5 Defensive Stocks Holding Up in Friday’s Extreme Volatility

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Over the course of the last few trading days, we have seen the return of volatility and some serious carnage in the markets. To kick off this week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 1,175 points, the largest single-day point loss in the history of the index. Monday and Thursday were easily two of the worst trading days that anyone has seen in a long time, but on the other hand Tuesday and Friday were incredibly positive days.

Friday saw markets open on a positive note but slip into the red around lunch time, only to quickly comeback even stronger to close out the day. However, what’s to say this won’t happen again with investors getting the short end of the stick?

Some investors with longer views – beyond a few days – will likely invest in defensive companies — those they believe will keep operating well if the market continues to fall and rates continue to rise. Many such public companies also have a long history of paying dividends. Warren Buffett’s advice to investors has famously been, “Be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful.”

24/7 Wall St. has picked out a handful of defensive stocks that are standing up to Friday’s massive volatility. We have included a recent trading history, as well as a consensus price target and a 52-week trading range.

American Water Works Company, Inc. (NYSE: AWK) shares were last seen up about 3% at $78.34, with a consensus price target of $93.85 and a 52-week range of $71.89 to $92.37.

American Electric Power Company, Inc. (NYSE: AEP) shares were recently up 2.5% at $64.93, with a 52-week range of $62.69 to $78.07 and a consensus price target of $74.00.

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) shares were trading up 2.7% at $129.75, with a consensus price target of $150.86 and a 52-week range of $114.23 to $148.32.

Duke Energy Corp. (NYSE: DUK) shares were up 2.6% at $76.24. The stock has a 52-week range of $72.93 to $91.80 and a consensus price target of $86.13.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) shares were up 1.6% at $49.81, with a consensus price target of $55.88 and a 52-week range of $42.80 to $54.77.