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'Unprecedented danger': How to beat the 'clock' with 3 stocks that can survive a market apocolypse

'Unprecedented danger': How to beat the 'clock' with 3 stocks that can survive a market apocolypse
'Unprecedented danger': How to beat the 'clock' with 3 stocks that can survive a market apocolypse

Investors took a serious beating in 2022 as interest rate hikes led to plunging asset prices. But there could be something even scarier on the horizon than a hawkish Fed: doomsday.

On Tuesday, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists reset the Doomsday Clock at 90 seconds until midnight, with midnight representing world apocalypse.

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists created the Doomsday Clock in 1947 to “convey how close humanity is to destroying itself.” With the latest reset of its symbolic hands, the clock is closer to midnight than ever before.

“We are living in a time of unprecedented danger, and the Doomsday Clock time reflects that reality,” says Rachel Bronson, president and CEO of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists in a statement.

“Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has increased the risk of nuclear weapons use, raised the specter of biological and chemical weapons use, hamstrung the world’s response to climate change, and hampered international efforts to deal with other global concerns,” the organization explains.

No one wants to see the end of humanity. But prepping for worst-case scenarios — both at home and in your investment portfolio — might not be such a bad idea.

Here are three stocks to check out before the Doomsday Clock strikes 12.

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Conagra Brands

Remember those empty grocery store shelves during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic?

In times of crisis, people tend to stock up on food. Therefore food companies, like Conagra Brands (NYSE: CAG), could be worth considering if you want to get ready.

Headquartered in Chicago, Conagra is deeply entrenched in the consumer packaged food industry. Its portfolio includes many iconic brands, such as Birds Eye, Marie Callender's, Healthy Choice, and Slim Jim.

Even though the pandemic-induced food hoarding has long stopped, Conagra continues to grow its business.

In the fiscal quarter that ended Nov. 27, 2022, net sales increased 8.3% while adjusted earnings per share rose 26.6% to 81 cents.

The stock is also showing its resilience: Conagra shares climbed 5% in the past 12 months, in stark contrast to the S&P 500’s 8% decline over the same period.

Lockheed Martin

Speaking of share price performance, Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) is even more impressive than Conagra: the stock is up 17% over the past year.

But this shouldn’t come as a surprise. Known for its F-35 fighter jets, Lockheed Martin is the largest defense contractor in the world by revenue. With increasing geopolitical tension, defense stocks have become the better performers in this stock market rout.

Lockheed Martin operates through four business segments: Aeronautics, Missiles and Fire Control, Rotary and Mission Systems, and Space.

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In Q4 of 2022, each of the four segments delivered higher net sales compared to a year ago.

For the entire company, net sales grew 7% year over year to $19.0 billion.

Going forward, the company will likely remain busy as its backlog totaled $150.0 billion as of Dec. 31.

Costco Wholesale

When people start panic buying in a doomsday situation, they won’t be buying one item at a time — they’ll be loading up in quantity.

And when it comes to selling items in bulk, one company comes to mind: Costco Wholesale (NASDAQ: COST).

In fact, Costco’s strategy of selling bulk for value not only makes it a crisis-resistant candidate but also allows it to attract value-conscious consumers before Judgment Day arrives.

In the fiscal quarter that ended Nov. 30, 2022, net sales edged up 8.1% year over year to $53.44 billion. Comparable sales, a critical measure of a retailer’s performance, increased 6.6% for the company.

Shares of the warehouse store operator are trading at similar levels compared to a year ago but long term investors probably aren’t complaining. Over the last five years, Costco stock has returned over 140%.

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This article provides information only and should not be construed as advice. It is provided without warranty of any kind.