Growth opportunities abound in food sector


WHAT STOCKS should investors buy now?

"The food sector is probably the best place to look for long-term winners," says Bob Howard's Positive Patterns.

"The U.S. food business may be mature, but there are great growth opportunities for these companies overseas. Have at least a 25 percent exposure to the best food companies around."

Some top-quality food companies are Campbell Soup Co., General Mills Inc., Heinz (H. J.) Co., Interstate Bakeries Corp., Kellogg Co., Quaker Oats Co., Ralston Purina Group and the Smucker (J. M.) Co.

OF INTEREST: "The Federal Reserve Open Market Committee will raise its Fed funds rates when it meets November 16 because if it 'stands pat' it might not have another 'clear shot' until May. And that's a long time to wait if the economy still is booming." (Northern Trust Co. Outlook in this week's Barron's)

"The Fed's shift to a 'tightening bias' suggests interest-rate concerns will continue to weigh heavily on investors." (Dow Theory Forecasts)

WALL ST. WATCH: "Stock market skittishness is unwarranted. Profits remain strong, recent inflation reports were skewed by transitory factors and the S&P; 500 is undervalued at these higher interest-rate levels." (Goldman Sachs Portfolio)

"Earnings risks going forward are a negative for the market. Business costs are higher and if companies cannot pass along cost increases, profit margins will erode." (Sinai's Persp Pub Date: 10/27/99

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