Fast Money Halftime Report: Will Pay Czar Boost Confidence, And Financials?


The Obama administration on Wednesday named Kenneth Feinberg as pay czar with the power to reject compensation plans for top employees at companies receiving "exceptional" government aid, such as Bank of America, Citigroup and insurer AIG .

The administration will also call for "say-on-pay" legislation that will give the Securities and Exchange Commission authority to require public companies to hold non-binding shareholder votes each year on executive pay.

Will the move boost investor confidence in the sector?

I find the move startling, says Steve Cortes of Veracruz. This is not the American way. This kind of micro-management of business is bound to lead to very poor results. I’d play it by shortingbanks – because once the camel gets its nose under the tent it doesn’t want to leave. (In other words, government intervention seems likely to continue.)

But there’s no legislation here, counters Zach Karabell of RiverTwice Research – nor are there hard and fast pay caps. I take the other side of the argument. As far as I’m concerned it’s a milk-toast answer to crisis that sparked a great deal of anger on Main Street. However, I’d agree that it does signal more intervention in the financials.



It seems that oil bulls are wreaking havoc with stock investors who don’t know what to make of the run. Energy shares had fueled much of the recent gains on the S&P 500 – on the belief that rising oil prices signaled robust global growth lay ahead.

On Wednesday, however, stocks fell on concerns that oil prices are now rising too quickly and may drag down the consumer and a quick economic recovery.

"It would seem that the oil prices may be too much of a good thing. Oil prices have run so far, so fast, and that could eventually curtail discretionary spending," explains Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at Harris Private Bank. "It may pinch this recovery.

As far as I’m concerned the oil trade remains long or flat, counsels Fast Money trader Joe Terranova, but not short. The momentum defies fundamentals and logic -- and that’s why I’d stay in.



Investors are keeping a close eye on the results of the latest Treasuries auction with benchmark 10-year yields rising to their highest levels in seven months ahead of the sale.

How should you trade it?

Yields and stocks have been trading in tandem for about 2 1/2 years, explains John Kosar of Asbury Research. The way yields react over the next few weeks should give investors a good idea of what’s next for stocks.

At the beginning of the year I started selling out my position in Treasuries, adds Brian Stutland of Stutland Equities. It seemed to me the government stimulus package would have a weakening effect on the dollar and I was right.

Now, I’m watching the 200-day moving average in the dollar, he adds. Not until it breaks above that key technical level will I have conviction that the dollar will strengthen.

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Trader disclosure: On June 10th, 2009, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC’s Fast Money were owned by the Fast Money traders;

Stutland Owns (AAPL)
Stutland Owns Put Spread in (UUP)
Stutland Owns US Treasuries
Terranova Owns (RIMM) with wires