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Halftime Report: Can Energy Power Market Higher?

Around lunchtime the Dow and S&P 500 were trading in positive territory led by strength in the energysector , which followed the spot price of crude higher. The energy bulls made their move after a government inventory report showed a huge drop in oil supply last week.

How should you game energy now?

Instant Insights with the Fast Money traders

It seems to me that oil wants to take the entire market higher, muses Fast Money trader Tim Seymour. The dollar is weaker and commodities are stronger. It’s a theme we’ve seen before.

If you’re looking to play the space I’d do it with Exxon or the drillers, counsels Eugene Profit of Profit Investment. And for a broader market strategy I like large cap names.

I thought the oil data was poor, counters Oppenheimer’s Carter Worth. Personally, I think oil is stuck in a range and will remain there for a while.

I’d play oil by selling calls on the USO, counsels Jared Levy of Peak6. Or look at an iron condor strategy, which involves selling out an of the money put spread and an out of the money call spread.

I’m watching the October contract, which is breaking out, adds Addison Armstrong of Tradition Energy. If it holds at $73 it should open the door to $74.50. But on the fundamental side, the inventory numbers are very high for this time of year and I’m not sure that’s going to change.

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CHINA SELLS OFF AGAIN

The climb higher in the Dow and S&P comes in sharp contrast to China’s market which sold-off again due to fears that fundamentals don’t support valuations. In fact the Shanghai index is down 20% from its peak of early August with some analysts saying it’s landed squarely in bear market territory.

However other analysts refuse to make that call until they see if China holds the next key level of support at the 125-day moving average which is 2,703. The index has held above that moving average since early February.

What must you know?

I think the main takeaway is that the move lower is healthy, says Carter Worth. It takes a lot of the froth out.

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H-P WEIGHS ON TECH

Hewlett-Packard weighed down the tech sector on Wednesday largely due to lower than expected forecast and cautious comments made by H-P CEO Mark Hurd.

When asked whether enterprise demand was picking up, Hurd said, "I think what we've seen so far this year is what we'll see for the rest of year." Hurd also said he was encouraged by the stability, but was not yet ready to "call it a turn."

What’s the tech trade?

I’m a buyer of Hewlett Packard, says Eugene Profit. I think the bottom has been set in technology.

I’m seeing options traders taking longer term bullish bets in tech, explains Jared Levy. And it’s happening everywhere from Google to Apple .


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Trader disclosure: On Aug 19th, 2009, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC’s Fast Money were owned by the Fast Money traders; Finerman's Firm Owns (BAC) Preferred Shares, Finerman Owns (BAC) Preferred Shares And Owns (BAC); Finerman's Firm Owns (WFC) Preferred Shares And Is Short (WFC), Finerman Owns (WFC) Preferred Shares; Finerman's Firm Owns (MSFT), (TGT), (WMT), (HPQ), (SYK); Finerman's Firm Is Short (IYR), (IJR), (MDY), (IWM), (SPY), (USO); Terranova Owns (AMZN), (MSFT); Terranova Is Short (AVB); Seymour Owns (AAPL), (AA), (BAC), (UNG), (POT); Seygem Asset Management Owns (YGE); Seygem Asset Management Is Short (FXI); Najarian Owns (BAC); Najarian Owns (C) Calls; Najarian Owns (CIEN) Calls; Najarian Owns (FCX), Owns (FCX) Put, Is Short (FCX) Calls’ Najarian Owns (HPQ) Calls; Najarian Owns (INTC); Najarian Owns (MS) And Is Short (MS) Call; Najarian Owns (MSFT) And Is Short (MSFT) Call; Najarian Owns (UBS) Calls’ Najarian Owns (YHOO) Call Spread; Najarian Owns (POT) Call Spread; Najarian ;wns (PALM) Calls

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