Bulls Run; Whales Leave Apple; Defense of Dimon
An informative and entertaining look at the must-see CNBC moments that will sharpen your business edge today, tomorrow and beyond. What follows are some notes and quotes from the biggest stories covered on CNBC on Wednesday, May 15.
Will the Party End?
Before the Dow Jones industrial average and S&P 500 index closed at fresh highs Wednesday, much of the conversation on CNBC centered on whether the rally will continue. As has been the case during the past few days of gains, there weren't too many bears.
"You want to stay long this market until something changes," said Michael Murphy, founder and managing partner of hedge fund Rosecliff Capital, on CNBC's "Fast Money Halftime Report." Right now, he added, "I think the S&P has a beeline for 1,700,"
Robert Sluymer, a technical strategist at RBC Capital Markets, told CNBC's "Futures Now" that though the stock market could correct within the next year, the S&P will reach the 2,400 level within the next five years.
Whales Leaving Apple
Apple fell to $425 a share after Julian Robertson's Tiger Management dumped its entire stake in the company, according to an SEC filing. At the end of last year, Tiger held 42,125 shares of Apple. Intensifying the blow, David Tepper of Appaloosa Management cut his stake in the Cupertino, Calif.-based tech giant by about 40 percent.
David Trainer, CEO of stock research firm New Constructs, isn't surprised by the movement out of Apple.
"I'd rather not bet on someone being able to revolutionize an industry again—you know, it's something that they've done once," he said on CNBC's "Squawk on the Street."
"They will always be an American icon for what they brought to us, but the competition is stiff," Trainer said, adding he thinks Apple's stock should be at $240 a share.
Benmosche on AIG Outlook, Jamie Dimon
American International Group is putting the financial crisis behind it and "going back to our roots" by refocusing on its core businesses of insurance and underwriting, CEO Robert Benmosche told CNBC's "Squawk on the Street."
"A lot of people were saying that for AIG to get out from underneath government ownership, it was going to take a very, very long time," Benmosche said. "The good news is that we found out what a very, very long time is. Basically from then it was about seven months. What we said then is that we were going to build a foundation this year. You can see the results, especially in the first quarter that the fundamentals are right."
Meanwhile, Benmosche defended JPMorgan Chase Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon, suggesting that shareholders are wrong to challenge his authority by possibility splitting his two roles—despite his failure of controls over mortgage foreclosures and the London Whale trading debacle.
The Pickens Plan
Texas oil billionaire T. Boone Pickens praised the Obama administration's plan to expand exports of natural gas, arguing such a move would take nat gas prices higher and "create a lot of jobs."
"The producers have gone out and drilled for the natural gas. They should be entitled to get the best markets in the world. So, let them have it. Why would you try to keep natural gas prices down to favor other industries? It doesn't make sense," the chairman of BP Capital Management and proponent of natural gas told "Squawk on the Street."
"Go ahead and move it out and sell it," Pickens said. "I'd go ahead and let the gas go into the global market."