Stocks we love -- even in the recession

It's hard to love what's going on in the market and economy. But in our annual Valentine's Day feature, we still found five stocks that stole our heart.

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How we chose the stocks
How we chose the stocks
2008 was a heartbreaker of a year: the S&P 500 fell 38% as the worst economic downturn in decades left investors jilted by blue-chip companies that turned out to be anything but recession-proof.

But in this annual Valentine's Day feature, we searched for stocks that could heal your battered relationship with the market.

Yes, we know you've been burned before. Unfortunately, the five stocks we loved last year fared worse than the broader market, falling an average of 46%. But our picks in 2006 and 2007, while also currently in the red, have not dropped as much as the S&P 500. Little consolation to be sure.

So this year, we took even more care to screen for stocks with attractive earnings prospects, sexy sales growth, reasonable prices and worry-free balance sheets. In the past, our screen normally turned up 40 to 50 stocks. This year, just 14 made the cut.

We whittled down that short list to five sweethearts that could help you move past your trust issues...even in this painful recession.


NEXT: Dollar Tree
Last updated June 15 2009: 10:19 AM ET
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