NEW YORK (TheStreet) --The S&P 500 finished lower Tuesday although it came back from most of its intraday losses during another volatile trading session where oil weighed on the market. The commodity dropped 4%, causing selloffs in stocks that should otherwise be benefiting from the drop in oil prices.
One example: Look at the airlines, Pete Najarian, co-founder of optionmonster.com and trademonster.com, said on CNBC's "Fast Money" TV show. These companies benefit from lower oil prices but their shares continue to fall. Are investors looking to take profits after a rewarding 2014? he wondered. This recent pullback presents a buying opportunity.
The drop in oil prices is caused by oversupply, said Tim Seymour, managing partner of Triogem Asset Management. Brian Kelly, founder of Brian Kelly Capital, agreed but added weak European and Chinese economies are likely causing a slowdown in demand, too. Oil is getting to a point where it's starting to look attractive on the long side, he said, but investors should keep an eye on the U.S. dollar. If it reverses and begins to move lower, it could be bad for the U.S and possibly for bonds.
The iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (TLT - Get Report) closed at a new 52-week high. While it would be unlikely for the exchange-traded fund to open Wednesday's session below $129.50, it would be a sign for investors to sell, said Guy Adami, managing director of stockmonster.com.
While energy stocks have been hit hard, not all of them are worth avoiding as investments. Mike Kelly, managing director and senior analyst at Global Hunter Securities, likes Whiting Petroleum (WLL - Get Report) . The stock is down some 70% from its summer highs but can still cover its cost of capital even if oil prices drop to $25 to $30 per barrel. He also likes Concho Resources (CXO - Get Report) and Carrizo Oil & Gas (CRZO - Get Report) .
It's still not time to buy energy stocks, Adami countered. If and when Transocean (RIG - Get Report) decides to cut its dividend, investors should buy Seadrill (SDRL - Get Report) following the announcement.
Energy stocks are a "no touch" at current levels, agreed Najarian. Whiting Petroleum is starting to look attractive, but needs to go lower before becoming a buy. Near current levels, integrated oil stocks look attractive on the long side, Seymour said. Oil prices seem likely to be near an intermediate-term bottom.
The strong U.S. dollar may not help energy prices but it seems to help the stock market. According to Paul Hickey, co-founder of Bespoke Investment Group, the U.S. dollar has climbed more than 10% in an entire calendar year seven times since the mid-1960s. In each of the ensuing years the stock market finished higher, with an average gain of 15%.
The top-performing sectors in those years included technology, telecom and consumer discretionary, while the three worst performing sectors included energy, materials and financials, Hickey said.
Jeffrey Solomon, president of Cowen Group, said biotech investors are much more focused on potential, rather than current, profits and therefore investor sentiment has a much larger influence on stock prices.
Kelly agreed that biotech trades mostly on sentiment, which is why he uses the sector as an indicator for the overall market. Sentiment doesn't seem that bearish for biotech right now, he said.
Celgene seems to have the "deepest and the best pipeline," Najarian said. Gilead Sciences (GILD - Get Report) has also traded well in the past few trading sessions. Both Celgene and Gilead have low valuations given their earnings growth, Adami added.
For their final trades, Seymour is buying Alibaba (BABA - Get Report) and Najarian is a buyer of eBay (EBAY - Get Report) . Kelly said to buy Continental Resources (CLR - Get Report) and Adami is buying Ambarella (AMBA - Get Report) .
-- Written by Bret Kenwell