Joe Terranova – Slow & Steady Tech Titan May Win the Race

In a crazy tape, the Fast Money traders always say look for what’s working and on Thursday that was Microsoft .

Mister Softy’s gains were largely tethered to a belief that the software giant's board could hike the dividend at next week’s analyst day.

Should you follow the momentum and establish a long position in this stock?

”I don’t disagree with buying Microsoft," says trader Joe Terranova, but if you’re buying it on the hopes of a significant dividend raise, I think you’ll be disappointed," he says. "Historically what Microsoft does is tie hikes to growth and operating profit, which is up 12% this year. I think you're looking at about 16 cents."

However, don't take his commentary to mean he's bearish - he's not in the least.

"I 'do' like Microsoft as a cloud play, and for Windows 7 and for their strategies in mobile and tablet -- just not for distribution of cash to shareholders," he adds.

”I’m long Microsoft outright,” declares Karen Finerman, “but I agree with Joe that a dividend increase isn’t a reason to own the stock."

Ever the fundamental investor, Finerman tells the desk she owns it because she finds Microsoft valuations extremely attractive and "it's growing."

Guy Adami concurs. "Microsoft may be worth a look," he says, especially due to positive comments from widely followed analyst Rick Sherlund.

"The time to own technology is now," adds Terranova. But if you're cautious because of the tape, Joe Terranova suggests playing it with options to limit your risk. "Take a look at the Microsoft 28 upside calls," he says.


Elsewhere in the space, the traders were also watching the action in Cisco after Auriga’s Sandeep Shyamsukha upped the company to 'Buy' from 'Hold' citing the potential for Cisco to win back share from rivals.

If you're looking to play, Guy Adami thinks the stock is all about technicals. ”Cisco has been in a long-term down trend and it needs to close above $17 before I can feel bullish," he says.

JJ Kinahan tells the desk Adami isn't the only trader focussed on $17. "There’s a lot of interest in the Sep 17 calls," he says. How the stock behaves at that point of potential resistance should be telling.

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Trader disclosure: On Sep 8, 2011, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC’s "Fast Money" were owned by the "Fast Money" trader; Seymour owns (AAPL); Seymour owns (BAC); Seymour owns (INTC); Adami Owns (AGU); Adami Owns (C); Adami Owns (GS); Adami Owns (INTC); Adami Owns (MSFT); Adami Owns (NUE); Adami Owns (BTU); Finerman owns (AAPL); Finerman owns (BAC); Finerman owns (JPM); Finerman owns (GOOG)

For Karen Finerman
Finerman and Finerman’s firm own (AAPL)
Finerman’s firm own (BAC) leaps
Finerman’s firm owns (JPM) stock and (JPM) leaps
Finerman’s firm owns (IBM)

For Brian Stutland
Stutland Equities is a market maker holding positions in (VIX) futures and options and (VXX) stock and options
Stutland Equities holds hedged option positions in (SPX) and (SPY) and wires