Starbucks stock retreated in heavy volume after a report suggested the coffee chain's growth may be losing some steam.» Read More
At a time of market uncertainty, what can an investor count on? Knee replacements, for one thing. Bruce Nudell, UBS senior research analyst, takes that as his cue in picking some promising stocks.
"We really love the orthopedic market right now," he told CNBC. "It’s got about, in the United States, about five points of unit growth; hospitals are making a lot of money on these procedures…So this should be a high single-digit market for the long term."
He's got a favorite among the orthopedics, too.
"We like Zimmer especially," he said. "We think it's an undervalued stock. We like Stryker in the orthopedic space as well; Abbott (Laboratories) we think is a terrific company, has terrific prospects right now."
And that's not all.
"Medtronic, I think, is going to have a really good year," he said, but added, "We question the longer-term topline there."
Joe Clark is just one of many financial observers who will tell you that these are uncertain times. He's one of a few who will tell you what to do about it.
Clark is the founder and chief investment officer of Financial Enhancement Group, and he thinks the one sure domestic investment area is the credit-card business.
"You're in a bear market, so you've got to follow the rules," Clark told CNBC. "That means you've got to pay very close attention to the position, and not try to find a bottom."
He's watched utilities perform very well during the first half of the year, but he indicates that that could change in a heartbeat.
"The dividend yield is low, and if financials do find a bottom, you're going to find the dividend movers shift from utilities way into financials," he said.
So which financials make money no matter where the market happens to be going?
"Get out of utilities, buy MasterCard and Visa, the consumers are good to go," he said.
Diagnostic firms DiaSorin and Biomerier and oil storage company Vopak are three small-cap stocks with promising growth prospects, Dave Dudding, fund manager from Threadneedle Investments, told CNBC.
Small-caps haven't been immune to the weakness brought on by the credit crunch and have been underperforming their larger counterparts, but investors looking for long-term returns can still find strong growth potential, Dudding said.
The stock market brought a dramatic end to a chaotic week on Wall Street. CNBC talked to the experts about how to play stocks, bonds and oil into the weekend and upcoming week.
Investors should stay on the sidelines going into the weekend and wait for the financials to stabilize, said Dave Rovelli, Canaccord Adams managing director.
"It's just too risky," he said. "Until the financials stabilize and oil comes down, there's really no reason to jump in."
Next week will bring a lot of catalysts to the market, including the consumer price index, the producer price index and earnings reports from investment banks Merrill Lynch and JPMorgan Chase , he said.
Bonds: Fannie Mae and Freddie Maccaused a selloff in bonds, on the idea that extra supply that could come from the mortgage lenders would be picked up by the government, said John Brady, MF Global senior vice president.
"It's been very volatile, very choppy, with some very good downside price action," he said of the bonds market. "I think the government continues to have challenges out and beyond the financial sector and agencies."
Issuance will likely go up next week when inflation data and retail sales are released, he said.
The weak dollar and financial troubles raised the price of oil, but they didn't have the biggest effect, said Mark Solazzo, president of M. Solazzo Trading.
"Overnight, I think, is what really got the crude oil off and running with the Israel training session over Iraq," Solazzo said. "That definitely pushed the market higher this morning."
Tonight's cancellation of the Nigerian cease-fire will bring a big question mark regarding oil's future price, he said.
Peter Misek, a global technology strategist at Canaccord Adams is bullish on tech stocks. He says “tech -- both in growth and earnings are going to look pretty good. We particularly like the multi-nationals.”
IBM -– “Companies view it as a cost saving tool… [IBM’s] growth has been very strong – well over 30%. We expect that they had a great quarter, and we’re going to expect to see that strength over the next several quarters.”
Microsoft -– “We like it because we no longer believe they are going to buy all of Yahoo… You’ll be buying a company worth 10 times next year’s earnings.”
Research in Motion -- While Apple’s new iPhone 3G is already facing activation issues from customers, RIMM’s products with “more battery efficiency, bandwidth, efficiency and pricing will be much more attractive to consumers.”
America's oil crisis should be re-branded "renewable energy opportunity," says Rob Lutts. The founder and CIO of Cabot Money Management offered CNBC wind and solar stock picks that he sees on the verge of soaring.
Wind and solar together make up a mere 0.4 percent of global power today, Lutts said. "We think [they're] going to be 10 percent over the next 10 years," he declared. "We're at the very beginning of government subisidies really changing."
So which companies are likely to gain from the climb in oil prices (putting aside Exxon Mobil and Chevron) and the government's largesse?
He recommended wind-based Gamesa -- traded in London -- referring to Boone Pickens' appearance on CNBC earlier this week, in which the legendary billionaire financier touted wind power opportunities.
Are short sellers right for targeting Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae?
Manny Weintraub of Integre Advisors says yes. He spoke with CNBC Friday about the government-backed giants, saying that there are a lot of mortgages guaranteed, but not much equity...
- Video: Jim Cramer's Fannie/Freddie Take
It's been an awful week for stocks, but Evan Smith insists it's a perfect time to buy.
His five-star U.S. Global Investors fund is up an impressive average of 42.73 percent over the last five years, and even shows a 5.77 percent gain year-to-date.
Stocks are not all he's bullish on, either.
"We're still favorable on a long-term cycle for commodities, oil, base metals, basic materials, as the infrastructure build-out in emerging markets is continuing to consume these materials," he told CNBC. "We think that will continue well into the future."
So what about stocks?
Topping his list are a couple of oil-related stocks, exploration and development company BPZ Energy and Hornbeck Offshore, which provides oilfield supplies and transportation.
"This company has tremendous metrics," he said of BPZ. "I just toured their properties last week in northern Peru; outstanding management team, large acreage package, and they're doing wonderful things down there."
He also likes fertilizer producer Potash.
"Potash has been a tremendous performer," he said. "The fertilizer business, on a global basis, is in outstanding shape. I think the stock sees at least 50 percent upside from here."
A U.S. government bail out of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac could cause a further weakening of the dollar, Manus Cranny from MF Global told CNBC Friday.
- Video: Jim Cramer's Fannie/Freddie Take
Jeffery Saut, chief investment strategist at Raymond James, and Allan Nichols, equities strategist at Morningstar, shared their insights on dividend stocks.
Nichols says there generally is “more stability internationally” than in the U.S., especially in the big cap names.
Royal Dutch Shell
Nichols commented that all the above-mentioned companies are mainly based in Europe, “but they have widespread assets throughout Europe, around emerging markets, and throughout the world.”