Since the lows in March of 2020, the stock market has doubled. Think about that for a moment. The S&P 500 closed at 2,237 on March 23 of that year and closed Wednesday at 4,402, just shy of an incredible 100% gain in 17 months. Numerous reasons have been cited for this, including the incredibly loose monetary policy that has been in place for years but went nuclear when the COVID-19 virus showed up in the winter of 2020. Toss in the Reddit/WallStreetBets crowd, which had government handouts to trade with while locked at home, and you had all the ingredients for the proverbial melt-up, and maybe a meltdown.
The truly scary situation for investors is that the market hasn’t had a 5% correction in almost a year, which is very unusual. The difficult question for investors is what to do now? Sell everything and go to cash? That would be a great idea if money markets paid anything. The highest yielding money market savings account pays a lousy 0.4%. Banks literally pay almost zero for funds held in checking accounts.
One idea for those worried about a massive sell-off is to move to safe stocks that pay dividends. While they will not be immune to a risk-off move, the chances are good they will hold up better than crowded technology or meme stocks. We screened our 24/7 Wall St. research database and found five outstanding stocks that investors can move to now, and all are rated Buy by major Wall Street firms. It is important to remember that no single analyst report should be used as a sole basis for any buying or selling decision.
This remains a top Warren Buffet holding and offers not only safety but also an incredibly strong worldwide brand with 40% overseas sales. Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE: KO) is the world’s largest beverage company, refreshing consumers with more than 500 sparkling and still brands.
Led by Coca-Cola, one of the world’s most valuable brands, the company’s portfolio features 20 billion-dollar brands including Diet Coke, Fanta, Sprite, Coca-Cola Zero, vitaminwater, Powerade, Minute Maid, Simply, Georgia and Del Valle. Globally, it is the number one provider of sparkling beverages, ready-to-drink coffees and juices and juice drinks.
Through the world’s largest beverage distribution system, consumers in more than 200 countries enjoy Coca-Cola beverages at a rate of more than 1.9 billion servings a day. Also remember that the company also owns 16.7% of Monster Beverage, which continues to deliver big numbers.
Investors receive a 3% dividend. The BofA Securities price target for the stock is $60, near the consensus target of $59.80. Coca-Cola stock closed on Wednesday at $56.10.