(Adds performance of new picks in second paragraph.)BOSTON ( TheStreet) -- The 10 stocks that Morgan Stanley ( MS) added to its model portfolio in the past 45 days show a defensive bent, as they pay hefty dividends in industries that have a history of weathering tough times. Morgan Stanley's Most Strategic Portfolio had a return of 2.1% from the beginning of the year through Nov. 4, compared with a 1% gain for the S&P 500 Index. Since their inclusion date in the bank's portfolio, the 10 stocks have risen an average of 6.4%. One stock, Axis Capital Holdings ( AXS), has gained 22.9% since it was added to the model portfolio Sept. 23. Two stocks have been losers, with one dropping 5%. The Wall Street firm said in a Nov. 6 research note that its model portfolio of 48 stocks is overweight in utilities, health care and consumer staples, and is underweight in consumer discretionary and industrials, both of which have underperformed this year. Here are the 10 latest additions to Morgan Stanley's model portfolio, all made since Sept. 16: Colgate-Palmolive ( CL), one of the world's largest consumer-product companies, was added to the portfolio Sept. 23 and gets a 2% weighting recommendation. It makes and sells its namesake toothpaste and detergents, as well as shampoos, deodorants and shaving products. Colgate's shares are up 12.4% this year, which is also its three-year average annual return. Colgate has a market value of $43 billion and a projected dividend yield of 2.63%.
Entergy Corp. ( ETR) is the second-largest nuclear power plant operator in the U.S., with six facilities. As a regulated utility, it distributes power to 2.7 million customers across the Southeast. The $12 billion company's wholesale division sells power throughout the Northeast. The shares are up 1.6% this year and have an average annual return of 9.8% over 10 years, with a 4.78% projected dividend yield. Entergy gets a 3% portfolio allocation and was added Sept 16.
General Dynamics ( GD), with a $23 billion market value, is a diversified government contractor operating with five divisions, among them aerospace and combat. The company makes everything from tanks to business jets but its big winner is its defense-oriented information-technology-systems unit. General Dynamics shares are down 8% this year, but have a 2.4% average annual return over three years. The stock carries a projected dividend yield of 2.96%. General Dynamics gets a 2% allocation in the portfolio, and it was added Sept 16.
Axis Capital Holdings ( AXS) is a provider of specialty insurance and reinsurance worldwide. Its focus is on covering specialized classes of risk, including terrorism, aviation and marine, war, political risk and offshore energy. The $4 billion company's shares are down 11% this year, but over three years, the average annual return is 6.4%. The stock carries a 2.94% projected dividend yield. It gets a 1% allocation in the portfolio and was added Sept 23.
Halliburton ( HAL) is a leader in the booming oil-services industry. Its services include everything from pressure pumping to drilling, as well as employee-support services across North America and about 80 countries worldwide. Its shares are down 8.4% this year, but have a three-year average annual return of 24%, giving it a $35 billion market value. They have a projected dividend yield of 0.97%. It gets a 1% allocation in the portfolio and was added Oct. 28.