Since Wall Street’s opening bell sounded on the day after Thanksgiving, clouds of uncertainty have hung over U.S. markets. Reports of what would soon be dubbed the omicron variant were quick to send shock waves across certain sectors. And since then, more news has risen from Capitol Hill that has proved unsettling for investors. Bipartisan bickering has led to increasing discussion of a government shutdown.
Fortunately, Democratic lawmakers managed to avert the shutdown just before a key Dec. 3 deadline, securing funding through February 2022. This represents only a temporary solution to a larger problem, though, leaving investors with pressing questions. What could a government shutdown mean for markets?
If you’re wondering what stocks to buy as the next funding, you’re not alone.
While we don’t know for sure what the immediate future will look like, if it does include a government shutdown, either partial or complete, it likely won’t be all bad news for investors. On the contrary, there are some industries that stand to benefit. Let’s take a look at some stocks to buy if a shutdown does occur.
- Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG)
- Campbell Soup (NYSE:CPB)
- Archer-Daniels-Midland (NYSE:ADM)
- Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO)
- Colgate-Palmolive (NYSE:CL)
- Altria Group (NUSE:MO)
- Newmont (NYSE:NEM)
Stocks to Buy for a Government Shut Down: Procter & Gamble (PG)
As you can probably tell from the names on this list, the consumer staples sector is likely to benefit the most from a shutdown. No company produces more household items than Procter & Gamble. Its holdings are truly vast, spanning healthcare, home care, and baby and feminine care, to name just a few. And in each area, P&G has secured a significant market share.
Government shutdowns tend to induce strong feelings of uncertainty, compelling consumers to stock up on the items they don’t want to be without if things take a turn for the worst. During the shutdown of 2018, many government agency workers found themselves working without pay or with wages in furlough. They remember that feeling well and if a shutdown comes again, they don’t want to be ill-prepared.
We also know that during periods of uncertainty, nervous Americans tend to over-prepare by over-shopping. The kind of products they need are distributed by large companies, and Procter & Gamble controls many of the country’s most trusted brands.
PG stock has also been touted for its resistance to the inflationary trends that are also affecting consumer habits. If you’re looking for stocks to buy in preparation for a shutdown, there’s no better bet than this consumer staples giant.
Campbell Soup Company (CPB)
If Americans are going to be stocking up on essentials, they’ll be employing the same practice when it comes to food. And when it comes to stockpiling non-perishable food items, there’s no better bet than Campbell Soup.
The iconic brand is sold everywhere, from big-box markets to dollar stores, and it keeps for months upon months. Additionally, we’re heading into the coldest season and as temperatures drop, the need for warm items such as hearty soups will only mount. InvestorPlace contributor Joel Baglole named CPB as stock to buy the next time a national event gives Americans apocalyptic anxieties. As he stated, “When people think of stockpiling food supplies, they turn to soup. It’s hearty, comforting, makes for a great lunch, and has a shelf life that can outdo most other canned goods.”
Sales are likely to increase as the company heads into a winter marked by multiple events that could easily have Americans stocking up on food items. CPB stock should definitely be high on your list of stocks to buy for a shutdown, particularly as it’s been struggling lately, creating what could become a lucrative opportunity to buy the dip if such trends continue.
Stocks to Buy for a Government Shutdown: Archer-Daniels-Midland (ADM)
The company commonly referred to by its initials is known as a staple of food production and distribution. With a reach that extends far beyond that, though, it’s also a leader in the global field of agricultural processing. Throughout years of fairly steady growth, the company has worked to emphasize practices that center around health and sustainability. ADM doesn’t own farms, but it partners with them by supplying innovative technologies to help spur the growth and distribution of agricultural products.
It doesn’t stop with agricultural services, though. The company’s work spans areas including oilseeds and carbohydrate solutions as well as animal nutrition ingredients. Moreover, if it involves food and will be in demand as America faces a daunting economic outlook, ADM will be helping provide it.
It’s worth noting that while many consumers will absolutely be stocking up on items like Campbell soups, their more health-conscious peers will be more focused on the food items provided by companies like Archer-Daniels-Midland. ADM was recently named to a list of consumer staple stocks to buy for reasons even more pronounced today.
Coca-Cola Company (KO)
There’s likely no brand more iconically American than Coca-Cola. Even non-soda drinkers have sampled some product owned by the massive soft drink conglomerate whose holdings are also quite vast, encompassing brands such as Dasani Waters, Honest Tea and Minute Maid Beverages.
If nervous Americans are stocking up on food, they’ll also have to stock up on beverages and there is no beverage company better-known than Coca-Cola. Not all Americans drink the soda for which the company is named, but their beverage of choice is likely made by one of the company’s subsidiaries. With this type of empire, KO is a safe investment as the country prepares for a period of uncertainty.
Even in the face of inflation, KO stock appears to be standing its ground. As it turns out, there is plenty of reason, as the stock is touted for its inflation-proof qualities. As InvestorPlace contributor Alex Sirois noted in a recent list on exactly that topic, “the general thesis is that consumer goods bear the brunt of inflation.” KO stock should definitely should not be counted out of lists of stocks to buy in the face of a government shutdown.
Stocks to Buy for a Government Shutdown: Colgate-Palmolive (CL)
It isn’t just food and beverages that Americans will be stocking up on if the shutdown proceeds, though. You probably associate the name with products such as toothpaste, but the multi-national corporation under which Colgate operates produces and distributes toothbrushes, mouthwashes, and rinses for both adults and children. It also produces products of general hygiene needs for both humans and animals. For anyone concerned with dental wellness or just general hygiene, Colgate’s products are essential, and they will be of paramount importance in a time of economic uncertainty. If you keep it next to your bathroom sink, Colgate-Palmolive probably made it.
Earlier this year, InvestorPlace contributor Josh Enomoto named CL among recession-resistant stocks to buy for nervous investors. “A recession would have to be pretty darn awful for people to skimp out on the bare necessities,” he noted.
While we’re not facing a recession just yet, it seems a safe assumption that Colgate-Palmolive will be a company that only sees business increases as nervous Americans prepare for the worst. The last government shutdown we saw led to considerable economic instability and plenty of anxiety among consumers. This time around, Americans will want to be prepared and shopping helps the nervous feel better, particularly for the type of essentials that Colgate-Palmolive provides.
Altria Group (MO)
We’ve discussed the essentials quite a bit throughout this list, but we all know that nervous Americans won’t just be buying what’s good for them. They’ll be stocking up on things that help them feel better, such as alcohol and cigarettes. Tobacco companies stand to benefit from an economic period where stress will be high. This giant of its sector owns several of the biggest names in big tobacco including PhilipMorrisUSA. It’s also worth noting that Altria has been exploring expansions into the fast-growing cannabis market. In 2018, it made a strategic investment in Canadian cannabis producer Cronos Group (NASDAQ:CRON) and explored further investments more recently.
As InvestorPlace contributor Chris Lau noted, “Some investors view tobacco as an unattractive investment. But people who smoke still need to buy the company’s products. Plus, Altria has a discount segment that is growing. It is careful not to gouge price-sensitive customers, especially its premium brands.”
Anyone seeking to capitalize on the increase in cigarette sales that the country could see would be well served to consider MO among shutdown stocks to buy.
Stocks to Buy for a Government Shutdown: Newmont (NEM)
While this name may seem like an odd choice for a list that primarily includes consumer staples stocks, it’s also worthwhile to consider a worst-case scenario play, examining the type of stock that stands to benefit if a shutdown is prolonged or leads to a worse economic landscape in which fears are amplified significantly.
If we start approaching that type of scenario, we’re likely to see companies with heavy ties to gold mining start to benefit as Americans seek the safest ways to store their money and protect their assets. As the country’s largest gold mining company, Newmont is worth a look if you’re seeking stocks to buy. The company’s mines can be found in the American west, but its mining reach has expanded to countries such as the Dominican Republic, Ghana and Australia.
We recently saw a rally in gold prices following the inflationary trends that came to define the late fall. While prices have fallen since then, fears are now rising for other reasons and if they continue to worsen, gold mining companies will be standing at the ready.
For anyone interested in stocks to buy for a time marked by panic and uncertainty, this could be a good time for a bullish play on gold mining.
On the date of publication, Samuel O’Brient 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.