Wall Street expects the S&P 500 to tacking on an 11% gain over the next 12 months -- with lots of ups and downs along the way. That has us inclined to play defense in our 2011 picks, with an eye toward bargain stocks paying generous, sustainable dividends. Here are our top 11 for 2011:
Retail stocks tend to rise ahead of other sectors in the early stages of an economic recovery, and so far, following a familiar pattern, both up-market and discount chains have benefited at the expense of middle-market players. So is this the time to buy stock in wholesale clubs?
If you're a high-roller looking for a little action, Rite Aid's sell-off could be a buying opportunity. But sober types best stay away. The No. 3 drugstore chain is bleeding red ink, its balance sheet is a mess, sales are falling and it's closing stores.