Following the initial intrusion of the novel coronavirus pandemic and its resultant mitigation measures, most people looked forward to the time when the crisis would become a chapter in a history book. While the SARS-CoV-2 virus remains a stubborn uninvited houseguest, it seems the worst of it is behind us. But that has created its own consequences, necessitating a deeper look at specific stocks to buy.
Primarily, as the vaccination rollout inspired a gradual relaxing of Covid-19 protocols, people stormed out of the home as retail revenge, or the desire to make up for lost time through aggressive purchases, took hold. Unfortunately, this also created a demand bottleneck as the sudden surge in consumer activity met an energy supply chain that was unable to address everyone’s needs. Thus, inflation-resistant stocks to buy soared in the process.
Even worse for those hoping for prices to cool down, it’s not entirely clear when underlying circumstances will normalize. For instance, facing incredible economic pressure and a low job approval rating, the Biden administration and five other nations recently “announced a coordinated effort to tap into their national oil stockpiles.” Hopefully, the measure will provide some relief. Or you can hedge energy costs with certain stocks to buy.
Honestly, it might be a conducive idea to consider a direct approach rather than to depend on government intervention to control rising oil prices. For one thing, tapping into the national stockpile is largely a one-off event. If broader pressures continue to mount, we don’t want to exhaust the reserves since they also carry foreign policy and national security implications. Therefore, hedging strategies with stocks to buy sounds more appealing.
Also, increased energy costs represent a global challenge. Indeed, what may be a positive action for one set of nations could be a detriment to another set. Further, Covid-19 spikes could create sharp ebbs and flows of demand and supply, posing more pricing issues. Again, investors may be better off actively hedging against the wild energy market with these stocks to buy.
- Murphy USA (NYSE:MUSA)
- Transocean (NYSE:RIG)
- Franco-Nevada Corp (NYSE:FNV)
- Peabody Energy (NYSE:BTU)
- Southern Copper (NYSE:SCCO)
- Archer Daniels Midland (NYSE:ADM)
- Robinhood Markets (NASDAQ:HOOD)
Finally, another factor to consider is the winter season. Experts predict an unusually cold winter, not just in the U.S. but also in Europe. That could spike up demand for heating oil, which may impact the energy market broadly. Once again, hedging with stocks to buy seems an appropriate idea.
Stocks to Buy: Murphy USA (MUSA)
Some stocks to buy like Murphy USA don’t require a convoluted thesis to appreciate. Instead, shares have soared under the simple axiom, if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. With so many drivers feeling the pinch whenever they pull up to the gasoline station, the initial temptation is to rage at how the operators are gouging the public.
Once cooled off, however, buying shares of publicly traded retail gas stations seems an awfully enticing idea. Sure enough, MUSA stock has been one of the stronger performers, gaining over 44% on a year-to-date basis heading into the final session before Thanksgiving.
Admittedly, as I’ve mentioned in prior InvestorPlace articles, I’m not the biggest fan of buying into robust strength. Over the last six months, MUSA gained 36.5%, which is an unusually strong performance for the equity unit. Then again, it’s an unprecedented time in the world.
As well, I’m hesitant about declaring that oil prices will fall. People said that about used cars but their pricing has been incredibly resilient. Therefore, it might make sense to consider MUSA as one of your hedging stocks to buy.
To say that Transocean has seen better days would be an almost criminal understatement. Prior to the 2008 financial meltdown and the ensuing Great Recession, shares of the offshore driller — one of the world’s largest — commanded a very healthy three-digit price tag. Today, RIG trades hands in single-digit territory and a low one at that.
Nevertheless, on a percentage basis, Transocean has represented one of the best stocks to buy over the trailing year, where RIG has gained over 60%. On a YTD basis, the performance is still quite respectable at nearly 41% up.
To be fair, at a price tag of a few cents over $3, RIG is speculative. Frankly, in any other circumstance, I probably wouldn’t mention the company (nor the underlying industry for the matter). However, times have changed and Transocean could benefit from favorable currents.
True, the trailing-12-month (TTM) revenue performance leaves much to be desired. However, an influx of issues ranging from colder weather to critical commodity crunches in various parts of the globe may help drive up oil prices, making RIG one of the speculative stocks to buy.
Stocks to Buy: Franco-Nevada Corp (FNV)
While mining firms exposed to precious metals may be an obvious play to combat energy price inflation, that doesn’t necessarily condemn the idea to ineffectiveness. Look, we’re in a market environment where retail investors flooded into cryptocurrencies to hedge against the devaluation of the dollar. Frankly, precious commodities — you know, the stuff you can hold in your hands — present a more palatable investment thesis regarding inflation protection.
While you could put your money into physical bullion, for those that want to stay in the equities market, you can instead look at companies like Franco-Nevada Corp. What I like about FNV is that it’s a diversified royalty and streaming firm. In a nutshell, the corporation provides funding to metals producers and in return, get a cut of the proceeds, either through a percentage of revenue (royalty) or actual metals (streaming).
In this manner, FNV is less exposed to the wildness and vagaries of the precious metal mining business. As well, the company’s cash flow is more predictable since the royalty or streaming terms are spelled out ahead of time.
If you’re for a solid mixture of profitability and stability in your inflation-hedging stocks to buy, FNV fits the bill.
Peabody Energy (BTU)
Easily the riskiest company on this list of stocks to buy, there’s a chance that Peabody Energy could drop lower. So, I’m going to need you to do yourself a favor. Only invest a small portion of your speculation funds in BTU.
But then, why am I mentioning Peabody, which is the largest private-sector coal company in the world? After all, coal is a rather anachronistic commodity in light of various energy sources that we use today. Also, former President Trump attempted to make coal great again. I’m going to give credit to the man, he’s incredibly charismatic. But even his dynamic personality couldn’t breathe life into the coal market.
Well, it turns out that coal is a catalyst for rising oil prices throughout the world. According to the Wall Street Journal, a coal shortage that imposed an energy crisis in China is “rippling beyond its borders, threatening to disrupt supply chains and farming in countries that rely on its exports of a chemical used in fertilizer and diesel exhaust systems.”
Additionally, the shortage is also driving up demand for hydrocarbons, particularly with the anticipated winter freeze. Thus, BTU could see another leg higher.
Stocks to Buy: Southern Copper (SCCO)
Since prices of almost anything of value are going up, Southern Copper — a mining firm that specializes in the namesake commodity — represents one of the most viable stocks to buy under the present inflationary environment. In fact, several areas across the U.S. have reported thieves stealing copper, causing great inconveniences to their associated communities.
While it’s not the most encouraging thought, copper vandalism will probably increase over the years. That’s because the metal is an important component of advanced technologies, such as electric vehicles. Further, the wind and solar energy industries account for about 60% of copper demand. Since modern society is in no hurry to reverse the sustainability trend, the price of copper seems to have an inevitable direction — up.
Also, should lofty gasoline prices become a permanent fixture, consumers will likely purchase more EVs. In turn, that would drive up copper demand, along with other critical materials. Thus, on a longer-term basis, SCCO is one of the best stocks to buy if you can’t stand the pain at the pump.
Archer Daniels Midland (ADM)
As a food-processing company, Archer Daniels Midland arguably offers a case for stocks to buy whether you’re talking about an inflationary environment or a deflationary one. Although humankind has developed incredible technologies (especially in recent years), we still need the basics. Therefore, ADM has a permanent relevance that relatively few companies can touch.
It’s not just pretty words either. In the first three quarters of this year, Archer Daniels Midland has already generated $62.2 billion in revenue. This tally puts it only 3.4% below that of the full year’s sales result for 2020. It also means that ADM only needs a very modest performance in the fourth quarter to produce a blistering performance compared to what we’ve seen over the past 6 years.
Better yet, Archer Daniels is aligning its business with contemporary consumer trends. For instance, plant-based meat has become very popular, especially during the food supply chain crisis of 2020. Moreover, the Covid-19 pandemic exposed the cruel treatment of animals raised for protein. This might convince more people to take the plant-based plunge, which should bolster ADM stock.
Stocks to Buy: Robinhood Markets (HOOD)
This is going to be a strange idea so bear with me for a second. Back when the pandemic first sent worker bees to their living rooms, millions of Americans found themselves with extra time on their hands. Rather than sitting in a car stuck in traffic, quite a few turned their hand to the equities market, forcing the WSJ to opine that everyone’s a day trader now.
Since the great pivot to the investment sector, many people received a real-world education about high finance. Out of nowhere, people are paying significant attention to the market, consulting with others on social media about which stocks to buy to hedge against the latest threat, this time being inflation.
Obviously, the platform undergirding Robinhood Markets has dominated the news cycle for its gamified interface and legions of young traders. Thus, in a way, Robinhood may be the best place to park your money if you fear a loss of purchasing power.
That’s because a large demographic will facilitate their hedging activities via the online broker. By having equity in HOOD, you’re not betting on the outcome but rather selling tickets to the game.
On the date of publication, Josh Enomoto did not have (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.
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.