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Forget Laggards, Bet on Consumers: Pro

Don't jump into underperforming sectors because stocks leveraged to the consumer are poised to pop, Barbara Reinhard of Credit Suisse said Friday.

"The argument for actually buying the laggards is premised on that most people believe that defensives cannot lead a rally," she said.

On CNBC's "Fast Money," Reinhard said that wasn't the case, based on a review of the 26 years in which equities posted positive returns since 1982.

"We found that health care was one of the top three sectors in 12 of those years, and consumer staples were the leader in 10 of those years," she said. "We think that the leverage the U.S. consumer has, though, is pretty significant, especially because we're seeing a continued recovery in residential real estate."

Reinhard said that financials, which had faced heavy headwinds for a while, were now attractive because of improving capital markets activity.

Technology, she added, wouldn't benefit as much from an improving economy via increased corporate capital spending as would consumer discretionary because of expected increased hiring through the remainder of 2013.

Reinhard also sounded positive on dividend-paying stocks, master limited partnerships and higher-yielding fixed-income vehicles, such as senior leveraged loans.

Lastly, housing still had more recovery ahead.

"I think any way that you can play housing is a good thing," she said, noting that the sector was 25 percent off its peak.

Reinhard said that when looking at risk assets, so many of them are at all-time highs, including equities .

"But housing actually has the best risk-return because it still is in its recovery mode, and we think it's going to be very durable in nature," she said. "And we think that's going to make the consumer feel a lot better."

Trader disclosure: On May 3, 2013, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC's "Fast Money" were owned by the "Fast Money" traders: Pete Najarian is long AAPL; Pete Najarian is long BAC CALL; Pete Najarian is long JPM CALLS; Pete Najarian is long BBRY STOCK, CALLS; Pete Najarian is long SBUX; Pete Najarian is long FB; Pete Najarian is long MSFT CALLS; Pete Najarian is long F CALLS; Pete Najarian is long LLY; Pete Najarian is long MRK; Pete Najarian is long PFE; Pete Najarian is long CAT CALLS; Pete Najarian is long BMY; Jon Najarian is long AAPL CALLS; Jon Najarian is long UVXY CALLS; Jon Najarian is long VXX CALLS; Jon Najarian is long CPRT CALLS; Jon Najarian is long OIS CALLS; Jon Najarian is long GTAT CALLS; Jon Najarian is long XLU PUTS; Stephanie Link is long AAPL; Stephanie Link is long GS; Stephanie Link is long JPM; Stephanie Link is long UPS; Joe Terranova is long VRTS; Joe Terranova is long SJM; Joe Terranova is long IBM; Joe Terranova is long SPLK; Joe Terranova is long TBT; Joe Terranova is long SWN; Joe Terranova is long GS; Joe Terranova is long GS 145 PUTS; Joe Terranova is long AMZN 255 PUTS; Joe Terranova is long IBM 205 PUTS; Joe Terranova is long GOOG 840 PUTS; Joe Terranova is long NAT GAS FUTURES; Joe Terranova is long CRUDE OIL FUTURES.

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