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Halftime Report: Is This Beginning Of The Correction?

If you were expecting a quiet summer Friday in the market you’re in for a surprise. Investors are suffering market whiplash with both the Dow and S&P 500 giving up their gains around lunchtime after initially spiking to 10-month highs.

The bears seem to be taking control of afternoon trading with sentiment driven by worries that a weak consumer could drag down the recovery.

A Reuters/University of Michigan survey showed consumer confidence fell to its lowest in four months in August on worries over high unemployment and dismal personal finances.

Even the Nasdaq traded lower despite word that Intel had raised its outlook and results from Dell were stronger-than expected.

Is this the beginning of the correction?

Instant Insights from the Fast Money traders

The market has had an incredible run, says Steve Grasso of Stuart Frankel. It makes sense to me that investors are taking profits especially on a Friday. I wouldn’t get too worried.

I still think the S&P 500 is heading to 1100, says Bill Strazzullo of Bell Curve. I’d stay long and look for places to buy. I’m a buyer of stocks with the S&P at 1010. However, if the S&P slips below 1000 and the Dow below 9250, I’d turn cautious.

I’m seeing some put buying in the Vix, adds Scott Nations of NationShares. That suggests to me some big investors think the market has gotten a little frothy and could drift lower.

I don’t think this is the beginning of a correction, adds Jim Iurio of TJM. But I’d keep an eye on technical levels because we're moving into autumn and that's typically a volatile time.

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TECH THE TRADE FOR ALL SEASONS?

As we mentioned above, even the tech heavy Nasdaq moved lower despite word that Intel had raised its outlook and results from Dell were stronger-than expected.

"You would think after the Intel blowout numbers the market would have really picked up a lot of steam," says Angel Mata, managing director of listed equity trading at Stifel Nicolaus Capital Markets in Baltimore.

"It's just telling me that this market has about as much good news baked into as it can take. We're at that point now where there is no more good news that could come out that can really juice this market."

What’s the trade?

Personally, I think fhe fundamentals of tech seem bullish, muses Joe Terranova. I especially like the smartphone trade and would look at Apple because they’re getting into China and Palm as a possible takeover target.


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HIGH-END RETAIL WINNING TODAY

High-end retailers moved up on Friday after Tiffany posted better-than-expected quarterly earnings citing a recovering demand for jewelry and they raised full-year outlook.

The jeweler said sales in various markets such as Europe, China and Australia showed modest improvement in the second quarter compared with the first quarter.

What’s the trade?

I’m surprised that Tiffany is doing well in this economy, muses Steve Grasso, but the stock was so beaten down the move higher makes sense.

Looking at retail more broadly, I think there’s more room to run in the RTH, counsels Bill Strazzullo. It could go to 92 or even as high as 95.

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‘DASH FOR TRASH’ NAMES KEEP CLIMBING

Investors are still trading common shares of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and American International Group by the billions, even though some analysts say they could go to zero.

Shares of the two mortgage giants and the insurer have been swept up in a summer rally in financial stocks. Investors have been trading their shares at abnormally high volumes, despite analysts' warnings that they may lose their money.

"People have done well by trading them (in the short term), but when it gets to the end of the road, these stocks are going to be worth zero," said Bose George, an analyst with the investment bank Keefe, Bruyette & Woods Inc.

What’s the trade?

I’m long Citigroup right now, reveals Steve Grasso, but it’s a buyer beware trade. If it gets a nice move I’ll take profits.

It seems like Fannie and Freddie are like Pets.com, muses Scott Nations. People are willing to pay anything for performance but I don’t think the trade ends well.


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Trader disclosure: On Aug 28th, 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 (AGU), (C), (GS), (INTC), (MSFT), (NUE), (BTU); Jon Najarian Owns (AAPL), (BTU), (NVLS); Jon Najarian Owns (C) Calls; Grasso Owns (AAPL), (ABK), (ASTM), (BA), (BAC), (C), (COST), (CSCO), (PRST), (V), (WMT), (FAZ); Terranova Owns (AMZN), (FCX), (BTU), (SU), (WFT), (AAPL); Terranova Is Short (SHLD); Terranova Is Short (ESS); Terranova Owns (CCL) Puts

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Stuart Frankel Clients Owned (OXY) On 5/27/09
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CNBC.com with wires

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DJIA
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NASDAQ
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S&P 500
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AFF
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C
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4331
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FNMA
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FMCC
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INTC
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TIF
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VIX
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AAPL
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MV RETAIL
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