Feeling optimistic the new year will usher in a change in stock market dynamics and shift sentiment from bear to bull? Well, Leon Cooperman has some bad news for you.
The billionaire investor has been a fully-fledged bear for a while now and 2023 has done little to change his stance. “Anybody looking for a new bull market any time soon is looking the wrong way,” Cooperman said.
In fact, Cooperman thinks there’s only a 5% chance the S&P 500 sees out 2023 above the 4,400 mark (up 13% from current levels), believing the stock market is far likelier to head back down from here.
Cooperman evidently knows a thing or two about investing in bear markets, and if we’re to heed his advice, it’s best to look for ‘safe havens’ to shield from further incoming volatility.
With this in mind, we delved into the TipRanks database and pulled out two stocks that analysts believe offer just that. Moreover, the view on Wall Street is that both are Strong Buys. Let’s see what makes them good shelters from the storm right now.
Ashland Inc. (ASH)
The first stock we’ll look at is American chemicals company Ashland. With a presence in 100+ countries, the company offers additives and specialty ingredients, providing services to clients in a variety of consumer and industrial sectors, such as personal care, automotive, energy, food and beverage, nutraceuticals, pharmaceuticals, and architectural coatings. With a workforce of 3,900, the company has a market cap of $5.77 billion.
And going against the general market trend, Ashland has managed to preserve that market cap over the past year, with the stock seeing out 2022 1% into the green, a far better display than the S&P 500’s losses of 19%.
Delivering strong earnings certainly helps in beating the market, and this is something the company’s most recent report – for the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2022 (September quarter) – managed to pull off. Revenue climbed by 6.8% year-over-year to $631 million, meeting Street expectations while adj. EPS improved by 20% to clock in at $1.46 – 5 cents above the $1.41 consensus estimate….