The market's recent volatility is very disheartening, a fact made evident by the sheer number of angst-ridden posts made by everyday investors on the Answers section of Stockpickr.com.
The best way to play this volatile market is through solid defensive stocks that offer growth. Such stocks hold up well in hard times because demand for their products and services does not decrease as dramatically as in other sectors during recessionary times.
For this reason, Stockpickr has created a portfolio of
Cramer: How to Pick Stocks Now
var config = new Array(); config<BRACKET>"videoId"</BRACKET> = 1388808436; config<BRACKET>"playerTag"</BRACKET> = "TSCM Embedded Video Player"; config<BRACKET>"autoStart"</BRACKET> = false; config<BRACKET>"preloadBackColor"</BRACKET> = "#FFFFFF"; config<BRACKET>"useOverlayMenu"</BRACKET> = "false"; config<BRACKET>"width"</BRACKET> = 265; config<BRACKET>"height"</BRACKET> = 255; config<BRACKET>"playerId"</BRACKET> = 1243645856; createExperience(config, 8);
First up is
, a condiment maker best known for its ketchup. Heinz is a solid recession-proof stock that also offers both domestic and international growth prospects.
Fiscal second-quarter sales (posted in late November) were up a solid 13% at $2.5 billion, topping the $2.4 billion average estimate. Organic growth sales came in at 8.1%. Sales of the company's top 15 brands grew 14% in the quarter and total sales for the last six months increased a whopping 11.2%, well above the long-term target growth rate of 4%. Heinz also represents a great emerging market play as total sales in Asia were up 24% for the quarter.
Although it is considered by many to be a boring stock to own, with great forecasts by management, Heinz could see multiple expansion in the coming year. Heinz also yields 3.5%.
Another defensive stock is
, which should rally as issues in the credit market mount. Chimera, which went public back in November, has the luxury to pick among the rubble and buy good bank paper at dirt-cheap levels, thus capitalizing off any return to normalcy.
Banks need capital, and the only way to get it quickly is to sell off high-end assets at historically low valuations. A former subsidiary of
, Chimera should profit handsomely as banks panic to liquidate assets.
Other stocks in the
which has several different drugs in phase III clinical trials,
, a classic defensive name that also sports a 4.1% yield, as well as
Stockpickr is a wholly owned subsidiary of TheStreet.com.