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Halftime: Does Cisco's Dividend Sound the Death Knell?

Listen closely.

Do you hear the death knell? It's the somber sound of church bells tolled, which herald the passing of a tech giant.

OK—a little over-the-top? Well, the decision by Cisco Systems topay its first-ever dividend is being viewed by some as foreboding, reports CNBC's Melissa Lee. With its stock down 35 percent over the past year, the San Jose, Calif.-based company said Friday it plans to pay a dividend of 6 cents a share, which represents a 1.6 percent dividend.

To Stuart Frankel's Steve Grasso, Cisco's dividend announcement likely means it's dead in the water. After all, both Intel and Microsoft pay dividends and both stocks are stuck. Grasso added the way investors trade tech stocks is different from how other sectors are traded, though.

"You don't buy tech stocks for the dividend," he explained. "You buy them for the growth."

Being as investors are concerned about Cisco's growth and eroding margins, Grasso thinks the dividend makes Cisco look "a little desperate."

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Still, Oracle initiated its dividend in 2009 and is viewed by some as a growth stock, Lee added. Then again, Oracle also recruited Mark Hurd to lead as CEO and Cisco hasn't made any changes to its executive team, noted options trader Jon Najarian.

Following the announcement, Cisco shares traded higher on Friday. Whether it will continue to attract investors remains to be seen, though. According to Bespoke Investment Group, tech stocks that pay a dividend are up by 2 percent after one year. Tech stocks that don't pay a dividend, however, are up by 21 percent after one year's time.

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NUCLEAR RENAISSANCE TO RETURN?

Countries around the world are re-evaluating the safety of nuclear energy as Japan struggles to repair damaged reactors.

Although FBR Capital Markets analyst Benjamin Salisbury doesn't think countries will back away from nuclear energy in the long run. In fact, he expects increased demand from China, India and the U.S.

Given the recent pullback in nuclear stocks, Salisbury thinks investors should look for areas where panic has brought in excessive weakness. Consider the nuclear utilities, he said. For those that have more of an appetite for risk, he suggests the nuclear miners.

Grasso thinks the sector is overdone to the downside. He recently bought shares of Dominion Resources , a Richmond, Va.-based utility.
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MEDIA SHARES BEATING MARKET

It's a market mystery.

The unlikely sector winner amid the 2011 turmoil? Media.

Yes, media. Shares of CBS , Disney , Time Warner and Interpublic Group all beat the S&P 500. In particular, Interpublic's stock is up about 13 percent this year.

To learn more about what's working for the advertising and marketing conglomerate and media and general, "Fast Money" interviewed Interpublic CEO Michael Roth. Watch the video to see the full conversation.

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Trader disclosure: On Mar. 18, 2011, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC’s "Fast Money" were owned by the "Fast Money" traders; Terranova Owns (VRTS), (C), (GS), (PNC), (USB), (JPM), (UPL), (CREE), (MS), (PBR), (BAX), (TEVA), (IBM), (BTU), (CNX), (POT), (FCX), (XOM), (DIS), (MCD), (CVE), (CVI), (CNQ), (RSX) and (SU). Steve Grasso Owns (ASTM), (BA), (BAC), (C), (CSCO), (D), (JPM), (LIT), (LPX), (MHY), (NDAQ), (PFE), (PRST) and (S). Jon Najarian Owns (AAPL), Is Short (AAPL) Calls. Jon Najarian Owns (BRK.B), Is Short (BRK.B) Calls. Jon Najarian Owns (CBOE), Is Short (CBOE) Calls. Jon Najarian Owns (CNW), Is Short (CNW) Calls. Jon Najarian Owns (CNX), Is Short (CNX) Calls. Jon Najarian Owns (BTU), Is Short (BTU) Calls. Jon Najarian Owns (JRCC), Is Short (JRCC) Calls. Jon Najarian Owns (CME), Is Short (CME) Calls. Jon Najarian Owns (NYX), Is Short (NYX) Calls. Jon Najarian Owns (FCX), Is Short (FCX) Calls. Jon Najarian Owns (HPQ), Is Short (HPQ) Calls. Jon Najarian Owns (KWK), Is Short (KWK) Calls. Jon Najarian Owns (NKE), Is Short (NKE) Calls. Jon Najarian Owns (CHS), Is Short (CHS) Calls. Jon Najarian Owns (MTW), Is Short (MTW) Calls. Jon Najarian Owns (WNR), Is Short (WNR) Calls. Jon Najarian Owns (PAAS), Is Short (PAAS) Calls. Jon Najarian Owns (SLV), Is Short (SLV) Calls. Jon Najarian Owns (HK), Is Short (HK) Calls. Jon Najarian Owns (CSTR), Is Short (CSTR) Calls. Jon Najarian Owns (CRM), Is Short (CRM) Calls.

Comcast Is The Parent Company Of CNBC
Comcast Is The Parent Company Of NBCUniversal
GE Owns 49% Of NBCUniversal
GE Owns 49% Of CNBC

JOE TERRANOVA
Terranova is Chief Market Strategist of Virtus Investment Partners, LTD
Virtus Investment Partners Owns More Than 1% Of (ABAX)
Virtus Investment Partners Owns More Than 1% Of (AMKR)
Virtus Investment Partners Owns More Than 1% Of (CCG)
Virtus Investment Partners Owns More Than 1% Of (CASS)
Virtus Investment Partners Owns More Than 1% Of (CSVI)
Virtus Investment Partners Owns More Than 1% Of (EXR)
Virtus Investment Partners Owns More Than 1% Of (FCFS)
Virtus Investment Partners Owns More Than 1% Of (KRC)
Virtus Investment Partners Owns More Than 1% Of (LDR)
Virtus Investment Partners Owns More Than 1% Of (LPHI)
Virtus Investment Partners Owns More Than 1% Of (NCRI)
Virtus Investment Partners Owns More Than 1% Of (DBV)
Virtus Investment Partners Owns More Than 1% Of (XLB)
Virtus Investment Partners Owns More Than 1% Of (XLV)
Virtus Investment Partners Owns More Than 1% Of (XLP)
Virtus Investment Partners Owns More Than 1% Of (XLY)
Virtus Investment Partners Owns More Than 1% Of (XLE)
Virtus Investment Partners Owns More Than 1% Of (XLF)
Virtus Investment Partners Owns More Than 1% Of (XLI)
Virtus Investment Partners Owns More Than 1% Of (XLK)
Virtus Investment Partners Owns More Than 1% Of (XLU)
Virtus Investment Partners Owns More Than 1% Of (SUBK)
Virtus Investment Partners Owns More Than 1% Of (WDFC)
Virtus Investment Partners Owns More Than 1% Of (YDNT)
Virtus Investment Partners Owns More Than 1% Of (DOM)

STEVE GRASSO
Stuart Frankel & Co. And Its Partners Own (AMGN)
Stuart Frankel & Co. And Its Partners Own (CSCO)
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 (MSFT)
Stuart Frankel & Co. And Its Partners Own (NYX)
Stuart Frankel & Co. And Its Partners Own (PFE)
Stuart Frankel & Co. And Its Partners Own (PRST)
Stuart Frankel & Co. And Its Partners Own (SDS)
Stuart Frankel & Co. And Its Partners Own (XRX)
Stuart Frankel & Co. And Its Partners Own (SDS)
Stuart Frankel & Co. And Its Partners Own (UAL)
Stuart Frankel & Co. And Its Partners Own (XRX)
Stuart Frankel & Co. And Its Partners Are Short (QQQQ)
Stuart Frankel & Co. And Its Partners Are Short (AAPL)

PATTY EDWARDS
Edwards Owns (SPY) For Clients
Edwards Owns (QQQQ) For Clients
Edwards Owns (GLD) For Clients
Edwards Owns (BMO) For Clients
Edwards Owns (NKE) For Clients
Edwards Owns (ES) For Clients
Edwards Owns (AAPL) For Clients
Edwards Owns (MSFT) For Clients

CNBC.com with wires. Reuters contributed to this report.

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