For investors who want to protect their portfolio in what could be a slowing 2019 economy, three consumer staples companies stand out.
"Procter and Gamble, Coca-Cola, and Pepsi," are stocks JJ Kinahan, chief market strategist at TD Ameritrade said to consider for when things go awry in the broader market. "We had three weeks of a bad market," Kinahan said, referring to a down spell in November. But "those three stocks performed really well during that bad market," he said.
Those three companies have something in common: "very consistent earnings, very consistent product, and very consistent dividends," Kinahan said. They're all consumer staples, which tend to perform well in down years in the economy, which 2019 could be.
Procter & Gamble
The S&P 500 has fallen 4% since November 7, the start of November's down spell. Procter & Gamble Co. (PG) - Get Report is up 2.1% in that same span. Important to note, the strengthening U.S. Dollar of late hurt P&G's international sales in its latest quarterly report, as interest rates have risen. But the strengthening dollar shouldn't have a huge impact on the company in 2019, Kinahan said. "The fact of the matter is we're still having trouble getting away from three percent," he said, referring to the the ten-year treasury bond, which has actually dipped to 2.91% on questions regarding just how many times the Federal Reserve will lift rates in 2019.
Coca-Coloa Co. (KO) - Get Report is up 0.43% since November 7, while the rest of the market has fallen. Coca-Cola does have some tariff risk, as aluminum shipments coming in from China are subject to duties, which puts cost pressure on the soda maker, but that's largely priced in. If there are further tariffs on aluminum, which won't happen in the next few months as a result of the G-20 truce, the stock may slip a tad.
These companies also stable dividends, which can act as a strong alternative to bonds, as some investors don't want to take interest risk on treasuries, as the Fed will likely raise rates at least a few times, or maybe many times. "People are a little more reluctant to go into fixed income, so if they can find a blue-chip staple company that pays consistent dividends...those are things people need," Kinahan said.
When U.S. stocks plummeted Tuesday, Coca-Cola and Procter and Gamble were two of the five strongest performers on the Dow Jones Industrial Average.