Safe Stock-Picking in a Scary Market

Greg Levine

The market rollercoaster shows no signs of becoming more predictable, as tech stocks lose ground and a Federal Reserve official says that a recession may be unavoidable.

What's an investor to do? CNBC heard from expert strategists about where to put your money.

Smart Plays in Coal

Old King Coal

"Keep in mind, overseas, that last year, China added around 96,000 megawatts of coal-fired power plants. That's equivalent to about 31 percent of the entire U.S. coal power fleet. ...We like Consol Energy . It's the largest in the Appalachians, and it's probably the best-positioned company to export coal out of the east coast of the U.S."

Paul Forward of Stifel, Nicolaus

Forward also recommends Peabody Energy and Massey Energy.

Confusing market? Invest with CNBC's pros:


Your Best Trades Now

Construct & Fix Your Portfolio

"Global infrastructure investing is going to be $30 trillion over the next 20 years ... The thing about Mueller Water Products is, a lot of its construction is for residential development, and, obviously, there's nothing going on there. But sooner or later, municipalities are going to have to invest in their water resources, especially because water is becoming such a scarce resource. Where are they going to go? Mueller."

-Bob Frick, senior editor of Kiplinger's Personal Finance Magazine

Frick also likes El Paso and Macquarie Infrastructure Company Trust.

Volatility Opportunity

Cherry-Picking Stocks

"In a challenging growth environment, in a challenging earnings environment, names that are more likely to be able to defend some rate of earnings growth are probably where people want to look right now."

That points investors toward large-cap, globally-diversified growth stocks.

-Stephen Wood of Russell Investments

Wood recommends McDonald's and Google.



Market Pulse Check

Safety in Quality

"We're big in investing in companies that are paying a dividend and growing their dividend. High-quality dividend plays, to us, short-term and long-term, are the way to go ... I think you can go into industrial stocks, like United TechnologiesHoneywell and Du Pont."

-Joseph Keating of First American Asset Management