Playing a US consumer bounce

If all goes well, there's hope for consumers, oil and politics, JPMorgan Chase's chairman and CEO, Jamie Dimon, told CNBC's "Squawk Box" on Thursday. While Dimon didn't go into specifics, one market watcher agrees with the CEO, and laid out some investments to go alongside Dimon's comments.

"I just met with Jamie Dimon a few days ago," Mark Kiesel, chief investment officer for global credit at Pimco, told CNBC's "Power Lunch" on Thursday. "He and I share optimism on the U.S. economy. The U.S. economy is 70 percent the consumer. You've got real wage growth ... of 3.5 percent, job growth of 2 [percent] ... the reality is that consumers have built their savings."

Dimon told CNBC he's sticking by energy companies, even as they struggle to mount a recovery from falling oil prices. He also pointed to positive trends in the U.S. economy and called for less gridlock in Washington.

If the consumer is strong, bonds in sectors like housing, building materials and health care stand to win, Kiesel said. He said a diversified portfolio of corporate bonds is the "sweet spot" between the risky returns offered by stocks and low yields offered by many government bonds.

"Given the political risks, we think that bonds, and corporate bonds are the best place to be today," Kiesel said. "The reason why bonds are so attractive today ... is that 75 percent of the government bond market in Japan and Germany are offering negative yields. And equities, we think, have significant headwinds with global growth and the dollar. ... But credit is offering 4 to 8 percent returns."

Jamie Cox, managing partner at Harris Financial Group, may not have met with Dimon, but he too called for an end to gridlock in Washington and is eyeing the consumer.

His consumer sector pick? Target, he said Thursday on "Power Lunch." He said the retailer is "recession-proof" because it invests in capital rather than just buying back stock.

"I really like what the company is doing," Cox said. "They're a lot less levered to food than some of the grocers, but they also have a much more technology-based company. In retail you hear about Amazon and Wal-Mart ... and all the while Target's just motoring right through."

In the oil patch, Chevron is the "widows and orphans" pick for Jack Ablin, executive vice president and chief investment officer at BMO Private Bank.

"The sector has been beaten up but it's a dividend aristocrat," Ablin, who did not specifically discuss Dimon, told "Power Lunch" on Thursday.

Still, with the current political climate, some sectors will be punching bags for political campaigns on both sides. Ablin's running extra analysis on sectors like financials and health care, for instance.

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