Stocks surged after the worst start to September since WWII, and today, like then, the market moved largely due to decisions made in Berlin.
This time Germany's top court smoothed the way for Berlin's participation in bailouts – a move that could also have great historical significance.
The decision was greeted with great enthusiasm around the globe as a sign that the EU had taken a major step in the road to stability.
”It’s a huge positive,” says Howard Ward, chief investment officer at GAMCO Growth in a Reuters interview.
If Germany has removed a major hurdle threatening markets, can you safely assume stocks have bottomed?
Instant Insights with the Fast Money traders
Only one of the Fast Money traders thinks you can, infact, safely assume the S&P has bottomed.
“We’ve seen the lows for the year,” trader Jon Najarian says emphatically. “I think we saw the bottom around 1136 in the pre-market.” Looking at the chart patterns Najarian suggests Wednesday's bounce makes a bullish double bottom pattern.
But in addition to that bullish sign, Najarian sees another positive 'tell.'
He says the volatility in the Financials ETF has dropped from 58 all the way to 38 – its 30-day moving average. With volatility coming out of the space so rapidly, it's reasonable to expect swings lower (as well as higher) should be less violent.
And all told, that's enough for Jon Najarian to call a bottom.
All the other traders, however, are on the other side. Even Jon’s brother Pete isn’t buying. Forget volatility, he feels the financials themselves need to trade better. And he doesn't see that happening with the real estate market still woefully sluggish. "I was just in Califorinia and the real estate prices are continuing to slip considerably, from just a year ago."
Trader Tim Seymour thinks there are still too many headwinds blowing in Europe to feel confident that recent gains in the S&P can sustain.
Trader Guy Adami thinks investors will start to see a down move as soon as Thursday. “I think the market spikes higher early and then fades late day.” He says what happens if and when the market re-tests 1140 will be telling. "Technically the S&P is broken," he says.
Even Karen Finerman who sees a lot of value in the market, concedes that she needs more clarity from the EU before she can become a strong buyer. “I’d rather buy higher with more clarity than buy at these valuations with the ambiguity.”
BANK OF AMERICA LEADS FINANCIALS
Looking at the financials more closely, the traders were keeping a close eye on BofA after the company decided to shake up its management team by ousting top executives Sallie Krawcheck and Joseph Price
What’s the trade?
Karen Finerman thinks the story is how they get the albatross -- in the way of mortgage put-backs -- off their back. “Once we know that, then we may see this stock start to move,” she says.
Street chatter suggests that CEO Brian Moynihan may be the next executive who gets the boot, explains Guy Adami, and that could generate more of a rally. However, largely Adami thinks rallies in BofA are made to be sold.
NVIDIA LEADS TECH STOCK BOUNCE
Digging down into the market, chip stocks landed on the radar after NVIDIA led the sector higher with a revenue forecast that was stronger than expected.
What’s the trade?
Guy Adami has Texas Instruments on the radar. “If you’re a trader I think the stock is in no-man’s land,” he says. “But if you have a longer time horizon I like the dividend and valuations aren’t crazy.”
Pete Najarian is bullish Intel as a related trade tethered to commentary from NVIDIA.
Tim Seymour is more concerned that big cap tech such as Intel is a value trap. “It’s hard to see where the growth will be for a company like Intel if the world is slowing.”
Karen Finerman thinks there are 'interesting' stocks in the space. She suggests looking at Microsoft, Oracle and Apple.
WALTER ENERGY SURGES
Elsewhere in the market the traders were watching Walter Energy, which surged higher due to chatter of a potential takeover bid.
What’s the trade?
The chatter on the Street suggests that either Anglo American or BHP is interested, explains Karen Finerman.
”BHP has been a serial acquirer attempter,” reminds Tim Seymour. In other words, if you’re betting on BHP as the buyer, be aware of their M&A track record.
UNUSUAL ACTIVITY: ARCH COAL
Pete Najarian has spotted unusual options action in Arch Coal. A larger than usual volume of October 21 calls and October 24 calls leads him to speculate that this stock could make a sharp move higher.
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Trader disclosure: On Sep 7, 2011, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC’s "Fast Money" were owned by the "Fast Money" traders;Seymour owns (AAPL); Seymour owns (BAC); Seymour owns (GM); Seymour owns (INTC); Adami owns (C); Adami owns (GS); Adami owns (INTC); Adami owns (AGU); Adami owns (MSFT); Adami owns (NUE) ;Adami owns (BTU); Najarian owns (AAPL); Najarian owns (C); Najarian owns (MS); Najarian owns (CLF) calls’ Najarian owns (TCK); Najarian owns (ACI) calls; Najarian owns (VLO); Najarian owns (PEP); Weiss Owns (AAPL); Weiss Owns (JPM)
Weiss Owns (QCOM); Weiss Owns (DE); Weiss Owns (COP); Weiss Owns (KO); Weiss Owns (KEG); Weiss Owns (MOS); Finerman owns (AAPL); Finerman owns (BAC) leaps
Finerman owns (JPM) leaps
For Karen Finerman
Finerman & Finerman’s firm owns (AAPL)
Finerman & Finerman’s firm owns (BAC) leaps
Finerman & Finerman’s firm owns (JPM) leaps
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