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Start To Earnings Season Lifts Stocks

Thursday, 8 Oct 2009 | 5:23 PM ET

Both the Dow and S&P 500 rose on Thursday after a surprise profit from Alcoa sent materials names higher and generated an overall feeling that earnings season had gotten off to a strong start.

Another tailwind came from same-store sales, which showed their first monthly sales increase in more than a year. Investors took the results as a sign that consumers might be spending again.

Also the Labor Department said the number of U.S. workers filing new jobless claims slid to a nine-month low last week.

However, the rally lost some of its steam in the afternoon when investors learned that the latest auction of 30-year Treasurys had not been received well. The news was surprising considering 10-year notes drew strong demand one day earlier.

Word on the Street
The Fast Money traders take a look at today's top business stories.

What’s the word on the Street?

I think it all makes sense, says Karen Finerman. If we’re seeing an economic recovery and things are getting better than there should be inflation concerns. That speaks to the action in Thursday's bond auction.

Looking at the catalyst for stocks, I can’t be that enthusiastic about Alcoa , says Guy Adami. To me the valuations don’t make sense. Yes they made money and they cut costs but this stock is the same price it was last year when they made $7 billion. This time around they made $4.5.

I think we’re seeing profit taking in Alcoa because of the run ahead of earnings, explains Pete Najarian. But I do think there are better names in the space that are cheaper.

If you’re looking for a resource trade, look at copper miner FreeportMcMoRan, adds Adami. I’d get long with a stop at $73.43. I like copper a lot more than aluminum.

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GOLD HITS 3RD RECORD CLOSE IN A ROW

Gold set another record on Thursday with the spot price topping $1,050 per ounce. The precious metal has gained about 20 percent this year, driven by dollar weakness and inflation worries after central banks across the globe poured money into the financial system to help stimulate the economy.

What’s the trade?

I’ve been more wrong than right, admits Guy Adami, but gold takes the stairs higher and the elevator down. I’ve seen gold drop $150 in one day. Understand this trade and how difficult it is to get out – at some point I think you'll need to run for the exits.

If you’re playing gold, I’d make sure to also have put protection, counsels Pete Najarian. You never know when we'll see a sharp sell-off.

I agree that eventually gold is going to burst, adds Steve Grasso, but the big questions is at what level. If it’s at $3000 you don’t want to miss the run higher.

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RETAILERS ROCKING TODAY

The XRT climbed on Thursday after retailers posted their first monthly sales increase in more than a year. Investors took the results as a sign that consumers might be spending again.

Among the day’s standouts; Macy's, Abercrombie & Fitch and Kohl's. They all surprised Wall Street on Thursday with better-than-expected September sales.

What’s the trade?

ANF may have reported better than expected results, but their results were still lousy. It traded up to 35.20, explains Guy Adami. I still think it’s a short with a stop above $35.20

I was impressed by same-store sales data out of TJX, says Pete Najarian. Although some retailers may be infront of themselves I don’t think this one is.

All retailers can’t run at the same time, adds Steve Grasso. Eventually investors will toss some of them out.

I’m very curious about the holidays, says Karen Finerman. True, Target is dropping prices to compete with Walmart, but inventories are lower and that’s bullish.

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Wall Street Analyst Goes Rogue
Analyst Heather Wolf initiates large banks with a cautious outlook.

ANALYZE THIS: WALL STREET ANALYST GOES ROGUE

UBS initiated coverage of rival Wells Fargo with a ‘sell’ rating saying this bank along with some regional banks, “have run too fast” recently.

Both Wells Fargo and PNC face "meaningful" credit problems in the near term that make them likely to disappoint the Street's 2010 and 2011 earnings forecasts, UBS said.

By contrast, earlier in the week, Goldman Sachs singled out Wells Fargo along with Capital One for upgrades as it raised its rating on the large-bank sector to attractive.

What’s the trade?

I'm with UBS, I happen to think Wells is going down as well, says Guy Adami. If they price a secondary it can’t be good for the stock.

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BULL MARKET OR BS?

Are there real signs of an economic recovery? OptionMonster Jon Najarian says there are indeed.

Find out what’s making him optimistic and why he's bullish on Hertz and Wyndham. Watch the video now!

Word on the Street
The Fast Money traders take a look at today's top business stories.

You can find out interview with Jon Najarian at the end of the Word on the Street video.





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Trader disclosure: On October 8, 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); Finerman's Firm Owns (UNH) Calls; Finerman's Firm Owns (MSFT), (TGT); Finerman's Firm And Finerman Own (WFC) Preferred; Finerman's Firm And Finerman Own (WMT); Finerman's Firm Is Short (USO), (IJR), (MDY), (SPY), (IWM), (UNG); Finerman's Firm Owns (BAC), (BAC) Call Spread, (BAC) Preferred; Finerman Owns (BAC), (BAC) Preferred; Finerman's Firm Owns (AET) Calls; Finerman's Firm Owns (WLP) Calls; Finerman's Firm Owns (RIG), Is Short (RIG) Calls; Finerman Owns (RIG); Pete Najarian Owns (BRCD) Calls; Pete Najarian Owns (C) Calls; Pete Najarian Owns (INTC), Is Short (INTC) Calls; Pete Najarian Owns (MYL) Calls; Pete Najarian Owns (STX) Calls; Pete Najarian Owns (WFC) Puts; Pete Najarian Owns (YHOO) Call Spread; Grasso Owns (AAPL), (ABK), (ASTM), (BAC), (C), (COST), (PRST), (V), (WMT), (FAZ)

For Steve Grasso
Stuart Frankel Corp. & Partners Own (CMCSK)
Stuart Frankel Corp. & Partners Own (CUBA)
Stuart Frankel Corp. & Partners Own (GERN)
Stuart Frankel Corp. & Partners Own (HSPO)
Stuart Frankel Corp. & Partners Own (LMT)
Stuart Frankel Corp. & Partners Own (MSFT)
Stuart Frankel Corp. & Partners Own (NWS.A)
Stuart Frankel Corp. & Partners Own (NXST)
Stuart Frankel Corp. & Partners Own (NYX)
Stuart Frankel Corp. & Partners Own (PDE)
Stuart Frankel Corp. & Partners Own (PRST)
Stuart Frankel Corp. & Partners Own (RDC)
Stuart Frankel Corp. & Partners Own (ROK)
Stuart Frankel Corp. & Partners Own (TBT)
Stuart Frankel Corp. & Partners Own (TLM)
Stuart Frankel Corp. & Partners Own (XOM)
Stuart Frankel Corp. & Partners Own (XRX)
Stuart Frankel Corp. & Partners Own (SDS)
Stuart Frankel Corp. & Partners Are Short (QQQQ)
Stuart Frankel Corp. & Partners Are Short (CL)


CNBC.com with wires

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DJIA
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S&P 500
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AA
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ANF
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COF
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FCX
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HTZ
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KSS
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M
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PNC
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TGT
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TJX
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WFC
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WMT
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WY
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SPDR SPRET
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