Some investors have been so rattled by this market that they have taken their money and run. Even Treasuries are not safe enough. What if the US government defaults?
Of course, Treasuries are a safe investment which is why their prices are going up. A lot of investors are also putting money into corporate bonds, particularly those issued by rock solid firms such as IBM (IBM).
The intrepid are going to keep some money in equities, so the question becomes "where do they go"?
The first and probably only stop is companies that are likely to make money in almost any economy, have massive amounts of cash, and some yield. A lot of these stocks may drop another 20%, but they are likely to move up better than most in a recovery.
Big oil is going to stay profitable. While a company such as Exxon (XOM) may not make $11 billion every quarter, it has a 2.5% yield and as clean a balance sheet as anyone can find.
The business of selling soap, detergent and razor should be okay. P&G (PG) yields over 2% and it is hard to image it posting a loss.
Microsoft (MSFT) may be trading near a five-year low, but it yields 2.5% and has more cash than the British government.
Wal-Mart (WMT) is where the poor will go shopping. That means everyone in about six months. With a 1.8% yield and the best cost controls in the retail industry, it is a good place for safety and some return by dividend.
Douglas A. McIntyre