Editors' pick: Originally published Feb. 22.
Wow, after the best week of the year, the charts are screaming what's going on right now. They aren't mincing words. They show some key patterns.
First, investors see deflation coming, not inflation, despite whatever discordant hawks from the Fed say or what the consumer price index indicates. Second, some fear that central bank tactics to relieve deflation will lead to inflation. Third, some are willing to stretch for yield in a low-yielding world. Fourth, some see a nascent industrial turnaround or believe certain managements can navigate the moment better than others. Fifth, there a couple of turnarounds or secular growth stories out there -- very few of them -- that inspire aggressive buying. Sixth, some of these stocks are twice blessed and are probably the best place to begin.
Which stocks seem to have it all right now? It's the consumer packaged goods segment where people are buying into a deflationary environment where there's yield and even conceivably a weaker dollar, although I am not yet willing to call that a trend.
The ones with the best charts? Campbell's Soup (CPB) , Church & Dwight (CHD) , Clorox (CLX) , Coca-Cola (KO) , ConAgra (CAG) , Dean Foods (DF) , Estee Lauder (EL) , General Mills (GIS) , Hershey (HSY) , Hormel (HRL) , Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) , Kellogg (K) , Kimberly-Clark (KMB) , PepsiCo (PEP) , Procter & Gamble (PG) , Smucker's (SJM) and Tyson Foods (TSN) .