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Halftime Report: Gaming Stocks In Wake Of Fed Statement

Trading was subdued on Wednesday as investors eagerly waited to hear from the Federal Reserve and whether the central bank would signal any changes in monetary policy.

Although the Fed was expected to keep interest rates unchanged, investors intended to pour over the committee's statement to see whether the language used suggested a shift in its efforts to revive the economy by flooding the markets with cheap money.

What should you be looking for?

It won't be a surprising statement, says Dan Faretta, senior market strategist at Lind-Waldock. But if it suggests inflation is in check, you may see the market rally this afternoon. If it doesn’t, we'll probably see a muted trade.

I do not expect to hear anything out of the Fed that will change my opinion that the dollar is heading lower, muses Tim Seymour. I’m bearish on the greenback for the long-term.

I’ll be looking to hear what the Fed says about mortgage purchases, adds Brian Kelly of Kanundrum. If they extend the program to March it could be interpreted as de facto easing and the dollar could sell-off. My trade is long British pounds versus short the US dollar.

Looking at the broad market, it seems to me that 1059 is a key level on the S&P; it’s the 10-day moving average, explains Jared Levy of Peak 6. Patterns suggest to me that if we can’t hold that level we could sell-off significantly.

But don’t forget we’re coming to the end of a quarter, reminds Danielle Hughes of Divine Capital. We could see buying through September 30th as window dressing and that would lift the broad market.

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TOPPING THE TAPE: TECH

In technology investors are closely watching Seagate after the company signaled improving demand for its hard-disk drives and hiked its quarterly sales forecast.

The Scotts Valley, Calif., company said Tuesday it now expects to report revenue at or above the high end of its previous estimate of $2.4 billion to $2.6 billion.

In a note Wednesday, Deutsche Bank analyst Sherri Scribner upgraded Seagate to "Buy" from "Hold," telling investors her checks show hard drive demand "trending better than expected," mainly on the strength of notebook computer sales. Scribner also said improving demand and stable pricing could lead the sector to top expectations for the third and fourth quarters.

The new forecast dovetails with other signs of improving personal computer demand. Paul Otellini, CEO of Intel , the world's largest supplier of chips for the computer industry, said Tuesday that worldwide PC sales are making a quick comeback.

What’s the tech trade?

Going forward I expect to see money moving into tech, adds Danielle Hughes. Technology has been the real driver over the last couple of weeks.

Apple hit a 52-week high on Wednesday, explains Tim Seymour. But I wouldn’t be a buyer at these levels.

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OPTIONS ACTION: ELECTRONIC ARTS

Jared Levy has spotted unusual options activity in Electronic Arts. Market speculation suggests Microsoft may be interested in acquiring the company.

What’s the trade?

Microsoft seems to be looking for a strategic acquisition, muses Tim Seymour. It would be a nice fit but I wouldn’t speculate.

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COMMODITY NAMES SLIDING

Energy stocks showed weakness on Wednesday with sector dragged lower by the price of oil which tumbled more than 4 percent to below $69 a barrel. Government data showed surprisingly large weekly increases in supplies and triggered the sell-off.

"Today's data certainly was on the bearish side across the board. Crude builds are largely the result of lower refinery utilization and stronger-than-expected imports," says Chris Jarvis, senior analyst at Caprock Risk Management.

What’s the trade?

In this space, I’d look at nat gas, counsels Joe Terranova. Short positions are being unwound. I think over 6 to 9 months investors will get a better return in nat gas than oil. Although nat gas inventories are high right now, one strong cold snap could work off those inventories very quickly.

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TRADE TO GO -- THE AUTO TRADE

Tim Seymour suggests putting Ford on your trader radar. With Ford CEO Alan Mulally predicting a rise in sales over next 2 years and a strong presence in Asia, the Ambassador thinks this stock is worth watching. “I’d put fresh capital to work in this stock today,” says Seymour.


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Trader disclosure: On Sept. 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; Terranova Owns (F); Terranova Owns (F) Calls And (F) Puts; Terranova Works For (VRTS); Najarian Owns (ACI) Call Spread; Najarian Owns (C) Calls; Najarian Owns (DELL) Call Spread; Najarian Owns (ERTS) Call Spread; Najarian Owns (GE) Calls; Najarian Owns (JPM) And Is Short (JPM) Calls; Najarian Owns (MS) And Is Short (MS) Calls; Najarian Owns (MSFT) And Is Short (MSFT) Calls; Najarian Owns (PALM) Calls; Najarian Owns (ORCL); Najarian Owns (TEVA); Najarian Owns (V) And (V) Calls; Najarian Owns (WFC) Put Spread; Najarian Owns (YHOO) Call Spread; Finerman's Firm Owns (MSFT), (NOK), (PBR), (WMT), (RIG), (TGT), (BDX); Finerman's Firm Owns (BAC) Preferred Shares, Finerman Owns (BAC) Preferred Shares And Owns (BAC); Finerman Owns (RIG); Finerman's Firm Owns (WFC) Preferred Shares And Is Short (WFC); Finerman Owns (WFC) Preferred Shares; Finerman's Firm Is Short (IJR), (MDY), (SPY), (IWM), (USO); Seymour Owns (AAPL), (BAC), (RIG), (SBUX), (FXI), (F), (TTM)

For Jim Suva
Citigroup Owns (PALM)
Citigroup Has Received Compensation From (PALM)
Citigroup Is A Market Market In Securities of (PALM)
Citigroup Is A Market Market In Securities of (RIMM)

For Dennis Gartman
Gartman Owns Gold

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