7 Stocks for the Growth Drought

Focus: STOCKS

Jim Jubak Image Jim Jubak Founder and Editor, JubakPicks.com
No matter where you look, you're not likely to see much economic growth in the near future. Stocks like DuPont and Nestle should help get us through the desert.

Take a deep breath, and let's decide not to talk about the Greek debt crisis, the Italian debt crisis, or the euro debt crisis.

Let's instead think long term-say, eight or nine months down the road. (Yes, that's long term in this volatile market.)

Greece will or won't have defaulted. (I bet on default.) Italy will have finally replaced its government and restored some confidence in its finances. Eurozone leaders will be buried in negotiations to amend the treaties that govern the monetary union.

And what will be top of the mind for investors?

Growth-and where to find it in a world where economic growth is scarce. Rather than building portfolios with a goal of avoiding a potential blowup in Greece, Italy, or the European banking sector in general, investors will be trying to build portfolios that wring the last drop of growth out of what will be a very slow-growth world.

Shall we get a head start? (Please think of this as an update and fine-tuning of my October 11 "road map for the next nine months.")

We'll begin with the macroeconomic picture, then get to some picks.

The Developed World Is Pulling Back
Growth in the world's developed economies in 2012? Dream on.

On October 31, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development lowered its growth forecast for the United States to 1.8% for 2012. (That comes after US economic growth picked up to a 2.5% rate in the third quarter.