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As Sept Unfolds, Can Bulls Maintain Field Position?

By the end of trade Friday, you could almost see the bulls throw their hands in the air in a sign of victory.

Both the Dow and S&P 500 recorded their seventh gain in eight sessions an impressive accomplishment in September - historically the worst month of the year.

Strong fundamentals sparked much of the buying with the Street cheered by better than expected economic news through out the week.

On Friday, new data showed wholesale inventories surged by the largest amount in two years in July, a sign that business is anticipating strong demand.

Earlier in the week new claims for unemployment insurance fell to their lowest level in two months and U.S. trade exports shot to their highest level since August 2008.

Investors took the developments to mean the economy is, in fact, growing – and at a faster pace than some pundits anticipated.

Technical analysis however isn’t nearly as bullish. The S&P has had a rough time getting above 1110 and is in spitting distance of 1115-- the 200-day -- a level of past resistance.

How should you position now?

Instant Insights with the Fast Money traders

The market looks tired to me, says Steve Cortes. After the past few weeks I think it’s time to take profits. Broadly the market has come a long way – it’s now 6% off the lows.

The rally also looks long in the tooth to me, says Karen Finerman and I wouldn’t be surprised to see a pullback either.

I think September is all about maintaining field position, says Joe Terranova. And one of my market ’tells’ is action in Treasuries. The 10-year is now challenging it’s 50-day. That’s a good sign for equities.

I'm a buyer, counters Jon Najarian on the Halftime Report. I like the market going into next week. I think we could see more M&A and that should bode well for stocks.

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OIL CLIMBS TO 3-WEEK HIGH

One of the key drivers behind Friday’s gains was a spike in the price of crude and the lift it provided for the entire energy sector .

"There's been a resurgence in optimism about the economy, and that's directly linked to oil demand. I'd expect the trend of higher oil prices to continue," says Peter Jankovskis of OakBrook Investments in a Reuters interview.

However, that’s not the only factor pushing oil higher. A pipeline that delivered oil to Midwest refineries was shut down, raising questions about how long the supply may be disrupted.

What’s the trade?

Looking at energy, some of the move in oil is due to the shut down but not all of it, explains Joe Terranova. Not only is there a massive contango in the market but North Sea Brent traded at a premium to West Texas Int’l crude which it never does. Both signs are bullish. I think oil has found a bottom and I'm a buyer of EOG and Schlumberger . And if you play commodities I’d rotate out of ag and get overweight energy.

Also China imported a lot of oil, adds Brian Kelly. They’re looking to build their strategic oil reserves so I’d look for them to import more.

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GLOBAL BANK CAPITAL RULES THIS WEEKEND

The Street is buzzing about Basel III -- the global bank capital rules -- that are expected to be finalized this weekend.

What's the takeaway?

Basel III will look at what makes up the core Tier 1 assets of banks. As a result of stricter requirements, I think we could see banks buy US Treasurys, says Brian Kelly. I’d be prepared for a lot of bond buying. My play is long TLT.

If the capital requirements change substantially it means cash comes away from other places, adds Patty Edwards. That could be a problem.

For more on Basel III click here.

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PG&E BLAST

Investors slammed shares of PG&E after a pipeline exploded in San Bruno, California. Authorities are still looking to pinpoint the cause of the blast. At least four people were killed and 52 were injured from the blast.

What’s the takeaway for investors?

Clearly uncertainty enters the picture and if you’re long, it’s time to reduce your exposure, says Joe Terranova.

I’d stay away from nat gas broadly, says Steve Cortes. I think every rally is meant to be sold.

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NOKIA SHARES HIGHER ON CEO SHAKE-UP

Shares of Nokia traded higher on word that the company is replacing CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo with top Microsoft executive Stephen Elop as the world's top handset maker aims to regain lost ground in the fiercely competitive smartphone market.

Elop, head of Microsoft's business division, has held top posts at Juniper Networks Inc., Adobe Systems Inc., Macromedia Inc. He takes over Sept. 21, the company said Friday.

What’s the trade?

I’m a buyer of Nokia on a pullback, says Steve Cortes.

Maybe the stock gets above $10 and rallies toward $15, but I don’t think it goes farther than that, says Joe Terranova.


VALUE TRADE / VALUE TRAP – RIM

The traders have RIM on the radar after a Bloomberg report said JPMorgan may soon let employees use iPhones for corporate e-mail, making it an alternative to the BlackBerry.

What’s the takeaway?

It's a sign that business is allowing employees to migrate away from BlackBerry and toward other devices, says Joe Terranova. Momentum in RIM is toward the downside with iPhones and Droids poised to eat into RIM’s enterprise business. However, at some point I do plan to step in and buy.

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VALUE TRADE / VALUE TRAP – PHILIP MORRIS

The traders are also wathcing Philip Morris International , which boosted its quarterly dividend by 10%, joining a host of companies returning cash to shareholders as corporate bank accounts hit record levels.

What’s the trade?

I like this stock, says Karen Finerman. I think it’s a value trade. But I’m not as enthusiastic about Altria, however. Although smoking is a growing business overseas it's a shrinking business in the US.


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TOPPING THE TAPE: GRAINS

The summer heat wave in the Midwest sent the price of corn higher but wheat prices have declined.

How should you trade the space now?

In the space I like Andersons, says Brian Kelly.

Buying now is coming late to the party, counters Steve Cortes. I think the rally in this space is a bit tired.

I think the play is to reduce exposure in the ag space and rotate that money into energy, says Joe Terranova.





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Trader disclosure: On Sept. 10th, 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 (ANF); Finerman’s firm owns (ORCL); Finerman’s firm owns (PM); Finerman’s firm owns (JCG); Cortes is short gold; Terranova Owns (APA), (AXP), (ARUN), (AAPL), (BMO), (RSH), (FCX), (GS), (IBM), (JOYG), (MRVL), (ORCL), (C), (POT), (GLD), (XBI), (SU), (X), (UPL), (SPLS), (OXY), (QCOM)

For Joe Terranova
Terranova is chief market strategist of Virtus Investment Partners, LTD.
Virtus Investment Partners own more than 1% of (ABAX)
Virtus Investment Partners own more than 1% of (ALK)
Virtus Investment Partners own more than 1% of (AMKR)
Virtus Investment Partners own more than 1% of (CASS)
Virtus Investment Partners own more than 1% of (CSVI)
Virtus Investment Partners own more than 1% of (IGE)
Virtus Investment Partners own more than 1% of (LDR)
Virtus Investment Partners own more than 1% of (LPHI)
Virtus Investment Partners own more than 1% of (MGRC)
Virtus Investment Partners own more than 1% of (NRCI)
Virtus Investment Partners own more than 1% of (DBV)
Virtus Investment Partners own more than 1% of (XLB)
Virtus Investment Partners own more than 1% of (XLP)
Virtus Investment Partners own more than 1% of (XLY)
Virtus Investment Partners own more than 1% of (XLF)
Virtus Investment Partners own more than 1% of (XLI)
Virtus Investment Partners own more than 1% of (XLU)
Virtus Investment Partners own more than 1% of (SUBK)
Virtus Investment Partners own more than 1% of (WDFC)
Virtus Investment Partners own more than 1% of (YDNT)
Virtus Investment Partners own more than 1% of (DLUEY)
Virtus Investment Partners own more than 1% of (DRYS)

For Brian Kelly
Accounts managed by Kanundrum Capital own (GLD)
Accounts managed by Kanundrum Capital own (GDXJ)
Accounts managed by Kanundrum Capital own (POT)
Accounts managed by Kanundrum Capital own (SLV)
Accounts managed by Kanundrum Capital own (DRIV)
Accounts managed by Kanundrum Capital are short (XLF)
Accounts managed by Kanundrum Capital are short (IAI)
Accounts managed by Kanundrum Capital are short (APL)
Accounts managed by Kanundrum Capital are short (RSX)

For Patty Edwards
Edwards owns (AAPL) for clients
Edwards owns (CSCO) for clients
Edwards owns (DO) for clients
Edwards owns (EBAY) for clients
Edwards owns (GOOG) for clients
Edwards owns (HAL) for clients
Edwards owns (MDT) for clients
Edwards owns (NOK) for clients
Edwards owns (ORCL) for clients
Edwards owns (PM) for clients
Edwards owns (TXN) for clients
Edwards owns (YHOO) for clients

For Brett Thill
A member of Thill’s team owns (CTXS)
A member of Thill’s team owns (MSFT)
A member of Thill’s team owns (ORCL)
(MSFT), (RHAT) is, or within the past 12 months has been, a client of UBS Securities.


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