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7 Stocks That Could Save Your Portfolio

Avoiding portfolio peril.

While the Dow Jones industrial average finally hit the 20,000 mark in January, it's not as though every investor is ready to uncork the bubbly. Since Nov. 1, Wall Street has watched Fitbit (ticker: FIT) give investors fits (down 43 percent); beauty products maker Coty (COTY) lose ugly (off nearly 13 percent); and Garmin (GRMN) go round in circles (up just a sliver). Investors on the short ends of those sticks might wonder why the market's post-election elation has eluded them. Yet irrational exuberance and irrational anxiety often walk hand in hand, with many shareholders struggling to regain balance. Here are seven stocks that could save your portfolio from peril.

Gilead Sciences (GILD)

Last year was not kind to Gilead, which saw its share prices plunge 22 percent despite a surge that lasted through May. Other pharmacy stocks have likewise struggled due to "immense political pressures," says Clement Thibault, senior analyst at the global financial platform Investing.com. Yet he includes Gilead on his list of stocks poised for big things. "There remains a lot of value in the sector, and any positive health care-related news coming from the White House will send pharma shares sky high."

Polaris Industries (PII)

The famed snowmobile manufacturer took investors on quite the ride, rising and falling 30 percent before ending 2016 down 4 percent. Still, that was welcome news given that the stock shed half its value in 2015. It remains a respected global brand, says Trip Miller, managing partner at Gullane Capital Partners in Memphis, Tennessee: "They're going through a turnaround, they've had a few recalls. But we think it's a stock that could potentially bounce back because it has proven over time to be a great company and a great brand."

General Mills (GIS)

Count this Minneapolis-based company among those that could benefit from the policies of a Trump administration. "His 'Buy American, Hire American' policy may set up companies like General Mills to do well," says Kyle J. McCauley, managing partner at City Center Financial in Troy, Michigan. GIS comes off a 31 percent surge in the first six months of 2016. "It has a 3.06 percent dividend, a lower-than-industry average price-to-earnings ratio and positive accounting reports," McCauley says. That's enough to make you double down on your morning bowl of Cheerios.

Check Point Software Technologies (CHKP)

Cybercrime and the rising threats posed by hackers have given big companies plenty of reasons to beef up security. Barry Randall, a technology portfolio manager on Covestor and chief investment officer of Crabtree Asset Management in St. Paul, Minnesota, believes this Israeli outfit stands to benefit as a result. "Check Point is coming off a very strong December quarter financial performance," Randall says. "Earnings estimates have been rising in recent weeks and Check Point is a consistent generator of free cash flow, which is used to fund growth via acquisitions."

Altria Group (MO)

Formerly Philip Morris, Altria still has a huge tobacco stake. To be sure, tobacco consumption dropped from $110 billion in 2005 to $86.4 billion in mid-2015. "But over the same period, unadjusted tobacco spending increased from $76.5 billion to $110.9 billion," says K.C. Ma, director of the George Investments Institute at Stetson University. Up 20 percent over the last year, Altria stock shows no signs of stopping. "We like any company that makes addictive products legally, has absolute pricing power and is highly resilient to recession and political headwinds," he says.

Callaway Golf Co. (ELY)

If you're not tearing up the back nine, Callaway is one of those companies that likely escapes your notice. But the Carlsbad, California, sporting goods manufacturer continues to hit eagle after eagle. It's up 14 percent since November (trading at $11.50 per share), 37 percent over the last year, and 51 percent since January 2015. In November, it also raised revenue guidance while beating third-quarter profit estimates. Meanwhile, competitors such as Nike (NKE) have announced plans to get out of the golf business, meaning more market share for Callaway.

BP (BP)

Since the mammoth 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill, gas prices have dropped. Yet quietly, BP stock has gained 20 percent since last January. "I continue to think BP is headed higher because of a full pipeline of projects it will have up and running by the end of 2017," says Yale Bock, a portfolio manager on Covestor and president of Y H & C Investments in Las Vegas. "If there is any lift in oil prices above the $55-per-barrel mark, it would really improve their bottom line."



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