Investing

Market Trades For Super-Bulls, Chicken-Bulls, and Outright Bears

Stock Tickers: AAPL, GOOG, RIMM, BA, UTX, ATI, RTP, RIO, FLR, SGR, PEP, KO, BUD, CAG, HNZ, CPB, HRL, K, GIS, KFT, MCD, MRK, PFE, ALO, PYX, HME, WTR, SNH, SRZ, PG, CL, MO, RAI, CLX, NVO, BRK/A, FLO, DLM, PSQ, DOG, SSO, SH, BIL, IEI, TLT, TLH

There is more than enough bantering back and forth out there about the week’s sell-off in reaction to long-term interest rates and the Bill Gross predictions for potentially higher rates longer-term.  So, if you are a super-bull then you’d want to use the leadership stocks to pile surplus cash into thinking the world didn’t really change.  If you are a chicken-bull (want to buy but not overly aggressive and still cautious) then you want to buy defensive stocks.  If you’re a bear, well at least you get the 5% interest.  We wanted to provide at least a partial list of the bull and bear go-to picks ahead of the weekend when many will be doing extra amounts of reading.

Aggressive Bullish Picks

IF this was just an unwarranted sell-off that came because of a rate spook and if Mr. Gross is wrong, then you go hard and fast into what has been working before.  Aerospace, Infrastructure, Metals & Mining, very selective Tech.  So out of selective tech the two most obvious names are Apple (AAPL) and either Google (GOOG) or Research-in-Motion (RIMM).  In Aerospace the go-to names are Boeing (BA) and United Tech (UTX).  In metals its Allegheny Tech (ATI), Rio Tinto (RTP), and Companhia Vale do Rio Doce ‘CVRD’ (RIO).  In infrastructure the go-to names are Fluor (FLR), Shaw Group (SGR).  This week Jim Cramer gave his New Four Horsemen of Technology and booted the old ones.

Defensive Stock Plays For Chicken-Bull

Because this sell-off is for a different reason, we have eliminated the power companies because of the tie being so geared toward higher rates.  We’ve also pulled out the debt collection companies because they ran so much after the last sub-prime scare.  Here was the first line of 20 defensive stocks back in February from the mini-Asian meltdown and here was the list of second-line defensive names.   This still leaves plenty of options, and we added in a few more.

First Line Defensive Stocks: Coca-Cola (KO), PepsiCo (PEP), Anheuser-Busch (BUD), ConAgra (CAG), Heinz (HNZ), Campbell Soup (CPB), Hormel (HRL), Kellogg (K), General Mills (GIS), Kraft (KFT), McDonalds (MCD), Merck (MRK), Pfizer (PFE), P & G (PG), Colgate-Polmolive (CL), Altria (MO), Reynolds American (RAI), and Clorox (CLX).

Second-Line Defensive Stocks:  Berkshire Hathaway (BRK/a), Flowers Foods (FLO), Del Monte Foods (DLM), Novo Nordisk (NVO), Alpharma (ALO), Playtex (PYX), Home Properties (HME), Aqua America (WTR), and Senior Housing (SNH), Sunrise Senior Living (SRZ).

The Bearish Trades

If you are still bearish or are completely bearish, then you’ve got Treasuries and all of the inverse ETF funds.  Some of the negative market ETF trades that move invesrely are the SHORT QQQ PROSHARES (PSQ), SHORT DOW30 PROSHARES (DOG), ULTRA S&P500 PROSHARES (SSO), SHORT S&P500 PROSHARES (SH), and more.  For short-term rate ETF’s you have the fairly new STREETTRACKS SERIES TRUST Lehman 1-3 MO T-BILL (BIL).  The more liquid interest rate ETF’s that actually trade are the iShares Lehman 20+ Year Treas Bond (TLT), iShares Lehman 10-20 Year Treas Bond (TLH), iShares Lehman 3-7 Year T-Note (IEI), and more.

As a reminder, defensive stocks still tend to get hit when the market gets so bad that they throw out the baby with the bath water, but they usually start to fall less and less and are usually the first stocks that traders commit money to at the turns.  Defensive doesn’t mean immune.  Also, all of these are merely part of a partial list and the list could have easily been 3-times the size.   

Jon C. Ogg
June 8, 2007

Jon Ogg can be reached at [email protected]; he does not own securities in the companies he covers.

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