This week was a rough one for stocks as trade uncertainty shook the market.
In fact, the Dow and S&P are on track to close out Friday down -2.8%, and the Nasdaq is down -3.4%. Those losses, if they hold out, would mark the worst weekly losses so far this year.
But Matt Maley, equity strategist at Miller Tabak, gave investors concerned about volatility some advice.
“The old saying people would say [is] ‘don’t just stand there, do something.’ When volatility picks up, you do just the opposite – ‘don’t just do something, stand there.’ But, while you’re standing there, get a list of the stocks you like and the levels you like them at,” Maley told CNBC on Thursday.
For those investors looking for shelter, Maley says UnitedHealth (NYSE: UNH) offers some protection.
“It got hit before the rest of the market did when this ‘Medicare for All’ situation hit and then the stock has bounced back nicely here,” Maley said.
UNH is down nearly -5% so far this year, but “this week the market has seen the biggest decline that it has all year, [while] UnitedHealth has actually rallied 3%.”
Maley believes the recent strength in UNH looks like the start of a breakout.
“It has made a lower high so if it can rally a little bit further, it will make a higher high and move above its multi month trend line so that would be quite positive for the stock,” he said.
Strategic Wealth Partners’ Mark Tepper says that investors should look for stocks with strong growth that have been “unfairly punished by short-term market noise,” and likes cloud computing and software as a service (SaaS) stocks in the current environment.
“When it comes to cloud computing, we like Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT),” Tepper said. “They are growing their cloud business by over 40% annually and they offer this hybrid solution that’s interesting to lots of businesses that had invested a lot of money into internal IT infrastructure in the past.”
Microsoft is up nearly 24% so far in 2019, and is up 33% since its Christmas Eve low.
“If you stick with companies whose growth stories are less impacted by market noise, you’re going to do well,” Tepper said.