'No. 1' retail analyst likes these 4 stocks

As the holiday season approaches, four retail stocks could be worth buying, top-ranked JPMorgan analyst Matthew Boss said Tuesday.

"I think it's going to be a stable holiday," he said. "I don't think it's going to be blockbuster, but I also don't think it's going to be as bad as some of the choppy trading of the last couple of months."

On CNBC's "Halftime Report," Boss said that selective investing was key.

A shopper carries a Macy's shopping bag
Getty Images
A shopper carries a Macy's shopping bag

"For us, that's Macy's and Nordstrom in the department stores," he said. "I also think athletic is going to be the category, health and wellness, so we like Nike and Foot Locker in that space as well."

Read MoreIncredible opportunity in one sector: Rich Pzena

Boss was recently named the No. 1 retail analyst for 2014 by Institutional Investor magazine.

The consumer discretionary sector, he said, was "under-owned" and possibly poised to break out.

"If we start to see any signs of life, I think this is going to be a sector that actually could lead the market," he said.

Read More7 companies could be the next to split: Pros

One positive change from last year is the lack of an "inventory glut" that began with the 2013 back-to-school season, leading to sale discounting, Boss said.

"We're not seeing those signs of panic, so I think the downside scenario is somewhat controlled at this point," he added.