GO
Loading...

Stocks Rise To Close The Quarter

Tuesday, 31 Mar 2009 | 6:04 PM ET

STOCKS RISE TO CLOSE THE QUARTER

The S&P 500 closed higher Tuesday, with stocks recording their best month since 2002, as positive news from Europe’s financial institutions lifted bank shares and a broker upgrade for Microsoft helped lift tech shares.

Word on the Street
The Fast Money guys take a look at today's top business stories.

Strategy Session with the Fast Money Traders

The tape threw me today, reveals Guy Adami. I thought we were headed lower. If we get a couple days where we consolidate around 800 or close above it I’ll need to reconsider. But I’d take profits because ultimately I think we move lower.

It seems to me investors want to be long going into the quarter, adds Tim Seymour.

The S&P closed just shy of 800, explains Jeff Macke. It’s tough trading right now and I'm happy to see the quarter over.

The Vix just can’t seem to get under 40, adds Pete Najarian. That shows how much uncertainty there is in the market. Investors don’t know how the next few weeks are going to unfold.

Don’t forget that Morgan Stanely CEO John Mack said that 2009 is going to be a difficult year, adds host Melissa Lee. And the bank does not plan to immediately repay the $10 billion bailout from the U.S. Treasury as some had speculated.

If you’re looking for a trade, I’d keep an eye on Northern Trust and Visa , counsels Najarian. (In the past he's said that both are rumored to be replacements for Citigroup and Bank of America if either gets yanked out of the Dow.)

--------------------

TOPPING THE TAPE: MICROSOFT

Technology shares helped drive the market's gains as brokerage Davenport upgraded Microsoft to "buy" from "neutral," citing increased demand for personal computers in China and the United States, and potential restocking of inventories in Europe.

Microsoft shares added 6.9 percent to $18.69 and contributed the most to the Nasdaq's advance.

I think the real mover in the sector is Oracle , muses Guy Adami. I wouldn’t chase it but it’s interesting on a dip.

I’d look at Microsoft, IBM ,Hewlett-Packard and Intel , counsels Pete Najarian. Those stocks had a great final two weeks.

Microsoft? I’ve lost plenty of money in Microsoft, counters Jeff Macke.

The Internet ad space is setting growth records, adds Pete Najarian. I’d keep an eye on Google and ValueClick . Options action in VCLK suggests the stock could move higher.

Again Jeff Macke doesn’t agree.

--------------------

MANIC METALS

Alcoa shares shot up after Deutsche Bank upgraded the aluminum company's stock to 'hold' from 'sell' and raised its price target. Meanwhile, Deutsche downgraded Freeport-McMoran to ‘sell’ from ‘hold’.

It seems to me that copper production has come way off, says Tim Seymour. I think with just a slight increase in demand FCX could shoot higher.

I’ve got my eye on Cliffs Natural Resources , adds Pete Najarian. Options action in this stock suggests it could soon go higher.

--------------------

TAKE YOUR POSITION: MONSANTO

Monsanto , the world’s largest seed producer, reports earnings Thursday. Is the ag trade alive?

They smoked their first quarter back in January, reminds Guy Adami. But I don’t think it’s an earnings play.

Don’t forget that last year we invented food, says Jeff Macke sarcastically. He’s not buying the ag trade.

I’m on board, counters Tim Seymour. I’d look at Bunge .

I like Monsanto because they’re in ag biotech, adds Pete Najarian, but I’d wait for a pull back. And DuPont could be worth alook.

--------------------

NOT SMOKIN’ TODAY

The U.S. Supreme Court dismissed an appeal by Altria Group over $79.5 million in punitive damages awarded to the widow of a longtime Oregon smoker.

Altria shares were down following the ruling.

I think Altria is a buy on the dip, says Tim Seymour.

--------------------

SPRING FLING WITH RETAILERS?

With the change of seasons upon us, investors are taking a closer look at retail. Are consumers ready for a spring fling?

They may be. In fact, the Retail HLDRS is up for the quarter, explains Jon Najarian. Retail is a sector that’s positive.

The OptionMonster likes the momentum and tells the desk that he’s looking at American Eagle ; Hot Topicand Lululemon Athletica .

He thinks all these stocks could go higher and he’s putting money where his mouth is -- he owns all three.

If you really want to play retail do it with Wal-Mart , counters Jeff Macke.




______________________________________________________
Got something to 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 those e-mails to fastmoney@cnbc.com.

Trader disclosure: On Mar. 31st, 2009, 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 (GS), (SDS), (AAPL), (POT), (MOS), (SDS); Macke Is Short (BRK.s); Adami Owns (AGU), (C), (GS), (INTC), (MSFT), (NUE), (BTU); Seymour Owns (AAPL), (BAC), (FXI), (FCX), (TSO), (EEM), (TTM), (WBD); Najarian Owns (AAPL) Call Spread; Najarian Owns (BNI) Call Spread; Najarian Owns (HUM) Call Spread; Najarian Owns (MS) Call Spread; Najarian Owns (NTRS) Call Spread; Najarian Owns (PALM) & (PALM) Calls; Najarian Owns (POT) Call Spread; Najarian Owns (XHB) Call Spread; Najarian Owns (RIO) Calls; Najarian Owns (VCLK) Calls

J. Najarian Owns (AEO), (HOTT), (LULU)

CNBC.com with wire

  Price   Change %Change
S&P 500
---
AA
---
AEO
---
BG
---
CLF
---
DD
---
FCX
---
HT3
---
HPQ
---
IBM
---
INTC
---
LULU
---
MO
---
MSFT
---
NTRS
---
ORCL
---
V
---
CNVR
---
VIX
---
WMT
---
BARC
---
GOOGL
---
MV RETAIL
---

Featured

Contact Fast Money

  • Showtimes

    Halftime Report - Weekdays 12p ET
    Fast Money - Weekdays 5p ET
  • Melissa Lee is the host of CNBC's “Fast Money” and “Options Action.”

  • Scott Wapner is host of the "Fast Money Halftime Report," which airs weekdays from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. ET.

  • Guy Adami is a contributor on CNBC's "Fast Money." He also is managing director of stockMONSTER.com.

  • Najarian, the "Pit Boss," is cofounder of optionMONSTER.com, a news site for options traders.

  • Finerman is president of Metropolitan Capital Advisors, Inc., a company she co-founded.

  • Founder of EmergingMoney.com

  • Chief Market Strategist for Virtus Investment Partners & CNBC Contributor

Halftime Report