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Halftime Report: Trading The Market's Mixed Message

Thursday, 18 Feb 2010 | 1:13 PM ET

Investors were trying to make sense out of the market’s mixed message on Thursday. H-P results suggested spending was starting to pick up while results from Walmart showed spending remains weak.

Meanwhile the traders were again closely watching the currency market for signals as the dollar strengthened and the euro weakened.

What must you know about this fickle market?

I expect to see the focus move away from Greece and toward European economies which appear to be turning down, says Gary Kaminksy. That should make the dollar continue to rise and I’d trade accordingly. I’d love to be short just the European financial banks; and I’d do it with the ETF symbol EUFN. And I’d be long the EPV .

I agree that the euro is going lower, says Guy Adami. I’m encouraged that commodities are holding in there but I think that trade could unravel. And I’d keep an eye on gold . It bounced off $1065 level. If I was long I’d take profits.

But the dollar is rising and the market is hanging in there, counters Joe Terranova. That’s encouraging. Oil and copper are two fundamentally needed commodities and they’re stronger on Thursday in the face of a higher dollar.

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TOPPING THE TAPE: MCDERMOTT

Shares of McDermott popped higher on Thursday on a belief the company will benefit from President Obama’s push to advance nuclear energy.

What’s the trade?

I think the stock may be a little ahead of itself right now, but if you believe in nuclear energy I think the play is long McDermott or Fluor , says Guy Adami.

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FAST EXCLUSIVE: ELI LILLY CEO JOHN LECHLEITER

They have great balance sheets, pay healthy dividends and make their money by selling drugs -- and yet big cap Pharma has lagged the S&P over the past year.

But could biotech acquisitions be the prescription that heals this sector?

Find out from the boss of one of the biggest pharmaceutical companies in the world, John Leichleiter the CEO of Eli Lilly.

Watch the video now!

Biotech Breakout?
Discussing whether biotech can boost big pharma, with John Leichleiter, Eli Lilly CEO.













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OPTIONS ACTION: DELL

Only a short time remains before Dell releases results.

How is the options market setting up?

I’m seeing a lot of sellers of the February 14 puts, says Mike Khouw of Cantor Fitzgerald. That suggests to me the bears are giving up on this stock.

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FINERMAN'S FINE PRINT: CITI

What do the biggest Wall Street whales like to eat? A big, fat government backstop in Citigroup appears to be the bait that snagged some of the biggest investors in the world. We’re talking Lampert, Soros, and Paulson – the latest 13F filings show they all added significantly to their stakes.

Q4 HOLDINGS: CITIGROUP (C)

ADDED TOTAL

GEORGE SOROS 95MLN 95MLN

JOHN PAULSON 207MLN 507MLN

EDDIE LAMPERT 12MLN 31MLN

What’s the trade?

When you look at the book value as compared to BofA and JPMorgan , Citi's stock is cheap, says Karen Finerman. If credit quality improves Citi may perform. And it’s worth noting that Citi is cheaper now that it was all last quarter. If you buy now, you’re probably getting the stock for less than these whales.

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CALL THE CLOSE

Joe Terranova: I think both equities and commodities go higher.

Mike Khouw: I’d go along with Joe.

Gary Kaminsky: I expect to see indexers buy Citi if it goes north of $5.


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Trader disclosure: On February 18th, 2010, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC’s Fast Money were owned by the Fast Money traders; Kaminsky Owns (EPV); Adami Owns (AGU), (C), (GS), (INTC), (MSFT), (NUE), (BTU); Grasso Owns (ABK), (AAPL), (ASTM), (BAC), (BGP), (C), (COST), (CSCO), (FAZ), (PFE), (PRST), (WMT), (V); Finerman's Firm Owns (IBB); Finerman's Firm Owns (XBI); Finerman's Firm And Finerman Own (WFC) Preferred; Finerman's Firm Owns (BAC), (BAC) Leaps; Finerman Owns (BAC), (BAC) Preferred; Finerman's Firn And Finerman Own (JPM)
Finerman's Firm Is Short (IJR), (SPY), (IWM), (MDY), (USO)<; Finerman Owns (AAPL); Finerman's Firm Owns (BAC) Leaps, (BAC); Finerman Owns (BAC) Preferred, (BAC); Finerman's Firm And Finerman Own (GGWPQ), (GOOG), (JPM), (WFC); Terranova Owns (JPM), (RIMM), (IBM), (QCOM), (GOOG), (EMC), (AAPL), (DELL), MSFT); Terranova Is Long March 2010 Crude Oil Futures; Terranova Is Long April 2010 Crude Oil Futures; Terranova Is Long December 2010 Crude Oil Futures; Terranova Is Long December 2011 Crude Oil Futures; Terranova Is Long December 2012 Crude Oil Futures; Kelly Owns (HOV) Calls; Kelly Owns (ELX) Calls; Kelly Owns (FXE) Puts

For JoeTerranova
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 Steve Grasso
Stuart Frankel & Co. Inc And Its Partners Own (AIZ)
Stuart Frankel & Co. Inc And Its Partners Own (ABX)
Stuart Frankel & Co. Inc And Its Partners Own (CUBA)
Stuart Frankel & Co. Inc And Its Partners Own (GERN)
Stuart Frankel & Co. Inc And Its Partners Own (GLG)
Stuart Frankel & Co. Inc And Its Partners Own (HSPO)
Stuart Frankel & Co. Inc And Its Partners Own (NWS.A)
Stuart Frankel & Co. Inc And Its Partners Own (NXST)
Stuart Frankel & Co. Inc And Its Partners Own (NYX)
Stuart Frankel & Co. Inc And Its Partners Own (PDE)
Stuart Frankel & Co. Inc And Its Partners Own (PRST)
Stuart Frankel & Co. Inc And Its Partners Own (RDC)
Stuart Frankel & Co. Inc And Its Partners Own (ROK)
Stuart Frankel & Co. Inc And Its Partners Own (TLM)
Stuart Frankel & Co. Inc And Its Partners Own (TOL)
Stuart Frankel & Co. Inc And Its Partners Own (XRX)
Stuart Frankel & Co. Inc And Its Partners Own (SDS)
Stuart Frankel & Co. Inc And Its Partners Are Short (QQQQ)
Stuart Frankel & Co. Inc And Its Partners Are Short (CL)

For Brian Kelly
Kanundrum Capital Owns (VMW)
Kanundrum Capital Owns (QLGC)
Kanundrum Capital Owns (BRCM)
Kanundrum Capital Owns (EWP)
Kanundrum Capital Owns (NBG)
Kanundrum Capital Owns (GDXJ)
Kanundrum Capital Owns (GLD)
Kanundrum Capital Is Long U.S. Dollars
Kanundrum Capital Is Short U.S. Treasury Futures
Kanundrum Capital Is Short (FCX)
Kanundrum Capital Is Short (EWY)

For David Trone
Macquarie Capital Has Entered Into An Investment Banking Relationship With (C) In Past 12 Months
Macquarie Capital Has Acted As Co-Manager In An Equity Offering By (C) In Past 12 Months
Macquarie Capital Or Affiliate Has Received Compensation For Investment Banking Services From (C) In Past 12 Months

For Mike Khouw
Cantor Fitzgerald & Co. Is A Market Maker In (AAPL)
Cantor Fitzgerald & Co. Is A Market Maker In (BAC)
Cantor Fitzgerald & Co. Is A Market Maker In (C)
Cantor Fitzgerald & Co. Is A Market Maker In (DELL)
Cantor Fitzgerald & Co. Is A Market Maker In (F)
Cantor Fitzgerald & Co. Is A Market Maker In (GENZ)
Cantor Fitzgerald & Co. Is A Market Maker In (GILD)
Cantor Fitzgerald & Co. Is A Market Maker In (GOOG)
Cantor Fitzgerald & Co. Is A Market Maker In (GS)
Cantor Fitzgerald & Co. Is A Market Maker In (IBM)
Cantor Fitzgerald & Co. Is A Market Maker In (JPM)
Cantor Fitzgerald & Co. Is A Market Maker In (LGF)
Cantor Fitzgerald & Co. Is A Market Maker In (MS)
Cantor Fitzgerald & Co. Is A Market Maker In (MSFT)
Cantor Fitzgerald & Co. Is A Market Maker In (QQQQ)
Cantor Fitzgerald & Co. Is A Market Maker In (SPY)
Cantor Fitzgerald & Co. Is A Market Maker In (WFC)
Cantor Fitzgerald & Co. Is A Market Maker In (XLF)
Cantor Fitzgerald & Co. Is A Market Maker In (YHOO)





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