It has been a brutal May for most investors. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down about 10% so far in May, the S&P 500 is down 11% and the Nasdaq is off 12%. But as unfortunate as the recent volatility has been on Wall Street, it has served up a very clear reality check to investors.

Put plainly, if you thought that the bull market was going to keep chugging along from the March 2009 lows without a hitch you got another thing coming.

So where do we go now -- hide in gold and sell off everything, or buy the farm in anticipation of the next leg up? To help you make sense of the mayhem in May, here are seven stocks from the InvestorPlace experts.

Top Blue Chip Investment -- Dr. Pepper Snapple

Without a doubt, May has given us one wild ride, but I have never endorsed the old adage, "sell in May and go away." With low-risk, fundamentally superior blue chips you can find an oasis in even the stormiest market. One of my top blue-chip stocks right now is beverage giant Dr. Pepper Snapple Group ( DPS).

DPS products include not just its namesake drinks but also Yoo-hoo chocolate milk, Peñafiel mineral water sold in Mexico and a host of other beverages. When the company announced its earnings for the first quarter, during the May 6 massive selloff, it was one of the few companies to end the day up thanks to both increased revenue and positive earnings. This shows me that Dr. Pepper Snapple has staying power.

Top Dividend Stock -- BlackRock Kelso Capital

When investors can't be sure how share prices will perform, it helps to know that you have a steady paycheck on the way in the form of a high dividend. That's why high-yield dividend stocks are great investments as the market gets more volatile this summer.

One of the top dividend stocks to buy right now is BlackRock Kelso Capital ( BKCC). In its first-quarter earnings report, BKCC saw its top line grow by 21.10% to $119.92 million and earnings per share come in at 36 cents, right on target.

Though BKCC has a market cap of only about $550 million, it has loan/equity positions in roughly 55 companies within its portfolio. Best of all, BlackRock isn't using leverage to generate the high dividend payouts, meaning the high dividend yield is not at risk of disappearing.

Top China Stock -- Orient Paper

There has been a lot of talk about a "China bubble" in recent months, but don't believe it. The fact is that after some breakthrough growth, Chinese equities are experiencing a restructuring where the average and below-average stocks are falling away while the hottest stocks are still going strong.

One of my favorite China picks right now is Orient Paper ( ONP), the leading supplier of corrugated paper products in Beijing and other nearby cities in northern China. Since exports are a huge industry in China, the need for packaging is tremendous, and ONP is one of the best stocks to profit from this opportunity. While it's true some China stocks were overbought over the last year, that isn't the case for ONP.

The company's revenue for full-year 2009 was up a whopping 56.7% to $102.1 million, compared with $65.2 million in 2008 and $39.7 million in 2007. That's growth any company in any region should be proud of.

Top Small Cap Stock -- WebMD

WebMD Health ( WBMD) is a perfect example of the kind of small-cap stocks that will succeed in the current marketplace. It is an innovative and fundamentally sound company that is succeeding not by cutting costs or squeezing margins but by redefining the way health care companies do business.

Innovators like WebMD can succeed in any market. In case you're not familiar with this Internet publisher of health information, WebMD posts information for everything from home cold remedies to the latest scholarly research for medical professionals.

Overall, the WebMD Health Network (including, and third-party sites) attracts more than 50 million users. This is a convergence of two great growth industries -- Internet and health care -- and I expect a bright future for WebMD due to its innovative business model.

Top Low-Risk Stock -- Merck

Despite my optimism for 2010 as a whole (and part of 2011), I'm a good deal more cautious about the immediate future. That means I am encouraging investors to defensive companies that pay generous dividends instead of "growthier" stocks such as techs, mid-caps and emerging market stocks that succeed in bull markets. One of my top low-risk defensive plays for this summer is Merck ( MRK).

In 2009, MRK absorbed rival Schering-Plough, opening the way for the combined enterprise to cut costs and concentrate its research efforts on the most promising medicines in the pipeline. Earnings per share touched a new all-time high in 2009 and will likely progress another 20% or so over the next two years as the merger savings kick in. With a dividend yield of 4.7%, MRK is a great low-risk stock.

Top Penny Stock -- Presstek

Volatile market action in May did in fact bring us some good news by creating great valuations for a handful of standout stocks. I remain confident that the fundamentals of the marketplace -- and economy -- are still steadily improving even despite the recent correction. That means now is the time to swoop in and by low-priced bargains set to surge like Presstek ( PRST).

Founded in 1987, Presstek has pioneered some of the most profitable and cleanest technologies in the printing world. Though the world has indeed moved more towards digital communication, PRST stock has kept pace and adapted to modern graphic design formats to merge previous printing successes with cutting-edge technology. PRST is currently trading around $3.50 but could easily double to $7 in the next several months.

Top Swing Trade -- STMicroelectronics

Volatility is only your enemy if you're caught on the wrong side of it. The proper swing trade strategy can help you move in and out from the bottom to the top quickly and not worry about the long-term health of a stock, the market or a broader rally. Right now, signs are pointing to STMicroelectronics ( STM) as a great swing trade in the short term.

The company has gotten a lift in late May from the resurgent euro, and shares are trying to stabilize near recent and February lows. If tech and euro bulls can get a turnaround going, STM will be one of the leaders. Keep a stop loss at $7.50 or so, but look for shares to push up in the high $9 range or even $10 range over the next several weeks -- and then take the money and run.

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