NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- U.S. equities closed the first trading session of the fourth quarter lower on Wednesday, with the S&P 500 falling 1.32%.
On CNBC's "Fast Money" TV show, Brian Kelly, founder of Brian Kelly Capital, said the global economy is starting to weaken, with poor economic numbers coming from Japan, China and Europe. The European Central Bank could disappoint investors on Thursday, but it's hard to get too bearish while the "dips" in the stock market continue to get bought.
Guy Adami, managing director of stockmonster.com, pointed out the iShares Russell 2000 ETF (IWM) - Get Report finally declined to $108. He said the S&P 500 may decline to 1,904 and investors should keep an eye on the transport sector, which fell 2.5% on Wednesday.
Tim Seymour, managing partner of Triogem Asset Management, said emerging markets and commodities continue to fall. He said to avoid gold and gold miners, and be careful ahead of Thursday's ECB meeting and Friday's non-farm payrolls report.
Jon Najarian, co-founder of optionmonster.com and trademonster.com, argued there is not a large amount of fear in the market despite the recent selloff. He said the market traded fairly well, given all of the geopolitical news on Wednesday. The price action of the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) also didn't reflect a lot of panic in the market.
Ron Kruszewski, co-chairman, president and CEO at StifelFinancial(SF) - Get Report , said the recent pullback is just a normal correction and presents investors with a buying opportunity. The U.S. economy continues to improve, a stronger dollar will help U.S. consumers and a weaker euro should help the European economy. He said investors who buy today should be happy in a year. Interest rates seem likely to remain lower longer than many investors currently anticipate. His top picks include: healthcare, industrials and technology.
Seymour said Kruszewski has a slightly longer-term time frame than he does but he agrees with it. Adami said investors can buy shares of Stifel Financial with a stop-loss at $44. Najarian said he like financial stocks near current levels.
Jamie Baker, an airline analyst at JPMorgan, said investors and airline passengers shouldn't worry about Ebola. Each day 1.8 million people board a U.S. flight, of which only 2,000 are headed to or are returning from Africa. Even if that route suffers dramatically, it shouldn't move the needle for airline companies.
Baker did agree that passenger fear "could weigh on some of the more discount-oriented routes," such as those traveled by families. However, this mindset should blow over relatively soon. Investors cannot ignore the impact of lower fuel prices that, coupled with the recent pullback, are setting the stocks up for a healthy rally into the end of the year.
Seymour said that if airline stocks are selling off simply over Ebola worries then they are a buy. However, he suggested that investors wait for the stocks to settle down before getting long. Najarian said he is a buyer of the airline stocks. Adami like JetBlue Airways (JBLU) - Get Report on the long side.
Seymour said Melco Crown Entertainment (MPEL) is in "value territory" near current levels.
Adami said shares of Agrium (AGU) need to find support near current levels or the stock action could get ugly in a hurry. Seymour said companies like Agrium and Potash (POT) will continue to struggle until crop prices recover, which won't happen until the dollar weakens.
Mark Mahaney, managing director and lead Internet analyst at RBC Capital Markets, said the fourth quarter is seasonally strong for companies like Amazon (AMZN) - Get Report and eBay (EBAY) - Get Report although eBay may have already had its big catalyst event when it announced it would spin off its PayPal business. His top picks, in order, are Facebook (FB) - Get Report , Google (GOOGL) - Get Report , Netflix (NFLX) - Get Report and Amazon.
Seymour, who is long Alibaba (BABA) - Get Report , called it a great combination of growth and value. Priceline.com (PCLN) is another stock with upside potential. Najarian is a buyer of Yahoo! (YHOO) .
Dr. Joseph Kim, president and CEO of Inovio Pharmaceuticals (INO) - Get Report , said his company has found its DNA-based Ebola prevention vaccination to be 100% effective when used in mice and guinea pigs. Phase I testing should begin in 2015 and is done with a DNA sequence rather than a virus injection into the patient. He added that it's hard to monetize such treatments unless there is a large agency looking to stockpile it.
Adami said investors should wait for a pullback before buying Inovio Pharmaceuticals. The stock could decline into the $8 range, he added.
The trading panel provided their top "protection plays" for a deeper market correction:
Adami is a buyer of Costco Wholesale (COST) - Get Report because of its strong comparable-store sales and Najarian is a buyer of call spreads in the CBOE Volatility Index. Seymour said to buy Cisco Systems (CSCO) - Get Report because of its low valuation and dividend, while Kelly is buying the Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (GDX) - Get Report ahead of the big events scheduled for this week.
eBay dropped 2%. Kelly said investors can stay long despite the slew of downgrades issued on Wednesday.
IvenSense (INVN) climbed 2%. Najarian said he likes the stock on the long side.
Kelly said shares of BlackBerry (BBRY) continue to perform well because the fundamentals are still improving. The CEO is doing a good job turning around the company.
For their final trades, Seymour is a buyer of Pinnacle Foods (PF) and Kelly is a buyer of the iPath Dow Jones Cocoa Total Return ETN (NIB) - Get Report . Najarian is a buyer of Occidental Petroleum (OXY) - Get Report and Adami said to buy Costco.
-- Written by Bret Kenwell in Petoskey, Mich.
Bret Kenwell currently writes, blogs and also contributes to Robert Weinstein's Weekly Options Newsletter.