By Christina Cheddar Berk, CNBC News Editor
NEW YORK ( CNBC) -- As consumers come creeping back, Bank of America Merrill Lynch is out with a report touting a new investment theme to get behind: Be "long women." The firm has developed an entire list of stocks centered around the idea that more women have more money, and the stocks of companies that cater to their needs should benefit from their rising wealth. It's no secret that during the recent recession men have suffered job losses at a much more severe rate than women. The sectors that were most battered by the downturn were ones that are largely dominated by men, such as manufacturing and construction.
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But it also includes consumer staples companies, based on the idea that cosmetic sales will be on the rise as well as container and packaging companies such as Aptar Group ( ATR) and MeadWestvaco ( MWV), which supply this industry. Healthcare companies such as as Allgeran ( AGN) -- which makes Botox, breast implants, and Latisse, an eyelash lengthener -- were also included. Two more suggestions were American Express ( AXP) and Constellation Brands ( STZ). American Express was included because part of the company's growth strategy is focused on women and "high-end products with reward and travel features designed to appeal to high-income female customers." Meanwhile, Constellation made the cut because of its extensive product portfolio of wine, a highly fragmented U.S. market, but one which Constellation leads. BofA expects the company could benefit from women drinking more wine. -- Written by Christina Cheddar Berk of CNBC