On Thursday the Dow eked out a small gain as investors hit the pause button ahead of Friday’s jobs report.
On average, economists expect a loss of 8,000 non-farm jobs in December after a 11,000 job losses in November.
However, the bulls were a little spooked after data showed initial jobless claims edged higher last week.
What’s the trade?
When it comes to the jobs report, good news is bad news and bad news is bad news, says Gary Kaminsky. This time of year money managers sell their winners and that will likely take down the market on Friday no matter what. (In other words Kaminsky thinks money managers will sell into strength as well as weakness – it doesn’t matter.) Personally, I’m short the Nasdaq , Kaminsky adds because I expect to see a rotation out of tech.
I have to disagree, counters Tim Seymour. I think the current rally is about confidence and if the jobs number confirms things are getting better I think the market climbs higher.
I agree with Tim, echoes Karen Finerman. If we get a good jobs number, I think money on the sidelines will get put to work. A positive number should take the market higher.
CHARTOLOGY – TIME TO SHORT GOOGLE?
Google belongs in every investor’s portfolio, right? Maybe not. Although the desk is bullish on Google for the long-term, if you’re a trader, Scott Redler of T3 suggests the short term move may be lower.
Google broke its upper range on Wednesday at $620, he says on the Halftime Report. (That’s significant from a technical perspective.) The next key level is $598 to $600 and if Google can’t hold that level it could fall to its 50-day, which is around $580.
It’s a technical move, adds Tim Seymour. I’d be careful of large cap tech stocks in the near-term. But long-term Google should drive tech higher.
I think the Google story remains in tact, says Karen Finerman. I’m a buyer of Google at $600.
I’d play Google growth by getting longQualcomm , adds Joe Terranova.
HOW MANY TABLETS DO WE NEED?
The Nasdaq closed lower on Thursday with tech stocks under pressure once again. “Keep in mind tech has not participated in the rally since the beginning of 2010,” says Jeff Tomasulo of SMB on the Halftime Report.
What’s the tech trade?
I’m watching Lexmark, says Joe Terranova. They’re not terribly well diversified and I’d consider a short position.
I’m bullish on Microsoft, adds Tim Seymour. H-P is partnered with Microsoft on their new tablet and I think it’s positive.
When it comes to the Nexus One, Droid and other gadgets, I’m cautious, says Gary Kaminsky. It starts to smell a little bit like 1999. There are not an infinite number of people who want them nor is there a limitless demand for gadgets.
CLASSIC 'SELL THE NEWS' IN RETAIL
A late holiday shopping surge helped U.S. retailers beat analysts' sales estimates for December.
Retailers from Macy's to Aeropostale and Limited Brands raised their earnings outlooks for the holiday quarter, and bullish sentiment drove the Standard & Poor's Retail Index higher.
What’s the retail trade?
I sold the news, reveals Karen Finerman. I sold ¾ of my position in Children’s Place .
I did that same thing at Bed Bath & Beyond, adds Gary Kaminsky. It’s time to sell this one and take profits.
TJX is the stock I’m watching, says Tim Seymour. They blew away numbers. It says to me value wins with consumers.
The dollar hit a 4-month high against the yen on Thursday after Japan's new finance minister said he wanted to weaken yen even more.
The dollar's rally against the yen helped boost the greenback against a basket of currencies across the board.
How should you game the space?
I'm short Treasuries, says Karen Finerman. I think interest rates are going up.
I agree, echoes Gary Kaminsky. You can't have a recovery without rates going up.
WHALE WATCHING: SWIM WITH ICAHN ON GENZYME?
Billionaire investor, and Fast Money friend Carl Icahn, who last year forced board changes at Biogen may be taking aim at rival Genzyme.
"I do believe that big pharma is going to be buying biotech companies,” Icahn told us in June of last year. “Biotech companies have compounds, but by and large they do not have good management at the top."
And Icahn is putting his money where his mouth is.
He bought 1.5 million Genzyme shares in the third quarter.
Now, some observers expect him to increase that stake as he considers a proxy assault on the biotech powerhouse.
On Thursday, however, Genzyme launched a pre-emptive strike against Icahn by announcing it had entered into a collaborative agreement with another activist investor, Ralph Whitworth.
The agreement gives Whitworth, who runs Relational Investors LLC and is one of Genzyme's top shareholders, the right to join Genzyme's board. In return, Whitworth has pledged to publicly support and recommend each of Genzyme's board nominees at the company's shareholder meetings.
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Trader disclosure: On January 7th, 2010, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC’s Fast Money were owned by the Fast Money traders; Kaminsky Is Short (QQQQ); Finerman's Firm Owns (GME), (MSFT), (PLCE), (WMT); Finerman's Firm Is Short (IJR), (SPY), (IWM), (MDY), (UNG), (USO); Finerman's Firm Owns (WFC) Preferred; Finerman's Firm Owns (BAC) Preferred, (BAC), (BAC) Call Spread; Finerman Owns (BAC) Preferred, (BAC); Finerman's Firm And Finerman Own (GOOG); Finerman's Firm Owns (TJX); Finerman's Firm Is Short 30-Year Treasury Options; Finerman's Firm Is Short (TBT); Finerman Owns (AAPL); Terranova Owns (BAC); Terranova Is Short February Crude Oil Futures; Terranova Is Short (CMA), (SHLD); Terranova Is Long Copper Backwardation, Is Long May 2010 Futures, Is Short July 2010 Futures; Seygem Asset Management Owns (EEM) Puts, Seymour Owns (EEM), (AAPL), (AA), (BAC), (CHL), (FXI), (INTC)
Add’ls Disclosures for Joe Terranova
Terranova Works For (VRTS)
Terranova Is Chief Market Strategist Of Virtus Investment Partners, Ltd.
Virtus Investment Partners Owns More Than 1% Of (CLB)
Virtus Investment Partners Owns More Than 1% Of (DLR)
Virtus Investment Partners Owns More Than 1% Of (EXR)
Virtus Investment Partners Owns More Than 1% Of (IGE)
Virtus Investment Partners Owns More Than 1% Of (XLY)
Virtus Investment Partners Owns More Than 1% Of (DBV)
Virtus Investment Partners Owns More Than 1% Of (UA)
Virtus Investment Partners Owns More Than 1% Of (XLB)
Virtus Investment Partners Owns More Than 1% Of (XLI)
Virtus Investment Partners Owns More Than 1% Of (SKT)
For Jon Najarian
Jon Najarian Owns (APOL) Time Spread
Pete Najarian Owned (XLF) Calls Today
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