The U.S. Labor Department's jobs report, released Friday, fell short of expectations -- stirring fears of a recession. How can investors protect their portfolios? Strategists and analysts offered CNBC viewers their expert advice.
Task Force Triumvirate
Scott Martin of Astor Asset Management advises investors to watch corporate earnings -- even more carefully than jobs data -- as an indicator of a downturn.
Mark Zandi of Moody's Economy.com notes that gold, oil and bonds will keep rising on a "weak [U.S.] economy" -- and believes that the trade balance will be the salvation of American economic growth. Look to companies able to import goods cheaply.
David Sowerby of Loomis Sayles is overweight in technology -- "not semiconductors, but rather communications equipment" -- including Harris and Corning; and industrials, especially Danaher and Joy Global as a play on international construction.
Optimism -- And Patience
David Goerz, chief investment officer at Highmark Capital, calls the jobs number "rough" -- but believes that housing and mortgage woes will subside by year's end. He foresees the S&P 500 climbing to 1,700 in 2008.
But Goerz cautions investors to avoid energy, utilities and telecom until the economy swings back. "There's too high a risk premium in oil," he says, predicting that crude will be "down in the $70 to $90 range" through '08.
He likes tech, industrials and basic materials -- and within the financials sector, insurance stocks and brokers: "Goldman Sachs, in particular, stands out."
Keep Your Cool
Michael Darda, chief economist at MKM Partners, says the underlying data show the economy is facing a slowdown -- but likely not a full-on recession.
He told CNBC's "Fast Money" team that bonds are over-valued relative to equities: "You'll win with stocks if you have a horizon that's six to 12 months."
Stick with cyclical equity sectors and "don't go along with the consensus view to sell commodities," Darda advises.
"Fast Money" co-host Jeff Macke recommended a consumer-play ETF, Retail HOLDRs.