'Fast Money' Recap: GDP: a Head Fake?

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The markets ended a four-day slide Thursday on a surprising spike in economic growth in the third quarter.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average soared 199. 89, or 2.05%, to 9,962.89, while the S&P 500 added 23.48, or 2.25% to 1,066.11. The Nasdaq rose 37.94, or 1.84%, to 2,097.55.

The Commerce Department reported the economy grew at an annual rate of 3.5% for the quarter, ending four consecutive quarters of declines. That would normally signal the end of the recession, but the lingering question going forward is whether that growth can be sustained without the aid of government stimulus such as the now terminated Cash For Clunkers program.

For a breakout of some stocks from a recent "Fast Money" TV show, check out Dan Fitzpatrick's "3 Stocks I Saw on TV."

3 Stocks I Saw on TV

Tim Seymour said on CNBC's "Fast Money" TV show that he was frankly surprised at the market's reaction because the GDP number is considered a backwards-looking number that doesn't provide any indication of what the growth will be for the fourth quarter.

Steve Grasso said today's rally may have been due in large part to mutual funds capitalizing on an opportunity after four down days to buy stocks in an effort to boost their performance before the end of the month.

Karen Finerman agreed with Seymour's analysis, saying there was already a runup in the market in anticipation of a good GDP number. She said it remains to be seen what the GDP will be going forward.

Joe Terranova said the roller-coaster nature of the market has been nerve wracking. He said there's the fear in the markets that "the pullback we are anticipating to come is just not going to come."

Seymour said he expects to see shallow pullbacks but remains bullish overall.

Steve Liesman, a CNBC reporter, said the GDP report underscores the fact that economy is growing. He downplayed the panel's concerns of higher interest rates, saying a stronger economy will be able to handle the higher rates. "I don't think interest rates will be a drag on an economic turnaround," he said.

Lee shifted the discussion to how global companies such as Alcoa ( AA) and Caterpillar ( CAT) snapped back today. Terranova said massive liquidity will help these companies.

Seymour said Vale ( VALE) enjoyed a great day, with ore shipments up 36% and prices up 18%. Grasso said he sees Alcoa doing well if there is a recovery, and Terranova said oil looks like it wants to go to $85 a barrel.

Lee brought in Jon Najarian to comment on the tech sector, which bounced back today. Najarian said tech stocks like Intel ( INTC), offer the kind of organic growth that will do well in the market.

Najarian said the market was up today because clients were waiting for the washout to get in. He said his favorite stock is Las Vegas Sands ( LVS)which was up 26.7% today.

Lee brought in David Rosenberg, chief economist for Gluskin Sheff for his take on the latest GDP report. He doubted whether the level of GDP growth reflected in today's report can be sustained in future quarters.

He said the economy remains very shaky and that the third-quarter GDP was propped up by government stimulus. Take out the stimulus and the organic growth is flat, he maintained.

He said he remains very defensive toward the market, which, he said, is pricing in an unrealistic 4% GDP growth for 2010.

He downplayed the strength of the rally, saying it is really being moved by a short covering of the financials, hedge-fund moves and low-volume rallies.

Louis Naveiller, chief investment officer for Naveiller & Associates, offered up four stocks that he said will do well without any help from government stimulus.

First up was Tessera Technology ( TSRA) which helps patent all the technology in smartphones. The second choice was Medifast ( MED), which sells diet and disease management products. He said it's a very well-run company, with earnings up over 100%.

The third pick was an oil service company, Dresser-Rand ( DRC), which services refineries and turbines. He said the company has had positive sales growth, and he expects an earnings surprise of about 8%. He said the stock, which closed at $45.89 today, could climb another 20% to 30%.

The last pick was Southwestern Energy ( SWN), a horizontal driller that has benefited from natural gas exploration. He said its earnings will be "incredible" going forward.

In the "Off the Record" segment, CNBC editor Charlie Gasparino discussed how Goldman Sachs ( GS) is going about parceling out $20 billion in bonus money. Gasparino said the firm is going about it in a politically correct way for the top 500 producers, with the emphasis on cash.

He said the top 15 will get their bonus in cash, while remainder will get 75% of their bonus in stock and 25% in cash.

In the final trades, Seymour trumpeted an old favorite -- Banco Santander Brazil ( BSBR). Terranova liked Goldman Sachs ( GS). Finerman Yum! Brands ( YUM), and Grasso said he liked Motorola ( symbol).

-- Written by David Tong in San Francisco

To watch replays of Cramer's video segments, visit the Mad Money page on CNBC.

"Check out "'Fast Money' Portfolios of the Week" on Stockpickr every Thursday.

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