This remains a leading health care stock for conservative investors. Merck & Co. Inc. (NYSE: MRK) offers therapeutic and preventive agents to treat cardiovascular issues, type 2 diabetes, asthma, nasal allergy symptoms, allergic rhinitis, chronic hepatitis C virus, HIV-1 infection, fungal infections, intra-abdominal infections, hypertension, arthritis and pain, inflammatory, osteoporosis, male pattern hair loss and fertility diseases.
The company also provides neuromuscular blocking agents for use in surgery, anti-bacterial products for skin and skin structure infections, cholesterol modifying medicines, non-sedating antihistamine and vaginal contraceptive products.
Shareholders receive a 3.54% dividend. JPMorgan’s Overweight rating comes with a $100 price target. The consensus target is $93.21, and shares ended last week trading at $73.45.
This top consumer staples pick will be supplying the goods for tailgating and football watch parties around the country. PepsiCo Inc. (NYSE: PEP) operates as a food and beverage company worldwide. Its Frito-Lay North America segment offers Lay’s and Ruffles potato chips; Doritos, Tostitos and Santitas tortilla chips; and Cheetos cheese-flavored snacks, branded dips and Fritos corn chips.
The Quaker Foods North America segment provides Quaker oatmeal, grits, rice cakes, natural granola and oat squares, as well as the recently name-changed Aunt Jemima mixes and syrups, and Quaker Chewy granola bars, Cap’n Crunch cereal, Life cereal and Rice-A-Roni side dishes.
PepsiCo’s North America Beverages segment offers beverage concentrates, fountain syrups and finished goods under the Pepsi, Gatorade, Mountain Dew, Diet Pepsi, Aquafina, Tropicana Pure Premium, Sierra Mist and Mug brands, as well as ready-to-drink tea and coffee, and juices.
Shareholders receive a 2.77% dividend. The Morgan Stanley price target on the Overweight-rated shares is $172, while the consensus target is $165.55. PepsiCo stock closed on Friday at $155.46.
Of course, a big sell-off will take almost all stocks down some. However, these more conservative companies that pay dividends on a dependable basis should fare much better than momentum and meme stocks if a massive algorithmic-led selling spree happens. The trading action late last week seems to indicate that something is brewing, so now may be the right time to take some profits and move to calmer waters.
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