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1. Van Natta a Good Hire for News Corp.'s MySpace
By Eric Jackson
7:53 a.m. EDT

The two co-founders of MySpace, Chris DeWolfe and Tom Anderson, have stepped aside or been pushed out by News Corp's ( NWS) Rupert Murdoch and new digital boss Jonathan Miller.

Kara Swisher is reporting that former Facebook No. 2 Owen Van Natta will get the top job.

It's a good move for NWS. After buying MySpace for $500 million, and hearing cat-calls from critics, Murdoch's purchase was soon viewed as one of the biggest steals of the decade, given the social networking site's early explosive growth. Soon, MySpace signed a $900 million advertising deal with Google ( GOOG), which essentially paid NWS back for the entire purchase and then some.

Yet, the GOOG deal is coming to a close, and there's little chance of renewal at similar terms. MySpace, despite huge traffic, has stalled in terms of its growth relative to Facebook and Twitter. It's no longer the shiny new toy it once was.

Van Natta is a well-respected exec who has worked closely with Jeff Bezos (his former boss) and Steve Ballmer (with whom he worked on partnership deals when he was the No. 2 at Facebook). On paper, he's the right guy with the right experience to lead MySpace now (and hopefully stick it to his former boss, Mark Zuckerberg).

MySpace may be a laggard in the social networking space, but its size and user base could still be turned around to the benefit of the NWS mothership again.

2. Broadcom Shake 'n Bake
By Alan Farley
7:54 a.m. EDT

Broadcom ( BRCM) is trading over $24 in today's premarket, a seven-month high, after positive Apple ( AAPL) earnings. This is no man's land for new long positions, because the rising highs trendline is way too close, and that level could trigger a downturn that drops the stock down to the 20-day SMA at $22.

So, if you're interested in anything other than a daytrade, wait for a pullback to the 20-day SMA, or a three-to-five-day consolidation at support near $23, or a breakout over the rising-highs trendline near $25.

More technical comments on the stock and annotated chart here.

By Paul Rubillo
11:08 a.m. EDT

Just a quick note. I have been slowly legging into the UltraShort Financials ProShares ( SKF) and just minutes ago, into the UltraShort Real Estate ProShares ( SRS). There are some potential obstacles with the short bias, regarding earnings after the bell with American Express ( AXP), Amazon ( AMZN) and Microsoft ( MSFT). That said, traders should consider a slow hand when going into these names today. Remember the Dow is already down 300 points this week, so a big plunge may not exactly be around the corner from these levels. Either way, the risk/reward feels better than it did yesterday. We'll need to evaluate the game plan as the day progresses.


4. Calling GLD
By Phil Pearlman
11:30 a.m. EDT

While I have been and remain long SPDR Gold ( GLD), I also have a system of building and managing positions and so I am taking this strength in the name as an opportunity to begin writing May out-of-the-money calls against a portion of it.

My two goals are to build a full position over time and lower my cost basis. Presently, I have two-thirds of a position and will write near-month puts on extreme weakness.

I am writing calls on one-third to one-half of my current position over today and tomorrow; I have begun this process by selling very small May 94 and 95s and will write more into the end of the day assuming continued strength.

Long GLD, short GLD calls

5. eBay Surges to New Highs
By Gary Morrow
12:43 p.m. EDT

Heavy volume has pushed eBay ( EBAY) to new highs for the year. The stock is up 8% after beginning the day with a powerful gap higher open. Volume is already well ahead of the daily average and will likely end the day as the heaviest positive day in six months. The early morning strength follows last night's first-quarter earnings report (EPS 39 cents vs. 34-cent consensus estimate/revenue $2.02 billion vs. $1.98 billion consensus estimate).

eBay bulls have ignited a breakaway gap that has left behind a solid five-month base that has been in place since the late November lows. Over the past five months, the stock has been trading in a very narrow range after dropping 70% from its 2008 highs. This healthy consolidation strengthened dramatically in early March after eBay took out its 2008 lows. Volume on the break was heavy, but the stock gave up little ground below the $10.00 area.

EBAY Daily (Nasdaq)

The rally following the March test saw a change in volume patterns as positive action consistently attracted heavier trade while the downside saw a big decline. The first week of April saw a big jump in volume that lifted eBay above its February highs. The stock rallied to just above $15.00 before fading again as it did in December and January.

The breakaway gap today has taken out the upper trend line of the base that links these important highs. This area will now serve as strong support in the near term. A low-volume re-test of the $15.50 to $15.00 area would be a low-risk buying opportunity. On the upside, eBay will run into resistance at its 200-day moving average, which is just below $17.00 this week. This would be the first touch of the 200-day since April 2008 when the collapse began near $32.00. A pullback from the $17.00 area is likely and will give eBay bulls a buying opportunity.

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This article was written by a staff member of

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