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Halftime: Has Apple Lost Leadership of the Nasdaq?

Apple has lost leadership of the Nasdaq, said Veracruz founder Steve Cortes on Thursday's "Fast Money Halftime Report."

Since the technology giant reported quarterly earnings results on Oct. 18, its stock has "massively" underperformed the market, Cortes explained. In that time period, he said shares of Apple have basically traded sideways while the Nasdaq 100 is up by 60 points, or roughly 3 percent.

"To me, that Nasdaq move is unsustainable because Apple is so important to the Nasdaq," said Cortes. "The fact that Apple has lost leadership of the Nasdaq, I think is a very foreboding sign."

In turn, Cortes is shorting the Nasdaq right now.

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TRADING CISCO

Cisco's shares lost 16 percent to $20.57 after the Internet network product provider's CEO, John Chambers, cautioned about "short-term challenges" in Europe and public-sector spending. Late Wednesday, the company forecast revenue and earnings well below estimates.

Typically everyone listens to Chambers for a read on the market, but no one trades the stock , said Stuart Frankel's Steve Grasso. For that reason, he was surprised by the sell off. Still, he wouldn't jump in and buy now.

But are Cisco's problems limited to Cisco alone, wondered Pete Najarian of optionMONSTER.com. He pointed to its competitor Juniper Networks — a stock that'sslowly been climbing.

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Either way, Trutina Financial's Patty Edwards doesn't recommend looking at Cisco for value. Edwards actually owns Cisco, but said she's not going to sell into panic. She added that she's not sure she'll keep the name in the long-run either.

Cortes also wouldn't buy Cisco at current levels. He doesn't think it has enough growth and called it a "boring trade."

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CALL TO THE FLOOR

At the heart of the data networking and cloud computing space, Emulex CEO Jim McCluney stopped by the "Fast Money" studios Thursday to talk about the space.

While Cisco's CEO talked about possible troubles for the industry, McCluney said he's seeing new server refreshes and demand from businesses that want to cut costs, save power and the like. Traditionally, he said the December quarter is very strong for tech. For his part, Emulex's gated revenues are up by 10 percent this quarter.

For more on McCluney's outlook on tech, watch the video.

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IRISH BAILOUT AHEAD?

The cost of insuring Irish debt hit new all-time highs on concerns the country may need a bailout from the European Union. In fact, two-thirds of economists polled by Reuters believe Ireland will need bailout funds.

The market has priced in that Ireland will in fact get a bailout from the EU, said Oliver Gilvarry, head of research at Dolmen Securities. He said there is a lot of uncertainty though. Gilvarry added that share prices have fallen and said to becareful of Allied Irish Banks .

To hear more of this thoughts on Ireland's economic woes, watch the video.

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CHART OF THE DAY

The American Association of Individual Investors showing a surge in bullish sentiment, with 57 percent of investors now bullish, as compared to 48 percent last week. Bearish sentiment dropped to 28 percent from 30 percent.

Bullish Sentiment
Nov. 11Nov. 4Oct. 28Oc. 21Oct. 14
Bullish57.56%48.23%52.23%49.62%47.10%
Source: AAII

Bullish sentiment is a contrarian indicator, said Grasso. On the other hand, you can't break this market, he said. He's been negative the market, thinking it would top out around the April highs. The S&P needs to go above the 1,230 level before he will get back on the bull bandwagon.

"If we continue to hold this 1,200 level, you really got to throw in the towel if you're bearish," said Grasso.

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CALL THE CLOSE

With volatility on the lower end, Najarian recommends buying some protection through puts.

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Trader disclosure: On November 11, 2010, the day this video was recorded, following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC’s "Fast Money" were owned by the "Fast Money" traders; Pete Najarian owns (LVS) calls and call spreads. Pete Najarian owns (MEE) calls. Pete Najarian owns (JNPR) calls. Pete Najarian owns (GDXJ) and (GDXJ) call spreads. Pete Najarian owns (BAC), (CNI), (DO), (NOV) and (MRO). Steve Cortes Owns (TSN) and (K). Steve Grasso owns (ASTM), (BA), (BAC), (BWC), (C), (CSCO), (JPM), (LPX), (MO), (MOT), (NDAQ), (PFE) and (PRST).

STEVE CORTES
Cortes Is Short (PHM)
Cortes Is Short (MAS)
Cortes Is Short (AAPL), Owns (GOOG)
Cortes Is Short Euro
Cortes Is Short Canadian Dollar
Cortes Is Long German Bonds

PATTY EDWARDS
Edwards Owns (CSCO) For Clients
Edwards Owns (HPQ) For Clients
Edwards Owns (INTC) For Clients
Edwards Owns (PCL) For Clients
Edwards Owns (GLD) For Clients
Edwards Owns (SYT) For Clients
Edwards Owns (SLV) For Clients
Edwards Owns (FCX) For Clients
Edwards Owns (DIS) For Clients
Edwards Owns (AAPL) For Clients
Edwards Is Long S&P 500 For Clients
Edwards Is Long Nasdaq 100 For Clients
Edwards Is Long Gold For Clients
Edwards Is Long Platinum For Clients
Edwards Is Long Silver For Clients

STEVE GRASSO
Stuart Frankel & Co and it’s partners own (AAPL)
Stuart Frankel & Co and it’s partners own (CSCO)
Stuart Frankel & Co and it’s partners own (CUBA)
Stuart Frankel & Co and it’s partners own (GERN)
Stuart Frankel & Co and it’s partners own (HSPO)
Stuart Frankel & Co and it’s partners own (NWS.A)
Stuart Frankel & Co and it’s partners own (NYX)
Stuart Frankel & Co and it’s partners own (PDE)
Stuart Frankel & Co and it’s partners own (PFE)
Stuart Frankel & Co and it’s partners own (PRST)
Stuart Frankel & Co and it’s partners own (RDC)
Stuart Frankel & Co and it’s partners own (TLM)
Stuart Frankel & Co and it’s partners own (XRX)
Stuart Frankel & Co and it’s partners own (SDS)
STUART FRANKEL & CO AND ITS PARTNERS OWN (UNM)
Stuart Frankel & Co and it’s partners are short (QQQQ)
Stuart Frankel & Co and it’s partners are short (MCD)
Stuart Frankel & Co and it’s partners are short (AAPL)

OLIVER GILVARRY
Gilvarry owns Bank of Ireland shares
Domestic Irish Banks are clients of Dolmen Securities
Bank of Ireland is a client of Dolmen Securities
Allied Irish Banks is a client of Dolmen Securities
Irish Life & Pernament Group is a client of Dolmen Securities
Anglo irish bank is a client of Dolmen Securities
EBS is a client of Dolmen Securities
Irish Nationwide is a client of Dolmen Securities

GE is the parent company of CNBC. NBC Universal is the parent company of CNBC.

CNBC.com with wires.

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CSCO
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ELUX.B
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JNPR
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AAPL
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