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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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Morning Prep

By Ken Wolff
8:45 a.m. EDT

The

PowerShares QQQ Trust

(QQQQ)

returned to the previous pattern after taking a one-day break -- "drop early, recover later." I am going to look for early selling from the open that can take the QQQQ down at least 40 cents, where I will be looking for longs. Sometimes we will see early selling on some stocks that will create opportunity with oversold conditions:

Amazon

(AMZN) - Get Amazon.com, Inc. Report

TheStreet Recommends

has been doing that lately, along with

Potash

(POT)

and

First Solar

(FSLR) - Get First Solar, Inc. Report

.

AIG

(AIG) - Get American International Group, Inc. Report

continues to be a good short when it stops moving up with the market.

Positions: None

CPI

By Tom Graff
9:15 a.m. EDT

Strong rally in Treasuries immediately after the CPI report, despite the fact that the print was in line with expectations. The 10-year spiked half a point and the long bond 3/4 of a point right after the number.

This reinforces a view I've expressed many times. The market's median inflation view is fairly benign. But there is a significant subset that expects an inflation spike. So even if inflation eventually follows the "median" expectation but the inflation-spike crowd is proven wrong, bonds can rally.

Government vs. Consumer

By Sham Gad
9:55 a.m. EDT

So far, government stimulus programs are the only thing keeping the economy going. Retail sales -- ex auto -- continue to decline. In Europe, the wonderful economic news on today's front pages (

Wall Street Journal

,

New York Times

, etc.) was a result of government actions. How long can a rally hold in this environment without severe monetary consequences?

Even

Wal-Mart's

(WMT) - Get Walmart Inc. Report

second-quarter figures were propped up by a strong international surge in sales. Domestic sales at Wal-Mart declined. Consumers aren't spending; they are saving and paying down debt -- two good things in the long run. Until then, it's all up to government spending, which leads me to believe that we will need a second stimulus package before all is said and done.

Positions: None

On the Industrial Data

By Vince Farrell
10:21 a.m. EDT

A little color on the industrial production number. The +0.5% increase is the first since October and only the second in 19 months. Industrial production was up 1% due to an auto production increase. Utility output was off 2.4% due to milder temperatures, but manufacturing production has a bigger weight. Next month will likely see higher output for utilities because auto production will be higher and warmer temperatures will boost utility output for air conditioning. Two months in a row of rising industrial production will be welcome news.

BAC

By Charles Norton
10:36 a.m. EDT

As there's been ample talk of smart money (i.e., Paulson) taking down a sizable chunk of

Bank of America

(BAC) - Get Bank of America Corp Report

,

Bloomberg

headlines now are saying Ken Heebner also took a new stake in BAC, making it one of his top three holdings. While Heebner isn't having a great year, he is as "smart money" as they come.

Positions: Long BAC

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