Muddled by inconsistent earnings and stock performances, one sector appears tougher and tougher to predict, CNBC's Jim Cramer says.» Read More
"The whole world is negative, and scared to death, and, I tell you, right now I'm getting very optimistic." Contradictory thoughts from Bill Spiropoulos of CoreStates Capital Advisors? Not at all, he insists. "I think there's great numbers ahead," he told CNBC.
He finds opportunities all over the place, from global infrastructure build-out to consumer stocks.
"[Governments are] going to spend a trillion dollars in the next several years, all over the world, in infrastructure, and that's not going away," he said.
His infrastructure plays are heavy-equipment manufacturers Caterpillar and Deere.
And Spiropoulos doesn't stop there.
"On the other extreme, buy Procter & Gamble," he added. "Toilet paper and soap...they export to 180 countries."
Options trading: What clues are there for investors?
Jon Najarian, frequent Fast Money guest and co-founder of OptionMonster.com , offered CNBC his insights on Friday's options action.
More Options action:
Hot new ETFs:
David Goldberg, analyst at UBS, foresees a lot of volatility in the next two to three months in the homebuilding industry, but assured investors that stocks will rally in the first half of 2009 as the housing industry will perform better in the latter six months.
“There is no positive catalyst at the moment [for homebuilding companies],” said Goldberg. “However, there are some stocks that you can buy despite the weakness that we are seeing today.”
Goldberg’s “buy” rating stocks:
America's electric utilities are about to sink a small fortune into a desperately-needed upgrade of the nation's power grid. How can an investor plug his portfolio into this upgrade? JPMorgan's Andrew Smith has some ideas.
"The one pure-play transmission company is ITC Holdings," he told CNBC. "They own nothing but transmission lines, own, operate, and build them, and also stand to benefit very well from that. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 put together a number of incentives for transmission investment...that allow a company like ITC to benefit very significantly."
Can this be? David Sowerby's top stock pick is a homebuilder?
The chief market analyst at Loomis Sayles says it's a matter of quality -- and he's also carefully selected a couple of tech companies that he believes deserve some investor dollars.
The homebuilder is Pulte Homes.
"Pulte is the best quality play in the homebuilder area," Sowerby told CNBC. "They finally beat numbers after having missed numbers for three or four quarters previously. That's positive."
Trader Talk blogger Bob Pisani discussed a new Middle East-oriented ETF: The Van Eck Market Vectors Gulf States Index.
The ETF (exchange-traded fund) offers investors access to 40 companies, based in key U.S. allies Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman and the UAE.
Pisani notes that the ETF includes no oil companies, which are generally owned by these nations' governments. Instead, the ETF is largely built on financial services and construction companies -- playing the Mideast construction boom.
Other Major ETFs:
- SPDR Gold Shares
- UltraShort Real Estate ProShares
- Financial Select Sector SPDR
CNBC.com Video Reports:
What's moving in the options market? BJ's Wholesale Club, Wells Fargo, and Coal, according to Rebecca Darst of Interactive Brokers.
On BJ's ...
"Whenever the market sees a sympathy play in a stock -- a stock is moving by dint of something that happened in another stock in the same sector -- that provides a good opportunity for people who follow options to see whether the volatility in that stock may be overpriced or underpriced relative to what it should be, so it's with that in mind that we looked at the option in BJ's Wholesale Club , where implied volatility rose 12 percent yesterday to 51.5 percent, ranked among our top 50 implied-volatility gainers yesterday," she said Thursday morning on CNBC's "Squawk Box ." "We saw options trading at five times the normal level. It looked like most of the options action yesterday took place at that August 35 line that was both the call and put line. If you trade those together, that's the straddle." (For her full comments, see video)
Recent retreats in oil prices have had no impact on Eitan Bernstein's strategy of investing in oil company stocks.
"Our investment strategy is focused on selectivity, basically, understanding the volatility in commodity prices," he told CNBC. "We try to focus on the best names in the group."
And they would be Hess and Occidental Petroleum.
"The stocks are...pretty much flat year-to-date, down a little bit the past couple of weeks, despite the 33 percent increase in crude oil prices, year-to-date," he said.
"For the bigger, integrated oils, it's a question of growth," he explained. "One of the reasons we like Hess is (that) they have substantial production growth slated, and a really good inventory of exploration and production projects."
Bernstein also likes the smaller refiner Holly.
Michael Corbett, portfolio manager at Perritt Micro Cap Opportunities Fund, said investors can seize opportunity in high oil prices -- with micro cap energy companies.
Corbett explained that micro-cap companies are companies that "separate the top 80 percent from the bottom 20 percent, in terms of market capital."
Mitcham Industries – "They’re getting a big benefit from the high energy prices; another part of the benefit is that the weaker dollar is helping them. Over 70 percent of their business is coming from overseas. This company is growing."
AM Castle – "This company is helping out big companies like Boeing. They’re also benefiting from the weaker dollar."