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Traders: How to play a sluggish stock market

Markets struggled for direction on Thursday, and "Fast Money" traders discussed what they'll do if stocks remain sluggish.

The three major U.S. averages closed the day mixed. None of them moved more than 0.2 percent as the Dow Jones industrial average closed higher and the S&P 500 and Nasdaq closed lower.

Trader Guy Adami believes two assets that have climbed already this year will keep rising. He contended the iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF will rise as bond prices rally. The U.S. 10-year Treasury note yield, which moves inversely to its price, has fallen 23 percent this year.

He argued gold futures, which have soared about 20 percent this year, will continue their climb.

Meanwhile, U.S. crude oil prices have rallied 9 percent this year, pushing gas prices up for consumers. Traders debated what effect the rise would have on retail stocks.

Traders Dan Nathan and Steve Grasso said the SPDR S&P Retail ETF could struggle in that environment. Grasso also said Amazon.com may be a smart buy if broader stock valuations rise from here.

Disclosures:

Guy Adami

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

Steve Grasso

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

Dan Nathan

Long PFE Long TWTR, Sept risk reversal WMT long May 65 puts GE long May 28 puts XHB long June put spread IWM long Sept 100 put XLB long June put spread XRT long June 45/38 put spread XLF long May/ Sept Put spread HYG long June put spread XLK long Sept Put spread FXI long aug put spread SMH long aug putspread

Tim Seymour

Tim Seymour is long AAPL, AVP, BAC, BBRY, CLF, DO, EDC, EWZ, F, FCX, FXI, GM, GOOGL, GRMN, GE, GLNCY, INTC, LQD, MCD, MPEL, NKE, RACE, RAI, RL, SINA, T, TWTR, UA, VALE, VZ, XOM. Tim's firm is long BABA, BIDU, CLF, EWZ, F, HD, KO, MCD, MPEL, NKE, PEP, PF, SAVE, SBUX, SINA, VALE, VIAB, WMT, WEN, YHOO, short HYG, IWM, WYNN