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7 Stocks to Buy That Don’t Care About Tariffs

These stocks have flown to all-time highs as the market has plunged on trade war concerns

Source: Shutterstock

May was a red month for global equities as escalating trade tensions and the worry of slowing economic growth pushed investors to sell risky assets and pile into the bond market. As a result, stocks fell sharply in May, while bonds rallied.

But while the May market selloff was broad, it didn’t take down every single stock in the market. Instead, there were a handful of stocks which actually rallied in May and recorded new all-time highs while the market was plunging.

What was so special about this group of stocks? For one reason or another, these stocks just didn’t and still don’t care about tariffs. Some of these stocks are defensive in nature, so they rallied as investors tried to play defense. Others don’t have much exposure to the trade war. And some of these stocks are supported by businesses with more than enough growth momentum to offset any trade-related weakness.

Broadly, these stocks ignored rising trade conflicts and marched higher.

They will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. As such, as global trade conflicts stick around over the next few months, the smart move is to pile into the stocks which can head higher even against that dour backdrop.

Which stocks are those? Let’s take a deeper look at 7 stocks to buy that don’t care about tariffs.

Okta (OKTA)

Okta Stock

Investment Style: Secular Growth

% Gain Since May 1: 17%

At All-Time High? Yes

Bull Thesis: You want to buy hyper-growth cloud company Okta (NASDAQ:OKTA) here because this is a secular growth stock with a robust growth narrative that simultaneously isn’t slowing, lacks exposure to trade headwinds, and could actually benefit from a domestic economic slowdown.

In a nutshell, Okta provides identity-based cloud security solutions for enterprises. This growth narrative is on fire right now (Okta reported 50%-plus revenue growth last quarter), and won’t slow anytime soon. There are no trade headwinds here since Okta is a service business, and services have been exempt from trade talk thus far. Further, security spend is one thing that probably won’t get hit in an economic slowdown, so this company’s business model is fairly resilient to economic slowing.

Overall, then, Okta is a red hot growth stock to buy now as it should remain red hot for the foreseeable future.

American Electric Power (AEP)

Investment Style: Defensive

% Gain Since May 1: 5%

At All-Time High? Yes

Bull Thesis: With respect to utility giant American Electric Power (NYSE:AEP), AEP stock looks good here because this company is as stable as it gets, is relatively resilient to an economic slowdown, and lacks exposure to anything trade-related, while the stock’s yield is big and increasingly attractive as fixed-income yields plunge.

When it comes to operational stability, American Electric Power is second to none. The company provides electric services to U.S. consumers. Demand for those services will not wane anytime soon. Further, trade is a non-issue here, and the stock has a nice big 3% dividend yield, which is presently as far above the 10-Year Treasury yield as it has been since late 2017.

Overall, AEP stock is a stable stock with a big yield, and as such, is a high quality defensive stock to buy in today’s volatile market.

Dollar General (DG)

Source: Shutterstock

Investment Style: Defensive & Stable

% Gain Since May 1: 5%

At All Time High? Yes

Bull Thesis: You want to buy off-price retail giant Dollar General (NYSE:DG) here because the company is firing on all cylinders today and should continue to fire on all cylinders for the foreseeable future — even if the U.S. economy slows meaningfully.

Retail had a rough start to 2019. The consumer weakened in the first quarter of 2019, and retailers felt that weakening. Across the sector, retailers put up ugly first quarter 2019 numbers. Not Dollar General. The dollar store giant’s first quarter numbers were really good. Why the discrepancy? Because although the consumer may have weakened in early 2019, the off-price retail strategy still worked, mostly because the consumer’s affinity for lower prices doesn’t go lower when times get tough.

If anything, it goes up. As such, with economic turbulence on the horizon, Dollar General has visibility to gain share and traffic over the next few quarters. That makes DG stock a solid buy here.

Coupa (COUP)

Lesser-Known Tech Stocks to Buy: Coupa Software (COUP)

Investment Style: Secular Growth

% Gain Since May 1: 14%

At All-Time High? Yes

Bull Thesis: Hyper-growth cloud company Coupa (NASDAQ:COUP) looks good here because this company is firing on all cylinders right now with a solution that could become increasingly attractive in an economic slowdown and in a market supported by secular growth tailwinds which won’t let up anytime soon.

Coupa offers a cloud-based enterprise solution which is broadly aimed at helping companies become more efficient with their spend. Enterprises really like the Coupa solution. That’s why this company has reported 30%-plus revenue growth for the past several quarters. Demand won’t falter because of a slowing economy. If anything, a slowing economy will push demand higher since companies will increasingly want to optimize spend when dollars become more scarce.

As such, this is a hyper-growth cloud company that should remain on a healthy growth trajectory for the foreseeable future. That makes COUP stock a good buy here.

Coca-Cola (KO)

Investment Style: Defensive

% Gain Since May 1: 5%

At All-Time High? Yes

Bull Thesis: When it comes to beverage giant Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO), you buy KO stock here for largely unparalleled defense to a global economic slowdown on top of a big yield which is becoming increasingly attractive as yields elsewhere plunge.

Consumers need to drink. Regardless of the economic backdrop — super fast growth, super slow growth, or something in the middle — consumers across the globe need to drink. Coca-Cola is the heartbeat of the global beverage industry. As such, regardless of how the global economy develops over the next several quarters, Coca-Cola’s numbers should remain largely stable and resilient to any slowdown. At the same time, KO stock has a juicy 3% dividend yield which is as far above the 10-Year Treasury Yield as it’s been since mid-2017.

Thus, in the big picture, Coca-Cola is a big and stable company with a big and stable yield. That combination makes KO stock a strong defensive stock to buy in volatile times.

Shopify (SHOP)

Investment Style: Secular Growth

% Gain Since May 1: 19%

At All-Time High? Yes

Bull Thesis: E-commerce solutions provider Shopify (NYSE:SHOP) is on fire right now, and you want to buy SHOP stock here because this fire won’t die anytime soon, regardless of how the economic currents change.

Shopify is enabling an entire new generation of individual and small-to-medium sized retailers to compete in the direct retail channel with the likes of Walmart (NYSE:WMT) and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN). This growth narrative has caught fire over the past few quarters as the e-retail market has become increasingly decentralized. This fire won’t die anytime soon. The secular growth narrative of Shopify pioneering a new era of decentralized direct retail is simply too powerful to be weighed down by tariffs. That’s why this company reported 50% gross merchandise sales growth last quarter in the face of tariffs.

So long as this secular growth narrative maintains robust momentum, SHOP stock will continue to march higher.

Roku (ROKU)

Roku stock must now contend with super-aggressive competition
Source: Shutterstock

Investment Style: Secular Growth

% Gain Since May 1: 60%

At All Time High? Yes

Bull Thesis: You want to buy OTT video platform Roku (NASDAQ:ROKU) here because the company’s secular growth narrative is powerful enough to offset slowing economic growth headwinds, and such headwinds could actually provide a lift to the company’s user growth.

The big idea at Roku is that this company is becoming the cable box of the OTT video world. That world is rapidly growing, and it won’t stop growing because of an economic slowdown. If anything, growth will be supercharged by a slowdown. Consumers will finally be moved to cut expensive cable packages in bulk, and pivot towards much cheaper streaming options. Thus, the Roku growth narrative is not jut red hot right now, but could actually get even hotter if the economy slows.

Because of this, Roku stock looks good here. You have a stock that’s firing on all cylinders without any material headwinds on the horizon.

As of this writing, Luke Lango was long OKTA, AEP, DG, SHOP, WMT, AMZN, and ROKU. 


Article printed from InvestorPlace Media, https://investorplace.com/2019/06/7-stocks-to-buy-that-dont-care-about-tariffs/.

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