Muddled by inconsistent earnings and stock performances, one sector appears tougher and tougher to predict, CNBC's Jim Cramer says.» Read More
Water will eventually be traded like oil and gold and investors should look to utilities right now for safe profit in volatile markets, according to one strategist.
Returns on utilities, mostly on the water side, are 45 percent and in the future when the world "world wakes up they're going to free the market and water will be traded," Steen Jakobsen, chief investment officer at Saxo Bank, told CNBC Europe Tuesday.
Investors should buy French utility GDF Suez or German utility RWE, which have large exposure to water resources, as well as utility exchange-traded funds, Jakobsen said on "Squawk Box Europe."
There is a scarcity of water in Asian countries like China and that will fuel the growth in those markets, he added.
Should Lehman CEO Dick Fuld should be fired?
Lehman Bros. shares fell Monday, after a top South Korean regulator cast doubts on state-run Korea Development Bank 's interest in buying the wall Street giant.
Roben Farzad of BusinessWeek and Dan Colarusso of Portfolio.com debate whether the CEO should pay the ultimate corporate price.
CNBC's Financials in the News:
Story: KKR Likes Lehman's Neuberger
- Fannie Mae , Freddie Mac
Patrick Becker, Jr., says large-cap stocks are an investor's wisest choices in the current volatile market environment.
His five-star Becker Value Equity Fund is up an average of 6.44 percent per year over the last three years.
"We're using that volatility to pick up good quality stocks...like Walmart, like Microsoft, like GE (General Electric)* ," Becker told CNBC. "These companies have put up good numbers for a number of years."
So what's the catalyst that will bring them back from years of being beaten down?
"It's a catalyst also versus what to own," he explained. "On the small-cap side, it's more difficult for a small company to get financing; for a large company, that's easier."
He says the companies he likes have the capacity for double-digit growth over the next three to five years.
Bill Spiropoulos likes America's new-found fondness for nuclear power, and he says there's one stock that stands to benefit a lot. He refers to Republican presidential candidate John McCain's call for the construction of 25 nuclear power plants.
"You can't do that unless you have the yellowcake (uranium ore)," the chief executive of Core States Capital Advisors told CNBC.
So what company has the biggest slice of yellowcake?
Morgan Stanley cut its 2008 EPS estimate for the S&P 500.
Abhijit Chakrabortti, Morgan Stanley chief global equities strategist, explained his outlook to CNBC.
S&P 500 Stocks in the News:
AMD , Broadcom
(Story: Broadcom, AMD TV Deal)
(Story: Demand Lifts Freddie Shares)
(Story: Lehman Plunges on Korean Doubts )
Disclosure information was not available for Chakrabortti or his firm.
Larry Mano finds opportunities for investors at the intersection of defense and technology.
His four-star Schwab Core Equity Fund is up an average of 9.3 percent per years over the last five years.
He likes IBM.
"It's a large-cap name, a consistent performer," he told CNBC. "Going forward...IBM continues to be a leader in providing global server technology."
Also on his list, Raytheon.
"Fundamentally, it continues to grow, has a strong free cash flow, an improving working-capital environment," he said. "It's been able to beat expectations...it's been able to grow revenues on a steady level, and overall...we continue to see strength in their international defense missile systems as well as related businesses."
Dizzy from all the ETF choices? Jeffrey Kosnett can help -- the Kiplinger's senior editor offered CNBC his top five exchange-traded fund names.
PowerShares Dynamic Large Cap: Through a selective "winnowing-out process," this fund picks 100 stocks, offering "the same diversification you get with the S&P 500 -- but a much better selection."
Vanguard Extended Market Index ETF: Kosnett's small-cap choice consists of "3,000 mid- and small-caps for maximum exposure."
His other three ETF picks:
- WisdomTree Total Dividend
- Rydex S&P Equal Weight Healthcare
- SPDR/FTSE Macquarie Global Infrastructure 100
Disclosure information was not available for Kosnett or his employer.
Sean Kraus, senior vice president of Provident Investment Counsel, sees opportunities in retail, healthcare and technology.
“Investors should use the volatility of the market to buy best of breed companies in those sectors that are going to recover first when the U.S. economy stabilizes, and in retail we like TJ Maxx , and in healthcare we like Gilead .”
In the tech sector, Kraus likes companies that are focused more on the U.S. market.
“Companies like Apple , with a majority of their sales in the U.S. and yet with early expansion abroad, are the (types of) names we’d like to play.”
Kraus also recommended Weatherford International and Monsanto .
Disclosure information for Sean Kraus was not immediately available.
The oil sector offers attractive investment opportunities, strategists told CNBC Friday. But both disagreed over whether established oil majors like BP or growth stocks like Suncor were the best way to play the sector.