While it has become somewhat clear that the stock market and much of Wall Street may be rooting for a Hillary Clinton victory, a come-from-behind victory by Donald Trump could always happen. If it does, we could be in for a huge selling spree. The market in general fears a Trump win as trade could be affected, and it sees a Clinton win as pretty much maintaining the status quo.
However, in the event Trump does win, there could be some big selling, and stocks that are more volatile, and especially those in the overcrowded areas like semiconductors, could get hit hard. With interest rates still staying low, and investor still looking for yield, we found four very safe stocks in the Merrill Lynch research universe rated Buy with the firm’s top volatility and risk rating for safety.
This company has had an incredible run this year but is off over 10% in less than six weeks. AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) is the world’s largest provider of pay TV, with TV customers in the United States and 11 Latin American countries. In the United States, the AT&T wireless network has the nation’s self-described strongest 4G LTE signal and most reliable 4G LTE. The company also helps businesses worldwide serve their customers better with mobility and highly secure cloud solutions.
With its shares trading at a very cheap 14.3 times estimated 2016 earnings, the company continues to expand its user base, and strong product introductions from smartphone vendors have not only driven traffic but increased device financing plans.
AT&T has several major catalysts that likely will drive strong network traffic demand: DirecTV Now and Mobile, “Data-Free TV” for DirecTV/U-verse subscribers and increasing penetration of unlimited data plans. Many on Wall Street believe that the company is well-positioned to address ongoing traffic requirements, with additional LTE capacity available and the ability to leverage small cell deployments.
Other top Wall Street analysts have cited the company’s positive commentary on free cash flow, and improving video/broadband trends later this year with single truck-roll and new converged offerings are expected to be coming next month.
AT&T investors are paid a huge 4.9% dividend. The Merrill Lynch price target for the stock is $46, and the Wall Street consensus price objective is at $42.70. The stock closed on Friday at $39.11 a share.
This top dividend payer is also a very safe play for investors. Colgate-Palmolive Co. (NYSE: CL) is the stock to buy in consumer staples. The company continues to deliver solid execution and is one of the best-positioned companies in the consumer staples sector, given its strong brands in attractive categories, particularly oral care.
More than half (52%) of total revenues at Colgate are derived in faster-growth emerging economies, and the company maintains leading or near-leading market shares across the Brazil, Russia, India, China (BRIC) regions. While those have slowed over the past year, a pickup in growth could be coming.
Back in the spring, Colgate increased the quarterly common stock cash dividend by 3%. The company has declared a new quarterly dividend of $0.39 per share on its common stock and will go ex-dividend this month on October 20.
Colgate-Palmolive investors are now paid a 2.13% dividend. Merrill Lynch has an $80 price target for the stock, and the consensus target is set at $76.56. Shares closed most recently at $72.31.