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Halftime: Target Expands In a Market 'Hot As Gang Busters'

Target, the Minneapolis-based retail giant, said it plans to open 150 stores in Canada. The Canadian expansion is not surprising to Steve Cortes, who said the Great White North has been "as hot as gang busters lately."

"Everybody wants to buy Canadian companies or expand into Canada," said the Veracruz founder, adding that the expansion isn't enough of a reason to buy TGT or retail in general.

Cortes been short the retailers since Black Friday and in that time, Target's stock is down about 1 percent while the S&P 500 has rallied roughly 100 points.

While Cortes would avoid retail names or short them, Drakon Capital's Guy Adami likes Target at current levels. He noted that both Target and Walmart trade at roughly the same price, but he likes TGT better.

Grasso said Target has bounced nicely off its 200-day moving average. He thinks you could buy TGT here.

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ANALYZE THIS: US FORECLOSURES TOP 1 MILLION MARK

Banks seized more than a million U.S. homes in one year for the first time last year, despite a slowdown in the last few months as questions around foreclosure processing arose, a leading firm said Thursday.

Despite the scary headline, housing is improving, said building sector analyst Nishu Sood of Deutsche Bank. Instead of focusing on the number of foreclosures, look at the pipeline — it's stable to slowly shrinking. Foreclosure activity will happen for years, he said, but if it shrinks at a slow, managable rate, that's a good thing. If all of the inventory was dumped on the market at once, he said the housing market could collapse.

Sood said he turned bullish on housing six months ago. He currently has a positive rating on the homebuilding sector and thinks housing will return to normal by 2014.

Cortes, on the other hand, continues to short the homebuilders.

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POPS & DROPS

Stocks slipped Thursday after a batch of economic news gave investors reason to pause a day after the market reached new multi-year highs. The "Fast Money" traders found these market movers to be most notable:

Pops (stocks that went higher)

Omnivision (OVTI) popped 2.5%: The company may have won a contract for Apple's iPhone 5, according to a research firm. If true, the iPhone could be a great growth opportunity for this company, said options trader JJ Kinahan. He thinks the device would help improve Omnivision's bottom line and revenue.

Baidu (BIDU) popped 0.92 %: ThinkEquity added the Chinese Internet company to its 'conviction buy' list. Veracruz founder Steve Grasso, however, thinks it's been lagging badly. He would steer clear of this stock right now.

Drops (stocks that went lower)

Merck (MRK) dropped 6.5%: Its anti-clotting drug, which was estimated to generate $5 billion in sales, is being halted for patients with a previous stroke and may limit its use. Pullbacks like this are rare, noted Drakon Capital's Guy Adami. He thinks it could soon pop, so buy now.

Infosys (INFY) dropped 5.6%: India’s second largest software services exporter posted third-quarter profit that missed the Street’s estimate. This pullback is nice, but Stuart Frankel's Steve Grasso would wait until it consolidates around this range.

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CALL THE CLOSE

As the "Fast Money Halftime Report" came to a close, the traders shared their thoughts on where the market could go and how they're trading it.

Adami likes Micron Technology , which is popping right now.

Grasso expects the market could sell off. Kinahan is a buyer of the market today, but thinks the market could sell off tomorrow.

Municipal bonds are getting killed, noted Cortes. If the iShares S&P National AMT-Free Municipal Bond exchange-traded fund closes below $98, buy the VIX .

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Trader disclosure: On Jan. 13, 2011, following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC’s "Fast Money" were owned by the "Fast Money" traders;
Guy Adami owns (AGU), (C), (BTU), (GS), (INTC), (MSFT) and (NUE). Steve Cortes is short (LVS). Steve Cortes is short (XRT) vs. S&P. Cortes is short (XHB) vs. S&P. Steve Cortes is short Nasdaq futures. Steve Cortes owns (TSN), (EXC), (SVU) and (CLX). Steve Cortes is long U.S. Treasuries.
Steve Grasso owns (ASTM), (BA), Grasso owns (BAC), (BWC), (C), (CSCO), (JPM), (LIT), (LPX), (MHY), (NDAQ), (PFE), (PRST) and (S). JJ Kinahan owns (INTC), (MOS), (YHOO), (C) and (TBT). JJ Kinahan is short (SPY). JJ Kinahan is short (NFLX).

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

GUY ADAMI
Adami's wife works at (MRK)

STEVE GRASSO
Stuart Frankel & Co and its partners own (AAPL)
Stuart Frankel & Co and its partners own (AMGN)
Stuart Frankel & Co and its partners own (BP)
Stuart Frankel & Co and its partners own (CUBA)
Stuart Frankel & Co and its partners own (GE)
Stuart Frankel & Co and its partners own (GERN)
Stuart Frankel & Co and its partners own (HPQ)
Stuart Frankel & Co and its partners own (HSPO)
Stuart Frankel & Co and its partners own (NWS.A)
Stuart Frankel & Co and its partners own (NY)
Stuart Frankel & Co and its partners own (OPE)
Stuart Frankel & Co and its partners own (PDE)
Stuart Frankel & Co and its partners own (PFE)
Stuart Frankel & Co and its partners own (PRST)
Stuart Frankel & Co and its partners own (RDC)
Stuart Frankel & Co and its partners own(TLM)
Stuart Frankel & Co and its partners own (XRX)
Stuart Frankel & Co and its partners own (SDS)
Stuart Frankel & Co and its partners own (UNM)
Stuart Frankel & Co and its partners are short (QQQQ)
Stuart Frankel & Co and its partners are short (AAPL)

ADAM BENJAMIN
Jefferies & Co. is a market maker in (INTC)
Within past 12 mos., Jefferies & Co has received non-IB comp. from (INTC)
Jefferies & Co. is a market maker in (QCOM)
Jefferies & Co. is a market maker in (BRCM)
Jefferies & Co. is a market maker in (MRVL)
Jefferies & Co. is a market maker in (CRUS)

NISHU SOOD
Sood has no disclosures

DENNIS GARTMAN SOT (1/12/2011)
Dennis Gartman was long March KC Wheat on 1/12/2011
Dennis Gartman was long soybeans on 1/12/2011
Dennis Gartman was short the Yen on 1/12/2011
Dennis Gartman was long the Canadian Dollar on 1/12/2011
Dennis Gartman was long the Aussie Ddcollar on 1/12/2011
Dennis Gartman was long gold, short sterling on 1/12/2011
Dennis Gartman was short the Euro on 1/12/2011

CNBC.com with wires.

Symbol
Price
 
Change
%Change
MU
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ISHARES SP NAFMBF
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TGT
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VIX
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WMT
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BIDU
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INFY
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OVTI
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AAPL
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