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Halftime: Similar Stock Moves As Last Quake?

Both the Dow and the S&P traded lower on Thursday after a second earthquake rocked Japan.

The magnitude 7.1 event quickly captured the attention of investors, not only for concerns about immediate damage, but also for the ripple it could generate across world markets.

As you may remember, investors went into ‘sell first and ask questions later’ mode on March 11th when Japan was hit by that first massive quake.

Those events not only sparked a humanitarian crisis but also called the future of energy into question with the disaster generating long-term damage to a nuclear plant at Fukushima.

Will these events trigger a similar reaction? How should you position now?

Instant Insights with the Fast Money trader

From the NYSE, trader Steve Grasso tells the desk the initial reaction on the floor was similar to what happened in March; that is investors sold the headline. However he also says buyers quickly emerged looking for overreaction. If you’re among those looking for buying opportunity, Grasso suggests looking at the EWJ. "My partner bought some and I bought some," he says.

Jon Najarian adds that he too is seeing similar patterns. “Investors scrambled for the same stocks (to short) as last time,” he says, particularly “Toyota and uranium miner Cameco.” Najarian says he now has Toyota on his radar. "Last time it traded down to $73. On Thursday it traded down to $75.95, then bounced. If that level holds Najarian would consider it a buy signal.

Looking at Cameco, Brian Kelly is cautious. “We still don’t know the extent of the damage at Fukushima after the first quake– it’s hard to know what nuclear energy will look like going forward,” he says. Kelly also reminds the desk that the last quake kick-started interest in alternative energy. GE just made a big push in solar power, saying it will invest $600 million to build a new factory as it pursues what it thinks could be an up to $3 billion business by 2015.

Steve Cortes isn’t quite so bearish on the nuclear trade. He says that he’s long Exelon and Southern. He’s betting that “US nuclear energy may not expand but its not going away either.”

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MARKET MYSTERY: YEN STAYING HIGHER AFTER QUAKE

The Fast traders were also closely watching the action in the yen , which pulled back and then advanced.

“The thinking is that there will be some kind of repatriation by insurers to pay out premiums,” explains host Melissa Lee. Also she says, historically the yen was up 20% in the 3 months following the Kobe earthquake in 1995.

What’s the trade?

Brian Kelly doesn’t think the yen makes a similar move today as it did in 1995. “I’m short the yen – I think these gains are just a knee jerk reaction,” he says.

Get more details from Andy Busch of BMO Capital Markets. Watch the video now!


















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THE METALS

Meanwhile the traders are also looking at the action in gold and copper in the wake of the second Japan quake.

What’s the trade?

Brian Kelly tells the desk to short copper futures. “Copper reversed from its highs on Thursday, the highs are my stop,” he says.

Jon Najarian suggests putting the Silver ETF on the radar as well as Newmont Mining due to bullish options action.

Steve Cortes is on the other side of the trade. He says “Newmont is one of the worst ways to play it. Gold has rallied 25% over the last year but Newmont has rallied only 7%. It’s underperforming gold as well as other miners,” he says.

Steve Grasso tells the desk all the metals could move higher but not because of the quake, “as a hedge againsta potential US government shutdown.”



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Trader disclosure: On April 7, 2011, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC’s "Fast Money" were owned by the "Fast Money" traders; Steve Cortes owns (GS), (SDY), (EXC) and (SO). Steve Cortes is long 10 yr. notes. STeve Cortes is long U.S. Dollar vs. Euro vs. British Pound. Steve Cortes is short (F). Steve Cortes is short (BAC). Steve Cortes is short nasdaq. Steve Cortes is short (TOL). Steve Cortes is short EUR/CHF currency cross. Steve Cortes is short Wheat; Grasso owns (AMD); Grasso owns (ASTM); Grasso owns (BA); Grasso owns (BAC); Grasso owns (C); Grasso owns (CPX); Grasso owns (CSCO); Grasso owns (D); Grasso owns (JPM); Grasso owns (LIT); Grasso owns (LPX); Grasso owns (MHY); Grasso owns (NDAQ); Grasso owns (PFE); Grasso owns (PRST)

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

Len Brecken SOT from Fast Money 4/6/11
Brecken is short (NFLX)

Steven Grasso
Stuart Frankel & Co and its partners own (CUBA)
Stuart Frankel & Co and its partners own (EWJ)
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 (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)

Brian Kelly
Accounts Managed by Kanundrum Capital are long (EBAY)
Accounts Managed by Kanundrum Capital are long (ATW)
Accounts Managed by Kanundrum Capital are long (FXE)
Accounts Managed by Kanundrum Capital are long (GLD)
Accounts Managed by Kanundrum Capital are long (SLV)
Accounts Managed by Kanundrum Capital are long (LMT)
Accounts Managed by Kanundrum Capital are long (MCP)
Accounts Managed by Kanundrum Capital are long (TBT)
Accounts Managed by Kanundrum Capital are long (VLO)
Accounts Managed by Kanundrum Capital are long (JJC)
Accounts Managed by Kanundrum Capital are long gold futures
Accounts Managed by Kanundrum Capital are long silver futures
Accounts Managed by Kanundrum Capital are long wheat futures
Accounts Managed by Kanundrum Capital are long euro
Accounts Managed by Kanundrum Capital are short yen
Accounts Managed by Kanundrum Capital are short (XLF)
Accounts Managed by Kanundrum Capital are short (SMH)
Accounts Managed by Kanundrum Capital are short U.S. Bond futures
Accounts Managed by Kanundrum Capital are short copper futures

David Hilal
FBR Captial Markets Is A Market Maker In (CRM)

Deborah Weinswig
An Employee Of Citigroup Global Markets Or Affiliates Is A Trustee Of (TGT)
Citigroup Global Markets Was A Financial Advisor To Catalyst Health Solutions In Agreement With Walgreen Co.
Citi Employees Own (HD), (WMT)
Citigroup Global Markets Or Affiliates Owns 1% Or More Of (SKS), (SVU), (TGT)
Citigroup Glboal Markets Or Affiliates Managed Or Co-Managed Offering Of (DG), (HD), (TGT), (WMT) In Past 12 Months
Citigroup Global Markets Or Affiliates Have Receieved Investment Banking Compensation In Past 12 Months From (DG), (HD), (KR), (TGT), (WMT)
Citigroup Global Markets Or Affiliate recieved Non-Investment Banking Compensation In Past 12 Months From (DG), (HD), (JCP), (KSS), (KR), (M), (SWY), (SVU), (TGT), (WAG), (WMT), (COST)
(DG), (HD), (KR), (TGT), (WMT) Are Or In Past 12 Months Were Investment Banking Clients Of Citigroup Global Markets
(CVS), (DG), (HD), (JCP), (KSS), (KR), (M), (SWY), (SKS), (SVU), (TGT), (WAG), (WMT), (COST) Are Or In Past 12 Months Were Non-Investment Banking Clients Of Citigroup Global Markets (Non-Securities Services)
(DG), (HD), (JCP), (KSS), (KR), (M), (SWY), (SVU), (TGT), (WAG), (WMT), (COST) Are Or In Past 12 Months Were Non-Investment Banking Clients Of Citigroup Global Markets (Non-Securities-Related Services)
Citigroup Global Markets Or Affiliate Recieved Compensation From (DG) In Past 12 Months
Citigroup Global Markets Is A Market Maker In (CVS), (M), (COST)
Citigroup Global Markets And/Or Affiliates Has A Significant Financial Interest In Relation To (CVS), (DG), (HD), (JCP), (KSS), (KR), (LOW), (JWN), (SWY), (SKS), (SVU), (TGT), (WMT), (COST)
CItigorup Global markets Or Affiliates Owns 10% Or More Of (SKS)

Andy Busch:
**No disclosures



CNBC.com with wires.

Symbol
Price
 
Change
%Change
DJIA
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S&P 500
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CCO
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EWJ
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EXC
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GE
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NEM
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SLV
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SO
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7203.T
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