Gary Kaminsky, who had been saying that the market needs more M&A activity to move higher, said onCNBC's "Fast Money" TV show said the market needs to see more strategic deals and not ones like AIG's sale of its Asia unit, which he called a "liquidation" deal.
For a breakout of some stocks from a recent "Fast Money" TV show, check out Dan Fitzpatrick's "3 Stocks I Saw on TV."
Tim Seymour disagreed, saying that the AIG deal is strategic because a party with money is picking up the AIG unit.
Karen Finerman sided with Seymour, saying the AIG deal was strategic with multiple parties bidding "real" money. "This is M&A at its best," she said of the pickup in deal-making.
Guy Adami called Greenhill & Co. a pure M&A play. He said the company has received an upgrade and a $100 price target.
Pete Najarian said another name to consider is Lazard Ltd. which is now getting back together after having gotten beaten up. "This stock is poised to move up," he said.
Seymour reminded the panel that Goldman Sachs has been key to many of these deals.
Melissa Lee, the moderator of the show, asked Kaminsky to comment on his pick last week of Pall, an industrial infiltration company, as a second derivative play off of today's move by Merck KGaA to buy Millipore. Kaminsky reiterated his belief that the action is ripe for something to happen with Pall.
Lee noted that tech stocks were leading the market higher today. Najarian said there was strong options activity in SanDisk, Apple and Qualcomm. Najarian said these companies enjoy great balance sheets and is benefiting from a turn in the business cycle.
Adami said Qualcomm looks good after it announced plans to raise its dividend and go through with a buyback. He said $34 feels like the bottom for the stock.
Seymour attributed the rise in Apple shares to the strength in iPhone sales, while Najarian noted strong iMac sales as being a key factor. Finerman said it's underfortunate that most tech companies aren't willing to share their large cash positions with their shareholders.
Lee shifted to Karen Finerman, who was on assignment in an interview with Larry Summers, director of the president's National Economic Council. Finerman asked him to distinguish between what is proprietary trading and what is not.
The distinction is important because the Obama administration wants banks not to engage in proprietary trading, which it deems risky. Summers said a bank setting up a unit to guess where currency markets are going would be a proprietary function whereas underwriting a security and making a market wouldn't because it would be serving customers.
Finerman took the comments to mean that the Volcker Plan has its sights set on Goldman when it comes to proprietary trading. She said that is weighing on Goldman and its sluggish stock performance.
She also said Summer's distinctions are very subjective and believes proprietary trading will be difficult to regulate.
Brian Kelly joined in, saying he was shorting Goldman because he believes the trading environment is not going be as good in the next six to eight months as it has been for the past year. He said that revenue risk and the bad press Goldman's been getting are the reasons behind his shorting of the stock.
Shifting briefly to retail, Adami said he still sees more upside to Tiffany's on the basis of its domestic and overseas sales. However, he said he would "pull the rip cord" when it reaches $47.
Returning to the discussion of today's market rally, John Roque, a technical analyst with WJB Capital Group, said today's rise in the S&P should be given the benefit of the doubt. He said it be difficult for copper to get above $3.50 and that he would be a seller of copper of the metal. He also sees the dollar index moving higher to the 85 to 87 level.
Again in the M&A space, Kaminsky said that midcap stocks offer the best opportunities for M&A activity and cited Clorox as a prime example of a takeover stock because of the company's strong fundamentals and organic growth. He said management doesn't want to sell, but he suggested a foreign conglomerate in consumer products might be interested in buying it.
He said it's important to look past the report to the underlying trends, which he says are positive because of the jobs that will be created from the several thousand projects that are coming on line. In addition, he said business investment is starting to pick up and the world economy is becoming a better market for U.S. exports.
Finerman said it seemed Summers was trying to set up low expectations for Friday's jobs report.
Lee noted that the British pound was on the skids today. Kelly said that the United Kingdom's economy is much worse than that of the U.S. and other countries. He said he was shorting the pound. Seymour agreed, adding that he's deeply concerned with the troubles with the country's financial services.
In the final trades, Tim Seymour liked Vimpel-Communications. Adami liked Qualcomm. Kaminsky expressed his belief that Berkshire Hathaway will be an index. Najarian liked Akamai.
Written by David Tong in San Francisco