5 Top Consumer Business Stock Picks for 2014

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Source: Getty Images

Source: Getty Images

The analysts at JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) are out with new research, and the moral of the story is that they believe there may yet be life in the U.S. consumer. 24/7 Wall St. shared seven top large-cap consumer stocks highlighted by the bank as possible winners in 2014, all companies poised to capitalize on a U.S. consumer empowered to spend freely after years of economic hardship.

Before we dive in, it’s worth taking the temperature of consumers. The theory is that since consumer spending accounts for up to 70 percent of gross domestic product, anybody who wants to body surf the economic tides should look at this sector first. It’s where all the spending gets done, and consumer spending turns into corporate profits, which investors like.

Gallup’s Economic Confidence Index came in at a confident -17 for the week ended February 16, up slightly from the -18 recorded in the previous week and about steady with the levels recorded this year to date. At a glance this could be encouraging — jobs reports for the past two months have been pretty dismal, and still consumer sentiment is steady — but remember that a negative reading means more people still harbor negative sentiment amount the economy than positive.

The flip side of this is that there’s a lot of room to grow, and if there’s one thing we like, it’s growth. Click through to see some of JPMorgan’s top stock picks in the consumer sector.

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