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What the smart money is buying as the market tanks

The Dow and S&P 500 are now both in the red for 2018, and investors have few places to hide as the stock mar...

Posted: Dec 6, 2018 5:40 PM
Updated: Dec 6, 2018 5:40 PM

The Dow and S&P 500 are now both in the red for 2018, and investors have few places to hide as the stock market tanks. But savvy people are finding some pockets of safety.

Gold, an investment that often shines during times of financial stress, is up nearly 4% so far in the fourth quarter while the S&P 500 and Dow have both plunged nearly 10% and the Nasdaq has plummeted almost 13%.

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The rise in gold prices has been good news for miners too. Newmont (NEM), which is in the S&P 500, is up nearly 10% since the end of September. The VanEck Vectors Gold Miners ETF (GDX) has gained about 7%.

Utility stocks and real estate investment trusts, which both pay hefty dividends, have held up well too. The Dow Jones Utilities Average has gained more than 3.5%. The SPDR Dow Jones REIT ETF is up more than 1%.

Yield plays in focus

Another clear sign investors are craving anything that can guarantee them a bit of a return: Investors keep rushing into bonds, despite the yield on the 10-Year Treasury falling to just 2.85%. The iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (TLT) has gained nearly 2.5% this year.

Neil Dwane, managing director of Allianz Global Investors, said these more conservative investments might be coming into favor now because investors are realizing that growth in the US this year might be as good as it gets for awhile.

That's because the Federal Reserve has been raising interest rates, the global economy is slowing and the sugar rush from lower taxes and other federal government stimulus should begin to fade.

"People have started to think, 'How much better can the news really get?' The reasons to be as bullish are becoming less evident." Dwane said.

Investors chowing down on food stocks

Another area of the market has held up noticeably better as of late too: food and beverage stocks.

Many of them, like the utilities, tend to pay attractive dividends. But a lot of food and drink companies are staples or affordable luxuries -- the types of things people will continue to buy even if the economy heads south. People may even still pay up for a $5 latte but they aren't going to buy a new $50,000 car.

Starbucks (SBUX) has been one of the better performers in the S&P 500 for the past two months. Shares are up nearly 20%.

SPAM producer Hormel (HRL), frozen french fry company Lamb Weston (LW) and spice maker McCormick (MCK) have also been top gainers in the S&P 500 during the fourth quarter. So have McDonald's (MCD) and Coca-Cola (KO).

So it looks like in these uncertain times for the markets and economy, eat, drink and be merry is one way for investors to profit.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 248189

Reported Deaths: 5411
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto16841171
Hinds15890312
Harrison13037191
Rankin10439205
Jackson10128177
Lee8721135
Madison8071160
Jones6166108
Forrest5870117
Lauderdale5724177
Lowndes5238109
Lafayette486192
Lamar475363
Washington4734122
Bolivar3941106
Oktibbeha388179
Panola360475
Pontotoc358752
Monroe3487103
Warren337895
Union337457
Marshall336065
Neshoba3325150
Pearl River319492
Leflore2980104
Lincoln293385
Sunflower277569
Tate266659
Alcorn260651
Itawamba258858
Pike258176
Hancock253557
Prentiss242450
Scott241043
Yazoo237754
Copiah237449
Tippah236246
Simpson232367
Leake227864
Coahoma223154
Grenada215770
Covington208871
Marion206171
Adams201666
Winston198061
George197438
Wayne196130
Attala191658
Newton186542
Chickasaw181243
Tishomingo179659
Holmes167867
Jasper165134
Clay156732
Stone140218
Tallahatchie138234
Clarke136460
Calhoun133321
Smith118823
Yalobusha113834
Walthall111136
Noxubee109622
Greene108929
Montgomery108134
Carroll103721
Lawrence101217
Perry99131
Amite96425
Webster90624
Claiborne85125
Tunica84521
Jefferson Davis83825
Humphreys81524
Benton80323
Kemper75720
Quitman6758
Franklin65315
Choctaw59613
Wilkinson58125
Jefferson53019
Sharkey42417
Issaquena1586
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 417528

Reported Deaths: 6030
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson61313888
Mobile29768542
Madison26637185
Tuscaloosa20580268
Montgomery18696304
Shelby18310113
Baldwin16002179
Lee12261101
Morgan12093112
Etowah11604157
Calhoun10982200
Marshall10108107
Houston8474129
Cullman7960104
Limestone790174
Elmore7723101
DeKalb764697
St. Clair7460120
Lauderdale745183
Talladega6102108
Walker5852174
Jackson574441
Blount526483
Colbert525670
Autauga510355
Coffee434256
Dale391081
Franklin363445
Chilton333565
Covington326167
Russell323810
Escambia312442
Dallas300296
Clarke278233
Chambers277869
Tallapoosa2599107
Pike245829
Marion240549
Lawrence240447
Winston223835
Bibb213047
Geneva197431
Marengo197329
Pickens195231
Hale173742
Barbour171236
Butler167958
Fayette166026
Cherokee159630
Henry151119
Monroe144417
Randolph138535
Washington136526
Clay125246
Crenshaw118044
Lamar116619
Cleburne116023
Macon113335
Lowndes108735
Wilcox101221
Bullock98128
Perry95419
Conecuh92920
Sumter88726
Greene75323
Coosa60414
Choctaw51224
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