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S&P 500's Best Month Since March 2000

Thursday, 30 Apr 2009 | 5:44 PM ET

S&P 500'S BEST MONTH SINCE MARCH 2000

The S&P 500 closed out its best month in nine years despite word that Chrysler will proceed with Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

For the month of April, the S&P 500 gained 9.4 while the Dow rose 7.4 percent, and the Nasdaq jumped 12.4 percent.

However on the day both the Dow & S&P fell.

CHRYSLER BANKRUPTCY KNOCKS STOCKS

Battered for the past two years by disappearing global auto sales and the credit crisis – Chrysler filed for bankruptcy on Thursday after attempts to reach concessions with lenders faltered.

At the same time, Chrysler entered into an alliance with Italian automaker Fiat where it sold a stake starting at 20 percent and in which Fiat can become the majority owner once the government loans are repaid.

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

Strategy Session with the Fast Money Traders

Why on earth would anyone buy stocks right now? At 875 on the S&P stocks are ahead of themselves, bristles Jeff Macke.

I think investors were looking for an excuse to sell, muses Pete Najarian. And Chrysler gave them a reason to do it.

To me, the news that Chrysler declared bankruptcy was a non-event, adds Karen Finerman.

It seems to me that what happened with Chrysler was tough love, adds Tim Seymour.

The Chrysler bankruptcy doesn’t bode well for General Motors, adds CNBC’s Phil Lebeau. It says that the Obama administration is intent on playing hardball with bondholders. I would now be stunned if GM doesn’t move into bankruptcy.

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TOP AUTO SUPPLIER SPEAKS ON CHRYSLER

Tim Manganello, BorgWarner Chairman and CEO speaks with Fast Money about the Chrysler bankruptcy and the impact it may have on his firm.

He tells us, the bankruptcy shouldn’t have much if any impact because Chrysler only represents 3% of his sales. “And whatever sales we lose we’ll pick them up somewhere else.”

What does he mean by somewhere else? Manganello tells us Ford and Volkswagen will probably eat up the slack. You can see our entire interview with Tim Manganello in the video above.

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AFTER HOURS ACTION: HARTFORD

Hartford Financial Services, the fourth largest U.S. insurer, posted a first-quarter net loss on Thursday, and said it was suspending selling new policies in Japan and the United Kingdom.

The nearly 200-year old life and property insurer posted a first quarter loss of $1.2 billion, or $3.77 a share, compared with earnings of $145 million, or 46 cents a share in the same quarter last year.

The stock fell about 14 percent in after-hours trade to $9.87, down from a close of $11.47 during the regular session on the New York Stock Exchange.

I think they’re going to have to raise capital if they’re not able to shore up the balance sheet, speculates Tim Seymour.

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EARNINGS SURPRISES ABOUND

A slew of earnings reports beat Street expectations suggesting the outlook for many firms is not as bad as once feared. In fact 65% of the S&P 500 beat expectations with Dow , Tyco and Comcast all closing higher on the sentiment.

But, these companies are beating numbers by cutting costs and slashing their workforces, counters Tim Seymour. I don’t understand why the Street is so fired up.

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EXXON WEIGHS ON DOW

Exxon Mobil said Thursday first-quarter earnings fell 58 percent from a year ago, its lowest profit in more than five years, as the world's biggest publicly traded oil company saw crude and gas prices fall precipitously.

The quarterly profit also fell short of Wall Street expectations and company shares fell as a result.

I think this company will be well positioned when the economy turns, speculates Tim Seymour.

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TOPPING THE TAPE: MGM HITS JACKPOT

Shares of MGM led the entire casino space higher after MGM and Dubai World said they have reached an agreement with lenders on a plan to fully fund their $8.5 billion CityCenter joint venture on the Las Vegas Strip.

I took my chips off the table, says Jeff Macke. Casino stocks have had a nice run but its time to walk away.

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TOPPING THE TAPE: INTEL JUMPS 3%

Shares of chipmaker Intel closed higher as did the Semiconductor HLDRS . If the semis are turning, will the economy soon follow?

I’m excited about this space, says Tim Seymour.

Seagate, NTAP and others in the space have been on fire, explains Pete Najarian. But I’d wait for a pullback.

Looking elsewhere in the sector, Jeff Macke says if you’re in Apple, I’d give the stock a break.




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Trader disclosure: On Apr 30th, 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 (LVS), (AAPL), (WFC), (SDS); Seymour Owns ( AAPL), (BAC), (EEM), (FXI); Seymour Is Short (X); Finerman's Firm Owns (AXP), (PBR), (RIG), (UNH), (TBT); Finerman's Firm Owns (BAC) Preferred; Finerman's Firm Owns (C) Preferred; Finerman's Firm Owns(MSFT) & (MSFT) Put Spread; Finermans Firm Is Short (IJR), (MDY), (SPY), (IWM), (USO); Najarian Owns (BX) Call Spread; Najarian Owns (INTC) Call Spread; Najarian Owns (MS) & (MS) Calls; Najaria Owns (NTRS); Najarian Owns (ORCL) Call Spread; Najarian Owns (PALM) & (PALM) Calls; Najarian Owns (RHT) Calls ; Najarian Owns (UNH) Puts; Najarian Owns (VAR) Call Spread; Najarian Owns (XHB) Cal Spread; Najarian Owns (XLB) Call Spread

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GM
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MGM
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AAPL
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