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Defensive Stocks for Quick Trades as Crisis Looms

Investors are assuming things are shaping up more in that direction "...than it did earlier in the week; that the U.S. government will step in again to prop up the economy", said Bob Gelfond, CEO of MQS Asset Management, a New York hedge fund.

QE3 style government intervention drives down the perceived value of the dollar, which had been rising lately. Gold is still viewed as a hedge against inflation, which is part of the reason it skyrocketed over 4% on Friday to $1,626 an ounce.

The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury bond sank to an all-time low last week of 1.46%, so at some point it also looks like total-return investors may start chasing dividend yields.

They'll consider stocks like utilities, consumer staples and maybe even healthcare stocks.

Take a look at the healthcare sector and its representative ETF, the Health Care Select SPDR (XLV).

Pfizer (PFE) makes up 12% of the weighted holdings of XLV and pays a 4% dividend. Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) (JNJ) also weighs in at 12% of the XLV, and pays close to a 4% dividend.

J&J is currently trading at a forward price-earnings ratio of below 12, and Pfizer is at a forward P-E ratio of only 9.21.

A majority of analysts prefer J&J because it's perceived as the world's largest healthcare company with a gigantic compliment of products including over-the-counter treatments, prescribed drugs and medical devices.

Look at a one-year comparative chart of J&J and Pfizer to guide you. When you study it carefully, you'll see they tend to move in tandem.

Neither J&J nor Pfizer have out-performed the S&P 500 but they may temporarily be perceived as stocks that are safe havens that pay the shareholder to wait and see what else goes on sale before the current stock market correction runs its course.

They may see a temporary "pop" before the blood stops running in the street. Then there will be even better opportunities that I'll steer you towards before the rest of Wall Street wakes up to what's happening.

Disclosure: At the time of publication, Marc Courtenay was long GG, IAG, and KGC.

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