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Halftime Report: Gaming Obama's Comments

Tuesday, 23 Jun 2009 | 2:11 PM ET

On Tuesday afternoon stocks were trading near break-even as investors sifted through comments from President Obama on a wide range of issues from energy to health care.

How should you be positioned? Instant Insights from the Fast Money Traders.

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

OBAMA TRADE: ENERGY

On Tuesday President Obama renewed his call for clean energy and asked members of the House to pass legislation that he says will "spark a clean energy transformation" and reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil.

I think we need to see what’s actually passed by the House, counsels Jeff Tomasulo of SMB. I wouldn’t try and make a trade on something that might happen.

I would concentrate on the green producers, adds Patty Edwards of Store house. Look at First Solar or SunPowerbecause the President seems very clear that he wants to go green.

OBAMA TRADE: HEALTH CARE

President Obama also said on Tuesday he strongly believed a government-run health insurance plan "made sense" as part of broad healthcare overhaul, but that he had not drawn a line in the sand on the issue.

He feels a government-run plan would be a useful tool to "discipline" private insurers, but said private insurers should be able to find ways to compete in the market.

If you must play healthcare I’d play it with Pharma, counsels Scott Nations. There are just too many unknowns to game HMOs.

In the space I think Eli Lilly looks attractive and I’d stay away from Pfizer, counsels Greg Troccoli of Opalesque. Or I’d look to play companies that can benefit from Obama’s charge to streamline medical paperwork.

STOCKS STUCK IN A RUT

Meanwhile, investors are proceeding cautiously after Monday's big sell-off with new data showing sales of previously owned homes in the United States rose at a slower-than-expected pace in May.

The results point to a sluggish recovery from the severe economic recession.

However sentiment was buoyed by news of a solid U.S. Treasury auction for 2-year notes.

What should you expect from stocks?

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If you look at a chart of the S&P 500from 2000 until now you see the market went from over 1500 to about 650 in about 8 months. Barring an unforeseen catastrophe, I absolutely believe the low is in. Over the next few weeks I think there’s pressure but overall we should protect the lows.

The SPY is at 88.50 and that’s key level, explains Jeff Tomasulo. I think the play is to watch market leaders such as Apple and IBM and see how they act at support levels.


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Trader disclosure: On June 23rd, 2009, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC’s Fast Money were owned by the Fast Money traders;

Edwards Owns (SH)
Edwards Owns (COST)
Edwards Owns (WMT)
Tomasulo Is Short (GS)

CNBC.com with wires

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