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Halftime Report: Two Bank Stocks About To Break-Out?

Although the S&P may be stuck in a rut, the Fast Money traders are excited by the action in financials. What are they watching?

According to the desk, Citigroup may be about to break-out with published reports suggesting the stock ‘will start a real rally after the U.S. Treasury’s lock-up on the stock expires next week March 16.

What’s the trade?

Instant Insights with the Fast Money traders

I agree that Citigroup stock has room to run short-term, speculates Tim Seymour, but I don’t like the stock as a long-term investment.

I agree that it’s not a long-term play, echoes Zach Karabell of RiverTwice. All that's happening now is that it's catching up because it's been such as bad stock relative to the sector.

If you want to play financials I’d do it with Goldman Sachs, counsels Scott Nations of NationShares. Patterns in the chart suggest to me that this stock could break out.

I’m also bullish Goldman, adds Jon Najarian. I like the action in this name.

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CHART OF THE DAY: DOLLAR

Meanwhile, Fast Money traders are also closely watching the action in the dollar which fell back to its 20-day moving average, an important technical level.

What’s the trade?

Patterns in the chart of the Dollar Index suggests to me the dollar goes lower, and as a result commodities go higher, says Tim Seymour.

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TOPPING THE TAPE: MCDONALD'S

Shares of McDonald's traded higher after the hamburger giant reported a 4.8 percent rise in February sales with strong overseas results offsetting softness in the United States.

What’s the trade?

Even though the stock is trading at its highs I think there are enough drivers to send shares even higher, speculates Pete Najarian. Or take a look at YUM, Najarian counsels. Dominoes might also be worth a look.

I think strength at McDonald’s is bad news for the casual dining space, muses Zach Karabell.

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TOPPING THE TAPE: CISCO

Shares of Cisco traded higher on Monday after J.P. Morgan upgraded the stock to Overweight from Neutral, with a new price target of $28.

The analysts believe Cisco stands to benefit from the surge in mobile and more.

What’s the trade?

CEO John Chambers has been very bullish, says Tim Seymour. I think the stock is a long-term hold.

I’m also bullish, reveals Jon Najarian.

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IS DEALMAKING HEALING?

The traders are keeping a close eye on M&A after Royal Dutch Shell and PetroChina jointly bid more than $3 billion for Australia's Arrow Energy.

Also, AIG announced plans to sell its overseas life and health insurance unit for $15.5 billion to MetLife.

What must you know?

I’m seeing strong activity in DryShips, reveals Jon Najarian. The options action suggests to me a big investor expects something bullish.

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FAST FLASH: IMAX

Shares of Imax hit a 52-week high after Alice In Wonderland raked in $116.3 million in its opening weekend with Imax theaters selling out nearly every showing.

What’s the trade?

The stock has broken out, says Tim Seymour. But I think we look back and talk about 3D just like the Sony laser disk.

With Toy Story 3 in 3D I’m bullish, counters Jon Najarian.

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CALL THE CLOSE

Tim Seymour: I think the market goes higher.

Jon Najarian: I’m long into Cisco earnings.

Zachary Karabell: I think the market drifts up.

Scott Nations: I’m a buyer.


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Trader disclosure: On March 8th, 2010, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC’s Fast Money were owned by the Fast Money traders; Seymour Owns (X), (BAC); Nations Owns (MSFT), (SPY); Kelly Owns (AMZN) Calls; Kelly Owns (ELX) Calls; Karabell Owns (C), (JPM), (UYG), (AAPL), (CSCO), (DRYS), (GOOG), (GE), (IBM), (RIMM), (MON); Adami Owns (AGU), (BTU), (C), (GS), (INTC), (MSFT), NUE); Karabell Owns (C), (JPM), (UYG), (AAPL), (CSCO), (DRYS), (GOOG), (GE), (IBM), (RIMM), (MON); Jon Najarian Owns (AAPL), Is Short (AAPL) Calls; Jon Najarian Owns (DIS), Is Short (DIS) Calls; Jon Najarian Owns (DRYS), Is Short (DRYS) Calls; Jon Najarian Owns (GE), Is Short (GE) Calls; Jon Najarian Owns (HPQ), Is Short (HPQ) Calls; Jon Najarian Owns (IBM), Is Short (IBM) Calls; Jon Najarian Owns (MCD), Is Short (MCD) Calls; Jon Najarian Owns (MON), Is Short (MON) Calls; Jon Najarian Owns (MOS), Is Short (MOS) Calls; Jon Najarian Owns (RIMM), Is Short (RIMM) Calls; Jon Najarian Owns (GOOG) Call Spreads; Jon Najarian Owns (IMAX) Call Spreads; Jon Najarian Owns (GS), Is Short (GS) Calls; Jon Najarian Owns (CSCO), Is Short (CSCO) Calls; Pete Najarian Owns (MCD) Call Spread; Pete Najarian Owns (AKAM) Call Spread; Pete Najarian Owns (BAC) Call Spread; Pete Najarian Owns (DF) Call spread; Pete Najarian Owns (DRYS) Calls; Pete Najarian Owns (F) Calls; Pete Najarian Owns (INTC) Calls; Pete Najarian Owns (ITMN) Call Spread; Pete Najarian Owns (MCD) Call Spread; Pete Najarian Owns (TIVO) Call Spread; Cortes Owns (GS), Is Short S&P 500; Cortes Owns (IAI); Cortes Is Short Treasuries; Finerman's Firm Is Short (IYR), (IJR), (MDY), (SPY), (IWM), (USO); Finerman's Firm Is Long S&P Puts; Finerman Owns (AAPL); Finerman's Firm Owns (BAC), (BAC) Leaps; Finerman Own (BAC) Preferred; Finerman's Firm And Finerman Own (GOOG); Finerman's Firm And Finerman Own (WFC); Fienrman's Firm Owns (YUM); Terranova Owns (GLD) March Puts; Terranova Owns (AAPL), (EMC), (DELL), (GOOG)

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