WINDERMERE, Fla. (Stockpickr) -- The traders of CNBC's "Fast Money" see some big opportunity in playing the banking sector after Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke told congress that he plans to keep interest rates ultra-low for several months. On Wednesday's "Halftime Report" segment, Gary Kaminsky told viewers that the U.S. banks look good now because they are conservatively run, have a government backstop and have the yield curve working in their favor.
Brian Kelly agreed, saying that he is bullish on names such as
. He said these are good banks with good core businesses. However, Kelly advised viewers to stay away from
Goldman Sachs Group
because he thinks it's facing headwinds.
Melissa Lee noted that Citigroup shares were trading higher on Wednesday off of a report from
The Wall Street Journal
that said the bank is in talks to sell its fund-of-fund business to Skybridge Capital. Lee pointed out that the
SPDR KBW Regional Banking
ETF was near a new 52-week high on the news. She wondered if it was still a good idea to jump into the banks stocks.
Kaminsky said that the markets are bullish on bank stocks because they are looking out six months at their ability to absorb higher interest rates and their position to compete globally. He thinks the U.S. banks will continue to trade better than the European banks.
The "Fast Money" crew has recently highlighted trading ideas that play stocks that work in any economic condition, the top holdings for Carl Icahn and stocks with unusual options activity. Here are some highlights from over the past week as aggregated from the show.
: New research from Harvard Business School professor Ranjay Gulati suggests that the state of the economy might not be as critical to a company's fortunes, as you might have thought. On last Friday's "Fast Money" show, Gulati told viewers: "When companies really focus on their customers, they achieve the holy grail of sales growth and margin growth in a dramatic fashion." The
: Recently, blue-chip growth investor Louis Navellier dropped by the show to offer up his top growth-stock picks (view
). On Monday's "Fast Money" show, Navellier told viewers: "
is capturing market share in China like crazy, and
is exiting China. I think the stock could double this year easily." The
: The traders see opportunity in making some contrarian bets on the financial sector. On Wednesday's "Halftime Report" segment, Tim Seymour told viewers: "The rise in bank stocks is more about loan provisions coming down. I like the European banks, especially
for its valuation, top-line EPS and market-share gains." The
portfolio includes Goldman Sachs Group and
Bank of America
: According to market rumors,
is believed to be a potential buyer of
Commercial Metals Company
. On Monday's "Fast Money" show, Pete Najarian told viewers: "The number of calls vs. puts suggests to me something could happen for CDC in a positive way." The
: Now that golf legend Tiger Woods has apologized publically for his infidelity, is the Tiger brand ready to make a comeback? What's the trade? On last Friday's "Fast Money" show, Guy Adami told viewers: "If you want to trade the space, I'd look at
Dick's Sporting Goods
: Recently, legendary investor Carl Ichan stopped by the show to talk about some of his top holdings. (view
). On last Thursday's "Halftime Report" segment, Icahn told viewers: "My hope is that I'll have more say at
Lions Gate Entertainment
if I have 30% of the company." The
-- Written by Roberto Pedone in Windermere, Fla.
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