×

Jefferies: buy these refiners

Oil's wild ride is showing no signs of slowing down.

After starting the year in the red, crude has rebounded 51% in the past 6-months.

But the Street is mixed on whether oil can sustain its rapid rise.

Today Goldman Sachs released a note arguing that the rebound has not been driven by strength in fundamentals. The firm believes the ascent is simply due to headlines about a potential OPEC freeze.

On the other hand, Jefferies is seeing buying opportunities in the energy sector -- specifically in the refiners. Today the firm initiated coverage on Marathon Petroleum, Tesoro, and Valero Energy -- giving all of them "buy" ratings.

The "Halftime Report" experts debated the call, including whether or not crude's comeback will be short-lived.

As an owner of Marathon and Valero, Sarat agrees with Jefferies' call. He believes the next few quarters might be a little rough on the refiners as oil stabilizes, but he thinks the refiners' strong balance sheets and high dividends make them a good long-term play.

Stephanie Link, on the other hand, doesn't agree that the refiners are the best bets in the space.

"I think at the end of the year oil will be higher, and I think next year oil will be a lot higher. So I think the refiners will be fine, but I think they will lag other groups if oil gets to where I think it will," she said.

Trader disclosure: On August 23, 2016 the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC's "Halftime Report" were owned by the "Halftime Report" traders:

Joe Terranova: Long VRTS

Stephanie Link: Long AAPL, AGN, AIG, AMZN, APC, AVGO, BAC, BHI, C, CAG, CAT, CB, CIEN, CSCO, CVX, CXO, DOV, DOW, EBAY, EL, ESRX, FB, GOOG, GOOGL, GS, HON, INTC, JPM, LLY, LOW, LPX, LRCX, M, MDLZ, MGM, MSFT, PANW, PG, PM, PPG, RTN,SLB, STI, SWK, TGT, UNH, UPS, URI, V, WBA, WBC, WFC, YUM, ZION

Sarat Sethi: Long AA, AAL, AAPL, AL, ACN, BWA, CSCO, DAL, DGI, DLPH, F,FB, GE, GM, GOOG, HAR, HON, INTC, JWN, LB, M, MAS, MSFT, NVDA, QCOM, SJM, UAL,V, WFM, XPO, YHOO, YUM

Jon Najarian: Long Stock: CSX, XON. Long Calls: AAPL, CSX, DLPH, GLD, GPRO, HFC, HOLX, IP, KATE, LVS, MRO, MSFT, PAAS, SLW, SQ, TASR, TCK, TWTR, WYNN, VLO, XON

Pete Najarian: Long Stock: CSX, XON. Long calls: AAPL, CSX, DLPH, GLD, GPRO, HFC, HOLX, IP, KATE, LVS, MRO, MSFT, PAAS, SLW, SQ, TASR, TCK, TWTR, WYNN, VLO, XON