×

How to trade earnings: 5 plays ahead of the open

The bar is higher this earnings season for companies that have historically outperformed, "Fast Money" traders said Wednesday. Now they have to blow their results out of the water if they want to avoid punishment in the market.

It's a busy week for earnings, with more than 90 S&P 500 components slated to report their quarterly results by this weekend. On Wednesday, companies like Qualcomm and Las Vegas Sands reported earnings, moving shares after hours.

Like Intel on Tuesday night, Qualcomm had some bad news with earnings, said Brian Kelly. If it trades higher Thursday morning, it's time to buy, he said.

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
Lucas Jackson | Reuters
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

Trader Dan Nathan said that at $50, Qualcomm's probably a cheap stock with not a ton of downside. But Nvidia is the real winner in the processor industry, said trader Steve Grasso.

Still, Nathan's watching shares of rival Taiwan Semiconductor ahead of Apple earnings for clues about the high-end smartphone business.

Las Vegas Sands is a great example of a company that was pressured to outperform, Najarian said. Despite a pullback after earnings, Las Vegas Sands is gaining market share in the key Asian markets, Najarian said.

Singapore, in particular, is a vehicle for growth for Las Vegas Sands compared to competitors, Grasso said.

Disclosures:

Steve Grasso

Steve is Long AAPL, BA, BAC, CC, DD, DIS, DECK, EVGN, KBH, MJNA, MU, OLN, PFE, PHM, T, TWTR, GDX firm is long CVX, NE, OXY, RIG kids own EFA, EFG, EWJ, IJR, SPY

Brian Kelly

Brian Kelly is long BBRY, Bitcoin, GLD, SLV, TLT, US Dollar, UUP; he is short Aussie Dollar, BLK, CS, DB, Euro, EWA, EWH, FRC, Hong Kong Dollar, UBS, Yuan, 5-Year Note Futures

Pete Najarian

Long AAPL, BAC, BMY, CSCO, DIS, DISCA, GE, KMI, KMI.A, KO, MRK, PEP, PFE, SAVE, ZIOP Long Calls: AAL, AGN, AKS, AMJ, BAC, CL, DATA, EBAY, EGO, ENR, EWZ, F, HAIN, KBH, KMI, KO, KORS, LLY, MET, MSFT, MT, NLNK, POT, SBUX, SLV, SPG, UAL, XOM, YHOO Long Puts: MS, PBR, VLO

Dan Nathan

Dan is long XLF may/ sept put spread. Dan is long AAPL April Put Fly, long PFE, long TWTR, long GE May 28 puts, long JPM April puts, long INTC April puts , long QCOM April put spreads, long HYG June puts, long IWM May and September puts, long XHB June put spread, long XLE April/June put spread. QCOM long May put spread. FXI Long Aug Puts, SMH Long Aug puts