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Dow Falls 5% This Week

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DOW FALLS 5% THIS WEEK

Stocks fell on Friday as persistent worries about banks eclipsed the stimulus package and plans to prop up the housing sector.

The Dow on Friday had its lowest close since the bear market closing low of Nov. 20. For the week, the S&P 500 was down 4.8 percent for its worst weekly showing since the bear market low of late November.

Strategy Session with the Fast Money Traders.

It was an awful week, says Jeff Macke. But eventually you get kicked in the wobbly parts so many times that it doesn’t really hurt anymore.

I lost money every day this week, adds Joe Terranova. It’s phenomenally frustrating.

Coming into this week we had high expectations, reminds Tim Seymour. Obviously the Geithner plan disappointed the Street.

It seems that some investors are losing faith in Obama. There's now conjecture as to whether the stimulus will be helpful or harmful, muses Karen Finerman. The idea that the stimulus could be harmful is a fairly new sentiment in this market.

Turning attention to earnings, Abercrombie and WyndhamWorldwide both turned in lousy quarters yet Abercrombie was up 10%and Wyndham was down 30%, muses Jeff Macke. How can you trade a market like that?

It comes back to the balance sheets, explains Karen Finerman. Wyndham is very levered and Abercrombie is not.

And on a related note, if you’re playing this market from the short side, Finerman says there’s so much short interest out there that I feel the market could be spring-loaded to the upside. So as your short trade works, you need to take some off the table, she says.

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BATTLE THE BEAR: GOLD

Gold prices slipped on Friday as fears of financial meltdown receded and short-term investors sold their holdings ahead of President’s Day. However market watchers speculate the decline is temporary – that it will only last until the next crisis roils markets.

I wouldn’t chase gold at current levels, counsels Jeff Macke.

If you’re looking to avoid a bubble in gold, I’d look at silver , counsels Joe Terranova.

I like platinum, adds Tim Seymour.

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FINANCIALS ROUGHED UP THIS WEEK

It was a tough week to be a bank. Not only were shares decimated earlier in the week, but a report in the New York Times suggested some of the nation’s largest banks are like "dead men walking.”

They say “the growing mountain of losses from bad bets, measured in today’s marketplace, would overwhelm the value of the banks’ assets. The banks, in their view, are insolvent.”

Better not tell that to JJ Kinahan, Chief Derivatives Strategist, Thinkorswim, Inc. He says, "one trade I like is long the XLF . But he sees the move as strictly a trade. "I think the stimulus package will spark a quick rally. But then I'm out.”

It seems to me trading the banks isn't much different than tossing a coin in the air and betting which side lands face up, muses Dylan Ratigan.

It’s different from a coin toss because they don’t add a third side to the coin when it’s in the air, bristles Jeff Macke.

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BATTLE THE BEAR: SODA SURGING

PepsiCo reported a quarterly profit on Friday that met Wall Street expectations and said it may buy back up to $2.5 billion of its stock this year, sending shares up nearly 2 percent.

We have a rising dollar right now which should hurt Pepsi as well as Coca-Cola, explains Joe Terranova. But from a technical standpoint I think you can play both from the long-side with a stop out in Coke at $40 and Pepsi at $48

In the consumer space, Wal-Mart looks to be breaking down, adds Jeff Macke. They should be doing business but they’re not.

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GOOD SIGN? JUNK BOND SALES BOOMING

Sales of junk bonds, or high-yield, high-risk bonds were booming this week, notes Dylan Ratigan

That’s a positive sign, admits Jeff Macke. But to issue those bonds they have to pay a high price. However, it was the most active the debt market has been in a while.






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Trader disclosure: On Feb. 13th, 2008, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC’s Fast Money were owned by the Fast Money traders; Terranova Owns (AMGN) & (AMGN) Puts; Terranova Owns (IBM) Call Spreads; Terranova Owns (XBI), (OTS), (FCX), (KCE); Finerman's Firm Owns (DNA) & (DNA) Call Spread; Finerman's Firm Owns (MSFT), (RIG), VNO); Finerman's Firm Is Short (BBT), (TM), (IYR), (IJR), (IWM), (MDY), (SPY), (COF), (USO); Macke Owns (AAPL), (MS), (TM), (SDS); Seymour Owns (AAPL), (BAC), (EEM), (FXI), (YUM); Seymour's Firm Owns (VIP)

Kinahan Owns (GE); Kinahan Owns (GE) Calls

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