The markets rallied Thursday on the strength of Wells Fargo's ( WFC) huge earnings surprise.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average surged 246.27, or 3.14%, to 8,038.38, while the S&P500 rose 31.40, or 3.81, to 856.56. The Nasdaq jumped 61.88, 3.89, to 1,652.24. Melissa Lee, the moderator of CNBC's "Fast Money" TV show, said today's rally means the markets have been up five straight weeks, with the S&P hitting a two-month high and the Nasdaq enjoying a five-week high. "The bottom's in," Jeff Macke told viewers. "Get over it. Move on with your lives. Of course you take profits on a day like today." Lee observed the volatility index fell to a six-month low of 36.53. Jon Najarian said volume was "off the charts," with 18 million options changing hands compared to 14 million normally. "That tells you institutions are buying," he said. Karen Finerman said she was not buying into today's rally although she liked the price action in the bank stocks. She said it's a really good thing for banks like Wells getting capital above where they need to be. "Wells Fargo is sending a message it is going to pass the stress test," he said. Finerman said the earnings power of banks can be enormous once they start to have fewer provisions. She said they are benefiting from enormous spreads, borrowing at near zero and getting even with the refi's. All this could lift bank shares "way higher" and "then if they need to raise capital, they can at much better prices," she said.
Whitney Tilson, the founder of T2 Partners who recommended going long on Wells two weeks ago, said his firm wasn't selling or buying at this time. He said Wells' earnings report was unexpectedly good news but he also said investors shouldn't get too excited because the bank is still looking at a lot of loan losses over the next couple of years. Tilson said Wells should be able to earn their way of out of trouble. "I don't think Wells is going to be bailed out under any scenario," he said. Lee shifted the discussion to the retail stocks that were led by Target ( TGT), which beat monthly sales expectations. Margaret Brennan, CNBC's retail reporter, said the retail stocks continued their run despite the fact that 46% of the stores missed expectations. Finerman observed that Target's PE multiple has exploded in the past couple of weeks. "I actually think it's overdone," she said, adding she would go long Wal-Mart ( WMT) and short Target. Lee said the rise in commodities is for real, with Freeport McMoRan ( FCX) and Alcoa ( AA) up 9%. Tim Seymour said the commodities found a couple of data points that were demand driven. Najarian noted that Tec Cominco ( TCK) was up 14% today on takeover talk and sees it going a lot higher. Seymour said the rise in the iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index ( EEM) has been supported by the encouraging numbers coming out of India, China and Brazil. He said he's been particularly excited by oil discoveries by Petrobras ( PBR). Lee noted that Textron ( TXT), a commercial aviation manufacturer, jumped 48% on a news report that a consortium from the UAE was close to buying the company.
Lee brought in Dennis Davitt, head of Equity Derivatives for CSFB, to provide an options perspective on some tech earnings next week. Davitt said the options activity shows that investors are uncertain about Intel's ( INTC) earnings. He said he's been seeing more people coming in and buying on the upside for Google ( GOOG), whose past earnings ignited big moves in the stock. Najarian told viewers to keep Take-Two Interactive Software ( TTWO) on their radar. He said there's a lot of upside potential in the company, which rejected a bid from Electronic Arts ( ERTS). Lee brought in JP Mark, president of Farmhouse Equity Research, which does channel checks on stocks, to comment on Apple ( AAPL), which is up 40% this year. "You go to Apple stores and there is still a lot of excitement at the retail level, he said. He said the next big stimulus for Apple will come in the summer when it unveils its next 3.0 operating system for iPhone along with a new iPhone. Mark liked Apple's upside, saying there are so many products it offers and they are doing well. Are bailout bonds a good buy? That's the question Lee put to the panel. Finerman and Najarian said they would participate in buying equity-linked notes. Najarian said he would do so more out of the capitalistic spirit than out of patriotism. "Check out "'Fast Money' Portfolios of the Week" on Stockpickr every Thursday.