As volatility continues to persist in the stock market, investors may be considering swapping out of their current positions into safer defensive stocks.
This volatility could be due to the renewed anxiety over geopolitical tensions between Russia and Ukraine. Evidently, the conflict has added fresh headwinds for the market that was already in a tight position.
Because this conflict comes at a time where the Fed is looking to raise interest rates to mitigate surging inflation. The rise in interest rates tends to hurt tech-dominated growth stocks. As such, some investors could be looking for the best defensive stocks to buy in the stock market today.
Take Walmart (NYSE: WMT) for example. The company on Thursday announced its fourth-quarter results that topped expectations. For the quarter, revenue came in at $152.87 billion, beating analysts’ estimates of $151.53 billion.
Elsewhere, Mark Schneider, CEO of Nestle (OTCMKTS: NSRGY), said that the company would be “open to doing a big deal” and is certainly considering all options as part of its overall growth strategy.
Alongside this, he said Nestle would also consider smaller acquisitions with fewer regulatory challenges. Given these growth prospects, here are some of the best defensive stocks to watch in the stock market today.
Costco is a membership-only big-box retail store that many of us are likely familiar with. After all, it is the go-to store when consumers wish to buy items in bulk.
Costco sells a variety of products ranging from dry food and sundries to consumer durables to fresh food. In fact, the average Costco warehouse is approximately 146,000 square feet. Over the past year, COST stock has grown by over 40%.
Costco is one of the few public companies that report monthly sales, and in January, it continued posting excellent growth. For starters, net sales in January were at $15.76 billion, an increase of 15.5% from the $13.64 billion last year.
Besides that, its comparable, or same-store sales play a big part in overall sales growth. Notably, comparable sales in the U.S increased by 14%. This suggests that customers are choosing to spend more of their money at Costco.
On a side note, billionaire investor Charlie Munger yesterday reiterated his confidence in the company. He strongly believes that Costco will do well in the long run and does not intend on selling his stake.
Besides that, he also believes Costco has the potential to dominate as an online player as well. In its fiscal year 2021 report, Costco’s e-commerce sales jumped by 44% on a year-over-year basis. Given this, would you buy COST stock?
Another name to consider among defensive stocks now would be the FedEx Corporation. The company specializes in transportation, e-commerce, and business services. FedEx operates a variety of segments.
These include FedEx Express, FedEx Ground, FedEx Freight, and FedEx Services. At the moment, the company’s supply chain consists of over 166,000 direct suppliers in the U.S itself. The likes of which work together to deliver over 19 million shipments a day worldwide.
Toward the end of last month, FedEx and Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) announced the next solution of their multi-year collaboration. The two companies will work together to introduce a cross-platform “logistics as a service” for retailers, merchants, and brands.
Namely, they will do so by leveraging FedEx’s network intelligence and capabilities from Microsoft Dynamics 365. This platform will help brands access new information and capabilities to better fulfill, ship, and service customer orders.
At the same time, the platform can also be easily integrated with its existing e-commerce platforms. Ultimately, this will help brands deliver modern, high-value experiences directly to their customers.
This includes faster and more cost-effective deliveries and real-time delivery status communications among others. With this platform in the works, do you think FDX stock is a buy?
Procter & Gamble
Following that, we have Procter & Gamble, or PG for short. For the most part, the consumer staples company serves customers around the world with its wide portfolio of everyday items.
For a sense of scale, the company sells its products in over 180 countries and territories. PG also has over 100,000 employees on its payroll. From its shaving products Gillette to beauty products like Pantene, chances are you have something in your house that is made by PG. Over the past year, PG stock has risen by over 20%.
Recently, the company reported its latest quarterly earnings that topped analyst estimates. Jumping in, PG raked in total revenue of $20.95 billion, surpassing forecasts of $20.34 billion and up by 6% year-over-year.
It also reported earnings per share of $1.66, beating estimates of $1.47 and up by 13% from last year.
What’s more, the company also shared positive guidance for the year, raising its outlook for all-in sales growth from 2% to 4%. As for its GAAP diluted earnings per share, PG expects it to grow by 6% to 9%. Given the strong financials and positive outlook, does PG stock have a spot on your watchlist?
Closing off our list for today is General Motors, otherwise known as GM. The automotive industry titan has been actively making the shift towards having a fully electrified portfolio.
GM has committed itself to launching 30 new EVs by 2025, for every style and price point. For the most part, the company consists of global brands such as Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, and Cadillac to name a few. On top of that, it is also the largest automobile manufacturer in the U.S. and one of the largest worldwide.
A month ago, GM announced that it will be investing $7 billion in Michigan with the goal to dramatically boost the production of electric pickups.
This comes at a time when the company’s rivalry with Ford (NYSE: F) heats up as the two compete for EV supremacy in North America.
According to GM, its Detroit-Hamtramck and Orion Township plants will be able to build more than 600,000 electric pickups a year by late 2024. This along with three of its other plants in Tennessee, Ontario, and Mexico.
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Hence, this will boost the company’s North America EV production capacity to more than a million units by late 2025. With GM’s EV efforts picking up, is GM stock worth considering? Source: Nasdaq