Sizing Up Consumer Discretionary Stocks

Andrew Fisher,

The consumer discretionary sector has taken a beating recently, but a couple of top market professionals think it may be time for investors to move into the sector.

Time to Buy?

Citigroup retail analyst Charmaine Tang admits it's a "tough group," but believes recession has been priced-in.

"Our top pick in this environment is Wal-Mart," she told CNBC.  "Half of what it sells is what I consider staples -- grocery, food, etc. -- [with] the other half being discretionary merchandise.  We think that company's pricing message really resonates well in this kind of environment."

Joseph Keating, chief investment officer for First American Investment Management, recommends two "really high-quality, brand-name companies that are terrific dividend payers and have great exposure overseas."

The first one is VF Corporation.

"This is the holding company that houses the North Face brand, Wrangler jeans, Lee jeans, Nautica," he said, praising the company's dividend-payout increases over the last two years.

Keating also likes Nike.

"They more than doubled their dividend payout over the last two years," he said.