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HALFTIME REPORT: Is This The Pause That Refreshes?

HALFTIME REPORT: Is This The Pause That Refreshes?

With nearly 150 more companies due to flood the Street with earnings, the bulls appear to be getting a little tired.

On Monday profit-taking weighed on such hard-charging stocks as Apple as investors looked for fresh catalysts to justify further equity gains. Also worries about the outlooks for Aetna , Honeywell and Verizon dragged down sentiment despite hints the housing market may be stabilizing.

Is this the pause that refreshes or are investors growing concerned?

Instant Insights from the Fast Money Traders

The fact the market had been rallying hard and then new homes sales show strength and we still turn lower says to me it’s time to do some selling, counsels Fast Money trader Joe Terranova. It doesn’t mean the rally is over but we’re moving momentum.

I also expect to see some profit taking right now, adds OptionMonster Jon Najarian.

The next move looks to be lower to me as well, says Katie Stockton of MKM Partners. About 75% of the S&P 500 is overbought.

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OPTIONS ACTION: HOMEBUILDERS

Meanwhile, new data hinted that the housing market may be stabilizing. A report shows that that sales of new single-family homes in the United States rose more than expected in June, while the inventory of homes for sale fell to a more than 11-year low, gave the market a brief early boost.

What’s the trade?

Standard Pacific is up 45% in the past 5 days, explains Jon Najarian. If you hold this name I’d be a seller.

Or if you own stocks in the entire sector I’d also own downside puts for protection, adds Mike Khouw of Cantor Fitzgerald.

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AETNA PROFIT PLUNGES

Aetna, the No. 3 U.S. health insurer, cut its full-year earnings outlook due to higher-than-projected medical costs and posted a 28 percent drop in second-quarter net income. The stock slid 5.1 percent to $25.08

What’s the play?

It seems to me that Aetna is tethered to its 200-day moving average, says Katie Stockton. Monday’s move is pretty meaningless on the chart.

I’d let it fall further before taking a position, counsels Jon Najarian.

This isn’t a stock I’d touch either until it moves down to $20, echoes Joe Terranova.

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TAKE YOUR POSITION: AMGEN

Shares of Amgen traded lower ahead of earnings, Monday after the bell. With the stock up 14% for the month, should you buy the weakness.

I’m a buyer, says Joe Terranova, but not necessarily ahead of earnings. But I do like the fundamental and technical strength of this name.

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CHART OF THE DAY: OIL

Oil prices steadied above $68 a barrel on Monday on hopes that strong U.S. homes sales signaled the strength in the economy.

Also, a Reuters poll of analysts forecast world oil consumption would rise next year for the first time in two years on expectations of a rebound in the global economy.

U.S. crude traded up 4 cents at $68.09 a barrel by 12:04 p.m. EDT, after earlier hitting $68.99, the highest since July 2.

What’s the trade?

It seems to me that crude is overbought in the short-term, counsels Katie Stockton. I wouldn’t be a buyer until it pulls back.

Oil is clearly challenged, adds Joe Terranova. The CTC begins hearings on Tuesday about tighter regulations on speculators. That will probably keep the rally under control.

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EURO HITS 7-WK. HIGH VS. DOLLAR

The euro hit a seven-week high against the dollar on Monday, buoyed by rising equities and oil prices as investors took on risky trades due to ongoing optimism about the outlook for the global economy.

What’s the currency trade?

If I were to be a buyer of currency, I’d buy the currencies of countries that mine materials, counsels strategic investor Dennis Gartman. Look at Canada’s dollar or Australia’s dollar.


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