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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1. Treasury Market Update


By Tom Graff
2:56 p.m. EDT

We're seeing the 10-year settle in at 3.71% with the yield curve 2 basis points steeper. The gyrations of stocks from -58 to flat doesn't seem to have much effect.

Corporate bonds are firm again, although activity seems to have slowed today vs. Friday. Corporate bond investors continue to aggressively bid for anything being offered.

Media bonds are strong performers today, for instance, one of the sectors I'm most bearish on. I can't see how the likes of Time Warner ( TWX) and CBS ( CBS) remain investment-grade. Remember that at this time last year the New York Times ( NYT) was rated BBB-!

Among the credit ETFs, iShares iBoxx $ Investment Grade Bond ( LQD) is down 0.3%, marginally better than Treasuries. SPDR Barclays Capital High Yield Bond ( JNK) and iShares iBoxx $ High Yield Corporate Bond ( HYG) are both slightly positive.

Long LQD, JNK and HYG.

Verizon


By Tim Melvin
2:30 p.m. EDT

The real story in the Verizon ( VZ) report to me is the ongoing transition of the company and indeed the industry. The landline business is basically disappearing as more people get rid of the old-fashioned home fun.

I got rid of mine a few months ago when I realized all I ever got on that number were sales calls and political solicitations. All my friends and associates called the cell phone.

This is a trend that is going to continue for years, if not decades to come. The old Bell companies will continue to gain more of their revenue from wireless, broadband and cable than the rational phone business.

All the layoffs this time around were in the landline division. That is going to continue as well. The telecom companies that dominate the landscape in the years to come will be the ones who do the least costly transition. So far Verizon and AT&T (T) are way ahead.

No positions.

Palm


By Jim Cramer
2:25 p.m. EDT

Last week I went out and said sell Palm ( PALM) because I don't see the uptick that's needed to sustain this move. The stock's back to where I recommended selling it and I reiterate that people should sell Palm for Apple ( AAPL).

No positions.

New Home Sales Surge; Optimism Keeps Pressure on U.S. Dollar


By Mark Chandler
12:12 p.m. EDT

U.S. new home sales were much better than expected in June, jumping 11% month over month to a 384,000 annualized pace, vs. 352,000 expected and a revised 346,000 rate (was 342,000) in May. This moves further above the cyclical low of 329,000 back in January.

The year-over-year rate was -21% vs. -32% in May and was the best since July 2007. However, the median price fell to $206,200 from $219,000 in May, which suggests that sellers are finally making the price adjustments needed to put a floor under sales.

Also, the supply of homes for sales fell to 8.8 months from 10.2 and was the lowest since October 2007. This report comes after stronger-than-expected June existing-home sales at a 4.89 million annualized pace, which was the highest since October 2008. The U.S. also had better-than-expected housing starts and building permits for June earlier this month that were the highest since November 2008.

Overall, the housing sector is showing signs of continued improvement. Though the housing market remains weak compared with the peaks, the improved data will continue to feed into market optimism on green shoots.

At this stage, the dollar remains vulnerable to good economic news, so the soft-dollar tone is likely to continue. The euro made a new cycle high around 1.43, which was just shy of the early June high around 1.4340. Resistance is also seen at 1.4360 (late December 2008 high) ahead of the next big target of 1.4719 (mid-December high). Second-quarter GDP data later this week also runs a good risk of coming in better than expected, so we see pressure remaining on the buck as optimism continues.

No positions.

Morning Prep


By Ken Wolff
8:48 a.m. EDT

The PowerShares QQQ Trust ( QQQQ) is gapping down this morning after a very nice week for the bulls. We have a pattern (three days in a row) of early buying, selling down (about 35 cents) then a recovery, so that is what I will be looking for. The kicker is that we are due a pullback and can drop dramatically anytime, but unfortunately for us, it's not predictable until it happens... Sigh.

Aetna ( AET) is down on bad earnings, which is going to cause more health care discussions and concern over the industry. Aetna is down from $26.44 to $23.50 and should be worth looking at for a recovery, but I want to short the early high.

No Positions.


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

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