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.

1. Valero Makes a Permanent Shutdown
By Sham Gad
8:25 a.m. EST

Refiner Valero ( VLO) has decided to permanently shut down a refinery in Delaware, eliminating 550 jobs. So far, refiners like Valero and Tesoro ( TSO) have been idling plants and capacity until the market improves. As a sign of how bad the times are for refiners, Valero was unable to find a buyer for the 210,000 bpd plant. Lack of a buyer, even at a rock-bottom price, is interesting considering one bull argument that supports refiners: no U.S. refinery has been built since the 1970s due to the capital involved and regulations needed. The fact that no one was interested at any price may indicate more of these shutdowns to come. This refinery represented 7% of Valero's capacity.

One can argue two points of view going forward: 1) Continued capacity curtailment and permanent refinery shutdowns will lead to a severe supply disruption somewhere down the road when the economy turns and demand for gas turns up, in which case a bullish stance on Valero and Tesoro (that trade below book value) is warranted; or 2) the demand for gasoline may be on a permanent decline curve as the growth of electric automobiles propels over the next decade.

No positions.


2. JOBS Looking Up Premarket
By Timothy Collins
9:19 a.m. EST

Obviously, I'm not talking about the U.S. job market -- nor am I a doctor, so I am not commenting on Steve Jobs' health here -- but 51job, Inc. ( JOBS) looks strong premarket. The company's revenue and EPS were both a beat, along with guiding both higher. The biggest negative I see on the headlines was the CEO leaving for personal reasons. I will be looking to sell enough of my holdings around the open so that the only money at risk going forward is unrealized profit.

Long JOBS.


3. Icahn Moves Into Health Care
By Tim Melvin
1:49 p.m. EST

It would appear that Carl Icahn shares the enthusiasm of Bruce Berkowitz and others for health care stocks. The legendary activist investor recently opened pretty good-sized positions in both Genzyme ( GENZ) and Forest Labs ( FRX).

Genzyme shares are trading near a 52-week low as problems continue to plague the company. The company recently stopped development of a new kidney drug that did not do well in trials. it has had problems at a Boston area manufacturing facility that the FDA is investigating and delaying the plants recertification. Icahn has not yet gone activist in this stock, but it would not surprise me to see him do so before long.

No positions.


4. Slow Earnings Week
By Timothy Collins
2:07 p.m. EST

Given that this is a holiday shortened week, I will tend to keep my plays small, generally half my normal size. Today, I am only looking at three plays.

Analog Devices ( ADI) reports today after the bell, and I am taking a position in the Dec 27.50 calls around 1.15. My upside target is around 29.50 on a beat and guide higher. If they disappoint, I don't see them sinking any further than 26.00 per share.

American Eagle Outfitters ( AEO) has been beaten down mercilessly. It seems as if downside is priced in here. I am nibbling on some Jan 15 calls at .90 or .95. For a little higher risk/reward, the Dec 15 calls are hanging around .70; however, I am going to opt for more time.

Citi Trends ( CTRN) looks like it could move to $30 on the upside or $25 on the downside. Me, I think downside. I am looking to short shares around 27.60.

Long ADI, AEO; short CTRN.


5. Verizon Tops Dow
By Gary Morrow
2:58 p.m. EST

Verizon ( VZ) is the top percentage gainer in the DJIA today. Verizon is just edging out Chevron ( CVX) at the top of the list with an hour of trading left. The Dow is again enjoying a broad rally today, with only two members not participating.

VZ Daily (NYSE) - Verizon
VZ Daily Chart
Source: TradeStation

While many of the top gainers this morning have come in a bit since the first-hour surge, Verizon has continued to build on its very strong gap higher open. Its 2.8% gain has lifted it well above its 200-day moving average while leaving behind a solid short-term base. Today's action could be the first stage of a significant breakout as Verizon continues to move away from a 12-week bearish channel.

Volume over the past two weeks has been very light, but I expect this to change as the stock edges higher. A volume surge this week will confirm that breakout and set the stock up for a run back up to its April highs of $33.00.

Long VZ.


For a 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

Jim Cramer: Some Industrials Stocks Are Becoming Great Values

Jim Cramer: Some Industrials Stocks Are Becoming Great Values

Jim Cramer Reacts to Toni Sacconaghi's Latest Tesla Note

Jim Cramer Reacts to Toni Sacconaghi's Latest Tesla Note

Howard Schultz to Jim Cramer: Starbucks Stock Is Cheap and Undervalued

Howard Schultz to Jim Cramer: Starbucks Stock Is Cheap and Undervalued

Jim Cramer: Reports of Attempted Trade Truce With China Are False

Jim Cramer: Reports of Attempted Trade Truce With China Are False

Video: Jim Cramer on the Markets, Oil, Starbucks, Tesla, Okta and Red Hat

Video: Jim Cramer on the Markets, Oil, Starbucks, Tesla, Okta and Red Hat