Picks and pans: Procter & Gamble is a quintessential defensive play; Kraft Foods an anti-recession bet

Following Tuesday's strong rally and the positive comments from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke as well as President Obama's speech, some may think the worst -- in the economy and in the markets -- is behind us. If so, it would make this a good time to return to the markets. Here are a few suggestions (as well as warnings) from BloggingStocks and around the Web:

Campbell Soup Company (CPB) will weather the recession because its core product is the kind of food people eat more of when times are tough, according to its CEO, and Jamie Dlugosch seems to agree.

The Procter & Gamble Company (PG) is a quintessential defensive play. "A company with, arguably, the most-diverse global footprint, PG has the consumer brands that will endure, and has done a good job containing costs," says Joe Lazarro. He also revised other defensive plays.

Kraft Foods (KFT) is the second-largest food company in the world, with over $42 billion in sales. The company has a strong balance sheet with favorable ratios. It has undertaken measures in the last year to trim its product lines. Overall, the savings from the restructuring that began last year will produce savings of $1.4 billion. It is still an anti-recession bet, says Jamie Dlugosch.

Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A) has a diversified portfolio of oil and gas assets around the globe, says Nick Lanyi. It is one of the more conservative plays on a falling dollar and a rebound in oil and gas prices. Although the yield isn't sky-high -- 5.8 percent -- it's better protected by cash flows than that of some other large integrated oil companies.

Pfizer Inc. (PFE) slipped to a fresh 52-week low Tuesday after canceling development of two experimental drugs in late-stage trials. As it struggles to replace block-buster drugs and on some technical analysis, Elizabeth Harrow warns Pfizer may not rebound soon.

Garmin (GRMN) is easily the best managed firm in the GPS space, says Paul McWilliams. He thinks "the real speculation here for the short to mid-term is whether the nuvifone builds any traction; if it does the price could easily double during the second half, but if it flops, we could just as easily see GRMN fade to low double digits."

Consolidated Edison (ED), Eli Lilly & Co. (LLY) are two of six 5% dividend yield you can believe in from SmartMoney.
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