In his typical confident self, President Trump recently claimed that the novel coronavirus is “receding” in the U.S. To be fair, data from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention seemingly supports this assertion. However, new daily cases are decelerating to peak levels from the first onslaught. Therefore, it’s not yet time to abandon so-called coronavirus stocks to buy.
Further, Trump’s remarks may be politically motivated. On Sunday, Dr. Deborah Birx, coordinator of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, stated that the Covid-19 epidemic is “extraordinarily widespread.” In particular, Dr. Birx emphasized that rural areas are not immune to this outbreak. To that, the President called the dire tone “pathetic.”
But rather than make comments on the obvious, investors should read between the lines. The Trump administration can make all kinds of nasty remarks about Dr. Anthony Fauci. His office is located at the National Institutes of Health. In contrast, Dr. Birx is the heart of the White House’s response. It is she that briefs the President.
In other words, the reality of our crisis may be much worse than the present statistics suggest. If so, Trump’s reelection chances will fade dramatically, hence the outbursts. And it also means that investors should focus on these stocks to buy:
- Dollar General (NYSE:DG)
- Lowe’s Companies (NYSE:LOW)
- Teladoc Health (NYSE:TDOC)
- Archer Daniels Midland (NYSE:ADM)
- Olin Corporation (NYSE:OLN)
- Wheaton Precious Metals (NYSE:WPM)
- Turning Point Brands (NYSE:TPB)
- Inovio Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:INO)
- Robert Half International (NASDAQ:RHI)
For maximum utility, I’ve separated these companies into three categories (with three stocks each): higher probability names with limited upside, a balanced approach between upside potential and risk, and finally, the downright speculative trades.
This could be the week that sets the stage for an unfortunate series of events. However, you can still protect your portfolio with these relevant stocks to buy.
Stocks to Buy This Week: Dollar General (DG)
Despite the benefits to both Democrats and Republicans coming together to find a solution for the American people, Congress remains deadlocked. That’s not terribly surprising. In fairness, recent news suggests that negotiations are making some progress. Nevertheless, skeptical investors should consider Dollar General.
Because essential services such as sustenance and basic goods represent pertinent stocks to buy during a pandemic, Dollar General makes perfect sense. Further, I like discount dollar stores in this environment over grocery giants like Kroger (NYSE:KR). Don’t get me wrong – I’ve consistently sung the praises of Kroger. I just think that as this crisis worsens, DG stock has a wider consumer base.
What’s more, it doesn’t really matter whether Democrats and Republicans find a deal they both can live with. Because the federal unemployment support program and an evictions moratorium ended, 43 million Americans face eviction risks. This kind of profound economic turmoil will unfortunately help lift DG stock.
Lowe’s Companies (LOW)
Though I wholeheartedly believe that investors should direct their research on stocks to buy toward key essentials, that doesn’t exclusively involve nourishment. Rather, it’s the little things that we take for granted that goes wrong during an emergency or crisis. And that’s where Lowe’s Companies really shines.
As a personal anecdote, I thought I had all my bases covered for this pandemic: food, water, and more toilet paper than I’ve ever bought in one sitting. But when one of my light bulbs went out, I knew immediately that my planning was not quite adequate. Given that some of these essential items fall through the cracks, people are quick to purchase them. Naturally, this bolsters the case for LOW stock.
Also, let’s not forget that nature doesn’t give a hoot that we’re suffering from a pandemic. As several media reports have indicated, we’re experiencing a record-breaking hurricane season this year. So yeah, 2020 stinks. But you can mitigate some of your pain by buying LOW stock.
Teladoc Health (TDOC)
You can make the argument that Teladoc Health would have been one of the best stocks to buy irrespective of the coronavirus. Although I previously didn’t like the idea of buying TDOC stock following an already robust upswing, I can appreciate its fundamental catalysts.
Most bulls will focus on Teladoc’s technological aspects as well as its economic value-add. With this platform, you can receive expert medical advice from the comfort and privacy of your own home. Logically, this saves the user time from having to sit in traffic and wait around once in the clinic/office.
However, Teladoc also addresses iatrophobia, or the fear of doctors. By getting patients to open up about their medical conditions, doctors and nurses can potentially improve health outcomes, perhaps dramatically so. This is a great non-coronavirus-related tailwind to consider.
But with Covid-19 hospitalizations popping up across the nation? You don’t want to fight the tape like I once did.
Archer Daniels Midland (ADM)
On the surface, food-related companies seemingly represented the best stocks to buy during the pandemic. No matter who you are or how much money you have, you need sustenance. Therefore, this sector seemed like a no-brainer.
However, things just didn’t turn out the way I envisioned. While companies like Kroger, Costco (NASDAQ:COST) and Target (NYSE:TGT) performed well, individual food stocks to buy left much to be desired. So, if this resurgence turns out to be the dreaded second wave, I’m going with Archer Daniels Midland and ADM stock.
As you know, Archer Daniels focuses on food processing and ingredients. They provide the solutions and components that all food manufacturers need to take their products to market. With ADM stock, you’re not banking on any one name but rather, the industry.
Moreover, Archer Daniels is particularly intriguing for those interested in plant-based meat companies but don’t want to risk the volatility of buying Beyond Meat (NASDAQ:BYND) shares. With ADM, you get exposure to this exciting space but potentially mitigate the wildness.
Olin Corporation (OLN)
Due to the unrest that has exploded since the brutal killing of George Floyd, gun stocks to buy have become a very profitable idea. However, this controversial sector has been moving ever since the March doldrums. Simply, people don’t trust others during a state of panic and extreme uncertainty.
However, it’s hard to find a good deal among gun stocks to buy because they’ve jumped so much in market value. One name that stands out, though, is Olin Corporation. Not a direct firearms play, OLN stock is nevertheless a relevant idea. That’s because the underlying company owns the Winchester brand of ammunition.
You don’t have to be a firearms enthusiast to recognize that a gun doesn’t go bang unless it has ammo. Thus, as gun sales rise, we should see a positive correlation with ammunition sales.
Plus, as President Trump’s chances of reelection fades, we could see a second wave of firearms purchases. As conservatives have repeatedly warned, Democrats are here to take your guns!
Wheaton Precious Metals (WPM)
It seems like no matter what the market environment, gold is always risky. Therefore, you should take the idea of Wheaton Precious Metals being one of the best stocks to buy with a grain of salt. It’s not that I don’t believe in WPM stock because I do. Rather, this is a sector that has produced much disappointment.
Still, I hate to use this phrase, but this time could be different. For one thing, it is different. While we’ve suffered serious pandemics before – most notably the H1N1 pandemic of the late 2000s – we’ve never seen state and federal governments impose stay-at-home orders. Unsurprisingly, this imposed a hard stop on the economy, making WPM stock quite intriguing.
Primarily, the doom and gloom prognostications that will shoot gold to five-digit prices are just a tad more credible today. Frankly, the Federal Reserve doesn’t have many monetary weapons other than to adopt as accommodating a policy as possible. Theoretically, this should be very good for gold.
I also like Wheaton for its business model. As a streaming company, Wheaton doesn’t have the direct risks associated with all-or-nothing mining projects.
Turning Point Brands (TPB)
On the surface, Turning Point Brands seems a strange idea for stocks to buy this week. As a specialist in tobacco, vaping and cannabidiol (CBD) products, Turning Point would be a relevant pick for any other circumstance. But during a health crisis, TPB stock seemingly risks extreme volatility.
To be fair, this is one of the riskiest plays on this list of stocks to buy. However, TPB could also see significant upside thanks to its underlying consumer base. Particularly with its CBD vaping brand, the company could become the beneficiary of panicked hoarding. That’s exactly what happened with last year’s vaping crackdown.
Ultimately, Turning Point’s second-quarter earnings report confirmed the bullish narrative for TPB stock. The company delivered earnings per share of 71 cents, beating the estimate of 45 cents. It also generated revenue of nearly $105 million, up over 12% year-over-year.
Simply, people hoard products during emergencies. If things worsen with the coronavirus, it’s fair to expect more positives from TPB.
Inovio Pharmaceuticals (INO)
Based purely on technical growth, Inovio Pharmaceuticals has easily been one of the best stocks to buy for 2020. But as more people realized the enormous opportunity of INO stock, the higher the risk was that at some point, somebody was going to be left holding the bag. Well, that day came after the company released its Phase 1 results for its coronavirus vaccine candidate.
According to Inovio, 94% of trial participants “demonstrated overall immunological response rates.” While that’s a positive, the data wasn’t complete. Specifically, Damian Garde and Adam Feuerstein pointed out that the company “did not disclose how many patients produced antibodies that neutralize the coronavirus — data key to determining whether the vaccine could protect against infection. The company did not immediately respond to a request for more information.”
Investors reasoned that if Inovio had resoundingly positive data, they’ll produce it. Thus, INO stock suffered panicked selling.
However, it’s important to keep in mind that no one company can produce a vaccine for the country, let alone the world. Inovio is an important cog in a broader gear. Also, Inovio’s candidate INO-4800 “is the only nucleic-acid based vaccine that is stable at room temperature for more than a year and does not require to be frozen in transport or for years of storage, which are important factors when implementing mass immunizations to battle the current pandemic.”
If you’re willing to stomach extreme volatility, INO stock still offers much upside.
Robert Half International (RHI)
For the past two months, President Trump has raved about record-breaking jobs reports for May and June. Technically, he’s right. However, it’s important to realize that we’re talking about percentage gains against extremely deflated comparisons. Presently, the unemployment rate is 11.1%, an absolutely terrible statistic.
But we all may get an undeniable dose of reality for the July jobs report. Because it may reflect the turmoil we’ve been seeing for the past few weeks, the numbers probably won’t be pretty. Yet this also makes the case for Robert Half International as one of the stocks to buy.
I understand that RHI stock has a stodgy aura compared to a younger, sexier name like Fiverr (NYSE:FVRR). Nevertheless, I believe Robert Half offers advantages during this pandemic that its upstart rivals can’t match.
For one thing, Robert Half is about connecting workers to either consistent contract work or to a permanent placement. When everything is chaotic, many folks want a measure of stability. RHI provides that and it’s not too old to learn new tricks. For instance, the company lists many work-from-home opportunities, reflecting adaptability to the times.
Finally, RHI stock represents a hot commodity. In the pre-pandemic days, it was common for job candidates to “ghost” their prospective employers. You’re not seeing any ghosting today.
A former senior business analyst for Sony Electronics, Josh Enomoto has helped broker major contracts with Fortune Global 500 companies. Over the past several years, he has delivered unique, critical insights for the investment markets, as well as various other industries including legal, construction management, and healthcare. As of this writing, he is long gold.