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. North by East West


By Geoffrey Johnson
12:38 p.m. EDT

Recently I mentioned that I purchased and added to a position in recovering California-based bank East West Bancorp ( EWBC). I really like the aggressive manner in which management is resolving problem loans and cleaning up the balance sheet.

The stock has ramped up recently and now trades around tangible book, a valuation at which I am selling financials and insurers unless I can clearly see an earnings recovery story. I don't think East West is an earnings power story yet so I have sold. I still own a number of other banks, insurers and BDCs, all but one of which trade at a discount to TBV.

I hope I get a chance to buy it back because I like the story and management's efforts. Ultimately, this will be a much higher priced stock. However, I have a plan for working the deeply discounted financials and I have to stick with the discipline.

No positions.

2. Overbought Market


By Rev. Shark
12:35 pm. EDT

The danger of shorting a technically "overbought" market is that we can work off the overbought condition by just churning and going nowhere.

That is what happened to set up the move yesterday. We were flat for four days and that was enough to make things a little less frothy and attract buyers for another buying spree.

This market obviously has a lot of folks anxious to buy a pullback and they could easily hold us steady while we churn and become less extended. I'd be very surprised to see a sudden collapse of the indices.

No positions.

3. Safeway Update


By Tom Graff
11:50 a.m. EDT

They wound up launching Safeway ( SFW) at +158! That's not much spread for a Baa2/BBB company. On top of that, several of Safeway's biggest competitors are junk-rated ( Great Atlantic & Pacific ( GAP), for example). No one wants a junk rating, but point is you can get away with it in that business. So if Safeway ever wanted to trash its credit rating to boost shares...

Meanwhile, Metropolitan Water of Southern California just sold a new issue at +200bps, rated Aa2/AAA.

Long Metropolitan Water of Southern California bonds.

4. Ford


By Jim Cramer
10:19 a.m. EDT

As Ford Ford ( F) gets closer to $8 it is worth for them to do a $7 offering for 300 million to 400 million shares to pay down debt. There is also VEBA pressure at $9 so be aware.

I continue to like the preferreds over the common and the preferreds go higher every time the company does an equity deal.

No positions.

5. Synaptics


By Timothy Collins
10:10 a.m. EDT

Though the earnings were good, and the outlook a bit disappointing, the selloff looks overdone here. I am and have been buying Synaptics ( SYNA) this morning below $25, and selling some August $25 calls and August $27.5 against the long stock.

Long SYNA with half the position covered with short calls.


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

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