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The Week: Stocks Rise as Oil Waffles

Oil dominated the news again during the week, though crude prices fell back for a change.

Economic data also moved the markets, which finished up for the week.

Photo: Oliver P. Quillia for CNBC.com

The Memorial Day holiday shortened the trading week to four days, but there were plenty of recommendations from CNBC guests.

Tuesday:

Mergers and acquisitions returned to the headlines with reports that global beverage giant InBev has been in talks to acquire America'sAnheuser-Busch .

BlackRock's Bob Doll said he's encouraged by the M&A talk, and recommended Hewlett-Packard, despite -- or, possibly, because of -- a large drop in that company's stock price on news of a deal to acquire EDS .

Consumer confidence registered its lowest reading in 16 years, but the reading was still not as bad as expected. New-home sales unexpectedly rose for the first time in six months, although they remained near a 17-year low.

Dan Genter of RNC Capital Management and Jill Evans of Alpine Funds recommended stocks that pay big dividends.

Genter picked Taiwan Semiconductor , Microchip Technologies , Eastman Chemical , Johnson & Johnson , JPMorgan Chase , US Bancorp , Enerplus , Leggett & Platt , and VF Corporation .

Evans picked Mobile Telesystems , Southern Copper , and Meridian Bioscience .

Wednesday:

A United Nations agency reported that Iran has been stonewalling its inspectors about its nuclear program, raising new concerns about national security.

Morgan Keegan's Brian Ruttenbur recommended some booming companies in the security field: Authentec, Flir Systems, ICX Technologies, and L-1 Identity Solutions.

The Commerce Department reported an April dip in sales of durable goods, with industry and consumers squeezed by soaring commodity prices.

Jason Votruba of Scout Investment Advisors suggested some energy stocks, telling CNBC that "some of the cheapest oil and gas you;ll find right now is in the U.S. stock market:"

Swift Energy, Woodward Governor, and Unit Corporation.

The agricultural side of the commodity crunch inspired Michael Judd of Greenwich Consultants to recommend agricultural-chemical makers, who will soon be reporting what he called "terrific" earnings: Agrium, CF Industries, CAI International, Monsanto, Mosaic, and Potash.

Thursday:

Crude-oil inventories unexpectedly declined, but so did oil prices. The Labor Department posted gains in both initial and continuing claims for unemployment benefits. Revised first-quarter GDP growth figures revealed less improvement than expected.

Manny Weintraub of Integre Advisors said the economic turbulence leaves investors unable to obey the old Wall Street adage to "sell in May and go away." He recommended a restaurant company, Jack In the Box, a financial stock, Federated Investors, and a car-rental firm, Avis Budget.

"Most of the mundane things in the world make money," five-star fund manager Neil Hennessy told CNBC, as he picked Tupperware (more consumers will be storing leftovers), and Owens-Illinois, which makes glass and plastic items.

Friday:

Investors responded to mild April increases in personal income and spending, a better-than-expected reading in the Chicago purchasing-managers index, and a dip in the University of Michigan's consumer-sentiment index.

Jeff Layman of BKD Wealth Advisors said he's focusing on companies with global exposure that have taken steps to increase productivity, or to help other companies to do so: Dell, high-end retailer Tiffany, and global consulting firm Accenture.

And CastleArk Management's Jerry Castellini said energy-exploration and oil-services companies are grossly undervalued, and likely to "rise toward the market:" Southwestern Energy, XTO Energy, and Nabors Industries.

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