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.

Inflation Expectations

By Tom Graff
8:08 a.m. EDT

JPMorgan is out with a fascinating survey of inflation expectations. Unlike the more widely followed surveys, this one was given to investment professionals around the world and asked them about inflation views for the U.S., the U.K. and the euro zone.

These kinds of surveys are more pertinent to traders, because they get more directly at the question of what's priced into markets.

The results are very interesting:

  1. A majority of investors expect "above-target" inflation in the U.S. and U.K. Views for the eurozone are mixed.
  2. U.S.-based investors expect more U.S. inflation than foreign investors do. That speaks volumes about foreign willingness to participate in the U.S. Treasury market.
  3. Smaller investors and those primarily investing in equities are most worried about inflation. Bond investors are less worried. What that's telling you is that people who are primarily charged with following interest rates (and thus inflation) are more sanguine. Those for whom inflation is typically a secondary concern have higher expectations.

As long as a significant chunk of the market is worried about inflation, the yield curve will remain steep. The way to play this is to buy intermediate-term bonds, say three to seven years, and let them roll down the curve. The inflation fear won't go away, but as long as the fear isn't realized, extra income will win the day.


Morning Prep

By Ken Wolff
8:12 a.m. EDT

We are trading down on the backs of disappointing earnings from Amazon ( AMZN) and Microsoft ( MSFT). The PowerShares QQQ Trust ( QQQQ) is currently down from $39.35 to $38.97, and usually in a bull market, gaps down get bought.

CNBC is interviewing Warren Buffett, who is recommending equities, and that should help us get early buyers. We should fill the gap and pop to $39.35, and we can go over.

I like to watch for patterns and trade repeating dynamics, and we have two days in a row of early buying, which again should give us a boost up from the open. AMZN is recovering from $85 and MSFT from $23.40, so I will be focusing on those trades this morning. Look for analyst support-type comments, which will help bring in buyers.

Positions: None


BDK

By Jim Cramer
9:46 a.m. EDT

Outlook doesn't matter? Black & Decker ( BDK) with terrible outlook but fantastic cost cuts. People care about firings. They are well received by this market. ... It is almost like, "Let's reward the managers with the guts to cut."

Positions: None


What Is the Bull Case?

By Tim Melvin
9:11 a.m. EDT

I keep asking the market bulls exactly what is it is that is fueling their enthusiasm for stocks. Universally I am told that they are looking out into the future or across the valley, as more than one person has said. What is it they see out there? Jobs growth? A return of consumer spending? An upturn in the quality of big bank balance sheets? A healthy economy? Lower taxes?

I wonder what they see and just how far out it is they foresee these wonderful things happening. I sit here and see revenues falling off a cliff, profits declining faster than stock prices, unemployment rising and real estate prices continuing to fall. There are weak economic conditions around the globe and no real sign of things getting better anytime soon.

I get that stocks discount in advance, but it would appear that we are discounting way too ahead, given what is happening in the real world. I would love to hear from the bulls among my fellow contributors and from readers who are wildly bullish here.

As an aside, most of the bulls I talk to are using indices and ETFs, not individual stocks.


CIT Revises Its Offer

By Tom Graff
9:46 a.m. EDT

There are conflicting reports on whether CIT ( CIT) is more or less likely to file for bankruptcy. The Wall Street Journal says CIT "does not intend" to file if the tender offer succeeds. It seems to me that would go without saying, but I also suspect there are many holders of the bonds maturing in August that also hold other CIT bonds. These holders may reason that they don't want to see cash go out the door to the detrement of their other holdings.

Meanwhile, Bloomberg is keying on a different part of the new filing, namely that even if the tender succeeds, it might be that "the $3 billion loan facility doesn't provide the liquidity the company is seeking" and thus the firm has to file.

CIT bonds are about unchanged. Everything three years and longer is in the $55 area.

Positions: None


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.

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

More from Jim Cramer

All 2018 Graduates Must Watch Jim Cramer's Bucknell Commencement Speech

All 2018 Graduates Must Watch Jim Cramer's Bucknell Commencement Speech

3 Simple Tips on Investing From TheStreet's Jim Cramer

3 Simple Tips on Investing From TheStreet's Jim Cramer

Video: One-on-One With Pluralsight's CEO Following Its Successful IPO

Video: One-on-One With Pluralsight's CEO Following Its Successful IPO

Using Technical Analysis to Profit: Cramer's 'Mad Money' Recap (Friday 5/18/18)

Using Technical Analysis to Profit: Cramer's 'Mad Money' Recap (Friday 5/18/18)

Cramer and His Team Stick to Their Disciplines -- Even When It's Disappointing

Cramer and His Team Stick to Their Disciplines -- Even When It's Disappointing