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Oil, Gold Hit Records; Stocks Flat

OIL, GOLD HIT RECORDS; STOCKS FLAT

The headline: Stocks Settle Mostly Lower

The Dow settled lower but crude made a run higher, explains Dylan Ratigan. Meanwhile, investors grappled with another sign that the economy is slowing. The Institute for Supply Management said that U.S. manufacturing activity declined in February to its weakest level in nearly five years. Construction spending fell 1.7 percent in January, the biggest decline in 14 years.

The fact that we rallied back to break even was interesting, says Pete Najarian.

It surprised me too, says Guy Adami. But, I still think there’s another shoe to drop.

I’m waiting for a catalyst to send the market significantly lower, says Jeff Macke.

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OIL TOPS ALL-TIME HIGH

The headline: Crude Oil Climbs As High As $103.95, Passing Inflation-Adjusted All-Time High Set In 1980.

Crude oil speculators on the New York Mercantile Exchange have increased their net long positions to the highest in seven weeks, explains Dylan Ratigan, betting that oil prices will go up.

It seems to me that oil wants to break-out, says Jeff Macke. I like the United States Oil Fund as a trade. I think it’s a buy on the break-out.

I’d look at nat gas stocks, says Guy Adami.

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ANOTHER DAY, ANOTHER DISMAL DOLLAR

The headline: Dollar Touches Record Low Against Euro For A Fifth Day; Dollar Regains Some Ground After Manufacturing Index Falls Less Than Expected

In currencies, the dollar was down against a basket of major trading-partner currencies. Crude oil is priced in U.S. dollars so when the U.S. currency declines oil prices often rise to reflect that, explains Dylan Ratigan.

I’m concerned, says Karen Finerman. If we need the Fed to bail us out, the weak dollar could present problems.

Also the weak dollar could attract foreign buyers to the US for consolidation plays, adds Pete Najarian.

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HURTLING TOWARD $1,000

The headline: Gold Finishes Up $9.20 To $984.20 After Hitting Record High Of $992.

With uncertainty lingering in financial markets, commodities have remained attractive, explains Dylan Ratigan. Gold edged closer to $1,000 an ounce, setting a record high for the fourth straight day.

Watch for a bubble in gold, counsels Guy Adami. But do check out copper, he says, with Freeport McMoRan .

I think it’s time to take profits in gold, says Jeff Macke.

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FINANCIAL HOLE

The headline: What's In Store For The Broader Market As Financials Hover Near New Low?

I’m short Lehman , says Karen Finerman, and it was down Monday.

Goldman reports on March 18th, explains Guy Adami. I like this stock, but wait and see how the whole thing shakes out.

I want to see Goldman get down to the $157 level, which could happen ahead of earnings says Pete Najarian. At that level I think it’s a buy.

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APPLE DROPS BEFORE MEETING

The headline:
Apple Under Pressure to Buy Back Stock Before Shareholder Meeting Tuesday.

I consider Apple a value stock, says Jeff Macke. But you’ve got to hold it if you’re a buyer.

On a related note in tech, Pete Najarian recommends keeping an eye on Electronic Arts (ERTS) and Microsoft (MSFT) as the Morgan Stanley Technology Conference kicks off Monday.

Also watch Akamai Technologies (AKAM), Guy Adami adds.

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ECONOMIC SPEEDOMETER?

The headline:
General Motors (GM), Ford (F), Toyota (TM) Post February U.S. Sales Declines In Potential Sign Of Impending Recession.

If you want to play the space, look at Borg Warner , counsels Guy Adami.

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UNITED TECH'S 'BOLD BID

The headline:
United Technologies Makes Unsolicited $2.63B Offer For Diebold; Diebold Rejects United Technologies Bid, Calling It 'Opportunistic'

It was a huge premium, says Jeff Macke. I don’t know why they don’t take it.

I don’t agree, says Karen Finerman. The first bid is never the highest bid.

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BUFFETT: RECESSION ALREADY HERE

The headline: Warren Buffett Tells CNBC That U.S. Is Already In Recession By A “Common Sense Definition."

Read More:

> Find out how Pete Najarian is trading it in “Big Pharma? Market Medicine”

> Also check out ”Warren Buffett to CNBC: U.S. Economy in Recession By "Common Sense Definition"


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Trader disclosure: On Mar. 3, 2008, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC’s Fast Money were owned by the Fast Money traders: Macke Owns (INTC), (ATVI) (YHOO); Najarian Owns (AAPL), (C), (ETFC), (MS), (MSFT), (XLF); Najarian Owns (COP) Calls; Najarian Owns (YHOO) And (YHOO) Puts; Finerman Owns (GS); Finerman's Firm Owns (AAPL), (MSFT), (TSO), (YHOO), (BJS); Finerman's Firm Is Short (IYR), (IJR), (MDY), (SPY), (IWM); Finerman's Firm Is Short (LEH) And Owns (LEH) Puts; Charles Schwab Is A Sponsor Of "Fast Money"

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