The market's moving indecisively. Economic data can be interpreted on both sides of the equation. Analysts can be found to argue that the recession is over, that it's nearly over, that it's just beginning, or that it never happened at all.
Nowhere are the signs more confusing than in the retail sector, but two analysts, Stacey Widlitz of Pali Research and Piper Jaffray's Jeff Klinefelter, have come up with a total of four "must-have" retail stocks.
"Two of the players that have been able to weather the storm are Tiffany and Coach," Widlitz told CNBC. "These are both top luxury brands, and when everybody else in the space is closing down stores and talking about spending less, these are two companies with healthy store growth."
She notes that conventional wisdom has dictated that recessions hurt luxury stores less, but it didn't work this time -- and that fact can benefit the shrewd investor, as it's already priced into the stock.
Kleinfelter agrees about focusing on healthy growth, but he likes two stores on a slightly different economic level: Kohl's and Aeropostale.
"Kohl's we like, coming out of this cycle," he said. "They're a growth retailer, opening new stores in the southern part of the country, and they sell value-priced, in many cases recognizable, brands, and that's very important to the consumer, who needs to stretch their budget at this point."
Klinefelter's firm makes a market in the securities of Kohl's and Aeropostale, and will buy and sell those securities on a principal basis.
Kohl's and Aeropostale are investment banking clients of Klinefelter's firm.