Wall Street continues to enjoy a rebound from recent lows as the Federal Reserve suddenly sounds a dovish note. This comes after President Donald Trump’s deepening trade rift with China and now Mexico cast doubt on the health of the economy. Manufacturing activity is already slumping. Housing and auto sales looks weak.
The futures market is already pricing in the odds of multiple interest rates cuts this year, adding to the recession warnings coming out of the bond market. Things aren’t looking good.
No surprise, then, that investors are focusing on defensive areas of the market, betting these stocks are poised to do best no matter what happens. If a recession does come, dividend-focused stocks like utilities will perform best. If the Fed engineers a recover, defensives will rise alongside the rest of the market.
If you want to participate, consider these four utility stocks that are rising to new highs:
Utility Stocks to Buy: Southern Company (SO)
Southern Company (NYSE:SO) is a natural gas and electric utility with operations in Illinois, Georgia, Virginia and Tennessee. It also offers wireless and internet service. Shares pushed to new highs on Wednesday, tagging the $55-a-share level for the first time. The stock offers a juicy 4.5% dividend yield.
The company will next report results on Aug. 7 before the bell. Analysts are looking for earnings of 71 cents per share on revenues of $4.9 billion. When the company last reported on May 1, earnings of 70 cents per share missed estimates by two cents on a 15.1% decline in revenues.
Consolidated Edison (ED)
Shares of Consolidated Edison (NYSE:ED) jumped more than 2% on Wednesday to push above the $89-a-share level for the first time. The company offers electric service primarily into the New York City area and traces its founding all the way back to 1884. The stock offers a 3.3% dividend yield.
The company will next report results on Aug. 1 after the close. Analysts are looking for earnings of 61 cents per share on revenues of $2.8 billion. When the company last reported on May 2, earnings of $1.39 per share beat estimates by two cents on more than $3.4 billion in revenues.
Shares of FirstEnergy (NYSE:FE) are pushing to fresh highs, rising more than 6% from the recent low set in late May. The company operates a diversified network of power generation facilities throughout Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey and New York. The stock pays a 3.5% dividend yield.
The company will next report results on July 30 after the close. Analysts are looking for earnings of 62 cents per share on revenues of $2.7 billion. When the company last reported on April 23, earnings of 67 cents missed estimates by a penny.
Entergy Corporation (ETR)
Shares of Entergy Corporation (NYSE:ETR) have pushed up and over the $100-a-share level, capping a rise of more than 20% from the lows set in early January. The company operates a power generation network in the deep South and pays a 3.6% dividend yield. The stock was recently upgraded by analysts at Morgan Stanley.
The company will next report results on July 31 before the bell. Analysts are looking for earnings of $1.40 per share on revenues of $2.9 billion. When the company last reported on May 1, earnings of 82 cents per share missed estimates by 16 cents on nearly $2.8 billion in revenues.
As of this writing, William Roth did not have a position in any of the aforementioned securities.