The Conference Board said its Consumer Confidence Index fell to 107.2 in March, down from the revised 111.2 in February. Analysts had expected a reading of 109.
But money managers say the survey doesn't give investors the whole picture.
“What we’re looking at is the seeping into the market and into the consciousness of investors this idea they need to be discriminating more on risk, less exposure to foreign markets, bringing back assets to the U.S. within the U.S., decreasing exposure to those sectors such as housing that are really very questionable, and fundamental outlooks,” said Richard Cripps, managing director of portfolio strategy at Stifel, Nicolaus Capital Markets.
Ritholtz recommends looking at utilities, telecom and other recession-proof companies, in particular, agricultural chemical manufacturers, such as Potash .
“Chemical and feed companies are now becoming alternative energy companies because ethanol and other biofuels are in heavy demand,” Ritholtz said.
Cripps said he likes areas that are currently out of favor, such as biotech, because they are “attractively priced.”