Editors' pick: Originally published Oct. 20.
Now that the third and final U.S. presidential debate is mercifully in the history books, the battle-fatigued American electorate is stumbling toward Nov. 8 like prisoners of war on the Bataan Death March.
If the polls are any guide, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton is heading for a decisive win against her Republican opponent Donald Trump.
The highly respected and time-proven polling outfit 538 gives her close to a 90% chance of winning this interminable election. The pollster also lays more than 70% odds that the Democrats will re-capture the Senate.
Most other national polls echo these predictions. People can say what they want to about polls, but they are usually right.
Of course, to quote the great philosopher Yogi Berra: "It ain't over 'til it's over."
But wise investors put their faith in empirical data, all of which point in one direction for this election.
That begs the question: How can investors position their portfolios for a likely Clinton presidency?
Below are five stocks that would thrive under a Democratic administration.
The beauty of these picks is that they are all inherently strong investments that are smart buys no matter who wins. If Trump pulls off a miracle and actually beats Clinton, these stocks would still outperform.
First, it is important to pinpoint the industries that Democratic policies tend to favor. These include cybersecurity, environmental protection and remediation, health care, infrastructure, and renewable energy.
Here are five stocks, which are the best-in-breed choices in those Democratic-friendly categories.
Although it is based in Canada, the company has most of its manufacturing facilities in China, where costs are far cheaper. Canadian Solar's two locations allow for low-cost manufacturing but also permit the company to avoid some of the regulatory obstacles of being legally headquartered in China.
Democrats historically have favored renewable energy such as solar, which has come into its own as a mainstream industry with a cost-effective and well-developed infrastructure. Progressive lawmakers in Congress next year are likely to introduce a bevy of subsidies and tax credits designed to boost solar power.
Canadian Solar shares trade at about $15. The average analyst consensus for a one-year price target is $19.34, which would represent a gain of nearly 29%.
2. Cisco Systems (CSCO - Get Report)
During this precedent-shattering election, the rising incidence of Russian-backed hacking of Democratic party databases has brought the issue of cybersecurity to the fore.
Democrats tend to be cozy with the entrepreneurs of Silicon Valley, a propensity that will only get stronger if Clinton finds it necessary to square off against an army of hackers ruled by a hostile Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The leading cybersecurity stock is Cisco Systems.
The company is a major supplier of Internet-based networking products, with routers and switches commonly found in public and private offices around the world. Cisco Systems also boasts an entrenched and loyal client base that provides the company with repeat business for upgrades.
Cisco Systems shares trade at about $30. The average analyst consensus for a one-year price target is $32.78, which would represent a gain of nearly 10%.
The dividend yield is a juicy 3.44%.
Cisco Systems is a holding in Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS Charitable Trust Portfolio. See how Cramer rates the stock here. Want to be alerted before Cramer buys or sells CSCO? Learn more now.
3. Johnson & Johnson (JNJ - Get Report)
J&J boasts a market capitalization of $313.5 billion, a robust dividend yield of 2.70% and a wide-ranging portfolio of brand-name products that includes pharmaceuticals and medical devices and supplies. J&J should continue to generate a great combination of income and capital appreciation, especially if the Affordable Care Act is preserved and strengthened under a Democratic regime.
Health care is a time-honored imperative of Democrats. The sector would receive considerable stimulus under a left-of-center government with a propensity to spend for human needs.
In the multi-trillion-dollar health care industry, this company is a diversified and vast global behemoth that is akin to a health sector mutual fund.
J&J shares trade at about $114. The average analyst consensus for a one-year price target is $125.63, which would represent a gain of more than 10%.
4. Martin Marietta (MLM - Get Report)
This company produces crushed gravel, sand and stone, which are called aggregates and are mixed with cement to create concrete for the construction of roadways. Most of the company's revenue is generated in Canada and the U.S.
To address America's decrepit infrastructure, Clinton has pledged to spend at least $275 billion, a program that would be manna for Martin Marietta. The company is the go-to supplier of aggregates for local and state governments around the country.
Martin Marietta shares trade at about $177. The average analyst consensus for a one-year price target is $205.50, which would represent a gain of more than 16%.
Tetra Tech's clients include federal, local and state government agencies in the U.S., as well as commercial and international clients. The company also has a growing presence in the energy sector, for pollution prevention and remediation.
A major client is the Environmental Protection Agency, which could count on political support and stable funding from a Democratic administration.
Tetra Tech shares trade at about $37. The average analyst consensus for a one-year price target is $40.11, which would represent a gain of 8.4%.
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