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6 Safe-Haven Stocks to Buy as Trade War Tensions Continue

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This week, President Trump asked his administration to find another $200 billion worth of goods to impose tariffs on. Moreover, the Senate voted to re-instate a ban on U.S. component sales to Chinese firm ZTE, undoing the government’s agreement with Beijing to save the firm.

But while ZTE was a one-firm affair, the threat of additional sanctions had Chinese people pulling their money out of the stock market, sending Chinese markets down and setting off a chain reaction elsewhere, including in the U.S.

The White House figures that it can increase the pressure because of China’s dependence on the U.S. in key growth sectors. But whether the new threat constitutes real actions or negotiating rhetoric is anyone’s guess. Especially since the President hasn’t limited his standoff to China, but taken the fight to the world.

So after the President removed the steel and aluminum tariff exemptions, the EU decided to impose tariffs on $3.2 billion worth of American goods like bourbon, peanut butter and Harley-Davidson motorcycles to counter the 25% and 10% tariffs on European steel and aluminum, respectively.

The tariffs go into effect on Friday. Its goal is to bring maximum harm to Republican states, ignoring the President’s threat that counter sanctions will have it targeting European cars next.

Mexico’s retaliatory tariffs announced earlier this month affect another $3 billion worth of American goods including a 20% tariff on U.S. pork legs and shoulders, apples and potatoes and 20-25% duties on cheeses and bourbon and a host of other items, again with the goal of bringing maximum harm to southern states. While Trump’s economic advisor Larry Kudlow hinted at bilateral deals to replace the NAFTA, both Canada and Mexico are against it. So there’s another stalemate.

Even India, which is a much smaller trading partner, has proposed additional tariffs of up to 50% on above 800cc motorcycles targeting Harley-Davidson as well as lower rates on 29 other categories including things like almonds, walnuts and fresh apples, lentils, certain iron and steel goods and boric acid to offset the impact of steel and aluminum tariffs on the global market. India is more important as a defense market because it is the fourth largest defense spender with an underdeveloped domestic market, enabling the U.S. to grow into the third largest supplier, after Russia and Israel.

Whatever the plan, whether actual or rhetorical, one thing the government has managed to achieve is increase the uncertainty on Wall Street. Which is why this is a good time to jump into some safe-haven stocks-

Using Zacks methodology, we can identify stocks with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) recommendation that cater to attractive industries (studies have shown that the top 50% of Zacks Ranked Industries outperforms the bottom 50% by a factor of more than 2 to 1), have a VGM Score of A or B (indicating universal appeal because value, growth and momentum investors would find them equally attractive), A Value Score of A or B (indicating that they are undervalued) and an expected long term (3-5 year) growth rate of over 10%. The following stocks satisfy all the above criteria and more-

Westlake Chemical Corp. (WLK - Free Report)

Westlake Chemical is a vertically integrated international manufacturer and supplier of petrochemicals, polymers and fabricated products including ethylene, polyethylene, styrene, vinyl intermediates, PVC, PVC Pipe, PVC windows, fence and decking components.

Zacks Rank #1

Zacks Industry Rank (Chemical-Plastic) 75 of 256 (top 29%)

VGM Score A, Value Score B

LT Growth 12.20% (industry LTG 10.6%)

Expected revenue growth this year 6.4%, in 2019 3.5%

Expected EPS growth this year 59.8%, next year 4.0%, Jun quarter 104.1%

 

Chemours Company (CC - Free Report)

Chemours Company operates through the Titanium Technologies, Fluoroproducts and Chemical Solutions segments. The Titanium Technologies segment produces titanium dioxide and premium white pigment. The Fluoroproducts segment provides fluoroproducts, refrigerants and industrial fluoropolymer resins.

The Chemical Solutions segment provides industrial and specialty chemicals. Important brands owned are Teflon(R), Ti-Pure(R), Krytox(R) Viton(R), Opteon(R) and Nafion(R).

Zacks Rank #1

Zacks Industry (Chemical-Diversified) Rank 53 of 256 (top 21%)

VGM Score A, Value Score A

LT Growth 15.50% (industry LTG 10.2%)

Expected revenue growth this year 13.8%, in 2019 6.0%

Expected EPS growth this year 49.0%, next year 10.8%, Jun quarter 77.0%

 

ArcBest Corporation (ARCB - Free Report)

ArcBest Corporation provides freight transportation services and solutions by road, air and ocean. The company's Freight Transportation segment offers transportation of general commodities, motor carrier freight transportation services, business-to-business air transportation services, ocean transport services, global customizable supply chain solutions and integrated warehousing services.

Its Premium Logistics & Expedited Freight Services segment provides expedited freight transportation services to commercial and government customers, premium logistics services, and domestic and international freight transportation.

Zacks Rank #1

Zacks Industry (Transportation-Truck) Rank 26 of 256 (top 10%)

VGM Score A, Value Score A

LT Growth 35.7% (industry LTG 18.6%)

Expected revenue growth this year 7.7%, in 2019 6.0%

Expected EPS growth this year 117.3%, next year 7.7%, Jun quarter 68.4%

 

Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. (JEC - Free Report)

Jacobs is one of the world's largest and most diverse providers of technical, professional, and construction services, including all aspects of architecture, engineering and construction, operations and maintenance, as well as scientific and specialty consulting.

They serve a broad range of companies and organizations, including industrial, commercial and government clients across multiple markets in 230+ locations across North America, South America, Europe, the Middle East, India, Australia, Africa and Asia.

Zacks Rank #1

Zacks Industry (Engineering-R&D Services) Rank 47 of 256 (top 18%)

VGM Score B, Value Score A

LT Growth 14.5% (industry LTG 10.6%)

Expected revenue growth this year 46.9%, in 2019 9.4%

Expected EPS growth this year 31.5%, next year 18.1%, Jun quarter 50.6%

 

Delta Apparel, Inc. (DLA - Free Report)

Delta Apparel is a vertical manufacturer of knitwear products for the entire family. The company purchases cotton directly from the field and through a stringently controlled process produces finished apparel for domestic and international markets under the Delta Pro-Weight, Delta Magnum Weight, Healthknit and Quail Hollow Sportswear brands. It also produces finished products for America's leading retailers, corporate industry programs and sports licensed apparel marketers.

Zacks Rank #1

Zacks Industry (Textile-Apparel) Rank 61 of 256 (top 24%)

VGM Score A, Value Score A

LT Growth 15.0% (industry LTG 12.8%)

Expected revenue growth this year 2.9%, in 2019 3.2%

Expected EPS growth this year 12.8%, next year 16.7%, Jun quarter 3.5%

 

Echo Global Logistics, Inc. (ECHO - Free Report)

Echo Global Logistics is a leading provider of technology enabled transportation and supply chain management services. The company’s services are delivered on a proprietary web-based technology platform that compiles and analyzes data from its network of over 22,000 transportation providers to serve its 11,600 clients' shipping and freight management needs across a wide range of industries, such as manufacturing, construction, consumer products and retail.

Zacks Rank #1

Zacks Industry (Transportation-Services) Rank 102 of 256 (top 40%)

VGM Score A, Value Score B

LT Growth 17.50% (industry LTG 9.2%)

Expected revenue growth this year 21.4%, in 2019 8.9%

Expected EPS growth this year 68.6%, next year 14.6%, Jun quarter 105.6%

 

In Conclusion

When markets are in turmoil, a tried and tested model that minimizes risk may be the best strategy for investment decisions.

You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here

 

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