The Week: What Investors Can Do When Oil Spikes

Andrew Fisher

Most business news this week took a back seat to oil's relentless climb, but there were still some notable moments.

Super Spike oil

Boeing said its 787 "Dreamliner" project is on schedule; Microsoft and Yahoo went back to the bargaining table; workers went back to their jobs at plants of auto-parts supplier American Axle after a three-month strike; and Ford cut production and lowered its profit goal.

The week also saw wholesale prices climb less than expected, but the overall index was outrun by a surprising gain in the core rate, which strips out food and energy prices. And initial jobless claims fell to a four-month low, while existing-home sales fell less than expected in April.

But the top three stories remained oil prices, oil prices, and oil prices, and CNBC guests were ready with plenty of suggestions.


Crude oil climbed past $127 a barrel.

CNBC guests recommended oil-service stocks.  Gerald Jordan of the Jordan Opportunity Fund pointed to the large and growing demand for drilling equipment in picking Schlumberger and Weatherford International  .  Robert Millen of the Jensen Portfolio Fund urged investors to focus away from energy and into technology:  FMC Technologies and Tesco .  And Robert Millen of the Jensen Portfolio Fund looked for quality and international exposure with Emerson Electric, Procter & Gamble, and Praxair.

The Week & You


On Squawk Box, Boone Pickens predicted an oil price of $150 this year, and energy expert Dr. Robert Hirsch predicted gasoline prices of between $10 and $15 a gallon.

Barry James of James Advantage Funds continued to steer investors toward large-cap global companies with good earnings and cheap valuations, even a name or two from the high-flying energy sector:  AT&T, Wal-Mart, ExxonMobil, and Owens-Illinois.

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon told his bank's annual meeting he sees a second wave of the credit crisis on the horizon, even endangering his own company's acquisition of Bear Stearns.

Sandler O'Neill's Jeffery Harte said JPMorgan Chase has the best management team in financials, and is his firm's only "buy" rated firm in the sector.


Crude oil topped $130.

Retail results were spread over a wide range, with stores focused on style doing the best.

Dana Telsey of the Telsey Advisory Group said an informal survey in her office revealed JCrew

has every fashion item a woman wants. She also recommended lululemon, Nordstrom, and Gymboree.

The minutes of the most recent meeting of Federal Reserve policymakers revealed more inflation concerns, indicating more rate cuts are unlikely, and the Dow Jones Industrials fell 227 points on the day, posting the worst two-day loss since late February.

Noah Blackstein of Dynamic Mutual Funds urged a return to globally-exposed technology:  Apple and Research In Motion. Greg Church of Church Capital Management said that tech growth will need support from companies like Cisco and EMC.


Crude oil topped $135.

Neil Hennessy of Hennessy Funds said oil is ready to top out and plunge, but in the meantime, because there's no growth going on, investors should buy value: Tupperware, Costco, Airgas, AK Steel, and Bunge. Brent Wilsey of Wilsey Asset Management said food prices will be tumbling, too, and he recommended some good restaurant stocks: Darden Restaurants, Red Robin Gourmet Burger , and Bob Evans Farms.


Crude oil resumed its climb after a brief pullback.

Jeremy Sussman of Natixis Bleichroeder urged investors to buy coal companies, focusing on the eastern United States, nearer the major European markets: Patriot Coal, Peabody Energy, and Consol Energy.

Shawn Reynolds of Van Eck Global recommended energy infrastructure plays: Alpha Natural Resources , Cameron, and Exterran.