NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Equity markets may not rise as much in 2014 as they did this year but stock investors are likely to enjoy generally positive conditions over the next 12 months, said TheStreet's Nicole Urken in an interview Thursday on CNBC.
The uncertainty of Federal Reserve policy should not slow market momentum, said Urken, research director of CNBC's Mad Money show hosted by Jim Cramer.
Yet because stocks have generally done well in 2013 -- Standard & Poor's 500 Index (^GSPC) has surged 29%, poised for its best year since 1997-- investors will have to take much greater care in choosing equities.
"I do think we are going to see a good year following a great year," said Urken, "though I'd be surprised to see the gains we did get this year. It will be more than ever a stockpicker's market."
VF Corp (VFC - Get Report), the Greensboro, North Carolina-based maker of outdoor wear and products such as backpacks, was among Urken's top picks for 2014 fueled by its contracts with designers such as North Face and Timberland. VF, which has surged 65% this year, works with "very strong brands that will continue to do well," she said.
Starwood Hotels (HOT - Get Report), which has gained 38% in 2013, is poised to do well as the economy improves and consumers spend more on travel while corporations invest more of their capital, and travel to do it, Urken said. Eaton Financial (ETN) , which has advanced 41% this year, is another pick poised to do well as the economy strengthens, she said.
"It will be a good year for those focused on fundamentals, strong company management teams, and that's what investors are focused on," Urken said.
--Written by Leon Lazaroff in New York.
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