Midday Stock Chatter: Energy & Small Caps


Small and/or beat-up were the main themes running through Tuesday's stock chatter on CNBC. But don't forget energy and more energy -- and one aerospace giant.

Heartland Value Plus Fund manager Michael Petroff says small-cap stocks can be mighty -- if you screen by value first.

"We focus on margins of safety, companies with little or no debt. We avoid a lot of the dislocations in the debt market. We also focus on dividend-paying companies, [which are] less volatile than the non-dividend payers."

He praised medical-equipment sterilizer firm Steris: "Clearly, there's a trend" to demand for Steris' services, the 5-star manager said.

(See Petroff's other small-cap picks)

"Our strategy is to buy companies that are good companies, but really down and out," said John Linehan of T. Rowe Price. "Dell clearly is a company that's down and out," he told CNBC. He also likes refiner Sunoco for its "very attractive valuations."

(What is Linehan's third "cheap" large-cap?)

Boeing is no lumbering giant, says Putnam Vista Fund manager Kevin Divney.

"It's had some weakness because of some supply-chain disruptions, but I think Boeing is this long-run 'hold' you want to have in your portfolio," he told CNBC. Divney also recommended engineering/construction firm McDermott International.

(Click to read Divney's outlook on financials)