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A Winning Crop for 2007

Considering the past year's turmoil, our eight picks for 2007 did great. Since we published our choices, the group averaged a total return of 15% (to November 12), while the S&P 500 returned 7%.

Seven of the eight are keepers. The top gainer, with a return of 49%, was Textron, the maker of Cessna aircraft and Bell helicopters. It's on a roll. So are Arch Coal (up 16%) and Cisco Systems (up 14%). AT&T (up 22%) is a repeat choice for '08. Also worth holding are 3M (up 7%) and Johnson & Johnson (off 1%). Annaly Capital Management, a real estate trust that holds only highly rated mortgages, rose 30%. A similar gain is unlikely in 2008, but the stock is worth holding.

Insurance giant American International Group lost 16%. AIG remains a strong company, but financial stocks are mud for now.