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1. Nasdaq 100 Reaches Important Level

By Gary Morrow
4/29/2009 3:08 PM EDT

The Nasdaq 100 bottomed six weeks ago just below $26.00.

NDX Daily
Nasdaq 100 Index
TradeStation

Unlike the Diamonds Trust ( DIA) and the SPDRs ( SPY) , the PowerShares QQQ ( QQQQ) did not take out its November lows during the early March dip. This divergent strength in the biggest names on the Nasdaq developed as near panic selling was pushing the other major indices well below their 2008 lows. As the overall market began to turn in mid March, the Nasdaq took the leadership role and has been outperforming with a 30% gain to date.

Also unlike the DIA and SPY, which have a long way to go before testing the January peak, the QQQQ is well above its early 2009 highs and has taken back a large part of 2008's second-half collapse.

QQQQ Daily (Nasdaq)
PowerShares QQQ
TradeStation

At today's highs, the QQQQ has recovered one-third of the drop off the July highs to the November lows. This area, near $34.00, is also the level of the fund's declining 200-day moving average. The QQQQ is testing this long-term moving average for the first time since early September when the market first began to accelerate to the downside. I expect the current rally to run into a bit of profit taking in this area.

Big-cap tech has had a huge run and is due for a healthy pullback. The declining volume over the past four days, as the market continued to rally, indicates a potential loss of upside momentum. A shallow pullback during the next week or so would be a strengthening event for the tech sector.

2. Pairs Trade Ahead of the Fed

By Timothy Collins
4/29/2009 1:59 PM EDT

Adding one more pairs trade before the Fed meeting. We are going long the PowerShares QQQ ( QQQQ) May $31 calls for $3.38 and shorting ProShares Ultra QQQ ( QLD) at $33.95.

This is done in a 2-to-1 ratio, where we are long twice as many calls as we are short shares in the QLD. For instance, we will buy two calls for every 100 shares we short. Again, we are taking advantage of value divergence vs. time value of the option.

Furthermore, we have limited downside if the market were to correct or even plummet.

Long QQQQ calls, short QLD

3. Out of Banks and Into Apple

By Jason Schwarz
4/29/2009 12:03 PM EDT

Time for a change in strategy. The easy money in banks has been made; the last two months have taken us on a nice ride, but this new round of regulatory uncertainty surrounding TCE dilution is not a game I want to play.

Once these capital concerns are all sorted out, I plan on revisiting the sector, but for now I am all out and have started to build a supersized position in Apple ( AAPL) for the second-half run. May is my month to average into the tech giant -- a.k.a. "best company on planet earth."

Long AAPL

4. Treasuries

By Paul Rubillo
4/29/2009 3:06 PM EDT

We are seeing more pullback in the iShares Barclays 20+ Year Treas Bond ( TLT). Helene pointed out the move the last couple of days. In my opinion, the equity market is going to have a free pass until we start to see the 4.25-4.50% levels on the 10-year notes. That is the level where mortgage rates may give real estate buyers/borrowers something to be concerned about.

We are in an environment where patience will be tested immensely if you are strictly short-biased. Good timing and scaling into positions will be as crucial as ever.

5. Thoughts on Panera

By Scott Rothbort
4/29/2009 11:24 AM EDT

Panera ( PNRA) is getting crushed today. There was plenty to like on the call such as lower commodity costs, expanding margins and positive same-store sales in a difficult environment.

It looks like the momentum crowd might have gotten scared by the company's guidance, which straddled current consensus estimates and a slower pace of new store openings that management attributed to a disruption in the commercial real estate market. I thought that many of the analysts on the conference call sound foolish during the Q&A.

Clearly the stock got ahead of itself but we are talking about a company that is growing at a 15% to 20% annual rate at midpoint guidance and consensus estimates. Panera was a recommended pick in the Oct. 23, 2008, issue of the LakeView Restaurant & Food Chain Report when the stock was sitting at $39.

It has had a nice move since and is likely just consolidating recent gains. Today's move looks ugly for anyone who was chasing charts, but offers fundamental opportunities for long-term growth.

Long PNRA

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This article was written by a staff member of RealMoney.com.

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