10 Very Strong Stocks Thriving in a Very Crummy Stock Market

Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) has more than one issue going for it. It recently came into focus as a new stock purchase by one of Warren Buffett’s portfolio managers at Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE: BRK-B). Kroger also performed very well after earnings despite some profit-taking or consolidation on Friday. The Buffett stake got its recovery started, and the earnings report is what punched Kroger above February’s highs. The stock rose by almost 14% in the past week, despite a 4% drop on Friday, and that’s up just over 14% in the past month and about 10.5% higher year to date. If its breakout can hold, then it has little resistance up until around $35 (from 2016) and then closer to $40 (from 2015) from the past five years.

Newmont Corp. (NYSE: NEM) is the top dog when it comes to gold mining, with a $44 billion market cap after its $10 billion merger with Goldcorp more than a year ago. That merger has proven, at least so far, to be far more successful than the Barrick merger with Randgold that currently has a $40 billion market cap. The driving force here has been the stellar rise of gold prices (last seen at close to $1,675 per ounce, up 10% year to date and 30% over a year). The company also has low all-in sustaining costs of under $1,000 per ounce, so every added dollar per ounce of gold may be free profits that can be dropped right down into higher dividends for its shareholders.

Newmont had seen its shares dip, but in the past week it rose by 17%, for a gain of 18% over the past month and about 20.5% year to date. Barrick shares are up 11.5% in the past week, over 17% higher in the past month and up more than 14% year to date.

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: REGN) may have had a dicey performance in January, but it came roaring back in February, starting in mid-February even as the stock market was getting spooked. Regeneron’s market cap is now $54 billion, and the stock recently hit a high of $500.00. That’s right back at where the stock peaked in 2017, but it was a $550 stock back in 2015.

While Regeneron has gained along with others as a coronavirus hopeful, it also has drugs such as Eylea for macular degeneration, Dupixent for dermatitis and asthma, Praluent for hereditary high cholesterol, Kevzara for rheumatoid arthritis and a host of other approved drugs and over 20 combined Phase 2 or Phase 3 studies in its drug study pipeline. Regeneron was up 11% in the past week, and 33% in the past month and about 32% so far in 2020.

Safehold Inc. (NYSE: SAFE) is an externally managed real estate investment trust (REIT) under iStar Inc. (NYSE: STAR) that helps real estate owners unlock the value of the land under their buildings to generate higher returns with less risk. With a focus on major markets in the United States, it has no real exposure to foreign markets, and its market cap is now just above $3 billion. Its shares are up 17% over the past week, 31% over the past month and 59% year to date. Its iStar manager and largest holder has a $1.4 billion market cap and is also higher in 2020, but its gain was a less robust 7% in the past week and month, with a year-to-date gain of about 11%.

Virtu Financial Inc. (NASDAQ: VIRT) has been able to win from the market volatility in high-frequency trading and market making. Its market cap is back up to $4.5 billion, but Virtu’s operating metrics in the first two months of 2020 alone were shown to be between $226 million and $234 million in trading income, with its adjusted net trading income between $230 million and $240 million. Its adjusted net trading income per day was shown to be between $5.75 million and $6.00 million. It is still too soon to know what the quarter’s performance will look like, and its highs in 2019 were in the $24.50 to $25.50 per share range.

Virtu’s chart looks much better in 2020 (like the Eiffel Tower) than over the past year, but its run has been more than impressive. Its shares were up over 24% in the past week, 35% higher over the past month and up over 46% so far in 2020.

Vivint Smart Home Inc. (NYSE: VVNT) is a “smart home” provider, with its Total Front Door package that comes with a traditional key lock, a password key lock, a doorbell camera, garage door control and outdoor cameras and smart thermostat controls. Vivint shares were up 39% for the past week and 88% over the past month.

The one caveat here is that Vivint Smart Home does not have proper year-to-date performance that can be measured on an apples-to-apples basis because this came out of a SPAC, or blank-check company, formerly known as Mosaic Acquisition. That means it does not have the traditional history many technicians can count on for long-term metrics, and as it is new we did not apply traditional market cap and other criteria we might have used on other stocks. The company recently reported total revenue growth of 10% for 2019 to $1.2 billion, and the company’s smart home services guidance was to end 2020 with 1.62 million to 1.66 million subscribers and revenues rising to $1.25 billion to $1.29 billion.

We have provided an expandable stock chart montage with 20-day and 50-day moving averages below, along with the Dow Jones industrial average and S&P 500 ETF charts, from for a reference.


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