“I don’t think it’s time to get panicked for the consumer. First of all, this is a supply-disruption issue,” he said. “I don’t know that this needs to be baked into your 2012 numbers yet.”
Seymour of EmergingMoney.com said luxury retail would be the real test on ripple effects of rising oil prices. But he cautioned on getting too short of such names as Tiffany or Coach.
Among oil services, Seymour liked Tenaris.
“They’re the best in the world,” he said. “Buy this weakness.”
London Brent crude for April delivery settled at $123.62 a barrel, rising 72 cents, to mark the highest front-month settlement since May 2 last year.
Rising for the sixth consecutive session, U.S. light, sweet crude futures for April settled at $107.83, gaining $1.55, after having climbed to a session high of $108.05, the highest settlement for front-month NYMEX crude since May 4 last year.
Karen Finerman of Metropolitan Capital Advisors said sustained high oil prices would create downward pressure on the stock price of Target and, even more so, Wal-Mart.
“Obviously some of these retailers are going to take it on the chin,” said Drakon Capital’s Guy Adami.
Costco’s strength made it attractive, but trading at 20 times forward earnings, Adami said he would wait for a pull-back to buy.
Instead, he liked Nabors, whose stock price took a beating in recent weeks and represented a better value.
Brian Kelly of Shelter Harbor Capital noted stats from Casey’s General Stores, which recently reported gas sales down 1.7 percent while food sales rose 6 percent.
“I would look for that trend to reverse as people basically spend more on gas and they buy less Slim Jims at Casey’s General Store when they go in there,” he said.
Deutsche Bank energy analyst Paul Sankey said the issue was broader than Iran, with supply threats in Syria, Somalia and Yemen. But he also noted that the U.S. economy was growing despite falling demand.
The Middle East and Russia will initially benefit from high oil prices, while China and other emerging market economies could be hurt because of their reliance on energy, he said.
As far as oil companies, Sankey liked Marathon, Occidental, SM Energy and ConocoPhillips — but with a caveat.
“You’re running out of steam up here, quite frankly, because the market will stop paying above $120 oil,” he said. “Equity market is very nervous about paying more for oil stocks.”
There was, however, one exception.
“If you’re worried about the rollover, which I am, look at ConocoPhillips,” he said. “That’s going to be super-defensive.”
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Trader disclosure: On Feb 23, 2012, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC’s "Fast Money" were owned by the "Fast Money" traders; Finerman is long AAPL; Finerman is long BAC; Finerman is long JPM; Finerman is long HPQ; Finerman's firm is long AAPL; Finerman's firm is long JPM; Finerman's firm is long HPQ; Finerman's firm is long WMT and short calls; Seymour is long BAC; Seymour is long INTC; Seymour is long CSCO; Adami is long C; Adami is long GS; Adami is long INTC; Adami is long AGU; Adami is long NUE; Adami is long BTU; Adami is long MSFT; Kelly is long TLT; Kelly is long US Treasury bonds
For Shaw Wu
(HPQ): Sterne, Agee & Leach, Inc. makes a market in the shares of the subject company
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Thornburg Investment Management owns AAPL shares
For Bill Lefkowitz
For Paul Sankey
(OXY): Deutsche Bank and/or its affiliate(s) has received non-investment banking related compensation from this company within the past year. This company has been a client of Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. within the past year, during which time it received non-investment banking securities-related services.
(MPC): Deutsche Bank (and/or affiliates) owns 1% or more of any class of common equity securities of this company and company is an Investment Banking client of DBSI
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