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Volatility and ETF Trades

By Christopher Grey

1:42 p.m.EDT

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The volatility in some of the leveraged ETFs such as

Ultra Real Estate ProShares

(URE) - Get Report

and

Direxion Financial Bull

(FAS) - Get Report

and

Direxion Financial Bear

(FAZ) - Get Report

is astounding and has created several profitable short-term trades for me during the past week.

I would not recommend anyone hold FAZ or FAS long-term for reasons that have been explained very well on this site by other people, but they are great short-term trading vehicles. URE is something that I would consider holding somewhat longer term, but I have been achieving such profitable short-term results because of the volatility that I keep trading in and out of it rather than holding.

Currently, I am all in cash again, but I have a long-side bias at this point especially for larger public real estate companies. These companies trade at a big discount to private real estate and they have improved their balance sheets dramatically in recent months.

No positions.

Quick Hits

Paul Rubillo

I was able to take a taste of two names I talked about this past weekend in a column

here

. I picked up $1.50 on a quick

Potash

(POT)

pop. Also, nearly $3 on

CME Group

(CME) - Get Report

.

Both names were on the top of my buy watch-list this morning if the markets were going to be strong. Not my usual style, but as I have been saying, the 1998-1999 playbook was dusted off, and that means more intraday momentum-style hits will likely be part of the game plan as well.

No positions

Goldman Sachs Ready to Top Out

Alan Farley

12:52 p.m. EDT

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Goldman Sachs

(GS) - Get Report

is headed toward stiff resistance at $150 after nearly tripling in price since last October. That price level marks the September breakdown gap under the broken 2008 high, as well as 62% Fibonacci retracement.

A topping pattern and pullback toward $100 is likely over the summer. In the meantime, reward/risk is skewed sharply against new long positions.

More comments and annotated chart

here

.

No positions.

Optimer Pharmaceuticals

By Adam Feuerstein

8:31 a.m. EDT

I'm watching

Optimer Pharmaceuticals

(OPTR)

this morning after data presented over the weekend raises concerns that the company's experimental antibiotic fidaxomicin (FDX) may not be as potent as first believed against C. diff infection.

Previous data showed FDX to have comparable cure rates to the antibiotic vancomycin and, more important, a significantly lower recurrence rate overall.

However, according to a presentation this weekend that included new analyses, FDX and vancomycin had essentially equal recurrence rates in an important subgroup of patients with a hyper-virulent strain of C. diff known as Nap-1. This could muddy the commercial outlook for FDX, especially if/when vancomycin goes generic.

FDX is still more convenient than vancomycin and is more potent overall. A second phase III study of FDX is underway with results expected later this year. However, two analysts downgraded OPTR to neutral this morning.

No positions.

Lowes, Home Depot and Futures

By Scott Rothbort

8:00 a.m. EDT

All of my indicators (channel checks, Scott the Contractor garbage dump index, mortgage brokers and subscriber testimony) indicated that home repair and remodeling was on an upswing. That is why I was confident to buy

Home Depot

(HD) - Get Report

last Friday before earnings.

Of course, despite

Lowes'

(LOW) - Get Report

blow-away results, Home Depot could disappoint but I highly doubt that. Home Depot caters to contractors more than does Lowes.

I have noticed for several week the huge disconnect between pre-market futures and the eventual market closes. The variance is far more than I can ever recall.

Long Home Depot.

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