Wong says IBM is an example of a company the Payden fund wouldn't have held previously because its earnings outlook lagged those of other technology large caps. But now, he says, the company's lack of dependence on credit, its strong balance sheets and its diversified base of revenue make it a standout.

"Expectations have certainly been tempered," he says. "Much of our outlook has to do with how things look on a relative basis, and in this environment, if you are making money you are doing pretty well."

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