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Micron, Barnes & Noble, Retail: What's the Word on the Street?

Thursday, 29 Sep 2011 | 5:46 PM ET

By the end of the session the S&P closed higher, the Dow climbed by triple digits and the Nasdaq was in the red.

What should you make of the almost contradictory movement in the market?

Guy Adami just can't feel good about any rally right now, unless you're looking to play it for a bounce.

But with materials driving springtime gains and sending the S&P to bull market highs, the advance "has been predicated on growth in China,” Adami said.

Word on the Street: High End Retail Slump
The Fast Money traders weigh in on the "slaughter" in high-end retail stocks; trouble in techs; the Chinese Internet buzzkill; and after-hours action in Micron.

But lately the Asian markets have been trading at lows not seen since July 2009. That's not a good sign.

And to make matters worse, Adami doesn't like the way copper is acting. Often called Dr. Copper because its moves can be used to diagnose the health of the market, copper has plunged lately on high volume. "That doesn’t paint a rosy picture for manufacturing,' he says.

Joe Terranova isn't nearly so bearish. He think the erratic moves in the market are all about money managers squaring the books ahead of quarter's end. If the market gets positive headlines such as a better than expected jobs number next week, he thinks pros will seek out stocks that are oversold and gobble them up.

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HIGH-END RETAIL SLAUGHTER

Digging down into the market, the pros were closely watching retail, especially the high-end stores with Tiffany and Coach both dropping sharply in Thursday’s session.

How should you trade?

”Tiffany had been outperforming the market,” says Pete Najarian, “so it makes sense that recent concerns about China slowing down would take their toll.” However, I’d look at Nike, it’s been steady and moving to the upside.”

”It’s a question of valuations and Tiffany and Coach have always been too rich for me,” says Karen Finerman. “However, I’m hanging onto BMW because that valuation seems attractive.”


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BARNES & NOBLE - IS KINDLE THE NAIL IN THE COFFIN?

Also Barnes & Noble landed on the trader radar with speculation growing that the new Amazon Kindle Fire could generate big trouble for the B&N Nook e-reader.

How should you trade?

”I’m going short again,” says Karen Finerman. “I think the Nook may be a great product but I don’t think it’s enough to save B&N.”

On top of that she doesn’t think the company can transform itself as quickly as needed to compete with Amazon. “I’m just pessimistic on the evolution of their business. I think the stock could easily trade below $10.”

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AFTER HOURS ACTION IN MICRON

Micron also landed on the trader radar after the firm posted a surprise quarterly loss, hurt by lower gross margins due to falling DRAM prices, sending its shares down 3 percent after the bell.

The company’s stock has already more than halved since touching a 29-month high of $11.95 in February, due to worries about lackluster PC sales and potential steep losses in an antitrust trial involving Rambus.

What’s the trade?

”I don’t see anything constructive in the quarter,” says trader Guy Adami.

”If there’s a sympathy sell-off in SanDisk, I’m a buyer,” says Joe Terranova.

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CHIPS UNDER PRESSURE

With chips stocks among the big losers in Thursday’s session, how should you position in the space.

Find out form Nomura analyst Romit Shah.

Watch the video now!

Chips Under Pressure
Romit Shah, Nomura semis analyst, has the trade on Advanced Micro Devices.







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Trader disclosure: On Sep 29, 2011, 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); Adami Owns (C); Adami Owns (GS); Adami Owns (INTC); Adami Owns (MSFT); Adami Owns (NUE); Adami Owns (BTU); Terranova is long VRTS; Terranova is long OXY; Terranova is long HOS; Terranova is long OIH; Terranova is long CVI; Terranova is long AXP; Terranova is long EMC; Terranova is long F; Terranova is long AMZN; Terranova is long WFC; Terranova is long AAPL; Terranova is long IBM; Terranova is long Silver puts; Terranova is long PCP; Terranova is long MS; Terranova is long GS; Terranova is long WFM

JAMES WEST
West owns gold bullion trusts, gold coins, and is a stakeholder in some gold mines.

KEVIN SMITH
No disclosures

ROMIT SHAH
Nomura Securities International Inc. makes a market in (AMD) securities

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  • Najarian, the "Pit Boss," is cofounder of optionMONSTER.com, a news site for options traders.

  • Finerman is president of Metropolitan Capital Advisors, Inc., a company she co-founded.

  • Founder of EmergingMoney.com

  • Chief Market Strategist for Virtus Investment Partners & CNBC Contributor

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