Editors' pick: Originally published Feb. 11.
U.S. markets are grappling with a rocky start to 2016 that has dragged broad indexes down nearly 10%, making memories of last year ever rosier and prompting speculation that the U.S. is headed for a recession.
Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen says that's unlikely, as do many executives and analysts. While economists at New York investment bank Morgan Stanley are still predicting growth this year -- albeit only slight -- the bank's models indicate the risk of a recession is rising.
If it does come to pass, though, the bank has compiled a list of the 19 best stocks to own during a slowdown, based on a survey of its U.S. analysts.
Here's a look at its recommendations:
Acceleron Pharma (XLRN) is a "relatively safe growth story" among smaller biotech firms, writes Morgan Stanley analyst Andrew Berens.
The company is benefiting from a strong balance sheet and a collaboration agreement with pharmaceutical giant Celgene, which is bearing the development costs of its leading drug-development programs. Those include luspatercept, which boosts the red blood cell count in patients with rare blood disorders, and sotatercept, used to treat anemia.
"Celgene's financial commitment, along with the $150 million raised via a secondary offering in January, have substantially limited the company's financing risk, critical for development-stage companies should we enter a recession," Berens wrote.