Fears that another stock market crash might be imminent appear to have largely subsided. After dropping nearly 10% in September, the S&P 500 index has rebounded somewhat. But don’t think for a second that the market is safe right now.
Several factors could lead to increased volatility and even another plunge. President Trump’s medical team says that he “isn’t out of the woods yet” after being diagnosed with COVID-19. Some healthcare experts remain concerned about a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic this fall. Many investors worry that stocks are so highly valued that any bump in the road could cause a sharp downturn.
Such concerns don’t mean that you should avoid the stock market altogether, though. Here are three relatively safe stocks to buy in a not-so-safe market.
1. Abbott Laboratories
Abbott Laboratories (NYSE: ABT) practically oozes security and stability. The healthcare giant has been in business since 1888, weathering plenty of economic and stock market storms for 132 years. It’s been No. 1 on Fortune‘s Most Admired Companies list for its industry for seven years in a row. Abbott is also a Dividend Aristocrat, meaning that it’s increased its dividend for at least 25 consecutive years.
While many companies will be hurt if the COVID-19 pandemic worsens, Abbott’s diagnostics business gives it something of a safety cushion. The company markets six COVID-19 tests under the Food and Drug Administration’s emergency use authorization program. In August, the U.S. government bought 150 million of Abbott’s rapid BinaxNOW diagnostic tests for $760 million.
Abbott isn’t just a defensive play, though. The company should have multiple growth drivers,