NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- What should investors do during the second half of a year that's seeing the Dow Jones Industrial Average seemingly weakening, U.S. unemployment topping 9% and some analysts warning of a double-dip recession?
It depends, experts say.
"Investors do themselves a disservice by trying to analyze economic news because it's always lagging. Markets are the ultimate leading indicator," said Jonathan Hoenig, managing member of hedge fund Capitalistpig Asset Management and author of Greed is Good: the Capitalist Pig Guide to Investing.
"Investors need to stick to their own strategies and approaches, because headlines about the market are always deceiving," Hoenig said. "If somebody is retiring in 15 years, I don't think today's headlines should make too much of a difference to their investment strategy."TheStreet recently asked Hoenig and other experts for the No. 1 tip they'd give U.S. investors as markets head into 2011's second half. Here's what each expert said. Jim Cramer: Buy Big Exporters Jim Cramer, host of CNBC's Mad Money, runs the charitable trust portfolio Action Alerts PLUS and writes daily market commentary for TheStreet's RealMoney premium service. As Americans grappled with the fallout of the subprime crisis, he wrote the book Jim Cramer's Getting Back to Even. While the weak job market will continue to pose challenges to the economy, he says investors should consider buying shares of companies with strong exports. Editor's note: This is an excerpt of a story that appeared earlier this week on RealMoney. Click here for a free trial, and enjoy incisive commentary every day. Cramer: That's what brings me the autos, specifically General Motors (GM). Here's a company that people got all excited about because of Chinese sales -- not American sales. But the company's IPO window coincided with the shutting of the cheap-money window in China. I expect that by September, after this oil intervention, China will no longer be actively trying to slow the economy down. That means GM can start selling many more cars. It is a huge swing factor and the base in the stock is showing you that's what's to come. Other companies, Cummins (CMI), Caterpillar (CAT), Joy Global (JOYC) and Freeport McMoRan (FCX) could also be winners. If commodity inflation has peaked, as I think it has, you want to do something with apparel, which needs oil down for shoppers to do better and cotton to come down so the raw cost is much less. It has to be international in basis and not just domestic because our economy will still not be strong enough. My two favorites are Phillips-Van Heusen (PVH) because of Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein - huge brands overseas that put through monster price hikes -- and Jones Group (JNY).
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