6 trades to watch in an uncertain market

After U.S. stocks followed global markets lower Thursday, "Fast Money" traders outlined what they deemed safe plays to ride out uncertainty.

Major averages each closed down more than 2 percent, after a brief Chinese trading session in which a 7 percent drop in the CSI300 triggered a halt. Traders looked to longer-term plays that could offer protection through volatility.

Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF

The price of gold, a traditional "safe haven" asset, climbed Thursday amid the uncertainty in stock and oil markets. The Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF rose more than 4 percent for the day.

Both traders Guy Adami and Brian Kelly said gold likely has more upside ahead.

Gold bullion bars and coins.
Getty Images
Gold bullion bars and coins.

iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF

U.S. Treasury prices rose in choppy trading Thursday amid a flight to safer assets, sending yields lower. In that environment, the iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF could make a good play, said Adami and trader Dan Nathan.

Utilities Select Sector SPDR Fund

Utilities offer a place to "hide" in current markets, said trader Steve Grasso. Nathan also identified them as a defensive play because of their dividend yields.

They looked to the Utilities Select Sector SPDR Fund, which fell slightly on Thursday.


Shares of department store chain Macy's climbed about 2 percent Thursday in the wake of a restructuring announcement. Adami believes the stock can rise even more.

Grasso also outlined possible strength in American Eagle Outfitters.


Nathan also saw Verizon as a possible play for investors looking for yield.


Dan Nathan

Dan Nathan is long MCD Feb Put Spread, Long PFE buy-write, long TWTR March Risk Reversal, long UUP March call, long XLU Feb Call spread, long PYPL Jan Risk Reversal, long M Jan16 call spread, long NTAP Jan risk reversal, long QCOM feb calls, short SPY, Long UUP, long WMT puts

Steve Grasso

Steve Grasso is long AAPL, BA, BAC, CC, DD, DIS, DECK, EVGN, KBH, MJNA, MBLY, MU, OLN, PFE, PHM, T, TWTR, GDX firm is long APC, CXO, OXY, BP, CVX, MCD, RIG, AMZN kids own EFA, EFG, EWJ, IJR, SPY

Brian Kelly

Brian Kelly is long BBRY, Bitcoin, GDX, GLD, Hong Kong Dollar, TLT, US Dollar; he is short British Pound, Euro, Yuan, Canadian Dollar, GSG, EEM, EWC, EWH, KRE, SPY, DB

Guy Adami

Guy Adami is long CELG, EXAS, GDX, INTC, Guy Adami's wife, Linda Snow, works at Merck.