Do You Have These Defensive Stocks On Your January Watchlist?

If you’ve been keeping up with the news lately, it seems that the stock market has been rather volatile. Amid the uncertainties, investors may be turning to defensive stocks. After all, with rising inflation figures, the Fed could be looking at multiple rate hikes this year. And that would likely impact higher-growth stocks. Elsewhere, the Omicron surge hasn’t peaked nationwide, says Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy. He also warns that the next few weeks will be tough. Should that be the case, sectors benefiting from the reopening of the economy may face speed bumps.   

Now, it is not surprising why defensive stocks may be appealing. These companies have products constantly in high demand regardless of the business cycle. For instance, Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG) reported its December quarter results earlier today, which beat estimates. In detail, the consumer staples giant recorded earnings per share of $1.66 on sales of $20.95, versus consensus of $1.65 and $20.34 billion respectively. What’s more, the company raised its guidance as it benefits from higher prices and resurgent demand for cleaning products. Elsewhere, healthcare companies such as UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) are also seen to be able to withstand economic uncertainty. On that note, here are 4 top defensive stocks to watch in the stock market today.

Top Defensive Stocks To Watch Right Now

Johnson & Johnson 

First up, we have Johnson & Johnson, or JNJ for short. The century-old company surely has been around for a while and has built itself to be the largest and most broadly based health company in the world. In short, the company develops and sells a range of products in the healthcare sector. Focusing primarily on the consumer health, pharmaceutical, and medical device segments. With over 130,000 employees worldwide, the company strives to improve access and affordability for the masses and continues to innovate tirelessly, especially given this pandemic era. 

Last week, it was found that a JNJ COVID-19 booster shot is 85% effective in protecting against the Omicron variant. Once the booster shot is administered, it will protect against being hospitalized by the variant for 1 to 2 months. The study was conducted by the South Africa Medical Research Council (SAMRC) and “is the world’s first evidence of vaccine effectiveness (against Omicron) using the J&J vaccine,” said the head of SAMRC Glenda Gray. On top of that, the JNJ booster shot provides a logistical advantage as it is a single-dose regimen. That makes it easier to administer the booster in remote rural areas, where follow-ups can be difficult. With this breakthrough development, would you consider adding JNJ stock to your portfolio?

defensive stocks to buy (JNJ stock)
Source: TD Ameritrade TOS

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Wells Fargo & Company

Next, we have Wells Fargo, one of the biggest banks in the U.S. According to the bank’s estimates, it manages approximately $1.9 trillion in assets across its massive portfolio. On top of that, the bank boasts serving one in three U.S households and over 10% of small businesses nationwide. Wells Fargo achieves this feat by offering a variety of financial services. For the most part, this includes banking, investments, mortgage products and services to name a few. Over the past year, WFC stock managed to impressively increase by over 70%.

Just last week, the bank reported its quarterly revenue which exceeded analysts’ expectations and a significant jump in profit. For starters, WFC reported a revenue of over $21 billion, a year-over-year increase of over 17%. Besides that, it reported an impressive jump in net income of over $5.7 billion, more than a 90% increase compared to the year before. Reported earnings per share were $1.25 for the quarter, beating Wall Street estimates of $1.13. Seeing that the bank is doing well financially, would you consider investing in WFC stock?

best defensive stocks (WFC stock)
Source: TD Ameritrade TOS

General Electric Company

General Electric (GE) is a multinational conglomerate that boasts leading positions in a wide array of industries. Namely, these include renewable energy, aviation, healthcare, and power businesses. In fact, GE Renewable Energy is a $16 billion business that combines one of the broadest portfolios in the renewable energy industry. To be specific, this segment of GE provides end-to-end solutions to clients who want reliable and affordable green power. Impressively, the company has installed more than 400 gigawatts of clean renewable energy. Over the past month, GE stock has increased by over 14%.

In December, GE announced that its GE Digital business is acquiring software company Opus One. Briefly, the company makes software for clients to manage distributed power assets such as energy storage and solar power generation. Having more wind- and solar-based power generation makes grid management more complicated. Hence, this is GE’s attempt at providing a solution as customers transition to higher levels of renewable power generation. On the other hand, electric vehicles will also drive the need for more sophisticated grid management software. With this in mind, does GE stock have a spot on your watchlist?

GE stock chart
Source: TD Ameritrade TOS

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Restaurant Brands International

Wrapping up our list of defensive stocks is Restaurant Brands International (QSR). In detail, the Canadian company boasts a portfolio with several major names in the fast-food industry today. This includes the likes of Burger King, Popeyes, and Tim Horton among others. According to QSR, the company facilitates approximately $31 billion in system-wide sales annually. QSR is able to do so by its impressive network of over 27,000 restaurants operating across more than 100 countries.

In December, the company announced a regional partnership with Ant Group. This partnership attempts to leverage Ant Group’s digital solutions to accelerate the digital transformation of its restaurant operations across the Asia Pacific. Evidently, this is a strategic play on QSR’s part to support local franchisee operations and expansion in the Asia Pacific market.

Under the partnership, Ant Group will implement a range of digital solutions. This includes a mini program Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution and Alipay+, a cross-border mobile payment solution. Ultimately, the goal is to enable a seamless and convenient omni-channel experience for diners to boost the restaurants’ operational efficiency. Given this partnership, will you be adding QSR stock to your watchlist?

QSR stock chart
Source: TD Ameritrade TOS

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