Top Takes From RealMoney

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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Shorting Goldman

By Doug Kass
8:24 a.m. EDT

Ever the contrarian, I have taken a small short position in Goldman Sachs ( GS) ahead of the earnings above $150.

It just seems to me that a better-than-expected number is embedded in the stock price.

Positions: Short GS


Morning Prep

By Ken Wolff
8:45 a.m. EDT

The momentum this morning is pretty flat after the much-anticipated Goldman Sachs ( GS) earnings report. ... I am going to look for a repeat of yesterday if Goldman holds a gap down going into the open. I will be shorting early and look for a long position and another recovery from the early drop.

First Solar ( FSLR) and Potash ( POT) have been offerring some good gains if the bottom can be timed accurately...

Positions: None


JNJ/CAT/EBAY/GOOG

By Jim Cramer
9:06 a.m. EDT

Johnson & Johnson ( JNJ) seems fine, but there's a horrid note out of Credit Suisse on Caterpillar ( CAT) -- soft vs. hard. eBay ( EBAY) estimates raised by Goldman, surprising but lots of negative chatter out there about lackluster Google ( GOOG) numbers...

Positions: Long EBAY


PPI/Retail Sales

By Tom Graff
8:54 a.m. EDT

Big miss on PPI is pushing the Treasury market lower. The long bond was immediately down 1 1/2 points; it has now moderated a bit. I still think retail sales is the bigger deal. On that front, we got a beat on the headline number and a miss on the ex-autos number. Which is the better read?

First, it's such a strange combination, it makes me wonder about seasonality adjustments. It isn't that seasonality isn't relevant, but given that we're coming off a really unique period of crashing consumer demand in 4Q/1Q, the "normal" seasonals aren't likely to hold.

Regardless, I'll wait and see the detail, but clearly if retail sales are being driven by auto sales, that's not going to repeat month after month. How many cars do people need?


My Take on Retail Sales

By Tim Melvin
9:08 a.m. EDT

If you just read the headlines, the retail sales report looks pretty good, with sales up 0.06%. Dig a little deeper, and the picture becomes a little less attractive. Backing out the rise in auto sales, the gain was just 0.03%. One of the strongest results came from gas stations with a 5% increase. That's a pretty wek number, given that gas prices were up 13% in the month. Department stores and restaurants were down as consumer discretionary spending remains constrained.

Overall sales may have been slightly better than those reported in May but we are still far below year-ago levels. If you digest the report, you'll understand that people are paying for food, gas and other necessities and cutting back everywhere else. It will be interesting to see if what the numbers for July show when they are reported next month.


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

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