MILLBURN, N.J. (Stockpickr) -- After a year that was accentuated -- or shall I say pockmarked -- by a continual flow of exogenous events such as natural disasters, sovereign debt and budgetary crises and political changes in the Arab world, resulting in a flat S&P 500 index, we head into a fresh new year with a clean slate. 2012 will bring with it a whole new set of economic data points, political dynamics and earnings reports.
In this article, I want to focus on a portfolio of stock picks from the S&P 500. Rather than picking a top 10 for the entire index, I want to pick a top stock from each of the 10 S&P 500 sectors. This will provide sector diversity while still allowing me to cherry pick the best for 2012.
Consumer DiscretionaryAt the end of September, the Economic Cycle Research Institute, in a well-coordinated and splashy media blitz, declared that the U.S. was tipping back into a recession. As economic data points proved to the contrary, the ECRI quietly did a double take and qualified its call for a recession. I am sorry to say that the ECRI for the first time in its history will have gone down looking at a third strike and will have mistakenly called for a recession. The economy is improving in the U.S., albeit slowly. It also appears that the impact of the European financial crisis will be minimal upon the U.S.
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