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Halftime Report: In Wake Of Pandit's Comments, Could Citi Bounce?

In an exclusive interview, Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit addressed concerns about the government’s stake in his company and what that means for share price.

He explained to Maria Bartiromo that Citi has strong operating business, and “profitability is not a concern on any long term basis."

He went on to say “we have $200 billion in liquidity, we have $36 billion in reserves on our balance sheet. We have worked very hard to put our capital position in very good order.”

How should you trade Citi in the wake of Pandit's comments?

It seems to me $3.50 is holding as support in Citi muses Todd Gordon of Forex.com. Considering the financials have held up relatively well, when the market bounces I’d expect to see more upside in Citi.

I think there are better opportunities in financials, counters Jeff Tomasulo of SMB. Citi is a long-term trade. But if you’re a trader looking to make profits in the short-term I’d look at Goldman , JPMorgan or Wells, he says, not Citigroup.

I’m seeing bullish call buying in the XLF , reveals Scott Nations of Nations Shares. It seems big investors are taking a stand and betting financials are going higher.

As far as I’m concerned Citigroup is a day traders dream, adds Steve Grasso of Stuart Frankel. There are very few institutional owners in this name which accounts for the swings.

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BULL MARKET BROKEN

Meanwhile, the traders are closely watching the action in the Dow and S&P –.after new data showed the U.S. economy grew at a 5.7 percent pace in the fourth quarter -- much higher than expected.

Other data showed January consumer sentiment rose more than expected to hit a two-year high, and business activity in the U.S. Midwest expanded more than forecast in January

However, the market only traded modestly higher; effectively shrugging off the good news.

Is the bull market is broken?

I think the bull market is broken, short term says Steve Grasso. I wouldn’t buy until the market closes above 1121 in the S&P. It’s an ice cream man’s market, sell the pops!

I’m looking at 1050 and 1111 in the S&P, says Jeff Tomasulo as critical levels. They were support and now they’re resistance. If we fail I think you can go heavy on your shorts.

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ROLLOVER IN TECH

Technology shares traded lower on Friday despite strong results from two tech titans. On Thursday after the bell Microsoft said it expects business technology spending to recover in 2010, while Amazon forecast strong 2010 revenue.

What’s the tech trade?

In tech, I’m watching Apple , says Jeff Tomasulo. It seems to me investors were disappointed by the iPad. I’d be cautious.

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COMMODITIES CLIMBING HIGHER

The traders are closely watching the action in oil after prices eased after an initial bounce.

How should you play the weakness?

I think it presents an opportunity, says Joe Terranova. But I don’t want to play the oil futures, they’re in contango. I’m bullish Halliburn as well as the OIH because I think the GDP data suggests demand for oil will increase.

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FAST & FURIOUS: THE KEY QUESTIONS INTO THE CLOSE

BUY HUM? With Humana on deck to report earnings ahead of the bell Monday, should you buy?

I am not a buyer, says Steve Grasso.

BUY DOLLAR? Considering the dollar is rallying once again on Friday, should you get in?

I’d only be a buyer on a retracement, says Todd Gordon.

BUY METAL NAMES? With the metal names rallying today following a brutal week, should you get back in?

I’m a buyer, reveals Jeff Tomasulo. I think metals find support.

BUY XOM? Considering Exxon is on deck to report earnings ahead of the bell Monday, should you get in?

No, there are too many problems with China, reveals Scott Nations.

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CALL THE CLOSE

Steve Grasso: It’s an ice cream man’s market, sell the pops!

Todd Gordon: Technology weakness is global. I’m a seller.

Jeff Tomasulo: I’m a seller of weak stocks.

Scott Nations: I’m a seller unless we get to 1114..


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Trader disclosure: On January 29th, 2010, 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 Is Short (IJR), (IWM), (MDY), (SPY), (UNG), (USO); Finerman Owns (AAPL); Finerman's Firm Owns (BAC), (BAC) Leaps; Finerman Owns (BAC), (BAC) Preferred; Finerman's Firm And Finerman Own (CVS); Finerman's Firm And Finerman Own (GOOG); Finerman's Firm Owns (IBM), (KFT), (MSFT), (WMT); Finerman's Firm And Finerman Own (RIG); Finerman's Firm Owns (PLCE); Seymour Owns (AAPL), (BA), (F), (INTC), (PBR); Terranova Owns (BAC), (JPM), (XOM), (HAL), (OIH), (FCX), (GOOG), (FMC), (AAPL), (DELL), (MSFT), (QCOM); Terranova Is Long March British Pound Futures; Terranova Owns (XLF) Feb. Calls; Terranova Is Short (AAPL) Feb. Calls

For Tim Seymour
Seygem Asset Management Is Short (VALE)
Seygem Asset Management Owns (POT)
Seygem Asset Management Owns (FCX) Calls
Seygem Asset Management Owns (PBR)

For Joe-Terranova
Terranova Works For (VRTS)
Terranova Is Chief Market Strategist Of Virtus Investment Partners, Ltd.
Virtus Investment Partners Owns More Than 1% Of (CLB)
Virtus Investment Partners Owns More Than 1% Of (DLR)
Virtus Investment Partners Owns More Than 1% Of (EXR)
Virtus Investment Partners Owns More Than 1% Of (IGE)
Virtus Investment Partners Owns More Than 1% Of (XLY)
Virtus Investment Partners Owns More Than 1% Of (DBV)
Virtus Investment Partners Owns More Than 1% Of (UA)
Virtus Investment Partners Owns More Than 1% Of (XLB)
Virtus Investment Partners Owns More Than 1% Of (XLI)
Virtus Investment Partners Owns More Than 1% Of (SKT)

For Brian Stutland
Stutland Owns (XOM)
Stutland Is Short (SPY) Directional Position, Long Volatility
Stutland Is Long VXX
Stutland's Firm Is A Market Maker In VIX And SPX
Stutland's Firm Is Short VIX Directional Position, Short Volatility
Stutland's Firm Is Short S&P 500 Directional Position, Short Time Spreads

Other Relevant Disclosures:
Seymour Owned (GOOG) On 1/21/10
Terranova Was Short Feb. Crude Oil Futures On 1/11/10
Finerman's Firm Owned (AXL), (AXL) Calls On 1/8/10
Kaminsky Was Short (QQQ) On 1/7/10
Terranova Was Short Feb. Crude Oil Futures On 1/11/10
Finerman's Firm Owned (TGT), (TJX) On 1/12/10



CNBC.com with wires

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DJIA
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S&P 500
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AMZN
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C
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GS
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HAL
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HUM
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JPM MLP ETN
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MSFT
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WFC
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SPDR FIN SEL
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SPDR TEC SEL
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AAPL
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XOM
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MV OIL SVCS
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