Stocks Up In Cautious Trading



The Dow closed higher after a choppy session on Wednesday as a rebound in oil prices and other commodities lifted energy, mining and materials shares, offsetting nervousness over whether Washington will agree on a bailout for ailing car makers.

Trading was volatile with indexes swinging between gains and losses. The day's gain helped the market narrowly avert what would have been the first two days of losses in a row since its November 21st low.

Since reaching that low, the broad S&P 500 is up more than 20 percent, but is still down close to 40 percent for the year, so far.

Strategy Session with the Fast Money Traders

Investors started selling the news on the GM pact. As it turns out there was no deal, says Jeff Macke. That gave us a nice excuse to rally back. The market in general behaved pretty well and is forming some stability around 900 on the S&P.

Meanwhile oil rose more than 3 percent on Wednesday on signs that OPEC kingpin Saudi Arabia has slashed supplies to customers for January as the economic crisis continues to slow demand.

Also, gold climbed 4 percent on Wednesday to a 10-day high above $800 an ounce. Copper settled sharply higher. The dollar dropped to a 2-week low against the euro.

It’s hard to get a handle on this commodities market, says Karen Finerman. We saw inventories go up and yet oil prices rose. That doesn’t make sense. I’m short the USO and long many of the energy related equities.

It looks to me like commodities prices are firming up, adds Tim Seymour. I like Vale and BHP Billiton .

I think the only place for commodities to go is higher, muses Guy Adami. Look at Nucor . They didn’t say great things but it closed higher.


American Express shares fell substantially on Wednesday after two analysts said the company would be the most affected in the credit card industry from loan losses, a spending slowdown and funding needs.

Banc of America Securities and Citigroup initiated coverage of American Express, the fourth-largest U.S. credit card issuer, with a "sell" rating

Meanwhile, Cowen & Co downgraded MasterCard and Visa to "underperform" from "outperform" on deteriorating fundamentals.

I am still short Capital One because I don’t think we’ve seen the end of the consumer credit losses, says Karen Finerman.

I think the trade here is buying Mastercard on a dip, counters Guy Adami.

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Trader disclosure: On Dec. 10th, 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 (SDS), (MSFT), (WMT), (MCD); Adami Owns (AGU), (BTU), (C), (GS), (INTC), (MSFT), (NUE); Seymour Owns (AAPL), (BAC), (F), (MER); Seygem Asset Management Owns (EEM), (FXI), (RIO); Finerman's Firm Owns (DSX), (DEO), (MSFT), (MO), (PM), (RAI), (DVN), (DYN; Finerman's Firm Is Short (IYR), (IJR), (MDY), (SPY), (IWM), (COF), (GNK), (SPG), (USO); GE Is The Parent Company Of CNBC with wires