Track the companies that matter to you. It's FREE! Click one of these fan favorites to get started: Apple; Google; Ford.



The CAPS Screen: Defend Your Portfolio With These 5 Stocks

Don't let it get away!

Keep track of the stocks that matter to you.

Help yourself with the Fool's FREE and easy new watchlist service today.

Standard and Poor's research shows that consumer staples, utilities, health care, and financials outperform the market 80%-90% of the time during recessions. As my Foolish colleagues Tim Hanson and Brian Richards point out, this outperformance is due to their reliability and healthy dividend policies.

Among large caps, this strategy held up extremely well during the last recession: Most of the top performers -- a group including UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH  ) and Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG  ) -- were defensive dividend payers.

With that in mind, I used our new CAPS screening tool to discover which defensive stocks our 115,000-member CAPS investment community loves most.

These stocks have:

  • Market capitalizations greater than $10 billion.
  • Dividend yields greater than 1%.
  • Debt-to-equity ratios below 40%.
  • Four- or five-star ratings from our CAPS community.

Remember, since we began tracking the eerily prescient collective intelligence of our CAPS investment community in November 2006, four- and five-star companies have outperformed the market by more than 7% and 12%, respectively.


Share Price


Market Cap
(in billions)

Dividend Yield

ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP  )





Disney (NYSE: DIS  )





Nucor (NYSE: NUE  )


Basic Materials



NYSE Euronext (NYSE: NYX  )





PepsiCo (NYSE: PEP  )


Consumer Goods



Data from Motley Fool CAPS and Yahoo! Finance as of Aug. 19.

Of course, screens are merely a first step in the stock-selection process. As Miguel de Cervantes -- whose overly idealistic Don Quixote flails impulsively after unachievable dreams -- reminds us, "Diligence is the mother of good fortune." Come and join us on Motley Fool CAPS to dig into these companies further. Let our 115,000-strong (and counting) CAPS community help you polish your portfolio.

Ilan Moscovitz owns shares of Disney. NYSE Euronext is a Rule Breakers pick. Disney and UnitedHealth are Stock Advisor recommendations. UnitedHealth is also an Inside Value selection. The Fool has a disclosure policy.

Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (1)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 711142, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 12/1/2015 1:40:44 PM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Ilan Moscovitz

Today's Market

updated Moments ago Sponsored by:
DOW 17,823.58 103.66 0.58%
S&P 500 2,092.32 11.91 0.57%
NASD 5,133.64 24.97 0.49%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

12/1/2015 1:25 PM
COP $54.47 Up +0.42 +0.78%
ConocoPhillips CAPS Rating: ****
DIS $115.18 Up +1.71 +1.51%
Walt Disney CAPS Rating: *****
NUE $41.80 Up +0.35 +0.84%
Nucor CAPS Rating: ****
NYX.DL $0.00 Down +0.00 +0.00%
NYSE Euronext CAPS Rating: *****
PEP $100.84 Up +0.68 +0.68%
PepsiCo CAPS Rating: ****
PG $75.87 Up +1.03 +1.37%
Procter & Gamble CAPS Rating: ****
UNH $115.87 Up +3.16 +2.80%
UnitedHealth Group CAPS Rating: ****