU October 42 calls were getting aggressively bought on Friday. Pete also said January 60 calls in CSX were popular.

Stephen Weiss backed FB and BABA and said he's in both names.

Jim Lebenthal said the great ride is "going to continue" for V and MA.

Josh Brown read from the Loop Capital report on ALB that mentioned "PARADIGM SHIFTS" in all caps. "The lithium battery ion market is going to be explosively huge," Brown explained. (This writer is long ALB.)

Erin Browne said if consumer discretionary comes under pressure, it's an opportunity to buy.

Pete Najarian said it looks like FINL is getting a "lifeline," it's "the only hope" for the stock.

Doc said TSN looks like a name to hold. Judge wished Doc a happy birthday and said, "You don't look 60." (Picture above not from Friday's show.)

David Seaton of Fluor told Kayla Tausche that tax reform makes his business more competitive.

Judge brought in stunning Contessa Brewer in Puerto Rico; the sound worked but initially, the video really didn't; eventually, it did. Brewer kept pivoting to ask the questions of the military gent who was coordinating the response and then listen to the answer.



[Thursday, Sept. 28, 2017]




Josh claims smoking is driving America’s health care bill


Joe Terranova on Thursday's Halftime Report said he likes the Goldman Sachs conviction buy on PM.

Kari Firestone said it's an example of "don't bet against the sin stocks."

Josh Brown, on the other hand, said he thinks PM's products should be "outlawed" and said the stock is supported by the dividend.

Brown said U.S. smoking trends are "rolling over" and that there are "better places to be" in the stock market.

Pete Najarian, though, had a more optimistic take on PM, stating, "This is a millennial play" because of PM's smoke-free portfolio.

Brown said if we could drop all the smoking/smokeless products, "there would be no health care debate because you wouldn't believe the size chunk that these companies are taking out of the amount of money that has to be spent on health care."

Pete bellowed, "That's a different topic altogether though."

We gotta agree with Pete. Ending smoking surely isn't going to end America's health care debate.



Been a long time since we’ve heard about a Motif investing portfolio


Judge gushed at the top of Thursday's Halftime about how "steady" stocks have been.

Pete Najarian said Bob Pisani talks about lack of volume, but that's not the case in derivatives (Zzzzzzz).

Spotlighting a stat cheered by Judge, Josh Brown said the max drawdown on the S&P this year is 3%, a record low, and "the only time we've ever come close to this … is 1995," which led to greater things afterward. (But Tom Lee recently said this is like September '87.) (Snicker.)

Joe Terranova called September "the proxy for the entire year," even mentioning the former concern about the "government shutdown" (snicker).

Kari Firestone said people not fully invested have had to put money back into the market, "even this week," to not be left behind.

Josh Brown highlighted the September breakout of the Russell.

Jon Najarian said the range of the VIX this year has only been about 5-6 points while it moved from 17 to 45 in 2002. Pete said what's really interesting is the "duration of the moves," that the spikes are faded very quickly.

Doc said in 2002, there were 110 ETFs; now there are more than 1,800.

"It's a fee-based world, and there's much less trading going on," Josh Brown asserted.

Joe Terranova said more trading is "quantitatively driven." Joe said that when there's a scenario of extreme caution, "it comes in a parabolic move."

Kari Firestone said 128 of the names in the S&P 500 are down 15% from their 52-week high, so it's not like every stock is having a great year.

Joe said the "right strategy" continues to be, if you're worried, "diversified."

Ylan Mui, stunning in yellow, chipped in some news on tax reform from D.C.

Doc said one thing that gets people excited is the notion of repatriation. Doc said the dollar and euro are reacting to that.

Joe said there's been a lot of disappointment in D.C. this year, and removing state and local tax deductions will be a "problem" for tax-reform passage.



For a change, nothing about the genie being out of the bottle in college basketball


Joe Terranova on Thursday's Halftime said he's "not necessarily sure" he wants to buy ROKU.

(Actually, it closed on the high of the day, so if anyone had bought it during the show, they surely would've made money.)

Pete Najarian said CAG "did lower the bar," and he'd stay away.

Kari Firestone suggested ABT could be $65. Jon Najarian noted DXCM was getting "annihilated" on the Abbott news.

Josh Brown said there are still "new bulls" in MCD.

Josh Lipton mentioned the new GoPro (snicker) camera and noted the stock recently has been coming back a bit. Judge noted it was down on the day.

Jon Najarian said BBRY November 10 calls were getting bought. Pete said BMY November 67.50 calls, 4,400 of them specifically, were being aggressively bought.

Doc said JBL opened lower because of guidance, and "people just came scramblin' back in."




Joe knocked one out of the park with CTAS


Jeff Kilburg on Thursday's Halftime said we're seeing buyers "evaporate" in the 10-year. Jim Iuorio said the next yield move is to 2.39. Kilburg said "we agree."

Jackie DeAngelis promised David Stockman on futuresnow.cnbc.com. Just a guess, but Stockman will probably say the U.S. is in dire fiscal straits and that we've passed the point of no return.

Pete Najarian gushed about HD.

Josh Brown said JPM doesn't move quickly, but it's "destined" to be triple digits.

Joe Terranova said VLO has benefited from the tax talk of the last couple days. "I will say I'm surprised by the move," Joe said, admitting he was "obviously wrong" about calling refiners a sell after the hurricane.

Joe thanked Lee Cooperman for having a conversation "in the lobby of the Pierre hotel" about RRC; Joe bought it around 17. He said he's not doing anything to his stake but might call Pete if it breaks lower from here.

Pete Najarian said there are more upside buyers of VLO in the options market.

Kari Firestone called BLK a "reasonable trade" in this environment where financials can rise.

Joe and Jon Najarian said they love FDX. Doc also touted UAL and AAL. As for transports, Josh Brown said "anyone that's delivering anything looks sick right now."

Joe said he trimmed a bit of TCBI and CTAS, the latter being a sensational recent call touted by Joe on Sept. 21, 19 and 12. The big surge was the 27th, Wednesday.

Pete said TCBY stands for "The City's (sic) Best Yogurt." That prompted Joe to say "TCBY" instead of "TCBI" and that he was buying back MSFT, but everyone cut him off at that point to laugh about TCBY, though he mentioned SAP and "some health care names" as rotation winners.

Josh Brown said Ikea made a "really brilliant move" to buy the company where you can hire people to assemble the Ikea furniture.

Kari Firestone touted HQI, saying it's at an "inflection point." Doc touted TRN and said he bought it Thursday. Pete said to stay in MU. Judge said there's a yogurt machine in the Englewood Cliffs cafeteria.

On the 5 p.m. Fast Money, Karen Finerman, in blue and sizzling new hairstyle, said it was a "really good suggestion" by Pete Najarian to cover her EFX short and buy some put spreads. (Except we would say only the covering was a good idea; the put spreads were a waste of money.)



[Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2017]


Jay Williams says ‘it’s not OK’ that college basketball is perhaps as popular as pro ball


Judge on Wednesday's Halftime said there are conflicting reports as to whether Rick Pitino has been fired, then he brought in Jay Williams, who said firing Pitino is the "right move."

Obviously just another griper without any solutions, Williams grumbled, "The FBI's investigation actually proves No. 1 that the NCAA is somewhat obsolete."

Moments later, Williams said, "The game just got sold the rights to the NCAA Tournament (sic grammar) to CBS and Turner for 10.9 billion dollars."

So it's "somewhat obsolete" … but it owns a property worth $10.9 billion.

That's a Duke analysis.

Williams complained, "The term student-athlete is not the case. It's athlete, athlete, athlete, then maybe student." That's true for a very tiny number of students. There are roughly 100 players on the football team at Alabama, almost surely the NCAA's "biggest" program of any kind, some of them surely walk-ons, and there are 37,000 students at the university.

Despite this emphasis on "athlete," Williams complains that they're not paid. "It's OK for everybody else to profit but the kids," he told Judge.

Williams actually endorses a free-market system. "This is a capitalistic society we live in; if you go to Duke, you will make more money than if you go to Coppin State."

Nevertheless, he complained, "I can compare the top 10 coaches in college basketball to some of the top NBA coaches salary-wise. You tell me that's OK. It's not OK."

Think about that for a second. In college, the coaches are far more important than in the pros, because college players are obtained through recruiting, not these ridiculous drafts. The pro coaches are practically agents of the elite players. Shouldn't the college coaches get paid more?

Williams said the NBA needs to allow high school players to go directly to the G League and increase the payment there. That's what the NBA needs: Let's raise the salaries for these guys playing absolutely irrelevant games that are nothing more than practices so that maybe there will be less bribery in college basketball.

For someone who wants college players to be rewarded for their skills, Williams wants heavy restrictions: "If you go to college you have to go to college for a mandatory 3 years," he actually said. Perhaps we can apply that to the general population so that we'll have no more dropouts.

Williams, like many, is oblivious to the big picture, which is that elite NCAA sports (basically just football and men's basketball) are bigger than the system that produces them and can't be ignored or downplayed because of the revenue and alumni interest. Do universities look ridiculous promoting football teams instead of curing heart disease? Of course. If you're not going to cancel intercollegiate sports (which have nothing to do with higher education anyway), this is the best system you're gonna get.

Williams said this is the "3rd strike" for Rick Pitino.



We’re gonna drop ‘ecommerce’ from the lexicon in a couple years, but ‘at the end of the day’ (as well as ‘genie back in the bottle’) seems here to stay


Judge on Wednesday's Halftime asked Pete Najarian if all the NKE price target cuts were the right move.

Pete stammered, "Uh, probably, based upon where some of those price targets were, Scott."

Pete said of NKE, "I bought it today," because China numbers were "outstanding."

Brother Jon Najarian though wasn't convinced. "I think you pick it up cheaper, though," Doc said, stating "the dip isn't big enough for me."

Doc even mentioned the college basketball scandal as a headwind.

Steve Weiss said it's not just Internet sales; "the consumer isn't consuming as much as they used to," citing lower attendance and viewership of major sports.

"I think it goes down; there's not a catalyst going forward," Weiss said of NKE.

Doc said he gets interested around 47, but not 52.

All we know (snicker) is that the world seems awash in performance athletic gear or whatever they call it. Why Fast Money/Halftime panelists/the Dow industrials (instead of AMZN, because its nominal price is too high) are so fascinated by this stock, we have no clue.



Boneheaded Call of the Month: Tom Lee’s prediction of 4-5% drop in September while drawing parallels to September ’87


Steve Weiss on Wednesday's Halftime Report said a lot of the tax reform news has "been advertised," and the Alabama election cast a "pall" over any potential policies "because he doesn't have the Republican Party working for him."

"But they hadn't been working for him anyway, Steve," said Jon Najarian, and that's true.

"Right, but there was hope recently because he acted more presidential," Weiss said.

"And because he stepped across the aisle," Doc said, adding, "Mitch McConnell's been useless to this president."

"The president's been useless to the Republicans, right, because he's gone off," Weiss said.

"I guess that's fair to say," Doc agreed before noting, "These guys couldn't move anything through Congress and they passed it multiple times when it didn't matter."

"Exactly my point," Weiss said.

Well, it wasn't exactly Weiss' point … but both sides are true. Congress hasn't helped Trump at all; they condemned Obamacare for years but can't repeal it even among themselves.

On the other hand, Trump has made fun of many fellow Republicans and has created wedges, and hardly unified, his own party.

Judge said Cowen says no tax reform this year or 2018.

Weiss said, "It took Reagan with a much less divisive Congress 3 years to get it done."

In the howler of the program, Judge said Wells Fargo predicts a 4-8% market slide by year-end. Sarat Sethi said that will only happen if earnings slide.

Foxy Rebecca Patterson (hopefully it's OK to say that; she's married to the CNBC family) said she's focused on earnings and growth, including important data from China this week.

Pete Najarian opened the show trumpeting banks (Zzzzzzzzz).

Doc gushed that big banks are "virtually all up against their 52-week high right now."

And Doc said "they're buyin' puts like crazy" in the HYG.

Weiss said banks' "sensitivity" to rates on a short-term basis "has been a little bit disengaged."

Pete gushed about buying C calls; "if these actually can just return to normal levels of price to book," then "they'll explode to the upside."



There’s nothing to do (cont’d)


CNBC's gorjus superfox Ylan Mui on Wednesday's Halftime Report outlined some of the details of tax reform ideas, stating individual tax rates would be 12, 25 and 35, "but lawmakers would have the green light to add a 4th rate at the top if they choose."

Yeah, sure, no partisan bickering over that.

Mui said the alternative minimum tax, estate tax and transfer tax "would go away under this plan," but the only deductions the plan would keep are mortgage interest and charitable contributions.

Mui said it's "not entirely clear" what happens to state and local tax deductions.

Judge turned to Weiss on state and local tax deductions, "That's controversial Steve in and of itself," noting Larry Kudlow called it a "backbreaker."

Weiss said, "That will not pass" and said 4 states have no income tax. Weiss said, if it does pass, "You'll see New York become Illinois, teetering on bankruptcy."

Jon Najarian said, "You'll see tech move from California to Nevada."

Weiss suggested this wrinkle is maybe being used "as a negotiation."

Rebecca Patterson said, "You guys just summed up why this thing is not going through" and suggested "it's a negotiating tactic."

Negotiating with who? About what? How to increase the deficit?

Doc said the FXE shows "people are really betting that the euro has peaked."

Bob Pisani reported that the market believes "we are not yet at an earnings peak."



Brian Belski says sentiment toward banks is, ‘We’re still living in the 2008 world, that the world’s coming to an end’ … but every Final Trade is a bank


Sarat Sethi on Wednesday's Halftime called KORS a "value trap."

Pete Najarian said he likes TWLO but cautioned it's a volatile stock and you have to be careful.

Jon Najarian said TWTR has a "cramming" issue prompting the 280-character tests.

Stephen Weiss said he's up "close to 5%" in UAL, apparently because he bought around 58. He said he also added to DAL.

Pete said there was big buying of DB November 16 calls. Doc said there was a lot of buying of CLF 7, 7.50 and 8 calls, the first ones expiring a week from Friday.

Doc gushed that MU call buyers have been "right, right, right" all year.

Brian Stutland said the dollar will move higher if the Fed reduces the balance sheet and if there's tax reform. Jim Iuorio said 96 is "very doable" in the next 2 weeks.

Sue Herera related the whole story of the Southwest Airlines dragging.

Pete's final trade was C or banks in general. Doc said RF, predicting a "big move." Sarat Sethi said BAC, suggesting a breakout over 26 can take it "closer" to 30. Weiss said BAC also, after loads of chuckling about his sparring with Judge.



[Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2017]


Mike (and Sonny and Judge) miss the big picture, that people care more about this than they should


Much of Tuesday's Halftime was devoted to the unfolding college basketball scandal, as acting U.S. Attorney Joon Kim said the feds have determined that bribery occurred in the sport and that cash has been funneled to player's families.

(Who knew.)

Judge brought in Sonny Vaccaro by phone. Vaccaro said the totality of it is a "shock," but he's "not surprised."

Vaccaro said it's a "predatory world" but added, "I'm surprised at the immensity of, of this thing."

Judge said one analyst calls this a "nuclear bomb" on college basketball on the eve of the season. (We're guessing it'll survive.)

Vaccaro, who could barely be heard over a muffled phone convention, decried the "pure insanity of the NCAA." That's a ludicrous point. What does he want the NCAA to do?

The problem with corruption here is that people care too much about this endeavor. College sports were devised to entertain students and promote rivalries among nearby campuses.

But put Kentucky and North Carolina in an Elite 8 game, and the whole world suddenly cares.

How does an amateur organization deal with that?

Afterwards, Judge brought in sports pundit Mike Francesa, who said that having Sonny Vaccaro on this subject is like having Thomas Jefferson talk about "when America was put together."

Vaccaro, Francesa explained, is "The guy who brought this to- to every college in America. He's the guy who went out there with a suitcase and paid every coach in America."

"It's so far out of control," Francesa said, adding that a couple coaches told him their "phones were tapped."

At some point, Francesa barely stumbled upon the issue. "The kid's money, because he's talent," Francesa said.

Francesa addressed an element that many find frustrating, lamenting "the one and done thing which has to be destroyed, has to be eradicated." But he said, "The NBA Players Association controls that," not the colleges.

"The genie is so far out of the bottle," Francesa concluded.

Francesa told Judge the NFL is trying to find a "middle ground" and when it comes to controversy, "All they want is quiet."

Francesa said the NFL maybe got a bit overextended: "They wanted to be Nvidia, they wanted to grow 30% a year."




Mike Francesa says Judge has ‘best show by far on CNBC’


Judge on Tuesday's Halftime was unable to connect with Mike Francesa until after a commercial break.

Francesa gushed to Judge, "I watch you guys, uh, every day before I go on the air, so, it's a thrill to be on; you guys do a great job. I'm a- I'm a big follower of your program, I think you guys are the best show by far on- on CNBC."

"You're very kind to say that," Judge said (he never says that about us), explaining the Halftime Report is one "among many good shows."

Francesa called Josh Brown his "favorite guy" with a "very good opinion."

Judge (picture above not from Tuesday) apparently booked Francesa for a seat at the table on Dec. 16.

Francesa said he likes NVDA and AMZN but trumpeted ALB and credited Josh Brown for recommending it, stating he trimmed at 135 but still owns it. (This writer is long ALB.)

Francesa said nothing about whether Bill Ackman can boost the ADP margins as much as he claims.



Nothing on Tuesday about ‘gas up’ the ICBMs (sounds like the market really believes that ‘declaration of war’)


Borrowing a punch line from one of our headlines yesterday (just hit PgDn a few times), Josh Brown opened Tuesday's Halftime stating, "Thank God I'm back — no one's talking about liquidations today."

Brown shrugged about FANG sluggishness, stating the stocks are up 50-100% in a year; "they're allowed to go down 10%." He also hailed strength throughout the rest of the market.

Joe Terranova said, "I think you're seeing this rotation once again. … I think this is about energy lifting," Joe said, as well as some value stocks.

Steph Link said if FANG is "dislocated" for a while, no big deal, but "if they correct in a material way," that's a problem.

Jon Najarian said "patience" is working, specifically in AAPL, cheering selling calls while or before it was correcting.

Josh Brown mocked the notion that we're in an "ETF bubble."

But Steph Link insisted, "FANG are very crowded," explaining they got "really overowned," and that's why people would be taking profits now. Brown fired back, "There are always the 10 best stocks that have accounted for the lion's share of all the gains."

Pete Najarian got an entire program's pay for saying the only FANG name he'd be "truly interested in" would be FB at 156. Pete said RHT's great report last night was "almost forgotten" because "everybody's looking at FANG names." Pete also said he's looking at BABA.



Guest sees Gordon Gekko
as inspirational figure


Brian Belski on Tuesday's Halftime Report said his "best-case scenario" is S&P 2,800 by year-end, while his "base case" is 2,600.

Belski, who kept pointing into the desk, decried the "silliness of passive, passive, passive, whatever." He claimed active management fees are compressing while ETF fees are rising and that "actively traded portfolios" will propel "good old-fashioned performance" that will draw customers.

Belski even said he would "invoke the spirit of Gordon Gekko, greed is good."

Belski admitted, to Judge's incredulity, that he's been neutral on tech since November. "So we missed this first 6 (sic it's been nearly 11) months," Belski admitted.

"Value is gonna start working," Belski contended, saying "at the end of the day" twice.

Josh Brown said Belski is right about active fees coming down, but as for ETFs, "Pretty much, 80 or 90 cents of every dollar going in is going into products that are charging less than 20 basis points."

Belski said some fees have risen "in some of the more, let's say, fancy stuff, like the triple-leveraged type thing." (Those are really common investments for a lot of people.)

"People are buying instruments again I think they don't understand," Belski added.

Belski predicted the dollar will "creep higher" because of an improving economy. Then he said, "We need to rebuild stuff in our country again," a meaningless refrain that you can hear on CNBC or occasionally the political channels about every 15 minutes for the rest of your life.

Judge questioned how 2,800 S&P or even 2,600 S&P can work without tech. Belski launched into a portfolio breakdown by percentages. He didn't answer the question until offering, "I still think that financials are the place to be." And we'll add that if JPM skyrockets, you'll rather be in the FANGs.

Belski claimed "We're still living in the 2008 world, that the world's coming to an end." Seriously? We've heard people relentlessly recommending Citigroup plus whatever the big bank du jour is for probably 5 or 6 years running.



Joe finds college football ‘more enthusiastic, more enjoyable’ than pro ball; Pete says it’s ‘literally (sic) a night and day situation’ (both college and pros play day and night games)


After yukking it up during the sports portion of Tuesday's Halftime, Judge suddenly made a somber "hard right turn," turning to Meg Tirrell for an interview with Axovant CEO David Hung.

Hung said the company still has a "pipeline" of treatments including one addressing the dementia of Robin Williams.

Judge noted only 4 drugs are approved to treat Alzheimer's. Hung said it's a very difficult disease, but you can't let a failure "deter you from entering the war."

Julia Boorstin briefly chatted with Warby Parker CEO Neil Blumenthal; he said, "I think we'll probably get rid of the word 'ecommerce' in the next few years" while tossing in an "at the end of the day."

Scott Nations told Jackie DeAngelis crude can get above 54. But Anthony Grisanti said he's looking at 52.30-52.60, and if this were January, he'd think it's going higher, but because it's September, "I think it's goin' lower."

Judge asked Joe Terranova about crude. Joe shrugged, "We talked about that 2 weeks ago; you pay attention?"

Jon Najarian's final trade was ADBE. Josh Brown said, "Let's do better on the Puerto Rican crisis." Stephanie Link said WLK. Joe Terranova said HON and hung a 150 on it.



[Monday, Sept. 25, 2017]


Pete hints NFL isn’t getting the greatest leadership for $44 million a year; Doc apparently suggests players should be told to protest at a certain time at the 50-yard line


Eric Chemi on Monday's Halftime Report said he asked NFL sponsors FedEx (expecting "more dialogue") and Ford (respecting people's right to express views) about the weekend Anthem situation; Chemi added, "We're still waiting to hear back from many more top companies."

Translation: At the moment, no sponsors are dropping the NFL.

Pete Najarian told guest host Brian Sullivan, "I think that the ownership has to really step up here Brian, and that's been part of the biggest issue is ownership has not really stepped up. … As a league, they've really gotta come together," never explaining what that means.

Pete said among fans, "How divisive can this be with the fans? Because as the fans- there is discontent, there's absolutely no doubt about that. All you've gotta do is look at Twitter to see that. I mean, this is a firestorm going on right now."

Pete noted, "Roger Goodell gets paid $44 million a year."

Jon Najarian said NFL viewership has fallen 8%, and when that happens, "You're gonna have to do make-up ads and all the rest."

Doc explained, "I think the commissioner should absolutely go out there and give the players time to express their right, because it is a right, for them to protest and so forth, just not during the National Anthem. If he would've carved out a time at the 50-yard line to let players go out and do that Brian, I don't think he'd be facing what he's facing right now, which is people turning the games off."

Except we doubt they have a "right" to protest while on the job without their employers' permission.

Doc said NASCAR "took a leadership role instead of just letting the inmates run the asylum," mentioning the "Greyhound ticket home."

Joe Terranova admitted, "I didn't watch one second of football yesterday. … But I did watch a ton of college football on Saturday. And it seems as though it's more enthusiastic. It's more enjoyable."

Pete said the difference between NFL and college is "literally (sic) a night and day situation," which is hardly true.

Rob Sechan said he's a Steelers fan (too bad) and noted that Steelers left tackle Alejandro Villanueva, unlike the rest of his team, did take part in the Anthem ceremony.

Sully noted that NFL athletes are "employees."



Panel spends far more time discussing NFL Anthem than North Korea


Guest host Brian Sullivan on Monday's Halftime noted the Dow was only down 89 points on North Korea headlines.

Joe Terranova said that if you've been running your portfolio around North Korean headlines, it's been a "losing strategy."

Joe said if financials stumble, we'll get a "soft tape."

Jon Najarian said that when it comes to North Korea, "The rhetoric is less impressive or, uh, dour Brian than the- when you gas up an ICBM."

Doc said someone was buying December 15 VIX calls while selling twice as many December 25s. Doc said he thinks that's a "hedge" rather than a "bet."

Pete said that once an Apple event is over, "there always seems to be that pullback." Sully allowed Pete to give a speech about why he was buying AAPL Monday on the pullback to 150.

Doc said Apple hasn't had an event before where they announced one phone and then another one available in a month or two. He said he's got a long position now.

Pete said the market is a lot more than just FANG and credited Joe for calling the Texas banks.

Sully said, "You have not heard me use the F word."

Joe said energy has been very difficult to trade, but he'd say yes to increasing exposure right now.



Doc: APRN either gets an offer, or it’s ‘dead money’


Matt DiFrisco, who says to buy APRN and has a 9 target on the stock, said on Monday's Halftime that one reason it's down since the IPO is because it "changed course," that it's not looking to expand its customer base but improve its revenue per customer.

DiFrisco said, despite the Plated and Whole Foods deals, "it's not the winner take all" environment and that consumers want choice.

He told Joe that if consumer dollars do "migrate" to a mealkit solution (snicker) such as APRN, mature companies will be active in the space looking to buy.

Jon Najarian said the only positive in the stock besides DiFrisco's call is "the potential that they do a deal." Otherwise, it's "dead money." Pete Najarian of course "mostly" agrees, questioning why DiFrisco thinks APRN will maintain its 20% market share.

Pete then said SNAP, whose options he recently touted, is another 2017 IPO getting killed by competition. The Najarii said Sept. 11 they got into the SNAP trade when they saw September 15.50 calls getting scooped up. (The shares closed $15.27 that day.)



Surprised Joe didn’t mention the ‘liquidation’ of tech on Monday


Steve Liesman on Monday's Halftime said economists don't really believe Donald Trump's 3% GDP forecast. (Zzzzzzzz.)

Pete Najarian said he likes the ROST upgrade.

Joe Terranova said EXPE and PCLN are "better plays" than TRIP.

Rob Sechan said he got involved last week with regional banks because tax reform prospects have improved.

Pete said 140 UPS calls for January 2020 (that's correct, 2020) were getting bought. Doc said November 62.50 calls in UAL were getting bought and out-of-the-money puts were getting sold.

Pete said he thinks HD goes "much higher." Joe's final trade was VZ, because if it gets past 52, "technically it gets very exciting." Doc said someone bought a bunch of 45 calls in AAL. Rob Sechan said he likes EZU.

Jon Najarian said Guggenheim downgraded UAA just after the KeyBanc upgrade that Sully mentioned. Doc said he hasn't seen the "washout" in UAA like just happened in EFX, which Karen Finerman was chuckling about shorting Sept. 18, days before it surged 10%. (She did look gorrrrjus however on Monday in sleek white top and new straight hairstyle.)



[Friday, Sept. 22, 2017]


Does anyone actually believe Tim Cook is ‘thrilled’ about iPhone launch?


Judge on Friday's Halftime asked Josh Lipton, at a Palo Alto Apple store, if the AAPL "hoopla" this time "feels a little bit less."

Lipton acknowledged that when he arrived at 4:30 local time, "The line was not really obviously what it had been in the past."

Jon Najarian said he was "one of the folks that was not surprised" that the iPhone 8 orders were "not stellar," because the X is coming soon.

Doc said he has covered all his AAPL short calls, and "I'm starting to buy stock."

Steph Link opined that "I think the guidance can't be very good" with the X not even released yet.

Jim Lebenthal said the Watch connectivity issue is "reminiscent" of the iPhone 4's antenna problem. Jim said it's "easy" to envision the stock at 180 a year from now.



Judge clueless about what Jim was saying about TIF


It's the story that won't go away.

Jim Lebenthal on Friday's Halftime Report said he's got a "half position" in NKE; he's waiting for a 10% decline to buy the rest.

When, oh when, have you ever heard that before.

(See, Jim only tracks about a dozen stocks in the entire market — GM, QCOM, CSCO, INTC, BA, TIF, NKE, WGO … — and is limited to discussing only those names.) (That may be a wisecrack, but you know … know … we're basically right.)

Anyway, as for NKE, "There are risks here," Jim said, pointing to Amazon/mall issues and adidas. He's looking for it at 48.

Jon Najarian said FINL has such a massive short interest that it spiked in the morning, but "you had to buy it fast" to get the pop. (a/k/a Trades That Were Recently Great But No Longer Work)

Steph Link borrowed a line from someone, "You don't want to be the middleman, and you don't want to be at a mall. And that's Finish Line and Foot Locker." But Link said if NKE got to 48, "you would have buyers. A lot of buyers."

Mike Wilson said he'd like to buy NKE at 48 but doesn't think it gets there.

Jim likened NKE to TIF as having a multiple in the "mid- to low 20s" that can be "re-rated" in this environment to the high teens.

Link said, "Oh, but Tiffany's was a mess. Tiffany's got to be a mess. Nike is not a mess."

Jim said, "I don't think it was that bad of a mess."

Link said, "It was a mess."

Judge then inaccurately claimed Jim was saying TIF is "so good." Jim rightly clarified that he was talking about shrinking multiple even if the brand is strong. "The high-end buyer has not resurged at Tiffany's over the last 2 years," Jim said.



Term of the Month competitors: ‘Transfer of wealth’ and ‘Dark Web’


Mike Wilson, part of an overstocked panel on Friday's Halftime Report, told Judge it's been a "wild ride" with the Russell, but he "actually doubled down" on his small-cap call and said the Russell, since prior to the election, has "actually performed exactly in line with the S&P 500."

Erin Browne suggested "something possibly could get done in Washington."

Stephanie Link said tax reform will help, but it's not the "be all and end all."

Jim Lebenthal said crude is finally over 50, and if it actually breaks out, it'll carry the XLE. Jim also touted GM's breakout (without saying that it's mostly about the "transfer of wealth" to Texas car owners).

Jon Najarian pointed out how Chinese solar-parts manufacturers got around a 2012 tariff by doing the assembling in Taiwan, so this will be a "delicate dance" for the administration.



Weiss recommends airlines for 3 years running but somehow isn’t on Friday’s show


Brandon Oglenski of Barclays, who upgraded AAL to overweight, which is what he's got on other airlines, said on Friday's Halftime Report that there are still "little skirmishes" between airlines such as Spirit and the big carriers.

But he said sentiment is at such a point where value investors will start to come in the space.

Jim Lebenthal told Oglenski that "all these big airlines … at times look a lot alike" and wondered about something like ALK. Oglenski said he likes that name as well as the others and that the space looks good for all.

Oglenski conceded "the media will trounce (sic meant 'pounce') on these you know big events that happen for the carriers" but said American has got the employees and management working together.

Steph Link called airlines "trading stocks at best" and added, "I worry a lot about capacity additions." But Link likes FDX and put a 300 target on it.

Jim said there are permanent headwinds to airlines, "weather, energy, regulation, the utter animosity that passengers have for airlines."

Erin Browne said "you really need a catalyst" to get airlines going, and she doesn't see one.

Doc said he likes UAL the best of the airlines, because Buffett is still long. But, "I fly American every week."




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


Stephanie Link on Friday's Halftime made the case for SLB, because it's the "No. 1 player" with the "best technology," and the stock is down 18% this year.

Jon Najarian said he likes "Slumber a lot." But he said he's "had a hard time pickin'" that stock. He does like APC.

His final trade was HAL, based on unusual activity.

Anthony Grisanti said 51.98 is upside for crude, and if that's breached, 55 is possible, but "seasonal factors" make him think there's more potential to the downside.

Doc said October 35 LB puts were being aggressively sold when the stock was around 37 this morning.

Steph Link said Jana's board seat produced a pop in HDS.

Doc said KMX had a "phenomenal" quarter.

Erin Browne doesn't like British stocks because of currency issues.

Mike Wilson said he wouldn't be surprised if AA pulled back on its earnings report just because it's run so much.

Jim Lebenthal's final trade was CSCO (told ya), citing a "repatriation tax cut" (snicker). Steph Link said SCHW. Erin Browne said EMB, emerging market debt.

Judge said Ackman texted him that the CMG queso is "great."



[Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017]

Doc: People don’t hate the rally, only that they’ve missed it


As guest host Sully apparently was taking a page from Judge, spending the opening 15 minutes on what can derail the rally, Sarat Sethi opened Thursday's Halftime saying he thinks stocks and rates can rise together, because the Fed has been "actually pretty good at telling us what they're going to do."

"It's all about pace," said Jon Najarian.

Joe Terranova said it's a question of whether stocks and rates can "continue" to go up together.

Sarat Sethi, who gets honored for making the Barron's Top 50 advisor list every 15 minutes, said if there's an "upward trending" yield curve, then the market is "off to the races."

Joe noted AAPL is down 6% in 5 days while the S&P is up 1.3% in that time. Minutes later, he corrected himself to say it's month to date.

Pete Najarian said he's plunging into C.

Doc scoffed at the notion that "this is the most hated bull market in history," explaining that's "complete (sic not adverb) false."

Doc said the issue is that, at record highs, "people are reticent to commit new capital."

Doc said if the rally was hated, the VIX would be in the 20s. "People hate that they've missed it. That's what they hate," Doc said.

Sarat Sethi said that if the dollar were to start rising, "you have to be careful."

Bob Pisani said the market has shown excellent rotation and "no signs at all of breaking down."



Strictly watching this segment, looks like iPhone 8 is a smash hit


CNBC Technology Product Editor Todd Haselton sat in with Thursday's Halftime, praising the iPhone's Home button and wireless charging feature.

He called it "a perfect buy for a lot of people."

Jon Najarian suggested "most people are waitin' for the X." Haselton conceded "most of the gadget folks are waiting for the X."

Haselton said he had no issues or dropped-call problems with the Apple Watch.



Judge did good job Wednesday with Ackman, one of his top performances of the year


Guest host Sully on Thursday's Halftime said Buckingham initiated NFLX with a 214 buy; he proceeded to ask Matthew Harrigan about the $6.3 billion in cumulative free cash flow deficits over 3 years.

Harrigan called that "quite moderate."

Sully asked a good question, whether NFLX is like AMZN of the late '90s. Harrigan acknowledged "a lot of commonalities."

Meanwhile, Pete Najarian, who spent at least 3 consecutive shows (he also has been on the 5 p.m. show this week, which is why the programs' material tends to get redundant) lamenting that he sold NVDA too early last week, said Thursday that the stock was now "right back to exactly where it was" … but he's not even going to buy it until there's more options activity.

Jon Najarian in his final trade said AMD 14.50 calls were aggressively getting bought.



Still don’t really get why Anthony Grisanti keeps talking about a gold ‘squeeze’ as in people have to sell it


Jeff Kilburg on Thursday's Halftime Report said Yellen and the Fed "kicked the door down" about a December hike, "which really hurt gold."

But he said take a "deep breath," gold has outperformed the S&P year to date.

Anthony Grisanti said there's a "squeeze" for hedge funds who own a lot of gold, he thinks it'll go down to the 200-day around 1,241.

Pete Najarian hailed biotech and GILD.

Joe Terranova talked up RRC, HON and CTAS, as well as TCBI and IBTX.

Joe said, "Since April, imports of steel from China are 30%." Joe said X is "certainly in a downtrend."

Sarat Sethi said he's still buying LB. He predicted a turnaround within a couple of quarters.

Sarat pointed out that UAL is one of the stocks not working in this market.

Doc hailed BCRX, saying it's been "hopping" in the last month.

Sully noted that as sanctions are announced against North Korea, the VIX goes down.

Doc said there was "strong activity" in ABBV October 91 calls. Pete said October 145 calls in WYNN were getting bought. "It almost hits every single week," Pete said.

Doc said KR was hitting a "fresh 52-week low," not the first time that's been heard.

Pete's final trade was simply to take off his winning SUM trade. Joe hung a 200 on AMG. Sarat Sethi said BAC.

Doc mentioned the Traders 4 A Cause golf outing Oct. 6-8 at the Wynn in Vegas.



[Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017]


Carlos turned down Bill’s invite to the U.S. Open (but not because he doesn’t like him)


In Wednesday's extended session with Bill Ackman (he spent 41 minutes at Judge's table) on the Halftime Report, Judge said Bill has admitted he got off to a "bad start" with Carlos Rodriguez and ADP.

Indeed. We were even starting to think Bill had found a new rival to supersede Carl.

Evidently, (like all of Judge's statistics, according to Ackman) that's wrong, as Bill explained, "By the way, I invited Carlos to the U.S. Open with me. He couldn't go. We have a perfectly nice relationship." (Then again, Bill and Carl actually went out to dinner, and that didn't exactly work.)

Judge pointed out that Rodriguez went on CNBC and called Bill "a spoiled brat." Bill said, "My mother didn't like that comment, because she raised me not to be a spoiled brat. … Carlos and I have had a fine interaction ever since he, he made those comments."

So, things are on the upswing, apparently.

Bill knocked the ADP "bluster" that he said is "PR advice from a defensive advisor."

"You've had bluster of your own. I mean, in the, in the opening letter, you suggested that he needs to be replaced," Judge said.

"That's not correct. That's not correct. There's no such document," Bill said.

Bill said he had a "very intimate engagement" with "15 people crowded around the table" at a Marriott not far from ADP's HQ, and everyone was "friendly" and "thoughtful."

"Then of course, a few days later, they put out a press release written by a PR firm that makes it sound like some very harsh battle," Ackman said.

"I blame all the noise on the-" Bill continued.

"It sounds like you're blaming everything on the advisors," Judge said.

"I blame the noise on the advisors," Bill said.

Whatever. In 41 minutes on the show, Bill failed to make a convincing case for his ADP plan, insisting everyone just trust that it's all in the "presentation."



Bill basically tells Judge that nearly every stat Judge has got is wrong


The more elite an individual gets, the more exclusive he or she tends to be.

So the fact Bill Ackman not only spent 41 minutes on the Halftime Report Wednesday but even entertained the panelists for a bit tells us he's fighting an uphill battle for a victory in ADP.

(Heck, he's sounding so approachable now, we're thinking Bill might even take us out to Denny's for a Grand Slam.)

Judge started with, "Why ADP? … This does not sound like a company that necessarily needs your help."

Bill said, "The issue for shareholders is not how well the company has done over the past. The issue is how well it's gonna do in the future. And the bottom line is ADP has massively underperformed its potential." (Zzzzzzzzz)

Judge said ADP is up more than 100% in 5 years; "10-year, ADP up 166, S&P 65."

Bill said, "Those numbers are not correct. … The company overstates their total shareholder return under this CEO's track record. How do they do that? Well they start for example the measuring period on the day after he started as CEO. Well actually if you started on the day before, the night before, which is the proper measuring period, the total return comes down by 17%."

Bill said ADP also counts the doubling of ADP's CDK spinoff.



Bill mildly warned Lee not to talk about him on CNBC


Impressively early in the show, Judge on Wednesday's Halftime played the recent clip of Lee Cooperman calling Bill Ackman's ADP venture "foolish, inappropriate and irresponsible."

Bill claimed, "He made those comments prior to our making our presentation." Bill said he even told Lee, "Before you come out and go on CNBC and say you don't like what we're doing, whatever, at least listen to what we have to say."

Bill also dismissed Lee's relevance to the company. "Lee was on the board 6 years ago. As he told everyone, he sold the stock. probably sold the stock 6 years ago. And the world has changed dramatically in 6 years in terms of the competitive landscape of the company," Ackman stated.

Bill said his analysis of ADP is a "very detailed presentation, 168-page detailed presentation of the business." (That right there is the problem; shouldn't need 168 pages to explain why margins can be higher.)

Launching into one of his most prominent themes Wednesday, Bill said ADP owned CDK for 42 years, spun it off in 2014 with 16% with margins, and "within 2 years it had 26% margins."



Bill touts analyst as support for his position, moments later, implies the analyst doesn’t matter


Bill Ackman on Wednesday's Halftime said "analyst commentary" has been "very supportive of the notion that there are very significant opportunities to improve operating margins" at ADP.

The first analyst he mentioned was Sanford Bernstein.

Moments later, Judge said "it's not like" Bernstein is "wholeheartedly in agreement" with Ackman on margins reaching a "tremendously higher level," rather, Bernstein thinks "the right answer falls somewhere in between what you say and what ADP thinks itself."

"That's an analyst- uh, 1 analyst's opinion," Bill said.

"But you cited it," Judge correctly noted.

Judge brought up the issue no one has ever solved, whether Bill asked for a one-week nominating delay or 45-day delay from ADP, stating Bill waited until what "essentially is the last minute for the- to try and extend the nominating period."

"That's not accurate," Bill said (again), before reciting ADP's press release.




Yeah, but it’s possible his bid here could get the ‘Urban Cowboy’ mechanical bull treatment


Bill Ackman on Wednesday's Halftime indicated he knows what he's doing with ADP (and isn't as discombobulated as the company and Lee Cooperman have suggested).

"It's not my first activist rodeo, if you wanna call it that," Bill chuckled, adding the ADP explanation of his approach was "not how it went down."

Bill claimed ADP "has done everything they can to knock the stock down."

Bill hailed CP, APD, ZTS and CMG as the "only 4" companies that he's working on regarding "operational improvement" of the business. (Translation: I've got a perfect record.) "In the first case, CP, we got the same response we got from ADP," Bill said.

Bill said, "I'm not saying ADP is IBM today, but it's at risk of becoming IBM."




Panelists not nearly as blunt about Bill’s moves when Bill is actually sitting there with them (Jim even says he takes what Ackman is saying as ‘gospel’)


Regarding the amount of stock he actually owns in ADP, Bill Ackman on Wednesday's Halftime said, "We own 2% of the company in common stock. … We own very deep-in-the-money stock options that have a term that goes out into late 2020 and early 2021, and those options are over the counter, they are extendable. Uh, they're unusual in that we actually receive a pass-through of the dividends on the meaningful percentage of the options that we own. … It's equivalent of buying the stock with a 30% margin loan."

All in all, "We own the economics of 8.3% of the company," Bill claimed.

But he admitted, "We can only vote 2%."

Judge wondered why, in his ADP video, Ackman is speaking directly to the retail investor. Ackman said those investors are often "ignored" and that the retail community owns 28% of ADP.

Bill said Ken Squire determined that, out of all of Bill's activist campaigns (apparently not just the lone 4 where he's working on "operational improvement" of the business), he's put up 146% average return while the S&P is up 16-17%.

Ackman admitted VRX was a "disastrous investment."

That brought the show to a commercial break at the 30-minute mark. Given a chance after the break to ask Bill a question, ADP long Sarat Sethi fumbled and stumbled, eventually asking about the "short-term impact" on ADP of trying to grow margins. Bill pointed to CDK, which he said is a "microcosm of ADP."

Bill grumbled about PG spending "$100 million" to make it harder for Nelson Peltz, whom Bill said PG is treating like a "virus," to get a board seat.

Jim Lebenthal asked Bill a curious question that we think was about ADP margin contraction. Bill told Jim that ADP "gets a higher multiple 3 years out."

Bill told Judge he's getting the impression that "Twitter is filled with a bunch of, of, uh, Chipotle short sellers." (We're not sure why Rich Greenfield thinks DIS needs to buy TWTR.)




CNBC superfox Aditi Roy
appears on 5 p.m. Fast Money


In the remainder of Wednesday's Halftime, Judge said a Goldman Sachs analyst issued a sell call on JNJ.

Stephen Weiss said "it makes sense, the way he's looking at it." Weiss predicted the talc suits will be a "real problem going forward."

Jim Lebenthal called the sell call of JNJ "aggressive." Jim said he could name "a lot of other Dow components that are a heckuva lot pricier than this." Weiss said the analyst doesn't cover those other names.

Jon Najarian said there's a "modicum of risk" in the Fed comments later in the day. (This review was posted after market close.) Doc said at his California conference of "some of the biggest family offices in the U.S.," they were saying, "No chance of inflation."

Weiss claimed a December hike is "baked in" to the market. Not everyone else was sure.

Doc said October 222.50 FDX calls were popular. So were CENX October 22 calls.

Jim's final trade was PFE. Weiss said he bought a little more WDC, but it's "low conviction." Sarat Sethi said the XLF. Doc said VZ based on June call activity of next year and that it's been on a "rocket ride."



[Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017]

Maybe Peltz will take to Twitter like Robert Pera, critique the show’s discussion of his business (or maybe he just keeps his head down and focuses on products)


On Tuesday's Halftime, David Faber, who's not normally on the show, laid out the PG battle lines and said it looks like a close campaign and that both sides are trying to woo retail investors.

Faber said Ackman's push at ADP will be a "tough one," noting Ackman only has 2% of the common.

Faber also mentioned the latest on endlessly rumored TMUS. Pete Najarian said people have recently bought huge lots of November 70 and October 67.50 TMUS calls. Oh joy.

Joe Terranova said PG holders shouldn't do much with the stock, suggesting it "guides towards a hundred dollars."

Stephen Weiss tackled the telecoms first, suggesting TMUS and S would be a "merger of equals," but the cost savings would be "massive."

Then, all hell broke loose when Weiss asserted that Nelson Peltz has "performed in line with the S&P with his funds. Yet, you're locked up for 5 to 8 years."

Joe, frustrated for some reason, said, "Everyone's bringing up his track- what does that have to do with Procter & Gamble?"

Weiss said the "relevance" is that "he's not adding that much more value in a general portfolio to the names that he brings there."

Jim Lebenthal told Joe that PG has "performed OK relative to value indices … but they've massively underperformed the S&P 500."

After a break, Judge told Weiss, "I have it on pretty good authority, I mean, Nelson Peltz is like double the S&P. Um, I don't know what, you know, what time frame or exactly you're talking about."

"From inception. I'm happy to show you the numbers, I've got 'em right here," Weiss said.

Flummoxed, Judge claimed, "There's a difference between sort of when you- when you get involved for all the, the, the time frames that, that maybe you're focusing on or when P&G's focusing on." (Translation: Peltz has outperformed the S&P; I don't know what numbers you're lookin' at.)

"I'm focusing on from inception, his own numbers," Weiss insisted.

"His long-term performance speaks for itself, as he said," Judge said, adding, "I'm not gonna get into it now," even though he had already gotten into it for several minutes.

"I'm telling you I've got his presentation. I'm looking at his numbers," Weiss continued. "And furthermore, since he went to a more concentrated portfolio in 2012, he's slightly underperformed, with fees. So he's making a lot of money for himself, and the investors are making what the S&P's making."

"He did show the document to me. I saw it," Pete Najarian told Judge.

"I don't- I don't know what you're, you're citing, specifically," Judge stammered.

"I'm citing his presentation from his hedge fund from his marketing people," Weiss explained.

Joe Terranova said, "I'm not being critical of Steve," then mentioned "Procter & Gramble (sic, then corrected)," then said it's a "good thing" if Peltz is advocating a conversation on improving the business.

Weiss insisted, "I started it all by saying, he's a great investor." But, "If I lock up money 5-8 years, I expect more than what the market gives me."

We don't really know what the truth is, but Weiss more than held his own, made an interesting point, and rebounded from the "strategy" investing bungle he tried to talk about in his last appearance. He couldn't resist one more compliment later for Peltz while stating Peltz's fund return isn't for him. Judge promised Ackman on Wednesday's show.



Don't forget Carl’s ‘Day of Reckoning’ from last year and basically anything Marc Faber has said on the channel, ever


Jim Lebenthal on Tuesday's Halftime Report said recently, there's been a "steady drumbeat" of people warning about corrections; "I don't mean to name names here but Howard Marks, these are good investors, Jeff Gundlach, uh, uh, Shiller."

Jim said some people got "spooked out of the market because of that, and now it's catch-up time," which favors small caps.

Steve Weiss said it's a "very good sign" that the Russell is "playing catch-up."

Pete Najarian hailed the "great move in the financials yesterday."

Joe Terranova, who was barely heard a day ago, touted regional banks. "If financials work, then small caps are gonna work," Joe said.

Jim said financials are "3 steps forward, 2 steps back."

Pete backed Jim's mention of CBI. Joe touted CTAS.

Pete said he'd buy BA and said people are ignoring the cash flows. "It's almost a double in a year," cautioned Jim Lebenthal, adding "North Korea's gotta be priced into this at this point in time (sic last 5 words redundant)."

Pete said, "I disagree; I think there's plenty of upside still."

Judge asked Pete if Pete would buy NVDA right now. Pete dodged, stating "I bought it the other day" and that he still has "remorse" about selling Friday and hopes to get back in, but if it goes to 250, it "seems pretty cheap."

Weiss said NVDA is "pretty amorphous."



Chanos insists on shorting TSLA, missed UA in the 40s


Stephen Weiss on Tuesday's Halftime said of UA, "I have not been a fan of the stock for a long time," stating it "never deserved the multiple."

He said of the Wells Fargo 13 target, "I could argue that it should go lower."

Pete Najarian said, "The biggest mistake Kevin Plank made was trying to aggressively go after Nike in footwear. … He has not been able to accomplish it just yet."

Judge, who unfortunately put together a rambling, stumbling performance, struggled to suggest that UA got "offsides" on focusing on performance at the expense of lifestyle. Joe Terranova said, "That's fair to say that."

Joe added, "Keep in mind this analyst just 9 months ago had an outperform and a $31 price target on the stock. Let's not make it about the analyst."

"It's not about the analyst at all," Judge said.

"They clearly are being punished," Joe said.

Jim Lebenthal said "of course" the space is in trouble; "Nike's been in trouble for a year and a half." Jim added that UA is a "cautionary tale for adidas." Pete bellowed, "Different companies though Jim," stating there's growth for adidas in North America.

Joe said adidas is "gaining traction" at the "expense of others." Jim said all those adidas comments are right, but "it's been in the stock for the last at least 6 months."

Pete Najarian said the "mistake" in the Jefferies downgrade of TSLA is that everybody wants to call it a car company while "60% of the employees are involved in software engineering."



Pete has discussed selling his NVDA stake for 3 shows in a row


Stephen Weiss on Tuesday's Halftime said the KORS upgrade happened because it's an environment where "a series of analysts come out and try to find a stock to recommend in their group."

Jim Lebenthal called KSS a buy on the Amazon move.

Joe Terranova said he likes BBY, "but you have to acknowledge the technicals"; it's approaching the 200-day at $51. Pete Najarian didn't talk about it despite hailing the shares at 55 recently.

Pete mentioned 22.50 call-buying in M that expires Friday (and if we had a dollar for every time someone on CNBC talks about short-term Macy's calls …). Jim Lebenthal cautioned that Toys R Us' bankruptcy "certainly is affecting the space and probably will for the next couple of days."

Judge hectored Jim, "What's the difference between JCPenney and Macy's?" Jim said, "This is part of the downsizing of the industry that has to happen. And since you brought up JCPenney, if you look at the bond prices, there is no way there's a bankruptcy risk in the bond prices."



Analysts vs. Panelists isn’t really how it happened


In "Analysts vs. Panelists" on Tuesday's Halftime, Stacy Rasgon said he's been "somewhat cautious" on chips for the last year, "and I suppose we've been wrong."

Rasgon said INTC numbers are "safe this year," but "the structural case against them" means "a long time" for sitting on the multiple. Joe Terranova told Rasgon that INTC "seems to be a 2nd-derivative trade" on AAPL.

Judge played a caller's question asking Rasgon for the "fair value" of NXPI. Rasgon said, "It is not hard to argue that the fair value is at or above that deal price" of 110.

Rasgon called AVGO a "must-own." We'd call the whole feature an easy-miss.



Gary Cohn was incredibly torn, but no one seems to care about Charlottesville anymore


Steve Liesman on Tuesday's Halftime Report said the survey found that 38% think Trump should reappoint Yellen.

Brian Stutland told Jackie DeAngelis that the 10-year yield might tick up to 2.5%. Jim Iuorio said "the trend for the year is still lower yields," unless it settles above 2.30%.

Pete's final trade was FCX. Steve Weiss said MU. Jim Lebenthal said RDSa. Joe Terranova said MSFT and SAP and even did the "hiding out" thing again while Sully was having camera fun in the background.



[Monday, Sept. 18, 2017]


CEO apparently mocks the ‘clowns’ discussing shorting his company on CNBC as Cramer predicts it all comes down to the phone ringing or not ringing Tuesday


In the beginning, there was skepticism.

Judge on Monday's Halftime introduced Andrew Left, stating Left thinks UBNT is a "complete fraud."

Judge asked Left, "What proof do you have?"

Left started to say, "Well, if you read the Citron report-"

"I read it," Judge cut in.

"OK, there's over 20 pages of proof," Left asserted (which sounded a bit like that guy on the D.B. Cooper program who claimed he had 95 pieces of evidence pointing to some California joker), adding, "Uh, most importantly, if you just see the way they're outpacing the competition, uh, just does not make sense." (If that's the most important reason, why didn't he say that first?)

Judge said, in not much of a question, "Leveling such accusations of a fraud against a publicly traded company are, are- that's serious."

"Oh I understand; Listen, I don't do this often. Uh, the word 'fraud' I use very judiciously," Left said.

However, things quickly got more intriguing. Left singled out Ubiquiti CEO Robert Pera, declaring, "He's the anti-Benioff. … I don't think he's ever been on CNBC for that matter. So, I'm supposed to believe that the best CEO in the history of networking hardware won't even go on your show, Mr. Wapner? I don't get it. I don't believe it."

Honestly, that's a good point. CEOs should promote their companies in the media.

Judge acknowledged, "Mr. Pera hasn't responded to a personal (sic redundant) email from me to him asking him to come on today." That's actually pretty dubious.

Judge said an analyst whose name and firm he won't divulge thinks Pera might be "pushing the envelope, uh at times" but that Left is just "essentially regurgitating" the bear case for the stock for years.

Left claimed Barron's wrote about Bernie Madoff about 7 years before he was "found out."

Left added, "The company has gone to the point of ridiculous. Their new offering is a GoPro camera that you wear on your chest."

Grasping for an analogy to explain UBNT's results, Left offered, "This would be like Barry Bonds hitting 273 home runs. It's not plausible."

Jim Cramer revealed, "Andrew and I communicated, thank you Andrew for, uh, uh, trusting me to be able to go over so I had a little bit of prep, and I did not speak to anyone."

Cramer said Ubiquiti has a small board, which is "often a red flag," but Michael Hurlston, "a pretty distinguished guy from Broadcom," is a board member. Left said there's no CFO and CTO; "so forget about the board for a second, who's actually operating this company?"

Judge added, "Their board is lean, um, to say the least. I can't at least off the top of my, my head, think of a, another company we- we've talked about in, in recent memory that has a board of only 4, 4 people."

Cramer curiously said, "A fraud charge is going to- if this is a real company, the SEC will call Andrew tomorrow. If- if it's not a real company, the SEC will not call."

Judge said, "The company had declined comment, um, and wasn't in a position, or, or ready, it seemed to us, to offer him up either."

Cramer said Left's emphasis on TV appearances is a "good thing for us, actually. Andrew said that if he were so good, why hasn't he been on CNBC."

Judge said, "We'll hopefully catch up with him sometime soon."

We know virtually nothing about this company or individual, but given what went down Monday, we highly doubt that's going to happen. #notlikeAckman/Carl

After a commercial, Judge read a tweet from Robert Pera: "I just put my head down and let the products and numbers speak for themselves. My apologies to those affected by these clowns."

Judge said, "Maybe we'll hear from Mr. Pera on this program." That didn't happen, at least not on Monday.

Left has a quality sense of humor and is easily one of the program's best guests. The board and management and lack of exposure are definitely dubious here, but Left didn't identify enough specifics for a near-term case to short, kind of like the Mallinckrodt situation.

Meanwhile, Left told Judge he's not short NVDA but said we're in the type of market where, when we like something, "we just decide a valuation 4 years ahead."




Karen keeps making the argument ‘how can they possibly know’ the hit to EFX EPS, so how does she know it’s oversold?


Jim Cramer on Monday's Halftime touted C and knocked WFC.

Pete Najarian said, "I hate to go against him on this one," stating Warren Buffett is still in the name and that when it's near 1.3 times book, "You gotta own it."

Judge said of Buffett's presence, "It took him a while to, you know, figure out he was ready to be done with IBM to some extent."

Pete said, "IBM didn't have the headaches that Wells Fargo had," and Warren's still there.

Joe Terranova's final trade was TCBI and IBTX. Stephanie Link said EBAY and LITE based on "conference season." Pete said XLF/BAC. Jim Cramer said CAT.

Tony Dwyer, on the 5 p.m. Fast Money that Judge guest-hosted, is still maintaining a 2,510 (snicker) S&P 500 target for year-end, though he sees bigger gains in 2018.

Karen Finerman continued to crow at her EFX short and chortled at the 1.5% rebound Monday. Pete suggested Karen close out the remaining half of her short and try a put spread instead. Karen did call that an "excellent idea."

Doing the 5 p.m. show, Judge had to deal with Tim Seymour's unrestrained garrulousness and made the mistake of asking, "Are you saying then you would be hesitant to buy anything where we are right now?"

"No, I didn't say that," Seymour said. (See, that's part of the problem, after all his commentary, people still don’t know what he said.)

"I know you didn't say that; I'm asking you," Judge said, adding, "Why are you so confrontational tonight (sic redundant, unnecessary last word)?"

"Because I think your questions require a little confrontation back," Seymour responded.

Dan Nathan stressed that not everyone's as good as the purebreds on Fast Money, referring to AMD, "Obviously it's kinda the ugly, red-headed stepchild."



Dammit — Pete admits early-exit bungle in NVDA


Jim Cramer on Monday's Halftime (he apparently had enough free time to do an entire other show) said "the data center" is what's driving the demand for semiconductors.

Jim said NVDA is "insane."

Moments later, Pete Najarian said, "I had a regrets (sic plural) on Friday, the second I sold an Nvidia position that I- THE SECOND I SOLD IT, I said, 'Dammit — I did the wrong thing!"

"I felt so guilty sticking with it," Cramer said.

Stephanie Link said NVDA isn't cheap, but "you can't ignore; it's very much like- I can't ignore Amazon."

Link said she feels like a "broken record" on AVGO.

Joe Terranova, who had a quiet show, questioned how much of it is a "2nd derivative" trade off AAPL. Judge said it's almost all of them but Qualcomm.

Pete Najarian said there's an activist in QCOM, "and it's doin' nothin'."

Jim Cramer said QCOM will have to pay "at least 110" for NXPI.

Jim said of QCOM, "It's kind of like, they think they're the Patriots."

Pete Najarian said MU November 38 calls were getting bought.

Pete said he's back in ORCL, calling the drop "way overdone." He said, "People way over-read where they are in the cloud. Because if that's the read, then you can't own Amazon, right? Because Amazon's cloud has slipped as well. It's been steadily going lower for AWS."

Jim Cramer said of FB and GOOGL, "When you have too much advertising, you can't regulate it, high-quality problem. … Facebook has so much copy, it is hard to vet."

Joe Terranova, who gets Fast Fired over nomenclature seemingly every other day, took heat for calling MSFT and SAP a "great place to hide out."

Joe revealed, "4 o'clock in the morning, and this is the truth, I am outside bringing in the Amazon Fresh bags from what they have done," marveling at how it cut Whole Foods prices 25% in "one weekend."

Pete said of FANG's notoriety: "Half of 'em don't know. They think the A's Apple. The N's Nvidia, It's not Nflix (sic pronunciation), Netflix. How many people screw that up?"



Cramer: Seems like people don’t want to spend big bucks on sneakers anymore


In the quieter moments of Monday's Halftime Report, Judge said Piper downgraded to FINL to an 8 target.

Jim Cramer opined, "The high-priced sneaker may have gone to a level where people don't wanna do it anymore. … Sneakers are a troubled area."

Judge said, "I don't know, my guy wants sneakers."

Judge noted Canaccord's hold on NKE. "Last quarter was actually OK," said Stephanie Link, calling the stock "a long-term winner, especially in the low 50s."

But Pete Najarian noted analyst grumbling about lack of NKE innovation; he trumpeted LULU, "my favorite name in the space."

Pete said there was "incredible" options activity in TMUS, in the October 67 calls. Jim Cramer called the stock "undervalued."

Pete said someone was selling October 92.50 puts in CRM "in a big way." Pete said he bought a call spread rather than sell puts. Jim Cramer gushed about the stock and Marc Benioff.

The show congratulated Sarat Sethi (who wasn't on the program Monday) for making the Barron's Top 100 independent wealth advisors list.

Much more from Monday's Halftime, including Andrew Left's UBNT "fraud" claim, later.



[Friday, Sept. 15, 2017]


Weiss actually states that being enthusiastic about the market with stocks surging to all-time highs is ‘gonna cost you money’


Steve Weiss admitted early on Friday's Halftime, "I still hold a healthy level of cash."

Later, Kari Firestone said "there's still a lot of people who have 50% cash, 40% cash," prompting Judge to ask Weiss about that.

Weiss insisted that he runs "a strategy that's not correlated to the market," and keeping money aside for that "expands my cash level."

Also, Weiss said he looks for "opportunities," which has been a "great strategy," such as buying BABA when it got hit and AAPL on a week of a market selloff. But he's "waitin' a little bit" on airlines now.

Pete Najarian stated, "I'd like to give Weiss a little financial advice: You're in too much cash."

Weiss said investing in beta vs. Pete's picks of MRK and PFE, it's actually like being "quadruple" Pete's position in PFE.

Weiss also said that in his strategy, "I don't want a lot of emails and stuff, it's only for accredited investors," but he's got to "wait" and be "optimistic" (sic probably meant "opportunistic") to put money in that strategy. Josh Brown asked for his minimum; Weiss said $5 million.

Weiss, who tends to stack papers on his desk when losing an argument, noted that "we hear" Howard Marks and Ray Dalio, then scoffed that "we come here, we hear this incredible enthusiasm, you gotta be in … pedal to the metal and all that. And guess what, that's not reality, because that's when the surprises come out and hit and gonna cost you money."




The more he talked, the more Weiss dug a hole


Steve Weiss on Friday's Halftime Report said "there's no good reason" not to own AMZN, "except for my discipline doesn't allow me to, because they're not concerned with profitability."

That drew some skepticism, as Josh Brown noted that Weiss invests in biotechs that don't earn money.

Weiss said, "It's not because they don't earn money, I said don't earn money at this point in their life cycle." (For those unconvinced about the distinction.)

Kari Firestone cracked to Brown, "It's another kind of discipline."

Brown argued that AMZN does earn money; "by some cash-flow measures, they're earning more than every publicly traded retailer combined."

Weiss said, "But they put it all back into the company."

Brown said, "Oh, so terrible."

Judge rather subtly noted Weiss has owned NFLX (which presumably is earning enough money at this point in its life cycle).

Weiss, though, was frustrated by Brown. "It's like talking to Hillary Clinton; everything I say, you twist," Weiss told Brown.

Kari Firestone said she's got an overweight position in AMZN, but what's troubling is hearing it's going to be "everything to everyone."



Steve Liesman makes the ultimate argument for passive investing


Friday's Fast Money opened with paenlists assessing the stock market.

"Look at advance-decline making a new high," said Josh Brown, calling that the "key."

Brown and Pete Najarian both trumpeted semiconductors.

Pete said he has no regrets taking off his SPY call position.

Steve Liesman joined the crew and said a December quarter-point hike is "about a 50/50 probability."

Liesman said Yellen and others "wanna do this, but they won't do it in a kind-of reckless manner."

Liesman said he found Greg Ip's article on the Fed losing credibility "over the top."

Judge said "pardon my expression," but it seems the Fed doesn't have a "clue" in forecasting the economy or inflation. Liesman said the Fed has done "OK" forecasting the economy, but inflation is a "weird thing."

Josh Brown, rightly weary of Judge's constant what-takes-this-market down line of questioning, stated, "We could sit here and come up with this list of things that could happen, or, we could focus on the big picture, and when you do that, you'll own the market."

Stephen Weiss said he doesn't buy "markets," but "stocks." Josh said it's been working for a hundred years. Weiss said that's "mediocrity."

Liesman, apparently now the ultimate contrarian, said, "To me, Josh, the moment when the market is hitting records is the very prime time to sit there and think about what could go wrong." (And how's Howard Marks' caution and Carl's Day of Reckoning working out?)

Liesman revealed, "About a month ago, I recently (sic redundant) sold some stock." He said he only did that because he "rebalanced" his stock and bond percentage, a "totally dispassionate" move. (In the old days, we would've been rehashing the CNBC-on-air-personalities-stock-ownership policy, but now we basically yawn; we think they can own mutual funds but not specific stocks unless they're grandfathered in or GE (or perhaps Comcast now).)

He also said, "I say pick a allocation thing (sic grammar), put money away every month, and don't be deterred by the ups and downs … the majority of folks are doing it that way."

Kari Firestone said the weakening dollar was unexpected in forecasts at the beginning of the year, suggesting that's a factor in materials and energy.

Stpehen Weiss though said he'd give up on energy as just a trade.



Josh hanging around with NVDA; Pete out


Josh Brown on Friday's Halftime said he's been in NVDA since last summer and has "no plans" to take it off.

Brown said the notion that NVDA is a "crypto" stock didn't hold water this week when crypto crashed and NVDA had a good week.

Pete Najarian said he was in the name until today but got out on the pop. "It's about what's happening in the future," Pete said, adding he'll wait for the next pullback or options activity.

Pete trumpeted chips including QCOM; Judge pointed out that QCOM has been a "dog." Pete admitted, "you're a hundred percent right."

Weiss said he bought MU "in the high 20s" and called WDC a buy.



Pete: ORCL ‘way overdone’


Josh Brown on Friday's Halftime said he doesn't disagree with "some of what Jamie said" about bitcoin.

"I think the ICOs are mostly frauds" that will draw regulator interest, Brown said. But he predicted "serious institutional usage for crypto" and said he wants to be in the "gray area" on the subject.

Pete Najarian said October 26 GDX calls were popular after recent buying in March 30s. (And do we ever go a month without the Najarians spotting unusual bullish activity in either the GDX or GDXJ?)

Jeff Kilburg said the trajectory for gold and silver is higher. Anthony Grisanti though said hedge funds are "about to be squeezed" on long positions in gold and silver.

Steve Weiss said of FSLR, "any time the stock spikes like this is a time to take profits … I'm not a buyer."

Josh Brown said CCL has "definitely" broken the uptrend; he doesn't want anything to do with it.

Pete said ORCL's outlook was "weaker than expected," but the selloff was "way overdone."

Kari Firestone called robotics stocks interesting, CGNX, ZBRA and TER.

Pete Najarian's final trade was FCX. Josh Brown said ALB; "I will not stop talking about it." (This writer is long ALB.) Kari Firestone said HSC; Weiss said FCEa and said it's worth in the 30s.




Weiss tripped up multiple times on why he’s bogged down in cash


Friday's Halftime Report produced a skewering of Stephen Weiss' "healthy level" of cash (and various investment strategies).

Weiss (picture above not from Friday) tried to dismiss the general market enthusiasm (for stocks at all-time highs) as somehow a contra-indicator, stating that "we hear" Howard Marks (how's that been working out) and Ray Dalio, then scoffed that "we come here, we hear this incredible enthusiasm, you gotta be in … pedal to the metal and all that. And guess what, that's not reality, because that's when the surprises come out and hit and gonna cost you money."

But Josh Brown rightly tired of Judge's constant what-takes-this-market down line of questioning, stating, "We could sit here and come up with this list of things that could happen, or, we could focus on the big picture, and when you do that, you'll own the market."

Steve Liesman though somehow echoed Weiss' argument, stating, "To me, Josh, the moment when the market is hitting records is the very prime time to sit there and think about what could go wrong."

Much more about Weiss' portfolio and approaches to AMZN, biotechs and others, later.



[Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017]


Seema in glasses! (a/k/a Tom Lee suggests (with the usual qualifier) bitcoin $25,0000)


Chamath Palihapitiya on Thursday's Halftime said each FANG is merely a "data company in disguise."

He said FB and GOOGL have a much higher "regulatory overhang" than AMZN does.

Palihapitiya is "massively long" bitcoin, because it's a "fundamentally distributed store of value" amid central banks' "created or implemented value destruction."

Josh Brown asked Palihapitiya if the IRS and Treasury could one day "rip 50% out of the market cap of crypto." Palihapitiya asserted, "The IRS has no place to go."

Brown said, "They could shut the exchanges down tomorrow if they wanted to." Palihapitiya shrugged, "It'll just happen like it did before."

On the 5 p.m. Fast Money, Tom Lee — whose most notable call recently was his boneheaded 4-5% correction in the S&P 500 over the month of September (then again, whatever happened to Carl’s Day of Reckoning?) — was asked to forecast the price of bitcoin in 2-3 years.

Lee said the "framework" for evaluating bitcoin is to regard it as a "store of value." (This is where the b.s. comes in.) "If it's 5% of gold in 5 years, it's 25,000 per unit," Lee said.

Karen Finerman somehow is bullish on bitcoin. "I know that I wanna be there," Karen said. At least Guy Adami brought up the Emperor-Has-No-Clothes angle: "So my pushback … How can it be a way to conduct commerce and still have the volatility that it has. It's either a- it's either a currency in which you conduct commerce, or it's a speculative tool."

Primary speculation centered on what Seema Mody would somehow do for an encore while reporting on this subject; the answer was glasses.



‘Assume all of your data has likely been breached already’


Judge on Thursday's Halftime finally brought up EFX, asking Chamath Palihapitiya about cybersecurity — prompting Palihapitiya to make his most convincing statement of the day.

If you worry about things such as the Equifax disaster, "You'll worry yourself into a puddle," Palihapitiya said.

"I think it's almost better to assume all of your data has likely been breached already," Palihapitiya asserted before pointing out that we're only barely aware of the most recent reported details. "It's probably happened before … these people have probably been in there for years."

We thought about that, then realized, we couldn't possibly agree more.

They say people should worry about things within their control. How corporations and government and quasi-government entities protect personal data is not one of those things.

People scared of being 1 of 143 million on Equifax should consider the possibility of a junkie breaking into their dentist's office and grabbing some patient files while searching for the Vicodin.

That doesn't excuse the disgrace/incompetence of Equifax. But it's not the first and won't be the last. Protecting your data in ways that you can control — not giving it out to hucksters on the phone or replying to phishing/spam emails or having an angry ex-spouse or relative — is the best you can do; if you unfortunately end up with a problem, there are mechanisms for dealing with it, some of them actually quite impressive on the part of financial institutions in terms of response.

Anyway, Jon Najarian said QCOM December 57.50 calls were getting bought.

Brian Stutland said crude needs "significant" demand to propel the price past $50. Jim Iuorio said he'd be a bigger bull with a target around 54 if crude settles above 50.15.

Doc's final trade was NLSN. Jim Lebenthal said GM. Josh Brown said ALB. (This writer is long ALB.)



The great Transfer of Wealth to Texas Car Owners (cont’d)


Adam Jonas was summoned to Thursday's Halftime Report to explain his downgrades of HTZ and CAR — which would've been a better topic for the 5 p.m. Fast Money, when CAR bull Steve Grasso was on.

But whatever.

Jones explained that "it's not just the Uberization; we think the barriers to entry to car rental are going down."

"There's greater risk than opportunity in car rental," Jonas added.

Jonas admitted to Judge that he actually raised his price targets on HTZ (14) and CAR (21) despite the downgrade. That's when he again brought up the notion of "wealth transfer" (snicker) from insurance companies to the car dealers and consumers; he thinks used-car prices "will be pretty good for a couple quarters."

Jim Lebenthal said it sounds like Jonas is saying the industry is "fatally flawed." Jonas didn't really answer the question but mentioned car-rental insurance upselling and then, in fairness, actually tried to make the bull case for the rental companies while concluding he doesn't think it's enough for investors.

Chamath Palihapitiya wondered about financing for Hertz as it has to keep buying cars. Jonas said it won't have to be dealt with in the latter half of 2017 but agreed that it's coming.

As for Tesla, Jonas told Judge that the truck only adds about $5 to the stock price.

Jonas said the "message" behind his TSLA equal-weight rating is that they "really respect" what Tesla's doing, and the suppliers have "enormous respect" for the company, "but we do think that it's gonna invite competition over time."

Chamath Palihapitiya said the demand for Tesla's Model 3 is "absolutely enormous and off the charts" and then made a stark forecast for the BMW3 series; "that entire business is gonna go to zero."

Jonas said, "I hear that a lot from folks, 'BMW's gonna go to zero.'" But while that might be calculable on paper, in reality, the auto industry is huge in Germany, and "This is gonna get so political," Jonas said.

Judge brought up Jim Chanos' anti-TSLA argument about burning cash. Jonas said those points are "factually accurate." But if Tesla is viewed as more than just an auto company, "It may not be an expensive company."

Josh Brown said Chanos understands the TSLA excitement, but Chanos would point out that "there was a time when Enron was considered more than just a utility." Jon Najarian said Enron was "pretending" to do stuff, while Tesla is actually doing stuff.



Low bar: Anyone professing a new IPO technique need only point to SNAP


Chamath Palihapitiya, the star guest of Thursday's Halftime (unless you count Adam Jonas), said of his Social Capital Hedosophia IPO, "It went way better than I thought it could go." (Well, isn't that supposed to be his specialty?)

"People are betting on you!" Judge told Palihapitiya. Palihapitiya said, "I think what they're betting on really is for us to actually do a better job than say the traditional IPO banking infrastructure."

Referring to the most dubious stock of 2017, Palihapitiya said the SNAP process was "quite profound."

"Clearly it was mispriced," he said, adding Morgan Stanley admitted a "mistake," and now it's below the IPO price, all "fundamentally unnecessary" and "entirely avoidable."

Josh Brown, recalling his retail brokerage days when "we were doing a SPAC a week," told Palihapitiya that "there weren't any successes when the dust settled … the excitement wore off, and the stocks ended up not working."

Palihapitiya said that's an "excellent point," and "all of those SPACs were about control transactions … that's not what we are doing here."



[Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2017]


The question David should’ve asked Karen, but didn’t


The most informative conversation of Wednesday's 5 p.m. Fast Money centered on whether the pain in EFX is over (something we kind of dabbled in, to poor results).

Karen Finerman said no way, she is short as of Monday. "We're gonna see so many pile-ons," Finerman said, adding, "I just wonder how damaged is the business on a much more permanent basis."

Bringing up something that crossed our mind (snicker) this week, Finerman said, "This is unlike, the, you know, United Airlines passenger situation," noting TRU was also getting "crushed."

David Seaburg though said if the $200 million revenue from direct consumer business disappears for EFX, "that's 35 cents impact to earnings."

"I don't think that's the containment of the issue at all," Karen said.

"I don't think so either," chimed in Mel.

Seaburg said with an 18 multiple and consensus numbers down to $6.37, "that's a $115 stock."

Karen said, "Why should they get an 18 times multiple?" Seaburg said he was subtracting from "21½-ish."

Well, a couple things … first of all, nobody mentioned volume, surprisingly because Guy Adami usually takes note of it. EFX not only had massive downward volume Friday, but Wednesday. At some point, we're not saying when, a stock in this situation runs out of sellers.

Also, data breaches have not been like asbestos suits or oil leaks in the Gulf. Not yet, at least. This company deals with banks; it's not Chipotle.

Here's the question Seaburg should've asked Finerman: What price would you buy it at? We're sure Karen will protest, "It's too hard to know right now." But we also know she would gladly scoop it up at $5. So there is a price at which she would buy it. Is it $100? $75? $50? Worse? Whatever the answer, that's your trade.

Guy Adami said it's a "fascinating conversation," but, "I happen to agree with Karen."

Dan Nathan tried to claim the EFX hack will help the blockchain community.




Fast Money gang discusses favorite Patrick Swayze movies; no one mentions ‘Road House’


We tried to ignore Wednesday's 5 p.m. Fast Money, but they kept roping us in, partly because Karen Finerman made a rare appearance.

Guy Adami said the FL and FINL trading bounce will continue, though ultimately they're value traps.

Finerman, who had touted FL in spring and summer, admitted, "I've been a Foot Locker fan," but rather than distributors, "brands is where you kinda wanna be." She halfheartedly recommended PVH. (Nothing about the joy of buying stocks trading down in "integers," which was the case with FL in the mid-50s.)

Karen also sounded like she couldn't push the button on M, though Scott Redler even suggested 28 for that name.




Mel dynamite in new navy top


Dan Nathan on Wednesday's 5 p.m. Fast Money touted NKE (snicker) for all its ecommerce moves (even though its profile in Barron's evidently escaped Judge's attention).

David Seaburg said, "I think Nike's in trouble."

We'll side with Seaburg; there's a glut of performance athletic wear or athleisure or whatever it's called, and there's nothing exciting in the sneaker space.

Guy Adami articulated a bull case for TMO, an excellent call by Joe Terranova over the summer.

During a discussion of drug patents, David Seaburg mentioned Kyle Bass, first time we've heard that name in months if not years. (What's happened to the Greece or Japan pending implosion?)



AAPL event finally over


Much of Wednesday's Halftime centered on AAPL, a stock and company we're highly tired of hearing about.

Jon Najarian said he's not calling for a 5-10% selloff in AAPL, but the stock may reach "maybe even the low 150s."

Josh Brown said his team "went and ran the numbers," and "there's absolutely no rhyme or reason" in terms of what AAPL does immediately after the launch vs. where the stock is in 90 days.

Brown said it's a "fantasy" to foresee a 5% pullback based on the product announcement.

Brown mentioned the (Zzzzzzzz) wireless charging and 2-hour-longer battery life of the new iPhone, calling it the "Jesus Phone." Doc chortled, "Samsung had all this multiple models ago."

Brown said "the Apple customer is not switching to a Samsung phone." Doc said, "Just so we are clear on that though, that's not an innovation. Apple makes it better. Apple makes it easier to use."

Toni Sacconaghi, who always is introduced with the label "No. 1" even though Pete Najarian only talks about Katy Huberty, said the AAPL announcement is "in line with expectations" (Zzzzzzz).

Sacconaghi said "the real question" is what will be the "elasticity of demand" based on the higher phone price.

As to the "I" question, "I think if you look back over the last 5 years, one can certainly make a case that Apple's level of innovation is not at the level that it was in the preceding 5 years," Sacconaghi said.

Sacconaghi called the new phone "a home run in China."

Jim Lebenthal said the Watch (Zzzzzz) was "off the radar screen" a year ago, but now people think it's a "growth driver."

Joe Terranova said the next 3 months could be "bumpy" for AAPL, but 9-12 months from now, it's "going to be higher." He touted AVGO and said he bought GLW and even said "Samsung's a big winner in this."

Jim Lebenthal said it'll be "huge" for QCOM (Zzzzzzzz) if it prevails on collecting royalties based on average selling price rather than just the components.



Honestly … not trying to be snarky … but given the headlines, sounds like Delivering Alpha was pretty boring


Judge on Wednesday's Halftime aired a clip of concerns expressed during Delivering Alpha but said Mary Erdoes said alpha is back.

Josh Brown said he doesn't know that alpha is back, stating "80% of all the flows into funds this year have gone into products with uh expense ratios of under 20 basis points. The entire industry is being upended. It's possible that we're only in the 2nd or 3rd inning of that phenomenon."

Joe Terranova said the "takeaway" from Delivering Alpha was, "There is no greater time to be diversified than now."

Josh Brown said Julian Robertson is right about, in the '60s, the FANG stocks would be 200 times earnings and that they're not trading like the Nifty Fifty. Joe said the FANGs are "deeply liquid," which is why they're so desirable.

Leslie Picker said Chanos announced a short in CLR. Joe said Chanos' thesis was "in direct opposite" to that of Lee Cooperman. Joe touted RRC and said he's "not necessarily sold" on Chanos' short but said, "If you think rates are gonna spiral out of control then yes, Jim is gonna be right on this one." (Actually rates are either going to spiral or not spiral regardless of what anyone thinks about them.)



Brown: Harvard doesn’t
need $100 million


Bobby Turner joined the set of Wednesday's Halftime to tout Profits with a Purpose.

Josh Brown asked Turner about people giving $100 million to Harvard, "which clearly doesn't need the money."

Jim Lebenthal said he just doesn't get how SLB can be considered socially responsible.

Doc said January 10 calls in OCLR were getting bought in "big numbers" while the 8 puts were getting sold. Josh Brown asked what the company does; he's never heard of it. Doc said fiber and said "I think this is one of Stephanie's stocks."

Brian Stutland said he expects copper to pull back to 2.90 or 2.80 where he'd buy; he sold at 2.99. Jim Iuorio said he's looking for 2.85 and sees it as a dollar story.

Joe Terranova's final trade was IBTX and TCBI. Jim Lebenthal said GM, and Josh Brown said ALB, a name in which he has hit a home run. Doc said HES, another energy name even though he constantly says he shouldn't have done energy names this year.



[Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017]

Pete tries to suggest Chanos might want to think about shorting AMZN


Tuesday's Halftime Report crew, conducting a show during Delivering Alpha, somehow decided that the full hour — during a record-breaking S&P day — should be devoted to a famous short seller.

(At least Judge didn't even bring up CAT, the most boring and useless famous short of all time.)

But the most interesting subject was a stock that Grandpa Jim Chanos won't short, AMZN.

Judge asked if Chanos could ever envision shorting it. "No," Chanos said, claiming, "Everybody likes to say that Blank is the next Amazon. We hear that all the time."

Actually, we're not sure we've ever heard it, on this program or elsewhere.

But Chanos offered perhaps the best, and most concise, explanation of Amazon's business model that we've heard on the show, explaining Jeff Bezos had previously financed the company by selling stuff to consumers and paying the suppliers later. "When he got AWS, the profits started to flow," Chanos said.

Pete Najarian seemed to think AMZN would be a strong short possibility for Chanos. "AWS is shrinking, slowly, but it's shrinking," Pete said, stating it occurs to him that "God, Amazon would be something that would stand out for you, because, in some ways they- they're not making enough money to support where they are."

Chanos shrugged. "I can find you, I can find you 30 other companies that have P.E.s similar without Jeff Bezos there," Chanos told Pete.

Chanos added, "Their basic product is data, your shopping habits … at the end of the day, that's a reasonably good model. See Google, see Facebook."

Actually, we'll take the other side of that. Google and Facebook each went public after they were enormously used … but well before they were printing money. The bull case was that they would quickly be able to do so. They did. Amazon is getting bought because people are streaming movies. Does anyone think AMZN is going to have $100 billion in cash anytime soon?

Meanwhile, "The grocery industry, we've been short," Chanos said. He wouldn't tell Judge if he's short KR but said you can take some "guesses."

Chanos was so lukewarm and matter-of-fact about the short scene, we gotta think this market's on autopilot.



This time, nothing about how Sen. Claire McCaskill should walk the 2 9 miles across town to MNK’s offices


Judge on Tuesday's Halftime brought up Jim Chanos target MNK.

The only problem is, we've heard this all from Andrew Left on this program months ago.

Chanos pointed to an article released last night after the close about an Oregon study on Acthar that was "devastating." Chanos also pointed to the Medicare costs of the drug.

Judge said MNK says Chanos overstates the "level of contribution" that Acthar makes toward the company's profitability. Chanos said the company was just sued by the ESOP who claims the company is "lying" about that percent.

Judge said ESRX says there's no "payor impact" at the level Chanos has stated.

Chanos shrugged, "We're short the PBM industry" as well as "bad actors" in the drug specialty space.



Another day in September, another blow to the 5%-drop-in-30-days prediction


Grandpa Jim Chanos on Tuesday's Halftime pinned the roaring stock market on the Fed. "I think we're here because, basically the central banks have stayed easy," Chanos said.

He pointed out that markets around the world have done well, so it's a "stretch" to credit the year's gains to Donald Trump.

Chanos joked to Judge that it's "easier" to find shorts in this environment, but "they don't work."

Chanos told Steve Weiss, with Josh Brown one of the early panelists on Delivering Alpha day, that "large corporations" are not clamoring for tax reform because, "Under most of these scenarios, they actually- their cash tax rate will go up."

"The non-deductibility of interest is a big deal," Chanos added, contending that tax reform is really about the "pass-throughs."

Chanos affirmed he's still short TSLA. "The only people more bearish than us are the corporate executives," he cracked.

After rattling off the typical financials/corporate governance, Chanos concluded, "If you wouldn't be short this, what would you be short?"

Here's the only problem with that. It's the premier entry in an exciting space, it makes a great product, it has a star CEO. It's like NFLX. Someday, it'll be uninteresting, but that's likely years or decades away. (This writer has no position in TSLA.)



Evidently Chanos underestimated BABA’s clout (a/k/a Things That Famous Short Sellers Overlook)


Jim Chanos on Tuesday's Halftime revealed he covered his BABA short in January.

"Their corporate lawyer was nominated to be chair of the SEC," Chanos said, before offering what should be his take on Tesla: "This might just be a dead story for a while."

"Basically 70% of their business is advertising," Chanos said of BABA.

Stephen Weiss revealed, "I've been adding to BABA," saying he's "sorta glad the accounting is somewhat opaque." Weiss admitted his reason for owning is because BABA is a "momentum stock in a momentum market that I'm looking to take advantage of."

Judge said Chanos is maybe the most "notable" China bear, "maybe on the face of the Earth." Chanos admitted he's "less short" China now than any time in the last 7 years.

After a Delivering Alpha update from CNBC's Leslie Picker, Weiss faulted Ray Dalio for touting gold "in the name of diversification." Josh Brown said gold has been in a 37-year bear market, and on an inflation-adjusted basis, it "has never gotten above the early-'80s high."

Chanos said he doesn't have a view on what if Gary Cohn leaves the administration. He said he has "no thoughts" on whether Janet Yellen should be reappointed." Weiss claimed "nobody's indispensable," citing "so many people" who used to work for him.



Nobody’s indispensable — imagine what would happen to BABA if Jack Ma weren’t there, to TSLA if Elon weren’t there ...


Joe Terranova on Tuesday's Halftime struggled to ask Jim Chanos how does he/does he not pick an asset class globally to short. (Yeah, we couldn't really figure out the question either, but at least he didn't ask about liquidations in the tech sector.) Chanos eventually told Joe, "We're passively long the markets … and we're short individual ideas."

Judge noted Lee Cooperman said at Delivering Alpha that UAL could go to $100, though it may take "12 to 18 months." Pete Najarian said, "I own this stock," but he said while it gets 70% of DAL's income, it's only half the market cap, so, "Something's not working there in that math."

Joe said he prefers DAL to UAL, citing Texas and Caribbean storm impact.

Pete's final trade was PFE and MRK. Joe agreed and said CTAS.

Chanos said MCD is "absolutely taking share" in the burger space.



[Monday, Sept. 11, 2017]

Gene didn’t clarify if 7-8% drop constitutes ‘liquidation’


Gene Munster on Monday's Halftime Report said he's now expecting a 7-8% drop in AAPL, not his original 10%, after the event, citing "something incremental" in the LTE Watch.

Munster said the Watch "is 3% of Apple's business today."

Judge asked if Munster is saying that the Watch "in and of itself" (sic redundant) is changing his near-term forecast. Munster said yes, because Street numbers probably go up.

Munster said the "Golden Master" of the Apple event somehow got leaked. But he said he thinks the new phone will deliver growth. Judge finally asked what should've been the first question, why the stock will fall. Munster said people have made a lot of money over the last year and it's had a strong run into this event, and when that happens, "typically there is a pullback."

Jon Najarian said AAPL 162.50 calls were getting aggressively bought. Doc said he'll be selling AAPL calls on Tuesday. Pete Najarian noted that Doc talked about untethering the Watch to the phone "years ago." Pete also mocked Weiss (who wasn't there) for claiming AAPL is "not innovating," citing Augmented Reality (snicker) and also that Weiss "doesn't like services, but he owns the stock."

Joe Terranova wondered if Steve Mnuchin will talk about repatriation at Delivering Alpha.

On the 5 p.m. Fast Money, Pete said he talked with Gene Munster on Friday in Minneapolis. (That would be a fun one to eavesdrop on; "You should hear what we talk about during commercials," etc.)



Haven’t heard any AMZN-to-$3,400 in at least a few days


On Monday's Halftime, Jackie DeAngelis, who reported all day from Riviera Beach, Fla., said power and ports were the 2 issues in Florida (that was pretty much the story all day, although she later added gasoline); "it's 90 degrees here and hot" (hopefully Jackie packed a swimsuit).

Joe Terranova shrugged that he's "not overly concerned" about cotton and orange juice trading in the wake of Irma. Jim Lebenthal said of insurers, "This is not the time to go diving into this sector right now."

Judge made sure to wish Floridians a "speedy recovery."



If SNAP hits single digits, it’s the Call of the Year; if not, it’s the Bust of the Year


Jon Najarian on Monday's Halftime said December 55 calls in ORCL were getting scooped up.

Doc also said people who bought TEVA 16.50 calls last week for 16 cents are now getting $2.30.

Pete Najarian said November 35 calls in INTC got bought. Pete also said there was "pretty aggressive buying" in SNAP 15.50 September calls. Even so, "I think it goes single digits," Pete reiterated. Doc said he, like Pete, bought in to this trade.

Pete said he's long MU but not in STX. Joe Terranova said he wouldn't "align" himself with a "falling knife" strategy such as buying STX; he thinks MU is in a "much better position."

Jim Lebenthal said he prefers INTC (big surprise) to MU.

Judge said MA hit an all-time high. "It's goin' higher from here," said Jim Lebenthal.

Joe said he doesn't want to buy UAL despite the nice reversal. He does want to buy JBLU and DAL.

Pete said he wouldn't buy REGN just yet.

Doc said RE bounced but opened at 245 and was only 234 during the show.

Pete's final trade was WFC. "Maybe the turn is in," Pete said.

Doc said TWTR; he likes it for "2 or 3 months."

Jim Lebenthal said GM. Joe said ORCL and SAP.



Joe says owning QQQ puts was a ‘very bad position,’ an ‘awful position,’ a ‘horrible position’


Just Wednesday, Joe Terranova was bragging about buying "fantastic" QQQ puts.

It was a different story on Monday's Halftime, when Joe was forced to admit at the top of the show, "Obviously I took a very bad position in QQQ puts, that's an awful position to have this morning. You take your loss, you move on … horrible position."

But honestly, that wasn't nearly as bad as Tom Lee's lunkheaded "September '87" reference on Friday to a 4-5% drop in 30 days. (Or even Weiss' boneheaded "50% cash.")

Joe questioned how the Fed has any "accuracy" in forecasting data amid 2 hurricanes.

Pete Najarian, meanwhile, said Goldman Sachs deems this market as "not euphoric."

Judge noted, "We're positive for September." Jim Lebenthal said "this is exactly why" you shouldn't try to time a correction.

Jon Najarian said the market was providing a "very good reaction to what most of us would say is pretty s- horrific news."

Judge cross-promoted Steve Mnuchin on Delivering Alpha on Tuesday.



Judge doesn’t mention Barron’s article on avoiding NKE


Craig Johnson, who sees up to 5% upside into year-end, said on Monday's Halftime that we've gone "303 days without a correction" of 5%, which he said is "adding to the nervousness."

Johnson said, "If we start to see a break in the FANG stocks, then I'm gonna be nervous; otherwise, 2,575 I think is a really reasonable objective by year-end."

Judge asked, "What could drag the market down." Johnson said the "key risk" is that "the bond market does not believe that there's any sort of inflation."

Jim Lebenthal said Johnson is more likely to be right than Tom "4-5% in 30 days" Lee is, and that a name such as AMZN has already corrected.

Pete Najarian took issue with Johnson's suggestion that banks would "roll over" with rate headwinds.

Pete soid he sold BAC but bought WFC; the latter became his final trade.

Doc said BAC is the only bank he owns now. He thinks JPM will get to 100 by year-end, but he'll be able to get it at a better price.

Usually all it takes is someone breathing on the panel to prompt a discussion of 1) NKE or 2) the Barron's cover story; Judge curiously avoided NKE Monday even though it made the Barron's cover with a stay-away call.

More from Monday's Halftime later.



[Friday, Sept. 8, 2017]


September 1987 enters the lexicon of parallels for this dangerous market


Joining the ranks of Howard Marks and Jeffrey Gundlach in the most recent CNBC parlor game, Tom Lee on Friday's Halftime Report — the 2nd straight day of crisp, informative programming — predicted a 4-5% drop in the S&P 500 over 30 days, citing "evidence of risk aversion," "deterioration of market internals" and "setbacks in Washington."

Well, we'll give him props for attaching a time frame.

Waffling like l'eggo my egg'o, Rob Sechan said he agrees and disagrees, that the drop could happen but "probably not," it's a situation where "there's lots to worry about with a healthy fundamental backdrop."

Lee made a reference to "September '87" (usually from others it's something about the market not looking like this since 2007, 1999 and 1929), explaining an 800-basis-point-per-year gap between stock performance and GDP over 5 years.

Later in the show, Lee said the median P.E. is 19 times forward earnings. "The only times it's been higher has been '99 (bingo), and 2000, 2001."

Jon Najarian politely said, "I don't agree with the 6% selloff," explaining he saw "huge paper in the S&P 500" on Friday.

Pete Najarian said he too disagrees with Lee and pointed to that "really aggressive" S&P September call-buying. Pete said he jumped on that trade "immediately."

Not part of his original catalyst, Lee said "Both Sandy and Katrina saw the market draw down 3% peak to trough at least over the next 30 to 45 days."

John Harwood said tax reform looks less likely, given the cost of hurricanes and the suddenly crowded Washington calendar and "rising (snicker) discord" between Donald Trump and Paul Ryan/Mitch McConnell.

Tom Lee called FANG "defensive growth," suggesting a low bond yield is positive for the group.

Pete said a lot of the growth in technology is tied to the cloud, stating it's understandable that Lee likes the FANG names. Judge questioned again if "the FANGs will work if the market doesn't." Pete said his answer is "yes," and if the dollar stays weaker, they'll do even better.



If the stock market can’t figure out how to value GS, then what actually can it value properly?


David Konrad of Macquarie said on Friday's Halftime Report that the market's missing that "FICC's no longer the driver of Goldman Sachs."

Touting the stock, he said, "Sentiment's poor; valuation's attractive," adding this is "seasonally" a good time to buy brokers. He said the story's "a bit misunderstood."

Judge said "it makes me smile" that Konrad raised his GS price target from 255 to a whole 258.

Jon Najarian said he disagrees with Konrad's FICC assessment, predicting when the dollar turns, the FICC side of GS will "explode again."



Don’t give out your password (cont’d)


Jon Najarian on Friday's Halftime said the selling in EFX days after the breach was detected is "a little suspicious in and of itself (sic last 4 words redundant)," and noted with Pete, lo and behold, on Aug. 21, someone bought a bunch of September 135 puts.

Eamon Javers said what the Najarians were talking about (not specifying whether he meant the sales or put buying or both) is an "absolute red flag" but stressed, "it's not definitive."

Javers noted the depth of the breach. "To me, the question is, why are companies allowing this to happen," Javers wondered.



Still trying to figure out what DIS has to gain by purchasing TWTR


Judge on Friday's Halftime said RL got upgraded to outperform by Credit Suisse.

Jon Najarian said he was in it in the 70s but hasn't been in for a while; he likes the call and thinks it's an "iconic brand."

Doc said short interest "propelled" the RL shares through 90.

Rob Sechan said technology seems to be helping RL.

Pete Najarian said in retail, "It's about brand," and he credited Jan Kniffen for talking about that recently. Pete also hailed LULU.

"Kniffen's gonna love the name drop, Pete," Judge said.



Possibly the least enthusiastic ‘generational-bottom’ call of all time


Judge on Friday's Halftime Report kept interrupting Tom Lee as Lee tried to speak about the car-rental companies, a favorite subject of Steve Grasso on recent episodes of Fast Money at 5 p.m.

Lee said "rental cars are interesting" because there are only 2 million rental cars in the U.S. and a million cars being destroyed by storms; he said the sector also needs stable used-car prices, which are benefiting from the storms.

Judge stumbled over handing off KR to Pete Najarian on the Trader Blitz. Pete said the results were fine, but, "they dropped that outlook significantly."

Jon Najarian shook his head at CMG; "I don't know that you buy this one here."

Rob Sechan said he's "not sure" if the pricing power will return to property & casualty insurers after the storms. "They traded down after Katrina, they really didn't trade back meaningfully after that," Sechan said.

Judge and other CNBCers keep referring to weather gal Kalee Dionne as from "WMAQ," without mentioning "Chicago," which isn't exactly Florida or the Caribbean.

Jon Najarian made BBBY his final trade, noting that back to college is "kinda like Christmas for them." Rob Sechan likes the ITB. Tom Lee actually touted digital currencies.

Lee called MSFT a great value stock, and he touted "telecom services" as a great value play.

Lee said energy's at a "generational bottom," though he didn't sound highly effusive.



[Thursday, Sept. 7, 2017]


Fast Fire: Marcato’s stake in Buffalo Wild Wings (a/k/a what is the status of Sumner?)


Judge in 2017 has given a decent amount of airtime to Mick McGuire, whose Marcato has for whatever reason been adamant about turning around Buffalo Wild Wings. (McGuire's appearances actually date back to the Kate Kelly era, evidenced by the photo above.)

McGuire touted his activist initiative in BWLD on Feb. 13, when the stock was 158.20.

On April 20, with the stock at $163.75, he actually tossed out a possible 450 price target, if the "value drivers" are hit.

On Thursday, it skidded to $95, just the latest 52-week low.

So, you can't believe everything you hear on TV.

On May 8, at Ira Sohn, Keith Meister trumpeted his stake in CTL, a day it closed at $24.80.

On Aug. 18, a day CTL hit a 52-week low of 18.41, Pete Najarian said he was in CTL September 20 calls. The stock did climb above 20 over the next week, but Thursday, it was at 18.47.

We should also note that Mario Gabelli, during his occasional appearances, is always asked about VIAB, given that he's a big stakeholder. (Honestly, in the latter half of 2016, CNBC talked about this company every 15 minutes.) To Gabelli's credit, he's never been pounding the table for it, and he has pegged the turnaround as taking 2-3 years, but in January he did tell Barron's about a double in 3 years; that one too is at a 52-week low.



Best show in weeks; panelists at top of their game on DIS, AMZN and GE


After Julia Boorstin reported on Bob Iger's EPS forecast, Rich Greenfield dialed in to Thursday's Halftime and said the media space is challenged, and "even Disney can't avoid those challenges."

Greenfield said DIS spent $2.6 billion on BAMtech, "a money-losing platform."

Greenfield said Disney does need to "create a direct-to-consumer experience." But "they should be getting out of the Hulu joint venture and putting all of the ABC content in. They shouldn't be launching a separate ESPN product; that should be part of it. They should be- It should be everything Disney, not these silos that they're trying to create for different types of content," Greenfield said.

Greenfield said DIS needs to buy something, specifying ATVI "or a major video game player," a service like Spotify, and even TWTR (snicker), because "SportsCenter now is Twitter."

Pete Najarian questioned what's wrong with BAMtech. "This puts them in a position for streaming. I really don't fully understand where Rich comes from on that perspective."

But Pete conceded, "They absolutely were late, and I think that's right directly on Iger."

On the 5 p.m. Fast Money (repetition alert), Pete said, "I love- like" what Bob Iger has done, but, "where were they when it came to streaming that it took this long for them to get to this point."

Judge on Halftime said Disney's streaming is "a move to play defense" rather than offense.

Joe Terranova said, "I'm not sure what Activision really does for them, but Netflix to me would clearly be the target." Joe also doubted whether TWTR is "gonna really move the needle."

Pete questioned if it's "too late" for DIS to buy NFLX. Joe said they have to do something about revenue growth.

Stephen Weiss delivered the best analysis of a crisp segment, pointing out the actual numbers, stating "the issue" with buying NFLX is that DIS would have to pay $100 billion, and (to agreement from panelists) DIS shareholders would "flip out" and be "destroyed" by the dilutive acquisition.

Josh Brown said he read in the morning that AAPL and AMZN are in the bidding for James Bond, which means unlimited competition for the studios. Brown called DIS "probably a better buy than a short" but conceded the whole business "just got a lot more complicated in the last couple years."

Not that long ago, CNBCers used to hail Bob Iger as the greatest thing since sliced bread. Thursday, Weiss said, "He's a great CEO, phenomenal company, but it's just not their time." Guy Adami on the 5 p.m. Fast Money said of Iger, "Where was he a month ago. … The same comments could've been made 25 days ago."

Steve Grasso on the 5 p.m. Fast Money said of DIS, "I think you gotta buy the stock."



Who knew — the secret to growth is buying a grocery chain


In a not-so-convincing argument (but still interesting discussion), Tom Forte on Thursday's Halftime said he's got a $1,300 AMZN target because it's ushering in a new era of "bricks and clicks."

Forte also touted "margin expansion" based on more sales from 3rd-party units.

Judge noted "a guy over at MKM" has a $3,400 AMZN target over the next 7-8 years. Forte said it could be an "open-ended growth story."

Judge asked about risks. Forte said the risk is "slower growth from their Web services unit."

Stephen Weiss said the risk to AWS is actually "happening now" as companies threaten to use other options.

Jon Najarian said AMZN seems to be in "no-man's land" and said 1,300 in 12-18 months is a "reach."

Josh Brown said AMZN "tends to make a big move all at once" and has "so many levers to pull."

Joe Terranova said he has "no clue" as to where AMZN goes, perhaps "sideways." Joe also suggested "too much rhetoric out of Washington, D.C.," is a risk; Josh Brown mentioned the Justice Department's war on MSFT 20 years ago.

Pete Najarian said AWS has reported the lowest level of growth in 3 years. "That's what's driving this company right now," Pete said.



Analyst complains he’s being used by rivals as a contra-indicator


JPMorgan's Stephen Tusa on Thursday's Halftime Report said GE's EPS forecast should be more like $1.30 while the Street is at $1.70, and his latest note indicates it's "it's even worse than we think."

Tusa claims his own clients have been telling him that there are "some other brokers that are basically using my name and saying that I'm too negative as a reason to buy the stock." (Now that's a curious argument — "Hey, buy this stock because this guy is too negative on it.")

Judge noted Tusa's note calls $24 a "ceiling."

"My price target's 22," Tusa said, but he indicated the teens might be more likely, stating the 4% yield "may not be realistic."

Josh Brown asked Tusa what's the "worst thing" GE management could do. Tusa said "A breakup, um, at kinda fire-sale prices, um is probably not the right move."

Tusa added that "40% of their portfolio is exposed to fossil-fuel markets." Brown tried to clarify that Tusa doesn't want them to get out, but Tusa didn't fully answer the question, stating the market value is already reflected in Baker Hughes and so selling doesn't really matter.

Doc scowled at GE like it was SNAP; "they've been buying puts in this thing" for the last week, as if GE was in the "eye of the hurricane," Doc said, specifying "huge numbers" of March 25 puts. "They think this thing's just sliding lower," Doc said.

Stephen Weiss said, "I think you need an entirely new board" at GE. Josh Brown said the stock "looks awful" with "no buyers" (except the ones being steered by rival brokers bringing up Stephen Tusa's name).



Not clear how viewers are supposed to trade orange juice futures


John Harwood on Thursday's Halftime said a debt deal may not be so easy, but he thinks it'll probably get the House votes.

Paul Richards said stocks "possibly need to" react to the dollar, and that in the government, "They're basically setting us up for a mid-December showdown."

Richards said "poor old Draghi … just had no bullets" to stop the euro's rise. He called the euro a "difficult buy" when you've got central bankers watching it so closely.

Judge said AAPL had taken "a noticeable drop lower" because of the WSJ story that the new iPhone has been plagued by "production glitches." Pete Najarian shrugged that this has happened "how many times in the past." Others agreed, but Doc suggested letting it slide to 157 and then buying.

Toni Sacconaghi was brought in later, stating there's been "speculation" for 6 months that the new high-end OLED phone would be delayed. Sacconaghi said the issue is whether the delay would be enough to cause buyers to consider other devices. Judge said, "So, you're essentially saying they have a 2-month window."

Doc said there was a rumor that Jana would step in to TRIP. He said 45 and 45.50 calls expiring Friday were getting bought. Pete noted GILD has "absolutely exploded" since the KITE deal; the September 82.50 calls were getting bought.

Jim Iuorio thinks orange juice is heading higher long term. Brian Stutland said cotton and lumber had been basing and starting to recover before the hurricane season; "watch for prices to move higher."

Judge said FEYE got upgraded at Morgan Stanley; Joe Terranova scoffed, "that's basically a get-out-of-jail-free card for Fireye." Joe called SYMC "much better."

Pete Najarian said BAC upside calls were getting bought. Doc's final trade was ALKS based on buying of the 50 calls while Judge kept interrupting with Weiss' jokes. Weiss' final trade was FCEa. Josh Brown said ALB, and Joe said HON.



[Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2017]


Not interested in bitcoin, but now it appears Seema is CNBC’s bitcoin reporter ...


Mel billed the appearance of Robert Shiller on Wednesday's 5 p.m. Fast Money as a big bitcoin showdown because Shiller apparently thinks bitcoin is in a "bubble."

Which of course means he's really going to 1) sound surprised at the first question (check), 2) say, "I'm not as negative as it may seem" (check) and 3) soften the definition of "bubble" (check).

Tim Seymour complained his "wife's guitar teacher" and his "lift home at 2 in the morning when I've been out drinkin'" have been asking him about bitcoin, making him skeptical.

It's not hard for us to see this thing "trading" (if that's the right word) for $100 after people start to wonder why they're paying 4 digits for a computer doohickey.

On other matters, Seymour said, "I have to tell you that, um, Gary Cohn as Fed chairman doesn't give me a ton of confidence. And I wonder, you know, really, what is on the resume that allows this guy to be Fed chairman." Obviously Tim hasn't spent all 9 innings of a Yankee game with Cohn.



If Joe brings up tech ‘liquidation’ on Thursday, we’re gonna toss him outta the union


Judge on Wednesday's Halftime didn't read a Barron's article to panelists and viewers.

But he did decide to say that the tech sector "looks questionable."

"It looks questionable? Ooh, really," hooted Pete Najarian.

Joe Terranova only made things worse, stating he disagrees with Pete and Steve Weiss, claiming, "We seem to lose technology yesterday at a certain point."

Pete said, "I think that's an overstatement to say 'lose technology.' I mean, how did we lose technology yesterday."

Pete insisted tech had just "screamed to the upside, and now it's in a pause phase."

Joe said, "You're actually I think validating what I'm saying in the- in the near term."

"I'm not sure I am," Pete said.

Pete accused Judge and Joe of "making it sound like everybody just said, 'Holy crap, we gotta start selling tech.'" Then Pete told Joe, "Yesterday you used the word 'liquidation.'"

"Well, absolutely," Joe said.

Judge asked Pete, "Somebody pee in your Honey Nut Cheerios today?" (That's our line, from "Wall Street.")

"Hey man, I'm all good," Pete said, "I just don't understand something that's not even down more than 1% that suddenly they're liquidating assets in, that just seems baffling."

Joe said, "Well, tech is down 1% so far this month. It is."

"Liquidating, selling, it's the same thing … it's semantics," Joe said.

"I don't know," Judge offered. "I liquidate my bank account, I sorta take everything out, don't I?"

"Correct," said Pete. "Thank you, Scott. That's where I'm going. That's why the liquidation worry is a complete extreme," Pete said.

Joe inexplicably suddenly admitted, "I used the wrong term. … I get all that." Then he bragged that he bought QQQ puts a day earlier that are doing "fantastic."

Weiss said he wants more of a tech pullback to buy some.

Honestly, it's a trading show, and it's fine for Joe to make a trading call in tech. But nobody's buying it. Nobody thinks it's really already happened, as Joe suggests, and the consensus is clearly that any decent selloff would get bought, so at best Joe is talking about picking up pennies and nickels in front of trains.

He's more than welcome to try.



If plunging 10-year yield reflects deflationary real impact of technology, why is technology being liquidated?


Joe Terranova on Wednesday's Halftime Report said "it's time to be concerned" about the 10-year yield, but not "overly worried."

Rick Santelli said it's "highly likely" that the 10-year will drop below 2.0%, but the amount of time spent there will be "rather limited."

Steve Weiss said that declining bond yields simply "drives investment to stocks" and dismissed bond bubble fears.

"We're in year 5 of the bubble," Weiss shrugged.

Weiss and Pete Najarian claimed "fear" is driving bonds to 2.0% or lower. Santelli demanded to know "what's the primary fear." Judge decided to take a crack at that one himself, stating, "Maybe it's playing too much chicken with the debt ceiling … North Korea's gotta be in there somewhere. But maybe it's the debt ceiling front and center."

Weiss reiterated a point of his from last week: "You're watching a game of laser tag with nukes between two 5-year-olds."

Santelli suggested gold would be at $2,000 if people were really afraid of North Korea.

Paul Richards said N. Korea joining the nuclear club meant "7 to 8 basis points on the 10-year."

Richards said "the Trump Trade" is in "real danger from a market perspective."



What’ll the market think when Taiwan announces a nuclear program


Stephen Weiss on Wednesday's Halftime said Jong Un wants nukes because "nukes are the only way he stays in power."

Actually, it's probably not even that. He's likely clinging by a thread, and ignoring him is the best way to make him go away.

Trying to change the subject from tech's "liquidation," Joe Terranova questioned where energy is going. Pete Najarian said every energy move this year has been a "head fake," and, "If I could take back every energy trade I've put on this year, holy crap, I'd be doing incredible." (That didn't stop him from talking about NRG October 26 calls later in the show.)

Judge made the "Call of the Day" Nomura's 185 on AAPL. (Gee, wonder if the panelists think AAPL is going up.) "I like the call," said Doc, but he doesn't think it moves for a couple of weeks.

Weiss said Apple needs to show it's got "innovative gas in the tank." Weiss said a company shouldn't be satisfied with "status quo."

Judge told Weiss, "I mean, really. Status quo. They're a status quo company?"

Weiss said that Apple has "The best marketing on the planet," because it apparently has convinced the panelists that Apple does a great job of copying other technology.



Been a few weeks since we heard about how great it was that Stephanie bought AMZN for TIAA-CREF


Judge and Doc on Wednesday's Halftime pointed out that Facebook purports to have an ad reach of 41 million 18-to-24-year-olds; "the only problem with that," Judge said, is that the Census says there's only 31 million. "They've got more than 1 account," Doc joked.

Pete Najarian said he'd expect HDS to be moving even higher to the upside, it's not, so he's staying away.

Steve Weiss said he's staying away from SRPT, but "invariably it'll fall back," and when that happens, he'll take another look.

Joe Terranova said NWL is affected by the Caribbean, but he thinks it's now at a point where you buy it.

Erin Browne, who had a quiet show, still likes homebuilders, because of low rates and the Harvey rebuilding.

Doc said WFT October 4.50 calls were being aggressively bought. Doc said October 87.50 calls in ADI were being bought. Doc admitted he bought BABA calls at $2 and "lost about half the money."

Pete Najarian said 12 calls in VALE were getting bought.

Jeff Kilburg said OPEC announced an extension of its agreement in hopes of pushing crude over 50. Scott Nations said oil has been in a downtrend, but if we get "convincingly" above 50, then all bets are off.

Joe's final trade was SAP. Weiss said MU. Erin Browne said XLF. Pete said materials but said he's out of X. Doc said ARRY.



[Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2017]


‘Conference season’ might deliver more than Jong Un


Joe "The Liquidator" Terranova contended on Tuesday's Halftime that there are a "tremendous amount of obstacles that the market faces right now."

We'll beg to differ.

"I'm rather certain that volatility will be spiking," Joe predicted, despite the fact Pete Najarian said Friday that volatility has been "sucked out" of the market.

Stephanie Link said "conference season" might help "offset" some of the obstacles.

Link said she was just adding to ABBV.

Josh Brown chuckled that the Barron's article by Ben Levisohn is just typical "bull-bear ping-pong."

Link questioned why you wouldn't want to be in U.S. stocks. Brown said an answer would be, "There are only 2 moments in recorded history where you've been paying the same multiple on earnings for U.S. stocks that you're paying right now.

"Now a sample size of 2 is not science," Brown added, but he said it's possible all the positive catalysts cited by Link are priced in.

Judge noted that Barron's mentioned valuation, only to have Brown cut in and argue against his own previous point; "you need an exogenous catalyst" to sink stocks besides valuation.

Jim Lebenthal said Monday's selloff is "probably North Korea."

Jim noted there is "great disparity" among valuations. Hectoring another co-panelist, Josh Brown cut in to say "this idea that 'Oh, I'm just gonna sell the expensive stocks and buy the-' that's great, it's not gonna stop you when correlations spike to 1, from realizing a hit in the portfolio. … There is no gold medal awarded for owning the cheapest stock in a correction."

Joe suggested the Russell was slumping because it has 25% exposure to financial institutions, and, "You've got a 10-year Treasury that at the beginning of the year, everyone said, predicted, to Josh's point, it was gonna go to 3%."

Joe pointed to the 2.08 10-year: "What is that telling you about the deflationary real impact of technology?"

"Sentiment couldn't be any worse for energy," Link said.



Joe says Judge didn’t give the full story of Joe’s bank positioning


Pete Najarian on Tuesday's Halftime said the banks' selloff is "creating an opportunity," citing planned buybacks.

Judge said Aug. 22, "the same day" Pete bought BAC calls, Joe Terranova sold MS, reflecting opposing sides of a trade.

Joe protested, "What you're not telling, is I'm long Bank of America stock," but Joe wishes he'd "limited my risk (snicker sic means put less money in the position) through calls."

Joe said if MS gets back in the upper 30s, he'll be right back in. Pete said he's long BAC and trades around the stock. For those who are excited about that, Josh Brown pointed out that BAC has traded within a 3-point range since November, "so there's probably more volatile areas where there's a lot more money to be harvested from things like uh, calls and puts."

Pete said until we see "cracks," he's not changing his bullish outlook on the banks.

Pete thundered that the options buying has been in materials recently.

Judge challenged Jim Lebenthal over whether banks are 2 steps forward, 1 back (Jim) or the other way around (Judge).




Nothing more about the great ‘transfer of wealth’ to Texas car owners


Dan Leonard, who works for something called The Weather Company, observed on Tuesday's Halftime that Hurricane Irma was driving orange juice and cotton futures.

Steph Link called HD and LOW "great quality companies" but "very kind of crowded longs." She said she's inclined to trim a bit of URI.

Jim Lebenthal said HD and LOW aren't cheap; he suggests MLM and EXP as rebuilding plays.

Seema Mody, in blue, pointed out emerging markets are leading the U.S. and Europe. (She also addressed the bitcoin surge on the 5 p.m. Fast Money.)



Karen on Fast Money says ‘the bitcoin story is very much intact’ but ‘very erratic’


Pete Najarian on Tuesday's Halftime said 15 times earnings has typically been a place to buy DIS, and it's starting to "accelerate" in the streaming area to compete with "the Netflix (sic not plural) of the world." (Either there's more than one Netflix, or "of the world" is redundant.)

"It's not like they're just sitting on their hands right now," Pete asserted.

Josh Brown said Pete's right about streaming, but took issue, stating, "Let's not look at it like they're playing offense. This is defense. They're screwed if they don't do it."

Joe Terranova said DIS "seems to be stuck" between 100 and 105.

Jim Lebenthal suggested "the E part of that multiple" for DIS may be coming down. He said 115 is "in the cards," but not in the next 6 months.

On the 5 p.m. Fast Money, Mel brought in Marci Ryvicker, who said of DIS, they've got a new "Star Wars" movie coming out! "We don't think there's that much downside."




Judge rusty, flat in return just 1 business day after Mike Farr says CNBC needs Mel on the air ‘more often’


Pete Najarian on Tuesday's Halftime Report said March 10 calls in HIMX were getting bought; the screen graphic said they were March 12s. (Judge didn't seek a clarification.)

For the S&P 500, Josh Brown said "the 50-day is very noisy" and pointed out that when we've dipped below it this year, we've climbed back with "no material consequences whatsoever."

Jeff Kilburg said "the biggest undercurrent" moving copper is dollar weakness. He thinks the trend is higher, unless sustained equity selling sends it down to $3. Anthony Grisanti said he's looking for $3.20.

Paul Richards said the "natural reaction" to the North Korea situation is "a little bit of panic." He said to get below 2.0% in the 10-year, you'd have to give up on U.S. and global growth and any kind of resolution for North Korea.



Joe, Josh tangle over definition of ‘liquidating’ (a/k/a Josh doesn’t know Joe’s original Fast Money nickname is The Liquidator)


We were gonna highlight Judge's return to Tuesday's Halftime Report.

Instead, people got hung up over one word.

Addressing Monday's stock-market selloff, Joe Terranova declared, "Everyone is in technology right now, and they're liquidating."

That got Josh Brown's attention. "XLK made a new all-time high on Friday," Brown said. "What are we talking about? XLK's down 1% and we're calling that a 'liquidation'? Joe, you've been around a long time, dude. This is gonna get worse until liquidation."

Joe said the QQQ's were down more than 1% after being higher in the morning.

"Can we get into a 5% drawdown before we use the L word? That's all- that's all I'm asking," Brown said.

"No. Because you always are gonna use the liquidation phrase because those are the first things that are gonna get sold off. Technology," Joe insisted.

Stephanie Link introduced a head-scratcher: "I think we all agree that the theme this year would be rotation," Link said. (Actually, we thought the theme was FAANG.)

Later in the program, Joe asserted again, "These tech names have rolled over today. That's a short-term liquidation."

Brown scoffed, "Oracle is green. Intel is green. Seagate is green. Salesforce.com is green…"

"OK, why is Nvidia down 3%. You talk about Nvidia all the time," Joe said.

"This is the best liquidation ever. I love it," Brown chuckled.

"It's the trading phenomenon of why the market is down 200 today," Joe retorted.

Steph Link asserted that Joe "can be the day trader. I'm gonna be the long-term investor."

Value guy Jim Lebenthal said, "Price does matter," citing AAPL and AMZN (but what happens if AMZN outperforms into year-end).

More from Tuesday's Halftime later.



[Friday, Sept. 1, 2017]


Mike Farr uncorks an attention-getter for those named Wapner


Friday's Halftime Report spent most of the first 10 minutes on … the jobs report.

Jim Lebenthal said the jobs report signals to him there will be "maybe not a rate hike this year."

Steve Liesman conceded, "It's not that big a deal."

"We've got a good labor market," Jim said.

Josh Brown said "college-educated unemployment is effectively zero."

Brown said there's no economic narrative this year, pointing to stocks rising while rates go either up or down.

Pete Najarian said volatility has been "sucked out of this market." Guest host Missy Lee pointed out that volatility tends to fall before a 3-day weekend.

Jon Najarian, who continues to pronounce Gary Cohn's last name as "Cohen," said the Barron's article about the Chinese being back in the bond market explains a "big part" of why yields are low.

Mike Farr, who usually is on other CNBC programs, uncorked this declaration: "This is a great show today, Melissa. I think they need you on more often."

Farr said he's fully invested (unlike Weiss at 50% cash and Pete at 30%). While Josh Brown said he agrees with what Farr's saying, Pete was heard in the background open mike saying, "from up here to down here."



Being in 50% cash or 30% cash because August is usually bad and Jeff Gundlach and Howard Marks are warning (cont’d)


Friday's Halftime Report, heading into a holiday weekend (some have been on the holiday for a while), had little in the way of sparks, except that Greg Sarian got a little bit tripped up by a question from Jim Lebenthal.

Sarian said, "Investors should be concerned with the fact that we're at record highs again and entering a seasonally challenging period" and that the "market has some wind in its face."

He said he finds overseas markets "much more reasonably priced."

Jim asked Sarian how to deal with investors if the U.S. market does well into year-end and they miss out on some of it.

Sarian told Jim, "The international markets are gonna follow what our markets do."

So … and keep in mind we're a little challenged in the I.Q. Department … on the one hand, foreign markets will outperform … but on the other hand, they'll just "follow" the U.S.

Gene Todd suggested September "could be cause for a little concern," first citing historical badness and then adding the debt ceiling, neither of which we think has any bearing on whether stocks will be up or down in the next 30 days.

Guest host Mel said advisors "always" say stay the course, "and I get that, totally," but what would make advisors tell people to take money off the table. Todd admitted that timing the market historically has been a "sucker's bet."

Sarian touted biotech.



‘Widowmaker’ stocks up 26%


CNBC's Scott Cohn said on Friday's Halftime that the 40-minute Arkema conference call raised more questions than answers.

Jim Lebenthal said he'd be "very careful" with the refinery space, echoing a point he and others have made probably a dozen times this week. (#argumentforweeklyshow) Josh Brown said refiners are not even a sector but rather an "industry group."

Jon Najarian said PANW has "caught fire," but the security space has been a "widowmaker," pointing to FEYE and FTNT, even though Mel's chart showed those names up 26% this year.

Jim Lebenthal said SYMC is his top pick in the space, but it seems like the space is 2 steps forward, 2 back.

Josh Brown said PANW will "literally decapitate you" on bad news. His favorite is CHKP.

Jim said he wonders if NTNX is a takeout candidate; he thinks "there's a lot to like."

Josh Brown said he doesn't understand why anyone's in AMBA.



Fast Money gang thinks ‘transfer of wealth’ is a profound statement about insurance policies (a/k/a people with flooded Hyundais becoming as rich as insurance people)


Kimberly Greenberger on Friday's Halftime Report said the LULU results show the technology being put in the product is "absolutely winning fans." She said the top line looks "very sustainable."

Greenberger said there's "an increasing divide" between winners and losers in athleisure.

Pete Najarian said "everything was great" in the LULU report and hailed its sales of men's pants, online sales and innovation.

Jon Najarian said September 22 calls in GGP were getting bought. Pete said VALE options buying has hit 4 times in the last 2½ weeks, specifically the October 12 calls.

Phil LeBeau noted GM's surging stock.

Guest host Mel noted what Adam Jonas said on Fast Money this week, that what happened in Texas is "Mother Nature's Cash for Clunkers," and also this supposed "transfer of wealth" when it's just people collecting on an insurance policy. (Does that mean every person who is not reporting a loss is transferring his/her wealth to insurers?)

Jim Lebenthal asked Phil LeBeau if the "asymmetrical" (he likes that term) risk is to the downside if FCAU doesn't get bought. Phil said Sergio Marchionne is "looking to make a deal at some point."

Josh Brown said he'd rather be in lithium than in the automakers and mentioned ALB.

Jim called BKS "kind of a tough stock to play." He said "what possibly happens here" is a private equity firm comes in; he'd stay away.

Josh Brown called SBUX a "strong hold."

Jim Lebenthal's final trade was PFE.



[Thursday, Aug. 31, 2017]

Weiss in 50% cash, Pete 30% as everyone fears the Marks/Gundlach/last-2-weeks-of-August correction


Steve Liesman on Thursday's Halftime recapped the Steve Mnuchin interview.

Josh Brown said "The best news is that they are adamant about, um, the debt ceiling's not gonna be an issue," which shows a "level of maturity that we haven't seen in other arenas."

Jim Lebenthal said the S&P 500 has been "in a 3% range this month."

Leslie Picker was in Brokaw, Wis., to discuss local outrage against activist investors, specifically the shuttering of a paper mill blamed on Starboard, which had a stake in Wausau Paper. But Picker said a Duke U. study showed hedge fund activists had "essentially no role" in the closure of the Brokaw mill.

Josh Brown said you have to be in the "gray area" on this topic. Kari Firestone finds it "curious" that this legislation doesn't target private equity as well. Guest host Mel noted that Jeff Smith will be at Delivering Alpha, which will be a "great conference."

The 5 p.m. Fast Money crew basically said in unison, when it comes to tax cuts, "they will get something done … it almost doesn't matter what it is." (That was from Karen Finerman.) Nobody cut to the chase, which is, there's nothing to do, other than a simple vote to allocate some cash to Houston.



Looks like Pete outdueled Weiss on whether GILD made a good deal


Jon Najarian on Thursday's Halftime Report gushed about GILD, pointing out it's up $10 since last Friday and that the company has gained $13 billion in market cap for a purchase of $12 billion.

"I'd say that's a good trade," Doc said. Hard to argue with that.

Kari Firestone said she looked at JNJ "very seriously" a year ago and didn't buy, though it's a "great defensive story."

Josh Brown said he's long BMY, which is having "as legitimate of a breakout" as you get. He's also in AMGN but called JNJ a "really expensive stock primarily because of its steady dividend."

Jim Lebenthal noted health insurers and biotech are both in uptrends. He said he's long ALXN and PFE.

On the 5 p.m. Fast Money, Guy Adami questioned if Donald Trump, after pushing through tax reform, would "circle back" to nail Ken Frazier on drug prices, affecting MRK.



Jim botches CNBC Silicon Valley technology correspondent’s name


Josh Lipton on Thursday's Halftime Report mentioned invitations going out for AAPL's Sept. 12 event.

Jim Lebenthal said "this is not news" but said he's not trying to take anything from "Josh Upton (sic)."

Kari Firestone noted AAPL has a "low P.E. relative to the market" (effect not a cause). Jon Najarian said he will "guarantee" that the iPhone will go on sale "2 days before the end of the quarter."



CIEN: From hero to goat


Kari Firestone on Thursday's Halftime said she's cut back her FB position simply because it's gotten too large. But she's "still a big owner."

Josh Brown said CPB needs to "reinvent itself" and that it needs "something fresher"; he'd "completely avoid" the stock.

Jim Lebenthal said the problem with DG is that brick and mortar is a "very, very treacherous sector."

Jon Najarian said people who bought CIEN 23.50 weekly puts "nailed it." (He didn't say that while Stephanie Link last week called CIEN "very volatile," she said it could go from 23 to 29 in a day, rather than the other way around.)

Kari Firestone wishes she owned WDAY. But it's a "volatile stock" and "not without risk" (as opposed to all of the risk-free stocks out there).

Doc said bulls were buying HDS 32.50 September calls.

Kari Firestone's final trade was V. Doc said VZ because of call-buying; he didn't say what the strike or time was. Josh Brown said the Dax slipped below its 200-day, but it's because of the currency, not fundamentals. "You should not be panicking," Brown said. Jim Lebenthal suggested GM amid prospects for scrapping all those cars in Texas.




The best Tug trade since the Phils got McGraw


Scott Cohn, not often on the Halftime Report, pointed out the water levels still afflicting Texas cities on Thursday.

Jon Najarian on Thursday's Halftime Report said the RBOB September and October contracts were pulling back after a "big squeeze this morning," even though the numbers shown on the screen didn't show any pullback.

Doc said traders "were on tugboats" in the Gulf and trading with backup Marine band radios in case their cell connections went down; they made "a nice chunk of money" trading refinery activity (or lack thereof) and were rescuing people in their boats later and even giving out money "because they felt very generous after this, uh, windfall for them."

Jim Lebenthal said, "That's awesome."

Jim said he sold MPC about a month ago "at exactly the price it's at right now."

Joe Terranova dialed in and said, "You cannot get overly excited about what's going on right now and rush into the refiners."

"This is a front-month dynamic," Joe explained, lukewarmly stating HFC, Delek and CVI benefit from not being in the storm region. But Joe said those refiners were giving back gains because of the WTI rally. "It's a very treacherous trade," Joe said.

Joe said the "real opportunity" is possibly nat gas, mentioning another hurricane in the Atlantic. But then he told Mel, "Natural gas equity plays are, are, difficult uh to really get your hands around," and mentioned RRC and EOG and COG but said those are names "that have been struggling all year."

So, it's a real opportunity, but … (a/k/a let's buy these names instead of NVDA).

Tom Kloza said for drivers, the "worst-case scenario is probably about to develop," which is a gasoline spike of 40 to 60 cents. He cited Kipling and predicted "panic behavior in places like Dallas, in places like Tennessee and in places sort of along the Carolinas."

However, "It should largely be a non-event for crude oil," Kloza said, asserting Thursday's rally "makes no sense."

Jim Lebenthal said typically there's a "surge export" that goes mainly to Europe, but "those exports can be redirected" to the U.S.

"I think a month from now, this is gonna all have blown over," Jim said.

Kari Firestone said she owns PSX and thinks it's the type of name that should go up in this environment. Josh Brown said he doesn't see holiday weekend drivers changing their plans over gasoline price hikes.

For some reason, Futures Now was pushed back in the program; when it aired, Scott Nations said WTI is up because of a fear that crude will be "trapped" in the Gulf for a while. He said the government has released 500,000 barrels from the SPR, "first time we've done that in (sic meant 'since') 2012." Jim Iuorio doesn't think crude can cross 50.

More from Thursday's Halftime later.



[Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2017]


70, 400, 572, whatever


Nick Setyan on Wednesday's Halftime Report said JACK has about 70 company-owned stores in the Harvey-area market; they are losing "about 5K" every day.

But, he said, "I actually like Jack in the Box here," because the trend with the Smoky Jack had "a chance to accelerate" before the hurricane."

"He had me at Smoky Jack," guest host Mel said.

Kari Firestone said she just bought MIDD.

We found it a little hard to believe that the CNBC graphic said JACK has 400 locations in the "Houston area," but then again, the map of the U.S. showed a circle in East Texas with "572" in it, so looks like we've got the problem of several different forms of measurement of info within the same story, and it's anyone's guess which number is most relevant.

Jon Najarian's final trade was JACK; he said he bought during the show.



Pete mistakes effect for cause, claims people are buying tech for P.E. ratio


In a curious GDP assessment, Kari Firestone on Wednesday's Halftime Report stressed that all the years of low growth might be "a base that now we can build from."

Steve Liesman said the market has been sniffing out a GDP "upward shift towards the 2½ range."

Liesman stressed that "the Fed is talking about a terminal rate … closer to 2 than to 3. It is a dramatic change."

Gorjus Ylan Mui said Donald Trump's remarks on tax reform later Wednesday would be "short on specifics."

Kari Firestone revealed, "Today I published a piece on CNBC.com about surviving in the age of unpredictability." That's fine, except we wonder how "unpredictable" this "age" is when volatility's at all-time lows.

Kari explained that "every day when we wake up, we don't know where the market's going," so tax reform if it happens is just an "added increment."

Guest host Melissa Lee summarized Kari's point as "it can only be upside."

Pete Najarian said GDP numbers were "in line" and "fairly strong."

Rob Sechan said, "It's taken a long time to reach cruising altitude," but it's a "pretty good environment" now.

Weighing sectors, Pete claimed, "The reason that technology has performed so well is, what's the P.E. of Apple. What's the P.E. of Oracle? What's the P.E. of all of these companies?"

"And ex-cash," Mel chimed in.

Jon Najarian said you might get a chance to buy AAPL "several dollars" below 160. He noted Tim Cook cashing in his new shares "immediately."

Kari Firestone said "investors are saying to themselves" to put money in AAPL with its low P.E., perhaps validating Pete's non-point.



If Warren Buffett had bought AMZN instead of BAC and WFC, he’d be a lot wealthier


Becky Quick on Wednesday's Halftime Report recapped the Warren Buffett interview.

Rob Sechan said he doesn't like insurers because of pervasive "competitive pricing pressures."

Jim Lebenthal said insurers are appealing only after some short-term "earnings hits" and when a few smaller companies "go out of business," but "not now."

In a decent little debate, Pete Najarian stressed that management is the key to picking banks. Jim Lebenthal though said, "I'm not sure there's that big of a difference in the management of any of the big money-center banks."

Jim's right. Especially when the companies are all still in a straitjacket-type of environment.

Anyway, Pete was practically taken aback by Jim's management point. "I start there. That's where I start," Pete said.

Jim mentioned the banks having "more than a hundred thousand employees," which are too many for one person to supervise.

Mel asked Jim if banks are a "monolithic" trade to him. "That's a good word for it," Jim said.

Jon Najarian said BAC is the only bank he's long.



Pete scoffs at XLE dividend


Brian Stutland on Wednesday's Halftime Report said RBOB moving above 1.80 is a signal of longer-term supply problems. Jim Iuorio suggested 2.15 is "fairly reasonable" within a couple weeks.

Jon Najarian said there was "huge activity" in PBF options; he said the company just has 1 refinery in New Orleans, and it's been spared.

Guest host Melissa Lee suggested the XLE. Kari Firestone said "you can be comfortable right now in that trade." Rob Sechan also seemed to endorse it, but Jim Lebenthal said, "The shale oil production is such a fast response time that we may not get the spikes we've seen in the past" in crude.

Eventually, Pete Najarian shrugged at the XLE, "I wouldn't be comfortable there. How great has that dividend been with those stocks for the most part down 20% if you get a 4% dividend" (sic grammar).




5 p.m. Fast Money panelists largely fail to name Lightfoot songs during usual 4-minute commercial break


Jon Najarian on Wednesday's Halftime Report said November 13 calls in AMD were popular.

Pete Najarian said SUM October 30 calls were getting bought for $1.

Doc said ADI has 70.5% gross margins.

Pete said being long CHRW has "been pretty painful," but maybe it's turning.

Jim Lebenthal said HRB is a stock "that's very hard to make money in." He said full employment doesn't given him any reason to be in this name.

Rob Sechan said there are homebuilders who "benefit greatly" from Harvey rebuilding, but he didn't name any. Jim Lebenthal said material companies such as MLM are finally starting to perform when he thought that would've happened before Harvey hit.

Rob Sechan's final trade was XLF. Kari Firestone said AGN. Jim Lebenthal said KMI. Pete said GILD has been going up since the acquisition, and there is call-buying.



[Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2017]

Weiss in 50% cash, actually claims CEOs will see consumer confidence ‘erode’ and factor that into guidance


Steve Weiss dialed in to Tuesday's Halftime to say he's been 50% cash "for a while."

He said after the North Korea news, he bought the SH, a short S&P 500 instrument, but "covered on the open."

"I'm not expecting a big decline," Weiss said, just a "normal correction."

Weiss pointed out to guest host Missy Lee that he mentioned the 50% cash last week, which he did. He said he's at that 50% level because he's watching "essentially a game of laser tag" between "two 5-year-olds," those being president of the United States and leader of North Korea.

In a curious prediction that could happen but seems a reach (we'll even call it loopy given the variables involved), Weiss predicted CEOs will downplay upcoming quarters "as they see consumer confidence start to erode."

Weiss said he added Tuesday to the XBI.



All business: Mel prods Jeff Kilburg to get to the point on gold


Guest host Melissa Lee, running a crisp (if slightly pressed with lots of stuff going on) edition of Tuesday's Halftime Report, grew impatient with Jeff Kilburg's gold speech.

"So you think it's gonna go higher," Mel finally cut in. "I do," Kilburg said, stating 1,400 is a "tick away."

Anthony Grisanti said hedge funds are "all in" on gold with the highest long/short ratio he's seen, so he thinks it's going higher.

Mel asked Chip Dillon of Vertical Research Partners how Harvey is affecting paper mills. Dillon said past experience shows mills down anywhere from a half day to 3-4 days. He said supply of cardboard boxes could be affected because mills are already running at "close to 98% of capacity" throughout the country.

Mel asked who could fill in the gap for the storm-damaged areas. Dillon said that's a "great question" and mentioned WRK, PKG and KS; he has a buy on all 3 names.

Dillon told Lee that IP estimates are at risk for 3rd and maybe 4th quarter. Doc said he might be interested in WRK.



Haven’t heard about Chanos’ CAT short for a while


Jon Najarian on Tuesday's Halftime Report said there was "very strong activity" in weekly AAPL 160 calls.

Guest host Missy Lee noticed that the graphic said "September 160" calls and wondered if that covered Sept. 12. Doc insisted it's "just this week." Mel pointed out, "We had up September," a fair point, assuming it's the regular September option (whenever that is).

Sarat Sethi said AAPL tends to run up ahead of products, and then "once the product comes out," it pulls back.

Joe Terranova said he doesn't see opportunity in JILL. Doc said "the good news" for FINL is that it rallied from its 6.90 open. Doc said you could take a shot at Tuesday's price but admitted, "The sector has just been death." (Yeah, even after Karen Finerman cheered that the sector was trading down in "integers" a couple months ago.)

Pete Najarian said it was "eerie" how close the BBY numbers were to HD. As for the day's BBY selloff, "It doesn't scare me at all," Pete said, even though Mel said Hubert Joly said "it's not the norm." Pete thinks BBY is a "great opportunity."

But Sarat Sethi later said of BBY, "I would wait for the stock to come back a little bit more" because momentum investors are getting out. Joe Terranova said he agrees but that the "very, very conservative outlook" bodes well for gains down the road.

Erin Browne said she likes Europe but advised not hedging the currency; "you want that euro exposure," so she likes EZU.

Erin Browne's final trade was FXI. Sarat Sethi said HFC, which he said doesn't have much exposure to the Gulf Coast. Doc said BAC calls for a week from Friday were being bought. Joe said he likes CAT at 116.

Eamon Javers said this is Donald Trump's first experience as "healer (snicker) in chief" or "consoler in chief."

Karen Finerman finally returned to the 5 p.m. Fast Money, in smashing new hairstyle, but was subdued.



Erin Browne: U.S. stock portfolios ‘fairly well insulated’ from an Asian war


Offering a rather copacetic view of the world stage, Erin Browne on Tuesday's Halftime Report conceded there are "irrational actors" on the world stage but contended that if war "were to break out," it would be "highly localized to the Asian region" and the Korean peninsula.

So "U.S. investors probably are fairly well insulated in their portfolios," Browne said.

Sarat Sethi said that despite the missile launch, "Nothing has really happened," and so the market trades on earnings.

Jon Najarian pointed out how the S&P crawled back after the overnight futures drop.

Joe Terranova said he was "surprised" by the day's price action, and he almost wished that there had been "further downside pressure" in the morning to draw in people on the sidelines.

Pete Najarian said he's sitting on "30% cash" before admitting, "I think that's too much quite honestly" while pointing to option buying in the metals.

Erin Browne said to buy construction stocks in the wake of Harvey.

More from Tuesday's Halftime later.



[Monday, Aug. 28, 2017]


Weiss’ timely point: Sen. Ted Cruz explains vote against Sandy relief


Nearly all of Monday's Halftime Report was rightly devoted to Hurricane Harvey; little did we know that the show would ultimately get political.

John Spallanzani questioned if Democrats and Republicans will come together for "bipartisan" (snicker) infrastructure spending.

Guest host Melissa Lee even said this could be a "crystallizing moment."

With timing that would soon prove amazing, Stephen Weiss said no, "it was Texas that voted against hurricane relief for Sandy."

Moments later, Mel turned to Contessa Brewer, who conducted an impressive interview with Sen. Ted Cruz at a Houston convention center.

Cruz said he's not going to worry about "political sniping" over Texas' response to Sandy. "The silliness of Washington we can worry about another time," Cruz said — before launching into a point about Washington.

Brewer asked Cruz if he'd rethink his Sandy vote in the wake of Houston's tragedy. Cruz said, "I didn't think it was appropriate to engage in pork-barrel spending where 2/3 of that bill was unrelated spending that had nothing to do with Sandy and was simply politicians wasting money. That shouldn't happen. The focus of emergency relief shouldn't be cynical politicians trying to fund their pet projects. It should be providing relief to people who are in crisis."



Weiss apparently doesn’t know Jeff Kilburg’s name


Brian Sullivan, one of 3 CNBCers (Contessa Brewer and Jackie DeAngelis) in the trenches in Texas, noted on Monday's Halftime Report, "The rain just will not stop."

Sully said the Galveston Ship Channel is "completely shut down."

Jackie DeAngelis said of 3 of 5 refineries in Corpus Christi were shut down.

Contessa Brewer said Texas' attorney general is going to investigate complaints of price gouging regarding bottled water for $8.50 or gas prices "jacked up" 30%. Guest host Missy Lee said it's "against the law and morally reprehensible."

Back in Englewood Cliffs, Joe Terranova said the important thing for the oil space is that the Colonial Pipeline will be OK; he called this a "very bearish event for crude oil, which is already in a bear trend."

Joe reiterated that this is an opportunity to get out of refiners.

Stephen Weiss suggested not overreacting on the hourly news. "These things typically overshoot," Weiss said, predicting price increases for insurers and stating it used to be they would sell off big on disasters and only later climb back on price hikes; now it happens "pretty quickly."

Jeff Kilburg said the Brent-WTI spread is about $5, the widest in almost 2 years. He also said cotton was popping up on flooding fears. Kilburg noted Weiss said something about people overreacting, but maybe we don't know all the data yet.

Weiss said, "Jim (sic), just to clarify, I'm not saying we're overreacting, I'm saying that you typically overreact in the middle of these things. I don't know."

Kilburg's point was fair, but Weiss is also correct, there does tend to be a lot of overreacting. But nobody knows if tomorrow will be better or worse than people think.

Josh Brown said "I agree actually with everything" Weiss said. Brown said it would take $100 billion in losses (not the $30 billion worst-case estimates) "to really have a monster impact" on property and casualty insurers.

Brown said TRV would be the insurer he buys.

Brown said Houston homes are covered by national flood insurance, and that private insurers sell flood insurers to businesses and will raise those prices next year.

John Spallanzani said the biggest fear is that Harvey will revert to the Gulf and then hit Louisiana.




CNBC manages to cross-promote ‘The Profit’ during Harvey coverage


Phil LeBeau on Monday's Halftime showed pictures of car dealer lots with vehicles "completely underwater" and said "perhaps more than a million vehicles" could be completely salvaged. He said to look at AN, GPI and KSU.

Marcus Lemonis dialed in to say Camping World is helping out.

Revisiting his point from the top of the show, Stephen Weiss said car dealers and "other stores" are getting hurt in Texas now, but "the replacement cycle is gonna be so much stronger."

Josh Brown said it's "really tough" to know which stocks are going up or down today because of the storm and not a game for amateurs.

CNBC superfox Ylan Mui, gorjus in green (below), said she didn't want to "diminish" the storm's economic impact on Texas but said that for the country, "economic shocks of this nature tend not to have a lasting impact."

Capt. Richard Russell of AET crude operation started to say they prepare for storms, but the phone connection went out and Mel deftly shifted to analyst Kevin McCarthy, asking about the impact on chemical plants. He said the plants are designed to handle high winds "but not high water." McCarthy's top pick regarding the hurricane is WLK. No one on the panel was interested in the chemical space. Joe Terranova said rail concerns are "probably" an opportunity.




Pete takes issue with Weiss scoffing at GILD’s 2.5% gain


In a tiny bit of non-Texas news on Monday's Halftime, Pete Najarian (via satellite) said Kite is the "perfect buy" for Gilead.

Stephen Weiss though said we won't know "for a long time" whether this is a good deal, but KITE was "a $17 stock about a year ago when it came public" (none of that appears to be remotely correct based on the charts we looked at), "so they took way too long," and he called GILD's 2.5% gain Monday "relief."

Pete acknowledged KITE "might be a little bit behind" rival companies, but "immutherapy" (sic pronunciation) is in the "sweet spot."

Pete said he "totally" disagrees with Weiss' comment about the 2.5% GILD gain, stating "usually" there's a little bit of a pullback.

Weiss said he doesn't think there'd be a pullback if you're buying something "tremendously accretive." But GILD wasn't pulling back, so we're not sure of the point.

John Spallanzani's final trade was the weaker dollar but gave too long of an explanation. Josh Brown suggested BRK-B even though he previously indicated people shouldn't try to trade the storm effects (though whether BRK-B has much storm exposure is a matter of opinion probably). Weiss said WDC. Joe Terranova said health care is the sector in which to "hang out."



[Friday, Aug. 25, 2017]


Rob Sechan unable to convince panel MLPs are a good idea


Jackie DeAngelis, live from Texas, said on Friday's Halftime Report that some Texans actually were planning to hunker down and wait out Harvey.

Ex-FEMA boss Michael Brown told guest host Sully, "If you listen to that last report, we apparently haven't learned anything from Hurricane Katrina."

Jeff Kilburg said it looks like the "longevity" of the storm will be worse than anticipated. Kilburg said there's "a lot of emotion" in the oil trade now and that it's an "opportunity" to get names such as VLO and SLB at a "deep discount."

Jim Lebenthal recited the history of U.S. "swing" oil production during storms that now is distributed across shale plays, suggesting a hurricane in Texas is a "non-event for the oil sector." Kilburg said he won't call it a "non-event" but conceded fracking has "changed the game."

Rob Sechan once again touted MLPs. Jim though wanted to "push back," pointing to Enbridge Energy Partners and stating the space got "hammered" in 2015 and hasn't fully recovered.

Steve Weiss said "first of all, they did have a big recovery, then it sold off." Weiss suggested those who got burned with the K-1 have "got long memories."

Jim said he's still in the space. "I'm in, but I'm not all in," Lebenthal said.

Sechan demanded to know of another sector that has an "implied return" of 16%. But Josh Brown asserted "there's been no recovery at all," citing the Alerian MLP Index. Sechan said it was up 100% last year.

Brown insisted you'd have to be "pretty delusional" to view MLPs as bonds; "essentially they're equities with high coupons."

"Nobody called them bonds," Lebenthal and Weiss said. "Take that off the table," Jim said.

Brown said you can get the same performance "with regular energy stocks without the K-1 lunacy."

Weiss tried to explain how he did research to determine which MLPs aren't highly tethered to the economy, but Brown hardly let him speak and Sully didn't break it up.



SNAP is actually better than something (but remember, Zuck is determined to obliterate it)


Brent Thill on Friday's Halftime said he launched his "Internet playbook" on Friday; it's 200 pages long.

(Um, just some unsolicited advice, but a playbook that's 200 pages long probably isn't going to be read by anyone.)

Thill, who downgraded TWTR, said Twitter has a "huge" user base, but "users do not equal revenue."

Thill even said, "Snap has actually seen better engagement than Twitter … Snap's just a better platform for video."

Thill said Josh Brown made a great point, that advertising on Twitter is kind of like putting up billboards along a highway and hoping people look. But, "They have the chance to pull this off," Thill said, before touting Instagram while explaining he went fly fishing and started following fly fishing ads or pictures on Instagram and started getting merchandise marketed to him on Instagram.

Steve Weiss revealed he's "90% out" of his "great trade" being long SNAP. He said there's still potentially some upside, "but I'll be quick to pull the trigger" with the remaining 10%.



Still waiting for Karen Finerman to explain why it was a good idea to be long FL


Pete Najarian on Friday's Halftime beamed in from Minnesota to report unusual activity in materials, specifically BHP December 45 calls.

But much more interesting, Pete said Jeffrey Gundlach is high on the materials trade and "doesn't feel like- that we're covering it enough." But Pete thinks "we are (covering it enough) on Halftime," even though we haven't heard BHP on this program in ages.

Jim Lebenthal said Janet Yellen gave a "fairly innocuous speech" with a "tepid shot across the bow" at regulation.

Jim explained, "There is talk out there of will Trump serve out his 4 years," and suggested that if the president "decides not to continue on," Mike Pence would say "I'm not messing with anything that doesn't need to be messed with."

Josh Brown asserted, "REITs are on the verge of a major breakout."

Rob Sechan said UBS surveyed 2,800 high-net-worth individuals, and somehow 80% of them declared, "This is the most uncertain time in history."

Josh Brown scoffed at that sentiment as "the availability bias" and wondered, "How certain was Sept. 10, 2001?"

Brown is still not a buyer of SBUX, calling it "trendless."

Stephen Weiss said he'd wait for a pullback on ADSK.

Jim Lebenthal said to buy AVGO and hold it into the iPhone hype.

Rob Sechan is bearish longer term on the dollar.

Jim's final trade was that gasoline won't spike. Josh Brown said to stay long GOOGL over 920. Weiss said airlines. Sechan said to buy MLPs "right now."



[Thursday, Aug. 24, 2017]

Judge adds Josh’s credentials when introducing him to ask a simple question of Nicole Miller Regan


Judge on Thursday's Halftime brought in Nicole Miller Regan to explain her purported 65% upside in CMG.

"It comes down to the unit-level economic model, which means high volumes," Regan said. "There's really nothing to apologize for for a 2 million AUV today. Albeit it used to be 2.5 million a couple years ago. … They're still better than most of their direct competitors."

Regan, who said "at the end of the day" (which thankfully has been receding in CNBC nomenclature these days), has a $510 target and says "when, not if," the recovery plays out, there's "a lot of earnings power and leverage."

Judge then allowed Josh Brown to ask a question of Regan, with such a lengthy intro that it was clear who Judge was siding with here. "You could've made the case that you're making from much higher levels all the way down," so how do we know 300 and not 200 is the turnaround point, Brown asked Regan.

Regan called that a "really fair" question but claimed "the valuation is more or less trading in line with its peer group." Brown questioned whether 27 times forward earnings is in line with peers; Regan said she's "looking at, like around 13 times EBITDA."

Regan didn't respond when Judge said "We'll see you again soon," creating an awkward moment of dead air.

Steve Weiss crowed that he "made a lot of money" shorting CMG but got "stopped out" on his short Wednesday morning. He said Regan's multiple is "lunacy."

Brown said the only bullish sign for the stock is the short interest. Joe Terranova said he's surprised the short interest isn't higher.

Jim Lebenthal said CMG's bull case reminds him of when GMCR got bought out.



Sounds like a short-term dip is consensus


Stephen Weiss on Thursday's Halftime was nonplussed by indications of yet another frozen government.

"I'd argue that the government's been shut down going into our 9th year. And it really hasn't mattered, right," Weiss contended.

Exactly. Because there's really nothing to do.

Weiss said he's in "about 50% cash" (probably because of Howard Marks) and lamented that airlines are in a bear market. "It's crazy; I don't know the reason," Weiss said.

Jim Lebenthal observed, "We're in a really dull territory right now."

Jim said we need to get past Labor Day and see if there's "real traction" on tax reform (snicker).

Weiss bickered with that, stating the base metals are showing global growth. Jim countered that copper's "been a fact for a month if not more."

"I'm not saying that value's taking over," Jim said, but "value is really hangin' in here."

Dubravko Lakos told Josh Brown the EM trade is "highly contingent" on the dollar.

Eamon Javers said Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump had a "profanity-laced conference call" on Aug. 9.

Lakos told Weiss that he doesn't see political risk as a "big shock" to the market.

Josh Brown corrected Lakos (2013, 2½% selloff, U.S. downgrade) as to when the 2011 U.S. government downgrade and stock selloff occurred and the extent of that selloff.

Lakos said in "coming weeks" there could be a "mid-single-digit" correction.



Might’ve gone an entire program without AAPL


Dubravko Lakos opened Thursday's Halftime stating he's "cautiously optimistic" on the stock market.

And when have we ever heard that before?

(Surprised he didn't say "what a difference a day makes" or "what's in a name.")

However, he thinks the market could see weakness short term. (That's the Howard Marks-Jeffrey Gundlach Effect.)

Joe Terranova shrugged at gold but said the "real story" is the FANG technicals, explaining they indicate a market "on the defensive."

Judge reported John Spallanzani also is noting the lower highs in FANGS. Josh Brown said that's "backwards," that when market leaders stumble and the rest of the market holds up, that's actually a sign of strength.

Judge said the market looks to be "spinning its wheels."

Joe insisted that if you're in the FANGs, "you have to pay attention" to what's going on. Brown said, "Joe is right." (Whew.) Brown pointed out the trade for August is long XRT and short AMZN, but he said not to allow it to "completely divert" what you've been doing. (And to think there once was a time when a company that bills itself as a one-stop venue for online shopping plunging into the grocery market would've been mocked.)

"The market's much bigger than FANG stocks," said Stephen Weiss.



Hey Edna, let’s buy Transocean instead of Nvidia


Jackie DeAngelis, stunning in black on Thursday's Halftime, brought in Jeff Kilburg and Jim Iuorio to discuss the refinery situation ahead of the storm/hurricane.

Jim Iuorio said if RBOB can settle over 1.54 in October, that's a move that's "real" and could have upside.

Dubravko Lakos defended being overweight energy, largely citing sentiment, suggesting the possibility of a squeeze.

Josh Brown insisted "the selling is just not over yet." Joe Terranova said, "This might be an opportunity, if you're stuck in the refiners, to actually bail yourself out of them."

Stephen Weiss said investing in energy is like "pushing on a string": he just sees "unending" supply.

Jon Najarian though said there was bullish buying in the MPC 52.50 September calls. Judge called that an "obvious Harvey play." Doc also said October 12 calls in CZR were popular, and that MRK September 63 calls were getting bought.



If there are ‘misunderstandings,’ why doesn’t Bill take up Judge’s offer to make his ADP case to anyone who’s interested?


Leslie Picker on Thursday's Halftime said Ackman is complaining about "misunderstandings" about his approach to ADP.

Joe Terranova revisited SJM, suggesting it's close to a "cathartic moment" that could be a buy.

Jim Lebenthal said that to get long a name like WSM, "you have to have an opinion on the back-to-school selling season," otherwise it's a "dead-cat bounce." Actually, one's opinion on back-to-school sales has no bearing on whether WSM is going up or down.

Josh Brown said HRL has been an "atrocious stock" over the last year; he doesn't see any reason to buy.

Steve Weiss said TEVA is a "fallen angel" and that people don't want to be in generics.

Dubravko Lakos affirmed health care is an overweight for him.

Joe's final trade was to note that AMZN is down 12% and that "not one analyst has lowered their price target." Jim Lebenthal said CSCO is bouncing back. Weiss said WDC and Josh Brown said to stay long GOOGL.



[Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017]



Seema & Sara — pair
of CNBC superfoxes


Josh Brown opened Wednesday's Halftime stating WMT and GOOGL "kinda need each other."

Judge eventually cut in, wondering why WMT is flat. Brown said it's because it's just an "initiative" now.

Stephanie Link said WMT and Google Express is a "strategic move" that is really "much ado about nothing."

Brown disagrees with the "much ado about nothing premise," pointing to WMT's gains this year. But Link protested, "The stock is not up because of this news" or because of Jet.com; she said TGT and COH also have great online comps.

Brown indicated the country can't be unanimously Prime. "There is not going to be a single ecommerce giant that serves every customer in the country, and no one else gets to play against them," Brown said, adding the fact that Doug McMillan has "blood in his eyes" and is doing deals with Google "sends a signal to investors."

Link told Judge she doesn't see "a lot of value" in WMT at Wednesday's price.

Brown produced a photo of a Jet.com package in his garage on Long Island.

Jon Najarian said WMT is taking a "good step" toward challenging AMZN.

Pete Najarian dialed in later and said, "Don't forget Best Buy is beating Wal-Mart (sic meant "Amazon" but uncorrected) at their own game."

Sara Eisen (guest host) and Seema Mody (Samsung report), devastating CNBC superfoxes, lit up Wednesday's 5 p.m. Fast Money, though Sara introduced the Robert Lee announcer flap as "What's in a name," almost as bad as Judge's "what a difference" (below).



If SNAP actually doesn’t reach single digits, Pete’s gonna look kinda silly


Steve Weiss on Wednesday's Halftime actually dialed in from Denver to reveal he bought SNAP (after trumpeting the puts for weeks).

"I think it's a trade," Weiss said, even putting an 18 or 20 target on the name though saying he won't be in that long.

Josh Brown said SNAP is up 33% since its low just 7 days earlier. "This is an obvious area for the rally to stop," Brown said, so if it breaks 15, it might have some real life (snicker).

No question, the stock's had a nice bounce off the lows, a time when huge short-term gains can be made.

We'd be shocked if this ever sees 20 again. But then again, we were shocked this stock could actually have an 11 handle by August.

Weiss said he's up 6% in SNAP. He also said he shorted CMG in the morning.



Where’s Bill? Doesn’t he know Judge said he’s welcome to come on the show at any time and make his case to anyone who’s interested


Dialing in, Pete Najarian on Wednesday's Halftime said "the clock is obviously ticking" on Ginni Rometty.

Pete said Katy Huberty has been the "go-to" analyst for AAPL, but with IBM, "she's been like everybody else. She's taken the head fake."

OK. So what's the reason to follow her on AAPL. (Hint: That stock always goes up anyway regardless of what the analysts say.)

Judge said, "With all due respect," will investors follow Katy Huberty on IBM, or the exiting Warren Buffett.

Doc opined, "I certainly don't think that the cloud can get any worse for IBM than it's been over the last 6 months."

Jim Lebenthal said he can wait for an IBM "turn" before getting long the name and that its lack of revenue growth is "painful and embarrassing."

Stephanie Link said there won't be IBM momentum till next year. But Judge demanded Jim explain why you wouldn't want to start buying it now with the prospect of a back-end-loaded year. Jim's explanation was way too long, stating that controlling gross margins would lead to cutting R&D and head count.

Pete Najarian decided, "There's no reason to jump in to this thing."



Nobody addresses whether there’s really a ‘dislocation’ in trading of TRNC (after Judge sounded like he barely realized that Ross is running 1 of 8 newspapers (sorry for using that term) and not the whole company)


Coming up with a fresh idea, Judge on Wednesday's Halftime introduced his segment on the day's Dow/S&P performance with "What a difference a day makes." (Why not the old CNBC earnings staple; The good, the bad and the ugly.)

Eamon Javers actually mentioned the possibility of a government shutdown over "wall spending."

Jim Lebenthal shrugged that the market is responding to "noise" from D.C. rather than an "actual signal."

Josh Brown pointed out that KSU was down on Tuesday night's "off-the-cuff remarks."

Steph Link said the Atlanta Fed is actually thinking about 3.8% (snicker) GDP.

Jon Najarian stressed that inflation is "considerably lower" now than in 1999.

Josh Brown grumbled about building a wall "with no money to pay for it." Doc cut in that "It's a billion dollars … Cities do that all the time."



Jim actually is heeding Howard Marks’ advice (despite the fact he was apparently the ‘sell point’ panelist called out by Marks at Post 9)


Jon Najarian on Wednesday's Halftime said CIEN September 23 calls were being scooped up.

Stephanie Link said CIEN is a "very large position for me. … It's a very volatile stock; I mean this stock could go from 23 to 29 in 1 day."

Jim Lebenthal said, "I feel like Cisco is ceding the optical-router market to Ciena." Link said "it's also been speculated" that Cisco might look to buy Ciena.

Link touted ORCL, CMI and UNP.

Doc said Sept. 1 weekly BABA 175 calls were being bought.

Jim Lebenthal said he trimmed his WGO position only because it has become an outsized gain. He said he's not "recycling" the proceeds back into the market because of (yep) Howard Marks and Jeffrey Gundlach.

Stephanie Link said LOW missed despite good demand; "I'd avoid."

Josh Brown said if you're long CMG, "Don't say that you do any kind of risk management if you're long this name." He called it a falling knife but insisted he's not taking a dig at Ackman.

Jim Lebenthal said he doesn't see any catalysts for FL in the near-term.

Doc said he's "movin' on" after the AEO pop.

Jeff Kilburg said right now, "The market's not buyin'" a December rate hike. Anthony Grisanti said if the dollar breaks 92.30, we're looking to 91.

Doc said someone was buying NRG 30 calls. Jim Lebenthal said he thinks MMM continues to fall. Josh Brown said he'd fade any Mexican wall rhetoric. Stephanie Link trumpeted AVGO.



[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 Asiancemagazine.com, 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.

Wow.

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."


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