Stocks picks and pans: MCD, CPB, CLH, POT, KO, VZ, TIF, HNZ ...

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Monsanto (NYSE: MON) -- with the use of genetically altered crops moving outside the US quickly, which is bound to help the industry and the company's shares. As the share price has fallen from a 52-week high of $145.80 to $80.13, it is becoming a very attractive investment, says Doug McIntyre.

McDonald's (NYSE: MCD), Campbell Soup (NYSE: CPB), Hormel Foods' (NYSE: HRL) and Hershey (NYSE: HSY) are the 'four food groups of the apocalypse,' according to the NYT). Americans, who have so far stopped buying nearly everything unnecessary, are still buying Big Macs, Campbell's soup, Hershey's chocolate and Spam. Jim Woods adds some technical indicators and suggests riding these out.

PowerShares DB Agriculture Fund (NYSE: DBA) and PowerShares Water Resources Portfolio (NYSE: PHO) are two two funds, as the name suggests, to play the water and agriculture sectors. Larry Edelson says that while the U.S. and global economies will not get back to the growth levels anytime soon, they don't have to for natural resource prices to soar again thanks to recent currency devaluations, and the massive infrastructure spending that is now commencing around the world. Similarly, due to the global water crisis, that sector is also poised to be a major beneficiary of these various economic stimulus programs.

Clean Harbors (NYSE: CLH) is the nation's largest hazardous waste firm and it represents a great way to add some recession-resistance to your portfolio, says David Fessler. It has few competitors, due to the substantial barriers to entry, a strong customer base, and a seemingly endless, recurring sources of hazardous waste. With President Obama plans to ratchet up spending on infrastructure and environmental projects, this one only stands to gain.

Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan (NYSE: POT) has an exploding put volume, quite in contrast with analysts. When a stock has two such strongly opposed bullish and bearish factions, it can set the stage for an explosive move in one direction or the other. Elizabeth Harrow says that "Judging by the charts, the odds look stacked in the bulls' corner during the short term. POT could potentially rally up to the century level before encountering technical resistance." Interested traders might want to hedge their bets by playing a straddle on POT shares.

The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO) is one of those companies that is doing well in this environment no matter how tough it is for everyone else, says Jamie Dlugosch. Given its strong cash flow, and now the increased dividend yield, KO should have been one of those defensive names, but it wasn't, making shares of KO undervalued.

Verizon (NYSE: VZ) is a well-capitalized utility with solid revenue streams and a large, moneyed customer base. It also dominates positions in key markets. Look for a decent 7-9% revenue gain for VZ in F2009, to about $110 billion, says Joseph Lazzaro. Verizon is a low-risk stock to be considered as an investment, not a trade.

Tiffany & Co. (NYSE: TIF), H.J. Heinz (NYSE: HNZ) and NutriSystem (NASDAQ: NTRI) are three of six stocks SmartMoney found that look like takeover targets due to their low EV/Ebitda ratios and they generate free cash among other reasons.
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