BEST WEEK IN TWO MONTHS
The headline: Stocks rise strongly, capping positive week.
Corporate earnings put Wall Street in a buying mood and sent the Dow soaring, explains Melissa Lee who’s filling in for Dylan Ratigan. Results from Citigroup helped to make investors feel better about the outlook. That's despite another record high for crude oil futures.
CITI OF HOPE
The headline: Citigroup Shares Soar Despite Steeper-Than-Expected Loss.
Citigroup posted a $5.11 billion quarterly loss on Friday and said it will cut another 9,000 jobs after suffering billions of dollars of write-downs tied to mortgages, other debt and a slumping economy, explains Melissa Lee.
The loss was larger than expected and reflected more than $16 billion of write-downs and credit-related costs at the largest U.S. bank. Nonetheless, investors took comfort hearing that the bank and its new chief executive, Vikram Pandit, are taking steps to get past credit problems and shares closed over 4% higher.
What’s not to love about a $5 billion loss, jokes Karen Finerman. Fabulous! Imagine what they’ll do when they make money!!! But seriously, she adds, it suggests Wall Street thinks the worst is over.
I think it’s time to get long some of the financials, counsels Jeff Macke.
The write-downs could well become write-ups, speculates Pete Najarian.
I still like Wachovia ,adds Guy Adami, but as a trade.
CAPTAINS OF INDUSTRY
The headline: Honeywell, Caterpillar Surge On Stronger-Than-Expected Earnings.
Shares of Honeywell traded higher on Friday, with analysts upbeat after the diversified industrial company reported a first-quarter profit that beat Wall Street estimates.
Meanwhile, Caterpillar climbed Friday after the heavy equipment maker reported first-quarter earnings well above Wall Street's expectations and maintained its outlook for the year despite a slowing U.S. economy.
I think this is an opportunity to take profits in CAT, says Guy Adami. If you sell it here I think you can buy it back cheaper. But I like Honeywell long-term.
DuPont looks good to me, adds Pete Najarian, as an ag play. Keep an eye on this one!
SHOP 'TIL YOU POP
The headline: J.C. Penney, Nordstrom, Department Store Stocks Spike Friday.
Apparel retailer Nordstrom said Thursday its same-store sales fell 9.1 percent in March, hurt by a shift in the Easter holiday, explains Melissa Lee. And the tough U.S. economic climate has thrown a blanket on J.C. Penney's full-year forecast, however the retailer remains determined to keep innovating to gain market share.
The pop is probably coming from the government rebate checks which begin going out soon. I think this is an opportunity to sell, says Jeff Macke. If you want to park your money in retail, I like Costco .
Or look at Mastercard , Guy Adami adds.
CRUDE CROSSES $116
The headline: New Record Close; Crude Oil Reverses Early Losses Friday On Report Of Pipeline Sabotage In Nigeria.
Oil hit a lifetime high of $117 a barrel, the fourth time crude has hit a record peak this week in New York trading. Investors dumped safe-haven gold, sending prices down 3 percent, as they added positions in riskier bets such as stocks and crude oil.
Strategic investor Dennis Gartman joins the panel for this conversation. Following is a summary of his main points.
What’s your take on crude oil?
I think the next stop for oil is going to be higher. The problems in Nigeria are probably going to push crude up. And overall I expect energy to go higher. Petrobras might be an interesting play on oil exploration, he adds.
What’s your best play for Monday?
Own the nat gas trusts, counsels Gartman. Look at San Juan Basin .
How about the gold trade?
The dollar is getting stronger, and that’s taking gold lower. I’m still bullish of gold but it’s got to get to $950 for it to become technically strong.
The headline: Tech Bellwethers Intel, IBM, Google Post Better-Than-Expected Earnings This Week.
In technology, Google posted its best-ever 1-day gain after both profit and sales crushed estimates. Strong earnings from Intel and IBM also boosted the tech heavy Nasdaq earlier in the week.
Google is worth nearly $20 billion more Friday than it was Thursday. It’s hard to get on-board with that, adds Karen Finerman.
I think you should lighten up a little in Google, counsels Pete Najarian. As far as I’m concerned they own the search market, but wait for a dip.
The headline: Rail Shares, Transports Rally This Week On Better-Than-Expected CSX Earnings.
CSX Corp. led a railroad sector rally this week, explains Melissa Lee, after investors greeted the company's first-quarter report with enthusiasm and sent shares to an all-time high.
The whole space is on fire. Look at Wabtec , counsels Guy Adami. I think you can stay long into earnings.
Or check out Burlington Northern, adds Pete Najarian, with a stop at $78.
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Trader disclosure: On Apr. 18, 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 (DIS), (INTC), (MSFT), (YHOO); Najarian Owns (AAPL), (AMR), (BIIB), (CSCO), (MSFT), (NOK), (TSO), (XLF), (YHOO), (ETFC), (EMC), (NVS); Najarian Owns (BKC); Najarian Owns (BHI) Calls, (BSC) Calls, (COP) Calls, (DD) Calls; Finerman Owns (GS); Finerman's Firm Owns (JCP), (MSFT), (NOK), (PZN), (TSO), (VCLK), (VLO), (YHOO), (GE), (NOK); Finerman's Firm Owns (FNM) Calls; Finerman's Firm Is Short (COF); Charles Schwab Is A Sponsor Of "Fast Money"; GE Is The Parent Company Of CNBC
CIBC Gartman Index Owns Gold, Gartman Owns (GLD); Gartman Owns (SJT); CIBC Gartman Index Owns Natural Gas; CIBC Gartman Index Is Short Crude Oil