The gist was, after a 30% up year for the markets in 2013 and a big slowdown in momentum plays like tech and biotech, it’s time to consider getting defensive.
Picks I’m watching right now include:
Ventas (VTR), a senior housing REIT. As Baby Boomers age, it will transform many industries, particularly across health care, and create great long-term opportunity for companies like Ventas. And in the short-term, the risk-off environment and a hunger for yield amid falling Treasury interest rates has re-energized interest in stocks like Ventas. VTR stock is up 19% year-to-date, but still yields 4.3%.
Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), a megacap healthcare play and consumer staple stalwart. The stock is up 9% this year, with a dividend yield of 2.8%. JNJ stock is a health-care play — but also a consumer-staples play, thanks to popular brands including Band-Aid, Tylenol and Splenda. Since CEO Alex Gorxy took over two years ago, the company has been marching steadily higher with 60% gains since spring 2012.
Intel (INTC), a blue-chip chipmaker. Intel stock is up 2% this year, with a dividend yield of 3.4%. Sure, the mobile revolution is severely limiting the growth potential for Intel, and revenue has been stagnant since 2011. However, despite a continuation of top-line issues in the first quarter, there are signs that Intel is much better off than some naysayers believe. Intel beat expectations in the first three months of the year, thanks in part to its data-center business and (surprise!) corporate PC sales.
Listen to the full interview in the attached audio, or read the column over at MarketWatch for more details.
Jeff Reeves is the editor of InvestorPlace.com and the author of The Frugal Investor’s Guide to Finding Great Stocks. Write him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter via @JeffReevesIP. As of this writing, he did not own a position in any of the stocks named here.