Given the chaotic developments both economically and geopolitically, much discussion has centered on a potential equities market crash and how certain stocks to buy may benefit over the long run due to the subsequent discount. However, it’s fair to bring up the academic likelihood of such a scenario panning out.
According to 2016 research conducted by Chicago Booth Review contributors – including Yale professor Robert J. Shiller – market experts and retail investors “judged the likelihood of a crash as much higher than shown by historical data.”
You can read the data for yourself. But in summary, “investors gave estimates of the likelihood of a crash that were more than 20 times the historical precedent.” In other words, investors may be more worried right now than necessary.
Nevertheless, savvy investors can (and should) strategize around certain stocks to buy that may go on steep discount.
Essentially, academic reports can only cover so much. During the new normal, we’ve incurred a pandemic, cycles of economic instability and a war on European soil. Therefore, it may be inaccurate to rely solely on number-crunching of past data to reflect future probabilities. And that opens doors for certain stocks to buy – once the red ink has been priced in.
|GOOG, GOOGL||Alphabet||$100.57, $100.12|
Alphabet (GOOG, GOOGL)
Throughout this year, companies tied to digital advertisement campaigns sounded the alarm about demand erosion. In my view, this dynamic reflects the aforementioned economic instability. With people not sure what the future holds – inflation, deflation or something else – both consumers and businesses scaled back spending. Given these troubles and others, downside for Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL) presents an unsurprising storyline.
Still, let’s be clear about the fundamentals. Alphabet’s Google ecosystem effectively owns the internet. For instance, take a look at global search engine market share data. Despite intense efforts from domestic powerhouses, Google remains king of digital search. Even the best that the Russians and Chinese have to offer pales in comparison to the sheer dominance of Google.
Frankly, such dominance will be difficult for anyone to usurp. Part of the reason why is that Alphabet transitioned from a mere technology firm to a cultural institution. People use the word “Google” as part of their natural, everyday lexicon. So, should a stock market crash materialize, GOOG (or GOOGL) represents one of the best stocks to buy.
Intuitive Surgical (ISRG)
While no one likes to see red ink splashed on their portfolio, the pain may also lead to significant gain over the long run. In other words, a stock market crash could yield opportunities that a rising bullish cycle previously denied. For contrarians, Intuitive Surgical (NASDAQ:ISRG) may be an excellent pickup should the equities sector melt down.
Best known for its Da Vinci system, Intuitive Surgical specializes in minimally invasive care. According to the Mayo Clinic, some of the advantages of minimally invasive procedures include less pain, faster recovery, an earlier return to work and better cosmetic results. Perhaps one of the most important advantages is shorter hospital stays, meaning less financial and emotional burden for all involved.
According to Grand View Research, revenue for the minimally invasive surgical instruments market could be $60.65 billion by 2030. This translates to a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.8% between 2022 and 2030. Thus, the expanding addressable market for Intuitive Surgical makes ISRG one of the stocks to buy following a market crash.
Exxon Mobil (XOM)
Politically and ideologically, the idea of hydrocarbon-related investments making a list of stocks to buy became more controversial. For instance, with the advent and subsequent integration of electric vehicles in the broader transportation framework, fewer enterprises carry excuses about their emissions. Therefore, mentioning Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) as a discount to pick up in a stock market crash seems anachronistic.
Nevertheless, big oil firms like Exxon enjoy scientific realities. One of the advantages that hydrocarbons enjoy over intermittent renewable energy sources is a higher capacity factor. Essentially, fossil fuels feature significantly less downtime than their renewable counterparts. Therefore, they are able to emit maximum power for longer periods.
On the flipside, wind becomes ineffective when the wind ceases. Solar features the same ineffectiveness when the sun sets.
As well, recent geopolitical flashpoints confirm that the rest of the world still runs on hydrocarbons. That’s not going to go away in a few years’ time, most likely. Therefore, should the market implode, XOM is one of the stocks to buy.
NextEra Energy (NEE)
After laying out the ongoing relevance of hydrocarbon-related stocks to buy, mentioning NextEra Energy (NYSE:NEE) – a specialist in renewable energy sources, particularly wind and solar – represents a tough transition. Nevertheless, I think the framework that a society must be completely one side or the other is unproductive. Rather, we should be focusing on net impact. As well, various forms of energy can exist side by side.
On a geopolitical scale, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and subsequent sanctions devastated hydrocarbon inflows. If a lesson is to be learned, it’s that energy diversification is critical. If one source goes down, another can help pick up the slack.
Specific to NextEra Energy, the company has been able to leverage the pertinence of its underlying renewable energy sector and become a consistently profitable organization. For instance, NextEra’s retained earnings currently stands at $25.2 billion. About a decade ago, this metric came in at just under $11 billion, reflecting an economically sustainable business.
Should the stock market crash, investors may want to consider adding Toyota (NYSE:TM) to their portfolio. To be fair, the Japanese auto giant raised eyebrows for not enthusiastically diving into electric vehicles. As a CNBC report noted, the “company doesn’t believe battery-electric vehicles are the only solution to producing more sustainable vehicles and achieving carbon neutrality.”
Instead, Toyota effectively hedges its bets, believing that hybrid vehicles will play a significant role in the future of mobility. That’s where the eyebrow raising comes in because critics suggest that hybrids still feature combustion engines. Ultimately, that decision may not align with the broader pivot to eliminate combustion power from the transportation ecosystem.
However, it’s not a given that EVs are the future, as many analysts claim. According to Kelley Blue Book data from early this year, the average price of a new EV reached nearly $63,000. Considering that the median U.S. household income probably comes in around $70,000 right now, EVs remain out of reach for many — if not most — consumers.
Therefore, the hybrid approach for Toyota might make plenty of economic sense, making TM one of the stocks to buy.
Following an ugly stock market crash, a reasonable wager among stocks to buy could very well be Walmart (NYSE:WMT). A big-box retailer, Walmart gained fame for its massive store size and everyday low pricing strategy. Naturally, with the wild nature of the economy and volatile global supply chains, Walmart hasn’t performed up to expectations. On a year-to-date basis, WMT slipped about 8%.
Nevertheless, that’s a far better performance than the S&P 500 index, which is down 21% during the same period. Colloquially, dropping 20% or more reflects the beginning of a bear market cycle. Thus, the idea of an equities sector crash is no longer theoretical. In away, the market has already already crashed.
However, after the red ink sets in, WMT would be very attractive as one of the stocks to buy. While the company caters to discretionary consumer demand, Walmart is also a powerhouse in necessary household goods like food and personal care products.
In addition, with the economy beaten down, consumers will look for cheaper prices. That’s really Walmart’s forte.
Finally, if the stock market does indeed melt down, the boldest of contrarians may want to pick up Coinbase (NASDAQ:COIN) on the cheap. Now, to be crystal clear, I don’t think it’s wise to acquire shares now because of the economic developments. Fundamentally, the Federal Reserve raising interest rates – effectively increasing the cost of borrowing – disincentivizes risk-on investments.
Second, the so-called Merge event for the cryptocurrency sector – where a major blockchain transitioned to a more efficient consensus protocol called proof of stake – came and went without positive results for digital assets. If anything, the event was overhyped, leading to disappointed stakeholders exiting the arena. So, Coinbase, which offers wallet and exchange services for crypto participants, doesn’t represent a solid buy now.
Following a stock market crash, however, COIN could be one of the more intriguing stocks to buy. Cryptos tend to follow extreme boom-bust cycles. Once sentiment becomes undeniably bearish, that may be the time to acquire shares for another (hopefully) meteoric rally.
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.