The U.S. stock market finished higher Thursday, spurred by the tech sector and abetted by softening oil prices. The Dow was up 0.7%, the S&P 500 added 1.1%, and the Nasdaq jumped up 1.5%.
"Fast Money" TV show, the traders discussed a brief rollover in crude oil. Tim Seymour said Congress is acting to reduce the buying power of oil speculators. He said this news is limited in its impact. He said options expired, and many traders may be closing their positions in oil. He said the more important factor in the oil story is demand. He said that Congress' action today is part of the farm bill, which will have a much larger impact on food prices.
Pete Najarian pointed out that crude finished the day flat. He also pointed out bullish action in the oil services sector. He reminded viewers that oil is not just a commodity but is also a currency.
Jeff Macke said that from a technical standpoint, oil traded very well today. He said it had every reason to sell off but held its ground.
Guy Adami said that Wall Street observers would do well to quit talking about Congress' action to close speculative loopholes in oil. He said that the market had set up two great trades in
, both of which rose today.
Still Time for Planting
Najarian said that people think the agriculture trade is over, but action in
indicates otherwise. He said that these companies have pricing power.
He said a trade in dry bulk shipping may also work, but
may be a little ahead of itself.
Tim Seymour said that
will benefit if Congress extends the farm bill. He agreed with Najarian that the ag sector continues to rally.
The Oracle Speaks
Warren Buffett announced today that he was increasing his stake in
Burlington Northern Santa Fe
. Shares of both companies rallied on the news.
Adami pointed out that Burlington Northern was at a 52-week high before the Buffett news, and he says it's still a buy on a valuation basis.
Macke said that it seems like every super-inverstor owns Kraft. He said there will be plenty of time to follow the whales, but viewers shouldn't chase the stock higher.
Icahn in Action
Billionaire investor Carl Icahn announced he was buying shares of
. Shares of this company also rose. Najarian said the pharma company is one of his favorite names. He said the company is very well run. He also recommended
Research In Motion
is coming out with a touch-screen BlackBerry. Najarian said he loves the RIM story and believes that smartphone competitor
can coexist with RIM. He said that Apple's Macintosh computers provide the real story for the company.
He also said
are ways to play the news.
Macke said that RIM and Apple stocks were working because the companies are executing well. He told viewers not to buy stocks on product hype but rather because they are performing.
Carl Icahn sent a letter to
board saying it acted irrationally when faced with a takeout offer from
Macke said that Icahn is representing a strong hand with this letter, but Microsoft's best move at this point is to step back from the deal, because it is the only bidder. It's probably a little late to get long Yahoo!, but the company probably won't be independent at the end of this year, he said.
Tiffany Lights Up
reported good earnings, and shares of both companies went up today.
Macke said that there was a lot of bad news already in Tiffany stock, and he called today's climb a rally from a previous beatdown. He said that with the earnings catalyst gone, it's time to sell out of positions in these names. He also warned viewers against being long
here, but he said he's still long
because it's a different kind of story.
Najarian said he observed unusual call activity in
UBS rated six offshore drillers with buy ratings today and raised its long-term forecast for the price of crude well into the $100s. The traders spoke with UBS analyst Dave Anderson about the decision. Anderson said the fundamentals of the story indicate that oil has a long way to run. He said UBS doesn't see the supply situation improving.
Little Big Brands
The traders then turned to
host Donny Deutsch about a trend of big businesses buying small brands. Deutsch said that companies like
don't have the wherewithal to create new brands the way small companies do. He said the key to making these acquisitions are working is to keep the essence of the brand.
Deutsch said that as soon as a brand starts to feel like that of the acquiring company, the charm has worn off. He said he likes Coke's acquisition of Vitamin Water and
Burt's Bees purchase.
Macke said he likes
because it's beating
could be a takeover target.
With a major oncology conference coming up, Najarian said
is a name to keep an eye on. He also told investors to take a look at
The Recession View
To talk about the overall economy, Zach Karabell, president of River Twice Research, joined the show. He said the recession, whether it's here or not, is not affecting Americans' desire to buy flat-screen TVs, and this plays into
. Adami agreed that Corning is a good stock to own.
Karabell also said that Americans are vacationing domestically. He said this means
parks should benefit. Macke agreed, saying Disney is "crushing." Karabell was more skeptical of a Las Vegas casino trade in this environment.
traded on extraordinary volume today.
The traders tried to pick some trades for the future of the Internet. Macke said that innovative companies will often disappear quickly, and he's more interested in
, which he said is a survivor. Adami agreed.
Seymour recommended playing the China Internet buildout. He named companies such as
Najarian recommended Cisco as an infrastructure buildout play. For a more speculative venture, he suggested
One viewer asked if
is a way to play steel. Adami said its molybdenum business makes it a way to play the sector.
Another viewer asked about casino stocks. Macke said to avoid them.
Macke chose the
Short Dow30 ProShares
. Adami selected
. Najarian suggested