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1. A Few Bulls In The Batch
By Alan Farley
11:36 a.m. EDT

Stocks with bullish patterns, despite the selloff:
  • 3Par (PAR)
  • McAfee (MFE)
  • American Italian Pasta (AIPC)
  • Tibco Software (TIBX)
  • Portfolio Recovery (PRAA)
  • Fuqi (FUQI)
  • General Mills (GIS)
  • Stec (STEC)

General Mills is leading a revitalized defensive group, with investors rotating capital into classic "recession-proof" sectors. Momentum might continue for a few more days but a better trade will come on a pullback into the mid 50s.

Annotated chart here.

Long PAR, MFE.


2. The Real World
By Tim Melvin
11:57 a.m. EDT

Weyerhaeuser ( WY) is giving us a good look at the economic situation this morning. The forest products company cut its dividend by 80% to conserve cash and closed another lumber mill. The company has aggressively shed operations, closed plants and mills and eliminated jobs to preserve cash as the recession has deepened. It is the second dividend cut in less than a year for the company. In December it reduced the payout from 60 cents to 25 cents; today's cut takes the dividend down to just 5 cents a quarter.

The company did not change its outlook or guidance but said conditions remain uncertain. The "green shoots" bunch needs to start watching what is really happening in the world. If lumber, paper and boxes are weak, so is the rest of the economy.

No positions.


3. Trader's Market
By Christopher Grey
12:11 p.m. EDT

I continue to find good trades in this market. New trades that I have initiated are in U.S. Natural Gas ( UNG) and Vectors Gold Miners ( GDX). The rapid and wild swings of emotion from bullish to bearish based on very short-term price action in the market and technical indicators are creating opportunities out there for nimble traders, especially in highly liquid ETFs.

Although I am a bear on the economy, I am neutral on the market. Veteran bears such as Jim Rogers and Mark Faber have taken similar views recently because it is hard to feel confident about being short in a world with printing presses that have run amok. There is an enormous amount of money being created by central banks and is sloshing around out there. It has to do something, and speculating in stocks and other liquid investments is one place for it to go.

Long UNG, GDX.


4. Market Pop
By Bob Byrne
1:19 p.m. EDT

The current run in the E-mini seems to be a result of Alcoa ( AA) reporting that global demand for aluminum is recovering. If Alcoa takes off, keep an eye on Century Aluminum ( CENX).

Long CENX ... just a scalp.


5. UNG: Time to Ceasify and Desistificate
By Howard Simons
2:20 p.m. EDT

Let me say it one more time: These commodity futures-based ETFs are an irretrievably bad idea. I hesitate to quote General Sherman, as I was taken to task once by someone who wondered why I was "honoring a war criminal," but as he said, "War is cruelty, and you cannot refine it."

Commodity futures exist for the purposes of price discovery, risk transfer and commerce facilitation. They do not exist to be bought, held and rolled en masse. Keep using the donkey-end of a screwdriver as a hammer and you'll get the results you deserve. All these ETFs do is lead to massive distortion both in the price and in the forward curve of the futures. They render the futures useless for the purposes for which they were designed.

Worse, they make me mad.

The commercial position limit exemption was designed with bona fide makers and takers of delivery in mind. As these index funds and ETFs never intend to make or take delivery, they should not receive the position limit exemption. End of story. That would solve the problem in a heartbeat.

No positions.


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

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