The RealMoney contributors are in the business of trading and investing all day on the basis of ongoing news flow. Below, we offer the top five ideas that RealMoney contributors posted today and how they played those ideas.

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1. What Will Influence the Dollar

By Marc Chandler

7:36 a.m. EDT

The dollar is enjoying strong follow-through gains after its recovery before the weekend. Two key issues are influencing the outlook:

1. What is the real state of the economy?

2. What does this mean for policy?

Generally the state of the U.S. economy is improving, though unevenly and it remains fragile. It is far too early to draw an implication from the stimulus spending. Last week two

Fed

officials talked about not wanting to wait too long to hike rates. But the market seems to have gotten ahead of itself in pricing in a hike before year's end.

No positions.

2. Lubrizol (LZ) Greasing The Upside

By Alan Farley

8:48 a.m. EDT

Chemical manufacturers are looking good this week, with a number of these early cyclical issues challenging their recovery highs.

Lubrizol

(LZ)

is a top pick in the sector.

The stock topped out ahead of the broad market in early 2007 and fell to a seven-year low at $23 in March. It then surged higher, lifting above the 200-day moving average in April. The rally stalled at $46 about two weeks later, with the stock dropping into a triangle pattern. It's been congesting near the pattern highs for the last five sessions and could break out at any time.

Annotated chart

here

.

No positions.

3. About BRIC Rerserves

By Marc Chandler

11:08 a.m. EDT

Bloomberg's

comments about BRIC central banks exaggerate claims that they boosted reserves in May, although China hasn't even reported April figures. The build-up in reserves, especially for Russia and India, is a replacement to the drawdown in the second half of last year

The larger point of the report, that the BRIC countries are accumulating reserves to prevent their currencies from appreciating is probably only partially true. Brazil, Russia and India's currencies have appreciated, though most of such gains reflect dollar weakness.

Regarding U.S. Treasuries in the first quarter:

Brazil- Net seller

Russia- Bought the same amount as in H208

India- Bought 9 billion, same as Q408

China- Holdings increased

Ironically, Japan increased purchases of Treasuries in the first quarter.

No positions.

4. The New Engine

By William Furber

11:13 a.m. EDT

Ken Wolff makes a good point about how the market needs a new engine driving economic growth. The answer is in the "Harvard Grads Flee Finance" headline over the weekend.

Of course, it's going to take a little while before the seeds of innovation produce the newly public growth stocks of the next 20-30 years, so we will have to keep looking for the older ones at discount prices for now...

No positions.

5. Airlines

By Tim Melvin

1:25 p.m. EDT

Giovanni Bisignani,

IATA's

director general and CEO, said at the annual meeting of that organization that global airline revenue was expected to drop by over $80 billion this year. Even after factoring in a $59 billion drop in aggregate fuel costs, the world's airlines will lose a collective $9 billion in 2009.

While debt at the world's airlines is at an all-time high of $170 billion, cash is just 13% of revenues. Bisignani warned that an extended recession could lead to a severe cash crisis for the airline industry. He estimated that it could take as much as $1 trillion to restructure airline companies around the planet.

Well-financed airlines like

Southwest

(LUV) - Get Report

should benefit from the turmoil in the industry. The $2.1 billion of cash on the books should put them in a very strong competitive position. I remain long the stock.

Long LUV.

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