Stock Picks: Healthcare, Clinical Labs and More

With stocks sharply lower today, shareholders need to protect their portfolios.

So what are some of the best defensive stock picks? CNBC asked the experts.

Healthcare: Time to Buy?   

Healthcare Bargains

“I think the significant underperformance in the group -– you might call it damaged care instead of managed care -– has presented great opportunity. The Humana upgrade was a great call; that’s one of our favorite stocks. We think it could double in the next year.”

- Charles Boorady, Citigroup Healthcare Providers Analyst

Boorady also recommends: Health Net, WellPoint, Aetna and Healthspring.

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Scary market? Turn to CNBC's experts:

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Playing Volatility   

Stocks for the Long-Term

“What we’re focused on in our firm is long-term investing, so we’re looking for companies that have great cyclical growth characteristics, regardless of the short-term economy. Blue Nile has that. They're taking massive share from their competition, and that’s because the online business model is just better than the offline model."

- Michael Lippert, Baron iOpportunity Portfolio Manager

Lippert also recommends: Equinix.
(Contd.)

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Building Muscle in Healthcare   

Recession-Proof Healthcare Picks

“I think some of the more defensive areas … would be areas like clinical labs, so a company I really like is Lab Corp. , as they’ll continue to benefit as lab tests are very stable, and I think the pricing outlook is stable there also.”

- Adam Feinstein, Lehman Brothers Analyst