'Fast Money' Recap: Tech Shakeups

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- A big executive shakeup at Google ( GOOG) and major board changes at Hewlett-Packard ( HPQ) dominated the trading panel discussion on Thursday's CNBC's "Fast Money" TV show.

The two big tech stories come on a down market day. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 2.49, or 0.02%, to 11,822.80. The S&P 500 lost 1.66, or 0.13%, to 1,280.26. The Nasdaq fell 21.07, or 0.77%, to 2,704.29.

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

Karen Finerman said on CNBC's "Fast Money" TV show that she didn't like Google's shakeup but was willing to give the company the benefit of the doubt. The shakeup calls for co-founder Larry Page to replace CEO Eric Schmidt, who becomes executive chairman. Co-founder Sergey Brin takes on new responsibilities in strategic products and new products.

Terranova said the change will lead analysts on Friday to dabble about revenue projections and price targets. But he viewed the changes as a defensive move against Facebook and the social networking space.

Brian Kelly said he was worried about the loss of Schmidt as CEO, while Guy Adami said the Street will give Page a pass.

Aaron Rakers, an analyst with Stifle Nicolaus, said he was concerned about the change because it puts a technologist in a position that is usually more suitable for a person with business experience. For instance, he said Google's pullout of China over censorship issues was driven by the founders.

In the other big tech story, H-P brought in five new board members, including Meg Whitman, former CEO of eBay ( EBAY). Finerman said she liked the changes, although she noted the five members who elected CEO Leo Apotheker in, are gone.

Daniel Niles, co-CIO of Alpha One Capital Partners, said the addition of Whitman will bring a lot of experience on the consumer side and "hopefully will yield good benefits."

But Jon Fortt, a CNBC tech reporter, wondered whether Whitman's consumer experience at eBay lines up with H-P's consumer demands in the tablet and mobile space.

Rakers, the analyst with Stifle Nicolaus, said he's waiting for Apotheker to say what the company is going to do next strategically. He said the CEO needs to get out in front of investors and tell them what what that next strategic step is going to be. He said the company has been focusing on enterprise and acquiring high-margin software and software businesses.

Looking at the broader tech market, Melissa Lee, the moderator of the show, to comment on the weakness in tech. Kelly remained optimistic about the fundamentals of the sector, though he acknowledged pockets of disappointment. Finerman said she bought Apple ( AAPL) today, apparently satisfied with the size of the discount taken for Steve Jobs' medical leave. Adami, though, sees more room for downside in Apple.

Looking at the broader market, Barry Richoltz, director of equity research at Fusion IQ, said he expects a short-term correction of about 8 to 10 percent. He said the current rally has been intense since its inception two years ago. He said he was going to give this rally the benefit of the doubt.

Two different views emerged on gold where there was a 2% selloff despite market weakness. Kelly said he was still in the trade, buying on dips. He said there is marginal demand for gold coming from China and India and characterized the drop in gold as a correction.

Terranova said the drop in gold is an indication of the speculative froth coming out of the market. He said the momentum is pointing down.

Dennis Gartman agreed, saying it's possible for gold to fall to $1,270 an ounce. He said he has cut his position in gold in his ETF by two-thirds and is "not being happy long gold."

Shifting to the retail sector, Dillard's ( DDS) announced plans to form a REIT unit. Finerman expressed amazement that the strategy is back in vogue. She said the move will unlock value and helped put a floor under retail stocks today. She doubted whether this will turn into a trend.

Lee brought in Clay Jones, CEO for Rockwell Collins ( COL) on a day when it reported a 25% jump in first-quarter earnings.

Jones said the company's business looks good, with every sector looking strong. He noted the new builds of airport transport aircraft, strong aftermarket in business aircraft, and early indications of a recovery in the business jet OEM market. He also said the Defense Department will be adding F18s and F35 stimulators.

Commenting on General Electric ( GE), which reports its earnings on Friday, Scott Davis, an analyst with Morgan Stanley, said he hopes the company will offer more clarity on how it has performed in the power generation market. He said GE shares sold off the last quarter on disappointing wind and gas power orders.

In the final trades, Simon Baker liked Sandisk ( SNDK). Kelly liked Molycorp ( MCP). Adami liked Rockwell Collins, while Finerman liked Apple. Terranova liked Morgan Stanley ( MS).

--Written by David Tong in San Francisco.

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