Investing

5 Top Stocks Continue to Benefit From Coronavirus Pandemic Worries

The carnage in the stock market in less than 30 days is unprecedented. Declines of 1000 points seemingly every other day, the biggest point drop in the history of the markets, a 1000-point decline in the S&P 500 in less than a month. The devastation goes on and on, and many investors are very nervous, and with good reason.

This will end and the markets will trade back up at some point. A new report from Stifel’s top-flight equity strategist, Barry Bannister, makes the case that while the bottom could be right around the 2,300 level on the S&P 500, due to the swift velocity of the selling (the index actually traded below that level on Wednesday before a late rally), he feels it could take five years to get back to 3,000.

As we have learned after every massive black swan event, be it 9/11 or the crash and global financial crisis in 2007 and 2008, there is always a vast amount of money made by investors with huge stores of cash, like Warren Buffett did in 2008. We started checking on companies that are doing well now as a result of the unprecedented situation we find ourselves in.

We found five stocks that are faring very well and still could be a safe place for stunned investors. All are rated Buy at top Wall Street firms.

Clorox

Needless to say, bleach has been in demand, and so are the other products this company sells. Clorox Co. (NYSE: CLX) is a diversified manufacturer and marketer of household products, specialty food items and pet care items. Well-known brands include Tilex, Liquid Plumr, 409, Pine-Sol, Kingsford, Glad, Brita, Hidden Valley, KC Masterpiece, Burt’s Bees and Fresh Step.


Wall Street has been breathlessly raising estimates for the company. The third-quarter earnings estimate has been raised to $1.42 per share, up from the previous consensus estimate of $1.40 per share, as have the full-year estimates for 2020 and 2021. The 2020 estimate has been raised to $6.24 per share from the previous consensus estimate of $6.21 per share, and the full-year 2021 estimate has been increased from $6.51 per share to $6.58.

Investors receive a 2.06% dividend. JPMorgan recently upgraded it to Overweight with a $185 price target. The Wall Street consensus target is $157.92, but Clorox stock has blown through those levels and closed Wednesday at $190.95, down 3.5% on the day.

CVS

This top stock may still be offering an excellent entry point. CVS Health Corporation (NYSE: CVS) is one of the largest health care companies in the United States, providing retail, mail and specialty pharmacy dispensing services and pharmacy benefits. Upon the completion of its acquisition of health care giant Aetna, CVS became one of the most vertically integrated publicly traded health care companies.

Last week the company announced it will acquire and operate 99 Schnucks retail and specialty pharmacies in the Midwest while also acquiring the pharmacy files from an additional 11 stores. CVS Health will transfer the acquired pharmacy prescription files to nearby CVS pharmacy locations. Schnucks is a family-owned grocery and pharmacy retailer with 112 stores and 13,500 employees, which according to the company’s website appears to include specialty pharmacy locations currently. Schnucks primarily operates pharmacies in Missouri, Illinois and Indiana, among others.

Investors receive a healthy 3.45% dividend. Merrill Lynch has set an $86 price target for the shares, which compares with the consensus target of $84.25. CVS Health stock was last seen trading at $57.18 a share.