Starbucks stock retreated in heavy volume after a report suggested the coffee chain's growth may be losing some steam.» Read More
Looking for promising investments? Eugene Peroni thinks you'll find them in fields where earnings are growing.
"We still like infrastructure," the senior vice president of Advisors Asset Management told CNBC. "We like the health care group, especially the biotechs and medical and surgical supply."
"I do think that energy has not broken...that energy is still intact for the long term," he added.
In the biotech space, Peroni likes Gilead Sciences and Core Laboratories.
Under an agreement with Merck announced last week, Gilead will distribute a new HIV treatment in 12 countries. Core Labs announced earnings last month that beat Wall Street expectations by 20 cents per share.
In infrastructure, he favors Badger Meter, which makes water meters that automatically transmit usage data using radio frequencies.
That sinking feeling: Kirby Daley, strategist at the Newedge Group, says the U.S. is indeed in recession -- and the market is heading downward.
He tells CNBC that he expects a 15 percent to 20 percent drop in the Dow -- in the near future.
More Gloom & Doom:
Stocks in Monday's news:
- Ford Motor
Jon Hilsenrath, money and investing editor at The Wall Street Journal, offered CNBC his weekly "Five for Five": the five stocks investors must watch this week.
Matt DiFilippo, senior portfolio manager at Stewart Capital and Randy Lert, chief portfolio strategist at Russell Investments offered advice on different sectors that could help benefit investors.
DiFilippo sees opportunities in health care and consumer staples.
Christopher Growe of Stifel Nicolaus thinks three big American food companies could be especially nutritious to an investor's portfolio.
"They have some of the best pricing power you're going to find in the food industry," he told CNBC. "On top of that, you have these three companies investing very heavily back into marketing at a time when they're trying to generate even better volume growth."
His three picks are General Mills, Kellogg, and HJ Heinz.
Where the three companies vary is in their international exposure.
"Heinz would be at the top," he said. "Heinz has about 55 percent of its sales internationally; General Mills would be at the lowest end, Kellogg kind of in the middle there, but all three are seeing significant growth internationally."
Neither Growe, his family, nor his firm owns shares in, or has any business relationship with, General Mills, Kellogg, or HJ Heinz.
Forget capitulation -- it's time to buy equities! Arthur Cashin of UBS offers CNBC a sample of what traders are saying -- straight from the trading floor.
Stocks in the news Friday:
Watching options activity can point an investor to stock opportunities. So what does Michael McCarty of Meridian Equity Partners have to say?
"We've noticed a tendency now for foreign companies to buy U.S. companies," he told CNBC. "With the declining dollar and the declining market here, things are cheap...and the acquisitions we've seen have been preceded by options activity."
He found that to be the case with Barr Pharma, DRS Technologies, and Anheuser Busch.
So where does he see the most options action right now?
"We're seeing an awful lot of activity in AK Steel," he said.
"It sounds like AK Steel has put themselves up for sale, and are seeking a buyer, and we wouldn't be surprised to see either a Chinese, Russian, or Indian company, who seem to be out there shopping in our markets, looking at AK Steel."
McCarty has also seen some telltale options action in the tech sector.
"We like EMC," he said. "The decline in the market has also created an opportunity for stock pickers to come in and look for value, and in the case of an activist investor, realize that value."
He finds EMC especially attractive because of its 85 percent stake in VMWare.
"They've insisted they don't want to spin it off, but we've seen an awful lot of activity in that name this week," he explained.
Disclosure information for Michael McCarty was not immediately available.
Opening ceremonies are less than a week away, but has the Olympic punch gone out of China's economy? Jim Oberweis runs the Oberweis China Opportunities Fund, and he says there's still lots of potential profit for the world's investors in Chinese companies.
"It's cool to be Chinese right now," Oberweis told CNBC. "You're seeing it in movies; we're seeing it within the Chinese marketplace. People are really proud right now to be Chinese. We're seeing very strong numbers coming out of domestic consumption plays in China."
So where should that point the investor?
"The place to be focusing on are companies that are benefiting from the growing purchase power of the [Chinese] middle class," he said.
His top pick is VisionChina Media.
"it operates a number of flat-panel TV screens on buses throughout China," he explained. "A company like that is likely to attract increasing advertising dollars, and they're also going to benefit...as international advertisers become accustomed to that medium for advertising in China."
He also likes Sohu.com.
"Sohu's one of the top Internet portals in China," he said. "They have the exclusive rights to distribute the [Olympic] broadcasts online in China."
Those two stocks trade primarily in the United States; Oberweis also likes some companies whose ADRs trade in the U.S.: Li Ning and Anta.
"These two names are the top sports-apparel brands within the domestic China marketplace," he said.
Triple-digit moves in the Dow -- in both directions. The unemployment rate hitting 5.7 percent, a 4-year high. A staggering $15.5 billion loss at General Motors -- in the same quarter that Exxon set a profit record for any company. What's an investor to do? Mike Holland of Holland & Co. has some advice.
"This market...is giving signs...that we may be somewhere near a bottom," Holland told CNBC.
That being the case, he recommends big, old-line, well-run companies, including IBM, Berkshire Hathaway, JPMorgan Chase, PepsiCo, and Disney.
Holland offered dramatic evidence of the difficulty of trading the current market.
"Talking...to one of the largest, most successful hedge funds, one of the guys there was saying they're half in cash," he said. "It's been very tough for the hedge funds, just to be flat for the year; they have huge amounts of cash -- or short positions."
Bottom -- or Not?
"When the market gives any indication...of not going down on bad news, the covering...is enormous. There's no liquidity to the upside, as there was no liquidity to the downside for the past 22 percent decline in the bear market."
Bruce Levis, managing director at McQueen, Ball & Associates, says that the market has yet to hit bottom, but offered a few sector selections that could benefit investors.
Levis recommended health care and consumer staples sectors, rather than the tech names.
“There are some tech names that are interesting, but the health care and consumer staples sectors play up the dividend growth theme, which is important in a volatile market.”