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'Fast Money' Recap: Copper Is King

The trading panel says copper-related stocks are stronger than steel.

Dylan Ratigan opened today's "Fast Money" on CNBC by talking about how crude oil is rallying today -- it is currently up $5.28, or 4.5%, to $121.07. He also mentioned that the dollar is trading downward as the major indices trade in negative territory.

Jon Najarian brought up the

Consumer Discretionary SPDR

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, which is an ETF that contains companies such as retailers and auto manufacturers. He has noticed very high put option volume, leading him to feel negative toward companies that are levered to discretionary income.

Jeff Macke sarcastically mentioned how "consumers have been in a cocoon for months." He said consumers' discretionary income has been strained for quite awhile, which is why retailers have been having a troubling time.

Guy Adami is bullish on the copper sector, specifically

Freeport-McMoRan

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. He then pointed out that

U.S. Steel

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was trading higher today but said he is not bullish on any of the steel companies and suggested that investors "sell into the rallies."

Joe Terranova mentioned that he likes

National Oilwell Varco

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; the stock is up about 5% to $78.26. However, he said he disagrees with Adami and stated, "U.S. Steel should be up."

Najarian stated that he really likes

Joy Global

(JOYG)

, since he is bullish in the coal industry.

RIM Shot

Ratigan said

Research In Motion

(RIMM)

will be releasing a new BlackBerry model, to be called Bold.

Najarian said "keep an eye on this one" regarding Research In Motion. He stated that on average, the stock has moved up about 50% when it trades above its 100-day moving average right before a product launch.

Have It Your Way

Adami said he is not a supporter of

Burger King

(BKC)

at its current price levels. He told viewers they should have taken profits. He said he feels the stock has to move more to the downside before it will be attractive enough to buy.

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Breaking news:

Merrill Lynch

(MER)

will buy back auction-rate securities from individuals with accounts of $100 million or less by Jan. 15.

Stacey Gilbert, market strategist for Susquehanna, came on the show and stated her bullishness in the copper and coal sector. Gilbert noticed unusually high call option activity for

Southern Copper

(PCU)

yesterday. She said she feels this is a very bullish sign for Southern Copper.

Gilbert also stated that she agrees with Adami about Freeport-McMoRan, stating she feels copper and coal are both indicating bullish activities that investors should be aware of.

Further Action

Ratigan brought up how

Microsoft

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plans on spending $300 million for its adverting campaign with Jerry Seinfeld.

Ladenburg Thalman upgraded

Lehman Brothers

(LEH)

-- the stock was down 9%, but as a result of the upgrade it is now essentially trading flat at $13.65. The upgrade on Lehman has also sparked a rally for the rest of the financials, which also assisted the major indices to rally from their lows.

Chipolte Grilled

Jack Hartung, chief financial officer of Chipotle, came on the show to discuss what has been affecting his business and what differentiates it from its competitors. He stated that

Chipotle Mexican Grill

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has one of the highest margins in the industry.

Regarding food inflation, Hartung said he does not feel it will alleviate in the near term, but he stated that it should not dramatically affect the firm, since his company has been able to pass along some of the costs to the customers.

Najarian said he does not feel that investors should consider buying Chipotle, but he said he likes

Darden Resturants

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, which owns chains such as Olive Garden and Long Horn Steakhouse.

Macke said he believes companies in the sector are trending toward "multiple contraction." In other words, he feels there is more downside left for restaurants due to food inflation and a strain in consumer spending.

Dick Bove, Analyst Ladenburg Thalmann, came on the show to explain his reasons for upgrading Lehman Brothers today. He said that if the stock continues to trend downward or at current levels, a company might make a hostile bid for the firm.

Macke said he does not believe a firm would want to buy Lehman Brothers, stating there is no value with the firm's assets. Bove disagreed, stating there is a value for its assets and that it does not have to unload the assets at "fire-sale prices." He later mentioned that after doing some comparable analysis, he feels the stock should be trading at higher levels, and that is the main reason behind the upgrade.

Peter Garcia is a finance major at Seton Hall. He provides invaluable research support as an intern at TheStreet.com.