This week the major indices continue to hit and retreat from highs. These are the dog days of the market, and like the thermometer, we’re stuck near highs but there’s not a lot of drama about it. Except some quality, hidden large-cap stocks.
Most investors are waiting right now. They want to see if inflation is “transitory” or whether it’s a real issue. At this point, there’s some evidence it is, but not enough to hang your hat on it.
Also, there are big infrastructure bills heading through Congress that will help upgrade U.S. transportation and tech underpinnings. But there’s also a concern that resurgent cases of the Covid-19 Delta variant may slow economic expansion.
Simply put, we’re in yet another place we’ve never been before. And that’s what makes these large-cap stocks such worthy options. They will be safe ports in any storm, yet will be leaders as the economy grows. Oh, and don’t forget — each has an A rating in my Portfolio Grader.
- Canon (NYSE:CAJ)
- Carrier Global (NYSE:CARR)
- Discover Financial Services (NYSE:DFS)
- Synchrony Financial (NYSE:SYF)
- ArcelorMittal (NYSE:MT)
- Nucor (NYSE:NUE)
- Capital One Financial (NYSE:COF)
Large-Cap Stocks to Buy: Canon (CAJ)
There are usually two images that pop into your head when you hear the name Canon. One is cameras. The other is copiers.
But the Japan-based company is much more than that. It’s easier to think of CAJ as an optics company, since its business units are about creating visual images in various forms. It has lithography and vacuum thin-film deposition equipment for chip design and manufacturing. It has medical imaging equipment for CT scans and MRIs. And it also has other technologies that make all these work, including servicing and consulting.
The point is, this is a good example of a Japanese-style large-cap stock that’s diversified across industries for safety and strength. It also means CAJ provides a reliable 2.7% dividend.
CAJ currently has a $25 billion market cap and the stock is up 23% year-to-date, yet trades of price-to-earnings ratio of just 15x. There’s still plenty of value here.
Carrier Global (CARR)
Since 1979, CARR was simply a division of another major U.S. large-cap stock. But in 2020, the company was spun off with another division and it went public under its own ticker.
The business itself has been around for more than a century, starting in Florida. It shouldn’t be surprising that CARR’s breakthrough product backs then were air conditioning and refrigeration. Today, CARR is one of the global leaders in the HVAC market and it still derives almost three-quarters of its revenue from HVAC and refrigeration.
Today, sitting at a market cap of nearly $50 billion, CARR is standalone powerhouse that comfortably slots in with other large-cap stocks. And given rising temperatures, CARR will continue to have plenty of work in the years ahead. It’s also a play on the popular ESG stocks that continue to draw institutional interest.
CARR has risen 51% year-to-date, yet it trades at a current P/E of 20x. It has a slight dividend of 0.9%.
Large-Cap Stocks to Buy: Discover Financial Services (DFS)
You may recognize DFS from its Discover credit card. But it’s a lot more than just a credit card company. DFS is a multi-faceted financial institution that offers banking services checking and savings accounts, loans including mortgages, as well as student loans.
It was owned by a large brokerage company and was spun out in 2007. The stock has been a solid performer over the years and is a quiet competitor that continues to deliver real value in the large-cap stocks sector. It has also been an innovator in the credit card sector and has made great inroads with younger customers.
DFS has gained 48% year-to-date yet trades at a current P/E of just a hair above 8x. And it still has a 1.5% dividend.
Synchrony Financial (SYF)
There’s a new term in the fintech sector now, BNPL. That means, buy now, pay later. Previously, this simply meant using a credit card and then paying the balance on the card every month.
Today, with digital payments and mobile banking becoming more popular, BNPL basically allows you to break up a purchase over a set period without interest payments on the amount.
While SYF is best known as the largest provider of private credit cards in the U.S. its partners are a “Who’s Who” of leading large-cap stocks. It has even set up credit and BNPL services for leading digital payments companies.
Its $29 billion market cap puts it firmly in the large-cap stocks camp and it continues to grow briskly, establishing and maintaining great relationships with top brands. The stock has risen 46% year-to-date, yet it trades at a current P/E of 9x and has a 1.7% dividend.
Large-Cap Stocks to Buy: ArcelorMittal (MT)
Let’s change gears from plastic to heavy metal. By that I mean MT, the largest steelmaker in the world. Fun fact: MT makes 200 different grades of steel just for automakers.
This is one of the companies that is a great indicator of global economic growth because it starts seeing growing demand for its products before you see the activity in the marketplace. Given the massive infrastructure plans the U.S. is looking toward, MT should be one of the top large-cap stocks for at least the next five years as these plans roll out.
And global growth will also help MT’s performance. Over the years it has vertically integrated its operations, so it controls all aspects of the supply chain, which is very helpful when there are so many supply chain issues due to the pandemic.
Investors have been moving into MT for a while now. The stock is up 56%. But it’s still only trading at a current P/E below 6x. It has a 0.7% dividend.
If you interested in a steel company to take specific advantage of the U.S. economic rebound, then NUE is a great candidate. It started operations when Teddy Roosevelt was President of the United States.
Granted, U.S. steel companies have seen the best and worst of times, but the best ones are doing well again. And the fact that the Biden administration is very focused on buying American, bodes well for U.S. steel with all the new money going to infrastructure. Most of the big projects are going to require a lot of steel.
NUE is one of the large-cap stocks perfectly positioned to take advantage of the U.S. push for a decade of infrastructure spending.
NUE has already risen an impressive 129% year-to-date. Yet it’s still trading at a P/E of 12x and has a 1.3% dividend, even after its current run.
Large-Cap Stocks to Buy: Capital One Financial (COF)
When Virginia-based COF started in 1994, it only offered one product — credit cards. But since then, it has become a major player across the banking industry, with a reputation as a tech-forward bank.
Today, it’s the No. 2 auto financer in the U.S. and the No. 5 credit card issuer. It now has $369 billion in assets under management, making it the No. 10 bank in the U.S. by assets.
Along with the other financial stocks here, COF has been very enthusiastic about digital banking and the ability to rethink modern banking. It has launched new branches that are more cafes than traditional set ups to attract younger customers that want a more direct and casual interface with their bank.
Much of this is reflected by investor interest in COF. The stock is up a whopping 77% year to date — impressive for a bank with a $78 billion market cap. But it’s trading a current P/E of just 7x, with a 1.4% dividend. There’s still plenty of value to unlock here.
On the date of publication, Louis Navellier has positions in CAJ, MT, and NUE in this article. Louis Navellier did not have (either directly or indirectly) any other positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The InvestorPlace Research Staff member primarily responsible for this article did not hold (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article.
The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.
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