By John Licata of Blue PhoenixLMT data by YCharts
NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- While over for now, the impact of the government shutdown can't be overlooked. In the aftermath, some areas I'm already looking at to outperform the overall stock market in the coming year include cybersecurity and utilities. Names such as Lockheed Martin ( LMT) and American Electric Power ( AEP) should be on your radar. Many analysts have their own thoughts on the recent government shutdown and the ramifications on decision-making, permitting and mortgage approvals. To me, the recent "political plague" that lasted 16 days was a unique Category 5 hurricane (like Andrew in 1992) that shocked our economic system at its very core. More on that later. The real damage from this shutdown has yet to be calculated and that could make trying to gauge the domestic employment picture as difficult as walking in the forest at night with a broken compass. This means the government stimulus is not ending anytime soon. But caveat emptor my friends. It's my belief that the Fed staying the course on monthly bond purchases may already be reflected in the stock market, suggesting 2014 will be a true stock pickers' market.
Another name is NRG Energy ( NRG), the largest independent power producer in the U.S. and a company focused on the transition to a sustainable, low carbon society through natural gas, electric vehicle infrastructure and enhanced oil recovery technology. I'm also very interested in PSEG ( PEG), a company bringing its forward-looking resiliency plan to Long Island, N.Y., as LIPA gets privatized. I'm excited about PSEG's development of solar energy and combined heat and power systems, which actually maintained power in areas of New Jersey during Sandy. Despite calls for a more active 2013 Atlantic hurricane season, there really hasn't been much to report on. But the cost of the recent U.S. government shutdown could rank comparably with Hurricane Andrew, the fifth-costliest Atlantic hurricane on record at $26.5 billion. A recent White House blog entry stated, "The government shutdown and debt limit brinksmanship have had a substantial negative impact on the economy." To put some numbers behind that ominous comment, Standard & Poor's believes the U.S. took "at least" a $24 billion financial hit from the government shutdown. Moody's believes U.S. GDP will be hit $23 billion. Blue Phoenix in New York. At the time of publication, the author had no positions in the stocks mentioned. Follow @bluephoenixinc This article was written by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.