NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The S&P 500 moved more than 1% for its third straight session, on Thursday to the down side, marking the first time in over a year the index has been this volatile. The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX.X) soared 24%.
On CNBC's "Fast Money" TV show, Dan Nathan, co-founder and editor of riskreversal.com, said that until recently the S&P 500 had been considered a "safe haven" trade. Thursday's selloff was rather orderly and the index should see decent support near 1,900.
Tim Seymour, managing partner of Triogem Asset Management, said the S&P 500 should bounce higher if it does decline to its 200-day moving average. He reminded investors that the U.S. economy is still doing fairly well.
Brian Kelly, founder of Brian Kelly Capital, said the best-case scenario for the bulls would be if the market opened lower on Friday and found a way to rally. If it opens the session higher it could set itself up for further declines.
Guy Adami, managing director of stockmonster.com, said that the 1,904 level is now back in play for the S&P 500, while $103 is back in play for the iShares Russell 2000 ETF (IWM - Get Report) . Treasury rates are likely to continue to lower since the markets are in a "global deflationary environment."
Seymour said investors can try taking long positions in high paying dividend stocks that are growing earnings.
Anthony Grisanti, president of GRZ Energy, said the decline in oil prices is simple to explain -- it's just supply and demand. Demand has fallen in China, Europe and the U.S., while geopolitical concerns are "on the sidelines." Production is going to have to be cut, otherwise WTI crude can continue to fall first to $78 and possibly all the way to down to $70 per barrel. He has covered half his short position after saying WTI crude could fall from $95 to $85 per barrel.
Seymour said that Brent crude oil seems likely to decline to $89 per barrel, which would not be a bad level for integrated oil stocks "to do business." He is a buyer of Exxon Mobil (XOM - Get Report) . Nathan said he covered his short position in Chevron (CVX - Get Report) .
Shares of Apple (AAPL - Get Report) closed higher on Thursday as hedge fund manager Carl Icahn appeared on CNBC's "Fast Money Halftime Report" to argue the company should increase its share buyback program.
Alex Gauna, senior research analyst at JMP Securities, has a buy rating on shares of Apple with a $135 price target. He said the company should focus on innovation and execution, especially execution where Apple has struggled. It should have introduced the larger iPhone earlier and should have had the Apple Watch ready by Christmas. It's undervalued near current levels but the stock is not worth $200 as Icahn claims.
Seymour agreed with Gauna, saying he is long Apple but it is not worth $200 per share today. Adami said if Apple shares get above $103, they may climb to $110. The longer the stock stays near $100, the more likely it will not pullback to $88.
CNBC's Meg Tirrell said shares of Tekmira Pharmaceuticals (TKMR) and Chimerix (CMRX - Get Report) have added a combined $730 million in market cap over the past three months, almost due entirely to Ebola headlines. Traders continue to push the prices higher, forcing the stocks to trade away from their fundamentals. After the clinical trials in West Africa, investors will get a better sense for what's going on, she said.
The traders listed their top defensive picks:
Seymour is buying Lorillard (LO) and Nathan said to buy AT&T (T - Get Report) between $33 and $34. They both like the companies' dividends. Kelly said he is a buyer of the iShares 20+ Treasury Bond ETF (TLT - Get Report) and Adami said the "best defense is a good offense." He is a buyer of Palo Alto Networks.
Robert Peck, Internet analyst at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, is a buyer of Amazon (AMZN - Get Report) , which has underperformed the S&P 500 over the past month and the past year. He has a buy rating and $380 price target on the stock. His other top picks include Facebook (FB - Get Report) and Google (GOOGL - Get Report) .
Seymour said he does not like shares of Amazon at current levels, but does like social media stocks like Facebook and Twitter (TWTR - Get Report) . Adami said he likes shares of Facebook. However, Amazon seems more likely to decline to $285 before moving higher. Nathan said he wants to buy Twitter, but is waiting for a dip to do so.
Riverbed Technology (RVBD) climbed 3% and was the first stock on the show's "Pops & Drops" segment. Adami said the stock traded well on a day that was bad for the overall markets. It can continue to outperform for the next several sessions.
Goldcorp (GG) decline 4%. Kelly said he likes gold and the gold miners on the long side.
Jack Nerad, executive market analyst and executive editorial director at Kelley Blue Book, said Tesla Motors (TSLA - Get Report) , which was scheduled to make an announcement late Thursday night, likely plans to unveil an enhancement for one of its current vehicles rather than introduce a new model.
Kelly said Tesla is setting up to be a "sell the news" type of event. Seymour called Tesla overvalued. He added that with 50-day moving average just above the current price, the stock could be headed lower, especially if the news is disappointing.
Nathan pointed out the bullish options activity in shares of American Airlines Group (AAL - Get Report) , specifically the 10,000 January $40 call options were purchased. However, Nathan is a seller of the airline stocks. All it will take is a few more negative Ebola headlines and they could fall 5% to 10%, he reasoned.
Seymour said large drops in airline stocks have been buying opportunities in the past.
-- Written by Bret Kenwell in Petoskey, Mich.