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Credit Suisse's 14 Ultimate Defensive Stock Picks

Adds that Procter & Gamble has a hiring freeze on for this fiscal year.

BOSTON ( TheStreet) -- Credit Suisse's (CS) analysts have come up with a "new gold standard" list of stocks.

The companies carry lower risk and pay higher yields than government debt, the Switzerland-based investment bank says. In effect, the shares represent the ultimate defensive play in a time of market volatility, and economic and political uncertainty.

They are all mega-cap multinationals, most with internationally recognizable brand names.



The market is signaling that these stocks are lower risk than government debt because they have lower credit default swap (CDS) spreads than those of the world's seven leading economies, according to the firm's Global Equity Strategy report issued Dec. 16.

The companies also fit the firm's view of a "global rebalancing" that will occur at some point in the future and include a big jump in consumption of goods in emerging markets, especially in Asia, which should boost these firms' earnings. On the losing end will be "creditors (who) are likely to suffer as a consequence of a prolonged period of negative real rates," hence the appeal of stocks over debt.

The list includes seven European-based companies traded in the U.S. via American Depositary Receipts (ADRs), and seven U.S. firms. They're detailed on the following pages:

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