Midday Stock Chatter: Food, Oil & Growth

Headline themes ran through Wednesday's stock chatter on CNBC: Food inflation, oil and defense against economic turmoil.

Sanford Bernstein senior research analyst Alexia Howard told CNBC that Kellogg and Kraft Foods both show "pretty decent performance." But with disparate commodity pressures on each, one of the pre-packaged edibles giants is sure to come out on top.

(See the rest of Howard's food stock analysis)

"We think the best way to play this market is through a secure, consumer-staple company that has pricing power, but also has exposure to attractive overseas markets," said Alpine Woods Capital Investors portfolio manager Kevin Shacknofsky.

He thinks investors should wait for the housing market to stabilize before taking big risks. His top pick: Nestle .

(Shacknofsky offers two more growth stocks)

Everyone's looking at oil stocks. Jason Gammel, senior oil analyst at Macquarie Capital, and Tina Vital, integrated oil & gas analyst at S&P, agree on Exxon Mobil and Chevron -- but for different reasons.

(Watch the analyst debate here)