Doubts about the financials weighed on the markets Tuesday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 137.63, or 1.71%, to 7,920.18, while the S&P 500 dropped 17.22, or 2.01%, to 841.51. The Nasdaq fell 27.59, or 1.67%, to 1,625.72.
Melissa Lee, the moderator of CNBC's "Fast Money" TV show, asked the trading panel to comment on Intel ( INTC), which was down in after-hours trading after it beat Street estimates on its first-quarter earnings and revenues that came in lower than a year ago. The company did not offer guidance for the second quarter. Guy Adami said the stock is just taking a breather after going from $12 to $16, adding the stock looks interesting at $14.50. Tim Seymour agreed, saying investors were selling on the news after the stock's great run. Joe Terranova, who's long on Intel, said he would add to his holdings if the stock falls below $15. He said the company has set "the barometer so low" for a quarter where there's going to be "a dramatic beat." Lee said it was telling that Intel's CEO Paul Otellini said that PC sales had bottomed in the first quarter, adding that could be good news for Intel and other chipmakers. Jim Goldman, a CNBC said the worry is determining the difference between "bottoming out" and "turning around." "How long are we going to sit at the bottom for people to start buying again?" Goldman said Intel, with its staff cuts, huge cash position and the Atom processor, is well positioned for the long term.
In other tech news, Lee noted that eBay ( EBAY) plans to spin off Skype in an IPO in 2010. Goldman called it the "worst-kept secret in tech land." He said the IPO's great for eBay's shareholders because Skype has been a non-performing asset. Lee shifted the discussion to the financial stocks which led the market down. Seymour the action was expected because it would have been difficult for the other financials to top the earnings of Goldman Sachs ( GS), and "that's what the Street did today." Lee said it appeared the financials were reverting to an old trading pattern where Goldman "would knock the cover off," only to be followed by a pullback by the rest of the group. Lee said the Citigroup ( C), up 2%, was the only financial winner. Finerman, though, called the stock a "fake winner." Finerman said what happened today was a "gigantic short squeeze." "There's an interesting arbitrage going with the convertible stock which the TARP owns some and the public owns a lot," she said. "The convert will be converted into new Citigroup shares, but you can't borrow Citigroup shares because of the squeeze." Finerman said the convert has jumped from 18 cents on the dollar when the deal was announced to 112 cents on the dollar at noon today. She said it's interesting this squeeze is happening to an American icon like Citigroup. Lee brought in Brad Hintz, a brokerage analyst with Sanford Bernstein, who said Goldman's recent earnings report demonstrated its success in playing the slow improvement of the credit markets.
He said the question now is whether other big fixed income names like JP Morgan Chase ( JPM) and Morgan Stanley ( MS) can duplicate that success. Hintz doesn't think so. He does believe JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon will put more money into trading in the coming quarter. He said it looks like the trading side of the houses can offset the consumer problems. He said Morgan Stanley's problems are more serious because of its exposure to commercial real estate and the problems it has run into with mark-to-market accounting. Moving on to health care, Lee noted the 133% jump in Dendreon ( DNDN) which announced favorable testing results for prostate cancer drug Provenge. Adami said the company is a lottery ticker "You trade at your own risk," he said, adding there's been a monster short interest in the stock. Oil dipped below $50 during the session, with no clear direction in price action in past weeks. Terranova said the move to control production has been disjointed, with OPEC taking some steps to decrease it while Russia and Brazil move in the opposite direction. Adami said CSX ( CSX), up 5% for the day, was impressive. He said the company has been able to hit the same operating ratio and revenue-per-unit numbers that it had a year ago, despite the recession. He sees the stock moving up to $32.50 to $33. Dennis Gartman appeared on the show to talk about the "boring old stocks" that he's still holding on to. He still believes in copper and aluminum. "The trend is clearly upward and it's just getting started," he said.
Gartman said the next investment opportunity is steel, in particular US Steel ( X), which has fallen from $212 to $26. He said the gold trade should be put to rest for a while, adding he will short gold if goes up $5. Terranova agreed, saying it could get ugly awfully quickly if gold falls below its 200-day moving average. Lee said the problems continue to plague the commercial real estate sector with no relief in sight, with Boston Properties ( BXP), down 10%, and Simon Property ( SPG), down 9.6%. Finerman said there is "still a long way to go" before the situation improves. Lee shifted the discussion to the electric car and possible derivative plays. The panel, though, didn't see much of an immediate future for the vehicle. Adami said he still likes Borgwarner ( BWA), while Finerman said she likes Dynegy ( DYN) and finds Calpine ( CPN) interesting. "I think natural gas is where you want to be," she said. Seymour liked what GE ( GE) is doing with GE Ecomagination group and China's Suntech Power Holdings ( STP). Adami liked Cree ( CREE), though he warned of a big short interest in the stock. In the final trades, Terranova said Amgen ( AMGN) was worth a look. Adami likes Intel at $15. Finerman was long on Flowserve ( FLS), and Seymour said to sell Alcoa ( AA) down to $8. "Check out "'Fast Money' Portfolios of the Week" on Stockpickr every Thursday.