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Halftime Report: Investors Relieved Or Worried?

Stocks traded higher on Thursday after new data showed a smaller number of people filed for initial jobless benefits last week.

But gains were tempered by more uncertainty about Greece. Although European leaders sealed a deal to provide financial aid to Athens, details won’t be released until early next week.

As a result investors are keeping a close eye on the euro and it's impact on the dollar .

How should you be positioned as investors wait – and worry?

Instant Insights with the Fast Money traders

It seems the shorts are not willing to take off their positions just yet in the euro, muses Mike Gurka of Empower Global. Without specifics, it seems investors think the euro will come off a lot more. Shorts don't seem to be taking profits.

Patterns in the charts suggest to me downside in the euro is limited right now, counters Todd Gordon of Forex.com. We've already had a good amount of euro weakness.

There are an awful lot of people who are short euro, adds Dennis Gartman, author of The Gartman Letter. If you’re not already short I wouldn’t sell the euro, here. I think we see a bounce, but long-term I believe after Greece, the EU will face other woes.

I agree that there are a lot of storm clouds out there in the guise of Spain, Portugal and Italy, says Fast Money trader Guy Adami. But I also think the market wanted to rally on Thursday and it found a reason to do so. But I interpret the move as a bounce off an oversold market. 1071 remains a critical level in the S&P 500 .

Also, it wouldn’t surprise me to see a little blip up in volatility considering how much volatility has come-in, adds OptionMonster Jon Najarian. But after a move higher, next week I think the Vix tests the low 20’s.

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TOPPING THE TAPE: METALS

The Materials SPDR traded higher on Thursday after Deutsche Bank upgraded US Steel to ‘Buy’ from ‘Hold’ saying U.S. steel companies are poised to benefit from the rise in steel prices that is supported by economic growth and restocking. Analyst David Martin said he expects the prices to continue trending higher and added valuations are supported at current levels.

However, Martin also said Luxembourg-based ArcelorMittal remained a top pick in the sector.

What’s the trade?

New data out of China suggests the onus for Beijing to tighten is off for now and as a result commodities are rallying, explains Todd Gordon. I'd play the move with Freeport McMoRan. If FCX can go to $74 I think it could go to $80.

I can’t feel bullish on FCX unless it closes above $75.50, counters Guy Adami.

Looking at the sector broadly, it seems to me the story for 2010 is infrastructure – the space should have a lot of legs, says Mike Gurka.

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TOPPING THE TAPE: HOMEBUILDERS

Shares of Lennar popped after the company said it completed transactions with the FDIC under which the homebuilder and the independent government agency will resolve about 5,500 distressed real estate loans.

Lennar and the FDIC, which insures bank deposits, will hold equity interests in two portfolios of loans with a combined unpaid balance of $3.05 billion, Miami-based Lennar said. The transactions include about 5,500 distressed residential and commercial real estate loans from 22 failed bank receiverships.

What’s the housing trade?

I’d play the sector with HD , says Guy Adami.

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TAKE YOUR POSITION: DINING OUT

With Cheesecake Factory, Chipotle and Panera reporting after the bell, how should you game these stocks?

I think the consumer is starting to come back, says Mike Gurka. However, I’m not sure we’re there quite yet. I'd be careful.


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Trader disclosure: On February 11th, 2010, 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), (BTU), (C), (GS), (INTC), (MSFT), (NUE); Finerman's Firm Is Short (IWM), (CAKE), (IJR), (SPY), (MDY), (UNG), Short (USO); Finerman Owns (AAPL); Finerman's Firm And Finerman Own (GOOG); Finerman's Firm Owns (MSFT); Finerman's Firm Owns (PLCE); Finerman's Firm And Finerman Own (WFC) Preferred; Terranova Owns (JPM), (OIH), (AA), (RIMM), (GOOG), (EMC), (AAPL), (DELL), (MSFT)

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 (XLP)
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 Christopher Zook
Zook, His Clients, And His Firm Own (OIH)
Zook, His Clients, And His Firm Are Short (VNQ)

For Scott Redler
Redler Owns (AAPL)
Redler Owns (GOOG)
Redler Owns (SPY)
Redler Owns (RIMM)
Redler Owns (TOL)
Redler Owns (AMZN)

For Brian Kelly
Kanundrum Capital Owns (EWP)
Kanundrum Capital Owns (NBG)
Kanundrum Capital Owns (SYY)
Kanundrum Capital Is Long U.S. Dollar vs. Short Euro
Kanundrum Capital Is Short U.S. Treasury Futures
Kelly Owns (NBG)
Kelly Owns (FXE) Puts

Added Disclosures:
Finerman's Firm Owns (MCD)
Finerman's Firm Owns (JPM)
Finerman's Firm Owns (BAC)
Finerman Owns (BAC) Preferred, (BAC)
Finerman Owns (JPM)
Finerman's Firm Owns (CYB)
Seymour Owns (CTCM)
Seymour Owns (AAPL)
Seymour Owns (BAC)
Seymour Owns (F)
Seymour Owns (INTC)
Seymour Owns (LVS)
Seymour Owns (MGM)
Seygem Asset Management Owns (NBG)
Seygem Asset Management Owns (POT)
Seygem Asset Management Owns (MTL)


CNBC.com with wires

Symbol
Price
 
Change
%Change
S&P 500
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CAKE
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CMG
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FCX
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HD
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LEN
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MT
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PNRA
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VIX
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X
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SPDR MAT SEL
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