Defensive Stocks for Volatile Days

Defensive plays with unique momentum trends: that's how Keith Wirtz characterizes the two stocks at the top of his list of picks. Good advice for players in a volatile market.

Wirtz's Fifth Third Lifemodel Aggressive Fund is up an average of 10.5 percent per year over the last five years.


His first choice is IBM.

"In the enterprise space, they're enjoying the early stages of a product upgrade cycle, particularly with their server and mainframe businesses," he told CNBC. "We see that lasting for at least four quarters, and that's also having a pull-through effect with their higher-margin software applications."

Wirtz has found similar strengths in HJ Heinz.

"The story with Heinz over the last two or three years had been inconsistencies," he said. "That's turned around now, with a re-focus of the management, a new innovation leading to new products, and this translates into higher growth rates."

He notes that Heinz, like many other producers of consumer staples, has been able to raise prices faster than cost inputs, and it has significant international exposure.


Keith Wirtz owns IBM and H J Heinz through his fund.