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Traders say shipping struggles may be retail's gains

The CNBC "Fast Money" traders debated whether the shipping companies' struggles could be the retail sector's gains.

On Wednesday, The Wall Street Journal reported that UPS and FedEx are having trouble keeping up with holiday shipping volumes. Shares of FedEx declined 1.5 percent, while UPS shares fell 2.4 percent.

A FedEx spokesman said in an email to the newspaper that it is working closely "with its largest peak customers and is increasing hours for some employees to meet demand." A UPS spokeswoman told the Journal that deliveries have been delayed because of weather or operational challenges this year. She added that the company is relocating resources to busier areas.

Trader Karen Finerman said that signs of struggle because of high demand may not be a terrible thing for retail.

Trader Pete Najarian said he likes FedEx at current levels but does feel that valuations are a little stretched. He said he's not as sure on UPS because it seems like some years they hire too many workers, but then other years they don't hire enough.

Trader Tim Seymour said he likes FedEx because its "core business, first of all, is becoming more profitable."

Trader Dan Nathan said investors should be cautious of Amazon, especially if it doesn't start participating in the broader market rally. He said if it can't follow, then he wouldn't want to own the stock going into the company's next earnings report.


Disclosures:

KAREN FINERMAN

Karen Finerman is long AAL, BAC, BAC short calls, C, DAL, FB, FL, GLMP,, GOGO, GOOG, GOOGL, JPM, LYV, KORS, KORS calls, KORS puts, M, MA, SEDG, SPY puts, UAL, URI, WIFI long call spreads. Her firm is long ANTM, AAPL, BAC, C, C calls, FB, GOOG, GOOGL, JPM, JPM calls, KORS, LYV, M, MOH, PLCE, SPY puts, URI, WIFI. Her firm is short IWM, MDY. Finerman is on the board of GrafTech International.

PETE NAJARIAN

Pete Najarian is long calls: AKS, BLL, BVN, BZH, CNX, CLF, DISH, ETP, GLD, HA, HLT, HPQ, KMB, MGM, MT,MPEL, NEM, NKE, P, STX, TV, TWLO, TWTR, WFT, WLL. Najarian is long AAPL, BAC, BLL, DIS, DISCA, GE, HD, INTC, JWN, KMI, KMI.A, KO, LUX, LVS, MRK, MSFT, PEP, PFE, XLNX, XLF. He owns puts: CAT, GGP, PJC.

DAN NATHAN

Dan Nathan is long XHB Jan put spread, XLU Dec call spread, XLK Jan Put spread, XRT Jan put spread, MCD Dec/Feb put calendar.

TIM SEYMOUR

Tim Seymour is long ABX, APC, AVP, BAC, BBRY, C, CLF, CVX, DO, DVYE, EDC, EWN, EWZ, F, FB, FCX, FXI, GM, GOOGL, GE, INTC, LQD,MCD, MUR, OIH, PG, RACE, RAI, RH, RL, SINA, SQ,T, TWTR, VALE, VZ, XOM, short: EEM, SPY, XRT. His firm is long ABX, BABA, BIDU, CBD, CLF, EEM, EWZ, F, KO, MCD, MPEL, NKE, PEP, PF, TCEHY, SAVE, SBUX, SINA, VALE, VIAB, WMT, WEN, X, YHOO, short EWG, HYG, IWM.