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Halftime Report: Will Obama Drag Down Banks?

Wednesday, 17 Jun 2009 | 12:55 PM ET

WILL OBAMA DRAG DOWN BANKS?

Investors were struggling on Wednesday to anticipate the ripples that are likely to be generated from President Obama’s attempt to clamp down on Wall Street.

Already, Standard & Poor's cut ratings on 18 banks amid concern about further weakening in the financial sector and increased regulations. BB&T Corp , Capital One , Regions Financial and Wells Fargo were among the largest banks to received downgrades.

How should you be positioned?

Fast Money Halftime Report
The Fast Money traders weigh in on the markets and share their midday trading advice.

Instant Insights with the Fast Money Traders

I don’t think anything is baked into this market, muses Fast Money trader Guy Adami. It seems to me a lot of investors have become complacent expecting the market will continue to go higher. But I don’t believe it. The path of least resistance is down.

And if you’re looking to trade the Obama regulations, I still think JP Morgan is a short, he adds.

I’d get longCME Group and ICE , counsels Jared Levy of Peak 6. They’re going to benefit from Obama’s move to make credit default swaps and other derivatives more transparent. I still think there’s upside in these names.

I’d play this market for a pullback, adds John Kosar of Asbury Research. Although we’ve made a new high in the Dow Jones Industrial Average we have not done the same in the Dow Transports and that’s a red flag for me, he explains. Those patterns typically signal a pullback.

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MOVING NOW: FED-EX

Shares of FedEx slipped lower on Wednesday after the company reported a larger than expected fourth-quarter loss, due to charges at two units that have been hit hard by the recession. The company also gave a low outlook for the current quarter, citing the continued downturn and rising fuel prices.

Consumers are ordering less, explains Patty Edwards of Storehouse Partners, so they have less to deliver. It’s an outlook on the economy that I think investors have to take into consideration.

Meanwhile new data from the Labor Department shows when compared to the same period last year, consumer prices fell 1.3 percent, the largest decline since April 1950.

These numbers today and yesterday clearly show that at least for now the immediate concerns over inflation are not justified, says Marc Pado of Cantor Fitzgerald.

If you’re going to play retail I’d focus on those that sell food, adds Patty Edwards. For me the play in retail is long Wal-Mart.

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THE OIL TRADE

Oil prices fell below $70 a barrel on Wednesday, after a U.S. government report showed a surprise increase in gasoline supplies heading into summer driving season.

However don’t expect any relief at the pump. Prices at the filling station aren’t going to drop until crude has a significant pullback, explains Addison Armstrong of Tradition Energy. It’s really refinery utilization that drives prices at the pump and as far as I can tell they will remain under pressure.

As for the price of crude, I think it could move down to about $68, speculates Armstrong.


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Trader disclosure: On June 17th, 2009, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC’s Fast Money were owned by the Fast Money traders; Adami Owns (C), (GS), (BTU), (AGU), (INTC), (MSFT), NUE); Najarian Owns (V), (CSCO); Najarian Owns (C) Preferred; Najarian Is Short (POT) Puts; Najarian Is Short (WFC); Seymour Owns (AAPL), (BAC), (BX), (EEM), (FXI), (F), (IYT); Terranova Owns (SDS), (XBI), (TER), (BTU), (ABT), MSFT); Terranova Is Short (XOM) Call Spread; Terranova Is Short (GENZ) Call Spread; Terranova Is Short (OIH)& (OIH) Puts; Terranova Is Short (RIG)& (RIG) Puts; Terranova Is Short (FCX)& (FCX) Puts; Terranova Is Short (RIMM)& (RIMM) Puts; Terranova Is Short (GENZ)& (GENZ) Puts; Terranova Is Short (IBM) Calls; Terranova OWns (BRCM) & Is Short (BRCM) Calls; Terranova Owns (POT)& Short (POT) Calls; Terranova Is Short (JPM)& Is Short (JPM) Calls; Terranova Owns (MS) & Short (MS) Calls; Teranova Owns (X) & Is SHort (X) Calls; Terranova OWns July Nat Gas Futures; Terranova Owns (DIS) Octovber Call Spread

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