Many analysts would agree that in today's market there are not many areas that will have good returns in the short term. Investors need to take a long term outlook if they intend to invest in the market.
If someone wants to put some money to work it is best to purchase stocks in defensive industries which would include consumer staples. People still need to eat, even as they put of luxury purchases. Here are a couple of ideas to consider:
Campbell Soup (CPB); Family Dollar Stores (FDO); Apollo Group (APOL). These companies may do OK in a down market since they provide services that people need no matter what the economy is doing. Even though they may enjoy profits it doesn't necessarily mean their share price will increase.