The trading session ended flat Thursday after some discouraging job claims numbers and dismal June retail sales. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 4.76, or 0.06%, to 8,183.17, while the S&P 500 rose 3.12, or 0.35%, to 882.68. The Nasdaq added 5.38, or 0.31%, to 1,752.55.
Guy Adami said on CNBC's "Fast Money" TV show that the S&P had a decent day today but Friday will be the "tell." Joe Terranova noted the consumer confidence numbers, which have been on the rise in the past few reports, are due out tomorrow. "Let's see if they rise again," he said. Tim Seymour said he looked past the jobless claims numbers today to numbers coming out of China showing auto sales were up 48%. That gave a boost to metals and resources, and that was "the story today" along with a weaker dollar, he said. Shifting to financials and an upgrade in Goldman Sachs ( GS), Adami said he felt it was a little too late to be getting into Goldman. He thought the better play was with JPMorgan Chase ( JPM). He said he would short the stock with a stop above $35.25. Terranova said he wouldn't play the financials from the short side. He sees Goldman, which expects about $26 billion in trading revenue for 2009, going higher. Lee shifted to oil stocks which were up today despite crude dipping below $60 at one point in the session. Finerman, who noted this dichotomy Wednesday, said money is going into the equities or other places around the world because the market is seriously taking the Obama administration's efforts to curb speculation in the commodities markets.
Warren Buffet said in an interview that the consumer is soft and he doesn't know when this movie is going to end. He downplayed the power of the stimulus, saying anyone thinking of it as a panacea is mistaken. He said the best way to end the recession as soon as possible is to bring stability to the housing industry by not building any more new houses. Adami wasn't impressed with the comments, saying Buffett didn't really say anything new. Moving on to biotech, Lee noted that Amgen ( AMGN) enjoyed a 11% pop this week from positive results from a bone-strengthening drug. Mark Schoenebaum, Deutsche Bank analyst, said he wouldn't be aggressively buying the stock because it will probably be stuck in a range around the low $60's. However, he said it is one of the best long-term bets in biotech right now. Steve Cortes, founder of Veracruz, came on the show to talk about danger signs in the emerging markets. He said there's a major caution flag over this space now because of the recent intense selling of commodities, lumber and grains over the last several days. For the stock of the day, Finerman touted Target ( TGT), which guided today to the high-end of the range and showed some margin and expense improvement. Finerman, who owns Target and Wal-Mart ( WMT), liked Target's valuable and that particular retail space. Lee brought in Alex Hamilton, an analyst with Jesup & Lamont, to talk about the best computer security companies to invest in, in the wake of Wednesday's cyberattack against South Korean and U.S. computer networks.
Hamilton emphasized the seriousness of the attacks, adding increased government spending is necessary to ward off these attacks. He said he likes "pure plays" like CACI ( CACI) for its free cash flow and margin expansion. Lee shifted the discussion to the casino industry, which has been in the dumps. Matthew Jacob, an analyst with Majestic Research, sees a potential recovery in the industry although it will take some time. In the final trades, Seymour was long Anglo-American ( AAUK). Adami was long Burlington Northern ( BNI) below $70. Finerman liked Target and Terranova was long Freeport McMoRan ( FCX) with a stop at $45.10. "Check out "'Fast Money' Portfolios of the Week" on Stockpickr every Thursday.