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Jim Awad thinks an investor should build a stock portfolio with BRICs. The biggest opportunities for growth can be found in the so-called BRIC countries -- Brazil, Russia, India, and China -- but it's not necessary to leave home to get into that market.
"The secular growth in the BRIC countries, particularly...China and India, (is) very powerful," the chairman of WP Stewart Asset Management told CNBC.
"The fact that U.S. multinational corporations are uniquely positioned to benefit from that, and because of the problems in the U.S. market, multinational growth companies are particularly cheap and attractive."
"At this price, with this dividend yield, General Electric works," Awad said. "I think United Technologies works, Automatic Data Processing works; a company which we recently bought, Fastenal, which distributes everything to everybody...works; I think General Motors...they still have to work their way through problems, but I think there's tremendous opportunities in companies leveraged to the overseas growth."
The auto industry is a scary place for investors these days, but buying auto-industry stocks does not necessarily mean buying the stocks of big carmakers.
Itay Michaeli is auto and auto-parts analyst for Citi, and he has some ideas for putting wheels on investment dollars.
Michaeli's first pick is Borg Warner.
"Borg Warner is our favorite stock," he told CNBC. "Fuel economy and emissions is the one clear trend in the auto industry, not only globally but here in the U.S...Borg Warner is very levered to that trend with turbochargers and transmission systems. We think it can grow at double digits both top- and bottom-line."
He also likes American Axle , which has just concluded what he describes as "a very robust labor-savings deal."
He sees the company as well-positioned to survive the industry's current challenges, including the precipitous drop in pickup and SUV sales.
The third company on his list is Goodyear Tire.
"Number one or number two position in every single market, very cheap multiple, oligopoly with great pricing power," was his succinct description of the company. "We think tires can play a role in improving fuel economy going forward, both for the OEMs [original equipment manufacturers] and the aftermarket."
Thomas Winmill is still bullish on commodities, although he doesn't think oil is currently a buying opportunity.
The president and portfolio manager of The Midas Funds also likes some commodity-related stocks.
Winmill likes Freeport McMoRan, Kinross Gold, and Lihir Gold Limited.
"They're primarily gold producers," he told CNBC. "Freeport is the biggest copper producer in the world...it's got a great portfolio, it only trades about seven times cash flow right now, they're going to increase their production of copper by about half a billion pounds next year; a lot of growth in the pipeline."
One special reason Winmill likes Freeport McMoRan is its involvement in the production of molybdenum.
"It doesn't trade in the futures market," he pointed out. "Molybdenum is used primarily for pipe, for drilling pipe for oil exploration, any kind of pipeline...it's a very strong market, and a small market."
Jerry Castellini finds opportunity for investors in soaring commodity prices.
"You could have a $30 price break in oil, and you'd still be at $100," the president and chief investment officer of CastleArk Management told CNBC. "That has to tell you we're in a new era."
The commodity surge has profound implications for stocks -- and stockholders.
"If you look at the part of the S&P that is still trading at a big discount, it's all these areas that we talk about that are 'inflation plays,'" he said. "If commodity prices aren't going down again, all the valuations for those stocks and in those industries have to now rise towards the market."
Castellini is especially enthusiastic about energy exploration companies, and Southwestern Energy tops his list.
"Southwestern Energy...controls the Fayetteville shale development in Arkansas, which is one of the nascent but rapidly-growing basins for natural gas production," he explained. "Southwestern dominates this play today; they're ramping rigs, and we think they'll probably grow production 35 to 40 percent a year. That sounds like a growth stock to me."
He also likes XTO Energy in the exploration space.
"They're trading at very, very low multiples, compared to how fast they're growing," he said of the exploration companies.
In the related oil-services space, Castellini likes Nabors Industries.
"(It's) an example of a company that's trading at maybe six, seven times next year's earnings, and it probably needs to trade at 12 or 13 times," he said.
Outside of energy, he likes Emerson Electric.
"(It's) clearly a beneficiary of all these moves to efficiency worldwide," he said. "These names have just not yet moved in terms of valuation."
Uncertain times call for creative, careful investing, and that's what Jeff Layman of BKD Wealth Advisors advises.
"The themes that we think investors ought to be looking at right now, relative to the market environment are the companies that, first of all, have a global presence...also, those that can bring a means of increasing productivity to companies, at a time when demand might be softening," Layman told CNBC.
He says the earnings report from computer giant Dell, posting profits that beat forecasts, confirms the importance of his themes.
He also likes high-end retailer Tiffany.
"International sales continue to be the source of strength," he said.
Back in the technology area, he likes global consulting firm Accenture, because of its ability to help other firms increase their productivity.
"Accenture operates in many different industries and countries," he added.
"Most of the mundane things in this world make money," Neil Hennessy told CNBC. That being the case, he's enthusiastic about stocks an investor might easily overlook.
His five-star Hennessy Focus 30 Fund is up 13 percent year-to-date, and up an average of 17.89 percent per year over the last three years.
His first pick is Tupperware.
"If you really feel that the food and commodity prices are going to affect you, you could look at a company like Tupperware," he said. "Tupperware, as everybody knows, is in the plastic container business...but if you think about it, people are going to start using leftovers...rather than re-buying on a daily basis."
Hennessy says the stock is priced very attractively, despite the company's strong performance this year.
He also likes Owens-Illinois.
"Owens-Illinois is in the plastic and glass business," he said. "Who's going to talk about that at a cocktail party? But in reality, they make money...it's just a nice little company that gets overlooked."
Conventional Wall Street wisdom says, "Sell in May, and go away." Manny Weintraub says that's not wise this year.
"That adage applies when there's a lot of optimism in the market," the president of Integre Advisors told CNBC. "This year, all we've had is less pessimism."
He says there are many more bargains to be snapped up this year than there were a year ago.
For instance, there's Jack In the Box.
"Jack In the Box is trading at 12 times earnings," he said. "Huge free cash flow, share buyback going on; they are moving into the high end...by taking share from quick-service restaurants."
Weintraub also likes Federated Investors.
"(It) specializes in money-market funds, which is a huge-scale business," he said. "It's trading at...the lowest multiple it's traded at in five years."
Surprisingly, perhaps, he also finds rental-car company Avis Budget attractive.
"Less people are flying, which is often a concern for the rental-car companies, but many more people are actually driving rather than flying, and you're seeing the pricing holding up very well," he said. "Also, that company is being misunderstood as a financial name, because they own a lot of rental cars, but it's really a service company."
Picking the right stock can be a matter of chemistry. That's quite literally the case with Michael Judd of Greenwich Consultants. He's enthusiastic about shares of chemical companies.
The Wall Street Journal has ranked him as the No. 1 chemical-company analyst for the second year in a row, and he tops the Journal's overall list of stock pickers this year.
(See below for his Web Exclusive picks.)
He likes Dow Chemical .
"They have an interesting dynamic that will be occurring later on this year, in that they're joint-venturing some of their chemical businesses and plastics businesses with the Kuwaitis, and they're going to receive an enormous amount of cash for that," Judd told CNBC. "We think they will choose to reinvest that in acquisitions and perhaps some share buybacks."
He particularly likes companies that produce agricultural chemicals, like Monsanto.
"You've seen the prices for grains, and fertilizer stocks have certainly responded," he said. "There's a demand on the part of the farmers to maximize yield."
Web Extras for CNBC.com Readers:
More chemical companies on his list include Agrium, CF Industries Holdings, Compass Minerals, Mosaic, and Potash.
Millennium Pharmaceuticals shares soared 70 percent since March -- when Friedman, Billings, Ramsey's David Khani recommended it.
So what does he have his eye on now? One engineering/construction company, one health-care company, and two energy companies, all likely to weather economic slowdowns at home -- and even overseas.
The engineering/construction company is URS.
"[It's] leveraged to the renaissance in nuclear construction," he said. "It trades at a 30 percent discount to its peers, and is positioned to raise guidance in July."
"Cephalon is our health-care company," he continued. "That is a specialty pharmaceutical company; it's pulled back nicely on expectations of one of its drugs coming off patent in 2012."
Khani says a new Cephalon drug is expected to help the stock when it comes on line.
His first energy pick is Consol Energy.
"Consol is tied into the coal story," he said. "Today, we've seen countries like Vietnam talk about stopping exports of coal; India's power plants are very short of coal and getting worse; and China, as you know, has inventory problems as well."
He also likes Core Laboratories, a provider of services related to petroleum reservoirs. The company is active in more than 50 countries.
Homeland security has been a front-burner issue for six and a half years now. It's been a bonanza for companies involved in protecting Americans from terror and crime, and Brian Ruttenbur indicates there's still a lot of upside.
"We have four companies out there that are growing at 30+ percent internal growth," the Morgan Keegan homeland security analyst told CNBC. "Just about everyone is growing double digits."
Ruttenbur's first pick among homeland security companies is AuthenTec, a maker of fingerptint-authentication sensors .
"They're growing roughly 45-50 percent a year, and they're going on laptops and cell phones," he said. "You'll see the first cell phones [with fingerprint sensors] in the U.S. this year."
He also likes FLIR Systems.
"It's an infrared camera company, growing dramatically...in the defense side of the business, but as much growth in the non-defense infrared-camera business," he explained.
ICX Technologies makes sensors and surveillance devices.
"I like their broadness, but one of the products that they have is a(n)...explosive-detection product that you're going to start seeing at airports that can pick up trace amounts of explosive very quickly," he said. "They also have ground-based radar, and as we start securing more infrastructure around the nation and abroad, you're going to see (it) pop up more and more."
Another company on his list is L-1 Identity Solutions.