The Week: Pickers Focus on Steel, Financials, Tech & International Stocks

The week was a mixed bag of economic and market news, most of it on the negative side. Oil prices continued to hit record highs, the market officially entered bear territory and the European Central Bank socked it to the U.S. by raising rates a quarter-point. Despite all of this, CNBC guests found bright spots in steel, financials, tech and international stocks.


Monday ended the market’s worst monthly decline in nearly six years, with financials leading the plummet. Shares of Lehman Brothers tumbled more than 10 percent on speculation that the bank could be forced to sell itself. Oil prices topped $143 a barrel for the first time.

Mark Parr, of Keybanc Capital Markets, said steel stocks are a very fertile place for solid capital gains over the next 12 months. He liked U.S. Steel , Nucor , Steel Dynamics , Reliance Steel and Olympic Steel .

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

Darren Chervitz, of the Jacob Internet Fund, recommended small-cap Internet stocks. He liked India , a leading independent portal in India, which he thinks could be an attractive acquisition opportunity for a larger media company looking to gain some share in the Indian market. He also likes SourceForge , which operates a network of media Web sites.

Scott Kessler, of Standard & Poor’s, said there is value in large-cap tech stocks. He liked EMCCorp. , Hewlett-Packard , IBM and Oracle .


Stocks made their third quarter debut with modest gains. GM’s sales fell 8.3 percent in June, but that was much better than the 19 percent drop the Street was expecting. The Institute for Supply Management's June manufacturing index popped above the key 50 mark, which indicates growth.

Randy Bateman, of Huntington Funds, said regional banks could be the leaders of a market recovery. One regional bank he likes is Cullen/Frost Bankers . He also recommended GPS-maker Trimble Navigation .

Scott Snyder, of Icon International Funds, pointed overseas to Petrobras , Allianz SE and K+S AG .

Dan Genter, of RNC Genter Capital Management, recommended bottom fishing in the financial sector. He liked JPMorgan , US Bancorp and Lincoln National .


Oil prices and GM shares helped drag the market into bear territory. The ADP employment report showed a loss of 79,000 private-sector jobs in June. The Mortgage Bankers Associates says applications for new home loans rose 3.6 percent last week.

Joe Rodriguez, of the AIM Global Real Estate Fund, shared his favorite global real estate plays. Among his favorites were SL Green Realty, Simon Property Group, Equity Residential and Essex Property Trust .

Brent Wilsey, of Wilsey Asset Management, went with feel-good stock picks. His favorites were Regis Corp. , Cynosure, USANA Health Sciences, Palomar Medical Tech. and Life Time Fitness.

Paul Noglows, of Lazard Capital Markets, recommended Bare Escentuals, Intuitive Surgical, Seaspan and gaming company Activision, which he said will form a digital media powerhouse after its pending merger with Vivendi’s gaming unit.


The European Central Bank raised its key monetary policy rate by a quarter point to fight rising inflation. The Labor Department said U.S. employers cut 62,000 jobs from nonfarm payrolls in June.

William Fries, of Thornburg Investment Management, pointed overseas to Telefonica SA , Canadian Natural Resources and SAP AG .

Warren Meyers, of Walter J. Dowd, said he likes tech in this market environment. He recommended buying IBM on a dip.