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Halftime Report: Playing Defense For Your Portfolio



With all three major US indices at session lows, down over 1 percent halfway through Tuesday's trading day, some are doubting that the recovery could maintain its momentum ahead of earnings season. What is the best way to play this market and profit in the correction?

Trade Of The Day: Defensive Plays

Fast Money Halftime Report

Patricia Edwards of Storehouse Partners says “You have to go for something that is almost a sure thing. People will not give up their cigarettes and beer in the recession,” commenting on the strength in the consumer staples sector. She points out strong movement in Philip Morris International and Molson Coors, which have strong valuations and more room on the upside.

Dennis Gartman also agrees in the defensive plays in consumer staples and would be a buyer of Kelloggs and General Mills, pointing out that commodity prices are falling, which means increased margins for names like this.


Cannot Ignore The Commodity Trade

The commodities market has been a tough one to trade in, and with news that the CFTC is considering tighter controls on oil and gas price speculators, the seas may get even more choppy. Joe Terranova saw this news have a direct impact on the price of crude oil, dragging the price down nearly $2 when the news broke.

This is yet another reason to stay away from oil futures, which Terranova sees as the “Wild West” of this market. He suggests decreasing your exposure to oil futures and instead looking at low beta, slow-moving oil names like Suncor and Hess. In addition, Terranova also suggests staying away from names with major exposure to natural gas and instead looking at big, integrated global names.


Topping The Tape: Chips

With Intel the leading gainer in the Dow during intraday trading, Bank of America Merrill Lynch is predicting Intel and other chipmakers could see a cyclical rebound, delivering an upgrade on some chip names.

Like consumer staples, Patricia Edwards is also in favor of chip names and she sees the high demand for products like Apple’s iPhone and Research In Motion’s Blackberry leading the economy out of the recession.

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Trader disclosure: On July 7th, 2009, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC’s Fast Money were owned by the Fast Money guests; Edwards Owns (SH), (COST), (WMT), (PM). Gartman Owns (K), (ANDE), (GS), (LOW).