The traders of CNBC’s “Fast Money” are experts at reading the action in the stock market. The crew knows investors can potentially figure out where the market is going if they analyze the behavior of such things as the credit markets and derivatives markets, as well as watch technical indicators and fundamental trends.

The gang knows that interpreting the action in the markets is the best way to find the next big opportunity. One interesting development the traders are noticing is that credit markets are improving, but world stocks markets are not. This phenomenon shows that world stock markets are being held hostage by much more powerful forces. It also shows that equities markets in 2009 are entering unchartered territory.

The bottom line: What worked in the past might not work or correlate in the future. Investors are going to have to gather all the information they can and think outside the box in order to beat the markets this year.

The gang recently highlighted trading ideas that play off last year’s second-half dogs, low-risk oil stocks and unusual options action. Here are some highlights from over the past week as aggregated from the show.

"Fast Money"’s Big Movers: The JPMorgan Healthcare Conference kicked off on Monday, and it could move a number of stocks. On last Friday’s “Fast Money” show, Karen Finerman told viewers: “The best way to play it is with the SPDR S&P Biotech (XBI) or iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology Index (IBB).” "Fast Money"’s Big Movers include Genentech (DNA) and Amgen (AMGN).

"Fast Money"’s Dogs of Last Year’s Second Half: Should investors sell the dogs of last year’s second half? We’re talking about the financials, materials and energy names. On Monday’s “Fast Money” show, Pete Najarian told viewers: “I’d look at the shipping industry for a play. Rates are up somewhat, but the equities are up as much as 100%.” "Fast Money"’s Dogs of Last Year’s Second Half include Dryships (DRYS) and Target (TGT).

"Fast Money"’s Options Action: The traders have noticed some unusual options activity in a number of stocks. On Monday’s “Fast Money” show, Jon Najarian told viewers: “HSBC Holdings (HBC) is falling off a cliff. They are buying puts at the 50-strike, 45-strike, 40-strike. I’ll get real scared if they start buying the 20-puts because that’s the kind of pattern we saw in Lehman and Bear. Institutional investors are buying 50% out of the money puts.” "Fast Money"’s Options Action includes Comcast (CMCSA).

"Fast Money"’s Low-Risk Oil Stocks: The traders see opportunity in low risk oil stocks. On last Thursday’s “Fast Money” show, Joe Terranova told viewers: “Use oil as an indicator to tell you when speculative risk is willing to be assumed again.” "Fast Money"’s Low-Risk Oil Stocks include Suncor (SU) and National-Oilwell Varco (NOV).

"Fast Money"’s Trader Radar: In a segment called “Trader Radar,” the crew highlights stocks with unusual volume. On Monday’s “Fast Money” show, Dylan Ratigan told viewers: “On the trader radar tonight we’re watching Amazon.com (AMZN). The largest online retailer was among the most active names on the Nasdaq today." Check out "Fast Money"’s Trader Radar.

Fast Money’s Suze Orman’s Trade: The traders think ETFs are a great way to play the stock market. On Monday’s “Fast Money” show, Suze Orman told viewers: “Don't put all your money into one stock. Instead, invest using ETFs. If you’re looking for a financial play you might want to buy an ETF such as the PowerShares Financial Preferred (PGF), which pays a dividend while you hold it.” "Fast Money"’s Suze Orman’s Trade includes SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) and SPDR S&P Dividend (SDY).

Posted on Jan. 14, 2009