NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Stocks were mostly flat Tuesday as the latest round of earnings reports was a mixed bag and commodities, especially oil and silver, sold off. The Dow Jones Industrial Average settled up less than a point at 12,807, while the S&P 500 slipped 4.6 points, or 0.3%, to 1356. The Nasdaq Composite was hit hardest, dropping 20 points, or 0.8%, to 2842. On Monday all three indexes reached 52-week highs. For a breakout of some stocks from a recent "Fast Money" TV show, check out Dan Fitzpatrick's "3 Stocks I Saw on TV." Melissa Lee, the moderator of CNBC's "Fast Money" show, began Tuesday's show asking panel members to weigh in on silver's crash -- the biggest drop in two years -- after the Chicago Mercantile Exchange again lifted margin limits. Brian Kelly said he still believes in the silver trade, that the fundamentals are still in place, but Guy Adami saw volatility as a problem, saying you will get "chopped up" if you try to daytrade silver. Being overweight commodities was a concern for Joe Terranova, who advised that investors might want to rethink that position, given the trading action this week. Zachary Karabell of River Twice Research joined the conversation, saying he believes it's too soon to call for the end of the silver trade because this pullback has happened too fast. He felt it was possible the metal could yo-yo back up just as quickly, and said he's not willing to step aside completely just yet. Guy Adami countered that, with the speculators out, the silver trade has changed completely. He said he would look to come back in the mid-30s. Silver prices fell another $3.49 to $42.58 an ounce and almost breached the $40 level in after-hours trading on Tuesday as the CME raised margin requirements for the third time in a week. Brian Kelly thought the silver miners were worth a look next, saying that when he chose to increase exposure to silver, it would be through names like Silver Wheaton ( SLW) or the Global X Silver Miners ( SIL) ETF. Joe Terranova believes silver's sell-off reflects a shakeout of the weaker hands in the market, but he felt there was still some speculative interest out there, and that investors who are long in silver are likely just paring back positions.
The panel was then joined by Peter Schiff of EuroPacific Capital, who was characterized as a long-term believer in silver. Schiff said he doesn't feel silver is rising because of the presence of speculators, but rather that speculators are getting involved because silver is rising. Schiff said he still upside from here and that it makes sense for silver to correct down from $50, its highest level in more than three decades. He viewed the selling as a nice pullback that presented a good entry point. Guy Adami added that he believes the easy long money is gone for the silver trade, but Schiff theorized that investors who were "suckered" into the short trade in silver will need to buy the metal back soon. The drop in oil prices on Tuesday was then briefly discussed with Joe Terranova saying he's hanging onto Exxon Mobil ( XOM), and Guy Adami saying Halliburton ( HAL) is worth a look here. Karen Finerman added that she still likes Ensco ( ESV), despite the 3.5% decline in the stock on Tuesday, as the company is in the process of completing its acquisition of Pride International ( PDE). Joe Terranova then gave his view that Tuesday's trading reflected a reallocation day. He ran through the movement in various sectors -- the banks were up, and small-caps were down --and said there was more of a defensive mindset in the market today. The trading action in Alcoa ( AA) on Tuesday was then discussed as the stock got an early bump from rumors of a potential takeout bid. Brian Kelly said Alcoa mostly trades on fundamentals and that auto sales were bullish for for the company as there's a lot of aluminum in cars. As for the deal whispers, the panel felt a buyout was unlikely and that the antitrust concerns of a combination with a name like Rio Tinto ( RIO) would be significant. Up next was UBS analyst Colin Langan, who upgraded General Motors ( GM) to buy and lifted the 12-month price target to $42 from $35, mainly citing perceived competitive benefits from the inventory shortage impacting Japanese automakers.
Langan noted that he also has a buy rating on Ford ( F), and that overall he likes that stock better than GM. Langan said GM reported "great numbers" for April with sales rising 26.4% as rising gasoline prices spurred demand for fuel-efficient vehicles. Karen Finerman asked Langan if he was concerned about the shift in GM's business to cars from trucks because cars typically are a lower margin product. Langan said he did note the shift but added that pick-ups are the most important product category and that he doesn't expect much decline from here, and that the profitability of cars is on the rise. Joe Terranova asked if Langan felt the pickup in GM's business was "somewhat artifical" because it's coming from weakness at Toyota Motor ( TM) and other Japanese companies, rather than anything that GM is doing. Langan said that GM's new products were doing well, so the company deserved some credit for the spike in sales. Guy Adami asked Langan for an opinion on Borgwarner ( BWA), and the analyst said he has a buy rating on the stock, and that the company is a good long-term story. The next guest was CNBC commentator Herb Greenberg, who spoke about Apple ( AAPL) and its significant cash holdings, which he estimated total around $66 billion, including marketable securities. Greenberg said the amount of cash that Apple has is getting lost in the shuffle, and that despite its 34% run-up in the past year, the stock looks cheap from a valuation standpoint if full weight is given to the cash potential on the balance sheet. Karen Finerman chimed in here, saying she loves the company but its capital allocation strategy is terrible. She called it "the opposite of a disciplined balance sheet" and said Apple doesn't need this much cash so they should find a way to give some back to shareholders, suggesting a buyback. Herb Greenberg said the company's management deserves some deference because their execution has been flawless. Karen Finerman said she doesn't believe there's a "transformative" deal for the company to do, but she's long on the stock.
Up next was John Stephenson of First Asset Management, who also spoke about silver. Joe Terranova asked Stephenson to comment on the iShares Silver Trust ( SLV) ETF, which he had heard another investor recently refer to as a ponzi scheme. Stephenson said he still likes the ETF, that it shouldn't be called a ponzi scheme because it's physically backed. "That's what's great about it," he said. St. Joe Co. ( JOE) was the subject of the next segment as the panel spoke with value investor Whitney Tilson of T2 Partners. Tilson said his fund is short on St. Joe, that their research finds the stock is worth roughly half its current market price. Tilson said David Einhorn of Greenlight Capital, who is also short on St. Joe, is right about the company, but acknowledged that Bruce Berkowitz of Fairholme Capital is winning the debate about the company so far. Tilson said he doesn't believe St. Joe will be able to sell itself, and that the company isn't even being actively marketed right now. He noted that everyone -- bulls and bears -- agrees that the company's timberland assets are worth roughly $7-$10 per share but the difference of opinion comes down to the real estate holdings. Tilson said his firm has done additional research and believes there is no value in the housing developments that St. Joe built at the height of the financial crisis. He said some of the developments are "literally ghost towns" and that judging by the sales prices of homes and lots in the developments, the company will need to record major asset impairments related to these assets. Tilson also offered up a new stock pick, saying he likes Howard Hughes Corp. ( HHC). The company was once part of General Growth Properties ( GGP), and has a world class management team, including Bill Ackman, Tilson said. The real estate investment trust owns a variety of properties, including South Street Seaport in New York, and Tilson said he's not sure what the upside is but that he doesn't see much downside from here. The stock closed Tuesday at $64.52. The "Options Action" segment featured Brian Stutland of Stutland Equities, who recommended buying May 132 puts on the SPDR S&P 500 ( SPY) ETF with the debt ceiling deadline looming on May 16. The put "came all the way down to 55 cents," Stutland said, offering "pretty cheap protection" for a portfolio. Zachary Karabell gave a quick comment on the action in a number of China-related stocks next, saying he could see coming the declines in names like Sina.com ( SINA), down nearly 10% on Tuesday, and Baidu.com ( BIDU), off more than 5%, because price-to-earnings multiples had just gotten too high. Big picture, however, he said these companies have great cash flow business with huge potential. As for final picks, Guy Adami threw out going long on Abbott Laboratories ( ABT), while Karen Finerman stuck with Apple, and Joe Terranova mentioned JP Morgan Chase ( JPM). -- Written by Michael Baron in New York. >To contact the writer of this article, click here: Michael Baron. >To submit a news tip, send an email to: email@example.com