The markets plunged Monday as the government stepped in to revive the ailing auto industry.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 254.16, or 3.27%, to 7,522.02, while the S&P 500 lost 28.41, or 3.48%, to 787.53. The Nasdaq fell 43.40, or 2.81%, to 1,501.80. CNBC's "Fast Money" TV show was a hot topic of conversation during the day with news that its popular host Dylan Ratigan had quit the show, with various news reports hinting he may be moving to another network. Stepping in to take his place is Melissa Lee. Guy Adami said 800 was the bogey in today's session. "When the market traded through 800, it was the key to get out. I know it's hard to sell on days like today, but it was the right move," he said. Adami said investors are in a "no-man's land," although he sees the S&P headed back to 741. He said it will tested there and if it holds, 900 is "still attainable." Pete Najarian commented on the rise in the volatility index, saying it's not so much about fear as it is about uncertainty. No one is convinced of the rally or the sell-off, he said. Lee asked Finerman to comment on a Goldman Sachs prediction that the S&P will be in the 700 to 800 range for the rest of the year. Finerman questioned how Goldman could make a prediction like that. She said the market was just looking for any excuse to go down after the big run.
Lee shifted the discussion to the financials and a key decision on Thursday by the Financial Accounting Standards Board on changes to mark-to-market accounting rules. Finerman said the decision is huge because the banks have a large portfolio that is subject to mark-to-market accounting. "If they can some relief on that, it will help their capital," she said. Brad Hintz, a brokerage analyst for Sanford Bernstein, said the pressure is definitely on FASB to make changes to the outdated rules. He said the changes will reduce the risk of surprise losses for the banks and allow them to hang on to their assets and not be forced to sell. Lee noted that Wells Fargo ( WB) has slid 23% in a week. Najarian it was "off to the races" on th stock after someone purchased more than 100,000 April 11 puts. He said that move was on top of another open interest move in the April 10 puts. Adami said Warren Buffett has a large position in Wells. "Don't for a minute people aren't trying to run him in," he said. Lee noted that US Steel ( X) declined 12% after a UBS report of a 50% cut in steel usage for the rest of the year. Tim Seymour said most steel companies are burdened with enormous debt on their balance sheets. Lee noted how the decline in ag names in today's session. Adami told viewers not to get involve with these stocks now. "They don't set up nicely at the prices (last) Friday and today," he said.
Lee asked Finerman to comment on $75 million bonus that the board of directors awarded Chesapeake Energy ( CHK) CEO Aubrey McCLendon, even though the stock has plunged 60%. Finerman was incensed by the bonus, say it "is outrageous to any shareholder." She noted that the award was based in part on McClendon's contributions in increasing the "instrinsic value" of the company. "What is intrinsic value? It's apparently very different from shareholder value," she said. In her mind, she said the award was made to help McClendon out of a jam. "He lost a ton of money in his very leveraged margin stock positions and had to sell at the bottom," she said. "It's unfortunate all the other shareholders don't enjoy this same bonus. It's his own TARP." Lee brought in Joe Terranova to talk about today's 7% drop in oil and the state of the other commodities. Terranova said the reflation trade is going to give investor opportunities to buy some attractive companies such as Flowserve ( FLS). Lee asked the panel to comment on the impact of Obama's tough actions against General Motors ( GM) on support companies like auto parts suppliers. Seymour said it puts auto parts makers in an extremely defensive position. He said the administration's proposal to offer cash for clunkers may hurt this group. Adami, though, say the auto industry is not going away and liked Borgwarner ( BWA) as a play. Lee asked Rebecca Patterson, director of foreign exchange for JPMorgan, to comment on the upcoming G-20 meeting and how it would influence any trades she would advise for her clients.
Petterson said she would buy the dollar and sell the euro on a short-term basis of one and three months, using options. She said she didn't see the G-20 having much of an effect because the newsworthy information has already been leaked. She said the only issue of interest academically is the possibility of another reserve currency to rival the dollar. Is the party over? John Roque, a technical analyst for Natixis Bleichroeder, said all the averages are suspect in the face of downward sloping 50-day and 200-day averages. Roque discounted financials as a leader in any future rally. Rather he said he would look to energy and consumer discretionary stocks for leadership. In the rising star segment, Finerman touted Axsys Technologies ( AXYS) a small company that makes cameras used in missile tracking systems, nighttime surveillance and medical imaging systems. Finerman said the company has a great balance sheet, growing revenues and a pop from take-over speculation. In the final trades, Adami was for Abbot Labs ( ABT), Finerman for Axsys, and Najarian for iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology Index ( IBB). "Check out "'Fast Money' Portfolios of the Week" on Stockpickr every Thursday.