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  Tuesday, 17 Feb 2009 | 1:00 PM ET

BEHIND THE MONEY: A Winning Trade Against Tentative Treasury Secretaries, Drunk Finance Ministers

Posted By: John Melloy
It seems that when Washington has a job to do, it pays to bet against them doing it effectively by going long the universal shelter from the economic abyss...gold. »Read more
  Thursday, 12 Feb 2009 | 1:13 PM ET

BEHIND THE MONEY: A Street Race That Just Got Faster and More Furious: Paying Back the TARP

Posted By: John Melloy
Who's going to pay back the TARP first? The first bank to do this will likely see its stock skyrocket. »Read more
  Tuesday, 10 Feb 2009 | 1:08 PM ET

BEHIND THE MONEY: On First Glance, Geithner Plan Disappoints

Posted By: John Melloy
Stocks and financials fell, while Treasuries and gold jumped at the exact moment Geithner hit the podium. For trading strategies in the wake of this mess, tune to FM tonight. »Read more
  Monday, 9 Feb 2009 | 12:50 PM ET

BEHIND THE MONEY: Goldman Vice Chairman Cashes Out $3.7 Mln as 'Profit Taking' is Trade Du Jour

Posted By: John Melloy
It seems traders are following in his footsteps today, with the major averages idling. »Read more
  Friday, 6 Feb 2009 | 11:52 AM ET

BEHIND THE MONEY: Sorry Tim Geithner & Ken Lewis, We're Taking Our Bags and Leaving

Posted By: John Melloy
One week does not make a trend, but the price action would seem to suggest that the parts of the market are ready to signal that a bottom is somewhere on the horizon. »Read more
  Wednesday, 4 Feb 2009 | 2:40 PM ET

BEHIND THE MONEY: Why Ask Why, Just Try A Small 'Buy'

Posted By: John Melloy
Traders on the show and elsewhere are starting to test the waters with some nimble buy positions. What's the potential for a rally soon? »Read more
  Tuesday, 3 Feb 2009 | 11:46 AM ET

BEHIND THE MONEY: At Least We Have Our Health

Posted By: John Melloy
The health care sector today just went positive for 2009, making it the only major industry group to currently be in the green for this young year. »Read more
  Tuesday, 27 Jan 2009 | 12:27 PM ET

BEHIND THE MONEY: Stocks Won't Get Any Love Until After Valentine's Day

Posted By: John Melloy

BEHIND THE MONEY: Stocks Won't Get Any Love Until After Valentine's Day

The stock market will continue to churn sideways to lower as brutal earnings reports (and subsequent poor outlooks) keep rolling out and Washington haggles over President Obama's stimulus, according to Goldman Sachs strategists and other market observers.

The President has set a deadline for passing his stimulus of Monday Feb. 16, the very same week that the last few Dow members (Wal-Mart, Hewlett-Packard) are set to report. That makes Valentine's Day (Feb. 14, but many of you should already have that on the calendar) a good marker as to when sentiment may change in the marketplace.

In the meantime, "we expect poor 4Q earnings, lowered and withdrawn 2009 guidance, and decreased forecasting visibly to spur another wave of negative revisions this season," writes Goldman Options Strategist Krag Gregory, in a note to clients this morning. "Until the (stimulus) bill is signed, there will likely be volatility around changing expectations and eventual results will take time to play out."

Goldman recommends buying S&P 500 Feb-09 puts with an $830 strike price, as well as buying a Feb. VIX future vs. selling a June contract. The VIX future rises when volatility increases, as measured by the CBOE Volatility Index.

The always smart and always entertaining Jon Najarian, of OptionMonster.com fame, recommended last night on that show that you ride out this coming tumultuous period by going longgold. He's buying calls on Freeport McMoran to do just that.

So forget that last minute Pajamagram or Vermont Teddy Bear. Think ahead and buy your sweetheart a VIX future or Freeport call.


______________________________________________________
Got something to say? Send us an e-mail at fastmoney-web@cnbc.com and your comment might be posted on the Rapid Recap! If you'd prefer to make a comment but not have it published on our website send your message to fastmoney@cnbc.com .

»Read more
  Monday, 26 Jan 2009 | 3:06 PM ET

BEHIND THE MONEY: Financials Still Dictating Where Whole Market Will Trade

Posted By: John Melloy

BEHIND THE MONEY: Financials Still Dictating Where Whole Market Will Trade

Many of us were wondering this morning how the market could possibly be trading higher in the face of an incredibly dire warning from Caterpillar, another round of monster job cuts and a 5 percent-plus drop in Pfizer on a perceived ill-fated merger.

The answer...the Financials. After Barclay's (keeper of Lehman) said in London that it didn't need anymore capital, the banks stocks, including Bank of America, caught a bid.

But lo and behold after the financials, as measured by the Select Financials SPDR ETF , fell into the red at 1:37 pm, the whole market promptly followed, with the S&P 500 going red around 2 pm.

We pointed out last week that the financials at their height, made up more than a fifth of the total value of the S&P 500. Today, the sector's market value is just 12% of the benchmark index. But what they've lost in mathematical weight, the stocks have gained in emotional weight. Recent behavior suggests that without a sustainable bottom in the financials, the market will have trouble making any headway.

SIDE NOTE: We'll take a moment in tonight's show to talk about a different kind of finance...Microfinance. The father of this movement and Nobel Prize Winner, Dr. Muhammad Yunus, will explain his vision to the Fast Money guys: bringing a business approach to alleviating poverty by treating credit as a fundamental human right. After seeing capitalism do so many destructive things in the last year, it will be nice to see how it can still do some good.

______________________________________________________
Got something to say? Send us an e-mail at fastmoney-web@cnbc.com and your comment might be posted on the Rapid Recap! If you'd prefer to make a comment but not have it published on our website send your message to fastmoney@cnbc.com .

»Read more
  Thursday, 22 Jan 2009 | 11:12 AM ET

BEHIND THE MONEY: As '09 Markets Slide, Traders Go Cuckoo For Cocoa Bucks

Posted By: John Melloy

In the middle of yet another year, week, day when it seems as if nothing is working, the chocolate trade is rewarding investors in a desperate search for some edible alpha.

The always astute Karen Finerman, President of Metropolitan Capital Advisors, pointed out to me on our morning conference call that cocoa futures have surged to a 23-year high on dwindling supply concerns.

On top of that, on a day when every stock in the Dow Average is down, shares
of Hershey are up a tasty 2% and are now nearly in the black for the year. Hershey is moving higher after a Citigroup analyst upgraded the shares to "buy" from "hold."

"Our analysis of recent takeaway trends at retail suggest significant improvement happening at Hershey's driven by significant increases in advertising spending and consumer trade-down to less expensive chocolate," wrote analyst David Driscoll, in a note to clients this morning.

But before you go dipping into all things choclate like an endowment manager on a sugar high, note that it would seem to me that one of these trends needs to end. Either cocoa needs to top out or higher costs will start to hurt Hershey's bottom line. We'll be following it closely on Fast.

______________________________________________________
Got something to say? Send us an e-mail at fastmoney-web@cnbc.com and your comment might be posted on the Rapid Recap! If you'd prefer to make a comment but not have it published on our website send your message to fastmoney@cnbc.com .

»Read more