'Fast Money' Recap: Buying Opportunities in a Down Market

The trading panel looked at several trades in the down market.
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Wall Street was down for a second day as the price of oil continued to fall and a negative rating outlook for

General Electric

(GE) - Get Report

dampened the markets.

The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

was off 219.35, or 2.49%, to 8604.99, while the

S&P 500

dropped 19.14, or 2.12%, to 885.28. The

Nasdaq

fell 26.94, or 1.71%, to 1552.37.

Dylan Ratigan, the host of

CNBC

's "Fast Money" TV show, said the S&P's negative rating on GE is what sent the market, which was going nowhere, spiraling downward.

He said the key questions going forward for GE is whether it can get $5 billion in earnings from its GE Capital unit in 2009 and maintain its dividend.

Karen Finerman said, "The rating agencies, after being asleep at the switch, have gone too far." She said she is willing to give the company the benefit of the doubt because she believes "a lot of money will be made in the lending business next year."

Jeff Terranova said he sees an opportunity to buy the stock on weakness. Pete Najarian agreed, adding the opportunity extends to other financials such as

Prudential Financial

(PRU) - Get Report

and

Hartford Financial Services

(HIG) - Get Report

.

Ratigan moved on to one of the big stories of the day -- the plunge in the price of oil, despite the best efforts of OPEC to curtail production, to $36.61 a barrel, a drop of 8.6% for the day. Terranova said oil could go below $30 if the dollar recovers.

Ratigan discussed some key names that are starting to bump their 50-day average, including

Morgan Stanley

(MS) - Get Report

,

Google

(GOOG) - Get Report

,

MGM Mirage

(MGM) - Get Report

and

ConocoPhillips

(COP) - Get Report

.

Najarian said in all of these cases, it's make-or-break time. In other words, they have to opportunity to move up 10% if they break through the 50-day average or head downward 10% if they don't.

On Obama's appointment of Mary Schapiro to head the

Securities and Exchange Commission

, Terranova called her a "tough enforcer" and predicted this would lead to an eventual merger of the SEC and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

Steve Liesman, CNBC's senior economics reporter, talked briefly about some calculations done by Bianco Research which show that the government may be getting a return on its investment from its injection of capital in the banks.

According to the research, the government has seen the value of its preferred stock and warrants increase $7.8 billion, or 3.17%.

Liesman said former Fed chairman Alan Greenspan believes another $250 billion injection into the banking system is warranted and this would be have a bigger impact than a fiscal stimulus.

Ratigan asked the panel to talked about what he says is the federal government's attempt to make it "so miserable to own cash" that it will push people to take some risk and make some investments on the promise of a better return.

Finerman said there is certainly opportunity to make some money in the corporate bond market, where a lot of hedge funds and banks are having to sell their debt at discounted prices. "That's an attractive risk-reward," she said.

For those who might have problems making individual choices, they might go with a high-yield fund from Vanguard, Charles Schwab or Fidelity, she said.

Najarian maintained there are still "unbelievable" opportunities in equities. He cited in particular

Siemens AG

(SI)

, which he said is 97% exposed to infrastructure. The stock, which is down 50% to 60% for the year, is a diversified business with plenty of cash, he said.

Adami said he likes the biotech sector, which has "held up well," and mentioned

Celgene

(CELG) - Get Report

as a good investment opportunity.

Ratigan then asked the panel for some trading suggestions on the weaker dollar. Najarian said

Priceline.com

(PCLN)

is on the top of his list because 60% of its business is overseas, making it a cheap dollar play. He also likes

Joy Global

(JOYG)

and

Bucyrus International

(BUCY)

.

He agreed with others in the panel that gold is a good way to play the weak dollar.

Ratigan brought in Zachary Karabell to talk about an interesting aspect of Obama's infrastructure plans. While much has been made about how it will be devoted to roads, bridges and green spending, little has been mentioned about what Karabell characterized as the "global dimensions" of the infrastructure initiative.

The beneficiaries of this global side of the equation will be commodities, global industrials and semiconductors.

Karabell thinks highly of

CISCO

(CSCO) - Get Report

on the tech side because it will be involved in the buildout of the global telecom infrastructure, with "few competitors."

Finally, Finerman thinks

United Health

(UNH) - Get Report

is looking good in 2009 after a "terrible" 2008. She said there's a lot of "good things to like," such as being a premier name in the industry, a strong balance sheet, better pricing going into the new year, a better medical loss ratio, and a conservative guidance that bakes in 9% unemployment.

She doesn't think Obama's universal health plans will have an impact because there are too many other pressing priorities to deal with before taking on health care.

"Check out

"'Fast Money' Portfolios of the Week" on Stockpickr

every Thursday.

This article was written by a staff member of TheStreet.com.