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The stock stars beyond Club 1700's velvet rope

Friday, 9 Aug 2013 | 7:48 AM ET

What a week! Highlights include market guru Tom Lee's big call, Nelson Peltz, The Washington Post, "The Lone Ranger" flop, Quirky, wearable tech and Yahoo. It's all in "Talking Squawk," the official blog of CNBC's "Squawk Box," from the notepad of the show's senior executive producer.

Thomas Lee, JPMorgan's U.S. equity strategist
Adam Jeffery | CNBC
Thomas Lee, JPMorgan's U.S. equity strategist

'The 1700 Club': Tom's the Man!

Thomas Lee, chief U.S. equity strategist at JPMorgan, was highlighted on the front of the USA Today Money section on Thursday, as a member of the S&P 500 index "1700 Club."

Lee—who also guest-hosted on "Squawk Box" that day—went even further, saying the upside on the S&P 500 index in the next six to 12 months could be 1,800 or even 1,900.

He even got props from "Squawk on the Street" co-host @carlquintanilla:

Now, we here on "Squawk Box" would never toot our own horn, or tell you we told you so. But we told you so! Joe was jumping on the Tom bandwagon before there even was a bandwagon. In fact, this very own humble blog would never think of pointing out that back in our June 7 edition we suggested that Tom is quietly becoming the next market guru:

The new market guru?

Is JPMorgan's Tom Lee quietly (and humbly) becoming Wall Street's next market guru? He may not be there just yet, but Joe is starting to sit up and take notice. Tom, this is a sign to run away! (story and video)

Thankfully for us, Tom didn't take our advice and he came back. Here's the link to a video of his latest market predictions from Thursday.

But we can't let him go without making some fun of him, which he acknowledged in a rather funny and self-effacing moment on the "Squawk" set.

Lee said the photo USA Today used was "silly" and "looked like one of those high school pictures." He then re-enacted the pose on set—complete with his hands under his chin. What a great sport!

Peltz pummelled

Our "Squawk" hedge fund specialist Maneet Ahuja (follow her on Twitter at @WallStManeet) first reported on Thursday that Nelson's Peltz's Trian funds are vastly underperforming the S&P 500. (Maybe he needs to hire Tom Lee?!)

The Washington Post's home page.
Source: Washingtonpost.com
The Washington Post's home page.

No laughing matter

Newspapers have been awful investments recently, but now billionaires seem to be tripping over themselves to buy them. Just this week, The New York Times sold The Boston Globe to John Henry (owner of the Red Sox). In 1993, it cost the Times $1.1 billion. In 2013, it cost Henry $70 million (and the Times kept the pension liability)!

Now The Washington Post sold its paper (and news website), once worth billions, to Amazon founder Jeff Bezos for a mere $250 million.

Did Bezos think he got a fair deal? We didn't get a chance to ask him, but he is too rich to probably care and we are guessing his answer would be similar to his now famous 1998 interview with "Squawk." (We can't get enough of his infectious laugh!)

"Squawk" co-host Andrew Ross Sorkin wrote about the new billionaires-buying-newspapers trend this week.

Indian Motorcycles

Polaris Industries is taking direct aim at American icon Harley-Davidson by relaunching the "Indian" motorcycle brand name.

"Squawk" fill-in host Brian Sullivan (follow him on Twitter at @SullyCNBC) felt the need to mount one on live TV, during an interview with the CEO. You can also check out a cool slideshow of the bikes on our "Squawk" Facebook page.

House of Lemons?

The "House of Mouse" beat analyst expectations with its latest earnings report despite lower-than-expected revenue due to three words: "The Lone Ranger." The flop will cost Disney between $160 million and $190 million. It may even become the biggest movie bomb of all time. Good thing this never happens to Disney. Oh wait, in 2012 "John Carter" lost $108 million. Oh wait, in 2011 "Mars Needs Moms" lost $130 million.

But "Squawk" co-host Becky Quick doesn't care because in 2015 Disney is slated to release the long-awaited "Finding Nemo" sequel, "Finding Dory," which will make everything OK, at least with her Nemo-loving 2-year-old.

Less than zero

Our technical director, Keith Falcone (above), helps us build our "Hair Nation" segments for this blog. (Plus, once in a while he does actually help us in the control room to get the show on the air.) But he is helpless on Twitter at @keith_falcone.

It's become an embarrassment for the "Squawk" brand. After weeks of free promotion on this blog, Keith has frittered away that opportunity and still has a mere six followers. This may be my last effort to help the helpless. If he can't get to double digits by this time next week, we may officially start the "Falcone less than zero" campaign and drive his Twitter account into oblivion.

Squawkward moment

Brian: "Eric Lefkofsky has been named the new CEO of Groupon. There is a picture of him, he looks very … well … mercurial.

Andrew: "Mercurial ... is that an insult?"

Brian: "We'll its better than calling him Venetian, Martian or Uranus."

Yahoo!?

Yahoo is changing its logo. It will have a different one on its website each day for the next 30 days, then it'll reveal the winner. Yeah! Marissa Meyer! Sounds fun! Yahoo!

But two minor observations: One, as Becky pointed out, it already picked the winner and it's not letting customers vote, which ruined it for her. Two, by showing everybody 30 logos, you now almost guarantee a majority of your users will have liked a different logo than the one you eventually chose. Yahoo!?

And Brian joked: "The logo most Yahoo employees voted for … Google!"

The cutting edge

I read this great story over the weekend about pensions on CNBCNetNet. Wow! It's a really awesome site!

(Damnit! Hacked by @carney again!)

Crowdsourcing Quirky summer gadgets
Quirky CEO and founder Ben Kaufman explains how his manufacturing company helps businesses fund the invention process and demonstrates several of this season's top gadgets.

Quirky

The CEO of Quirky @benkaufman stopped in the studio again with more very cool summer products that inventors have pitched on his site.

In this episode: A beach bag that won't bring the sand back with you and a custom "wiener slicer."

Hmmm?

And when Kaufman spontaneously bolted off the set to do the product demo, thankfully Andrew got up and followed him.

Tweets of note:

Breakfast Tacos! @NYMag wrote:


(Unlike last week's stem cell burger story, "Squawk" co-host Joe Kernen will tell you, @TacoBell can do no wrong, so this has to be a good idea.)

Wearable Wars!

Check out this tweet from @SeemaCNBC:

In the CNBC newsroom, this is very exciting because any war with Apple or Google is solid gold for us. We can make new "WAR!" graphics, a new heart-pounding animation, call a few extra news planning meetings, draft a prime-time special. It has great potential!

And let's throw in a new upstart just to complicate the battlefield.

Check out our interview this week with the co-founders of Misfit Wearables, which was co-founded by former Apple CEO John Sculley. It's another "disruptor" that wants in on this soon to be fought "Wearable War!"

Must follow them @

Time to throw some bones to all our Squawk contributors this week. So please follow them to give the appearance that we have some juice and maybe they'll consider coming back @morningmoneyben, @jeffcoxCNBCcom (again, we don't know what Jeff contributed this week, but @CNBCNetNet stole our password), @SullyCNBC, @ScottWapnerCNBC, CNBC contributor @tonyfratto. (Tony didn't contribute this week either, but he'll re-tweet us so we'll include him anyway!)

And here's a shout-out to "Squawk" video editor @dmeelarp because he cuts all the clips for this blog and it's not part of his official job description so I'm afraid one day he'll quit in protest.

"Squawk Box" co-hosts Joe Kernen and Becky Quick keep a handwritten record of their daily Word Jumble standings going back years.
Matthew J. Belvedere | CNBC
"Squawk Box" co-hosts Joe Kernen and Becky Quick keep a handwritten record of their daily Word Jumble standings going back years.

Word Jumble

Joe and Becky love to play the word jumble in the paper after the show. They've been doing it for seven years running, and Becky has the weekly handwritten scores to prove it! Two weeks ago was a complete disaster for Becky. Joe swept her five to nothing. Now with Joe on vacation for two weeks, followed by Becky for two weeks, the word jumble contest won't resume until September, which means Becky has to sit on that brutal sweep for a month.

Let's give her a practice word to try to rebuild her confidence: SLLPCEAO

*Answer at the end

Mark your calendar (or set your DVR) for guest hosts

  • Monday: James Woolery (Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft LLP)
  • Tuesday: Tom Barrack (Colony Capital LLC)
  • Wednesday: Oscar Schafer (Rivulet Capital)
  • Thursday: Matt Miller (Center for American Progress)
  • Friday: Jason Trennert (Strategas Research Partners LLC)

Next week's 8:30 a.m. EDT economic calendar

  • Tuesday: Retail Sales and Import/Export Prices
  • Wednesday: Producer Price Index
  • Thursday: Jobless Claims and Consumer Price Index
  • Friday: Housing Starts and Building Permits

The "Corny-Sappy Motivational Business-Based Inspirational Quote" for the weekend

"There is only one boss. The customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else." —Sam Walton, founder of Wal-Mart

So Long!

I'd be remiss if we didn't say goodbye to our star intern John Torrisi (follow him @jctorrisi) who's returning to George Washington University for his senior year. This is his second tour with "Squawk" and we're hoping it won't be the last we see of him.

(Great, now I have no one to keep my kid's hermit crabs alive—which I keep in my office at workwhen I travel.)

Looking forward to the weekend because ...

It's the last major golf tournament of the year, the PGA Championship!

By CNBC's Matthew Quayle. Follow him on Twitter @matthew_quayle.

*Becky's Jumble Bonus Word answer: SLLPCEAO=collapse

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  • Joe Kernen is co-anchor of "Squawk Box," CNBC's signature morning program.

  • Becky Quick is co-anchor of "Squawk Box," CNBC's signature morning program. She's also a columnist for Fortune.

  • Andrew Ross Sorkin is a co-anchor of "Squawk Box," a financial columnist for "The New York Times" and the editor-at-large of NYT's DealBook.