Investors are now anxious over the forthcoming debt-ceiling deadline, as the White House and Republican legislatures’ talks over raising the debt limit failed to show any substantial progress.
Despite several rounds of talks, lack of progress in raising the U.S. government’s $31.4 trillion debt limit ahead of the Jun 1 deadline has made market pundits nervous as the prospect of default looms large.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy did confirm that the two sides are struggling to reach an agreement and were “still far apart” on several issues.
However, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned that if Congress fails to raise the debt ceiling, the government may run out of cash to pay for all its bills, ultimately creating chaos across global economies. She firmly mentioned that a default would invariably push the U.S. economy into a recession.
The government won’t be able to fund defense operations and medical requirements if the debt-ceiling crisis drags on. The cost of borrowing would go up, and consumers’ propensity to spend would get impacted.
Americans may lose their jobs, leading to credit agencies downgrading the economy. Investors, eventually, would be compelled to sell the U.S. treasury bonds leading to a weaker dollar and a lot of volatility in the stock market.
Talking about markets, Wall Street’s major bourses finished lower on May 24, with most of the S&P 500 sectors ending in the red. In reality, Wall Street’s fear gauge, the CBOE Volatility Index, continues to hover around a three-week high as the debt-ceiling impasse dents investors’ sentiment.
However, from an investment standpoint, there’s no reason to panic! Investors should now buy low-beta, dividend-paying stocks like
Kraft Heinz Company ( KHC Quick Quote KHC - Free Report) , Conagra Brands ( CAG Quick Quote CAG - Free Report) , and NiSource ( NI Quick Quote NI - Free Report) that remain unperturbed by gyrations in the market, thanks to their solid business models. Low beta, by the way, ranges from 0 to 1.
In unison, these stocks do well during economic downturns. These are defensive stocks belonging to the consumer staples and utilities sectors. Notably, the demand for food, electricity, gas, and water remains unaltered during recession-induced market upheavals. These safe-haven stocks also flaunt a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) or 2 (Buy). You can see
the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here. Kraft Heinz is one of the largest consumer packaged food and beverage companies in North America. Kraft Heinz, currently, has a Zacks Rank #2.
KHC has a beta of 0.42 and a dividend yield of 3.4%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current-year earnings has moved up 6.3% over the past 60 days.
The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 3.6%. Kraft Heinz’s estimated earnings growth for the next five-year period is 4.5%.
Conagra Brands is one of the leading branded food companies in North America. The company offers premium edible products, with a refined focus on innovation. Conagra Brands, presently, has a Zacks Rank #1.
CAG has a beta of 0.56 and a dividend yield of 3.8%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current-year earnings has moved up 3.8% over the past 60 days.
The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is nearly 17%. Conagra Brands’ estimated earnings growth for the next five-year period is 6.4%.
NiSource is an energy holding company and, together with its subsidiaries, provides natural gas, electricity, and other products and services in the United States. NiSource, currently, has a Zacks Rank #2.
NI has a beta of 0.48 and a dividend yield of 3.7%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its next-year earnings has moved up 0.6% over the past 60 days.
The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 6.8%. NiSource’s estimated earnings growth for the next five-year period is 6.9%.