'Fast Money' Recap: Market Volatility Eases - TheStreet

The markets started the week on the downside Monday as the steady flow of bad news continued.

The

Dow Jones

Industrial Average fell 65.15, or 0.76%, to 8564.53, while the

S&P 500

fell 11.16, or 1.27%, to 868.57. The

Nasdaq

fell 32.38, or 2.10%, or 1508.34.

Dylan Ratigan, host of

CNBC

's "Fast Money" TV show, said the one consolation from today's market was the "continued reduced volatility" and the "lack of triple-digit moves in either direction."

Karen Finerman said she likes the market that way because it shows trading is shifting back to "valuations and fundamentals." She said she is still seeing big swings in intra-day trading such as in the oil markets which was marked by volatile price movements.

Pete Najarian said the unfolding Bernard Madoff scandal hasn't disrupted the market. "The market has been able to digest it because it feels it's fairly isolated."

Despite all the bad news, people are starting to trade again, putting money in places that have been extremely oversold with the idea that there are opportunities there, he said.

In particular, he liked the coal and steel names and such stocks as

Freeport McMoRan

(FCX) - Get Report

,

Nucor

(NUE) - Get Report

and

US Steel

(USX) - Get Report

.

Ratigan asked the trading panel what they thought of the technology stocks, especially

Apple

(AAPL) - Get Report

and Cisco, which were down today. Najarian said it's understandable for Apple to be down after the recent run-up it had. And he said Cisco offered a "great opportunity" for investors.

Tim Seymour said semiconductor stocks still look good because technology presumably is well positioned to benefit from Obama's ambitious infrastructure program.

Ratigan asked the panel for their thoughts about energy stocks. He noted a Washington op-ed piece over the weekend on a gas tax. Najarian acknowledged the "strong possibility" that there might be one but he wasn't sure "what the trade off of it is."

Jeff Macke noted the disconnect between a gas tax and gas consumption. "People are driving less with cheaper gas," he said.

Seymour remained bullish on alternative energy plays, including biofuels and solar energy.

Asked for their best energy investment ideas, Najarian said he liked oversold areas such as the drillers. Finerman like natural gas stocks, while Seymour preferred the uranium play and Macke stuck with coal.

Ratigan shifted the topic to

Goldman Sachs

(GS) - Get Report

, which is releasing what is expected to be a horrible earnings report Tuesday.

He brought in Jeffery Harte, manager director of Sandler O'Neill to discuss Goldman's future, now that it is in the commercial banking business.

Harte said there won't be a "whole lot of revenue" for Goldman to generate if the economy continues to stay as rough as it is. He said Goldman should do well if there is a cyclical upswing in such traditional areas as investment banking, underwriting, mergers and acquisitions and asset management.

He said he wasn't really see an upside for Goldman in commercial banking because of its lower margins and slower growth. "I don't think universal banking is the direction they should go in," he said.

He said it's tough to say how the stock is going to fare in the months ahead. He told the panel he has a buy on the stock because Goldman has the "best management team in the business" and the "best franchise in the business."

Harte said he doesn't see the company's talent leaving because there are frankly not many places to go, with all the cutbacks in the sector.

Moving on to the

Federal Reserve

meeting tomorrow, Ratigan asked Jim Iuorio, of TJM Institutional Services, for his observations. He agreed with Ratigan's comment that it will be probably the "least interesting meeting in months."

That's because the Fed has run out of options to take for rating cutting, with the effective federal funds rate down to 0.15%, he said.

Iuorio said rates are getting so unbelievably low that they are loaning 30-year money at 2.95%. "It's getting ridiculous," he said.

He said the prospects for inflation is coming and expects oil prices to move up.

Finerman said she didn't think the Fed should cut rates. "It seems like they are giving it away for free. It doesn't make banks lend if they cut it by 50 basis points," she said.

"Check out

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

every Thursday.

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