The stock market took a breather on Thursday as investors prepare for the Friday jobs report. The team at CNBC's "Fast Money" commented on the dull nature of the market and the activist investors that tried to make it interesting.

Some big whales on Wall Street were out Thursday shaking up the markets. Ralph Whitworth, an activist investor who runs Relational Investors, owns 1.9% of Sprint ( S). Whitworth was out making comments that he has lost confidence in Sprint CEO Gary Forsee.

Najarian declares that networkers are the winners in the wireless game, not the providers. Macke disagrees and sees Sprint as a buy. (Whitworth's full portfolio can be seen at Relational Investors.)

Bill Ackman, an activist investor who runs Pershing Square Capital Management, announced a 5 million-share stake in Sears Holdings ( SHLD). Finerman finds this very interesting, but warns of a potential ego clash between Ackman and Sears CEO Eddie Lampert. Macke cautions that whales get on board and sometimes want to fight. You can check out the portfolio at Pershing Square Capital Management.

Health Care Trade

The "Fast Money" crew brought its viewers ways to play the rising costs of health care earlier this year. Now some major breakthroughs in early disease detection have come to light. CNBC Pharmaceutical Reporter Mike Huckman joined the crew to discuss ways to play early detection of diseases.

Huckman mentioned a New England Journal of Medicine study that revealed virtual colonoscopy is just as good at detecting cancerous polyps as traditional colonoscopy.

Huckman says that Vital Images ( VTAL) makes the software that goes into the computers imagery for early detection. He then brought up another study from the New England Journal of Medicine that showed people over 65 who received flu shots; cut the risk of hospitalization by 27%; and the risk of death by 50%. Najarian doesn't see this as a reason to buy stocks of flu vaccine makers.

A third study that Huckman brought to light stated drug-coated stents are better than bare metal stents. Some drug-coated stent makers are Boston Scientific ( BSX), Johnson & Johnson ( JNJ), Medtronic ( MDT) and Abbott ( ABT).

Najarian suggests if you want to play medical device makers look at Ventana ( VMSI). Other tradable ideas are Cepheid ( CPHD) and Affymetrix ( AFFY).

Word on the Street

Crude oil traded back above $81 and gold climbed higher as commodities reversed the recent downtrend. In Macke's opinion, the move is dollar-driven and the short dollar trade is very crowded. Tim Seymour believes the moves were short-covering and the jobs report will be important for future movement. Najarian sees continued strength in the oil-service sector even with downgrades hitting the group.

Research In Motion ( RIMM) reported explosive profits that doubled to $288 million and it hit the 10 million subscriber milestone. The numbers and guidance were phenomenal, according to Najarian. He advises waiting until tomorrow morning to see where it is trading.

Merrill Lynch ( MER) made headlines for firing two star fixed-income executives. Seymour says Merrill's stock has underperformed its peers, but he is a buyer of the stock on a valuation basis. Finerman was amused that Goldman Sachs ( GS) downgraded Merrill earlier this week.

Option Signals

Energy Conversion Devices ( ENER) traded 5% higher on Thursday as options activity picks up. Najarian noticed upside call buying for two days in a row and believes this alternative energy play is heading higher.

Stryker ( SYK) saw unusual options activity on Thursday. Najarian is seeing October $75 and $80 call buying as speculators are looking for this medical device maker to go much higher.

Around the World

The Hong Kong Index was hit again on Thursday dropping 2% and the Hang Seng fell to its worst levels in 7 weeks. Najarian hints at the iShares FTSE/Xinhua China 25 Index ( FXI). It traded up on Thursday and is back to even.

Dubai-owned port operator DP World announced plans to raise $3.5 billion in what would be the second biggest Middle East IPO in history. Seymour says this might be one of the best ways to play the Middle East and infrastructure. Macke disagrees, labeling it just a public relations game.

Sector Trade

Thursday's sector trade focused on popular alcoholic beverage maker Constellation Brands ( STZ). Constellation Brands recently beat Wall Street estimates and raised guidance.

Constellation CEO Rob Sands joined the crew to discuss his company's prospects. Sands informed the crew that he continues to see strength in the spirit market with consumers trading up for brands like Effen vodka.

He also explained that beer continues to be a hit with great performance in brands like Corona and St. Pauli Girl. Sands noted that the biggest market outside the US is the UK, but he also thinks that China and India are becoming more sophisticated alcohol consumers. Macke likes STZ and he would also play Molson Coors ( TAP)

Pops & Drops

Pops -- Vimpel-Comm ( VIP) traded up 4% after winning a shareholder lawsuit. Seymour points out that there are a lot of shorts in Vimpel and that it's a great long-term story.

Martha Stewart Living ( MSO) popped 3%. Macke counsels that MSO might have made a bottom.

Drops -- Marriott ( MAR) fell 5% on disappointing third-quarter profits. The time-share business is way down and Seymour blames the drop on that.

Coldwater Creek ( CWTR) fell 2% on news that the CEO is retiring. Macke tells investors not to bottom fish here or any specialty retailer.

Kohl's ( KSS) fell 2%. Finerman says watch the jobs number -- it will move KSS.

KB Homes ( KBH) fell 2%. Finerman reminded viewers that Guy Adami was a seller of KBH on Wednesday and he was right.

Consul Energy ( CNX) fell 4% after the firm lowered its production estimates. Macke believes coal has bottomed and steers investors to get long CNX.

Final Trade

The team wrapped up the show with a closing trade idea.
  • Macke recommends Activision (ATVI) because the stock just hit a 52-week high. Najarian has been seeing robust options activity in the video game maker.

Every day,'s Dan Fitzpatrick's takes a technical analysis look at three stocks mentioned on Fast Money. Check out a recent free video.

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