Halftime: After Historic September, Profit Taking Or Ominous Turn?
If you had asked most Wall Street traders last month at this time they would never have predicted this.
But with only hours left to trade in September - the Dow remains poised to finish the month well over 8% higher. In fact, the Dow is on track for its best September performance since 1939!
It’s a remarkable feat considering September is typically the worst month of the year for stocks.
As you likely know by now, the S&P and Nasdaq are also closing out the month with sharp gains. It’s the S&P best September in a generation and the Nasdaq’s best September since 2002.
But it’s hard to ignore Thursday’s market action especially ahead of the start of a new month and new quarter. The S&P made, what some would consider, a very bearish intra-day reversal.
Is this just profit taking at the end of the a very successful month or is this the beginning of a turn lower
Instant Insights with the Fast Money traders
The market may well be on the brink of a storm, muses Guy Adami. The S&P traded up to 1158 and sold off hard. This is the first major reversal we’ve seen for quite some time. And the Vix spiked above 24 before pulling back – it's the first time we’ve seen that in a while.
At 11am when the S&P rolled over the Vix just surged to its highest level in a month, adds Jon Najarian. Keep an eye on that.
I was shocked to see the market fall out of bed and trade down from 1157 down to 1142 and then break that, adds Steve Grasso. However the key technical level is 1132 – the 50% retracement. I wouldn’t say the market is reversing unless we break below that level.
POLL OF THE DAY
What do you think? We want to know!
RALLY IN CHINA’S HANDS?
The traders are keeping a close eye on China with Beijing releasing the nation’s PMI number overnight.
A rival report released by HSBC showed Chinese manufacturing activity rose to its highest level in five months in September.
What’s the trade?
I’d think about taking short positions in companies that rely on growth in China such as Freeport McMoRan and Caterpillar , says Steve Corets.
These companies have performed extremely well lately but China has not confirmed the gains. If you look at a chart of FCX against FXI – you can see that FCX has retested its April highs but China has not.
I'm also seeing the bid come out of the China trade, adds Steve Grasso. Steel, coal and rails are all failing.
As we mentioned above, September will go down in the history books as a September to remember – especially for tech traders with Apple and Amazon both hitting all time highs this month.
What’s the tech trade, going forward?
It wouldn’t surprise me to see a rotation out of huge winners such as Apple and into beaten down names like RIM or Nokia, says Steve Cortes, especially RIM if it can get above $50.
In the space, I’d also keep an eye on RIM, says Steve Cortes. I see the short sellers stopping but I don’t see the sellers stepping back in just yet.
GOLD BREAKS $1315 OVERNIGHT
Gold also broke records this September with the precious metal touching a new all-time high of $1315 before paring some of those gains.
What’s the trade?
If you bought gold cheap and want to take profits that’s always a good idea, says Jon Najarian, but I don’t think the story is over yet. As nations of the world keep debasing their currencies I expect investors will continue to buy gold.
I think resources in general are in trouble, says Steve Cortes. If gold closes sharply lower I’d think about getting short.
Elsewhere in the resource space, if you’re looking for a quick play, I’d look at US Steel ahead of China’s PMI out Thursday night, counsels Guy Adami.
SOFT COMMODITIES HIT RECORD
The soft commodities also deserve some space in the history books – both cotton and copper surged - in turn The Thomson Reuters/CRB commodities index had its best September since it began in 1956. It was up 8.2 percent for the month, and 10.5 percent for the quarter.
What’s the trade?
I’d short corn and the DBA, says Steve Cortes. Although they had a fantastic September they’re performing quite poorly on Thursday. I think the trade is way too far ahead of itself.
EAR TO THE WALL: CIRRUS
Shares of Cirrus Logic plunged Thursday after Taipei's Economic Daily News reported that the company could lose its contract on the new iPhone to Qualcomm.
What should you make of it?
Jefferies came out and said they doubt that Cirrus will actually lose the contract, says host Melissa Lee.
If you’ve been long Qualcomm, it may be time to take some money off the table, counsels Guy Adami.
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Trader disclosure: On Sept. 29, 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), (NUE), (C), (GS), (INTC), (MSFT); Adami’s wife works at Merck; Cortes owns U.S. Treasuries; Cortes is short the Euro; Cortes is short the Mexican Peso; Cortes is short (XLF); Cortes is short (BAC); Cortes is short (LVS); Cortes is short corn; Jon Najarian owns (BA) call spread; Jon Najarian owns (DB) & short calls; Jon Najarian owns (AEO) & short calls; Jon Najarian owns (MKC) & short calls; Grasso owns (ASTM), (BA), (BAC), (C), (CSCO), (JPM), (LPX), (MO), (MOT), (NDAQ), (PFE), (PRST)
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