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$4 Gas This Summer

With summer driving season around the corner, it’s time to expect serious pain at the pump. How can you turn that pain into profits?

Expect a seasonal bounce out of the refiners, CNBC Contributor Addison Armstrong said, but don’t get prepare for the huge margins of the past couple of years. Why not? Crude has stayed stubbornly high even as demand for gas shrinks. That should keep the crack spread tame by historical standards. The best trade is to buy refiners that have cheap crude input costs – that is, the ones that have bigger capacity for heavier, harder to refine crude oil. Valero and Frontier both have the ability to refiner heavy crude that many other refiners and integrated oil companies do not.

Tim Seymour echoed the refiner trade, saying Valero, ConocoPhillips and Tesoro (the most heavily shorted of the group) should work through June as crack spreads inch back up and refined gasoline trades, amazingly, at a less expensive rate than crude oil.

Jon Najarian would buy Valero on dips and Karen Finerman noted that if VLO were to take some of its capacity offline, the other refiners would benefit. The company announced Monday after the bell that it expected a huge drop in earnings due to unplanned outages.

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Trader disclosure: On Mar. 24, 2008, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC’s Fast Money were owned by the Fast Money traders: Macke Owns (YHOO), (INTC), (ATVI); Seymour Owns (AAPL), (F), (INTC), (MER), (MSFT), (SBUX), (TOL), (TSO), Seygem Asset Management owns (EEM), (CHT), (EWT), (TSM); Finerman Owns (GS), Finerman’s Firm Owns (PM-WI), (PLCE), (AAPL), (FLS), (MSFT), (SUN), (TSO), (VLO), (WMT), (YHOO), Is Short ( IYR), (IJR), (MDY), (SPY), (IWM), (GLD); Jon Najarian Owns (AAPL), (ACI), (AG), (AGU), (GOOG), (GS), (MON), (MOS), (POT), (USB), (IDCC), (EK), Is Short (BVF), (TGT)