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Tech Optimism Sends Stocks Higher

BROAD OPTIMISM SENDS STOCKS HIGHER

Stocks climbed on Thursday with technology the star of the day largely due to optimistic comments from Nokia and other firms. Many investors felt encouraged by recent signs the economic slump may be abating and made bullish bets on Google ahead of earnings.

And indeed, Google delivered – after the bell the tech titan reported a stronger-than-expected first-quarter profit. Its stock popped up 5 percent to $408.00 in after-hours trading but then settled lower.

Strategy Session with the Fast Money Traders

I think there’s still room to the upside in this broad market rally, speculates Guy Adami, but if you’re not in -- you’re probably late. This is likely the 6th or 7th inning.

As for Google, the trade from the long-side is over, Adami counsels. The next move is to buy it on a dip. And if you’re looking at Hewlett-Packard which moved a lot on Thursday, I think this stock is overheated and I’d take profits. Also, keep an eye on NTAP .

The options action suggested Google would move in the aftermarket and it did, muses Pete Najarian. But I agree the trade is over. I think in the short term the stock struggles but in the long-term it does just fine. If the stock drops to $350 then I'd think about buying.

I’ve got my eye on Nokia , adds Tim Seymour. This company makes one third of all the phones in the world. I’d be long Nokia and short Ericsson .

I’m not sure, counters Pete Najarian. Nokia doesn’t really have a good grasp on the US market. Instead I'd keep an eye on Palm and RIMM.

If tech moves lower on Friday, I’d keep an eye on Oracle and Intel , adds Adami. Both are probably buys on any dip.

I like Cisco on a dip, adds Karen Finerman.

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FINANCIALS REBOUND IN AFTERNOON SWING

JPMorgan added to the market tailwind after results beat analysts' expectations as debt trading and underwriting revenue surged. The results added to a string of encouraging results from other banks, including Wells Fargo's which showed strong preliminary figures last week.

I think investors believe the bottom is in for financials, speculates Karen Finerman. JPM's earnings release included a lot of negative news about credit card exposure and a few months of ago that kind of news would have sent shares tumbling.

Meanwhile, Regions Financial said it will post a first- quarter profit; comments pushed the regional banking company's shares up substantially.

I’m excited about Regions, says Pete Najarian. Their deposits are growing. I don’t think things are so bad for the regional banks.

If you want to play the financials I’d look at Greenhill , counsels Guy Adami. But don’t rush into this stock.

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CONSUMER SHARES UP IN ‘09

The latest economic data released Thursday revealed a glimmer of hope that the economy could rebound by the end of the year; the number of U.S. workers filing new claims for jobless benefits unexpectedly fell last week. The Street may be taking it as a sign to start betting on the consumer -- shares of Consumer Discretionary SPDR ETF (XLY) are now positive for the year.

I wouldn’t get all fired up about the fall in jobless claims, counters Tim Seymour. I think the number was a bit of a head fake.

I think a lot of this move is a function of short squeeze, muses Guy Adami. If you’re looking for a trade you might want to think about shorting Harley-Davidson. I think you could play the puts.

Speaking of shorts, there’s a large short interest in Tiffany’s, adds Pete Najarian. I’m not sure what they know, but it just took off.




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Trader disclosure: On Apr. 16th, 2009, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC’s Fast Money were owned by the Fast Money traders; Seymour Owns (AAPL), (BAC), (EEM), (FCX), (GE), (RIG), (TCK); Adami Owns (AGU), (C), (GS), (INTC), (MSFT), (NUE), (BTU); Finerman's Firm Owns (UNH), (MSFT), (RIG), (PBR), (CSCO); Finerman's Firm Owns (WFC) Preferred; (C) Preferred; (BAC) Preferred; Finerman Owns (BAC) Preferred; Finerman's Firm Is Short (BAC), (WFC), (MDY), (SPY), (USO), (IWM), (IJR), (C); Najarian Owns (BX) Call Spread; Najarian Owns (PALM); Najarian Owns (RIO) Calls; Najarian owns (VAR) Call Spread; Najarian Owns (XHB) Call Spread; Najarian Owns (NTAP)

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