Investing

10 Big Stocks That Should Keep Avoiding the Coronavirus Stock Market Panic

Jon C. Ogg

Hormel Foods Corp. (NYSE: HRL) has been a monster stock over time as the company continues to move way beyond its old Spam image into newer products that younger buyers actually want to eat. The stock did fall 1.3% to $47.26 on Friday, but it hit an all-time high of $48.01 earlier in the day.

Hormel stock managed to barely close up for the week, but its shares are still up about 5% so far in 2020. With close to a 2% dividend yield, this food company is up about 50% over the past two-and-a-half years.

Newmont Corp. (NYSE: NEM) is riding the gold train higher and is the most valuable U.S. gold player with a $37 billion market cap. Gold is back up to almost $1,600 per ounce as a safety trade against any global fears, and Newmont’s close of $45.06 was up 0.2% on Friday, with a valuation of 23 times forward earnings. It also has a 1.2% dividend yield, but many investors expect that to rise if gold remains at these levels for an extended period.

Newmont shares are now up almost 4% so far in 2020 (and up about 35% from a year ago). Its all-in sustaining costs are projected to remain close to $900 for the next couple of years and to go even lower in the outer years.

NextEra Energy Inc. (NYSE: NEE) may have traded down 0.6% to $268.20 on Friday, but the stock also hit a new high of $270.66 on the day. The largest utility in America, with a $131 billion market cap, seemed expensive even when it was the first utility worth $100 billion, but having a larger exposure to clean and green energy is giving it more recognition through the environmental, social and governance (ESG) theme.

NextEra is up over 10% so far in 2020 (and about 50% over the last year). So what if it’s trading at 27 times forward earnings.

Quest Diagnostics Inc. (NYSE: DGX) did sell down by about 1.2% to $110.67 on Friday, but the shares had been up at the start of the day at a new high of $112.89. Shares of Quest still rose 2.7% last week, and the stock is up over 3.6% so far in 2020.

To make matters more precise about the coronavirus and a strong flu season, Quest’s operations of running lab tests are likely to get even more business every time someone catches a cold or doesn’t feel well as they want to find out how sick they really are.

Republic Services Inc. (NYSE: RSG) is among the top waste management players of them all, and people are going to produce endless amounts of garbage whether the economy does well or not. Its shares were down just 0.7% on Friday at $95.05, but its chart has been rather impressive, with most days rising in 2020.

Republic Services still managed a 0.4% gain for the past week, and the shares are up 6% so far in 2020, with a $30 billion market cap.

Again, these are not the only strong stocks holding up during the market panic. These are current names that should have at least some insulation against coronavirus fears in 2020. Even if they do not go higher, they now either have major chart support or should hold up better than the broader stock market if major selling pressure continues.

A candle-glance chart montage from StockCharts.com has been provided below for each stock.