Buy or Sell? Pros on Where Stocks Are Heading

Absent a deal in Washington to avoid the so-called "fiscal cliff," the CNBC "Fast Money" pros explained how they were playing the market.

Brian Kelly of Shelter Harbor Capital shared his trade.

"I was a buyer but with options, call options because you wanted to find your risk in this," he said. "They're coming closer to a deal, but I don't want to be the guy holding the bag if the whole thing falls apart."

Lawmakers appeared to be closer to a budget deal to avoid the deadline that would trigger tax hikes and federal spending cuts, but no agreement was yet reached Wednesday.

As long as the S&P 500 remains above 1,424, investors should remain buyers, StockMonster's Guy Adami said.

The S&P closed at 1,435.81, down 10.98 points.

"I've been cautiously short,"'s Dan Nathan said, adding that he was net short the index.

"I think there's been a level of complacency that could come to a head in the next few trading days."

Karen Finerman of Metropolitan Capital Advisors was a net buyer with an eye toward next year.

"Could things trade down from where I buy them by the end of the year? Absolutely, but I do think that sometime 2013 they'll be higher than they are now."

Trader disclosure: On Dec. 19, 2012, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC's "Fast Money" were owned by the "Fast Money" traders: Dan Nathan is long BAC DEC 9.5 PUTS; Dan Nathan is long RIMM DEC 12 PUTS; Dan Nathan is long MSFT JAN 26/24 1X2 PUT SPREAD; Dan Nathan is long HD JAN 62.5/55 PUT SPREAD; Guy Adami is long C; Guy Adami is long GS; Guy Adami is long INTC; Guy Adami is long AGU; Guy Adami is long MSFT; Guy Adami is long NUE; Guy Adami is long BTU; Karen Finerman is long AAPL PUTS; Karen Finerman is long AAPL; Karen Finerman is long BAC; Karen Finerman is long JPM; Karen Finerman is long JPM CALL SPREADS; Karen Finerman is long WMT; Karen Finerman is long TGT; Karen Finerman is long MSFT; Karen Finerman is long GOOG; Karen Finerman is short SPY; Karen Finerman is short JCP; Karen Finerman is long GNC; Brian Kelly is long GLD; Brian Kelly is long XLB; Brian Kelly is long XLE; Brian Kelly is long VIX; Brian Kelly is long EWP; Brian Kelly is long EWI; Brian Kelly is long EWG; Brian Kelly is long JJG; Brian Kelly is long JJC.