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.

TheStreet.com

brings you the news all day, and with

RealMoney's

"Columnist Conversation," you can see how the pros are playing it on a real-time basis. Here are the top five ideas played today. To see all that

RealMoney

offers,

click here

for a free trial.

Morning Prep

By Ken Wolff
06/18/09 8:41 a.m.

The

PowerShares QQQ Trust

( QQQQ) is moving up a bit after the jobless claims numbers came in about in line. After some initial weakness yesterday, buyers came in just under QQQQ $35.50, and we popped nicely to $36.20. We touched the uptrend line on the daily chart, and buyers came in.

If the market is going to begin another leg up, we should get about 10 to 20 cents in selling at the open, then buyers will come in earlier than yesterday. I think we have a 70% chance of that occurring. The percentages are in favor of the bulls today.

No positions

S&P Pair Trade

By Timothy Collins
06/18/2009 10:52 a.m.

This morning, we've been pair trading options on the

SPDR

(SPY) - Get Report

with the

ProShares UltraShort S&P 500

(SDS) - Get Report

.

First, we are going long the SDS June 57 puts, then we are shorting the SPY June 91 calls in a 4-to-5 ratio (long four SDS puts while shorting five SPY calls). The target for this is a net credit on the trade of at least 10 cents. Currently, the SDS can be gotten bought for 1.55, while shorting the SPY for 1.33. This is a bullish trade.

Positions: Long SPY & SDS puts, short SDS and SPY calls

Today

By Marc Chandler
06/18/09 7:42 a.m.

Focus on the British pound and the Swiss franc. Sterling has briefly traded below the 20-day moving average on worse-than-expected retail sales; the franc is firmer after the SNB meeting.

Equity markets are lower, with MSCI Asia at a three-week low, and European bourses are softer for the fifth straight day. Still, U.S. markets should open firm. Commodities were mixed -- oil above $71 while gold is off overnight highs.

Bonds are mixed, softer for France and Germany, while U.K. is down 2 basis points. Today the U.S. government announces next week's auction size; because yields are only up modestly after Tuesday's two-week low, expect a selloff on the news.

No positions

Defensives

By Jim Cramer
06/18/09 1:12 p.m.

It is true that the defensives are on the march, but I think that oil should be back at $65 to $60 if there were a real slowing again. Unemployment claims seem to be signaling a slow recovery.

Don't forget we had a big selloff yesterday in part because of

FedEx

(FDX) - Get Report

-- and now look at that stock!

No positions

Pulling Into Max Pain

By Alan Farley
06/18/2009 1:15 p.m.

Stocks near big strike numbers ahead of triple-witching Friday. The theory here is, if a strong stock has fallen into a Max Pain strike number during expiration, it will probably recover after the influence is out of the way next week:

True Religion chart

here

.

Positions: Long FCX

For free trial to

Real Money

, where you can get updated trading and investment ideas throughout the course of the day, please click on the tile below.

Image placeholder title

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