The RealMoney contributors are in the business of trading and investing all day on the basis of ongoing news flow. Below, we offer the top five ideas that RealMoney contributors posted today and how they played those ideas.TheStreet.com brings you the news all day, and with RealMoney's "Columnist Conversation," you can see how the pros are playing it on a real-time basis. Here are the top five ideas played today. To see all that RealMoney offers, click here for a free trial.
1. Nasdaq 100 Reaches Important LevelBy Gary Morrow
4/29/2009 3:08 PM EDT The Nasdaq 100 bottomed six weeks ago just below $26.00.
2. Pairs Trade Ahead of the FedBy 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 AppleBy 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. TreasuriesBy 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 PaneraBy 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 For free trial to Real Money, where you can get updated trading and investment ideas throughout the course of the day, please click on the tile below.