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Options Stock Options

  • Hartford is seeing heavy options trading Friday, as its stock soars more than 88% even as the broader markets drop. Hartford Financial Services, which has an average daily call volume of 10,000 contracts, saw 37,100 calls trade in the first hour of trading this morning. That's three times full session volume in just 60 minutes!

  • Blacker Friday? Job losses in November were the worst since 1974, as U.S. employers cut payrolls by 533,000. Mortgage loan delinquencies and foreclosures hit record highs in the third quarter — though one economist likes falling mortgage rates. Merrill Lynch cut its oil forecast, saying a temporary downspike of $25 is even possible. But one analyst praised the oil plunge as the equivalent of a "huge tax cut."

  • "Buy great companies at fair prices, instead of fair companies at great prices," Mark Tinker, global portfolio manager at Axa Framlington Gemini, advised.

  • Lousy sales, weak earnings and more layoffs reigned over Thursday, with glum news from Nokia, Viacom, Merck, AT&T, DuPont, Credit Suisse and retailers across the board. European central banks enacted big rate cuts. And  Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke urged more government efforts to stanch soaring home foreclosures. But CNBC heard from experts who say that while the news will get worse through 2009, markets will periodically rally — and one strategist sees the Dow at 12,000 in 2010.

  • Investors should get ready for a bumper bear-market rally by building a portfolio out of the most beaten-down stocks they can find, like Taylor Wimpy, Trinity Mirror, Clem Chambers, CEO of ADVFN, told CNBC.

  • President-elect Barack Obama nominated Gov. Bill Richardson (D-NM) for commerce secretary Wednesday, the same day that United Auto Workers President Ron Gettelfinger announced the UAW would make huge concessions in order to help the Big 3 automakers nail government bailout funds. CNBC heard from experts who said the drop in gasoline prices bodes well for the first quarter and Ben Bernanke just may save us from a severe recession. (UPDATED)

  • SanDisk shares are moving nearly 15 percent higher Wednesday, as talk of a renewed buyout bid by Toshiba hits the trading desks. Here's my take on it...

  • Don't buy the stocks that others are buying, says Craig Callahan, founder and president of ICON Advisers. He says investors should target what others are selling — like consumer discretionary stocks.

  • Stocks rallied Tuesday as investors scooped up bargains and were encouraged by news that General Electric will keep its dividend intact.

  • Stocks rose sharply Tuesday as investors scooped up beaten-down stocks after the prior session's selloff that saw the Dow give back 700 points.

  • It was real estate that led the market into recession, and David Goldberg of UBS thinks it's getting ready to lead it out.  He admits that fundamentals for homebuilding companies are low, and likely to remain so for at least the next nine months.  This, he believes, is the time to buy on valuation.

  • BP is seeing bullish options activity today after the company reaffirmed its commitment to dividends and capital expenditures.

  • These days, just about every stock picker in the business will tell you to be in the market for the long term.  Broadleaf Partners president and chief investment officer Doug MacKay is no exception, but he's willing to go out on a limb for an investor who absolutely must have some short-term gains.

  • Stocks opened higher Tuesday, clawing back some of what they lost Monday, when the Dow shed nearly 700 points.

  • U.S. stock index futures indicated a higher open for Wall Street on Tuesday after Monday's plunge and despite more bad news from the banking sector.

  • The red ink started to flow with Monday's opening bell on Wall Street.  Holland & Co.'s Mike Holland urged investors to stay with the best names as the best strategy to survive the bear market.

  • We all have our heroes.  David Schick's hero is the American consumer, scaling back and scooping up bargains to survive soaring gas prices, plunging employment, and crunching credit.  The reasons behind two of his stock picks are clear; the reasons behind his third stock pick, less so.

  • Automakers have rallied in recent days as prospects for a government bailout appeared to improve, but Ford is the only one trading higher today.

  • The Thanksgiving-week rally took the markets up 10 percent, and with a 28-percent gain, financials outperformed just about everything else.  BlackRock's Bob Doll sees investors cashing in on those gains this week, and recommends a move to more defensive stocks.

  • Stocks rose again in light post-Thanksgiving trading, logging their best five-day streak in 75 years. U.S. financial markets closed Friday at 1 p.m. ET.