NEW YORK (Real Money) -- Here's that bad setup playing out in a way that can take your breath away, can't it? What's got this market down and what can be done about it?
First, we had one of the foremost investors of our time basically yell "Fire!" in a crowded theater. I am talking about Carl Icahn, who came on CNBC's "Fast Money Halftime" show and basically lowered the boom on equities.
I was in the dentist's chair getting drilled not once but twice, the first by the dentist, the second by Icahn, as you could see the pillars of the market tumble down in front of you as he spoke to Scott. I was waiting for my dentist to ask me, "Is it safe?" to which I would have said, "No, not at least according to Carl Icahn," that is, if I wasn't experiencing a Marathon Man-like moment and could barely mumble "aargh" without some clove to calm me.
Icahn's brief against the market was a bit difficult to understand if only because it was so wide-ranging. The occasion for his talk was actually a celebratory one -- a victory lap for the multibillion-dollar windfall he had with his purchase of the stock of Netflix (NFLX), a trade, by the way, he shared with the world. Can't blame him for not cutting you in.
So, when he tweeted that he took the remaining stock off the table after Netflix jumped 20 points early on in the session on the news of a 7-for-1 split, you can bet he had accumulated a massive amount of Street cred.
That said, I thought his beef was more with the lack of worth of the high-yield market than with equities, especially given that he still owns a ton of stocks, including a massive position in Apple (AAPL), which he endorsed mightily as still in the early innings of its astounding move.
Icahn indicated that he's hedged on his stock positions. But he hasn't sold any Apple and wants to buy more on any dip.
So it wasn't like Icahn was saying it's time to get short. I heard him say he had more of a desire to ring the register on some stocks like Netflix because we have had some terrific moves. Yet there's still some value in the biggest stock in the world, Apple, so it doesn't look like the end is nigh for everything. Apple's stock got help not just from Icahn but from a callout of Piper Jaffrey, the ax in the stock, so to speak, based on a channel check that showed good cellphone sales, the key metric.