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Retail Sales Rise, But Can You Bet on Consumers?

Retail numbers gave stocks a boost today, but the experts remain mixed about the strength of the consumer.

Shopping for Retail Stocks

"I think you need to own some of these department stores, particularly JCPenney, to keep yourself exposed for the rally that we've seen year-to-date.”

- Charles Grom, JPMorgan Broadline Retail Analyst

Grom recommends: Costco and JCPenney

Look at Beaten-Down Cyclicals

“... One of the things that’s very exciting to me is seeing the Dow Transportation Index performance up four, five percent in January, and that’s usually an excellent indicator. So, I would be focusing in on some of the beaten-down consumer cyclical stocks. The homebuilders are at the top of that list.”

- Art Nunes, IMS Capital Management

Hold Back

“Within sectors, technology [and] health care are the cheapest sectors here. Financials should see a bit of a bounceback. I'd hold back -- even though we’re getting this consumer surge in consumer spending, I’d still hold back a little bit from consumer areas.”

- David Kelly, JPMorgan

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