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.

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Ira Sohn Conference


By Tim Melvin
2:30 p.m. EDTAt this year's Ira Sohn conference in New York, fund manager David Einhorn laid out another short idea. It may well be worth listening to. In previous years he used the conference to outline the bear case for Allied Capital ( ALD) and, most notably, Lehman Brothers at last year's conference. Both calls were spectacular in the extreme.

This year he has Moody's ( MCO) in his sights. He says the company has ruined the value of its franchise by giving triple A ratings to companies like AIG ( AIG) and MBIA ( MBI).

The damage was compounded by assigning top ratings to mortgage-backed securities that turned out to be essentially worthless. Einhorn called on regulators to eliminate ratings agencies as they are destabilizing to financial markets.

He also disclosed that his fund, Greenlight Capital ( GLRE), has been short the stock for some time.

No positions.

Agriculture/Fertilizer ETF


By Sham Gad
12:47 a.m. EDTSeveral people have asked me about an ETF that would cover the fertilizer industry. Market Vectors Agribusiness ( MOO) is a good one to check out. It has Mosaic ( MOS), Potash ( POT), Deere ( DE) and Monsanto ( MON) among its major holdings.

No positions.

Regions Financial


By William Furber
The Regions Financial ( RF) secondary completed last week has not acted as well as some of the other bank secondaries. I think this is a function of the consolidative trading we've been experiencing in all of the names, market digestion of all those secondaries and a little bad news out of their Morgan Keegan subsidiary just after settlement date.

I believe that the deal was actually pretty tight at the $4 level, notwithstanding the above, and I have been a buyer below so far in and out but may stay with it for a little bit this round.

Long Regions Financial.

GM Bondholders


By Timothy Collins
9:52 a.m. EDT

This treatment, and even threats, to the General Motors (GM) bondholders is making me sick to my stomach. We have no position there as we are just short the common via put spreads, and still have no worries.

Short GM via put spreads.

Exelis-Sanofi Cancer Drug Deal


By Adam Feuerstein
6:15 a.m. EDT

Exelixis ( EXEL) licensed two early-stage cancer drugs to Sanofi-Aventis ( SNY) in a global partnership deal announced this morning that will pay Exelixis $140 million in upfront fees.

The two Exelixis cancer drugs involved in the deal are XL147 and XL765, both of which target the PI3K pathway in cells, which when activated, promotes cell survival and resistance to chemotherapy and radiation. Both drugs are currently in phase I studies.

Exelixis' CEO George Scangos had been promising more licensing deals for the many drugs in the company's pipeline, so I'd say he delivered well today.

If you're looking for possible ancillary trades off this EXEL-SNY deal, there a few other companies (none very well known) also developing PI3K pathway cancer drugs:

Keryx Biopharmaceuticals ( KERX) owns perifosine, which targets the AKT pathway, related to PI3K. The drug is in various phase I and phase II studies.

Rexahn Pharmaceuticals ( RNN), an Amex-listed stock with a drug, Archexin, in phase II.

No positions.


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