Is the Gap back?

It's no secret that the Gap has under-performed some of its competitors in recent memory. But already up 17% year-to-date, are the numbers now telling a different story?

Despite the move to the upside, Morgan Stanley cut the retailer to a "sell" rating today. The firm cited ongoing "structural weaknesses" as the primary reason for the downgrade.

On the "Halftime Report" today our experts duked it out over whether or not the Gap is back in style.

"Gap is addicted to coupons, and it's a bad addiction" -Jon Najarian

Joe Terranova is the desk's bull. He likes Gap at these levels, noting that it's had a "significant recovery" since early February.

Back in February Gap lowered its full-year guidance while reporting fourth quarter earnings. Ongoing concerns for investors include the brand's inability to win back younger customers, as well as its weak online presence.

But Terranova believes that since management is entirely aware of these issues, the concerns have been overstated. He thinks that the retailer should be given time "for the turn around to happen." The next catalyst for him will be how the Gap performs during the important spring season.

Pete Najarian disagrees with Joe. He is bearish on Gap because of its low margins and structural uncertainties. "If they're stumbling on the basics, how can there be a turn around," he argued. Gap's fledgling online presence also gives him pause, especially when compared to brands with successful e-commerce businesses like Nike and Under Armour.

Like his brother, Jon Najarian is also on the bearish side of the call. He sees Gap's continuously discounted offerings as a sign of deeper weaknesses. "They're addicted to coupons, and it's a bad addiction," he argued.

Trader disclosure: On March 16, 2015 the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC's "Halftime Report" were owned by the "Halftime Report" traders:

Jon Najarian: Long FDX, GDX, PDS, SCTY. Long calls BMY, CA, ETE, FIT, IP, MCD, MDLZ, MSFT, MYL, NEM, SCHW, TSLA

Pete Najarian: Long AAPL, BAC, BMY, DIS, DISCA, GE, KMI, KMI-A, KO, MRK, PEP, PFE, SAVE, VIAB. Long calls AAL, AMJ, BAC, BAX, CLF, CMCSA, CNX, CX, DAL, EGO, EMR, EWZ, FDX, FIT, GDX, GE, GM, HAIN, HOG, KSS, LC, LUV, LVS, MDLZ, MET, MSFT, MXIM, NRF, SCHW, SLV, SLW, SWN, UAL, USG, WYNN, ZIOP. Long puts DB, EWH, RIG, RY, VLO, XME

Joe Terranova: Long VRTS

Steve Weiss: Long AAL, C, CVC, GOGO, SRPT, TLLP, VIAB