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6 Stocks to Buy Despite Coronavirus-Driven Market Volatility

Zacks Equity Research

COVID-19 has now impacted 162 countries across the world and infected more than 184,000 globally. The virus has not only taken a heavy toll on human life but has also severely impacted the global economy.

With no cure or vaccine available yet, countries are going under lockdowns and people are hoarding food and toiletries to stay safe at home. In fact, businesses are facing supply chain disruption and many have shut doors for undisclosed period to stop the infection from spreading.

Coronavirus-led concerns resulted in rapid sell-off in equity markets, pushing benchmarks to record low levels. The panic can be clearly seen as stocks keep ending in the red and the fear gauge climbs higher.

 

Wall Street’s Fear Gauge Soars High

On Mar 16, the major averages slumped, as coronavirus panic resulted in a sell-off. The S&P 500 dropped nearly 12%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq composite fell 12.9% and 12.3%, respectively, on the same day.

Stocks have been through a constant roller-coaster ride in the past weeks but Mar 16’s drop marked one of the worst declines in a generation for equities. The Wall Street's fear gauge, CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) rose 44% on a single day to close at 82.69. This marked the fear gauge’s highest finish and above the two 80-plus readings registered during the financial crisis in 2008.

With the number of confirmed coronavirus cases increasing, investors are panicking. President Donald Trump issued new guidelines to deal with the virus, restricting gatherings to fewer than 10 people. Along with that, the President said that the coronavirus pandemic could last till July, which crushed hopes that a warmer weather could help in reducing the virus spread.

6 Stocks to Buy

Given the current volatility in the market, the coronavirus pandemic seems to haunt investors making them hunt for safe stocks to invest. Now is the time to invest in defensive stocks that include healthcare, consumer staple and utilities. These stocks witness stable earnings regardless of any market gyration. Primarily because these products or services are in constant demand in any business cycle as they are items of basic necessity.

Additionally, these stocks perform better than technology and other sectors, which have high returns at times when the economy is expanding. What’s more? We have selected six stocks that also offer dividend and carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) or #2 (Buy).

Cardinal Health, Inc. CAH that operates as an integrated healthcare services and products company is the first stock on our list. Cardinal Health belongs to the Zacks Medical - Dental Supplies industry. It has an expected earnings growth rate for the current year of 3.9%.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the company’s current-year earnings has been revised 5.5% upward over the past 60 days. Cardinal Health sports a Zacks Rank #1 and has a dividend yield of 4.04%. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Next, we have Patterson Companies, Inc. PDCO,which distributes and sells dental and animal health products. The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 8.6%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for this Zacks Rank #1 company’s current-year earnings has been revised 7% upward over the past 60 days. Patterson Companies has a dividend yield of 4.99%

MDU Resources Group, Inc. MDU engages in regulated energy delivery, and construction materials and services businesses. The company belongs to the Zacks Utility - Gas Distribution industry has an expected earnings growth rate for the current year of 3.6%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the company’s current-year earnings has been revised 2.9% upward over the past 60 days.MDU Resources Group carries a Zacks Rank #1 and has a dividend yield of 3.56%.

Next on our list is consumer packaged goods provider, The Procter & Gamble Company PG. The company belongs to the Zacks Soap and Cleaning Materials industry and has an expected earnings growth rate for the current year of 10.2%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the Procter & Gamble Company’s current-year earnings has been revised 0.8% upward over the past 60 days. Procter & Gamble Company carries a Zacks Rank #2 and has a dividend yield of 2.62%.

Energy company Duke Energy Corporation DUK also make it to our list. This Zacks Rank #2 company belongs to the Zacks Utility - Electric Power industry has an expected earnings growth rate for the current year of 2.8%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the company’s current-year earnings has been revised 1.6% upward over the past 60 days. Duke Energy has a dividend yield of 4.41%.

The last stock on our list is manufacturer and marketer of food and beverage products, Campbell Soup Company CPB. The company belongs to the Zacks Food - Miscellaneous industry and has an expected earnings growth rate for the current year of 13%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the company’s current-year earnings has been revised 2.4% upward over the past 60 days. Campbell Soup carries a Zacks Rank #2 and has a dividend yield of 2.84%.

5 Stocks Set to Double

Each was hand-picked by a Zacks expert as the #1 favorite stock to gain +100% or more in 2020. Each comes from a different sector and has unique qualities and catalysts that could fuel exceptional growth.

Most of the stocks in this report are flying under Wall Street radar, which provides a great opportunity to get in on the ground floor.

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Cardinal Health, Inc. (CAH) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Campbell Soup Company (CPB) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Duke Energy Corporation (DUK) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Patterson Companies, Inc. (PDCO) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Procter & Gamble Company (The) (PG) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
MDU Resources Group, Inc. (MDU) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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