The government sure knows what buttons to push to send the VIX, a measure of stock market volatility, into a tizzy and investors heading for the nearest exit signs.
It happened between April and June when the Fed toyed with pulling the plug on the bond-buying Band-Aid keeping the economy from bleeding. The DJIA suffered at least three 200-plus point plunges during that period, while the S&P 500 shed 2.2%.
The VIX rose even higher thanks to the government shutdown that had the nation on pins and needles, with worst-case scenarios making daily headlines. The result was a loss across all three indexes over a 5-day stretch, broken only after Congress got past it impasse.
I don’t blame investors. If I were sitting in a couple fat stocks that racked up fat gains three-quarters of the way through the year, I’d take profits off the table too. Seeking refuge on the sidelines as the fourth-quarter storm blows on through sounds very soothing.
No one knows what to expect on Capitol Hill or Wall Street from one day to the next. We can’t control either, but we can seek out stocks capable of shaking off potential nervous breakdowns and performing stealthily through the rest of 2013.
Here is a trio of tech stocks — non-hyped issues well-positioned to hold up under adversity, deliver growth and value, and pay dividends to boot.