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No.1 - S&P 500 Watch: Flirting With Record

The S&P 500 inched closer to a record today. After a 96% run the last 6 years, the most-used benchmark for the US market stands just 2 points from its record close. As we flirt with the high, the question remains - is it too late for the retail investor to jump in and what should they buy when they do?

Ameritrade (AMTD) Chief Executive Joe Moglia joins the guys to help answer the question.

Are retail investors in this market?

They’re involved buy not euphoric, replies Moglia.

How does this bull run differ from the last?

They’re 2 entirely different worlds, Moglia says. 6 or 7 years ago there was a euphoria associated with the dot-com world. Today’s investors are more astute and deliberate. And for those investors who went through the 2000 – 2003 down-move; they learned a lot.

How about volume?

Moglia says Ameritrade is mostly in the business of helping clients with long term investments, and it’s often not in their best interest to trade a lot.

Eric Bolling adds that volume can signal when a market is at its top. He explains it’s fairly steady as a market goes up – and then it’s very heavy at the top. Eric adds that he doesn’t think this is the top of the market.



What stocks are retail investors buying?

The energy sector, Moglia replies. And they’re getting out of technology a little bit.

Eric adds that energy is relatively cheap.

How about your options business?

Ameritrade is a significant player in the retail options market, explains Moglia. However most of the growth in options right now is from institutional investors.

Dylan Ratigan asks the guys if Ameritrade is a proxy for the market?

Jeff Macke says volumes are going up and that’s where he would want to be invested.

Guy Adami adds consolidation in the space makes sense, and there’s room to the upside.

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Trader disclosure: On May 21, 2007, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC’s Fast Money were owned by the Fast Money traders. Bolling Owns (DIS), Gold, Silver, Coffee, Sugar; Bolling is Short (FXI) Najarian Owns (AAPL), (GS), (OXPS), (CME), (BOT)