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Ask what sector Ed Sheidlower is avoiding, and he'll tell you, "financials," but the Bryce Capital Management portfolio manager does have some sectors -- and some stocks -- he feels are good places for investment dollars.
Cleveland-Cliffs said on Wednesday that it is buying Alpha Natural Resources for $10 billion.
It's another big acquisition in the current trend, with Dow Chemical buying Rohm & Haas and Waste Management merging with Republic Services.
Find out why M&A is hot & heavy -- and will continue to be going forward.
CNBC Video Reports:
Gregory Church has two big contrarian plays for investors. One is as good as gold, and the other involves another refining process.
Yes, oil prices and soaring gasoline are scaring consumers -- but that's no guarantee that solar energy is a good trade.
Joe Magyer, senior analyst at The Motley Fool, offered CNBC three reasons why investors may get burned with solar stocks.
Disclosure information was not immediately available for Magyer.
Top Solar Stocks:
- First Solar
- Evergreen Solar
- Trina Solar
- Suntech Power Holdings
Jim Rogers has a sector pick -- and a major pan: The CEO of Rogers Holdings told CNBC that the government should not bail out Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, but should let them fail.
The Treasury Department and Federal Reserve said they would bolster Fannie and Freddie with vast infusions of aid. But Rogers believes that will only prolong economic weakness, increase the budget deficit -- and destroy the effectiveness of such rescue measures when they're really needed.
"In two years or three years, when six or eight other [institutions] are failing, America won't have any more bullets left," he said.
Rogers noted that he's "been short Fannie Mae since I came here three years ago or four years ago," adding that "I'm short lots of banks."
So what does the investor like?
Fort Pitt Capital Group's Kim Caughey is charged up about General Electric.
"We like their industrials, and how strong they are, and we think that's going to continue into the future," she told CNBC.
Industrials are, of course, not all in which GE is involved, but Caughey thinks the company's financial interests have already been priced into (or out of) the stock.
"I think investors, at this point, have taken that out of the picture, and have punished GE accordingly," she said. "We're looking at what they're going to have as continuing operations, and we're a buyer at this point."
(In its entertainment and media businesses, GE competes with News Corp./Fox, The Walt Disney Co., CBS and both Time Warner and Time Warner Cable.)
Forget congressional bluster about clamping down on "speculators" -- commodities prices have barely begun to climb. So says John Roque, senior vice president of Natixis Bleichroeder. He offered CNBC his sector insights -- and a top stock pick.
"The trend for the CRB [Reuters Jefferies CRB commodities index] relative for stocks looks up," said Roque. "And the trend for gold relative to the S&P also looks up."
He explained that the Dow Jones Industrial Averagae is currently "roughly 11, 12 times the price of gold." And he said historical trending indicates that gold "is going to go higher still."
"If the Dow goes ro 10,000, it's not crazy that gold can go to 2,000. If the Dow goes to 9,000, gold can go to 3,000."
Options activity for Lehman Bros. and the financial sector as a whole continues to be extremely volatile, according to one analyst.
"Despite actions by the Fed to bring down some fraught nerves, and outlook for the fact that some of these rumors might die down a bit, implied volatility still remains very high, and we're still seeing a high level of activity at these July $10 puts in Lehman," said Rebecca Darst of Interactive Brokers on CNBC. "Again, it's very susceptible to rumor and there's a lot of speculative activity going on here, so that's one to watch." (See her full comments in the video).
Abby Joseph Cohen, Goldman Sachs' senior investment strategist, told CNBC Monday that the fair value of the S&P 500 is at 1,400 -- nearly 200 higher than its level at the time of this writing -- based on a 6 month to 12 month view.
The index entered a bear market last week, dropping more than 20 percent from its Oct. 9, 2007 record close of 1,565.15. On Friday, the S&P 500 closed at 1,239.49.
Contrarian advice: Marc Ostwald from Monument Securities told CNBC that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac shares could represent good value despite concerns about their future.