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Stick With Regionals Amid Bank Turmoil, Pro Says


One way to play the financial sector on a day in which bank stocks took a beating is to stick to small banks, one “Fast Money” trader said Monday.

The losses followed comments by European Central Bank President Mario Draghi that made no mention of additional bond-buying and signs that the Federal Reserve might adopt new Basel III regulations.

Trader Brian Kelly of Shelter Harbor Capital said that market activity might have been overdone.

Financial Hit: BofA Under $5

“It’s hard for me to believe that the Federal Reserve, who has supported the banks over the last two years, would do something to hurt the banks in the short-term here,” he said. “I would stick with the names that aren’t in investment banking, that don’t have that international exposure. I would go with more of the regional banks.”

Bank of America shares dropped 4.13 percent to at $4.99, its lowest close since March 11, 2009.

Overall, financial stocks slipped 1.78 percent.

Options trader Scott Nations said there were more than 50,000 weekly puts on BAC, with some investors selling December puts to offset the cost of buying January puts.

“So somebody thinks that it’s going to get through the year at $5 and above, but that it’s toast after that,” he said. 

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Trader disclosure: On Dec. 19, 2011, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC’s "Fast Money" were owned by the "Fast Money" traders: Adami owns C; Adami owns GS; Adami owns INTC; Adami owns MSFT; Adami owns NUE; Adami owns BTU; Adami owns AGU; Terranova owns TRLG; Terranova owns SWN; Terranova owns SU; Terranova owns VRTS; Terranova owns IBM; Terranova owns LQD; Terranova owns MUB; Terranova owns EMC; Terranova owns CSCO; Terranova owns AXP; Terranova owns SBUX; Kelly is short UBS; Kelly is short BCS; Kelly is short SLX; Seymour is long KRE; Seymour is long IWM; Cortes is long SO; Cortes is long TSN; Cortes is long SVU; Cortes is long Treasuries; Cortes is short AAPl; Cortes is short XRT; Cortes is short Crude;

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Nations is long SPY

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Nations is long BAC

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Societe Generale-firm makes market in euro currency and euro currency options

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Gartman is short euro vs. the Canadian dollar and S&P 500 futures

For Doug Sipkin
Jefferies & Company, Inc makes a market in the securities or ADRs of Apple Inc.

For Lou Kerner
Kerner owns shares of Facebook

For Gina Sanchez
No disclosures

For Craig Moffett
No disclosures