One corner of the market is quietly making new highs

While the rest of the market struggles to get back up to records, a handful of consumer staples stocks have quietly rallied to new highs.

Stocks like McCormick, Hormel Foods, Church & Dwight and Clorox have bucked the market sell-off over the past three months to notch records in November.

Erin Gibbs, portfolio manager at S&P Global Market Intelligence, expects the trend to continue.

"We see this as a clear change in leadership and we don't just view it as just consumer staples and foods. For us, this is really the change in value versus growth," Gibbs told CNBC's "Trading Nation" on Thursday.

Value investors favor stocks considered cheap relative to the rest of the market. Stocks that fit that bill typically trade at a lower price-earnings multiple with consistent, but not explosive, growth. Investors in growth names, on the other hand, usually pay a premium for stocks with higher profit acceleration.

The IVE S&P 500 value ETF has rallied 2 percent this month as investors rotate toward value over growth.

"When we look at next year and we look at expected growth for value stocks versus growth stocks, there's very little difference in expectations but the valuations are massively different so we just see a lot more risk for the high-flying tech names and actually potentially better returns from some of these value players," added Gibbs.

She said her two favorites in the consumer staples space are Clorox and Constellation Brands.

Mark Newton, founder, president and technical analyst at Newton Advisors, has a different value pick.

"One that I like is actually Church & Dwight," he said Thursday on "Trading Nation." "I think the stock has acted quite well technically. It formed a decent base. It's shown very little sign of any deterioration so I'm still favoring further gains in Church & Dwight from the mid-$60s up to at least the low $70s in the weeks to come."

Church & Dwight would need to rally another 6.5 percent to reach $70. It has already rocketed nearly 11 percent higher this month.

Disclosure: S&P Global Market Intelligence has positions in Clorox and Constellation Brands.


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Trading Nation is a multimedia financial news program that shows investors and traders how to use the news of the day to their advantage. This is where experts from across the financial world – including macro strategists, technical analysts, stock-pickers, and traders who specialize in options, currencies, and fixed income – come together to find the best ways to capitalize on recent developments in the market. Trading Nation: Where headlines become opportunities.

Michael Santoli

Michael Santoli joined CNBC in October 2015 as a Senior Markets Commentator, based at the network's Global Headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, N.J.  Santoli brings his extensive markets expertise to CNBC's Business Day programming, with a regular appearance on CNBC's “Closing Bell (M-F, 3PM-5PM ET).   In addition, he contributes to CNBCand CNBC PRO, writing regular articles and creating original digital videos.

Previously, Santoli was a Senior Columnist at Yahoo Finance, where he wrote analysis and commentary on the stock market, corporate news and the economy. He also appeared on Yahoo Finance video programs, where he offered insights on the most important business stories of the day, and was a regular contributor to CNBC and other networks.

Follow Michael Santoli on Twitter @michaelsantoli

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