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AMZN   2,410.39 (-0.47%)
NVDA   341.01 (-2.21%)
CGC   19.90 (-0.55%)
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MU   49.45 (+7.97%)
GE   7.29 (+7.21%)
TSLA   820.23 (+0.17%)
AMD   52.74 (-0.85%)
T   31.85 (+3.34%)
ACB   15.30 (-1.99%)
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GILD   74.92 (+2.38%)
DIS   121.53 (+0.48%)
NFLX   419.89 (+1.23%)
BAC   25.98 (+7.00%)
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GE   7.29 (+7.21%)
TSLA   820.23 (+0.17%)
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T   31.85 (+3.34%)
ACB   15.30 (-1.99%)
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8 Stocks You Can Count On During Any Crisis in 2020

8 Stocks You Can Count On During Any CrisisPosted on Monday, April 6th, 2020 by MarketBeat Staff

Depending on how you look at it, the economic outlook is getting cloudier or clearer.

The argument for a cloudy economy is easy to make. Multiple times of day we hear about more Americans testing positive for the novel coronavirus. The worldwide number of positive tests exceeds one million. And unfortunately, it will go higher. We just don’t know by how much.

But there are two parts to this ongoing situation. The first is the real-time science experiment as the world attempts to flatten the curve. The other is the very real economic impact. And the numbers of the economic carnage are coming in faster than any significant evidence of a flattening curve.

The number of unemployed now exceeds six million and will only rise. The government is throwing everything including the kitchen sink at the problem. But it’s an experiment in real-time. We won’t know the results for some time.

But even while we wait for a new normal to return, there are ways for you to profit. There are companies that are keeping our economy going now, and have a business model that sets them up well for success after the pandemic is over.

#1 - Walmart (NYSE:WMT)

Walmart logo

Grocery stores are becoming the quintessential “essential” business during the coronavirus pandemic. But for a retailer like Walmart (NYSE:WMT), the coronavirus is confirming that the company took the right steps in heading off the existential threat posed by Amazon (AMZN).

In recent years, Walmart has made great strides in expanding its e-commerce business, including offering customers the opportunity for curbside and home delivery. And that may be the catalyst the company needs as Americans continue to shelter in place.

A recent survey by the retail intelligence company, Placer.ai, showed that traffic at Walmart, as well as Costco (COST) and Target (TGT) was down in the last week of March for the first time since the initial calls for Americans to begin social distancing. However, ambiguity about exactly how long Americans would need to remain sheltered in place is likely to keep store traffic at decent levels.

This seemed to be confirmed by the research which showed that the drop-off in-store traffic was more pronounced in a hard-hit area like New York. However, in lesser hit areas, the decline was not as pronounced.

And even if consumers opt to stay inside to keep up with more extreme social distancing, Walmart’s efforts in the e-commerce space should serve as a catalyst for WMT stock moving forward. After rising over 20% for the year, WMT shares were essentially flat as of this writing.   

About Walmart
Walmart Inc. engages in the retail and wholesale operations in various formats worldwide. The company operates through three segments: Walmart U.S., Walmart International, and Sam's Club. It operates supercenters, supermarkets, hypermarkets, warehouse clubs, cash and carry stores, discount stores, drugstores, and convenience stores; membership-only warehouse clubs; e-commerce Websites, such as walmart.com, jet.com, shoes.com, and samsclub.com; and mobile commerce applications. The company offers grocery products, including meat, produce, natural and organics, deli and bakery, dairy, frozen foods, alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages, floral and dry grocery, as well as consumables, such as health and beauty aids, baby products, household chemicals, paper goods, and pet supplies; and health and wellness products. It also provides electronics, cameras and supplies, photo processing services, wireless, movies, music, video games, and books; stationery, automotive, hardware and paint, sporting goods, and outdoor living and horticulture; apparel for women, girls, men, boys, and infants, as well as shoes, jewelry, and accessories; and home furnishings, housewares and small appliances, bedding, home decor, toys, fabrics, crafts, and seasonal merchandise, as well as brand name merchandise. In addition, the company offers fuel and financial services and related products, including money orders, prepaid cards, wire and money transfers, check cashing, and bill payment. It operates approximately 11,300 stores and various e-commerce Websites under the 58 banners in 27 countries. The company was formerly known as Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. and changed its name to Walmart Inc. in February 2018. Walmart Inc. was founded in 1945 and is based in Bentonville, Arkansas.

Current Price: $122.48
Consensus Rating: Buy
Ratings Breakdown: 23 Buy Ratings, 9 Hold Ratings, 2 Sell Ratings.
Consensus Price Target: $132.09 (7.8% Upside)



#2 - Dollar General (NYSE:DG)

Dollar General logo

Another retailer that is built to weather any crisis is Dollar General (NYSE:DG). Dollar General has been on a building binge as it expanded its brick-and-mortar footprint across the nation. The company has more locations than any other retail chain. This means they have a footprint in smaller areas that are not serviced by the larger chains.

 In the last week, I decided to patronize my local Dollar General, not only for the price, but simply because it felt more responsible to travel to a store that was only a few miles away as opposed to the five or so more miles it would have taken to go to my nearest superstore.

That growth may slow down from what the company initially has forecast, but that should not have much effect on the stock. That’s because the company is still well-positioned to thrive through the current pandemic.

The company offers products at low prices, which will turn out to be in high demand as many customers are suddenly finding themselves unemployed. And Dollar General may be able to help out in that regard as well. The company has announced its intention to hire over 50,000 new employees to help meet the expected demand.

After an initial decline in the initial stages of the coronavirus crash, DG stock has turned positive for the year. But with so much uncertainty still surrounding when our national sheltering will occur, Dollar General still appears to have a long runway.

About Dollar General
Dollar General Corporation, a discount retailer, provides various merchandise products in the southern, southwestern, Midwestern, and eastern United States. The company offers consumable products, including paper and cleaning products, such as paper towels, bath tissues, paper dinnerware, trash and storage bags, and laundry and other home cleaning supplies; packaged food comprising cereals, canned soups and vegetables, condiments, spices, sugar, and flour; and perishables that include milk, eggs, bread, refrigerated and frozen food, beer, and wine. Its consumable products also comprise snacks, which include candies, cookies, crackers, salty snacks, and carbonated beverages; health and beauty products, including over-the-counter medicines and personal care products, such as soaps, body washes, shampoos, cosmetics, and dental hygiene and foot care products; pet supplies and pet food; and tobacco products. In addition, the company offers seasonal products comprising decorations, toys, batteries, small electronics, greeting cards, stationery, prepaid phones and accessories, gardening supplies, hardware, and automotive and home office supplies; and home products that include kitchen supplies, cookware, small appliances, light bulbs, storage containers, frames, candles, craft supplies and kitchen, and bed and bath soft goods. Further, it provides apparel, which comprises casual everyday apparel for infants, toddlers, girls, boys, women, and men, as well as socks, underwear, disposable diapers, shoes, and accessories. As of March 1, 2019, Dollar General Corporation operated 15,472 stores in 44 states. The company was formerly known as J.L. Turner & Son, Inc. and changed its name to Dollar General Corporation in 1968. Dollar General Corporation was founded in 1939 and is based in Goodlettsville, Tennessee.

Current Price: $187.20
Consensus Rating: Buy
Ratings Breakdown: 20 Buy Ratings, 4 Hold Ratings, 0 Sell Ratings.
Consensus Price Target: $183.82 (-1.8% Upside)



#3 - Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN)

Amazon.com logo

It would be a disservice to leave the retail category without mentioning Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN). The company has been making an effort to diversify from its e-commerce roots. But the coronavirus pandemic is giving the e-commerce giant the opportunity to remind its consumer base why they invented the e-commerce category.

Consider that, in 2019, e-commerce sales made up approximately 11% of all retail sales. And that was without a national directive to shelter in place. It’s no wonder the company has announced plans to hire 100,000 workers to help meet increased demand.

But investors have other reasons to bet on Amazon delivering strong results during this uncertain time. The company is the leader in cloud computing with Amazon Web Services (AWS). This allows consumers to have access to Amazon Prime Video, the company’s streaming service. And they can also chill out to Amazon Prime Music. And it can all be delivered to them through Alexa, the voice assistant that is becoming a staple in an increasing number of homes.

Even Amazon was not immune to the coronavirus crash. The stock dipped over 10%. However, it has since recovered and is posting a slight gain for the year.

Stock #5 is down about 20% for the year, so the time is right to buy

About Amazon.com
Amazon.com, Inc. engages in the retail sale of consumer products and subscriptions in North America and internationally. The company operates through three segments: North America, International, and Amazon Web Services (AWS) segments. It sells merchandise and content purchased for resale from third-party sellers through physical stores and online stores. The company also manufactures and sells electronic devices, including Kindle e-readers, Fire tablets, Fire TVs, and Echo devices; provides Kindle Direct Publishing, an online service that allows independent authors and publishers to make their books available in the Kindle Store; and develops and produces media content. In addition, it offers programs that enable sellers to sell their products on its Websites, as well as their own branded Websites; and programs that allow authors, musicians, filmmakers, skill and app developers, and others to publish and sell content. Further, the company provides compute, storage, database, and other AWS services, as well as compute, storage, database offerings, fulfillment, publishing, digital content subscriptions, advertising, and co-branded credit card agreement services. Additionally, it offers Amazon Prime, a membership program, which provides free shipping of various items; access to streaming of movies and TV episodes; and other services. It serves consumers, sellers, developers, enterprises, and content creators. Amazon.com, Inc. has a strategic partnership with Volkswagen AG. The company was founded in 1994 and is headquartered in Seattle, Washington.

Current Price: $2,410.39
Consensus Rating: Buy
Ratings Breakdown: 44 Buy Ratings, 3 Hold Ratings, 1 Sell Ratings.
Consensus Price Target: $2,562.42 (6.3% Upside)



#4 - Anheuser Busch InBev (NYSE:BUD)

Anheuser Busch Inbev logo

The social restrictions being required to combat the coronavirus may seem like a difficult thesis for buying Anheuser Busch InBev (BUD) stock. Bars are closed. Restaurants are closed. Live sporting events are canceled. All of that, plus cancellation of other major events is causing a large decline in demand.

And the stock has been appropriately punished. As of this writing, BUD stock was down nearly 50% for the year. But in the last two weeks, the stock has surged about 20%. And there’s a reason for that as well. It’s unlikely that Americans are going to stop drinking alcohol. A quick stroll through my social media confirms that many consumers are prioritizing their alcohol purchases with about as much frequency as their shipments of toilet paper. However, beer may be in greater supply.

Now there’s no question that, try as they may, consumers are not going to be able to be the little engine that could. But buying BUD stock is not about the rest of 2020. It’s about 2021 and beyond. Because when our national sequestering ends, it will be like the end of prohibition. And at that point, it will be impossible to get shares of this quality company for anywhere near this price. In the meantime, you can enjoy a nice dividend.

About Anheuser Busch Inbev
Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV, a brewing company, engages in the production, distribution, and sale of beer, alcoholic beverages, and soft drinks. The company offers a portfolio of approximately 500 beer brands, including Budweiser, Corona, and Stella Artois; Beck's, Castle, Castle Lite, Hoegaarden, and Leffe; and Aguila, Antarctica, Bud Light, Brahma, Cass, Cristal, Harbin, Jupiler, Michelob Ultra, Modelo Especial, Quilmes, Victoria, Sedrin, and Skol. It has operations in North America, Latin America West, Latin America North, Latin America South, Europe, Africa, and the Asia Pacific. The company was founded in 1366 and is headquartered in Leuven, Belgium.

Current Price: $47.14
Consensus Rating: Hold
Ratings Breakdown: 6 Buy Ratings, 15 Hold Ratings, 2 Sell Ratings.
Consensus Price Target: $72.50 (53.8% Upside)



#5 - Home Depot (NYSE:HD)

Home Depot logo

Home improvement stores such as Home Depot (NYSE:HD) have also been labeled as essential stores during the coronavirus pandemic. While some people are confused at the appeal of a home improvement store right now, it’s not that hard to figure out.

The housing market was strong prior to the coronavirus pandemic. And mortgage rates are still down. There may be less activity in the market as social distancing may cause a delay in home showings. But demand looks to be strong coming out of the crisis. And, as more Americans are stuck at home, indoor and outdoor projects will rise to the top of the “to-do” list.

Both of these trends are strong catalysts for a stock that was already outperforming the broader market prior to the sell-off. But another catalyst for Home Depot that gives it a competitive advantage over a rival such as Lowe’s (LOW)is the investment the company made in e-commerce.

 Home Depot as embraced the omnichannel model allowing customers to order online and receive the product where they want including curbside or at their home. This should remove an objection from consumers who may find home improvement not only productive, but therapeutic.

HD stock is down about 20% for the year. And the combination of that share price and a nice dividend make Home Depot a bargain that should pay off handsomely for years to come.

Stock #8 forecasts up to $10 billion in annual sales

About Home Depot
The Home Depot, Inc. operates as a home improvement retailer. It operates The Home Depot stores that sell various building materials, home improvement products, lawn and garden products, and décor products, as well as provide installation, home maintenance, and professional service programs to do-it-yourself and professional customers. The company also offers installation programs that include flooring, cabinets and cabinet makeovers, countertops, furnaces and central air systems, and windows; and professional installation in various categories sold through its stores and in-home sales programs, as well as acts as a contractor to provide installation services to its do-it-for-me customers through third-party installers. In addition, it provides tool and equipment rental services. The company primarily serves home owners; and professional renovators/remodelers, general contractors, handymen, property managers, building service contractors, and specialty tradesmen, such as electricians, plumbers, and painters. It also sells its products online. As of February 3, 2019, the company operated 2,287 stores in the United States, including the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the territories of the U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam; Canada; and Mexico. The Home Depot, Inc. was founded in 1978 and is based in Atlanta, Georgia.

Current Price: $247.36
Consensus Rating: Buy
Ratings Breakdown: 23 Buy Ratings, 10 Hold Ratings, 1 Sell Ratings.
Consensus Price Target: $251.72 (1.8% Upside)



#6 - Verizon (NYSE:VZ)

Verizon Communications logo

The case for Verizon (NYSE:VZ) comes down to social distancing and the importance of staying connected. Yes, apps like Face Time and software like Skype and Zoom will prosper. But if those are the lock, Verizon is the key.

There’s no doubt that many Americans will be taking a surgical look at their expenses. But if there’s a lesson from the higher-than-expected iPhone sales of 2019, it’s this. Americans love their smartphones. And truthfully, we’re probably addicted to them. And that means that if there’s one bill that is going to consistently get paid it will be their wireless bill.

Whether it’s an aging parent reaching out to the children and grandchildren, or parents reaching out to their aging parents or their grown kids, the importance of being connected in a more intimate way (seeing faces, hearing voices) will be paramount.

And then there’s the need for more Americans to work from home. That only increases the need to have a reliable phone. Investors are taking note. After getting caught in the coronavirus-induced selloff, the stock is up about 10% and is down only about 10% for 2020. Goldman Sachs telecom analyst, Brett Feldman recently gave Verizon an upgrade while saying the company is, “the most attractive combination of total return and risk owing to its stable wireless business, well-covered dividend (4.6% yield) and strong balance sheet.” 

About Verizon Communications
Verizon Communications Inc., through its subsidiaries, offers communications, information, and entertainment products and services to consumers, businesses, and governmental agencies worldwide. The company's Wireless segment provides wireless voice and data services; Internet access on various notebook computers and tablets; international travel wireless services; and network access services to deliver various Internet of Things products and services, as well as offers digital advertising and digital media services platforms. This segment also provides wireless devices, including smartphones and basic phones, wearables, and tablets and other Internet access devices. As of December 31, 2018, it had 118.0 million retail connections. Its Wireline segment offers traditional circuit-based network products and services; networking solutions, comprising private Internet protocol (IP), Ethernet, and software-defined wide area network, as well as cyber security services; local exchange, regional, long distance, and toll-free calling services; voice messaging and conferencing services; and workforce productivity and customer contact center solutions, as well as residential fixed connectivity solutions, including Internet, TV, and voice services under the Fios brand name. This segment also provides premises equipment, as well as installation, maintenance, and site services; data, voice, local dial tone, and broadband services primarily to local, long distance, and wireless carriers; voice and networking products, Fios services, IP networking, voice solutions, security, and managed information technology services for small and medium businesses, state and local governments, and educational institutions; and security and managed network services. The company was formerly known as Bell Atlantic Corporation and changed its name to Verizon Communications Inc. in June 2000. Verizon Communications Inc. was founded in 1983 and is headquartered in New York, New York.

Current Price: $55.14
Consensus Rating: Hold
Ratings Breakdown: 7 Buy Ratings, 15 Hold Ratings, 0 Sell Ratings.
Consensus Price Target: $61.41 (11.4% Upside)



#7 - PayPal (NASDAQ:PYPL)

Paypal logo

If investors are looking for a market sector that is ready to explode, they need to take a peek at the financial technology (fintech) sector. PayPal (NASDAQ:PYPL) is one of the leaders in this emerging space.

PayPal enables digital payments for consumers and businesses worldwide. It also allows for peer-to-peer fund transfer. But PayPal has continued to evolve. Today, businesses can receive debit cards, credit cards, and even small business loans. And this extensive range of options is frequently cheaper than the same options that customers will receive from traditional banks.

This is an important distinction. PayPal is not trying to take the place of Visa (V), Mastercard (MA) or American Express (AXP). It’s at the forefront of an entire category that is disrupting traditional banking in a way that will only be enhanced by the current pandemic.

There are two other catalysts for PayPal. First of all, the gig economy has made it essential for many workers to receive secure and efficient payments. PayPal is often a more convenient option than ACH transfers. Second, PayPal can be an option for a growing segment of Americans that are unbanked.  More retailers are accepting PayPal as a form of payment which can allow these customers to participate in the economy.

PayPal stock is down about 15% in 2020, all of that dip has come since the onset of the coronavirus sell-off. But while PYPL stock approximates those of Visa and Mastercard, the company has a different and distinct business model that fits where the economy is going.

About Paypal
PayPal Holdings, Inc. operates as a technology platform and digital payments company that enables digital and mobile payments on behalf of consumers and merchants worldwide. Its payment solutions include PayPal, PayPal Credit, Braintree, Venmo, Xoom, and iZettle products. The company's Payments Platform allows consumers to send payments, withdraw funds to their bank accounts, and hold balances in their PayPal accounts in various currencies. It also offers gateway services that enable merchants to accept payments online with credit or debit cards. PayPal Holdings, Inc. was founded in 1998 and is headquartered in San Jose, California.

Current Price: $145.96
Consensus Rating: Buy
Ratings Breakdown: 29 Buy Ratings, 4 Hold Ratings, 0 Sell Ratings.
Consensus Price Target: $140.88 (-3.5% Upside)



#8 - Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE:BMY)

Bristol-Myers Squibb logo

The last stock to consider is Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE:BMY). It’s a bit confusing to see that shares of this drug maker are down over 10%. Bristol-Myers Squibb is the definition of a defensive stock. Individuals are going to get sick from things other than the coronavirus. And unfortunately, cancer and heart diseases are still among the top killers in our society.

But when it comes to oncology and cardiovascular drugs, few companies have a better pipeline than Bristol-Myers Squibb. The company recently completed the purchase of Celgene. This gives it access to the drug Revlimid which is one of the faster-growing, top-selling cancer drugs in the world.

Prior to the deal, Celgene had worked out a deal with generic providers that will keep generic equivalents to Revlimid off the market until at least 2026. With forecasts of up to $10 billion in annual sales, it’s hard not to like BMY stock.

About Bristol-Myers Squibb
Bristol-Myers Squibb Company discovers, develops, licenses, manufactures, markets, distributes, and sells biopharmaceutical products worldwide. The company offers drugs in oncology, immunoscience, cardiovascular, and fibrotic diseases. The company's products include Opdivo, a biological product for anti-cancer indications; Eliquis, an oral inhibitor targeted at stroke prevention in adult patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation, and the prevention and treatment of venous thromboembolic disorders; and Orencia, a biological product for adult patients with moderately to severely active RA and prostate-specific antigen, as well as reducing signs and symptoms in certain pediatric patients with moderately to severely active polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis. It also provides Sprycel, a tyrosine kinase inhibitor for the treatment of Philadelphia chromosome-positive chronic myeloid leukemia; Yervoy, a monoclonal antibody for the treatment of patients with unresectable or metastatic melanoma; Empliciti, a humanized monoclonal antibody for the treatment of multiple myeloma; and Baraclude, an oral antiviral agent for the treatment of chronic hepatitis B. In addition, the company offers Reyataz, a protease inhibitor for the treatment of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and Evotaz; Sustiva franchise, a non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor for the treatment of HIV; and Daklinza NS5A replication complex inhibitor, Sunvepra NS3 protease inhibitor, and Beclabuvir NS5B inhibitor. It sells products to wholesalers, retail pharmacies, hospitals, government entities, and medical profession. It has collaboration agreements with Nektar Therapeutics; Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; Biocartis Group NV.; and FameWave Ltd. The company was formerly known as Bristol-Myers Company and changed its name to Bristol-Myers Squibb Company in 1989. Bristol-Myers Squibb Company was founded in 1887 and is headquartered in New York, New York.

Current Price: $60.40
Consensus Rating: Buy
Ratings Breakdown: 12 Buy Ratings, 3 Hold Ratings, 0 Sell Ratings.
Consensus Price Target: $65.33 (8.2% Upside)

 

These are confusing and scary times. But it’s important to keep a clear head. We’ve been here before. Maybe not exactly like this, but the market has faced disruptive events in the past. And when you remember that in every occasion the market has come back stronger than before, you have a playbook for dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.

And when this economy comes back, there will be a number of excellent stocks that you will wish you had snatched up at their current discounts of 10%, 20% or even more.

That’s why we’ve put together this presentation of eight stocks that you can count on during this crisis. But these are also long-term stocks that you can keep in your portfolio for the long haul. They have business models that work in any economy.

As you adjust to your current situation remember that one of the biggest myths in investing is “this time it’s different”. It’s not. The circumstances are unprecedented. But at some point, the American economy will come back. And when it does, you’ll want to make sure you are in the market to maximize your benefit. These eight stocks are a great place to start.

15 REITS Analysts Can't Stop Recommending

There are more than 200 publicly-traded real-estate investment trusts (REITs) that you can buy through your brokerage account. Given the sheer number of REITs, it can be hard to identify which real-estate stocks are going to outperform the market.

Fortunately, Wall Street's brightest minds have already done this for us. Every year, analyst issue approximately 4,000 distinct recommendations for REITs. Analysts don't always get their "buy" ratings right, but it's worth taking a hard look when several analysts from different brokerages and research firm are giving "strong buy" and "buy" ratings to the same REIT.

This slide show lists the 15 REITs that have the highest average analyst recommendations from Wall Street's equities research analysts over the last 12 months.

View the "15 REITS Analysts Can't Stop Recommending" Here.






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