John Barnes, transportation analyst at BB&T Capital Markets, sees a weak, tepid, "pretty tough" first quarter in his sector. So should investors stay out of transports for now?
"Absolutely not," he told CNBC. "We'd be diving in. You want to buy...when things are at their bleakest."
By the time things start to improve, Barnes believes, the smart money will be already on wheels.
- Video: Watch the entire analyst interview (2:59)
"People will start putting money into these names before the economy starts to show some signs of improvement," he said.
What names are those?
Barnes likes trucking companies J.B. Hunt and Old Dominion Freight Line, and among the railroads, he's partial to Union Pacific and Norfolk Southern.
J.B. Hunt and Old Dominion Freight Line are investment banking clients of Hunt's firm.