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Halftime Report: Is The Tech Trade Back?

The S&P traded higher on Monday largely buoyed by a flurry of M&A including a deal by AIG to sell its life insurance unit in Asia.

But it's not just deal making that's got the Fast Money traders feeling kind of bullish.

Our pros are also excited by the action in tech, after a surge of buying sent the Nasdaq close to positive for the year.

Is the tech trade back?

There’s new money coming into the market and it’s going into tech and Apple specifically, explains Tim Seymour. And that's happening despite a note from Canaccord Adams which suggests the iPad may be delayed until April.

A long position in Apple makes all the sense in the world to me, adds Scott Nations. But tech is bifurcated. Apple may be a great name but you can’t just pile in.

If you're looking for names, I’m seeing a big pick up in Marvell and there seems to be excitement in Broadcom , adds OptionMonster Jon Najarian.

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BUZZ KILL: PALM

Although the tech sector rallied broadly, Palm is one of a handful of tech stocks that traded lower.

What must you know?

Frankly, Palm’s slow death is to Apple’s benefit as well as RIM , muses Zach Karabell of RiverTwice.

Nokia is rumored to be a potential buyer of Palm, but I just don’t think it’s going to happen, adds Jon Najarian.

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MERGER MONDAY

As we mentioned above, the first day of the month proved to be a lucrative one largely due to a string of multi-billion dollar deals.

Specifically, AIG inked a deal to sell its life insurance unit in Asia and German drug maker Merck bought Millipore in a deal valued at $7 billion.

What must you know?

The M&A activity is a bullish sign, but a lot of the deals are all cash or cash and stocks, explains Jon Najarian. I can't really consider it a sign of a sustainable turn until I see see a company able to go out and raise the cash. But I wouldn’t hold my breath on that.

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EAR TO THE WALL: HEAVY ACTION IN MILLIPORE

The Fast Money traders can’t help but wonder if that Millipore deal was tipped off in the options pits with heavy call activity last week.

According to OptionMonster Jon Najarian, one day before the deal was announced, there was a flurry of activity in the April 95 and March 100 calls.

Millipore (MIL) Options Volume Last Week

Monday 10,500
Tuesday 45,000
Wednesday 40,150
Thursday 25,300
Friday 10,650
Avg volume (JAN) 1275

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DEVELOPING STORY: IS UK NEXT TO HIT SKIDS?

The British pound plunged below $1.50 Monday for the first time in almost 10 months amid mounting concerns that the upcoming general election will not lead to any political party being able to form a government on its own.

The fear is a coalition government will be less effective in dealing with Britain’s massive debt.

What’s the trade?

I wouldn’t touch the pound or considering investing in the UK right now, explains Joe Terranova. There are just better places for your money. If you want a currency trade I’d look at a long position in Canada’s dollar or Australia’s dollar .


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TRADE TO GO

Tim Seymour: I’m a buyer.

Zachary Karabell: I’m a buyer.

Jon Najarian: I’m a buyer.

Scott Nations: I’m a buyer.


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Trader disclosure: On March 1st, 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), (C), (GS), (INTC), (MSFT), (NUE), (BTU); Kaminsky Owns (EPV); Kaminsky Owns (LULU) Puts; Najarian Owns (BAC) Call Spread; Najarian Owns (INTC) Calls; Najarian Owns (JDSU) Calls; Najarian Owns (MRVL); Najarian Owns (NTAP) Calls; Najarian Owns (AKAM); Najarian Owns (MRVL); Najarian Owns (NTAP) Calls; Seymour Owns (AAPL), (BAC), (F), (INTC), (NIHD); Kelly Owns (FXY) Puts; Finerman's Firm Owns (MIL); Finerman's Firm Owns (OSIP); Finerman's Firm Owns (XBI); Finerman's Firm Owns (IBB); Finerman's Firm Owns (ARG) Calls; Finerman's Firm Owns (GGWPQ); Finerman's Firm Owns (SII) Call Spreads; Finerman's Firm Owns (ACL); Finerman Owns (AAPL); Finerman's Firm And Finerman Own (GOOG); Finerman's Firm Owns (QCOM); Finerman's Firm Owns (BAC), (BAC) Leaps; Finerman Owns (BAC) Preferred, (BAC); Finerman's Firm And Finerman Own (JPM); Finerman's Firm Owns (IBM); Finerman's Firm Owns (MIL); Finerman's Firm Owns (OSIP); Finerman's Firm Owns (XBI); Finerman's Firm Owns (IBB); Finerman's Firm Owns (ARG) Calls; Finerman's Firm Owns (GGWPQ); Finerman's Firm Owns (SII) Call Spreads; Finerman's Firm Owns (ACL);
Terranova Owns (GLD) March Puts; Karabell Owns (RIMM), (UYG), (AAPL), (NOK), (XES), (VALE), (TC); Jon Najarian Owns (AAPL), Is Short (AAPL) Calls; Jon Najarian Owns (BAC), Is Short (BAC) Calls; Jon Najarian Owns (C), Is Short (C) Calls; Jon Najarian Owns (GS), Is Short (GS) Calls; Jon Najarian Owns (MIL), Is Short (MIL) Calls; Jon Najarian Owns (MS), Is Short (MS) Calls; Jon Najarian Owns (QCOM), Is Short (QCOM) Calls; Jon Najarian Owns (RIMM), Is Short (RIMM) Calls; Jon Najarian Owns (WFC), Is Short (WFC) Calls; Jon Najarian Owns (WMT), Is Short (WMT) Calls; Jon Najarian Owns (TSL) Call Spreads; Jon Najarian Owns (SII) Call Spreads; Jon Najarian Owns (CRM) Call Spreads; Jon Najarian Owns (MU) Call Spreads; Nations Owns (MSFT), (SPY)

For Tim Seymour:
Seygem Asset Management Is Short (FCX)
Seygem Asset Management Owns (VIP)
Seygem Asset Management Owns (VIP)

For Brian Kelly:
Kanundrum Capital Owns (C)
Kanundrum Capital Owns (JPM)
Kanundrum Capital Owns (CS)
Kanundrum Capital Owns (DB)
Kanundrum Capital Owns (NBG)
Kanundrum Capital Owns (EWP)
Kanundrum Capital Owns (EWJ)
Kanundrum Capital Is Short Yen
Kanundrum Capital Is Short British Pound
Kanundrum Capital Is Short Euro
Kanundrum Capital Is Short (GS)

For Joe Terranova:
Terranova Works For (VRTS)
Terranova Is Chief Market Strategist Of Virtus Investment Partners, Ltd.

CNBC.com with wires

Symbol
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NASDAQ
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S&P 500
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AFF
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BRCM
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MIL
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MRVL
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NOK
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BB
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SPDR TEC SEL
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AAPL
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