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Traders: How to play consumers in sluggish market

Many consumer names have climbed this year, but "Fast Money" traders said they would only bet on specific stocks, not the sector, in a recently sluggish market.

Stocks closed mixed on Monday, with the Dow and S&P 500 barely holding on to gains. Major U.S. averages ended five straight weeks of gains last week.

The S&P has fallen about 0.3 percent this year. In that span, though, consumer stocks like Coca-Cola, Johnson & Johnson and General Mills have all risen more than 5 percent.

"People have to understand that we're in a different environment and (consumers are) spending money differently than they were," said trader Pete Najarian.

Coca-Cola COKE
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Food and beverage

Najarian touted shares of Coca-Cola, which are up more than 6 percent this year. Trader Guy Adami believes the stock is "breaking out" and should continue higher.

Najarian said General Mills, another food name, looks appealing. Its shares have popped 7 percent this year.

Household goods

Trader Tim Seymour highlighted companies that sell household or hygiene products. He pointed to shares of Procter & Gamble and Kimberly Clark, which are up about 4 and 5 percent, respectively, this year.

Najarian also looked to Johnson & Johnson, which has gained 5 percent this year.

Home improvement

Najarian and Adami touted shares of Masco and Home Depot, respectively.

Disclosures:

Tim Seymour

Tim Seymour is long AAPL, AVP, BAC, BBRY, DO, EDC, F, FCX, GM, GOOGL, INTC, NKE, SINA, T, TWTR, VZ, XOM. Tim's firm is long BABA, BIDU, CLF, KO, MCD, MPEL, PEP, PF, SAVE, SBUX, VALE, WMT,YHOO, short HYG, IWM.

Pete Najarian

Long AAPL, AMZ, BAC, CYH, DAL, DOW, EGO, FIT, HAIN, HOG, KO, KSS, LC, LPX, MDLS, MET, MSFT, MXIM, NEM, POT, SCHW, SLW, TCK, UAL, WYNN, ZIOP, EWZ, GDX, SLV, COP, LVS, He is long calls AAPL,.BAC, BMY, DIS, DISCA, GE, KMI, KMI-A, KO, LUX, MRK, PEP, PFE, SAVE, VIAB he is long puts CHK, DB, HAB, HES, PBR, RY, VLO

Brian Kelly

Brian Kelly is long BBRY, Bitcoin, GLD, GLD puts, SH, SLV, TLT, US Dollar, UUP, Yen; he is short Aussie Dollar, BLK, British Pound, CS, DB, Euro, EWH, FRC, Hong Kong Dollar, UBS, SPY, Yuan, 5-Year Note Futures

Guy Adami

Guy Adami is long CELG, EXAS, GDX, INTC, Guy Adami's wife, Linda Snow, works at Merck.