The stock market plunged on Thursday as investors now are coming to the realization that the economy is in a recession. The Dow closed down 306 points and the NASDAQ fell 47 points. The crew at CNBC's "Fast Money" discussed the generally dismal state of the market and then tried to find potentially profitable trades for inveators.Jeff Macke thinks Thursday was the begging of fear for the markets. Guy Adami now feels that market is getting close to capitulation. Karen Finerman agreed with Adami. Pete Najarian says fear is back, but we won't be at a panic until the CBOE Volatility Index reaches 30. He feels once the panic comes in, market players will get comfortable with buying stocks again.
Volatility on the RiseVolatility is rising and the "Fast Money" traders put together some stock ideas that can make you money off the wild swings. Najarian says look at Charles Schwab ( SCHW), TD Ameritrade ( AMTD) and Knight Capital ( NITE). He likes all three stocks as long as the overall stock market doesn't decline for more than a few months. Adami favors Goldman Sachs Group ( GS) which he doesn't think will have big problems with write-downs as others in the sector have. He thinks Goldman's next quarter will be great. (Here's a professionally managed portfolio that addresses volatility on Stockpickr.com SEI Managed Volatility Fund.)
Business Empire StrategyOn Thursday two key economic indicators were released the results weren't pretty. The rate of new home starts fell 14% and the Philly manufacturing index fell to its lowest levels in six years. Adami thinks the U.S. is in a recession, but investors can still make money buying business empire stocks. Empire stocks represent diversified conglomerate companies that sell products and tools to developing countries. Adami likes Danaher ( DHR) which trades at P/E of 20. He feels DHR is well insulated from an economic slowdown. Finerman thinks DHR is getting attractive at current levels. Adami also likes Honeywell ( HON) which trades at P/E of 17. He pointed out that HON has outperformed the overall market in the last 4 out of 6 recessions. According to Adami, a few more to look at are 3M Company ( MMM), General Electric ( GE) and Illinois Tool Works ( ITW). Finerman also suggested looking at United Technologies ( UTX) which has a big aerospace and HVAC business.
Beaten up Stocks on the Pro's RadarThe "Fast Money" traders highlighted four stocks that have caught their attention the most in this falling market. These four stocks have come down enough in price that the crew thinks they warrant a look. Adami says keep an eye on BorgWarner ( BWA) which traded up 7% Thursday after the firm reported a strong 2008 profit forecast. He thinks BWA is positioned to take global market share. Finerman mentioned that Macy's ( M) is interesting at current levels. She was surprised that the stock wasn't down on Thursday and that might indicate it is done trading lower. Macke highlighted Under Armour ( UA) which traded lower Thursday off of rumors the company was going to advertise during the Super Bowl. He says UA is yesterday's darling trading at today's prices. Najarian thinks it's time to buy the oil refiners. He says he is getting close to buying Tesoro ( TSO) and Valero ( VLO). (This is one version of a portfolio of undervalued stocks on Stockpickr.com Tru Empire Investment Value Fund.)
Drug StudiesInvestors are worried about big pharmaceutical firms that sell antidepressants and cholesterol drugs after some studies came out that questioned the effectiveness of some of those drugs. One study from the New England Journal of Medicine questioned the effectiveness of some of the antidepressant drugs. Pfizer ( PFE) and Wyeth ( WYE) took a hit Thursday off that study. Jon Najarian explained that Merrill Lynch took Merck ( MRK) off of its "focus 1" list on Thursday. He also explained that Schering-Plough ( SGP) and Merck were hit with a class action lawsuit and that weighed on the stocks. Najarian is seeing massive put buying activity in both names. He thinks these stocks have a lot more room to the downside. Adami mentioned he likes Johnson & Johnson ( JNJ) going into earnings. Macke mentioned he would add to positions in Pfizer and Wyeth on the dips.