'Fast Money' Recap: Eyeing Oil, Retail M&A

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- After-Christmas deals, private equity shopping for bargains, ETF explosion and best commodity trades for 2011 were hot topics among the "Fast Money" crowd on Thursday.

CNBC contributor Dennis Gartman said the global recovery is propping up crude oil futures. The black gold rose to two-year highs on Thursday, settling at $91.56 per barrel. Gartman said stronger oil prices mean the global economy is strong, and that's good for stock price growth as well.

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

Pete Najarian said the markets are feeling better, reflected by higher prices for all energy "stuff." He pointed out that Bed Bath and Beyond ( BBBY) benefits from higher cotton prices, trading above $5.50.

Gartman said BBBY and other retailers use high cotton prices as an excuse to raise prices and expand margins, though a towel contains only about 20 cents worth of cotton.

Melissa Lee said the price of oil will move higher in January and asked the group how to play the commodity.

Karen Finerman said investors should go into USO.

Anthony Scaramucci said BP ( BP) is a final trade. It cut costs and built a big cash war chest, he said, and will likely reinstate its dividend next year. With oil at $100 per barrel, this is a good stock, he added.

Gartman likes dividend-paying oil-related stocks like Chevron ( CVX), Exxon Mobil ( XOM), BP and SandRidge Energy ( SD), and says demand for these names will grow as oil prices rise.

Pete Najarian said hedge funds have exposure to base metals and oil, and the dollar is helping as is economic growth. Still, the Middle East peace conflict overhang could push oil to $120 next year.

Melissa Lee brought up the recent run-up in gold prices and asked if a bubble was waiting to burst or if gold is the best new trade of the year.

Gartman said that as more wealth is created around the world the gold market will rise. He doesn't like gold but said central banks are buying it and have reduced the supply. Still, he said gold is not a bubble but rather a currency trade, tapping the Market Vectors Gold Miners ( GDX) ETF as an example.

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